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Everything posted by Redtravel

  1. Cleaning the ship is a good start. Each time the ship docks, guests could introduce the virus when they reboard.
  2. cruising is going to change. Until ships start sailing again, you cannot compare. Everything that happened before the pandemic is history. On past cruises, I liked the food on a Oceania better than most other cruise lines. Their specialty restaurants are excellent. Celebrity food is good, but ordinary. Their buffet was chaos and often dirty. Aqua class or suite dining rooms are better than the main dining room. Celebrity, being larger, offers many options. It’s been more than 10 years since I sailed on HAL. Memory is that food was ok. Rumor has it that the buffets will be eliminated. Wait and see. For now, stay safe, and wait until after ships sail again.
  3. So much is now lost and likely will never return. Enjoy your memories of your past cruises. For now, and maybe a long time, it’s what cruising has become. It feels like a friend died and we are all grieving. We all pray for a cure or a vaccine that will make the world safe again. Until then, be patient, relax, and stay safe.
  4. In January 2020, we asked our travel agent to book a January 2021 cruise on Riviera. He said that there were lots of available cabins and suggested waiting to book while we were on Sirena in March 2020. Oceania unlike other lines will not add onboard booking perks if you sail after booking a future cruise. So we waited. We got caught sailing on March 13th when the cruising ban happened. After that experience, we didn’t book. Also, after that our travel agent who we had used for many years was let go from the online agency. It was the start of uncertain times in travel and cruising. As much as I wish life would return to normal like it was before covid 19, the reality is until there is a vaccine or cure, we will stay home. We have fcc and not sure if we will ever use it. We are patient and will wait to see how cruising will be when they sail again. Not rushing to book. There are lots of empty cabins and prices are dropping. Keeping my money until we know more.
  5. Sadly, many people have lost their jobs. With fewer people booking future cruises, some cruise lines don't think it's wrong to keep callers waiting. After all, ,most of those callers want a refund. That doesn't [promote more revenue for the cruise lines. Perhaps, if the wait is very long, you'll give up. Most won;t. They will just get angry and frustrated. They will remember this when they want to book future travel. Treat potential guests politely and promptly now and they will remember it. Annoy people now and they will find another option. Not a good way to do business. As for loyalty in Captains Club, that doesn't exist for now. It only matters when you sail.
  6. Good idea to see in writing exactly what amount and type of credit is on your account. Also, recheck once you embark. On a Viking river our travel agent told is that we had $600 obc. Once onboard, Viking claimed we had only $100. Showed them the cruise invoice. They still insisted it was $100. Sent email to my agent who found the error and sent us a check for the other $500. Viking does not fix these kind of errors onboard.
  7. What took them so long to cancel? Holding money, hoping that booked guests would cancel and take the 100% fcc instead of cash refund, or just trying to catch up with all the cancellations before dealing with a new rush of guests requesting refunds? Everyone wants safety. For years I always had a future cruise booked. It was nice to look forward to sailing. Now I am I in booked, have some fcc, and am looking forward to a cure or vaccine.
  8. Most Viking cruises do an overnight in the embarkation and disembarkation port. They include a tour in each of those ports. The turn around day there is no tour unless they get a lot of demand for an optional tour. London is an easy city to see using the tube. Getting around is quicker on the tube than driving. Traffic in London can be awful. Get a good map and guide book, plan your day, be flexible, and enjoy. The first time we were in a London, we were on a cruise. Took a ship tour that took us to see the outsides of the famous highlights plus a ride on the Thames back to the ship. It was a great intro. We have been back several times staying in different parts of the city. Never get tired of finding interesting places to explore.
  9. I loved cruising before a March. I was on a cruise in March that got caught in the do not sail order. It stopped briefly at 2 ports. after March 13th do not sail order, it became a cruise to nowhere. It was not a relaxing cruise. We were anxious about getting sick. I go on vacation to relax and have fun. That a March cruise was not fun. I am home waiting for a vaccine. Stay safe, be patient, and with luck we will survive.
  10. Clo, you found my comments reprehensible and now you support me 100%? You are befuddled.
  11. Lots of changes and canceled cruises are not reflected in the online site. Call your TA for assistance if rebooking. Insist on transferring booking, not cancel and rebook.
  12. Oceania gave us no info. We did not know if anyone was sick. There were people coughing and looking ill. On any cruise, there are the cruise cough people. It could be lots of good reasons why people cough beside corona....cold, allergies, dirty air, etc. One time in the Terrace a lady started coughing and lots of people moved away from her. People were scared and nervous. Just not the way people usually act on a cruise. Tension was unbelievable. Missing ports was never explained adequately. Oceania told us bad weather, rough seas, slow cruising speed, etc. we did not have bad weather or rough seas. We were disappointed missing ports. Oceania did not reimburse us for port charges for those ports we skipped. On other cruise lines, missing ports returned us the port charges. Oceania said that they don’t charge guests port charges and would not reimburse us. On other cruise lines, missed ports or storms are not ignored. Last year on Windstar we stayed docked in Porto 3 days waiting for a bomb cyclone to pass. We missed 2 ports. The storm wasn’t Windstar’s fault. While onboard, they apologized, refunded port charges, issued us some a OBC to help us enjoy the cruise, and after the cruise issued everyone a large fcc. After getting home, Oceania issued some fcc to everyone.
  13. We tried to avoid using public restrooms. We had a cabin close to the aft elevators. We went back to our cabin if we needed it. We spent very little time away from our cabin. We used our veranda more on this cruise than ever. The stress was unbelievable.
