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About BarbarianPaul

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Los Angeles
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Crystal, Regent
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Great history! A couple was thrown off our New Zealand/Australia cruise last fall for breaking quarantine when diagnosed with Norovirus, but, alas, they left behind a massive outbreak and a ship in code red for the next 12 days. I think it will be quite a while before the CDC allows any cruising. They’d get blamed for subsequent outbreaks, which are bound to happen, there’d be another shutdown, and the industry would be in an even worse position than it is now.
  2. The problem is that one repercussion would be to throw said passenger off the ship. But I doubt if any cruise line would do that after one instance. So it would probably have to be a multiple offender who has already had time to possibly spread anything he or she already has throughout all the public areas.
  3. Totally agreed. But does anyone think that they won’t see a single person walking down a corridor not wearing a mask? That every single passenger will adhere, without fail, 100% of the time, 24 hours a day, to very strict but absolutely necessary protocols?
  4. It’s hard to gauge the effectiveness of these protocols when we read about them not working. That said, the German cruises to nowhere have not yet had any issues, so that’s a good sign. One other thing worries me, though. There are quite a few folks out there not willing to put on a mask, and we all know that’s a major contributor to the current resurgence. So how do we make sure the protocols, still unproven, are respected and followed? All it takes is one bad apple, and we’ve all seen arrogant, inappropriate behavior from passengers who feel entitled. We faced a norovirus outbreak on an Australian/New Zealand cruise last for that very reason. My phraseology aside, I don’t think it’s unkind to debate whether or not we should get onboard a ship. But one thing is certain. We don’t have enough information yet to make a truly informed decision.
  5. There have now been four ships with COVID cases. https://www.travelagewest.com/Travel/Cruise/Make-That-Four-Steps-Back-for-Cruising-Now?utm_source=eNewsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=eltrBreakingNews&oly_enc_id=8231D5712201H5C Innacurate, and misguidedly dismissive, to say that the protocols were not strict enough or not enforced. Apparently on one of the ships all passengers tested negative, but upon retesting one of them did indeed test positive. That’s troublesome. Perhaps there’s another lesson here: the protocols aren’t yet ready for prime time. Regardless of whether or not some of these sailings fall under CDC jurisdiction, you can bet someone over there is noticing. So the more these kind of issues pop up, the longer it will take for any of us to get back on a cruise ship. In that sense these problems affect the entire cruise industry, and appear almost self inflicted. Perhaps CLIA should be modifying and expanding protocols, and suggesting more creative solutions beyond the “usual suspects” of reduced capacity, pre testing, and serving passengers in the buffet. Are they currently being proactive enough? Are cruise lines installing the best air filtration systems money can buy? Should passengers now be required to have two tests prior to boarding? We should be learning from these early fails, not just blaming them on incompetence.
  6. Personally, I absolutely love cruising, but I think we’re kidding ourselves if we think social distancing can be an effective deterrent, even with reduced capacity, on a cruise ship. All it takes is one cough or sneeze, from one passenger, maybe in a dining room, and the entire ship is in jeopardy. At this point, why would anyone willingly head into such a confined environment? I do believe there will be an effective vaccine, and sooner than we think. Heaven knows I’m now sitting on a fortune of FCCs, and I look forward to using them. But certainly not now, or any time soon. I think it’s delusional to think any of the mitigation measures being discussed will provide a truly acceptable level of safety. No doubt there are a bunch of Hurtigruten passengers and crew who will agree with me. And I don’t think the CDC is anywhere close to letting any of our ships sail.
  7. Rather than having their ships sit idle for the next year, I’m wondering if cruise lines will move their ships overseas and sail out of international ports only, away from the CDC’s supervision. That said, not sure that strategy would be beneficial in the long run if it engendered the CDC’s ire.
  8. My wife and I were aboard for 33 days, and never heard it once! I thought it was just a prop. And for the most part we like it better than the newer ships. But the cabins could still use a refresh, and I wonder, as many have remarked, if it’s days are numbered.
  9. I don’t like the organ either, but if they ever updated the cabins and showed the ship a little love, I’d totally cruise on it again. I love the smaller size and cozy vibe.
  10. Re the Zandaam’s organ, I understand those who think it’s quirky and charming in its own way. But I don’t agree. I think it’s creepy and funereal, and looks like some left over prop from a roadshow of The Phantom Of The Opera. And it’s not some great example of old world craftsmanship either, since it’s made of cheap plaster! It also communicates a message that the cruise line is old, stodgy, and completely out of step with the times. My wife and I, though, have really fond memories of the ship, and quite enjoyed our 33 days on it a few years ago, on both an Antarctic and Brazil cruise, back to back. We had an amazing time, and loved the size and intimacy of the ship. For us, though, the decor was hopelessly dated, and it didn’t look like HA had ever spent a nickel to bring it up to date.
  11. What exactly does reciprocity with Celebrity mean? Can we actually use our HA L credit with them??
  12. I super fun day trip is to take the train to Sintra. It’s a beautiful small medieval town with the stunningly beautiful national palace, as well as medieval ruins on the hill over looking it. It’s an easy half hour train trip from the train station in Lisbon. It was the highlight of our pre cruise visit a few years ago.
  13. Our Canada/Greenland cruise on the Rotterdam next August is kaput, alas. But I think the cruise line right now has more serious issues about service, quality, and identity. Our most recent cruise pre pandemic on the Westerdam was substandard on almost all fronts...bad food, no entertainment, nothing happening onboard, rundown, outdated cabins, poor service. We sailed pretty much for the itineraries, and tolerated pretty much everything else. So I’m not waxing nostalgic about anything HAL related. I think the line needs fresh blood and reinvention. Hoping the new guy has some vision and isn’t a corporate bean counter.
  14. Well, $200 is $200, so I sincerely hope you get it back! But perhaps you should be as forgiving to the Celebrity employees, during this difficult time, as you’ve been to Regent’s, no? In any event, glad to hear the cruise lines are getting “caught up.”
  15. Regardless of whether virtually every Regent employee is a candidate for sainthood, I’m kind of flabbergasted that this refund discussion is still valid, that there are still folks who have not yet received their own money back. I’d been holding off deciding whether my wife and I should go on a transatlantic Barcelona-Ft. Lauderdale cruise on Celebrity’s new ship, the Apex, in October. The uncertainty about Barcelona, our general unwelcomeness in the EU, and totally necessary but still unpleasant onboard precautions I’ve been reading about for cruises, pretty much decided it for me, so I requested a refund a week and a half ago, since I’d paid for the whole thing last winter. The credit popped up a couple days ago. I forget if Celebrity is classified as either “premium” or “premium plus,” but I’ve been reminded many times on these boards that it’s not a “luxury” line. Their employees are all on furlough too, and no doubt all have their own personal issues and challenges, but it seems to me like they still got the job done.
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