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About Hambagahle

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    3,000+ Club

About Me

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  • Interests
    Golf, travel, art and classical music
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Oceania and Regent
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Unfortunately Regent only did this for two years. Basically Circles of Interest were offered on various topics. On the Voyager TA cruise we chose Art and History. At most ports we had specialised tours which included historical sites, art museums etc. There were lectures on board too. On the Lima/BA cruise we chose the Falkland Islands war. The leader was a Royal Navy Commander and he spoke several times about various aspects of the war. By chance a member (like us) of the circle was a British army General who had led the "mopping up" operation after the war. Both men were fascinating. Then when we were in Port Stanley we had a tour of the battlefields, lunch at a farmer's house at Goose Green and our guide was a man who was at the radio station there throughout the Argentinian occupation. It was a fascinating experience. I think we paid about $300 each for these circles. I wish they would do them again!
  2. It is unrealistic on two grounds: 1. The doctor could be a close friend or a lax practitioner. Who knows. And be willing to sign anything. 2. If you live outside the country where you are going to embark - the week may be way too little to bring a recently signed form. We were in California for a week before our aborted Splendor cruise. Our doctor here in Switzerland would never have signed a form like this knowing that her signature would be out of date before we boarded. SO - back to the drawing board...
  3. Could it be that the Caramel Popcorn Sundae is what I had looked forward to the most on our Splendor cruise ?? Memories ? 2004 Mariner to Alaska: HOT weather aside from Seward. Then the Mariner hit a "growler" - small ice berg I suppose. And we limped from Juneau to Ketchikan and to Vancouver. Open bar after Ketchikan...not at all a normal thing in 2004. 2005 - Mariner from Los Angeles to Miami. JUST the cruise we hoped to re-do on 14 March on the Splendor. It was superb. Fascinating, great lectures, etc. 2006 - Voyager Trans Atlantic from Rome to Ft Lauderdale. They had the "Circle of Interest" and we joined... it was terrific aside from the day we were in Monte Carlo and the guide to Vence wasn't wonderful. I found myself "reverse translating" from English to French to understand her!! 2006 - Voyager to St Petersburg and the Baltic states. With the Antiques Roadshow team from the BBC. Just amazing!! We had a private guide in St.Petersburg who got us into every place when it was closed... private tours with museum directors etc. 2008 - Mariner from Lima to BA. (I got food poisoning in Lima which was not great!! Nothing to do with Regent though!) Great cruise and again -Circle of Interest, this time on the Falklands with a British Navy Commander who had been shipwrecked TWICE on one day in the Falklands. Truly memorable...plus by accident the British General who was a passenger who led the "mopping up" efforts there too. 2010 - I think this was the "Ash Cruise" - Mariner in the Med. We ended in Venice and many people with Regent air spent a week in Padova waiting for the skies to re-open. We had booked a Hertz car and simply drove home in 5 hours (maybe less...) 2013 - not really sure about the date but a TA on Mariner, Ray Solaire as CD with his wonderful show. Lovely, lovely cruise Since then - on Oceania. We don't cruise often (and don't want to...we have too much to see and do here in Switzerland). but my heart is broken about the Splendor cruise and we will be BACK as soon as we can...
  4. I totally forgot about St Patrick's Day. (Not celebrated here...). I remember on the Roll Call I said I would bring something green to wear - which I did! Bob - my "tekkie" granddaughter, 12, said - we'll skype. Which we will. Seems like the only thing we can do right now. Gerry
  5. So - Ken and I got back to Switzerland early Monday. Monday afternoon the Federal Council (committee of 7 who run the country) put us on lock down. All shops aside from supermarkets and pharmacies are closed. Restaurants, bars etc - closed. Theatres, cinemas too. We are not supposed to leave our homes unless we are going for a medical appointment or to the supermarket. In our case though we have a dog to walk and that is OK. We are also lucky enough to have a small garden but we are going to be stockpiling grass clippings because all the recycling centres are closed. We are not supposed to use public transport unless it is absolutely vital to do so and the frequency of the trains has been cut in half. These measures are in force at least until 19 April. But I rather think will be continued until mid or end May. The one that affects me most is that I am not allowed to see my grandchildren. I qualify as a "high risk" because of my age and apparently children can carry the virus and not be affected by it. Even with all of this - I am glad to be back in Switzerland... I hope all who should have been on our cruise stay well. And we will then all cruise again!
