Saturday, July 18, 2020
A New Reality
There are so many interesting things that pop up in the news, on the internet, or in general conversation. In this age of non-travel, we often find it tempting to explore these ideas for possible blog posts. Recently, there has been a lot of press regarding Hong Kong and its resistance to China’s efforts to subdue the pro-democracy mind-set of those who live there. Now, this has been going on for years! We have witnessed and blogged about the bookstore closings along with the disappearance and deaths of bookstore owners. The newest twist in China is pulling pro-democracy publications from Hong Kong’s libraries “for review”. They are cracking down on protests. They have denied entry to U.S. senators desiring to see for themselves what is going on. Hong Kong Disneyland has closed….. again! Momentous events are taking place in Hong Kong. Mmmm, how can travel not be effected?
The EU has released guidelines for the cruise lines desiring to visit European ports. Now this is something all passionate cruisers want to know. How many cabins must remain empty in case needed for a shipboard outbreak; how will social distancing be determined; how will shore excursions be conducted; and what’s with no hot tubs?!! Will these guidelines be mandated? Just how will reduced passenger capacity affect the cruising experience?
Have you heard, Holland America Line has just sold 4 of its ships!!! The Amsterdam and Rotterdam were sold to the Fred Olsen company and will transfer this fall. The Maasdam and Veendam were also sold (buyer undisclosed) and will transfer in August 2020. Obviously, many upcoming cruises are now canceled. What are HAL’s plans for future itineraries??? Where, when, for how long???
Because half of the RovingRaconteurs.com team remains plugged-in to the airline community, we received a notice dated July 11, 2020 listing the woes of the airline industry. South African Airways is bankrupt; SAS and Norwegian Air may liquidate and morph into a new and melded company; Emirates has grounded 38 A380s, canceled all orders for Boeing’s 777 aircraft, and asked all employees over the age of 56 to retire; the industry anticipates 8,000 grounded planes by September 2020 with an estimated 90,000 unemployed pilots worldwide. United Airlines announced a possible furlough of 36,000 employees; American Airlines, too, is looking at 25,000 employees; Delta has already accepted 17,000 voluntary early retirements. This is big news!!!
But isn’t this all terribly depressing?!? Who wants to open a travel blog post and fall into a funk? Who wants to write such a post? No, no, not us! We are waaaay too optimistic about the human spirit and ingenuity. We believe in the human drive to not only cope but to move forward to bigger and better! We are all awaiting a Covid 19 vaccine!!! Soon!!!
So we’d like to dedicate this post to a little whimsy and a lot of happy. Just imagine yourself back on a fun cruise: *
Aw, come on, admit it; made you smile, didn’t it?!?
So, take a cue from cute little towel animals: enjoy the day.
Make some noise; have some fun!!!!
*This tableau was created by the crew of the MS Rotterdam during the 2018 Voyage of the Vikings. They worked on it overnight, and as the passengers walked to breakfast on the morning of August 22nd, they were greeted with this assemblage of towel animals!!!