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JLMoran

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  1. Thanks
    JLMoran got a reaction from Baked Alaska in A slightly painful lesson in foreign-currency excursions   
    I got the refunds for my two directly-booked items in Reykjavik, and a slightly painful lesson about the risks one takes in doing anything involving foreign currencies. Because the prices given for both the private transfer to the Blue Lagoon and the tickets to the lagoon itself were given in ISK (Icelandic Kroner), that's the amount used for the actual refund, not what was paid in USD. The exchange rate from ISK to USD has gotten a lot worse from when I originally booked, so my 90% refund on the Blue Lagoon tickets worked out to 78% once converted to USD. And my 100% refund on the private transfer was more like 90%.
    I realize there's nothing I can do about it, this was just a lesson I had to learn about foreign travel. But I want others here to be aware. Only advice I can give is to wait until you're as close to the date of the thing you want to book as you're comfortable doing, assuming it's not something wildly popular that's known to sell out way in advance. That way, you can hopefully minimize any big swings in the exchange rate if you find yourself needing to cancel.
    If I had any other net losses around this trip I would leverage my trip insurance to see if that would cover the gap, but it's less than what I paid for the policy so I'd rather still carry the policy over to next year's rebooked date.
  2. Like
    JLMoran got a reaction from IRMO12HD in What if COVID-19 Never Goes Away?   
    Article from today’s WaPo discussing the realities we need to face around the likelihood this virus is NEVER “going away”.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/27/coronavirus-endemic/?utm_campaign=wp_post_most&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most
     
