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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/28/2013 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    This is not a blog about the port of St Thomas, the beautiful US Virgin Island, but more of some amazing advice from an individual living there. I was with a friend at a restaurant in St Thomas, the waiter came to us and you could tell he was from the States and not the Caribbean, so I just had to ask. "Where are you from?" He replied, "Philedelphia." Then he went on telling us how he used to be a school teacher but since all of the budget cuts in the school system he has not worked as a teacher for 3 years but waited tables in Philly to make ends meet. He then said something that will stick with me forever. "If I am going to wait tables, I might as well do it somewhere beautiful and in a place I will love to be all year long." He just blew my mind with that advice and I told myself that this world is far too beautiful to not enjoy it or love where I live. So I encourage everyone reading this… if you are not happy where you are, make a change! Life is not life unless you are happy!
  2. 1 point
    You need to know two things to understand the norovirus issue that plagues us every year (pardon the pun). Surprisingly, neither covers how to avoid getting it, though the second point is absolutely the single most important overlooked fact in understanding the issue. First: norovirus is not just a ship problem. In fact, it’s barely on ships at all, compared to how many land-based institutions are struck every year right in your own city. Norovirus is common throughout all of North America and Europe, being most prevalent in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and children’s day care facilities. It strikes every year. It’s so regular, in fact, it no longer incites headlines. Those are now reserved for the unusual, the exotic, such as “PLAGUE SHIP!” An illness transmitted from your children isn’t nearly as alarming as “RATS SPREAD DISEASE!”. But you get a cold or flu from your kids all the time. That headline wouldn’t sell many newspapers. Yet the land numbers are far, far greater than the sea numbers. There have been 2,630 confirmed reports of norovirus so far this season in the UK, for example (as of several weeks ago, no less!), but for every reported case there are likely to be a further 288 unreported sufferers. That’s according to the Health Protection Agency (HPA). Recent figures from the HPA show that more than 750,000 people could be affected by the 2012 outbreak of norovirus that has swept the UK. It’s so bad, in fact, that they’re closing hospital wards and denying visitors access to the buildings. Take Birmingham City Hospital, for instance, which closed three wards due to norovirus infection, or Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals, which actually tweeted, “Please don’t visit hospital until at least two days after last symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea. Stay home, rest, and take fluids.” But nobody thinks about infected hospitals down the street. They think of cruise ships. They think of sensational headlines. Take the media frenzy surrounding the P&O liner Oriana, dubbed ‘a plague ship.’ “It’s a living nightmare.” “Scores of passengers laid low by virus.” “People were falling like flies, yet the crew were trying to insist everything was fine.” Oh, the drama! The sick have vomiting and diarrhea a few days, tops, and possibly stomach cramps. If that’s your definition of ‘a living nightmare’, you suffer from a serious lack of real life. You’ll note the hospital referred to above even told sufferers to stay home and they'd be fine. Subjective perceptions of severity aside, let’s look at real numbers. More importantly, what’s behind them. It’s not what you think at all. An outbreak, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, is 3% or higher of reported passengers or crew being sick. Please note the inclusion of ‘crew’. When one crew member is sick, ALL of his/her cabin mates are automatically quarantined and counted as sick. Thus, the number of infected is artificially inflated by double or more from the very beginning. This directly affects passengers, however, because things snowball rapidly as remaining crew shoulder the additional workload (with no increase in pay, of course). As a rule, all crew members are already overworked and nearly all live in a state of near-exhaustion. It is not surprising, then, that many crew members jump on the bandwagon and call in sick just to get a glorious eight hours of sleep—something which they probably haven’t had in ten months (yes, really). So what does this mean? It means that an official outbreak on a cruise ship could potentially involve a mere 1% of people or even less! I don’t know about you, but I don’t think 1% of the population being sick during cold and flu season to be the definition of ‘a living nightmare.’ By Brian David Bruns, author of national best-seller Cruise Confidential. Pics of the people and places I blog about are on my website and FB pages, join me! www.BrianDavidBruns.com https://www.facebook.com/BrianDavidBruns
  3. 1 point
    You are getting ready to book your first cruise, but don’t know your “fore” from your “aft”. Have no fear – help is here! Listed below are some common words and phrases – or “cruise-speak” – to help prevent you from sounding like a rookie when discussing cruises with your friends or browsing through the cruise forums. For instance, “On which deck is my stateroom located?” sounds much more cruise savvy than “What floor is my room on?” Some definitions are “by the book”, and others are my own personal interpretation! Aft: Near, towards or at the rear (stern) of the ship. Atrium: An interior, centrally located & multi-level open area of the ship B2B: Short for “back-to-back” cruise, or two consecutive cruises (usually on the same ship) Berth: (a) a cabin bed; (b) the dock or pier at which ship sits when in port (not to be confused with “birth”, which is what happened behind the scenes nine months after every “Love Boat” episode! Bow: The front of the ship (rhymes with “cow”) Bridge: The ship’s navigation and command center; also a structure used for crossing over a body of water or ripping the mast off a ship sailing beneath if said bridge is too low Deck: The "floors" of