Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

Everything posted by westcoaster

  1. Canada opened it's land borders to Americans on August 9 and will allow cruise ships starting November 1. Both these measures were announced back in July.
  2. There was a story in the local paper about the passenger from the Majestic Princess being airlifted to the hospital in Victoria. The article doesn't really have any additional information, though. Sick cruise passenger airlifted to Victoria General Hospital
  3. Mixing the two MRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) is allowed. The Princess FAQ states: "Guests who have received two single doses of mixed vaccines that are the same type (e.g., mRNA) will be considered fully vaccinated and will be permitted to sail"
  4. Although by the time the Alaska cruises start in late July, the majority of Canada's population will likely be fully vaccinated - probably a higher percentage fully vaccinated than in the U.S. by that point.
  5. I've found this on Holland America, where staff serve food at the buffet, that the portion sizes are much larger than I would serve myself, even if I ask for a very small portion. I like to be able to sample a little of lots of different foods, and the setup where staff serve you is not as amenable to that. As Ride-the-Waves points out, scientists have been saying for months that it's extremely rare for Covid to spread via surfaces. This change might help to reduce the risk of Noro, etc., but it is somewhat ironic that they would introduce it now, seemingly in response to Covid, when it will likely have no impact on the transmission of Covid.
  6. That's a little misleading given that Canada has been specifically following a strategy of giving first doses to as many people as possible before doing second doses. So, for example, 62% of Canada's total population has received the first dose versus just 52% in the U.S. The CDC just came out with a big study showing an 81% reduction in transmission after the first dose versus a 91% reduction following the second dose, so clearly getting first doses to people has a much bigger impact overall. Over the past week, vaccination programs in Canada have been shifting over to second doses, so expect to see that number start to increase very quickly.
  7. I don't know if I would call it unfettered. There are still quarantine requirements and public health advice against international travel that the vast majority of Canadians seem to be heeding. Just 11,000 passengers travelled between Vancouver Airport and US destinations in Feb 2021 (the last month available) versus 463,000 passengers in Feb 2020. That's just 2% of pre-pandemic levels - i.e. down 98%.
  8. There were reports on the news today saying that the Canadian and U.S. governments are looking at a staged reopening of the land border, starting with allowing fully vaccinated people to cross the border this summer. The exact timing is still tentative, but the news report said this could happen as early as late June, although July is more likely. I'm not sure what impact this will have on cruise ships with fully vaccinated passengers.
  9. Unless there is some dramatic change in the trajectory of the pandemic, there is very little doubt that Canada's ports will be open by spring 2022. Vaccination rates are one of the key metrics that the government is looking at. Currently about 70-75% of adults in Canada have received a first dose, and that proportion or higher should be fully vaccinated by this August, which should allow borders to reopen.
  10. May is a great time for Alaska cruises. Days are longer (for example, sunset in Juneau is around 9 pm in early May vs. 8 pm in late August). There is more snow in the mountains in May, so the scenery is even more spectacular. There are fewer bugs in May than there are later in the summer. May is a bit cooler than later in the summer, but the difference is not huge. On the other hand, there tends to be much less rain in May. Rather than relying on anecdotal reports on the weather, if you look at the long-term averages based on National Weather Service data, you will see that in places like Juneau, Skagway, and Glacier Bay, there is half as much rain in May compared with August.
  11. Canada is forecast to receive delivery of more than 65 million vaccine doses by the end of July. That's enough for every Canadian aged 12 and over to get two doses. Most provinces have said they will be able to give first shots to everyone who wants one by mid-June. After that, there will be a very fast ramp-up of second doses.
  12. Most second shots will be in June and July. Canada has already given a single dose to more than half of its population - more than the U.S. Based on current immunization rates, Canada will likely have passed the U.S. in terms of % of people fully vaccinated by late July when these cruises start.