    The article rightly points out we already have 4 coronaviruses today, which cause the common cold and which have never been stamped out. Vaccinations will help with managing this virus, but we have to stop looking for a quick-fix solution to “get us back to normal” and understand that the presence of COVID-19 is the new normal.
    I don’t think for a second this means that we’re all going to be isolated for the rest of our lives, or that cruising is done as a form of travel and vacation, or that we’re done for as a species. But I think it does mean we really should stop saying things like, “Things will be back to how they were once 2021 comes around”, and start planning on lives where this new virus is going to be a thorn in our side for at least the next decade.
    Hopefully our favorite cruise line and all the others are already taking that long-term view.
  3. Sad
    JLMoran reacted to SpeedNoodles in No cruise ships in Canadian ports until 31 October   
    Yeah, I can't even deal with it now anyway.  Between the covids, the riots in Minnesota and my dog being mysteriously sick I just want to disappear into the mountains.
  4. Sad
    JLMoran reacted to GrandmaAirplane in No cruise ships in Canadian ports until 31 October   
    It’s now officially announced in this morning’s Press conference by Canada’s government:
    No cruise ships will be allowed into Canadian ports before October 31, 2020 - effectively cancelling the Summer and early Fall cruising season in Canada.
    This will mean more cancellations and itinerary changes for this year’s Alaska, Eastern seaboard, and Fall foliage cruises.
  5. Like
    JLMoran reacted to sk8erguy1978 in A slightly painful lesson in foreign-currency excursions   
    Yeah. Something I never put thought into but makes sense. You didn't pay in USD, you converted USD to ISK and then paid. Same would happen in reverse ISK to USD to credit card. Thanks for the heads up! 
  6. Like
    JLMoran got a reaction from sk8erguy1978 in A slightly painful lesson in foreign-currency excursions   
    I got the refunds for my two directly-booked items in Reykjavik, and a slightly painful lesson about the risks one takes in doing anything involving foreign currencies. Because the prices given for both the private transfer to the Blue Lagoon and the tickets to the lagoon itself were given in ISK (Icelandic Kroner), that's the amount used for the actual refund, not what was paid in USD. The exchange rate from ISK to USD has gotten a lot worse from when I originally booked, so my 90% refund on the Blue Lagoon tickets worked out to 78% once converted to USD. And my 100% refund on the private transfer was more like 90%.
    I realize there's nothing I can do about it, this was just a lesson I had to learn about foreign travel. But I want others here to be aware. Only advice I can give is to wait until you're as close to the date of the thing you want to book as you're comfortable doing, assuming it's not something wildly popular that's known to sell out way in advance. That way, you can hopefully minimize any big swings in the exchange rate if you find yourself needing to cancel.
    If I had any other net losses around this trip I would leverage my trip insurance to see if that would cover the gap, but it's less than what I paid for the policy so I'd rather still carry the policy over to next year's rebooked date.
  7. Sad
    JLMoran got a reaction from WAAAYTOOO in A slightly painful lesson in foreign-currency excursions   
    I got the refunds for my two directly-booked items in Reykjavik, and a slightly painful lesson about the risks one takes in doing anything involving foreign currencies. Because the prices given for both the private transfer to the Blue Lagoon and the tickets to the lagoon itself were given in ISK (Icelandic Kroner), that's the amount used for the actual refund, not what was paid in USD. The exchange rate from ISK to USD has gotten a lot worse from when I originally booked, so my 90% refund on the Blue Lagoon tickets worked out to 78% once converted to USD. And my 100% refund on the private transfer was more like 90%.
    I realize there's nothing I can do about it, this was just a lesson I had to learn about foreign travel. But I want others here to be aware. Only advice I can give is to wait until you're as close to the date of the thing you want to book as you're comfortable doing, assuming it's not something wildly popular that's known to sell out way in advance. That way, you can hopefully minimize any big swings in the exchange rate if you find yourself needing to cancel.
    If I had any other net losses around this trip I would leverage my trip insurance to see if that would cover the gap, but it's less than what I paid for the policy so I'd rather still carry the policy over to next year's rebooked date.
  8. Sad
    JLMoran got a reaction from ehw51 in A slightly painful lesson in foreign-currency excursions   
    I got the refunds for my two directly-booked items in Reykjavik, and a slightly painful lesson about the risks one takes in doing anything involving foreign currencies. Because the prices given for both the private transfer to the Blue Lagoon and the tickets to the lagoon itself were given in ISK (Icelandic Kroner), that's the amount used for the actual refund, not what was paid in USD. The exchange rate from ISK to USD has gotten a lot worse from when I originally booked, so my 90% refund on the Blue Lagoon tickets worked out to 78% once converted to USD. And my 100% refund on the private transfer was more like 90%.
    I realize there's nothing I can do about it, this was just a lesson I had to learn about foreign travel. But I want others here to be aware. Only advice I can give is to wait until you're as close to the date of the thing you want to book as you're comfortable doing, assuming it's not something wildly popular that's known to sell out way in advance. That way, you can hopefully minimize any big swings in the exchange rate if you find yourself needing to cancel.
    If I had any other net losses around this trip I would leverage my trip insurance to see if that would cover the gap, but it's less than what I paid for the policy so I'd rather still carry the policy over to next year's rebooked date.
  9. Like
    JLMoran got a reaction from GrandmaAirplane in What if COVID-19 Never Goes Away?   
    Article from today’s WaPo discussing the realities we need to face around the likelihood this virus is NEVER “going away”.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/27/coronavirus-endemic/?utm_campaign=wp_post_most&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most
     
