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  1. We can have a toast through the Plexiglass like on this river ship (Plexiglass Punch?) 😉 😁
  2. Good luck to you @bluesea777 The Bermuda port cam is still up right now, but it’s so dark that it’s hard to make out anything - the lights are still on though so electric is still on and that’s always a good thing! https://www.portbermudawebcam.com
  3. A big thank you to everyone at Costa who are making this start happen by agreeing to cuts. I hope everything goes smoothly, with many cruises to follow! "The Italian cruise line Costa Cruises has announced it will temporarily cut the salaries for 15% of the crew members currently onboard the ships. The pay cuts are part of a plan to preserve the jobs of all shoreside and shipboard employees. To reach this objective all Costa employees will have to give their personal contribution as the company prepares to restart cruises is September with the Costa Deliziosa from Trieste and the Costa Diadema from Genoa. In a letter distributed among the crew, the company said that the impact of the global crisis went beyond what anyone could initially predict. Therefore the cruise industry and the company have been severely hit by the long pause in operations. All shoreside Senior Directors have reduced their salary and donated to the company a quota of their paid holidays. Costa Cruises shipboard management and crew, as part of One Team, will be also requested to do their part in the temporary salary reduction to this end: 1. Hotel personnel entitled to bonus and sale commissions during the restart phase the overall compensation package, salary plus bonus commission, will be revised around -15%. This impact will be applied to the variable party only. 2. Side Activities: furthermore, around -15% revision will be applied to the following - Baggage handling - Goods Handling - Support by Theater Lighting setup - Tender service Costa Cruises is confident that the crew will understand and embrace this decision for the benefit of all colleagues, adding that there are many challenges ahead, but if all join forces and work as one team the company will be back stronger than before". http://crew-center.com/costa-cruises-cut-crew-salaries-15
  4. Wishing you good luck for a great cruise. I'm one of the few that think something will be sailing by December. 😁 But I'm unsure about sailing to Aruba - though hopefully travel restrictions to Aruba will change by your sailing or you might be doing the "floating around for a week or so" that you mention. It's good that you would still be happy if it comes to that (I would be OK with that too! 😉) Here's the latest on Aruba's requirements: "This page describes the Aruba government-mandated procedures that are currently in place related to the COVID-19 pandemic, for visitors to be granted entry to Aruba and also while staying in Aruba. Information is also available related to the Aruba Visitors Insurance and countries that Aruba’s borders are open to for travel. This information is valid as of September 4, 2020 to date". Information on this page is divided into four main sections: 1. The online ED Card process. This is a crucial element to being granted entry to Aruba and is comprised of five essential components that visitors must be aware of. 2. Procedures during flights, upon arrival and during one's stay in Aruba 3. Countries / regions with which Aruba's borders are open for travel. 4. Wearing of masks and additional safety protocols while in Aruba. 1. Online ED Card process. Formerly referred to as the embarkation/disembarkation card (or ED Card) due to it having been a paper card that used to be handed out to visitors on flights to Aruba for filling in traveler information. This has now been completely digitized and is an essential process that all visitors must follow prior to traveling to Aruba. It includes online functionality for the following components: (i) providing basic traveler information, (ii) submitting a personal health assessment, (iii) uploading a negative COVID-19 test result, (iv) purchasing Aruba Visitors Insurance, (v) declaring one’s consent to Aruba’s health protocols and procedures. The above components are described in detail below and all are part of the online ED Card process that needs to be done at edcardaruba.aw. (i) Basic Traveler information This entails providing details such as birth date, passport details, duration of stay and so forth. (ii) Personal Health Assessment To be submitted within 72 and 4 hours prior to travel to Aruba. This includes responding to questions related to one’s state of health including questions about any prior COVID-19 diagnosis, quarantine or contact with persons in quarantine, symptoms typical to COVID-19, contact with COVID-19 infected persons, etc. (iii) Negative Molecular COVID-19 test required Three possible test procedure options are available depending on your place of residence: Option 1: Take a test prior to arrival Option 2: Only take a test upon arrival in Aruba (no other test results uploaded prior to travel) Option 3: Dual testing