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Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/11/2020 in Posts

  1. 55 points
    Okay, I'm just relieved that this is direction this thread is headed in...
  2. 25 points
    Omg I thought the same thing....
  3. 23 points
    I always try to stay positive but Royal has implemented an unprecedented change that should be a cause for concern for everyone. They are changing a ship, swapping an Oasis class ship to a Freedom class ship and arbitrarily moving guests into new cabins with no recourse, no refund and few options. This is unprecedented and it should be a cause for concern for anyone booking a Royal Caribbean cruise. The ship and cabin or cabin category you book may not be what you find yourself sailing. Without notice or communication your ship and cabin can be substituted to something else. We all know that the cruise contract allows Royal to make certain changes when they are required to do so. Historically that has resulted in itinerary changes that substitute different ports of call. That's different than swapping in an entirely different ship. Historically when Royal redeploys a ship the future cruises on the impacted ship are cancelled and they have typically offer some sort of compensation in the form of a small on board credit. That's not happening now. In the case of Allure of the Seas from Galveston Royal Caribbean has decided to postpone building the new terminal there which means that Allure can't sail from Galveston as they had planned. This morning I have discovered that rather than cancelling Allure bookings Royal has substituted Liberty of the Seas in her place and arbitrarily changed cabins to a different cabin category downgrading in the process. The options they have offered - accept their change or lose the deposit. Imagine booking an international flight in First Class that includes lie flat seats, complimentary meal and beverage service and everything else that goes with First Class only to discover the airline has swapped in a smaller plane and placed you in another seat that doesn't include any First Class benefits. That is what Royal Caribbean is now doing on future cruises without changing the fare paid or offering any compensation. This change is unprecedented. Why Should This Matter To You The cruise you book can and will be changed by Royal Caribbean to anything they want without notice or compensation. They aren't just changing some ports on an itinerary, they are now changing the entire ship and cabin category. Let's say you booked Oasis of the Seas. You may find that ship has been redeployed due to the pandemic and now your cruise is moved to another ship. Maybe even a smaller ship that doesn't offer your type of cabin or any of the features and activities for the ship you booked. I can understand why they need to do this. Cancelling thousands of bookings at a time when there is no income is a recipe for bankruptcy. However for us, the cruising public on the receiving end of these unprecedented changes, it represents a whole new level of risk when booking a cruise. This pandemic has created unprecedented changes at so many levels. This move by Royal Caribbean represents a new twist to vacation planning on a level we've never experienced before. I've long said I don't care where the cruise goes, just get me on the ship. The problem now when booking a cruise is I don't know what ship I will actually be sailing on.
  4. 21 points

    Restart Dates

    I decided to hide the posts that had the alleged dates. On the one hand, if it's inaccurate it spreads false info. If it's true, well, it says confidential and I'm not sure how I feel about posting it. I hid the posts, so they may come back, it's an ethical dilemna and I'm not sure how I feel about it quite yet. I hope you all understand. I really try not to be overly censor things at all. I hate the idea of heavy moderation, but at the end of the day, I aim to ensure we spread the correct info here.
  5. 20 points
    Me, seeing that headline and opening this thread to see what's being talked about...
  6. 18 points

    Cheers, and happy weekend, all!

    I have nothing to say, cruise related. Just wanted to say cheers, and hope everyone is having a great weekend. I'm spending the week at the beach with the wife and kiddos...NO WORK. It's not a cruise...but things could be worse..... I hope everyone takes a moment, in the near future, to reflect on this time, and hopefully come away from it with a better perspective. Easy for me to say, I know, but all the same....hope we can all approach this crazy time with some positivity and optimism.
  7. 16 points

    MEI-Missing Our TA Friends

    I reached out a few times and @AnnetteJackson responded not only on this blog but also via the private message. I am so sorry we are loosing some very fine individuals that we have learned to count on, they will be sorely MISSED. I wanted to publicly shout out to Sharla Manglass of MEI and the countless others of MEI TA's who are still sticking it out for us, I can't imagine how this situation has upended their lives as well. I want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for continuing to take great care of us during these unprecedented times. I for one appreciate every single thing they do for us, please know you ARE appreciated Sharla, more then you know! Thanks for sticking it out with us, you are the BEST this industry has to offer.
  8. 16 points
    OK, since I've gone down this rabbit hole this far, I'll share one more thing and then I'll be done. My friends (who are all breed enthusiasts and one is the breeder of my lost girl) collaborated with an artist (painter) friend of ours and this arrived at my door yesterday.
  9. 16 points

    Goodbye from some friends

    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
  10. 16 points

    Goodbye from some friends

    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.
  11. 15 points

    Cheers, and happy weekend, all!

