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About Donald

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Viking Ocean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Tokyo, Japan

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  1. In Japan, you can only buy a Japanese SIM card if you are a Japanese resident. You can rent or borrow one from many different sources.
  2. He left out the part about the highest return rate for mass market lines. The premium cruise lines have much higher return rates. And on the premium lines there is far less moaning and groaning.
  3. Betty never said she was going from Ocean Terminal in Kowloon. She said she planned to take a taxi from the Terminal (that would be Kai Tak Terminal - in Kowloon) to Hong Kong Island. That is - indeed - the fastest way to get to Wan Chai.
  4. I have been on well over 1,000 cruises. Why do cruisers go to Diamond and Emerald shops in St Thomas and Alaska and pay twice as much for dubious quality gems that they could find at home for far less money? Have you seen any Diamond mines in the Caribbean or Alaska? Why do mass market cruisers stuff themselves with food until they are ill - just because it is "free"?
  5. Donald

    To/From Japan

    Honolulu to Tokyo by air is about 4.5 hours. If he can handle that, there are many cruises year-round between the West Coast and Hawaii.
  6. Two months ago I visited the USPH People in Miami for my annual updates on Public Health training. We discussed all the latest findings and newest regulations. The Inspectors and Bacteriologists held many sessions on basic and advanced techniques for preventing virus-related outbreaks. During those sessions, we talked about the 2 dirtiest storage places found on most humans; trouser pockets and purses. What do many people keep in those places? Mobile telephones and bottles of hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer bottles; You reach your hand into a contaminated pocket or purse to pull out a bottle of sanitizer. If your hand was not contaminated before, it is now. Then you sanitize your hands, using the contaminated bottle. Now your hands are relatively clean?? So you use your clean hands to place the contaminated bottle back into your contaminated pocket or purse, thereby completely undoing any attempt you made to clean your hands in the first place. Assuming that you have purchased one of the very few (and very expensive) sanitizers that can actually kill viral spores, remember that the minimum "dwell time", the time required for the wet solution to kill viral spores, is 5 minutes. If you dried your hands or the bottle in fewer than 5 minutes, the sanitizer did not have time to do it's job. Mobile telephones; After pulling your mobile telephone from your contaminated pocket or purse, do you sanitize it? After handling it and pressing it against your face to talk, do you sanitize it? After loaning it to someone else to talk, do you sanitize it? After passing it around to several others so they can see a photo or video, do you sanitize it? After putting your contaminated telephone back into your contaminated pocket or purse, do you sanitize your hands? If you answered "Yes" to all these questions, did you use a sanitizer that actually kills viral spores? Probably not. Even if you answered "Yes" and did use a sanitizer that really kills viral spores, did you allow the sanitizer to remain wet, and in contact with the surfaces you wanted to sanitize for at least 5 minutes? If it was less than 5 minutes, you wasted your time and your money - and your hands are still contaminated..
  7. Yes, it is HIGHLY contagious. Just a very few microscopic spores can infect you. They can enter your body through a limited number of avenues: mouth, nose, eyes, ears (and on very rare occasions - lungs). If the virus spores get into your body through these limited areas, you will most likely get sick. You have nearly 100% control of the avenues the virus spores can possibly take to enter your body. If your hands do not contaminate items getting into your mouth, you will not get sick. If other people's hands do not contaminate the items getting into your mouth, you will not get sick. If your hands do not contaminate your eyes, noses, or ears, you will not get sick. If you do not press someone else's contaminated mobile telephone against your face, you will not get sick. Where do other people's hands have a chance to contaminate items getting into your mouth? Buffets. (On extremely rare occasions this can also happen in any food venue - by food prep employees). Where do your hands have a chance to contaminate things getting into your mouth? Everywhere. How clever do you have to be to avoid contaminating yourself? Not very.
  8. Are people stupid? You be the judge. This year a poll by Pew University found that 13 % of Americans believe that "Judge Judy" is on the Supreme Court. In that same study one-third of Americans could not name even 3 judges who are actually on the Supreme court. 26% of Americans believe that the Sun revolves around the Earth. 20% of Americans believe in witches and witchcraft. 5% of Americans believe that the Earth is flat. Do you think that any of those people ever go on a cruise?
