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Hlitner

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About Hlitner

  • Rank
    30,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    New Cumberland,PA, USA
  • Interests
    International travel (77 countries at last count(
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Any
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Europe

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  1. I did see your other post about being ill and I hope you quickly get better and back to normal. I had already ask my own PCP about what to do if I get sick and his answer was just treat it like the flu, stay home, drink plenty of fluids, take Tylenol if you want, and go to the hospital if you start getting serious symptoms like breathing problems. If folks call their PCP what can they say other then just that. You can drag yourself to a testing center (no fun if you are feeling sick) and what does that prove. Even if you have COVID the treatment is no different then any other virus unless
  2. The entire issue of testing (for COVID or antibodies) has become a popular distraction. Folks wait for hours in queues to be tested...and for what? If you have symptoms you stay at home, quarantine yourself, and pay close attention to your symptoms. It things get worse you go to a hospital. If you get better you continue to live your life just like when you have any other bug. Whether you had COVID might interest authorities (for statistics) but is not relevant for treatment unless things get nasty. As to antibodies I am wondering why it matters. We already know that antibod
  3. I learned, during a 40 year career in the government healthcare world that there is no way to reason with anti-vaxers. They have their beliefs and are not open to rational discussion. I have also predicted that International Travel, cruise vacations, and other entities are going to mandate proof of COVID vaccination (or a positive COVID antibody test) as the price of admission. The anti-vaxers can rant and rave to their heart's content but they will not be doing it on a cruise or international trip. Can a UK travel packager ignore this coming trend? Doubtful. Even Barbados (
  4. If you call an "OK" the ability to haul only Japanese citizens on 6-9 day cruises then I guess that is your opinion. With the exception of a few folks in Japan who might book these cruises they would have little interest to the rest of the world. Japan is considering opening up to a few tourists by April, but it would be under very controlled circumstances (including being tracked by a phone app and needing to provide daily health reports). The reality is that Japan will stay closed (for just about everyone) until the Olympic (if it happens) as that is the priority of their government. I s
  5. LOL I do hear you :). With our more then forty years extensive cruising history we have only been in really rough weather on two cruises. One was on the Meridian (Celebrity) which was forced to cruise through a hurricane (Hurricane Bob) and the other was on another cruise (I think it was also Celebrity) when we had really bad weather for an entire crossing from Port Everglades to Ireland. That kind of rough weather (Hurricane Bob hit us with 35-40 foot seas) is no fun for anyone. But out of more then 1200 days on cruise ships the really rough days are in single digits. I do agree with yo
  6. I was one of those but folks need to understand it is not clear cut. We got cash back because our airline (Flybe) went bankrupt. And on another flight (Czech Air) we got a credit card chargeback because Czech Air cancelled our flight but refused to follow the EU regulations and give us a refund. But keep in mind that if you purchase a ticket in the USA and it is a non-refundable ticket (most are in this category) the credit card companies will not help. The only time a US airline is obligated to offer a cash refund is if the airline cancels your flight and cannot come up with a reason
  7. Some of the inter city buses in Mexico are amazing. We are talking first class on steroids. DW and I took a bus between Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara and it was a gorgeous double decker. We booked the top deck front seats and had a fabulous view. It was similar to Business Class on an airline with individual TV screens, included WiFi and bathrooms. They actually had separate male and female rest room...and we also got include box lunches. There are many different intercity classes of buses so folks need to do their homework. Obviously, the higher end first class buses do
  8. Just a slightly contrarian point of view in that DW and I are not big fans of cabins midship. Yes, that is certainly the part of the ship that suffers the least movement in heavy seas. But not everyone (including us) is really concerned about movement...and in fact we actually like some movement at night (it rocks us asleep). What I do not like about amidships is that it is an are of maximum foot traffic outside the cabin. We actually prefer cabins forward of the forward elevator bank. Towards the bow there is minimal mechanical systems (the main engines are arrayed at midship and the mot
  9. OMG! When I see posts like yours I do not know where to start. You can look back over CC (from the first days) and you will find hundreds or even thousands or posts with folks talking about how much money they save through discount cruise agencies. We have posted (at least a hundred times) how anyone can save 7 - 10% (and sometimes a lot more) by simply shopping around among reputable cruise agencies. If you have not found the savings you have not looked very hard. I would only add that for folks in Europe it is often a different market and the savings might no be there with
  10. I guess the first question should be will Canada open up to tourists, Americans and cruise ships by July? Hank
  11. You are right, you are not an expert :). It appears that the mortality rate from COVID is 7-10 times more then the seasonal flu...which already causes too many deaths. But what is not often discussed about COVID are all the morbidity problems with new issues being discovered nearly every day. These morbidities, some of which may have life long consequences are often ignored by both the media and the usual anti-vaxers. So lets go down a short list including the most recent discovery (just in the past week) with some folks who recover from COVID now having teeth fall out! This appears to be
  12. A few comments and corrections 🙂 Regarding Gerry's idea of not using TAs, according to two different onboard cruise consultants (with two major cruise lines) the cruise lines actually get about 80% of their reservations (this varies by line) through travel/cruise agents. The few cruise lines that have tried to exist by handling their own reservations are long gone (bankruptcy). I cannot speak for the UK, but here in North America the cruise and travel agents do a lot of marketing which helps bring in more bookings. They also do the "hand holding" demanded by many customers and so costly to
  13. We have traded a lot of TA info when on cruises (although we now tend to skip ridiculous Meet and Greets). A few folks I know have turned to agencies I recommended. I have tried a few agencies/agents based on recommendations received on cruises but none of those agencies ever turned out to have really good deals. There is one particular agency (located in the Northwest) who is very popular with frequent HAL cruisers. We have met some of their staff (they are often on cruises) and do get their private e-mail offers. However we have been underwhelmed by their deals which are not even close
  14. Yes although one should conduct their own due diligence when choosing a cruise agent/agency. You want to know a little about their history, ask is they have their own cancellation penalty, whether they charge a fee to change a booking or reprice it when the price drops, etc. I use several high volume agencies that all offer substantial discounts (usually 7 - 10% and sometimes more). Depending on the cruise line you might get a lower cruise price and/or get generous on board credits (OBCs), pre paid gratuities. On a short 7 day cruise at a lower price your savings may not be much. But on
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