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the more ports the better

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    Florida
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Seabourn
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Tahiti

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  1. We were in Venice a few weeks ago. We took the train in and out. Do you all think that the Italian Govt may use the Porto Marghera train station once the docks and facilities are complete? It’s was less than 5 min to SL from the Porto Marghera train station. They run frequently and one or two trains can hold an entire O ship. Since they are charging a day trip fee at the train station, it would make sense. Hopefully, the cruise lines will help and work with the Govt to get it up and running, kind of like they do in the Caribbean when new facilities are being built.
  2. Regarding testing, there are testing centers in all the tourist areas that we visited in Italy and Switzerland last month. Our hotels had relationships with Covid testing centers. Unfortunately, we did not realize that it was necessary for re entry until we were at the airport. Since we were flying out of Naples, easy peasy, the testing center was right outside the front door of the airport and cost 10 euro. It took about 5 min. Be sure to complete the EU destination entry form and download the QR code. https://app.euplf.eu/#/ Italian authorities stopped the train at border of Switzerland and Italy to check QR codes for entry into Italy. Other countries may do the same. I am going back next week and staying at the same hotel in Sorrento. I emailed the concierge regarding the testing re entry requirements back into the US and he apologized that they did not know we were leaving for the US upon checking out and would schedule testing for us on our upcoming stay the day prior to departure. One other thing, it was fantastic seeing Italy with very few tourists. We were there for three weeks, Bellagio, Venice, Florence, Sorrento. It was really a treat. I’m anticipating Rome to be the same next week.
  3. Royal is getting ridiculous with suite pricing while taking away amenities. They built a premium area on cocoa cay that could give suite guests a premium experience similar to Labadee. My kids are older so I’ve been taking them on premium lines lately instead of Royal for less cost, although we will be on Symphony this fall, including cocoa cay. Our Oceania Cruises 12 day Med cruise, in a penthouse, with a butler, and five star food, complimentary specialty restaurants, and a total of $900 onboard credit per stateroom, cost less than a 7 day sailing in a sky suite on Royal. That doesn’t make any sense!
  4. I received this response from Paul Chili, Is it nice over there in the alternate universe you live in? ... Yes it is nice to live here, in my universe and in Florida. Paul, you have always been a gentleman in the many years that I have read these boards, you would love Florida as people tend to be quite nice here. I try to have a positive attitude and be kind to everyone and it has served me well in life. I do not criticize or judge as I have no idea what people’s individual situations are. My dad, wisely, always said, do not judge other people until you have walked 100 miles in their shoes. I raised my children and they are raising their children in the same vein, and we are a pretty happy and copacetic bunch. I’ve tried to bring some COVID information to this board periodically as I have access to more information than most people as I’ve been involved in vaccine trials. I so wish that the constant anger, snarky comments, attacks, and especially the judging would cease. Regardless of political ideology, we all live in this country together. We can agree to disagree, move on and focus on common ground which is that we all love sailing and exploring the world, the purpose of these boards. Divide and conquer is the oldest trick in the book.
  5. Wow, I jump from the Regent boards to the O boards and it’s like a different universe. Everyone over there is booking up all the Crystal sailings praying that Regent will get a ship up and running soon. Here, half the people still believe that covid is going to last forever and refuse to sail anytime soon. I guess different circumstances creat different opinions. I have a sailing booked every month until the end of the year and I’ll be on the first one that goes! Florida has the oldest population in the country and has always been in the bottom fifty percent of covid deaths nationwide. Businesses stayed open and kids have been in school all year. The economy is strong even with California putting so much financial stress on Disney. DeSantis is opposed to Sue restaurant owner or Fred theater operator refusing service based on being vaccinated. Covid records will have to comply with hippa just like every other vaccine or medication. Nationwide death rates are steadily dropping. Number of cases is meaningless as it does not give a picture of the health of the subject. Many businesses such as Amazon are testing thousands of workers. That doesn’t tell us who is sick, it only tells us who tests positive. I am in the Pfizer trial and have been added to the variant trial. I had both injections last summer. So far we are 96% effective to variants. More importantly, I went into my appoint last week thinking that I had covid as I was quite ill and running a fever. The nurse tested me but kind of laughed and said there is no way I had covid as I was too sick, the few cases people get after being vaccinated are so mild that I wouldn’t be running a fever. My covid test was negative but I was positive for the flu. One statistic shared with the group is that so far, world wide, there have been zero covid deaths from people who have contracted covid after having the Pfizer vaccine. In my eyes, that is proof positive that we are out of the woods. I’m just glad I live in Florida where death rates have been low and life has been normal. My best guess is that my August sailing will go!
  6. I don’t think so. They are transportation, no accommodations, restaurants, etc. Ferries are operating everywhere and have been all through the pandemic.
  7. I jus posted this on the RCI forum too..... If I were CEO of RCCL for a day, I would buy a few of the high speed ferries that run from Ft Lauderdale to Grand Bahama. I would run them from Port Everglades to Nassau. They hold about 600 people and take about 45 min to Grand Bahama so maybe 75 min to Nassau. They would have so much more control over their sailings as opposed to counting on flights. I think people would be much more willing to sail if the flights were taken out of equation. Check in could be done on the ride over once in international waters and passengers could be dropped off right at the ship. Plenty of parking at Port Everglades too.
