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Rancher Dave

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About Rancher Dave

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About Me

  • Interests
    Travel, Pets, Raising Longhorns
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    now it's RCCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. I couldn't recall the weekly interval...it's only been 28-32 years since I did that work. I helped run them on the floating rig, and those can get interesting...could be a simulated fire in the galley up to an uncontrolled kick on the rig floor. In those drills often the lifeboats were even launched....nothing better than seeing how small you look in a lifeboat bobbing in the GOM driving away from the rig. Rig looks small from a helicopter...at least we had neighbors about 10-12 miles away.
  2. yes regular drills are required by SOLAS for all ships, so with no passengers they are like a tanker or container ship with all the same SOLAS requirements and drills. Just may not happen only while docked now. My first crew drill (small ship in oil industry) was conducted half way between Virginia and Bermuda, and it included donning a survival suit, firefighting air pack, going over how to launch the life raft, etc...never hurts to know how to launch a life raft as it is generally the same for those giant white container held life rafts on the cruise ships.
  3. if you have been made whole, why do you believe you are owed a profit from the cancelled cruise? As someone else said the TA is doing a lot more work than they would have for the cruise anyhow. As for TAs getting paid, if the cruise lines said you have to continue to help with these cruises and pay back commission already paid, shops would close up leaving a huge issue for the pax and cruise lines to sort out. Also, many other tour operators aren't giving TAs anything for tours the operator cancelled, so the TA gets to deal with the client to sort out the cancellation while not getting paid anything. Do you go to work for nothing because a vendor said you have to?
  4. The average day is get up, eat, work, research stuff for the ranch or business opportunities, work, eat, sleep. It gets kind of boring. I do spend more time cooking and probably eating healthier than when things were the old normal where I ate out 5-7 nights a week because of how work, school (my dd is in college nearby), and wife's work had us all so busy all the time. Thankfully a couple times a week I put go to the ranch and tend the herd into the mix. I then get to keep check on progress of interstate highway 3rd lane construction, births of calves, how the wildflowers look, get in more exercise thru walking, and the other day pipe lifting, and other chores that give me a workout. It is nice to get out to the country with wide open space around so my social distance boundary increases to about 1/2 a mile at a minimum from humans...much closer to the cattle, but they apparently don't yet get this strain of coronavirus, but get vaccinated for other strains. I am also self teaching welding skills out at the ranch and am about to embark on a few week long pipe fence install project. I will be glad sometime next year when it is safe to cruise again, ports are open, and we can book time to get away.
  5. It is a great thing to do for places you want to use in the future. Today I saw 2 specials offered up to places we go but that are unlikely to survive given they were both nearly dead already. There are a lot of local mom and pop places that I would get gift cards to in order to help them now and they give me good food/service later when they can sit me at a table. One has been doing small specials every week and we have been there probably on average every other week since the virus hit.
  6. It's a site that needs clicks to make money, so why not put something out that sounds good, isn't absolutely false and gets clicks. But when folks use a critical eye as you have and point out it isn't an official RCCL statement it becomes clear it's someone interpreting where they are with cancellations. As many have said and makes good sense cancelled cruises are coming in blocks to make it manageable for the company, both in terms of time to process, and of course cash-flow. If everyone would take a critical eye to all news, and a lot of health related studies (not CV19 related specifically) we would all be better off. I've not seen anywhere where CDC has given a green light to sail in June. In fact their most recent update would hold cruises from US ports until late July. More likely with exteded border closings around the world, even late July may be a bit early for when we really see sailings again.
  7. I'd expect there to be a lot more crew cleaning and serving food in the buffet. As already mentioned it may help cut down on noro outbreaks as well.
