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About Miaminice

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Germany/Sunny Isles, FL
  • Interests
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Anywhere but the Caribbean
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  1. Thanks! We live near Baden-Baden at the northern edge of the Black Forest. Karlsruhe would be the next larger city. That’s two hours south of Frankfurt. So at the opposite end of Germany. Sounding optimistic in times like this can easily be mistaken as downplaying the seriousness of the matter. So I am trying not to be too optimistic. But I dare say that your son could be in worse places right now. My update to the sitrep would be: We are now at the end of the first week of our semi-shutdown. What‘s hard for me to comprehend is the already growing whining and complaining by some people. It’s been a week of really manageable restrictions. The complaints are justified by the low mortality rate... it‘s like disputing an equation by stating a positive result. We are not out of the woods yet. Monday will be the beginning of the second week of the nationwide actions. We might or might not see the flattening of the curve eventually. Hard to say and judge the difference... because nobody can prove how it would have looked otherwise. We belong to the “better safe than sorry group“ 🙂
  2. Hi! Some of you might know me or us from our travelogues and our travel website. We live in Germany but also call Miami our second home (my memory lane through Miami stretches across 40 decades) and we have strong ties with New York City, which is where DW and I met and got married 10 years ago. Between the two of us we have lived in different countries (DW more than me) like UK (London 8 years), Paris (7 years) and Australia (a few months). Those who know us, know that we have not just lived in different countries but, in our spare time, extensively travel the world - and always try to do so with open eyes and open hearts. Travel is learning... Why am I telling you this? I hope I am able to explain... I am happy to give you a sitrep from Germany, so the first in this topic, but not necessarily through German eyes. I never considered myself as a German or very patriotic. DW and I feel European and sometimes, to put it in a humerus way, more like “Earthlings”. So our views on our other “home countries” is not to be seen or intended as blame but as compassion and sometimes today as deep pain. Every life lost in any country is one too many. Every life lost due to ignorance or stupidity is a crime. If I was religious I’d say a sin. Germany is also under a semi-lockdown. Retail stores are closed except supermarkets and pharmacies. Restaurants are closed or limited to take out. Schools and kindergartens are closed. People are asked to refrain from visiting family and asked to stay home as much as possible. You can still go outside with immediate members of your household or one other person the most. Keeping a minimum distance of 1,5 m (5 ft) from other people is mandatory and enforced. After the typical resistance of some young and old people before it became a nationwide and enforced policy, we can say it actually works. Cities and parks are empty of gatherings, people in supermarkets and at farmers markets are following the rules. Of course it is unusual and takes some getting used to. While browsing the aisles in the supermarkets, distracted by looking for the items on the shopping list, everyone still sometimes ignores the distance. A friendly reminder and words of apology and all is well. We are just not used to it. And yes, toilet paper and sanitizer are just as rare in Germany 🙄 But not impossible to get... and I have the feeling the frenzy is subsiding a bit. I work as CEO of a small company of 30 employees. We manufacture customized machinery needed for the production of surgical instruments, implants etc. We still work and try to keep the business running as long as it can safely be done. Quite early we implemented all possible measures for the safety of our employees. We more or less buttoned down the hatches. No visitors allowed, no meetings with customers other than online meetings. Home office is offered where possible. Besides repeatedly informing all our employees about washing hands, sanitizing, keeping distance and so on, we distributed sanitizer at work and for the employees to take home. We are able to produce it in our lab. We are able to process plastic in our workshops. So we started to build sneeze and cough guards/screens which we gave away to local doctors, pharmacies, supermarkets and gas stations for the production cost only. Just like in any other company any employee who feels ill or has cold and flu symptoms is asked (ordered) to stay at home. All they have to do is call (not visit) their doctor. Under current procedures doctors can issue medical certificates after a phone consultation for up to 14 days. As usual in Germany the doctor is covered by the mandatory health insurance and people are still paid for the time of their illness. If the doctor recognizes corona symptoms, adequate procedures are started. Since schools and kindergartens are closed some parents have to stay home. In our company we offer them one week of paid leave. Beyond