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About doctork

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Pacific Northwest/Blue Ridge Mountains
  • Interests
    Fun & Adventures!
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Most any cruise line is a good one.
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    the Baltics

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  1. Thanks OP for posting the link - I added my comments. I served once on a federal advisory committee and our task was to formulate regulations on the assigned subject, including reviewing and considering all the public comments. As a committee member, I personally read every single comment. This link was an RFI - and I think CDC does want opinions and suggestions though I am sure they already have plenty of ideas and input from the stakeholders. I'm ready to start cruising again when the cruise lines are, presuming they are taking proper precautions. A vaccine would be nice, but
  2. There are other forms of immunity other than antibodies. Some of the antibody tests are not very reliable. It may be encouraging that there are few, if any, reliably documented cases of reinfection - so far. But we really don't know. For now (and probably through the end of 2020 at least) I don't think there is a plan for cruise ships to operate safely.
  3. I don't think the average passenger who is not a medical professional would have realized the seriousness of Covid-19. In fact, Dr. Fauci said something to the effect of "If you are young and healthy without risk factors, you can probably go ahead and cruise, though I can't imagine why you would want to do that" (I am paraphrasing of course); he recommended that older adults and people with risk factors NOT cruise. But the cruise line leadership and medical departments were aware of how dangerous the virus could be, but decided to cruise anyway. That is my personal opinion and I
  4. I may not insure the cost of my cruise but I ALWAYS make sure I have good travel medical and evacuation insurance. These costs can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars out of pocket if there is no insurance coverage, and many US health insurance policies do not include care outside the US. I buy the type of travel medical insurance that is first payer (not after my other health insurance) because in many countries you must pay cash or guarantee payment for your care before the doctors and hospitals will provide it. I also make sure I have coverage to the hospital
  5. The chartering entity cancelled our cruise on March 11, 2 days prior to HAL and the rest of the cruise industry suspending cruises on March 13. By mid-February it was apparent that Covid-19 was being spread person-to-person in Asia - including on ships with Americans on board - and anyone who remembers SARS in 2002-2003 or even thinks logically about rapid disease spread by trans-oceanic airline flights, could foresee that continuing to cruise would result in serious outbreaks on-board. A regimen of taking temperatures or filling out health questionnaire or checking passports for
  6. My canceled cruise was a full charter on Veendam and was scheduled to sail on March 18. The first case of Covid-19 was diagnosed January 20 and that patient was treated at the hospital where I send my patients. The first US death from Covid-19 occurred on February 29 and it was becoming obvious that the illness was spreading in the community, not just among those who had traveled to China. Corporate Carnival, HAL, and the organizers of our cruise were all saying that completing a health questionnaire prior to boarding, increasing the cleaning on board, and denying boarding for th
  7. Update on our HAL charter: Our charter cruise scheduled for March 18 - 25 was cancelled on March 11 by the chartering entity, 2 days before HAL actually cancelled all sailings. If we receive our promised 70% refund next week, it will have been approximately 90 days from cancellation to repayment. I received an email today stating that "the check is in the mail" from HAL and the charterer expects to receive it on June 4. We can expect our refund checks mailed the week of June 8; we should receive approximately 70% of what we paid. Most if not all of us wou
  8. We were booked on a charter cruise scheduled March 18 - 25 and HAL hasn't refunded any payment to the chartering entities yet (it cost between $1.5 million and $2 million to rent the Veendam for a week), though apparently under legal pressure, HAL agreed they would refund $1.5 million. The chartering entities say that the payment to HAL was less than half the actual cruise cost and much of the rest of the money has been already been spent on non-refundable costs. If HAL ever pays the charterers (it is looking somewhat dubious, isn't it?), we may receive a partial refund. This i
  9. We've taken quite a few theme cruises where the ports didn't matter. We were happy just watching movies (Turner Classic Movies cruise) or being entertained by musicians on music-themed cruises. I love sea days but without an entertaining "theme," I'd rather have at least one or two ports in a week. However, on cruises to Alaska or Norwegian Fjords maybe just scenery would be fine.
  10. The triumph of hope over experience - we're booked on the Turner Classic Movies full charter cruise on Disney in October, even after our HAL charter with Prairie Home Companion in March was cancelled. When it is a charter, HAL doesn't give any refunds or FCC's, though we may get a few pennies on the dollar from the organizer. Still, for TCM we'd be fine with a cruise to nowhere since we do that one just for the movies and the other movie-loving passengers. Who cares if the ports are closed! We do have a Dubai to Roma cruise on Princess in April 2021, booked with FCC
  11. I must be missing something. We've been interested in a South America + Antarctica cruise for a while, and if we were to book under the"Have It All" fare, the final payment would be due next week on April 8. The fares appeared higher than my last check pre-coronavirus, and the "savings" were about equal to the cost of Platinum Plan insurance that would allow reimbursement should we cancel after April 8. We won't know any more next week than we do today about Covid-19 and whether we'd wish to cancel. So the "Have It All" consisted of free WiFi, gratuities and a drink package; no
  12. I have a vague memory of a night for Indonesian Reis Taffel too. And the chocolate extravaganza.
  13. The study using hydroxychloroquine + "Z-pack" was done by a reputable research organization; the ".com" reflects the lay press publishing an article about the the study. However, the study has limitations as noted above. That said, since both medications are FDA approved (for different purposes) for years, and are readily available, they are being prescribed off-label by some physicians for some patients, with at least anecdotal success. Given the frequency of Covid-19 infection, any positive effects should appear fairly quickly. That may allay some fears - just look at all the uninhibited
  14. Wide open for liability or else allowing no one over age 70 to travel. I haven't looked at the data lately but I suspect this is still true - nearly 80% of people age 65 or older (this is US Medicare data) have at least one chronic disease. Most have one or more of the following: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, kidney disease, osteoarthritis, asthma or COPD, as well a host of other usually milder conditions such as allergies, heart burn, migraine headaches, etc. They may not make you unfit for travel but they are chronic diseases.
  15. Your primary care does a "pre-operative physical examination" and then pronounces you low, medium or high risk for the specific proposed procedure (open heart surgery is high risk, cataract surgery is generally low risk). There are actually medical risk calculators to predict the risk quite accurately - how likely is each complication such as pneumonia or blood clot, or prolonged stay in rehab - and for most medical conditions, you know the relevant pre-op risks and how to optimize the patient's health prior to surgery. Then there is also the consent to the surgery that the surgeo
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