  8. A key to the drill is knowing where to muster, because it varies by line/ship (I've met in theaters, dining rooms, and out on the deck below hanging lifeboats) and it is also a great idea for those who've never experienced it to see what it is like to muster and be counted as present. (When I worked offshore every Summer in college, we were a few days into the first voyage to Bermuda to take supplies before I was ever put thru a muster drill, and one of the deck officers thought it would be smart to have me put on an immersion suit, which in an emergency would have been critical, so I can speak from the crew side of a ship and say it is important to know where, what, why, and how.) Those who are heavily experienced cruisers may have a good idea of what to expect and needs to be done, but each ship can be different and processes get updated at times, so that's why everyone had to muster every cruise. Only exception I've experienced was a 14 day RT sailing from Vancouver to Whittier and back, on the back side, since we were booked as 14 day pax, we didn't have to be back in time for or participate in the muster. We did get back though ahead of it, just because we caught the end of the prior tunnel opening. Our cabin attendant just told us if we didn't want to gather to stay in our cabin until everyone was released, which was not big deal. Also, missed main muster on our Baltic Sea sailing, but as the last bus from the airport they knew we were missing muster and had an alternate planned for soon after we were aboard in a lounge where we were counted and all put on a life vest. Things will be different for the near future and possibly forever after this virus settles down and goes away. Getting to that point will probably be painful for some and for the cruise lines but is going to just be part of the process.
  9. Yeah, that's an idea....doubt we will be getting to WDW this Summer. I do wonder when DL & WDW will really open back up. Zero social distancing there. As for Summer cruising, even if the ships are there some of the airlines are already cutting flights to Europe for part if not all of the Summer season, so getting there could become very difficult and far more expensive, at least for those not already ticketed. Then there is the issue of what level of exposure might exist in some of the port cities, leading to modified sailings that folks aren't happy about. As for paying final payments, one can always call in and see if they will extend final payment dates a bit so you don't tie up more money before they cancel your sailing. It might be worth a try. Hope all here stay safe!
  10. To a large extent I agree. Some specific lines may take it a step beyond what others do to stand out and use as a marketing ploy, but all will have to meet a minimum requirement that would be consistent across the entire CLIA member fleet. As others have said I would expect the cruise lines to cancel sailings a block at a time so they can handle all the processing. What we may see first is that new bookings on some sailings are blocked before they are more formally cancelled. Eliminates more cancellation work down the road. I know some international tour operators are cancelling trips for July to Central America and they are likely not just doing so on a whim but based on information that have about when folks will be able to travel to in this case Costa Rica, again, but I would suspect other foreign destinations will be on the same plate soon as well. It will be a while before we globetrot for fun again.
  11. Based on comments from one cruise line official today, there are a lot of changes being worked out by all kinds of parties affected that will work to ensure a safer cruise ship environment for passengers and crew alike. Sounded like for one the buffet will no longer have kids tasting and putting the cookies back on the serving tray (I actually saw it happen one time in 35 cruises, but saw many folks including numerous adults grab food with hands and sometimes push other food around to grab the one item they wanted, all with bare hands...saw crew immediately trash large platters of food). The other biggie is that ports have to open to ships and I suspect that may be the bigger delay in a bunch of the sailings.
  12. Now we have the new CDC ban on sailings to and from USA for 100 days or until end of Public Health emergency, likely be August or later. In fact for the lines with ships not yet over poised for AK, (and I didn't go look to see where all the ships are) it is quite possible the AK season will be abandoned by many of the ships. Of course redeployment requires that ports be open to cruise ships and many aren't likely to do so until they feel like ships won't have any possibility of bringing the virus to their island/country.
  13. Agree on that, especially since Canada (a required port of call on all Alaska sailings from Seattle) is closed until July 1st or longer. Not sure why any cruise line thinks it is ok to give out completely false information. Princess knows they can't operate the sailing in May. As someone else pointed out Seattle doesn't really want folks flying in and possibly causing #s to climb there again. In Texas travelers from some airports around the country, and anyone crossing on leisure travel from Louisiana are required to quarantine for 14 days and have to report to state police where they will quarantine and are subject to unannounced inspections. It will be a while before all states are comfortable allowing domestic travel in an unlimited manner, and until folks can fly in, the ships really can't re-crew or fill up with passengers. If you want to see Alaska, once air service is restored fly in and explore an area in more depth. I hope to go to Kodiak and fish for a few days and enjoy some time in the cooler weather.
