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Everything posted by Toofarfromthesea

  1. In order: YC Deluxe suite No idea. I book the class I want so I don't see what deals they might have offered on other classes. No idea here as well. I appreciate the service the compete site offers, so I would not use them to 'window shop' and then go around them to book.
  2. I have no trouble finding US-based TAs who are happy to book MSC for me and give substantial perks. I use a compete site, and while the number of offers is lower with MSC than, say, Celebrity, there are some offers and they offer decent perks. Between 9 and 10% on my most recent booking.
  3. It is not a question of scolding. They just know and understand their business better than you do.
  4. My data is from the CDC and I included a link. Where is your data from?
  5. People seem to want to wallow in bad news and ignore good news. Like the good news, in the midst of "spiking cases" hysteria, that US weekly deaths are down 94% from the peak in mid April. US weekly deaths declined every single week going from 16,935 at the peak down to 1,099 in the most recent week.
  6. Nice, went 5 months back to try to dunk on me. But you're right, it didn't fade out in April. In fact, April was the peak. But then there is this: US covid deaths peaked in the week of 4/18/20 at 16,935. Since then it has gone down EVERY SINGLE WEEK, and for the most recent week it is down to 1,099. Despite the re-openings. Despite the riots. Despite people resisting lockdowns, masks, and social distancing after seeing that the Blue politicians didn't care about these things for rioters. Despite the current hysteria about a spike in cases. Weekly deaths are down by nearly 94%. You can find the data at this link:https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/index.htmSome might question these numbers because they come from the CDC. But considering all of the hysteria the CDC is fomenting and contributing to, these numbers are what legal types might call statements against interest. So, essentially I was correct except for the timing, for which I say mea culpa. But a 94% decline in weekly deaths, especially when the weekly deaths have gone down every single week since the peak is a pretty strong sign of fading out. If it holds at that level we're looking at 50,000 deaths per year. There are a lot of things that kill 50,000 people per year, in a nation of 330,000,000, and we don't change our lives in any way because of those, let alone keep schools and half the economy closed as a result and force people to wear masks. As far as my booked 11/7 Caribbean cruise, if it sails I still plan to be on it.
  7. The complete lack of details tells the story. When and where was the purported party? Who was the patient? What was the nurse's name so we can get a first hand account, not a third hand account? Were there contributing co-morbidities. This story comes down so hard on the side of the narrative that we would get all kinds of details to buttress it. If they had them. Yet we got nothing but the unsupported word of someone who was multiple layers away from the purported event. I bet you think that the guy who died in a motorcycle accident was a covid-19 death just because Florida counted it that way. When asked if the covid-counted person in their 20s had any co-morbidities the answer was that he died in a motorcycle crash. When asked why that counted as a covid death the answer was, well we can't be sure that covid didn't cause him to have his accident. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/florida-health-official-admits-man-who-died-in-motorcycle-crash-listed-as-coronavirus-death
  8. Turned out to be a total hoax. Not one single fact in that story was able to be verified.
  9. TB is contagious enough that it it the only disease for which you need to regularly test negative to become and continue as a California public school teacher. An initial test is required, and retesting is required every 4 years.
  10. But a vaccine is the answer because that won't happen with the antibodies generated by a vaccine?
  11. If there is no herd immunity then it means that prior infection does not confer immunity. Which means that vaccines that simulate prior infection cannot confer immunity either. I am constantly amazed at the cognitive dissonance of people who ascribe little or no value to being antibody positive but have an almost magical belief in vaccines. IMO the key is going to end up being treatment, not a vaccine. Unfortunately the most encouraging treatments to date have involved low-cost readily available drugs like the hydroxychloroquine cocktail, the steroid inhalation treatment and the treatments that were used and are being used in Japan and Singapore. There isn't any big money to be made with any of these so they are essentially ignored. But get a new PRICEY treatment showing any optimistic results and the potential of billions of dollars going to Big Pharma and it will be treated like the second coming.
  12. Hotel is the easy part. Most have refundable rates for a few bucks more. Book a refundable rate. End of problem. Virtually all of the flights I've been looking at for a November cruise from Miami and a late January all-inclusive in Cancun have free changes.
  13. bait-and-switch noun the action (generally illegal) of advertising goods which are an apparent bargain, with the intention of substituting inferior or more expensive goods. Not the same thing at all.
