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Everything posted by Ditchdoc

  1. I always liked the variety of the Windjammer while at the same time I did not like what seemed like a competition food grab. Some people can be very inconsiderate in buffet lines. I don't really care that the occasional person that just wants a roll or condiment, jumping in line, grabbing and going. But people that seem to have to push around every piece of food with tongs or what ever trying to decide exactly which piece they want is annoying. Then then there are the kids and slobs that strow food at every opportunity with indifference is inconsiderate to staff and passengers. Of course there is the proverbial table hunt during busy times. On our last cruise I do not remember eating in the Windjammer but maybe once or twice during the week. There were several options that allowed us to eat breakfast and lunch at a different venue almost every day. Many times the food was as good if not better with a lot less stress and hubbub. In part, what allowed us to do this was a lot of new cruisers are just not aware there are options other than WIndjammer. That and we are early risers that puts us ahead of many crowds. If the Windjammer changes dramatically, I don't think RCCL will have much choice but to advertise options more heavily to spread people out. What were once the relatively unknown sanctums and eating options for those in the know will not be as peaceful and attractive. Perhaps this will (or has) play into marketing to sell more tables at specialty restaurants which is what RCCL is turning to more and more where almost everything is optional at a price.
  2. Two Days After SEC Filings Reveal Royal Caribbean CEO Richard Fain Collected Over $14,000,000 in Compensation in 2019, Royal Caribbean Lays Off 1,500 Shoreside Employees.
  3. The wife and I were on Harmony for New Years along with 8000 or so guests and crew.. About a week after returning home, around January 12th or so, I got sick with a fever for about 3 days and right after, my wife had the same. We shrugged it off. Now I wonder could we have been early COVID survivors.
  4. How did the trees react to spring? They were re leaved.
  5. When ships were made of wood and men were made of iron, gun powder fired cannons sat on deck for defense. These cannons used round cannon balls made of iron for ammunition. In order to keep the ammunition handy, a triangle shaped rack sat next to the cannon. The cannon balls were stacked inside this rack, taking on the shape of a pyramid. Like everything on ships, these racks had a name. They were called monkeys. Since the monkeys were somewhat permanent fixtures on board and subject to sea and and salt, they were made of brass to prevent rust and corrosion. As the ships navigated the world they would sometimes find themselves in arctic or antarctic waters with temperatures dipping into the negative digits. This would sometimes create a problem in that metals would shrink or contract in cold temperatures. The brass of the monkey rack, being a softer metal, would contract more than the iron cannon balls it held in place. This resulted in the iron cannon balls sometimes being squeezed out of the monkey rack where they would roll around the deck generally creating havoc. And thus coining the phrase: "Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey."
  6. Ha .... its all true.
  7. Did you hear about the Indian that broke the world record for drinking tea? The next day they found him drowned in his tea pee.
  8. The chains by the inch are cheap plated junk. At best you might buy as a shiny trinket for a child if you don't mind the chain turning their skin green.
  9. So surcharges, taxes and port fees are more than the cruise🤔
  10. In general... I take out trip insurance for longer, more expensive trips. Each company may have different benefits but the cost is generally nominal and coverage comprehensive. For example, most times, virtually any thing beyond your control that inter-fears with you trip from the time you leave home until you return is covered. Sickness, a flat tire or mechanical break down to and from to air port, any flight delay or transfer that makes you miss connections, unplanned hotel expenses due to delays, medical bills meals and so on. The key is to keep good records and receipts for everything.
  11. Flying has turned into a cattle car experience. I would rather drive 8 hours than fly if I have the choice.
  12. Just try to find an N95 face mask for sale. Out of stock with no dates for availability pretty much everywhere.
  13. Cruise line stocks fall after State Department urges citizens not to take cruises in Asia https://www.marketwatch.com/story/cruise-line-stocks-fall-after-state-department-urges-citizens-not-to-take-cruises-in-asia-2020-02-21 Think RCCL is down 10%.
  14. There are plenty of chairs, loungers. Virtually every place that is suitable for one or the other has one. That means IF people were to start bringing their own, the only place to put it would be in a walkway or some spot that would only add congestion. Everyone's desire is different. Some want shade, some want sun, some want to be in the middle of the 'action', some want peace and quiet, some what to be at the bar or near food. If your desire is that strong, then go where you want early and 'stake it out'. Don't expect to reserve something all day and not use it. Be reasonable. Putting a towel on a chair and going for a bite to eat is reasonable assuming you come back in short order. Don't expect to get a seat in the middle of the 'action' 5 minutes in advance. If I really intended to spend most of the day poolside, I never had a problem getting a seat somewhere suitable if I claimed it by 10am or so. If it is a Sea Day, it can be more crowded so go early. That's not to say you will not find seating somewhere, it just may not be where you would like. Be polite, be courteous and be early to get a location you want.
