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About BruceMuzz

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  1. My ship sails in Alaska every summer - except this one. We previously had October sailings, but no longer. We had so many weather problems, cancelled port calls, cancelled tours, and guest complaints about closed shops, bad weather, lack of tours, no whales, no bears, etc, etc.
  2. It is still too early to even make informed guesses for next year. It appears that Carnival and Royal Caribbean are planning China-based cruises in 2021. But that depends on which other Asian countries (if any) will allow cruise ships to enter. China has its own Cabotage Laws that require ships to visit foreign ports. It gets more complicated as China will not allow a foreign cruise ship to travel directly between China and Taiwan. To my best knowledge, there are no other Asian countries currently allowing cruise ships with passengers to make port calls. Here in Japan, we are now permitted to leave and re-enter, and foreigners with new working visas will be allowed to enter Japan starting in October. But no tourists are currently allowed to enter Japan, and there is no information as to when that might change. The Japanese government is currently discussing regulations for Olympians entering Japan next summer, and it appears that they will relax the rules for that. It probably means that they will also relax tourism visa regulations to go along with the Summer Olympics. With the Virus still out of control in countries like USA, India, and Brazil, it seems unlikely that those citizens will be able to visit most of Asia anytime soon. There are discussions going on now between China, Japan, and some SE Asian countries to permit tourism from countries that do have the COVID numbers under control: Europe and some Asian countries.
  3. Japan is now officially in the “Second Wave” of the virus. Numbers of cases in Tokyo and Osaka spiked a bit - mainly due to clubs and bars open late at night. The Japanese government cannot legally close them, so instead is paying them to close early every day. As expected, the numbers are now dropping. Japan - at 135 million people - is showing fewer cases and deaths than most individual US states. Everyone here is still wearing masks - not because we are forced to - but because it is still the right thing to do. Foreign residents of Japan who left Japan before the pandemic are now being allowed to return. Foreign residents of Japan who left Japan after the pandemic started will be allowed to return after Sept 01. International flights are ramping up again. Foreign tourists (from some countries) may be allowed after 01 Sept. The new Tokyo cruise terminal opened last month, but with no ships calling (yet).
  4. You didn’t tell us where your cruise is going - and returning. From San Francisco, if you are cruising North, you will have at least 2 sea days that are typically windy, rainy, foggy, cold. If you are cruising South, you will have at least 2 sea days that are typically windy, rainy, foggy, cold. If you are returning to San Francisco at the end of the cruise, you will have the same 2 sea days again. If you are cruising North from San Diego, you may encounter the same 2 or more days at sea. If you are cruising South, the weather and views are typically much improved. If you are sailing West, the weather is usually far better than from San Francisco.
  5. My home port is Tokyo. The city and country have re-opened and are more or less back to normal. Businesses, Restaurants, Bars are open and busy. Trains and subways are a bit less crowded than before. Everyone is still wearing masks - not because we have been told to, but because it is the right thing to do. Only a few European tourists are being allowed into Japan, so the summer attractions are not very crowded. It is a great bonus for those of us living here. Japan cruising and local Asia cruising will re-start shortly.
  6. You are talking about the CDC. They WILL allow BBQs on ships, but have instituted very strict health requirements before they will approve them. This includes hand washing stations and easily accessible bathrooms. Other cruise companies spent the time and money to meet those requirements - and are now offering BBQs on deck. HAL refused to spend the money to do it properly, so is not allowed to legally offer the BBQs.
  7. Taking a car from Narita is a waste of time and money - unless you are unable to do it yourself. Narita Express train departs frequently from the lower levels of Terminals 1 and 2. Plenty of escalators, elevators, and trolleys to handle your luggage. Each car has secure storage for all your suitcases. Most of the cars are non-smoking. Seating is comfortable and reserved. Most of the trip is above ground, with great views of the countryside and city. Electric power outlets at each seat. All signage is in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and English. They offer free internet. Narita to Tokyo Station is 60 minutes; 3300 yen Narita to Shinjuku Station is 71 minutes; 3300 yen Narita to Yokohama station is 90 minutes; 3800 yen Same thing for Haneda. Tokyo Monorail runs frequently from Haneda to Hamamatsucho station in Tokyo. Fare is 480 yen; travel time is about 20 minutes. Good seating; free internet; great elevated view of the city. There are some good restaurants and luggage storage at Hamamatsucho station. At Hamamatsucho station, you can easily catch a local subway, local JR train, or a taxi.
  8. This port stop is included usually for 2 different reasons: 1. They have cheap fuel there, so the cruise line can fill up and save some money. 2. The ship must call at a foreign port while sailing around Japan. I have worked on about a half dozen ships that called there. A few passengers found it charming. Most passengers complained that it was a terrible place and questioned why we took them there.
  9. Tokyo has far more people and far more subways than New York. Yet Tokyo has very few Covid cases and even fewer deaths. Your correlation does not stand up.
  10. BruceMuzz

    Transfers in Tokyo

    Since CC is a cruise site, many posters asking questions about Tokyo airports are going on a mass market cruise. They are using Haneda airport for a couple of good reasons. The real Tokyo cruise terminal (Harumi) is very small and conveniently right downtown. But the Rainbow Bridge that crosses Tokyo Bay is too low for large cruise ships to get under it and get access to Harumi Terminal. As a result, only the smaller luxury lines call at Harumi. The big ships are forced to call at Osanbashi Terminal in Yokohama - about 50 miles South of Tokyo. Osanbashi is a great place to call, but getting into Tokyo and back can be challenging and potentially costly if you don't speak Japanese. Narita Airport is larger, newer, and offers more variety than Haneda, but it is located about 60 miles North of central Tokyo. On the other hand, Haneda is newly renovated, enlarged, and is located just a few miles South of central Tokyo - in the direction of Yokohama. Getting from Narita to to Tokyo or to Osanbashi Terminal in Yokohama is not difficult, But it is more costly and takes more time. Getting from Haneda to Tokyo or to Yokohama is very easy, fast, and inexpensive. The Japanese are building a new cruise terminal just South of the Rainbow Bridge - and very close to Haneda Airport. This terminal is scheduled to open sometime this year, and can accommodate large cruise ships. This makes Haneda erven more desirable for people on mass market cruise ships. Daikoku Terminal in Yokohama is unfortunately not a very nice place. It is a cargo pier that is used for cruise ships that cannot get a slot at Osanbashi Terminal. If you fly into Haneda Airport, it is a relatively short taxi ride to Daikoku. There are also a few shuttle buses available from Yokohama to Daikoku Pier.
  11. Let's do the math with HAL's smaller ships (1200 passengers) 25% capacity would be 300 passengers Minimum safe manning on those ships would be over 300 crew. That puts the total souls at 600. Vancouver's limit is 500. No deal.
  12. First they have to find a ship built in the USA. (Spoiler alert; Good luck with that one) Then, after they change the ship's registration and start paying American taxes, they are required to hire American crew. They also have to pay American wages, overtime, and payroll taxes. (Second spoiler alert; Your cruise fares will double) The American Crew must be members of the US Merchant Marine to work on the ship. The US Merchant Marine currently has very few members with any cruise ship experience. To join the US Merchant Marine, your criminal background must be investigated by the FBI in all 50 states. This takes about 6-8 months and costs $1200 per crewmember. So if they start working on this right now, you can expect to book a high-priced Alaska cruise on an American ship in 4 or 5 years.
  13. My ship carries fewer than 500 souls. We will be cruising in Canada and Alaska this summer.
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