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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/25/2021 in Posts

  1. Alternate title: Thousands do exactly as millions do every day on airplanes and travel, albeit with better protocols
    41 points
  2. We just landed in Miami 2 hours ago after 12 hours of travel through snowstorms from Vancouver to find our Symphony sailing tomorrow is cancelled. Literally got the notification at the second wheels touched down. Obviously disappointed but we knew things are crazy and anything was possible. First reaction was let’s see if we can get on another Royal cruise sailing in the next day or two. Unfortunately Royal has all sailings through January frozen for new booking and no one at customer service was any help. Ever the optimist, my wife got on the phone with Norwegian and long story short, we are boarding on Norwegian Joy in 17 hours. What a wild ride!!
    26 points
  3. Like just about anything in life WE set the price that companies charge for packages like this. If people are willing to pay they'll keep charging that rate. If collectively WE don't buy something at their price point they will eventually lower the price. As long as people are paying they will continue to accept people's money. The deluxe drink package isn't required to have a great cruise. If the math doesn't work for you, don't buy it.
    25 points
  4. I hope they make the casino non-smoking permanently.
    24 points
  5. SPS

    CDC 12/30/21 announcement

    Ok, cool. So what’s the warning level for the following? Airports Airplanes Sporting events Concert venues Movie theaters Shopping malls Grocery stores Large chain retail stores Amusement parks Public transportation Restaurants Bars Resorts
    21 points
  6. First, let me say I understand a lot of frustration in and with the cruise industry due to COVID. Its supposed to be a great vacation and customers pay a good price for the experience. The media likes to dwell on cancelled ports and sick passengers and empty ships sitting at anchor. All the misery and misfortune in the headlines sells. No one wants to go on vacation and be limited to mask wearing, subjected to nasal swabs, flight disruption, port dismissal etc. On the other hand, trying to take a purely scientific view point ... Though ships have been called a Petri dish (generally with negative connotations), at the same time they are a somewhat unique controlled population sampling. Here you have literally thousands of people that are vaccinated and following masking protocols etc. Its not perfect but when you look at infection rates, those aboard ship are less than one percent compared to over 30% on land. To me this is a perfect example of how an experiment works. You have two populations, one with generally well kept protocols and controls, and the other, not so much. The difference in infection rates is dramatic. It just shows vaccines, masking and isolation of known cases works. Ships have other issues such as limited space for isolation and medical facilities. Their systems are not perfect but the numbers show they do work.
    20 points
  7. We are booked to sail on Brilliance of the Seas Jan 17th with our 85 year old mom (this could be her last cruise). I just read that there is a new requirement to wear a mask EVERYWHERE - even in all vaccinated areas - casino, shows, concierge club, etc..... We were on Jewel of the Sea July 5th sailing and were required to wear a mask in public areas but did not need to in the public vaccinated areas. This was somewhat acceptable but we would have preferred no masks. We decided to book again because we enjoyed the 50% capacity and were offered a great deal through the casino. BACK to Brilliance...I don't know if anyone from Royal Carribean reads this, but we are going to cancel our upcoming Jan 17th cruise due to the burdomsome requirements of masks. Isn't being vaccinated enough? Is having personal responsibility of how much risk one is willing to take enough? Personally I am tired of the CDC recommendations shutting down entire industries. I am fully vaccinated, including a booster. I have also had covid. I am willing to take the risk. Why is everyone being burdened to adhere to these recommendations? RC is a private company. Please consider changing the mask requirement back - It just won't be enjoyable wearing a mask everywhere. We live in Florida and live my daily life without wearing a mask everywhere I go except Dr. offices. We have no desire to adhere to rules much stricter than we have in daily life. How about offering a cruise that no-one has to wear masks and people can decide if that works for them?
    20 points
  8. My mother told me to be at the house by 8:30 to pick her up so we could leave early. 9:45 she is still packing last minute stuff for our 4-5 hour car ride. We would hate to be caught without food or drinks for the drive. 10:45 we are getting gas at Costco..driving out of the way and sitting in lines to save 5 cents a gallon. I mean I only had half a tank. 60 miles down the road, time for the first bio break at a rest area Random guy at rest area asked me if I thought my car would go faster if it was painted red? I feel like today is going to be a looooong day.
    18 points
  9. Matt

