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About Donald

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  1. Part of my job as Hotel Manager on Cruise Ships is crew morale. I like to use humor to help keep the crew "up". Nothing works better than reading some of the crazy CC postings at my morning meetings. During the COVID Pandemic, it seems that quite a few CC Posters have decided to forego seeing a therapist and are utilising CruiseCritic instead. It does save a lot of money for them, and provides endless material for me.
  2. Underwhelming for me: Boston Philadelphia New York Miami San Diego LA All of them dirty, dangerous, expensive, unfriendly, boring.
  3. Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea have many things in common - including their proximity to the original source of the COVID Virus. They also have high density populations, elevating the risk of infection. Yet, these 3 countries have surprisingly low infection and death rates from COVID. They also have cruise ships currently calling at their ports - with zero infections onboard. How is this possible? Easy answer. Good manners and social responsibility. People in those countries understand that masks are primarily not protection for you, but protection for thos
  4. If some pax do not have a vaccine, it increases the chance of an outbreak onboard the ship. If just one passenger has COVID, the chances are very great that the cruise will be cancelled and everyone sent home. We saw how badly this was handled in the past - by the cruise lines and the local governments. Is there any reason to believe that it would be better in the future? Refusing to get a vaccine before a cruise (if it is even allowed by the cruise line and the destination ports) puts all other pax in danger of having their vacation ruined and losing a lot of money. It a
  5. You should be aware that most of the Ha Long junk companies - as charming as they seem - have absolutely zero standards for hygiene and safety. I was managing director for one of the older “classic” junk companies in Ha Long a few years back. When I first boarded our “ships” I was surprised to see the galley staff using the galley floor tiles (still attached to the floor) as cutting boards for meat and fish. There were no fire extinguishers on our wooden boats. There were also no life preservers. We had a small swimming platform on the stern of each boat. Guests lov
  6. If HAL wants to improve the World Cruise, they need a nice small ship to have the cruise on. Sadly, they no longer have any of those ships in their fleet.
  7. There are several prevailing theories in the original source of the Spanish Flu. Early cases were found on a US Army Base in Kansas, Sing Sing prison in New York, and an RAF Base in England. The real war (WWI) prevented many countries from being honest about the challenges and cases they had. 100 years later, it appears that the Cold War prevented transparency in China. The USA was unprepared for the pandemic in 1918. Many mistakes were made. They learned the hard way - with many needless deaths - how to protect the populace. In 2019, the exact same mistakes were made - a
  8. Back to the original question. “Where”?? The big mass market ships that carry thousands of mostly Americans who are looking for the cheapest possible vacation experience are really in trouble. No matter what they try to do, it will not be easy. However the smaller ships, carrying travelers - rather than tourists - will be able to re-start soon. Where? Tahiti and South Pacific South Asia Central America South America Mediterranean Baltic The passenger demographic will be changing; fewer Americans, and more Europeans and Asians. Some of the
  9. When the Ingalls shipyard in Mississippi went bankrupt, they had one partially completed cruise ship hull and one large pile of cut steel to build a second one. They also had all the machinery and equipment to complete the ships. NCL purchased all of it for a song (thank you US Taxpayers) and then contacted every shipyard in America to get bids on finishing the 2 ships. At that time, many American shipyards were sitting empty, workers collecting unemployment, waiting for fat military contracts to come their way. Not a single American shipyard even bothered to make bids for the projec
  10. Maybe you should also be asking if you can ever trust your fellow passengers. Even if / when the mass market cruise lines are able to get it right, how many passengers will try to get around the system - even if they are ill - to avoid losing any money? Its been happening with other illnesses for years. Why would COVID be any different?
  11. San Francisco is a great (and expensive) port to sail from. But it is not such a great port to take a 7-day Alaska cruise from. Anti-pollution laws on the West Coast force cruise ships to sail far from land on the way up to and down from Alaska, allowing them to burn cheaper fuel. Typically you will have foggy, windy, rainy, choppy weather for 2 days going North, and 2 days going South. That’s 4 days of a 7 day Alaska cruise with no hint of Alaska.That leaves you with just 3 days to see something of Alaska. Taking a 7-day Alaska cruise from Vancouver also star
  12. While working for HAL I was on Volendam for several seasons. I really liked the ship. But we had some serious problems inside. Right after the ship was launched, there were several unfortunate “floods” inside the ship that resulted in serious damage. The worst of the damage was not known until just a few years ago. Some of those floods were salt water. Much of that water was able to find its way under the concrete screed on each deck, remaining on top of the steel decking. The salt ate away much of the steel deck plates. It wasn’t discovered until around 2010. At that point
  13. Having worked on HAL ships and in the HAL Office for quite some time, I have quite a bit of experience with both groups. The shipboard personnel take Cruise Critic quite seriously. They read it regularly and pass around positive and negative comments. Most cruise lines do have a staff member in the office who monitors all the social cruse websites. Most of the people in the office have a generally negative view of CC Members and their comments. The only time the office contacts the ships about CC reviews or comments is when they are really terribly negative.
  14. This system is not new. Most cruise ships have had portable foggers onboard for at least a decade. They are used whenever there is a major Norovirus outbreak on a ship. Employees who operate the foggers must wear hazmat suits and respirators. The areas that are fogged must be absent of people and food. Nobody is allowed to enter the area for about 12 hours after the fogging is complete. The chemicals being used in the foggers have warnings about respiratory issues from breathing the fog. In the past, with 4 fogging machines, it took us about 5 days to fog every
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