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River Cruisers: How Are Things Where YOU Are?


Host Jazzbeau
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@Daisi, maybe you misread my post---I WANT the trip to be cancelled!  I want to reschedule.  This trip, under current conditions would NOT be enjoyable.   I applaud your nation's efforts to keep me out!  My fingers are crossed that the trip WILL be cancelled.  

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Yes, I did misread it...so you will be glad to hear that most of us want the border to remain closed until next year?  I know some miss seeing family on the other side, but really, we don't want to go back into lockdown.  Hopefully next month you will get the good news.... 🙂

 

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The situation around where I live remains largely unchanged to last week. There have been a few more restrictions lifted, but masks and social distancing are the same. The sign in my local supermarket glass door caught my eye yesterday. Mandatory masks indoors were introduced on 27 April, so we have been wearing them in shops for almost three months.

 

There have been reports of people returning from travels being positive, but no major problems there yet.

 

It is July and a few reports of cancelled Christmas markets have come in. But mostly plans seem to be going ahead - in amended form. Here is a German article on it: https://www.rnd.de/panorama/weihnachtsmarkte-in-corona-zeiten-wie-planen-deutschlands-innenstadte-O7E6T3H7M5HYRHYMUAJLFB5VZI.html

 

notamermaid

 

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On 7/19/2020 at 7:45 PM, Host Jazzbeau said:

We just got back from our two weeks in Downeast Maine.  It was surprisingly 'normal'!  We rent a cottage that could be self-sufficient, but since it's vacation we rarely have dinner there.  All our favorite restaurants were in business for inside dining [also outside, which is great because it takes the pressure off the inside tables and leaves them for us!] with normal menus.  We had to wear masks from the front door to the table, but that was only a few minutes.  All the hiking trails in Acadia National Park are open, and we met very few people on our hikes [most were not wearing masks – but it is easy to keep the 6 foot 'social distancing' space].  Church was open, with very good prevention measures.  There were no art shows or craft shows, but that is a minor part of our vacation [especially now that we are trying to downsize rather than accumulate more stuff!]  The one big loss was the Southwest Harbor Flamingo Parade, which honors Don Featherstone – the man who invented the plastic pink flamingo lawn ornament.  [Sadly Don passed in 2015, but his widow continued to come to SWH as Grand Marshal]

 

I put in all this detail in case anyone in the US is going crazy with cabin fever and would like a vacation idea.  At present Maine requires a Covid test 72-hours before arrival except for the lucky residents of CT, NJ and NY [or you can get tested on arrival and quarantine yourself until the results come back].  We did see many license plates from States other than those four.

Vermont and New Hampshire are also exempt from the testing or quarantine.  You can also self-quarantine for 14 days in lieu of a negative test.  Also, if you cannot get tested in your home state, and are willing to self-quarantine while awaiting the test results, Maine will provide a test for visitors.

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2 hours ago, AF-1 said:

Host Jazzbeau;  you mention in your post that you went to Acadia National Park;  isn't that one of the shore excursions on the New England cruises?

It is for Bar Harbor. I have done that shore excursion a few times with cruise ships.

 

Bar Harbor (and other parts of Maine) are stunningly gorgeous. 

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2 hours ago, AF-1 said:

Host Jazzbeau;  you mention in your post that you went to Acadia National Park;  isn't that one of the shore excursions on the New England cruises?

 

Acadia National Park is quite big.  The cruise ships tender in to the town of Bar Harbor, which is just outside the park.  The park itself contains 27 miles of historic motor roads, 158 miles of hiking trails, and 45 miles of carriage roads (for hiking and biking) – so a shore excursion can barely scratch the surface.

 

Here's a map of Mount Desert Island, which contains the major part of the national park – you need good eyes, but the park lands are shown in a slightly darker green.  The inlet that almost bisects the island is Somes Sound, the only fjord on the East Coast.  Our cottage is about where the red marker is.

imageproxy.php?img=&key=6ee4bfcebcfde1cb

Screen Shot 2020-07-22 at 8.03.15 PM.png

 

The dotted green lines are hiking trails [and there are more on the left lobe].  Over 40 years we have hiked almost all of them.  As @Coral said it is stunningly beautiful.

 

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Thanks for the info.  We have a New England Cruise booked on Princess for Oct 2021;  this year's cancelled for the pandemic; so we booked same cruise for next year.  Bar Harbor is one of our port stops.  Looks great;  we hope all goes for next year.  

