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Everything posted by SinbadThePorter

  1. The problem is that when cruising starts up there will inevitably be cases of covid on board and there will be isolation of infected passengers. There will be masking rules and social distancing. Which means there will be people to go on shows like A Current Affair with gripes and grievances about their cruises. You can be sure those shows will be filling in airtime with details about the Ruby Princess debacle. Revisiting prior incompetence is not something that any government wants during the run up to an election. The most likely month for the next Federal election is March, although it can be as late as May. The timing will depend on when focus groups start to show that voters have moved past the Fed's farcical vaccine rollout and inadequate quarantine system. Given several months for the cruise companies to get their ships into order, a restart of local cruising could be anywhere from next June to next October. Although if I were a sneaky politician, just before calling the election I would announce a restart of cruising to take place after the election. That way you get the benefits of making people happy without any of the downsides of delivering on it.
  2. The report I saw said that he didn't want to open up over Christmas as then they would have to slap on covid restrictions during everybody's Christmas holidays. He said that they were going to watch what happened in SA and Qld when they open before Christmas and if they don't get swamped by covid, then he will open.
  3. I did a cruise very similar to this about 20 years ago on a boat called Kangaroo Explorer, but only one way from Cairns to Thursday Island. Not luxury, but very comfortable. Fabulous itinerary with about ten passengers. It doesn't run any more. On my last trip up there I found the Kangaroo Explorer tied up at the Cairns Marina looking very neglected and forlorn. ☹️ MV Trinity Bay is a cargo ship that does the same route, but due to covid is not taking passengers at the moment.
  4. There's no way a mask is keeping me from boarding my next cruise. Bring it on. 😷
  5. Oct/Nov in NZ is spring, which can vary from cold to cool and rarely warm. Seas are inclined to be rougher than summer. Feb in NZ is summer, which is generally cool to warm and somewhat smoother seas. GBR is good all year round.
  6. I wouldn't worry about those states too much. They are much more likely to be open before NSW opens to the whole of NSW.
  7. It looks as though the Federal government has no interest in even talking to the local cruise industry. I suspect that might be because of the upcoming election due before the end of next May. A risk for the government is that any covid related setback on a cruise might remind people of their incompetence during the Ruby Princess debacle in early 2020. At the moment they are busy papering over the incompetence of their vaccination rollout and quarantine failures and don't need to remind the voters of earlier examples. So I don't think we'll see much activity on cruising from the Australian government until after the next election. Which would push the arrival of ships to next October.
  8. If you look at the fine print, even NSW hasn't promised that there won't be more lockdowns if they are deemed necessary. Only that they'll be "targeted", whatever that means. A couple of weeks extra vaccinations to get closer to 90% over a wider area of the state could make the difference between opening up and then locking down again, or just opening up forever.
  9. I'm just assuming that the ships won't be here until the start of the 22/23 season. The only exception to that might be P&O. If the cruise startup comes after the next Federal election, I think they could get going on local cruising maybe 2 or 3 months earlier.
  10. P&O was usually best value for last minute fares.They seemed to discount them more consistently than Princess. I recall that it wasn't very difficult to get sub $100pp inside fares and occasionally sub $100 inside single fares. At the moment I think P&O would be pitching its prices high in anticipation of pent up demand for cruises. Once the initial rush settles down we'll probably see the old fare structures return.
  11. October 2022 is a year away. I'm pretty confident that NZ and Oz can hit their respective vaccination targets by then. It looks like Oz may hit 90% before the end of the year. The 21/22 season is already a wipeout, so this really doesn't make much difference to a 22/23 season start.
  12. This is what's needed for a good pina colada. https://www.plantationrum.com/plantation-stiggins-fancy-pineapple
  13. Growers loss ought to be buyers gain. Glut = low prices, but somehow I don't think it will work out that way in the supermarkets.
  14. Thanks to Gladys they were spurred on by 10 deaths a day. Thanks to Morrison they got priority on vaccine deliveries, as he was forced to scour the earth for Pfizer just about to expire, since he couldn't be bothered to actually buy any when it was on offer. Did you mean NSW residents or Sydney residents? Because Sydney residents are still barred from entering certain NSW regional areas due to low vaccination rates. The unvaccinated include people who have a compromised immune system and children under 12. Children 12-16 only just very recently being allowed to receive Pfizer. I suppose they are on their own, it's every man, woman and child for themselves.
