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About Catlover54

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    science, history, oceans, wine, fine dining, people-watching, politics, plinking
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Seabourn, Hapag-Lloyd

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  1. It is disturbing to read about so many areas in northern Italy now having schools closed and mass gatherings cancelled, as SLSD cited, and it is still evolving. Apparently there was an elderly Chinese couple from China which arrived January 23 to tour Italy, and they got ill, but they still have not found patient zero for Italy. I just picked up our final documents for Seabourn Encore out of Sydney. Does anyone know if Australia has closed off travel into Australia to people from China, or only if they have a fever? The long incubation period and long period of no symptoms is troubling, but it is encouraging that most people infected so far have either no symptoms or mild symptoms. Though my cruise will likely go fine, ( it is just in Australia which has only had a couple documented cases) I am taking along a lot of extra days of my medication in case we land up quarantined on the ship. Hopefully by May, when I have Europe cruises planned, we will have a more coherent View of what is happening.
  2. I tend to spend a lot of time on those couches when on SB ( quiet and good internet access). But I have never seen anyone coming around taking drink orders ( which I think helped keep away loud drunks). However, you could BYO from one of the bars or I suppose you could call the front desk you want a room service order not for your room, but for the couches.
  3. Robertmartha, Welcome to SB! if you used a TA, she can put the requests in for you in advance. However, especially on allergies, if they are serious, it is best to remind servers in every venue what they are, as others said. As for stocking the fridge, unless it is something special that would require pre-ordering, though you can put in requests through TA, online, or by calling, the easiest is just to write out a list of what you want to have in the fridge, and what you do not want there once you see how the routine stocking is. and hand it to your stewardess the first day of the cruise so she can switch it out. The switch is usually done after the first dinner, or at the latest by the next day. Have a lovely cruise! And remember, you can order caviar on demand without extra cost to wherever you are. You will already have a bottle of champagne in your room on embarkation, and everywhere else if you like.🙂
  4. Of course this is advertising PR, but I enjoyed it anyway, as I love watching humans building things, and then seeing the end product. It also brought back fond memories of the Hamburg Cruise Days trip on ?Europa three months ago The overly dramatic music makes it even better! I hope that when I board this May for the Ocean Sun Festival, the Europa is as lovely as she was before the restoration. English Voyager, are you also still planning on doing the Ocean Sun cruise or did you cancel?
  5. What toiletries are available now in place of Milton Brown?
  6. Welcome back to SB! I hope you and your wife and friends enjoy the Sojourn next year, and many more cruises afterwards.
  7. You were indeed being kind. I would have appreciated it, had I been late to remove my stuff. Why would anyone be upset about having their clean laundry neatly folded when they are late? It is *clean* cloth, nothing vile or shameful. I tried doing our own laundry the first couple cruises we took. But as I was obsessed with being on time ( ugly flashbacks to my youth when I lived in apartments with shared laundry faciIities where rude people would gleefully throw stuff on the floor), I hated spending precious minutes in the drab, stuffy, windowless room so as not to inconvenience others. Cruises already seem too short to do all I want to do on them. The ship laundry prices started looking very reasonable and I now just consider cost of ship laundry a part of the cost of cruising, part of the temporary luxury escape experience. SB laundry prices are a bit inflated per item, (though not as bad as in luxury hotels) but the “all you can stuff” bags are fun and reasonable even if you are paying, and with a low loyalty level you can get them without extra cost. Anything super delicate either can stay home, like wripro wisely suggested, or can be hand washed with travelers’ Woolite and hung on the laundry line over the tub. I actually enjoy soaking in the bubble bath playing music and looking up at the gently swaying dainties, while the ship’s laundry works on the heavier things and then delivers them beautifully ironed or neatly folded into a basket with tissue paper. 😊
