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CanadianKate

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About CanadianKate

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Eastern Canada
  • Interests
    Travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    SilverSea
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Sydney (Although it is hard to choose.)

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  1. While in general, I agree, I would never sail on the ResidenSea. She just looked awful to me! Nor would I sail on the any of the large cruise ships. I prefer smaller ships because they tend to look more like ships than floating monstrocities (spelling pun intended) and I would happily choose the motor yachts again. Perhaps after I sail on one of the other ships, I'll change my mind, but it will take a lot of convincing since I like my space and a balcony.
  2. I've now looked over the floor plans and pricing. Even if legit (which I doubt) it is not practical as one's sole home at sea. Granted, I only do a month at a time at sea. And the most challenging packing came on Miami to Vancouver cruise through Panama and via Alaska. In May. But that was done in a 285 sq ft cabin with 60 square foot balcony, bathroom with tub and separate shower, dual sinks, dressing table, walk in closet, desk, couch, chair and hi/lo dual purpose table. The most affordable residences on the Narrative I looked at were 205 square feet with a larger balcony and the clever bed coming down over the couch design. While that works very well for a single person, it gets a bit dodgier for a couple where one person wants to get up early, or watch TV before bed. Where do you keep your 'stuff'? On my cruise, my suitcases were stored under my bed so the drawers and rods in the walk-in closet only had to contain the appropriate wardrobe for the climate I was traveling in. Boots, all weather gear and parkas take up a lot of room (and need room to hang to dry after use.) I'm not sure all I would need to live for a year (let alone forever) fits into the smaller cabins' storage space. Larger residences come with larger operating costs. And not a lot more storage. Anyway, not for me. Just like time-shares are not for me. I prefer being able to change my travel plans to suit the circumstances. I've learned I need a few weeks in the the sun in the winter (God help me this year) and a few weeks away from urban life in the summer, in a rented log cabin surrounded by family (but each in separate cabins.) But that's for this time in my life. In another 5 years I may be single. Or beginning dementia. Or in more fragile health. Without the tie of property (for vacations and also for our primary residence), I can keep adjusting my lifestyle to my needs, rather than forcing myself into a prescribed lifestyle chosen at an earlier time in my life.
  3. That's my reasoning too. On Silversea we always booked the Vista cabin (no balcony) but I will never do that again.
  4. It is a tough call, there are such advantages to both. I found the bed was too close to the bathroom door. If it swung inwards in the bathroom, that would have been fine but the door often was between me and my night stand while we were getting ready for bed at night because we leave the door open so we can chat with each other. Also my dh had to go so close to me in the night if he used the bathroom. I like to look out at the ocean in the morning from my bed. Finally, the room seemed cramped because we had to get by the bed to the open space of the sitting area. On the other hand.... In the daytime it is lovely to sit and look out and dining in that area is lovely. But, like Host Jazzbeau, I like mid-ships so I'll be booking the new suites once I'm back to cruising in a year or two.
  5. "Cruise ships with overnight capacity for more than 100 crew and passengers will not be allowed to operate in Canadian waters at least until November, the minister said. The ban on large cruise ships, many of which were hit by COVID-19 outbreaks, began in March." This doesn't affect Windstar since the Breeze Alaska sailings have been cancelled and I'm pretty sure there wasn't an east-coast fall cruise schedule for the colours. BUT in the ban that was declared in March, Windstar was small enough that it would be allowed. Now Canada has made the size of ship to be too small for most cruise lines. And, of course, it means all cruises to Alaska won't be running unless the US changes their regulations for non-US registered ships since there will be no non-US port they can use. So running from Seattle doesn't help. My concern is that this is the first of the cancellations and other countries will be following suit. Specifically in the Caribbean this winter. Forgot to add the link: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-canada/canada-extends-ban-on-large-cruise-ships-until-oct-31-transport-minister-idUSKBN23522Y?utm_source=reddit.com
  6. It seems odd that shows and restaurants are still a 'thing' anywhere on earth! Even with social distancing, that means no visiting with anyone inside, no touching (therefore no grandkids' hugs) and only trips to the grocery store allowed. The grocery stores have food, but not always what you went for. Still no steady supply of toilet paper (it is showing up more often, as it should since a plant is in this town!), no rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, or masks (which are required for those with compromised immune systems in my building when they go to the laundry or mail room.) Doctor's appointments are cancelled if they are routine, or done by phone just getting test results. Everyone that can is required to work from home. Some of those who can't, are sitting at home doing nothing because their employers have closed. All concerts & plays, the library, all gyms, restaurants, hair cuts, meetings, church, are cancelled. On the plus side, so was my dentist appointment!
  7. Now where will the ship go? The Australia ban is in effect now. https://www.fleetmon.com/maritime-news/2020/29105/australia-bans-all-cruise-ships/
  8. Some Canadian Travel insurance companies have started to let policy holders know they have 10 days (or as long as it takes to get back to Canada) before their policies are no longer in effect. My sister got the notice today from her company today (went to Florida in November, wasn't due back until April.) This is in response the Federal Government global travel advisory to avoid non-essential travel. Waiting this out overseas may not be an option. https://www.rto-ero.org/prepared
