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Showing content with the highest reputation on 06/22/2020 in all areas

  1. jticarruthers

    CDC guidance

    Problem is there may very well never be a vaccine and even if there is it may not "eliminate the problem" ... common cold has been around a while - no vaccine ... flu has been around a while, there is a vaccine but we still get flu outbreaks and even people who get the vaccine can get the flue if they get the wrong strain ... so saying its fair to wait on a vaccine is just a way of kicking the can down the road indefinitely.
    5 points
  2. This pandemic has made for a lot of changes in the cruising world from cancellations, lift and shifts, FCCs and everyone’s least favorite topic … REFUNDS! It definitely has made a lot of people take a new look at life and that is exactly what a few agents at MEI-Travel have done. Danette LeBlanc after 7 years with Mei-Travel is stepping away to spend time with her family. Her father has terminal cancel and she wants to spend all the time she can with him and the family at this time. Prayers to her and her family as they navigate this incredibly hard time. Also, Stephanie Hudson after 15 years has decided to take some time to step away and enjoy her new home on the coast of NC. While this is not her retirement home, I am sure after all this time a little break to put her toes in the sand is what she needs at this time. Wishing her all the best (and a little jealous). MEI-Travel is working over the next week to contact their clients with a new agent that is stepping into very big sets of shoes to fill, but the new agents can do it. It does take a little time to ensure that the new agent has everything and both Danette and Stephanie will be working thru June 30th to help with the transition of their clients. To say that this was a very hard decision for both of them is an understatement. Also, I want to thank all of you for allowing me to work with you all. Being able to chat with your guys almost daily for the past 5 years or more has helped me grow in knowledge of Royal and cruising. There is no way I can think of this group without thinking about all the group cruises – the laughter, the tears, the burning bus, the exploding toilet, the first stop at Perfect Day, St Patrick’s Day and the most expensive Guinness beer or two I have ever paid for… and the memories go on and on….. SHOTS! How could I not mention the SHOTS! But more importantly, Matt. The countless hours of planning for group events, looking up changes and many possible group cruises that never happened, there is just not enough time for me to write up how special my relationship with Matt and his family is. All of this made it very hard for me to make this change, but I am stepping away from MEI-Travel to pursue a new opportunity. This new opportunity will come with new challenges and a chance to spread my wings a little. I hope our paths cross on a cruise some day or maybe in the Orlando area some time (This time without my suitcase with me!). MEI-Travel has a team of agents that work with Matt and they work together to provide great service to you all. I know with cancellations coming in the very near future you might be concerned with all this change, but the team is there to help you all. See you on a cruise! Annette Jackson
    4 points
  3. Pooch

    CDC guidance

    And if I get quaratined on the ship, we're in an Owners Suite!!
    4 points
  4. It's never easy to say goodbye to a friend, let alone three amazingly talented friends. I know I speak for everyone here when I say we will miss your guidance, hard work, and positivity. For years I've advocated using "a good travel agent", and if there were a dictionary definition of that, it would have either of your three photos as examples. I wish you all the best of luck in your future endeavors and hope you remain part of our community here, and hopefully we will get to cruise again together soon.
    4 points
  5. FionaMG

    B2B same itinerary

    We met two couples on the Harmony inaugural in Europe who did precisely that, their reasoning being it would be impossible to fully enjoy the ship and the ports in a one-week sailing. They planned their time so that they visited half of the ports the first week and the other half during the second week and got to enjoy a largely empty ship on the days they stayed on board. They were really pleased wih their decision.
    3 points
  6. I got another great pic last night of the skyline. I went on a fathers day ride on the quads with the guys.
    3 points
  7. Yes, of course. And the Air Force has its own spirited cry which can mean anything positive. Here are some examples: Hooah - Army; Hoorah - Navy; Oorah - Marine Corps; Nice Putt - Airforce.
    3 points
  8. I was checking pricing on some of my short term cruises and noticed that some of them have a nice, big military discount. It seems that they are showing up only on the really short term ones, but if you wanted to book now, get the military discount and L&S....well...could work. My Dec 6 Oasis cruise has a $675 military discount but the one the very next week (second half of my B2B) does not. Go figure. BTW, it seems that they are allowing the military discount AND the C&A balcony discount so that's a nice discount when stacked together.
    2 points
  9. Only if you were one of the many millions dying or one of the many nurses doctors required to work 24 hours a day.
    2 points
  10. JeffB

