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  1. Regarding the "Far East" (and I might add many Asian countries) - yes probably less personal space is available BUT MASKS are very common in public places - on the streets or simply outdoors, for several reasons years and years before the COVID-19 invasion. So, wearing a mask does not have the same implications for many compared to our folks. Also, in at least some "Far East" countries if the leaders say "You shall wear a mask when in public" - folks do. It is treated as an order with teeth, NOT as a suggestion.
  2. also on Meds - about 2 weeks before leaving home I check on my prescription meds - do I have enough for my cruise plus about a week after it. I start early as sometimes I have to renew my prescription which may add a few days for my mail delivery. On longer cruises (say 2 - 4 months), I also may need a few more days as the Pharm. has to check with my physician to give me "extra" pills (or an early renewal). Much of this depends on your insurance company and specific meds you may take. I want to get this all sorted out early so that the last few days before leaving home I am not madly trying to get enough meds for the trip. After many cruises I must say except for one time (when I had not thought things out well enough) all has worked smoothly for each trip.I just do not like last minute "panic" situations.
  3. Edit note - typed but not sent last evening - in the interim npcl wrote useful further information but I decided to send this in case it further helps folks understand the topic. (I write from the perspective of my background which includes serving 12 years on the Medical Research review Board for a Major medical University and 3 years for a non-university affiliated review board.) One does not need to be a MD let alone Dr. Fauci to come up with npcl's explanation. An MBA and some knowledge of how "Big Pharma" works would perhaps be as helpful, as would an understanding of what really goes into the work required to have drugs approved for human use. At the "Big Pharma" Corporate level it is usually only the Bottom Line that counts, i.e. how much profit can we generate by developing a drug (or drugs) to prevent or cure a medical illness/condition. If viewed strictly from a Corporate financial perspective - this is a critical question for the Corporation to survive, attract investors, etc. They are not "Not for Profit" companies and the various levels(phases) of drug research are usually VERY expensive. They do need to cover the costs, but we also see cases of "greed" on the part of these same corporations. (I write from the perspective of my background which includes serving 12 years on the Medical Research review Board for a Major medical University and 3 years for a non-university affiliated review board.)
  4. About a week ago I read in a news article that Carnival (Big C Carnival - not the individual cruise line) that when cruising resumed that several of their cruise lines would have reduced ship numbers. The release mentioned that 7 (or was it 8 😎had already been identified (not listed) but that more would probably be added to the list. Sorry that I have no idea where I read this but it seemed to be a decent source from what I remember. It was not on a private or little read source - but I simply do not remember the details.
  5. Petunia 1950 I understand your feelings. As a long time, very fortunate cruiser (close to 2,000 nights just on cruise ships) I am dismayed at the "Me first" attitude I read into many of the entries on CC. While this is the worst travel disaster because of the extent of the issues, for us this is only the latest in a string of travel related disruptions. We have had cruises cancelled and major itinerary changes a number of times (SARS - land and sea trip to Asia, West Nile, Bird Flu altered trips (land and sea) and (9-11 when we were planning to cruise from Barcelona to India through the Med., Red Sea and travel to Oman, etc en route). Not all the cruises were with HAL, but many of the sea days were with HAL. My what mashing of teeth, threats of various sorts, dire predictions of the cruise world coming to an end, etc. In each case those of us fortunate enough to be able to take care of the new alternatives offered to us in each case, such as retired folks) the outcomes were WONDERFUL. NOW, I realize that this time the extent of the issues effected far exceeds those of our other trips, but my real message is that while everyone wants their money NOW - I suggest we cool things a bit. Can you imagine the MESS that HAL and other cruise lines are facing with all the cancellations? If past experiences of myself and our friends mean anything - it will work out - and as happened one time - our "cruise line" did not survive but we still got our money paid back AND the line "sold" our frequent cruiser names AND MILES TO CUNARD so they were not even lost. No one likes to have a corporation hold our money when we want it back, but we have done very well when cruise lines have done so. Just our experiences. Rather than expect the worst (they have stolen my money), have some faith - we have benefited in the situation 100% of the time in the cruise world.