process - Testing prior to travel and a mandatory Molecular PCR test at the airport in Aruba IMPORTANT: Option 2 is not available to residents of the following high-risk US States: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Residents of all other US States and countries with whom Aruba’s borders are open are strongly recommended to choose test option 1 or if you're unable to get tested prior to travel to Aruba then option 2 is available. The cost of option 2 - the PCR test taken in Aruba - is US$75 per person and needs to be pre-paid as part of the online ED Card process. Children 14 and under are not required to take the PCR test. Tests must be taken at 72 hours prior to departure (or closer to departure) and the results need to be uploaded no later than 12 hours prior to departure to Aruba. Any tests and results executed before 72 hours prior to departure to Aruba will not be valid. Options in detail: Option 1: Take a test prior to arrival - Test must be a COVID-19 test, obtained from a nasal/oral swab specimen through amplified Molecular testing performed by a certified lab, and the results need to be uploaded as part of the online ED Card process. The test provider is of your choice, and costs may vary by provider. Your uploaded lab results need to list: Your name, as it appears on passport Date the test was administered "COVID-19", "SARS-CoV-2" or "Coronavirus" The type of Molecular test or Molecular test brand name (see below) How the test was taken: "Nasal", "Nasopharyngeal", "Mid-turbinate" "Oral", or "Oropharyngeal" swab Your test result: "Negative" These are the ACCEPTED tests: Accepted Molecular test types: PCR / RT-PCR / ddPCR / Rapid PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) NAA / NAAT (Nucleic Acid Amplification) AMP PRB (Amplified Probe) LAMP (Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification) TMA (Transcription-mediated Amplification) Accepted Molecular test brands, such as, but not limited to: Abbott ID NOW Quidel Lyra PCR Abbott Realtime PCR Cobas Qualitative PCR FTD PCR Xpert Xpress Simplexa Direct PCR These tests are NOT ACCEPTED: Any at-home kits (the sample needs to be collected by licensed medical staff) Any test that does not rely on an oral or nasal swab, such as: Sputum collection, spit collection, spit in a cup, etc Gargle, oral rinse, etc Oral swab without a nasal swab All Antigen (Ag) tests (including Quidel Sophia and Rapid Antigen Tests) All Antibody tests (such as IgG, IgA, IgM and Rapid Antibody Tests) All blood tests (such as fingerstick, venipuncture) All plasma tests All serum tests All lateral flow tests All fever checks All temperature checks Any Doctor's note Upload any of these and you will be required to retake the PCR test on arrival at the Airport at your expense. Tests are not required for children 14 and under. All costs related to PCR testing are the responsibility of the visitor. Option 2: Only take a test upon arrival in Aruba (no other test results uploaded prior to travel) - a Molecular PCR test will be conducted immediately after arrival, and visitors will be required to be in mandatory quarantine at their hotel or booked place of stay. The quarantine will be up to 24 hours, and the Aruba Department of Health will make every effort to have results in 6-8 hours, in order to minimize the visitors’ time in quarantine. Option 2 is not available to residents of the US States listed above. Option 3: Dual testing process - testing prior to travel and a mandatory Molecular PCR COVID-19 test at the airport in Aruba Option 3 is relevant to residents of the abovementioned high-risk US States. For option 3, the Government of Aruba requires you to take two tests. One accessible, qualified test prior to travel, and one qualified Molecular PCR test upon arrival at the Aruba airport. Prior to travel it will be possible to pre-upload negative test results for one of the following tests as part of the online ED Card process. These are the ACCEPTED tests: Antigen test, such as: Antigen QL IA (Qualitative Immunoassay) Antigen FIA (Fluoro-immunoassay) Molecular PCR Home kits such as: Pixel by LabCo Any other type of test (other than the ones below that are not accepted) These tests are NOT ACCEPTED: All Antibody tests (such as IgG, IgA, IgM and Rapid Antibody Tests) All blood tests (such as fingerstick, venipuncture) All plasma tests All serum tests Any Doctor's note Upload any of these and you will not be allowed to travel to Aruba. With Option 3, it will still be mandatory to conduct a second test (Molecular PCR). This will be collected via a nasal swab (Nasopharyngeal), administered upon arrival at the Aruba airport. Visitors will be required to be in mandatory quarantine at their hotel or booked place of stay. The quarantine will be up to 24 hours, and the Aruba Department of Health will make every effort to have results in 6-8 hours, in order to minimize the visitors’ time in quarantine. (iv) Purchasing Aruba Visitors Insurance This insurance is mandatory for all visitors and must be purchased in advance of travel as part of the online ED Card process. One’s own