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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/22/2022 in all areas

  1. Last day of the cruise today! After all the planning, it’s over! Today was all about taking it easy. I woke up sore from swimming so much yesterday and pretty tired. I developed an earache later in the day, probably from getting water in my ear from swimming, (I have a messed-up ear), and I didn’t feel great because of it all afternoon, so I stayed in my room quite a bit. It’s OK though. I needed that, and besides, I wasn’t missing anything important. I’ve made it to all the shows and did all the events I wanted to this week. I slept late and then went to the solarium bistro for breakfast. It was completely packed and there was not a table to be had. I was picking up on an edgy, irritable vibe from the crowd and people were super vigilant and snippy about other people stepping in a food line in front of them, even by accident, just to grab a piece of bread or something. I wasn’t going to fight for some eggs, so I went over to the vitality spa café where there was no one in line. I got a protein shake and it was delicious. It was also $10. Then, I actually made it to the Schooner bar for trivia early enough to get a seat. I had a little table with two seats all to myself. A lady with a walker came in and asked me if the second chair was being used and I told her no and she sat down with me. We chatted and got to know each other. She asked if I was traveling alone… Funny how often that comes up… And I said yes. She shared that she is traveling with friends, and I gather they all have their separate cabins, and she couldn’t find them this morning. As hard as it was for her to get around with her walker, she listed the places she had gone looking for them, and she had been all over and up and down that huge ship. apparently none of them had bought Internet so they couldn’t text each other. She said something like, “I might as well be cruising on my own.“ It sounded like her friends weren’t as attentive as she was hoping. She asked me about cruising alone and if I liked it, and said she would like to try it herself but she didn’t know if she could manage, with her walker and all. I was reflecting on how easy that is to happen, to come on a cruise with other people and all have such high hopes for all this fun, and then the realities of communicating and miscommunication set in and it can lead to disappointment. It just seems so important to be able to talk to each other ahead of time about what to expect. The last time my husband and I cruised together, before I even booked the cruise he made it very clear that he would spend the cruise napping and laying around and if I wasn’t OK with that, there was no point in booking the cruise because he wanted us to be on the same page. We were, I totally got it and knew how he would like to spend his time, so we came onto the cruise understanding how our days would unfold and understanding we would do several things without each other. And we had a nice week. And afterwards we talked about how maybe he just doesn’t like cruising all that much and maybe I do, and he was the one to encourage me to do some solo cruising. in any case, Pat and I got to know each other and play trivia, then we took a short break, where Pat went and made a lap around the promenade to search for her friends, and then we played brain teaser trivia with everybody else in the Schooner bar. I came back to the room and sat out on the balcony a long time watching people zip line. It’s the last day of the cruise and whereas the zip line has been somewhat sporadically used all week, that changed today. Everyone who wanted to try it lined up and people went one after the other for hours. Same with the rock climbing wall… It has barely been used this whole cruise but everybody was on it today. And as is typical for the final day of a cruise, there was a very huge line at guest services all day long and an equally long line at Next Cruise all day long. And Next Cruise has only had two employees in it this whole time, and they have been overwhelmed. I believe I mentioned a few days ago that Sorrento‘s only had two people behind the counter all week and they were 100% overwhelmed. There was always a very long line, every table taken, and they were frequently out of pizza for a few minutes at a time while waiting for new pies to come out of the oven. Well the day we went to Curaçao, I was walking by Sorrento‘s and there were six staff members lined up in a sort of military formation, with their hands behind their back, facing another staff member who seem to be delivering instructions on how the day would go. And then all six of those people got behind the counter and Sorrento‘s was really under control for that one day. That was good to see, because those poor guys back there worked absolutely nonstop and I’m sure they dealt with angry glares all day long as well. They need to find a way to staff more people at Café Promenade because the same situation is happening over there and not everybody is polite about having to wait a few minutes for their turn. Some of the shops have never open this week, which I have to assume is a staffing issue, and two of the biggest shops on the promenade have had one employee in them the entire time. There is one person running the entire gift shop, the one with all the T-shirts and hats and such. That seems crazy. Another thing I saw happen as the week went on is this: staff members dressed in sort of officers clothes, with bars on the shoulders and all, filling in as needed on the promenade in shops, pop-up watch sales on the promenade in the middle, even in Starbucks. I get the feeling that an all hands on deck policy was reached at some point this week to deal with everybody. Here’s something else I realized today: the very first night of the cruise, I had reservations to see the aqua theater show, from the actual theater instead of my balcony. And one of the acts was a very strong man descending over the audience on a swing, dangling from a wire, and there was a woman in his lap, and while they were dangling over the audience, they did all these elaborate maneuvers that were feats of strength and agility and of course very dangerous, because neither of them were safety clipped to anything. And I remember this couple being in the act from the last two times I was on the ship, as well. Those two were in the show the first night and then disappeared for the remainder of the week. The aqua show was performed multiple, multiple times, I think maybe six or eight times. I can understand if one night the wind was blowing too hard or something, but for them to be gone for the whole rest of the week? Naturally I am wondering if one or both of them tested positive for Covid and had to be removed. The Covid thing also got real this afternoon when I was walking down the hallway and two employees came out of an elevator right in front of me. They were medical staff, dressed in scrubs, wearing masks and gloves, and they were carrying bags and paraphernalia that were very clearly Covid tests. They went down the hallway of deck eight where there are only cabins and nothing else. So obviously, they were going to someone’s room to test them. I thought, those poor passengers, they made it all the way to the final evening and now here they are having to deal with this. For dinner, I went down to Scoops and got a gigantic waffle cone sundae, which I highly recommend. One last lap around the ship and I came across another cruise duck, which I decided to keep and take home. I spent the rest of the evening packing my bags and preparing to leave early in the morning. On TV, on the entertainment channel, they broadcast a video of the 70s dance party the other night, so I watched that. I was surprised to see myself in the conga line going around the promenade. I looked so happy! so my second solo cruises in the books. I am definitely ready to go home… I miss my husband and I need to get back home and take my phone off airplane mode and get very busy catching up on lots of work and things like that. But I’m really glad I came and had a great time. And I learned more about myself and solo cruising and what to expect moving forward. I will most certainly be solo cruising again… I have a long one booked for the fall but I’m not sure if I will keep that reservation or not. I might be best sticking to week-long cruises by myself. I’m going to give it some thought. In any case, I have happy memories of Labadee, Aruba, Curaçao, the whole 9 yards. The Allure is not the most up-to-date of the oasis ships, that’s for sure, and I do feel the ship is understaffed and has a few areas that need some work, such as temperature control, staffing, and most definitely Internet. And I feel like they need to find some way to make the food better. But overall, this is such a luxury ship and it is just an incredible experience to be walking around and looking at all the various venues here and all the things to do and reminding yourself that you’re floating in the middle of the ocean. back to reality tomorrow and that’s always jarring, but it’s time. I plan to Covid test Monday morning, wait about five days and then test again, before I go visit my elderly parents. I work from home, so I don’t see myself being around very many people next week so that should work out well. thanks so much for those who read along and commented. I’m going to miss blogging with you guys! I look forward to reading all of your blogs and all about your adventures to come.
    7 points
  2. GatorCruiser

