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About Beardface

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Raleigh, NC
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  1. The problem is that there is no known medicine out there right now that treats COVID-19, at least not directly. We can treat the symptoms, but once you get it, there currently is no way to help your body fight it off, medicinally, which is why it is SO bad and SO risky for people with weakened immune systems. If we could treat it directly, and have a medicine out there that could actively fight the virus inside the body, this global situation would not nearly be as dire as it is right now, but we just don't have it. This is why we are seeing these projections out there that these social distancing measures could last until the end of the year, if not beyond. Until we can treat the virus directly, or develop a vaccine that has you create the antibodies that will help prevent you from getting it, there's not much more we can do. And I've read a study that says, because of how easily this virus transmits through a crowd, you'll need upwards of 60% of your population to have caught it and recovered for herd immunity to kick in.
  2. I just get the feeling that, even if most of our normal lives resume, I can't see any kind of venues where large crowds gather reopening until a vaccine is released. This disease spreads too easily and is too deadly to really bring people into large crowded situations until this is under control. So my guess is that things like Conventions, Concerts, Sporting events, Resorts, Cruises, etc will all be closed until then.
  3. Hard disagreement. The demand for cruising is going to crater over the short term. For the general public, CV-19 was basically sold as a virus that started in China, and made its way into the US through all the cruise ports. They look at what happened on the Diamond Princess and the Ruby Princess, and they're going to stay away. And just in general, people who liked to casually cruise are going to be apprehensive about being on a ship in the water and the hygiene associated with that. Not because of the ships themselves, but because of how unhygienic they have seen other people on these ships in the past. That is going to negatively impact demand as well. And all of this is before you realize the US just saw 3.3 million people file for unemployment this week, completely and utterly obliterating the previous weekly high since the 60s by around 500%. And its not like a lot of these jobs are going to be immediately coming back, so people are going to have to make tough decisions with their money, and that's probably going to rule out going on a multi-thousand dollar luxury vacation on a cruise for a hefty chunk of the population that was hit by this economic downturn. All this means is, the cruise lines will HAVE to adjust. If they raise their prices, they'll destroy their demand more than it was already hurt. In the short term, they'll have to drastically drop prices to kick start the industry again. The demand just isn't going to be there to sell out these ships on a consistent basis. And unless you see these lines start selling and mothballing some of their ships, they have to fill them, or they'll lose money on every sailing. All this points toward prices needing to fall, at least for the short term.
  4. They are included and they're already set up between pairs of loungers by the beach With that said, if you plan to swim, bring swim shoes. Lots of dead coral is still being washed up on the shores, and while MSC is working hard to clear it daily and weekly (seriously, there are multiple large mounds all over the island where they are piling them up) I would guess its going to continue for a while, given what work just went on there (and what the island used to be). Oh, and the YC beach is not protected from sharks. Which was fun to find out when a couple swam by us in the water a few weeks ago.
  5. Customs says 'cruises to nowhere' were never legal “Due to recent changes in how ships are cleared into and out of the United States by U.S. officials, certain short-duration cruises without a foreign port of call are subject to itinerary changes beginning in 2016,” Carnival said in a statement. “Unfortunately, this means that we will not be permitted to operate cruises-to-nowhere.” Norwegian Cruise Line’s statement said basically the same thing, adding that three two-day cruises on the Norwegian Breakaway in early 2016 “were affected by this change and will be cancelled, with guests receiving a refund.” But according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the federal agency that controls the entry and exit of foreign nationals to the U.S., it is simply enforcing longstanding rules. The majority of cruise ship crew are foreign nationals, and many hold D-1 visas, making them eligible to, in the words of a CBP statement, “serve as a crew member on a vessel only if the crew member ‘intends to land [in the U.S.] temporarily and solely in the pursuit of his calling as a crewman and to depart from the United States with the vessel.’” CBP said it “has long explained that ‘cruises to nowhere’ do not ‘depart’ [the U.S.] because they do not land in a foreign port or territory. Therefore, D-1 visa holders are not eligible to serve as crew members aboard ‘cruises to nowhere,’ and such cruises must be staffed by U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents authorized to work in the United States.”
  6. For the time being, a chocolate ship is the only way you are going to be able to get a ship model on MSC. When we were on the Seaside a month ago, they were down to about 5 of the metal ships left because their manufacturer was from China and their exports got cut off from the virus, and they did not have any idea when the flow would restart.
