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Everything posted by Donald

  1. OK. So let’s imagine you have a ship with only 1,000 pax sailing from Florida. 100 of them cannot prove a vaccination. They must wear masks around the ship. How does the ship identify them to ensure they are following the rules? Are they going to put a stamp on their foreheads, or force them to wear a special armband? I don’t think so. This idea is not manageable.
  2. My apologies. Most cruise lines will not do it unless all the cruise lines do it.
  3. The CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) is under the US TSA, along with the US Coast Guard. The VSP only has authority over foreign flag ships - not airplanes, trains, buses, American Flag ships, or other transports.
  4. Now give us a list of cruise lines that DO NOT include the gratuities in their fares.
  5. Wrong. Not everyone pays the service fee. Even if they did and the cruse line added it to the fare, those fares would appear higher than the fares at cruise lines that did not add it to the fare. No cruise lines will do it unless all the cruise lines do it. That's never going to happen.
  6. What you say is very rarely true. Yes, we did occasionally get away with making our own decisions. But when it comes to spending money at HAL, Seattle decides EVERYTHING.
  7. Is anyone really surprised by this? We are going to see many stories like this one on ships sailing from US Ports.
  8. For the past 30 days, Florida reported the highest number of new cases in America - except for 6 days. For three of those days, Texas was #1 in America and Florida was #2. Three days ago Florida stopped reporting new COVID cases and deaths. What are they trying to hide?
  9. You forgot about the CDC. You need to ask them. Their CSO instructs that any ship sailing from a US Port and cannot confirm 95%+ vaccinated passengers must operate as if nobody is vaccinated. This means masks worn everywhere, social distancing everywhere, and shore access only on ship’s tours.
  10. The “All In” packages offered by many cruise lines today are not marketed to bargain hunters who are looking for a deal - just like the high end exclusive lines are not looking to market to bargain hunters. These packages - just like the high end cruises - are offering CONVENIENCE, not bargains. If you don’t want to have that “Nickel and Dime” feeling, you can buy one of these packages, or book an all-inclusive cruise. If you want to save a buck, then book a bare bones cruise and pay as you go.
  11. The ship and Hotel Director have nothing to do with it. The HAL VP of Hotel Operations in Seattle decides everything.
  12. HAL is one of the cruise lines that hires an outside decorator with rental decorations. Every year the decorator gets more expensive, and HAL's decorating budget gets smaller. When I worked there, the Captain and I wanted to give Christmas Cards to all guests and crew. HAL HQ said "No Way. Too expensive." So the Captain and I agreed to pay for the cards ourselves. Seattle HQ found out and threatened to fire us if we paid for the cards. It would make the other ships who were not giving the cards look cheap. So - no Christmas Cards.
  13. You need to realize that most cruise ships do not have space to store Christmas Decorations. Some cruise lines employ seasonal decorators who come onboard in convenient ports to install decorations they brought with them. Other cruise lines rent or buy Christmas Decorations and ship them to a convenient port, where they are loaded onboard and put up by onboard staff. The timing of the decorations depends on many factors; shipping schedules, available cabins, convenient ports to receive shipped decorations, availability of decorators, and now COVID requirements.
  14. I transited through CDG last weekend. They required my PCR Test results before I was allowed to go to my gate to board for Rome.
  15. The better cruise lines have set up COVID testing onboard their ships. Pax who need the test can have it done on the final days of the cruise.
  16. So many “assumptions” by all the legal and medical experts on these boards. You do know what happens when we make assumptions…………………. Quite a few islands / countries are still in negotiations with the various cruise lines about what they will require for the ships to be allowed into their national waters. We do not have to assume that the CDC and CLIA have any authority in those negotiations. They don’t; its a fact. It’s their country. It’s their ship. They get to make the rules. Don’t like it ? - stop whining and go elsewhere.
  17. I now have the Veri fly and IATA Apps on my IPhone. They are new, but already accepted by over 50 international airlines at this point. One or both of them will become the international standard.
  18. You should be aware that most cruise lines (at least the better ones) have converters and power strips that you can borrow from the Reception Desk or from your Cabin Steward. These do not alter the voltage, but allow you to connect to the European-style outlets.
  19. Let me see now. There are about a dozen old floating hotel cruise liners parked around the planet right now. Every one of them has either done bankrupt (some several times), or is in the process of going bankrupt. The Queen Mary is in worse shape than most of them. What a great idea, to invest big tax dollars into a concept that is a proven loser, just t attract as few extra tourists to a generally boring industrial port. Although it is a wonderful thing to try to preserve icons from the past, this is really not the way to go. If Long Beach scrapped the ship and offered free shuttles from the airports to the cruise terminal, they would save a lot of money and attract far more visitors.
  20. Look on the positive side. If you ever have legal problems, there are hundreds of legal experts on Cruise Critic who are more than happy to give you free advice.
  21. America seems to have cornered the market on conspiracy theories. Any updates on the Jewish Space Lasers?
  22. Most of my 1,469 cruises were NOT on mass market ships. You can probably guess what my profession was. Some of my very clever guests convinced their cabin steward to bring electric extension cords, small electric lamps, electric fans, extra furniture, etc, so they could customize their balconies.
  23. If I lived in the USA, I would be far more worried about cruising from a US Port. Canada and Mexico are both seeing far better COVID numbers than most individual American states. Texas, Florida, and California are the worst.
  24. You don’t like bad weather, so you chose to live in Philadelphia. Sure, that makes sense.
  25. When the First World Countries go with digital COVID Vaccine tracking, the people without Smartphones can stand in the long Immigration lines with the other dinosaurs.
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