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Posts posted by Toofarfromthesea

  1. 24 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

    I think it is a good idea to inform people how much they are being taxed.  In most European countries the VAT is built into the price tag,  so the public tend to forget that they are paying what is often a 20% consumption tax — in addition to whatever tax they pay on their income.  


    I agree, particularly when it comes to gasoline.  Maybe if people really saw how much the state and feds make off a gallon of gas people would be less subject to getting wound up about the 4 or 5 cents a gallon the evil rapacious oil company, who put up all the capital and took all the risk, gets.

    The last thing any government wants is transparency in taxation.  Which is why we have tax withholding, - people get happy about getting a refund of money that was painlessly extracted from them.

  2. 21 hours ago, 2wheelin said:

    ???? Go back and read the original post—-and many others between there and here. 


    Example, please, because a routine service is a routine service.  I don't tip a waiter extra if I ask for water in a jurisdiction that doesn't provide it automatically.  It is still just a routine service.  I read the op and the entire thread.  Filling the ice bucket is a routine service, even if, on some ships, it may not be an automatic service.  And I already tipped for routine service in my auto-grats.

  3. If I had even the remotest suspicion that I had been infected I would get an anti-body test and find out one way or the other, definitively, rather than stay in a fog of uncertainty.  Especially as a positive antibody test would mean that I was now basically immune for both giving or getting an infection going forward.

    I don't know how it is in other countries, but in the US one of the ways you can get a free antibody test is to give blood.  They are required to test for covid antibodies.  And if you're positive you can, if you choose, donate plasma to be used to treat people with active infections.  And while I've been unable to give blood for years, I am now off blood thinners and can do it, and I am considering it, as I was a frequent donor in my younger days and none of my current meds disqualifies me.

  4. 14 hours ago, 2wheelin said:

    Those who “get” (ie claim) that it is a bribe are the ones too cheap to pay up front for an extra request (which as has been explained is not a bribe unless asking for something which should not be granted). It’s as if they need to wait until the end to make sure they didn’t get a poor room steward and an extra tip will have been unearned.


    Getting your ice bucket filled is not an extra service.  But how many times have people here bragged that they gave a bartender a $20 bill on the first day and then got served larger pours, ahead of other people, for the whole cruise?  That may be the "extra request" but it is entirely inappropriate and almost exactly fits any reasonable definition of a bribe.  No one in this thread about advanced tipping has tied it to any 'extra' request.

    And it is unfortunate that you felt compelled to resort to ad hominum.

  5. On 7/5/2020 at 9:37 AM, sparks1093 said:

    That isn't the implication at all, unless you cast it in that language when you pro-offer the tip in advance. There is a difference between "please make sure my ice bucket is full" and "please make sure my ice bucket is filled before anyone else's". It would be no skin off my nose if my ice bucket were to be filled last so it wouldn't be at my expense in any case.


    They will fill the icebucket, if asked, without any tip.  So what is the point of the advance tip?

  6. 19 hours ago, Hearthosesteeldrumsplayin said:

    I, too, am in the compulsive cruise planner league.  If it wasn't for cruise critic, though, I wouldn't even know that my 11/7 cruise had been changed from Seaside to Meraviglia!  We are assigned in 14025.  We sailed on the sister ship, Belissima, and it was beautiful, so expecting we will also enjoy Meraviglia.  Although I was really wanting to check out the Seaside.


    I'm in exactly the same situation with the 11/7 cruise.  It is particularly disappointing in that I had sailed in Meraviglia's YC (and was less impressed than when I sailed in Divina's YC) and I was looking forward to checking out the Seaside YC.  Nevrttheless, if it sails I'll be on it, and I'll have a great time.

  7. 12 minutes ago, cruizergal70 said:

    No one is saying this. If you've read a lot of CC, you would see that it's a valid question.  


    It's not a criticism.  Just a question.


    Not from the OP, whose initial response was to argue about the reasons given and put people down (low brow activities?).  You would have to hold a gun to my head to get me to go to Vegas, but I would never think to demand that people explain why they like something that I don't.  And I HAVE read a lot of CC which is why I get irked at people who think everyone should like the same things they do.  It isn't a one-size-fits-all-world.

  8. On 7/1/2020 at 10:45 PM, CarelessAndConfused said:


    I have no issues with any of that.  I was speaking more toward the concept of a "cruise to nowhere" and how that could possibly be attractive.


    As for a 2-day cruise, sure that makes sense since it is just 2 days.


    So you think that if something is not attractive to you it shouldn't be attractive to someone else?  You seem more interested in debating the reasons people give than understanding the obvious point that sailing on a cruise ship and staying at a resort are completely different experiences with completely different ambiances.  It's not about the parts, it is about the sum of the parts.

