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  1. Hi guys. I’m here to share my recent experience with RoyalUp, a program that allows people with existing reservations to bid for an upgrade to a higher room category. The reason why I’m sharing my experience is because prior to and after the upgrade, I had a ton of questions that I’ve been trying to look for answers all over the internet but couldn’t find any. Hence, I’d like to share my experience with everyone and hopefully it can give some answers to my fellow cruisers! A brief introduction: (or skip to the end for the answers to the “FAQs”) I’ve booked a last minute 4-night sailing onboard Quantum of the Seas in Singapore, also known as Cruise to Nowhere. It is basically a hospitality restarting program by the Singapore government with no ports of call. Strict restrictions are also put in place for the safety of the guests. I’ve booked a Junior Suite (J4) for me and my wife. The price displayed on the RC’s booking website was SGD 1399pp for 4-nights before pre-paid gratuities and port taxes. There wasn’t any other suite options left for booking, which I presumed was fully booked. Almost immediately after completing the reservation transaction, I received the RoyalUP email, and invited me to place a bid to a higher room category. Even though I could clearly see that none of the higher suite categories were available for booking, I still decided to give it a try at bidding for RoyalUp. Long story short, I placed bids on all categories, ranging from Grand Suite to Royal Loft Suite and kind of forgot about the whole RoyalUp thing. Until around 24 hours before the sailing, I received an email saying that my bid for a Grand Loft Suite was successful. My bid amount was SGD 1210 per person hence SGD 2420 was charged to my credit card on file immediately. In general, I paid about $2710 per person ($1399 (JS) +$1210 (RoyalUp) +$100 taxes and pre-paid gratuities) I’ve checked the price of a Grand Loft Suite on a different sailing date, and it cost around SGD 5400 per person and before taxes. Which means, I’ve gotten nearly a 50% off the original price. From Junior Suite to Grand Loft Suite is a big jump. In terms of Royal Suite class, it was upgraded from Sea Class to Star Class. At this point, I was very excited! But at the same time, I have a lot questions that needs answers to. To be honest, even with a “huge discount”, SGD 2710 (SGD 5k+ for 2 people) is almost double the original budget hence to me, it is still a lot of money to fork out for a 4-day vacation. As we know, Grand Loft Suite is a Star Class suite and it is practically All-Inclusive such as free specialty dining, deluxe beverage package, internet package etc and it comes with a Royal Genie. So naturally, some questions flashes through my mind, and since it was an upgrade through RoyalUP: “Am I going to get a Royal Genie as well?” “Will I be treated differently in terms of services than those guests who paid the original price?” “How about the things I’ve pre-paid on Cruise Planner such as beverage package and internet package since my suite already includes all those packages?” I’ve tried searching for answers on the internet but I couldn’t find any. However, after I’ve completed my sailing, I kind of gotten all the answers I needed. So now, I’m going share them with you guys. My very own set of FAQs: Q: Am I going to get Royal Genie as well? A: Yes! Even though I gotten the upgrade 1 day before the sailing, the Royal Genie got in touch with me via WhatsApp on the morning of the sailing and she already took the liberty to arrange all the activities for us! She already pre-booked all the shows, specialty dinning and some activities such as iFly and Flow Rider. And she was extremely flexible and accommodating on all our requests to change meal timings, shows timings. All you need to do is just let her know your preference and leave everything to her. Q: Will I be treated differently in terms of services compared to those guests who paid the original price? A: Not at all. From my observations, only 2 groups of service crews knew you are an “upgrader”. They are the Royal Genie, and the cruise terminal