At the beginning of the late August christening cruise of AmaSiena, cruise manager Martina Valachova and hotel manager Romeo Luchian exuded warmth and humor to set the tone for its COVID-era maiden voyage by explaining how AmaWaterways’ new health and sanitation practices would enhance the experience. Their PA announcements throughout the cruise positioned the necessities of masking up, pre-meal temperature checks and pre-departure COVID tests as extensions of the safety protocols that existed in the “before-times.”
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The Korean Wave reached the English-speaking world belatedly. K-pop band BTS broke through in America in 2018, the movie Parasite won the Best Picture Oscar in 2020, and in 2021 the TV show Squid Game became the most-watched series ever on Netflix. Asia has been under the grip of Korean Culture since the 1990s. Now the rest of us are falling under its spell.