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Cause for cautious optimism?


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8 hours ago, suzeluvscruz said:

Except that they change their minds every other day!

Not true.

 

But the science does evolve as Vince said as they learn more.


They also adapt for other reasons and this includes:

 

How we are doing with respect to new virus infections. 

 

The variants.

 

The rollout of the vaccine.

 

And the list goes on.

 

The key three items have not changed in about 11 months.  Wear a mask; social distance and wash hands often and thoroughly.  This was expanded to say no indoor gatherings with those who do not live under your roof.  If these three and then four items would have been strictly followed we would be in a much better place.

 

Keith

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6 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

Not true.

 

But the science does evolve as Vince said as they learn more.


They also adapt for other reasons and this includes:

 

How we are doing with respect to new virus infections. 

 

The variants.

 

The rollout of the vaccine.

 

And the list goes on.

 

The key three items have not changed in about 11 months.  Wear a mask; social distance and wash hands often and thoroughly.  This was expanded to say no indoor gatherings with those who do not live under your roof.  If these three and then four items would have been strictly followed we would be in a much better place.

 

Keith 

 

Perhaps you missed Fauci's declaration yesterday that we won't be back to "normal" before March 2022. Only recently he says Fall of 2021. 70% vax for herd immunity, then

80%, now 90%. See a pattern here? Always moving the goalposts.

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Australia, NZ are 2 excellent examples of how to control/mitigate the COVID threat and keep it at bay as best as possible. There are many other countries that can be listed along with these two. And while people have traveled and do travel to Australia, for example, from what I know, Australia like most countries requires anyone entering to demonstrate proof of valid reasons and get permission in order to travel to/from there.  And then go through strict, lock-down quarantine after they have arrived. Wishful travelers just can't get on a plane because they want to go.  (Of course this is NOT the case for the USA, and therefore, anyone who wants to go can go, and not bother with quarantining after arrival. This lax policy is one of many reasons for the COVID disaster in the USA.) Anyway......

 

I live in Japan and it's the same story about travel restrictions. People are not at liberty to get on planes and go to Japan just because they want to have a look around. To get into the country, clearance from Japanese embassies/consulate generals, which must be backed by valid reasons/needs,  is first required. While strict, these kinds of travel restrictions do prove to be effective. 

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11 minutes ago, Funatabi said:

I live in Japan and it's the same story about travel restrictions. People are not at liberty to get on planes and go to Japan just because they want to have a look around. To get into the country, clearance from Japanese embassies/consulate generals, which must be backed by valid reasons/needs,  is first required. While strict, these kinds of travel restrictions do prove to be effective. 

 

Are Japan's existing "effective" restrictions going to be liberalized or eliminated before July to accommodate the 2021 Summer Olympics?

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59 minutes ago, suzeluvscruz said:

Always moving the goalposts

When viewed from the other side of the pond, I can tell you statements like this leave jaws (well, mine) on the floor! I wonder why the goalposts have to keep moving?! Could it be because huge swathes of the population do not listen to the pleas of those who know how the virus must be controlled? Dr F - and others - are not at some sort of driving seat steering through the crisis on our behalf, they are doing their best to read the evolving science, adapt to the new knowledge and provide the best advice they can. Making any headway is not just down to THEM - it is down to YOU and ME!! And if YOU and ME don't play our part in full - and keep playing it - then it is NO cruising for ANY of us....!!

I am afraid the US is doing its very best to demonstrate true 'spoilt brat' behaviour that is in danger of doing permanent damage to its image of being a world leading, great Nation. (and that's leaving politics well alone!)

Adrian

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7 minutes ago, Jim9310 said:

 

Are Japan's existing "effective" restrictions going to be liberalized or eliminated before July to accommodate the 2021 Summer Olympics?

Aaah, very good question indeed. I too am curious about what Japan expects to do about enabling visitors and even Olympic athletes to enter the country by the time the Olympic games are scheduled to start. IMO at this time, I think the country is dealing with each day as it comes for the time being, hoping that the global situation gets better by July. We can only wait and see at this point. 