staff. Usually, Genie will contact you 1 month before your sailing to get to know you better. However, she does know that you are an upgrader since she contacted you just 1 day before the sailing, not the usual 1 month. As for the cruise terminal staff, our information was given to them by the cruise line at the very last minute hence our information was “hand-written” on their paper. They did “congratulate” us on the successful upgrade by the Cruise Line which is why I knew they knew we were an upgrader. Nevertheless, they escorted from the moment we reached the terminal until being handed over to the Royal Genie. Very good service rendered. Q: How about the things I’ve pre-paid on Cruise Planner such as beverage package and internet package since my suite already includes all those packages A: They will be refunded to you and the Royal Genie made sure of that. It will be under “refundable” onboard credit and you can requested to get them in cash on the last night of the cruise. Otherwise, it will be refunded to your credit card. Q: How about my SeaPass card? Will I be recognized as a Star-Class guest? A: You will be identified as a Star Class guest on your SeaPass card, not the original room category that you were booked on. Q: Do I get the same perks and benefit listed under Star-Class suite even though I’m an upgrader? A: Yes! Complementary Dining Package, Beverage package, internet package, complementary mini-bar for the whole cruise with replenishment daily, complementary room-service, complementary laundry (I don’t think they set a limit on the quantity of clothes). For Izumi, there is no limit in terms of the amount you can order. If you have a Ultimate Dining Package, I believe per meal you will get USD35 credit per person for Izumi as it is based on A-la-carte pricing. But for Star-Class, there is no limit on that. The wait staff made it known to you before you order. Q: How about those chargeable activities? A: For our sailing, the chargeable activities are iFly (~$40) and Northstar (~$20) and strictly by reservation only. However, with the help of our Genie, reservation was done before hand. There is no charges for Star-Class guest for these activities. However, you are only entitled to 1 free session for each of these 2 activities. If you would like to go for a second-time, you will have to pay the charges. All other FAQs regarding Star-Class: Q: Can Royal Genie fulfill all your requests? A: Yes and No. I’d emphasize that your request must be reasonable. If you would like to change your dinner venue to another restaurant at the very last minute, you can kindly check with her. Most of the times it can be fulfilled. However, if the restaurant is full, she might suggest to change to an earlier or a later time for you. I’m not sure what kind of magic they have, but I’m definitely against them pulling out other guests from their original dining timing just to slot you in. Firstly, you are putting Genie in a difficult position, secondly, you are causing unhappiness to the affected guests. So I’d suggest to give the Genie some leeway. Do not force you request onto them. If it can be done in a gentle way, go ahead. If not, please do not force or blame them. Q: Do I need to tip the Royal Genie? A: Absolutely. They are not a receiver of the automatically gratuity system on board. Hence, the tips relies solely on you. Royal Genie is not just a regular butler, they are there to learn about you and make arrangements for you which you didn’t even think of. My wife somehow mentioned to the Genie that this is our 2nd anniversary trip when we were casually chatting. (but did not mention in details). The Genie caught it and arranged for a surprise decoration and cake in the room for us. My wife and I were surprised as initially, we really can’t figure out how she knew about our anniversary. It is only when we tried to recall every single thing we said to the Genie, and realized that it must have slipped out of our mouth at certain point. Their attention to details are just simply unbelievable. Hope this post is useful for whoever is looking for the same answers as I did. Happy cruising!
    40 points
  2. twangster

