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christraveller

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About christraveller

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Vancouver BC
  • Interests
    travel, languages, books

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  1. Colleagues who are visiting consultants to elder care facilities had the first shot/jab last week. Mildly sore arms. Pfizer BioNtech product. Count me in! I am washing hands as if driven by triffids, changing masks every 2 hrs. I even think about masking up on Zoom calls... then quickly return to reality!
  2. I am all for a short (weeks) delay in having the vaccine. That will put lingering doubts on my part at rest about real world side effects, yet offer protection for me and from me. I am a clinically active physician, and have multiple risk factors for COVID. Which of the various vaccines will be on offer??? I am curious. I just had Shingrix, part 1 of 2, against shingles ( herpes zoster), a week after the current flu jab. No major nasty effects. It is wonderful peace of mind to have. I have seen people suffer terribly from both of those diseases, which are now largely
  3. Goal: to sit on a sun dappled Silversea deck (substitutes are not acceptable), sipping Champagne with our nearest and dearest, watching a palm fringed coast go by while the trio plays Obstacle: viral pandemic Solution: science Science: ***avoidance of infection by a virus spread by aerosols takes - distancing - cleaning hands and surfaces - masks -avoiding crowded spaces - no worsening of deadliness of the disease from human behaviour or mutation ***effective (and not particularly risky) vaccination to protect us and t
  4. Jetlag being what it is (and living in Vancouver, a 9 hour time change away from Central Europe), we have learned that spending a week or two in the area of the port of embarkation is a great way to enjoy an area with less stress and less fuzzy headed hours in the usual goat rodeo of sleep and wake cycles! Fly in, stay a night or two near the airport, or in the city, leave most of the luggage at the hotel, then rent a car or take trains to explore. Scandinavia is an easy place for a tourist, a bit pricey. The translation services on cell phones are now magnificent. My best jetlag weeks were
  5. Sadly, the covid 19 illness has already shown up on a Hurtigruten ship in Tromsø, Norway. Four crew members are in hospital. Here is the Reuters article: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-norway-cruiseship/four-crew-members-on-norway-cruise-ship-hospitalised-with-covid-19-idUSKCN24W2BG Let us all think of the crew, the disembarked passengers, the hospital workers and all their friends and family. This single event, in a line with apparently exemplary infection control precautions, Is very worrisome. The epidemiological facts around wh
  6. Wouldn’t online trivia with an accomplished cruise director be a good way for Silversea to keep engaging with the loyal passengers while we are all waiting?
  7. Hello Ziggy60, Here are some thoughts on Tokyo. We have been there several times, most recently for a week, before boarding the Muse transpacific cruise home to Vancouver. This is a vast metropolitan area of over 35 million. The dimensions and density were unfathomable before seeing the city. The kindness of the Japanese, cleanliness, and efficiency of the public transport are well known. Enjoying the cruise will be more likely if you are not impaired by jet lag. I honestly recommend a week in Tokyo before boarding. We read the Tokyo guidebook by Lone
  8. Hi All! We did the itinerary from Tokyo to Vancouver in 2019. It was magical. We speak no Japanese, and we’re, of course, completely illiterate there. No problem. Just read on! We spent a week in Tokyo, staying at the Tamachi Pullman hotel, Accor group, which was brand new. The trick in choosing a hotel is how far it is from a metro station. This fit the bill. Best shower plumbing we have ever seen. The service at the front desk was almost done by intuition and ESP, despite the staff’s great English. I bought an origami book there, and immediately was presented wit
  9. FOMO can extend to watching the horizon, the stunning tropical clouds, and, yes, the wildlife. Albatrosses, petrels, in the air, and very playful dolphins near the ship’s bow are worth watching for. There is also the occasional whale. Roughly once per TA on Silversea, we passed a ship, too. The friendly Observation Lounge staff are part of the overall Watching the World Go By picture, too.
  10. A week at sea is a gift of time! Silversea has always had plenty of activities, very similar to what the cruisecritic member above encountered on Crystal. Sometimes various activities overlap, which is then a challenge. FOMO, Fear Of Missing Out, applies, and is best tackled by prioritizing, or seeing what your many new acquaintances are up to. Think of it as a summer camp for grownups who might like some champagne! There is no pressure to join in, though. Sometimes a good book, one of the very many movies among the choices on the interactive TV, or even a nap are very
  11. I would like to gently point out that smoking rates are decreasing steadily in most of the countries of origin of Silversea passengers and staff. In Canada, and many other jurisdictions, fears for workers’ safety around second hand smoke leading to preventable diseases has led to smoking bans at all workplaces, including offices, and both indoor and outdoor areas of restaurants. Our public parks in Vancouver have also prohibited smoking. Anything. The time is approaching for the cruise industry to protect staff (and passengers) by following the great examples set by others. Nose sli
  12. The Silversea setup is one that leaves children easily bored, and looking for places to engage in age and appropriate to their phase of development to have fun, run, jump, and shout. Mix in the clearly older clientele at a pool, or in a restaurant, add cognitive or sensory issues, add cultural issues, then add one or two parents who are not clear on what the limits are or how to set them... presto! Conflict. It only takes very few children exposed to those conditions to make for trying times for the other passengers. RCCL knows how to handle children well on larger ships where
  13. Passive safety design considerations arise, and are particularly useful when the average passenger is older: - little or no step from suite bathroom to hall. - doors easier to push open or close. - carpet design change at exit stairs or evacuation doors. Smoke rises, so signs may not be visible. - telephone in bathrooms lowered so that a person who has fallen and cannot stand can access it. - create a vestibule in Thor’s Observation Lounge at the port door that leads to the stairs going up. Cold winds blow through the lounge, and the current door is noisy
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