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RMLincoln

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  1. Thank you. D Day still boggles my mind. I had extended family there, family who made it, and eventually came home. But it still makes me cry. When I sailed through the Dardanelles and heard the story related over the PA about Gallipoli I understood their tears too. m--
  2. Yes, wow! I hadn't heard that crew kept aboard were not continuing to get paid their usual wage but that makes sense without Hotel Service Charges to pay for them, and I understand that a cruise line can only do so much and can't extend contracts at normal pay when they aren't bringing in revenue. The many people at home who have lost their jobs and pay might have the ability to find other options for work, or apply for unemployment; crew on board can't do that. Many people have lost loved ones who died alone from COVID plus from all the "normal" causes of dying but couldn't have family with them due to the virus. It's heart breaking. The US has lost on average 1500 people per day for about 10 weeks. It's staggering, but we can take a few minutes to count our blessings and send out a thought of comfort to all those suffering. m--
  3. Not planning to cruise, and might not feel comfortable for years. Vaccines are hoped for but not a sure bet. Season flu has vaccine that is modified every year but not anywhere near a guarantee against getting the flu. In the US, flu season takes 12,000 - 60,000 people's lives, and that is with flu vaccines widely available. Now the US is in the 100,000 deaths range after only about 8 weeks, and climbing, with our [US] overall rate of climb not changing significantly yet. Many types of viral infections do not have vaccines - Hepatitis C and HIV for example, but treatments have been developed although these are long-term, expensive and can take a toll on the recipient. No corona-type virus has had a successful vaccine developed, but of course we are hoping that will change! And we hope that it will be shown to be effective and not harmful, something which will take some time to establish. In 2017 DH and I were on a fabulous cruise, R/T Ft Lauderdale to the Med, 48 nights. Fabulous itinerary. We didn't get to enjoy half of if because we became ill, cancelled many excursions, stayed aboard and took room service to "lay low" and avoid getting worse, trying to regain our wellness; first we contracted nasty colds with deep coughs like so many on board, then Noro, then DH was diagnosed with beginning pneumonia... we were aided by meds from ship's medical, but also warned we could be put ashore in Sardinia, Spain, Gibraltar, Morocco or Madaiera... our return-route ports. This got our attention! We began our vacation healthy and fit, then got progressively worse in the cruise ship "petri dish" environment. We had no underlying medical issues, took the normal precautions of frequently washing hands, using hand sanitizer, avoiding buffet utensils, took immune system boosting vitamins, etc. We work as EMTs with our volunteer fire department and consider ourselves healthy and relatively savvy. But we still became ill, unsettlingly ill. In 2018 we took a different type of vacation and were happily well. Then in the fall we enjoyed a 21 night B2B in the Caribbean on Koningsdam, but by then end of it I had the usual cruise crud cold, nothing dramatic but noticeable and disappointing. We will not cruise while COVID is a significant risk. We don't want to be on a ship wearing masks, with closed hot tubs, exercise rooms, pools, libraries; no shows, limited seating in music venues, dining venues... not our idea of a relaxed cruise vacation. With the deaths still climbing in the US and other parts of the world, no clear means of effective mitigation or vaccine in sight... no, we will not be cruising. We will stay out of the petri dish, maybe do some local kayaking this year.... 2021 is too far away to plan for. Yes, we will miss it, we have loved our cruises but it may not be for us any more. Maybe not ever? Dunno... we'll see too if the cruise lines survive as we knew them or if they morph into some other form. For right now, we are staying home, and feeling blessed that we are well! Maureen
  4. We have had "service calls" at Ensenada Mexico on our round trips to Hawaii from San Diego. No one got off the ship. Seemed like that made it legal. But I think there was at least a pilot who got on and off the ship, so it's not entirely without potential exposure. m--
  5. Oh we are so in need of real haircuts!! We have clipped each other's but that is only a stop-gap measure! m--
  6. Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed the look back. I didn't realize they had 3 classes for passengers: First; cabin and tourist. And I didn't know passengers were able to bring their automobiles too, interesting! m--
