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Everything posted by Loreni

  1. Wow what an itinerary on Windstar! Thank you. We have friends who speak highly of their cruise to the Galapagos. We are also intrigued by Antarctica (even just a sail by). But it all goes back to the first question we are struggling with. Is is better to do something you know you will love or have a new adventure. We haven’t reached an agreement on that. Truthfully either would be wonderful and it is fun to think of and plan for both. Sometimes I joke that we should just return to FP until we get sick of it...but then we might not ever go anyplace else.
  2. Thanks TBK, those pictures are beautiful. Do you recommend actually staying overnight there?
  3. TE35 and TBK: The Cook Islands are a wonderful idea. Aitutaki looks amazing. We especially enjoy being able to snorkel directly from the shore and it looks like this is doable in Rarotonga. This is also one of the reasons we love Moorea. Petoonya: Thank you for those itineraries that stop in Amalfi, it would be easy to visit Positano from there! We’ve been to Italy twice in April and had great weather. When you visited each May was it part of the late April transatlantics? Any advice or suggestions for a land based stay? Once we were able to combine a March transatlantic (F
  4. Thanks TBK. You have given me a lot of happiness today! Petoonya, it was funny you should mention, with the exception of Fiji, the very alternatives to FP that we’ve been talking about. Although we’ve been to Italy a number of times, we never made it to Positano and I’ve been a bit fixated on the idea lately. We were so close....Capri, Sorrento, Pompeii. Australia would be a totally new place that has also come up in discussion. Hopefully, we have have a chance to visit these places someday.
  5. Thank you for the pictures, TBK. We only spent two hours here in February 2020 (seems very long ago) and didn’t have my camera. These pictures bring back good memories! I see the chairs where we sat.
  6. Thank you both for your thoughts. We talked and agreed that if we knew it was our last vacation, it would be cruising French Polynesia and maybe adding a week on Moorea. Staying overnight on Moorea wouldn’t be a new island, but it would be a new experience. The beach at Tipaniers is nice, maybe we would stay there and visit Motu Farone again. This pandemic puts travel in a new light for us. You never know when the window of opportunity will open and when it will close again. I think for our next trip we want relaxation and enjoyment and not too much adventure.
  7. FP is by far our favorite destination. We have traveled more than some, but we haven’t been everywhere. I think we have a reasonable frame of reference and we don’t really expect to find a place we’d like better. I think if we went back to FP we would probably enjoy it (while we were doing it) more than the alternatives we’re considering. On the other hand, afterwards, we might find we have more clearly distinct memories when looking back if we go someplace new. So is it better to maximize the joy while in the moment or to create many distinct (and hopefully still pleasant) memories.
  8. Wider promenade decks with lots of full length loungers. Paper Patter by request only.
  9. I understand that cruising may never return to normal, but assuming it does, where would you go first: 1) return to your favorite cruise itinerary, or 2) go to on a bucket list cruise to new places? I always knew that we had a finite window of opportunity to cruise because health and life are finite. But now I realize that a pandemic can also close the window of opportunity and another pandemic is always possible. What if the next window is very short. Is is better to do what you know you will enjoy or explore a new place.
  10. Utah is a really beautiful state. After the last cruise, following Dr. Fauci’s advice, we drove home from CA instead of flying. It took a long time, but gave us a chance to see some of Utah. We were able to briefly visit both Zion and Arches National Parks. For years, we’d talked about a road trip to see some more of the National Parks. Anyway after that unplanned cross country road trip, it would be fun to do a planned one, with less driving per day. I would love to go back to Utah...but first the beach.
