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  1. Like
    PPPJJ-GCVAB reacted to JLMoran in Z-plasty? WTH is a Z-plasty? (Yet *another* nahtacruz blog)   
    Yes, I'm back! And you know what that means, right?
    I'M HEALED!!!!
    ***with a few caveats and provisos...
    All of the skin is completely regrown (if a bit ugly), and the suture lines around the flap are fully closed and clean looking (but with a visible crease or seam along the bottom edge). And just in the nick of time, as we're going up for our college visit on Monday. The doctor gave me the green light to go, but there are a few strings attached.
    First: I'm still in a compression wrap until I'm back home. The doc told me that healed wounds like this are still quite delicate for a long time, typically at least a year. No way am I going to be wearing a shoe or walking around for miles after just getting healed. Fair enough, I was able to find a loaner folding transport wheelchair that we'll take with us, and my wife and daughter (or maybe the college tour guide) will just have to take turns pushing me along.
    Second: Even after the compression wrap comes off and I'm back to wearing my regular compression socks (Bombas makes a great line of these), I have to very gradually get back to wearing a shoe. And because my shoes are custom-made for my feet, they'll guaranteed require some modification from my orthotist before they properly fit again without rubbing or pressing on the area.
    Third: I was hoping this meant I can finally stop elevating the leg when I'm working, but no dice for at least a few months and maybe longer. It's fine to put it down for a bit and gradually rebuild that "stamina", but right now I need to baby the scars and give them enough time to solidify. If I feel it swelling, I have to elevate again and not try to power through. Otherwise I'll just be tearing everything open all over again.
    Good news on this last point is that once I'm tolerating my shoes again, I can at least start going on short walks and build back up to longer ones over a couple of months. Walking and moving around isn't any issue since that keeps the blood pumping and cuts down swelling. It's just the sitting around that's no good. And my garden really needs me able to get out there and do some major pruning!
    With a 1-year clock, things will be truly solid right in time for my Mediterranean cruise next July/August as long as I treat everything right. Which is good, because that's when I'll be doing tons of walking and need the strength / durability this procedure is supposed to provide.
    I won't quite call this blog done and closed just yet. Since we're going up for the college visit in less than a week, I figure I'll let y'all know how it went and whether it's still my daughter's number 1 pick. She's already picked another school as her new #2 choice, so this could turn into a horse race! 😉
  2. Thanks
    PPPJJ-GCVAB reacted to Jill in New cruise planner sale starts August 4   
  3. Wow
    PPPJJ-GCVAB reacted to PurdueFlyer in Pre board COVID testing for ALL passengers from Florida Ports though December 2021 Now   
    Not a happy camper at all with this development (or the last 18 months in this country, in general). 
    All the test does is prove your status at the time the test was taken.  Your status 72 hours ago means ZILCH right now.  And why the differentiator between sailings starting at 5 nights?  A family who goes on a bender at a wedding and then gets on a 3-night cruise the next day can infect large amounts of people on the ship just as bad, if not worse. 

    I have a 4 night sailing out of Miami on 11/3 on Oasis, getting back to port on 11/7.  I then immediately turn to a 5-nighter on Radiance on the 7th (same day).  So I won't need the negative test for the first sailing, but WILL for the second sailing, and I'll have mere hours to get off the ship, find a CVS in miami and get a Q-tip jammed up my nose and get back to the dock.  Since this is a Sunday, I'm worried that basic drugstores won't have testing widely available or it'll involve some stupidly-expensive Uber ride to get there. 

    And of course, this will all change again in 3 months I'm sure. 
  4. Love
    PPPJJ-GCVAB reacted to WAAAYTOOO in Pre board COVID testing for ALL passengers from Florida Ports though December 2021 Now   
    Royal and Celebrity are beginning to look like a bunch of clowns inside a pinball machine - jumping around reacting to one thing and then bouncing back in the other direction.  Sad, really
  5. Thanks
    PPPJJ-GCVAB reacted to TB2021 in Miami Hotels   
    Have you considered looking into an Air BnB or VRBO? You should be able to book a very large space for the price of 13 hotel rooms. Just a thought. 
  6. Thanks
    PPPJJ-GCVAB reacted to Linda R in Miami Hotels   
    Agree, you can get a good group discount.  A good travel agent can check around for you also.