  7. More miracles! Thank you for posting. Maureen
  8. Thank you for this breakdown John. My research says that Amsterdam has a crew of approximately 600. I would think that at least half are Indonesians. With 172 having departed, that leaves over a hundred to stay aboard to keep the ship working. And maybe a smaller number of Filipino crew will stay aboard too? That's still a LOT of people to keep the ship operational. Multiply that by the number of ships HAL has running around the globe and we can see that it will be awhile before HAL can get them parked with further reduced skeletal crews to catch a financial breath and slow down the payroll so they can make customer refunds. The picture is coming together, but oh so slowly. It costs a lot to run crews home by ship! They need ports to open and flights to open to get crews disembarked, and then get the ships "parked" in lay-up. Makes us appreciate just how complex the industry is. <sigh> m--
  9. That makes more sense. Thank you! m--
  10. Capt Mercer's blog said they were able to disembark 172 crew in Jakarta. I would have thought the number to be much higher. Were some of the crew able to get off in Freemantle? I didn't think so..... Or are many of the Indonesian crew remaining aboard? I'm confused. Maybe someone can help me make sense of this number. But I"m very happy for those 172 who are on their way home! And hopefully Capt Mercer and his wife are also one step closer to home too. What a trooper plowing through this seemingly endless ordeal instead of celebrating his retirement. Blessings of fortitude for them all. m--
  11. We booked once on a non-refundable FLASH fare, but really it was a re-fare situation that we upgraded into about 2 or 3 weeks out from sail date. We were deep into the penalty period anyway, so we figured, why not! I still think if HAL cancels a cruise the non-refundable fare should still be refunded, or at the very least one would get a credit. Otherwise isn't that fraud? But the fine print may say differently, a lesson for the future. m--
  12. Depends on what is important to you. To me, a lot depends on the kind of room I'd be looking for. Noordam has larger cabins, especially nicer insides and OVs with full size couches in most, at least love seats which are in the OVs on lower promenade deck. If you want to factor is entertainment, Nieuw Amsterdam has the newer set up for Lincoln Center Stage, BB King Allstars and Billboard. Not sure how Noordam is set up for music now, but if that interests you, ask and others will chime in. Dining? NA has Tamarind. Outside decks - both have full promenade decks. Itinerary? Day of the week in the ports can matter. Time in the ports? Ease of Departure port? Give us a little more to work with on your desires and we'll give it a better go! Happy planning! m--
  13. To the happy crew with a giant step forward on their journey home, and to Capt Mercer and those still on Amsterdam awaiting their next steps - Godspeed! m--
  14. The title of this thread indicates that HAL and Seaborn are loosing cruisers.... I'd like to know where those cruisers are going. No one is cruising. The cruise lines are cash deficient. The cruise lines would love to be able to keep their clients happy but they don't have the cash to make the refunds. CCL might be able to keep some of their company operational if the cash they raised by selling junk bonds can cover their expenses first, and then their liabilities (refunds). But they need the confidence of cruisers to continue sending them deposits and payments on bookings for future cruises - cruise that may or may not happen. Demanding refunds in a more timely manner is not likely to make the refund hit your account faster. I wish all those awaiting refunds success, and applaud the optimism of those continuing to make bookings, which is the only way the cruise lines will have a chance of a future. But it's not like HAL and Seaborn cruisers have a place to take their cruise business. m--
  15. "I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a Hamburger today!" Wisdom we learned from Popeye's character, Wimpy, way back when, still applies today. And yes, the NCL news today is disheartening, but CCL may make it, they got out front early with selling junk bonds to raise cash. If enough people believe and put up cash CCL will have a chance. Otherwise it will be a very long reorganization of the cruise lines, probably too long for us. Right now we are grateful to be healthy and safe. The pandemic reminds me that there are no guarantees in life, ever. Enjoy the joys of today. m--
  16. We did the Rideau in late 2018. Loved it, wonderful history, scenery and the people! We used Houseboat Holidays through Peter Lock out of Gananoque, great help he was! We met folks along our way who had done the Trent and I think maybe they preferred that because it had more villages to visit, but we included kayaks with our houseboat from Peter and we enjoyed the kayaking on the Rideau canal lakes. Hoping you can do it! Maureen--
