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About ArtsyCraftsy

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Bellingham, WA
  • Interests
    lace crochet, paper crafts, music composition, PEO, cooking, collecting cookbooks (~ 4100 so far)
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Regent Seven Seas, Holland America (so far)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Everywhere 😊

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  1. The recordings of the Enrichment Lectures are shown in a loop, not "on demand." This particular sea day was between Nuku Hiva and Fakarava. Prior to Nuku Hiva, we'd had 4 sea days sailing from Hilo, Hawaii. I saved some more of the Passages, but they're in the luggage that is still waiting in Perth for shipment back home -- Luggage Forward got slammed with multiple cruise disembarkations over several day in mid-March so it's going to be awhile before we see our bags. We had a lot of sea days early in the cruise (5 days from San Francisco to Honolulu), and I know they were doing lectures every day. I'm just not sure how often they did 2 per day.
  2. Here is the activity schedule for Feb 8, 2020 on the World Cruise:
  3. I would say it depends. On longer cruises ( > 15 days or so), it would probably skew older as people who are retired have more time to take longer cruises. On shorter cruises ( < 14 or so days), the crowd will probably draw a younger crowd since if they're still working, they may not have the luxury of a lot of time off. Time of year may make a difference, too -- from what I've experienced, summer tends to draw younger folks, too. That said, I don't know that anyone would feel out of place as most guests are friendly and active. There were younger folks on the recent abbreviated World Cruise (30s-50s) -- maybe 15-20% of the total -- and everyone seemed to mix and socialize without difficulty. (I'm on the "older" side -- 60s -- so perhaps some of the younger Regent guests will speak up.) Lana (staying at home in Bellingham, WA)
  4. Sheila, I'm in a similar situation. I, too, have COPD (I have the CO2 retention variety of emphysema, so no oxygen is needed yet), so I tend to get out of breath fairly easily. As long as I take my time and walk slowly enough, I can get around on my own, no aids at all. I also have asthma that is triggered primarily by environmental stimulants -- certain perfumes, caustic cleaning solutions, smoke, etc. so I sometimes cough. Otherwise, I'm in good health according to my docs. People who have met me on board may see the shortness of breath episodes and even some of the coughing, but it usually resolves within a few minutes and really doesn't impact anyone except me (it's a dry cough, and I always cough into my elbow anyway). I hug the wall when I walk slowly from my cabin to the elevators, and I'm able to participate as I like in onboard activities (attending shows, lectures, pre-dinner cocktails, etc.). I started cruising because my pulmonologist recommended cruise travel as a way for me to see the world. I was bemoaning the fact that I knew land-based tours would no longer work for me and I'd been saving since I was in my 20s so I could travel after I retired. He said cruise travel might work well for me, so I booked my first cruise -- a 2-week Alaska cruise in 2017 on another cruise line. I did fine, and I've been cruising a couple of times a year since then, mostly longer cruises (28+ days). I embarked on the 2020 World Cruise with my doctor's blessings and although it ended early after only 53 days, I was doing just fine. I've written about this before: I'm VERY careful with excursions, choosing only those with the "little guy in the seat" icon, with words like "leisurely" and "panoramic" in the title. Even then, I check with the Destinations team to make sure I understand exactly what will be required to get from the ship to the pickup point for the excursion. Heaven forbid I should be THAT person who slows everyone else down. If I don't think I can manage every aspect of the excursion, I won't take it. Period. I'm perfectly happy and comfortable hanging out on the ship. Seriously, if people want to avoid encountering people like me on excursions, then choose excursions that fit your more advanced activity level. There aren't that many that will work for me, and I'd hate to be the one whose mere existence made it so that your couldn't enjoy your cruise. I'll be on only those with the lowest activity level -- "little guy in a seat" -- there aren't that many -- so do us all a favor and choose a higher-level activity excursion (one-, two-, or three-walker ratings). Problem solved. As for muster, Regent has specific procedures designed for those with mobility issues -- once those with issues let Guest Services know their situation, Regent can make sure they can safely muster without impeding others. They also have evacuation procedures in case of an emergency for those who are mobility challenged. Regent, like most cruise lines, are happy to set up reasonable accommodations for those that need them. There are probably those here who believe I shouldn't be allowed onboard a ship because of my limitations. Reading here, it sure sounds like it. I would not cruise if any of my doctors said I shouldn't, but all of them seem to be quite comfortable with it. I intend to continue until such time as it becomes physically impossible -- or I run out of savings. I keep saying I want the last check I write to bounce, so ... 😄 Lana (currently self-isolating after truncated World Cruise in Bellingham, WA)
