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Everything posted by SLSD

  1. Braidmcd, Thank you so much for your informative posts. You are so kind to post about your experience to help people that you don't even know. I hope your wife remains without symptoms and your tests stay negative.
  2. N95s are the masks we wear whenever in public now. If you listen to experts, they say it does matter what kind of mask you wear. They ARE uncomfortable, but may keep you and others safe.
  3. Several years ago, we DID take a SB cruise which went to some of the ports you mention: Klaipeda, a Polish port, Visby, Bornholm, and a day sailing through the Keil Canal. We also did some very obscure ports which some guests did not like, but we enjoyed immensely. Hopefully SB will return to these ports as well as add some others. I get the idea that they are just struggling right now to offer what they are offerings.
  4. A guest who is currently on Ovation reported this in a Seabourn Facebook group--so it is not a rumor or hearsay. She was not sure how many guests were infected, but those infected were in isolation and everyone else was required to wear masks indoors. Most all activities moved to the outdoor decks. There may be a more recent report, but this is what I was reading early this morning.
  5. Jenidallas, I am going to call your agency. I think I have figured out who they are--and I will try to find your particular agent there. It may not be right away. I do want to know that SB is going to continue to require vaccination. Did you read about the current cases of Covid on Ovation?
  6. This is the part that concerns me: "Which Seabourn voyages currently require vaccinations? Regardless of age, guests on all Seabourn voyages departing through January 15, 2022 must be fully vaccinated. Specific requirements for other itineraries from January 16, 2022 and beyond will be finalized once we have approval to operate from the respective destinations. Once we have those details, they will be shared with guests." _________ We do not plan to sail on a ship unless everyone is vaccinated. So--this means we will have to delay booking a SB cruise until we know if vaccinations will be required.
  7. How was your Odyssey cruise extremely disapointing Isklaar? Was it something about the ship? We will use a new TA for this next cruise. However, I am having just a bit of difficulty deciding to go ahead with it during this lengthy pandemic. Mr. SLSD is not quite as reluctant as I am.
  8. This is a very good point Markham. We will be consulting with a new travel agent.
  9. I know I would always want a contact person. One reason I can think that a TA might be better than a SB rep. might be continuity. I think most of the SB reps are working from home now--and might not be around forever. I do lean toward a TA for the reasons Marazul mentions above.
  10. We are between Travel agents right now and would need to find a new one. I know who we would call---a cruise specialist in the Ft. Worth area (Ft. Worth being adjacent to Dallas). One of our Seabourn friends has just emailed me and says that he and his wife have found a particular Seabourn agent who has been very helpful and responsive and they have decided to book with this SB agent this time as they never could figure out exactly what value the TA had added for them. So---what to do? I know some of you use TAs and others use Seabourn agents. We had previously been very satisfied with our TA until our last cruise. She had helped us with great accommodations in Rome, Amsterdam, Athens, Istanbul, Kyoto, Vancouver, etc along with being a liaison to some great guides. Unfortunately, something must have happened in her life, and she is no longer an option. We have been anxious about booking a cruise due to the pandemic but are very tempted to join our friends next late May on the Odyssey for another Alaskan cruise. We loved Alaska on our Kobe to Vancouver cruise aboard the Sojourn and this itinerary goes to some ports and cruises through some areas that we did not see. Any advice on TA vs Seabourn agent would be greatly appreciated. SLSD
  11. Pack carefully, being sure to have clothing suitable for dinner in the evening and for exploring ports. You can have Seabourn do laundry for you while you are onboard. A laundry bag is provided and it holds a lot. SB will do the whole bag of laundry for $50.00. Shirts/blouses/trousers/pants will be returned on hangers and put into your closet for you. Socks, underwear, etc will be neatly folded. Take advantage of this instead of spending time trying to do it yourself while you are on vacation. Knowing that you can have the laundry done, means you can pack lighter. Bring sturdy walking shoes for port exploration. In the first couple of days, try to enjoy all the different venues and activities of the ship so that you will know what you most enjoy---the sail aways on the deck, meals in the different venues (MDR, Colonnade, Earth and Ocean, around the pool at lunchtime, etc. ) Go to the Club and see what that is like. Go to the shows and see if you enjoy that. Go to tea in the afternoon and see what that is about. Go for pre-dinner drinks and tidbits in the Observation Bar. Order room service breakfast! Order caviar whenever you want it.
