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About OnTheJourney

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    traveling, music, swimming, walking, plants
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America, Tauck, Viking
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Have enjoyed all- Caribbean, NE / Canada, Antarctica, Baltic, Arctic Circle

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  1. I used these exact words in a recent forum post. Pretty much says it all. But will it happen? I'm beginning to doubt it.
  2. Here in PA we have a Democratic governor, who has been under fire ever since March for putting forth the various social distancing / masking mandates and other actions associated with shutting down business and so forth. He has been accused of 'overstepping his bounds' in the interest of being overly cautious. In the wake of recently increased cases, he just cracked down on the mandates a little harder and, wow, is he ever getting flack - especially from some of the Republican legislators. It's really getting nasty. One of the legislators from a neighboring county was heard to say ugly things about our governor and that they held a "wonderful dinner meeting with absolutely no masking and social distancing" and that "here in our county we will live however the h*ll we want to!!!" Unbelievable.....
  3. OK...but you can't tell me that a bunch of people congregating together in any social setting - be it in a store, at the beach, whatever - being unmasked is as safe as masked? As you said, "you put it on when you have to be in a position to expose yourself". In my mind - that would seem to include anytime you're in a public setting. As for "getting back to safety as quick as possible", it would seem that many have absolutely no interest in that anyway. I guess the freedom to get back to an unrestricted mode of living as we always have IS the new 'safety' in some folks' minds. Being saved in a confined space, if masked, is more likely to happen than if not masked. ********************************************************* From a recent news article: Coronavirus cases seem to be rising in states with relaxed policies on wearing masks, leading experts to reemphasize the importance of face coverings to preventing spread of the disease. Sixteen states currently recommend, but do not require, that residents wear masks in public. In those states — including Texas and Arizona — new coronavirus cases have risen by 84% over the last two weeks, according to an analysis. In the 11 states that mandate wearing masks in public — including New York, Illinois, and Michigan — new cases have fallen by 25% over the last two weeks. Other states that are less stringent and require mask-wearing by employees and patrons of certain businesses have seen an overall 12% drop in cases (Pennsylvania, which is in this group, has seen a 28% drop.) Meanwhile, states that require masks only for employees of certain businesses have seen a 70% increase, on average, in new cases. *************************************************************************
  4. Agree totally. Those in the US who are disregarding masking and distancing and thereby elevating the numbers (highest single day ever - globally as well) are becoming an embarrassment. What countries are going to want to admit us as travelers? I knew this would happen once things started to reopen.
  5. LOL....definitely would have been worth being onboard 😉 Yeah..you're right - it does look like a tug. I'm sure you'll hear the whole story from him.
  6. Interesting design - has sort of a retro look to it (?) Wow! Indeed an adventure. I take it he's an experienced boater. It does sound like it would have been a blast to be along! I pretty much grew up with boating. My dad sold West Bend outboard motors as a sideline to his auto repair shop and had a Glastron for years. So boating vacations was what we did. (Easy to understand how I came to love cruising). Eventually he moved up to a 21' Bayliner bow-rider. Nice boat. Didn't use it all that often - just the 2-weeks every summer at the timeshare on Lake Wallenpaupack and an occasional outing at a lake near us. Funny...some guy once asked him at the lake - "How do you keep your boat looking so nice?" My Dad answered...."Easy, I hardly ever use it" LOL
  7. It's a waiting game for sure. What will interest me is - if the Venus isn't ready to sail by January 19 and they don't substitute another ship to do the Inaugural and/or the Iberian in order to get to London in time to start the Northern Lights cruises, they will have some juggling to do. With the inaugural being a non-public 'shakedown' cruise, they really could do whatever they want with that. Other than disappointing the Sky guests who are signed on to do it (wonder how many there are?) if it doesn't play out as planned, it's not really a critical part of the schedule except for having the ship arrive in Barcelona by the 26th. My read on those shakedown cruises is that, other than a 'test run' for the crew and all, it's also a great time to bring on some big shots (like us.....lol) to show off the new ship. The actual "inaugural" sailing probably would be considered the one that gets it to Rome. It WOULD be cool to see Karine (or some other member of the Hagen family) smash a champagne bottle over the front of the bow.
  8. I do hope we get to meet on the Iberian Explorer. Worst part of the whole thing could be wearing a mask non-stop for the 8+ hour long-haul flight. I had forgotten how far north Reno is. I was there once. My wife and I took a trip with my parents - who exchanged their timeshare in the Pocono Mts. for one in Lake Tahoe area - place was called "The Inn at Squaw Valley" (was an Olympic site - forget the year). So we took about 2 weeks to work our way across the country via a southerly route, stayed at Tahoe for a week, then about another 2 weeks to drive back to PA via a northerly route. I love that stuff. So what sort of boat does John have??