  9. Since our original exchange, the world has certainly changed for us. I kept wanting to stop refreshing news headlines, twitter, and reddit but at the same time the news coming through was important, not speculative. In 24 hours we went from our first case in this city, to three, including our Prime Minister's wife. We went from families debating if they would leave on the March Break holiday (desperately needed in this land of little sun and much cold) to discovering their kids would be off school not one week but three. Then all sports were cancelled, then all live performances of theatre, then all recreation facilities and the library. Day care companies will be closing next week if they haven't already. Parents are assigned to working from home but how productive that can be with children at home and no activities to go to is uncertain. As you said, cruising has suddenly stopped being important. This evening came the news report of a suicide at our university dorm (which is shut down and no classes.) Social isolating becomes social isolation and the despair in the posts I see on our local reddit is heart-breaking. My own daughter, at home with two sick children so unable to leave the house, felt guilty at asking me to get groceries for her and surprised I was intending to go out today. We are not on lockdown here, yet. So as long as I am 100% healthy (and I monitor my temp, lung capacity and general well-being 2x a day), I will be going out as required. I foresee a time when there will be a lockdown but until then, I shall go for walks in the fresh air, and make sure I have not only the 4 weeks of extra food, but food for the upcoming meals I'd normally be buying for. This is a challenge - potatoes are still nowhere to be found, but hopefully the crazy buying will stop. Thankfully, I don't need toilet paper! While I was out today, coincidentally, we passed our son while on the road and pulled over to exchange hugs and best wishes. He's a hospital worker and has been run off his feet. He asked us for proof he lives with us (he doesn't but did for a few months after returning from Australia and should still be listed on our lease.) He's preparing for Italian style geographic restrictions and his home is a 1 hour drive away from his work in another municipality. You mentioned drive-thru testing - that was implemented at his hospital for a day while our city set up other testing sites. Up until then, testing was being done in the ER and was too slow due to the cleaning protocols between tests. Do it in a person's car and you don't have to clean after each test! And registration was done by mobile phone so fewer hospital workers as well as people waiting in the ER for other issues were isolated from those being tested.
  10. Sorry, I misread your "The point is unless Western countries want to go the way of Italy it needs to be treated more seriously" as "Unless Western/civilized countries want to turn out like a disorganized, chaotic, country such as Italy, we need to treat this virus more seriously." Your sentence can also be read, "Italy is an example of what can happen in western, democratic, society even when they take impressive measures, so we need to be prepared to do even more to avoid the infection rate they have." Sorry I misinterpreted your meaning.
  11. It was inevitable. So now, everyone, let's go back to planning and looking forward to cruises in the future instead of obsessing over/dreading the ones in the near future. We are all old enough to know that "This too shall pass" and things will return, slightly changed. On Windstar there will be many changes for the better on the Star Yachts. So much to look forward to! I had my eye on 2 cruises in the fall that will likely be cancelled and I have the Caribbean booked in late Feb on the Surf. I was going to cancel that (to pay for the other two.) Now, I'll simply look at all the videos and posts on the Surf and look forward to leaving ports under the sails, listening to Conquest of Paradise (I'm still not comfortable with the imagery that song brings up, but I do find it stirring!) On my only Windstar cruise to date, we had only 2 sailaways and one was at midnight so the music wasn't played. The water sports deck was also not used. So I am really focusing on these perks of my multi-port Caribbean vacation (normally I hate ports so I may stay on board all the time or just get off for a walk and then return 'home.') We have a lovely cabin, a lovely ship, and are looking forward to the excellent food, once again. Oh, and if, during the social distancing and isolations during this crisis, we eat in more often and more frugally, and if much of our entertainment plans are cancelled, perhaps I can save enough money to book at least one of those other cruises as well as my Caribbean adventure!
  12. While it is a lovely alternative (I've done the Western African Coast trip on the Wind with just 205 passengers) I'd be pulling the plug too because things will change. For instance, Funchal is now closed to cruise ships according to Cruise Junkie. I'd include the link to the Madeira Island Direct article except they've been overwhelmed with internet traffic!
  13. You surmise this could become a nightmare voyage. You are being given a chance to buy peace of mind for $600. Is that a deal to you? For $600 you no longer have to worry about this trip and can go back to looking forward to future travel, not dreading your upcoming trip wondering if it will go well, go poorly, or not go at all (but after you've traveled to the point of embarkation so you'll still have to isolate at home when you get there.) For $600 you no longer have to plan to spend 14 days in isolation on return home so you are buying 14 days of free movement. For $600 you are putting your family's minds at rest. Sounds like a deal to me. Finally, I'll leave you with the excellent answer from an infectious disease physician at our children's hospital.The question was regarding whether families should go on their March Break trips to the US, but it applies to all of us who have trips planned. If you had a trip booked right now to one of these state-of-emergency states, would you go? I would review my risks. I go on vacation to escape the stresses of work and daily life, and if I am unable to have that laissez-faire approach when I'm away, then I'll probably reconsider.
  14. We all know that elderly people die on cruises on a fairly regular basis. Many of us have been on cruises where that has happened. I can see the CLIA offering this as a compromise to the US government since it reduces one of their problems. This is CLIA-wide so for now, once ships start sailing again, this is the new norm. I'm still unclear on details. There's an AND OR discrepancy in much of the reporting but it seems that anyone under 70 with diabetes will need a note, same with anyone post-op, or a host of other medical issues. And it is unclear if this is a forever change or just while Covid-19 is circulating. We live in interesting times.
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