    Practicing my new hobby. Paddle boarding. 2x this weekend.
  12. 15 points
    I have called out Royal before when they make a mistake and that is what I've done here in the thread. However don't confuse that an overall or new found disdain for the company. No company is perfect, not before the pandemic and not during the pandemic. I still have double digit cruises booked with Royal and I eagerly look forward to the day when we can cruise with some resemblance of normalcy. When I see someone wrongly claim something like bait and switch or when someone didn't understand established policy then tries to throw the company under the bus because they didn't understand or take the time to research I'll continue to challenge that. Royal has always done right for me in the end. In this case I am whole in that I was fully refunded. That's better than other companies that have been seriously impacted by the pandemic have done for me. Even if it wasn't the ideal solution, at least I am whole. As this pandemic continues to impact this industry ships are way out of position for all the right reasons (getting crew home no matter what it takes) and that may lead to other ship swaps once things begin to recover. For some that may be a good thing, for others not so much. The warning remains, just keep an eye on your booked cruises and learn from this thread if it happens to you.
  13. 14 points

    It really can pay to re-price your cruise!

    Hello, All! Been a while since I've been here. Several times in the past, I've done a second "mock-booking" of my existing reservation, to see if I would come up with a lower price to no avail. With the current 2021 sale going on, I was able to see that booking an available cabin RIGHT NEXT TO MINE was $79 cheaper so I decided to call RCCL. (Not a bunch, but, hey, every bit helps!) To my surprise, not only was the basic rate $79 cheaper, but, I actually qualified for an additional discount as a resident of MICHIGAN! This has NEVER happened for me. In my experience, those discounts have usually been available for those in the home port state. At the end of the call, I had a $244 discount off my cruise fare! If not for finding this blog a few years ago, I wouldn't have known that re-pricing an existing reservation was possible.
  14. 14 points
  15. 14 points
    I would gladly wear a trikini if it got me on a cruise right now. My wife may act like she has no idea who I am, but that's life.
  16. 14 points
    Mrs. Thomas

    Silver Lining

    With all of the bad going around I have been able to find a silver lining. I got in contact with my TA and let him know that I wanted to use my FCC for a rebooking in October. He said that it was already there to use and we are all set. We even get to upgrade from interior rooms to balcony rooms! My mom will now get an ocean view balcony to sit on and drink coffee in the mornings. My MIL and son will have a central park balcony. All I have to do now is wait on the cash refunds, which will probably take longer than I prefer. Now to just hang in there and pray that we ALL are back cruising again soon!
  17. 14 points
    The other things that bothers me in this NRD conversation is why should that be a factor when Royal is cancelling the cruise? They cancelled the cruise. I didn't. I still want to sail Allure even if it isn't AMPED on that date. I'd even fly to Florida to do it. Change home ports, just let me sail. Nope. Royal won't let me. So given this is all on Royal, why should I have to book refundable? It seems the motivation and reasoning to book refundable is to protect yourself when Royal is being completely unreasonable when they decide to move me to another ship and downgrade me to a vastly inferior cabin compared to what I booked. Hmmm. I respectfully disagree that the "solution" to this issue would have been booking refundable. A reasonable company wouldn't have put me in the place they did in this scenario. A guest should be able to book a non-refundable fare and maintain an expectation of being treated fairly when the company chooses to make a drastic and unprecedented change to the booking. Allure is going somewhere on my date. They aren't scuttling the ship. Someone will sail in my cabin on that date. Why can't it be me?
  18. 13 points

    Travel Agent - Am I being unfair?