the ship, connected by elevators ("lifts") or staircases Document Dance: The excited creative movements your feet make when your cruise documents arrive! Chair Hog: (a) a thoughtless and rude person who saves many deck chairs in the morning only to leave them totally unoccupied for the rest of the day; (b) s of the earth. Drydock: a magical place where a cruise ship goes to get a makeover, eventually emerging “like new” without a blemish (or so its future passengers hope!) Debarkation: Leaving your ship when the cruise is over (boo-hoooo!) E-Docs: Electronic documents (as opposed to paper documents which seem to have gone the way of the dinosaur) Embarkation: Boarding your ship when your cruise begins (yahoooo!!) FCC: Future cruise credit – a credit toward a future cruise, usually given as an incentive to book a cruise while on board another Forward: Toward the front (bow) of the ship; the direction the ship is heading (means the engines are working) Galley: The ship’s kitchen where culinary magic happens Gangway: (a) A ramp or steps by which passengers enter or leave the ship; (b) the place where a passenger is accosted by the ship’s photographer each and every time stepping off in port. Guarantee: A type of cabin booking in which the cruise line promises accommodations in a specified category or cabin at a specific rate, and guarantees you will receive a cabin in that category or better Homeport: The port in which a ship is based and most often sails from, and to which every cruiser wants to live within close proximity. Inside cabin: Cabin with no window Itinerary: The route the ship will travel, detailing arrival and departure times and ports visited Keel: (a) The ship’s “backbone” extending underneath from bow to stern; (b) what a passenger does when receiving the bill at the end of the cruise, i.e. “keels over”. Lido deck: The ship's deck consisting of swimming pools, watersides, rock-climbing wall, wave pools, ice skating rinks, movie screens and every other amusement park ride. Knot: (a) A unit of speed equal to one nautical mile; (b) the way one's stomach is configured when an apprehensive individual is about to swim with stingrays for the first time M.S.: (a) abbrev. for “motor ship”; (b) could also mean a "mega ship"; i.e. "Mega-mammoth of the Seas" Maitre d’: Supervisor of the dining room (next to the ship’s purser, he’s the person to whom people most like to complain) M&G: Meet & greet: meeting of a group of cruisers, sometimes scheduled in advance of the cruise Midnight Buffet: Really? Do we need to eat more? Muster drill: Mandatory practice drill whereby passengers and crew are sent to a preassigned area (muster station) and instructed in safety regulations. Thanks to Concordia, everyone now shows up, awake and alert. Naughty Room: The secret place where the cruise line sends people who try to sneak booze onboard. OBC/SBC: Onboard credit/shipboard credit: An amenity given by a travel agent or cruise line as an incentive to book Onboard Account: A mysterious cashless system onboard a cruise ship whereby the passenger registers a credit card at the beginning of the cruise, and on the last day presented with a bill containing an absurdly large numeric figure. Outside Cabin: A cabin with a window providing a view; in some cases the view is obstructed by a big orange lifeboat Port: (a) The left side of the ship, facing forward; (b) the place the ship docks and the most likely place to empty your wallet © a wine which you may have while in port. Ex: “I exited the ship portside, took a taxi from port to a pub for a glass of port.” Promenade: Open walkway running almost the entire length of each side of the ship, sometimes encircling the ship entirely. Or at least it used to. Private balcony: A veranda that is attached to your cabin. The term “private” is debatable. Purser: (a) The person in charge of onboard accounts and guest relations; (b) the crewmember passengers line up for in droves at the end of the cruise, as if he was some kind of rock star. Single occupancy: Sole occupancy of a cabin designed for two or more passengers, for an absurd amount of money Stabilizers: A fin-like device extending beneath the ship’s waterline from both sides of the ship to the front, making the ship more stable, and therefore, making it less likely you’ll lose your lunch. Starboard: The right side of the ship, facing forward Stateroom: Your cabin, ranging from the size of a teeny closet to that of an apartment Stern: The rear of the ship (Aft) Steward: The person who attends to your cabin; sometimes fondly referred to as “Stewart”. TA: (a) Short for “Travel Agent”: The individual with whom cruisers seem to have a love/hate relationship – i.e. the TA is either loved or despised; (b) can also mean a "Transatlantic" cruise Tender: (a) A small motorized vessel to move passengers from the ship to shore if the ship must anchor; (b) how your skin will feel when you’ve spent too much time baking in the Caribbean sun. Upper: A single bed or bunk usually recessed into the wall during the day Upper and Lower: Bunk beds Towel Animal: Cute (or incredibly scary!) animal fashioned from towels by “Stewart” There you have it. Feel free to add your own cruise-speak words!
  4. 1 point
    We also will be on the Emerald Princess for 20 days on 09 Nov 13, and we play trivia also, and maybe we can join in on the games.......
  5. 1 point
    I agree, having sailed on Allure and Oasis, and an S class Celebrity ship. Celebrity wins hands down. More port variety, and not feeling one of a crowd. And personally I think the RCL food is just run of the mill, and I like to be wowed. I have been wowed by Celebrity food.
  6. 1 point
    As seen on the Forum Index page, sailingrose has been selected as Member of the Month for July 2013. Rose, congratulations and thanks for your ongoing support over the 10+ years you've been with us!! Screenshot from Forum Index:
  7. 1 point


    Welcome to Cruise Crazies. I have never been on HAL, so I can't weigh in. Where are you going?
  8. 1 point
    Hi Janice and welcome to CruiseCrazies! We've been on the Emerald Princess and it is a very nice ship. Congrats on your booking!
  9. 1 point
    Hi Janice! We do play trivia (and we’ve won a few times ) but we’re heading to Europe for a river cruise on that date – maybe next time! Have a great cruise!
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