  6. Back when we were in our 30s and 40s (1970-1980s) we had older relatives and friends who loved to go on Freighters. Physician clearance forms were routine for Freighters. Getting a physician to complete the forms was easy for most of them. No physician was expected to make any sweeping statements about great medical condition, but rather only to point out any condition that might seriously erupt while on the 6 month sailing. They had no problem getting such paperwork from their physicians for many years. They did have rather run of the mill heart issues, respiratory issues, but apparently not a a level that precluded such trips. The last I knew such paperwork was still required for Freighter trips although they are somewhat phased out for passengers these days from what I understand. It will be interesting what will actually be expected in present day standards. Words from the cruise lines is lacking - but probably they are waiting to see what CDC or whoever expects from them.
  7. Cruisemom42, NO, I DO NOT think truly "no fly" folks should be allowed on long distance cruises such as the WC. What are they thinking (or their family for that matter)? I think that to go on a WC and unable to fly home (even with personal help) is totally irresponsible and selfish. While no one probably thought - What if there is a worldwide Pandemic? - many other more common reasons could require an unexpected long flight home. (Like a fall, illness, etc.) By the way, I am what medically is considered elderly so on one level I have empathy, but I also consider irresponsible to make irresponsible decisions, especially those that cause others stress, worry, etc. Now, many do not LIKE to Fly (I understand that). However, it is easy to say Oh, I have a medical condition and I CAN NOT fly. I suspect that many of those saying "I CANNOT Fly" really are just sudden converts from part of the "I do not LIKE to fly group." Sad! Mary229, Yes they may be able to make their own decisions - but then live with the consequences - good or bad.
  8. Cruisemom42, I agree with you question about the fruit soup during the meal. HOWEVER, I LOVE most of the fruit soups I had on HAL. BUT I always asked the steward to serve it as my Dessert! For me it has been a perfect dessert, sweet enough but not too sweet or filling.
  9. Well, Crew News was typing his "response" to KK's question while I was writing my suspicions of the matter. Thank you Crew News.
  10. Regarding the elimination of single serve bathroom products and some food items like butter, jelly and syrup. I personally suspect (and this is only a guess) is that it has alot to do with the elimination of non-recyclable product packaging. While one jelly cup seems inconsequential, think of how many are used on each HAL ship each day. I personally like the individual servings but I also like to cut non-recyclable waste for the sake of the world. Plus there is a savings on product cost. One question I have - will they individually serve you the butter/jelly/syrup as they do under the higher "Noro" precautions or leave a larger bowl/plate of the items on each table? Advantages and disadvantages of each in my opinion.
  11. A wonderful man and leader for HAL. I will always remember one experience regarding Mr. Lanterman. A number of years ago I was on a HAL cruise, traveling with Janet's travel agency. I had on a shirt labeled with her company's logo when ordering a burger at the Lido burger bar. The HAL employee working the burger bar asked me if the shirt was from Mrs. Lanterman's company. I said yes, and with tears in his eyes he said - "Oh, Mister Lanterman is such wonderful man. Whenever he is onboard he always stops by to say HI. He also thanks me for the great job I am doing. He makes me feel as if I am one of the most important people working on board". What a lovely tribute that was to Kirk Lanterman.
  12. About 6 years ago I got a new C-Pap machine. The "new one" said that distilled water was optional. When home I used distilled water but on several, 2+ month cruises I used tap water. After my first such cruise I did have my machine checked and was told that they would never have know I did not been using distilled water. Thankfully about 4 years ago I had surgery that eliminated the need for the C-Pap. However, no promises that the need won't return (Ugh). While the possibility of return to a C-pap is not exciting, in the realm of Medical therapies, the use of the machine is a minor bother compared to what is needed by many!
  13. RuthC, Yes, both would have needed to have insurance. However, being past final payment has nothing to do with this. My traveling companion learned she needed immediate surgery three days before we were to sail. She basically received her full fair refund, I had the single supplement covered and went on the cruise. For a very recent cruise and a future cruise I looked into the insurance covereage details and they are the same as they were at the time of the cruise I described above. As an aside, we were both 'young", healthy and had never purchased trip insurance before. For this trip, we each had elderly parents with multiple medical issues and we were concerned about having to get home quickly. We NEVER though of buying the insurance because of either of us!
  14. Actually I believe that having appropriate insurance gets the most bang - cancel person gets their $$ back and you get to go solo with no supplement.
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