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Daisi

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About Daisi

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  1. Unfortunately, most won't, but a lot are asking Canadians to quarantine as well, so for now, no one is really travelling. At least you can now book and not worry about insurance not covering you due to the "no travel" advisory.
  2. I've sailed with older teens & early 20's cruisers. They were very interested in the tours (and there really wasn't anything more planned for that age than the regular tours). The families took the bikes out each port and would ride around town after the tours. Don't lump all "kids" together. I know several "adults" that would never think of stepping on a river cruise boat as there would be nothing to do. Uniworld is trying to get more involved in cruising, and good for them.
  3. Crystal has cancelled all cruises for 2020, I guess this will be for 2021. The US State Dept. now says that Americans can travel, and hopefully Canada will allow us to travel by then as well.
  4. Hey Sharkster, glad things went your way, and really hope by next year you are successful. Who knows, maybe this Sept there will be a lot of rain and early snow in the West (thinking I'm safe to suggest that as I don't see too many that are from this side of the Rockies here. 🙂 ) Good luck and hope next year will work out. I am starting to think we may have to put off our May cruise, as it is sounding more and more like Covid is going to stick around for longer than we thought. Our ship still hasn't been christened from what I can see, and we had hoped that they would have had a few sailings on it to work out the bugs so to say. Not to fussed about it now, as I am missing not being able to get home for a visit more than travelling overseas.
  5. Daisi

    Avalon

    No alcohol policy (we sailed 2018), however you do have the 1/2 price happy hour every evening just in time for cruise talk and before dinner. As Jazz says, you are able to bring onboard your own alcohol for a night cap. You are also able to "grab a drink to go" at lunch or dinner, as you just request a glass before you leave. The day we sailed the middle Rhine, we asked for a beer as we were leaving, and enjoyed it while sitting in the front viewing the castles. That was the only time we did purchase a beer, as it was a bit of a warm day...one wasn't quite enough. 🙂 We also had friends who would request wine & beer to sit in the lounge after dinner to listen to the keyboardist.
  6. Daisi

    Avalon

    Yes, as @gnome12 so rightly states, they all have transmitters. Each guest is provided with an ear piece, and on Avalon you pick your transmitter up on your way off the ship. Each transmitter is coded to the tour flag (so you can find your guide, as the transmitters let you hang back and look at things), and pre-programmed to a specific channel for that tour. We found the only time we had any trouble was when we were in Heidelberg, where we got a bit behind the guide and the stone buildings interfered with reception, however being a block or so away from her we were fine. It was really the only place where we were walking through narrow streets and around corners...we were so lucky that some members of our group noticed we were missing and had her wait for us to catch up.
  7. Thanks Sharkster77, I too feel that the title of this thread is very misleading. It's not a "disaster", it's the policy of not only Emerald but many other lines during this time. As you say, disaster looks like something major happened with a ship or the company, not because they are offering FCC vs refund. I realise it's hard on the client who figured they would save some money by paying in advance, but that is the risk you take. In all honesty, then only line that requests payment in full well before a cruise is Viking, all others will usually go for 90 days. Ironically, reading through the threads, we hear less about Viking's cancellation policy than the ones who offer a so/called more "upscale" cruise...and I am wording it that way as I have only sailed with Avalon, so have no experience how much more "upscale" the other lines are than Viking. I will give Crystal a break and leave them out here as they seem to keep their clients happy as well, and they also seem to be the most upscale line you can go on.
  8. Like banditoo, I am also waiting to return to Europe. We keep hearing about flights that have cases on them, and although I realise that it is probably a minority, it's just not worth the chance. I can handle the 14 day quarantine, but for a lot, it takes up a lot of holiday time. I am enjoying your trip though, hope you did as well.
  9. Lol, notamermaid, your story about the shoe thief brings a chuckle. We have a fox here, but we keep all our shoes locked up. He does come and eat with my raccoons though, they seem to accept each other. Here in Ontario, they have finally decided how schools will work. Kindergarten (4/5 yr olds) to Grade 3 (8 yr olds) will go back full time, masks recommended but not mandatory. I think it's good they aren't mandatory, as the poor teachers will be spending all day trying to make the kids keep them on. Friends of mine who are parents are wondering how many times their child will return from school with a different mask than what they went with, as they would probably trade them with friends. Grade 4 -8 (9 to 13 yrs old) will have to wear masks and will also be back full time. High School (14-17) will be 1/2 at home online, and the rest in school where they will be split up into 1/2 size classes. They must wear masks as well. Other than one area, the whole province is now allowed to eat indoors, or go to bars (pubs). They are bringing in a law to make restaurants, bars & boat tours keep a list of names and contact numbers of clients for 30 days. This will help contract tracing. We have an app now , not for contact tracing, but to notify you if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive (you have to be near them for 15 minutes), however it's only good for newer phones, so not sure how that will go down. My phone is ok, but my Mom's is to old.. We are also finding that the increases we have now in cases are in the younger ages up to 50, and the number of cases for children (under 20) is also rising. I find I am starting to get more comfortable doing our weekly shopping but still not feeling like testing out a restaurant, or even a patio. They keep saying the increase in numbers is from "private" parties, but with the numbers increasing, I'm not taking any chances...2 stores for groceries etc and that is it. Although we never really had a lock down - just asked not to go out unless necessary, I really don't want to push to much and see us have to really do a lock down. Guess that's one thing I am glad to live in an area that has a low population....and not many people I meet want to travel into the "big city" to do anything as they don't want to take the chance. Hope all are well...stay safe.
  10. Daisi