    Oasis / Atlantis Cruise

    The Atlantis group has a very checkered past with their charters, with people dieing on sailings in the past. That being said, while I would not think this is a good thing to do at all, here's another great example of the double standard cruise lines face. Large unmasked grouping outside is a problem? Disney World recently Bills vs Pats game last weekend WWE Monday Night Raw earlier this week INDOORS
    17 points
  10. I understand where you are coming from. I don't enjoy wearing masks myself. Early on I cancelled cruises and booked another cruise line only to have that cruise line adopt the same mask guidance i thought I was escaping. As I started cruising from Florida I realized it wasn't that bad. All the mask worries I projected proved to be unfounded. I learned it wasn't as bad as I feared. Each of us has our own level of tolerance for the requirements to cruise during a pandemic. Right or wrong, agree or disagree, is subjective. The requirements to cruise right now are not subjective. The protocols are well known and they are not available for us to debate. They are established by the CDC and cruise lines. We, as cruisers don't get to pick them. We have a choice. The choice is to accept them or don't sail. Personal opinions aside, and I have many thoughts and opinions on the protocols, the requirements to sail during this pandemic are well established and well known. It's as simple as... if you don't like them, don't sail. Your choice. It's isn't up for a vote. To cruise means we must all agree to the protocols, or don't go. The cruise lines don't have the choice to offer a cruise you seek right now. Sorry.
    17 points
  11. smokeybandit