  12. I understand what you are saying. Our first cruise on Ovation was planned on short notice (about four weeks). I remember being really nervous that the ship was larger than we were used to, with more passengers. All those fears were allayed when we boarded and the ship was delightful. Right now, I just want to be back on a Seabourn ship!! This pandemic is a menace. I try to keep in mind that the least of the issues is the ability to cruise. Wishing good health and happiness to everyone here.
  13. I have sailed on both ships and enjoyed them both. Some people prefer Sojourn, while others prefer Ovation. For us, Ovation seemed to meet our wants/needs just a little bit better. First, a newer ship is fun, fresh, and up to date. Initially, when we boarded Sojourn, we felt it was just a bit "down at the heels". But, after that initial feeling, and, as we got used to Sojourn, we enjoyed it immensely. We liked the TK Grill Bar outside of the TK Grill on Ovation. It was a great spot (as you probably know) for before dinner drinks whether or not you are dining at the Grill. The Sojourn does not have this bar. At the same time, we found that we preferred the smaller, more intimate TK Grill on the Sojourn. It is a small restaurant and we found it to be quite comfortable. The larger TK Grill on Ovation is very attractive, but we preferred the smaller venue. We are not pool loungers, but know that the pool area on the Ovation does not seem larger than that on the Sojourn, even though there are more passengers. Some may prefer the Sojourn for that reason. Decor---We found the decor on Ovation a bit more up to date and attractive. Specifically, I am thinking of the Observation Bar with its glass fish above the bar--and the colors used for upholstery. The Sojourn's Observation Bar is a bit more low key in terms of decor. But, we got used to that too, and enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed the Obs Bar on Ovation. Suites--While some have said that the Ovation suites are a bit more narrow, than those on Sojourn I did not notice this. MDR--The MDR on Sojourn is larger and perhaps a bit more elegant in terms of decor. At first, I was a bit taken aback by the plastic ceiling of the MDR on Ovation. Neither ship seemed crowded to me--even though the Ovation had more passengers. Since we are not very late night people, we enjoyed the option of an earlier show on Ovation. On Sojourn, there is usually just one show time (unless there is a before dinner show) . Sojourn does have a sushi restaurant, while Ovation does. Some have said that the Sojourn seems more luxurious. I tried, but could not really see that. If both ships had the same itinerary at the same time, we would probably choose Ovation. We would not hesitate to sail on Sojourn again as we had a wonderful time on the ship. I don't think you can go wrong. Some people do not care for the larger ships--but since you already know you like Ovation--I think you would enjoy either ship.
  14. I agree with you. I heard a report on the news tonight saying that Canadians will only be able to enter the US by air, not by car. Perhaps this will change. I hope so. It does make it unclear about arriving by sea.
  15. Some good news for those of you in the UK and Europe:https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/travel-ban-us-europe/2021/09/20/d78b5aae-1a22-11ec-bcb8-0cb135811007_story.html?utm_campaign=wp_main&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR3awJi6X2NFKydOyzmDDjzfjeM6spiBouTUPWftcre9AVKTW5UGE1itmE8 From the article: The White House announced on Monday that it would be lifting blanket travel restrictions on visitors from Europe, Britain and other countries that had been imposed at the start of the pandemic. Under rules to take effect in early November, fully vaccinated travelers from anywhere in the world would be able to fly to the United States, though they would also be subject to new testing and contact-tracing procedures, Jeff Zients, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said in a call with reporters. Zients said the new system “follows the science” to keep Americans and international travel safe and would be “relying on individuals, rather than a country-based approach, so it’s a stronger system.”
