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About snowglobe

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • Interests
    Archeology, history, snorkeling, marine life & wildlife, food & wine, independent & solo travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Azamara
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Pacific, Med, Alaska

Recent Profile Visitors

460 profile views
  1. Due to the quarantine, no one can enter our home either. LOL, I’m burning incense in the fridge, at least to mask the lingering odour. I did connect today with our Municipal Councillor’s office, who is coordinating a team of volunteers. No luck on the cleaning supplies, but someone will be helping us out by picking up an order of kitty litter and cat food for our Lords and Masters. Stay healthy too!
  2. That will be one weird trans-Pacific crossing... at least they shouldn’t be fighting over a puzzle, as happened recently on one Azamara ship. It shouldn’t be a problem to separate them, should the need arise...
  3. The good news is that we’re home, and one of our two cats is being brought back to us on Sunday. 👍 We finally made it back home late on Wednesday night. The long trip back was very stressful, and made even more so by obviously ill people being able to board two of our three flights. On the last, smooth (domestic) flight, a young child vomited in the row behind ours and turned sheet white 15 mins before landing. 😳 Canada has invoqued a “Quarantine Act” which puts us in a mandatory at-home quarantine for 14 days. We are not able to set foot outside our door -> which is very OK by us, and which we arrived prepared to do... Or so I thought.🥺 The person that checked our condo roughly on a weekly basis, did so early last week. She had planned on dropping off basic groceries to tide us over for a few days on Wednesday afternoon. In the interim, the neighbouring province she lives in closed itself to trans-border crossings, posting police at the bridges between our communities (one large urban area, with two cities straddling two provinces, usually referred to as the “Capital region”.) Wednesday was the first day of this sudden, enforced measure. And our fridge quit several days ago, judging by the stench that greeted us on arrival.😫🤢 I spent the yesterday trying unsuccessfully to find a new mini-fridge to use as a temporary solution... the earliest deliveries were 2-4 weeks. Best I could arrange was to use an electric camping cooler. We also only had half a roll of paper towels left, and barely a half-bottle of cleaner before we left. I ended up using Bill’s old t-shirts as throw-away rags. No baking soda or vinegar on hand either. It looks like we’ll probably have to buy a new fridge, however/whenever we can. Although we have no “fresh” groceries to tide us over, our downstairs freezer is well stocked. Peanut butter on toasted hamburger buns can do for breakfast in a pinch. We have plenty of coffee, thank goodness!! The earliest time slot that I can get a curb side pick-up for groceries is Sunday at 6pm (no baking soda, no vinegar & no more cleaning products available to order.) I have to ask a friend’s sister to pick it up, as most of my support team a) live across the bridge, and/or b) are health care workers that I refuse to ask for help right now. I have been told that such online grocery orders are a crap shoot: missing items from the list and odd substitutions when they bag it. We’ll see how that goes. We’ll have to join everyone else hunting down elusive items (like eggs, fresh produce, and cleaning supplies,) across various stores in a couple of weeks, as soon as our quarantine is over... and if we remain symptom-free. Frozen mac and cheese for breakfast tomorrow, and a meat pie and broccoli for our wedding anniversary dinner. At least we have a well-stocked wine shelf and liquor cabinet, and fine glasses. 🥂 Lord, how I miss our time on the Journey!! PS - Our senior gentleman cat is trapped on the other side of the bridge, and he’s being spoiled rotten by our friend - Azamara-level service, I hear! 😁
  4. So sorry to read about your SIL’s illness - it’s so worrisome. I hope that he turns the bend and gets on the road to recovery soon.
  5. We’re practicing quasi self-isolation and social distancing as much as possible, while still in Darwin - “self-isolation” is easier said than done while you are not in your home and do not have access to the same network/resources that can help. We still have to go out to buy food, and went out yesterday to buy books and a puzzle (while the stores are still open.) Today, we have to venture out to a Vodaphone outlet, because we aren’t able to extend our mobile plan past March 31st. We rented a car, in order to still go out driving and to minimize contacts when we have to get food and supplies. I cannot get a prescription med renewal in Darwin, and hope that I may be better able to do this in Sydney. Strict measures have been put in place in the city and state to protect the Northern Territory population. Although there are now only 5 non-community cases of Covid-19 at present in all of the Territory, it simply means that the epidemic will hit later and harder. In several ways similar to Canada, the indigenous population here is so very, very vulnerable: remote, poor, overcrowded, with grossly inadequate resources in the communities. It’s inevitable that some people in Darwin will be returning to their home communities, when staying in the city becomes too difficult for them. We started to try to get home well over two weeks ago, btw. We have now bought another set (5th) of outrageously-priced tickets for a flight from Sydney next week (that will probably be cancelled as well.) Now we have to work out how/when to get to Sydney. The coincidence of our new flights to Canada being scheduled for April 1st is not lost on us...
  6. Bill and I came off the Journey in Sydney on Feb. 23rd, and a friend flew in from Canada to join us the next day for a five-week independent tour of Australia. On March 29, they were to fly home and I was to return to New Zealand for two more weeks. We kept moving along our itinerary, always ahead of things going wonky (Sydney, Adelaide, McClaren Vale, Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Ayers Rock/Uluru, Alice Springs and Darwin.) As of late last week, Air Canada had announced that it would be suspending most int’l flights on March 31st. As the March 29th departure from Brisbane showed no changes, we were not overly worried - although we should have... Yesterday, they decided to stop the flights from Brisbane on March 28th. Instead of ‘reprotecting’ the passengers through still available itineraries, they advised us (by text msg) that they were keeping the full value of the two tickets ($4,000) as “future credit”. The remaining flights each day all of this week were still showing available late yesterday and being sold at $5,000-$7,000 each, as was the available Air Canada routing through Sydney on the 29th. To add insult to injury: to apply the $4,000 “credit”, it had to be done through the impossible-to-reach call center! The kicker: they would only issue credit, not reimburse what would have been paid today, if those new flights were also cancelled. They stood to easily keep $20,000 of ours in “future credit”, had we been foolish enough to purchase these new tickets from Brisbane, or the ones from Sydney. Price-gouging AND highway robbery at the same time!! As for my flights through Auckland, I had to pay an additional $500 for my Premium Economy ticket to move it forward to April 1st as a straight-through transit, when NZ imposed restrictions on my ability to stay last week. Then yesterday, I also found out that my transit was also forbidden and my $2,500 ticket is now useless. Air New Zealand is also going to keep the full value of my Premium Economy ticket as a “future credit”. Our first morning in Darwin began with the realization that we were probably screwed by now. So, my entire day was spent looking for alternate flights for 3 people. I could only route tickets to Vancouver, not to our final city. Eventually I found a truly horrid routing (over 60hrs!) to get us from Darwin to Vancouver, leaving Wednesday and arriving Friday. We don’t even know if upon our arrival in Vancouver, we will be allowed to continue to Ottawa. We’d already decided that instead of going to our respective homes, we would self-quarantine together - whenever we do make it home. As for our Australia trip, it’s been interesting. Sydney was the only place that we had been worried of exposure. We had just left Adelaide when the city went a bit mad during the start of The Great Toilet Paper Scramble (I’ve kept a spare roll in my luggage since.) Because of having a rental car, social distancing had not been difficult to maintain. Our B&B hosts on the Great Ocean Road told us that with the numbers of tourists down, there had not been a fatality on that drive for weeks. For most of what we’ve been doing, there are no crowds anywhere, and maybe a few more people around, if any. In one animal sanctuary, we were mobbed by kangaroos as we were the only ones there. The domestic flights to Ayers Rock, then Alice Springs to Darwin, were mostly empty with the passengers spread out. There were no tour buses, and very few people at Uluru. We had a car in Ayers Rock, and have one in Darwin too. We’ve been eating in mostly, and although grocery shelves can be spottily empty, we’ve always managed well up to now. People are more conscious of their actions - waiting for the next elevator, instead of getting on with strangers, getting take-out, etc.. One thing that I’ve noticed, and really appreciate, is that in the few line-ups that we’ve been in, people are more spread out, with eye contact made to acknowledge each person’s place in the “queue” - I wish that it was that civil all of the time! Until Wednesday’s flight to Melbourne (to start our long journey home - we hope), we have decided to relax and enjoy what we were hoping to do. In a major way, we feel actually much safer here in the Northern Territory, than we will at home and on the journey home.
  7. Small bottles on Journey this Jan-Feb.. Not outstanding products - can’t even remember the brand... DH used the stuff and seemed happy with it, I had my own.
  8. snowglobe


