Immediately after our cruise to the Baltics in 2019, we set up a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords on Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas for August 16, 2020. Along about March of 2020 everything started being canceled due to COVID-19, including our cruise.
Royal Caribbean did a thing called Lift and Shift, so we could chose another cruise for 2021 and we decided on Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Alaska Southbound from Seward with Cruisetour in September 2021. We had been to Alaska before but the Cruisetour was particularly appealing.
Experience the authentic interior of Alaska in supreme comfort, with luxury transportation. Enjoy travelling on the Wilderness Express®, a luxurious, glass-domed train cars, through the interior of Alaska. Royal Caribbean also employs a fleet of deluxe motor coaches to travel the interior byways of Alaska.
Then, it looked like September 2021 was a no-go because Canada didn’t want cruise ships sailing past their country, let alone doing Cruisetours through it. <sigh>
Our Edinburgh Tattoo for August 2021 was cancelled, of course. I had expected that but bought tickets “just in case”. I was surprised when they let me exchange those for 2022. I had assumed it would be a donation to the cause.
I started looking at other places we could possibly go. I thought of doing yet another Bermuda cruise but they, like so many others, had a quarantine in place. I couldn’t see finding – and paying for – 7 nights quarantined in a hotel room in Bermuda before the cruise.
When Royal Caribbean started posting cruises in the United States again, I started looking around to see what could fit in our schedule and chose Alaska again, this time from Seattle (remember, Canada doesn’t want us!) I’ve been to Seattle a few times and Tom has been but we’ve never been together. I had also always wanted to see Sitka, so this looked like a good-ish compromise. Not the Norwegian Fjords but we all have to compromise.
When it looked like this trip was a “go”, I got the hotel lined up. After the cruise was confirmed (for now!), I started looking for
cheap reasonable flights, preferably nonstop. After a frustrating time on a few websites, I finally remembered that Royal Caribbean had a flight component called Air2Sea. I had some flights to choose from, and found one that actually arrived home on the same date we disembark. 11:57 pm, but still – same day! These flights were also over $400 cheaper than my searches on other websites.
As most everyone knows, it’s been a long, long time of pandemic and quarantine. Like many families, we haven’t seen our son and daughter-in-law for over a year. A cruise to Norway was “rescheduled” for Alaska and now that one has been cancelled because Canada won’t allow cruises to sail through their waters. Another trip to Scotland was moved to this summer and that may not happen.
But, it hasn’t all been grim here. Thanks to FaceTime, we have been able to keep in touch with our NYC family and play Monopoly, Word Chums and other games.
We’ve known for a while that there would be a grandson arriving in early March, 2021 and, thanks to shared photo albums, we were able to see various scans to see how he was growing.
Obviously, we wanted to go to New York for the actual birth but NYC had very strict COVID regulations including testing, quarantining after arrival for several days and taking a second COVID test. New York is pretty expensive to just hang around a hotel for several days so we decided not to go…yet.
Meanwhile, I got my first COVID shot on February 15, knowing that sooner or later we would be able to travel…somewhere.
On February 27, DH had his first COVID vaccination.
March 7, our grandson was born! Of course, he is the cutest baby…ever! On March 11 our son was taking him to his pediatrician and got a notification that NYC would be opening on April 1 – no more quarantining! Of course, I immediately started looking for a hotel and train tickets. A Hilton close by had very reasonable prices – about $100 a night including tax! I scooped that up right away, of course. They must not have heard that tourists would be flocking back to New York in April. I was pleasantly surprised to find that we had enough points with Amtrak to get free train tickets.
March 15, I got my second COVID vaccine.
On March 17, I got this email from our reasonably priced Hilton Hotel
We hope that you are doing well. We are reaching out to you with regards to your upcoming (April 8 2021) reservation with us. Unfortunately the hotel is closed for arrival. We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause you. We can help you make a reservation with our sister property below at the same rate and dates or we can cancel your reservation for you. Please tell us how you would like to proceed.
I wasn’t feeling well from the COVID shot and this wasn’t the kind of news I wanted that day. I looked up the sister site and it was up near Murray Hill. We used to stay there years ago and the commute to get to our son’s took too much time – we need to be closer!
So, I got our old favorite, Club Quarters which is semi-close to where we want to be for not too much more money.
Because we’ll be a little further away, I need to get a steroid shot on Monday, April 5, and I will need to write Bee’s Knees 8.
To be continued, after the trip!