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kool kruiser

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  • Content Count

    1,078
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About kool kruiser

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    christchurch england
  • Interests
    soccer travel theatre
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Crystal, Princess
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Venice

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  1. Wow...look what I started ! Thanks Terry for the excellent news from down under regarding this year's flu jab, as ours for our forthcoming winter flu season is based on yours. Interestingly, free flu jabs here in the UK have been extended this year to everyone who is over 50 (previously 65) , together with those who have certain medical conditions placing them at higher risk. Also, this week data has been published stating that the covid protocols have resulted in a substantial reduction in deaths in other areas, eg respiratory conditions. Tends to support Terry's posting. Personally, I tend to look for the commonality in medical/scientific views rather than where they differ. For example, there are differing thoughts on the effectiveness of a vaccine (or cocktail of vaccines) and the duration of their effectiveness. Thus, i tend not to rely on the opinion of any one individual in these situations, however well thought of they may be. What seems to be clear, is that our knowledge is steadily increasing, possible effective vaccines and therapeutics are being developed at hitherto unknown rapid speed and mortality rates for those who have succumbed to the virus are falling. Based on these generally accepted facts, rather than individual theories, I am becoming more optimistic day by day.
  2. Looking for some good news in these depressing times for our beloved industry, I found a very recent article in the New York Times stating that there are some 36 vaccines currently in human trials, with many more in pre-trial clinical development. Of these, some are in the final Phase 3 stage. Interestingly, they work in different ways and a medical contact of mine told me that he has always felt that a ''combination'' vaccine may prove to me the ultimate saviour. Personally, I think that it has been remarkable to get so far in such a very short period of time . Of course, some will fail but ...keep those fingers crossed out there! Also, last week we learned that in the UK a new covid diagnostic test has been approved and is being rolled out imminently, which will utilise a portable machine, giving an extremely reliable result at modest cost (currently less than $30 per test) in only 90 minutes. This would so obviously be a great fit for Crystal, especially when economies of scale come into play. I sincerely believe that the cruise industry will eventually bounce-back and I hope that Crystal returns to its undoubted glories!
  3. I agree that Crystal deserves praise for issuing these revised guidelines. However, as they say, these are likely to evolve regularly, as we progress. i am loathe to comment on medical matters regarding covid but what I will say is that our knowledge of the virus is constantly improving and developing. In all honesty, my take is that there are many differing views and theories amongst our ''boffins'' and positioning often changes. I am a positive soul by nature and i think that there is a reasonable chance that when my October 2021 next cruise comes round, these protocols may not be applicable, either in part or whole. We shall see ! However, to update, final stage 3 trials of a vaccine developed by our Oxford University are currently underway, with very promising stage 1 results having been published in this week's Lancet, our leading medical journal. Emphasis should not, apparently, be placed solely on antibodies but also on T cells, which may be equally or even more important as protection. Other vaccines are also at various developmental stages throughout the world, at hitherto unheard of rapid rates of progress. At least two therapeutics are also now established for use and post-exposure mortality rates in the UK are now much lower as a result. The UK was initially inexcusably slow to respond and so much progress has been made here in about 5 months or so. Let's be positive, whilst remaining realistic and... watch this space.
  4. The E1s on decks 7 and 8 have easy access to the aft deck area with loungers etc. There are also stairs there leading to the Marketplace buffet outside seating area. A big plus for us...we refer to this as our private balcony !
  5. As a comparison, you get NO complimentary visits at all on Silversea to two of their dining options, with much higher per capita costs.
  6. Interestingly, here in the UK some insurers are now offering travel policies that include cover for covid 19 medical expenses etc whilst on holiday. On the downside, our government, whilst permitting travel to defined countries with no quarantine required upon return, have stated that cruises should not be taken, thus automatically invalidating all insurance policies. Sadly, I think it will be some time before we are able to cruise again, with an acceptable (to us) onboard experience.
  7. Yes, we saw the UK programme as well and thought, in general that it was very illuminating, although rather tough on the cruise lines featured. Here in the UK prices for cruises being marketed for 2021 and 2022 are, in my view, lower rather than higher and with added incentives, eg upgrades, added extras usually charged for, etc. With much uncertainty regarding future employment prospects, I see little prospect of price hikes in the short term. Naturally, this could well change when conditions change.
  8. If Crystal cancels the details are in the smaller print at the foot of the cancellation notice. Definitely no admin fee on all cancellations to date and not sure if one could legally be applied (definitely unlawful in the UK ! ).
  9. Unfortunately, we are still currently advised to avoid all but essential overseas travel, coupled with a 14 day quarantine for all arrivals. There is a very strong probability that reciprocal ''travel corridors '' will be introduced soon, I think it likely that these will be with European neighbours where covid is currently well-controlled. Sadly, I doubt that this will extend to the USA or Caribbean. Of course, just my opinion.
  10. Our forthcoming Serenity cruise has unfortunately been cancelled. After careful consideration, we have sadly concluded that we will almost certainly not cruise in 2020, due to the many inherent uncertainties. Although we personally think it very likely that, having regard to all of the postings on these boards, that Crystal will live to fight another day, we are fortunate to have other statutory financial protections available here in the UK in the event of operator failure/insolvency. Thus, we have decided to book an October 2021 cruise from Athens to Abu Dhabi, using the FCP/FCC option. I cannot speak highly enough of how Crystal's UK office have processed this, via our very helpful TA. The more restrictive FCC was automatically applied first to our booking as a discount and part of the FCP (which we did not need to use in it's entirety ) has effectively been treated as ''quasi cash''. This means that our consumer protection is for the cost of the cruise, after FCC but BEFORE deducting the use of the FCP. Here in the UK TAs are permitted to offer a cash discount to clients from their commission, although OBC is generally not given. We look at the overall net cost between booking here in the UK or with a North American TA. At present, for us, the UK is definitely the better option. Interestingly, although our 2020 cruise has been cancelled, Crystal have stated that our TA will not need to return any commission and thus our discount does not need to be refunded. A definite windfall for us ! Our 2021 discount is reduced as the FCC is not commisionable. However, as the FCP is not treated as a discount it does not affect the TAs commission. The paperwork and allocation of FCC/FCP has been dealt with very promptly and efficiently and we were also generously permitted by Crystal to transfer a small OBC from our cancelled 2020 cruise to our new 2021 cruise. We have also being given the early payment reduction. Inevitably, we have to join the queue so far as the refund of port taxes etc for the cancelled cruise is concerned. In our particular circumstances, the bottom line is that our 13 night 2020 cruise has been replaced with a 2021 16 night cruise at a rather lower net cost, a great result ! In these very difficult times for the industry, the service level we have experienced could not have been bettered. Thanks Crystal (and our TA, of course !). i appreciate that practices differ in different countries but I hope this may be of some help to others in a similar position.
  11. Interesting....fingers crossed then. by the way, we had the pleasure of enjoying your terrific presentations on the Symphony last November. May I respectfully ask if you will be singing for your supper (maybe literally) this time or simply coming along for the fun ride ? !!
  12. Real tea on a US-styled cruise ship...now, that would be a first for us !! ( apologies to our many friends across the pond).
  13. We are due to be on board the Serenity this October for a cruise from Quebec to Montreal. Crystal are laying on a complimentary coach transfer from Montreal to Quebec, so the journey is presumably fairly straightforward. For our part, we are scheduled to fly from the UK to Montreal, with a connecting flight to Quebec, which is scheduled at less than an hour. I am sure you will able to overcome your reservations and hope this helps.
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