  8. If I were CEO of RCCL for a day, I would buy a few of the high speed ferries that run from Ft Lauderdale to Grand Bahama. I would run them from Port Everglades to Nassau. They hold about 600 people and take about 45 min to Grand Bahama so maybe 75 min to Nassau. They would have so much more control over their sailings as opposed to counting on flights. I think people would be much more willing to sail if the flights were taken out of equation. Check in could be done on the ride over once in international waters and passengers could be dropped off right at the ship. Plenty of parking at Port Everglades too.
  9. Yes, there is a nightlight plate plugged into the outlet. Just unplug it and you are good to go.
  10. I can see places like Cinque Terre and Dubrovnik, etc. when protecting world heritage sites is paramount but seriously, Key West..... talk about being a bit duplicitous. It is not on my radar as a cruise stop as I typically go to the Key West world boat races every November and I have might visited Fantasy Fest a time or two...... these are just a few of many crazy out of control Key West sanctioned events. Fantasy Fest has at least 50,000 people welcomed with open arms over the course of 10 days each October and the city gets beyond trashed every single year (except this year of course, as it was cancelled). I can not even imagine the clean up costs. I also can’t believe that few thousand cruisers walking around town browsing gift shops can even compare damage wise. Its kind of selective tourism. My money is on them making an exception for some of the “naughty” cruises.
  11. I participated in the Pfizer study and had the vaccines last summer. At that point we were encouraged to expose ourselves as much as possible. When I asked, they said that earlier studies showed the vaccine was over 90% effective. They said they were anticipating approvals in late fall hoping to reach herd immunity sometime in the summer. Everything they communicated to us thus far has been spot on. Once we reach herd immunity, the effectiveness of the vaccine is irrelevant as long as the effectiveness is over the herd immunity threshold. The small amount of people who are not healthy enough to take the vaccine will not need it as long as they do not travel to a part of the world where the virus is prevalent. I haven’t seen many people saying that they are going to avoid travel, wear face masks, social distance and change their daily living habits because they are worried about contracting small pox or measles. Both of those vaccines are appx 95% effective, same as Covid, along with a host of other vaccines and we have reached herd immunity. Once herd immunity is reached, it doesn’t matter if you are one of the 5% in which the vaccine is not effective because the virus naturally dies out. Their will be no mechanism to catch the virus. That is the entire purpose of creating a vaccine, to eradicate a disease. The important thing is to get as many people as possible to take the vaccine to reach herd immunity. Just like small pox, measles, diphtheria...... it will be eradicated and not present in our population. I volunteered for the Pfizer Covid study because I felt that a vaccine was so important. We, along with many other first world counties, closed our economies. As of today there 23.9 million confirmed cases of Covid in the US with 397,000 deaths, a less than 2% death rate. The UN’s world food program is anticipating 137 million people will starve this year with much of that being a result of our first world shut downs. I hope everyone gets vaccinated and gets back to sailing. When we do, we need to keep in mind that many of the workers are feeding extended families with the tips we give them. We in the US can afford an abundance of caution, they cannot. While we are locked in our cozy houses and shopping online, many families are starving to death and the people that take care of us on the ships have a lot of ground to make up. Let’s all agree to be extra generous in any way we can, both now and certainly with the staff when we all start sailing again.
  12. Everyone should read the Great Barrington Declaration. The declaration is worth a read. Gives great scientific insight as to the state of COVID lockdowns and repercussions by Harvard, Stanford and Oxford in addition to 25,000 medical professionals and scientists. Hopefully, we can get back our traveling lives! https://gbdeclaration.org/
  13. Everyone should read the Great Barrington Declaration. The entire declaration is worth a read. Gives great scientific insight as to the state of COVID lockdowns and repercussions by Harvard, Stanford and Oxford in addition to 25,000 medical professionals and scientists. Hopefully, we can get back our traveling lives! https://gbdeclaration.org/
  14. This may not be relevant to O but I ran into my neighbor out walking yesterday. He is a high level exec for DCL. He said they are starting up full force Dec 1. I questioned him a bit and he said they have been executing the Dec start plan for awhile and will be ready to go. Maybe there is hope!
  15. These vaccines are RNA vaccines. There is no live component in the vaccine!! The risk of being exposed to COVID by getting the vaccine is zero. It is so important that people understand this. The antibody response in nearly 100% of the volunteers is strong enough to prevent COVID. Over 100,000 people have participated in the three US trials with overwhelming positive results. It is so frustrating when people falsely state that there is a risk of exposure to COVID from the vaccine. Science has long evolved beyond live virus vaccines. Also, most vaccines are better than 95% effective. Look at Shingrex, small pox, diphtheria....... We have eradicated many deadly diseases over the years with effective vaccines. People who compare flu vaccine statistics to the COVID vaccine are just uninformed. COVID has a few strains, easily covered with a single vaccine. The flu has thousands of variations. Vaccine development for the flu is always a crap shoot.
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