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We have a kind of half-anniversary here. Six months since the first case of Coronavirus was confirmed in Germany. As you know things are going okay here, but our disease control people warn of a potential second wave. We have rising cases and there are now those mandatory tests they are talking about, for those returning from risk countries. If you are interested, here is six minutes of news by Deutsche Welle: https://youtu.be/HizMJp0

 

I have had my first contact at work with a British tourist in five months over the weekend! Where I work they are not a daily occurrence, but more regular than one in five months certainly.  Other than that I am busy with cyclists of all ages. I have heard that bicycle shops are struggling to keep up with demand. During my holiday I hope to get a short trip done, perhaps a short boat trip. Would love to be on water again.

 

Talking of water: a few days ago, the first German ocean cruise ship set sail. Trip to Norway's coastline without port call. Odd trip...

https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/23286-1-200-passengers-are-back-on-a-cruise-ship.html

 

notamermaid

 

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Another week, more cases, pets proven to contract coronavirus and, in the case of one dog, dying (mercy killing). The least said about 18 million humans the better, despairing to the point of wanting to wake up in May 2019 and do at all anew, i.e. differently. Which brings me to a comment by a travel operator of specialist trips to Asia in Bonn, in "Generalanzeiger" newspaper in June: „Dass etwas in Wuhan nicht stimmte, wussten wir schon im November“, sagt Ohligschläger. They knew that something was not right in Wuhan in November. Really?

 

Well, in Germany it is back to school today, in the Northeast of the country. In the UK they are talking of a trade-off between open pubs and open schools. In Germany we can afford to have both open. Or can we? Who knows, this is a giant experiment: https://www.dw.com/en/german-schools-reopen-despite-coronavirus/a-54415687

 

Belgium is going downhill fast and the safe island of Malllorca is not so safe after all. If I wanted to travel to the UK now I would dash through Belgium as fast as the speed limit allows (or a bit faster). Cases rising in the Netherlands.

 

Mandatory tests in Germany now for all those returning from high risk countries. I have read of infections near Koblenz, people returning positive from Turkey, Kosovo and the US, etc. My neighbours will return from their holidays in somewhere along the Baltic and I am glad they will get tested.

 

By the way, the Tönnies meat processing plant is back to almost capacity, i.e. as much work as the authorities will allow. New air ventilation system, protective screens, etc. have been put in the factories.

 

My heartfelt sympathies to all out there in a worse position than me, hurricanes are no fun at all and I feel so sorry for Australia and the setbacks. I have friends in Greater Manchester, now in lockdown again! I never, ever want to go back to an April scenario and ours wasn't even that bad compared to other countries.

 

At this point in the narrative I shall quickly switch to a lovely story of a busy animal in Berlin who appears to have adopted a behaviour resembling something between a dog and a walking magpie: https://www.dw.com/en/berlin-fox-steals-shoes/a-54330292

 

Take care.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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Lol, notamermaid, your story about the shoe thief brings a chuckle.  We have a fox here, but we keep all our shoes locked up.  He does come and eat with my raccoons though, they seem to accept each other.

 

Here in Ontario, they have finally decided how schools will work.  Kindergarten (4/5 yr olds) to Grade 3 (8 yr olds) will go back full time, masks recommended but not mandatory.  I think it's good they aren't mandatory, as the poor teachers will be spending all day trying to make the kids keep them on.  Friends of mine who are parents are wondering how many times their child will return from school with a different mask than what they went with, as they would probably trade them with friends.  Grade 4 -8 (9 to  13 yrs old) will have to wear masks and will also be back full time.  High School (14-17) will be 1/2 at home online, and the rest in school where they will be split up into 1/2 size classes. They must wear masks as well.

 

Other than one area, the whole province is now allowed to eat indoors, or go to bars (pubs).  They are bringing in a law to make restaurants, bars & boat tours keep a list of names and contact numbers of clients for 30 days.  This will help contract tracing.  We have an app now , not for contact tracing, but to notify you if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive (you have to be near them for 15 minutes), however it's only good for newer phones, so not sure how that will go down.  My phone is ok, but my Mom's is to old..

 

We are also finding that the increases we have now in cases are in the younger ages up to 50, and the number of cases for children (under 20) is also rising.