travel insurance can be supplementary to the Aruba Visitors Insurance but cannot replace it. Premiums are per person and depend on one’s age and length of stay. (v) Declaring one’s consent to Aruba’s health protocols and procedures. The final mandatory requirement is to provide consent to comply with the rules and procedures as mandated by the Aruban government, including cooperating with any COVID-19 related screening, isolation, quarantine, PCR testing procedures including temporary quarantine while awaiting results, adherence to any instructions by Aruba’s public health authorities etc. Consent must be provided within 72 hours and 4 hours prior to travel to Aruba as part of the online ED Card process. The online embarkation/disembarkation process will generate email notifications and reminders for completion of all the five aforementioned components. For this to go smoothly, visitors are encouraged to begin the online ED Card process as soon after booking their trip to Aruba as possible and to comply with the timeframes allocated to each component step. Visitors are also encouraged to check their spam folders as some notification or reminder messages may end up there inadvertently. Upon successful completion of the online ED Card process, visitors will receive a confirmation email with approval for travel to Aruba. This would need to be shown in digital or print form at check in or upon boarding. 2. Procedures while in flight, upon arrival and during stay. Wearing of masks is mandatory on incoming flights and at certain places in Aruba. Additionally, visitors are strongly encouraged to wear masks in situations where social distancing proves difficult. All visitors who did not provide a negative Molecular COVID-19 test result prior to travel to Aruba will receive a Molecular PCR COVID-19 test at the airport immediately after arrival in Aruba. Testing will be followed by a mandatory quarantine at the visitor’s booked accommodation until test results are finalized. Mandatory quarantine means that the person must stay in their room until the test results are known to avoid contact with other guests and staff at the accommodation. This quarantine is not expected to last more than 24 hours, and Aruba’s health department will make every effort to have results in less time (6-8 hours) in order to minimize the visitor’s time in quarantine. All visitors who provided a negative PCR test result prior to travel to Aruba will receive a temperature check and health interview by a medical professional upon arrival. This is not required for children aged 14 and younger. If the temperature check and health assessment are clear, no further testing or subsequent 24-hour quarantine is needed. If the visitor shows COVID-19-related symptoms during the health check, the visitor will be taken to a designated isolation location to await test results. Travel companions will proceed to their booked accommodation and will quarantine pending test results. If test results are negative, the guest can go to their booked accommodation. If test results are positive, the guest will remain in isolation and their travel companions will be relocated to a designated quarantine location. Prior to travel, visitors should download the Aruba Department of Public Health’s Aruba Health App. In addition to being a valuable mobile resource for COVID-19 health procedures in Aruba, it will also facilitate airport health screening, and importantly visitors will receive results for Molecular PCR COVID-19 tests taken in Aruba considerably faster. Aruba has a designated COVID Call Center reachable at 280-0505. Any visitors experiencing symptoms typically associated with COVID-19 (e.g. fever, cough, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, loss of taste/smell) are required to first contact their accommodation staff/host or the COVID Call Center. Over the phone, a triage questionnaire will be conducted by a medical practitioner and visitors will be instructed of next steps they would be required to follow. 3. Aruba's borders are open to the following regions / countries. *Bonaire & Curacao - since June 15, 2020 Canada - since July 1, 2020 Europe - since July 1, 2020 Caribbean countries (excluding the Dominican Republic and Haiti) - since July 1, 2020 United States of America - since July 10, 2020. * Bonaire and Curacao may have travel restrictions related to Aruba imposed by their own governments, please check accordingly. Opening dates for other regions, including South America and Central America, are yet to be determined. 