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Jan115

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Everything posted by Jan115

  1. We disembarked our virtual cruise on Sunday, November 15. Rather than post a day-to-day account here, to save time, please read the blog. I am glad I wrote this report because it made me feel like I was there. Even though my husband and I weren't really there, we feel like we have become familiar with the ship, thanks to all the great onboard photos from Princess used with permission. If you didn't get a chance to read my report, check it out here on my Travel Journal Blog. It's divided into days, so need to be overwhelmed if you read a day at a time.
  2. Ready to think about cruising again? Cruise lines are working hard to get you safely back on board, and Carnival has a deal too good to pass up! Message me to book your cruise today! Or contact me at: https://7seajourneys.com/contact/
  3. I’ve seen the same Titanic exhibit when it came to Hartford and the Maritime Museum in Halifax. We were supposed to do this cruise with Celebrity in 2020 with Belfast and Dublin, as well as Glasgow. I’ve had my fill of Titanic and was looking forward to tours themed toward Game of Thrones and Outlander. Hoping to catch the Outlander tour in 2022 unless I book the land tour am hoping for.🙂
  4. We’re booked on the same ship to Iceland on 7/3/22, with Scotland instead of Ireland. Enjoy!
  5. Save NOW, Cruise Later! Choose 2 FREE Offers + FREE GRATUITIES! HURRY, Ends November 17th!
  6. Celebrity Cruises will include all drinks, WiFi and gratuities on all bookings starting Nov. 17, under its new Always Included pricing plan. Under the plan, Always Included will become the standard rate for Celebrity sailings, and passengers can upgrade to one of two higher-level pricing packages that add inclusions such as shore excursions, onboard credit and streaming WiFi. Celebrity said the pricing plans put an end "to confusing promotions, complicated add-ons and limited-time offers." Today, nothing is more luxurious than when things are extra simple and extra special," Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, CEO of Celebrity, said in a statement. "We wanted to bring that big, wonderful feeling of 'everything is taken care of' to life for our guests." Starting Nov. 17, Celebrity's standard Always Included fares include: • Unlimited drinks: Classic cocktails, wine by the glass, beer, soda, specialty coffees and teas, juices and bottled water. • Unlimited WiFi for social media, email and web surfing. • Daily gratuities for the crew. The two enhanced packages include everything in the standard fare and: • Elevate: Unlimited premium drinks and shore excursions up to $200 per person. • Indulge: Everything in Elevate plus unlimited WiFi streaming and up to $400 per person in onboard credit to spend almost any way a guest desires. All guests in the Retreat, Celebrity's all-suite accommodations, will receive the same amenities as the Indulge package at no additional charge. "After this challenging year, ease and peace of mind have become even more invaluable commodities," said Peter Giorgi, Celebrity's chief marketing officer. "People want to spend more time being inspired, not getting lost in a myriad of booking options." ______________________ SOURCE: Travel Weekly, Johanna Jainhill (Nov. 10, 2020); Photo Credit: Celebrity Cruise Line Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more For more cruise news and articles go to https://www.cruisecrazies.com View full article
  7. Celebrity Cruises will include all drinks, WiFi and gratuities on all bookings starting Nov. 17, under its new Always Included pricing plan. Under the plan, Always Included will become the standard rate for Celebrity sailings, and passengers can upgrade to one of two higher-level pricing packages that add inclusions such as shore excursions, onboard credit and streaming WiFi. Celebrity said the pricing plans put an end "to confusing promotions, complicated add-ons and limited-time offers." Today, nothing is more luxurious than when things are extra simple and extra special," Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, CEO of Celebrity, said in a statement. "We wanted to bring that big, wonderful feeling of 'everything is taken care of' to life for our guests." Starting Nov. 17, Celebrity's standard Always Included fares include: • Unlimited drinks: Classic cocktails, wine by the glass, beer, soda, specialty coffees and teas, juices and bottled water. • Unlimited WiFi for social media, email and web surfing. • Daily gratuities for the crew. The two enhanced packages include everything in the standard fare and: • Elevate: Unlimited premium drinks and shore excursions up to $200 per person. • Indulge: Everything in Elevate plus unlimited WiFi streaming and up to $400 per person in onboard credit to spend almost any way a guest desires. All guests in the Retreat, Celebrity's all-suite accommodations, will receive the same amenities as the Indulge package at no additional charge. "After this challenging year, ease and peace of mind have become even more invaluable commodities," said Peter Giorgi, Celebrity's chief marketing officer. "People want to spend more time being inspired, not getting lost in a myriad of booking options." ______________________ SOURCE: Travel Weekly, Johanna Jainhill (Nov. 10, 2020); Photo Credit: Celebrity Cruise Line Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more For more cruise news and articles go to https://www.cruisecrazies.com
  8. Neither can we! Welcome to our cruise community. Please tell us more about yourself - maybe something about the cruises you’ve been on and the places you’ve been. Looking forward to seeing you around the site!