    First of all, if you are unhappy with the service you got on the original booking, I recommend that you change Agencies for the rebooking. The FCC is in your name, not the Agency’s, so if you want to change you can. I certainly would ! You should have gotten an email from Royal with the certificate names, amounts, and numbers from the cancelled booking. That’s all you need to get started on the rebooking. If you didn’t get that information, call Royal and request it. Just leave the bad Agency in the dust.
  19. 13 points

    Blog Rank

    ...or for being particularly annoying...whichever is applicable. 😜😜😜😜❤️❤️
  20. 12 points
    OK, I'll bite. Here is the very short story. My family & friends found ourselves on the 2012 Freedom charter by the High Seas Rally group - essentially a bunch of bikers. They accounted for over 2200 passengers on that sailing. I would have never booked that cruise had I known and now always check (as best as possible) to make sure I am not booking a partial chartered cruise. The majority of the cruisers were smokers (muster was horrible), formal night attire was mostly leather (picture backgrounds catered to them), fireworks on the ship (thought this was against ship rules), pirate banners on balconies (thought this was against ship rules), and even sex in public! You get the idea. Anyway on the way down to dinner in an elevator with my family, a drunk Rally member jumped into our elevator with his wife. She was in a wheelchair, so he was carrying both of their glasses of red wine. At every floor we stopped at he proceeded to invite waiting people into our elevator - even though we were pretty full. He was drunk and having his own fun. Anyway, a guy on the elevator (not us) tried to get him to stop, but he was not having it. When we reached the floor above where we were having dinner, he got out with his wife AND as the door was almost closed he threw both glasses of red wine at us! My older sister is very proper and very well dressed. Unfortunately, she got most of the red wine on her dress. I was pissed so chased him down, got into a fight, and the captain had us both dropped off at the next stop in Jamaica. My mistake, I should have summoned security. Please learn from my mistake. So far, I have...
  21. 12 points
    ^^^^This! is exactly why I love cruising so much. It's about the only vacation that I can truly unwind and step back. Saddens me even more that there is no start date in sight. I tried to explain to my family the other night that for me, it's not just a lost vacation. Cruising represents something far greater for me.
  22. 12 points

    Best Solarium

    Quantum class have the best Solarium. The layout, size and design gives it visual appeal with different water features and quad-ish hot tubs with awesome forward views. The pool isn't suitable for laps, it's more of a sitting pool so the only drawback is for folks looking for a deepwater pool to swim in.
  23. 12 points

    Oct 1st - Critical Date

    Even though Florida is spiking, it’s the 20-30 age group seeing the most cases. ICU Hospitalizations in my area (Jacksonville) are at a whooping 14. Roughly 35% of cases are asymptomatic. Big spikes in agricultural areas. The media wants you to believe the narrative that we are all hooked up to ventilators and dying in Florida. That is simply not the case. You have to dig into the numbers to see what’s going on. Our deaths continue to decline.
  24. 12 points

    Oct 1st - Critical Date

    If Florida would have followed New York's example, they would not be in the predicament they are in now. New York was the highest and now is the lowest state in numbers as WE New Yorker's listened and were directed by a great Governor who got us through the rough time. The Governor in New York wants the ports open again but that is not his call.
  25. 12 points
    Swallow Falls, Muddy Creek Falls (highest waterfall in Maryland), the Lower Falls and Tolliver Falls can all be found in Swallow Falls State Park, located in Garrett County (the furthest county to the west). These are also about a half hour from my home. Swallow Falls and the Lower Falls are all part of the Youghigheny River, while Muddy Creek and Tolliver both feed into the Yough. (prounced Yock...rhymes with Lock)
  26. 12 points

    First live blog post covid

    Anyone else crazy excited for the first live blog once cruising returns? I feel like it may be the most read blog ever!!
  27. 12 points
    I found out by looking at my future cruises on the website. They removed me from Star Class that would have included a Genie, prepaid gratuity, Voom, deluxe beverage package and the dining package among other benefits and now those are all lost since Liberty doesn't offer Star Class. No change in fare, no compensation, no refund option. Can't Lift & Shift a fall 2021 cruise and CWC doesn't apply as I've only paid a deposit. Sail Liberty or walk away from my deposit. For my party including family members sailing with me, adding gratuity, Voom, deluxe beverage and the dining package adds nearly $4k to the cruise cost.
  28. 11 points