  9. You are correct. But Common Sense is not very common these days - especially on cruise ships. And you have just proved that. We are not so worried about all the germs that hand sanitizers can kill - but more worried about all the viruses that most of the sanitizers cannot kill. Colds, Flu, and Norovirus are not caused by germs. They come from viruses. Too many cruisers lack the common sense to know the difference. A few of the very expensive hand sanitizers (HAL doesn't use these) can kill viruses - but only when there is a "dwell time" (the period when the sanitizer stays wet on your skin) of 5 minutes or longer. How many cruisers are smart enough to know this and follow it? You can figure that one out. You will not need a calculator. Does washing your hands properly and well kill viruses? No, not at all. But proper hand washing does remove the vast majority of those viruses and they go down the drain. Will contaminated hands cause you to get norovirus or give it to somebody else? No, not at all. It only occurs when somebody is naive or careless enough to put those contaminated hands in their eyes, mouth, or nose, or touch something that will go into their eyes, mouth or nose, or touch somebody else's eyes, mouth, or nose, or touch something that will go into somebody else's eyes, mouth, or nose. The vast majority of people who suffer from Norwalk Virus do not catch it from somebody else. They are so naïve or careless that they give it to themselves.
  10. The CDC has done many studies on ships that offer hand sanitizers and those that do not. Ships with the sanitizers have higher outbreak numbers; when hand sanitizers are present, fewer people wash their hands - believing that the sanitizers are a substitute for washing. Sanitizers are not nearly as effective as washing - hence the higher infection numbers. USPH is now recommending that ships use the hand sanitizers only after an outbreak has started. At that point, pax get a bit scared into using their brains and washing PLUS sanitizing.
  11. If I had to even consider wearing protective equipment to prevent being infected by unclean people raised by wolves, I would immediately and seriously reconsider my vacation choices and options. What has happened to the people on this planet?
  12. Why not take a cruise on a ship where you do not have to go in a line to eat something? Problem solved.
  13. It is easier than you think to avoid illness outbreaks on cruise ships. 1. Avoid large mass market ships. Packing thousands of people into close quarters for days at a time is just begging for trouble. The big ships have confirmed NLV cases on an hourly basis on many days. It is unusual for a big ship to get through a single day with nobody reporting NLV symptoms. 2. Splurge a bit and take a cruise in "Business Class". Small elegant ships are often much better values than the cheapie mass market cruises. Small ships rarely have any outbreaks of any kind. In the past 18 months, my ship (less than 300 pax) has had one case of suspected Norovirus with a crewmember, and zero cases of NLV with guests.
  14. I just completed my annual USPH refresher course in Miami, with all the USPH Inspectors and experts. We talked about many things - as we always do. Many of them new developments. We were reminded that two of the most unsanitary places around us are trousers pockets and ladies' purses. Then the inspector asked how many of us were carrying mobile telephones. Nearly everyone pulled a telephone out of a trouser pocket or purse. Then the inspector asked us how often we sanitized our telephones. Most of the attendees replied, "Never", or "Rarely". Then he asked how often we pushed our smartphones against our faces, loaned them to others to push them against their faces, or passed them around so everyone could hold the telephone and see a photo or video. Most in the room replied that they did this quite often. Then the inspectors gave a presentation, predicting that mobile telephones will soon be the #1 cause of Norovirus infection on land and at sea. An additional note on hand sanitizers. Most are barely effective against Viruses. For those few that do have some effect on viruses, one needs to be aware of something called "dwell time". This is the period of time that an anti-viral agent must remain in a liquid state in order to have any effect against viruses. The few - extremely expensive - hand sanitizers that do kill norovirus spores require a dwell time of around 5 minutes. If, like most people, you immediately shake or wipe your hands dry after applying a hand sanitizer, you have removed any chance that it will actually do something beneficial for you. The same theory applies to your mobile telephone. If you apply sanitizer, the telephone must remain wet for at least 5 minutes to get any positive effect at all.
  15. Who cares. Komodo island is one of the worst places to see the dragons. Neighboring islands outside the National Park - like Flores and Larantuka - have far more dragons, are far nicer places to visit, and have no "cover charge" at all.
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