4. Wearing of masks and additional safety measures. Wearing a mask is mandatory at specific places in Aruba by government regulation. Visitors and locals alike are expected to have a mask with them at all times to use in the mandated locations indicated below, as well as any other instances where social distancing is not possible. Where wearing a mask is mandatory: - all inbound visitors ages 15 and older must wear a mask during flight to Aruba. Travelers are also encouraged to familiarize themselves with any in-flight requirements and procedures of their chosen airline related to COVID-19. - all inbound visitors ages 15 and older must wear a mask in the airport in Aruba, during any taxi ride or public transportation from the airport to their accommodation, and until they enter their room at their booked place of stay. - all visitors and locals must wear a mask on public transportation including public buses and taxis for hire. - all visitors and locals must wear a mask in any indoor public space. This includes, but is not limited to, retail shops, supermarkets, museums, casinos, etc. Travelers are also encouraged to familiarize themselves with any specific mask wearing protocols in place at their chosen hotel or accommodations. - all visitors and locals must wear a mask on tour buses Where wearing a mask is strongly encouraged: In any places not listed above as mandatory, visitors and locals are strongly encouraged to wear a mask when social distancing is not possible and where there are no physical barriers, such as plexiglass shields, to compensate for social distancing. This includes, but is not limited to, food and beverage establishments, outdoor retail shops, outdoor attractions, parks, bike paths and walkways, etc. Proper mask usage Visitors and locals should follow CDC and/or WHO guidelines for effective types of masks, as well as proper mask usage including wearing a mask over the nose and mouth, securing it under the chin, and fitting it snugly against the sides of the face. Additional safety measures The Aruba government has also implemented additional island-wide measures to further maintain the health and safety of visitors. All restaurants are required to close by 11:00pm at the latest. Tables at restaurants can have a maximum of four seats (excluding seating for children under the age of 12). Tables must be at least 1.5 meters apart. All bars, rum shops, and nightclubs are closed until further notice. Restaurant bars can serve at tables only. There will be no bar stools and no standing at bars. Hotel bars can serve at the bar only to registered hotel guests. Hotel bars are permitted to have a live soloist. No live music activities with a band or a DJ are allowed. No parties are allowed in private homes. No groups over four people are allowed to form in public spaces unless the group consists of a family from the same household. This includes gatherings on the beach. Beach weddings are permitted but are limited to a maximum of 25 people and no live music is allowed and proper social distancing and hand sanitizing must be adhered to. A single, non-amplified musician is allowed. Indoor group sports and contact sports of any kind (indoor or outdoor) are not permitted. Follow our news section for daily updates on the COVID-19 situation in Aruba. https://www.visitaruba.com/traveling-to-aruba/entry-requirements-and-visas/aruba-travel-restrictions-covid-19/
  5. I had to drop in and say that I really enjoy stories about interesting passengers like this. Of course NOT that he's gone now - I wish he was still enjoying his cigarettes and dining partners in the Queens Grill. But he sounds like he was quite a character! And what a life! I guess it appeals to my daydreams of being lucky enough to have an unlimited cruising budget, sigh. 😉😊 I found a 2003 blog with a copied article from the December 28, 2003 "The Sunday Times" that talked about this. Here are some snippets: "However, Cunard has already been snubbed by one of its most prized British customers. Michael Rosenberg, 65, a retired financier, has refused to sail on the new ship because it bans smoking in its restaurants. The blow came after the company made last-minute alterations to the design of the ship in an attempt to accommodate Rosenberg and his wife Jocelyn, 54. The couple, who live on the Isle of Man, spend four months of the year — at a cost of about £480,000 — holidaying on the QE2". <and> "When he was initially approached about switching his allegiance to the QM2, he is understood to have told the company that he did not want one of the ship’s grand duplex suites. These split-level cabins cost more than £19,000 per person per week and have sweeping staircases that link their two floors. But they are in the stern and face backwards, while Rosenberg is believed to prefer a room that looks forward. As a result, Cunard redesigned a forward-facing lounge beneath the bridge to squeeze in an extra four suites. Despite that, the Rosenbergs are still refusing to change ship because Cunard has decided to make all the QM2’s restaurants non-smoking. This includes the exclusive Queen’s Grill — whose equivalent on the QE2 has been described as one of the top 10 restaurants in the world — where the Rosenbergs would have dined. When Cunard wrote to tell the financier smoking would be prohibited he is understood to have replied: “Smoking is one of my greatest pleasures.” I also found a 2015 (after his death) tribute to him that some might enjoy reading (not about cruising but cattle!): https://whiteparkcattlesociety.ltd.uk/tribute-to-michael-rosenberg-cbe/ Here's lifting a glass and cheers to a life well lived!
