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SargassoPirate

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Everything posted by SargassoPirate

  1. I did an Around The Horn Cruise a few years ago on my own. It was a bucket list item for me. Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco. 49 nights in an inside cabin. The cabin was a place to shower, shave, and sleep. I don't mind an inside when it's just me, but She Who Must be Obeyed insists on a balcony since she uses it as her own private sanctuary and I serve as her personal cabin boy for snacks and coffee. In that event, I try to book a balcony on what will be the sunny side of the ship for the majority of the cruise - for example eastbound transatlantic it's the starboard side. Since I had no problem with 49 nights, I think I'll be OK for 99. But, to each his own. Oh, and the world cruise is also on my bucket list, not hers, so She Who Must Be Obeyed will sit that one out also. She likes cruising, just not as much as me. I'm the son of a son of a sailor. Best of luck on your world cruise. It will be another adventure not soon forgotten.
  2. No need to stay home, I just expect basic safe food service sanitation practices on board and pre-setting tables with drinkware and then leaving some of them on the table for the next passenger is not one of them. Wiping down a table between passengers with a used cloth napkin from the previous patron is not one of them. Using the same people to bus tables and then reset the tables and serve beverages without a handwashing station for them is not one of them. Oh, but they are wearing gloves! I also expect that if someone in a food service operation is wearing plastic gloves that they don't touch their face, their hair, their cellphone, a food ladle, or wipe down a countertop, clear away dirty dishes, and then go back to touching or serving food. That's gross, and I've observed it during so-called enhanced procedures during noro outbreaks on ships. All those gloves do is keep the wearer's hands clean. A static inspection when a ship is in port is nice, but unless the inspectors are on board and observe actual operating procedures they won't catch the things I've described. And yes, take the precautions you described and more to protect oneself. It's a dirty world and you need to break the chain of contamination between it and you.
  3. Yeah, whenever I hear about a motorcycle accident from one of those never-bikers I always reply with the latest car accident report and ask if they've quit driving their car. Live to ride and ride to live. Ever see a Harley parked outside a psychiatrist's office?
  4. Don't shake hands. Just do the fist bump. If the other party doesn't get it, they are clueless.
  5. Not to mention the news media looking for ratings, views, clicks, whatever. From what I can see from reading online, the mortality rate from corona thus far is similar to flu and hits the same segments of the population the worst - immunocompromised, pre-existing respiratory conditions, elderly, etc. I'd like to know what the Chinese are spraying on their streets and how effective that's been - or is it just for show like a food handler wearing plastic gloves. All those gloves do is keep the wearer's hands clean and serve as a source for cross-contamination.
  6. I'm not the Sgt. Major, but I'll ring in. She Who Must Be Obeyed and I have just under 50 cruises on several lines, including, Cunard, RCI, Celebrity, HAL, Princess, and Viking Ocean. While her comfort requirements are a bit above mine, my travel benchmark is camping out on long Harley rides and eating military MREs warmed up on the bike's engine as I set up camp. Anything above that and I'm pretty much satisfied. We cruise for the itinerary, but also try to avoid spring break and school holidays to reduce the number of feral children on the cruise. We enjoy a wrap around promenade with deck chairs. If I can scrape up a wee dram of a good, peaty Scotch before dinner, I'm good. We always find something good to eat somewhere on the ship. Conventional wisdom is never book a world cruise on a line on which you have not sailed before - BUT the price on P&O could not be beat by all of the lines that I researched. And it's on the Aurora - adults only! 99 days, Southampton to Southampton. January 3, 2022.
  7. Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. Resanitize after you go through the buffet line and touch ladle handles, the bottom of your chair when you pull it in, and any condiment containers. DO NOT lay your silverware directly on the table - the table may have been sneezed on and then wiped down with a used cloth napkin (seen it done). Be suspicious of any food worker wearing plastic gloves - they work well to keep the person's hands clean and are even more effective in spreading germs from one surface to another. Sit for a bit and observe all of the surfaces a person wearing those gloves touches as well as your food. Essentially, break the chain between the dirty world out there and what you put in your mouth.
  8. Just to put the corona virus into perspective, the CDC reports that as of January 18th: "The latest FluView surveillance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that as of January 18, 2020, there have been 15 million cases of flu, 140,000 hospitalizations, and 8200 deaths in the US this influenza season. Although the agency is reporting that flu activity is high at this point in the season, severity markers, which include hospitalization and death, are not considered high at this time." And that's just in the US. Has anyone changed their travel plans because of 8200 people in the US dying from the flu this season? I don't mean to downplay the corona virus at all, but it's also good to put some perspective on it. How many people died in car accidents last year? Did you stop driving your car? My friends seem to take delight in telling me about every motorcycle accident within 100 miles, but I don't stop riding my Harley.