  9. A Virtual Caribbean Cruise, Sky Princess Day 2, 11/06/2020 Is there anything more beautiful than waking up to a magical sunrise on the ocean? This is what I've missed most about cruising. Sure, I can see a sunrise from anywhere I live on the East Coast. But that requires David coaxing me out of bed, into the car and driving there. A cruise, on the other hand, only requires lifting one's head off the pillow, climbing out of the bed, shuffling to the balcony and simply stepping out for the morning sunrise. Read more and follow along on my Blog: https://sevenseajourneys.wordpress.com/2020/11/06/a-virtual-caribbean-cruise-continued-day-2-11-06-20/
  10. This is a virtual cruise, a tale of what might have been. For if it weren’t for Coronavirus, my husband David and I plus four other friends and relatives would have been vacationing together at this very moment. Since I haven’t been any place interesting enough to write about in the past year, I thought I’d write about this, what would have been the last of our three canceled cruises this year, a fate due to the global suspension of cruise ship sailings in 2020. So, here it is, my story of what might have been, based somewhat on our usual cruising routine. Perhaps it’s the next best thing to being there! Of course, Since I’m not really here, I have no photos to share. The photos you see are either free stock photos or those I am permitted to use from Princess Cruise Line. Read more and follow along on my Blog: https://sevenseajourneys.wordpress.com/2020/11/05/a-virtual-caribbean-cruise-sky-princess-nyc-to-ft-lauderdale-11-05-2020/
  11. With infection numbers currently up all over the world, with new travel restrictions, I can’t imagine climbing on board a ship now (or traveling anywhere right now). I’m feeling it’s going to be a few months, maybe spring, before cruise lines have completed the work needed and the “test” sailings.
  12. With cruisers limited to 1,300 per ship, that limits the cruise lines visiting to premium and luxury lines, likely bringing a different type of clientele to Key West. People with more money to spend in port! And this can be a good thing.😎
  13. Oceania Cruises, a leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line, has released its 2022 Europe & North America Collection of itineraries for preview prior to opening for sale on Nov. 11, 2020. The complete collection of 110 itineraries, featuring 77 brand new offerings, including 10 new ports, can be viewed online or via the comprehensive season preview brochure. The 2022 Europe & North America Collection offers 56 itineraries that range from seven to 14 days in length. For those travelers who desire a broader spectrum of exploration, there are 54 voyages ranging from 15 to 46 days that blend multiple continents and cultures into singularly grand adventures. Curated experiences are offered at more than 250 ports of call throughout Northern and Western Europe, Iceland, Greenland, the Mediterranean, Greek Isles, Holy Lands, Alaska, Canada & New England, Bermuda, South America, and the Caribbean. “As travelers continue seeking inspiration and bright new adventures ahead, we’ve never been more delighted to introduce a new collection of voyages,” said Bob Binder, president and CEO of Oceania. “Our 2022 Europe & North America Collection is filled with captivating voyages that will beckon seasoned travelers with explorations reaching perennial favorites and compelling new destinations alike.” Highlights of Oceania’s 2022 Europe & North America Collection include: 1) 110 itineraries, 77 of them brand new along with 10 new ports to explore such as the Danish rising star of Aarhus, the Irish village of Killybegs, and the dramatic Lofoten Islands in Norway. 2) 11 voyages of seven to 14 days aboard Marina and Sirena that explore the history, antiquities, and architecture of Scandinavia and Russia. 3) Explore the cultural traditions and great outdoors of Alaska with glacier trekking, helicopter flightseeing and Go Local tours, plus more voyages cruising Hubbard Glacier with 12 convenient departures from Seattle, Vancouver or Los Angeles of seven, nine, 10, 11, 12 or 13 days. 4) 46 voyages to the western Mediterranean, Greek Isles, Turkey, and Canary Islands ranging from seven to 14 days. 5) Discover the treasures and sacred destinations of the Holy Land with 16 voyages that call on ports in Israel, Turkey, and Egypt 6) Connoisseurs of food and wine can enjoy six itineraries that focus on western Europe’s wine countries while another four are devoted to displaying the culinary treasures of the United Kingdom, Scotland, Wales and Ireland 7) Unwind with Bermuda getaways offering all a tropical escape with the convenience of seven-day round-trip New York departures. 8) Explore the best of New England, the Canadian Maritimes, Greenland, Iceland, the Norwegian Fjords, Baltic capitals, wine countries of France, Spain, and Portugal plus the Azores in one 46-day voyage with the convenience of sailing round-trip from New York City aboard Insignia. 