  6. Not funny - 100% scary - but if you haven't seen this OMG!
  7. And one more picture - feeder band waterspouts
  8. Just wanted to add one last thing - looking at FB group Hurricane Talk 2020 and some people are staying in place. Prayers that they make it though. One person thought she'd be OK since her house was brick construction. 😪
  9. One of the first feeder bands coming into Gulfport MS
  10. Makes me remember the 2017 tornado associated with Hurricane Irma that destroyed the Park 'N Cruise lot at Port Canaveral: https://cruiseradio.net/cruise-parking-lot-destroyed-storm/ “Customers currently on Carnival Magic or the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas can text their valet ticket # to 866-706-8999, for an update on your vehicle’s condition,” said another Facebook post. “We will text back as soon as possible… please keep in mind we are without power and water and communication is spotty at best, but we will respond.” Text your valet ticket to see about the damage of your vehicle. Yikes.
  11. I've been watching the boards over on storm2k.org and Laura is scaring even the most seasoned pro mets there 😲 The live storm chasers are on the road - I have no clue where they plan to shelter! https://livestormchasing.com/map (If you've never been to that site before just click on the little "eye" to watch a chaser who shows as online) Here's stormchaser Brett Adair from 2018 Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach FL
  12. "For its part, Hurtigruten has retained lawyers while its internal investigation is proceeding. The company hired DNV GL to conduct an independent investigation into the entire situation. In the meantime, its expedition cruise ships have all been laid up but its Norwegian coastal service is continuing as it is considered a form of vital transportation for people, mail, and cargo. When news of the situation first broke, Norway also again closed its ports to all cruise ships with more than 100 passengers while it investigated this incident". https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/hurtigruten-faces-continuing-problems-in-norway-after-covid-19-cruise
  13. Yeah and if you look at them closely it's really pretty easy to tell which one is Hurricane Lala 😄😄
  14. LOL like everything with MSC, this CC article shows that it all depends on the "experience" you choose - they only give ONE excursion complimentary for all cabin grades, and some other cabin grades can purchase up to three for 100 Euros pp. Only Yacht Club gets all five excursions: MSC will offer at least one of these excursions complimentary for all cabin grades, though additional excursions can be purchased depending on the cabin "Experience" that cruisers book. MSC's "experiences" come with numerous inclusions, including drink packages and other offerings. Passengers booking stays in the MSC Yacht Club, MSC's luxury ship-within-a-ship concept, will receive all five shore excursions (one in each port of call) for free. Passengers in other cabin grades can purchase up to three shore excursions for a flat, all-in rate of 100 Euros per person. https://www.cruisecritic.com/news/5510/
  15. Think we can learn something by Labor Day? 😁 "About 12% of Labor Day air travelers are headed to Florida, TripIt said, compared to 4% in 2019. Based on TripIt and previous TSA data, that suggests about 720,000 Americans will fly to Tampa, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Fort Myers, Key West, Panama City, and other parts of the Sunshine State". https://www.yahoo.com/news/nearly-1-million-americans-plan-160618648.html (Honestly though, my wish is for everyone to stay safe and healthy while they're down here and return home 😘 )
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