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About GrandmaAirplane

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    My grandsons dubbed me “Grandma Airplane” - guess why... 🤣

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  1. I’ll put in a very unpopular opinion: Your optimism, JeffB, although based on educated assumptions, is flawed in its implicit belief that people will be rational, reasoned and responsible. Too many cruise guests simply won’t “behave”: they will defy recommendations to maintain even basic hygiene and “masking or distancing” requirements, aimed at preventing the spread of infection; some will lie; and quite a few simply will not care. Enough of them don’t even believe that there is any issue around this “flu” (that it’s all hyped “fake news”) - just listening to interviews with the Tulsa rally attendees made me shake my head. Communities will be playing whack-a-mole with cyclical flare-ups of this virus for *at least* another year or two - at least until an effective vaccine is developed (and adopted) - or better yet - an effective treatment protocol is found to properly deal with the more severe cases, as well as dealing with the persistent effects of the “milder” cases. What has clearly emerged is that tourism played a big role in this virus’ spread across the globe. Many countries will not be very quick to welcome back unrestrained tourism, or permit their citizens to travel without conditions in the short-term. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some yo-yo action, forward and backward between phases, in some’s efforts in reopening to tourism. The emphasis on regional “bubbles” for unrestrained travel is going to greatly complicate the future market for cruises. Reduced numbers of available flights and routes, well into 2021, will also have an impact. I am certain that analysts within the cruise lines and CLIA are taking all of this into account, beyond just dealing with the CDC. The majority of cruisers are itinerary motivated. The average cruiser will chose a cruise vacation based on all the perks of cruises (versus a land-based vacation), which the new protocols will severely restrict (such as buffets, pools, activities, entertainment venues, etc.). People in forums like this one are neither the majority nor the “average” cruiser - we’re the keeners. FCC and “Lift and Shift” were the only ways to keep the majority of existing 2020-21 cruise reservations on the books into 2021, and prevented a fatal cash flow hemorrhage. As well, travel insurance and cruise contract “fine print” will unfortunately not be kind to cruisers going forward. Guests hoping for relief should Covid-19 interfere with their new vacation plans or, worse yet, get their vacation interrupted/complicated because of a flare up, are likely to be left holding the bag. The cruise companies know their market$, so I am 100% certain that the CDC is no more than just another factor in the business decisions that they are forced to make right now.
  2. No doubt that enterprising Italians will start offering more private transfer options from the alternate airports that FionaMG has mentioned. The train connections are good too, if you can squeeze a few extra days at the beginning. Bologna is an under appreciated destination IMO, Ravenna itself has unique Byzantine historical gems, and *any* excuse to spend extra time in Florence is a great excuse! Given this change of home port, I’d seriously try to work more days into the trip, and openjaw the flights (with the outbound out of VCE, in combination with a OW booked ship transfer.)
  3. If by any chance your credit is with Air Canada, as of June 1st they are retroactively loosening the credit rules (it covers already cancelled flights, as well as flights still not cancelled yet.) No expiry, transferable, and can carry a balance forward. However, you need to go online on their website and transfer your credit into a Travel Voucher. You will be issued a voucher code by e-mail, so guard it well.
  4. And again, like in the U.S., population density and international arrivals played a big role initially in the hardest hit areas, like Montreal and Toronto. Many other countries, such as Brazil, are just beginning their course of escalating infection and death rates. To think that the global spread will not keep hitting us in various waves and new hotspots is foolish, IMO. Our governments, public health authorities, and the medical community is going to have to get very good and efficient at playing whack-a-mole for the next few years. And, we will have to come to some new “social contract” as to how we move to protect the more vulnerable among us... beyond the “you do you & I do me” approach, for the long run... I have far more faith in the development of effective treatment protocols, at this point in time, than in a vaccine - this is where my own hope for future “normalcy” lies. Then I can reconsider cruising, without the inherent gamble that it implies right now.
  5. So sorry to hear that you’re having such a rough time... especially with your furbabies. Losing one is hard enough, but fighting not to lose another at the same time is even worse... hope your pupper pulls through.
  6. It may be a smart move to do it now, and beat the next surge of refunds that will have to be issued. I’d do it today, earlier than later - assuming that you would not accept a drastically revised itinerary, should your cruise not be cancelled. I’d also do it before you try a Lift and Shift.
