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JLMoran

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Everything posted by JLMoran

  1. My personal feeling at this point is that the US won't see cruising resume before summer of 2021 at the absolute earliest. New York needed a solid 3 months to stabilize things and get daily counts back to levels the hospitals could manage. The current hot spots are approaching those levels of exponential growth and aren't being effectively stamped out. Let's say they manage somehow to follow the same track as NY (which I seriously doubt, given they didn't learn the lessons from there); 3 months from now is October, and we're solidly in the new flu season along with the oncoming winter, and I don't see a better outcome than stable case counts only slightly reduced from the peak. Hopefully low enough that hospitals can keep up. I could be totally wrong on this. There is new research that indicates the main source of spread isn't every single person, but "super spreaders"; individuals who are pre-symptomatic but shed far more of the virus, infecting far more people than others do (on the order of 6-10+ people infected for every one that a "regular" spreader might infect). Maybe we'll get lucky and cut enough of those people off that we get it under control more quickly. But there are too many news stories telling me we won't be that lucky. There's the 18 members of a single extended Texas family who got infected by one of their cousins when they all attended a birthday party. There's the guy who posted a video saying how sorry he was that he attended a party that likewise saw huge number of people infected (caused, it turned out, by a person who knew he was infected but decided to attend the party because he couldn't be contagious because he didn't have any symptoms). Nope. I have no hope for anything getter better any time soon any more.
  2. This isn't inconsistent with @Bean79's post. Basically, the CDC has indicated that they approve of the panel that's been formed and will be willing to listen to whatever proposals they offer. But those proposals, as you noted, won't be going before the CDC any earlier than Aug 31. It's possible that the CDC's support could translate into a "fast track" review process, but I'd be very surprised. I don't think anyone is going to do anything on a fast track (outside of the vaccine research that's ongoing, and even that is still under FDA purview and approval).
  3. The Edge itinerary went way up in price the last I looked at it. That was the only one I was seriously considering apart from the Iceland & Greenland sailing, and now that I've canceled that sailing I have no intention of booking anything else. My wife and kids were only OK with Celebrity because of the itinerary; most likely I'm going back to Royal now until we get Diamond level. Celebrity was already a pretty penny more than Royal, and with the pricing changes going into effect everywhere I look, they're pricing themselves right out of my pay grade.
  4. I'd love to. But right now the US is a pariah to every other country in the world, and no one will let us in. We're not even being given the option to quarantine for 2 weeks first. That's all I'll say on it. I'm far too pissed off and too tempted to go on a rant.
  5. Canceled my Aug 1, 2021 Iceland & Greenland sailing this morning. There will be no bucket list trip for me, or apparently any cruises at all, at any point in the foreseeable future.
  6. After reading the summary of the EU recommendations, in particular that cruises be limited to 4-7 night sailings for some unspecified initial time, with no indication when that "initial time" will actually start... And after seeing that the US is officially excluded from all travel to the EU for the foreseeable future, most likely extending well into 2021 at the rate we're going... And after thinking about a realistic timeline for a vaccine, and concluding that it isn't realistically happening until the spring of 2021 at the very earliest... I've decided that I'm just canceling my 2021 Iceland and Greenland cruise, and that it won't be replaced with anything. I no longer have any faith that there will be a solution in anything less than a year, probably two. And not to be morbid, but that's assuming I'm still alive then and haven't caught this disease that will be a lot worse for me (as an asthmatic) than many. (I've confirmed I'm antibody-negative, after thinking I caught it earlier in the year) And I'm not going to leave my money tied to hope when there's a non-zero risk of the company that hope is tied to going bankrupt and forcing me into some FCC deal I may not want. Or be able to take advantage of if I'm... y'know... not here any more to enjoy it. I can't begin to say how angry I am, or how demoralized this makes me.
  7. Haven't sailed them, but their ships are the smallest of all RCL's 3 main brands; from what I saw, none carries more than 600 or so passengers. That's going to make for much more intimate sailings and opportunities for the crew to get to know you well (and vice versa), which I would assume translates into higher levels of service and more positive experiences. Celebrity is already noted for having a higher level of service and staff involvement than Royal, and I would only expect Azamara to be higher yet.
  8. As a parent of two, trust me when I say that while having the kids with you for vacations can be great, it's also great to have time without them. Y'know, for reconnecting and stuff...
  9. When is the holiday break for you? It would mean taking the kids, but then you could conceivably do one of those if they line up right.
  10. Swap it out for one of the 11- or 12-night options out of Bayonne on Anthem, if you feel halfway confident they'll open up by then (and that those Caribbean ports will accept Americans on board with all the friendly Canadians).
  11. Wow, you're only on edge when Thanksgiving comes around? I've been on edge for at least 4 months now, and if we're still cooped up by Thanksgiving I'll be full-blown NUTS!! This dad joke brought to you by your friendly Chief Science Officer, a proud dad for going on 20 years now. 😉 😁
  12. My daughter's college here in NJ is also planning to open in early August instead of September, as a way to try and be ahead of any fall spike that shuts the schools down early. They're taking a lot of precautions, including having all voice majors do their vocal training and rehearsals outdoors under open canopies to minimize the risk of spread as much as possible. Yes, singing causes more spread than coughing or sneezing in some cases! We'll see how it goes, but I honestly think it's going to take more than the college kids being responsible to get a broader reopening in the fall. Though it might be a bit easier to pull off in Florida, where fall means comfortable outdoor weather every day (when there isn't a storm blowing through, anyway).
  13. Sorry to be a Negative Nellie, but I think Cape Liberty is not seeing a single cruise departure this year. The governors of NY and NJ have basically said that indoor dining is shut down again, no indoor gatherings really authorized for the foreseeable future. What with cruise ships having all dining indoors (except for the small outdoor area on Anthem's WJ, and some outdoor seating for the specialty venues on the Central Park deck of Oasis), I'm assuming they'll be blocked just on those grounds alone.
  14. JLMoran

