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About 4774Papa

  • Rank
    10,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Saint Simons Island, Georgia
  • Interests
    cycling, history (especially ancient), reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, NCL, Vantage, AMA
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. We are not interested in all inclusive Caribbean vacations. We like to see the World and take in places that have great history, art, culture and/or scenic places. Cruises are a part of our travels, but not the main focus. We do land trips, mostly planned by us, like renting a car and driving around Great Britain, or taking the trains in Italy. Until the COVID-19 vaccine or herd immunity is established, we are not keen on cruising or for that matter foreign travel.
  2. CDC now estimates that 26 million have contracted the coronavirus. The FLU rate is lower, but COVID is a lot closer at .5 than originally thought. Coronavirus data has been, in a word, maddening since the initial outbreak began in China. Beginning with initial reports from the WHO and China, it’s been very hard for the average person to know what is truth and what is fiction. Hopefully that’s beginning to change. On Friday, in a story that received relatively muted media coverage, the CDC released its latest data on the prevalence of the coronavirus in the country and the results are fairly eye opening, especially for those who haven’t paid much attention to the antibody studies in this country — the CDC now estimates there are ten times as many cases in the United States as our testing has uncovered. That is, instead of around 2.6 million cases in the country there have actually been 26 million cases. Those of you who have been following the national antibody studies aren’t surprised by this data, but I feel like that’s a small part of the overall country. So for most of the country this should land as a certifiable blockbuster. Why is this CDC finding significant? Well, it means nearly one in every ten Americans have already had the coronavirus, which is a fairly gigantic finding. It also means many of these infected people had such mild cases they felt no need to receive treatment. In fact, it probably means the majority of the people who have had the coronavirus in this country never even knew they had it. But it also means, and this is perhaps the most significant data point, the coronavirus is far less deadly than we’ve been led to believe. In fact, the CDC study suggests the all age death rate from the virus is roughly .5%. Meaning 99.5% of all people infected with the coronavirus, regardless of age, recover. (There are other studies that suggest the .5% death rate is still far too high, but it’s still significant that the virus has a 99.5% recovery rate per the CDC). Now as a point of fact we know that deaths from the coronavirus are heavily slanted towards nursing homes and the elderly — most states report over half of all deaths in nursing homes — so this means, as was reported via a study by Stanford scientist John Ioannadis, most people in this country are under a greater risk of death driving to and from work than they are from the coronavirus.
  3. We have done cruises on Celebrity, Royal C. and NCL. We prefer Celebrity, but if the price is right we go with Royal or NCL. Both Royal and NCL excellent in entertainment, but Celebrity excels in service and dining. Cruising in Europe is far more interesting than the Caribbean. We love history and the ports in Europe usually have that way more than the Caribbean. We did one Caribbean cruise and it was fun, but don't plan another. We have done two cruises out of Barcelona, one out of Venice, one out of Istanbul (visited the Black sea as well). Also, done a British Isles Cruise out of the UK, a cruise including Norway, Shetland Island, Iceland and three ports in Ireland or the UK, as well as a fantastic cruise of Norway up to the North Cape. The ports we visited where history was not the key were on the Norway cruise, as well as Iceland and the Shetland Island. Norway was on par with our Alaska cruise and in some ways better. Here are my reviews of our European cruises, including three transatlantic cruises. Black Sea and E. Med http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=228545 British Isles http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=221137 Transatlantic http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=221136 W. Med NCL Epic http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=103808 Southern Caribbean http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=99934 Spain, Canary Islands and Morocco http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=80907 E. Med and Adriatic, NCL Gem http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=70129 Stockholm and Norway Aritic Circle https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=659526&et_cid=3214772&et_rid=17221689&et_referrer=Boards North Sea/Atl and Transatlantic http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=264272 28 days in Britain and Celebrity Eclipse home https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=599139
  4. Agree, I can't see a cruise line doing this. We cruise a lot on long cruises (14 days) and the average age is about 65. The COVID-19 mortality rate is almost down to the annual flu level, after the recent CDC report that now over 20 million in the USA have had the virus. Vast majority asymptomatic. The virus is still a serious threat to people with the compromised immunity or co-morbidities. Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Cancer patents, etc. We are in our early 70s with none of those problems and expect to cruise in 2021 regardless of a vaccine or not.
