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mking8288

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About mking8288

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    "Big Apple" NY
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    Travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    NCL, CCL, RCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Bermuda/Caribbean
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    https://www.dropbox.com/s/5nup7xtw3ell4g0/CruiseCritic%20Abstract%20-%20mking8288%20-%2011.2018A.doc

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  1. This outline/press advisory has been posted by Genting Cruise Line for Star Cruises, seemed pretty extensive at a glance - https://media.starcruises.com/Content/media/webpages/health-advisory-updates/en/index.html The other "chat" that I was listening to on a podcast was about ship scheduling, no more quick turnaround at the port of dis/embarkation in a matter of hours - instead, it will be planned as an overnight stop for a full scale, deep cleaning, top to bottom, bow to stern, etc. from use of chemical disinfectants, fogging to use of UVC lights, etc. We're onboard the Escape during one of those "minor" norovirus outbreak - tables were wiped clean, wet & had to be allowed to air dry for 15 minutes before the next guests can be seated ... of course, there're idiots & fools that tried to ignore the warning signs on the table, as those prized window seats at the buffet were especially highly sought after on long sea days. As for ICU beds, I am pretty sure even the normal hospital bed (they are wide & long) ones will not fit thru the doorway unless they disassemble them first. Inside the cabin, turning them can still be an issue, unless they move the bedding, ec. out of the way. I'm sure procurement can get dedicated and/or modified ones that can fit onboard the typical cruise ships. For emergency & bed transfer, a much narrower Stryker cot designed for transport use would be a better option but it bring up other issues. A typical stretcher is 32" or more, like this one. Bedsheet issues for the ship's laundry operations as they will need to red bag them, etc. for special handling. Yike ... bean counters won't be happy at all. Of course, they can convert one of the lounge/club/dining room into a field hospital and/or section it for ICU, isolation/quarantine use for an expected surge. The challenges are more than buying a dozen ventilators, extra oxygen tanks and respiratory tech alone. Wait, there is a "hack" floating online for modifying those "inexpensive" CPAP.
  2. If cruise lines are going to block off some cabins to use for medical use as surge/ICU beds, they will likely set aside some of the Inside cabins nearest to the medical center, but not necessary just those. It is much more difficult to get medical equipments AND personnel into smaller cabins used for quarantine, isolation and ICU level of care. What about crew quarters, depending on the specific/class of ship - some of them share cabins - whether it's double or triple occupancy. Although, I would expect a reduction in overall # of crew. I am sure some might've seen/read this article about where the first "trial" of shorter cruises are most likely to sail from (on CR - predicted to be either Asia or Europe) - and where "smaller" mid-sized ships might be preferred, JMHO. https://cruiseradio.net/cruise-execs-reveal-where-first-cruise-ships-could-sail-from/
  3. All these ... Plus, they have access to adequate PPE (full sets and then some) and look after their healthcare and frontline workforce well, plus sufficient facilities to care for the infected. Other countries ignored the early warning signs. SARS, H1N1 and Ebola outbreaks, etc. were not tabletop drills - still got my planning guides, templates & reference manuals (and, old / "expired" N95 masks) Singapore and Hong Kong used similar measures in place and they are just about ready to gradually ease out of their second wave, gradually loosening up. As a matter of fact, virtually all the developing countries in Asia adopted strict protocols and best practices to "block" the infections, especially community infections - including the use of A.I. and smartphone/cellular technologies. Some of them shut down their borders entirely and put returning nationals on mandatory 14+ days of quaratine/isolation ... and, still do. Measures that "we" in the Americas would consider intrusive on privacy and freedom, yada yada ... call to arms to defend by exercising our First and Second Amendments, etc. Adults are doing the complaining while the children just coped with cabin fever ! These choices made carry price tags and trade-of, including human tolls - just as what some warned of, predictive & afraid of ... going to shatter the 100,000 milestone before the end of this month, not this August. Whether we are going to hit 150,000 (and higher) in US death toll by July or August, time will tell. I want to be proven wrong and cruising is our/my passion. The nation struggled with the very simple, basic acts to maintain social distance, put on a mask when outside, washing hands often as appropriate (hand sanitizers are still in shortage) are part of the universal precaution measures that some simply choose to hear but ignore. Reliable & free antibody and virus testing can only save some, leaving others behind, perhaps for the promised warp speed delivery of a vaccine. This weekend, I am sad to learn that for DW's extended F&F circles, we lost two on the battlefield despite best efforts at the time while a third recovered, and 2 others waiting to get their antibody testing done soon. Testing is more than about making up those numbers on the charts and graphs on the curves ...