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1 hour ago, suzeluvscruz said:

 

Perhaps you missed Fauci's declaration yesterday that we won't be back to "normal" before March 2022. Only recently he says Fall of 2021. 70% vax for herd immunity, then

80%, now 90%. See a pattern here? Always moving the goalposts.

He has always said there is no guarantee. 

 

No I haven't missed much of what he says.  I probably listen to him daily since he now is allowed to speak.  In fact heard him twice yesterday and once already this morning on one of the news programs.

 

And his message remains the same.


Wear a mask, physically distance and wash hands often and thoroughly and don't gather inside.

 

And to get the vaccine and as he notes this is a global pandemic so it is key that the world get vaccinated to cut down on the variants because the more variants the greater the possibility of needing a booster vaccination.

 

As we have mentioned the virus is not static so things change and what is making this far more worse in our country is the reckless behavior of governor's.  Each time they lift face masks it causes more spread and the more spread the more variants.

 

Trash Fauci if you want to but without the man we would be in greater trouble.  He is a gem.

 

I would want him on my team.

 

Keith

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1 hour ago, suzeluvscruz said:

 

Perhaps you missed Fauci's declaration yesterday that we won't be back to "normal" before March 2022. Only recently he says Fall of 2021. 70% vax for herd immunity, then

80%, now 90%. See a pattern here? Always moving the goalposts.

I’m not sure if people are intentionally or unintentionally taking you and others on a wild goose chase with no defined endpoint.  The fact is that most of these projected timelines have mostly been associated with two factors, which are:  1) how well we have actually followed the recommended mitigation methods (we haven’t here in the US good enough.). And 2) how well have we managed to contain the outbreak.  If we continue to mismanage this outbreak, the goalpost will continue to move.  For example, Texas, with its plans to remove all mitigating restrictions on March 10, will move the goalpost even further for all of us, now just for people in Texas.

 

Also, on a more scientific standpoint, it is unreasonable to know what is adequate level of herd immunity for the population to self-contain this outbreak.  We just don’t know what that number is, and actual concept of herd immunity may not be well-defined for this particular virus, which is able to (at least partially) evade natural and vaccine-induced immunity via mutations.  So, I have no idea why Dr. Fauci and others were compelled to guess this number (based on experience with other diseases) and allow the public to fixate on this concept.  I always thought it was a terrible idea to put the concept of herd immunity in absolute terms (you have heard my previous rants on this), and that’s what;’s happening now.

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The key right now is to get as many people as possible vaccinated.

 

Presently, the challenge is many who want the vaccine cannot get it either because either other priority age groups are ahead of them or they are of the right age group but can't get scheduled. Lack of vaccine and lack of places for vaccination is a challenge.


With each passing week this will get better and by the end of May there will be sufficient vaccine available.  Then the challenge will be getting it into people's arms and getting it to people who can't get to the places where it is offered.

 

Then the next challenge begins and that is to encourage more people to get it and that includes younger folks who don't think they need or want it, minorities who are nervous about getting it and anyone else who is just skeptical.

 

We need the number high enough so that we can put the vaccine in check and stop its spreading.

 

As I mentioned earlier this has to happen around the world since it is a Pandemic.

 

This is the first undertaking of something like this in our lifetime.  

 

And no one can 1005 guarantee the outcome.

 

As a Pandemic in the perfect world all countries would be taking the same or very similar approaches which we know is not happening.

 

And as a Pandemic in the perfect world we would have had one cohesive federal approach rather than 50 different state approaches plus WDC, Puerto Rico, etc.  We needed to think of this as a war and in a war we have one USA military leading the effort versus 50+ individual militias.  This is one where I wish the states would have let the Federal Govt run with it but then again the Federal Government didn't want to at the time.

 

Ideally, one national strategy that everyone adheres to.


So the challenge now is Texas goes one way while Maryland goes another way and so forth and this means it's harder to win the war with COVID and more chance for variants.  More chance for variants means someone can easily find a scientist who said one thing a few months ago and has adjusted their thinking because no one knew for sure how many variants would occur and what each one will look like.   