  13. That's not really the reason. New Covid cases per capita on Vancouver Island are currently about 17% of the level in the U.S. Canada now has a higher % of its population with a first dose than the U.S., and by the time these sailings start in late July, Canada will likely also have a higher proportion of fully vaccinated people than the U.S. Canada is just being much more cautious about its reopening.
  14. Based on the current rates of immunization, by late July when these cruises start, Canada will likely also surpass the the US in terms of % of people fully vaccinated.
  15. I don't think so. Most recent 7-day average for new daily Covid cases per million people: U.S. : 91 per million Vancouver Island: 15 per million Plus Canada just passed the U.S. in the % of total population receiving a first vaccine dose. By late July, Canada will likely be far ahead on this measure.
  16. I'm sure the CDC also looks at indicators such as the level of transmission in the community (which has been going down) and the % of the population that is vaccinated, which is increasing. The data on the effectiveness of vaccines may not have changed significantly, but those other factors make it more supportable to announce this change in guidance now than would have been the case a month ago.
  17. September 2022 is a long way off, and I suspect the situation in Canada will be much different by then. Canada is set to overtake the U.S. in terms of % of population with at least one vaccine dose within about a month, and will likely overtake the U.S. in % of fully vaccinated people some time this summer. Once 80% or so of people are vaccinated, I think Canada will be much more open to allowing cruise ship stops.
  18. It's not as if the CDC is specifically targeting islands served by cruise ships. I mean, if you look at the map, there are nearly 150 countries accounting for most of the world that are currently rated as Level 4. That includes, all of Europe, Canada, and most of Latin America. The advice is basically: now is not a good time for international travel. I would tend to agree!
  19. Yes, we did both get the referral credits.
  20. Thanks for both of your responses. I had a feeling that the information provided by the agent regarding no benefit on first cruise was incorrect. I'll suggest that he contact them using the military benefit email address to ask why the obc hasn't shown up on his personalizer yet.
  21. A friend is going with us on what will be his first cruise next year. He initially called Princess about getting the military benefit and he was told that he couldn't get it because this was his first cruise. I hadn't heard of that before, so I suggested that he submit his information on Princess' Military Cruise Benefit Program page, which he did. He received the response below. Congratulations! We verified your eligibility for the special offer you requested. Now that you've been approved, please review the Princess military benefit program terms and conditions. Please allow for 7 days to view this benefit on your booking in Cruise Personalizer. If you do not have a current booking, we'd love to see you on board soon! It's now been two weeks, and the obc still hasn't shown up in his Cruise personalizer. Does anyone know if there is a delay in processing these requests right now, or is there any truth to what the agent told him about not getting the benefit on your first cruise? Thanks.
  22. I like that Sapphire (and Diamond) have a wider promenade deck than the other Grand Class ships. That allows for full lounge chairs on the promenade deck.
  23. That's not correct. I always keep track of the exchange rate offered by Princess when I book, then choose whether to book in CAD or USD. Since 2013, the rate used by Princess has changed a number of times: Alaska cruise in 2014 - rate was 1.00 Two cruises in 2015 - rate was 1.10 Two cruises in 2016 and 2017 - rate was 1.30 Alaska cruise in 2018 - rate was 1.25 Cruise in 2019 - rate was 1.30 I haven't booked anything since then, but there was discussion on these boards when Princess raised its rate to 1.35 in 2020, then dropped it back to 1.30 earlier this year.
  24. The USD closed at $1.267 today so $1.30 is still not that great a rate. For me, it would still make sense to book in USD right now. I have a credit card that doesn't charge a foreign exchange fee and I tend to book last minute, so I don't need to worry about any big drops in the CAD before final payment.
  25. I sometimes purchase cruises in CAD and sometimes in USD, depending on which works out cheaper. I've been able to use USD FCCs and FCDs on cruises purchased on CAD, and vice versa. You need to call them and ask to them to do this. Sometimes it can take a few days for them to convert the FCD and apply it.
  • Create New...