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About grayjay

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  1. As far as I remember from Hurtigruten's homepage, the 125% offer is only valid for bookings in a certain time frame. Others will be offered only a refund plus a 10% voucher for the new journey. Certain special offers and Basic tariffs are excluded. It sounds rather complicated and they may have different rules for different countries. Calling them will be the right thing to do, I think.
  2. I can't believe cruise lines will survive with only healthy millenials and super-fit oldies over 70 like the 86-year-old man I recently read about still running marathons. One of the reasons people over 70 - which includes myself - and minor to middling chronic health problems for choosing cruises is the fact that it gives us the chance to still experience ship life, explore countries. And there is a vast difference between someone with chronic issues like asthma or diabetes or higher blood pressure if doing perfectly well with medication, like my husband and I do and the lady we met numerous times last year onboard and who neither knew who she was and had to be led around by anyone who found her until she was back safely in her room... Still - I hesitate to book two more Azamara cruises and a Celebrity cruise we have in mind for late 2020 and 2021 because of that dratted requirement. And as we have lost 2 cruises which were rightly cancelled because of CoVid-19 we have Future Cruise Credits to burn and really don't want to hang up in the bathroom as a reminder to what we have lost...
  3. At least the ship has already arrived in Valparaiso and re-fueling and provisioning are about to happen shortly. Hurtigruten's Roald Amundsen (I'm not sure about Holland America's Zaandam if they succeeded in leaving/ disembarking passengers) is still waiting in Punta Arenas, not being allowed to dock after their Antarctica cruise, with 100 Australian doctors and dentists on board who are needed back home. I'm following news of Pursuit because we were supposed to be on board in April on a cruise full of Spanish and Italian ports... Interestingly enough Azamara is still selling those cruises , has not cancelled and "expects to start sailing again after April 11th". I wonder how they will manage that without airports in Europe open, travel bans to non-Europeans, Spain and Italy not allowing cruise ships and travel and all European countries fully occupied with managing the current crisis. I hope for the cruise industry to survive and to be able to enjoy another Azamara cruise some day - on Pursuit or any other.
  4. Yesterday I read something about the Roald Amundsen being among the ships that are not allowed to dock in any of the Chilean ports. Might be a rumour regarding the Hurtigruten ships but it certainly is true about 4 cruise ships, among them Celebrity Eclipse, Holland America's Zaandam and Azamara Pursuit not allowed to dock in Valparaiso or San Antonio to debark passengers. These ships seem to be forced to re-route directly to Miami or San Diego with all their passengers still on board.
  5. It's one of those on the "angle" towards the stern, so it should be larger.
  6. These cruises are not yet shown here in Europe... Would love to book at these prices...
  7. 8 weeks ago we were still looking forward to our cruise out of Singapore on Celebrity Millenium. Two days ago, 3 weeks before the cruise we were notified that the cruise has been cancelled and the ship is leaving the region all together. I understand that it was a difficult decision for the cruise line but I'm content that in that fluid situation Celebrity has decided to do so. Moreover Celebrity "Constellation" has been changed to embark and debark in Dubai as some countries in the VAE/Qatar were not happy about ships leaving out of Singapore - this was last-minute change but Celebrity was rather generous with paying for flight changes etc. So I think you should be prepared for changes even at the last minute as I don't believe the situation in S.E. Asia will change fast. More and more ports are closed to cruise ships and most cruise lines have already left the area . Cunard for example has flown passengers about to embark in Singapore directly to Australia at the cruise line's cost - better safe than sorry! Perhaps The "Journey" if that's you one you'll be boarding will go straight to Dubai and leave out a few ports? Just speculation, of course. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that Azamara can find a solution as early as possible to the crisis.
  8. Thank you for sharing your experience, especially as we are booked on the SE Asia cruise at the end of February and still hoping it will be possible to go through and won't be cancelled by Celebrity, either if they are forced to do so because of the circumstances or there's nobody left on the ship besides us two and the crew... Unfortunately but understandably there have been loads of cancellations. But a review like this of your time on board is simply great to read. Thank you.