    Rude People

    I mean it is New Jersey.
    17 points
  12. Straight talk: If you are flying to the port, wearing a mask while indoors onboard the ship will be the least of your problems. Masks are mandatory while in airports and planes. With layovers and delayed flights, the travel day can be very long. I don’t see mask mandates going away any time soon. With your knowledge of how wearing a mask affects you, I think some really intense reflection of whether this is the best time for you to travel is warranted. I don’t particularly care to get into any discussion of the pandemic/politics/science/mask mandates, etc. Cruising at any time is a luxury and is much more so during current times. I want to cruise, so I agree to follow the rules because I know I am able to follow them. Those who can’t or won’t follow the rules should find another way to vacation.
    17 points
  13. https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2021/12/31/thousands-reject-cdc-advice-board-cruise-ships-for-vacations-amid-rise-in-covid-cases/ BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Cruising into the new year, thousands of passengers are rejecting the CDC’s advice not to sail as COVID-19 cases reach record numbers. The CDC issued this guidance despite every passenger 12 and older being required to be vaccinated. “We don’t like to see even one case, but our experience is a fraction of the comparable statistics of virtually any other comparable location or industry,” Royal Caribbean Chairman Richard Fain wrote in a statement Thursday. Royal Caribbean said since restarting in the summer, 1,700 of its 1.1 million guests have tested positive with 41 of those passengers going to the hospital and none of those 41 with the new variant.
    16 points
  14. All Omicron cases on ships are reportedly asymptomatic or mild symptoms. A sore throat for example. No hospitalizations have been reported from a ship case of Omicron. If anything needs to change, governments around the world need to view a positive Omicron case very differently than other variants. There may be more variants in our future. Communities and societies around the world need to do better understanding when to freak out and when to stay the course.
    16 points
  15. While the cost of the test may be some small factor with this policy change, it is not reason for the change. Royal cannot afford for the skyrocketing number of positive test results to be their (cruise line) problem. They need neither the “head count” nor the costs associated with quarantine and repatriation. These are the costs and responsibilities that Royal is offloading. Whether that’s a moral or immoral decision, is certainly debatable. Since US citizens do not require a test to re-enter the US (for now, at least) there will no accounting for COVID carriers coming off the ship unless they have fallen ill and exhibit symptoms while on board. They are washing their hands.
    16 points
  16. Okay some updates........ T minus 44hrs I passed the test, and all of my bags are packed. I haven't received anything about a later boarding. But most of my correspondence goes to the TA before coming to me. The app has finally updated to show the proper number of days for this sailing, it shows WJ open for dinner. However, I have seen preliminary postings on FB that put this sailing at under 1500 pax. I ran into issues with my eDocs. Right after I made FP, they were available to print. I got busy and decided to do it a few days before leaving. I went to CP and it said no documents available. Now in the current climate, I got super afraid. I asked the RCGBlog and was told this has happened to a few others, so I felt relief. I emailed my TA and he told me this is some glitch that has been happening and I would need to get blank ones at the port. Ugh!!! Luckily a few hours later he was able to email the docs to me, he believes something was shaken loose with his inquiry. So now I have printed luggage tags, my setsail pass, and negative results. For the last end of my S2S2S I booked an interior cabin. I did receive an offer to RoyalUp and I decided to put in min bids on a few rooms. Well today I checked, and all are expired with one pending. I have been told this is a good sign and I am just waiting for them to charge my card. It is for the spacious panoramic ocean view. This is one of the newer cabin categories they put on some Amped ships. This is my first-time bidding and when I win, I will be 1-0!!! Happy cruising everyone!!!
    15 points
  17. As previously mentioned, on day 7 (1/1) my two kids went for their last Covid test and the results came back positive. All 4 of us had/have no symptoms. RC performed a PCR on the kids & it confirmed the positive result. 1/1 @ 4:00pm: phone call from guest relations asking for our return flight info, home address, phone number exc. I kindly I formed them we had a vehicle at the port and we lived in Fort Lauderdale. The guest relations follow up question was once again “what is your flight number”. This question was asked a total of 3 times in a 5 minute phone call and each time I informed them we had a vehicle at the port. 1/1 @ 4:30pm: phone call guest relations informing us that security was coming to get us & our luggage and move us to “another floor”. We were told they would be there in 30 minutes. 1/1 @ 5:30pm: knock on the cabin door. It’s 2 security guards and 3 crew members in full PPE (haz mat suits) with fog guns. The security guard passes me a folder with documents including final invoice, some kind of FCC for the day and a full 10 page document indicating we would be taken via special transport to a hotel to be quarantined for 10 days. There was a section for adults to sign & consent to the terms. The crew members grabbed our luggage and walked us through the interior crew passageways to an area where they fogged the luggage. We watched them spray the luggage and then we’re directed to a freight elevator to the 6th floor. Room 6304 balcony. There was 1 king bed and a small couch (which at first I assumed pulled out into a bed). Door closed behind us and no further instructions which we figured was odd. 1/1 @ 6:30pm: kids were hungry so I called up room service which was a limited menu (burger, hotdog, salads, fries, some desserts, sodas). There are small tables set up outside the cabins where the food is left and you just get a knock on the door when the food is delivered. I ate outside on the balcony and you could hear nothing but coughing kids outside and all around us. My kids are bored at this point & asking when we can go to sugar beach. We still have no clear game plan for the following days disembarkation. My wife is a pit bull attorney and you could see she was starting to get into full lawyer mode and about to go ham on guest relations for some answers. I called down and was told a “supervisor” would get back to me. This never happened. 