 

I find I am starting to get more comfortable doing our weekly shopping but still not feeling like testing out a restaurant, or even a patio. They keep saying the increase in numbers is from "private" parties, but with the numbers increasing, I'm not taking any chances...2 stores for groceries etc and that is it.  Although we never really had a lock down - just asked not to go out unless necessary, I really don't want to push to much and see us have to really do a lock down.  Guess that's one thing I am glad to live in an area that has a low population....and not many people I meet want to travel into the "big city" to do anything as they don't want to take the chance.

 

Hope all are well...stay safe.

 

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Lol, notamermaid, your story about the shoe thief brings a chuckle.  We have a fox here, but we keep all our shoes locked up.  He does come and eat with my raccoons though, they seem to accept each other.
 
Here in Ontario, they have finally decided how schools will work.  Kindergarten (4/5 yr olds) to Grade 3 (8 yr olds) will go back full time, masks recommended but not mandatory.  I think it's good they aren't mandatory, as the poor teachers will be spending all day trying to make the kids keep them on.  Friends of mine who are parents are wondering how many times their child will return from school with a different mask than what they went with, as they would probably trade them with friends.  Grade 4 -8 (9 to  13 yrs old) will have to wear masks and will also be back full time.  High School (14-17) will be 1/2 at home online, and the rest in school where they will be split up into 1/2 size classes. They must wear masks as well.
 
Other than one area, the whole province is now allowed to eat indoors, or go to bars (pubs).  They are bringing in a law to make restaurants, bars & boat tours keep a list of names and contact numbers of clients for 30 days.  This will help contract tracing.  We have an app now , not for contact tracing, but to notify you if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive (you have to be near them for 15 minutes), however it's only good for newer phones, so not sure how that will go down.  My phone is ok, but my Mom's is to old..
 
We are also finding that the increases we have now in cases are in the younger ages up to 50, and the number of cases for children (under 20) is also rising.
 
I find I am starting to get more comfortable doing our weekly shopping but still not feeling like testing out a restaurant, or even a patio. They keep saying the increase in numbers is from "private" parties, but with the numbers increasing, I'm not taking any chances...2 stores for groceries etc and that is it.  Although we never really had a lock down - just asked not to go out unless necessary, I really don't want to push to much and see us have to really do a lock down.  Guess that's one thing I am glad to live in an area that has a low population....and not many people I meet want to travel into the "big city" to do anything as they don't want to take the chance.
 
Hope all are well...stay safe.
 

I’m in the big city (Toronto) but like you I really only go out to shop for essentials. I am not comfortable even trying eating on a patio, and definitely not inside.

The weather seems to be cooling down, so I hope to get back on my bicycle.


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24 minutes ago, gnome12 said:


I’m in the big city (Toronto) but like you I really only go out to shop for essentials. I am not comfortable even trying eating on a patio, and definitely not inside.

 I am just east of you (Whitby) - and am gradually increasing my "contact" with the outside world.  I have done some "non-urgent" shopping in person, but only go into stores that are quite strict with numbers inside the store. We continue to order take-out once/week from local restaurants - to support our local businesses - but no way will I venture into a restaurant.   Church continues to be "on line" - but we are going to have a parking lot service in a couple of weeks. 

 

I have had some "back deck" visits with friends, and we attended our 1st Covid wedding a week ago.  It was just perfect....  Sun shining, small group (around 35) - everyone working at keeping their distance from those outside their immediate household.  We had individual small bottles of bubbly to toast the bride & groom.  A success on so many levels...

 

It is sad & scary to see the numbers start to increase again in so many parts of the world.  I assume we will see it here as well - am guessing the jumping off point may well be when school starts.  Here's hoping that things won't get entirely out of control before the government decides (if needed) to tighten things up again.

 

I had made a small number of masks for my family - guess I may have to make a few (dozen) more.  Doesn't seem like this is going away any time soon.  The latest I have read on the Canada/US border is that it may well stay closed through the rest of this year - and perhaps part of next year as well!!

 

Fran 

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Here in Melbourne, we were originally lucky enough to start opening up.  My husband and I had a dinner party with friends, and two restaurant visits, one outside and one in.  They were all well over a month ago now, so no problems whatsoever.