  9. I second this. Or give us some sparkling water ( except Club Soda which tastes of nothing) to enjoy - I'd gladly take a no-name product instead of having to buy San Pellegrino because I don't want the Ultimate package. Same thing with non-alcoholic cocktails and beer choices. It would offer more variety to guests like us who drink sparingly and wouldn't cost Azamara much either.
  10. I definitely agree to having a section "Hurtigruten roll calls" because it seems that interest is growing. Especially the expedition voyages might draw enough people to make a roll call worth while compared to the coastal cruises. Unrelated, but still worth mentioning as a snippet of information, I think: The Fridjof Nansen which is the sister ship to the Roald Amundsen has been completed and certified and will start short cruises ( I think 3-5 days) out of Southampton, London and (I think) Oslo in March.
  11. On the cruise we were on in October the ship's model was sold for half the price. And yes, we found all the prices in the shops very high and most of the time there were no customers - except some browsing on sea days and the time when there was the usual "sale" of cheapies.
  12. There WERE different rules for each of the UAE countries we visited 2 weeks ago, but they were not really bothersome because everything necessary regarding day visas etc. was provided by the ship and there wasn't a single eye scan during the cruise not even in Fujairah.But we now have quite a collection of stamps in our passports ! We had to hand in our passports quite often or they were kept at Guest Relations, and in some of the ports we were handed one-day immigration cards we had to give back to an official when re-entering port. In Abu Dhabi we had to appear in person in the terminal building to have one's passport checked and they obviously verified that everyone from passengers to crew had attended because one couple was called by name to appear. Interesting enough almost every day our personal equipment ( bags etc., even my cane) were checked but always in a very efficient and polite way. As European citizens we didn't have to have visas when entering Dubai as the starting-point of the cruise.
  13. We had a few difficulties getting change for the US$ cash we had with us, perhaps they ran out of stock...😉 They couldn't give us as many 5 $ notes for example which I used for porters etc. as tips whenever we needed. ( We hadn't brought any local cash to the UAE, but Euros and $ were taken everywhere if we didn't want to use a credit card!)
  14. We have just returned from our trip and can perhaps offer a few more snippets of advice: Tendering ( we were onboard Azamara Quest) was uncomplicated but very bumpy in the morning, but it took only about 10 minutes. You hop ( sort of) onto the pier, wade over a few disinfectant mats and see the buffet area and the huge area with beach and umbrellas etc. in front of you. The beach is artificially sanded with lots of sharp shell pieces - use shoes! - but otherwise very pretty, clean and white. It's only possible to book tours on board. The Anantara Resorts have control of the tours and don't sell independently. We had either a kayak or bike experience to choose from or two wildlife tours, one in a bus, one in jeeps seating 6 per jeep. We chose the bus tour and saw some wildlife, even a few giraffes , lots of gazelles and antelopes and a few stones left of a monastery. Nothing very spectacular but still something different to do than just lazing around on the beach.I would choose the jeep tour the next time. There were 6 per jeep but everyone had a good seat/ good view. The people we saw coming back from the bike tour looked happy but hot and exhausted! Ship put up a lavish BBQ buffet but we weren't happy about the huge amount of paper and plastics used for that meal - forks and knives and spoons and glasses and plates - huge amounts of trash.... We decided to eat on board.
  15. Thank you , Phil, that was very helpful advice. We especially wanted port side for this cruise because there's always a nice view moving up the Spanish coast, but I'll try to get either 6059 or 6067 on starboard side or even 7099 if Azamara agrees , as this is a V2 category. Even though prices have fallen again just two days after we debarked and we have already lost money just by booking onboard. they're still the same for categories V3 and V2. Unfortunately the European branch of Azamara Cruises, contrary to UK offices, have not been really helpful in the past and we have had quite a lot of issues with them. Let's hope for the best. Thank you again. Erika
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