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Sunviking

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  1. Seas_The_Day, thank you for your post explaining some pertinent facts and statistics. It's terrible that so many people have died from Covid-19 everywhere, but as the number of positive cases has risen here, the fatality rate has fallen dramatically. In the US it's now just a bit over 5%. In Canada that rate is approx. 8.3% and in the UK it's about 14%. As I said all deaths are tragic as are the thousands who die each year of influenza.
  2. We have stayed twice at the Villa Spalletti Trivelli in Rome and had a splendid time. It's a small hotel across the street from the Quirinale Palace and minutes away from the Trevi Fountain. There are not many rooms but they have an elevator, a perfectly wonderful garden with covered seating and a great breakfast. In the afternoon there is an open, serve yourself bar.
  3. Yes, we do have a large percentage of people who are obese in the US but if you look at the statistics of fatalities in the US you will see that at least 40% were people in nursing homes or other senior living facilities. I can't speak to other senior living facilities but those in nursing homes already had many co-morbidity issues or they would not have been in nursing homes. There have been reports already that there have been miscounts of deaths due to Covid 19. I believe that at least one state has corrected their count down. I don't intend to minimize those who have perished from this virus, but I believe that most statistics are subject to revision when the dust settles
  4. We enjoy the flexibility and variety of the Colonnade but wouldn't mind having it being served as opposed to self-serve. It gives us an opportunity to try something we might never have thought of tasting. We won't wait until there is a vaccine for Covid 19 before we sail again. Given the fact that after 39 years of research and many $$$ there is no HIV vaccine nor is there one that has been tested in humans for SARS which emerged in 2002-2003, we (my DH & I) may not be around for a real Covid vaccine. When countries decide to open ports and cruise lines decide to sail we'll be ready to look at what's available.
  5. I didn’t read it as meaning only for new bookings. We have an August cruise booked and I understand the policy to say I have until 30 days before departure to cancel. Had our cruise been in July I think it states fairly clearly that I could cancel up to 48 hours before the boarding date. It seems in line with the policies most other lines have adopted.
  6. Thank you for your very rational post. Over the last few weeks the problems you outlined re: docking, resupply, etc. must have been gargantuan. A solution arrived at in the morning may be unworkable by the afternoon. I would not want to be in the shoes of the people having to try to sort all this out. Meanwhile on the ships that are still at sea, the crew is still carrying on with smiling faces and doing all they can to make the guests experience a good one while no doubt worrying about their own families and when they might be able to see them again.
  7. As of this afternoon's FDA update at 15:31 PM, public health labs in all 50 states are able to test for Covid 19. As of last night more than 1.1 million test kits have been shipped to non-public health labs. Two manufacturers are expected to have another 1 million kits which have passed quality control shipped by Monday and an additional 4 million by next Friday. One of the things the US government did this week was to change regulations so that facilities other than the CDC could process the tests. It sounds like a lot of work is being done to try to keep up with a new and unexpected disease.
  8. There is an interesting editorial in the latest New England Journal of Medicine re: Covid-19. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe2002387 In the third paragraph the authors (director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, deputy director of the same organization, and the director of the Centers for Disease Control respectively) posit that the consequences of Covid-19 may be more like those of a severe influenza season than MERS or SARS. I don't think the three doctors are trying to minimize the impact this virus has had but it does put a little perspective on it. The typical influenza season in the northern hemisphere is in the fall and winter and usually ends by May. The virus circulates year-round but activity peaks in that period. I think that makes it very premature to speculate about what adjustments airlines and cruise lines may have to make in the late spring and summer. I hope this virus will run its course sooner rather than later and with as few additional casualties as possible.
  9. I'm curious as to where you heard that a number of passengers from the Westerdam have come down with the virus. It had been reported that one 83 year old woman was believed to have it after she traveled to Malaysia following her disembarkation in Cambodia. About an hour ago USA Today reported that after multiple tests came back negative it is not believed that she ever had coronavirus. Additionally, the article states that the remaining Westerdam crew members and passengers remaining in Cambodia have also all tested negative. https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2020/02/21/coronavirus-holland-america-ms-westerdam-cruise-passenger-cleared/4834124002/
  10. We sailed on the Encore last May from Dubai to Athens with the stop in Aqaba. It was the second time we took the tour to Petra, the first time having been several years before. We did the walk down and back the first time and the trip up is pretty grueling as others have said. The walk is a couple of miles each way and the elevation goes from about 5400 ft. above sea level at the top to about 4800 ft. at the bottom. For people who live at low elevations this can cause additional discomfort. On our visit this past year we took a golf cart down to the Treasury with 3 other people from our tour group. It was well worth the money. On our first visit which was in October that year we did experience the caviar in the desert experience which was a delightful surprise. Last May Seabourn didn't do that event and I was told they didn't because it was Ramadan and there would have been objections from the Jordanians. If your cruise will be during Ramadan you may not have it either. The trip to Petra is well worth it regardless.
  11. On another board a passenger currently on the Ovation wrote that they were able to get off the ship in Laem Chabang which I believe is the port used for Bangkok.
  12. The ship is actually the Diamond Princess (still one of Carnival's).
  13. I'm not booked on a cruise on the Ovation until much later this year, but I can appreciate how frustrated those who are booked on upcoming ones are. I would be too. However, I agree with Cantara 24 that the situation and bans are so fluid that making decisions has to be extremely difficult. Had Seabourn canceled the cruise that began last weekend in Hong Kong they would have had to figure out what to do with potentially as many as 1200 passengers, the 600 on the cruise that ended (some of whom may have booked back to back cruises) and as many as 600 who had made their way to Hong Kong to board the ship. Additionally I know that ports where cruises end and begin are usually big resupply places for the next cruise. If Seabourn or any cruise line cancels a stop in such a port they also have to figure out where the resupply can occur instead. That presents another logistic problem. Whether those of us not affected learn of the decisions being made is certainly not as important as keeping those on board and on the next cruise or two advised. Hopefully that's being done in what is a very difficult situation for all of those involved whether they are passengers or people in home offices all dealing with changes that occur almost hourly.
  14. I remember hearing or reading somewhere a long time that in journalism "if it bleeds it leads." No virus should be underestimated but on our news here tonight it was noted that in the US so far this flu (influenza) season 10,000 people have died. Doesn't make coronavirus unimportant but does add some perspective I think.
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