Just returned from Holland and Belgium in Spring (review to come). Most of the people in those countries did not wear masks, neither did most of the passengers on the Savor. Several of us wore masks in crowded indoor situations outside the ship. That number increased after one person tested positive during the cruise. However, everyone returning to the U.S. on disembarkation day or the day after tested negative. I agree with the take reasonable precautions and travel on sentiment. Of course, the definition of reasonable varies by person.
We were on the Savoring France trip that began April 13 (the second trip of the season). We had 61 guests on board...don't think if was intended to be that number since it had been sold out at one time, months ago. It was announced that we had one guest test positive on day 5, was quarantined and we never saw him again. Interesting that his spouse was moved to another cabin and remained on the trip, excursions etc. That was puzzling! The day we all tested to go home, only one guest was positive...that was all! No one seemed sick or having cold symptoms as described on the trip before ours... Two guests out of 61 is a very low positive rate! The couple at the end of the trip were taken to a hotel in Lyon and stayed 5 days and then hopefully went home. Masking was reminded of everyone...in the halls, on the boat, on the buses, train etc. Having gotten out of the habit of masking here in Texas, I was reminded more than once...it wasn't intentional, I was out of practice and readily complied. Our Tauck Director, Shireen as well as our two tour directors, Elisabeth and Janet, were diligent in masking, reminding all of us and we felt safe! Going home, on AA, we were free to be mask free and all the attendants and nearly all passengers were!
Good to hear Nancy. Covid cases in France have quickly fallen almost 50% since I was there so right now the risk is spiraling down. As for the ship being sold out, it could be that Tauck capped the capacity anyway due to staffing. We only had 70 onboard and that cruise also showed sold out at one point. Interesting that your TD’s were different on your cruise which was right after mine. We had Tony, Riu and Emily.
I've been on multiple tours that looked sold out prior to but when we arrived weren't. I suspect that if people cancel very close to the start date Tauck might not try to fill even if there was a wait list.
This is why I never think paying $1000 extra for a small group tour is worth it. The guest list card nearly always includes names of guests who canceled last minute. I doubt Tauck has been capping numbers because of this reason. Maybe the TDs got changed because the others got Covid? Maybe they are evening out work for everybody because so many tours aren’t going and Tauck don’t want to lay off staff.
On a 10 day trip, you won’t get back to back Tauck staff…they were in Paris greeting us before Gourmet Gals trip was over. The Emerald is now on the French Escapade trip…a longer tour that goes all the way to Nice. Then it will return on the North trip. That staff will most likely stay together.
It is interesting how the tour directors move from country to country. We had Riu, who lives in Madrid, on our Douro River tour (reference Gourmet Gal's post above.)
Yes, true. Only one of our TDs was French. The CD Shireen lives in Chicago.
To point, Elisabeth was on her way to get ready for the “The Grand Rail Adventure, Milan to Vienna”. It’s brand new…sounds fabulous!
BTW Nancy, interesting that the Covid couple could isolate on board. When my husband was adamant that he wanted the ship’s rapid test done the CD mentioned that if he tested positive she’d have to send him to a quarantine hotel.
Some observations. We are currently sitting in the SwissAir lounge at the Zurich airport waiting for our flight to Naples to start our classic Italy tour. So far nobody has asked for any vaccine verification. We just got through Swiss passport control and only our passports were stamped. No request for any vaccine verification.
We have been through 3 airports so far and 2 flights and my guess is that only 10 to 15% of the people are masking up
We are off to Italy and we will see what happens there.
Thanks for the update John. I leave tomorrow (Sunday) for Naples via London. Did you have to mask up in order to get on the last flight to Naples? Wear a kpp2 mask or surgical mask? Have a wonderful time on your trip!
John, didn’t the airline ask you to upload your vax info at check-in or at the originating airport counter? If so, then that info is imbedded in your reservation. That was my experience on Air France.
We did upload all the documents to United Airlines but I was expecting to show hard copies to the authorities.
On arrival to Naples today, there was no checking of anything.
The masking on our Swiss Air flight from Zurich to Naples was strictly enforced. Almost everyone had the N95 and KN95 varieties.
I am hearing that the mask mandate in Italy might expire on May 1st but there is the possibility it might be extended. Italy has been much more strict than most of Europe.
Recent bit of news about masks:
28 Apr, 2022 https://www.wantedinrome.com/news/italy-extends-covid-mask-rules-15-june.html
"Italy is to retain the obligation to wear masks on public transport and in some indoor public settings until 15 June, the government said on Thursday. The news was announced by health minister Roberto Speranza days before Italy's indoor mask-wearing rules expire on 30 April. The obligation to wear masks will remain until 15 June on all forms of public transport, in hospitals and nursing homes, in cinemas and theatres, at concerts and indoor sporting events, and in schools and universities. . . .. This means that from 1 May people will no longer be required to wear masks in bars, restaurants and shops, according to Italian media reports. . . . . From 1 May, the government is to drop the Green Pass . . . "