    Test Cruise Invite

    Invitation Received Choice of Allure or Ovation.
    29 points
  3. I got an email invite for a test cruise on the Nigerian Prince. All I have to do is give them my bank account number and ssn
    29 points
  4. She tested positive. End of story. The mix up that resulted in her getting a bracelet did not cause her to become infected. She knows her vaccination status. She chose to play like she was vaccinated using the bracelet to go into areas she knows she didn't belong. The signs don't say "purple bracelets only", the signs read "Vaccinated Guest Area". She knew she was breaking the rules. Got a free ride home in a private jet. Hard to complain about that. Mixups are going to happen. No system will ever be perfect. She needs to take accountability for her actions rather than trying to cast shade on the cruise industry.
    28 points
  5. I hope not to stir up any trouble here but… I will NEVER take the daily gratuity charge off. The employees (both in front of and behind the scenes) deserve every penny of that and more!
    28 points
  6. (No offense JeffB but I'm writing a JeffB-length post here) It all started Thursday night after the debarkation round of testing. All three in my group were negative, but about 10:30pm got a call from the ship's doctor saying our son was identified as a close contact for a boy in Adventure Ocean who tested positive. We never really asked for details on when or what they defined as a close contact since I figured we'd never get that detail as I'm sure they'd cite privacy. (Adventure Ocean follows strict masking and 6-foot social distancing rules as well as avoiding shared toys/supplies so I really doubt it was a 15 minute close contact, but we know the pressure cruise lines are under.) The medical staff will only call you with results that late if they're positive (not that that stopped me from waiting up until after midnight for the first one). The next morning we got a letter saying "dear guest" saying "guest" was quarantined. This step in the process is the one RC needs to work on. The letter didn't specify who (aka, just our son or all 3 of us?) had to quarantine (ended up just being our son) and had no "for more information contact XYZ" info on the letter. While the letter did list all the free services we'd have during quarantine (room service, internet, movies, phone calls) it didn't do a good job of outlining really what to expect. In my comments to RC I'm going to urge they have guest services call those people directly and lay things out for them instead of just a form letter, especially since the letter said staff would check up on us throughout the day and no one really did. So we called the nurses station for some info, and the doctor called us back saying our son was indeed negative but they (I'm not sure who "they" is but I got the inkling it wasn't solely ship management) wanted another PCR test 24 hours later. Which meant 10:30pm again. By afternoon (Friday) we get a call that guest services wanted our passports, vax cards and health insurance info. We never really got details on who wanted this, but we think it was the Bahamas government. Because a bit later, the guest services manager called and finally we got a good line of communication going. Despite the negative tests, the Bahamas didn't want to let our son take a commercial flight home since he didn't fulfill the country's unvaccinated quarantine window (14 days, tell me that wouldn't suck). Apparently RC tried to get a waiver for us, but as of later Friday, the guest services guy was prepping us for a private flight home. The 2nd test Friday night came and went negative (and I'm going to assume all 4 other contacts were negative too, based on a talk with our pilots) and we got one more call from guest services that they'd have updated flight info by 8am this morning. We got that call and they were still working out the details of the flight, but were prepping for it to be a late afternoon/evening flight and we'd move to the Hilton for a few hours. Somehow that got moved up and by 9am we got our 1pm fllight time and were just instructed to hang out in the room until noon. At noon guest services walked us down and we were off the ship. They had a limo van (aka, party van) for us right off the ship, drove us right to the plane, got on the plane, flew right to our home airport and had the town car waiting for us at the GA terminal to take us home. Apparently whatever deal they had set up required actual door to door delivery, so I got dropped off at the parking lot to get our car, and our wife and son got the town car ride home. So count me as the "I'm not an actor but a true story" for anyone that has concerns about booking a cruise due to fear of being covid-stranded (even if you aren't the one testing positive), RC has you covered. I can't compliment RC enough for how efficient they were with getting us (and apparently 4 other groups for a total of 20 people in the "contact tracing kid" bucket) out of there and thus avoiding having to stay another 10-11 days for the Bahamas unvaccinated quarantine period.
    24 points
  7. I'd never enter the belly flop contest.
    24 points
  8. Status Update: Thank you for registering for the Allure of the Seas® simulation voyage. We've reserved your stateroom and reservation numbers will be provided to you once manifested. A system generated invoice will automatically be sent to the email address on record. Please proceed with making your travel arrangements*. For more information, please reference your event info document. We also ask that you acknowledge the informed consent form that will be sent to each guest, as it is required prior to confirming your reservation. We can't wait to welcome you onboard Allure of the Seas!
    22 points
  9. We got back from our weekend sailing on Freedom and it was quite the experience. We had great weather (it’s been raining like crazy in SoFL) at Coco Cay and Nassau. Being on the Freedom with only 1000 passengers is odd and I think we prefer the action of a packed ship but this was certainly interesting and had many positives. We opted for the Coco Beach Club and it was overall a good experience. The elevated dining experience had some nice choices like grilled Caribbean lobster which was prepared and presented very nicely. There was literally nobody at the beach club (see pics). My only complaint is that there’s not enough shade by the pool and it’s odd that upon arrival the host doesn’t bring over a bucket or pitcher of cold water to wherever you are seated. Minimal gripe but still it’s hot as h*ll (keep in mind I’m born and raised in SoFL and I still think it’s hot!). Onboard Freedom there was little to no action which is to be expected. It was nice to go to the suite lounge and have the entire place to yourself for a change. I know this type of reduced capacity cruising won’t last forever so we just rolled with it. IMHO my family and I felt very safe with young children in regards to RC’s COVID safety protocol. They did a great job and the ship and stateroom were extremely clean. The kids literally wanted to eat at Giovannis Kitchen every single night so we did (the pizza!) and it did not disappoint. We are looking forward to things hopefully getting back to normal and more cruises in our future!
    21 points
  10. I just wanted to make a quick post regarding comments/messages. As a Royal Caribbean crew member, I have strict rules to follow when it comes to social media. There are certain things I can and cannot talk about. This is why I don't respond to 95% of my comments, just in case I say something I'm not supposed to. I could potentially jeopardise my employment with the company by slipping up. I hope this makes sense. Please know that I read all of your comments and messages. Thank you for continuing to support me, and engaging with my content.
    21 points
  11. Matt