  7. The most dangerous thing about cruising isn't the confined space of the ships, but the behavior of the passengers. No matter what policies are put in place, and no matter what standards they announce, these new procedures are only as effective as the people following them. People are ignorant, careless, and think they are invincible. You put a policy in place, there are going to be a significant portion of the population that just simply ignores it. The majority? No, and probably not even close to the majority, but as we are seeing with COVID-19, it doesn't take a majority for it to become a MAJOR problem, especially when you are talking about diseases. Unfortunately, a lot of these same people end up on cruises where they don't wash their hands, they don't use hand sanitizer they don't cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze, etc. Heck, even in a time where there is legitimately a global emergency over a deadly pandemic, there are daily reports over huge crowds gathering on beaches, parks, parties, etc. The thing is, unless your goal is to isolate yourself from society for the rest of your life, you will always have to deal with these people. Be it in the office, in public spaces, on vacation, in public transportation, its inevitable. So if your goal is to try and only stick to those kinds of events, trips, and vacations where a concern over cleanliness is a major priority, there aren't many options available. Not because of the cruise lines, resorts, parks, airlines, etc, but because of the other people who also use them.
  8. No disagreement, but I would prefer them to be additional YC exclusive elevators that don't take away from the capacity that the general public already has.
  9. They don't allow it, and I never noticed it. But that doesn't mean it won't happen. I've seen it happen on ships with far more stringent rules than MSC.
  10. We were a starboard YC1 on the Seaside on Deck 16 and the smoke never made it to us. It really dissipates quickly, unless your neighbor is smoking on theirs. Its just really noticeable at the South Beach Pool. The air kind of swirls in that space given the design of the ship, so the smoke lingers a bit more than other places. The rest of the ship is so open and airy that you really don't notice it too much. And the YC in general is really just a different experience. They really do make you feel like you're being taken care of on the ship. The only thing I could do without is the priority elevator access. We never used it. First, because we never really felt like we needed to, and second, because the times where we did, there was enough of a crowd who also needed elevators that we didn't want to be a-holes by using it. Everything else, on the other hand, feels like how cruising used to be before the lines started nickel and diming passengers to death in order to squeeze every penny out of them.
  11. I will say, though... I didn't have much of a problem with the public spaces of this ship. If anything, the Seaside is a beautiful ship, with so much chrome and so many mirrors that its impressive. And more impressive, these mirrors and that chrome were always spotless, so you could tell that the cleaning staff was all over keeping the ship in good order during the full week. And the public space events were genuinely fun. It felt like a very similar cruise to that of Royal in that regard. Now, I didn't experience the MDR or any specialty dining, so I cannot compare experiences there, but from what I have seen from some vlogs, the MDR has a similar issue than I noticed on the pool deck. That is, this ship has a tendency to try and cram too many people into small spaces. Tables in the MDR look to be spaced only inches apart, and up on the pool deck there were times that, as I said before, passengers would cram in loungers so tightly it was difficult to walk through them. Getting from the main pool area to the Bridge of Sighs on Sea Days was a damn near impossible task with how tightly they were packed in, which is kind of crazy given how much deck space there is on this ship. And when you factor the ship sailed with only 3,500 passengers, I do wonder how bad it would have been with a full ship. Another thing that was a little eye opening to me was how much smoking they allowed on deck. On every other ship I've been on, there would be a small smoker's area on one side of the ship. With the Seaside, it was literally the starboard side of the ship. The entire South Beach pool deck at the backside of the ship eventually became a huge smoker's lounge. I'm not necessarily complaining about this, its just that it was noticeable how different they treat smokers on this ship than your typical American lines.
  12. Oh hey, did you hear, there's a virus going on around the planet that is bringing the world economy to a crawl. I know, I know, this topic has become so buries on all the forums that its pretty tough to read about it right now. Just thought I'd make sure you were aware. 😉 Anyway, with great inconvenience comes great opportunity. This virus will go away. The travel industry will open back up. Cruising will resume. And for those of you willing to jump now there are some really good deals out there for the 2020 Fall/Winter and 2021 Winter/Spring seasons. After taxes/fees I've seen MSC cruises for as low as $500 per person for a week in Fantastica. I've seen Disney cruises where you can get a family of 3 on a 5 day cruise for less than $2k total. I've seen 5 day Carnival cruises for less than $300 a person. So, my friends. How are you looking to help this industry rebound once this is all behind us? Anyone else planning to jump on some "too good to pass up" deals? And hey, the good news here is, if everything collapses and you still can't make a December 2020 or March 2021 sailing, we're all either dead or missing that trip will be the bottom of our priorities list, so who cares, right?
  13. A lot of them were ship crew as of a couple months ago. I met a couple last week who were on the Seaside before getting reassigned just before the island opened. They aren't ship crew anymore, but part of the grand plan is to rotate them onto and off of ships periodically, just like they do with shifting crew between ships. Keeps things from getting stale.
  14. Judging by the current prices out there? Cheap. Really Cheap
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