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About Two4Sea

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  1. Just as a tip for future long cruise travellers, I understand that the solution was to visit the US embassy. The originals were then couriered back home. Bill
  2. Just got an email relayed from O via my agent that the ship is delayed by weather and won'dock until 3pm. They hope to start boarding at 4pm, please don't arrive before 3pm. Bill
  3. I've just finished updating my trip files and making printouts at 2:30 am here in Vancouver. We have a small amount of packing and house securing Tuesday and then we fly out Tuesday night. Looking forward to meeting our first new friends at the dinner Thursday at Brasserie 8.5. Friday we meet a few more, the roll call has 81 Worldies on it. It has been great talking about this trip on the roll call, thanks for starting it Lisa. See you all Friday, Bill & Darlene
  4. Well those photos kept my printer busy. Again a tip of the hat for a fine job Laurence, you completely satisfied my interest. Thanks, Bill
  5. Hi Andy Our 10 year yellow fever shots expired this month. When we visited Travel Medicine on the North Shore last month they said "good for life". Bill
  6. Thank you very very much for all your work Laurence , it is much appreciated. Your speedy posting is helping us January worldies, I've already seen a power bar that I need to get delivered despite the Christmas rush and postal disruptions up here. I notice that the bathroom outlet continues to be the 110/220 volt, low power, razor only type. It would be fine for our toothbrush chargers except that I expect it still switches off with the room light. Bill
  7. Hi Wendy. In addition to the full page pre-issued visa from India that will be pasted in, you will get entry and exit stamps from pretty well all the countries even if they just give a visa or permission on the spot. In places like India you will get these stamps at each of the ports within the country, they're bureaucratic. Returning from Europe you will also get one last stamp departing from the airport. A flight via London adds entry/exit there too. I dug out an old passport, in a 2007 trip from Hong Kong to Rome touching 16 countries, 12 pages were used up with these entry/exit stamps. Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, UAE, Oman and Egypt all stamped our passports in and out. The ship wide approval just meant that the purser took care of it one sitting with the officials. You won't get extra stamps while you stay within the Schengen countries but I think it would be cautious to assume you will get a pair of stamps at all the other countries you visit. There are 30 stamp pages in the current Canadian passport. So with 30 countries on your itinerary my own thought would be that unless you have not used more than 3-4 pages it might be best to obtain a new passport in late spring 2020. Passport Canada may want to see your itinerary to be convinced that a renewal would be prudent however. Oceania mentioned having our passport number available by the time of final payment although nothing came of it. I'm under the impression that passport problems are not something that can be fixed up on the spot with a cost of a few hundred dollars. I think your travel comes to a standstill for a number of days when things go wrong and hotels and replacement air tickets get bought at full price. This is a low risk but a big consequence. Regarding Visas, Oceania's ATW19 perks included them too. We got an email from O containing forms for Cuba and Australia to fill out and email back. We got forms for Vietnam and Myanmar to fill out, attach pictures to and turn in when we boarded at the start of the cruise. We got a PDF package from VisaCentral.CA for China and India. We filled out the China one, entered the Indian one online then took the printouts and pictures to their subsidiary's office (CIBT) here in Vancouver. They walked it to the consulates in Vancouver and we picked it up in 3 weeks. They could have equally well gone in by mail or courier but with the office a 40 minute bus ride from home I felt more comfortable going there. Sitting down with their man who visits these consulates several times a week was very valuable because of his expertise. Despite much reading I had still made a mistake on my Indian visa. Not only did this require completely reentering both of our applications, I went home to do it because I was going to need Darlene's signature on the revised printout. O paid for all the consulate fees, which ranged from a little to lots, and paid for Visa Central's fees. The info package helped us with the not inconsiderable photos as well, there are several required sizes and you should get extras too. We got ours at the camera department of a western drug store chain, they were better poses and lower cost than Walmart. It took them about 45 minutes by the time they printed, cut and stamped them all. Bill
  8. -set them up for Skypeing with the kids -a digital picture frame loaded with family pictures. Maybe the garden too. -a gift order for a few bottles of wine with orders that once a month they are to reserve a romantic dinner for two to enjoy one at. Bill
  9. There was some press release last spring that suggested Insignia/Nautica/Regatta's specialty restaurants would change from Toscana/Polo to Sirena's Red Ginger/Tuscan themes. Based on last week's Insignia ATW reservations opening however it appears we are sticking with Toscana/Polo on the threesome, that the change has disappeared with the NEXT program. I understand that the merger of Toscana & Polo's menus to Tuscan on Sirena was not universally popular but we had been looking forward to seeing Red Ginger added to the threesome. Unless this is just a problem with the computer displaying pre and post drydock room names at the same time we will be disappointed. Bill & Darlene
  10. Just a PS to my post #24. If you are on Insignia's LA-Sydney segment next February be careful of reservations for Feb 19-20th as crossing the dateline in the early evening of the 19th makes these the same night. The computer hasn't figured that out. Next year's ATW will be more fun as there are two June 20th's :). Bill