that we cover it with our flexible time - and see how we can handle it best when all this is over. DW and I feel the German government handles the situation as good as they can. Top scientists at the RKI (similar to the CDC but not state run) and virologists of the Charite Hospital and Institute are advising the politicians. And they listen to what they say! Financial aid programs and laws are passed unanimously by all parties who set aside their usual differences - in record time of one day. It is an unusual delight to see... Germany‘s health system is working overtime. We have the upmost respect for all doctors, health workers and nurses. You need to know that in Germany, unlike in the US, health workers and nurses are poorly paid. We hope the appreciation for what they do now is not forgotten when times are better. Unfortunately there is also a lack of protective gear like masks etc. Germany is no better than the rest of the world regarding this problem. However, despite the strain on the staff the system holds. Germany has an extremely high density of ICU beds (28.000 in normal times, which is around 34 per 100.000 inhabitants). The number is being increased. Critical cases from neighboring France and Italy have been taken to Germany. Testing was done extensively in comparison and early. The result is an astonishingly low number of fatalities. Testing capacities are expanded to 500.000 a week. We are talking about the accurate PCR tests here. According to world scientists that’s unrivaled. At this time, and despite my usual lack of patriotism, I can really say I am glad to live in Germany. As to our view on our neighbors and friends and second home countries... It is heartbreaking to see the images from Italy. We love the people and the country. Seeing the situation there brings tears to our eyes and fills our hearts with pain and sorrow. Can you imagine the burden on doctors and hospital staff? They have to decide who to let die on an hourly bases. Not because of a lack of training or personal capabilities but because of an ailing system. Remember I mentioned the number of ICU beds in Germany is around 34 per 100.000? In Italy it’s 3! The quirkiness and charming chaos which we all love when thinking of Italy is one side of the coin. It is so terribly painful to be reminded of the other side now by seeing army convoys with corpses leaving the hospitals. We fear that the UK, and DW always says her heart beats British, will show similar images in a short while. We have dear friends in the UK and we are afraid for them and all the Brits. We can only hope that politicians in the UK will finally listen to the scientists. We talked to friends in New York today. The situation seems just as terrible and it simply breaks our heart. It’s unworthy of a first world country. At least it seems like most New Yorker’s are seeing the seriousness of the situation. Something I can’t say about south Florida. I don’t want to share my thoughts about US politics here. Neither the time nor the place... From the outside I just want to appeal to all my American friends to realize that this is not a time for politics. The virus does not care at all if you are a Democrat or a Republican. It is not an invention by one or the other. Corona is neither capitalist nor socialist. It will not kill everyone. And if you are healthy, young or ideally both, you might just feel like having a cold. However, if politicians and citizens don’t start listening to the scientists, it will kill an unimaginably high number of elderly, less healthy people and people who simply can’t afford adequate treatment. By overburdening the system it might also kill you if you have a serious accident or “just” a heart attack but can’t be treated. The world is round. We are all in this together. Here on Cruise Critic people who love to cruise all over the world and who are fortunate enough to be able to do so get together. Just like we are able to travel so is this and any other virus. Let’s learn from one another and help each other. The more we do, the sooner we are able to meet again at the Sunset Bar, have a drink and swap stories about the positive peculiarities of our home countries. I am sorry that this has turned out to be a rather long post 😔 Stay healthy, wherever you are and help others to stay healthy.
  3. I understand that´s what he´s trying... but as of the past, to the best of my knowledge and as per all that can be read about the FCC that´s not possible. One FCC (per person) per cruise only. And since it has always been that way, I can´t imagine anybody told him he could. So I can just assume somebody told him he could apply 2 FCC as in one per person... and he misunderstood. But it´s just a guess.
  4. Why??? Because he chose what was well known in advance but now feels sorry he did?
  5. It´s got nothing to do with cheerleading... Nobody forced you to cancel but you chose to cancel. We were in the same situation. Had a cruise booked for April 14. I was sure it wasn´t going to happen but simply waited. In fact I could have waited until 48 hours before the cruise and still cancel. There was no reason or rush at all before that. So again, nobody forced you to cancel. 2 FCC were never combinable! One FCC per person, so 2 in that sense, yes - never more than that.