 

However, we are now in Stage 4 lockdown, which is far, far worse than what we had at the start of this.  Basically this means that no business apart from the essential medical and food related ones can open.  We can travel no further than 5km from our homes, can only shop alone once per day, and have one hour of fresh air and exercise once per day.  There is also a curfew from 8pm to 5am.  It is very tough indeed, but it needs to be done to get back to where we were.

 

In our case, it was government errors in hotel quarantine and contact tracing that caused all this, not the opening up of restaurants or allowing people to visit each other.  Every other Australian state is doing that, including allowing interstate travel and so on, and they are all fine.

 

It is a worry with Spain and Manchester too, does anyone know what has caused their relapses?

 

Good luck to all, but there is definitely a very long way to go before this is over.

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Well, our hopes and prayers have been answered--our land tour of the Canadian Rockies has been cancelled by the tour company.  Offered 100% refund now, 105% credit for 2021, or 100% credit for 2022.  Will try to re-book for next fall--if things haven't improved, well, I guess we'll go through the waiting game again!

 

Thanks to @Daisi and other here, keeping us apprised of the situation in Canada.  Hoping someday we "Muricans will get our #$#$#! together so that we will be allowed to enter the country of my ancestors (descended from Quebecois immigrants who came to NE to work in the textile mills).

 

Numbers here in MA generally low, but creeping up slightly as "COVID fatigue" sets in.  Folks being less cautious.  Hotspot in my town, as HS graduation took place last Friday in July, followed by house parties by the ignoramuses--surprise!!  Covid hotspot!

 

Holding my tongue re:  other states, as has my hand slapped (post deleted) for past comments  ; )

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Sharkster, glad to know you are able to get that trip for next year.🙂

 

As for the other stuff,  it just continues to get worse.....(or it seems to in many places☹️).

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Hey Sharkster, glad things went your way, and really hope by next year you are successful.  Who knows, maybe this Sept there will be a lot of rain and early snow in the West (thinking I'm safe to suggest that as I don't see too many that are from this side of the Rockies here. 🙂 )   

 

Good luck and hope next year will work out.  I am starting to think we may have to put off our May cruise, as it is sounding more and more like Covid is going to stick around for longer than we thought.  Our ship still hasn't been christened from what I can see, and we had hoped that they would have had a few sailings on it to work out the bugs so to say.  Not to fussed about it now, as I am missing not being able to get home for a visit more than travelling overseas.  

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All I can say is;  what a year this has been.  Before we know; this year will be over and we will look to 2021;  I wonder what next year will bring?  It's anyone's guess;  lets hope it brings cruising back. 

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1 hour ago, AF-1 said:

All I can say is;  what a year this has been.  Before we know; this year will be over and we will look to 2021;  I wonder what next year will bring?  It's anyone's guess;  lets hope it brings cruising back. 

I couldn't agree more. It has been a difficult year so far and there are challenges ahead with the regular flu season in the Fall so I guess we have to keep our eye on the ball.  Canada's Chief Public Health Office has advised that we really really need to follow all the protocols especially now when children are heading back to school soon and business continue to open up. Sometimes it is tricky to identify the credible information from all the rest floating around and we find we are reading less news about Covid now too, its overwhelming some days.😲

 

We occasionally talk about our next cruise and travel to Europe;  we thought it might be Spring of 2021 but doubt that will happen.   I am thinking we will see more of Canada next year if all goes well and that is not a bad thing really, love our oceans and mountains and a road trip may be in the works. Stay healthy and safe everyone. 🙂

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Things are going okay here. Yes, words like "worrying rise in infections" can be read in the papers, but that is on our low scale. To put it bluntly, we have had days when the new infections in a 24 hour period were double that in July but that only means a jump from 500plus to 1,000plus in a day. Not exactly bad in the great scheme of disaster news around the world. Football games will be held behind closed doors after all, currently into October. No festivals of the huge kind either, so we jump straight to the winter season in our thoughts. What about Christmas markets you may ask? Nobody is really sure what will happen this year, but plans are going ahead in amended form. Under the headline "Städte planen für Weihnachtsmärkte" this article is from today's liveblog of "tagesschau.de":

"07:01 Uhr

Trotz der Corona-Pandemie bereiten sich Städte in Deutschland auf Weihnachtsmärkte vor. Die Konzepte dazu sind unterschiedlich. Die größte Herausforderung werde sein, die Besucherströme zu lenken, sagte der Nürnberger Wirtschaftsreferent Michael Fraas. Dafür soll eine Art Einbahnstraßensystem mit vorgegebener Laufrichtung eingeführt werden. Essen und Trinken soll es nur zum Mitnehmen geben. Die Stadt Augsburg erwägt, die Stände auf möglichst viele Plätze in der Innenstadt zu verteilen, um großes Gedränge zu vermeiden. Mainz denkt über Einlasskontrollen und Maskenpflicht nach. Auch Sachsen will auf die Stollenbäcker und Bergparaden im Erzgebirge nicht verzichten.

