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About 4774Papa

  • Rank
    10,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Saint Simons Island, Georgia
  • Interests
    cycling, history (especially ancient), reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, NCL, Vantage, AMA
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. We were not wild about the Epic. The very small pool area was unusable due to the noise and huge crowds. The ship design is not to our liking. It is our least favorite ship. Also, we prefer the smaller NCL ships.
  2. We have done three transatlantic and one transpacific cruises. We have done a total of 20 cruises, including 3 that visited or originated in South America; one that originated and ended in Australia (also a transpacific from Australia to Seattle); two that originated in East Asia; two that originated in Copenhagen (including a Norway North Cape cruise); one British Isles cruise, one Black Sea/Aegean Sea cruise; one Caribbean; three that included the MED; one Alaskan; one of New England and Canada. Because we have done the cruises above( we generally don't repeat cruises that we have already done), we now do mainly transatlantic cruises in connection with a land trip in Europe. We save on the airfare flying home and the transatlantic cruises are cheap. Most transatlantic cruises visit several ports, which was not always the case. For example, we are booked on a transatlantic cruise from Rome to Tampa in October 2021. Our cruise visits ports in Italy, France, Spain (one in Mallorca) as well as a stop in the Azores (beautiful islands). Yes, you have several days with no ports. We usually make friends on cruises and then sometimes cruise again with those friends. We meet at the elite happy hour and then dine together. Also, we usually do trivia together. There are usually enrichment lectures that are worth seeing. Sometimes we do a wine tasting, which are fun. I always take 2-3 books to read and enjoy sitting on the balcony reading.
  3. I concur as a layperson, using the internet, I haven't found and data that calls for spacing vaccinations, but I personally know physicians that advocate spacing. I know that when I got some vaccinations for our safari to Africa that was postponed until next year, getting Hepatitis A and B, we had to get two shots, spaced out. Not sure why that was the case.
  4. The most vaccines that I received at one time was when I entered the US Army. It was in 1972 and the worst one was the flu vaccine. I have had the annual flu vaccine more recently and it was much better. The scientists all say that vaccines generally don't cause health problems, but many physicians (pediatricians) will space out the vaccines for small children, since giving many vaccines all at one time may not be good.
  5. I will certainly take a vaccine if one is available. In fact, if one is available, I expect that to fly internationally, the airlines could make it mandatory or other countries would make it mandatory for admission. However, I am opposed to a mandatory vaccine in this country. I suppose if the disease was more deadly, like the Plague or Ebola, a mandatory vaccine would be proper, but this virus has a very low fatality rate.
  6. mnocket, From what I have read, you are correct regarding herd immunity, but I believe that if the vaccine is 70 % effective and half the population get the vaccine, that it will reduce the risk for the vast majority of people. Perhaps not for those with underlying health conditions, but the vast majority of people. Also, I suspect that if you want to travel to Europe or other countries that the vaccine will be required, further reducing the risk. Even now, the fatality risk, for our age bracket, with no underlying conditions, is extremely low. We had friends in the neighborhood that both had COVID and one was hardly affected, while the other had to be treated with antibiotics and was sick for a few days.
  7. We are not interested in all inclusive Caribbean vacations. We like to see the World and take in places that have great history, art, culture and/or scenic places. Cruises are a part of our travels, but not the main focus. We do land trips, mostly planned by us, like renting a car and driving around Great Britain, or taking the trains in Italy. Until the COVID-19 vaccine or herd immunity is established, we are not keen on cruising or for that matter foreign travel.
  8. CDC now estimates that 26 million have contracted the coronavirus. The FLU rate is lower, but COVID is a lot closer at .5 than originally thought. Coronavirus data has been, in a word, maddening since the initial outbreak began in China. Beginning with initial reports from the WHO and China, it’s been very hard for the average person to know what is truth and what is fiction. Hopefully that’s beginning to change. On Friday, in a story that received relatively muted media coverage, the CDC released its latest data on the prevalence of the coronavirus in the country and the results are fairly eye opening, especially for those who haven’t paid much attention to the antibody studies in this country — the CDC now estimates there are ten times as many cases in the United States as our testing has uncovered. That is, instead of around 2.6 million cases in the country there have actually been 26 million cases. Those of you who have been following the national antibody studies aren’t surprised by this data, but I feel like that’s a small part of the overall country. So for most of the country this should land as a certifiable blockbuster. Why is this CDC finding significant? Well, it means nearly one in every ten Americans have already had the coronavirus, which is a fairly gigantic finding. It also means many of these infected people had such mild cases they felt no need to receive treatment. In fact, it probably means the majority of the people who have had the coronavirus in this country never even knew they had it. But it also means, and this is perhaps the most significant data point, the coronavirus is far less deadly than we’ve been led to believe. In fact, the CDC study suggests the all age death rate from the virus is roughly .5%. Meaning 99.5% of all people infected with the coronavirus, regardless of age, recover. (There are other studies that suggest the .5% death rate is still far too high, but it’s still significant that the virus has a 99.5% recovery rate per the CDC). Now as a point of fact we know that deaths from the coronavirus are heavily slanted towards nursing homes and the elderly — most states report over half of all deaths in nursing homes — so this means, as was reported via a study by Stanford scientist John Ioannadis, most people in this country are under a greater risk of death driving to and from work than they are from the coronavirus.