  6. 🙄 No it does not! Please read what I wrote! Virologists around the world agree that the first and most likely way to be infected is by inhaling the virus (droplet infection). They also found out in experiments and by taking samples from phones, remote controlls etc. in households of infected families in hot spots like Heinsberg, Germany and in experiments to repoduce the virus from the samples that the risk of contact contamination (smear infection) with COVID-19 is low and unlikely. And that is all I said. I did not say it is non-existent and impossible but simply repeated findings of viologists around the world that it is LOW. And that´s not bad news. Since low does not mean non-existent, of course washing hands etc. is still a good protective measure! If you want to be precise your statement is incorrect. Washing hands (as good as it is) is not the BEST protective measure. Since COVID-19 is primarily transmitted by aerosoles which are inhaled, keeping a distance is the BEST thing to do. Washing your hands does not protect you from inhaling the virus, does it? All these people sitting on top of each other on the beaches during spring break etc. could have washed their hands a thousand times and still catch the virus by the most likely way: inhaling it. To get back to the topic of this thread... the virus can not survive on any surface of the ships for weeks.
  7. Sorry, but it is a fact! The "traces" found in the article mentioned by the OP are dead! The virus itself is not present any more in a reproductive shape. Simply look at the recent studies of virologists and you will understand. Markeb explained it well in post #6 and TeeRick in post #14. Again, I have no intention to downplay the danger of the virus. I am simply trying to stick to facts. This post is about cleaning the ships - which is of course it is a good idea! But after sitting idle for weeks without any virus present there is no danger of getting infected by touching anything on one of the ships.
  8. I am sure Celebrity will use the time at hand to clean the ships as much as they can. However, there is no harm done by the "traces" of virus which were found. In a nutshell: it´s dead and not contagious. You can still extract dinosaur "traces" today, but it won´t eat you 🙂 The good thing with Corona according to virologists is that contact contamination (like on door handles etc.) is very unlikely. You would have to pick up an unlikely high dose of virus and then basically lick your fingers. Don´t get me wrong: Caution is advised and great!!! However, some things which can be read at the moment are beyond caution and logic.
  9. This information is incorrect! That is if by spa you mean Persian Garden. Of course other spa services are never included. Persian Garden is included in Aqua. You do not have to pay extra. Persian Garden can be used by non-Aqua guest who purchased a day or week pass - but the number is limited. In short: it is “free“ for AQ
  10. YES! Our reason BLU!!! Love the smaller restaurant and less rushed ambiance. We only skip Aqua on Edge - due to the great 4 dining room concept.
  11. Good choice! We love Aqua Class and heave become Aqua addicts - with the exception of Edge. The reason is simple: our reason for AQ is BLU - because it is smaller and more quiet than the large MDRs on the other ships. On Edge, however, we enjoyed the 4 dining rooms so much that we do not feel the need to pay extra for AQ.
  12. I never used the terms ‘those Americans’ and never would. However, I also cannot ignore behavior happening all around me - on the street, on ships, here on CC... To make thinks better, one has to acknowledge deficits... If you are different, great! I really mean it. But look around you! Getting back to the actual situation at hand... The same behavior can be seen regarding the corona crises. The wave of corona came from Asia to Europe and now (officially now) to the US. Seeing what’s happening all around the world, the US could have had the advantage of a head start but snuggled up into the blanket called invincibility. Look at Florida... it’s shameful and it’s time to wake up.
  13. The point is simple and clear... Read from post one on. You will find statements like: NOW that the USSD set the level to 4 all cruises will be canceled... or the one I reacted to: Who in the world would travel now the USSD set the level to 4... etc. etc. World travel and all cruises don’t exclusively revolve around the US and the US State Dept. Foreign and US cruise lines didn’t need the USSD to cancel cruises. Most statements and posters don’t take into consideration that the USSD does not influence anyone outside North America or even the fact that there are not just Americans on board a cruise ship. As I said: Granted, this situation influences all of us. So this statement of the US State Dept. happens to address an issue which is addressed by state departments all over the world. However, it is a phenomenon I often notice in many posts by Americans - most think their regulations cover everyone, only Americans fill ships and there are only cruises in the Caribbean 😁 Living in both worlds I can wholeheartedly say that thinking “internationally” is not an American forte. In a forum like CC that’s almost paradox since cruising is about travel and seeing the world - which happens to stretch beyond the US and the Caribbean 😉
  14. I wonder why most (Americans) here think that all travelers are Americans... Besides this specific situation where we are all influenced by the same issue, the rest of the world is not necessarily influenced by US State Department Levels or by what Mr. Trump says.
  15. Don‘t ruin it with facts... 😂
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