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About DCGuy64

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Burke, VA
  • Interests
    Music, foreign languages, travel, cooking
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479 profile views
  1. Hi, there, Hank, and thanks for your post! Wow, you have got me and my wife beat by a country mile, when it comes to cruising. I am in awe of someone who has cruised that much! We are comparatively new to cruising, having only 7 cruises under our belts since getting married in 2012. We generally only do 1 cruise a year. Both of us work, and while I get a pretty decent 6 weeks of vacation a year, my wife only gets 2. And in addition to the cruising we do, we have to reserve some of our paid time off for things like contractors coming to fix stuff at our home and (for me) singing opportunities. I sing professionally as a 2nd job, and I probably have to take off close to a week per year for various professional opportunities. My wife and I met working as poll workers so we have to take off at least 2 days per year to work elections, and we own 3 rental properties, so I occasionally have to take vacation time to deal with tenants, listing agents, emergencies, etc. Also, my family doesn't live where my wife and I do, so I usually have to plan about 1-2 weeks per year for family gatherings. Finally, we do a number of land-based vacations, too, usually to Europe but also domestically. Of course, COVID-19 has done a real number on our vacations this year, that's for sure! We had a cruise in May cancelled (European), a family trip to Michigan for July 4th, and a choir trip to Iceland for Aug 29-Sept 7. All cancelled due to COVID. We've only done a little bit of domestic travel so far, consisting of a short trip to Virginia Beach and a 2-day trip out to Front Royal, VA, and that was last month. We are currently planning to do an all-inclusive resort in Mexico later this month, but with all that's going on in the world, I won't believe it's true until we set foot on Mexican soil/sand. We do plan to attend a wedding for a family member next month out of town, and in December we have a trip to Vienna planned, but that’s contingent upon Europe allowing US citizens back in. I was supposed to go to Spain August 29-Sept 5 for a choir workshop (already had the time off approved for the now-canceled Iceland trip), so the Mexico trip is my chance to practice my Spanish. Regarding cruises, we have 3 scheduled for next year. It’s anybody’s guess if they’ll end up happening, although I of course hope they will. So we definitely aren’t staying home all the time. We love going out to eat, but Virginia restrictions mean it’s hard to find places with dine-in options, but we do get take-out and delivery so we are doing our bit to help the locals. I’m glad you got to visit your favorite Georgetown restaurant. I don’t often go out to eat there because the food tends to be very overpriced. I would guess that as someone with the means to travel as much as you do, money isn’t an issue. I’ve got about 10 years until retirement, so I’m hoping we can live the good life like you do before too long. Good luck with your planned cruises, I hope they go on as scheduled for both your sake and mine! Stephen
  2. Doesn't sound like you'll ever set foot on a cruise ship again, then. Please do wish those of us well who plan to sail again in the future. It sounds like you'd be better off on a land-based vacation. As you point out, you have a lot more freedom that way. You actually make a very good point about that. We are doing an all-inclusive resort later this month and are looking forward to it. This staying at home all the time is driving us crazy. Wishing you well in your future travels, even if it's not on the high seas.
  3. Things like rapid testing are probably going to be a reality for a little while, at least at the beginning. I don't see any way around it. If the cruise lines aren't able to demonstrate that it's safe to cruise again (and testing is only a small part of that), it'll be harder to entice people to come back. Personally, it wouldn't be a deal breaker for me.
  4. Wow, that's awesome, but those of us who work can't just add 3 weeks to a trip. (at least I can't, and my wife only gets about 2 weeks total vacation for the year). You must be retired or have your own business. I agree with you on Hawaii, it's lovely. Took my wife there for her birthday 3 years ago. We hope to travel there again some day. You are right, there is so much to see!
  5. Some people will still fall for it. There's a great saying by PT Barnum about this.
  6. Two things are clear to me and your post does an excellent job of highlighting them: 1. COVID will be with us for a while 2. Cruising can resume even with COVID being a factor There is no utopia, there is no perfect world in which absolutely no one gets sick. Not on a cruise ship, not in school, not on public transport, nowhere. We will have to live with this and life has to go on. If European countries can reopen even while COVID-19 remains a factor, then so can the rest of us. That's my $.02 worth. 3 cruises booked for next year and can't wait.
  7. Great comments, you ask some excellent questions. I've been trying to keep up with some of the various entities that are trying to work through all of this. The Healthy Sail Panel has some recommendations, and the EU has its own guidelines, which include reserving 10% of cabin space for quarantining of sick passengers. I know that MSC is now offering COVID-19 insurance for only 18 Euros pp and in fact is automatically including that in the cruise fare price (I was toying around with their Italian site yesterday and saw that). It includes the right of the cruise line to deny passengers boarding if they test positive upon embarkation, but with a full refund of their money. One thing I would caution all cruise fans is that there is no 100% perfect solution. There's an old saying that goes something like "don't make the perfect the enemy of the good." I hope people will resist the temptation to categorize any COVID outbreak on any ship as a disaster and/or somehow "proof" that cruising is over forever. We've had COVID outbreaks in the USA at various beaches, in various restaurants and bars, and even in Congress, but no one is seriously suggesting we shut down the beaches, the food & beverage industry or all of government because of that. This is definitely a work in progress, and it'll take time + numerous setbacks in order to fine-tune everything. No doubt about that.
  8. That's a very sound analysis, Hank. Thank you. IIRC the CDC is able to OK cruise lines on a case-by-case basis if they meet safety protocols, notwithstanding the general "No Sail" order. The eternal optimist in me keeps holding out hope that *some* cruises will still sail, even if not all, by the end of the year.
  9. Agreed, just common sense. I for one don't believe that everything about cruising will be changed forever. I believe that most things will return to normal eventually, such as pools and bars full of people, buffets, excursions, theaters with every seat filled, etc. But I admit I could be wrong. It's just that the cruising industry has seen plenty of catastrophes and diseases and it has always bounced back and returned to normal. There's no reason for me to believe that the future will be any different. What I could see is a more vigorous screening process and people turned away at embarkation if they are truly ill. In the past, passengers were asked to disclose if they were currently experiencing any symptoms of an illness, but anecdotally this was not always answered truthfully. I would guess the cruise lines will be more proactive about this in the future, along with greatly enhanced sanitation and disinfection protocols.
  10. Us, too. We're booked August 2021 and this same type of announcement appeared on our booking.
  11. Thank you, you and @ziggyuk are truly helping the cause of cruising. I want to wish you both well and convey my thanks for what you're doing.
  12. Thank you for this. I for one appreciate getting this kind of intel from our friends in Sverige.
  13. The one I was thinking of is by someone named Dario Cremona, he was on the MeinSchiff2. I watched some of it earlier today.
  14. I"m looking forward to seeing this video. I recently started following a British cruise influencer on YouTube and she posted a link to his review. If I understand the reaction to his video correctly, it suggests there IS a way to have cruising resume in a safe fashion. Very encouraging news, I'd say!
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