  5. We live on an island on coastal Georgia and like the rest of the state were doing well, until after Memorial Day. We were inundated with tourists (as we usually are this time of the year), but contrary to most of the locals, the tourists didn't wear masks. We have lots of tourist from the NE (NY, NJ) as well as all states up between. Also, we have folks from Atlanta and the rest of Georgia. Consequently, our COVID-19 cases have gone up from by a factor of 4 times since then. Still, for a county of over 85,000 we have only had six fatalities, almost all from nursing homes. Friends of ours complain that they can't visit their loved ones now, but they understand the reason why. We have a full house again for the Independence Day Weekend. I plan to go out to pickup our meal tonight, wearing a mask. Hope to see more masks this weekend.
  6. We have done 11 Celebrity and 2 Royal C. cruises. We didn't try Royal until they allowed our elite status to transfer to Royal's diamond class. We still prefer Celebrity, but like Royal's ships that are similar in size to Celebrity's S class ships. Clearly, we found Celebrity to have the edge over Royal C. in service and dining, but the difference is not huge. We like the cheaper specialty restaurants on Royal and found the MDR for Royal to be rate an 8 while Celebrity rates an 8.5. Regarding the buffet, we found that there is a more significant gap with Celebrity's 8.5 and Royal's 7. Further, Royal's entertainment is better than Celebrity's. Also, Diamond benefits are better than elite. The Diamond happy hour runs from 5-8:30 PM and that allows us to NEVER have to purchase an alcoholic drink on either of our Royal cruises.
  7. Fake sales are the bane of cruise lines. NCL seems to be the worst, jacking up fares big time prior to announcing big sales!
  8. I hope not, we cruise on Celebrity and Royal C. and enjoy their elite and diamond loyalty programs.
  9. No real new news in this article. We plan to get the vaccine once it is available. Since my wife and self are in our early 70s, but have no underlying conditions, we are not in panic about the COVID-19. Still, because travel restrictions are all over the place, we don't plan to travel until 2021. Hopefully, by then the vaccine and the fact that more people will have contracted the virus, will reduce any risk of the virus to us or our travels.
  10. We NEVER opt for the drinks package. 1) We are moderate drinkers 2) We don't drink alcohol prior to 5 PM 3) We drink mainly wine, occasionally a scotch 4) Since becoming elite, we only spend about $350 total for us together for a 14 day cruise The cost for perks is always to expensive for us.
  11. Perks like the free elite happy hour and bag of laundry have some value. Before picking a cruise, I factor in the value of those perks. Still, I would estimate that we usually save about $300 on those perks for a two week cruise. Yes, itinerary is the key, as well as price.
  12. We have done all those ports except Kotor. Too bad your cruise doesn't include Dubrovnik. Split is very historic, since Emperor Diocletian's Palace is there and can be toured. Also, a nearby town of Trogir is woth a visit. Corfu is wonderful. We took a tour that included the north end of the island which is very scenic. Also, visited an ancient monastery and more. Naples, you have many options: visit the Naples Archaeological Museum, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri or the Amalfi Coast. Venice is great, we have been there several times and number one site is St. Mark's Cathedral. Also, the Doges Palace and the nearby tower that you can go up to the top for a great view. Take a gondola ride and walk the city. Need more than one day.
  13. Yes, We are moderate drinkers and have brought our own wine or purchased a wine package and saved hundreds by booking the Sail Away. NCL may have changed some or all of its bookings. We have been to Dubai and while it was interesting, not worth the additional cost. Going through the Suez Canal would be nice. Loved going through the Panama Canal.
  14. I visited Amsterdam in 1982 and loved the city. Also did a canal cruise and a tour to the Zyder Zee. I have been to most of the great art museums in the World and the Rijksmuseum is one of my favorites. The Night Watch painting will WOW you. It is best to find a small hotel on a canal. Only issue is sometimes you might have to walk up a couple of flights of stairs to your room.
  15. When is the cruise date? For the last two years, every time I have priced cruises the Sailaway rate was not an option. For example, we booked a transatlantic for October 2021 back in 2019 and no Sailaway rate for NCL and both Celebrity and Royal C. had cheaper cruises. They offered a no perk rate. The Celebrity perk rate added, I could have picked their two perk option and Celebrity still had a cheaper price.
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