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About ArtsyCraftsy

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Bellingham, WA
  • Interests
    lace crochet, paper crafts, music composition, PEO, cooking, collecting cookbooks (~ 4100 so far)
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Regent Seven Seas, Holland America (so far)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Everywhere 😊

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  1. I'll take a stab at this one. I have no kids or grandkids, but if I did, I'd have no problem with them applying for positions on a Regent ship (maybe not so much on some other cruise lines, but for other reasons). I believe that most cruise lines will be hyper attentive to ship maintenance/sanitation and passenger health in order to avoid a repeat of what got them into this situation in the first place. All it would take is for one ship -- any ship, any cruise line -- to have another problem after resuming operations and the entire industry would be at risk (again). I don't think Regent would resume operations, even on a limited basis, until/unless new protocols were in place to proactively guard against new infections and to respond quickly to any situation indicating the presence of any contagious illness (not just coronavirus, either). I said while I was onboard the Mariner on the 2020 world cruise in Feb-Mar that I felt safer there than I would feel back home, and that is certainly the case at the moment. I would LOVE to get back onboard a Regent ship and I trust that Regent will be able to balance new safety protocols with providing a high-caliber luxury experience. Both of my brothers married Filipinas. Several members of one of my sister-in-law's large extended family in the Philippines are already employed by several cruise lines (among them Seabourn and HAL) and are now "on furlough" due to the current situation. From what my sister-in-law says, they're all eager to return to work as it's a good living and they actually enjoy it. It's hard work, yes, but they love working with the guests onboard and seeing the world (and making what in the Philippines is an upper-level salary). I currently have four Regent cruises on the books, one of which will definitely be canceled (B2B July 1 from Vancouver to Alaska and July 8 return to Vancouver). I'm holding out hope for the Oct. 29 cruise from LA to Miami around South America on the Mariner, but I put the odds on that one as slightly less than 50-50. The other two are in 2021 and 2022 and I'm hoping they'll happen. I trust Regent to resume operations when they feel it's OK to do so. Whenever that is, I'll be ready. Lana in Bellingham, WA
  2. I suspect that's why they said "no reported cases ... "
  3. My cruise planner/consultant at Regent in Miami told me just over a week ago that Regent had NO reported cases of COVID-19 on any of their ships, something they were quite proud of. I haven't heard of anything to counter that info since that call. Lana (in Bellingham, WA)
  4. The recordings of the Enrichment Lectures are shown in a loop, not "on demand." This particular sea day was between Nuku Hiva and Fakarava. Prior to Nuku Hiva, we'd had 4 sea days sailing from Hilo, Hawaii. I saved some more of the Passages, but they're in the luggage that is still waiting in Perth for shipment back home -- Luggage Forward got slammed with multiple cruise disembarkations over several day in mid-March so it's going to be awhile before we see our bags. We had a lot of sea days early in the cruise (5 days from San Francisco to Honolulu), and I know they were doing lectures every day. I'm just not sure how often they did 2 per day.
  5. Here is the activity schedule for Feb 8, 2020 on the World Cruise:
  6. I would say it depends. On longer cruises ( > 15 days or so), it would probably skew older as people who are retired have more time to take longer cruises. On shorter cruises ( < 14 or so days), the crowd will probably draw a younger crowd since if they're still working, they may not have the luxury of a lot of time off. Time of year may make a difference, too -- from what I've experienced, summer tends to draw younger folks, too. That said, I don't know that anyone would feel out of place as most guests are friendly and active. There were younger folks on the recent abbreviated World Cruise (30s-50s) -- maybe 15-20% of the total -- and everyone seemed to mix and socialize without difficulty. (I'm on the "older" side -- 60s -- so perhaps some of the younger Regent guests will speak up.) Lana (staying at home in Bellingham, WA)
  7. Sheila, I'm in a similar situation. I, too, have COPD (I have the CO2 retention variety of emphysema, so no oxygen is needed yet), so I tend to get out of breath fairly easily. As long as I take my time and walk slowly enough, I can get around on my own, no aids at all. I also have asthma that is triggered primarily by environmental stimulants -- certain perfumes, caustic cleaning solutions, smoke, etc. so I sometimes cough. Otherwise, I'm in good health according to my docs. People who have met me on board may see the shortness of breath episodes and even some of the coughing, but it usually resolves within a few minutes and really doesn't impact anyone except me (it's a dry cough, and I always cough into my elbow anyway). I hug the wall when I walk slowly from my cabin to the elevators, and I'm able to participate as I like in onboard activities (attending shows, lectures, pre-dinner cocktails, etc.). I started cruising because my pulmonologist recommended cruise travel as a way for me to see the world. I was bemoaning the fact that I knew land-based tours would no longer work for me and I'd been saving since I was in my 20s so I could travel after I retired. He said cruise travel might work well for me, so I booked my first cruise -- a 2-week Alaska cruise in 2017 on another cruise line. I did fine, and I've been cruising a couple of times a year since then, mostly longer cruises (28+ days). I embarked on the 2020 World Cruise with my doctor's blessings and although it ended early after only 53 days, I was doing just fine. I've written about this before: I'm VERY careful