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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Location
    Redmond, WA
  • Interests
    Classical music; readings on 20th Century military and diplomatic history.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Silversea; Seabourn; Regent
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Sue and I are hoping (against hope) our April-May, 2021 Tokyo pre-stay, then cruise via Russia to Alaska and Vancouver, B.C. goes. But--put odds at 1 in 4 as this is becoming a longshot. Another instance reported in A.P. within the week as to a small Alaska charter boat (about 25 passengers) out of Seward, AK that got the go-ahead for a brief 7-day "voyage" to nowhere. That lasted a few days; then passenger tested positive for COVID. Back to Seward. Everyone--passengers and crew quarantined. That Line had three follow-up cruises planned for later in August. All canceled. Alas, one step forward; three steps backward. Take care, all. GOARMY!
  2. A bit of history as to "throw said passenger off the ship". While not an exact historical parallel (history does not repeat itself); but close enough (but, history tends to rhyme). Recall several years' back when cruise lines such as Regent and Seabourn got serious about smoking restrictions--specifically in Staterooms. Like--No. Full-stop. At the beginning of one Regent cruise--entered our Suite and encountered very strong odor de' cigarette. Not from our Suite, but from either fore or aft of us. Had to open the veranda sliding door; turn-up the air conditioner full-blast; and alert our Suite Attendant. He advised taking appropriate action which would be one warning only. Smell went away--for two days. Two days later, same smell. Another report to Attendant and Hotel Manager. Result: Passengers were removed from ship at the next Port. I don't know if folks from other contiguous Suites complained. Hotel Manager reported back to advise of action. And, another bottle of champagne--and a box of chocolates to our Suite with a nice letter thanking us for reporting. Second situation: Passenger getting into a physical altercation with another passenger or Crew member. I saw the push-shove by an obviously drunk passenger escalate into a punch. Recall the spark was dispute over a deck chair. Crew intervened. Reported what I witnessed, and there were others who saw same. Result: Offender restricted to cabin; then removed from ship at the next Port. This time, a letter from the Captain detailing action taken. Can't recall if another bottle of champagne accompanied the letter. But, on Regent, Silversea, Seabourn, and Crystal--this has never been a problem (obtaining champagne). That letter also included information that the offender was banned from further cruising on that Line. Can't recall (again) if this was Regent or Seabourn. GOARMY!
  3. A whole lot of people were scheduled to be on Splendor, at San Diego, for March 14th departure. Including us. We were there on the 13th--at Regent's designated hotel. Alas. But, did get that nice March 14th hotel breakfast. Then, back to SEATAC. The first of several scheduled 2020 Regent cancelations. GOARMY!
  4. Quick answer(s). Yes, all pick-ups and deliveries are included. Once landed at that airport, local contractors take care of you. They have Regent IDs; but they are local folks. They handle the bags. No tipping necessary. You are not expected to "tip" hotel staff who are responsible for getting bags off the Van, or Bus, or whatever the conveyance is, depending on how many other fellow-Concierge folks accompany you from airport to Regent's designated hotel. Just proceed to the Front Desk for check-in, room assignment, and, of course, receiving a Voucher for next morning's breakfast. (Included). Usually, there will be waiting period after check-in (that afternoon/evening BEFORE beginning of the cruise). So, bags put in a secure location. When a hotel attendant facilitates delivery to your room, and acquaints the new arrival with how to turn on/off the air-conditioning, television, and so-on: our practice has been, of course, a nominal tip. That is our practice. For goodness sake: these cruises normally cost us $30,000+. A few bucks to the attendant is small potatoes. Oh, where is the ice machine? Ice appears post-haste. Hotel staff and Regent contractors are responsible for next morning's removal of bags from your room to a separate van, or bus, for transport to the ship. We don't tip for that transit, as we are not present during that procedure. We are usually at breakfast, or walking in the area. Next time we see the bags--they are in our Suite. You need to supply more information before a more-definitive answer can be given as to any differences between a Superior or Concierge Suite. What specific ship will you be on? It does depend. This is a starter. Trust, others will weigh-in. Like I just-opined--stand-by. GOARMY!
  5. I have posted on this matter in some detail on that specific Explorer Roll Call; no need for a repetition. We have made all preparations for that cruise, including independent air from SEATAC to Tokyo. But--can still pull the plug in mid-November as to final payment if no vaccine is in the immediate future. GOARMY!
  6. Segmentersfloattheboat: The following will be on-point to this Thread about where ships are. More to the point: Where a particular ship, Explorer, may be in early 2021. Whether we will be able to meet at Tokyo next April for a pre-cruise segment before voyaging via Explorer (our favorite ship) to Vancouver, B.C. is now hanging on a slender thread. Will Explorer be able to complete several early 2021 segments, as currently shown, before Tokyo arrival? Given the current total mess which has resulted in banning Americans from entering many foreign countries; and the Japanese Government's total focus on preserving the possibility of conducting the rescheduled 2021 Olympic Games in July, 2021: No-way will Authorities take any chance as to a reintroduction of COVID-19 via cruisers into the Tokyo area in the few months prior to those Games. Therefore, I put our chances of meeting at Tokyo at about 25%. And, I try to be optimistic. GOARMY!
  7. Before being eviscerated on my latest: Rear Admiral Jesse Olendorf should receive full credit for orchestrating that final "T" maneuver executed during evening hours of October 25, 1944 during Battle of Sarigao Strait. Just one of many sub chapters in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. His deft maneuvering of US Navy battleships saved many lives. OK. No more. GOARMY!