  14. lots of great points here. I feel sorry for those who have been waiting a year for an early season Alaska sailing, especially where it's a once in a lifetime trip. (I've been to Alaska many times and love going back and being there during the Texas Summer months since it is like Texas Winter temps where we go.) I see some talk about the cruises not being cancelled yet. A few considerations, not that I am defending Princess, they have lots of ships tagged to Alaska cruises, so it is a big job to go in and cancel each of the cruises. Also, keep in mind the cruise line can adjust the sailing without cancelling it. While technically possible, I don't know where they would be going for a week, especially departures out of YVR, but I suppose they could bus folks to Seattle and go South to Mexico and back...not sure if a week would be long enough. Realistically, I don't see them doing that. I do see that eventually they will cancel all of these sailings, if not all sailings until July 1st. Cash management may well be driving some of the decisions, and not creating a huge exodus of cash all at once may well be the key. Of course they have all the sailings this month and about half next month to process off the books with refunds there so may just be processing them in order of sailing date. I'd imagine those who have had their finances turned upside down by CV19, which may affect some cruisers for whom this is a once in a lifetime trip that was saved for over several years, really want their cash back to cover other expenses they have that current income (with it gone for so many) isn't covering. I see a lot who prefer the cash back, which makes the most sense to me over a FCC, and if I were booked and given the choice would take cash to ensure I didn't completely lose out if the cruise industry crashes for a while. (While I doubt we would see it cease totally, it could be shaken up enough to warrant a wait for a while to get a cruise I want.) Princess probably has taken the biggest hit of all the lines, both in terms of knowing some ships are out of service longer than others, and of course having the Diamond Princess, which for a long time made the worldwide list of places for infection due to what happened on that ship. Perfect example of how quickly patient zero can set off a domino effect infecting many due to casual contact. Up until yesterday they were still working to get an infected ship into port in Florida where deaths occurred etc. so I am sure the senior leaders of the company were focused on some of those immediate issues over cancellations a couple months out, not that they couldn't give their approval to mid level managers to get it done. I've sailed Princess several times and like the line quite a bit, also like Disney, Celebrity, and Royal Caribbean and plan to sail all again in the future. I just don't know when things will be good for going on new sailings, and how much we can look at sailings for later this year and know all of the ports will be available. A lot of the Caribbean ports, and even Alaskan ports, don't have infrastructure to handle an unknown case that hops off the ship and infects a bunch of folks while in port, so that could lead to longer waits before we can cruise like we were last Summer. Hope all are home and healthy and stay home and healthy while we flatten the curve and get towards a mostly recovered country status.
  15. Happy belated birthday. Those doctor notes will become a big deal, especially to the many of 70+ crowd who are healthier than many younger people. Given the moves in the past day or two by Disney, more on the park side, but it would seem to indicate they believe it will be a while before leisure travel gets back to normal, I would bet you will see your cruise cancelled by them. I tend to believe the ships will probably at least in the near term when cruising starts again, probably do some sort of testing to those without proof of immunity. If what has been said is true many get it and don't realize they have it, thus could be immune without knowing it as well, that may prove to be a good thing for many getting back to normal. Not sure where/how the 15 minute test gets plugged into the check-in process. It would be best before bags are handed over and folks move thru the terminal etc. Also, somehow those getting tests and awaiting results would have to be segregated from each other so if one came up positive, they wouldn't have contaminated a bunch of fellow cruisers who then would also be denied boarding. Given many travel a bit more than just a quick drive to the port, somehow ensuring folks are clear to travel before they leave home would be idea, but if they get contaminated on the way to the ship (as others have said before) then that becomes a problem, and worse the airlines wouldn't want that passenger aboard a flight again either, at least until they test negative a couple of times, which could be a lengthy wait in seclusion away from home. As much as I would really love to be cruising again, I bet it will be several months in order for things to calm down and protective measures to be put in place making it safe to cruise again.
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