1/1 @ 10:00pm: kids watched a movie and finally fell asleep. Still no word from anyone with a plan. I totally forgot about the sleeping situation and when I went to open the small mini couch it became clear that this was not a pull out bed. Since the kids & wife were asleep it was just me and the tiny couch. No blanket just a pillow. I’m 6’ tall so my legs had no where to go. I found some large bath towels and laid them out on the floor and just went to sleep on the floor. What an interesting way to really feel every single shift in engine RPM and bow thruster operation! 1/2 @ 6:30am: phone call from guest relations to get our luggage together and prepare to disembark Oasis. No other information given, although based on the previous days process I figured the goon squad would be back with their entourage to escort us off the ship. 1/2 @ 7:15am: Security & the haz mat crew show up to take our luggage and escort us down to deck 2 exit through a designated passageway. We get down to the area where you normally get off the ship at ports and there is an area set up with 20-30 chairs (all filled up with adults and children). We are told to sit and wait. We are asked once again what are flight number. I pulled my car key out of my pocket and mentioned we are leaving this ship and going to the parking garage to get our car. Still no further direction and at least 20 crew members standing right outside the ship with 2 customs officers. It’s now just a waiting game. There’s now a line of SUV’s being fogged by the haz mat team right outside the ship. 1/2 @ 8:30am: Crew member asks for our sea pass cards and we exit the ship. A young lady once again asks us our flight number and at this point it’s just annoying. I asked them to stop with the questions and explain to me EXACTLY how this plays out from this moment until the moment I press the unlock button on my cars key fob in the parking garage. They fumbled a bit and still continued to mention the hotel accommodations and ride directly to the hotel. We reexplained the entire scenario & finally a gentlemen in a black SUV grabbed our luggage and took us from the pier directly to the 4th floor of the terminal parking garage. 1/2 @ 9:00am: Home in Fort Lauderdale. Thoughts: We as a family understand the risks of cruising during a pandemic and we’re willing to take on the risks because we love cruising. We followed all mask protocols and still things like this happen. RC did what they had to do to mitigate the risk of a possible infection outbreak. I think there could have been improvement in the communication from guest relations to the parties in isolation. While at the ship exit the crew member rattled off 2 cabin numbers to us. Confused I asked why they had us in 2 cabins on the 6th floor???? It turns out they had put us in adjoining cabins so we would all have beds and this was not communicated to us. This is another example of a communication error that could have been avoided. Oh well, I’m thankful all 4 of us are in good health and we will certainly revisit cruising in the future. The 12/26 Oasis sailing was excellent and the ships crew is great! If you have any further questions please let me know. - Tony
    15 points
  18. Good morning everyone! We made it to florida and today is cruise day!! Direct flight from Cincy to Orlando was pretty easy (although completely full!! We took uber from the airport to our hotel for the night at Cape Crossing Resort and Marina. Last night we ordered doordash from one of the local restaurants. Here are my thoughts about the resort here: -Great setting and location, right on water and at marina, about 15 minutes from cruise port, about 20 minutes from Cape canaveral. It took us around 40 minutes to get here from the airport -This is more of a condo type resort vs a hotel. We are in the main building in one of the rooms they call suites, but there are free standing condo's in here too that may be nice for people looking for multiple rooms, full amenities with washer/dryer, etc. - Ordering Doordash was convenient last night and I appreciated having the kitchen with regular plates, silverware, dishwasher, etc. I underestimated some of the local places being closed on the holiday yesterday so our choices were mostly chains. - Our room is modern, nice balcony with plush balcony furniture. Bathroom is nice and bed was very comfortable. The only negative was that we went to get ice out of the tray in the freezer, the ice tray looked really gross. I went to the main office, and the guy at the check in counter gave me ice out of the ice machine from the main fridge in the lobby. We had packed our own bourbon, extra water, and bottle of Cava sparkling wine for the room in our checked luggage. This worked out well. The tv is a smart tv. We connected our amazon prime wirelessly and watched a movie last night so it was a relaxing night in. - Our check for Harmony was supposed to be at 11:30, but all of the checkins got pushed back 2 hours due to mandated CDC cleaning. We asked for a late check in when we checked in yesterday and will be departing at 1pm. They charged $10 extra for the late check out, but it seemed worth it to relax at the resort. the pool looked really nice and welcoming last night and was open until 10. I will probably go for a swim this morning. - Tonight is dinner at CHOPs at 5:30. We will make the rest of the reservations for our 3 night dining package and our included specialty restaurant as soon as we board!
    15 points
  19. Currently on Allure. Masking everywhere and at all time indoors. Not awful, yes that KN95 does get warm and a little uncomfortable during shows, but it is tolerable. Notice a lot even masking while walking through Central Park, on pool deck and solarium until they get into a seat. Yes few blatantly tried g to get around policy, just not many. No they are not asking to to mask up between sips or bites, generally when seated with drink or food mask off. Surprised by the number of vaccinated children 5-11 years old. Really surprised. Passenger counts. 3250 total. 2000+crew. 147 D+ 19 Pins. Original passenger count was supposed to be 4500 almost 1000 cancellations last minute, info from Loyalty Ambassador but I could also have numbers off by a little but generally what I thought it should be. Except I'm surprised at the high number of cancellations. Yes hot tubs not in Solarium are all kids, but that was my expectation. Windjammer open for dinner, during busy breakfast lunch some lines,b ut it looks like they move quickly. Can't speak to MDR as not eating there So far still glad we decided to stay on this cruise Btw. MERRY CHRISTMAS
