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About Nightengale31

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Rhode Island
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess & NCL
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  1. I am an R.N. of 42 years and the 1st 20 of those years was an ER nurse. Last year while on the Crown Princess waiting for a spa treatment got chatting with the ship's physician who happened to be in the spa when I was waiting for my massage. This physician was actually a general surgeon who had a practice in AZ and arranged to take two months off from his practice during the winter to work on the ship. He told me the ship's infirmary is very equipped to handle most emergencies, but the goal is always stabilization then transfer to the nearest hospital. That being said, even if your husband has a bout of rapid A-Fib and rate can be lowered with medication, the ship's physician will more than likely require him to be transferred to a hospital at the next port for further evaluation and treatment. And the expense for that treatment and return home expenses will be the responsibility of your husband. So be sure you have the necessary insurance coverage to handle these types of emergency medical needs along with a few credit cards in the event that the hospital where your husband may be taken to wants some upfront payment. Unlike most hospital ERs in the US that are bound by EMTALA laws which pretty much means they are obligated to treat 1st in an emergency situation and seek payment later, foreign countries may have very different laws regarding extending emergency care so it is best to be prepared in advance. Also, be sure your husband carries on him at all times the progress note from his most recent cardiologist's visit that he had prior to leaving for the cruise. That progress note will contain pertinent medical history, current medications, and allergies which is extremely helpful in expediting his care at a facility that does not have the ability to access his medical records via an online patient portal.
  2. I used to get more NCL cruise comp offers balcony or above than I could possibly accept. My last cruise comp from NCL was a Haven Spa Suite on the Epic for a 10 day Italy coastal cruise two years ago, and as luck would have it hit a $7,500 jackpot on that cruise and since completing that cruise have not heard from CAS with any offers despite playing a good chunk of that jackpot back. After not sailing with Princess for a number of years out of the blue last year I got a balcony comp offer from them for multiple cruises and used it for a 10 day southern Caribbean cruise this past January on the Crown Princess. Played on the cruise equal to what I played on NCL and on return home the comp offers started coming in along with some of those cruises extending free play $$ which I never got with NCL. I took the offer for a balcony comp for a 7 day western Caribbean cruise on the yet to be completed Sky Princess balcony for next February and this comp offer included $1,000 in free play. Sunseeker 810, might be time for you to check out other cruise lines.
  3. I had to same thing happen to me on my Crown Princess cruise this past January and eventually the cruise came up paid in full. I have another casino comp booked on the Sky for next February, and already booked and paid for our excursions and the $100 deposit/OBC was deducted from the cost which was nice that we did not have to wait until the cruise to use this OBC.
  4. So if I were to put my cruise card into a slot machine, then put in the pin, and then enter $50 for example to be down loaded into the machine out of my $1,000 of free play, and say after playing $10 of the $50 of downloaded free play I hit $200 on a bonus spin, can I cash that $200 out which would leave $40 of free play in the machine along with the $900 of free play still on my card that was not downloaded ? Is this right ??
  5. I recently received a balcony cabin comp offer from Princess which I used it to book a Sky Princess cruise for next February. Since I usually sail with NCL and get the cabin comps from them but never free play, that being said I have no clue how Princess or cruise free play in general works. Do the casino give you a voucher for the free play like land casinos do or is the free play loaded somehow on your cruise card ?