  14. Clo, your attitude is uncalled for. Consider yourself lucky that you weren’t cruising in March. There is nothing wrong with my feelings about my experience. Like I said if you weren’t there, you could not understand. The only thing wrong was Oceania should not have sailed.
  15. Maverick cruiser, I understand your comments. I was on Sirena unfortunately in March. We experienced similar things. We got a variety of explanations for skipping ports.....weather( it wasn't bad), rough seas( a few small ripples), etc.. We only stopped briefly in 2 ports. All other ports were passed by. On March 14,.EU nationals were quietly disembarked quickly in Antiqua. Spoke to a couple from EU who had been told to pack up to get a plane back to Heathrow. After March 13,.they were not allowed to disembark in Miami. Asked if we could leave and was told NO! We then sailed very slowly skipping all ports until to Miami. Most venues on the ship were closed. We stayed in our cabin most of the time fearing getting sick. It was an awful experience. The crew kept saying nothing was happening, but they all sounded upset. We got info about covid 19 via emails and watching the tv in the cabin. It was traumatic. Most people that weren't sailing in March cannot understand why. You had to be there. I used to say that I always had a good time cruising. This time was the exception. When we got home, we cancelled all future travel.
  16. The power yachts have no aft cabins. Wind spirit cabins are not extremely way forward or aft. Most locations are good. If you select a cabin toward the bow, you may get a slightly smaller cabin. It doesn't appear on the deck plan. It happened to us once. Our cabin was somewhat forward and because of the slight curve, we were missing the nightstand on the outside wall. Not a deal changer. It wouldn't stop me from choosing that cabin again. Windspirit cabins are almost all the same size. If you don't mind stairs pick a cabin on the lowest deck.
  17. OBC as a promotion is not refundable from Windstar and it cannot be used for gratuities. OBC as a gift from travel agent is refundable and can be used for anything including gratuities. It can also be cashed in or refunded to a credit card. Windstar excursions are pricey, but worth it. I use OBC for excursions. Groups are small and are well organized. It's a great way to use OBC. When we have had extra nonrefundable OBC, we spend it in the store. The store is small, but has quality items. Just plan ahead and shop when the ship is at sea.
  18. Petooyna, I understand how you feel. If I hadn’t been on that March cruise on Sirena, I would probably be booking a Windstar cruise too. prices are good. Windstar is my all time favorite line. I have sailed with Windstar many times usually b2b. Most recent was b2b on Star Legend in January which was amazing. However, that Sirena experience has affected me so that I am not ready to go anywhere. I am not booking until there is a cure or safe vaccine. I live in NJ, a very hot spot for corona. Even though this week they have lifted the closed businesses list and opened the beaches, I am staying home. Hope Oregon is safer. Redtravel
  19. be happy that you weren’t cruising in a March. We were and it was the scariest cruise.
  20. Blu isn’t for everyone. I liked it. Friends did not. We were able to order from both MDR and Blu menus. If the cost is reasonable, try it. For me, the only feature that I enjoyed was the smaller dining room. It is quiet. That made us explore smaller ships. We prefer less noise. After that, we booked other lines with smaller ships..... Azamara, Oceania, Windstar.
  21. Just read S class and thought suite. Aqua class is ok. I like Blu. I also like the maiN dining room. Celebrity has to change big time to incorporate social distancing. Wait to see new ways to travel. Be patient.
  22. S class? Best advice that I got from a Travel & Leisure column was decide what accommodation fits your real needs. Suites on mass market ships are overpriced. If you have the money to spend on a mass market suite, you’re on the wrong ship.
  23. Not all buffets are gross. Some ships, not Celebrity, never allow guests to serve themselves. Servers wear hairnets and gloves. Guests asks for a food item. The server places it on a dish and hands it to you. The server holds the plate with a clean piece of paper that they throw away after each use. Servers bring you flatware and drinks. Servers remove all dirty items. Each table is wiped down between guests. Some buffets have wash stations as you enter the buffet. Most buffets, including Celebrity, have Purcell dispensers. Some cruise lines, stop you and insist that you use the Purell. Celebrity has Purell, but not everyone uses it. celebrity buffet has too many choices and too few tables. Tables are too close together. Eliminate some stations and add more seating would be a help. I pick food based on which station has no line. Open The dining room for all meals would help thin the crowds.
  24. I used a travel agent. For years I have booked with the same agent at a big online agency. When I tried to contact him after receiving the cancellation email from Viking, message said he was no longer available. So I called Viking directly and was told that if you made a reservation with an agent, that agent had to make the request for the refund. Catch 22 I explained my situation and after being put on hold, the Viking person put through my request for a cash refund. Certainly when Viking cancels 2 months span of cruises, there would be a huge number of guests requesting refunds. The letter also said that you had only one week to request refund or it would be fcc. If you chose the fcc, you did not need to do anything. It would be issued automatically. Just guessing that Viking underestimated how many people wanted their money refunded instead of fcc. Previous to corona virus, when I have had a cruise canceled, I welcomed the fcc. However, until corona virus is contained and a vaccine is available, I cannot see cruises being safe. Will wait and hope for safer times
  25. Refund cash. Not fcc. Since Viking canceled, we were given the choice of 100% refund to our credit card or 125% fcc . We chose the cash refund. While we have loved cruising with Viking on past river cruises and were really excited our taking Viking ocean, we are being cautious for now. The price to rebook the same cruise, Into the Midnight Sun was much higher than what we had originally booked. We felt that the original price was high and really weren’t willing to post more money at this time. Future is iffy. We do hope that cruising survives.
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