    Pre-existing conditions. If you are at greater risk from Covid-19, then it’s because of “pre-existing conditions”...
  9. snowglobe


    You practically did.
  10. snowglobe


    How the h*** can you assume that the person walking past the hand sanitizer does not wash their hands very well and often - as recommended - geesh! Currently onboard, and definitely see the evidence of people being very careful with hygiene. No one gives me the ‘stinky’ eye when I do walk past the sanitizer, which I do not use.
  11. snowglobe


    No panic, but rightfully concerned - especially since some will have arrived to spend a week or so before boarding.
  12. Why the need to disagree? I did not comment on how nice the personnel is... because they certainly are. I had mistakes made in my account, because of the tricky package accounting, that were corrected by more experienced personnel (mistakes, that *they* caught and corrected, while we were checking my account.) My response was entirely appropriate to the OP’s question. (Unrelated to my account/OBC), I found all Guest Relations staff to be very willing to chase the information that I needed when they didn’t immediately know an answer, and they never failed to follow up. Top notch! In the last two weeks, I have not seen any display of crabbiness by any passenger, towards any staff... failures to say “please” and “thank you” many times - but that’s been the worse...
  13. snowglobe


    Not necessarily. On this Feb. 8 NZ itinerary, I know of at least a few who were planning to arrive several days ahead of time of their cruise departure and would have arrived before the application of the very recent strict entry conditions currently implemented.
  14. snowglobe


    Q for Bonnie: The Journey will be embarking almost a ship full of new passengers in Auckland NZ on Feb. 8th. Some of the Canadian, US, UK and European passengers will have flown through Hong Kong or China to get here ahead of the cruise, having made their own flight arrangements. How will Azamara screen for those? A form to fill and sign? Or just a verbal question to self-declare?
  15. I agree wholeheartedly with the suggestion. I’m drinking a lot of Perrier this cruise and would be very pleased if there was a non-sugary or a not-“sugar-free” set of alternative options.
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