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Everything posted by Flyinby

  1. Likewise, we could just leave it up to everyone to be responsible (as they see it) for their health and well-being. Got the flu? "Well, yes, but I'm not contagious, so I'm not missing my trip". Don't wash your hands, shower, or wash clothes? No problem, personal decision. Can't control bodily functions and don't want to be burdened with diapers etc.? Welcome aboard. Chain smoker that needs a smoke every 15 minutes but doesn't want to be restricted as to where? Light up, it's your own business, those anti-smoking nutjobs are just trying to restrict your freedom. Don't feel safe without your AR-15? Bring it along!! Exaggerated, sure, but these people already have free choice, and unfortunately DeSantis etc. have chosen to restrict the rights of businesses to set basic rules that benefit all of their customers. Don't want to get vaccinated, think it's all a hoax, want to impress Trump and his ilk, or just like being obstinate? Fine, go somewhere that welcomes you as you are. Cruise lines and the passengers are affected adversely if disease or illness breaks out on their cruises, even among only the un-vaccinated. If the trip is curtailed, you have coughing sick passengers roaming around the decks claiming they feel "fine", or just the bad publicity that results does affect all of us who try to cooperate and do our part. So let them form their own cruise lines and cruise out of DeSantis's Florida all they want, they're free to do so.
  2. I think the "vaccine passport" or whatever you want to name it is a good solution, maybe not perfect, but if we wait for perfect, it'll never happen. It should be an official document similar to a passport or 'real ID' driver's license that can't be easily forged. Sure, some determined anti-everything-but-trump-ers will do their best to forge them, as passports etc. can be forged, but if it's difficult and expensive, maybe some will realize it's better to just get vaccinated and get on with life instead of trying to be as obstinate as possible. Now, with worldwide internet, it would be fairly simple to have a QR-code type graphic to scan on the document that would check its validity in seconds, so perhaps rather than risk getting turned away from a planned vacation at boarding, some will take the more logical route...get vaccinated or do something else (maybe they could form their own groups of similar-minded and travel with them...as a bonus, they could probably take their guns 8^). As for situations like Florida/DeSantis, I don't need to go there, if they want some ridiculous law to demand I cruise with non-vaxers. Rather than help boost their economy from port fees and my travel $$, I'll depart from somewhere else.
  3. Aloha, Yehootu, that's a pretty short visit for a tender port, but if you have the urge to get off the ship and go in early, it's still feasible, you could just stay on the bus for the two-hour roundtrip. Or get off for a half or one hour at a couple of the stops. It's a decent all-around tour of the city without getting off at all. Off the subject, on the last trip we were on deck 12, which was the "Aloha" deck, so every time we arrived in the elevator, the elevator voice greeted us with an "Aloha", which we thought was nice...
  4. The night before Fuerte Amador we got a notice from Princess saying it was available, but not a "Princess-sponsored" tour. They did include a form to give the bus that allowed them to collect the fee from Princess (charged to our room). If that doesn't happen when you're there, you can probably just catch it at the tender port when you come in. It runs every 30 minutes, and is a two hour round trip if you don't get off. I think it was $39, and you got a wrist bracelet for all day. They do a great job of describing the stops, providing a map and guide information, and also give you new earbuds to listen to the recorded description as you're passing points of interest. The top is open (but roofed) and the bottom is closed and air conditioned. We only got off once in old town for a couple of hours, but it was thoroughly enjoyable, and with buses coming every half hour, no long waits. They go through the new city (Panama City) also, so you get to see how different it is...looks like it could be LA or any other large city downtown.
  5. We did the (bus) city/oldtown tour about two weeks ago and found it disappointing. One factor in our case was that it was very hot and humid, so that may skew our opinion to some extent, but overall I'd have rather sat on the bus for the all-day tour rather than what we did. The fort was reasonably interesting and had some nice views of the city, but in areas where there was no breeze it was almost to where I felt like I couldn't breathe. Cooler weather most certainly would have helped, instead of the ~92/feels like 103 we had. The slope is somewhat steep but if you take it slowly, not so bad. My wife has knee issues to where much walking is a problem, and she made it up and down OK. Expect a lot of vendors pushing cheap junk in your face for much of the way. The rest of the tour was pretty useless, other than a visit to an old Catholic Church. Dropped us off at tourist junk shops for a few minutes, and a short walking tour, followed by the church (where the guide (Jenny) failed to announce she was leaving and we nearly lost the tour, had not someone noticed we weren't there). Next a stop for a local folk dance group dancing for tips where we finally were offered a small bottle of water. Then a way-too-long stop at a jewelry shop where they offered day-old coffee, wifi, and air conditioning, while we waited way too long for the few interested members to look at jewelry. Then to top it off, the guide had never really completed a count, and we left for the boat without 2 of the group (they had found someone on a similar tour who radioed the driver and we returned to get them). Basically, after we left the fort, I'd have much preferred to sit on the air conditioned bus or go back to the ship, rather than the rest of the tour. Another cruiser said they went on the Mangrove tour where a small paddle boat takes you through the mangroves, along with a short city tour, and he said they enjoyed that, so you might consider that one. This tour was so bad that we cancelled a city tour in Panama for a couple of days later...no more "city tours" for a while... We did the hop-on, hop-off bus there which was fine and enjoyable. But as for Cartagena, the town itself is interesting and historical, but bad weather and a bad tour plan, along with way too many aggressive vendors and tourist junk shops spoiled it.
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