  4. Land-based casino-resorts/hotel pandemic & reopening safety plans are good, and, they will be reviewed and approved by the state/county/local public health authorities that regulate them. I believed that their gaming commissions are going to have a say in giving thumbs up or down. That is, assuming their insurance underwriting will not blink. For the cruise industry, CDC is definitely going to walk that line with a big stick - but will other countries follow and/or also look at WHO for guidance ? What about SOLAS and the industry's underwriters ... I dunno, just raising more questions than answers. If the best, premium, all-inclusive umbrella travel-medical-evac-umbrella policies for cruise passengers opt to exclude and limit their coverage & liabilities - then, be prepared to go "self-insured" and it might not be as similar as just signing off a # of waivers, declarations, including universal/global DNR and healthcare proxies & advance directives. Can/will the cruise lines safely reopen the kids corner, teen clubs and onboard spa and screen for those infected but asymptomatic ? https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/24/us/missouri-hairstylists-coronavirus-clients-trnd/index.html
  5. Comments from a "likely home-alone" troller stalking CC from dust to dawn, already on the ignore list don't trouble me at all, regardless. Highly unlikely being able to afford to move back to the area with million dollar waterfront condos with Manhattan skyviews these days.
  6. LOL, gonna need to have strong sea legs for this year's USA hurricane season to sail out of southern ports like PC or POM, etc. and lots of flexibility with travel plans. https://www.noaa.gov/media-release/busy-atlantic-hurricane-season-predicted-for-2020 But, wait, we are talkin' about Nassau the "dump" despised by seasoned CC'er as one of the most hated port to visit, sworn that they don't get off the ship and referenced State Dept advisories & warnings about crime & safety on the island. Gotcha. On top, what is this early warning about a pending 2nd. wave of Covid-19 hitting the southern US, including AL, TX, GA and even FL based on the latest revised models, projections and data feeds. Of course, it's believed by some to be no worst than the seasonal flu, gonna disappear like voodoo magic especially with warm weather. Are they going to give preference to residents of certain states only and US passports holders only, banning everyone else from other infected regions and countries? What could possibly go against the odds. P.S. The same port that refused to allow cruise ships with crews onboard, waiting to be repatriated over the past 2 months. Am I mistaken ??
  7. Earlier this week, about 100 cruise ship members landed in London (UK), flown home directly (MIA - LHR) from Miami, Florida on a special non-stop British Airway charter. They were (British passport holders only) dancers, singers and other entertainers from Royal Caribbean & Celebrity and issued health certificates. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8336759/Families-hug-loved-ones-Heathrow-Airport-cruise-ship-crew-arrive-home-Miami.html Two dozen ships anchored off Manila Bay in the Philippines with seafarers (along with other OFW's) waiting - more bottlenecks for the cruise industry to navigate ... as some feared that it will quickly overwhelmed local quarantine and isolation facilities dedicated for those repatriated. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1277811/42k-returning-ofws-may-overwhelm-quarantine-facilities Among other issues facing them once they get back, hunger at home, apparently ... oh, wait, about those long lines of cars queued up for the food banks in America and the latest unemployement figures, etc. I digress. Live smartly, be well, safe and healthy.
  8. Sorry, sfaaa - that "anytime dining" concept might be DOA, pronounced & certified. I am betting that, part of NCL's signature "Freestyle" dining won't make it - especially the buffet option. If they follow Royal's footsteps (which is being done by land-based casinos in Vegas & here in the Northeast ... just read the detailed Indian tribe's announcements released earlier today via email) - buffet will stay closed to maintain social distancing. Back to fixed-time dining, oh no .. the horror. Bad enough to need to make reservations for the MDR and Specialty; and, now this. FDR and team will have to come up with more fixes, LOL (Early bird dinner seating at 4:30 pm, Prime dining at 6:30 pm, Late Dining at 8:30 pm ... extra time for cleaning & disinfection in between for staggered timing and extra session due to spacing.)