    😞 positive test

    There isn’t always any rhyme or reason to catching it. My wife and I were in NYC last weekend didn’t wear a mask once , jammed into subway cars, crowded restaurants, and bars and avoided the ‘Rona. Other people live like they are in a BSL 4 research lab and still catch it.
    3 points
  3. Thank you for this feedback! I have booked a water park cabana!
    3 points
  4. Welcome to the boards! Your group sounds like a great fit for the Water Park Cabanas. You’ll have a place to lounge, park access for as little or as much time as you like, and a central location where everyone knows they can meet.
    3 points
  5. As we speak my son is on the Voyager in Copenhagen about to sail, and he booked everything with RCCL/Air2Sea. He was also set until the day of his US departure when the airline delayed his departing flight several hours, which would have led to a missed connection. When he found out, he called Air2Sea and was quickly rebooked for his connecting flight from Frankfort. No fuss at all. He arrived a day early in Copenhagen, which is usually recommended. (Had he flown a day later, he wouldn't have made the Copenhagen embarkation and would have been assisted in meeting the cruise at the next port.) He also had travel insurance with RCCL, although we usually use someone else. So my points are that Air2Sea worked out smoothly despite a last minute airline snafu, and travel to embarkation port a day early to avoid missing anything.
    3 points
  6. Yesterday's flights got off to a bad start, basic schoolboy error....Dont use autofill on flight booking in screen if you haven't updated passport information lol this caused a bit of inconvenience when checking in at airport. short flight down to London then 3 hr wait to head to Copenhagen. Arriving at Copenhagen at airport once you exit head for your mode of transport into city. Train took about 10 mins and cost roughly €10 for two tickets. Copenhagen Central station is the 3rd stop.
    3 points
  7. I've ordered canned water twice post covid and both times it ended up being plastic bottles
    3 points
  8. EmersonNZ

