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SargassoPirate

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Everything posted by SargassoPirate

  1. And some of the latest polls indicate that only 40-45 % of the US population plan to get the vaccine when it's available. What will be interesting to see is what the restrictions then become - if any? Keep wearing a mask to protect the anti-vaxers? Let nature take its course and do some gene pool cleansing? I do hope the increased emphasis on cleaning every possible surface continues. I like a clean world.
  2. Here's their weasel words regarding continuing to sell booking on cruises that may never sail. This is from the top of the HAL home page: "We are currently assessing enhanced health and safety protocols in light of COVID-19 and how they may impact our future offerings. Our actual offerings may vary from what is displayed or described here."
  3. Oh, so true. Why would anyone get on a ship anytime soon? Social distancing and wearing a mask is not my idea of cruising. Plus, with things in a state of flux, you could find yourself stuck somewhere - on the ship or in Australia like I was back in March when the Ruby Princess cruise from Sydney to the US was cancelled. Even with a vaccine widely accessible, if a foreign port hears somebody sneeze or cough while getting off the ship, it'll be curtains. Time for some road trips until cruising settles down. All of those ports will still be there.
  4. As a person with some hearing loss, I find that between the mask on the other person and perhaps a plexiglass barrier added to the mix, it sounds like the other person is talking through their pillow. I can't hear well in a noisy MDR on a good night, especially if the other person is across the table and is a "low talker". Add some distance and a mask to the mix and I may as well stay home and watch Love Boat reruns for the near future. No commercial travel for us until there are no mask requirements.😷
  5. She Who Must Be Obeyed and I are Elites, something we didn't strive for but just got there by a lot a cruises. The Elite benefits are not that great and certainly not enough to tip the scales over to taking a cruise vacation with the Covid-19 restrictions plus the unknowns of things beyond our control - such as an outbreak of anything on board may close the ship to foreign ports. It's not a vacation if it's a struggle to make it work.
  6. Here are some of my musings regarding the vaccine and Covid-19. A recent AP poll revealed that only about half of the US population would bother to get the Covid-19 vaccine. That's about the same number who bother to get an annual flu shot. The Covid-19 is here to stay, as is the remnents of the Russian Flu from 1898 and the Spanish Flu. Both are still circulating, but mutated into the range of common cold viruses. Once a vaccine is widely available, what is the next step? Can we take off our masks since there will be no need to wear them to protect others - the others being those who refuse the vaccine? Right now, in the US, the death rate from Covid-19 per 100,000 population is about 4.4 percent. The death rate from the regular flu is around 2.9 percent. The media's focus on cases right now is background noise because that's what they do. It gives them a chance to use "skyrocketing". n Remember when it was all about flattening the curve, then it was all about ventilators, then it was all about PPE, then it was all about testing, and now it's all about cases. The numbers to watch are the positivity rate of the tests, and the overall death rate. You don't hear much about the death rate since that curve has been flattened and is remaining pretty steady. No news to sensationalize there. Just wondering about the future of cruising and life in general.
  7. Here are some of my musings regarding the vaccine and Covid-19. A recent AP poll revealed that only about half of the US population would bother to get the Covid-19 vaccine. That's about the same number who bother to get an annual flu shot. The Covid-19 is here to stay, as is the remnents of the Russian Flu from 1898 and the Spanish Flu. Both are still circulating, but mutated into the range of common cold viruses. Once a vaccine is widely available, what is the next step? Can we take off our masks since there will be no need to wear them to protect others - the others being those who refuse the vaccine? Right now, in the US, the death rate from Covid-19 per 100,000 population is about 4.4 percent. The death rate from the regular flu is around 2.9 percent. The media's focus on cases right now is background noise because that's what they do. It gives them a chance to use "skyrocketing". n Remember when it was all about flattening the curve, then it was all about ventilators, then it was all about PPE, then it was all about testing, and now it's all about cases. The numbers to watch are the positivity rate of the tests, and the overall death rate. You don't hear much about the death rate since that curve has been flattened and is remaining pretty steady. No news to sensationalize there. Just wondering about the future of cruising and life in general.
  8. One thing I hope continues is the enhanced sanitation. They were working on it pretty well pre-covid because of the constant threat of the norovirus. And I hope the pre-set tables in the buffet are gone forever. I've complained about it on every Princess and Viking Ocean cruise I've been on and am most always told that it's corporate policy. I always wonder how many of those corporate suits would want to be served coffee or juice from a buffet table where the table was wiped down with a used cloth napkin and the "unused" mugs and tumblers repositioned instead of being removed? But, I digress. One thing we are enjoying about our pause from cruising is our enhanced bank account! Every cloud has a silver lining.
