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About drrich2

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Recreational Scuba Diving
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  1. I voted 'yes,' as I don't have a specific plan to do it but I am open to it. We've flown down to Puerto Rico to catch a cruise before; I'm open to regarding Nassau-based cruises the same way. I'd rather cruise out of Fort Lauderdale or Miami, but hey...any Royal big ship cruise in a pandemic, you know?
  2. This needs to happen. Cruising is way too dependent on the U.S. home port market and the CDC is too grossly risk-avoidant without adequately addressing other concerns. If this were about minimum restrictions in the face of pandemic risks, authorizing 50% capacity, vaccinated passenger and crew only, 'cruises to nowhere' (with a Jones' Act temporary exemption, etc...) could've been done. There's legitimate epidemiology-based restriction in the face of a pandemic...and there's draconian neglect toward a large industry hemorrhaging vast amounts of money. Diversifying home ports, even
  3. Down the road that may well be. I question how likely that is to be in place by July, for example. While different states are prioritizing groups a bit differently, front-line healthcare workers and nursing home residences are high priority, as as advanced elderly and those with high risk medical conditions. While prisoners aren't the most sympathy-garnering group, considering their environment they are high risk. Looking at vaccine supplies and projected approvals (today in a professional e-mail read Astrazena/Oxford's is likely to get U.S. approval in April 2021), and I don't think vaccine t
  4. From what I'm hearing on You Tube, odds of cruising restarting in March aren't good, but there's an outside chance it can. We already know that in the near-term future, cruises over 7 days are a no-go. Ships have to be in U.S. waters, become eligible to do test cruises, get CDC approval...and so...whenever cruising 'really' resumes, April, May, June, etc...I'm curious as to which ships will likely go as schedule. The other big issue is whether RCI will cancel and reschedule ships, or 'trade ships' (bring another in to do the itinerary), for cruises currently scheduled even if cruis
  5. I hope so...I'm booked on Symphony of the Seas in July. I, too, have hopes for the vaccine. But here's a 'wrench in the gears...' The approved vaccines haven't had clinical trials with children, last I checked (which was recently). One of them is for people 18 and older, the other for 16 and older. Even if a lot of adults are vaccinated by then, I imagine most children won't be. And the Oasis-class ships are family ships, catering to families with children. Then there's the question of what 'social distancing' will mean for use of pools, Splash-a-Way Bay a
  6. That's an enormous over-generalization. First off, there's a huge facility rate discrepancy between children and the elderly. Secondly, comorbid medical conditions such as diabetes can substantially raise risk. Thirdly, if you're young, healthy and lucky, that's nice...but not so much for the elder in line at the grocery store you spread it to when you don't even know you're sick. And infectiousness is present before symptom onset in many people. Men are higher risk, obese people are higher risk, elders are higher risk, there's a lot going on here. Some survivors have chronic sympto
  7. I just compiled on info. on the vaccine situation into a post on another forum, thinking in terms of a land trip to Bonaire. Since it may be useful here, I'll also paste that here: I don’t know how closely you guys follow the vaccine-development effort; Pfizer has submitted an application for emergency use authorization for an mRNA vaccine and hopefully we’ll have it soon; it needs to be stored at -70 degrees C (-94 degrees F), which is a big problem for storage and transportation; it's 2 shots, 21 days apart. Moderna also has a mRNA candidate up and coming, and its cold-requiremen
  8. There are a couple of problems inherent to this. 1.) Science doesn't give the right answer, it just informs policy. Science doesn't give us the moral value of a human life or a healthy economy. It also doesn't always provide the clear guidance we might with. Absent impractical scientific research like a large study with multiple cruises under proposed guidelines and follow up testing for case incidence and 'super spreader' events, if any...we're reduced to asking some scientists (many of whom have probably never been on a cruise and just read about them) to make a guess. That kind
  9. Age is not 'just a number.' While the rate and extent of progressive debilitation varies widely, it's worth considering your senior travelers' cognitive and physical endurance. They don't need to do everything, and having a good range of entertainment and dining potentially appealing to a very broad demographic is a wonderful benefit of Oasis-class ships. Listening to the kids talking about how much fun they're having will add to the seniors' enjoyment. Cognitively, if they've 'slowed down' or gotten a smidge 'senile,' you may need to review the day's options and break
  10. It's time to let those who want to cruise, cruise. If the cruising shutdown remains in effect until the most risk-average are satisfied, there won't be a cruise industry. If a vaccine is approved this year in the U.S. (no guarantee), large scale roll out will take months. We already tolerate large-scale congregations (hello, Black Lives Matter protests!) elsewhere in the U.S. 'Safe' is relative. Wait for cruising to be 'safe,' and you will never go. There will always be risk. Choose your threshold and make your personal decision while respecting the libert
  11. Thank you. I did some checking on a summer 2021 Symphony reservation, cancelled and rebooked a 100 print or digital photo package (saving about $15 I think) and went ahead and booked a Voom Surf & Stream - 4 device internet package at around 65% off IIRC, which is probably about the best price I'll get a crack at. Thanks again!
  12. Curious about that...have you looked at the estimated percentage risks of serious (possibly lasting) debilitation or death from COVID-19 for you (gender, age group, medical comorbid conditions if any, etc...)? This virus is something that you are fairly likely to eventually get exposed to. Now, considering how low risk a vaccine has to be even for liability reasons (e.g.: the drug company doesn't want to be driven into bankruptcy by lawsuits), have you somehow deduced that the expected vaccine is quite likely more dangerous to you than COVID-19? Sounds like something interesting m
  13. From what I've read of the anticipated and hoped for vaccine, be mindful it will likely be a 2 shot series and may turn out to be something people get 'boosters' of over time, and it's not likely to be 100% effective. We shouldn't assume everyone it works on is incapable of spreading the virus. One expert was concerned once a vaccine is out, some people will ditch other precautions (e.g.: masks and social distancing), when he wants both. What if masks and social distancing practices prevent more spread than the vaccine does? Then people relying solely on the vaccine, though it wor
  14. A range of factors are in play. Whenever you get a diverse grouping of people, in terms of education, career, income level, what they value, background, cultural norms, etc..., you will see people run afoul of each other's sensibilities. It's not an issue of right/wrong, more a matter of how you react to seeing people say or do what sounds ridiculous to you. Imagine how a homeless person might react to seeing someone walk out of a country club, blow his nose in a $20 bill and toss it in the trash. I book inside staterooms (had a Jr. Suit honeymoon, had a balcony a couple other times)
  15. I've done Curacao, St. Croix, Cozumel and Bonaire (scuba diving was a factor in my choices). I linked you trip reports in case it's of interest. The St. Croix scene has changed a bit since due to hurricanes. Enjoyed them all. Decide if you need a lot of 'cruise ship excursion' type offerings, or like a laid back, quaint island you can drive and saunter around, whether you need sandy beach or to entertain kids, etc...
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