  9. Health news from UK, reporting on developments & findings shared by China ... that the the virus is changing (mutating), taking longer to recover and carrying the virus longer and with different symptoms, depending on the variants. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8340555/New-Chinese-coronavirus-outbreak-shows-signs-pathogen-changing.html Another study's finding, that men are more prone to getting infected and thus, by definition, more vulnerable and at higher risk. Temperature check (use of non-contact IR scanning) cannot be depended upon to screen travelers. These findings are consistent with the newest NYC-DOH Advisory (#19) issued within the past week to HAN Subscriber, on extending the duration of self-monitoring & isolation of asymptomatic person and healthcare workers, as well as non-hospitalized people with possible or confirmed C19, from 7 to 10 days. Wearing a mask does make a difference, both in protecting others and yourself, when properly worn/used in conjunction with other measures ... along with frequent hand wash and maintaining social distancing, etc. Link/details of NYC-DOH Alerts, Advisories, etc. issued and available to the public can be accessed via this (click) official link for reference & download.
  10. But, just a friendly reminder to OP as being relatively new to cruising and CC - book it directly with NCL and be mindful of using a T/A (ask about their policies on rebooking/re-pricing as well as cancellation surcharge) As noted by poster above, you can price it and rebook directly with NCL as often as you wish ... outside online sites and/or brick-n-mortar/big box T/A can sometimes be a challenge, especially during these times. Plus, insurance - a good/comprehensive one with coverage, shop around carefully. Good luck !
  11. Right on, the vulnerable population should stay home instead of going out, take a leave from their job. Someone forgot to tell the 20,000 healthcare workers in Germany their rights to live, like everyone else, as they got infected with the virus. The best / worst is yet to come, a matter of perspective as our governor said, as in opinions. Feel free to disagree. The economic pandemic fallout is just gearing up toward the new normal. Not to worry, the next round of municipal layoff is coming, if not already happening around the country at both the state & city/county level. Good luck to everyone without that economic safety net and bankroll to fall back upon. It has to get better, that is my/our hope, dream and belief. As for a simple & easy recovery from Covid-19 virus, it is not as simple nor easy as catching the seasonal influenza, and much worst than catching just a pneumonia. Another Covid-19 survivor story as told - https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/19/health/coronavirus-recovery-long-journey-wellness/index.html Just finished reading this Medscape article on what it is/was like - among the critically ill patients in NYC. https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/930807?nlid=135614_5653&src=wnl_newsalrt_daily_200519_MSCPEDIT&uac=175941HJ&impID=2387364&faf=1 The latest is about MSI-C affecting children and teens, including the very young - teenagers are just as vulnerable, recognized by WHO and CDC as Covid-19 related. No, this isn't about doom and gloom. Numbers themselves aren't not necessary significant, and as many choose to ignore and disregard ... until it hits home. Alas, the debate and indifference continue. As to my thoughts about restarting and cruising again, that will probably happen later instead of soon. The Norwegian Escape is still docked tonight at POM, going nowhere soon with the crew members waiting to be repatriated.
  12. Personally, no needs to checkout those survivor's clubs and support groups - one sister-in-law's "baby" nephew, a young & healthy nurse just recovered, thankfully, after 4 weeks (mainly at home, quarantined) and return to the frontline again - still on disaster protocol in conserving PPE). A cousin is head of nursing in a specialized unit in UCSF (San Fran, CA) and a nephew works in ambulatory care triaging walk-in patient already pre-screened using tele-medicine. Even as early, promising news of a possibly life-saving/changing lab-developed vaccine might be in the market in less than a year from now, there is no sound basis to relax the safeguards and measures no place. Except, we cherish our individual rights and freedom - I agree, that include the choice to live and die. Here in NYC, many of the critically ill patients with Covid-19 symptoms died before they're seen & get fast track ER care, while lined up in the ambulance bay outside on the door steps. Imagine what this might be like onboard a ship with its "enhanced" mini medical center in The U.S. healthcare system is still on the edge of the cliff, can and will easily get overwhelmed - especially in rural places and middle America with the nearest emergency room/hospital hours away and ICU facilities a medevac away by air. Clearly, many disagree, feel and act otherwise out of choice, and I'm fine with their willingness to take that one last final cruise into the sunset (and not see another sunrise again, ever) and have full travel/medevac & repatriation insurance that cover this & similar pandemic. A mask might not save a life, but it will not kill. The price of liberty, priceless but it can leave one lifeless. P.S. Have you been able to get tested for antibodies, immunity should be clearly indicated as it has been a while. That extended family member of ours will be doing that soon, as well as donating his plasma, making a difference. NYC's blood bank supply is down to a dangerous low level, just 2 days' worth - an urgent appeal has gone out again.
