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Thread: My Vacation Cruise in Asia during the Wuhan Flu Scare

  1. Top | #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    I’d like to get to Alaska. I am not a cruise-line person - it just doesn’t match my usual vacation style - but I’ve heard Alaska may be the one time to try it. Sounds like a nice trip you had. Do you expect any opportunity to upgrade your cabin? I hear that happens sometimes.

    What makes you want to go again so soon? Is it the atmosphere of the cruise and so a duplicate trip is not really duplicate?
    Same. I’d only do a cruise because I’d like to see the shoreline from the water. Actually same for the Mediterranean. On one hand, I’d enjoy the views and generally enjoy being in the water. On the other hand, even pre-pandemic, cruise ships strike me as huge floating Petri dishes.

  2. Top | #42
    Industrial Grade Linguist Copernicus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toni View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    I’d like to get to Alaska. I am not a cruise-line person - it just doesn’t match my usual vacation style - but I’ve heard Alaska may be the one time to try it. Sounds like a nice trip you had. Do you expect any opportunity to upgrade your cabin? I hear that happens sometimes.

    What makes you want to go again so soon? Is it the atmosphere of the cruise and so a duplicate trip is not really duplicate?
    Same. I’d only do a cruise because I’d like to see the shoreline from the water. Actually same for the Mediterranean. On one hand, I’d enjoy the views and generally enjoy being in the water. On the other hand, even pre-pandemic, cruise ships strike me as huge floating Petri dishes.
    They are, but things have changed a lot on ships because of COVID. Everyone wears masks in public areas now, although they take them off for food and drinks. Everyone had to have proof of vaccination and a recent negative COVID test just to board the ship. There are testing facilities on board and procedures for quarantining and contact tracing when someone with symptoms tests positive. It is still a bigger risk, IMO, to travel on public transportation, where there are few, if any, such requirements for fellow passengers. I don't want to minimize the risk. It is still riskier than staying home and social distancing, but we can't stop living our lives until the crisis passes. That doesn't seem likely to happen for years, thanks to those who doggedly resist common sense measures to control the contagion. Businesses like cruise lines simply have to adjust by controlling their environments as best they can.

    It is possible to take a land trip to Alaska, but that is probably riskier than a cruise, given that it is a red state, and it doesn't even have a statewide mask mandate. Only half the population is fully vaccinated. Moreover, you can't go everywhere, and places like Juneau are almost impossible to get to except by air and sea. You can only see the glaciers from ships that have special permission to get into the parks.

    From our cabin balcony in Glacier National Park:



    Marjerie Glacier in Glacier National Park


  3. Top | #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    We did have something of a bizarre incident on this trip. About halfway through it at 12:30 am, there was a sudden announcement "Man overboard! Man overboard! Port side!" We were already asleep, but everyone was ordered to return to their cabins. They announced that the ship was turning back to search the area, and two rescue craft were dispatched. Then we were told that everyone was to assemble at their muster stations but not to bring life jackets. The general alarm was sounded. So we all had to dress quickly and assemble in the designated areas. Some people came in bathrobes. We all sat about for half an hour while every single person in the crew and passenger list were verified. After everyone was confirmed safe, they released us back to our cabins.
    Probably some object went over and whoever saw it didn't identify it as non-human. Better safe than sorry in such a situation.

    We never learned the details of what happened to cause the alarm, but no one had gone overboard. This was an interesting test of the ability of the ship to assemble passengers and crew quickly for a real emergency, and they did a very good job. The few passengers who (inevitably) did not show up at their muster stations were tracked down relatively quickly. All of us had been issued medallions with RFID chips that signaled our locations, so the task was not as difficult as it might have been on other ships. This is a new technology that Princess Cruises introduced recently, and it worked very nicely.
    Sounds like a very good idea for a cruise ship. You're going to have a huge number of people who don't know how to respond to an emergency.

  4. Top | #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Toni View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    I’d like to get to Alaska. I am not a cruise-line person - it just doesn’t match my usual vacation style - but I’ve heard Alaska may be the one time to try it. Sounds like a nice trip you had. Do you expect any opportunity to upgrade your cabin? I hear that happens sometimes.