In anderen Städten ist bislang noch völlig unklar, ob es in rund vier Monaten ein geselliges Beisammensein zwischen Holzbuden und Tannen geben wird - darunter Stuttgart, Hannover und Frankfurt am Main. Letztendlich hänge alles von der Entwicklung der Infektionszahlen ab, teilten Sprecher mit. Wenn man plane, dann nur mit Vorsicht."

 

Please translate yourselves. Basically: different ideas like one-way system for walking, spaced out stalls over areas, masks mandatory, admission control. Or cancellation. No "normal" Christmas market anywhere in Germany, that seems certain.

 

notamermaid

 

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16 hours ago, notamermaid said:

 "Städte planen für Weihnachtsmärkte" this article is from today's liveblog of "tagesschau.de":

"07:01 Uhr

Trotz der Corona-Pandemie bereiten sich Städte in Deutschland auf Weihnachtsmärkte vor. Die Konzepte dazu sind unterschiedlich. Die größte Herausforderung werde sein, die Besucherströme zu lenken, sagte der Nürnberger Wirtschaftsreferent Michael Fraas. Dafür soll eine Art Einbahnstraßensystem mit vorgegebener Laufrichtung eingeführt werden. Essen und Trinken soll es nur zum Mitnehmen geben. Die Stadt Augsburg erwägt, die Stände auf möglichst viele Plätze in der Innenstadt zu verteilen, um großes Gedränge zu vermeiden. Mainz denkt über Einlasskontrollen und Maskenpflicht nach. Auch Sachsen will auf die Stollenbäcker und Bergparaden im Erzgebirge nicht verzichten.

In anderen Städten ist bislang noch völlig unklar, ob es in rund vier Monaten ein geselliges Beisammensein zwischen Holzbuden und Tannen geben wird - darunter Stuttgart, Hannover und Frankfurt am Main. Letztendlich hänge alles von der Entwicklung der Infektionszahlen ab, teilten Sprecher mit. Wenn man plane, dann nur mit Vorsicht."

 

 

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

So the last thing right now that it looks like they would want are a whole batch of tourists coming in to crowd the markets.  We have a few local fairs trying to figure out how they can run with locals only.  They want to run the fall fairs, but don't want to over crowd them.  I hope for the vendors they do manage to figure out something for locals, both in Europe and here.  I will miss our little country fair.

 

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22 hours ago, Daisi said:

 

 

So the last thing right now that it looks like they would want are a whole batch of tourists coming in to crowd the markets.  We have a few local fairs trying to figure out how they can run with locals only.  They want to run the fall fairs, but don't want to over crowd them.  I hope for the vendors they do manage to figure out something for locals, both in Europe and here.  I will miss our little country fair.

 

Daisi, that is a good point. I think we can manage the crowds if it is just "us". But day trips on coaches to the markets? Yikes, no! Not for me. And the additional tourists from overseas I cannot see fit into old town centres with windy streets. I do not care for large crowds and do not miss the big events that much, but yes, it is sad for the small street fairs. Theoretically it is possible to cordon off a street and celebrate among yourselves, but if there is any chance that will attract more visitors than are allowed, forget it, the authorities will not allow you to stage it.

 

It has been a bad 24 hours here, with the huge mistakes (would prefer a stronger word here :classic_angry:) made in Bavaria with informing people of their test results. THAT is not German efficiency: https://www.dw.com/en/bavaria-coronavirus-test/a-54550380 And there have been 1445 new cases.

 

On a happier note, tourism is still going strong in my area, there will hopefully be more river cruise ships on the Rhine soon, and although it is a "lost year" for the events sector in Germany, there are ideas for rescuing businesses, alternative Christmas market events, etc. - a great creativeness to make things happen. In general, people are vigilant and working together to keep us - as a society - safe.

 

notamermaid

 

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