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onlyslightlymad

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About onlyslightlymad

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    New Zealand
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    New Zealand

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  1. Here's an article in yesterday's Herald about the Heritage expeditions. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/cruising-returns-to-new-zealand-as-antarctic-ship-cleared-for-kiwi-only-season/DDSOO35OFW2KH2EKG57SOIXH3I/
  2. Yes, I think all scientific research into the virus points clearly to a source in nature but it is instinctive to look for other patterns and explanations.
  3. You are very welcome. It's actually a very interesting You Tube channel. If only the model didn't represent the illness of actual people and could remain theoretical.
  4. Well, it's an exponential curve, isn't it. Early in the pandemic, a mathematics and statistics vlogger that I follow did a very informative video using Covid as an example of classic exponential growth. Please note, that this was from back in March but the maths is still good. Of course, the rateof increase depends on getting that R0 number down, preferably to below 1 as they did in Germany. This is where masks, lockdown, hygiene practices etc come in.
  5. I'm sorry if I didn't explain myself properly. I'm not disagreeing with you, I'm just interested to know what you meant by your statement that everyone is going to die and i thought you meant that therefore it was pointless taking measures to alleviate the increasing death toll. If I misunderstood then i'm very sorry. As to fear mongering I certainly don't want to do that. My personal opinion is that being afraid isn't a useful strategy at all and, in fact, probably does more harm than good when it comes to making decisions.
  6. That's an interesting perspective. It's true, everyone is going to die. Is it therefore your argument that there should be no measures to save people's lives? No treatments for cancers, no paramedics to road accidents, no intensive care units? Or is it just people over a certain age? eg 70 is the cut off - after that point, you've had enough life and you're of no value to society anymore, just a burden. Do you also disapprove of other rules meant to save lives - like road rules, or food and drug safety standards? Or is it simply a case of following the rules that keep you and your family safe but ignoring the rules that keep others safe ie every woman for herself?
  7. That looks very cool. I'd love to hear more if you decide to go.
  8. I thought it was interesting that Ponant is offering a cruise that is exclusively in NZ in January. https://en.ponant.com/oceania-pacific-islands-the-best-of-new-zealand-e120121-9. Don't get my wrong I think that January is ridiculously optimistic and I can't see it happening. It does, however, make me think that smaller luxury cruise lines will be the first to come back because they will be easier to fill from local populations and they will be able to develop interesting local itineraries because they can go into smaller ports. They will still have to deal with the issue of crew quarantine to get ships into the country and they are pricey. That said there are still people out there, missing their overseas breaks who want to spend money. https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2018764135/new-auckland-luxury-hotel-aims-to-buck-the-covid-19-trend
  9. I'm not sure there is any evidence of better service because of tipping. There is an expectation of 15%(?) mark-up on the bill in the US anyway (I hope I got that right) and my understanding is that you would have to have a pretty poor experience not to pay it. There is also a culture of university and high school students working in hospitality here and those with more experience can expect to earn above minimum wage. I'm not sure they will ever make their fortune doing so but it's a good start. I must admit that I employ some of them. Occasionally, someone will put some extra cash in the tip jar but that's divvied up amongst all of the staff, including those in the kitchen. Usually they will use the money to buy gifts or perhaps use it towards an end of year staff party. I understand the system is different in the US and I accept that the customs are different there. I would just hate to see a similar system here where our staff were dependent on tips to make a living.
  10. Thank you for the chat. It was fun. Let’s hope we will have the chance to travel again and visit each other’s countries soon. I’m afraid it will be a while before the All Blacks get to play again. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  11. I don’t understand your conflation of tipping with capitalism. There are capitalist countries that don’t tip and communist ones that do. It seems to me that’s it’s more about cultural norms than the political or governmental systems of the country concerned. It makes sense that offering cash for ‘better’ service would be accepted in a country where bribery is the norm. That said, I’m sure that’s not the case for you and I do accept that when one travels one has to cater for different cultures. If I was travelling in your country I would tip according to your local customs. I just don’t think I will ever be comfortable with the practice. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  12. I was citing the Harvard Business School. Does he own that too? Maybe. I guess it is a private university Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  13. I'm sorry but you are drawing a very long bow by assuming that you know the reasons why I loathe a tipping culture. Don't get me wrong, if I am in the USA or Canada (or some other country) where this is the custom I will tip. I have no wish to see any low wage worker exploited and I know they count on that money as part of their weekly earnings. What does create anxiety for me, is the amount to tip, the time of tipping, the unpleasantness of the whole process. If 15% is the standard service fee then just add 15% to the price of the food and we all know where we stand. The same goes for a cruise, I'll happily pay the extra as part of the cruise price. If you prefer that no price is set, as you have stated, then I assume you would prefer to tip other service workers according to their effort, like doctors, for example. I'm just imagining the expression on my doctor's face if I started negotiating the price after the consultation according to how well served I felt rather than a an agreed upon price. I also feel very uncomfortable with the servile nature of the process. It has led to this notion of the customer is always right. The customer is not always right, sometimes the customer is an arse. For some people tipping is about removing power from an already disempowered group. Also, it is not a surprise that tipping is correlated with corruption. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2012/09/05/study-countries-with-more-tipping-are-more-corrupt/. There's not much difference between offering cash for extra service and offering cash for other extra privileges.
  14. I hate to state the obvious but they are different diseases. SARS had the advantage of making people feel ill when they caught it, so they were more likely to stay home and in bed. COVID is successful in that some of the people who catch it are asymptomatic so feel perfectly okay and are out and about sharing the virus. MERS has a death rate of 35% as opposed to COVID's approx 1%. COVID is a clever wee virus in that it is highly contagious and harnesses a lot of happy active symptom free spreaders. Also, we dodged a bullet with SARS in that it mutated itself out of existence. We would be very lucky to see that happen again but I don't think we should count on it.
  15. Actually, my objection to the "gratuity" policy is not the payment of it but the way it is an add on. Just include it in the price up front and pay the staff a decent wage. The whole idea of passing over cash to people on a grace and favour basis would make me very uncomfortable. It is simply not part of my culture and is certainly not a practice that I wish to adopt.
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