  8. Mrs. Waldo, thank you for sharing your atypical experience, as so many post elsewhere that they never declare anything and never have trouble. It seems pill testing of vitamins in ziplocks stamped with what they are in the hand luggage of benign appearing luxury cruisers is a bit extreme. I am not clear how having smaller containers ( vitamins are sold in big and even bigger containers in U.S. to help make them cheap) should reassure customs, as criminals could just put whatever they are smuggling into containers labeled Multivitamins, unless every pill is tested no matter what the label says. I suspect a lot of this is security theatre, as with much of what the TSA in America does beyond just having pax walk through the metal detector and nudiscope. But I will keep this in mind and mull it over more.. Maybe I can have the doctor add in the letter that due to my difficulty lifting a lot of weight and hauling bulky volumes, she instructed me to take just small amounts of necessary vitamins and minerals and uncontrolled meds, in ziplocks, in my carryon ( which is what I always do for Europe except for the controlled substances which I leave in their labeled bottles primarily for American customs to see if they want on my return). I had no trouble with my ziplocks last time to Australia a few years ago when I was ignorant on the rules, even when the dogs disinterestedly went by my carryon with all misc. medications and supplements in it, but no one stopped me, so I was apparently just lucky. It was much easier when I was young and and healthy and did not need to carry any meds at all. 😟
  9. This link deals with prescription controlled substances a bit more. It is not what the OP has but some, e.g., people with cancer, severe pain, and/or insomnia, or those taking prescription testosterone ( schedule III controlled in U.S.) may be interested. On the one hand the link recommends a letter from the doctor for a list of meds and dosing, or the prescription, on the other it states they want meds even for personal use in their original bottles for easy ID. Three month limit on supply is allowed, which will cover most cruisers. Other au.gov links even list concerns about some common vitamins, e.g., vitamin D may or may not be declared, depending on the dose. Sudafed ( with ephedrine) is also of concern, for those bringing in cold or allergy meds ( likely because people can use it to brew meth). https://www.odc.gov.au/travellers I plan to cover all bases as my cruise will start and end in Australia and with all my medical issues, I need my meds to be able to make it. I will have a detailed doctor letter listing all meds, prescribed and over the counter, and will keep controlled substances in original containers. I will risk putting other boring meds like BP pills and vitamins divided up into little medication ziplocks with labels as the link does not specifically say we need to bring in our big mail order pharmacy bottles that have more air volume than medication. I will also say “yes” if they ask about drugs without the adjective “illegal” preceding it. I think the letter will likely be all they want to see and will waive me through once they see who I am personally, and that all is declared, but will allow extra time on arrival just in case. I will also print out the relevant online section, But I won’t bring breath mints, which I saw confiscated from an octogenarian couple when entering Melbourne cruise port a few years ago.
  10. Luxury to me is about having a lot of space to comfortably sit, and to enjoy the sea away from noisy crowds if not in the mood for chatter. It is also about being able to avoid standing in big lines. A redundancy in service personnel facilitates this. I particularly love the luxury of having someone at reception on a cruise or at a hotel immediately answer and speak politely and helpfully when I call with a question or about an issue.
  11. DH brings one black suit. I bring one dark “formal” outfit that fits in and is comfortable but makes no fashion statement. We blend into the environment. No one notices or cares if we wear the same thing twice or thrice because there are so many other people like us blending into the environment. We have too many electronics and health related products to drag along with us that take up valuable space, so even if in business class with its 70lb per case limit we are loaded with other things as we still need to potentially be able to drag our own luggage if things go wrong. SB does a good job ironing and touching up dress clothing so that is not a barrier if you want to bring finicky clothing. But I love seeing the ladies ( usually younger than me) in beautiful outfits, some so beautiful I wish they would wear them on a second night! It is like looking at works of art, part of the joy of traveling.
  12. I am curious as to why the countries that require six months’ extra validity on passports have those rules in the first place. Was there a problem in the past with foreign visitors’ travel plans getting delayed many months past expiration dates? I’ve heard of and experienced major flight delays, but six months ???
  13. Are the new water bottles glass? How big are they? Are plastic water bottles for or on excursions, or at the pool, still available?
  14. Thank you for your balanced review. It sounds like the Odyssey I remember from a few months ago, though with more things broken.
  15. Congratulations, Lois, on booking your first post-retirement cruise! Though I always enjoyed the physical and emotional healing effects of cruising, hanging over the head was always concern about having to return to work post-cruise. The first cruise I took after my recent retirement felt much different — I did not have the dread of having to return to work right after, and just visited friends in the area instead! So much more relaxing. You will have a blast.
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