  15. The BICT is currently being used as a vaccination centre. I went down to have a look. There was an oil products tanker (I assume petrol) offloading to the pipeline leading to the storage tanks on Bulwer Island. This picture was taken from the same spot as the next one. So no smoking while boarding! Across the river is the Port of Brisbane, where the big ships used to dock at the Grain Terminal. This is the side view from the main carpark. The main entrance, which was closed. The vaccination centre was around the side.
  16. I did it on Ruby Princess in late 2019 from Sydney to Fiji and it worked fine. As far as I know, all Princess ships have been upgraded to the fast satellite internet system which works fine between about 45 degrees latitude north and south. Things may have changed, but from memory this is what I did: Allow your phone or laptop to connect to the Princess ship WiFi. Open a browser and enter "login.com" (no quotes). This should take you to the ship website. Login with your passenger details. Select "Internet Access". It wasn't called that, but it was something similar. The first time you get asked if you want to buy an unlimited internet package. Say "yes". Stay logged on and open a new browser window (not sure this is necessary, but it's what I did). Type in "netflix.com". This should take you to the Netflix website. Log in to Netflix. Logout from Netflix when finished. Logout from from the ship website when finished. Bob's your uncle. That's according to my memory, which I do not guarantee. Besides I think you now have to purchase MedallionNet before the cruise.
  17. No, work. There was a big snowfall on Mt Wellington while I was there, which looked good, but jeez it was cold and windy! My Qld blood is too thin for that climate. 😎
  18. I've been to Hobart in June. I'm not going back at that time of year.🥶
  19. For P&O ports missing are Willis Is (of course), Geraldton, Busselton, Burnie and Hobart. P&O ports added are Airlie Beach, Ambon and Exmouth. I think Ambon may be a stretch even in 2024.
  20. Maybe P&O will copy Princess and split the cruise into Southern and Northern routes. Pacific Explorer also has an interesting cruise going Fremantle to Cairns on 18th May 2023. Then several cruises based in Cairns. There is an eclipse cruise on the 17th April 2023. P&O seem to mixing up their itineraries, which is good.
  21. I was on Ruby late 2019 and Majestic early 2020 in Australian and South Pacific waters. The MediallionNet on Ruby was fantastic, better internet speeds than at home. I could stream Netflix no problems from my phone to the TV via Chromecast. Majestic did not have MedallionNet, internet speeds were abysmal. I believe that Majestic now has MedallionNet, so in theory it should be just as good as Ruby's. Vancouver is pretty far north, so the internet may start out a bit wonky and get better as you head south.
  22. That's the approach to lockdown that Vic, Qld, WA, SA NT and Tas had always taken, and Qld and WA at least had strips torn off them by NSW and Federal pollies trying to score points because of it. How many times were we told that the NSW govt had the right approach (whack-a-mole) and everybody else was wrong.
  23. Yet SA and Qld did. My memory is that Vic locked down, then eased up before locking down again. The ACT locked down in August, yet delta was circulating in Sydney in late June. Basically they sat and watched as the virus came across the border. I don't know what went wrong with NZ quarantine. I haven't looked into it. As I said with delta you get one chance and the NSW govt didn't even use theirs. The NSW govt saying that it was inevitable is a cop out. They have even tried to claim that nobody knew how bad delta would be. Even though the Federal govt stopped flights from India in April because of the extreme risk of delta, well before the Bondi outbreak.
  24. That's what I mean about delta being a vicious virus but not impossible to contain. There was a period of several days between the govt being aware of the Bondi infection and that party in western Sydney. That was the chance to stop it, the only chance there was, and the NSW govt squibbed it by refusing to lock down the Eastern Suburbs.
  25. I seem to recall that the driver was unvaxed and unmasked, and that this was not against the rules because there were no rules, only advisories. Wow. You also have to wonder why aircrew were being driven to hotels around the city and not being required to stay as close as possible to the airport? As I recall wasn't he taking his passengers to the Northern Beaches? That's possible, but we could have been much surer of that had the NSW govt at least tried to make the effort. SA and Qld beat back delta, so it wasn't like it was impossible, it just meant that you only had the one chance to do it. The cruise ships will have to wait until after the election. There aren't enough votes dependent on it for the Federal govt to take the risk of reminding voters of the Ruby debacle and their part in it. But there's no risk for the Feds in forcing the covid free states to open, because they won't get the blame for the resulting sickness and death, the states will.
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