  5. I made it home -- thanks! All guests were disembarked in Fremantle on March 17. A lot of us stayed overnight in Perth, some of us at the Ritz-Carleton Perth, and I flew out of Perth early March 18 with flights Perth --> Sydney, Sydney --> San Francisco, and San Francisco --> Seattle. A dear friend in Bellingham drove the 2 hrs to SeaTac to pick me up and bring me safely home so I wouldn't have to endure the shuttle -- another metal tube filled with people who may or may not be sick. I'm putting together a "wrap-up" entry for the blog (with pictures!). According to Luggage Forward, my luggage hasn't been picked up yet (that's a bit troubling, since I handed it over to the Luggage Forward person at the Fremantle cruise terminal as I disembarked 4 days ago). But I made it home in one piece, just a little worse for wear, and suffering from jet lag big time (sleeping a LOT, trying to get into local time routines again, etc.). I'm very happy with how Regent handled the entire situation starting with the earliest port cancellations in mid-February and ending with the amazing send-off we got in Fremantle as we exited the ship. Hearing stories from friends who are on a world cruise on other cruise line, it's clear that Regent provided the best service level all around in terms of disseminating information (not speculation or rumor, but real info), keeping us informed of schedule changes especially in the last few days when things were changing almost hourly, and doing everything they could to maintain the onboard service levels at the Regent standard of excellence. One friend described how the guests on her world cruise discovered they were skipping a scheduled port from looking at a vessel tracking website and finding their ship had completely bypassed the port in the night. I still have four Regent cruises on the books, although I suspect the July 1-15 Alaska back-to-back will be canceled. Canada has closed its cruise ports to ships > 500 passengers, and the border between Canada and the US is closed to non-essential travel -- I live 40 miles from Vancouver, BC on the US side and would have taken the train to Vancouver. I'm holding out hope for the Oct 29 Grand Cape Horn Adventure (68 days) this year. So we'll see. Meanwhile, I'm "self-isolating" for the next few weeks in case I picked up an unwanted passenger on the way home (4 airports, etc.). I live in an over-55 community with a lot of other "high risk" folks, so caution is needed here. It was a grand adventure that ended far too soon, but I feel that there are always positive lessons to be learned even from the worst situations: I now know i can survive a REALLY long airline trip involving multiple stops -- I don't like it, but I can survive it if needed. And I'm getting better at asking for help when needed. Lana (at home in Bellingham, WA)
  6. Since I'm one of those who has expressed the opinion that I'm safer onboard the Mariner than at home, I'm going to respond to this. So what would you have those of us who have been on the same Regent ship since early- to mid-January do? Jump overboard? We haven't taken on any new guests since Sydney -- almost 2 weeks ago. We have taken onboard two (I think) lecturers/entertainers in Adelaide. Most of the excursions have involved busses/vans of Regent guests coming into contact with a handful of locals in port. I'm not uninformed or naive. When I say I'm safer onboard the Mariner, I'm taking into account many variables. I live in northwest Washington state. My community has confirmed cases of COVID-19. There are no cases that we know of on the ship, and with the massive disinfecting protocols ongoing, I still feel the risk of acquisition/sharing is less than it would be for me at home. Disembarking and returning home would involve passing through multiple airports and at least two shuttles, none of which has history of stellar high-level disinfecting protocols. My decision to stay the course is based on the best knowledge of my own personal situation combined with risk assessment based on the best info available from the CDC, WHO, WA state/Seattle/Bellingham/Whatcom County health officials. Regent may decide to do something completely different again -- and I'll deal with that when/if it occurs.