    😞 positive test

    The genetic sequencing is of the genetic signature of the virus, not the person (In fact it is a completely different process). It is used by health officials to determine which variant of the virus is the most common in a particular community and to identify any new variants in the community. There are a lot of reasons this is important such as developing treatment plans, determining if a more contagious/deadly version is gaining traction, determining how a virus is spreading through a community etc etc. To make feel people better they probably should call it virus signiture sequencing...
    3 points
  9. As of May 1st sailings the certificates are now put in your stateroom on your final full day of sailing. On Oasis it was the stateroom attendant that had them to place in the cabin. I asked specifically for any papers for me and there was a tad of a language barrier as well as confusion and he told me he had nothing for me. When I pressed further he said he had something for my neighbor (who was also my friend, same first name)....turns out he had one for each of us. We had booked 11:00 Nextcruise to use our certificates so that's why I was "pushy". The only "problem" when you redeem your certificate, any gambling done after that gets you nothing. The alternative would be to purchase a reservation from next cruise for $200 which covers a deposit for up to 2 and redeem the certificate within 7 days with the Club Royal casino to get the max benefit from your onboard gambling for the full length of the cruise.
    3 points
  10. I’m sorry some have had less than stellar experiences in the Facebook groups. I haven’t had that experience with our June 5th sailing on the Mariner. We’ve all been friendly, planning a get together after sail away, sharing yay’s over royal ups and introducing our kids to each other. No one bothered to set up a group for our sailing here, so I did it myself and it’s hardly visited. I do feel that I am running a gauntlet with covid and general illness right now. In the last month my daughter has had covid and then the flu, people coming off Mariner cruises right now have either tested positive during the sailing or just after and posting about it - not great, but not horrifying either. I was really hoping that by choosing this time is year, I could fully relax in a large group unmasked and be my usual social butterfly. So we’re just crossing fingers and hoping for the best.
    3 points
  11. I'm an obsessive planner so I agree that it can almost be a letdown when all the planning is done. I think it's also hard to fully commit to getting excited when you can still have covid issues.
    3 points
  12. LudlowJim