    CDC guidance

    Ampurp85, you bring up some good points ..... you are correct about Hotels/Resorts, etc. not being like a cruise ship. TBF I think the fundamental or base risk of becoming infected by SARS-CoV-2 is probably higher, perhaps the highest of all conveyances or venues. I also think that because of the scrutiny cruise lines receive and esp. that received during the early phases of the pandemic, risk reduction is a higher priority within the cruise industry than it is within other venues. Of course how effective those risk reduction measures might be remains to be seen. Its hard to objectively evaluate this process. So, I'm just going to say, all things considered, there is a high probability that infection risk aboard ship is going to be less than or equal to the risk of infection on an aircraft, hotel, resort or theme park where similar dining and entertainment venues are present and distancing and masking requirements are already in place. You may have a different opinion on this and I respect that. My opinion that the CDC's No-Sail-Order is foolish (inappropriate is a less emotionally charged word to describe it) is based on the comparative risks of SARS-CoV-2 infection between similar venues. It is also based on the likelihood that the cruise lines know all the costs of handling a passenger or crew member testing positive for C-19 and have experience with and protocols in place to do that where other venues we've discussed don't and may be ill-prepared to do so. I suspect our discussion about this will be moot in a matter of days but it nevertheless is an outlet for the frustration I'm experiencing over the lack of necessity, the arbitrariness of it, inherent in the CDC's actions that amount to an unjustifiable and nearly complete shut down of the cruise lines. We know that the virus has a high rate of transmission. We know that transmission can be mitigated by various measures. I have a high degree of confidence that while the cruise lines can not completely eliminate the risk of transmission, they can substantially reduce it and reduce it more effectively than any comparable venue. As well, they are better prepared to deal with infections that do occur while sailing, limit additional exposures and deal with all of that better than anyone else. JMO, YMMV.
    2 points
  11. If it helps, we got our refund back within 2 weeks for our deposit on the Brilliance Group Cruise. I'm holding out hope for the Anthem GC. It's too soon for me to know about next summer.
    2 points
  12. twangster

    CDC guidance

    It's possible there may be no vaccine but there is the possibility that society will reach a herd immunity eventually if a vaccine is never realized. That's not guaranteed either. At some point there will likely be some level of balance reached where life can more closely resemble what it was like before CV-19. Until then the CDC is unfortunately doing the right thing with cruise ships from a perspective of containing virus spread. Theme parks are probably best to remain closed right now. Sporting events with large audiences in close proximity are probably best to remain closed right now. Music concerts and movie theaters are probably best to remain closed right now. Even if some areas are opening these items back up right now there is a lot of evidence to suggest that is not the best course of action from a public health perspective. So while cruise ships in North America are being kept from sailing by the CDC there is a part of me that acknowledges that is probably the right thing to do right now.
    2 points
  13. Hagar

    B2B same itinerary

    Been there and cruised that ? The older I get the more I enjoy just watching y'all have fun while I mostly hang out on the ship.
    2 points
  14. My guess is that the Royal CS reps will not know (or can't confirm) for sure until Royal makes their official announcement (tomorrow I believe) either way in response to the CLIA announcement. I know, the waiting stinks! Everything is pointing toward further cancellations, but it's not official until it's official... is that a Yogism?
    2 points
  15. The new TA"s should be encouraged to be a part of this group........ The relationships built here are second to none. @AnnetteJackson, take care of yourself. Thank You for everything that you've done for so many. You will surely be missed.
    2 points
  16. ptod

    Goodbye from some friends

    As did I. I saw the email from David in my inbox, mentioning that Beth is taking over our reservations and it was signed by Beci. I like the team effort from MEI.
    2 points
  17. FionaMG

    Lift and shift ?

    I would hazard a guess the price reduction is down to port fees being less on the Harmony sailing since it has fewer stops than your original Allure TA. Anyway, now that it's sorted you have something to look forward without a constantly niggling worry in the back of your mind.
    2 points
  18. FWIW, it always appeared to me that Pullmantur was never financially great, even before COVID.
    2 points
  19. Dad2Cue

    Lift and shift ?

