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About Shawnino

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    Promiscuous Cruiser
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  1. Honestly the way I think of O, or at least what O used to be, was a mid-market (R-class ships) to mid-market-plus (O class ships) experience for people who want to customise their vacation with their own touches. You can let O do everything for you but that gets expensive quickly. O is best suited for people who want to plan their own air, plan their own port days, don't mind booking their own Specialty Dining a few weeks out, know whether they want the upgraded drinks package, and so on. OP is an experienced cruiser so if she wants to put in the legwork to customise her
  2. They co-brand with National Geographic. They are among the most expensive lines but we felt well taken care of on our Antarctica trip. The Galapagos trip was less value for money...would use Lindblad going forward if and only if it's a very-hard-to-reach destination.
  3. You won't regret it. Drive-by is, at best, half a loaf. We went with Lindblad and they were good, but I don't recall a stack of reviews saying anyone was bad. Be sure to check out the Antarctica board for the latest advice. One last piece of advice from me: Antarctica is nice, but South Georgia is The Show. By all means go to both, but if you can only do one, I'd go to South Georgia instead. You don't get the icebergs. You do get 100x the wildlife.
  4. Landing rules on Antarctica are really tough. --No more than 100 ppl on shore at once --Need to file your landings plan years in advance. Not sure if a large ship could go there and just land a few people. Seabourn has a ship (450 pax) and that is the largest ship, by far,. that I've heard of that does landings. There are a few in 100-300 pax range (Lindblad, Hurtigruten, Ponant...) and some smaller still.
  5. Barcelona pays ships to homeport there. Many cities do. (People fly in early, etc.) The last time I was there (2019) they were also still paying ships to call there. I have no idea if this will be the case going forward but I haven't heard of a change.. The media is what it is (generally lousy). They can always find some Grumpy Gus locals who don't want tourists (and not just in Catalunya). The city and regional government seem to still be all-in on cruise ships, despite the odd dissenting voice. The separatist minority is particularly hard core about tourism being the way for
  6. More GRAND Marketesespeak, like the "2-for-1" Fares...
  7. Your question about Allura is a good one. A quick check of the site puts Regatta in N. America (Alaska-ish, then W. Coast) through September, with the rest in Europe through October/November (save Insignia, which ducks out to do Canada/New England season). So the whole third quarter schedule is out, and half the fourth quarter is out already.
  8. 100%. Serious opportunity for land-tour operators if they can capitalise on it.
  9. Are Oceania's rates rising? Paging @Drib ... 🙂
  10. Santiago: First thing's first: figure out where the ship is docking. If it's Valpo, yeah, it's scruffy in parts for a wheelchair, but the next town over, Viña del Mar, isn't too bad. There's a lovely boardwalk. Neruda's house (four tiny storeys) is likely a no-go, but there are other things to see. The main funicular is doable in a wheelchair --I've done it. If it's San Antonio, there's nothing there. Industrial armpit of the region. You will want to arrange transport to Valpo/Viña or into Santiago. (unless you're flying into Santiago--if so, stay in Lastarria: upscale,
  11. The short answer I thought it went without saying that we would also want vaccines to have some measure of success. otherwise there's no point. The long answer is that I come at this from a vaccine safety perspective. I leave efficacy to others. But from what I'm reading, two themes seem to be emerging: --The efficacy rates of current candidates look more like flu shot rates (40-60%) than smallpox (95%) or shingles (90%). Let there be no doubt: this virus is not "the flu". But that's the level where our tech is. --There is unproven thinking that different vaccines will ha
  12. Yes it's up to the doctor, but my point is he's a poor doctor if he fires every patient who doesn't do exactly what he says. Medicine is a science, but hardly an exact one.
  13. Yes, really. Educate yourself, starting with HIPAA.
  14. It will be really interesting to see if this stands up to state and federal labour laws. I think it'd be great if everyone who can get the vaccine gets it. Making it a condition of employment doesn't feel like a slam dunk.
  15. What a joke of a doctor. Can I at least assume he'll take the vaccine himself? Does he fire all his patients if he recommends Treatment A and they opt to pass or for Treatment B? (Let the record reflect that once we have a satisfactorily safe vaccine, I do selfishly want all of you to get it, because I can't. Let the record further reflect I do mathematical review for vaccine studies, so I'm as pro-vaccine as they come.)
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