  11. It is now just about 1 year since our last cruise ended, a 28-day round trip LA to Tahiti. This is our favorite itinerary and our fourth time doing it. A few days into this trip we learned about the Diamond Princess. We still bought future cruise credits because we thought the virus would be under control soon. But we couldn’t help consider the horror the Diamond passengers were enduring. Samoa and American Samoa would not allow us ashore, so we got extra time in Hawaii and Bora Bora and Moorea (by ferry). We were able to scout out some options on Moorea and Bora Bora for a land based va
  12. Before coronavirus, I believe Princess used cost saving strategies as trivial as rationing the so-called butter and as serious as the “magic pipe.” Since they apparently felt the need to do these things when they were profitable, one wonders what types of cutbacks will they may resort to going forward and how might it change the cruise experience? Some of these cutbacks may be very apparent (like the “butter”), others might be hidden (like the pipe). We will take our time returning to cruising. We won’t do it while masks are required. And I don’t want to be on a cruise ship whe
  13. Many here are diehard cruisers who can’t wait to sail. Although I wonder if the volume on these boards is reduced since Covid. When cruising really starts up again, I believe many people who fall into the following groups may think twice. 1. People who had to wait so long for a refund. Especially those who really needed their money back due to Covid related hardships. 2. People who booked after March and had their cruises canceled and are waiting for refunds. These people may rightly or wrongly believe Princess expected to cancel and is effectively using them for a loan.
  14. I believe most of the recent trends in ship design and furnishing choices may encourage COVID spread. Small nearly unusable balconies and no real promenade deck. This was clearly done to encourage people to crowd inside the ship where they can spend money, rather than relaxing in privacy on their balconies or reading in the fresh air on the promenade deck. No midships elevator means more crowing of existing elevators. Social distancing wouldn’t be easy on the Royal class. But fleet wide furniture decisions may also encourage virus spread. let’s not forget the heartless decisio
  15. Not before cruise industry executives are cruising aboard their own ships. And not cloistered in their suites with room service, but strolling the decks and eating in the MDR.
  16. And not cloistered in their suites with room service, but strolling the decks, riding the elevators, and eating in the MDR?
  17. Are you implying that the executives would stop working if their compensation was suspended for a few months? Why? Is money that important to them. But it is not important to their passengers?
  18. It would generate some much needed goodwill. These executives are in a much better position to personally get through the coronavirus than passengers who may need their money for rent or mortgage payments.
  19. If improving working and living arrangements for crew won’t prevent or reduce disease spread and if more social distancing of passengers won’t prevent or reduce disease spread then how can the cruise lines possibly come up with a safe plan for returning to operation without a vaccine or an effective treatment. Unless the virus just goes away on its own by mutating into a harmless form.
  20. There is professor at Purdue who is an expert in ventilation systems and disease. He says that the ventilation system on planes is better because it filters virus while the ventilation system on cruises does not. Hopefully this can be addressed. Nonetheless I don’t feel safe flying or on busses because, as you point out, social distancing is not possible. Social distancing may be somewhat possible on a ship, but since you are on the ship for days or weeks rather than hours I wonder if any mitigation efforts could be effective. So far the CDC thinks not. They also don’t think I
  21. A few weeks ago I bought an Oculus Go so I could “travel”. I found a few VR movies of Princess ships on YouTube. One was made by Princess, others vary in quality based on the skill of the videographer and the resolution used. All of them brought back memories in a way that pictures and standard video can’t. I also used them to revisit ports and excursions and to visit places I had planned to cruise to but now cannot. Of course it isn’t the same as being there and I found it most effective when revisiting places I had already been. i just wanted to let you know there is an opti
  22. This is a real problem. Not even a primitive camping trip will be 100% safe, you still need to stop for gasoline. Still this is probably the lowest risk option along a continuum along which cruising is the highest risk option.
  23. Perhaps I was misinformed about 4 to cabin. I hope I was also misinformed about crew having to sleep in two 4 hour shifts...that is so unhealthy. I am concerned if crew felt in was necessary to work in food prep and delivery on the Diamond while they were sick with Covid. I believe tHat is what the investigators found. I think the leadership needs to clearly communicate that sick days are OK.
  24. We did a forced cross country road trip after our last cruise since it was no longer safe for us to fly, according to CDC. It was our longest road trip and it had been many years since we have made a road trip as a vacation. The drive wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be and we made in just over 4 days. In some ways the amount of freedom we had was exhilarating. We decided where and when to stop and for how long. And I knew I wouldn’t be locked in the car against my will for 2 weeks or forced to drive in endless circles. We have been talking ever since about doing a long road trip t
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