    15 points
  20. I was worried the clouds on the horizon would steal the show but in the end it worked out pretty good.
    14 points
  21. The only thing I look forward to on disembarkation day is walking by the “Table of Shame”. For those of you who have not seen it or do not know what it is, the table of shame is usually one of the last things you pass before picking up your luggage. What looks like a few port employees having the worlds worst yard sale is really just the place for you to pickup anything that was confiscated from you on embarkation day. I love to look at what is there and would love to see if we could get members of this group to snap photos and post them here for us all to enjoy. We sailed Odyssey on the NYE cruise and the table of shame was top-notch. I saw a full size stand up fan, the kind with the round base that oscillates, a space heater and several irons. I’m kicking myself for not snapping a photo to kick this thread off properly.
    14 points
  22. We just boarded Oasis as our first Star Class cruise and it was much less stress free than anticipated. First I stressed about the Covid results and as everyone reassured me: they just look at your name, date of test and result! So I’ll take the time to reassure everyone else like me that it was easier than anticipated. Lastly, because we had uploaded our vaccine card, we only needed to show it once. We are on board and finally feeling the relief and excitement of cruising once again. Because of the recent cancellations we are more thankful than ever to be on a ship. Thanks to all who have cruised before me that held my hand and calmed my anxieties as the time drew near. This community is so valuable but even more during these times! Cheers to sailing once again.
    14 points
  23. Well there are a lot of things you can thank for the problems but all I can say is go read this. https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2021/12/28/why-you-need-be-flexible-if-you-want-go-cruise-right-now On top of that this site has nothing to do with RCCL policies. This is a discussion board and as such we can do nothing. If you really want to tell the CDC where to stick it get your friends together, register to vote, and do so in the elections so that you can have a say in policies.
    14 points
  24. I’ve been catching up about Star Class for over a year now. One of the first blogs I read had @Lovetocruise2002writing that she wasn’t sure “what” she would ask of a Genie. Fast forward to her adjusting just fine to Star Class! I’ll say upfront that I love reading her blogs - she has a gift for writing. While I’m at it let me shout out kudos to @WAAAYTOOOwho may not win any “live” blogging awards (she tells the reader upfront that she will do the majority of writing after the cruise) but is a wonderful source of information and just down right sweet! You all are the reason I’m at least a “suite” snob now. And, because of some of you, I now book the cruise first then explain to hubby on “how” I saved him money by booking the cruise. He is still shaking his head! I booked this Star class cruise over a year ago through the Casino. When the lady told me the price for an eighth floor two bedroom Aqua suite I was stunned. I had her repeat the price a couple more times. Cheaper than us booking balcony rooms. The catch was I had to pay the full balance right then and there. Moments like this is the reason God invented American Express. Who is going: Hubby, three kids in their 20’s and 30’s and myself. Hubby is a retired military man, worked years as a Director with Lockheed Martin and is now on his third career - a Financial Advisor. It’s painful having your financial advisor be your husband too. I’m guessing it would be like being married to a doctor who advises you that you really should lose ten pounds. It all becomes a bit more personal. The kids have spent the last year making a list of all the things the Genie could do for them. Hubby said he had nothing on his list. He could do what he wanted for himself. It’s amazing that he has not made the connection that he has had a genie (me) for many many years and has no problem with that. I’m having a bit of trouble thinking “what” I would like a Genie to do for me. I’m the type that always has her room steward take a couple of days off. I get clean towels for those days and they are not allowed to enter my room. The kids seem to think that I will adjust just fine with the services of a Genie. I’m going to give it my best to sit back and let the Genie be a Genie. I’m old and do deserve a bit of being “spoiled” after years and years of making sure everyone had clean underwear. Thousands and thousands pairs of underwear. The kids and I (minus hubby) are getting excited that it’s just two months from sailing. Our fear is CDC tries to flex it’s muscles and shuts down cruising again. Could that happen? I’m listening to @WAAAYTOOOon filling out the genie questionnaire, and just answer a couple of important questions. Originally, we were going to throw out a request to have dinner with the Captain, but with covid, that’s just not going to be a possibility. It seems on cruises happening now that a lot of shows are being cancelled, and to top it off, our sailing is no longer showing on their site. Do you think that means they reached their capacity for passengers? If you are bored tomorrow then visit this site as I will be posting on why the “Old Woman’s hubby” is not a fan of cruising. I will say now it might have a bit to do to his two visits to Royal’s medical facilities on the same cruise. Thanks for joining me and for any advice for my upcoming Star cruise. You all rock! *A big thank you to Matt and this site. It’s truly a place to go to to get answers!
    13 points
  25. You'll never be thirsty in the suite when sailing Star class.
    13 points
  26. Update: My wonderful TA John From MEI was able to escalate things and I am schedule to get tested at 8am on Fri before I disembark. This is exactly why a good TA is worth their weight in gold. I am going to the comedy show then packing for my next adventure.
    13 points
  27. BrianAlt