  9. On 7/1/2020 at 7:08 PM, Princess1963 said:

    I am wondering if I should tip my room steward at the beginning of the cruise because I would like them to have a bucket of ice filled in my cabin every night. I have never asked for anything extra done before. I am also going to bring drinks for the first time. Should I give them a tip when I ask about the ice or just at the end of the cruise. If I should tip them what would be a correct amount. I am pre paying tips


    If you are pre-paying your tips you have done what is required.  Anything above that is at your own pure discretion.  But you shouldn't feel like you have to tip extra in order to get routine service, like ice.  You can certainly choose to, but whether you do or not should not effect your level of service.

  10. I'm still hoping we are able to sail on our booked 11/7 Seaside YC cruise.  But I've been looking at spring 2021 cruises as possible fallbacks.  Meraviglia will be sailing out of Miami and Divina will be sailing out of Port Canaveral.  Having sailed in YC on both, M in the Baltic and D in the Med, I would definitely choose Divina, despite the inconvenience of the YC restaurant being at the opposite end of the ship as the rest of the YC.  On my cruises both the food and the service were significantly better on D than on M, IMO.

  11. On 4/29/2020 at 7:09 AM, Warren Miller said:

    Considering planning a nice cruise for an upcoming Anniversary - 


    We would prefer a quieter cruise with less hustle and bustle and NOT fighting with others for a chair by the pool.   Don't want to stand in line for a drink or to get food and willing to pay a little more for quality over quantity.  A nice and smooth experience that won't stress us out. 


    Cruise in the Caribbean - 

    No experience so what Cruise Line is not important. 

    Fall time frame -   

    No port favored over another - 

    Ship size isn't a huge factor, just want less crowded and friendly- Rude people would kill the mood - 

    Tranquil and peaceful is the goal - 

    Shore excursions are not the priority  - If they have beach and a lounger without too much hassle, that sounds perfect. 


    Thanks - in advance for any help to give me your thoughts.   


    It sounds like MSC's Yacht Club would fit the bill.  

  12. 13 hours ago, BlueRiband said:

    I'm amazed when some members will lament on what cruise ships do to the environment...while they continue to patronize them.  If I thought that cruise ships (or any other business) had a negative environmental impact on a local port I would avoid that itinerary.  Or not sail at all.  But that's just me.  

    People are much more willing to virtue signal than they are to actually act on their putative values.

  13. 19 hours ago, clo said:

    There's been enough discussion of the difference that I figured everyone already knew. It seems that, from a food safety standpoint, it should have been done away with long ago.


    You make the common error of thinking that what is said in a relatively small online community is somehow indicative of the whole world.  People who obsess about Twitter (not implying that you do) make the same error.

  14. 6 hours ago, 2wheelin said:

    Purely anecdotal. No clear evidence at all. Time of exposure is a key element in transmission and it takes longer to pass someone (or remain behind them to the end of the store) than it does to meet them. Neither scenario is long enough to catch something unless there is active coughing, etc. One store here actually has turn arrows on the end of aisles making it impossible (following the arrows) to double back for something forgotten, or to shop the aisle and then go back for the selection. More time in store=more people exposed to.

    Our state has reopened bars and restaurants and had many huge protest groups and our infection rates have gone DOWN (while increasing the number or tests dramatically) so anecdotally, this has contributed to decreased illness. All states should rush to hold big gatherings. So you see how drawing conclusions based on anecdotal evidence, or a group of criteria, is—shall we say—stupid.


    It is too late, many states have already had big, huge gatherings with the same politicians  who are imposing one way aisles and preventing kids from playing in parks cheering them on and participating, while not themselves engaging in social distancing nor wearing masks.

  15. 1 hour ago, ontheweb said:

    Yes, and the hypothesis that there will be a surge in the Fall seems to repeated so many times (although it obviously could not have been tested) that many see it as fact.


    I see it as a CYA. Here's my reasoning. There are 4 possible ways this could play out. They could predict the surge and be right. They could predict the surge and be wrong. And everyone would be happy that there really was no surge and soon forget the prediction. They could predict no surge and be right. Everyone would be happy, but this might not be good for their budget. They could predict no surge and there is a surge. In this case they get hammered for not predicting it. So they are covered if they predict it whether it happens or not, but could find themselves hammered if they don't predict it and it happens.


    I don't disagree, but the point is that all of this is politics, not science.

    Listen to the experts, they tell us.  The scientists.  And then arguably the 2 most prestigious and respected medical journals in the world, The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine, completely humiliated themselves by each publishing a major article about hydrochloriquine studies, based solely on "data" from a company that was a complete scam and has now essentially disappeared.  And again, not a scintilla of actual science was at play.  I think "too good to check" was in play, since the bogus articles were immediately exploited for political purposes.  And although now they have admitted the articles were garbage, the original headlines and tweets are still out there just like the misimpressions people got.

    I'm glad I went to school at a time where the scientific method was taught, as well as critical thinking.

  16. 44 minutes ago, Pyrate13 said:

    "but one way aisles do have SOME effect in reducing inter-personal contact." 