9) Get the ultimate immersion in the western Europe wine countries of Iberia, North Africa, Madeira, the Canary Islands and Bermuda aboard Sirena with 25 ports of call in 38 days. 10) Traverse the Mediterranean with 18 ports in 22 days aboard Nautica from Jerusalem to Barcelona. 11) Be among the few who venture north of the Arctic Circle aboard Sirena’s singular sailing to the North Cape, Murmansk, and Archangel, Russia Travelers can take advantage of even more value with Oceania’s OLife Choice Airfare promotion, which includes free round-trip airport transfers on each 2022 Europe & North America Collection voyage along with free Internet and a choice of free shore excursions, free beverage package or substantial shipboard credit. Europe voyages in this collection also feature a $149 premium economy air upgrade, and every voyage comes with complete peace of mind from the Best Price Guarantee. Reservations open on Nov. 11, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. EST. For more information, contact your travel agent. ______________________ SOURCE: Travel Pulse, Insider Travel Report (James Shillinglaw, Nov. 5, 2020); Photo Credit: Oceania Cruises Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more For more cruise news and articles go to https://www.cruisecrazies.com View full article
  14. Oceania Cruises, a leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line, has released its 2022 Europe & North America Collection of itineraries for preview prior to opening for sale on Nov. 11, 2020. The complete collection of 110 itineraries, featuring 77 brand new offerings, including 10 new ports, can be viewed online or via the comprehensive season preview brochure. The 2022 Europe & North America Collection offers 56 itineraries that range from seven to 14 days in length. For those travelers who desire a broader spectrum of exploration, there are 54 voyages ranging from 15 to 46 days that blend multiple continents and cultures into singularly grand adventures. Curated experiences are offered at more than 250 ports of call throughout Northern and Western Europe, Iceland, Greenland, the Mediterranean, Greek Isles, Holy Lands, Alaska, Canada & New England, Bermuda, South America, and the Caribbean. “As travelers continue seeking inspiration and bright new adventures ahead, we’ve never been more delighted to introduce a new collection of voyages,” said Bob Binder, president and CEO of Oceania. “Our 2022 Europe & North America Collection is filled with captivating voyages that will beckon seasoned travelers with explorations reaching perennial favorites and compelling new destinations alike.” Highlights of Oceania’s 2022 Europe & North America Collection include: 1) 110 itineraries, 77 of them brand new along with 10 new ports to explore such as the Danish rising star of Aarhus, the Irish village of Killybegs, and the dramatic Lofoten Islands in Norway. 2) 11 voyages of seven to 14 days aboard Marina and Sirena that explore the history, antiquities, and architecture of Scandinavia and Russia. 3) Explore the cultural traditions and great outdoors of Alaska with glacier trekking, helicopter flightseeing and Go Local tours, plus more voyages cruising Hubbard Glacier with 12 convenient departures from Seattle, Vancouver or Los Angeles of seven, nine, 10, 11, 12 or 13 days. 4) 46 voyages to the western Mediterranean, Greek Isles, Turkey, and Canary Islands ranging from seven to 14 days. 5) Discover the treasures and sacred destinations of the Holy Land with 16 voyages that call on ports in Israel, Turkey, and Egypt 6) Connoisseurs of food and wine can enjoy six itineraries that focus on western Europe’s wine countries while another four are devoted to displaying the culinary treasures of the United Kingdom, Scotland, Wales and Ireland 7) Unwind with Bermuda getaways offering all a tropical escape with the convenience of seven-day round-trip New York departures. 8) Explore the best of New England, the Canadian Maritimes, Greenland, Iceland, the Norwegian Fjords, Baltic capitals, wine countries of France, Spain, and Portugal plus the Azores in one 46-day voyage with the convenience of sailing round-trip from New York City aboard Insignia. 9) Get the ultimate immersion in the western Europe wine countries of Iberia, North Africa, Madeira, the Canary Islands and Bermuda aboard Sirena with 25 ports of call in 38 days. 10) Traverse the Mediterranean with 18 ports in 22 days aboard Nautica from Jerusalem to Barcelona. 11) Be among the few who venture north of the Arctic Circle aboard Sirena’s singular sailing to the North Cape, Murmansk, and Archangel, Russia Travelers can take advantage of even more value with Oceania’s OLife Choice Airfare promotion, which includes free round-trip airport transfers on each 2022 Europe & North America Collection voyage along with free Internet and a choice of free shore excursions, free beverage package or substantial shipboard credit. Europe voyages in this collection also feature a $149 premium economy air upgrade, and every voyage comes with complete peace of mind from the Best Price Guarantee. Reservations open on Nov. 11, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. EST. For more information, contact your travel agent. ______________________ SOURCE: Travel Pulse, Insider Travel Report (James Shillinglaw, Nov. 5, 2020); Photo Credit: Oceania Cruises Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more For more cruise news and articles go to https://www.cruisecrazies.com