  9. We have done cruises on Celebrity, Royal C. and NCL. We prefer Celebrity, but if the price is right we go with Royal or NCL. Both Royal and NCL excellent in entertainment, but Celebrity excels in service and dining. Cruising in Europe is far more interesting than the Caribbean. We love history and the ports in Europe usually have that way more than the Caribbean. We did one Caribbean cruise and it was fun, but don't plan another. We have done two cruises out of Barcelona, one out of Venice, one out of Istanbul (visited the Black sea as well). Also, done a British Isles Cruise out of the UK, a cruise including Norway, Shetland Island, Iceland and three ports in Ireland or the UK, as well as a fantastic cruise of Norway up to the North Cape. The ports we visited where history was not the key were on the Norway cruise, as well as Iceland and the Shetland Island. Norway was on par with our Alaska cruise and in some ways better. Here are my reviews of our European cruises, including three transatlantic cruises. Black Sea and E. Med http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=228545 British Isles http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=221137 Transatlantic http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=221136 W. Med NCL Epic http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=103808 Southern Caribbean http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=99934 Spain, Canary Islands and Morocco http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=80907 E. Med and Adriatic, NCL Gem http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=70129 Stockholm and Norway Aritic Circle https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=659526&et_cid=3214772&et_rid=17221689&et_referrer=Boards North Sea/Atl and Transatlantic http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=264272 28 days in Britain and Celebrity Eclipse home https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=599139
  10. Agree, I can't see a cruise line doing this. We cruise a lot on long cruises (14 days) and the average age is about 65. The COVID-19 mortality rate is almost down to the annual flu level, after the recent CDC report that now over 20 million in the USA have had the virus. Vast majority asymptomatic. The virus is still a serious threat to people with the compromised immunity or co-morbidities. Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Cancer patents, etc. We are in our early 70s with none of those problems and expect to cruise in 2021 regardless of a vaccine or not.
  11. We live on an island on coastal Georgia and like the rest of the state were doing well, until after Memorial Day. We were inundated with tourists (as we usually are this time of the year), but contrary to most of the locals, the tourists didn't wear masks. We have lots of tourist from the NE (NY, NJ) as well as all states up between. Also, we have folks from Atlanta and the rest of Georgia. Consequently, our COVID-19 cases have gone up from by a factor of 4 times since then. Still, for a county of over 85,000 we have only had six fatalities, almost all from nursing homes. Friends of ours complain that they can't visit their loved ones now, but they understand the reason why. We have a full house again for the Independence Day Weekend. I plan to go out to pickup our meal tonight, wearing a mask. Hope to see more masks this weekend.
  12. We have done 11 Celebrity and 2 Royal C. cruises. We didn't try Royal until they allowed our elite status to transfer to Royal's diamond class. We still prefer Celebrity, but like Royal's ships that are similar in size to Celebrity's S class ships. Clearly, we found Celebrity to have the edge over Royal C. in service and dining, but the difference is not huge. We like the cheaper specialty restaurants on Royal and found the MDR for Royal to be rate an 8 while Celebrity rates an 8.5. Regarding the buffet, we found that there is a more significant gap with Celebrity's 8.5 and Royal's 7. Further, Royal's entertainment is better than Celebrity's. Also, Diamond benefits are better than elite. The Diamond happy hour runs from 5-8:30 PM and that allows us to NEVER have to purchase an alcoholic drink on either of our Royal cruises.
  13. Fake sales are the bane of cruise lines. NCL seems to be the worst, jacking up fares big time prior to announcing big sales!
  14. I hope not, we cruise on Celebrity and Royal C. and enjoy their elite and diamond loyalty programs.
  15. No real new news in this article. We plan to get the vaccine once it is available. Since my wife and self are in our early 70s, but have no underlying conditions, we are not in panic about the COVID-19. Still, because travel restrictions are all over the place, we don't plan to travel until 2021. Hopefully, by then the vaccine and the fact that more people will have contracted the virus, will reduce any risk of the virus to us or our travels.
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