    Hopefully they pick up some crew members before returning. I suspect they will need to be retrained before the Caribbean season starts. I plan to call today and reschedule my Allure TA to Alaska in Aug-Sept 2021. I made a preliminary call yesterday and was told there was not a problem with rescheduling since it was booked refundable. Everything will be carried over to the Alaska cruise ... even the OBC. My cruise planner purchases will be refunded. The wait for that refund is the only downside.
    2 points
  20. Jason12

    Lift and shift ?

    Wow my lift and shift was done over night after I filled the online form in yesterday ? a quick call to get cabins next to each other and all done and they seem to have reduced the price in my favour ?
    2 points
  21. push me ^^^^^ and all will change!!!!
    2 points
  22. Having done the 5 day to Bermuda out of Bayonne a lot and the 9 day out of Bayonne to Caribbean once, I wouldn't mind combining them both for a two week adventure. @ehw51 As far as same itinerary, never have (never any B2B), but would without question, especially if it's a ship we have never sailed before as you cannot do it all in 7 days. One of the cons to cruising is you're at port for a few hours, knowing you're coming back the next week allows you to see a little bit more.
    2 points
  23. Because there is no benefit to be gained by anyone higher up to apply pressure.
    2 points
  24. @JeffB @Ampurp85 As a reader I've thoroughly enjoyed your posts - you've disagreed respectfully and intelligently. I've said before I'm tired of the Covid 19 back and forth but I realize I was tired of people not being respectful in their back and forth.
    2 points
  25. I'm sadder to read this than I am about canceled cruises ?
    2 points
  26. Nice Putt....love it. 91st Security Police Squadron stationed at Minot. I took every TDY I could and saw the world 2 weeks at a time...lol.
    2 points
  27. My thought is book the cruise and hope for the best. Let's say it gets cancelled, there's usually enough warning you could do a vacation home rental or something a little more local.
    2 points
  28. Yes, you would be able to cancel. However, you would need to book before August 1st as that is currently the date the program ends. Concerned about traveling? Looking for flexibility in your plans? As of May 6, 2020, our enhanced Cruise with Confidence program gives you even more flexibility. Whether you’re already booked on a cruise, or are thinking about it, we want you to Cruise with Confidence. That’s why Royal Caribbean will let you cancel any cruise that sets sail from now through April 30, 2022. Whether it’s a booking you already have or one you make right now through August 1, 2020, you’re covered. As long as you cancel at least 48 hours before your sail date, you’ll receive a Future Cruise Credit. The credit is valid through December 31, 2021 or 12 months from your original canceled sail date (whichever is longer) and can be used for any open sailings at the time of booking. As of May 6, 2020 we have also added the new "Best Price Guarantee" and "Lift and Shift" options outlined below. If you opted into our Cruise with Confidence program before May 6, please learn more about that program here.
    2 points
  29. YOLO

    Cruise Planner Problem

    I am wondering if anyone else is having Cruise Planner problems? I searched and didn't find any similar issues. On May 22nd I did a cancel and re-purchase (as recommended by @Matt ) on a 3N Dining package for our November Harmony cruise. It should have saved me $32, but to this point (it will be a month on Monday) it has cost me $198 dollars extra. Essentially, RCL charged me for the new purchase but never gave me a refund for my cancellation. I made the transaction with my RCL Credit Card. This is really starting to piss me off. I called two weeks ago and waited about 45 minutes to talk to someone who could only say that I have to wait because RCL is busy. I have the confirmation emails right in front of me. I received them 4 minutes apart - first the cancelation and then purchase. Convenient how they can instantly charge me, but take over a month to process my refund. Anyone else?
    1 point
  30. It is 125% of the cash you have already paid. So if it is just the deposit, then it $625 in FCC on a $500 deposit in each name on the booking.
    1 point
  31. Kathleen

    Lift and shift ?