  7. I bookmarked your 2018 WC blog with the recommendations for Australian ports, and I've reserved a spot on one of the Albany excursions. I'll be sure to read further for South Africa and Namibia suggestions. Sometimes it's a little tricky because I often do not know until we get into port what the "logistics" of getting from ship to shuttle/bus/van will be. But I'm always optimistic. Asking the Destination Services folks has been less than helpful as they seem to think anything short of a mile walk is "just a few steps." I did notice in the last few ports that they're actually reporting the distance from gangway to bus, so maybe they're listening. Anyway, I try to get off the ship when/where I can.
  8. Re: The status of the current 2020 World Cruise on the Mariner -- We just got the new itinerary! MAJOR major changes. Basically, we go from Fremantle (Perth) to Seychelles, then Mauritius, South Africa, Namibia, St. Helena, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Devil's Island (French Guiana), Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua/Barbuda, St Barts, San Juan, and then Miami on May 17 as originally scheduled. It looks like the remainder of the itinerary for us San Francisco folks remains the same (Miami to Colombia, Panama Canal, Central America/Mexico, and up the coast to San Francisco). Apart from the Miami-to-San Francisco part of the itinerary, every port is new to me, so I'm VERY happy. They're still awaiting final confirmation on some of the ports, so I don't want to post the details just yet. Suffice it to say that Regent is also offering what i consider to be significant compensation: For those of us who choose to continue on the modified itinerary, "Regent Seven Seas Cruises will REFUND you 50% of the pro-rata cruise-only fare for the March 1st through April 8th portion of your voyage. And now we'll also provide Future Cruise Credit for 50% of the pro-rata cruise-only fare for the April 8 through May 17th portion of your voyage, which can be applied to any new booking made within one year on any Regent voyage sailing before December 31. 2022. Or, if you prefer to end the World Cruise early, Regent will provide you with EITHER A 100% REFUND of the remaining pro-rata cruise-only fare OR a Future Cruise Credit for 125% of the remaining pro-rata cruise-only fare. The Future Cruise Credit can be applied to any new booking made within one year on any Regent voyage sailing before December 31, 2022." As I said, I'm very happy with the new itinerary -- a radical change, for sure, but I've never been to any of the new ports, and several have been on my "bucket list" for a long time (Cape Town, Devil's Island, St. Lucia, for example). I know some of the current World Cruisers will choose to leave the cruise in Perth as they've mentioned it over the past few days. Each of us will decide based on our respective situations/schedules/past travel/etc. Lana (now wishing she'd waited a few weeks to book the 2022 World Cruise)
  9. Thanks -- I can only speak for myself, but I don't believe that I'm being reckless or foolish. I tend to analyze things like this on a "risk/reward" basis, and base my decisions on that. I feel my risk is low under the circumstances, and given that my time left to travel like this is limited (progressive health issues), the rewards justify the risk. Lana (currently on the Mariner, docked in Port Lincoln, Australia) Sunrise, Port Lincoln, Australia -- 7:15 AM, Thursday, March 2, 2020
  10. Absolutely -- I'm trying to keep up-to-date with the current situation as much as I can. My hope is that by the time I'll be (possibly) heading to Canada in mid-June, things will have settled down.
