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About cachouonacruise

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Châteauguay, Qc. Canada
  • Interests
    Exploring new worlds
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity - Holland America - Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Thanks Grandgeezer for the information, but in our situation, it did not quite work. Pricing was not at issue. Leaving from Montreal to Hong-Kong in March, Celebrity wanted to book us on a flight leaving Montreal at 07h AM, leaving us only a one hour gap to catch our connecting flight in Toronto. March in Montreal involves a significant risk of weather delay, due to snowstorms, aircraft deicing etc. Being a frequent traveller, I knew and verified on line on the airline website, that the airline had flights departing Montreal every half hour from 5h30 AM. Seats were available at the same price, on the earliest flights. Concerned to miss our connecting flight in Toronto, due to weather, I would have preferred booking the 05h30 or 06h AM departure from Montreal. So, I did call Flights by Celebrity to book an earlier flight, and the best they could see in their system was the 06h30 AM flight. ( Which we booked). Not a big deal, however, it did not make sense to me. I was trying to minimize the risk of missing a connecting flight due to weather at the same price, willing to wait a bit in Toronto, if the flight was on time; thus reducing the risk to Flights by Celebrity of having to reroute us last minute. The answer was no. The earliest flights were not showing in the system of Flights by Celebrity. This is what, in my experience, I was referring to, when I mentioned « fewer departing options ». But, Covid came, and our flights itineraries had to be completely changed since our cruise departure and arrival ports were modified. Than the cruise was cancelled and ...so were the flights. Flights by Celebrity handled the change and subsequent cancellation very professionally, at no additional cost for the change and a full refund for the cancellation, which occurred one month prior to cruising time.
  2. I agree with the above posters. In one case, Flights by Celebrity had fewr departure time options than the airline had. However, in my opinion, advantages of Flights by Celebrity far outweigh the inconvenience, especially, in the event of cruise itinerary change or cancellation.
  3. Thank-you so much Germancruiser for taking the time to share your experiences on this first cruise since the pandemic shutdown. Like our fellow Cruise Critics members, we too are so looking forward to cruise again. Your live report is a ray of hope and sunshine that keeps the dream alive. Thank-you once more for your feedback and enjoy your trip!
  4. Thank-you hvbaskey for sharing this article and this ray of hope! We have a Northern Europe cruise booked for May 2021 and I keep my fingers crossed, to be able to sail it; however, I’m quite doubtful since quite a few changes are needed prior to final payment date, in February 2021. I have heard promising news about vaccination; however no clear timeline yet. I have heard about borders beginning to re-open, but it is still fragile or with stringent conditions, such as a 14 day quarantine upon arrival. Meanwhile, the Canadian government official recommandations are still : « Avoid non essential travel » and « avoid cruise travel ».... I have not heard anything regarding a timeline for these recommandations to change. Furthermore, to my knowledge, there is no travel insurance regarding Covid.... I believe this is possibly linked to our government’s recommandations. However, information on these two important issues are not yet fore coming or discussed. I’m assuming nobody really knows yet. The absence of news .... as time flies... makes me very concerned to have to cancel third cruise.
  5. The heat wave was so intense that it even reached us up north, in the Belle Province of Quebec! Hi Hi! In that context, pretty much everything is open in the province; however Covid is stil present! Masks are now required everywhere indoors: bars, restaurants, malls, shops, religious gatherings etc. Other social distancing measures are still in place, such as 2 meters, washing of hands everywhere you enter, and reduced capacity for any public indoor gathering. Dancing and standing in bars is not allowed. Private home gathering are reduced to a maximum of 10 people. Our Covid numbers are not that bad, yet not that great, showing a sense of fragility. The trend of people in hospital is steadily going down with only 247 hospitalisations throughout the province, including 15 people in ICU. The rate of new cases is stable at 2% amongst tested people. Since testing has increased recently to reach up to 15000 tests on a daily basis.... our number of new cases in the last 24 hours has increased to 180 ( we had numbers below 100 per day, a week ago, however, close to 1000 per day, earlier this year. ) Sadly, we also had one deceased person in the last 24 hours. Peculiar issues we have encountered: one youth party was held in a small town near my home, and unfortunately, Covid was amongst the guests.... Guests who then proceeded to go to other businesses, bars, restaurants, grocery stores etc... This explains in part, our most recent increase in new cases. Some younger people did not seem to take Covid seriously, unfortunately. The obligation of wearing masks was generally very well received and is largely followed. This said, a minority of people were involved in small demonstrations against wearing a mask and one man was arrested for entering a donut shop, while refusing to wear a mask. The police intervention was even shown on TV.... Lastly, last night, hope was highlighted in the news bulletin, in the shape of a very promising Oxford vaccination against Covid. Keeping my fingers crosssed!
  6. On our very first cruise, in 1992, we met a few experienced cruisers that spent a significant amount of time, comparing the on-going cruise to their previous experiences... often in a very negative fashion. In my opinion, their time spent in comparing cruises, unfortunately negatively impacted their enjoyment on our cruise. Meanwhile, we were just blown away by the beautiful world of cruising... and wondering if we would become « grumpy » cruisers if we pursued the experience. A few cruises later, we’re still in awe, despite changes in the cruise industry. Reading on these Boards, I am surprised and challenged to understand why people keep spending so much money and time.... for a list of experiences they are saying they won’t miss. Nothing is perfect. Cruising is not perfect either. However, cruising has offered us some of the most magical vacation moment and experiences, while discovering new people and new worlds. If and when the cruise industry start again, the only thing I will not miss, is having had to cancel too many cruises due to Covid. I really hope and look forward to the privilege of boarding a cruise ship again!