  15. Book by December 5, 2020 Free Economy Air on 8-10 Day Itineraries Free Premium Economy Air on 11+ Day Itineraries Pay in Full Savings: Pay in full within 14 days and save $500 per person. Additional Offers: $1995 per person Business Class air & Single Supplement offers also available. Scenic Tours delivers the ultimate river cruising experience on our fleet of luxurious River Cruise ships. Every aspect of these magnificent vessels, from the elegant interiors to the faultless service, will surpass your expectations. Sail with us on the newest and most luxurious river ships in Europe. FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO BOOK, CONTACT JAN @ SEVEN SEA JOURNEYS.
  16. @ellibelli Welcome to our cruise community! Please jump in and tell us about your past cruises and any future ones you have planned. We'd love to hear more! 😎🛳️
  17. If you’re contemplating a get-away of some sort this Holiday season, here are a few tips to help you decide if you can and should travel and what precautions to take if you do. Comments encouraged!
  18. Let’s get some discussion going. What are your thoughts on the CDC lifting the no-sail order? Will you cruise as soon as November if the cruise line says it’s safe? Or will you take a wait and see approach? What do you think about all the protocols the lines are implementing? Will you cruise if the only way to get off the ship in port is by organized cruise ship excursion? This is an important topic to all of us, so tell us what you think!
  19. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is letting the no-sail order expire on Oct. 31, setting the stage for a conditional, phased-in return to cruise ship operations. “Considering the continued spread of COVID-19 worldwide and increased risk of COVID-19 on cruise ships, a careful approach is needed to safely resume cruise ship passenger operations,” the CDC said in its Oct. 30 statement. “CDC is establishing requirements to mitigate the COVID-19 risk to passengers and crew, prevent the further spread of COVID-19 from cruise ships into U.S. communities, and protect public health and safety.” The phase-in to cruising will start with testing and implemented safeguards for crew members “while these cruise ship operators build the laboratory capacity needed to test future passengers.” After that, “test voyages” will be operated to check that ships meet specific requirements and are able to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission. The CDC statement did say it considered extending the no-sail order but “this alternative was not found to be as optimal” as the conditional return to service. “The benefits of this framework outweigh the costs of not allowing cruise ships to sail because it allows for flexibility where cruise ships have taken the necessary precautions to mitigate risk, while continuing to prohibit passenger operations onboard ships that have failed to implement such precautions. As such, the current framework represents a tailored approach that was determined to be preferable to the status quo no-sail order.” The CDC said it considered recommendations from the Healthy Sail Panelconvened by Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, as well as a medical conference by Carnival Corp. and another panel by MSC Cruises. The CDC also said it “carefully considered” the nearly 13,000 public comments it received over a two-month period that ended Sept. 21. A majority of the respondents – 75 percent – favored a return to cruising with appropriate testing and health protocols, while 25 percent preferred waiting, especially until a vaccine is widely available. About 85 percent supported face coverings. “While we look forward to reviewing the new order in detail, we expect much of the Healthy Sail Panel’s recommendations, which were adopted by CLIA’s Global of Directors earlier this month, have been considered and will serve as an important foundation,” said Kelly Craighead president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association. “The cruise industry and the CDC have a long track record of working together in the interest of public health, and we look forward to continuing to build upon this legacy to support the resumption of cruising from U.S. ports. With enhanced measures in place, and with the continued guidance of leading experts in health and science as well as the CDC, we are confident that a resumption of cruising in the U.S. is possible to support the economic recovery while maintaining a focus on effective and science-based measures to protect public health.” ________________________ SOURCE: Travel Pulse, Theresa Norton (October 30, 2020); Photo Credit: Janice Neves Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more For more cruise news and articles go to https://www.cruisecrazies.com View full article