    Avalon

    Yes, as @franski says, your included tour is usually during the morning, and if there is an optional tour for that day, it will be in the afternoon. That is how we managed to be out for most of the day. The days where there are no optional tours, you are probably either sailing, or on a full day included tour. For those days where you don't want to go on the optional tours, you can usually go into the town where you are docked and wander around.
  11. Daisi

    Avalon

    Just a warning before you go out on a DIY tour. Make sure you know where and when to meet the ship, and that you have contact with the CD in case there is a change. Sometimes they will drop people off to tour, and sail along the river and pick them up later. Also, sometimes, if there is water problems, they wait until the last minute to let people tour, so sometimes have had to call you back suddenly. You don't want to be left behind! Also, if you are booking tours for your DIY, make them the day before, as you won't know docking times or departure until the night before...makes for less headaches that way. 🙂
  12. Fran, sorry you missed out again. I know you had arranged to make the final payment later than what was scheduled, but I guess Avalon is looking at minimising the FCC to just deposits. Makes sense on their parts, clients aren't out the price of the whole cruise, and being able to apply the FCC to any of their product, they enable you to either re-schedule or arrange something closer to home that may also interest you. We have decided that if ours gets cancelled and we can't find something we wish to do, we will investigate their "weekend" packages as we can add on in a different city and explore on our own. Good luck with whatever you decide to do, hopefully when you re-new your insurance next year, you are able to find a good deal and Covid will not be such a threat.
  13. Daisi

    Avalon

    Hi Texasmomoftwo. Yes, the tours listed under the main part of the cruise are included. The classic is the one that will have the different levels - regular, and slow walker. The active & adventure will be much faster paced, but they will do their best to accommodate those who have trouble keeping up. Just keep in mind, if you do sign up for them, it will be mostly fast paced. We had biking tours on our Rhine cruise, and they biked from Amsterdam to an area where we picked them up along the canal. I think they were biking for a couple of hours, not sure how long or often they stopped for breaks. On our next cruise, the adventure one will be a hike up a steep hill to see a castle. You can either sign up for the tours ahead of the time, or discuss with the Cruise Director once on board as to how adventurous they are. If they are included, you usually don't have to sign up, unless they conflict with another tour. It's mostly so they know how many people are interested so they know if it's worth it to get the bikes or a guide to run the tour. If only one person signs up ahead, then they may decide not to go ahead with it. The included tours are usually in the morning, leaving the optional tours for the afternoon.
  14. Daisi