  16. We are not pool lounging people, but I have heard the same complaints on Seabourn----inconsiderate guests who reserve loungers and then don't use them while others are waiting. We have really enjoyed Seabourn room service breakfasts, but have only ordered very very occasionally for other meals. We prefer to go to the restaurants.
  17. I have not cruised with Oceania, but I know people who have who really liked the line. I do know that Seabourn is more all inclusive in terms of alcohol. Seabourn does not charge extra for beer, wine, mixed drinks unless you choose something off of their included list. Also, Seabourn provides caviar at any time you order it at no extra charge. I'm sure there are more differences as Seabourn is considered a luxury line, while Oceania is a premium line. Hopefully someone here has sailed both lines and can give you more specifics. I know you will enjoy Seabourn. It is a wonderful cruise line and I have had very few complaints. I did do a search on this forum for a compare and contrast and did not find one. That does not mean it has not been done. The search function is not optimal. I just did a google search and found this:
  18. I have never had this issue with a SB hair dryer in our suites. Perhaps you should report this.
  19. I know. It is just so incredibly frustrating (and sad). I just asked my husband to check the Covid infection rate in the city where we live (Dallas) and infections are still increasing. While we are TRIPLE vaccinated now (on doctor's advice) , we have still been warned by our physician that "now is not the time for socializing". While I had kept my spirits up for 18 months or so, it is hard to continue being upbeat. The CDC (and I will admit that their pronouncements have been all over the place) is currently warning against cruising--and especially for those of us over the age of 65. I am so envious of those of you who have gone successfully on cruises during this pandemic and hope that your future cruises go-- and are uneventful when it comes to illness.
  20. The article goes on to say that The Netherlands is the only country to adopt such restrictions. I haven't checked to see when SB planned its first cruise including Amsterdam.
  21. I just read that The Netherlands is only going to admit Americans who are vaccinated and have a recent Covid test AND will require them to quarantine for 10 days. https://thepointsguy.com/news/airlines-cancel-flights-eu-entry-changes/?utm_term=Editorial&utm_content=349F7398-0CDA-11EC-9B55-C3F1923C408C&utm_campaign=facebook&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&fbclid=IwAR2VbzUv-LCRJKPrJO9VK3eWIeBUzldgf7yXq9hTSkha6jnnkiIjnPLu-sw
  22. Another thing to consider is that the United States has more domestic tourists than foreign tourists and Americans can travel domestically in spite of the pandemic (however Hawaii has asked tourists to please not come right now). Most foreign tourists stick to the East and West coasts, with comparatively few going inland. This is anecdotal, but when we are in NYC, San Francisco, Florida (I'm thinking of West Palm Beach) etc, we see many tourists, with foreign travelers being in the minority overall. So, our tourism industry is alive, but of course hurt by the pandemic as you would expect because many Americans are staying close to home due to the virus. It will be a real shame if foreign tourists cannot board a Seabourn ship in Miami, but I would be surprised if entry into the United States was suddenly granted at this time as the infection numbers are not going down at the moment. This is not a happy time.
  23. What exactly do you mean about U. S. tourists considered a number one target group?
  24. I agree with you cruiseej. We know people who are fully vaccinated who thought they were bullet proof and became infected with the virus. Some have symptoms and are quite ill--others remained without symptoms, but had the ability to spread the virus. We are avoiding fully vaccinated friends who are not being as careful as we are. It is just not a happy time. We are hopeful for an opportunity to cruise with SB again next year, but it will depend on the trajectory of the virus for us. I understand Europeans being peeved about not being able to visit the US when we have been able to visit there. The simple fact is that the US does not depend on tourist dollars as a country like Greece does. I just don't think pressure on the US government is going to matter. Of course I could be wrong. We'll have to wait and see.
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