    I’m Pinnacle!

    Congratulate me! I’ve made it to Pinnacle! Unfortunately, it’s on these boards and not on Royal Caribbean ships.
    13 points
  28. Heck at this point I am beginning to think I want to get Omi, off ship, or whenever, just to further strengthen my boostered system. I thought about roaming the streets on NYE offering to kiss strange women but figured I'd just end up on the cable news as "A Florida man was arrested..."
    13 points
  29. Harmony Day #1 Well we made it on board. It is now day 2 at 11:20 as I sit here typing this blog. Before boarding yesterday, we enjoyed our brunch at Mother Pucker Cafe on Merrit Island. It is a cute local place. I had the mac and cheese panini and my husband had the breakfast sandwich and we split them! I recommend this place. It has great character and I would come back again! We went back to the room and packed up the rest of our stuff and called lyft to take us to terminal 1. Boarding was fairly easy. The only real wait was going through security which took 5-10 minutes. This is the main benefit of guests I saw in suites and the key who got to fast track this line, but overall embarkation was extremely smooth. Our muster station is the bionic bar so we got on and completed that right away on the promenade and then went to make the rest of our dining package reservations. As soon as we finished making the 4 reservations, the cabins opened up and we went to our cabin to drop off our backpacks. We found our luggage soon after right outside the door and got everything quickly unpacked. I always bring magnets and hooks for the room, but I got some additional small ones for this trip to hang masks on in the cabin. They are very convenient and get everything out of the way and fee up the desk and dresser space. Thanks to my sister for sending the bottle of champagne for my birthday! That was a nice surprise, esp. since we don't have a drink package this trip! I ordered the 24 pack of water for 50% off on black friday and that was also in our room so we stocked the fridge. I also carried on the 2 bottles of wine we are each allowed to bring on board and will save those to take to dinner later in the week. First Drink of the cruise= Lemon drop martini at the schooner bar. We went back for more diamond drinks later after dinner and I really liked Eric, the piano guy!!! Dinner- Tonight we had 5:45 reservations at CHOPS. I had my typical shrimp cocktail, lobster bisque and got the 6 inch filet. We got tater tots as a side. The steak was outstanding. I did not like the lobster bisque as much as I usually like it at chops. For dessert, I got the Key lime pie and my husband got the warm chocolate cake. I am a big fan of the 40% off bottles of wine that comes with the specialty dining packages. We got a bottle of one of our favorite Tuscan wines RCL carries for around $29 with the discount and gratuity. This was great so that we did not have to use our 4 diamond drink coupons at dinner. Room- This is our first time having a neighborhood balcony. Our cabin is on the 10th floor and overlooks central park. We enjoyed sitting out there last night when we came back from the room. My husband thought the view would be better if were were higher, but I like being only 2 floors from central park, park cafe and all the restaurants. Our bed is by the balcony. We have not had this configuration in a while, and I like that it feels like you have more space to move around in the cabin. For example, my husband and i both unpacked our luggage at the same time which is usually a challenge. I also like that you can hear the music from our balcony. We re now on day #2 at sea. Our start to the day included a trip to diamond lounge to get specialty coffee to go and then we got breakfast at park cafe which is my favorite. I got the burritos which are really great on harmony. DH got a bagel and salmon flavored cream cheese. Park cafe was pretty empty at 9am. The guy at Izumi told us the ship has between 3100 and 3200 passengers this week which is the lowest number they have seen in a few weeks. Last week was apparently pretty packed for new years eve with > 5000 guests. The covid protocols don't feel really bad or restricting and everyone is complying with masks on indoors unless actively eating or drinking. After breakfast we explored the ship a little more. Johnny Rockets is still serving free breakfast, we will try that one day this week. We made reservations for the cocktail class this afternoon in Wonderland. Highlight: Our highlight this morning was the Ultimate Abyss. This was my first time doing it! I will definately do it again this week! A Look Ahead! Tonight is formal night. We have 5:30 reservations at 150 central park. I have made most of my show reservations for the week. The only thing not available for reservations is the Aqua theatre show. I had heard Grease was not available last week, but I was able to make reservations for it this week. I also unfortunately already got a note in my cabin that says we won't be able to do the Helium baloon ride in cococay because of maintenance needed, but was refunded the cost. For more photos, follow along on instagram at iluvwineandtravel
    13 points
  30. You also have no idea if anyone's positive or not since Disney requires no testing either. To me, that's more alarming than someone's vaccination status these days.
    13 points
  31. Switch Health Test Results Received negative test result back at 5:15 am this morning. Not a bad turn around time (28 hours) since the sample was done at 1am in the morning on the 28th. Lindsay’s return to work PCR test also came back negative.
    13 points
  32. March is a lifetime away at this point
    13 points
  33. Currently on Oasis. Staying flexible! We were looking forward to Aqua 80s. Darn the luck, we'll just need to book another cruise on Oasis. LOVE THIS SHIP! Shane our Genie, our Suites Sun Deck bartender Dana, Yethiwe in the spa, ALL are so wonderful, staying positive and friendly THIS IS WHY WE CRUISE!
    13 points
  34. Neesa