    😞 positive test

    Smallpox is a virus (also with what are now referred to as 'variants') that has essentially been eliminated, because it was never politicized - it was stopped and people no longer dread getting it. We have people on the cruises acting as though there isn't a care in the world because we have allowed commerce to overwhelm medicine, and are now paying the price. Please folks - mask up on the boats - you can still be cool!
    3 points
  13. After being a long time reader and an avid viewer of Matt's youtube channel, i decided to make an account! Octavio here, from Argentina! Started cruising back in 2006 when i was only 14 y/o! After that moment i couldnt stop. Im currently 29 with 20 cruises done so far and 165 points, so getting really close to Diamond plus! Did 2 cruises with my fiance since the covid restart, Odyssey (3rd sailiing right after it restarted, with an insanely low capacity) and Symphony. Booked Oasis from Cape Liberty (October 2nd..so close yet so far) to receive my 30th birthday - couple trip. And also Harmony on new years eve (Family cruise!) Im so glad to be here, Carla and myself love cruising and our goal is to hit Diamond plus asap, and slowly grind them Pinnacle points!
    2 points
  14. I feel like it's much easier cruising on Royal Caribbean in the United States than say somewhere like Australia. You guys have most of the fleet there, and I feel like it's much easier to make travel plans there (since you guys have many more ports there) Whereas in Australia, we only get two of the 23 ships at any given time (3 if we're lucky, lol) and the closest port that isn't Brisbane or Perth is like Singapore....which flying to cost almost as much as the cruise fare itself Alas, I guess that's one of the downsides of living down under!
    2 points
  15. You're more likely to see people dressed up on the first formal night, but you'll see the full gamut both nights.
    2 points
  16. Day 4 - Santorini For our day in Santorini, we did a ship sponsored tour called Santorini and Village Oia but in Spanish as that happened to be the one showing in the cruise planner at the time I booked. The same tour in English did not show up until several months later and at almost twice the price, so if you have sufficient Spanish to do a tour in that language, it can definitely be worthwhile considering this an option. It was a really early start as we were on the first excursion tender but things ran smoothly to begin with. Then the hiccups began... First we had to wait for half a dozen people who somehow didn't make it on to the tender. Then there were two ladies who had tickets for the excursion in English but wanted it in Spanish because they didn't speak any English, so that had to be sorted with the provider. And then we were very very late leaving Oia because a man couldn't find his wife; we found out later that she had somehow mixed up the car parks and was waiting in completely the wrong place! Anyway, apart from that it was actually a very nice little excursion that included an hour of free time in Oia: Followed by a stop at a winery for Greek nibbles (cheese, olives, tomatoes and bread sticks) with wine (we had orange juice!) and an absolutely magnificent panoramic view from the terrace. We were about an hour late getting back to the ship because of all the delays but still in plenty of time for lunch and a snooze in the sun to recover from the early start. Out of all our fantastic port stops, this was the one DH liked the best. One thing that was a bit annoying, however, was that the excursion description did not make it clear that we would have to return via the cable car, the cost of which was not included in the ticket price. The description made it sound like it was an option and that anyone who didn't want to use to the cable car would return to the tender drop-off on the bus. That is NOT the case and nobody on our bus was aware, precisely because of the poorly-worded description, so there were some rather upset people at the end. It was not until afterwards that we learned that none of the excursions return to the same place they drop off in the morning, where the buses are waiting, and that some, but not all, include the cable car tickets. Incidentally, the current cost of these is €6 pp each way. Here are a couple more pics taken from our supposedly obstructed balcony: This is the Regent Seven Seas Explorer arriving into Santorini first thing in the morning. And then this one was taken in the afternoon after we got back from the excursion. This was the one time I actually sat on the balcony and the sole purpose of sitting was to take a pic of the view from a sitting position! Tonight's dinner menu in the MDR: I'm afraid it's in Spanish; I didn't realise that the server had given us a bilingual menu (the other side is in English) until it was way too late to do anything about it. My bad. It's the one with the garlic shrimp; you can see it in the app. Anyway, we didn't really fancy any of the day's appetizers either on the main menu or the vegan menu so we just went with the artisan cheese plate: Followed by the garlic shrimp. Love them: And the Royal cheesecake. Just occurred to me that means we had cheese to start and cheese to finish. Normally when it's this menu, we would actually forego the appetizers and have the garlic shrimp as an appetizer, which I would follow with the lamb and DH with Steak Diane, but on this particular evening we were in a hurry because we were going to see The Effectors (postponed from the evening before) and the performance was at 9.30 pm, so we didn't want to be mucking about. We had our usual standing reservation in the My Time dining room of 8 pm but we went a bit early because of the earlier show time and were able to be seated immediately. From this point on, we would always be seated at the same table we were allocated this evening, and we enjoyed having our servers Gede and Jener looking after us, as they were very helpful and attentive. So, with dinner done and dusted, we rushed off to see The Effectors. It was a very impressive show because of all the special effects, even though the story line was virtually non-existent. Just a couple of pics. If you want to get a better idea of the show, do a search for @twangster's fantastic photo report on it. And apart from DH's ritual loss of $20 in the casino, that rounded off day four.
    2 points
  17. @She Sails Away thanks for taking us along. Your blog seems pure and authentic. I got all the feels almost like being there. You shared the realist experiences like people standing on your heels in line, becoming Felix’s partner, your whooping, waving, making the best of everything… and all things cruising during Covid. I love your writing style, your calm perspective of highs and lows; the little things that make the big picture. “After all the planning, it’s over”… but personal growth and self gratification are lifetime endeavors. Continue to find joy in the journey! Safe travels.
    2 points
  18. We all wear back packs as our carry on bags. Upon stepping onto ship we go straight to do the muster and then grab a beverage and sit down and people watch until a preferred lunch spot is open. (we usually get an 1100 check in) After that a leisurely lunch and usually by that time the cabins are open.
    2 points
  19. Welcome! I’m new here, too!
    2 points
  20. I have to agree. Keep to the regular dive/snorkel masks. Many here say they have good luck with these full face masks. I'm sure some do. My wife bought one and I tried it out and I immediately knew the big flaw. Inevitably, there is some reason you might need to clear a mask [usually fogging, but water seepage, sinus pressure...other]...and there no way to clear these full face masks without essentially taking it off. Clearing a mask, any mask, is essential. But each to their own of course and some people really like them [the fullness of breathing is surely more comforable...again, until you need to clear]. My vote is don't buy them. My wife's sits in a closet somewhere; used once or twice and she gave up on 'em as well .
    2 points
  21. Am pretty sure you're at the point where you should start watching the full tour of the boat you're going on videos, that's where I am at! I so badly want to pack our bags but I live in Arizona and I need to close that I would be packing, except for my formal dress. Also, probably going to borrow a roll on carry-on bag from one of my friends, so I have to make arrangements for that. So I can't pack myself anything right now. And I'm just stalking the websites and pages hoping I'll get my Royal up bid!
    2 points
  22. Ampurp85

    Earliest check-in??