 

In the meantime, if everyone and I mean everyone would wear their mask, physically distance, avoid indoor gatherings and wash hands often and thoroughly we would be in a much better place than we are now.  With Spring break arriving in places and some states relaxing the protocols it will increase the odds of things going in the wrong direction in spite of people getting vaccinated.  Let's hope we get this under control while at the same time getting more and more people vaccinated.

 

I hope we can win this war and do it sooner rather than later so we can all do all the things we love to do including traveling the world.

 

Keith

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10 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

He has always said there is no guarantee. 

 

No I haven't missed much of what he says.  I probably listen to him daily since he now is allowed to speak.  In fact heard him twice yesterday and once already this morning on one of the news programs.

 

And his message remains the same.


Wear a mask, physically distance and wash hands often and thoroughly and don't gather inside.

 

And to get the vaccine and as he notes this is a global pandemic so it is key that the world get vaccinated to cut down on the variants because the more variants the greater the possibility of needing a booster vaccination.

 

As we have mentioned the virus is not static so things change and what is making this far more worse in our country is the reckless behavior of governor's.  Each time they lift face masks it causes more spread and the more spread the more variants.

 

Trash Fauci if you want to but without the man we would be in greater trouble.  He is a gem.

 

I would want him on my team.

 

Keith

I agree Keith and also wholeheartedly endorse Dr. Fauci. I just had the great  privilege of hearing him do an hour long discussion with the Dean of the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago (my alma mater) where he showed enduring affability and clarity communicating on these urgent topics with the pandemic response. Truly there are changes day to day in the scientific understanding of the virus and Covid. Also we have gaps in knowledge where only time and $$ spent on quality research will help us. People who trash Dr. Fauci are truly just not interested in learning about the important issues we must learn to address, and address as soon as we can and as universally as we can. And it's true that without everyone getting onboard with this effort, none of us will cruise any time soon. 

 

BTW I would gladly have Dr. Fauci as my boss, on my team, or as a speaker on a future Crystal Cruise. If necessary he'd be one of my top picks to have to spend time in a lifeboat together.

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12 minutes ago, mskatiemae said:

I agree Keith and also wholeheartedly endorse Dr. Fauci. I just had the great  privilege of hearing him do an hour long discussion with the Dean of the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago (my alma mater) where he showed enduring affability and clarity communicating on these urgent topics with the pandemic response. Truly there are changes day to day in the scientific understanding of the virus and Covid. Also we have gaps in knowledge where only time and $$ spent on quality research will help us. People who trash Dr. Fauci are truly just not interested in learning about the important issues we must learn to address, and address as soon as we can and as universally as we can. And it's true that without everyone getting onboard with this effort, none of us will cruise any time soon. 

 

BTW I would gladly have Dr. Fauci as my boss, on my team, or as a speaker on a future Crystal Cruise. If necessary he'd be one of my top picks to have to spend time in a lifeboat together.

I can share the hour with Dr. Fauci with you all now. This notable discussion is a very professionally done Zoom call.

 

https://www.facebook.com/uchicago/videos/2838008899748731/

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5 hours ago, mskatiemae said:

I agree Keith and also wholeheartedly endorse Dr. Fauci. I just had the great  privilege of hearing him do an hour long discussion with the Dean of the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago (my alma mater) where he showed enduring affability and clarity communicating on these urgent topics with the pandemic response. Truly there are changes day to day in the scientific understanding of the virus and Covid. Also we have gaps in knowledge where only time and $$ spent on quality research will help us. People who trash Dr. Fauci are truly just not interested in learning about the important issues we must learn to address, and address as soon as we can and as universally as we can. And it's true that without everyone getting onboard with this effort, none of us will cruise any time soon. 

 

BTW I would gladly have Dr. Fauci as my boss, on my team, or as a speaker on a future Crystal Cruise. If necessary he'd be one of my top picks to have to spend time in a lifeboat together.