  7. We sailed Infinity in 2018, and in my opinion, she was ship shape! This said, it all depends on your level of expectations. For us, we did not experience anything on Infinity that prevented us from enjoying our experience. On the contrary! We had an absolutely beautiful Alaska cruise. If the price, timing and itinerary were right again, I would book her once more with great pleasure. No hesitation! We love M Class cruise ship. The only thing missing in my opinion, is the Murano Experience.
  8. From a distance, the United States of America has been for many years a bastion of defense for civil rights, freedom and democracy. Thank you so much to America! More recently, from a distance, what I perceive from that wonderful nation, is a stronger and stronger current of extreme opposites: Left versus right, Democrats versus Republicans, Cultural differences based on race, religion or sexuality, pro-scientific respect regarding Covid versus tenants of conspiracy issues on the same topic etc. I don’t want to turn this thread into a political debate. I just wanted to express my concern for America so strongly impacted by Covid and riots. Moreover, I am concerned that the combat between all these extremes, could eventually weakened the Nation and present a tactical advantage for potential foes. In my opinion, the world still need a strong and unified America to be ready to continue its unifying mandate amongst the chorus of nations. My best and more sincere wishes to America for a prompt return to social peace and health.
  9. We have a few wipes left, but we keep them for specific use such as cleaning door handles etc. This said, we also wash each grocery item in soapy water, including fruits and vegetables. A lot more work each week, but we try our best to stay virus free.
  10. In the province of Quebec, we were hit pretty hard by the virus (worst hit province in Canada). This said, the trend these past few days is constantly improving. Keeping my fingers crossed. People in hospital down from almost 2000 to approx 650. People in ICU down from about 200 to 65. Daily death report down from more than 100 a day, to about 10 a day.... Although social distancing measures and other precautions are being recommended to people and business owners, between now and the end of the month of June, the following are either open or have received the green light to open: Shopping centers, restaurants, shops, hair dressers, dentists and other health professionals, gyms, arenas, pools, beaches private and public, movie theatres, daycare, zoos, gardens, museums etc. Gatherings indoors and outdoors to a maximum of 10 people and 3 different addresses...while still maintaining social distancing. Masks are recommended to be worn when the two meters distance cannot be maintained. Masked are required in Canadian airports and during flights. Social distance required for 16 years old and younger reduced to 1.5 meter and no longer required for children in primary/secondary schools or daycare. The plan for now is to anticipate a full normal reopeining of primary/secondary schools in September, while CEGEPs and Universities are expected to provide a mixed curriculum with presence in class and virtual classes. Strangely, cult gatherings such as churches, mosques, synagogues are not yet allowed to open. Casinos are also still closed. The feeling for the most part is that we’re reaching the end of wave 1 in Quebec. However, our National Health Director is unfortunately expecting and planning for a second wave to hit is in the fall....
  11. We were in a queue outside a grocery store and he spat on the floor by aiming just above the barrier.... I agree with your conclusion!
  12. I live in the little town of Châteauguay, province of Quebec, Canada. To answer the question of Zitsky, this is what I do and what I have observed. I try to stay at least two meters away from anybody not residing with me, which unfortunately involves my two daughters and members of my extended family. When I know, going out, that I cannot realistically maintain the two meters distance, for example, at the grocery store, the hardware store, the pharmacy, etc. I « normally » will wear a mask. ( Wearing a mask has not been part of my culture so despite my best efforts, I have unfortunately sometimes forgotten the mask. My apologies!) When I go out with my dog in the streets of Châteauguay for a walk, I do not wear a mask but stay two meters away from anybody. What I have recently observed, in grocery stores, and other stores, is that about 60 to 75 percent of people were wearing masks. Of note, wearing a mask in these stores is the recommended practice from our health department. This said, in the line up at the grocery store, I have recently observed two gestures, which I considered to be idiotic. The first one from a man in a line up just in front of me, who was not wearing a mask and elected to spit about 4 feet from his position... Normally, I would consider this gesture unappealing, but it takes another dimension during the COVID pandemic The second, from a man wearing a mask in a line up and directly behind me....smoking with a cigarette coming above his mask at a 45 degree angle.... Nothing really dangerous for me from my position besides the really bad smell, but it raised the question as to why it made sense for him. Unfortunately, common sense, wisdom or even common understanding of a situation is not universal. What I consider idiotic appear to have made complete sense to these two men. Nationality, skin, religion, culture don’t really matter.... Perspective difference just happens... which may explain why people make different choices.
  13. Thank-you very much Steve for taking the time to reply. I believe I will need quite a bit of good luck to be able to go on this May 2021 cruise. Keeping my fingers crossed!!!
  14. Hi Steve, I know that you have already answer a similar question, but I am not sure, if your response was directed to American customers or if it could apply to us in Canada also. In short, I am covered for trip and medial insurance through Sun Life Canada and my Mastercard. However, in both cases, I was notified that they would not cover Covid-19 related medical expenses. So, we have a booked cruise in Northern Europe on Celebrity Silhouette in May 2021. Assuming that the existing pandemic situation continues to improve and that the Canadian Government lifts its recommandation to avoid non essential travel and cruises, the only concern left for me would be, what will happen if I were to contract Covid-19 and required hospital care while abroad? I don’t want to risk tens if not hundreds of thousand dollars on bills.... Therefore, my question is, do you know if any insurance company would be available to Canadians covering medical related costs associated to Covid caught during a trip? If so, would you be able to provide suggestions? Thank you very much in advance!
  15. Thank you so much Ann for sharing and thank you to all the entertainers!!! Well done! It really makes me feel like we’re all part together of a somewhat smaller and unique community: the cruise community! This video helps me remember why we love cruising! Can’t wait to be back at sea with all of you! Thank you so much!
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