  7. Thanks
    PPPJJ-GCVAB reacted to RG306 in Miami Hotels   
    I have not stayed at Yve so unfortunately cannot give you feedback. We usually stay at the JW Marquis or Kimpton. Or have stayed in South Beach.
    however if you are reserving 13 rooms, you should be calling the hotels directly and speaking to their sales director about getting a group or booking through a company that will do that. It should gain you some sort of discount. 
  8. Like
    PPPJJ-GCVAB got a reaction from Shari in Check your fare price   
    Guess I was lucky enough to get really great prices for my currently booked cruises...nothing cheaper is showing up!   I am happy so many of you are finding deals and jumping on them!
  9. Sad
    PPPJJ-GCVAB got a reaction from WAAAYTOOO in Kids thrown off Anthem!   
    I deleted my comment...and vow to keep my opinions to myself from now on. 
    I will stick with reading the blogs and grabbing whatever info I can from them...and enjoy the quick-witted bantering that sometimes goes on.    Did not mean to offend anyone with what I said earlier.  That's not what I stand for!   Thanks...
  10. Wow
    PPPJJ-GCVAB reacted to smokeybandit in Four vaccinated, two unvaccinated passengers test positive for COVID on Royal Caribbean ship   
    Another negative test overnight.  Rc is flying us home due to strict Bahamas quarantine rules for close contacts.  Just waiting on those details
  11. Like
    PPPJJ-GCVAB reacted to MicDay in So with new test requirement, what will you do (if anything) to increase chances of testing negative?   
    I really think we are at a point that everyone just does:
    you do you and I’ll do me 
    what makes me feel comfortable and safe might not be the same for you and that’s ok
    no judgement here
  12. Like
    PPPJJ-GCVAB reacted to dandi799 in So with new test requirement, what will you do (if anything) to increase chances of testing negative?   
    We are cruising out of Miami 2 weeks from today. We are masking up and not hanging out with other indoors as much as possible. I do have two days at an in-person conference this week, which makes me very nervous, if I'm being honest. We are flying to Miami the day before the cruise, and I have N95 masks and face shields for all of us. I'm completely over caring if I look silly at this point. We have been planning this cruise since 2019, and I just want it to happen!
  13. Like
    PPPJJ-GCVAB reacted to Jill in So with new test requirement, what will you do (if anything) to increase chances of testing negative?   
    For us, we’re going to lay low starting 2 weeks before our cruise in October. No going out unnecessarily. We’re lucky that we are home based, so no offices we have to go to. 
    We were going to drive to Miami with our friends, but now (if cases remain high) considering taking separate cars. Especially since one of the friends will have just flown home from NYC a few days before we leave. 
    I’m not risking it! Lol We’ve waited so long to finally get back onboard that to test positive would be just awful. 
  14. Like
    PPPJJ-GCVAB reacted to Jverge in Pre board COVID testing for ALL passengers from Florida Ports though December 2021 Now   
    From the RC site...
    For Cruises Departing from Florida
    For guests on cruises departing from Florida homeports from August 1 through December 31, 2021, the following requirements apply. 
    All guests age 2 and older — regardless of vaccination status — will need to take a COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) with an accredited test provider, such as a drugstore chain or diagnostic lab, no more than 3 days before arriving at the terminal for embarkation. Guests will need to show their negative test result upon arriving at the terminal. The results can be printed out, or can be presented on your phone, such as the email result from your test provider. Costs associated with this test are the guests' responsibility. PRE-CRUISE TEST FOR ALL GUESTS ON SAILINGS 4 NIGHTS OR LESS
    All guests age 2 and older will need to take the pre-cruise test as outlined above. However, on these shorter sailings, guests who are fully vaccinated may choose to provide proof of vaccination in order to be exempt from this test.
  15. Love
    PPPJJ-GCVAB reacted to Jill in Sofa bed comfort level   
    Ha ha! The 21 year old’s graduation present is a cruise to Alaska. We have a JS and she gets the sofa bed. She’s Diamond too and a lightweight so her 4 drinks will make that sofa bed mighty comfy! 
  16. Like
    PPPJJ-GCVAB reacted to cdixon22 in Sofa bed comfort level   
    Makes perfect sense - more adult beverage 🍹 = more comfortable bed 🛏️
  17. Haha
    PPPJJ-GCVAB reacted to twangster in Sofa bed comfort level   
    Sofa bed comfort factor has been scientifically studied and determined to be directly proportional to adult beverage consumption.  