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and I agree with all you said.  We are so fortunate to have him in his current role.  An amazing person and I often forget he is 80 years young between his stamina and they way he is on top of so many different things. 

 

He woud be an amazing speaker.  Who knows.  Maybe when he does retire this could be a possibility.  I hope we will still have him in his role though for a few more years though. 

 

Keith

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Yesterday I posted the new new  CDC guidelines for those fully vaccinated on the vaccine thread but realize they belong here as well as they give me lots of optimism for cruising with Crystal Cruises.

 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html

 

The CDC guidelines are the first step in the process of getting to some type of normality and while they don't address travel they eventually will.   In fact, there was evidently some information in the initial recommendations on travel  but they decided to leave it out for now but this is work in progress and we will continue to see this evolve over the coming weeks and months.

 

The initial guidelines are focused on small gathering involving those fully vaccinated as well as those fully vaccinated with people who are not.  

I do believe it gives us  light at the end of the tunnel and makes the idea of travel and cruising look very promising for so many of us who want to do this.

 

In the USA with each passing day more people are getting vaccinated which is encouraging and a large supply of vaccines is arriving between now and end of May.  While we still have a long way to go these are the current stats In the USA.   12.3% of the 18 year and older fully vaccinated and 23.5% of this age group having received one dose.  The good news is for those 65 and older we are just a hair under 30% who have been fully vaccinated and a hair under 60% who have received one dose.  This means in the next few weeks 60% of this age group will be fully vaccinated with more having received their first dosage.

 

I look forward to when we do firm up that next cruise, know that it's sailing, what the itinerary will be, and I so look forward to that Cobb Salad and Flute Of Champagne that I can taste it now.

 

It has been over a year now since we last cruised with Crystal Cruises and I see us a lot closer to sailing with Crystal again compared to the year where we haven't sailed.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

 

 

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This was posted on the Regent board, and I repost the link in case some of you don't read other cruiselines CC boards

https://www.murkowski.senate.gov/press/release/murkowski-sullivan-introduce-legislation-to-help-alaska-cruise-season

"U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both R-Alaska, today introduced the Alaska Tourism Recovery Act to alleviate the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) restrictions for cruise ships transporting passengers between the State of Washington and the State of Alaska."

 

Another step in the right direction to allow domestic cruises to resume, once CDC introduces the next revision.  Domestic cruising appears to be resuming in England: 

https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/24520-domestic-cruises-are-coming-home-to-england.html

 

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23 minutes ago, crickette said:

This was posted on the Regent board, and I repost the link in case some of you don't read other cruiselines CC boards

https://www.murkowski.senate.gov/press/release/murkowski-sullivan-introduce-legislation-to-help-alaska-cruise-season

"U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both R-Alaska, today introduced the Alaska Tourism Recovery Act to alleviate the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) restrictions for cruise ships transporting passengers between the State of Washington and the State of Alaska."

 

Another step in the right direction to allow domestic cruises to resume, once CDC introduces the next revision.  Domestic cruising appears to be resuming in England: 

https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/24520-domestic-cruises-are-coming-home-to-england.html

 

Even though  I have written to the members of Congress in Maine to get the same exception - other than the standard thanks for you communications I have heard nothing about Maine joining this effort or doing their own.  Maine counts on cruise business also

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2 hours ago, crickette said:

This was posted on the Regent board, and I repost the link in case some of you don't read other cruiselines CC boards

https://www.murkowski.senate.gov/press/release/murkowski-sullivan-introduce-legislation-to-help-alaska-cruise-season

"U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both R-Alaska, today introduced the Alaska Tourism Recovery Act to alleviate the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) restrictions for cruise ships transporting passengers between the State of Washington and the State of Alaska."

 

Another step in the right direction to allow domestic cruises to resume, once CDC introduces the next revision.  Domestic cruising appears to be resuming in England: 

https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/24520-domestic-cruises-are-coming-home-to-england.html

 

 

IMHO, this is probably the best hope at getting any kind of temporary exception to the PVSA passed, requiring ships to sail between WA and AK for the exemption.  It's way too easy to open up other cans of worms if you start broadly waiving the PVSA by other criteria, but this seems to keep a good grip on that.