with excursions, choosing only those with the "little guy in the seat" icon, with words like "leisurely" and "panoramic" in the title. Even then, I check with the Destinations team to make sure I understand exactly what will be required to get from the ship to the pickup point for the excursion. Heaven forbid I should be THAT person who slows everyone else down. If I don't think I can manage every aspect of the excursion, I won't take it. Period. I'm perfectly happy and comfortable hanging out on the ship. Seriously, if people want to avoid encountering people like me on excursions, then choose excursions that fit your more advanced activity level. There aren't that many that will work for me, and I'd hate to be the one whose mere existence made it so that your couldn't enjoy your cruise. I'll be on only those with the lowest activity level -- "little guy in a seat" -- there aren't that many -- so do us all a favor and choose a higher-level activity excursion (one-, two-, or three-walker ratings). Problem solved. As for muster, Regent has specific procedures designed for those with mobility issues -- once those with issues let Guest Services know their situation, Regent can make sure they can safely muster without impeding others. They also have evacuation procedures in case of an emergency for those who are mobility challenged. Regent, like most cruise lines, are happy to set up reasonable accommodations for those that need them. There are probably those here who believe I shouldn't be allowed onboard a ship because of my limitations. Reading here, it sure sounds like it. I would not cruise if any of my doctors said I shouldn't, but all of them seem to be quite comfortable with it. I intend to continue until such time as it becomes physically impossible -- or I run out of savings. I keep saying I want the last check I write to bounce, so ... 😄 Lana (currently self-isolating after truncated World Cruise in Bellingham, WA)
  8. I made it home -- thanks! All guests were disembarked in Fremantle on March 17. A lot of us stayed overnight in Perth, some of us at the Ritz-Carleton Perth, and I flew out of Perth early March 18 with flights Perth --> Sydney, Sydney --> San Francisco, and San Francisco --> Seattle. A dear friend in Bellingham drove the 2 hrs to SeaTac to pick me up and bring me safely home so I wouldn't have to endure the shuttle -- another metal tube filled with people who may or may not be sick. I'm putting together a "wrap-up" entry for the blog (with pictures!). According to Luggage Forward, my luggage hasn't been picked up yet (that's a bit troubling, since I handed it over to the Luggage Forward person at the Fremantle cruise terminal as I disembarked 4 days ago). But I made it home in one piece, just a little worse for wear, and suffering from jet lag big time (sleeping a LOT, trying to get into local time routines again, etc.). I'm very happy with how Regent handled the entire situation starting with the earliest port cancellations in mid-February and ending with the amazing send-off we got in Fremantle as we exited the ship. Hearing stories from friends who are on a world cruise on other cruise line, it's clear that Regent provided the best service level all around in terms of disseminating information (not speculation or rumor, but real info), keeping us informed of schedule changes especially in the last few days when things were changing almost hourly, and doing everything they could to maintain the onboard service levels at the Regent standard of excellence. One friend described how the guests on her world cruise discovered they were skipping a scheduled port from looking at a vessel tracking website and finding their ship had completely bypassed the port in the night. I still have four Regent cruises on the books, although I suspect the July 1-15 Alaska back-to-back will be canceled. Canada has closed its cruise ports to ships > 500 passengers, and the border between Canada and the US is closed to non-essential travel -- I live 40 miles from Vancouver, BC on the US side and would have taken the train to Vancouver. I'm holding out hope for the Oct 29 Grand Cape Horn Adventure (68 days) this year. So we'll see. Meanwhile, I'm "self-isolating" for the next few weeks in case I picked up an unwanted passenger on the way home (4 airports, etc.). I live in an over-55 community with a lot of other "high risk" folks, so caution is needed here. It was a grand adventure that ended far too soon, but I feel that there are always positive lessons to be learned even from the worst situations: I now know i can survive a REALLY long airline trip involving multiple stops -- I don't like it, but I can survive it if needed. And I'm getting better at asking for help when needed. Lana (at home in Bellingham, WA)
  9. Since I'm one of those who has expressed the opinion that I'm safer onboard the Mariner than at home, I'm going to respond to this. So what would you have those of us who have been on the same Regent ship since early- to mid-January do? Jump overboard? We haven't taken on any new guests since Sydney -- almost 2 weeks ago. We have taken onboard two (I think) lecturers/entertainers in Adelaide. Most of the excursions have involved busses/vans of Regent guests coming into contact with a handful of locals in port. I'm not uninformed or naive. When I say I'm safer onboard the Mariner, I'm taking into account many variables. I live in northwest Washington state. My community has confirmed cases of COVID-19. There are no cases that we know of on the ship, and with the massive disinfecting protocols ongoing, I still feel the risk of acquisition/sharing is less than it would be for me at home. Disembarking and returning home would involve passing through multiple airports and at least two shuttles, none of which has history of stellar high-level disinfecting protocols. My decision to stay the course is based on the best knowledge of my own personal situation combined with risk assessment based on the best info available from the CDC, WHO, WA state/Seattle/Bellingham/Whatcom County health officials. Regent may decide to do something completely different again -- and I'll deal with that when/if it occurs.