  20. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is letting the no-sail order expire on Oct. 31, setting the stage for a conditional, phased-in return to cruise ship operations. “Considering the continued spread of COVID-19 worldwide and increased risk of COVID-19 on cruise ships, a careful approach is needed to safely resume cruise ship passenger operations,” the CDC said in its Oct. 30 statement. “CDC is establishing requirements to mitigate the COVID-19 risk to passengers and crew, prevent the further spread of COVID-19 from cruise ships into U.S. communities, and protect public health and safety.” The phase-in to cruising will start with testing and implemented safeguards for crew members “while these cruise ship operators build the laboratory capacity needed to test future passengers.” After that, “test voyages” will be operated to check that ships meet specific requirements and are able to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission. The CDC statement did say it considered extending the no-sail order but “this alternative was not found to be as optimal” as the conditional return to service. “The benefits of this framework outweigh the costs of not allowing cruise ships to sail because it allows for flexibility where cruise ships have taken the necessary precautions to mitigate risk, while continuing to prohibit passenger operations onboard ships that have failed to implement such precautions. As such, the current framework represents a tailored approach that was determined to be preferable to the status quo no-sail order.” The CDC said it considered recommendations from the Healthy Sail Panelconvened by Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, as well as a medical conference by Carnival Corp. and another panel by MSC Cruises. The CDC also said it “carefully considered” the nearly 13,000 public comments it received over a two-month period that ended Sept. 21. A majority of the respondents – 75 percent – favored a return to cruising with appropriate testing and health protocols, while 25 percent preferred waiting, especially until a vaccine is widely available. About 85 percent supported face coverings. “While we look forward to reviewing the new order in detail, we expect much of the Healthy Sail Panel’s recommendations, which were adopted by CLIA’s Global of Directors earlier this month, have been considered and will serve as an important foundation,” said Kelly Craighead president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association. “The cruise industry and the CDC have a long track record of working together in the interest of public health, and we look forward to continuing to build upon this legacy to support the resumption of cruising from U.S. ports. With enhanced measures in place, and with the continued guidance of leading experts in health and science as well as the CDC, we are confident that a resumption of cruising in the U.S. is possible to support the economic recovery while maintaining a focus on effective and science-based measures to protect public health.” ________________________ SOURCE: Travel Pulse, Theresa Norton (October 30, 2020); Photo Credit: Janice Neves Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more For more cruise news and articles go to https://www.cruisecrazies.com
  21. It's nearly November. Most of us have been shoreside and land locked since February or March 2020, or even earlier. The COVID-19 pandemic with the assistance of the CDC has seen to it that we won't be cruising any time soon. The CDC has extended it's No-Sail Order, again, through October 31, 2020, and who knows when ships will return. Unless you have been lucky enough to be able to cruise one of the European lines or a small ship adventure line exempt from the CDC's order, you're probably suffering from cruise withdrawal, wondering when and if you'll ever again be aboard a cruise again. Not that we don't have feelings. We recall the rampant cases of Coronavirus on board cruise ships earlier in the year, the quarantine that kept guests at sea for what seems like forever, and the crew members stranded aboard for many months away from their families while ships were kept away. While the virus continues to rage and re-emerge around the country, especially in the U.S., we remember those friends and loved ones who have become ill and those who have tragically died. Now eight months later, and the virus is still very much alive, surging in some cases, and people are getting restless. Still, passionate cruisers want to cruise again - someday. And I believe we will, when it's deemed safe, when proper precautions are in place, and when there is a vaccine. Even now, cruise lines are working hard to secure that we can be healthy and safe when it's time to get back to the ocean. In the meantime, let's think about the ways we can survive this cruise drought. Plan Now, Sail Later! This is first and foremost the best way to combat cruise withdrawal. Just as the melancholy that takes over when you arrive home after disembarking a memorable cruise, the same principle applies. Don't put it off any longer. Book a cruise now, even if you're not sure what the future holds for cruise ships. Those of you whose cruise was canceled and you were given future cruise credit, it's easy. Just