In the past we have found the key to a successful adventure is all of the planning, research and preparation which go into each trip.
This includes flights, hotels, excursions and other touring, along with equipment and clothing and other accessories.
Talk about a major contrast between our recent Bahama Cruise and this adventure. The Bahamas were "Hot", "Hot", "Hot".
Iceland even in the Summer will be on the cooler side with a good chance of some rather windy and rainy days. Put away the shorts and other summer clothing and bring out clothing to keep us dry and warm.
Crystal provided a link to the company which is providing an outdoor jacket to each guest along with loaner boots. The company also had a comprehensive list of items to consider bringing for this trip. Between this list and our experience preparing for the Northwest Passage cruise we took on-board Crystal Serenity in 2016 we had a good idea as to what we should bring with us.
This included waterproof pants and jacket, clothes to layer, hats, gloves, neck gear, hiking shoes, long johns and a few other clothing items. We also are taking hand warmers, waterproof backpack, and waterproof case for our smart phones.
We booked Crystal excursions. They offer a mix of complimentary excursions along with ones which include a cost.
Shortly after booking the cruise we made our flight and hotel arrangements and since then we have researched the ports of call we will visit.
Very recently, Iceland made the decision all visitors arriving by flight must get a COVID-19 test 72 hours or less from the time they check in for their first flight. This put us on the cusp as most places do not perform COVVID-19 tests over the weekend which is what we would have needed. Some do but some of them do not comply with the testing requirements of Iceland. We tried to push out our flights but couldn't get the class of service we had booked so we ended up pulling up the flight by two days meaning we are spending more time in Reykjavik than originally planned. Yesterday we took a Covid-19 PCR test and when the results came back last night they were negative. We also filled out the pre-registration form for arrival to Iceland on line which cannot be submitted until you are within 72 hours or less of arrival to Iceland. The approval comes via e-mail in a couple of minutes or less with a bar code which we will show at arrival.
A week ago on a Thursday, we received in the mail from Crystal Cruises a cover page with each of us including a bar code which will be used to check-in for the cruise. The package also included luggage tags. Similar to the ones we received for the Bahamas cruise these tags are pre-printed. The difference is they don't require a short string to fasten them to the luggage but have adhesive when removed allows you to easily put them around the handle. These are similar to some of the other luxury lines however these stand out more with the teal colors. Prior to that we received an electronic vacation guide.
Luggage tag with suite number and last name removed from the photo. Another set of tags were included with Anne Marie's name on them.
As this adventure begins we have many people to thank. This includes many from Crystal Cruises on land and at sea who have been very helpful assisting us in cruise planning. Special thanks to our outstanding Travel Specialist Gerri and to her outstanding assistant Gabby. One of many things the Pandemic taught us is how people react in adversary and when things go terribly wrong. While some agents abandoned their customers when cruise and other travel was shut-down, Gerri and Gabby were there for us every step of the way and for their other clients. They had our backs the entire time and we will never forget this. Our thanks for all of their help with this and our other travel plans and for all they do.
Anne Marie & Keith