  9. Yeah, my brother used to be big into bareboating on the Chesapeake. That's one thing I like about cruising out of Baltimore - the sail through the Bay. Plus, for us there is no flying - so I have ready access to Celebrity and Royal Caribbean cruises within a 2+ hour drive. We've done a good part of our cruising out of either Baltimore or Bayonne. We love the Inner Harbor at Baltimore too, so usually spend a few days there before a cruise - would have done that back in March....😟 So...Nevada, huh?? Any idea how things are at Hoover Dam? Last time we were there a few years ago was a pretty pathetic sight. Almost seems like the dam is hardly holding much water back. I think the one official we talked to said there was under a 100 feet of water left before the intakes would start sucking mud. Sad. I have pictures from a trip we did out there in the mid-80s and the water was nearly up to the top. Amazing to look at the shoreline and see the discoloration on the rocks and how far down the water truly is. The other thing that surprised us is the 'urban sprawl' in the desert as we were driving around.
  10. LOL...congrats on your 10th!!! Retirement is great indeed. ALL of us are so fortunate to be able to indulge in the types of trips talked about here on CC. No decision yet...I'm going to hang in and see how things go - will probably wind up booking flights and take it from there. YOLO, ya know???
  11. This is a good thought. I lump cruising, however, under the larger umbrella of 'traveling' in general - which, to me, has never been a minor issue. I'm pretty obsessed with it, thinking about how many more years, realistically, do I have to do it - at least at the level and scope that I have in mind, i.e. a long bucket list!
  12. Agree completely. The January trip still falls during flu season - NOone has even the remotest idea what to expect with a possible resurgence of COVID along with the flu. We haven't been down that road yet. Like I said in my rather long epistle...50/50 chance at best. And, if the US keeps spiking on and on - countries (that are doing better) won't want us. I'd absolutely hate to wind up being quarantined either on land or (worse) on a ship. Gosh..I better quit or I'll wind up talking myself into canceling this trip by tomorrow!!!
  13. Except that the planning is a bit different - I've never in my life planned for a trip from the perspective of NOT going (other than protecting oneself for the possibility of sickness, etc. and that's easy to do with trip cancellation insurance.) But you can't insure and get a refund for 'not feeling comfortable enough to travel'. "Cancel for any reason" works - at least for 75% back IF it is done before final payment. I'm too late for that. So the next best thing is, as travelnn indicates, to have the money go into a voucher so at least it's not lost. All these types of issues - especially this thing with the flights (which is driving me absolutely crazy) requires a different approach - again - from the perspective of trying to have the least possible financial exposure. Under "normal" circumstances, I'd not be concerned at all - would book the flights and done. Sometimes I think it'd be far less worry to just cancel / reschedule everything at this point well into next year or even beyond, then just sit back and wait for the dust to settle and all the cobwebs to get cleared out with regards to whatever the new procedures and policies will be put in place. As things are going with the virus - plus the issue of the Venus maybe not even being ready to sail, my prediction is that this January trip has a 50/50 chance of going on schedule at best - it at all even. If it goes as planned, I also unfortunately rate our chances of feeling comfortable enough to go - in the likely scenario of no vaccine or treatment for general public yet - as probably 25% at most. So may well be agonizing over these flights for nothing. I can't quite see us - after having done NO travel whatsoever since December and hardly even venturing out in public since March - making this huge quantum leap from being very cautious and not going hardly anywhere to all of a sudden spending 3 weeks in Europe with lots of sightseeing and all the public exposure that goes with it. 3 weeks of travel, in and of itself, is long for us - let alone something this extensive. So...yeah...I'm quite honestly probably just hoping against hope and not being very realistic. Maybe better not to book ANY flights until fall (though I worry about what seats might be left) and see how things are going - perhaps even hear something further from Viking by then - then make a decision. That way I will have saved the extra $6-8k that I'm thinking about spending for B-class flights. ARGGHHH!!! This is maddening....and yet I'm one that is typically very optimistic and enthusiastic over any trip. But all these uncertainties and unknown variables is like a constant weight hanging over me. Some of my trepidation may well be associated with my having been a teacher. I was pretty obsessed (sort of had to be) with planning, planning, planning - not just for a few days ahead but for weeks and months a lot of the time. I needed to know where I was headed next in order to know what I wanted my kids to accomplish. Oh well, enough. WWT - we must have both retired in '11, so I too just had my 9th year as of last month. Agreed that we need to not let these travel issues upset the whole apple cart although I've found some of this pretty hard to deal with and probably am on some sort of borderline depression regarding the prospect of future travel. I'm actually more heartbroken over probably having to can a fly / drive trip that I spent well over a year planning for that is scheduled for October. While we truly enjoy cruising, those driving DIY types of trips are what we enjoy doing the most. I love pouring over the maps, planning routes, picking out and booking hotels along the way, etc. Part of the reason we DID retire early (with penalties) IS so that we could travel - and have done a fair amount since '13 (when my wife retired), but now - it may well come about that some of what we most enjoyed about cruising may never be the same again.
  14. Exactly...another thing that has me really concerned. We'll probably all wind up not even going on this trip anyway, at least not as scheduled. First the US has to get its act together on the social distancing and masking so that our numbers start to go down and, in turn, so that other countries might consider us worthy to visit them. So far we're not doing so good.
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