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About Jacqueline

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Katonah,NY, USA
  • Interests
    Traveling, Cooking, Diving, gardening

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  1. A while back, I was sent an opportunity to make a non binding prebooking for 2022. I have been interested in the Kamchatka peninsula and this is being offered! They have given me until February 13 to send in my deposit. Very exciting! The only other luxury ship that I am aware of in this area is Silversea.
  2. Your plan sounds perfect! I saw bedroom slippers and sneakers in the changing room neither of which is ideal. Gortex pants are great as well. You have it covered. Most people overpacked. While the zodiac can be cold and windy, we had relatively mild weather (around freezing) as we were late in the season (last cruise). The internet is very slow much of the time. Post when you get home, that’s soon enough!
  3. Ok, that explains the problem. Hapag Lloyd didn’t misinform you, the US TA did... they should have contacted the company on your behalf. I loved South Georgia, it is truly a highlight of the trip. Also, please report back on the ship for us. I’ll offer you three bits of advice that you can take or leave 1) Vick’s vapo rub. It’s late in the season and it can be a bit smelly in the rookeries. 2) I wore rain pants over my wool leggings. I got some great photos sitting in the ground, but it’s quite dirty at times. I just rinsed the. Off every day 3) we had a very nice wet room to change in and out of our expedition clothing. When your group is called, you will head down and don your boots, life preserver, coat, etc. At the end, you will rinse your boots and store this in the wet room in your cubby, I found that a cheap pair of crocs works well to wear from your cabin, to the wet room and back. It was the best tip I got. They slip on and off with ease. You won’t want to be tying shoes or mucking up anything nice,
  4. You are correct. Did you use a travel agent, or book directly through them? Whoever it is, I would call them and ask for an explanation. I tried dealing with the New York HL travel agents and they were such idiots, that I dealt directly with Germany. The ladies there even went so far as to check in with the captain of the ship on a question I had regarding air conditioning in the Amazon Cruise. The morons in New York thought that I had to buy excursions for Antartica!
  5. Like any other cruiseship, there is a turnaround day...and this is it. the flight arrives early In Ushuaia so there you go! Everything with HL is well organized and goes off like clockwork. They have been running Antarctic cruises more frequently and longer than most other lines, My experience was identical to that of lake diver. If you are not a german language speaker, read below. What will happen at the airport upon arrival, is that the native or preferred English speakers (who in our case where one Australian couple, one couple from the Us and assorted Danes, and folks from the Netherlands and Belgians) are segregated from the german speaking group. We were the Weiss group and these are the folks that you will be doing excursions with for the next weeks or so. Many people do speak german or understand it (or one person in the couple does). You will have a fantastic time, have no worries.
  6. We had a fantastic time on our Hapag Lloyd cruise to Antartica! They did a wonderful job. We have the Inspiration on a wishlist for Kamchatka peninsula way out in the future!
  7. I agree that they have some very interesting itineraries. I have indicated an interest to them in the Inspirations 2021/2 sailing to the Kamchatka peninsula. Very few options here on a ship that’s not an old icebreaker, Silversea runs here now and again, but they aren’t really genius at expedition cruising, especially outside the polar regions and Galapagos.
  8. In terms of food, let’s keep in mind that sources food products is not always that easy! Onboard kitchens will not always be able to provision fresh produce. We were on a 20 day cruise to Antartica then onto Brazil. how they managed salad is a wonder. Hapag Lloyd did an amazing job and did not repeat a menu.
  9. I’m not sure where the “do not expect the same level of service “ came from. Regardless of the nationality of the staff, it is the training that counts. I was on an A&K ship and the service was terrific. Local people. Just fantastic. Warm and caring.
  10. It is free and called Che Bateo. Download it before you leave and set the language to English.( You will need to now where you are departing from and where you are going first.) It will tell you which line(s) to take, how soon they are coming, to duration of the journey and the number of stops. It also will provide the platform letter which is important at busy stops near the cruiseship piers and at San Marco. Locals recommended this to us on our first day and during our two weeks, I have used it several times a day. its very intuitive but you can save your mental energy by playing with it at home.
  11. We visited the site of the new museum back in March. That area is pretty heavily covered by security, too. i guess all I can say is you just never know. A local girl was killed in the Sri Lanka bombings, and I was at her wake last week. She passed away on May 4 as a result of injuries sustained. She was at the hotel with other member of the US Commerce department having brunch, when the attack occurred. She just finished two years or so in the Peace Corps inTanzania. If I had to bet, her parents were probably more worried when she was in a moslem majority country with a history of terrorism than in a catholic country which up until then had been peaceful. i really don’t know where is “safe” anymore. I had a little girl from South Africa ask me why American kids shoot each other at school. (BTW the hotels in Cairo have bomb sniffing dogs and scan all luggage before it enters the hotel. At least the two hotels we stayed at.. the Marriot Mena House and the Four Seasons.)
  12. NotThe Monkey, exactly. i don’t know why we can’t just leave it at that. This post has dragged on and on. Who cares what some company says on their website? If people are going to be dropping thousand(s) of dollars a day on a cruise, I think they can dive a bit deeper, especially now that we have the internet.
  13. I think Berlitz makes a good stab at it, with a methodology, Just like Michelin starred restaurants, there can be a difference of opinion. And for wine ratings, Robert Parker prefers a style of wine. It is impossible there to be a totally subjective ranking of these products, but it does give one an idea of a category. Once in the boards I heard it said that Berlitz is a language company, how can they review ships. And I would answer, Michelin is a tire company!
  14. To your point, when I met a little girl from Johannesburg, she asked me why children get shot in school in the USA.
  15. I just want to chime in and encourage anyone on the fence to go to Egypt now. We had put the trip off for quite some time and are glad that we did it before all the crowds are back! Also had the opportunity for many hotel upgrades, early check in land late check outs along the way. in our case, we opted to do the Sanctuary Sunboat IV as part of an independent trip arranged by A&K who is the owner of the ship. (As in I am not recommending a travel agent, but booked through the owner of the river boat, like booking directly thru vIking, Uniworld, etc). The main advantage was that for all the before and after cruise stuff, we moved with our own guide, driver and air arrangements. We booked AbuSimbel in advance, for example, and had great flight times and connections. For example, we stayed on the plane back from Abu Simbel to Aswan and went directly to Egypt. And our outbound flight was at 10am, meaning no early morning flights. I was able to modify and change our plans as well. We had booked extra days in Cairo and did not have to jam so many things in one day. We had a nice long museum visit and then a long lunch, with just a little touring after that. We added the new restoration center for antiquities called GEMS and where we got to see them working on treasures from King Tuts tomb, up close as well as amazing other finds never on display. As I would text the manager in Cairo, I would get responses like, “I am here to make your dreams come true”.
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