  6. Thank you all for your good wishes - and yes, we re home! Air Canada got us from San Diego to Toronto and then to Zürich next day. Landed this morning (wonderful sunrise from the plane) at 0610 and then took the train home. Walked into the apartment at 1050. Trains were pretty deserted. The Federal Council has asked "elderly people" - us! - not to use public transport and commuters are driving. From Bern to Visp (1 hour) we were the only people in the carriage. Now our canton (Valais) has gone on partial lockdown. As of 1830 tonight all restaurants, shops (aside from supermarkets and pharmacies) and other things like hairdressers etc) are to close until the epidemic is over. Banks will stay open. So will the post office. Gas stations as well. No gatherings of more than 50 people allowed. But the great news is - we are allowed to walk our dog!! It would be lovely to meet you all one day. Right now though I am so traumatised by this experience that cruising seems a long way off in my future!! Maybe I shall have to stick to the alps. Take care all -stay safe!! And well!! Gerry
  7. I do not think you understand our situation. We (and many others) were about to board Splendor in San Diego. Regent realised that most passengers were either in transit OR in San Diego which was our case. For that reason we were offered a choice between 125% FCC OR a 100% refund. One of our group was in fact in the airline lounge at the Honolulu airport after having flown there from Sydney. Similarly there were many passengers on board Explorer. The ship turned around after a day at sea and they disembarked in Miami. Regent has been generous in situations like ours and theirs. And presumably also with the Mariner passengers on the World Cruise. I was grateful to Regent for the choice. They will also reimburse us for "reasonable" additional travel costs. I think this is appropriate as well.
  8. Why "lucky" ? We can't take the cruise of our dreams - one we had saved for for over 3 years. We have had to pay about $15'000 to get home out of our own pocket (in addition to the $8000 we paid to get to SFO and back from MIA - part of that I think will be refunded). A 100% refund is merited in this case I think.
  9. That is more than kind Jean!! Flight tonight should be OK. Toronto to ZRH isn't all that long compared to the 12 hour day flight we had ZRH/SFO last week on our way to our "cruise". With luck we might be home by around 1100 tomorrow. Land at ZRH at 0615. Gerry
  10. My TA told me that the FCC could be spread over more than one cruise if I wanted to...in fact we are taking the 100% refund from Regent. (We were about to board the Splendor when the axe fell!)
  11. We were in San Diego waiting to board the Splendor. She came into the North Broadway pier at 0600 on Thursday morning. We were staying close by and saw her dock from our window. We left our hotel for the airport at about 1000 yesterday (Saturday) and she was still at the pier. In fact she was still there when we took off for Toronto at 1215. (Saw here from the plane!) More than that I cannot say.
  12. Jim and Sue - glad you are home safe and sound. Ken and I are at the Sheraton at the Toronto airport and have a flight to ZRH this afternoon. We should be home in Martigny tomorrow afternoon if all goes well. We wish you and Sue a very happy 50th anniversary and are so sorry we didn't get to have dinner with you as planned... Gerry
  13. I suppose you cannot cruise...unless of course his doctor thinks he is able to do so. Depends on what the doctor indicates on the form. so - we walked over to the Broadway pier just now to take a close up look at Splendor - the ship is that in every way!! Sparkling new and lovely. Had a nice chat with the Security Guard who told me he would be there to welcome us on Saturday. Here is a "close up and personal "photo of the ship:IMG_1238.mov
  14. Update - now in Toronto waiting for our flight this afternoon to Zürich. Next test will be getting on the train to go home. The Federal Council apparently doesn't want "seniors" using public transport and I will be in no shape to drive after a long overnight flight... Hopefully we look younger than we are!! Gerry
  15. Our Splendor cruise San Diego to Miami was cancelled 20 hours before we were to board. Laura S had kindly sent us lots of CC items to raffle off at the M&M - for which at one point we had 58 people on the list!! One of our group had made outstanding name tags for us all as well and I had all of these items sitting in my hotel room in San Diego. Fortunately Scubadiver - who made the tags, received the package from CC - was also in San Diego. He was able to come to my hotel and collect everything. The lovely CC items will find new homes in San Luis Obispo. I just wanted, via this post (because the mail function on CC site is currently disabled) to thank Laura S and Cruise Critic for their generosity and to say that the items will not go to waste... Gerry
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