choose another cruise and move your funds over. However, if you've only been dreaming and wondering if you'll ever sail again, put those dreams to action. Book a cruise now and sail later. Most lines now have opened bookings up to 2022, are offering free amenities galore, and have instituted flexible cancellation and change policies. They value your business and are making it easier than ever to plan for later. In fact, assuming that the CDC drops the No-Sail order, cruise lines are betting that they will depart U.S. ports as early as December or January, and if you can tolerate risk of cancellation, you could snag a great deal! See Where Others Are going! Okay, so you're still not sure you want to invest your time and energy in a future cruise during these uncertain times. I get it. We're all apprehensive, cautious and nervous about how this virus will play out. It's time to read, research and stalk the internet. People ARE currently traveling - not cruising, of course, but they are taking to the roads or the air. Do you notice how other people simply LOVE to flood social media with their latest and greatest travel photos? Does it make you crazy that they are traveling and you're not? Instead of wallowing in envy and jealousy, find out how these people are making it happen. What steps are they taking and how are they getting there? For example, I have several friends and acquaintances that have recently traveled amidst a pandemic, places like Cancun, the Dominican Republic, Hawaii, Las Vegas and our National Parks. They post photos of pristine beaches, majestic mountains, rugged canyons and frilly umbrella drinks. They report traveling to these places easily, safely and without major incident. Take a look at the trips others are successfully taking and ask yourself - could I do this? Road Trip It! If you simply can't wait until it's safe to cruise again, take a quick road trip. A short 3-day trip will clear your head and soothe your soul. Depending on where in the country you're located, it could be a mountain retreat, a lakeside cabin or a beachside resort. Research the particular COVID policies for your destination, grab your mask and hand sanitizer, and take to the highway. Got a camper? Lucky you! Take off and see the country in your home-to-go! Or camp out under the stars in your favorite tent. Dream Up a Staycation! If accommodations make you nervous, simply plan a day trip. Take to the road for a few hours and admire the scenery, whether it be snow-capped mountains or seaside vistas. If you're a photography snob, grab your camera and do a photo shoot. Alternatively, plan a virtual vacation in your living room or on the outside patio. If you're lucky to live in constant warmth and sun, a backyard pool and garden patio can be a great escape without the expense. Make some frilly umbrella drinks and pretend you're in the Caribbean. If you live in the snow belt, loop a virtual cruise or ocean video on your TV, lay a blanket out on the floor, whip up some Pina coladas in the blender, and have a picnic. A backyard fire pit can provide hours of camp-out fun, so grab some marshmallows! Bide Your Time and Don't Give Up! If the virus doesn't seem to be going anywhere and infection rates are up in your area, don't let it get you down. Unfortunately, the virus is still here and is creating disharmony across the country, on both sides of masking. If you feel it's just not the right time to travel, you're not alone. There continue to be risks, and peoples' lives are at stake. But don't despair - be proactive. Think about the destinations on your bucket list. Particularly those that can be reached by cruise ship. Read about it and make it forefront in your mind. Prepare and be ready when the coast is clear to book your dream trip! Realize that opportunities for both cruise and land travel - and to travel freely - will return. Just be patient! In the meantime, dream about those amazing travel adventures to come. ________________________________ Thanks for reading! Comments and suggestions are always welcome. For inspiration or assistance with cruise or land vacation planning, visit me at Seven Sea Journeys. View full article
  22. It's nearly November. Most of us have been shoreside and land locked since February or March 2020, or even earlier. The COVID-19 pandemic with the assistance of the CDC has seen to it that we won't be cruising any time soon. The CDC has extended it's No-Sail Order, again, through October 31, 2020, and who knows when ships will return. Unless you have been lucky enough to be able to cruise one of the European lines or a small ship adventure line exempt from the CDC's order, you're probably suffering from cruise withdrawal, wondering when and if you'll ever again be aboard a cruise again. Not that we don't have feelings. We recall the rampant cases of Coronavirus on board cruise ships earlier in the year, the quarantine that kept guests at sea for what seems like forever, and the crew members stranded aboard for many months away from their families while ships were kept away. While the virus continues to rage and re-emerge around the country, especially in the U.S., we