  6. I have been an R.N. going on 41 years and the last 20 of those years working as a triage nurse at a VA primary care clinic so I am going to try to give you some professional practical recommendations regarding your concerns. The common cold is a viral upper respiratory infection which is spread by droplet aerosolization which means infected droplets of respiratory secretions through the mechanisms of coughing, sneezing, and not fully contained nose blowing by an infected individual enter the air as droplets which can then enter your respiratory tract if you breath these droplets in. If your immune system is not up to snuff and not able to destroy these invading viruses then you too can contract the same respiratory virus contained in the droplets. Outside of the body these respiratory viruses do not have a long life while floating in the air or landing on surfaces because they need the food source of a human host to remain alive and active. So, wearing gloves offers little help in protection from these type of viruses because if the infected droplets land on your gloved hand and you touch your face around your nose and mouth those droplets are still on the gloves and can enter either orifice and can still infect. This is why frequent hand washing and face washing and use of hand sanitizer and facial wipes offers greater protection because you are removing frequently the infected droplets that may have landed on your hands and face. And for those who choose to use protective masks they too need to be changed frequently because once they become moist from your own secretions their protective barrier becomes less and less effective the moister the mask gets. Noro Virus, Salmonella, E Coli, etc. are gastrointestional infections which mechanism of contraction is the fecal oral route. Transmission of these gastrointestional illnesses can happen in several ways. Most often on cruise ships those who have these infections that produce infected diarrhea and vomitus do not adequately wash their hands after having a bout of diarrhea and vomiting then go on to touch surfaces which can include food serving utensils along with food in the buffet. Then the next person comes along and uses that contaminated utensil or goes on to ingest the food that has been touched by the infected individual and this is the most common mechanism of how these GI infections spread. The same can happen when an infected individual prepares food in an unsanitary manner. Although not as frequent, infected diarrhea particles can remain in the water of public bathroom toilets, and the next individual who uses that toilet through their flushing those infected particles can aerosolize in the air and enter one's mouth and go on to cause infection. This is one of the reasons why when there is a Noro outbreak on a ship it is recommended to try to not use the public restrooms. So again, unless you change your gloves as frequently as you would wash your hands they offer no better protection than good handwashing with an antibacterial soap or use of sanitizer when the ability to wash your hands is not available. I would only recommend use of gloves as a barrier to prevent skin infections such as Staff and MRSA for those individuals who have open wounds and lesions on their hands such as in the case of bleeding/weeping eczema because their skin being their first line of defense against these types of infections is not intact and too frequent washing with antibacterial soaps which are very drying can worsen their skin problems. So in a nutshell this old nurse recommends first and foremost in the protection against contracting these infectious illnesses is the maintenance of you own health. Strong immune systems begin in the gut, so maintaining high levels of good gut bacteria which kills the infection causing bad organisms which can be enhanced by simply eating yogurt or if your doctor approves taking OTC probiotics. Maintaining proper hydration is also another must to ward off dehydration which dehydration dries out the mucous membranes of the mouth and nose which can cause these delicate tissues to crack open allowing germs to enter and set up house. Rule of thumb, if you get to the point you are experiencing thirst then you are already low level dehydrated and down a liter give or take of body fluid volume so don't wait to experience thirst before you take that drink of water. Consumption of alcohol is very dehydrating and to a lesser extent coffee and tea. So to prevent any of these liquids causing you to become dehydrated drink equal if not more water along with them. Adequate rest is also very important. Taking short naps and just lying down for a 1/2 an hour or so throughout the day gives all the functions of your body time to recharge from all the energy it has expended on activities is does not usually do while cruising. And a great deal of that energy is expended digesting foods, and as we cruisers know we are eating more frequently and in larger quantities than we do on a day to day basis in our everyday lives. And lastly, those cold symptoms that show up on day 2 of your cruise if you flew to the port it is likely the airplane where you caught your cold and not on the cruise ship. The air quality on most planes is not very good, and that along with being in such tight quarters with a large number of individuals all breathing in an out the same stale air this is a very ripe environment for the spread of upper respiratory infections.
  7. I am sailing on the Crown on 1/26/19 and a few days ago received an e-mail from Princess relaying the following information which it looks like things have recently changed with regards to check-in. PROGRESSIVE CRUISE CHECK-IN INFORMATION To help facilitate a smooth start to your voyage we have implemented a progressive cruise check-in schedule. Please arrive at the check-in times listed below. If you have purchased a Princess Cruise Plus Package/Transfer, your check-in time will be provided at your hotel or the airport. Guests traveling on shared transport arriving as a group will be checked in together. Priority check-in will be available to guests with Priority Boarding within the allocated check-in times. Boarding will commence shortly after check-in. Please do not arrive prior to the start of cruise check-in as your cabin will not be ready. 12:30 PM - Aloha & Lido Decks: Cabins on these decks begin with A & L 1:00 PM: Dolphin & Emerald Decks: Cabins on these decks begin with D & E 1:30 PM - Caribe Deck: Cabins on this deck begin with C 2:00 PM - Plaza & Riviera Decks: Cabins on these decks begin with P & R 2:30 PM - Baja Deck: Cabins on this deck begin with B Thank you for your attention to this notification.