 

Vince  

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2 hours ago, ctjon said:

 

Even though  I have written to the members of Congress in Maine to get the same exception - other than the standard thanks for you communications I have heard nothing about Maine joining this effort or doing their own.  Maine counts on cruise business also

 

Maine could be weaved into Bermuda itineraries.  🙂  It reads kind of Covid-creative, but a line could do something like Boston>Bermuda>Bar Harbor>Newport>Boston.  Same with roundtrip from NY, and with any other New England ports swapped out.  Bermuda can be relatively selective as tourism authorities go, but with their authorization it would work.

 

Vince

(...who is clearly not being hired as an itinerary planner anytime soon LOL)

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3 hours ago, crickette said:

 

"U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both R-Alaska, today introduced the Alaska Tourism Recovery Act to alleviate the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) restrictions for cruise ships transporting passengers between the State of Washington and the State of Alaska."

 

 

 

Interesting that the way they chose to "alleviate" the PVSA was "To restrict the imposition by the Secretary of Homeland Security of fines, penalties, duties, or tariffs"

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5 hours ago, ctjon said:

Even though  I have written to the members of Congress in Maine to get the same exception - other than the standard thanks for you communications I have heard nothing about Maine joining this effort or doing their own.  Maine counts on cruise business also


I wrote as well with the same non-response. 

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Posted (edited)

In my opinion, putting a pause to cruises even domestic ones in/out of US ports (actually ESPECIALLY those that carry US residents anywhere) is a good idea until the actual incidence of the coronavirus goes down and stays down sufficiently to know that the chance of another big outbreak is possible.  The value/cost of PVSA and possible reasons to either repeal or temporary suspension of the act is something that might help, if for some reason US manages to control this outbreak much better than Canada, which, I can't imagine happening anytime soon.

 

I think it would be more constructive to debate how we can control the outbreak so that we can take cruises sooner, instead of talking about PVSA.  It would be a terrible idea to start cruising in Alaska until we have a much better handle on this outbreak.

 

Obviously, when the outbreak is over (i. e. under much better control), it might be a good idea to think about what to do with PVSA.

Edited by Psoque
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56 minutes ago, Psoque said:

In my opinion, putting a pause to cruises even domestic ones in/out of US ports (actually ESPECIALLY those that carry US residents anywhere) is a good idea until the actual incidence of the coronavirus goes down and stays down sufficiently to know that the chance of another big outbreak is possible.  The value/cost of PVSA and possible reasons to either repeal or temporary suspension of the act is something that might help, if for some reason US manages to control this outbreak much better than Canada, which, I can't imagine happening anytime soon.

 

I think it would be more constructive to debate how we can control the outbreak so that we can take cruises sooner, instead of talking about PVSA.  It would be a terrible idea to start cruising in Alaska until we have a much better handle on this outbreak.

 

Obviously, when the outbreak is over (i. e. under much better control), it might be a good idea to think about what to do with PVSA.


I agree with you, but personally I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive.  It takes months and months for a cruise line to plan a season of itineraries, source and contract the ports, and line up the services it needs to guarantee before they can start accepting bookings.  Cruise lines can’t afford to wait until they can actually start sailing to start planning itineraries, or they will be dead in the water for months trying to start from scratch.  Getting an exemption through Congress is hardly a speedy measure either.
 

They need to be ready with contingent plans on a variety of dates, and whichever date finally works out, they’ll be prepared.

 

Vince

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1 hour ago, BWIVince said:


I agree with you, but personally I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive.  It takes months and months for a cruise line to plan a season of itineraries, source and contract the ports, and line up the services it needs to guarantee before they can start accepting bookings.  Cruise lines can’t afford to wait until they can actually start sailing to start planning itineraries, or they will be dead in the water for months trying to start from scratch.  Getting an exemption through Congress is hardly a speedy measure either.
 

They need to be ready with contingent plans on a variety of dates, and whichever date finally works out, they’ll be prepared.