  17. And I assume Amsterdam is still carrying the World Cruise passengers' luggage? To be shipped to ??? from Indonesia? Hoping for a positive outcome for all, under the trying circumstances of these days everywhere in the world. Maureen--
  18. I doubt if we will set foot on a cruise ship again until we have a vaccine- for us and the rest of the world - and maybe not even then. It was already getting dicey for us on long cruises - the usual cruise crud plus noro depressed DH's immune system enough that he developed a deep cough and was diagnosed with the beginning of pneumonia. They gave him an antibiotic (not a lot of selection of anitibiotics for him in the infirmary as he developed an allergy to the Z-pack Azithromycin after he was given that on a ship some years ago for a cough). If the antibiotic they gave him didn't work we would have been put off in maybe Sardinia, Gibraltar or Morocco as we came home from the Med on the Altantic Adventurer in 2017 (that was a 7 week cruise, FT Lauderdale to Ft Lauderdale which was a nice option for us without long flights, but maybe too much of a good thing? We did enjoy a B2B in the Caribbean for 21 days on Koningsdam, loved the Lincoln Center Stage, and made the trip without any serious illness, but I had a cold that started the day before we debarked and had it for a month. I'm very cautious, washing hands, plus many other defense attempts, and it's not always successful. So maybe we'll try other types of travel after vaccine is available. In 2018 we did an 8 week car trip with a 2 week houseboat rental in Ontario, had a grand time, saw a ton of friends and family! We're generally healthy, active, strong; we work with a fire department and as EMS responders in our rural area, but we're not as willing to fight illness on cruise ships anymore. And I'm not convinced that the cruise lines can really screen for ill passengers. We might consider another river cruise (smaller boats, fewer people, closer to medical facilities) or other tours (loved our rail tour of Switzerland), or maybe "all inclusives" in the islands for lots of kayaking and snorkeling fun, or maybe even small cruise ships, Viking perhaps. Lots of options but HAL has been our preference, and that may be ending. We've had a good run with some exceptional itineraries. Life changes and we'll look forward to more adventures, just maybe different ones. m--
  19. EXCELLENT step onward. Maybe their stay in the hospital kept them cornered long enough to give them enough time to do nothing, and recover. Sometimes progress includes some step sideways! Continued blessings to you all, and many thanks for continuing to keep us updated. Stay vigilant! - Maureen
  20. Still praying for you and yours. Standing with you. Maureen
  21. Storing them on deck requires more than space... they'd need a crane or cranes to place them, and cradles so the hulls and props are not damaged. Probably cheaper and less risky to put them in the water, JMHO. m--
  22. Some thoughts: Regarding comparison to the Grand Princess passengers' debarkation process utilizing military bases for quarantine: At that time the US was still attempting to "contain" and do contact-tracing. Since then the CDCs have given up on Containment strategy and shifted to Mitigation by Social Distancing strategy. So it really is a very different approach now. Regarding the demand for charter flights out of the Ft Lauderdale area, that is more a political appeasement than a health-driven requirement. Obviously it's not about spread of possible infection, it's about "optics" for the locals and locales already stressed. But kudos to HAL for not trying to interject too much logic into the negotiations, but to roll with it to get the job done. Dockman: I'm sorry that your brother got caught on the downside of the negotiated flight arrangement. I'm sure he'd have rather had a direct flight, and equally sure he's very glad to be on his way home and off the ship. POA: Thank you Brian for your copy, it was the first that I was able to see. We appreciate your efforts in formatting it for our easier perusal. Reading it reminds me of the old adage about enjoying sausage but not wanting to see how it's made. Unified Command makes things happen, but it's not pretty, and sometimes not logical.... everybody has to give in on something. And it's not over yet for the Zaandam... many passengers are still on the ship, and the crew isn't doing all that well either. Captain Ane Jan Smit still has a lot to deal with. Many are still in need of miracles. Let's keep them all in our hearts. Along with the next set of ships that are currently searching for harbors of last resort.... Maureen
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