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About mef_57

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Ottawa Canada

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  1. I think it is easier for me to accept as I have been working in this environment for 3 months. I can only hope those who need hearing aids will accept that they do, because 6 feet or masks can really muffle a conversation. Add any added noise and the inability to lipread and things will be frustrating. But ultimately exercise patience as time will tell.
  2. I notice CruisePlum is still touting price drops for MSC's October 2020 Canadian cruise - but it isn't for sale on MSC USA website. Canada has closed its ports for this cruise year. I just want to be clear to do my Dubai to Venice cruise in April. It was cancelled this year, and it takes some juggling and pleading to get almost a month off work. I don't like the Fall reversed repositioning, so fingers crossed. My booked haircut is still 4 weeks away, though salons opened on Saturday. Blow drying allowed as they wear shields. No word that highlights require setting time in the car. My last cut was early January and I generally get a cut every 8 weeks. Even with the curling iron, the humidity and length is getting problematic and has convinced me I do not want to return to my waist long hair of my youth.
  3. Maybe you would benefit from posting on the 'singles cruising' forum https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/85-singles-cruises/ Not all who cruise 'solo' are 'single'.
  4. I have been working all through this time as an essential worker. So we have gone through the 'to mask or not to mask', keeping social distance of 6 feet, masking when not able to do so, masking all the time in public areas...and it continues to adapt. Social activity will also adapt. You have almost a year before final payment, and by then, we will have a new normal. Right now, nothing is normal so we shouldn't take any time to picture what we know now to a time 14 months in the future. A lot of the world has a social distance of only a metre (40 inches), which is much more doable for those sociable types. But even if it needs to stay at 2 metres, people will have adapted to it. It will feel a little awkward for new meetings and interactions, but my work peeps have been doing this for 3 months. Take breaks in shifts to keep 2 metre distances in the lunch room. They still visit, socialize, share time. I think masking will be harder for socializing in totally foreign territory as our face says so much about us. But there will be numerous posts about experiences, YouTube videos of how things are done on ship. NCL and others will have rolled out videos on how to comply and all the new touchless activities. These will help the hesitant cruiser decide if it is something they can do or not. Personally, I don't cruise for the socializing, and as I pretty much live and work in that sort of format, I don't feel it will be a hardship to adapt....though my facial tanning may suffer 😉 My only wonder or concern is the dining concept. I have an MSC cruise booked and they do set dining. Not sure how that will play out. If they want to give me a table for 1 for the 20 days, I am fine with that.
  5. As mentioned, other than the airport, rental car offices are closed Saturdays; but heading to the airport to rent one is an option. It still is time consuming and given I need to wait for the shared taxi to be full before it leaves, that is a little more nerve wracking to catch a ship. MSC is not known for its North American customer service, or websites, but it seems during covid they focused on it and now the Canadian site actually looks efficient for a change. Numerous tours listed; but it may not be complete. I would be surprised if they never added Jerusalem. I think I just need patience, but I thought I would reach out to see if anyone had private driver recommendations, or some option I hadn't heard about. Thanks.
  6. I have moved my cancelled April 2020 Dubai to Venice cruise to April 2021. I thought the hardest part was going to be respecting Ramadan, but the itinerary has us in Haifa on a Friday/Saturday so public transport is going to be challenging to visit Jerusalem. There is only me, so private taxi back to port on Saturday is pricey, and the local shared vans go to Tel Aviv then Haifa and wait until full - so a little risky. At present, there is no ship tour to Jerusalem listed, though something might come up on the Roll Call, but as it is MSC, the roll call was pretty small for 2020's sailing. I could live without Jerusalem, but with 2 days in port, it seems such a loss to not try to take advantage of the time. I may just visit Haifa and arrange a bird guide for Saturday for the day, but open to suggestions or alternative. Thanks.
  7. My impression is that they are just getting business taken care of and as their offer is strictly a credit, then there is no need for you to have done anything. What did you think your options were? Was there really anything for you to decide?
  8. I am thinking they must have dealt with the backlog of FCC requests and just being proactive. I mean, there really isn't any option, is there? There will be no refund option (as per their website), and as the FCC is 125%, then actually providing the FCC and number might make it easier down the line. You can make your deposit and not apply the FCC until final payment, so this allows you to change your plans if you wish (or need to). Given the bad rep for MSC customer service, I am pretty impressed they are dealing with it without a 3 hour phone call or multiple enquiries 🙂 But, if you had wanted to fight them for a credit or have your credit card company work to get the credit back, then their proactivity could be considered a CYA move. I guess you could still try to get MSC to cancel the FCC and provide a credit, but it sounds like that doesn't always go well.
