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About Tapi

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    4 hours and 38 minutes from the closest cruise terminal

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  1. I've been flying on a weekly basis (for work) during the entire pandemic. I've become accustomed to all the safety protocols and guidelines in place. It's become such a controlled and strict environment that I feel safer flying than engaging in pretty much any other activity besides staying home. The attached video summarizes what I've experienced. Concerning an October restart, I have my eyes on Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line's restart slated for July 25th. As of right now, they are still planning on commencing then their 2 night itineraries to the Bahamas from Palm Beach aboard the Grand Celebration. If they can successfully pull it off, I'll feel more confident about the rest of the industry restarting in October. But if its a failed attempt, or if an outbreak occurs as a result of this decision, it may set back the entire cruise industry even longer.
  2. We don’t have any cruises currently booked until February 2021 (a short cruise on Princess with one port of call to “test the waters”). We don’t have any long cruises currently booked until April 2022. Even if masks and other protocols and guidelines are in place then, I believe that we will take that cruise unless it is canceled or if numbers by then have continued to increase exponentially. I can’t make a decision this far out and will continue monitoring the situation until it’s time to make final payment. Because of my profession, I’ve been required to travel by airplane and stay at hotels during the entire pandemic, almost on a weekly basis. I guess I’ve grown accustomed to all the new protocols including using a face mask for prolonged periods of time, so the prospect of adhering to them in order to cruise in the future is not a deterrent. I’ve also been tested multiple times with another one coming up next week. I see a lot of people placing hopes on a vaccine in order to return to cruising. I humbly don’t see that as THE solution, but more as another layer of safety. If one becomes available, it will be great, but I don’t visualize it as the catalyst that will make cruising completely safe again. Even with a vaccine available, I foresee the current protocols of face masks and social distancing to continue for the foreseeable future.
  3. I have read of some businesses that are giving a discount to patrons that do abide by protocols and who wear their masks.
  4. I've had that happen several times, specially when flying from hub to hub, like from ATL to DTW or vice versa. Always pleasant to arrive at the gate thinking that I'll be flying on a 737 but then I see an A350 or 777 attached to the jetway. I even got to fly a 747 domestically a few years back because of a last minute substitution. Even with a basic first class drink service, it was still a treat.
  5. Tapi

    Straw Poll

    YC for 4 nights if it's an extra trip for the year in addition to other vacations already planned. 7 nights if its a nicer itinerary and it's the only cruise vacation for the year.
  6. According to the Bahamas Tourism website, under Phase 2 (Commercial Travel) requirements, it does mention that these apply to both travelers arriving by air and sea. https://www.bahamas.com/sites/default/files/tourism_readiness_recovery_plan_phase2.pdf
  7. Just my humble opinion: A vaccine will not be the solution to restart cruising, but it will be a solution (or at least a contributor) to remove some of the protocols currently in place (face masks, separation, etc). Cruising is already resuming without a vaccine in several markets in other parts of the world with protocols and guidelines in place. We may even see cruises restart in the USA on July 25th by one cruise line. Not holding my breath for it, but eagerly waiting to see if they'll pull it off.
  8. I have young children (8 and 10 years old). We try to avoid summer months for several reasons (way too hot, prices are higher, and yes, there are hordes of children). It doesn't matter what cruise line we've sailed on (even Holland America), the children count is definitely higher during holiday periods (like the summer). Even when we sailed the Mediterranean with the kids, we decided to sail in November (over Thanksgiving week in the USA) because prices were considerably cheaper and it was not a holiday where we sailed, so we knew that the ship wouldn't be overrun with families. With that said, the number of children onboard Celebrity will be comparably less than on a "family friendlier" cruise line like Royal Caribbean, Carnival, etc. One thing that I have observed is that, the children of families that choose to sail on more adult oriented cruise lines (i.e. Celebrity), seem to be better behaved, under control, and adjusting well to the more subdued vibe. It's not the free for all that I've witnessed on some cruise lines, with unattended children roaming hallways, taking over elevators and hot tubs, and terrorizing other passengers. It may sound hypocritical that I have young children but I try to avoid hordes of children, but the reason behind it is because, when there are too many kids onboard (sometimes measured in the thousands), the children facilities and activities are overrun and chaotic. Even though we've sailed aboard more family friendly cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Disney, the kids have enjoyed the more laid back and personal atmosphere that other cruise lines offer. Our last family cruise was aboard HAL's Nieuw Statendam. The under 18 count according to the camp counselor was 110 (out of 2,600 passengers), and in our kids specific age group, there were only about 20-30 kids.
  9. Things I'm doing this summer instead of cruising: We took a mini-vacation to a resort 2 hours away. Had the place all to ourselves. We are headed to Puerto Rico in 2 weeks. Super cheap airfare from ATL to SJU. $55 each way. We will be chillin' at a beachfront condo in a 6 unit building on a secluded beach for 5 days. Puerto Rico is requiring pre-arrival covid tests and electronic declarations. Logging in to the cruise line website's and checking my countdowns: 221 days to go and 632 days for another one. Watching the TV series The Cruise on YouTube
  10. I’ve located one clinic that will do rapid tests without referrals where I live. Every other one takes days or requires a referral. There’s no way to ensure 100% that everybody will be negative on the date of travel, but by having everybody tested, at least it weeds out some people who may be positive before they show up at the port.
  11. My unscientific, speculative observation is that both cruises will occur, but you can expect several covid response protocols to be in place.
  12. The Bahamas officially opened their borders to commercial travelers on July 1st, with hotels already open and accepting reservations. They do require an electronic declaration to be filled out and a recent negative Covid test which seems to be the norm for several Caribbean destinations (Puerto Rico is also opening on July 15th with similar protocols). Looking at their website, on the Phase 2 PDF file, it does mention “travelers arriving by air and sea terminals”, which I interpret as if they will indeed welcome cruise travelers as long as they abide by the new protocols. https://www.bahamas.com/tourism-reopening
  13. I’ve been looking for information about BPCL’s restart plan, not so much because I want to sail on them right away, but out of curiosity on how they are going to pull it off. But there’s not too much information. Since they are such a small player compared to the big cruise lines, not much is being reported. What I have gathered from the little information out there is that they were one of the first to submit a Covid response plan to the CDC which they approved. The green status does apply to crew members, but it was a key element to avoid the nightmare that bigger cruise lines have gone through. Instead, the green status allowed them to have crew members in place in order to restart as soon as possible. Yes, I agree that their start hinges on the CDC not extending the “no sail order” beyond July 24th, but it seems like BPCL is set on beginning on July 25th if the order does indeed expire. I do wonder if the CDC will extend the order since all CLIA cruise lines have voluntarily agreed to start at a later date. One way or another, if BPCL can pull it off, their measures prove effective, and no outbreaks occur as a result of their decision, I believe that it will make a late September-October restart for the other cruise lines a reality. It will either be great for the cruise industry or it will set it back even further. And that’s why I’m closely following how it all unfolds. Cautiously optimistic.... https://www.bahamasparadisecruise.com/covid-19-safety-measures.php
  14. Absolutely. You simply can’t compare domestic First Class on a 737 vs Delta One on an A350. But some people get hung up on the fact that airlines like Delta don’t refer to their most premium international product as “First Class” and don’t realize that Delta One is actually a far superior product.
  15. Delta One on the 350 is better than most traditional first class products.
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