  15. As a Paramedic, Nurse, Rescue Diver, Swift-water Rescue, HazMat Tech ...etc ... I have had some exposure to decontamination procedures and am familiar with the zoned (red, yellow, green) approach. In my opinion, the entire ship was the red zone, Protective equipment/DeCon area would be the just out side the ship (the pier) with the green area outside that.(the street)
  16. Got one NC. Was not that hard. A passport with two pieces of paperwork showing current address. Done. Drivers License now has a pretty yellow star in corner. Otherwise, it is pretty much the same as it has always been.
  17. There are many ways to transmit a virus. Droplet transmission in the air by cough or sneeze or simply talking. Body fluids via blood, urine, semen. Via vectors such as animals and insects. By infected food. Some virus can simply waif like smoke through the air from one open window into another. Some virus can withstand extreme heat and cold and can live on various surfaces for days. These quarantined individuals do eat. It has been said they leave their rooms for brief walks on deck. Their food is being prepared by ships staff. This staff is working together is unknown groups exposing each other and perhaps everything they touch, including serving dishes and food, carts used for transportation and so on. The details of corona virus and how it spreads does not seem to be known. So many individuals confined to a relatively small space, in my mind, makes it inevitable that every susceptible individual will be infected sooner or later by some means if they stay confined. The choices are: Expose every one, take care of everyone as well as possible, let God sort them out. This is the expedient method. Leave them in their current environment, trying to stay isolated, until the all become exposed anyway. Trying to stay isolated just prolongs the process on the slim hope some few will not become exposed. This is what was tried with more and more becoming infected every day it seems. Get them all off the ship and quarantined in a better facility where the spread can actually be controlled. In the process of moving a few thousand people you run the risk of exposing others during transport. This has been done with some people. Now ambulances, buses, airplanes and who knows what have been exposed and have to be decontaminated while hoping no one else is exposed in the process. The cost is enormous. A virus can be insidious. It can live for a long time. It can lie dormant and resurface after years. Its not a pretty picture.
  18. As a side note. I noticed RCCL has cancelled several sailings in the far east due to the corona virus. Other cruse lines have done the same. Financial reports from the cruise lines are predicting lower revenues as a result. Do you think the threat of disease and illness will turn people away from cruising? Will cruise line stocks suffer? Will cruise lines start deep discounts to lure people despite the 'risk of sickness'? Can cruisers expect more strenuous screening for illness before or after cruising? Will general SOP's for ship cleanliness be more stringent? Will this put more demand on ship crews or open new job opportunities in infection control specialists on ships much like hospitals use to reduce or prevent nosocomial infections?
  19. I'm not down playing the corona virus because it does seem to be very contagious and if not contained, could be devastating, but .... In effect its mortality is no more severe than the flu. Worldwide the flu kills about a quarter million people each year. So far, the corona virus is at about 1,800.
  20. Most every ship has a huge screen poolside. It's used for various videos such as real time events happening on board, music videos, and movies. There maybe afternoon movies and another movie in the evening.
  21. Ocean view is a window. Probably round, over the headboard of the bed. Being low in the ship generally means less motion. Think of a pendulum on a clock. The end closest to the clock moves less distance than the end further away from the clock. Motion is pretty much totally dependent on the ocean. Most of the time you never notice it, especially on the lower decks. That is why ice shows and theatrical productions are low in the ship. Less movement for cast to deal with. Being low in the ship, at the stern, means you may hear more of the engines. Not really loud, just a back ground hum. The sounds of the ship machinery vs the ocean are just a little different compared to the upper decks where you are more apt to hear people, bands, the general hubbub of ship life. None of this is really loud or concerning, just a bit different. If you are really sensitive to night time noise, think about bring ear plugs. Otherwise, you may find it somewhat comforting or you may not even notice it. Overall you are more apt to be disturbed by the occasional loud passenger or door slamming in a hallway, no different that staying in any hotel. You will be off the 'beaten path' so to speak and 'people noise' will most likely be less. The distance from some venues will be further. Pools will be further away though some food and shopping may be closer than if you were on the upper decks. With elevators it barely matters. If you like to take the stairs, you can get a bit of extra exercise. Overall, I would say there is little to be concerned about. Enjoy your cruise.
  22. Being of sound kind and body, I feel like I can keep up with my 'mess'. Out side the US, my documents stay on me.
  23. Radisson at the port. About $250 gets a night, a week of parking and breakfast for 2 plus shuttle service to and from the ship. There are 3 or 4 restaurant's within walking distance and a pretty nice pool.
  24. We sailed Harmony over New Years with a Central Park balcony and were never offered this perk.
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