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About dcipjr

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Philadelphia, PA
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  1. We loved the Joy when we were on her in February (before things got crazy in the US). No thermal suite was no biggie, as we aren't spa folks. We loved the Observation Lounge—it was a great venue. Le Bistro is on the Waterfront on the Bliss, as opposed to tucked away inside on Deck 6 (as it is on the Escape), so you have the outdoor seating option. Since we had a toddler in tow, we likely would not have tried it if outdoor seating wasn't an option, and we had a wonderful dinner there. The Concierge Family Inside suite was amazing. I did miss the balcony a bit, but I got a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom suite for less than the price of a standard balcony cabin, with the Concierge perks thrown in. The Joy is scheduled to do the Bermuda run from NYC next year, and I hope conditions will have improved to the point where we'll be able to go on her.
  2. NCL might go bankrupt, but I would imagine that some form of them will emerge from this crisis. They've got a decent brand, and some people are loyal to their cruise lines. We like the Freestyle cruising model, so we'll want to stick with that. We do have Platinum status, so if NCL reorganizes after bankruptcy, or someone else buys them and status-matches the Latitudes levels for existing members, that would come into consideration.
  3. I'm glad I didn't let the CruiseNext lady talk me into 4 deposits when we cruised back in February. Kinda wish I didn't get the 2 that I did, but hopefully I'll still get to use them. Someday.
  4. @cruiseagona, you mentioned moving across the country to be with your grandkids—I'm pretty sure that we did the same tour in Costa Rica, I remember talking with you. We were the crazy ones that decided to do a 16-day Panama Canal cruise with our 2-year old daughter. What a wonderful vacation it was. I feel so lucky that we got to do it before the pandemic was declared. For us, we'll travel again once the virus is no longer a threat, which will probably be once there's a readily-available vaccine or highly-effective treatment, which will bring the pandemic to an end. If I had to guess—maybe late 2021. It's hard, because we have family that's international, and we don't anticipate seeing them until next year—let alone cruising. We will miss traveling until then, but it's a conscious decision to stay home to help slow the spread of COVID-19. We're trying to keep in mind that this is just for now—in the future, I'm sure we'll cruise again without a second thought. The more we work together to defeat COVID-19, the sooner that future will be.
  5. July will never happen. I seriously doubt that 2020 happens. I don't think cruising goes back to normal until the pandemic is over: either because the virus peters out, or a because a vaccine or highly-effective treatment is readily available. See y'all next year.
  6. No way would I make final payment on that.
  7. Would I book a cruise for far in the future, i.e. 18 months out? Sure, but only because I have 2 CruiseNext certificates in my account, so booking a cruise costs me nothing. Would I make final payment on a cruise right now? No way.
  8. As much as I love cruising, this was the right call by the government. NCL's parent company is domiciled in Bermuda, and all their ships (except for the PoA) fly the Bahamas flag. They are fully within the law to take these measures in order to reduce their costs. Seeing as though they've chosen to not be a US company, they should not be bailed out by the US government. If one or more cruise lines go bankrupt as a result of the pandemic, I fully expect a new cruise line to snatch up the assets (ships, crew, clientele) and relaunch. Cruising as an industry will go on, because it's a great way to take a vacation. As for the environmental considerations—it's about time. We live on this planet, and we are fresh out of other planets to live on. So we'd better take care of this one, and if that means I have to pay more for a cruise and go less often, then so be it.
  9. We will not be cruising for the duration of the pandemic, regardless of what modifications are made to the cruising experience. There will be plenty of time for cruises later.
  10. What happens to NCL probably will depend on how long the social distancing, travel restrictions, etc. go on. It's increasingly apparent that this social distancing period will not last two weeks. Based on China's experience, I'm thinking that Memorial Day (end of May for non-USA folks) is probably realistic for when we'll be out and about again—and that's just in our neighborhoods here at home. It's probably going to be a lot longer than 30 days before the cruise industry can operate normally again. The general public's appetite for travel, as well as their disposable income, may both be constrained for a while. Speaking for myself, I look forward to my next cruise—but I have no idea when it will be plausible to go again. I hope NCL can weather the storm, but if they can't, once life is back to normal, someone else will snatch up the ships, the crew, and the passengers.
  11. We recently got off the Joy on a 16-day cruise. It was amazing, and we didn't have any trouble onboard, though the lines were a bit long on the embarkation and disembarkation days. I did think about canceling (as a contingency plan), but it didn't get to the point where I was ever serious about canceling. I decided that the cruise was paid, the travel arrangements were booked, and there was no immediate danger to us by going on the cruise. There was the possibility of quarantine, but nothing imminent. The situation has definitely evolved since we boarded on February 14th. If we were doing the same cruise on March 14th, would I go? At this time, I would still say yes. There's still no immediate danger. I would proceed with caution, of course, and if anything were to happen that would suggest that we would be assuming an undue risk by going, I would reconsider. I'd say to keep your options open. Make the best decision that you can, given the information available to you at the time. That's all we can really do in life. Am I planning to cruise again in the next 6 months? No, but that's mostly because we weren't planning on traveling during that timeframe anyway. It seems as though reducing unnecessary travel could help slow the spread of the virus, and we don't have anything booked. So I'm looking at this as a time to stay closer to home. I still bought a couple future cruise certs onboard, and hopefully by the time I'm ready to use them, the situation will have stabilized a bit.
  12. Hanlon's Razor applies: "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity." Frequent visitors to CC know that technical issues are not uncommon on NCL's website. I would imagine changing a sailing's origination port is probably not something they do often, and the system may be having issues making that change. I don't suspect anything nefarious is going on here. But that's not to say NCL couldn't be handling this better. It would not be unreasonable to hide the sailing from the website, and I don't think it would be unreasonable to cancel the sailings outright, rather than risk a quarantine and illness to passengers and crew.
  13. I wouldn't take a cabin with a forward-facing balcony, because the winds probably would preclude me from using the balcony for most of the trip. If it was a cabin like the Breakaway's forward-facing Haven Penthouse—where the window is forward-facing, and the balcony is on the side—then sure!
  14. When we did a B2B on the Escape in 2016, we were required to attend both muster drills.
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