    Again, where's the data that proves this? Pure speculation. Just because you, or someone else, claims it works doesn't make it so. It certainly doesn't appear to reduce contact in any store I have been in so... Do I do it, if possible yes, but with flexibility to not do it depending on circumstances. Do I believe it makes any difference, no, not really but I don't have any data either way.


    Very little of what we are told is science is actually science.  It is mostly the OPINIONS of scientists, not science.

    The Society of Actuaries, an organization I was a member of, has as it's motto a famous quote from John Ruskin:

    The work of science is to substitute facts for appearances and demonstrations for impressions.

    Very little of that has actuated our response.  "Observational" studies are not science.  At best they form the fodder of hypotheses.  Which then have to be tested by the scientific method.

  17. 1 hour ago, Charles4515 said:


    They have signs and some have large banners up outside saying to order on DoorDash so I think you are right that they don’t mind under current circumstances.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro



    Many of us here are in a position where we were not severely damaged financially by the shutdown.  My wife and I still get our pensions, I still get my SS, and while the 401k took a hit, a lot of it is back already and I have every confidence the rest will come back in relatively short order.

    While everybody likes to have extra money, I would suggest that people who have not been hit financially and who are worried about the fate of their favorite restaurant (or other small business) can take more direct action than not ordering through doordash, they could just give them some of their pandemic relief money.  The purpose of the money was relief, and if you don't need the relief, passing it on to those who DO need it just seems like a good thing to do.

  18. On 6/9/2020 at 9:54 AM, jetsfan58 said:

    Lately, we have seen a lot of topics via this Cruise Critic forum. They all have been very informative and timely. In keeping with that tradition, I would like to visit another part of the Cruise experience. Due to all of the buzz concerning Covid, Ports, Safety, Mask and Food, etc. when we do start cruising again Will You:


    Fly to the Port, Drive to the Port, Stay in a Hotel Pre Cruise and/or Dine out Pre Cruise?  


    Your responses are greatly appreciated!!!


    "Smooth Sailing" Whenever we can start saying that again!! 


    We have a booked cruise out of Miami in November.  That is, hopefully, far enough down the road that we will be able to base a final yea/nay decision on how things worked out for the earlier cruisers.

    If we go we will fly into Miami 2 days early, because even in Nov there is a chance of snow issues flying out of denver.  Really, other than the go/nogo decision I don't expect any of our travel logistics to change.

  19. 15 hours ago, clo said:

    We've never used that. I haven't looked closely (at all) but don't the restaurants have to pay to be part of it? They're struggling so much anyway that I don't want to pile on.


    For a lot of restaurants doordash or similar delivery services are all that were/are keeping them afloat.  I think the restaurants don't  mind the 'piling on' when the alternative is no business leading up to going out of business.

  20. I find it really sad that some folks seem to be so judgemental toward people who choose to do things differently than they do.  I enjoy researching cruises, hotels, flights, etc., and have the time luxury to do so, so I am pretty much a do it yourself traveler.  But I would never put other people down who chose to do things differently or, essentially, call them names.  They aren't lazy and they don't have more money than sense, or any of the other nasty things people have said.  Maybe it makes people feel superior to do so, but it is an illusion.

    It is not a one size fits all world, no matter how much anyone thinks their's is the only right size.

  21. On 6/9/2020 at 9:31 AM, clo said:

    Oh, I totally get it. I'll be sad if/when the day comes that I/we can no longer safely travel. But I hope I won't be "heart broken." That doesn't sound very good for one's mental health. We tend to be the type that prepares with "what if" in mind. 

    Cath/Catherine/but never Cathy 🙂 


    One of my personal rules for a happy life is to enjoy the things and experiences we've had, and not to give a second of regret for thing we don't have and/or missed out on.  I refuse to pine for things.  I'm looking forward to a booked cruise in November, but if we don't get to go I'm not going to be overly upset.  Similarly with a planned January stay at  Cancun all-inclusive.

  22. On 6/7/2020 at 11:50 AM, iancal said:

    I saw a bunch of HAL hotel folks at the Westin Ft. Lauderdale.  The one by I 95 between beside two office towers.  The rooms were fine, the beds incredibly comfortable.  But a much further away from the beach or the shopping area.  There was nothing around.  Rental car or cab.  


    In Rome, on business, saw a bunch of cruisers at the Sheraton Polo.  Not a great location for visiting Rome. Though, there was apparently a hotel bus that would go every so often.


    Always best to check where that cruise line hotel is vis a vis the tourist areas....unless all you need is a bed for the night prior to going to the dock.

    We stayed at Hotel Vespasiano in Rome.  A little quirky but very clean and comfortable - and we like quirky.  And easy walking distance to the Vatican.  

  23. On 6/7/2020 at 12:06 AM, Charles4515 said:


    Luckily I used the $300 travel credit in January. It is time to renew Global Entry so that will be a $100 credit. DoorDash has come in handy too.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro



    Since June 1 both groceries and gasoline purchases are eligible for the 300 travel credit.  We've already used our first doordash credit.  I don't think we will get any value from the Lyft Pink bennie.

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