    Wow that is a nice tool. It seems they have finally streamlined things for customers. Makes for happier sailors.
    1 point
  32. Better be careful - Matt is always one blog post or pod cast away from making the FOM a surcharge... ?
    1 point
  33. I know that TUI, Meinschiff and Costa have Caribbean itineraries in Caribbean islands that do not originate in a US port, and I do not know if the European style of cruising applies in which a passenger can embark from any port of call. If anyone knows the answer to that, I would love to know. I also wondered about Nassau and all the development money that is proposed for the port area there and whether consideration for re-directing is is just a nutty idea or would gain traction if the US squanders its position as the home of cruising. No other country comes close in terms of itineraries sailed from the three large east coast ports. At some point, something has to break on this, and good news has to prevail. Side question...if the press didn't report it and the government didn't impose measures, how many of us would think there is a pandemic?
    1 point
  34. That photo is stunning .... definitely "Frame Worthy"
    1 point
  35. VRBO is typically full rentals, not shared spaces. AirBNB has both.
    1 point
  36. Just got my notification from MEI that Stephanie is no longer with them. My new TA is Beth Dickerson. I'm not familiar with her name, but look forward to our future dealings.
    1 point
  37. I’m still waiting on a refund for a cancelled cruise and I’m in the 40+ days mark. But, 90 days is just criminal in my mind. How would it be if I took a cruise and paid RCI 90 days after the cruise - I don’t think that would work but it sure seems to work in the opposite direction. No where else would this be allowed in commerce. I can add all kinds of analogies but I’ll leave it with - criminal! I have a cruise scheduled for November 2021 but I’m hanging by a thread here and extremely disappointed with RCI on this issue. I’m about to scrap it all and just start doing land based vacations...I’m still hanging in there but some days it is just an irritant.
    1 point
  38. Dad2Cue

    Lift and shift ?

    That is sad! I'm almost ready to do the same. Part of me still wants to do the Allure TA and I think there is a reasonable chance of it happening. However, the thought of wearing a mask for 8 hours on an airplane and everything else that could happen is too much to worry about. I don't like air travel to begin with.
    1 point
  39. Pick and choose your travel agency wisely. Ask questions and read the fine print! Last year I reached out to @AnnetteJackson at MEI regarding a possible upcoming cruise. She had booked several cruises for us over the last few years, but I stumbled across a deal from a Big Box online travel agency that seemed to good to be true. Unfortunately she was unable to match the Big Box travel agencies low low "clearance" price so I thought wth, I will give them a try. The deal seemed so good that I started researching other sailings and booked two. Doh! All good until you need to make changes or cancel. A few of the fees that I can think of that we have been hit with: $50 per person to cancel $35 for a date change $35 for a ship change $25 if you replace passenger with someone else $25 to adjust for price drops $25 for cabin changes Next I fear they will start charging a fee for calling! The discounted upfront cruise rate was eventually eaten up with fees. The lack of customer service is laughable. You never talk to the same person and wait for days to get a reply via phone or email. This was even before the virus. Now it's longer. Still waiting for a reply to an email I sent last Friday. MEI has never charged me or anyone I have referred to them a single penny for the above listed services. That's because they don't charge any fees. I learned my lesson and wanted to warn others who might think about trying one of the so called discount online agencies.
    1 point
  40. Floski

    Goodbye from some friends

    I haven't heard from Stephanie in a while, as well. I had just put it down as she was super busy, so I'm very sad to hear it. Of course, I would have preferred to not find out about it via this medium, but it is what it is. I think we all were worried that this freaking virus was going to impact the entire TA industry, we just didn't know exactly how and we didn't want to say it out loud. I hope for the very best, not just for the MEI folks, but all of the travel industry.
    1 point
  41. ellcee

    Goodbye from some friends

    Oh wow. Good luck to you!!!
    1 point
  42. You are so welcoming, so good at what you do that I am very sad about this. While I only cruised with you once, I have great memories of you and your good cheer. Bus 3!
    1 point
  43. I have wondered if they viewed their recent sales as a way of getting a short-term loan from their customers. I hope they are not doing this, but one begins to wonder after a bit.....
    1 point
  44. My God, if this isn't a perfect summary of 2020 in general. Well said.
    1 point
  45. Pima1988