    Lift and Shaft

    Tell your TA to look it on their site: http://creative.rccl.com/Sales/Royal/General_Info/CWC_Enhanced_FAQs.pdf 32. Understanding that the same itinerary, stateroom category, sailing length, and timeframe are a requirement, is it essential that my client rebook on the same ship as well? No, it is not required that your client rebook on the same ship or ship class
  29. 11 points
    I pulled this up from early June because I want people who are anti-maskers, both ashore and if we ever cruise again, to see this video. Wearing a mask isn't about party or identity politics. Wearing a mask isn't about giving up your personal freedoms or being forced to do things like one horribly offensive cartoon suggests the Nazis forced Jews to do - be marked with a star of David. Wearing a mask is about stopping the spread of SARS-CoV-2 so that we can all get back to the thing we love ..... cruising.
  30. 11 points
    I for one think you could pull this off, @twangster.
  31. 11 points

    Cheers, and happy weekend, all!

    Should have been on FOTS today for my wifes 50th birthday Since we couldn't go on the cruise decided to take part of the cruise to us 🙂 🍷🍷🍷 My wifes favourite wine from our previous cruise, Not the easiest of wines to find during a pandemic 😂
  32. 11 points

    Back 2 Back Cruising

    Since I live in a landlocked state well away from any coast I have to fly to cruise. With the extra cost and time burden of flying if I'm getting on an airplane to cruise I might as well cruise twice or more. Consequently I look for opportunities to stay on the same ship or move to another ship before flying home. The latter is sometimes called a side-to-side while staying on is called back-to-back. Royal calls such guests "Consecutive Cruisers". You will often see terms like B2B, B3B or B4B used in internet forums like this one to indicate a back to back or staying on for three or four in a row. Less commonly you may see S2S for side to side. From Royal's perspective each cruise is an seperate event. When staying on for the next cruise certain things are treated like you are a new guest on the next cruise. Different onboard account, different seapass card, different reservations for meals and entertainment. For these items it's as if you never did take the last cruise, the cruise you are on now stands on its own. You need to check in for both cruises online ahead of time as if they are different cruises which in fact they are. The most desireable B2B often means booking the same cabin for both cruises. There is no check box for this when searching for cruise, it's up to you or your travel agent to find a cabin that is available to book for both cruises. This is easier to do when booking cruises that are far in the future. When booking the cruises closer to sail date it's often harder or impossible to book the same cabin for both cruises. The cruise line offers no assistance in this effort and they will not ask someone to change cabins so that you can stay on for the next cruise. Sometimes a B2B involves changing cabins one cruise to the next. This typically involves packing your suitcases of all your belongings except for items hanging in the closet. The cabin attendants will facilitate moving your suitcases and hanging items from the first cabin to the next. There are exceptions to this where the onus is on you to move all your belongings but those are rare. Because a B2B involves two separate cruise bookings there are numerous times when changing cabins between cruises is required or is simply appealing. For one cruise perhaps a balcony or suite is available at an attractive rate but on the other cruise the same cabin is unavailable or cost prohibitive. Perhaps you want to try different cabins to sample each type or location so you know better in the future if a specific cabin location or deck makes a difference for your personal preferences. The cheapest rates are sometime "guarantee" type rates where the cruise line selects your cabin. In the case of a B2B with two guarantee type bookings its very unlikely they will assign you the same cabin for both cruises as the cruise line views the two bookings as unrelated until you step onboard. For one cruise a balcony might be cheaper than an ocean view but on the next cruise a balcony is very expensive and a suite is only a few dollars more. There are a number of scenarios that end up with a cabin change for a B2B. When you book two consecutive cruises you or your travel agent needs to notify the cruise line that you have booked two in a row. Until you do the cruise line has no awareness you booked two consecutive cruises. Once on board the first cruise it's always a good idea to stop by guest services and ensure they have you on the list as a consecutive cruiser otherwise they expect you to leave like a regular guest at the end of the first cruise. In America, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) dictates the process for consecutive cruisers. More often than not they will require all guests disembark so that the ship reaches "zero count" before they allow guests for the next sailing to begin boarding. For consecutive cruisers near the end of the first cruise you'll get a letter in your cabin describing the process. This generally involves meeting at a designated location and time when all other guests are disembarking. Once the bulk of all other guests have left the ship as a group consecutive cruisers are led off the ship to meet with CBP. Once inspected and cleared by CBP there is often a short wait while CBP confirms zero guests remain on board (zero count) before they allow consecutive cruisers to return on board. Boarding of the next cruise starts with consecutive cruisers followed by wedding parties, suites and high ranking members in the loyalty program. CBP will sometimes board the ship and inspect consecutive cruisers on board at the designated meeting location. No one knows how CBP decides if guest must leave or stay on board. I suspect they look at the guest list and depending on the names and details they make a game day call. For example if only US citizens are B2B and they all have passports on file then most of the inspection work is done ahead of time and they already know if there are any standouts that require more investigation. If there are foreigners or a name that matches a watch list or comes up matching someone with an outstanding arrest warrant they are less likely to allow the group to remain on board. In my experiences only once have I remained on board. All other times have involved 30 to 55 minutes off the ship going through the process. In other regions of the world different border authorities have different processes and often you can stay on board. For mediterranean cruises often these itineraries stay within the European Union and with the open borders of the EU there is no customs or immigration process between cruises. Side to side cruising is another option to consider. This could involve moving to another Royal ship or a different cruise line. In Florida a side to side can involve different cruise ports. I've cruised from Ft. Lauderdale then flew the same day to a ship in Tampa. I've sailed from Miami then rented a car and boarded a ship in Port Canaveral the same day. The easiest side to side involve changing ships at the same port like Miami, or moving from Miami to Ft. Lauderdale as these two ports are less than 30 miles apart. In the case of Miami and Ft. Lauderdale on two occasions Royal saw that I was moving between ships and they offered complimentary shuttle service for me. This is not standard and should not be expected but sometimes it happens. Sometimes the ship schedules don't align perfectly and there is a need for a hotel stay between ships. One thing to consider is laundry. You'll need to pack wisely when your overall journey is longer. Some items can be repeated such as formal wear for both cruises. Some items like bathing suits can be rinsed and hung to dry so they work for both cruises. Sometimes you just need to bring more clothes and more suitcases to last for both cruises or just plan to pay for laundry services on board. A side to side with a night in a hotel in between provides an opportunity to book a hotel with a laundry. Sometimes consecutive cruisers are offered a special lunch or sometimes they are offered sparkling wine and mimosas upon reboarding. This varies from ship to ship. Here are some cruise trip reports I've done involving a B2B or S2S: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/14213-empress-b2b-14-nights-on-the-biggest-little-ship-july-2019/ https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/5068-anthem-112517-712-b2b/ https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/17015-an-amplified-agglomeration-of-oasis-pictures-post-amplification/ Here are two cruises as a S2S with a car rental between them: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/9391-recap-mariner-4-night-bahamas-sept-21-2018/ AND https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/9359-recap-enchantment-ots-3-night-bahamas-92118/ This is an example of a S2S with a hotel stay in between: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/14700-empress-8-night-eastern-caribbean-🎵-oops-i-booked-it-again-🎵/ AND https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/14968-the-magic-of-majesty-august-2019-and-then-again-in-october/ Personally I love doing a B2B and if I had more time and money I'd do more of them.
  33. 11 points
    A client of my hubby told him that his sister is/was given one of the test vaccines and has had no ill effects from it so far. At least they are "really" in the testing phases. Fingers crossed!!
  34. 11 points
    plenty of time to get a cruise in......
  35. 11 points

    Buffet Dining going forward?