    I have arrived later, when I can't fly in the day before and it is still a mess around 1pm. The great part is I can usually do muster and head straight to my cabin. I loathe people who don't do muster. All 5 of my last sailings with the new eMuster have had Captain announcements of 500+ pax who hadn't done it. They need to have their drink package on hold until they complete it.
    2 points
  23. They did it to accommodate us and the Bermuda Covid test requirements (negative test within 2 days of embarkation and Bermuda website states as long as they are first stop they’ll accept that one test). We are thankful since we would all be out of compliance to enter Bermuda with the original itinerary
    2 points
  24. I've been on a few FB groups where the complainers feel free to carry on.....thankfully the upbeat, look for the silver lining crowd tends to come out in droves for every negative Nellie (no offense to anyone named Nellie!) there are positive Patty's (lol)
    2 points
  25. It's one of the reasons that I like a moderated board! Way too much misinformation and crazy talk on facebook and the "other board". There is a great community here also to go along with the steady stream of information you provide.
    2 points
  26. I'm obviously bias in my opinion on this, but I've really become dissatisfied with Facebook groups for sailings. They either end up in one of two situations: completely dead or toxic sources of misinformation. It's a shame because Facebook groups used to be a great source of pre-cruise excitement, tips, and a way to meet others. But they all seem to end up creating more problems than they solve.
    2 points
  27. Remember to take negative comments with a grain of salt. People are way more vocal about negative experiences than positive experiences. And that's before you consider that social media amplifies things even more.
    2 points
  28. If you become a regular cruiser (ie, at least once a year), you'll find that by cruise 3-4 you'll be packing about half of what you packed on cruise 1.
    2 points
  29. People can bring trunks with them? Don't tell my wife. I've finally got her down to 2 suitcases for our 7 night cruises.
    2 points
  30. Leroyr55

    😞 positive test

    Unfortunately things seem to be going backwards in Pa. Two school districts outside of Phila just reinstated mask policies. Our county now has high transmission rates according to CDC. We were at low three weeks ago. Wife is on Plaxovid so hopefully that helps. Thanks for everyone asking about her.
    2 points
  31. One of these days people are going to start to realize that when you are vaccinated and boosted it is from a variant we already know of. When new variants come around it's all bets are off and you are not protected no matter how many shots you've had. At some point we have got to treat the Coronavirus like just another virus that humans get from time-to-time. The good thing is that with every new variant it is getting weaker and we are buiding better immunity against it. One day it will change but not any time soon with our current attitudes treating this as if it is the plague.
    2 points
  32. I lived in Australia for a little while years ago. I have visited Sydney and would recommend at least 2-3 days there. Melbourne is also great to visit and would recommend the same. Quantas airline is usually the way to go. That’s how I flew all over the place. If time allows I would definitely recommend Cairns, which is where I lived. It’s right by the rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. Palm Cove was one of my favorite beaches. Uluru and The 3 Sisters is other places that would be worth checking out. Have a great time!
    2 points
  33. At bayonne early and the crowds are already here. Dropped off luggage. No parking in garage. I was routed to another section and prepaid. My checkin was at 11. Good thing i got here early. Took 10 mins to go thru checkin. Now i sit and wait.
    1 point
  34. We’ve stayed at the Radisson in Cocoa Beach several times. The rooms are just okay. They do have some larger rooms with 2 king beds and a pull out sofa bed. The waterfall pool and pool bar are nice though. They also have several shuttle vans to the port too.
    1 point
  35. We've used this outfit multiple times from the airport. I don't remember much about them, so they must've worked out well.
    1 point
  36. Thanks...I saw the La Quinta in Cocoa Beach...did you fly into MCO and how did you get to the hotel from the airport? Shuttle? Uber? Do they offer a shuttle to the pier?
    1 point
  37. Hello Lovely People. I'm on my way to Santorini in July on Brilliance of the Seas. First time on Royal Caribbean. Have been trying to find where RC docks at Santorini so that we can then decide what shore excursions to do. I found lots of conflicting advice. Can anyone please clear up for certain where RC dock in Santorini. Thank you so much. Dave (and his family)
    1 point
  38. Thank you for this blog. We just booked this sailing for September 17 and I feel more informed about what to expect, assuming Covid and staffing issues remain the same. Question: looking at return flight times and wonder if a 10:45 or 11:30 flight time is doable from Fort Lauderdale airport or should I book later flight? Thanks again.
    1 point
  39. As you say, very few people have a short trip. You would think in Georgia, a bordering state, that we could drive to the port. And I guess that we could, but Miami is about a 12-hour drive for us if we stop only briefly (or Orlando/ Tampa is about 8 hours). But on the positive side it is possible to drive to the port if needed (very difficult to do from Indiana, Montana, or Illinois however) and it doesn’t require going through customs, etc.
    1 point
  40. Some have had success with iHealth. The most important part is that all the pertinent info is included, not so much who does the test.
    1 point
  41. Firefly