    The article rightly points out we already have 4 coronaviruses today, which cause the common cold and which have never been stamped out. Vaccinations will help with managing this virus, but we have to stop looking for a quick-fix solution to “get us back to normal” and understand that the presence of COVID-19 is the new normal.
    I don’t think for a second this means that we’re all going to be isolated for the rest of our lives, or that cruising is done as a form of travel and vacation, or that we’re done for as a species. But I think it does mean we really should stop saying things like, “Things will be back to how they were once 2021 comes around”, and start planning on lives where this new virus is going to be a thorn in our side for at least the next decade.
    Hopefully our favorite cruise line and all the others are already taking that long-term view.
  10. Like
    JLMoran got a reaction from Ogilthorpe in A slightly painful lesson in foreign-currency excursions   
    I got the refunds for my two directly-booked items in Reykjavik, and a slightly painful lesson about the risks one takes in doing anything involving foreign currencies. Because the prices given for both the private transfer to the Blue Lagoon and the tickets to the lagoon itself were given in ISK (Icelandic Kroner), that's the amount used for the actual refund, not what was paid in USD. The exchange rate from ISK to USD has gotten a lot worse from when I originally booked, so my 90% refund on the Blue Lagoon tickets worked out to 78% once converted to USD. And my 100% refund on the private transfer was more like 90%.
    I realize there's nothing I can do about it, this was just a lesson I had to learn about foreign travel. But I want others here to be aware. Only advice I can give is to wait until you're as close to the date of the thing you want to book as you're comfortable doing, assuming it's not something wildly popular that's known to sell out way in advance. That way, you can hopefully minimize any big swings in the exchange rate if you find yourself needing to cancel.
    If I had any other net losses around this trip I would leverage my trip insurance to see if that would cover the gap, but it's less than what I paid for the policy so I'd rather still carry the policy over to next year's rebooked date.
  11. Like
    JLMoran reacted to EmersonNZ in Could Royal Caribbean sale from Australia with only New Zealanders and Australians on board?   
    I was just thinking....
    NZ is pretty close to be declared COVID-19 free with only 1 person in the whole country still suffering from it (I reckon when they get the all clear they should get a meal in any restaurant they want in the country), Australia is no far behind and could probably be down to 0 cases in a month if they keep on their current path.
    Given this could RCCL sail cruises from Australia with only Australian and NZ citizens on board who have been in their respective countries for 21 days? Would there be enough (a) customers to warrant it and (b) demand from those customers given the current public opinion on cruising?  
    You'd need to ensure that the crew were carrying it into NZ/Aust so you'd need to either have it wait offshore for 21 days with no cases or somehow find away of guaranteeing the crew were COVID-19 free. The big stumbling block will probably be public opinion which is rather anti cruising at the moment due to a large number of deaths in Australia being attributed to one particular cruise ship. IF they can get over that and find a way to ensure the crew are not carrying it I wonder if they could be sailing in Australia and New Zealand by the end of the year after-all.
    The Pacific Islands are also close to COVID-19 free as well so we might be able to include them in one Pacific bubble.
     
     
  12. Like
    JLMoran reacted to Traveler in What should happen so we can safely resume cruising ?   
    I am living  in a place that is currently at the end of the first wave (and hopefully the last wave) so now we started  open facilities and services  steps by steps with some restrictions , that might give some clue how things can work  on a ship : 
    Work place : 
    From March to end of April I was going to the office  were we maintained 1-2 % of the people to make sure everyone can work from home , on the last few weeks we increased  the numbers from 15% to  30% and  now 70% (people will work 3 days from office and 2 days from home).
    The process - Every day each employee is filing online health declaration form  , in the parking garage I am wearing a face mask  and use alchogel , elevators to the reception were my temperature is being  taken using an ipad and a heat  sensitive camera , if there is a queue of people there are stickers on the floor to show were you need to stand . Once I am done with the temperature check  I am swapping my card so they can verify that I sign the declaration , after that I am getting a colored bracelet (each day different color) so I do not need to to go through this process again.. This is something that can be done also on the ship , the security can take your temperature at the morning and give you a daily bracelet . Alchogel again and to the office were I am taking off my mask . At the the   kitchen we suppose to wash our hands and  use disposable  gloves before touching any food or prepare a drink. in the meeting Rooms we suppose to have empty chair between each other. Lunch went from buffet style to take away in disposable trays were you can add also some prepacked salads.
    Shops : 
    Temperature is being taken before you can get in , alchogel station and gloves are available. shops are limited to a precedent that driven from number of available cashiers   , masks are require to be wear all the time.
    Restaurants and bars  :
    If the bar/restaurants can contain more than 100 people they are allow to have up to 75% of their max capacity , tables should have a 4 feet distance between each other,  Mask is required to be wear until you are seated , from this point you can take them off . Only when you seat your table is being maid .
    Theaters:
    Only online tickets are allowed , everyone that bought the tickets together can  seat together , between groups there should be an empty seat, that can work with RCL theaters also , maybe they will need to add another show or two 
    Masks in public area : 
    People require to wear masks in public areas unless they are in a middle of sports activity or if the temperature outside is above 90 , a 60 $ fine can be given for people who caught not wearing one, currently its not highly forced but most of the people still wear  a mask.
    Beach /pools : 
    People allow to go to the beach and a six feet distance is expected between groups , masks are required but not heavily forced. Pools are open but the population is limited, water parks are still kept closed.  
    Schools /kindergarten: 
    Schools are  100% opened as long as no new C19 cases are found which in that case the school can be closed for two weeks. older kids require to wear a mask while seating at the class , windows are kept open (while air condition is working). 
    Flights : 
    Limit flights continued during all this period , from next month more and more companies starting again to operate , the main issue is that anyone that land here is required to get into  quarantine for two weeks . There is a discussion to lift the quarantine requirement as long you are flying to/from a "green country" which has lower level of the C19  cases such as Austria , Iceland , Seychelles, Greece , South Korea and some more .  Cruise might stats for places like Greece Islands ...
    So far we are OK , but the status of the C19 is monitored very closely , if too  many cases are located in a neighborhood it might be quarantined for few days , if a case is found in a work place , the work place will be shut for two weeks. 
    For me wearing the mask outside is tolerable but I am very happy every time i can take it off.
     