  8. You are very right regarding your last sentence. I will turn 62 next month, and this coming spring will mark my 41 years of working as an R.N. After 2 years of working med/surg the next 20 years of work was pretty much all ER nursing. I knew at that point no way could I do another 20 in the ER, and fortunately for me I managed to get a job working for the Federal Government at a VA hospital based primary care clinic as a case manager. My position is a desk job, 98% phone work, and 2% face to face patient contact doing mostly chronic disease management and occasional non urgent triage. I have worked in this position for going on 19 years, and it is truly a blessing for me personally and professionally. Not only am I so honored to be able to provide care to our most deserving Veterans, having to work no weekends, no holiday, no shift rotation, and from day 1 of this job getting 5 weeks of annual paid vacation this has allowed me the paid time off to do quite a bit of traveling. So, I am planning on working another give or take 4.5 years to build up my FERS pension and TSP/401K, and my current job will allow me to do that. My husband is already retired being 5 years older than I which I have no angst over, because he now does pretty much all the cooking and cleaning which we used to share when he was working which took up a chunk of both our free time. I look at it this way, if our health should decline or worse before or shortly after I retire we have no regrets and consider ourselves very blessed with me now a 15 year cancer survivor ( 🙂 ) every day of my life following my cancer bump in the road is a gift even if work is a part of it. BTW, our 14th cruise is at the end of this month which is a 10 day southern Caribbean on the Crown Princess and we are as excited for this cruise as we were for our first!!!
  9. I developed pretty bad left knee pain several years back and attributed it to that knee being injured pretty bad in a car accident just after getting my driver's license at age 16. Shortly after my knee pain began I happened to have a routine exam with my doctor and she had ordered lab work done prior. My doctor happened to test my Vitamin D level along with other routine labs and she found my level severely low and put me on high dose Vitamin D for a couple of weeks and then onto a daily maintenance dose which I have taken ever since. Within a few days of taking that high dose Vitamin D my knee pain went away. And I can tell you if I become lax with taking my maintenance dose for a week or so boom my knee pain comes back and then goes away again when I restart taking Vitamin D again. Vitamin D has many functions and is very important in maintaining joint and bone health along with maintaining strong immune function. Not surprising when my level was low, in addition to my knee pain I had been experiencing one respiratory infection after another which I believed was related to my high exposure to all types of germs working in healthcare. Once my Vitamin D level maintained normal range for awhile those frequent respiratory infection became very infrequent. For those suffering with joint health issues especially those living in climates with long winters like I do where we get minimally sun exposure which is where the bulk of our Vitamin D comes from, it would be worth your effort to have your doctor check your level and then treat if your level turns up low which may help improve your joint health and in turn lessen or possibly eliminate your joint pains.
  10. Good for you on both your retirement and upcoming cruise!!!
  11. I watch cruise vlogs here and there but none I follow on a regular basis. But I do follow two travel vlogs and very much enjoy both and IMO both are exceptionally well done. The first is Kara & Nate who are a young couple from the Nashville area on a quest to visit 100 countries. The places they have visited and the things they have done such as their trek to Everest base camp are amazing. The other is Traveling Robert who is from Miami and travels with his wife as well as alone mostly around the US in his small travel trailer he calls Minitini. Check both out as I think most who like to travel land and sea would enjoy them.