    😞 positive test

    They refunded our Coco Cay Waterpark tickets and 2 days of internet that I had purchased. (We were in Quarantine for days 3 & 4 of a 4 night cruise.) This was actually all done within a few hours of moving into quarantine.
    1 point
  42. Thanks. I'm the exact opposite of a helicopter parent. I trust my kid.
    1 point
  43. Do you mean the certificates when you meet a certain level during a single cruise? I have heard some people get those the last day, but they didn’t do that for me and I ended up only seeing it online. If you mean the yearly tier cruise, that I believe posts to your account on or around May 1 (could be a lag, others with more experience with Prime, etc may be able to address that)
    1 point
  44. Both of you get it ! The laundry is a very under-appreciated perk. Dan and I each send out a bag and it’s awesome !
    1 point
  45. Yes. 100% so far. It’s not easy though. Having a super star TA to handle this has been an immeasurable blessing. All love and thanks to @michelle for everything she has done for us. The process is pretty burdensome. Basically, you have to pay your cruise in full (unless protocols have already been announced for the dates of your cruise…which has never happened for us ), then once protocols are announced, you can request a cash refund. We were extremely fortunate to have gotten cash for all of the FCCs we had. I bundled all of them into one cruise fare (Symphony August 2021) and then when we cancelled that one, Michelle worked her magic and they all got refunded. It was almost $25K if I recall correctly. It took a long time to get everything back but eventually it all came back. The next one I have is for Voyager in Sept. I intend to downgrade my room to the lowest category I can (currently have a GS booked), then pay the [significantly reduced] balance when it’s time, and once protocols are announced, request a full refund. This will be the first one I have had to do on my own (this is a casino upgrade and I didn’t involve Michelle b/c the casino has basically cut the TAs out for commissions on casino cruises. They still get a small commission but it’s not worth the headaches they have to go through, IMO). Fingers crossed that it will be successful. I would maybe try and use the religious exemption on this one but with my luck they would approve it and then we’d still be stuck b/c there’s no way we will take a COVID test ! Best to stick with the process that has worked for us in the past !
    1 point
  46. Everything you heard is true. Get a USB hub like this https://amzn.to/3yR1q87
    1 point
  47. Today was a great day that seems long and varied when I look back on it. I planned to sleep late but woke up super early and was just done sleeping. I went up to the pool deck at 8 AM and every single nice chair on the immediate pool deck was covered in towels and there was barely a person in sight. Don’t you love that? Normally when I cruise I spend a lot of time by the pool but that hasn’t happened since that long swim on day one on this cruise for a couple of reasons. One is that the pools are jammed since we’re at full capacity. The second is that I saw some shockingly vulgar behavior on pool deck on day two (ladies in thongs grinding on each other, grinding on statues, giving their boyfriends full on lap dances and no reaction from the crew or lifeguard in any way.) No thanks! So I’ve re-discovered the promenade this week and really spent quite a bit of time there and really enjoyed every minute of it. It is just a great place to catch various live music all day long and into the evening, sit in a comfy chair, find snacks, or just read a book. But anyway—I figured the pool would be empty that early in the morning so I went up and swam for an hour, and then I joined in a 9 AM water aerobics class. I didn’t have high hopes… I associate water aerobics with standing around, flapping your arms and gabbing. But this was so much FUN! The crew member that led the class was hysterical and he had us all smiling and laughing and whooping and raising our arms over our head on cue, and things like that. It was not your typical water aerobics class. We even formed a giant circle, put our arms around each other’s shoulders and did a sort of Ethel Merman Olympic Synchronized Swimming floating thing, with half of us spinning the circle clockwise and the other half kicking their legs in the middle of the circle, making foam. It would’ve looked amazing from a drone shot. I felt in high spirits after that, and went and got breakfast at the solarium bistro for the first time. There was a line of people waiting for their turn at the buffet and there were no plates available. After a few minutes, someone brought in fresh plates and I eventually worked my way through the line. It was quite a challenge to find a table even though one employee was clearing them as fast as he could. Several people were standing around bewildered with plates of food in their hands, searching for a table. Anybody with more than four people in their party was out of luck and had to sit at separate tables if they were lucky enough to find them. Somehow I found one and ate (food so-so), then I went back to the pool and found a good chair (up on the sundeck since all the pool