  13. Update, another snapshot from NYC ... "upbeat" news - our nearby field hospital at BJK Tennis Center is closing down with 470 surge bed capacity, let's hope & pray that it will not be needed this Fall/winter and/or with a second wave. https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/coronavirus-blog/2020/05/13/billie-jean-king-tennis-center-hospital-closing Yes, we cannot wait either to see things easing up, cabin fever is real. Much rather be worrying about our next cruise, except it is not reality. Looking at the data trend this morning, USA continued to set new records, sadly and on track to reach/exceed 150,000 in death toll by August, 99% certain to hit 100,000 by next weekend/early June - with 1.5 million infected cases. NYC Dept of Health (DOH) in conjunction with NYS DOH and CDC has issued newly updated guidelines - it is aimed at HCW (healthcare workers) and others on the frontline - extending the self-isolation and/or quarantine period from 7 days to 10 days ("interesting" is the buzz word) 2020 Health Advisory #14: (click here for direct link to DOH website) Updated NYC Health Department COVID-19 Recommendations Discontinuation of Isolation and Monitoring for People Who Are Asymptomatic; Isolation and Transmission-Based Precautions for People with COVID-19 Including Non-Hospitalized Patients, Residents and Patients in Special Settings, and People Who Are Immunocompromised A doctor's personal story about his infection experience with Covid-19 on Medscape - https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/929974?nlid=135479_5653&src=wnl_newsalrt_daily_200510_MSCPEDIT&uac=175941HJ&impID=2376552&faf=1#vp_3 As someone on the NYC DOH's (9/11) World Trade Center Health Registry, been nearly 20 years - remember back then, US-EPA informed first responders (and others returning to the restricted zones/area) doing the recovery work at ground zero that the air was safe, not toxic and many worn no N95 masks and/or had minimal PPE. One sister-in-law's young nephew, just graduated from nursing last year, finally recovered from Covid-19 & clear to return to his frontline job in a NYC hospital. We are hoping that a friend's dad will join the exclusive survivor's club, been hospitalized and ICU intubated for nearly 3 weeks, prognosis not good - was healthy and fine, until somehow community-infected. There isn't a single person in our immediate circles (nurses, medical assistant, retired medical doctor, biomed DNA scientist, and pharmacists) that say, "Uncle H, don't worry - just go ahead and take your next cruise with the necessary precaution, etc." Hmmm, I wonder why. While they are busy doing their share in saving lives and making a difference, we aren't about to risk being another burden. There are safer things we can do, closer to home and on land, that help us cope with cabin fever. Yes, that means, putting skills to (pro bono) work other volunteers on the mental health front, we are finding ways of mainly using tele-medicine to address the growing mental health crisis, which is simmering and bracing for PTSD. This is a sticky/top thread about "how are things where we live" and not about something else cruise-related but off-topic, thank you. Be well, safe, healthy and follow the facts on what we know thus far.
  14. This Florida couple (she is still in ICU and on a ventilator) are likely to change their minds on whether it is wise to go outside without a mask. He is an Uber & Lyft driver. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8328069/Uber-driver-claimed-coronavirus-says-hospital-wishes-careful.html One person at a Mother's Day Church Service in California tested positive the day after and (likely) exposed up to 180 people. Masks for protection - anyone ?? https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/17/us/covid-19-mothers-day-church-exposure/index.html Of course, for our convenience, like NCL ... Please, feel free to choose and come up with one's personal opinion based on facts, what's known thus far but frighteningly unknown - coming from extended family & friends circles with several on the frontline of healthcare. It can and has killed the young, folks in their prime (young & healthy) with zero comorbidity - immunity is not a given !
  15. It is pretty clear that a segment of US residents living in at home are not going to bring, wear and use a mask for their own protection and that of others - especially when traveling outside their home/work place, etc. However, once you are abroad (and, onboard) - other rules and restrictions might and currently say otherwise - places like Hong Kong, Singapore, and even Qatar, where wearing a mask is NOT an option but mandatory or required, along with other measures. Approximately 50 countries around the world. It is going to be very difficult going forward to cruising for a while ... pay attention to warnings issued today by 2 European leaders. https://www.scmp.com/news/world/article/3084737/coronavirus-latest-alarm-germany-over-corona-demos-thailand-extends I understand those saying they will not and don't believe in wearing a mask, freedom and liberty over health and safety. Your choice and rights to get infected, possibly getting sick with the odds of ... Healthcare personnel, first responders, and many (If not all) essential workers are probably feeling different about it, and, might still be alive today if they had unrestricted access to choose on whether to put on a surgical or N95 mask ("respirator" being a somewhat misleading term.)
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