    You mean we finally get to eat food that hasn't been touched and put back by kids and some disgusting adults? The amount of things you can observe in just a minute or two in the buffet line (anywhere not just a cruise) is absolutely disgusting.
  36. 11 points
    It’s been a hot garbage fire especially for suites. There was a person who was in a 2 bedroom Aquatheater suite and they told her the only option was to move to a Junior Suite on Liberty. No compensation at all for the lost inclusions (dining, beverage, etc)
  37. 10 points
    I think masks are controversial because they are new to most people in the West. In the US the CDC flip flopped on masks. Initially in early 2020 they said masks were not needed unless you were in contact with someone known to be infected. I wonder to this day if they took that position due to the shortage of masks so that people wouldn't hoard masks like toilet paper and prevent healthcare workers from being able to get masks. In doing so they ignored science themselves and that is where they went off the rails. Later they flipped and said masks were beneficial. Anytime an agency like the CDC does a 180 it's going to fuel controversy. My personal believe is that masks are part of the solution but not the entire solution. The virus is still out there, it hasn't changed in how it spreads so easily since the first cases eight months ago. If a mask in public places gives me a 17% better chance avoiding spreading the virus that's good enough for me. Does it solve everything? No. Do I need to wear a mask in my living room with family who aren't known to be infected? No. If a family member was known to be infected you bet I'd be wearing a mask around my home and they would be wearing one too. If my mask isn't perfect maybe my chances of transmission drop to 10%. That's still enough for me to wear a mask. In my past I have driven a car in situations where I probably shouldn't have due to drinking alcohol. Over the years I've never killed anyone doing so, never even got in an accident of any kind. Yet the awareness that I could kill someone despite feeling invincible caused me to change my ways. Just take an Uber. Could be the best $15 I ever spent. It's a pain sometimes but probably the best thing to mitigate the horrible possibility that would come from taking a life in a DUI accident. Wearing a mask follows this logic. Of course if I felt sick I wouldn't go out and risk spreading it. The science tells us that you can be infected and contagious without knowing it. I don't ever want to be in a position to know I passed it along and caused someone else to die but I still need to go shopping and do things in public. When this is all said and done I want to be able to look back and know I did everything I could to not be part of the problem. So I wear a mask when shopping. My mask procedure isn't perfect but it's something I can do to be part of the solution. When others see me wear my mask it reinforces that they should too. That is when it is even more effective. Lead by example, motivate others without overtly calling them out, shaming them or confronting their choice not to wear a mask. Let my adult children see me do it so I lead by example. The virus hasn't changed in eight months with respect to ease of transmission. We need much of society to open, we need commerce. With the virus basically unchanged masks are a means to allow society to reopen in some limited ways that will improve our economy while reducing the chances of spread. If wearing masks outside of my cabin on a ship proves to be an effective mitigation that allows cruising to resume I will wear a mask on a cruise and proudly sport my mask tan lines. It may be the step that saves the cruise lines so it's totally worth it but we need everyone to get on board. If it's required to cruise it needs to be enforced and there should be ramifications for those that said they would do it but choose not to. If you won't wear a mask on a cruise I respect your choice not to sail for that reason but don't board a ship knowing you intend to violate the mask policy. That's just not cool.
  38. 10 points
    I'm more of a one piece kind of guy.
  39. 10 points
    I would like to take a moment to thank each poster who were concerned about the theme of this thread. You guys never let me down!!!!
  40. 10 points

    Cheers, and happy weekend, all!

    Only have the weekend off but we spent this afternoon on our local beach and then went out for dinner afterwards. Note that the pic of the beach is from last month on our first outing after lockdown was eased but it's the same beach. 😄 It feels good to be able to do some (almost) normal stuff.
  41. 10 points

