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Starry Eyes

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  1. Please remember that hospital and intensive care beds are not just for Covid 19 patients. Hospitals have now re-started elective procedures and patients have started to return for these postponed procedures; sometimes some of those procedures may require an hospital and even an ICU stay. Of course hospital occupancy has move back toward a more normal level. If Covid 19 demands more beds in the future, elective procedures could be cancelled again.
  2. Here is a previous plan, just for your information. Future ones could differ, of course, but one might expect something similar if one were betting: “Royal Caribbean said digital, non-touch scanners are used for the screenings. If temperature registers about 100.4°F (38°C), the person and any travel companions will be referred to a secondary health screening. “ Sweater, allergies, perhaps some exertion, perhaps instrumental variability, perhaps a minor illness...so many causes for your 99.5, but unlikely to keep you off a ship if it happened again.
  3. I agree they are apt to have test kits in the ship medical centers when cruising resumes. The test kit availability question ring raised above, perhaps, was whether there would be enough high speed kits to test everyone prior to embarkation in addition to any diagnostic tests needed in the medical center during sailing. All passengers plus regular screening of crew would require lots of test kits. I would also add that if they do screen that way and if those rapid test kits generate false positives, healthy passengers and crew will likely be turned away from sailings. A two percent false positive rate means that about one in 25 couples would be turned away with a positive test (unpleasant for anybody but a big deal if they flew or drove a long distance to get to port).
  4. Do you need further clarification? MTD schedules have changed on some ships (ruinously, IMHO, that is why I am trying to forewarn you of the possibility). I’ll try to clarify. Now on some ships, every seat in every dining room is utilized for traditional early dining. On those ships, when the early diners finish their dinners and leave what will become the MTD dining room, only then does MTD actually begin. On this ships, that means no option of catching an early meal in the dining room if one has MTD. Also, there is a huge backlog of MTD people wanting dinner by the time MTD opens, so long lines of discontent people with and without reservations may form when MTD does open. Personally, I would not want MTD on those terms; I’d just pick early or late to miss the hassle. Your cruise, your choice. I do not know if your sailing will have the old MTD schedule (I really hope so) or the revised one. Still, when even months in advance one does not see any 5:30-6:00-6:30 MTD reservation times any night of the cruise, one might consider the possibility that that ship might be going to the altered MTD schedule.
  5. I really do hope you will be able to done when you want if you keep MTD. I just cannot fathom how a telephone rep could know with certainty that earlier MTD reservation times will be available when you board. So much is in flux now. At least you are forewarned that MTD has significantly changed on some ships and, if it has changed on yours, MTD begins only after early traditional diners have finished their meals.
  6. Since you seem to like your current location better than the possible new ones, my opinion is stay put for now but keep watching prices. Maybe you will catch a price drop with a nice cabin location. Although you may not spend a lot of time in your cabin, more space is always nice. So, keep an eye out for a good price on the bigger cabin in a good location with double points.
  7. Sigh. Air travel carries most global travelers, not cruise ships. Sadly people left Wuhan on airplanes with the virus. It spread to fellow travelers in airports and in nearby seats on planes. At their destinations it spread further in those communities all around the globe. Yes, some people got on cruise ships, but the main way infected people traveled between continents was obviously by air, not sea. Not blaming the airlines; they are the major method of moving people long distances, especially between continents. And the people the airlines flew carried the virus with them. Cruise ship illnesses made headlines, but that does not mean they were the source of the viral outbreaks.
  8. I wonder, too. How would the rep know what the MTD schedule will be on that ship in the future? Personally, those reservation times would sway my thoughts more than some phone rep’s words. There were a lot of people standing in lines waiting for MTD to open to open on Harmony. Sometimes there were so many people waiting for MTD when we left early dining that we could barely get to the elevators and we could not navigate the crowd to reach the stairs. People with MTD looked very frustrated; some were lining up as we entered for our early dining, even though MTD would not begin until early dining was over. Before the cruise, I read on CC that MTD on Harmony was disorganized, so I selected traditional dining. I am glad we had traditional dining because disorganized was a severe understatement. To me, they totally ruin MTD when they start it utilize all seats for early dining; MTD becomes just a variation late dining (a variation where one must stand in line for a different table at slightly different time). I’ll stick with traditional dining after witnessing that.
  9. I have seen the PP’s MTD schedule, too. When MTD was introduced, my time dining opened half an hour before early traditional dining started. So, with or without reservations, my time diners were eating before traditional even started. On those sailings if we had MTD, we could get early reservations if we wished. Worked well for me. On Harmony this year it was quite different. MTD started much later. That dining room was first used for early traditional dining. Once early seating guests were leaving, they began to seat the my time guests at the vacated tables. We were among those early dining guests, and sometimes there were long lines waiting for MTD (bother reservation and no reservations) as we exited. It thought it was a terrible system, as MTD guests could not eat in the dining room early and then catch a show, etc. I wonder if Indy will be using Harmony’s MTD schedule. If so, I suggest you consider switching to traditional dining. If you stay with MTD, you cannot dine early. You likely will have to stand in line to be seating at close to the same time as late dining.
  10. I can easily imagine that happening, though it may not be a given. There is another possibility for the “empty” cabins. Hypothetically, they could decided to temporarily reassign some of the lower deck guest cabins to staff/crew, this allowing more space on average per crew member...at least more social distancing than usual. If so, a ship could sail with substantially fewer guests yet cabins could still be utilized.
  11. As CDC director, he is the government and he needs to mind his part of it closely. Hopefully, the CDC will not drop the ball again, as they did with the first lab test fiasco.
  12. Well, next year’s flu vaccine won’t be available for months. So, an article Now is not about motivating people who usually do not get flu shots to get vaccinated against the flu months from now. So the timing suggests he wants to make headlines rather than motivate people to get vaccinated. BTW, I believe in vaccines. I get my flu shots and encourage others to do so.
  13. Spring breakers were not “our infected”. Some came to us infected. Not surprising as they come from multicultural universities, often in large cities. Many international visitors, speakers, conferences, trips by professors, etc. Consider them a source of disease in FL, then they spread it to one another. If they had partied at a bars and frats and friend’s homes that week, they would have spread it there instead. Stupid behavior no matter where it happens had the same outcome. Stop blaming the beach. Look at your young adults. Some people came on spring break, practiced social distancing, cleaned surfaces, ate carry out, did not party, and did not run a high risk of getting sick. More mature types. Careful. Smart. It can be done. Other irresponsible college students might party in big groups on campus, then party on the trip down, and party in their packed hotel rooms, then party on the way back. Even enforcing social distancing on beach does not help; they are irresponsible people. If those students are from your state, take it up with their parents.
  14. I agree that Florida is doing fairly well on a per capita basis and that a substantial number of cases here are travel related. People have been told so firmly and repeatedly to “stay home” and many have taken it quite literally. They are now barely outdoors, so they are not experiencing the heat nor the humidity...many barely get any sunshine in the sunshine state. They express tremendous fear they will pick up the virus on a breeze from people yards away. To really experience the heat and humidity we’d have to turn off the AC. And that’s not happening. If it did, it would probably cause more problems than the virus.
  15. Well, they could easily give a name to the 340-350 point shadow level...they already provide the benefits at that point, so there is no significant extra cost in benefits. They certainly do not NEED to give that tier a name, but maybe naming it would motivate a few more people to aim for it...maybe. Beyond that, I do not know why they would mess with the program now.
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