  11. Just to add to Laurence's post, we used option 2 to add friends to our reservation last week. A few details we noticed: -although we had reached opening day our friends had not. So we had to call in where they were readily added to our table, changing the size from 2 to 4. -even though we were entitled to quite a few reservations on this cruise the computer would not let the agent let our friends exceed their entitlement. -when I tried to change an existing reservation to a different available time on the same evening the computer let me place my request and once I confirmed that I was willing to give up the existing res it proceeded to change my time. I didn't have to cancel the old res before requesting the new one. -making and adjusting 42 reservations took 90 minutes and resulted in 57 email confirmations Bill
  12. Musicmom3 you raise a point I look at too. There is a cruise deck plans com site. Under the line/ship/category choices are a number of cabin pictures. Many of them have the cabin number in the caption. That should give you a start for the alternating pattern. In the broadside photos of the R ships there are three places with extra width balcony pillars between the cabins. These run top deck to bottom because of the firewalls. They may break the cabin layout pattern so try all four R class ships to see if you can get close to the cabins you are looking at. This point is emphasized as the deck 6 & 7 balcony framing is in pairs except for the first cabin aft of the aft firewall (forward edge of the smokestack). Bill
  13. Hi Wendy, In your online trial at Manulife, you did read the rejection as just meaning call them for a manual quote? The other companies are weak on expressing this too. For my coverage I went with Manulife, RBC replied too late to consider. It was actually a second round with Manulife this year, they had given me a quote 21 months out through a telephone application last year when I booked the cruise. Maybe somebody confused the years, I keep crossing them up myself with having started this trip so far ahead. Bill
  14. I went through this last year with RBC Insurance and Manulife.Look at https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=57199281#post57199281 on the Cruise/Travel Insurance forum. Bill
  15. Perhaps one's first step should be to read an online application to be prepared. Some forms consider things as basic as whether you have had a general check up in the past 1-2 years. Just make up a low price, short length, near future trip to get past any limits to online quoting so that you can get access to the policy text. When I started my looking last year I couldn't get quotes more than 6 months ahead of sailing date and yet not buying at booking time may have impacted the preexisting rules. Couldn't even get a suggestion of the cost range, at least my agent said to allow 10% of the air+cruise fare. I wonder if perhaps the companies have shifted from wanting you to buy when the risk first appears (booking) to waiting until the last 4-6 months in case your health changes. RBC Insurance for example appears to not want to sell their medical insurance until the last 4 months. When I came to final payment this year it took me 4 weeks to buy the insurance. Fax in the application/medical questionnaire, they ask for my med history, appointment with my doc to ask for it, she only works half the week and vacation is coming up, call back to pick up the printouts, claims department doctors take 2-3 days to assess the long costly risk then marketing takes more to decide the price, insurance agent closes the deal with me but oops it needs executive acceptance. All of this across 3 hours of time zone so that there is only a half day window where we can talk and make responses in the same day. Net result was only 3 days left to send my final cruise payment to my agent on time and it took 2 of those days to feed my trip's amount of money through. Cancellation penalties started the same day as final payment so I needed the insurance in place before I locked myself in. Now others may have done all of this in a wink but I'd caution newcomers to allow a lot of time until they see how it is going to work out for them. The two big US internet brokers wouldn't handle this trip for Canada, they need to act through a Canadian licensed insurer and a long policy wasn't available from their partners. The one help was that TripInsuranceStore's Canada page gave a rate chart at the bottom that will help you budget for a proposed world cruise. The impact of age was enlightening, it shows that doing the world in your early 70's while you are fit is a prudent approach. You can pass the med questionnaire and you'll be fit enough to enjoy the trip. Some fine print details I saw in comparing policies are that the pre-existing rules weren't the same for the cancellation risk and the medical risk policies, the air return wasn't necessarily in the same class as you flew out on, air evacuation may only be from a small hospital to the nearest major one not to your home country and that the air evacuation was for that one hospital to another trip not for a helicopter to get you from some remote accident scene to a hospital. Medjet is better about the getting you home part but you need to already be in a hospital before they will step in. Reading the coverages for the various risks is also very necessary, less than $1 mill medical just doesn't seem to be enough for visiting the US. I've seen credit card and cruise line policies that offered a mere $20-50k coverage, would hardly pay for a broken arm. One credit card policy I saw a few years ago was valid for no more than 3 days at a time, good for a weekend across the border but useless for a cruiser. A special note for BC residents (and likely other Provinces) is that BC Med only grants membership to people who are physically in the province 6 months of the year. They do allow for a 7th month away on specific request but only once every 5 years, you can't keep doing 6+ month cruises. There is also an option to suspend the premium cost while you are away but the Provincial coverage is required anyway by the Canadian travel insurance policies that I saw. Bill
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