    Odyssey Right Now

    The captain message today came at about 1630hrs 12 passengers and some additional crew tested positive. His number was 1.9% of the Ships capacity. Not knowing that number makes it a bit more difficult to figure out, but 1.9% on this packed sailing to include crew does not seem all that bad. Protocols are containing the illness it appears. We are here in the waters outside port everglades enjoying our last evening on board. We saw a movie this afternoon and are going to see a comedian tonight both in the Royal theater. I wrote the Captain a thank you note, I was told he would get it. I told him how we appreciated his transparency and felt well cared for. We congratulated him on his staff also, I made sure NOT to lick the envelope shut!!
    13 points
  35. Negative test results received by email. I'm clear to carry on the next cruise.
    12 points
  36. Whatever the outcome of this question can I claim Mario as my dad???!
    12 points
  37. Okay my phone died, so I am in my room charging it and will give some updates. This was probably my best travel and embarkation ever. First let me preface this by saying I committed a cardinal sin......I flew out the day of embarkation. I had to work Sunday and there were no flights after 7pm. So, I booked the first AA flight, which kept moving. it was 6:30 then 6:55 and finally it was 7:15. I moved my check-in from 11am to noon because I would rather be early than late, plus I was staying in a JS so priority boarding. I have TSA precheck and from baggage drop off to actual terminal waiting to board from ORD was 14min. I didn't know what to expect so I had arrived around 5am for a 7:15am flight. Original flight was about 50% booked but there were a bunch of cancelled flights and so I counted about 20 standbys that ended up on this route. The flight was only about 75% capacity, and most were families traveling to Disney. I enjoyed my first class "breakfast" and welcome cocktail. They will give you an alcoholic beverage, but they do so discreetly, which I found a smidge weird. We finish boarding 10min early and I had my bags, waiting for my Lyft, 5min before we were scheduled to land. I made a mistake and put in port Canaveral instead of port Canaveral terminal 1 and caught my mistake halfway to the wrong location when I realized it was a 10min ride and under $20. We quickly course corrected, and I arrive at 11:55. Handed my luggage to the porter and started my embarkation process, I set a timer because it took a while on my Allure sailing. It took me 8 whole minutes!!!!!! There is a suite line and a key line, I think there will be quite a bit of children on this sailing because the waiting area was the fullest area I have seen. Also, that 8min includes getting my photo taken twice and the whole walk onto the ship. I was too early to do my Muster. I went to Sorrento's for a bite and had a delicious cherry Coke Zero......also Oreo cheesecake, don't judge me. A little bit before 2pm they informed us the rooms were ready. I am staying in an Aft JS room number 1364. It is very spacious, but the decor could use a bit of updating. It looks like there will be 2 performances of Grease and then 1 headliner and a comedian. The weather is horrible, my balcony is full of water because of a nice downpour. They changed the itinerary, and we will now visit PDCC on our last day. I originally had Chops+1 scheduled but I cancelled it because I have a Star class selling after this and want to be in fighting shape for the food coma. So, I will be doing MTD around 8:15 and hitting a show or the casino after. Also, I got some extra OBC, don't know where it came from but it's going to the casino fund. Stray Observations.... GS and WJ was the most crowded place I have seen. I just walked through WJ to see selection. They are really trying to sell drink and dining packages. Drinks at freestyle and other stations are self-serve. They have self-serve items at the WJ as well, the crew are in great spirits. I received 2 mask and a bottle of sanitizer plus a bunch of inserts (cruise compass, C&A letter, etc.) I will try to scan at some point. Unlike when I was in Sky class, I have yet to see my room attendant or receive my luggage. Good thing I am not eating until later.
    12 points
  38. An update from onboard This was our first true sea day. I had a great conversation yesterday with one of the waiters, we had the chance to talk for about over 10 minutes. The bottom line was he was very happy to be back onboard, he feels RC is doing a great job behind the scenes to keep him, the rest of the crew and the passengers safe. When Oasis went back in service they had extensive and in-depth training regarding Covid and he said the most important thing they stressed was safety first, above everything and continue to stress this. I asked what would happen if he didn't feel safe and he said they were told, and he is confident, that at anytime a crew member can ask to be sent home and RC would do so, and that RC would allow them back when things get better. He truly feels they would do this and not hold it against the crew member. Another tidbit is someone explained to me why we are doing a 1/2 day in Nassau (which we crawled to, and even made a U turn to kill time) and then are racing to St. Maartan. Word is RC feels we paid for a three port cruise and they want to give us a three port cruise. Today we had the Top Tier Event with the Captain. The main takeaway from that was there are 2950 passengers and just under 2000 crew onboard. Tonight the Captain made a very clear and detailed announcement regarding out Covid status. We have .52% of passengers that have come down with it (which is 15 or 16 people by my math) and with crew we are just around 1% (which I extrapolate to mean .48% of staff or roughly 10 crew members). I appreciated his transparency and considering what is going on at home, these seem to be great numbers. The ship continues to feel empty. There are no crowds waiting for elevator's because they come so fast and it's rare anyone else is in the elevator with you. I checked the pool situation several times and there was a lot of seating always available in the lounge chairs. Talking with the people at the next table, we agreed the only time things seemed "crowded" was the second night when the Main Dining Room was clearly below 50% ... but because it was fuller than any other day, it felt "crowded" I have chosen to eat my meals in the MDR rather than Windjammer. I feel it is less crowded, more space between guests and has the side benefit of a bit better portion control. There is nothing wrong with WJ, just my personal choice. I continue to feel comfortable and confident in my safety onboard.
    12 points
  39. https://www.asta.org/About/PressReleaseDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=31372 Alexandria, VA, January 5, 2022 – Zane Kerby, President & CEO of the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), issues the following statement in response to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) updated guidance on COVID-19 and Cruise Ship Travel, recommending that cruise travel be avoided regardless of vaccination status: “An increase in reported COVID cases on cruise ships should surprise no one given the worldwide spike driven by the highly-transmissible omicron variant. The difference between enjoying a cruise vacation and visiting your local grocery store or restaurant, however, is the extraordinarily stringent anti-COVID measures put in place voluntarily by the cruise lines, in close consultation with the CDC. These measures include testing, vaccination, sanitation, mask-wearing and other science-backed measures, as well as protocols to respond to potential cases of COVID-19. “If the average cruise ship were a U.S. state, it would be the safest in the country – by far. According to Royal Caribbean Group, since cruising restarted in the U.S. in June 2021, its ships have carried 1.1 million guests with 1,745 people testing positive – a positivity rate of 0.02 percent. Among U.S. states as of January 4, Alaska’s positivity rate is the lowest at 9.4 percent, with Georgia’s the highest at 38.7 percent. “Cruising is no more responsible for the spread of the Omicron variant than travelers from southern Africa were at the outset of the current crisis. But we continue to see knee-jerk reactions singling out travel for discriminatory treatment. Because the travel industry is regulated more heavily than other activities, when COVID caseloads rise or new variants emerge, travel takes the hit. It brings to mind the old saying, ‘if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.’ This pattern needs to stop. “The Administration has shown flexibility on its anti-COVID measures of late, including the recent decision to lift the November 26 travel ban on eight countries in Southern Africa. We call on it to do the same here. At this stage in the pandemic, the tools exist to allow us to combat this virus without crippling an entire sector of the U.S. economy in the process. Let’s use them.”
    12 points
  40. I've never smoked in my life and I am very concerned the new smoke free casino may be too hard to resist. I'm running out to buy cigarettes. If I get addicted by my cruise I won't be able to use the casino. Think of the money I'll save.
    12 points
  41. smokeybandit