    First Time in a Suite

    Congratulations and condolences. You are going to LOVE the suite life thus the condolences...b/c you will be ruined from now on. That's a good thing ! Approximately 5-7 days (I've found lately that it is 5 days) prior to sailing, your Suites Concierge will reach out to you via email and provide you with a full list of Suites benefits. At that time, you will be able to interact with the Concierge, ask them questions and have them make reservations for you. If you have a dining package, you can ask the Concierge to make specific reservations for you at the restaurants and times of your choice. Another big time saver, as you will not have to go stand in line at the kiosk or specialty restaurant and do that once you board. If you are going to Labadee or Coco Cay and want a cabana or bungalow, the Concierge can do that for you ahead of time...another time saver. You will be able to check in with the Suites....which usually means a shorter line to go through check-in and security. I can't remember whether Galveston has a separate entry for Suites or not. I should remember, but I don't. At the very least, you will have your own line...which can be a huge time saver. You will have 24 hour access to the Suites Lounge. There you will find a self-service coffee machine that you can use any time it is working. I says any time it is working b/c there have been issues in the past with it running out of coffee or milk, etc. Of course, there is the Happy Hour (usually 4:30 or 5:00 - 7:00 or so) where you will get complementary beverages and snacks. You would also be eligible for this (in the Diamond lounge) since you are now Diamond (Congratulations !!!) so that's not such a biggie for you...but it's generally less crowded in the Suites Lounge as there usually fewer Suite and Pinnacle guests than there are Diamonds and D+. Most of the Concierges will provide priority disembarkation at ports of call. This can be hit-or-miss but most of them will escort you off the ship ahead of the masses, if you want to disembark that early. This is particularly important if you have any tender ports. Just be mindful that this service is only in 1 direction. You have to get back to the ship on your own the best way you can. Of course, the most valuable assistance with disembarkation is on the last day when the Concierge will get you off the ship expeditiously. Unfortunately, I have found the disembarkation service at Galveston to be kinda lame. They really don't escort you down to the CBP line like they do at some of the other ports....but it's better than nothing. One service that can be really valuable is the fact that the Concierge can help you with any Seapass/billing issues you might have. If you find that you've been charged for something that you should not have, the Concierge can take care of it for you. Generally speaking, anything that would require you to stand in line at Guest Services, the Concierge should be able to do for you. Minimizing time at GS is a real bonus !!! The Concierge will arrange special behind-the-scenes tours for you if you are interested. These generally include entertainment operations (we did one at the ice theater once that was really interesting), galley tours and bridge tours. No idea how COVID is going to affect the tour situation. My guess is that they will probably curtail some or all of these, but you never know until we get to sailing again. Of course, you will have reserved seats for all of the main theater productions and the ice shows. There are special sections that are available to suites and Pinnacles. You still have to fight for a seat, but at least there is a section cordoned off for you. My favorite Suite benefit is private breakfast at Chops. Only Suites and Pinnacles are allowed. It is a full service breakfast from a static menu. Very nice, quiet and tranquil. Such a great way to start the day ! Labadee has a Suites area that is exclusive to Suite Guests and Pinnacles. It is a nice area and they provide shuttle service from the main entrance over to the Suites beach. Even if you do not rent a cabana you will find lots of loungers. The Suites area has a private lunch that is pretty much the same as everyone else's lunch but generally less crowded. Nothing exclusive for Suites at Coco Cay, unfortunately. There's probably more...just can't think of it right now. Congratulations again !!!
  42. 10 points

    Silver Lining

    OH, OH, I WANNA PLAY!!!! I like silver linings. I had a sailing booked on Rhapsody, because it was the only ship going to Roatan (the only request my Honduran wife made for the cruise) the week we could go. THE WHOLE WEEK. Crazy. But, thanks to our dear friend Covid-19, we were cancelled, and rebooked for a sailing in 2021 that goes to Roatan, AND Coco Cay, on HARMONY. This will be my 1st Oasis class! AAAAAND were going from an ocean view to an ocean balcony!!!!
  43. 10 points
    I FINALLY found the place in the system to ignore Trolls!! 😁😁😁😁
  44. 10 points

    Oct 1st - Critical Date

    I hope to god we never follow what New York does, just my opinion! I know we have had a rise in the number of cases in FL, but the death rate has remained steady or has gone down!
  45. 10 points

    Buffet Dining going forward?

    Absolutely disgusting is right! I would welcome the total elimination of the Windjamner and replace it with something more sanitary. There’s nothing more gross then watching people grab food with bare hands and then deciding they no longer want it and put it back for some poor unfortunate soul to eat. Pre or Post COVID19 still not a fan.
  46. 10 points

    MEI vs Big Box online travel agency

    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.
  47. 10 points

    CDC guidance

    I don't know about you guys but the only time I feel packed in on a cruise ship is during the muster drill!!
  48. 10 points
    Right now, the most exercise I have planned are upper body workouts. Lifting forks, heavy glasses, throwing dice, pulling slot machines, etc... Maybe I'll implement a no 2 drinks in a row from the same bar rule, so I'll have to walk more.
  49. 9 points

    RCL to Resume Cruising 9/16

    It only took me a trip to divorce court.
  50. 9 points
    Bit embarrassing if after a few to many 🍷🍷🍷🍷 someone gets the bottoms and the mask mixed up 🤣🤣🤣
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