  12. Yes, Bermuda is a very popular cruise for all lines that do it mainly because so many from the northeast that don't care to fly to the port can drive or take a bus or train to the ports in NY, NJ, and Boston. I did an NCL Bermuda cruise on the Breakaway several years back which was a new ship at the time and this was it's 3rd sailing. CAS comped me a spa minisuite for this cruise likely because I had lost a boatload of money in the casino on my previous NCL cruise. It was a wonderful cruise on a wonderful ship, and even though I live only an hour ride to Boston it was worth the almost 3 hour drive to NY to cruise on this ship. And, it was so nice after getting in at 7:00 am we were back in R.I. at 11:am. I have done just about every Caribbean cruise, Alaska, Panama Canal, and Italy and my Bermuda cruise still remains one of my favorites.
  13. Of all my 7 NCL cruises, the first was a balcony comp from a local casino, 5 were balcony comps from CAS, and the last was a Haven Spa suite comp also from CAS on a 10 day Italy coastal cruise going on 2 years ago. On the first day of this last cruise I hit a jackpot for $7,500 which supplied my usual amount of money that I gamble on a cruise and the remainder came home with me which was not a huge amount. In between all my NCL comped cruises I could not begin to count the email cabin comp offers I would get from CAS, but following my Italy cruise I have not heard a peep from them. Interestingly, after not sailing with Princess for 8 years which I did 6 cruises with them the only perks I was lucky to get from the same amount of play that I would do on NCL was a free specialty dinner or a drink or two while playing in the casino. Don't think back then Princess was offering cruise comps or discounts, and that is the reason I jumped ship to NCL. Last year out of the blue I got an email from Princess after no sailing with them for 8 years a balcony comp offer on a number of cruises and decided to take up the comp offer on a 10 day Caribbean cruise sailing at the end of this month. Since making that booking over 8 months ago Princess continues to send me balcony cabin comp offers. Moral of the story, when you think you have figured out the cabin comp system then comes the monkey wrench that upsets that apple cart. I think in my case with regards to CAS tossing me to the curb was because I was a decent winner on my last cruise with them, and I had the same thing happen to me with Foxwoods land casino. Last February Foxwoods began sending me weekly free play of a few hundred dollars and my husband and I decided to take a ride up to play a bit and to have dinner to celebrate both our birthdays that month. With that free play I hit nearly a $16,000 jackpot on a penny progressive slot not even playing max, and after that the free play that I had for the remaining weeks of February disappeared and I have not heard from them or been back since. You may think you played a good deal on your last NCL cruises which you likely did, but if you consistently won a good amount of your play back you become a winner and not a looser. And casinos don't like consistent winners they like and cater to consistent losers which is why they remain in business. Might be worth your time and effort to call CAS back which you will likely get a different agent who will likely give you an entirely different offer which could be better than the one you have been currently offered.
  14. I have very much enjoyed reading your review and thanks for sharing. My husband and I are doing this exact itinerary on 1/26//19 and we too after 7 cruises with Princess have not sailed with them in 8 years. After our last Princess cruise which was to Alaska and was great we jumped ship to NCL after receiving a cabin comp from a local casino. Following that cruise the comps kept coming directly from NCL so we continued to sail with this line. I will admit the smaller NCL ships can't compete with similar sized Princess ships, but hands down sailing to Bermuda from NYC on the NCL Breakaway and our Italy coastal cruise in a Haven suite on the NCL Epic were thus far our best all around cruises ever. Despite these wonderful NCL cruising experiences I certainly missed those beautiful Princess grand foyers which are much better optics than huge TV screens that are the focus in most of NCL's foyers, and all the other little things that make Princess Princess. Not sure if this upcoming cruise will lure me back to being a Princess only cruiser again because at this point and time in my cruising life it is more about visiting different destinations than the onboard experience. Knowing in advance about the Princess syrup coffee I already purchased our coffee cards along with a few cases of water . Also already booked the Crown Grill and Sabatini's on the nights and times we wanted to go, as well as booked all our excursions which are pretty low key short length tour type excursions since we wanted this cruise to be more about R & R and we have been to most of these islands several times in the past. So I think Princess will deliver on my expectations for this cruise, and just being able to escape the cold New England winter even if for just 10 days will be a treat and hopefully we will come back new. 🙂 Again, thanks for sharing.
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