    Alcohol policy

    If you're caught with an empty glass, you're ordered to go to the closest bar and refill it.
    12 points
  42. 41 out of 1.1 million going to the hospital. I wonder what the pre-covid hospitalization for any cause rate was. Probably not much different than that.
    12 points
  43. @Kim Amato we also reside in Florida & were not happy when they advised us the evening before our sailing that the mask requirements were going to be even tighter then when we booked the sailing. I was not happy as we also only wear masks IF inside a Doctors Office. We decided that night in the hotel as a family we wanted to be at sea for Christmas & we also agreed that Royal is a business and like it or not, agree with it or not we signed up to sail during these weird times and knew things evolved and changed all the time. Some ones sailing had to be the first one with last minute notification & it was ours. We decided not only would we sail we wouldn't engage in speaking or complaining in any active conversations about it once we were on the ship, alas taking away from our joy we had anticipated. It was tough at first because in the terminal there were some really heated discussions but we promised each other we spent a lot of money to celebrate the blessings we were experiencing and the crazy year we had just gone through. Honestly after the first night I promise you, we didn't even flinch; the idea of wearing it everywhere was worse then actually wearing it everywhere. I personally was more perturbed at how Royal packed the ship, relaxing to soon being a bit cavalier with so many people on board, we sailed twice since the "come back" & that was a bit much coupled with the limited capacity protocols everywhere else. You know your own comfort levels, the masks that @SpeedNoodlesmentioned were all over the ship, people really seem to like them, comfortable I was told especially with glasses, (mine always fogged up) Some actively desire this industry to fail, I am not one of them. We enjoy sailing and hated it when they were shut down. Whatever you decide have a very Happy & Healthy New Year! Denise
    12 points
  44. tonyfsu21

    NYE: Oasis

    Despite the media & CDC “doom & gloom” campaign all is perfection on Oasis of the seas. We made all of the port stops (currently in costa Maya) w/o issue. It’s been a voyage filled with sun and fun. The crew is upbeat, attentive and safe. I have yet to notice a single hiccup in service on this voyage. There are tons of events planned for NYE this evening (an entire pamphlet inside the cruise compass)! We look forward to another pool day tomorrow for our last day at sea before arrival back at Miami. If you are sailing Oasis 1/2/22 then you’re in for nothing but a great time on this ship with this crew!
    12 points
  45. Here is the perfect mask. I got these for hubby and friend on our October cruise. I found them on Amazon.
    12 points
  46. The CDC is a complete joke.
    12 points
  47. If cruise lines had been shut down before the holidays I really don't think the US would look any different right now. The science doesn't support 100% vaccine requirements on ships, in planes, in theaters, in gyms, etc. We are all inundated with news headlines screaming about the virus. It's very tempting to throw ideas around and armchair quarterback the situation. Change just because isn't the solution. What the cruise industry has done is working. It's working much better compared to what is occuring on land. Zero cases on ships or on land isn't a realistic goal. As I drove back to Florida on the interstate I saw massive migrations of people. There was heavy traffic even at 1am, all heading somewhere, all spreading the virus. Christmas over, the snowbirds are migrating in droves, right after everyone did the worst thing possible from a pandemic mitigation point of view - they all got together to celebrate the holidays. Every day tens of thousands fly on airplanes. The case numbers in Florida aren't spiking because of cruise ships. Florida's case numbers aren't spiking because of Floridians going to grocery stores without masks on. The only way to dramatically reduce spread would be to lock all Americans in their homes but thank goodness that isn't going to happen. Even the CDC knows this. Omicron can't be stopped but thankfully so far the impact is pretty minor. Even in Africa where it started and where there is very low vaccination rates the population is not being wiped out by Omicron. The industry has been following the science and the science doesn't support making changes just to do something.
    11 points
  48. tonyfsu21

    Odyssey Right Now

    Once again the media casts the dark cloud over the cruise industry & everything is completely blown out of proportion. I’m already getting the “Are you sure you should be cruising” and the “didn’t you see that the ships aren’t allowed to dock anywhere” usual crap from people who don’t cruise. Personally my family & I have been to every single one of these islands so many times that we cruise for the ship and not the destinations. I really don’t care if we get 6 sea days + perfect day because Oasis is enough for my family. The haters will do whatever they need to do to make the cruise industry a scapegoat for Covid, and that won’t ever change.
    11 points
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