  9. Just to put the corona virus into perspective, the CDC reports that as of January 18th: "The latest FluView surveillance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that as of January 18, 2020, there have been 15 million cases of flu, 140,000 hospitalizations, and 8200 deaths in the US this influenza season.Although the agency is reporting that flu activity is high at this point in the season, severity markers, which include hospitalization and death, are not considered high at this time." And that's just in the US. Has anyone changed their travel plans because of 8200 people in the US dying from the flu this season? I don't mean to downplay the corona virus at all, but it's also good to put some perspective on it. How many people died in car accidents last year? Did you stop driving your car? My friends seem to take delight in telling me about every motorcycle accident within 100 miles, but I don't stop riding my Harley.
  10. I'm one of the Sons Of Arthritis here.😉 Unless She Who Must Be Obeyed and I are cruising with friends or family, we always request a table for two. I have a hearing loss and that coupled with a loud MDR and a low talker at a table for four more and all I get is someone's lips moving. Friends and family understand and will speak up. I do wear hearing aids, but while they amplify sound, they also amplify the ambient noise.
  11. You summed up our basic requirements splendidly. She Who Must Be Obeyed and I are both Yanks and have just under 50 cruises on several lines, including, Cunard, RCI, Celebrity, HAL, Princess, and Viking Ocean. While her comfort requirements are a bit above mine, my travel benchmark is camping out on long Harley rides and eating military MREs warmed up on the bike's engine as I set up camp. Anything above that and I'm pretty much satisfied. We cruise for the itinerary, but also try to avoid spring break and school holidays to reduce the number of feral children on the cruise. We enjoy a wrap around promenade with deck chairs. If I can scrape up a wee dram of a good, peaty Scotch before dinner, I'm good. We always find something good to eat. And we find that the crew return smiles and greetings in kind. We have yet to cruise on P&O, but after much research I have booked a World Cruise on P&O. Conventional wisdom is never book a world cruise on a line on which you have not sailed before - BUT the price could not be beat by all of the lines that I researched. And it's on the Aurora - adults only!
  12. I posted the following after a Viking Ocean cruise in April 2019. Just wondering if their practices have changed? "First couple of days on our first Viking Ocen cruise but I am getting creeped out. We went to the World Cafe on boarding day and noticed the tables were all pre-set with plastic placemats, siverware rolls, and tumblers and coffee cups placed upside down on the plastic placemat. I decided to enjoy a beer with lunch and watch to see how the tables were cleaned between PAX. It was gross. The same people that cleared the tables then reset them. There was no handwashing sink or santizer station for them to use between handling dirty and clean eating utensils. The placemats were "cleaned" with a swipe of the used cloth napkin and left on the table. Then clean tumblers and coffee cups were placed inverted on the "clean" placemat. If one person sat at a table for two, the extra tumblers and coffee cups were removed and returned to the clean supply and used to set another table. The next morning at breakfast, the same practices were observed, plus then the clean silverware was placed directly on the placemats and the open-topped container of coffee cream was left on the table between seatings. Ever wonder how norovirus can spread through a ship so fast?"
  13. Just curious, are the tables in the Horizon Court pre set with drinkware during breakfast hours? I've seen it and complained about it on every Princess cruise we've done. We have seen the unused, inverted or right-side-up drinkware left on the table between passengers, the tables "cleaned" with a swipe of used cloth napkin and the the unused drinkware re-positioned for the next user. Who's to say if the previous diners handled, sneezed on, or coughed on that drinkware? Maybe they coughed into that napkin that the crew used to wipe down the table. When I complain, I'm always told that it's corporate policy that the tables be pre-set at breakfast. I always grab my own clean drinkware from one of the beverage stations and I never, ever unroll my silverware burrito and lay my eating utensils on the table.
  14. Think about all viruses when you go to the Horizon Court for breakfast and find the drinkware already on the table, upside down. Then watch to see if they leave "unused" drinkware on the table for the next passenger and watch to see how they sanitize the table with that drinkware still sitting there. My advice - grab your own coffee and juice from the beverage station and don't use anything that you find already on the table.
  15. Try Travel Guard for an annual policy. It covers you for all travel beyond, I think, 150 miles from home. It does have limits and will not cover you for full cancellation of a cruise, for example. As long as you understand that it is not without limits and for losses beyond those limits you are self-insured, it may work for you. I figure that what I have saved by not buying cruise and air line's insurance over the years has been well worth it.
