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Everything posted by iancal

  1. Shedding what are probably HAL's least profitable ships. or those that they do not feel will fit into their post covid strategy, at this point in time may actually be a good thing in the long run given HAL's current financial challenges. There will no doubt be other hard decisions ahead for HAL, and for other cruise lines.
  2. I would not be booking anything on Volendam or Zaandam. Nor would I even consider taking FCC's in lieu of cash refund.....IMHO they are a mugs game with all the pluses in HAL's favour.
  3. I would be VERY surprised if Australia opened it's borders let alone let cruise ships in. Lots of bad feelings toward the cruise lines in Australia since the covid fiasco. Plus a big problem/lockdown in Victoria at the moment.
  4. We had a dispute with Enterprise on a London rental from Autoeuope. I did not deal with Enterprise. Called Autoeurope and they had the issue resolved to our satisfaction. Great service.
  5. We are doing the same in Alberta. We travel in the fall, the winter and/or the spring. Staying close to home. No restaurants, no gatherings. Covid is showing signs of surging here simply because some people have let their guard down, not following the recommendations of our health professional etc. Selfish, entitled people hurt us all....especially in a pandemic.
  6. Sometime the autoeurope agency will try to upsell you on local insurance. We had to stand through one sales pitch in Faro, Portugal. . At the end we said no. Then the agent went into this tirade beside the car about the car antenna, how often it stolen or damaged, and how expensive it is. They must be on commission. We looked at her and said no problem. It was one of those that screwed on to the based. I unscrewed it and placed it in the trunk since we did not need the car radio. . She really did not like that solution
  7. We also use autoeurope frequently in Europe. It pays to keep checking on their rates. They fluctuate (like cruise prices). You may book and pay at a certain rate. Depending on supply and demand that rate may go down. If you call autoeurope they will adjust the price. Another autoeurope plus for us is they always have had the very best price for us on in country one way rentals. This is what we usually opt for. Could not agree more...whatever you do no not leave luggage or any other items visible in the car. Over the years we have rented many times in Europe. Last fall the very first time that I have been asked from my International Drivers License. I had one but was told (in Greece) at four different rental agencies that I would not be able to rent a car without it. Someone on this forum mentioned that it was a new EU regulation but I really do not know.
  8. I think some people loose sight of the fact that HAL is a 'for profit' organization. It is not a community association that simply has to balance the books at the end of each year. HAL's management team is expected to meet their financial & operational targets and return profit to Carnival Corp each and every quarter.
  9. iancal

    Dressing up

    Cruising is now typically an add on for us. An occasional component of an extended land trip. We each travel with a carry on only. So for me dress up means a pair of slacks and a collared shirt. So far so good. We have no issue in not eating in the MDR on those nights. One of the reasons we go this way is the decline we saw in the MDR formal night experience-the food, the prep, the offerings. It was always artificial but we started to notice it more and more to the point that we skipped it even when we had packed the recommended attire. We simply stopped enjoying the experience and the ambiance. Besides, we had lots of it in our working lives.
  10. Worry and conjecture will not change the situation. It will take science, research, and in the interim good leadership. I am confident that a solution will be found and that cruising will resume. The real question is when and how many people will die from covid and from our seeming inability or unwillingness to follow the recommendations of our health professionals.
  11. Part of our planning process for land trips is to select our first countries on our bucket list that have done a good job on covid. The second part is selecting those that we can fly direct to. We have no wish to change planes or spend any time in the UK, France or the US. So, at the moment Greece is high on our list. Morocco is on that list as well since we easily fly direct to both. For winter it could be Vietnam, Thailand as long as we can get a flight that changes in Japan or Korea. Australia if they have opened up for us.. With the exception of Morocco these are revisits where we know we can travel to places in the country that are out of the way and far less busy.
  12. Since retiring, when we cruise it is invariably an add on to an extended land trip. And almost aways booked inside the final payment window and often while we are traveling on that land trip. It is very discouraging. We have moved completely away from even thinking about cruise opportunities. We are however doing research on a few land trips that are close to the top of our respective bucket lists. Four so far, covering a two year period. This assumes that this covid issue will be overcome. I believe that we will be traveling by land much sooner than we will be taking any cruises. The thought of being stuck on a cruise should there be an outbreak is very offputting to us. We also believe that the cruise lines will think nothing of placing their profit ahead of our health and well being. Having said that we have no intention of giving any travel provider or travel vendor even one dime of our money. Even post covid we will be very careful about booking too far in advance for anything. There will be lots of financially weak organizations post covid and who knows how long some of them will remain solvent.
  13. Why worry about wotifs? Seems to me the bottom line is that we will have to wait until a safe, widely available solution is available be it vaccine or script of some sort. This is a moving target. Those in science are working hard toward a solution. When they have one we will all know about it. Do not know about all countries however I am certain ours will be distributed widely at no cost just as other vaccines are distributed.
  14. One thing to remember on Transat. If you want open jaw do NOT price them as two seperate one ways. Price them in the multi-destination window. It is typically several hundred dollars less that pricing two one way fares.
  15. We often select Air Transat. We prefer open jaw flights, ie fly in to one city and home from another. We travel to Europe most every years. Often we fly from Toronto to say, Athens, and home to Calgary from Paris or London. We find that Transat gives us the best pricing and good service on these types of tickets. Much better pricing and preferred service to AC. Not certain how this will chance since AC acquired Transat. From time to time we have had good pricing of cruise air however more often than not we can do as good, and often better, on our own,-including one way TA fares.
  16. Those with unrealistic expectations will never be satisfied. No matter who is in the chair.
  17. iancal

    Dressing up

    We stopped dressing up for so called formal nights years ago. We avoid the MDR on those nights in favour of alternate dining venues. No probem.
  18. Simple. Move over to those remaining post covid cruise lines that feature smaller ships. Nothing stopping folks from booking Prinsendam on Phoenix Reisen or from looking at Azamara, Oceania, Regent, etc. offerings.
  19. Agree. I believe that it is incredible that some people think that HAL and the new leader will simply turn the clock back to 'the good old days'. Besides, post covid may be a completely different ball game for HAL and for the rest of the industry. The notion that all the bad things were down to Mr. Ashford with little or no input, direction, or approval from those he reported to makes no sense. But, it does enable some people to transfer their criticism away from HAL on to the shoulders of Mr. Ashford.
  20. We really do not understand all the knashing of teeth and wailing that has gone on. Sure people are disappointed but It is what it is. Get over it, and move forward. The rest of the world has much larger problems than not being able to take a cruise.
  21. We certainly do not expect a widely available, proven solution to this challenge, vaccine or script, for at least six to nine months at the earliest. Possibly even longer. Booking a cruise or even shopping for a cruise is the furthest thing from our minds at present. No use whining or complaining about it. Our thoughts have moved on to what we can safely do in the interim vis a vis travel.
  22. I believe in always moving forward and being positive. Glass half full. I am also a believer in science and in the ability our best and brightest to solve this riddle. I also think that the absence of cruising is primarily a disaster for those whose income depends on the cruise industry and the spin offs. For cruisers, and we are occasional cruisers, we do not have a lot of sympathy. 99 percent our sympathy is with those infected with covid or those adversely financially impacted. The rest of us really do not have any concerns that compare to these.
  23. Best ones I have had were in Cuba.
  24. Absolutely agree. Not to mention discourage overseas visitors from heading stateside for a vacation or a cruise.
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