  11. I'll be talking to the future cruise consultant, Eddie, tomorrow about staying onboard the Mariner at the end of the current World Cruise for the next cruise: San Francisco to Vancouver, June 4 - 17. I live about 40 miles from Vancouver, and this way I can avoid having to deal with two airports plus two shuttle busses to get from San Francisco to Bellingham, WA, where the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Whatcom County was identified today. I can take Amtrak from Vancouver to Bellingham. I'm also planning to take my next Regent cruise: a back-to-back Alaska cruise from Vancouver to Seward to Vancouver staring July 1, ending July 15. At this point, we still don't know where we're headed after Fremantle (Perth) on March 19, but I trust Regent to take care of us. I've said it before: not all cruise lines/ships/itineraries are created equal. There's a big difference between boarding a 2500-3500+-passenger ship that routinely takes 4- to10-day cruises with a lot of passenger "churn" and a history of recent visits to coronavirus hotspots, and a 700-passenger ship that routinely takes longer cruises and has no history over the past 6 months of attending ports that are in hotspot areas. I feel safer here on the Mariner than I would at home. Everyone has to make their own decisions based on circumstances. I've made mine. Lana (currently anchored near Kangaroo Island, Australia)
  12. I probably have a different perspective on this since I'm already on a cruise and have been since coronavirus was still mostly confined to a specific region in China. The first US case -- in WA state -- was identified the day before I left my home in Bellingham, WA, on January 22 to travel to San Francisco to board the Mariner. Not all cruise ships are created equal and differences in itineraries can impact the risk a great deal. Larger ships (e.g. 2500+ passengers) that sail shorter itineraries (4-15 days) with frequent guest population turnover, for example, might be at higher risk simply due to the numbers of individuals boarding and exiting the ship carrying with them whatever bugs they acquired prior to embarkation, and carrying off anything they picked up during the cruise. Ships that have visited hot spots whether to take on new passengers or simply as an itinerary port of call with excursions for cruise guests are at greater risk simply due to the presence of the virus in the locale which means that someone could inadvertently bring the virus onboard. This was a risk prior to coronavirus and will remain a risk after this runs its course. I feel that Regent Seven Seas corporate office as well as the staff and crew of the Mariner have taken all reasonable precautions to keep us at a safe distance from this new threat. As more has been discovered about the nature of the virus and its method of spreading, more stringent precautions have been implemented including enhanced boarding protocols and deep cleaning on the ship. Travel advisories, CDC and WHO advice are all taken into account as Regent works out our itinerary. It has been changing a lot over the past couple of days and we have word that there will be more changes coming in the next day or so. Everyone has to decide for themselves the level of risk they're willing to assume. But I still contend that the risk is variable depending on the ship, previous and planned itineraries, and corporate practices to reduce that risk. As an aside, I haven't heard any warnings about visiting nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or other places where vulnerable populations gather. Why? I would suggest it's because the risk is variable depending on the circumstances, location, and past history. Lana (currently in Adelaide, Australia on the Mariner)
  13. Needless to say, the current World Cruise itinerary is ever-changing due to the current situation. I have no problems with the changes as I'm on for the long haul. We lost Sri Lanka (they would allow the ship to dock for supplies/etc. but no one would have been allowed to leave the ship -- no crew or passengers). Instead, we'll be arriving in Cochin a day early and staying overnight there. Italy is also now eliminated. Clues exist as to the substitute Mediterranean ports based on the RSSC website, but the announcement said that until they get confirmation on changes there will be no formal announcement. Last evening, while relaxing in the Mariner Lounge with the Solo & Social group, I told the General Manager and Eddie, the future cruise consultant, that I'll leave the ship when they kick me off. I feel safer here than I would at home (northwest WA state). Yes, I'm in a "vulnerable population" due to age and underlying health issues. But I'm in a "vulnerable population" EVERY DAY, especially during flu season, and I've learned to deal with it (minimize exposure to large crowds in small spaces, wash hands at every opportunity, etc.). I'm comfortable with the protocols in place on the ship and trust Regent to keep some distance between us and any higher-risk "hot spots" on our original itinerary. When most of us boarded the ship (Jan 6 for those who boarded in Miami, Jan 24 for those who boarded in SF), the coronavirus crisis was still localized to China, with a single US case diagnosed on Jan 21. I have two more cruises booked this year, and one each booked for 2021 and 2022. As long as my health holds up, I fully intend to take them all and enjoy the heck out of them. Lana (currently on the Mariner, docked in Portland, Australia on a beautiful sunny and cool day)
  14. Thanks -- I've tried to stay up-to-date on the developments in the Puget Sound area -- I just sold my Kenmore house (the one I lived in when I worked at Amazon -- it's located just a few miles north of Kirkland) last week, and I have a lot of friends down that way. I'm surprised they're not advising more "hands off" stuff (shaking hands, etc.). I'm totally in favor of taking whatever precautions seem reasonable and practical. I think shipboard protocol has been fairly consistent for awhile now to avoid that kind of hand-to-hand contact due to other types of bugs. Except for the few of us who developed this upper respiratory bug, the Mariner has been quite healthy so far since I boarded in SF in January, and everyone is working hard to keep it that way.
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