adventures abroad, travel, ups and downs

Testing the waters

We’d been scanning the options for a while, but had not been willing to pursue a trip.

So long as domestic flights don’t require testing or vax status, and the sudden lift of mask rules, trips here at home were either drivable or not at all. It’s not convenient, but it’s how we’ve looked at it.

International flights come with more precautions (and therefore some hoopla) but that still felt like a safer option.

So we get to go places, if they are open to visitors, But on arrival, are we equipped to self-direct if (a) we don’t speak the language (b) we don’t know their healthcare and COVID testing processes and procedures (and as of the date I’m writing, that will be needed to come home) and (c) we don’t know how available rental cars will be or how “open” the locales will be once we get there?

Let alone the 14 day quarantine thing. Sorry, but as an American, I don’t have anything like 14 days that I can quarantine before I even begin my trips.

It’s all a lot.

One by one the cruise lines started putting safety rules and return-flight testing facilitation to ease the process. But countries open and close. Until recently it seemed all too likely that cruises would be cancelled. Or if they went as scheduled, that we would see nothing at all. And that was before Europe got extra complicated.

But I have a niece I’ve promised a trip with. Promises made before the pandemic, but made nonetheless. So nervous or not, I’m testing the waters.

How could I do that?, my most risk-averse friend asks…

Well, here’s the thing. The only flights I need are international which means they do have COVID safety standards. Everyone on the flight will have needed a negative test, and wear a mask. (Update: this might be true on international carriers but not on the major US lines). Everyone on the ship will have had to be vaccinated, tested negative for COVID prior to boarding, and wear a mask everywhere outside their own cabin.

My travel buddy is as safe as can be – she needs to be for her job – but to top that off… there was a sale.

There was a sale that will allow us to have separate cabins. With balconies so that even if we end up quarantined on board we won’t be cooped up interior (not that we would otherwise mind that – we enjoy holing up with books in the evenings – but with COVID it could, in the worse case, get to be a bit much.

So there you go. That’s how we decided to give things a try. It would give me a flavor for whether cruising is still fun, also.

The more you know.

Plus towel animals?

And if by the way you’re scratching your head thinking, Wait didn’t you just do a cruise in the Caribbean?

Um yeah. Once we booked one thing, we decided on another closer one to home. Emergent situations, shifting plans.

And shifting plans will be a theme for the days ahead.