  7. It’s now officially announced in this morning’s Press conference by Canada’s government: No cruise ships will be allowed into Canadian ports before October 31, 2020 - effectively cancelling the Summer and early Fall cruising season in Canada. This will mean more cancellations and itinerary changes for this year’s Alaska, Eastern seaboard, and Fall foliage cruises.
  8. I am hoping to - but you’re right, I may not. I am not the only one thinking these things out loud. It’s really the corporate response to future outbreak incidents that will be the true lasting deal breaker for me... Not the absence of incidents, but the trust in the response.
  9. Deal breakers: 1. Active virus hotspots still in places where other cruisers are likely to be coming from. 2. Reports/reviews of reopened cruises that commonly mention fellow passengers that cannot respect social distancing or heightened hygiene rules onboard, or where boarding screening is reported to be lax. 3. Limitations regarding transit/entry for ports/countries. 4. Quarantine required on returning home. 5. *Any* future incident at all that involves a cruise line failing to properly disclose/inform a known risk of exposure to embarking passengers. On this, all cruise lines will have to be totally transparent, or there will be no return to cruising for me at all! Because of the likelihood of #1 and #4, we did a Lift & Shift of our Fall 2020 family cruise to 2021. The 2021 cruise will then also depend on #2 and #5 as well.
  10. I also forgot to mention that the 14-day quarantine rule on arrival in Canada is likely to remain throughout the summer too.
  11. Smart move. Canada, and especially Québec, will not be opening for cruise ships this season at all. Montreal is still a sensitive hotspot for the virus There is no way that health authorities there will trust cruise passengers to respect social distancing measures, which will be in force for the months to come. Quebec wants to keep their schools and businesses reopened in September... and they have enough issues with the fragility of their current re-opening plan. The Maritime provinces are also being ultra careful in allowing visitors for the summer. If the late Summer & Fall Eastern seaboard cruises go ahead, they’ll have to do so with altered itineraries, having to skip Canadian ports.
  12. Hypothetical, and strictly out of curiosity, if you and your younger daughter indeed test positive for antibodies, but others in your family group do not, would you still cruise as a family without the vaccine?
  13. I would not do it if the full cruise fare needed to be paid with “new” money this year, for a cruise booked for next year. It’s not a risk that I would take with my money right now, as it would be a totally different gamble than just shifting over deposit money or an already fully paid cruise that I know that I could not do this year.
  14. I called very early yesterday morning. It took about 15 mins. to get an agent, and then about two hours to actually get the shift done for 3 bookings that grouped a family cruise. I was able to get our cruise moved from Dec ‘20 to Dec ‘21, and kept our original cabin configuration (but on the Indy instead of Mariner.) It was complicated, but we managed with a lot of patience and some “can do” attitude on the part of the person that I was working with on the phone. There were A LOT of details to double-check and meticulously work through together. So don’t get discouraged if it does take a long time to connect and sort out. Also, know the ins & outs of your own booking well and what you are now trying to get - being well prepared will help with the process. The real sadness was losing all of the Cruise Planner extras that I had spent several months snagging at really good prices (like the Chill Island Beach Club passes at $53CAD). Although they’ll be refunded to my CC, it’ll be impossible to not spend more to replace all of it. Oh well... here’s hoping for some really good Black Friday deals this year. 😏 We had recently discussed with the rest of the family and had decided to simply cancel the 2020 cruise, but had not yet moved on doing it. So the “Lift and Shift” just made it much easier to manage our disappointment and not feel like we were losing out too much on this very rare and unique chance to get grandparents, cousins and grandkids together for a vacation.
  15. @bornidentity and others still holding out hope for B.C. to be open for Alaska cruises this season: British Columbia “says it also won’t reopen to international tourism until widespread immunity or treatment is available.” In addition, the Premier very clearly stated that “large gatherings over 50 people will remain banned until either a vaccine is developed, enough people in the province become immune to the virus through exposure, or broad, successful treatments are developed” - as these are viewed as giving “the virus an opportunity to re-emerge.” In addition, although cruise ships are not specifically mentioned in the article, the rationale it reports for having casinos be the absolute last to re-open is very indicative of the factors that will come into consideration for permitting cruise ships. Population density is a thorny factor as well, and will impact any decision that could impact an urban area like Vancouver. https://globalnews.ca/news/6913424/businesses-not-reopening-b-c-coronavirus/
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