    Galveston

    Seems really weird, considering that the ships make all their profit from the on-board spend and not the bookings. Seems like a no-brainer to have longer cruises that keep people buying booze, playing in the casino, and doing specialty dining for more nights than just pump-and-dump every 7 days. Maybe the more-stable weather in the Gulf (at least outside hurricane season) makes it more practical to stick with 7-night sailings year-round? I'm sure a big part of the 11- and 12-night offerings in Bayonne is to get the ships the heck out of those rough Atlantic winter waters for as much of the season as they can.
  15. JLMoran

    Galveston

    Is there a logistical reason that Galveston can't doesn't do longer itineraries to reach some of those more distant southern and eastern Caribbean ports? Just surprising that they limit themselves to two itineraries that offer no variation, quickly forcing travelers who want to cruise into making their vacation a "ship is the destination" trip if Galveston is the only viable port for them. Why can't / don't they do like the sailings out of NJ, with alternating longer and shorter options like 9-night and 5-night, or even a few 11- and 12-night runs in the "deep off-season"? That would easily let them get the southern Caribbean or far Eastern, giving some variety. If they can sail a ship for 3 days down and 3 days back on a Caribbean sailing out of NJ, shouldn't they be able to do the same at least a few times a year for a port like Galveston? Maybe adding some additional Mexican ports into the mix for western variety?
  16. @Baked Alaska, haven't opened any disputes yet. As of now, I've gotten back one full airfare and what I think is the balance of the other airfare after having the upcharge post-L&S applied; got that a couple weeks ago. Yesterday I got back my private journey booking, plus about $130 that I can't explain; it's possible that's part of my internet package and / or Halifax excursion, but it's hard to say.
  17. So BofA (who I still refer to by the Bill Maher “rhymes with” name 😜) is just as bad as Capital One. Can’t tell you how many people on my Iceland & Greenland Cruise who got hit by the Saga Travel bankruptcy had a CO card and we’re basically told to pound sand by the dispute reps. And this is depressing as all get-out to read when I have the BofA Celebrity card and I’m still waiting for all CP refunds from my L&S to be applied. About 90% there now, but still have several hundred to go...
  18. You might want to move your Oasis and Allure booking notes over to the "When your Next Cruise" thread, over on the People Connect forum. That way @Lovetocruise2002 will record in the Master List.
  19. It doesn't matter. @Matt is still the one who started the trend and forever carries that cone of shame around his neck. 😉
  20. At this point, I would say that anyone cancelling on their own and not having it canceled by Royal should call their credit card company and dispute the lack of prompt refund. This gets the money back on your card right away and the card company will take it up with Royal / whomever. Honestly, I think even for cruises / CP purchases that got canceled by Royal as part of a bulk cancellation, I'd still go this route. I've learned that the Consumer Credit Protection Act (hope I got the name right), and/or most credit card companies' dispute policies, only provides 90 days for a customer to contact their card company and request resolution for issues with a charge. With the cruise companies taking so long to issue the full refund, there's a real risk you could cross that mark without even realizing it.
  21. I can't offer any suggestions about those places; but if you're thinking of proposing in a place that will have a bunch of people there, then you might want to try to subtly suss out if she personally likes the idea of being proposed to in front of a crowd. At least that way you can narrow down the options, and if you do it on the ship with the CD involved then he/she would know in advance what would and wouldn't fly.
  22. CK is by far the best perk of being in a Jr Suite. They have the best filet of any dining venue, bar none, but it’s only served the first night. Think of it as a specialty dining venue that’s no extra charge and only for Jr Suite guests and higher. I absolutely loved it the one sailing I got to partake. Spectacular food every night. Since you’re on an Oasis class ship, you’ll have to make reservations each night; for some reason they don’t let you reserve your dinner time on the first night for every night of your sailing, even though Quantum class ships have no problem with that.
  23. Ummm, that'd be a "NOPE!" I'm not even a big fan of "glamping"; went to just outside of Wildwood / Cape May last year at a KOA site that had cabin rentals, and still didn't much care for it. Had my fill of camping after three years of sleepaway summer camp in the Adirondacks. Loved going canoeing or hiking, until it became a multi-day trip with camping involved; schlepping all the stuff, the bugs, the lack of plumbing, the lousy food (although the s'mores were always welcome 😉),... Nein, danke!! Now, gimme a bicycling tour with an AYH at the end of each day, plus a restaurant and Ben & Jerry's in easy walking distance, and I'm all on board!
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