  18. Like
    PPPJJ-GCVAB reacted to Reigert2008 in Odyssey Cruise Oct.3 (changed itinerary again)   
    Multiple things here.
    1. ports are not guaranteed and can change at any moment. We’ve seen ports get canceled for weather, high waves, and medical emergencies. Sure it doesn’t happen often, but that’s the reality of the situation.
    2. cruising in 2021 (and probably parts of 2022) will require patience and flexibility.  It’s no secret that cruising is not back to “normal” so no one should expect everything to be smooth sailing (pun intended)
    3. Using a good TA is key to a smooth operation.  I like to do a lot of things on my own, but cruising has so many moving pieces that a good TA really makes it easier.
    4. I’m all about getting the deal, but then price on Royals site is the price of the cruise. Any deals you are getting from another vendor (TA or website) could have different rules and policies and could affect many things that are out of Royal’s control.  For example, when we used AAA they would not reprice a cruise without charging a fee, but that was their policy not Royal. I’d recommend using MEI Travel who sponsor this site, they’ve been amazing throughout all this.
    good luck.
  19. Love
    PPPJJ-GCVAB reacted to Blue Waters in Odyssey Cruise Oct.3 (changed itinerary again)   
    My husband and I used to live on RC ships full time for about 3 years before Covid hit. We had an awesome time and a fantastic life  traveling all over the world, running around to catch the next flight, next ship...Then Covid hit the world and from one day to the next we found our selves  grounded at our base-camp (aka home), locked up and waiting for this whole nightmare to pass. In my mind I was positive that we will be back on a cruise ship shortly. I kept myself busy with running my own windjammer in our kitchen, the cancellation aftermath, re-booking, new cancellations, moving bookings, changed ships, changed itineraries, keep track of FCCs, refunds, payment dues. Spent hours, days, weeks, months by talking to RC customer reps over the phone.  Meanwhile I kept a close eye on the virus situation around the world. We were determined to return to cruising as soon as possible ,,,if it is safe and enjoyable. We currently have over 30 cruises booked, and we planned to return cruising full time on Aug. 8th Odyssey. However after a long discussion with my husband ( we are young and healthy btw) we decided not to go back to cruising just yet. I follow all the cruise news, kept in touch with some crew members, and of course kept in touch with a few full time cruiser friends who we met during our voyages. At this point and time, cruising for us would not be the same experience yet, it is too complicated taking flights, crossing international borders, restrictions, testing before flights to certain countries etc. I do not want to pretend that everything is normal, just because I can board a cruise ship. We just got an email from one of our friend who went on a cruise for the first time since Covid shut down, and he said the atmosphere is not the same at all. With a heavy heart, I've called Royal and cancelled all of our cruises for August and September. We haven't gone anywhere in the last 15 months because we were just fully focused on reclaiming our cruising lifestyle. We had to change plans and will travel within the US, dry land and follow the cruising industry. If the time is right we will be back. Just follow your gut feelings.
  20. Like
    PPPJJ-GCVAB reacted to HeWhoWaits in Formal Nights   
    Another thing that helps with preventing wrinkling of a suit jacket or sport coat is to fold it inside out when packing. The part that gets any wrinkles is the inside of the jacket that nobody will see.
  21. Wow
    PPPJJ-GCVAB reacted to MaritimeR&R in Test Cruise Invite   
    Received my second invite -- this time for Independence out of Galveston --hoping to get one for Oasis - a port I can drive to as last minute airfare is outrageous.
  22. Like
    PPPJJ-GCVAB reacted to Lovetocruise2002 in Test Cruise Invite   
    That’s it! I am officially beyond jealous lol
  23. Like
    PPPJJ-GCVAB reacted to Matt in Test Cruise Invite   
    Just in: I've been chosen to play the role of @Lovetocruise2002 on Allure.  
    If anyone needs me, I'll be in my Star Class accommodations, waiting impatiently for Coastal Kitchen to open.
  24. Like
    PPPJJ-GCVAB reacted to Jill in Children Covid Testing Type   
    I would “practice” at home with a q-tip a few times so your 4 year old won’t freak out. 
  25. Like
    PPPJJ-GCVAB reacted to MG728 in 5+ Staterooms...   
    Nope it’s not 5 adults… not even 3 adults. We have cruise before this way in smaller rooms. Just not on RC. Everyone’s level of comfort may be different. Thanks everyone for your help!
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