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mking8288

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About mking8288

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    10,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    "Big Apple" NY
  • Interests
    Travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    NCL, CCL, RCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Bermuda/Caribbean
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/5nup7xtw3ell4g0/CruiseCritic%20Abstract%20-%20mking8288%20-%2011.2018A.doc

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  1. Sounds cool ... odd timing for the seasonal influenza should it co-mingle with Covid-19. Looking at this from the North America porthole windows: good luck getting to (flying, driving, etc.) the embarkation and disembarkation ports, dealing with any & all voluntary/mandatory pre- and post- quarantine measures at different ports and countries abroad, in 4 weeks of less, i.e. especially for those with residency in NY, NJ or CT. On the pro side, those private islands should be near ideal as refuge, with all the enhanced measures in place coupled with reduced passenger capacity onboard the vessels.
  2. Clickbait ??? working its magic, I dunno. Got one's attention ... similar to those belated birthday gifts redeemable at Ikea, lately.
  3. US-CDC and flip-flops used to "not" belong in the same phrase or sentence until 2020. I share the feelings among those on the healthcare frontline that this is not a simple solution with the magic wand ... And, that, most likely, 2 shots of the vaccine given at the near optimal interval preferred over doing it at warp speed ... wait, nevermind. I would pay more attention to what the WHO is doing on the global level, in countries around the rest of the world - leave out the politics.
  4. Nice ... does that come with butler services ?? It looks very nice, self-contained with all the essential amenities. Pack a cooler along and have food orders catered/delivered to the "lodge" - and just chill out. "Like" - our kind of land-based vacation looking ahead. No desire to book a cruise anytime soon from the Americas nor flying across, unless it is absolutely essential. We have a 2 bedroom suites booked for Fall foliage in early October, fully refundable up to 48 hours prior to scheduled arrival - within our region & not subject to travel restrictions & quarantine rules. Cabin fever is real for being on dry land since last December but ... Thanks for sharing, be well, healthy & live smartly.
  5. Going "above and beyond" to earn those "vacation hero" recognition ?? as in doing their job Think about that for a moment, LOL. Let's ask that question during the onboard Q&A with the senior officers, should get some looks and interesting answer(s) - don't feel that anyone can definitely answer OP's question now for what's over the horizon in 2021 and beyond.
  6. I would make a wild guess, and mine alone only, that it is slightly more than 50:50 chance that in the post Covid-19/pandemic era, until the world learn to manage and cope with the new normal, that complimentary Platinum (Plus for us) offers on these BTS tour would - likely be limited at best, and fair chance for the tour to be suspended ... in line with social distancing & best practices as we understood/know them to be (much remained unknown & un-proven on what worked or not ...) to keep crew/officers and guest contacts apart, especially below decks. Of course, ("lighten up, everyone" ... as in tongue-in-cheek) it isn't unreasonable to offer "us" a virtual reality tour for going BTS - without getting us into PPE, wearing a face mask, washing our hands before & after, and putting on a pair of non-latex gloves to minimize the odds for ... Just saying. There are "bigger" worries" on when we are going to cruise again, how and bigger considerations. The shortened/condensed 1 hour or 60 minutes tour isn't what it used to be ... as in "meh"
  7. I am going to bite my tongue on this & get roasted for tossing my 2 cents here ... but, what the heck - here we go. Let's stick with the cruise ship crew for the moment & I know that Cheng has been voicing for the merchant ship crews - whether it's 5,000 or 8,500 or the "high-end" # of around 12,000 unable to travel freely & go home, due to Covid-19/pandemic restrictions & measures in place at their home countries and/or elsewhere (as in the USA) ... is it fair & reasonable to say that many of them have served & stay continuously onboard these vessels for the past 6 or 7 months, probably 8 months and even longer ... way past their normal contract terms & typical durations ?? Cruiselines are obligated and need to keep the minimum crew headcounts to maintain the ships in warm layup - fine ... but, aren't they going to do rotation & come with ways, means & ports to rotate and get a fresh crew onboard to relieve ?? including the senior officers & ranks on the bridge ?? Has that happened and to what extent - probably nobody has a clear & definite figures to offer, just wondering out loud. Timely repatriation of the crews, officers and yes, merchant ship crews ... remained to be a serious problem, obstacle and challenge - that is, 6 months after the pandemic outbreak spread well beyond Wuhan. Our extended families & immediate circles of cruise friends had a mostly virtual gathering this weekend to chat over a # of issues, and, it is fair to conclude that the dozen of us aren't planning to book any cruise anytime soon, not this Fall. We will wait & see what happen this Fall/Winter here in the Americas - from the "relative" safety of metro NY, once "ground-zero for USA's Covid-19 outbreak with the death tolls" before committing to anything for the 1st half of 2021. Our family dentist decided to retire as he concluded too, it is just not worth the risk with all the still unknown with the risks for airborne elements - sadly, they were frequent cruisers too and like us, not planning anything over the horizon either. Looking at how this country of ours fumbled and mis-managed the federally coordinated response plan to the outbreak - I have virtually zero confidence on how our 50 mini "states" are going to come together anytime soon to get our unified acts together under one command. Live smartly, stay healthy and act accordingly ... wearing a mask, social distancing and frequent hand washing, etc. aren't about giving up or losing one's liberty and freedom.