    CDC guidance

    I mean exactly that. They will stay in the hotel by the pool thinking they are socially distancing and not go to the theme park, hence, in their mind they are being pro-active. They are not going to pack up and say let's get out of here, unless they go to the hospital. They paid $$$ for the family reunion and by dang it they will fight through this, at least for aa day. Afterall, it might be too much heat, not enough hydration, too much activity, etc. etc. Just need a "down" day and will feel better. Let's also be real. I could go to WDW for 5 nights and feel fine. The day we drive out I start to feel "funky". We drive (12 hrs) so lots of stops for food and gas. I abide by wearing a mask at these stops, but take it off to eat at Cracker Barrel, I use hand sanitizer as soon as I sit down. Finished eating, we go and buy some snacks, etc. still wearing a mask. Never using the bathroom. What you behind me didn't realize was that I picked up that bag of Munchos and placed them back for that fake cheese popcorn. You just took that bag of Munchos. I use the ATM pin pad right before you and you use it without wiping it down. My germs are on both the Munchos and the ATM pin pad. I get home the next day and I have CoVid. You, unwittingly are now at risk. I already infected a ton of people before I even felt funky just because I was at WDW sitting on that tea cup ride or holding on to the handle at Splash Mountain. Mask or no mask. Fact is those germs are on my hands when I wipe my face from sweat. WDW is not as clean as any cruise ship. Yet, WDW and Vegas are allowed to reopen. Have you even thought about how much you are exposed to at your local grocery store even if they require masks and social distancing? They are not sanitizing like a cruise ship. Great example. When you buy your eggs, do you just grab a carton, or do you take it out, open it up and touch each egg to make sure none are cracked? If so, you just placed your germs all over that container. I come behind you 1 min later and do the exact same thing. How about that eggplant or broccoli, are you taking just the 1st one there, or are you inspecting them and placing it back? How many germs do you think are there? Your last comment about barricading is impo now a fact for many cruisers. I see it from a booking issue. My SoS May 2021 sailing no longer has any JS balconies left. The spacious balcony (lower cat) is now running higher than what I got my JS at. My husband and I have always done balcony. I personally believe that every cruise line will have to do deep discounts for interior cabins because of that exact fear. I would also add that is one reason why they will roll out Oasis and Quantum class 1st. Those ships have a lot more balconies, A lot more space from a density aspect compared to Freedom class ships. I will sail as soon as I can. I believe 1 thing, the day you are born, the day you will die is set. I have to believe that due to the fact my husband flew fighters for the USAF for 21 yrs and my son is a pilot for USAF now. I cannot live in fear. I can live in checking off my bucket list items, such as zip lining, para sailing, and now riding a scooter underwater to see Sea Turtles!
    1 point
  46. I like your optimist view, though I think it is close to being maybe 60% spot on. I would like to slightly counter with a realist, not pessimist or negative view..... Late August with a miracle, September 1st at 50% chance but middle September at 85% probability. So far based off of information, no plans have been approved. So as a business, they want to avoid any extra debts and focus on profitability. Do we really believe any of the cruise lines have spent money on protocols that haven't been approved? Do you think those protocols can be made in 40 days or less? How about 30 or 6? Also ships need to be reposition.....would RCCI just waste resources on a prayer? August 1st is 43 days away with nothing from the CDC indicating a lift in the ban or approval of plans. A nearby casino got word they could open in May but took almost 30 days to get their protocol in place; they open on the 20th. Theme parks have been announcing weeks or even a month before opening, including their protocols in the announcement. I cannot see RCCI not including the protocols in their "welcome back" announcement, nor can I see the "welcome back" announcement happening in less than 30 days before sailing. While it is true that the media and the government have turn COVID into something ....using fear tactics, down/up playing the risk, falsifying numbers. Just one case on a ship can turn into a fustercluck. So far cruise lines seem to be the only thing left by which people can sue for COVID, I doubt this is a small thing to a business that is currently in the midst of bad publicity. Public opinion is not on the cruises side: do you err on the side of caution and put as much in place to avoid that, or do you risk future income by rolling the dice? I am starting to think that until countries allow international travel, with little to no quarantine, there will not be any cruises. In the beginning many of the lines secured capital to last them awhile, I don't see RCCI rushing into things for the sake of.....or just because one port is waiting. Also many countries have to carefully consider whether they want to risk everything for their tourist economy. Sick people can put a burden on a weak infrastructure. So allowing tourist to fly in and stay at resorts is different than hosting multiple ships, full of 1000s of people, a day.
    1 point
  47. Loops

    CDC guidance

    These are the behaviors of arbitrary, capricious, over empowered, bureaucrats exercising their new found importance. The beloved Dr. Fauci has admitted to deceiving/lying to the public regarding the use of face masks to achieve his personal agenda. I wonder what other lies have been told by these so called experts who were proven wrong on so many of their assertions. Do you honestly believe that they can be trusted? I don’t necessarily believe that they are vindictive but they have certainly demonstrated that they are in over their heads and are irresponsibly abusing their position and power.
    1 point
  48. Matt

    Cruise with confidence policy

    Yup! You get the money back as a FCC.
    1 point
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