    What makes you want to go again so soon? Is it the atmosphere of the cruise and so a duplicate trip is not really duplicate?
    Same. I’d only do a cruise because I’d like to see the shoreline from the water. Actually same for the Mediterranean. On one hand, I’d enjoy the views and generally enjoy being in the water. On the other hand, even pre-pandemic, cruise ships strike me as huge floating Petri dishes.
    They are, but things have changed a lot on ships because of COVID. Everyone wears masks in public areas now, although they take them off for food and drinks. Everyone had to have proof of vaccination and a recent negative COVID test just to board the ship. There are testing facilities on board and procedures for quarantining and contact tracing when someone with symptoms tests positive. It is still a bigger risk, IMO, to travel on public transportation, where there are few, if any, such requirements for fellow passengers. I don't want to minimize the risk. It is still riskier than staying home and social distancing, but we can't stop living our lives until the crisis passes. That doesn't seem likely to happen for years, thanks to those who doggedly resist common sense measures to control the contagion. Businesses like cruise lines simply have to adjust by controlling their environments as best they can.

    It is possible to take a land trip to Alaska, but that is probably riskier than a cruise, given that it is a red state, and it doesn't even have a statewide mask mandate. Only half the population is fully vaccinated. Moreover, you can't go everywhere, and places like Juneau are almost impossible to get to except by air and sea. You can only see the glaciers from ships that have special permission to get into the parks.

    From our cabin balcony in Glacier National Park:



    Marjerie Glacier in Glacier National Park

    I'm hoping to be able to do a car trip across the Pacific Northwest and into Alaska in a couple of years, after hubby retires. I suppose we could fly to Seattle and then drive up into Alaska, etc. That's what my son did a couple of years ago, pre-covid. If I get to go, I really do hope to have a chance to get out on the water to see the coastline, and glaciers from the water.

  5. Top | #45
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    You could possibly leave the car in long term parking somewhere and take a cruise from either Seattle or Vancouver. We once found a deal where we could rent a motel room for a night in Vancouver, and they let us leave our car in their parking lot for free for the 14 days that we did a round-trip cruise to Alaska. However, those were pre-COVID days. Nothing like that is possible right now. The drive up to Alaska from here is quite far, but there is so much to see and enjoy in the PNW.

  6. Top | #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    You could possibly leave the car in long term parking somewhere and take a cruise from either Seattle or Vancouver. We once found a deal where we could rent a motel room for a night in Vancouver, and they let us leave our car in their parking lot for free for the 14 days that we did a round-trip cruise to Alaska. However, those were pre-COVID days. Nothing like that is possible right now. The drive up to Alaska from here is quite far, but there is so much to see and enjoy in the PNW.
    Yeah, I just looked at a map and did the how far is it from Vancouver to Juneau---and embarrassingly enough, I was stunned. I'll have to check with my son to see how he and his friend did the trip--I should know but I honestly do not remember. I'm sure it's a beautiful drive but I was kind of hoping not to do THAT much driving.

  7. Top | #47
    Industrial Grade Linguist Copernicus's Avatar
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    If you want to see Alaska the easy way, I would really recommend a cruise from Seattle/Vancouver to Alaska, or vice versa. You could start out or end up visiting Denali National Park (which we haven't been to yet). Trump wanted to change the name back to Mt. McKinley, since he couldn't stand the idea of using a name that locals had used long before European colonists declared themselves "owners" of the land. Some of the cruise lines will arrange a trip there before or after a cruise. The two lines that seem to give the best Alaska itineraries and experiences are Princess and Holland America, with Princess being by far the most recommended. On Friday, we'll be going back on a Royal Caribbean ship, the Ovation of the Seas, but we don't expect it to be nearly as good as the Princess cruise. it's just cheap right now--$289 pp plus taxes and service fees for 7 days. You probably won't find the same cruise that cheap in the future.

  8. Top | #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    If you want to see Alaska the easy way, I would really recommend a cruise from Seattle/Vancouver to Alaska, or vice versa. You could start out or end up visiting Denali National Park (which we haven't been to yet). Trump wanted to change the name back to Mt. McKinley, since he couldn't stand the idea of using a name that locals had used long before European colonists declared themselves "owners" of the land. Some of the cruise lines will arrange a trip there before or after a cruise. The two lines that seem to give the best Alaska itineraries and experiences are Princess and Holland America, with Princess being by far the most recommended. On Friday, we'll be going back on a Royal Caribbean ship, the Ovation of the Seas, but we don't expect it to be nearly as good as the Princess cruise. it's just cheap right now--$289 pp plus taxes and service fees for 7 days. You probably won't find the same cruise that cheap in the future.
    It's not something that is possible for another couple of years, barring a powerball win so we aren't going to be able to take advantage of the low rates. Still, it's on my list of things to do once hubby is retired....

  9. Top | #49
    Industrial Grade Linguist Copernicus's Avatar
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    Just returned from our second Alaska cruise a week ago. We had an inside cabin on this cruise (Princess Ovation of the Seas). It was cheap, but no balcony or window. Here I am in our stateroom staring at the wall.


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