  8. Organized/lead 3 cabin crawls (1 mega/+ ship and 2 Jewel/Dawn class ships) - forward views on 15000 are incredible. The Jewel/Dawn class 2 bedroom suites on Deck 11 are actually more spacious ... incredible tub view, over a glass of chilled bubble. Dawn's original Garden Villas with 3 bedrooms, those are a "must-see" if you sail her & get the chance to see if the hosts staying there are generous ... As for seeing those "exclusive" Haven suites "upstairs" - it is best done with the help of the guest's concierge and/or by private arrangement in small groups only. Done that with those Forward and/or AFT penthouse suites - arrange for a designated time for the hosts of those suites to make it available, afternoon on sea days seemed to work for the one's I've done ... keep in mind privacy & respectful of others/neighbor's nearby (keep the party noises "down") Here are some pix: P.S. But, the cabin crawl might be a thing of the past ... looking ahead.
  9. Relieved to see that those repatriated NCL crew members destined for Manila & beyond finally reached the destination, after spending nearly 2 months at sea, going more than half way around the globe - given the current protocol of their host/homeland country - they aren't likely permitted to step foot ashore freely for another 2 to 3 weeks (as noted ... sometime in early/mid August). The process set forth there remained unchanged for OFW, it seemed - "more than 90,000 overseas Filipinos have already been repatriated in the country. A total of 11,688 overseas Filipinos were brought back home this week (45% sea-based)." Source - https://mb.com.ph/2020/07/18/covid-19-cases-among-filipinos-abroad-breach-9000-mark-dfa/ Covid-19 cases detailed in this article - https://mb.com.ph/2020/07/18/65000-covid-cases-recorded-in-ph/ Like just about every other countries around the world, screening measures and quarantine (14 days or longer) are part of the scheme ... Here in the Americas ... what more can be said. Be well, safe & wish all to stay healthy !
  10. Schools and educational settings might not be the "most dangerous" setting for kids themselves - however, IMHO and there are plenty of data to support the notion that, kids can be asymptomatic and "help" spread the virus to others, like their teachers & support staff in the institutions ... and, bring it home to their own parents, grandparents, other adults and neighbors with other known & hidden comorbility or risk factors. There are risks in making blanket generalizations, like "kids don't care" - perhaps true, but not always true and not across the board false or untrue. Kids in other countries are coached and taught, learned to wear a mask, properly ... maintain social distancing and wash hands before & after certain activities - and, they respect, follow and listen to the guidance & instructions given by others. It could be good parenting and education by the grown-ups, adults. Our family dentist has resumed seeing current patients, by appointments, with measures in place, on a limited scale ... as he put it, " it is not necessary worth the risk to himself and his office team - despite being in as much PPE as he could" when I sat down again in his chair again, last week for a delayed follow-up to get some work done, and yesterday." His office manager still has trouble getting FDA/OSHA-certified N95 masks and even the availability of an "equivalent" KN95 batch of masks were out of stock for ordering/delivery. We used to chat and share our cruise stories ... and, like us, they aren't returning to cruising and/or flying in a while - there are safer and "better" options or alternatives, not a matter of giving up one's freedom to live and die. To which her/his own, as always - free free to disagree.