    Avalon

    Hi Keith, River & Ocean cruises are totally different. While I haven't taken an Ocean cruise, we did the Rhine 2 years ago and loved it. Although you do DIY on the ocean cruise, may I suggest (unless you have been to the areas on the river cruise) you take advantage of the included tours and possibly the extras as well. Avalon has great guides, possibly because they are part of the Globus network and so have 3 companies that do local touring. They will usually have at least 2 or 3 groups going out for each tour, so numbers are smaller. We always went with the slow walkers, gave me lots of time to take pics, and we found that because the pace was slower, the guide walked and talked, instead of ushering you to one spot, giving a talk about what was around you, then off to the next. I can't stand for long periods so this also worked out better for us. We went on the extra tours as well as the extras, as we wanted to pack as much in as we could. This brings me to the next important point about the differences...on a river cruise entertainment is normally limited to a piano player. They will bring in the occasional quartet or trio, we had a carver come on board to do a demonstration one night, and sometimes other quieter entertainment. Our keyboardist was great, played a wide variety of music nicely in the background so you could sit and chat with new friends easily. Mind you, with dinner often ending around 8:30 or 9:00, after an early and busy start to the day, we would often do a round on the top deck and go to our room to check up on e-mail, and post pictures of the day so family at home could see them. We found the food great, I grew up with German Swiss family and my DH is from the Netherlands, so food on board was what we call "comfort food". We enjoyed the European breakfasts (had some American friends we met who raved over the waffles, but we never tried them), and also the buffet for lunch was great - could fill up on salads & a bit of the heavier foods, but you didn't feel overfull as you chose what to eat. I think the only thing I tried that I wasn't fond of was the Chilled Watermelon Soup...just not to my taste. Dinners were proper 4 course meals with apps, soup, mains and desert. Our servers made it so easy to try whatever we wanted and not worry about not liking something. It makes you much more adventurous, as I sure wouldn't go to a restaurant and spend $40.00 on a meal I may not enjoy. One night, my husband ordered something for desert and I ordered a different dish. When mine was brought, he thought it looked good...next thing we knew, our server was setting one down in front of him! With Covid now, I'm not sure how things will work out as Avalon hasn't had anything on their site to say any changes...and since they aren't sailing until Oct now....well maybe they are trying to work out how to keep on providing such an enjoyable experience. I will warn you...they serve 4:00 "tea". It's great when you are on the boat in the afternoon, but we figured that it was much better to be out on tour...those cakes are dangerous! With all we ate, we didn't gain any excess pounds, probably due to all the walking we did, and since most of the buffets we did, it was more fruit & salad that we ate. Several nights my desert was the cheese plate, as I am very fussy over my deserts. We are hoping to do the Danube in May, and really hoping that things run smoothly. I hope your cruise is as enjoyable also, they may be much more than what you would pay for an ocean cruise, but I figure they are worth every penny. We started planning our Danube cruise on the plane home from the Rhine..... we liked it that much. We always do our own trips, this was the first one we went on that was "taken out of our hands" so to speak. We did the pre + post days on our own, and enjoyed them, but you know, for once, it was really nice just to let someone else do the work. This time, we are letting Avalon handle the pre & post, however there is lots of free time that I have been researching as to what we can do...... so much to see, so little time.... 🙂
  15. Daisi

    Avalon

    HI Keith, I hope you enjoy your cruise, we are eagerly looking forward to our (hopeful) cruise in May. You don't say if you have cruised with Avalon before, so not sure if you have seen the following thread. It's a bit long, but lots of info, and maybe some for your cruise. Let's hope we are all successful for cruising next year,
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