remember those friends and loved ones who have become ill and those who have tragically died. Now eight months later, and the virus is still very much alive, surging in some cases, and people are getting restless. Still, passionate cruisers want to cruise again - someday. And I believe we will, when it's deemed safe, when proper precautions are in place, and when there is a vaccine. Even now, cruise lines are working hard to secure that we can be healthy and safe when it's time to get back to the ocean. In the meantime, let's think about the ways we can survive this cruise drought. Plan Now, Sail Later! This is first and foremost the best way to combat cruise withdrawal. Just as the melancholy that takes over when you arrive home after disembarking a memorable cruise, the same principle applies. Don't put it off any longer. Book a cruise now, even if you're not sure what the future holds for cruise ships. Those of you whose cruise was canceled and you were given future cruise credit, it's easy. Just choose another cruise and move your funds over. However, if you've only been dreaming and wondering if you'll ever sail again, put those dreams to action. Book a cruise now and sail later. Most lines now have opened bookings up to 2022, are offering free amenities galore, and have instituted flexible cancellation and change policies. They value your business and are making it easier than ever to plan for later. In fact, assuming that the CDC drops the No-Sail order, cruise lines are betting that they will depart U.S. ports as early as December or January, and if you can tolerate risk of cancellation, you could snag a great deal! See Where Others Are going! Okay, so you're still not sure you want to invest your time and energy in a future cruise during these uncertain times. I get it. We're all apprehensive, cautious and nervous about how this virus will play out. It's time to read, research and stalk the internet. People ARE currently traveling - not cruising, of course, but they are taking to the roads or the air. Do you notice how other people simply LOVE to flood social media with their latest and greatest travel photos? Does it make you crazy that they are traveling and you're not? Instead of wallowing in envy and jealousy, find out how these people are making it happen. What steps are they taking and how are they getting there? For example, I have several friends and acquaintances that have recently traveled amidst a pandemic, places like Cancun, the Dominican Republic, Hawaii, Las Vegas and our National Parks. They post photos of pristine beaches, majestic mountains, rugged canyons and frilly umbrella drinks. They report traveling to these places easily, safely and without major incident. Take a look at the trips others are successfully taking and ask yourself - could I do this? Road Trip It! If you simply can't wait until it's safe to cruise again, take a quick road trip. A short 3-day trip will clear your head and soothe your soul. Depending on where in the country you're located, it could be a mountain retreat, a lakeside cabin or a beachside resort. Research the particular COVID policies for your destination, grab your mask and hand sanitizer, and take to the highway. Got a camper? Lucky you! Take off and see the country in your home-to-go! Or camp out under the stars in your favorite tent. Dream Up a Staycation! If accommodations make you nervous, simply plan a day trip. Take to the road for a few hours and admire the scenery, whether it be snow-capped mountains or seaside vistas. If you're a photography snob, grab your camera and do a photo shoot. Alternatively, plan a virtual vacation in your living room or on the outside patio. If you're lucky to live in constant warmth and sun, a backyard pool and garden patio can be a great escape without the expense. Make some frilly umbrella drinks and pretend you're in the Caribbean. If you live in the snow belt, loop a virtual cruise or ocean video on your TV, lay a blanket out on the floor, whip up some Pina coladas in the blender, and have a picnic. A backyard fire pit can provide hours of camp-out fun, so grab some marshmallows! Bide Your Time and Don't Give Up! If the virus doesn't seem to be going anywhere and infection rates are up in your area, don't let it get you down. Unfortunately, the virus is still here and is creating disharmony across the country, on both sides of masking. If you feel it's just not the right time to travel, you're not alone. There continue to be risks, and peoples' lives are at stake. But don't despair - be proactive. Think about the destinations on your bucket list. Particularly those that can be reached by cruise ship. Read about it and make it forefront in your mind. Prepare and be ready when the coast is clear to book your dream trip! Realize that opportunities for both cruise and land travel - and to travel freely - will return. Just be patient! In the meantime, dream about those amazing travel adventures to come. ________________________________ Thanks for reading! Comments and suggestions are always welcome. For inspiration or assistance with cruise or land vacation planning, visit me at Seven Sea Journeys.