  14. Personally I have fostered and nurtured a mindset that focuses on and enjoys the things I do, and doesn't give much thought - and no regret - over what I can't do. For me it is one of the most important elements of a happy life. It has stood me in good stead during these times.
  15. And whether tips are included in the fare or paid separately you still have the ability, if you choose, to pay cash tips to those you feel deserve extra.
  16. I will add that when a service charge is added, to me that's it. Even if I would normally tip more, I would need some exceptional over the top service before I would even consider anything more. I believe the culture of wherever you are should control tipping, not ones home culture. If I visit a place where tipping is not part of the culture I don't tip. If I go somewhere where there is no pay and workers depend entirely on tips I would tip, and tip lavishly. If I go somewhere like the US and it is a position where the person is paid a less than market wage in the expectation that tips will make up the difference then of course I tip, usually pretty generously. What I wouldn't do is criticize the culture of the place I'm in, and use that as an excuse to screw the poor waiter or waitress who had nothing to do with how that culture came to be, in the interests of showing disdain for the culture. I'm from xxx and we don't tip, is a poor excuse, IMO. You might not like the tipping culture but using that excuse not to tip in a tipping culture just makes someone an ugly-xxxer. When in Rome . . .
  17. The distinctions I would draw is that while the "standard" grat IS (or can be) paid in advance, a) the crew members don't get it in advance and don't necessarily know if the standard amount will actually be paid, for any given pax, b) while ostensibly a gratuity - and that has real tax implications for some crew - the reality is that it is a fee for service. It is a standard amount for a standard level of service. It is built into the wage structure. That is a far cry from giving a bartender $20 on the first day in the hope of getting priority service and better pours.
  18. The only union job I ever held was as a public school teacher, and once you are tenured (which now takes a ridiculously short time - I became tenured on the first day of my third school year) short of doing something stupid to get fired, pay and benefits are the same for everyone at your seniority and graduate credits level. You *could* take courses to up your graduate units, to a point, to bump into a higher pay column but, at least in the district I worked in, they didn;'t have to relate to anything you were teaching. You could be a math teacher and take a class on Jane Austen for personal enrichment, and those graduate units would count towards a column move. NOTHING actually was based on our (bi)annual observations and evaluations once you were tenured. It is a crazy way to run a railroad, but there it is.
  19. When ships retire they should do like the rest of us - relax and take a cruise.
  20. I'm still trying to figure out in what sense this is a "bait and switch".
  21. Totally agree. There is a big difference between just describing what YOU do and criticizing people for what THEY do.
  22. I don't know about the Haven, but you can't just buy the perks associated with Yacht Club. You can't buy access to the Lounge, the butler service, the preferred access to everything, the ability to completely avoid the crowds if you choose. So there is really no way to balance that. While you CAN buy SOME of the perks that are sometimes included, like beverage package, laundry, internet, I don't think it is getting the 'buyable' perks for 'free' that is the attraction - it certainly is not for me - it is the things you can't buy that add to the cruise experience that, for some, make the YC an attractive option.
  23. Where there IS a tax treatment difference is on the crew side. Some of the countries the crews come from tax gratuity income at lower rates than regular wages. So when you say they could but they don't want to, that is true. But if they did it would be the crew members from those countries who are hurt. Personally I prefer the system stay as it is so crew can benefit from their home country's tax policy. Or their wages could be topped up further to make up for the employees' loss of favorable tax treatment, but then that would mean an increase in total fare, compared to the old fare plus grats.
  24. If the cost of the cruise is $2000 and grats are $200, then the cruiseline has 2000 in revenue and is taxed on that 2,000 minus deductible expenses. Say those expenses are 1600. They have taxable income of 400. Now assume instead that the price goes up to 2200, grats are eliminated, and employees get the extra 200 in increased wages to make up for not getting grats. The deductible expenses are now the 1600 PLUS the 200 extra the cruiseline pays it's employees in lieu of grats. Leaving a taxable income of the exact same 400.
  25. That is great. Unless you happen to be one of the people who makes their living by making or selling those "things". And one man's (country's) trash is another man's (country's) treasure, so I doubt if the countries who are paying to get stuff we discard and make good use of will feel the 'compassion' in being deprived.
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