  13. Thanks
    JLMoran reacted to twangster in Hawaii Tourism: No Cruise Visitors Until Mid-2021   
    Not good enough.  A high percentage of steel in the hull has to be US steel.  That was an issue when NCL acquired and subsequently lengthened what would become Pride in Germany where she was finished.  She started at a US ship yard for a different line but the owner went bankrupt and she had to get a special exemption to qualify as US built since technically she isn't.
    In short you can't just stick a flag on a ship and call it US built.  While 90% of what governs so much of US based itineraries involves the PVSA, the Jones Act does continue to be a factor and that is where percent of US steel comes from.  They've both been codified into US law so technically neither PVSA or Jones are the technical articles in play, everyone still refers to them.  
    At any rate, % of foreign steel in the ship and the number of staff who are US citizens plus the flag on the ship (registration) are all factors and it doesn't stop there.  Technically the Pride doesn't qualify since too much foreign steel is in the ship, but completely embarrassed by the total failure of a US shipyard being able to build the ship, a waiver was provided. 
  14. Haha
    JLMoran reacted to HeWhoWaits in Is Rhapsody Being Retired?   
    A little Freudian slip there @coneyraven? Wishful thinking?
    I would say that at this point, very few ships are "for sail" relative to the number that are for sale.
  15. Sad
    JLMoran reacted to SpeedNoodles in No cruise ships in Canadian ports until 31 October   
    https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2020/05/29/canada-extends-cruise-ship-ban-through-october-31
  16. Like
    JLMoran got a reaction from SteveinSC in What if COVID-19 Never Goes Away?   
    Article from today’s WaPo discussing the realities we need to face around the likelihood this virus is NEVER “going away”.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/27/coronavirus-endemic/?utm_campaign=wp_post_most&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most
     
    The article rightly points out we already have 4 coronaviruses today, which cause the common cold and which have never been stamped out. Vaccinations will help with managing this virus, but we have to stop looking for a quick-fix solution to “get us back to normal” and understand that the presence of COVID-19 is the new normal.
    I don’t think for a second this means that we’re all going to be isolated for the rest of our lives, or that cruising is done as a form of travel and vacation, or that we’re done for as a species. But I think it does mean we really should stop saying things like, “Things will be back to how they were once 2021 comes around”, and start planning on lives where this new virus is going to be a thorn in our side for at least the next decade.
    Hopefully our favorite cruise line and all the others are already taking that long-term view.
  17. Haha
    JLMoran reacted to KristiZ in Favorite after-dinner drink   
    A Rubbermaid Cocktail! I remember those... I mean, I remember *hearing* about those, from other bartenders. *cough*
  18. Haha
    JLMoran reacted to Chadster in Corny Jokes   
  19. Like
    JLMoran reacted to Traveler in Name something GOOD that has come out of the CV isolation.   
    No traffic to go to work (well at least it was like that before they opened  again most of the things here)
    Dinner on time with the family
    Local temporary farmer markets in the neighborhood were  real farmers came everyday with different ultra fresh products that they could not sell to  the restaurants 
  20. Like
    JLMoran got a reaction from Kcusack89 in What if COVID-19 Never Goes Away?   
    Article from today’s WaPo discussing the realities we need to face around the likelihood this virus is NEVER “going away”.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/27/coronavirus-endemic/?utm_campaign=wp_post_most&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most
     