  23. Holiday travel for U.S. residents will be very different in 2020. No doubt about it. With the exception of small or expedition cruise ships, vacations by sea are essentially off the table for the rest of 2020 (depending on how the CDC rules on cruising when the current No-Sail Order ends October 31). But that doesn’t mean you can’t plan a great escape over the holidays. While some folks have sworn off travel altogether since the COVID-19 pandemic became front and center in the U.S., others have managed vacations or business trips by car or plane, whether close to home or international. For example, a great many U.S. citizens have safely traveled to the Maya Riviera or Cancun areas of Mexico over the past weeks, while others have taken advantage of our uncrowded national parks. Even Disney and Universal have re-opened their theme parks, and you may never find them less crowded than now. However, with a recent spike in virus cases nationwide, the choice to travel over Thanksgiving and Christmas could be a difficult one this season. But with some advanced planning, some tolerance for risk and knowledge of health and safety protocols in place for your chosen destination, it’s indeed possible to enjoy a great escape this holiday season. Personal Health and Safety for the Group. Before deciding to travel, take into account your own health and that of your companions. The elderly and those with underlying health problems should consider staying home. Plan on keeping your group small – just a few close friends or family – and keep any gatherings small. Above all, no matter the presumed safety of your destination, wear masks and maintain social distancing whenever possible. Research Your Destination. U.S. cities as well as foreign countries are at various stages of re-opening to visitors and will have different Covid-19 regulations in place. Before making plans, do your homework and learn about local testing and quarantine rules and how these will affect your destination and your own home town. Build flexibility into your vacation plans in case of last-minute changes. Read official destination travel guidelines. Go to the health department or visitor’s bureau website for your destination or visit the CDC’s COVID Travel Page and learn what the protocols are and what travel restrictions are in place. Do they require testing in advance? Do they require a period of quarantine before or after arrival? What precautions are in place for the hotel or resort? Plan ahead to avoid disappointment or, worse, being turned away for not following the rules. Have a Talk With Your Travel Companions. Before handing over that credit card, have an honest discussion with those you’re traveling with. If it’s just you and your significant other, it’s not too great an issue. However, if you’re traveling with people you don’t live with, discuss where you’ve been and those people you’ve been in contact with recently to determine risk factors. If possible, consider a 14-day quarantine before departure, especially if you are regularly in contact with elderly family members. Determine what steps you’ll take to remain healthy and avoid getting sick. Know The Airline and Hotel Booking Policies. If you’ll be traveling by air, review the airline COVID policies and protocols regarding social distancing, mask wearing and other safety precautions. Also understand their cancellation, refund and change policies. For example, for a temporary period of time, many airlines have become more flexible, allowing refunds or future flight credits for cancellations due to COVID. Likewise, hotels and tour companies have their own policies in place, some more foregiving than others. Pre-screening requirements may be in place, as well, necessitating completion of an on-line form in advance of departure. Choose Hotel Stays Over Family Stays. Whenever possible, book a hotel rather than rooming with family. The less chance of introducing the virus to others, the better. Consider Travel Insurance. Even if you’re the type to through caution to the wind, this might be a good time to take another look at travel insurance. Be aware, though, that all policies are not alike, and some may not cover cancellations or changes due to pandemic. Review policies carefully, and contact the insurer with any questions before purchasing. Book with a travel professional. Travel during a pandemic presents many challenges. Weeding through hotel, flight and tour protocols, guidelines and terms & conditions can be overwhelming and confusing. Trust in a travel specialist who can help guide you in the right direction, will know the current conditions of a particular destination, the best way to get there, and help keep you safe and healthy. Travel planning for a 2020 holiday vacation may be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. While travel may not be without risk, some advanced research and preparation will help keep you healthy and safe during your holiday travels. ~ Jan
  24. Welcome aboard! Celebrity and Holland America are scheduled to have Hawaii cruises from Vancouver next September. Here’s a link to compare the two: Cruise Comparison Holland America is the longer of the two, 18 days, and I love the ship - the Koningsdam.
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