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KathyK13

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About KathyK13

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    Rochester, NY

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  1. I found the image below useful in showing the effects of wearing masks, whether one is ill or healthy. Looks like transmission is slightly smaller when both are wearing masks. I live in NY where masks are mandated in all stores. It's fine with me, I've gotten comfortable wearing one. We live in the western part of the state and are probably starting stage 2 openings on Friday, which covers restaurants (outdoor eating), non-essential stores, salons, etc. I will probably give it a few weeks before venturing to any of these places, waiting to see if there's an uptick in cases.
  2. I have reservations on an Avalon Christmas Market cruise in December with my sister and two friends; it will be their first river cruise. I'm starting to think it may make sense to see if we an reschedule for the following year. It's impossible at this point to know if there will be cruises in December and what the markets will be like, if they do have them. We have refundable hotel reservations pre and post cruise, so we wouldn't lose any money.
  3. Before deciding on a cruise line, I suggest you look into how lines you are considering handled high or low water. Water levels have had an impact on river cruises since we took our first river cruise in 2013. I believe that was the year there was historic flooding and ships couldn't get through in places. In 2018 they had historically low rivers, to the point where the Rhine and Danube were impassable in places. We have been very lucky to have good water levels on the 3 cruises we have taken but as weather continues to be extreme I fear there will be more trouble ahead. While I think the cruise lines did their best in difficult situations, many cruisers were unhappy with how their cruise line responded. We paid close attention in 2018 because we were planning a cruise in 2019, so I created the following thread to get an idea of how the lines were dealing with low water: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2573333-how-are-cruise-lines-dealing-with-low-water-conditions/ Notamermaid created threads discussing water levels on the Rhine and Danube for each of the past few years. You should find more info there. One more thing to consider!
  4. The only time we use a travel agent is for river cruises. We use a large travel agency we found online. Their office is accross the country but we email and talk on the phone. They give a 15% discount off the cruise price!
  5. Avalon's website states their policy for guests with canceled cruises; right now they are offering to reschedule cruises for the same price as the original cruise plus a $200 discount. I don't know if it will be in effect if your cruise is canceled. Of course who knows what airline fees will be next year? They could go either way....
  6. We live on the other side of the lake in the NY Finger Lakes region. Our region has had a much lower incidence of the virus than downstate and we have met the governor's criteria for beginning a staged re-opening on Friday. Only construction and manufacturing will open in the first stage. People are still required to wear masks where a 6 foot distance can't be maintained and most people are following the rules without complaint. We have had unusually cold weather for several weeks, with a freeze warning last night and tonight. Hoping for warmer weather so we can get outside; it would be a lot easier to stay home if I could be in our garden and my husband could play golf! Since we are in the 'at risk' age group, we have been diligent about staying home. We order groceries online and either have them delivered or have curbside pickup. I have been to BJs twice at the start of their 'senior hour'. Everyone has been very careful to give each other space, ailes are wide and one-way so I feel comfortable going there. Still, I carry Clorox wipes in both hands, using them on whatever I pick up or touch. Wipe down everthing I touch in the car, remove my mask carefully and put in the trunk. We are fortunate to live in an area with many large parks and trails where we can take the dog for a hike and keep a distance from other people, so we do that every day if it isn't raining. We do get takeout meals a few times a week at favorite restaurants that offer curbside pickup. I don't think we will change our behaviour much when things open up. I think a lot of people will be out and about and many may think the worst is over and not be as diligent. So we are home for the forseeable future, hoping the weather improves and we can spend some of it outdoors!
  7. Youll get lots of recommendations as everyone has their favorites! I agree with everyone else to read all the introductory information first; it will help you decide what factors are most important for you. We have done 3 cruises with Avalon; 2 on the older boats and one a year ago on one of the new Panorama ships, the Imagery II. We chose our first cruise, on the Danube, with them mainly due to schedule (we were still working then), itinerary, and price. The staterooms on the Panorama ships are beautiful, larger than those on other lines and we loved the bed facing the panoramic window. Although when sailing the most scenic parts of the river we were on the upper deck, we did enjoy spending some quiet time in our rooms and appreciated the large window and view. Our last cruise was last June on the Moselle and Rhine from Remich Luxembourg to Amsterdam. If you are interested in viewing castles, I suggest you look at this itinerary. The Moselle is stunning, you'll cruise past vineyards and castles; we stopped in several picturesque towns and sampled the local wine. When we reached the Rhine, the boat went south on the Rhine to dock in the small town of Engers. I think this town was a new docking location for Avalon. After dinner we were treated to an amazing violin/piano concert at a concert hall across the street from the dock. It was a new excursion that was well appreciated and one I hope Avalon continues to offer.The advantage of doing this cruise in June with the long hours of daylight was that we got to sail through the Rhine Gorge twice as we headed north from Engers the next day. We especially loved the Moselle because there weren't many other cruise ships on the river and we didn't have any other boats rafted to us. Several lines cruise the Moselle along with the Rhine but there's usually only one or two at a time. I think the only time we experienced rafting on that cruise was in Amsterdam and only for a half day. I guess we were lucky! We have found Avalon's price point, excursions, service, and accommodations work well for us. I hope the information you find on this board helps you pick a line that works for you!
  8. I read the cancellation policy listed above. I understood it to apply to passengers that cancelled their cruise, not to Uniworld cancellation. I don't see how they can legally keep the money if they cancel the cruise. The alternatives listed don't work for everyone.
  9. Too early to tell. We also have a Christmas market cruise in December booked; waiting to see what happens.
  10. I read yesterday that a lab at Oxford University has started human trials for a vaccine they have been working on, and if results are good the vaccine may be widely available in September. The lab already had a coronavirus vaccine that had alreay gone through the first trials; they were able to modify it for Covid-19 and have completed animal testing. Monkeys that received the vaccine and the virus did not get sick nor suffered side effects. They have already started human trials with a large group, some of whom will receive placebos. Of course there's no guarantee it will be safe and effective for humans, but it looks promising! We have a Christmas market cruise booked for December. We're just waiting to see how things work out.
  11. Be careful if you are considering Viking. Nothing against the Viking experience, but their longboats are not allowed to dock in Paris because of the size of the boat, so they dock in a town outside the city. They do provide buses to take people back and forth from Paris, but the trip can take an hour each way. Much nicer to actually be docked in Paris; less time spent sitting in traffic and we could see the Eiffel tower from the deck of our ship during our Avalon cruise! Also the Viking longboats only went as far as Rouen this year; most other lines go at least as far as Caudebec. I believe Viking will introduce 2 new ships in 2021 that will be small enough to dock in Paris, so if you're set on Viking, make sure to choose one of the smaller ships.
  12. Yes, it was Vantage; i received the same brochure.
  13. Do a search for Teeming in this forum. I believe that FuelScience did a tour with them and left an extensive review that you may find helpful. I have seen various reviews of Gate 1; you may also find information on them by searching this forum.
  14. Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions. Right now I'm leaning toward Zurich, with possibly a day trip to Lucerne. First I'll have to find out how many extra days we can add to our trip. I do know how expensive Switzerland can be 😲.
  15. I am taking an Avalon Rhine river Christmas cruise ending in Basel in December with my sister and two friends. We will spend an extra day or two at the end of the cruise and I'm looking for advice on which city to visit. None of us have been to this part of Switzerland. Besides the Christmas markets what are the attractions of these cities in December? I'm leaning towards Lucerne as I've read how beautiful it is, but what is it like in December? I'm hoping CC members who have been to these places in December to share their thoughts! Thanks!
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