  9. I am in an internal struggle about when to consider returning to cruising. I had to cancel a great cruise set to leave in 2 weeks, but I can't afford the same cruise next April. It was a repositioning cruise, and even before this pandemic, the costs to do the same or similar routes were $1K more than this year. I now have a FCC to use so I promptly reserved space on a cruise for May 2021 for a region that I normally would consider 'too expensive' in order to lock in pricing I can tolerate. My take on this is that for the first number of weeks, there will be incentive pricing, and then once the fear factor is reduced, prices will increase to try and recoup losses. I see fewer solo deals unless within a very few weeks of sailing. As a Canadian, that means flights could price these out of consideration. Also, as I work in health care, I am reluctant to see these floating petrie dishes trying to bring back travelers as soon as possible. It is my opinion that it will be cruising that contributes to the next waves of COVID that is projected unless we continue to stay at home. Low pricing will entice those with a short memory, or higher tolerance to risk, but it won't ensure clean ships or countries to let a ship with an outbreak into their ports. Ultimately, I will walk away from the FCC if things don't settle down sooner than the worst doom sayers predict. Fingers crossed.🤞
  10. I'm on 'kit making duty' in our hospital Microbiology lab and am in various non patient areas of the lab and hospital. No masks for us. Given the nature of the specimens we receive all year around, we practice good hand hygiene and face avoidance all the time, so our fear tolerance level is pretty high. But as a sewist, I wanted to offer the option should people run out of the elastic asked for in so many of the patterns.
  11. In the 'old' days, masks were tied in 2 places behind the head. Any string, laces, seam binding, ribbon, lace, anything that ties, will work. Attach to the 4 corners of the mask. Or, if inclined, make matching ties from the fabric. Over time, the elastic might not withstand the repeated hot laundering in facilities, while ties will.
  12. Some of the videos are health care institutions who the send them on to other outlets like homeless shelters, but other say the hospitals would use them as a last resort. Other videos are clear they should be used by people with symptoms to avoid spreading them. If the hoarders would donate the proper ones, it would be more effective,but I guess if giving people a meaningful activity to do. As a hospital worker myself...though in lab rather than patient care, I would rather they sew something more useful. Pillow cases for women's shelters, quilts, money to food banks.
  13. This was the sewing machine I bought when my son was a year old. I won't part with it. I bought parts vefore they were totally discontinued. It has the best buttonhole attachment. Back in the day Inhad so many shirtwaist dresses needing 12 or 13 buttonholes and this was the most consistent. I taught my daughter to sew on it and found her one the same. She sews leather, vinyl, patches, thicker fabrics ajd this is such a reliable workhorse. Now I mostly use my electronic quilting machine for my seeing, but I regularly bring out my trusty Kenmore to oil it and make sure it runs well for when I need it. These are the machines that eill still be sewing when 80 years old.
  14. I wish, but I work in the Microbiology/Virology lab, so I have to work and am run off my feet making testing kits. I take public transit at this point, and things are fairly slow as it is school March break, but between bus/train/ hospital, well....I expect eventually I'll get it. I got H1N1 at the end of the pandemic (on a cruise) and the following pneumonia. Not worried about that again, but wishing I could be sewing instead. My Middle Eastern cruise was cancelled, so my conservative clothing designed and sewn for this trip are going to need to be altered to something not quite so covered up. They will be used in our hot humid summers, and when I retire and spend 3 months in south east asia, but I really miss that cruise. It is once a year, and they have priced the next ones too high for a solo traveler so I can't see it in the foreseeable future. I'll used the FCC for a Baltic cruise instead. Definitely a different wardrobe requirement. I also quilt. Our local quilt store has offered to deliver your orders to your stoop 😁
  15. I had intended to continue with my Dubai to Venice cruise in April, but this will will tell. I would just ship in Split (or stop before Venice) because work would put me into quarantine for 2 weeks upon my return from Italy. New work HR policies to be published this week. I am not currently essential staff, but once it reaches Ottawa, since I work in a hospital, I will be brought in if essential staff gets wiped out. I see the writing on the wall, but not ready to throw in the towel (quite) yet. Even if I go, however, I will drop my one ship organized land tour as it is a long bus ride to Jerusalem and back. Last time I did one of those I contracted H1N1 and pneumonia. I'll avoid close quarters on a bus for 10 hours, thank you very much.
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