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About Markanddonna

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    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Westerville, OH USA
  • Interests
    Genealogy and writing

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  1. When do the children return to school in our winter/their summer?
  2. Pre-Covid, we had trouble with MSC discounts "falling off our booking." That was MSC terminology. Keep checking!
  3. Without any scientific knowledge, I instinctively feel it is safer in places that are warmer with more to do outdoors. Let's face it: in Europe, most visitors go to museums, churches, buildings, hotels, restaurants, shops, etc whereas the Caribbean lends itself to the outdoors. That is why they have a lower incidence rate.
  4. It seems that this rule indicates that it really isn't yet safe to cruise and do excursions, at least for those who are in the elderly or medically compromised group.
  5. Here's my thinking on the topic of missing the ship: I consider how difficult it would be to get to the next port. It often is just a train ride away in Europe or a shuttle or flight between islands elsewhere. Of course, it would be a hassle, but I have never had a bad experience with a private tour, and they always got us to the ship on time. However, when we were doing a transpacific and was in Maui, I thought a bit differently: our next stop was in Fiji, almost six days away. That would be a very expensive "vacation" either in Fiji or Maui/Oahu if we missed the ship. So, we went with the ship excursion. I have learned to be ready for flexibility and adventures with travel. We are retired and don't have to be back to work, so a short unplanned excursion is okay with us.
  6. I don't really miss cruising, but I do miss international travel. The idea of getting on a cruise ship with masks, social distancing, and all the new procedures keeps me from desiring a cruise. I will change my mind when the COVID rates go way down and the signs to wear a mask disappear.
  7. Malaga is a wonderful port BUT some of their walkways can be very slippery if it rains. I had a totally different experience with a sunny day and rainy day.
  8. I've concluded that some people are just susceptible because of their immune system or an upper respiratory problem. My DH who has COPD almost always suffers while on cruises while I have only caught one small cold. I'm perhaps just slightly more vigilant than he is about not touching elevator buttons and trying never to touch food with my bare hands, but he follows all sensible protocols. I'll admit to being obsessive and haven't been on an antibiotic for years.
  9. The reports of spikes in Europe don't seem to be reported in the mainstream media. I bet, in the long run, before we the world is effectively vaccinated, that the strategies employed around the world will have equal effects on their population. If you shut down, the virus emerges and spreads during the opening of the economy (family parties, bars, restaurants, wedding, travel, etc.) Each country has their own track record, policies, and vastly different levels of compliance based on a country's history and style of government. In countries like Poland (I have family who reports back to me regularly), they had a pretty good run with high compliance, but now the virus seems to be spreading because of the pent up demand for weddings. It seems like alcohol use is a common denominator with spikes.
  10. Can you give us more information or the names of the companies that provide worldwide coverage? I believe that mine does, but also am guessing the wording on the policies will change dramatically when cruising starts up again.
  11. We saw an enticing TP from Australia in 2012 but the lower price required a $900 nonrefundable deposit. Too many variables in the next two years. Most of us don't want to be guinea pigs, especially on a cruise ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
  12. Chinese nationals account for one-third of world travelers. I saw that exact breakdown on the MSC Grandiosa in November. The dining room servers told us that 1/3 onboard were from a Chinese tour group. I like Chinese people, but most who travel don't socialize because they are usually with their own groups.
  13. Yeah, I agree. Curious as to why someone should think I would want to hop on a plane and travel to the other side of the country during a pandemic. Right now, we have to be contented with small, local trips and looking at our wonderful travel books I made on KDP and Shutterfly. BTW- I suspect most of the travel articles are written by people in their twenties. As a writer for professional historical journals, I've seen how many magazines operate. The writers likely just combed the internet. I've been to a lot of "highly recommended" sites that were a great disappointment. Think Manikin Pis in Belgium. That is why I love Rick Steves.
  14. For the past forty eight years, my husband, who is a geologist and I have camped and explored all over the west, specifically Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Oregon, the Dakotas, and Washington State and have been to Alaska four times. We covered New England extensively, the Mid-Atlantic, and the south. We spent the last eight years focusing on Europe because of my historical research and then finding my long lost cousins in Sweden and Poland. My last trip to Europe was to research for my WWII historical novel. I spent most of my life "discovering America first" but my interest is now elsewhere.
  15. There are some places in the world that are not of interest to us as we plan travel and that includes China. We have thirty years of experience working with Chinese International students, and they were generally delightful, so we are not without some knowledge and background. My house is filled with so many gifts from Chinese people that a stranger would assume Chinese people lived here. My husband has been there on business and has trouble with the pollution in China's cities.
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