 

Vince

It will also take months (and months, most likely) before the incidence of the disease goes down and we figure out how to navigate the new normal on cruise ships also.  I am a bit suspicious that movement to repeal/temporary lift PVSA is political pandering to those anti-mask/virus denying population in the US, who thinks US is somehow preventing their happiness by taking this outbreak seriously/using PVSA as added excuse/taking public health measures in other countries as important.  Obviously, businesses would like as little barrier between them and their revenue, and I see that, but I can't sympathize with them.  And in terms of contingency plans, the cruise lines can make plans based on what is certain, instead of hoping that the congress will act on anything.

 

And based on my knowledge of how this country has mismanaged this outbreak and continues to do so to some extent even now, I would actually trust Canada (or any other country with a more effective public health infrastructure) more than any US government agency to let us know when it is reasonably safe to take a cruise, so in this particular situation, PVSA might be a good thing for US and Canadian public health.

Edited by Psoque
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I would love to see them eliminate the PSVA permanently but if not maybe for a couple of years.

 

I might be wrong but don't think it could happen fast enough to allow for much cruising this year at least for Alaska.  Vince is right it does take several month to start things up.  Best case say legislation were to pass in May you would need at least three to four months of planning so that would put you at August/September when the season normally is coming to an end.

 

On a related note yesterday Alaska became the first state in the USA to announce it will open the door to vaccinate anyone 16 and over.  


So hoping that as many people as possible will want to get vaccines because by end of May there would be enough vaccine for everyone in the USA and hoping when we get into April more facilities will open to provide vaccinations and more will be available everywhere and we build from that into May, June, July, August, etc.

 

At the same time hoping people will follow the CDC recommendations.

 

Posque, I agree with much of what you said but I do trust the government to let us know when it is safe for travel. I do agree for most of the time our government mismanaged the outbreak at both the Federal and State levels.  However, a lot has now changed and  I think it's great that it is no longer the politicians or their appointees deciding/influencing but rather back in the hands of the scientists/medical experts. I have been very impressed with the twice a week updates they provide and the other guidance they are providing.  Is it perfect?  No.  But, overall it's been quite good and so much better than it was and I appreciate it is the experts back to providing the guidance while others in government do their part such as getting sufficient money to support vaccinations, and other COVID-19 relief issues.  With that said, they are moving quickly but had a lot (and I mean a lot) of catchup to get things turned around.  Now, if only more states would listen more we could truly drive this virus down.

 

 

Keith

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I realize it will take a long time to plan cruises and maybe the time isn't quite right yet but allowing the planning for late summer/fall cruises to Alaska and Maine/east coast could get things going.  Control of disease doesn't go as planned - then lines can cancel but temporarily or permanently changing laws would at least allow planning and hope.   Canada could extend their ban though mid-2022 and then what

Allowing flexibility is what we need now, I think

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3 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

Posque, I agree with much of what you said but I do trust the government to let us know when it is safe for travel. I do agree for most of the time our government mismanaged the outbreak at both the Federal and State levels.  However, a lot has now changed and  I think it's great that it is no longer the politicians or their appointees deciding/influencing but rather back in the hands of the scientists/medical experts.

I agree with you that at least at the federal policy-making level, to a certain extent, we are starting to make better decisions about containing this outbreak here in the US.  However, looking at how some states are rapidly relaxing public health measures (if they had any to begin with) in preparation for spring break, and looking at how this and other decisions are made purely based on one-sided and short-sighted economic factors, I do not think US as a whole is managing this outbreak in a rational manner yet.  As a healthcare provider, I even saw health insurance companies making rapid changes to how their reimburse virtual/telephone visits (no longer paying for them) as early as January of this year, in midst of the last big wave of new deaths, presumably based on their financial incentive alone.

 

I think it is extremely premature and patently false to say that our public health decision making has returned to the hands of the scientists and medical experts.  That has not happened, at least not yet.  At this time, there are way too many people in power who value their money a lot more than the lives of others who generate revenue.  This is not going change anytime soon, regardless of who is in the White House.

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