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About actuarian

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  1. At my local Publix Supermarket, shoppers are allowed to select fresh produce (apples, peaches, potatoes, etc.) with their bare hands. No gloves are supplied and no attempt is made to stop them from examining a piece of fruit and then putting it back on the shelf if it is not to their liking. Also, nobody makes sure that children do not touch the fruit. Those children go to school where they often are "hugging and rubbing shoulders and so on". Then they come home and pass anything that they catch to their parents. IMHO, Celebrity takes much better precautions to prevent the spread of disease than most Elementary schools and most supermarkets in the United States. IMHO, if COVID-19 becomes a full fledged pandemic, it will not be because of cruise ships. It is far more likely that school children will become the primary carriers, especially if, as some reports indicate, children can pass the disease to adults without ever developing symptoms.
  2. Based on SeaHunt's post above, COVID-19 spread through a church in South Korea. If it can spread that way at a church, it can equally well spread at a supermarket or a Walmart or a movie theater. If it spreads that way, avoiding cruises will not help very much. The only thing that will help is either quickly developing a vaccine or containing the virus by extreme means like complete border closure and total quarantine of everyone who has been exposed. IMHO, this virus has to be contained, even if raising the funds requires a new tax. Unfortunately, many of our legislators would rather contract the disease than enact a tax.
  3. It may depend on the ship. On the Edge, there are 176 suites, which are 12.0% of the total rooms on the ship. By comparison, on an M-Class ship, there are 50 suites, which are 4.6% of the rooms on the ship. Maybe, Celebrity is just not able to provide the same quality of service in Luminae to the 176 Edge suites as it is able to provide to the 50 suites on the Infinity. 4.6% is a much more select group than 12.0%. I am not sure that any other mainstream cruise ship has 12% of its rooms in the exclusive class and, perhaps, it is just too many. Certainly the percentages of rooms in The Haven on Norwegian or in the Yacht Club on MSC are both much less than 12%. They both are between 4% and 5% (like the suite percentage on the M-Class Celebrity ships). Of course, luxury cruise lines like Seaborne or Silversea can provide exclusive service to everyone. However, Celebrity does not have either the food budget or the Crew to Passenger ratio that those luxury lines have. My wife and I mostly cruise on M-class ships and we have never seen any overcrowding in Blu on those ships. On those occasions when we have cruised in suites, the service in Luminae has been excellent. We have never been on the Edge.
  4. Yes, but the government of Australia has a choice there; it can stop those flights and ships that connect it to China if that is necessary to keep COVID-19 out. However, if all of Asia is impacted, Australia will probably have no choice. IMHO, people are underestimating the worst possible outcome that COVID-19 could produce. In spite of all of the precautions that were taken in Japan, a country with an extremely sophisticated health care system, 12.3% of the passengers and crew on the Diamond Princess are already infected. There will probably be more to come. I think that, if this virus is allowed to get completely out of control, it might be able to infect as many as 25% of the population of the entire world. That is just under two billion people. If the mortality rate were 2%, that would be forty million deaths, a mind-blowing number. IMHO, no expense would be too great to prevent a disaster of that magnitude.
  5. Eleven years ago, CNBC aired a documentary entitled "Cruise Inc.: Big Money on the High Seas". It is somewhat out-of-date now but, IMHO, it is still one of the best sources of information about the financial aspects of the cruise industry. Even then, it cost around one billion dollars to build a new cruise ship, which meant that they had to be financed. If a cruise ship is mothballed, the payments on it still come due but there is no revenue from on-board purchases such as drinks, the casino, etc. A cruise line can go into receivership very quickly that way. That is why, during the recession that was happening in 2009 when the documentary was made, cruises were being sold at rock bottom prices to fill the ships. Anything was better than cancelling cruises or sailing with large numbers of empty rooms. Back then, fares were often less than half of what they are now.
  6. We know geography well enough to know that if COVID-19 takes hold in Malaysia, there is very little chance of preventing it from spreading to Indonesia and to the rest of Southeast Asia. Once that happens, there will also be very little chance of keeping it out of Australia.
  7. The people occupying the larger suites are escorted onto the ship and to Michael's Club (or The Retreat) so people see who they are. We Sky Suite peons can go to Michael's too but we have to find our own way.
  8. I stand corrected. Of course, I meant west of Hawaii. I agree that right now, the current epidemic falls well short of a pandemic. However, I do not think that there any reason to believe that it will still fall short of a pandemic three months from now. IMHO, it is necessary to prepare for that now, not in May. By then, it could be too late to prevent the worst mortality since 1918 and the worst worldwide economic depression since the 1930s.
  9. It is not just Cambodia that is about to be punished. Those passengers are already spread all over the world and everyone who has been in an airplane or other public place with even one of those passengers may now be a carrier of COVID-19. Cambodia's "good deed" may have destroyed the last chance of avoiding a worldwide pandemic. IMHO, the best thing that the cruise industry could do now would be to reposition all ships out of any part of the Pacific that is east of Hawaii. Then they should lobby the United States Congress to pass an emergency law that would allow foreign flagged cruise ships to sail on routes that include only United States ports for the duration of the pandemic.
  10. Corona Viruses are a family of viruses and they are not all alike. What makes this particular species of Corona Virus scary is that it is new (or novel as the virologists usually say). That means that information about it is limited and unreliable. Certainly, some cases are mild and resemble common colds but I have not seen any data to support the "80%" figure quoted above. We simply do not know what percentage of cases are mild since the data that has been released by China are very limited. Comparing it with seasonal influenza is comparing a known with an unknown. Seasonal influenza is well understood and it is very rare for anyone who has been vaccinated and is otherwise healthy to develop a life threatening case of seasonal flu. There is no vaccine for COVID-19 and the unknown is always a lot more scary than the known.
  11. "Should be" is just an opinion and everyone is welcome to his or her opinion. The Welcome Aboard lunch in the MDR is for Concierge Class people and the Welcome Aboard lunch in Luminae is for Suite Class people. I cannot think of any objective reason why B2B cruisers who are not in either of those classes should be invited to one but not the other, other than historical practice. This circles back to the OP's point. B2B cruisers who are not in suites are not invited to the Welcome Aboard lunch in Luminae because having them in Luminae would probably cause overcrowding at that venue. This is exactly the reason why Suite Class cruisers should not be invited to Blu.
  12. Back-to-back cruisers on their second (or subsequent) cruises are invited to the embarkation day lunch in the MDR, regardless of what kind of room they are in (although they have a choice of either the MDR or Luminae if they are in a suite). I think B2B cruisers were invited to lunch there even before CC cruisers were.
  13. I think that you are absolutely right about that. IMHO, it is the crews of container ships and other freighters and tankers that threaten to make an epidemic that is now almost entirely restricted to East Asia into a worldwide pandemic. There is nothing new about this. Freighters have been the source of epidemics for centuries, perhaps even millennia. It is likely that freighters brought the "black death" to Europe in the 1300's.
  14. DW and I are leaving on a 4-night Caribbean cruise from MIA this Monday, February 10. We are going even though she has COPD. That is, unless they confuse the COPD with something contagious and stop us. However, in that case, there would be no cancellation fees. We have another (7-night) Caribbean cruise out of MIA booked for Saturday, February 22, and we intend to go on that one too.
  15. Since it is airborne, doesn't that mean you can catch it at the terminal while waiting on line to go through the metal detector? In my experience, people are not asked any health questions until after they have gone through the metal detectors. It sounds like that could be too late. A person who is denied boarding could have already infected other passengers who are allowed to board. Then those passengers could go on to infect more passengers. It seems like "the alternative [that] will be so much worse" is just a matter of time. "
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