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calliopecruiser

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  1. Very few cruise lines are, in my opinion, unless you're fortunate enough to find a sale going at a time and place that suits you. I think only Crystal gives solo cruisers good value, as they offer a great product for an extra 30% (window cabins) -- or, at least, that used to be true. Whether it will be true post-Covid is a different question. Remember not to confuse value with cost or quantity.
  2. Eh, almost everything is included, so "semi" (half) is also not right. Excursions, in my opinion, are not part of a cruise (and that's why I have not looked at Regent, who like to pretend they are). Excursions are part of touring the land, not cruising from port to port, and they have absolutely no bearing on the actual cruise experience (i.e. on the cruise ship). In my opinion, expecting excursions to be part of "all inclusive" would be like expecting retail shopping to be included -- both may enhance your vacation, but neither are really part of the cruise. Still, there are a few things that aren't included: Some top-flight alcohols, and a few items of exclusive sushi aren't included; photos and some private classes for things like golf or dancing also aren't included. I've known a few people who have ordered specialty wines off the not-included menu for special treats, but as I am not a wine-drinker, I really didn't see the value for me. I can still get my cocktails and 20 year old tawny port included.
  3. Do they actually market it as savings? I didn't think so, but I don't spend too much time looking at marketing materials. My impression, though, was that they market it as an overall better experience because those things are included, not as a less expensive way to cruise. If someone is just looking at an inexpensive way to cruise, a) there will never be a one-size-fits-all, because we all choose different types of extras to purchase, and b) it will never be an all-inclusive. But, not everyone is concerned with finding the least expensive way to cruise (thank God we all don't want the same things in life). For me, the best value is an all inclusive luxury line, even though it's not the cheapest (though, sailing solo, it's not far off).
  4. not only do they take up space that could be used for something else (that I'd enjoy more), 3rd party sales options change the atmosphere of the ship.......so, in my opinion, the fewer of them, the better. That's not about you being a "low maintenance cruiser" - there's nothing "high maintenance" about wanting and enjoying included "extras". I'm pretty low maintenance and don't use most "extras", but I adore the all-inclusive parts of a luxury cruise.
  5. Yes.....in my condo we were told at least 6-7 weeks ago that most building facilities would be closed (the pool room, the exercise room, etc), that no non-resident, non-medical help people would be allowed in the building (no cleaning ladies or real estate agents, etc), and that they recommended no more than 1 family in the elevator at time (i.e. if you don't live together, don't ride the elevator together).
  6. The "they" that Roger88 talks about in his post.......I presume he meant the cruise companies.
  7. I can't say when it arrived; I boarded Serenity in mid-January. I remember it distinctly because of the stiff acting out the parts about gathering clothes, eyeglasses, and medications before leaving the cabin.
  8. Well, that's only true if the disease-causing microorganism (virus, bacteria, parasite) is one in which an effective and safe vaccine is actually possible. There are viruses and diseases for which a vaccine has never been created in spite of many (and ongoing) efforts, such as HIV and Epstein-Barr, Malaria (exists but not effective), Dengue Fever, Zika, or even the common cold. People have been trying for decades and decades, with no success.
  9. You can't......just like you can't verify someone doesn't ignore classes in school, a meeting at work, or even an airplane safety video And you can't verify they don't ignore a muster drill done in person, either
  10. That entire concept is faulty -- there will not be a silver bullet, because silver bullets don't exist. Even in cases where no vaccines have been found for serious viral diseases (such as AIDS), there are great medical advances that make the disease so much easier to manage and so much less severe in its effect. In other words, vaccines don't exist in a vacuum as a way to deal with an infectious disease or to assess one's risk. A vaccine would be a big step in making me feel more comfortable about my risk; even a vaccine that is only mildly effective will decrease my risk, and if you add to that more knowledge about the disease (we're still learning new things about it all the time) and better ways to treat it, my comfort would increase even more. Would I be comfortable going into crowds before a vaccine is available? Sure, if there was more known about risk factors and treatments. For instance, it was once thought chronic respiratory diseases like asthma were a risk factor for serious disease, but it turns out that's not the case -- high blood pressure and heart problems seem to be a significant risk factor because this isn't primarily a lung disease, it's primarily a vascular disease affecting blood clotting. The question of whether to put more effort and money into vaccines or treatments is always a fight with any newly emerging disease, and neither is really more important than the other. We need both; being protected from infection is great, but if you're one of the ones that isn't protected or isn't fully protected (that might be the fault of your biology, not just a fault of the vaccine), you also will need good treatments to lessen the effect and help rid your body of the virus.
  11. No.....you may be more room for your buck on mainstream lines, but that's hardly the same thing. For a solo cruiser such as myself, I still believe Crystal offers the best all-round value, though there is great value to be had in other places if you can manage to fit yourself into one of their sales. I would have no problem trying other premium or luxury lines, should that situation arise. For pairs (couples or otherwise), the value issue will change because of the lack of single supplements.
  12. Right, so the question of "how many ports" is answered by 900, but the unasked question of "how many different ports a year" is a different question. Also, the number of ships comes in to question, as does ( I think) the length of their average cruise (since many ports are not close to others, and require longer cruises to reach).
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