  16. I love it. I am an Appalachian hillbilly descended from Scottish immigrants who left the lowlands during the great leaving. Our national dress is a set of bib overalls and a plaid shirt. To dress up for Sunday-go-to-meetin' we add a fedora. No use puttin' on airs. We do get a little more dressed up for marryins and buryins since those are more formal affairs. I guess I need to pack my funeral suit for cruising.😄😄😄
  17. I, for one, speak up to the offended when I see a passenger ignore the serving tongs or ladles and use their hands at the buffet. I hope it embarrasses them enough to change their behavior. I also notify a supervisor. On a recent cruise I saw an ignorant passenger handle several rolls with her hand until she found the right one. The tongs were right there, but she apparently didn't know what they were for. I said "Please don't handle other people's food with your hands." She huffed and puffed and walked away mumbling about me being rude. I also speak to the supervisors when I see tables pre-set with drink ware - especially if unused drink ware is left on the table for the next person to use. The next time you are on a cruise, any cruise, watch to see how the buffet tables are cleaned between uses. I often see the tables given a swipe with a used cloth napkin and then drink ware placed upside down on the table surface or the multi-use placemat. And then they wonder how viruses spread.
  18. If it moves and it's not supposed to - Duct Tape. If it's supposed to move and doesn't, WD40. My little tool kits comes in handy on just about every cruise. Sewing kit with a couple of buttons, small leatherman tool, small Swiss Army knife with scissors and a cork screw, small vial of Gorilla Glue, duct tape, WD40 pen, eyeglass repair kit, Sharpie pen, and a few other bits and bobs.
  19. I like it, but I'm sure some of the fashion police will object. The dress code that I see on the P&O website does not mention the style of the shirt or the tie in the narrative, in fact it doesn't mention shirt at all, but does show some illustrations posted previously. "Our Gala Evenings, or Black Tie nights, offer a chance to get dressed to the nines in glamorous evening wear. Don your favourite cocktail dress, tuxedo, ball gown or dinner jacket, or alternatively a dark business suit and tie. You may also wear formal national dress or military uniform". BTW, does the Maitre D check to see if one is wearing socks with the required red toes and heels?
  20. We are aware of basic sanitation practices and are always on guard for poor sanitation practices by others when traveling. The basics: Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. Resanitize after you go through the buffet line and touch ladle handles, the bottom of your chair when you pull it in, and any condiment containers. DO NOT lay your silverware directly on the table - the table may have been sneezed on and then wiped down with a used cloth napkin (seen it done). Be suspicious of any food worker wearing plastic gloves - they work well to keep the person's hands clean and are even more effective in spreading germs from one surface to another. Sit for a bit and observe all of the surfaces a person wearing those gloves touches as well as your food. Essentially, break the chain between the dirty world out there and what you put in your mouth.
  21. Good point about a shirt and tie not being that heavy. I'll pack one or two when I cruise on P&O. A pompous ass in a tux is still a pompous ass is a roundabout counter to the old saw that clothes make the man. As I have cruised over the years, I have met a variety of people and some of the most charming have been amongst those who may not be dressed to the nines and some of the most boorish have been those who show up in a tux and are definitely dressed to impress. I know it's a broad generalization, but the extremes are memorable. Dress codes, chair hogs, and smoking are all hot topics aren't they? Cheers.
  22. No plans to change any travel plans here, but we are aware of basic sanitation practices and are always on guard for poor sanitation practices by others when traveling. The basics: Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. Resanitize after you go through the buffet line and touch ladle handles, the bottom of your chair when you pull it in, and any condiment containers. DO NOT lay your silverware directly on the table - the table may have been sneezed on and then wiped down with a used cloth napkin (seen it done). Be suspicious of any food worker wearing plastic gloves - they work well to keep the person's hands clean and are even more effective in spreading germs from one surface to another. Sit for a bit and observe all of the surfaces a person wearing those gloves touches as well as your food. Essentially, break the chain between the dirty world out there and what you put in your mouth.
  23. I can see and understand your position. Thanks for sharing. I prefer to travel light and pack what is necessary, but with enough that I can dress for dinner on a ship without offending anyone's sensibilities. A smile and some polite conversation go a long way. If my lack of a tie is offensive, I don't think I'm the one with the problem. A pompous ass dressed in a tuxedo is still a pompous ass. As the character Jack Dawson said in the movie Titanic "Just the other night I was sleeping under a bridge and now here I am on the grandest ship in the world having champagne with you fine people. I figure life's a gift and I don't intend on wasting it." Cheers.
  24. The clothes police do seem to be a bit more militant and opinionated on Cunard and P&O. I try to fit in as easily as possible when considering what to pack for a trip that includes a month or two on land before or after a cruise. To that end, my standard black ensemble has been allowed into the MDR on formal/gala nights on several lines - including Cunard. And I always check with the maitre d first. While it may be an affront to the "tea in first" crowd, a smile and polite behavior will carry the evening. As the character Jack Dawson said in the movie Titanic "Just the other night I was sleeping under a bridge and now here I am on the grandest ship in the world having champagne with you fine people. I figure life's a gift and I don't intend on wasting it."
  25. And it looks like the example photos posted meet the requirements for gala nights. I may have to upgrade my black T-shirt under a black jacket ensemble with a cravat
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