chairs were taken), ordered a Redbull, and just lay there an hour, reading my book. Eventually I swam a little bit more and then it worked out that it was nearly time for the Men’s international bellyflop contest. The last time I was on the ship, which was many many years ago, they did this event in the aqua theater. Now they just do it in the pool so there was quite a crowd but as I was in the pool already, I was able to just sit on the ledge of the pool and have a front row seat. They had eight contestants. So. First contestant is an elderly man who is clearly drunk. First thing he does is get up, turn his back to the audience, pull his swim shorts down and bend over. One of those things you can’t unsee. We were all blindsided and shrieked. Then he pulled his pants up and looked at the cruise director (who looked stunned), and then he did it again! Corey put his microphone down and just stared into space for a minute, as though now he had seen it all. He told the guy to get in the water “before anything else came off.” So the guys all did their belly flops and they were all really good. The grand prize went to a teenage boy. at this point it was 1 o’clock and I had been by the pool for five hours. That was enough sun for me. I showered and went down to the promenade for a snack and a napkin folding class. The class was one of those oddball things you try because you’re on a cruise ship, not something you would ever care about doing in real life. Well at least not me, anyway. But the cruise staff guy, Felix, made it very fun and funny. I had a virgin Miami Vice while learning how to make a flower napkin and it was all a good slice of ship life. There was a gap there with nothing I really wanted to do so I hung out in my room for a while. I went back downstairs at 4:30 for a Latin dance class. Huge mass of people participated. Promenade was packed. It started out great— it was a 30 minute class and we spent the first five minutes or so learning how to do a dance move. Then it turned out the whole rest of the class was directed at couples. The guy leading the class was Felix, the same guy that did the napkin folding. He told everybody to get their partner for the next steps. I started sidling sideways to ease myself out of the group and into the lane of traffic where people were flowing back-and-forth. I was just going to leave quietly. Then Felix said he didn’t have a partner and he needed someone so he could demonstrate the dance moves. He asked if there was anyone in the crowd that didn’t have a partner. I raised my hand and he said “come on up here, señorita!“ So I ended up being Felix’s dance partner for the rest of the class and it was actually fun. in normal life, I am not a dancer and I don’t call attention to myself and I just don’t do things like this. But this is one of those disconnected cruise ship type things you do in the moment and you just enjoy it and it seems completely natural. You know what I mean? so we all had a really great time and we were cha-cha-ing all over the place by the time the class was over and Felix was twirling me all around the promenade. Something happened during the dance lesson. A lengthy announcement was made over the loudspeaker, and we could not hear or understand a word of it, even though Felix paused the music and paused the class. No clue what was said, but as the class was ending, large groups of security offers in uniform came hurrying through the promenade. I ended up in the elevator with them when the class was over, and figured out enough to know that they were looking for someone who had been reported missing. they had a printed out picture of the woman and someone told me that her friends had reported her missing. I felt kind of sick to my stomach at the thought that maybe somebody had fallen off the cruise ship, which is straight where my mind went. I told myself that it was far more likely this person was drunk and passed out in a restroom somewhere or was taking a nap in some obscure corner of the ship and was unaware people were searching for her. I held my breath for a while, waiting to see if the ship turned around or begin searching the sea, and that never happened and there were no other announcements made and the security officers disappeared. So I’m hoping that everything worked out just fine and the lady was found safe and sound. At 530, I watched a teen competition at the Flowrider. The competition was to see how many spins each kid could make in 90 seconds. I really enjoyed that and the kids were so earnest and so into it. The same teenage boy that won the bellyflop contest also won this one! Then: Stood in line at the Windjammer waiting for it to open for dinner, and the line got longer and longer behind me as we waited. had to be at least 50 people behind me. Just moments before it opened, a couple wandered in, stared at the line in disgust, and then as it finally started moving, they just slid in behind me, blatantly cutting the line. The husband said to his wife, “just get in here.” The people behind me were very busy having an animated conversation, and either they didn’t notice, or they decided to let it go, which was very nice of them if that’s the case. I was super annoyed on their behalf. The attitude of a husband was, “this