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  1. I would to think that somewhere in the HAL headquarters there is not only a feeling that they may have been too hasty in unloading their smaller ships, but that they should look at options to remedy that situation. Assuming, that is, that there is still any interest in being more than just a mass market line with a few interesting itineraries. (And that may be a big assumption....)
  2. What's your rationale for claiming this? Many expedition ships (and other strenuous tours) have required such notes for years, long before COVID. And doctors signed them. They are not asking the doctor to "guarantee" that you will not die, or even get sick. They are just asking the doctor to state that in their general opinion the person is fit enough to travel at the time they were examined. I guess everyone has forgotten about the number of extremely elderly folks on some of the world cruises back in 2020 who had such difficulty getting home when ships were grounded. Some claimed they were too ill or unable to fly home, putting the cruise lines in a very difficult position. I think this was also an attempt to keep that from happening again. Nonetheless, all this discussion is moot now as the cruise lines have decided not to require a letter.
  3. Fully agree. I don't think there is any likelihood the destination is Capri.
  4. There were posts about one place in Kusadasi but they were many years ago and I would not necessarily put much store in them after 5-6 years. I doubt many cruisers have visited Kusadasi recently -- what with COVID canceling most of the 2021 and 2020 Med seasons, and unrest in Turkey meant fewer ships were calling there even before the pandemic. You could try looking on the TripAdvisor forums -- perhaps someone on a vacation to the area has advice. Other than the one place in town, there were several nice resort hotels that also offered the experience but I'm not sure how authentic it would be....
  5. I thought these original restrictions were made when those lines were restarting earlier and were not mandated that passengers be vaccinated. Is it still the same? Are those lines sailing with only vaccinated passengers now, or a mix?
  6. Does your ship itinerary say ONLY "Capri" or does it say something like Capri (Naples) or vice versa? This is a little trick cruise lines play to make you think of the ultimate destination rather than the port. For example, they might say "Athens (Piraeus) or Rome (Civitavecchia) or Florence (Livorno). I would be highly surprised if a large RCCL ship is going to anchor off Capri and tender everyone ashore.... EDITED TO ADD: If you provide the ship and the actual date it may be possible to check various port websites to see what they have listed.
  7. That's funny -- you keep departing a day ahead of me. First Alaska and now Ft Lauderdale. I guess you are doing a BTB?
  8. I'm hoping you have a wonderful, wonderful time on your cruise. 🥂🌈🏔️🚢 We enjoyed the cruise and the "Celebrity treatment" so much that I just booked a 10-day to the Caribbean on Silhouette in early December.
  9. Some additional information that has been dug up by someone since this morning regarding the regulations (it's Post #45 if the link doesn't take you to it directly):
  10. At Herculaneum there is a visitor center overlooking the ruins (which are several dozen feet below modern ground level) and there are outside benches with a view down into the excavations or across a pleasant green lawn. The closest bars (in the Italian sense, e.g., where you can get a coffee and pastry) and restaurants outside the gates would be a walk of a couple blocks. Also, Herculaneum recently reopened their small onsite museum which was closed for a long time. It has some interesting pieces and only takes 15-20 minutes for a quick look-see if you have free time. Saying that also reminds me -- speaking of differences between Herculaneum and Pompeii -- that Herculaneum also has the boat houses where excavations in the last decade or so have discovered a number of skeletons of people who (they think) were waiting by the water's edge, hoping for rescue. One of the boat houses -- really just a barrel-vaulted basement -- was left as it was discovered, so you can still see some of the skeletons... This is in contrast to Pompeii where they made plaster casts of some of the victims but do not really have many skeletal remains. These skeletons have been a rich source for new research -- there are some good documentaries on TV from time to time about the findings, one of which is that both the rich and the not-so-rich living there seemed to have eaten a well rounded and nourishing diet.
  11. Things could certainly change by June of next year. Fingers crossed. Also the requirements seem to vary by country and even by area within that country -- for example, during the cruises that were running this summer the Greek government might restrict excursions to ship-offered ones at some ports (where COVID infections were high in the region or on that island) and not at others. Flexibility and willingness to go with the flow a bit will be needed for those cruising in Europe in the foreseeable future. Regarding your question about Herculaneum, yes it is similar to Pompeii in some ways -- it is an excavation of a Roman town buried by Vesuvius's eruption. Depending on how keen you are on this kind of history, there are also differences. There are fewer shops and commercial establishments and no Forum. For the most part the excavated area includes houses of various types, from huge ones overlooking what would have been the sea, to smaller multi-story "apartment" buildings. Plus there are a number of well-preserved frescoes and mosaics -- and preserved wood, which you don't see at Pompeii (due to the differing way in which each city was destroyed). Herculaneum is also smaller than Pompeii and a bit closer to Naples. Easy to do on your own (if allowed) and could be paired with something else, such as a hike up Vesuvius.
  12. I'm not sure what to make of these. Azamara seems to be positioning them (to cruisers who have called with questions) as something being required by the port authorities rather than some general mandate by the Italian government. Of course, that lays open the question of whether it is down to each individual port....? Part of me believes such restrictions are somewhat logical from Italy's point of view, as up until now they have not allowed ANY ships to call on ports in Italy other than those that have carried only eligible EU passengers and only in their "bubble" excursions. So perhaps Italy views this as the next logical step in the process of restoring entry to cruise lines. On the other hand, the communications from cruise lines throughout COVID have left me with somewhat of a lack of trust in their transparency, and as euro cruiser says, it is difficult to find any kind of published confirmation (other than the cruise lines' own websites). For the time being I am not a huge fan of the limited itineraries and restrictions on the Med cruises so far. I am tentatively thinking of a trip to Italy on my own in April 2022 -- as far as I know now, I would be free to do whatever roaming I'd like once I have entered Italy with the required vaccination and met the testing requirements du jour.
  13. Interestingly Chrome told me that your file was "dangerous" and wouldn't let me open it.... 😲 But if it's a onesy I'm onboard. Unfortunately although Fall is here, no one has yet told the meteorologists in the Deep South. Still hot and muggy here. And what's with the rain -- it has rained every. single. day. for the past week.
  14. Hmmm, no idea then. It worked that way for me but I'm on a MacBook using Chrome and I've found that websites often display a bit differently for me. Sorry!
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