  11. I am inclined to partially concur, especially for the North America ports for embarkation and disembarkation. Given how other countries in the rest of the world, Asia & EU, that a phased & limited scale to begin ramp up some cruises ... could be probable. The "Escape" left Miami, Florida in May on a crew repatriation mission in May via Europe, finally reached Singapore and from the latest AIS tracking data, should reach Manila Bay in a few days on its final stop to release the crew to go ashore - upon testing & local clearance, screening & isolation/quarantine, etc. - on their homeward bound journey. Maybe, just maybe, there will be a long line of prospective & experience crew queued up and ready to sail again, if and when NCL is ready to recall them to "exit" their warm laid up by this Fall. Maybe, maybe not. There are good reasons for why the cruise lines secured financing for an extension duration of not sailing. You and I likely feel the same about the odds. Others are free to disagree.
  12. Jan ... Cruising days for many CC diehards, by these new definitions/interpretations .. could well be over. We might still do a little cruising in 2021 or 2022 while still under the radar, should and if these safety protocols get sanctioned and incorporated into the new normal for the industry as a whole. That will eliminate easily half of our own circles of cruise families & friends, by virture of age and other risk factors, sadly. To put a spin for the rest, more opportunity for bidding up to better cabins as there will be less competition for them - on top of social distancing rules, et. al. Isn't that going to be nice to have mega/+ ships that aren't crowded and shorter lines to queue up for the elevators, LOL. I am not that sure (personally speaking only as in "peace-of-mind") if some of the measures will take care of some of the airborne infection risks onboard, in whatever congested & crowded, closed quarters - cruise ships among the settings, in setting a higher bar and benchmarks on these public health & safety protocols. Now that we just sold our house (whew ... delayed closing finally happened), pocketed a good chunk of money and moving ahead to downsize to a smaller home ... given all the "stuff" spiking nearly everywhere, we are just going to put cruising on hold for a while - staycation and closer to home will be the motto for us. I wonder what NCL is going to do with future CC Meet & Greet/Mingle on board ... and how it is going to be handled, or suspended until further notice.
  13. Sort of borrowing from Peter & Jane to pay back the earlier cancellation for Paul & Julie's booking, like playing musical chairs with someone else's money.
  14. $3,000 USD as refundable deposit against the cost of Covid-19 testing AND medical care, including quarantine. That is all ... that amount might not cover the cost of one's initial ER/ED visit for Covid-19 here in the good old USA. Folks that are gung ho diehard for getting back to cruising ASAP, what is there to not opt-in and start packing ... probably a good idea to check one's passport for validity and carry an extra 60 to 90 days of personal medications ... easier to not worry about getting one's scripts refilled overseas. Just my opinion, of course.
  15. It is difficult to keep American politics out of this global pandemic crisis ... I'm mindful of CC's position on this. This outbreak, as other countries has proven, can be tamed and managed, slowed down and kept down, not close to elimination but we in the USA are definitely on the wrong curves and that upward projection is not where public health experts had said we could be on - aside from a handful of states. Failure of leadership at multiple levels, as if we are dealing with it as fifty mini-countries within the union, each governor doing their own thing with CDC providing their "advisories" that even those at 1600 Penn Ave, NW don't bother to respect, listen to and follow. Sorry, it is a monkey circus and that is my one rant for the month on CC. Cruisers from the US and by virture of holding a USA Passport could well be on the unwelcome list elsewhere and/or mandated to go to being quarantined and isolation for our own good and the protection of other nation's citizens. I agree with several other posters above, we aren't going to see anything different, drastic and turnaround of this until 2021. No cruising out of the US for a while, not for us. Back in March & April of 2020, I thought we might still see a chance of sailing in late 2020. Not anymore. We are seriously overdue for our 2020 vacations, 2 cruises cancelled by our own choice and ready to get on our road trip this early Fall. If Canada's border are open for our crossing, we are likely to going to drive north & spend there instead ... 7 hours away only, easier & safer than flying transcon.
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