  10. I bookmarked your 2018 WC blog with the recommendations for Australian ports, and I've reserved a spot on one of the Albany excursions. I'll be sure to read further for South Africa and Namibia suggestions. Sometimes it's a little tricky because I often do not know until we get into port what the "logistics" of getting from ship to shuttle/bus/van will be. But I'm always optimistic. Asking the Destination Services folks has been less than helpful as they seem to think anything short of a mile walk is "just a few steps." I did notice in the last few ports that they're actually reporting the distance from gangway to bus, so maybe they're listening. Anyway, I try to get off the ship when/where I can.
  11. Re: The status of the current 2020 World Cruise on the Mariner -- We just got the new itinerary! MAJOR major changes. Basically, we go from Fremantle (Perth) to Seychelles, then Mauritius, South Africa, Namibia, St. Helena, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Devil's Island (French Guiana), Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua/Barbuda, St Barts, San Juan, and then Miami on May 17 as originally scheduled. It looks like the remainder of the itinerary for us San Francisco folks remains the same (Miami to Colombia, Panama Canal, Central America/Mexico, and up the coast to San Francisco). Apart from the Miami-to-San Francisco part of the itinerary, every port is new to me, so I'm VERY happy. They're still awaiting final confirmation on some of the ports, so I don't want to post the details just yet. Suffice it to say that Regent is also offering what i consider to be significant compensation: For those of us who choose to continue on the modified itinerary, "Regent Seven Seas Cruises will REFUND you 50% of the pro-rata cruise-only fare for the March 1st through April 8th portion of your voyage. And now we'll also provide Future Cruise Credit for 50% of the pro-rata cruise-only fare for the April 8 through May 17th portion of your voyage, which can be applied to any new booking made within one year on any Regent voyage sailing before December 31. 2022. Or, if you prefer to end the World Cruise early, Regent will provide you with EITHER A 100% REFUND of the remaining pro-rata cruise-only fare OR a Future Cruise Credit for 125% of the remaining pro-rata cruise-only fare. The Future Cruise Credit can be applied to any new booking made within one year on any Regent voyage sailing before December 31, 2022." As I said, I'm very happy with the new itinerary -- a radical change, for sure, but I've never been to any of the new ports, and several have been on my "bucket list" for a long time (Cape Town, Devil's Island, St. Lucia, for example). I know some of the current World Cruisers will choose to leave the cruise in Perth as they've mentioned it over the past few days. Each of us will decide based on our respective situations/schedules/past travel/etc. Lana (now wishing she'd waited a few weeks to book the 2022 World Cruise)
  12. Thanks -- I can only speak for myself, but I don't believe that I'm being reckless or foolish. I tend to analyze things like this on a "risk/reward" basis, and base my decisions on that. I feel my risk is low under the circumstances, and given that my time left to travel like this is limited (progressive health issues), the rewards justify the risk. Lana (currently on the Mariner, docked in Port Lincoln, Australia) Sunrise, Port Lincoln, Australia -- 7:15 AM, Thursday, March 2, 2020
  13. Absolutely -- I'm trying to keep up-to-date with the current situation as much as I can. My hope is that by the time I'll be (possibly) heading to Canada in mid-June, things will have settled down.
  14. I'll be talking to the future cruise consultant, Eddie, tomorrow about staying onboard the Mariner at the end of the current World Cruise for the next cruise: San Francisco to Vancouver, June 4 - 17. I live about 40 miles from Vancouver, and this way I can avoid having to deal with two airports plus two shuttle busses to get from San Francisco to Bellingham, WA, where the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Whatcom County was identified today. I can take Amtrak from Vancouver to Bellingham. I'm also planning to take my next Regent cruise: a back-to-back Alaska cruise from Vancouver to Seward to Vancouver staring July 1, ending July 15. At this point, we still don't know where we're headed after Fremantle (Perth) on March 19, but I trust Regent to take care of us. I've said it before: not all cruise lines/ships/itineraries are created equal. There's a big difference between boarding a 2500-3500+-passenger ship that routinely takes 4- to10-day cruises with a lot of passenger "churn" and a history of recent visits to coronavirus hotspots, and a 700-passenger ship that routinely takes longer cruises and has no history over the past 6 months of attending ports that are in hotspot areas. I feel safer here on the Mariner than I would at home. Everyone has to make their own decisions based on circumstances. I've made mine. Lana (currently anchored near Kangaroo Island, Australia)
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