  9. She Who Must Be Obeyed and I have cancelled all cruises through 2021 - well almost, I still have a cruise with HAL that I have yet to cancel but I'm waiting for them to blink first since I have a non-refundable deposit. I'll cancel before the final payment date if they don't blink. We are not traveling anywhere commercially - train, airplane, or ship - until there is a vaccine in widespread use. We have extrapolated our recent shopping and dining experiences onto a cruise ship and we just cannot see how it would be a pleasant experience. Cruising is supposed to be an escape from everyday life and not a struggle. Think about this the next time you are at Home Depot standing on one of the social distance 6 feet markers on the floor or encounter one-way shopping aisles. Plus, as an older person with hearing loss, clerks behind a plexiglass screen and a mask sound like they are talking through a pillow. No thanks. Crusing is a luxury, not a must-have. We can wait and see.
  10. Brazil has closed their borders to arrivals by sea and air through July 31. The final payment on this cruise is due to the Big Box Warehouse Club on August 7. As the end of the month approaches I'll have to see what Brazil does, but if they extend their border shutdown another 30 days, it would be a bad business practice for HAL to accept those final payments with the chances of entering Brazil not looking good. Regardless, I'll be cancelling before the end of the month, but hoping HAL blinks first and I can get my non-refundable deposit back.
  11. “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” ― Benjamin Franklin
  12. Hopefully, we old people will be first in line to receive the vaccine when it's available.
  13. That's where we are. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. And we are Elite. The loyalty bennies from other lines are better anyway/
  14. It was with my Costco CitiBank card. I opened the dispute on April 11 about a week after the scheduled sailing date of April 4. That way I could claim that the services were not received. The credit card company settled on June 15.
  15. By way of update, on day 95 with zip from Princess, my credit card company revised the provisional refund to a permanent refund. The credit card company gave Princess a deadline to respond and when they didn't - bingo, I got my final payment back. Princess is still on the hook for my down payment, which was made so long ago that I couldn't dispute the charge with the credit card company. Hopefully, they'll eventually settle up, but at least I got over $9K back in the coffers. The cruise was scheduled for April 4th on the Ruby. The credit card company clock has now stopped, but the Princess clock is still ticking away. Day 97 today.......
  16. By way of update, on day 95 with zip from Princess, my credit card company revised the provisional refund to a permanent refund. The credit card company gave Princess a deadline to respond and when they didn't - bingo, I got my final payment back. Princess is still on the hook for my down payment, which was made so long ago that I couldn't dispute the charge with the credit card company. Hopefully, they'll eventually settle up, but at least I got over $9K back in the coffers. The credit card company clock has now stopped, but the Princess clock is still ticking away. Day 97 today.......
  17. By contrast, we cancelled a cruise with Viking Ocean for next year. Received our deposit back within a few days. A couple of weeks later we also received two $500 vouchers for Viking Ocean or Viking River cruises. A complete surprise and a goodwill gesture that will bump them to the top of the list when we return to cruising. Sorry, Princess. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. This has been, so far, an expensive lesson in customer loyalty.
  18. Thanks Carol. I've already filed a dispute with Citi. There are twenty more days to run in that dispute period, so if princess doesn't respond to me, maybe they'll respond to the credit card company.
  19. Today is day 90 after I received my Princess Booking Compensation Receipt that confirmed my choice of Option 2. So far, all I have received from Princess is two emails with recipes and marketing emails enticing me to book another cruise - but no refund. They are sitting on over $9,000 of my money. Cruise with confidence? We are Elite with Princess, but I'm becoming increasingly confident that Princess won't be my first choice when we start cruising again. I want my money!
  20. Hank, if you would go ahead and make your final payment now, maybe it would help Princess make my refund. 😂😂😂
  21. As part of our pause on global travel after our April 4 cruise on the Ruby was cancelled, we decided to cancel all cruises next year. We are now at 80 days after choosing option 2 with Princess. The first cruise for next year that we cancelled was with Viking Ocean. We had a refund in 5 days. Who do you think will be our first choice when we decide to cruise again?
  22. Looks like the decision has been made for HAL by Trump. He just announced he is closing the border to travel from Brazil. I suspect HAL will be cancelling this cruise for us.
  23. I remember that debacle. Afterwards, even mentioning the RCs would get you booted off CC.
  24. Totally agree. We received a survey from AmTrak yesterday about future travel plans, etc. In the comment section I stated that we would not consider travel on any commercial carrier until there is a viable vaccine in use wordlwide and the travel experience returns to normal without masks and distancing.
  25. We will book when there's a vaccine in use worldwide and the travel and cruise experience returns to normal. We will book with the companies that have stepped up and issued timely refunds on the trips that were cancelled this year - whether cancelled by them or by me as a result of things beyond my control.
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