    The article rightly points out we already have 4 coronaviruses today, which cause the common cold and which have never been stamped out. Vaccinations will help with managing this virus, but we have to stop looking for a quick-fix solution to “get us back to normal” and understand that the presence of COVID-19 is the new normal.
    I don’t think for a second this means that we’re all going to be isolated for the rest of our lives, or that cruising is done as a form of travel and vacation, or that we’re done for as a species. But I think it does mean we really should stop saying things like, “Things will be back to how they were once 2021 comes around”, and start planning on lives where this new virus is going to be a thorn in our side for at least the next decade.
    Hopefully our favorite cruise line and all the others are already taking that long-term view.
  21. Like
    JLMoran got a reaction from Baked Alaska in What if COVID-19 Never Goes Away?   
    Article from today’s WaPo discussing the realities we need to face around the likelihood this virus is NEVER “going away”.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/27/coronavirus-endemic/?utm_campaign=wp_post_most&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most
     
    The article rightly points out we already have 4 coronaviruses today, which cause the common cold and which have never been stamped out. Vaccinations will help with managing this virus, but we have to stop looking for a quick-fix solution to “get us back to normal” and understand that the presence of COVID-19 is the new normal.
    I don’t think for a second this means that we’re all going to be isolated for the rest of our lives, or that cruising is done as a form of travel and vacation, or that we’re done for as a species. But I think it does mean we really should stop saying things like, “Things will be back to how they were once 2021 comes around”, and start planning on lives where this new virus is going to be a thorn in our side for at least the next decade.
    Hopefully our favorite cruise line and all the others are already taking that long-term view.
  22. Like
    JLMoran got a reaction from lovetotravel in Name something GOOD that has come out of the CV isolation.   
    With my younger daughter’s help, I finally got my second-largest garden bed cleared of the overgrown asters, put in a new tree and some shrubs, and converted over half the bed into our first attempt at a vegetable garden. Will see how that last part goes, I don’t think it’s getting nearly enough sun; only about 4 hours a day.

    Sorry for the really big image, for some reason choosing a smaller file size causes the pic to get rotated.
  23. Like
    JLMoran got a reaction from teddy in What if COVID-19 Never Goes Away?   
    Article from today’s WaPo discussing the realities we need to face around the likelihood this virus is NEVER “going away”.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/27/coronavirus-endemic/?utm_campaign=wp_post_most&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most
     
    The article rightly points out we already have 4 coronaviruses today, which cause the common cold and which have never been stamped out. Vaccinations will help with managing this virus, but we have to stop looking for a quick-fix solution to “get us back to normal” and understand that the presence of COVID-19 is the new normal.
    I don’t think for a second this means that we’re all going to be isolated for the rest of our lives, or that cruising is done as a form of travel and vacation, or that we’re done for as a species. But I think it does mean we really should stop saying things like, “Things will be back to how they were once 2021 comes around”, and start planning on lives where this new virus is going to be a thorn in our side for at least the next decade.
    Hopefully our favorite cruise line and all the others are already taking that long-term view.
  24. Like
    JLMoran got a reaction from DDaley in What if COVID-19 Never Goes Away?   
    Article from today’s WaPo discussing the realities we need to face around the likelihood this virus is NEVER “going away”.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/27/coronavirus-endemic/?utm_campaign=wp_post_most&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most
     
    The article rightly points out we already have 4 coronaviruses today, which cause the common cold and which have never been stamped out. Vaccinations will help with managing this virus, but we have to stop looking for a quick-fix solution to “get us back to normal” and understand that the presence of COVID-19 is the new normal.
    I don’t think for a second this means that we’re all going to be isolated for the rest of our lives, or that cruising is done as a form of travel and vacation, or that we’re done for as a species. But I think it does mean we really should stop saying things like, “Things will be back to how they were once 2021 comes around”, and start planning on lives where this new virus is going to be a thorn in our side for at least the next decade.
    Hopefully our favorite cruise line and all the others are already taking that long-term view.
  25. Like
    JLMoran reacted to ellcee in What if COVID-19 Never Goes Away?   
    Sigh. I just want to live in a world where this isn't our every day talk. I'm fine with a new normal. I'll wear masks if I need to. I'll learn to not touch my face as much. I just want to have this not be every topic of conversation.
    @JLMoran I don't mean to be a jerk on your post. This is valid information and I'm not directing my jerkiness at you. 
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