line is ridiculous and it’s ridiculous to expect me to stand in it, so I’m just going to cut the line and make things convenient for ME.” I can’t imagine doing something like that, and I really wonder what the response would’ve been if they had been called out on their actions. The guy seemed to be spoiling for a fight. I mean it’s day seven of an eight day cruise, has he not noticed that there are long lines at the Windjammer at this point? Did he not expect to have to wait in one? Clearly not. As annoyed as I was about the situation, I wasn’t going to turn around and try to enforce any rules or start a fight, I was a little afraid of what might happen. You just don’t know with people these days. It’s like those people hogging the pool chairs… Like, who gets up at 7:30 in the morning and claims a prime chair with a towel, and then goes back to bed? People do it all the time and I guess in their minds, it makes perfect sense. These are issues that are so childish, but I guess after a week at see you really get invested in these kind of ethical dilemmas. After dinner it was my turn to go see Mamma Mia. I have to admit this is not my favorite show. I’ve seen it twice before, both times on this ship, and it’s just not my thing. I’m not a big fan of ABBA and to me the musical is like watching three hours of karaoke. It’s three hours long and started at 8:15, and by 10 I was starting to nod off in my chair like an old person. But since I got up so early, at that point I was looking at having been up for 16 hours. I got up and left and came to bed and I’m really glad I did. I really need to spend some time just resting in my room tomorrow or I’m going to go home exhausted! tomorrow makes day eight of the cruise and I’ve never been on a cruise this long before. Most I have done as a week. I’m booked to do a transAtlantic in the fall which would end up being 16 nights away from home. So I told myself imagine if this cruise was doubled, how would you feel? Would you be really ready to get off the ship and go home or would you be up for another eight days? I’m not entirely sure. Of course the transatlantic would be an entirely different experience on a different ship (the Wonder,) but that’s a very long time to solo. I’m going to give that some time and thought. it’s funny how my solo status has come up so often in this week. It’s like someone said at the beginning of the blog, opportunities just present themselves to tell people I’m traveling alone. The reactions have ranged from shocked to intrigued to impressed to envious. When I took that tour in Aruba, a man in the tour asked me if I was traveling alone and when I said yes, it clearly wasn’t the answer he was expecting, and his eyes got wide and I think I saw a lightbulb go on his head, as though he just suddenly realized that solo cruising is a life option, and this information had rocked his world. He started talking about how he might do solo cruises in the future, as his wife works and he’s retired and has more time to travel than she does. you wouldn’t think you’d find yourself talking to people about such things, especially being an introvert like I am under normal circumstances. But it’s come up pretty much every day. And that’s been fine, it’s been fun to talk to people about it. But one thing everybody says immediately is, “how’s that, cruising by yourself?“ I don’t have a clever or commercial-like answer for this question other than the truth which is, “great.“ Or, “good.“ I know that’s not the enthusiastic or long or thoughtful answer people are searching for, but what is there to say? Everybody has different experiences with everything they do, especially travel. I think solo cruising is fun, and I don’t have tons more to say about it than that right there on the spot. It works for me depending on the cruise and I choose my cruises carefully. This is only my second solo cruise and I feel like they both have been a success, and by that I mean a really nice vacation. In any case, that wrap things up for today and tomorrow is our last day! Relaxation is going to be the name of the game tomorrow for sure!
    1 point
  48. TonyYOW

    😞 positive test

    I also don't understand how it's in Orange. I can see other cabins around us also have people quarantining. And honestly, if not my own test kits I brought from home with me, nobody would ever realize one of us is positive. In theory we could've enjoyed the rest of our cruise. Which, I'm sure, is currently happening to many families on the ship who are asymptomatic and keep enjoying their time. I just decided to do the right thing and let them know.
    1 point
  49. Vaccines were never developed to prevent infection (though that was seen early on after they came out with the alpha variant that was predominant at that time-not since delta variant though) , they were developed to prevent severe disease and death. its a virus, very difficult if not impossible to eliminate transmission.
    1 point
  50. Ya he literally hasnt had symptoms for 2 days now. We are still on the boat waiting to disembark. We will be the last ones off with the other covid people. I will try to count and get an estimate of how many of us were in quarantine.
    1 point
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