  8. mrlevin: Ah, Crossing the "T". Last, best-example: WWII's October, 1944 Battle of Leyte Gulf. Admiral Kinkaid, US Navy, so-arranged his "Big Gun" Battleships to bring maximum, and devastating fire upon an element of the Japanese Imperial Navy bent-upon transit to destroy MacArthur's Army units then-recently ashore at Leyte, Philippines. Eliminate the covering US Navy units; then bring unopposed fire from 14" and 16" guns from those Japanese ships on Leyte Beaches. Crossing that particular "T" was just-one aspect of courageous actions by various US Navy elements during the greatest naval action--land, air, and sea, in the history of military conflict. Bigger than Midway, or Jutland. Given the evolution in warfare, such-a-like will never be repeated. Just do a Google. But, it was a very close-run thing at Leyte. Courage at key points was key to the American victory, and destruction of any significant remaining elements of the Japanese Navy able to prevent the Allies' later September, 1945 Victory in the Pacific. Had opportunities both at Bremerton, WA; then a few-years' ago at Hawaii, to board USS Missouri. Site of that surrender ceremony. When, and if, any of us who have not-yet done so have the opportunity for a visit to Pearl Harbor: Do the USS Missouri tour. O.K. Way, way off-thread. But--given the current situation (we are now 0-3 as to any cruising either by French rivers, or Regent for the rest of this year)--what the heck. GOARMY!
  9. diebroke: Thanks for pointing us to Collins' remarks re: Stockdale Paradox. Strong message effective delivered. GOARMY!
  10. UUNetBill: You may be right---again! I may have gotten this confused with Don's "Bye, bye Miss American Pie. Drove the Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry. Good 'ole boys drinking whiskey and rye . . ." Until we cruise again. GOARMY!
  11. cwn: Great pictures bringing back great memories. Our stay was at Camp Figtree, a British-themed Lodge complex above the Game Preserve. Our TA advised, in advance: "request a tent" We did. What a tent! Hardwood floors covered with oriental rugs. Marvelous service, and a fine way to meet with seven other couples with whom we would spend several weeks later-on when aboard Mariner en route from Cape Town to Rio. As to visuals: somehow, I will try to enclose a video clip (about 30 seconds) my wife took of a big bull elephant with whom our Land Rover had a close encounter on a dusty side road during one afternoon excursion. Our Game Warden/Guide was cool. Turned off the engine as the elephant walked, silently, toward the vehicle. Sue was seated next to a side door. Good, unobstructed view. Got her gadget out, and started "filming". He just-kept walked toward us, so-close that his head took up the entire field of view. He looked right at us--and just kept walking. That 30 seconds was worth the whole trip. GOARMY!
  12. greykitty: (and Maxmann65) You earlier referenced Ann Rule, a Seattle native. Ann and I discussed this Case on two occasions in 1996, or thereabouts, as a possible "Project". She demurred, citing commitments on other Projects for the next five years. However-- Starting in 1997, began working with a scriptwriter hired by "SHOWTIME" to develop a screenplay based on Anchorage-Chugiak. I was still "on active duty" as an Inspector. The Postal Service and the Inspection Service fully-cooperated on that Project That effort resulted in being at Vancouver, B.C. for several weeks as Technical Advisor/Consultant during filming of---wait for it-- "The Inspectors" Very-interesting experience literally "seeing" how some suggestions regarding speaking lines, and investigative techniques were portrayed and incorporated into the final product. More important: Was able to keep some real gaffs as to story line(s) and character portrayals on the cutting room floor and OUT of the Final Script. The actor portraying the Lead Inspector (a fictionalized amalgamation of several Inspectors) was Academy Award Winner Louis Gossett Jr. ("An Officer and a Gentleman") He was also one of the Producers. Now, this was Hollywood stuff, with about 60% of our actual Case incorporated into the story line. Still--the basics were there, particularly monitoring of electronic communications and analysis of those prison audio tapes. His sidekick--another Inspector--was played by Jonathan Silverman. Both Gossett and Silverman took great pains to get the law enforcement aspects and techniques accurate. "So, Inspector, show me exactly how you would do this. . ." And so-forth. The actual story line--well, it was Hollywood. The final product was shown as SHOWTIME's first "feature movie" during its 1998 season. Got good reviews, as I would like to recall. So--in 1999, Gossett and Silverman reprised their characters in--wait for it-- "Inspectors II" Another stint, one of my last before retirement, at Vancouver for filming. That was really a fictionalized story line based on Identity Theft. It aired in late 1999 on SHOWTIME. Should one want to do a deeper-dive into the archives: "Forensic Files--Court T.V." 11/16/2005. That time when back at Anchorage was as a retired Inspector. Technical Advisor and Narrator for that effort titled: "Signed, Sealed, and Delivered". Very-accurate as to forensics involved in "recreating" the 1990 Glenn Highway shooting; then how the Inspection Service's Crime Lab at D.C. was able to reconstruct elements of the device's "fire train" from the little that remained at the September, 1991 blast site. GOARMY!
  13. cwn: Great pictures, particularly of Table Mountain. Can almost make out Victoria and Albert Hotel in the foreground. GOARMY!
  14. blacksmith: When you are able to make that trip: Suggest arriving at Cape Town several days before beginning a safari; which would be several additional days before actually getting on a ship. Stay at the Victoria & Albert Hotel. This is in the waterfront area about five miles from downtown. Wonderful, relaxing time for us while getting over jet-lag after two long-haul segments, SEATAC to Amsterdam; then Amsterdam to Cape Town. Many top restaurants in the immediate area. Concierge available to facilitate visits to local spots. Wonderful Hotel breakfasts complete with champagne included in the room rate. Due to powerful American dollar (at-least it was), very reasonable, about 1/3rd of what one would expect to pay at a large American city downtown 5 Star hotel. Regent ships dock (or used-to) in the immediate waterfront area. So, upon completion of a safari; and pick-up at Cape Town Airport, direct transfer via van right to the ship. GOARMY!
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