    Test Cruise Invite

    Looks like I'll be onboard as well for this test sailing.
    20 points
  12. If I were Royal Caribbean, I'd be looking at adding a St. Thomas visit on every sailing from a Florida port.
    18 points
  13. Matt

    Test Cruise Invite

    Just in: I've been chosen to play the role of @Lovetocruise2002 on Allure. If anyone needs me, I'll be in my Star Class accommodations, waiting impatiently for Coastal Kitchen to open.
    18 points
  14. I'll stay in just about any cabin. Even the worst cabin on a ship is better than being stuck on land!
    18 points
  15. Matt

    Removed from RCG

    This is no different than the lunatics who go nuts in airports when their flight is cancelled. Let's not give them any more attention.
    18 points
  16. Attend an art auction or buy a watch
    18 points
  17. twangster

    Test Cruise Invite

    Cabin assigned. Ocean View Balcony.
    17 points
  18. Can I just say how TIRED I am of the debate? Wear a mask, don’t wear a mask, vaccinate, don’t vaccinate. We aren’t convincing anyone to change their stance here. Can’t we talk about chair hogs and proper attire????
    16 points
  19. I've pretty much decided that if this proceeds I'm not going to live blog it. There is too much riding on this for the cruise line. Posting an errant photo or comment could cause the CDC to pause or fail the simulation cruise. Once it's known the certificate to sail has been awarded I'll consider posting about the experience, assuming I am selected to go forward.
    15 points
  20. twangster

    Removed from RCG

    She also made the claim that Royal was out to get her and falsified the test to make it positive. Why would they do that? That's the very last outcome they want and they don't need a COVID test result to remove someone from a cruise. She had already violated the guest conduct policy at that point. That's all they need to remove her.
    15 points
  21. I’ll never sign up for an exercise class. Just. No.
    15 points
  22. Eat at a Guy’s Burger Joint because that would require me to get on a Carnival ship.
    15 points
  23. My title comes from my favorite show and the fact that we actually set sail on Halloween. My favorite holiday, which is weird because I don't like to be scared. I have been vacillating on whether I would do a live blog. I am not sure it will be so live because I am on vacation and I thought there are already enough. However, I had to remind myself that each person indeed a snowflake. While it may seem like there are enough blogs about the various offerings and ships; each experience has been different. So let's get it started in here...... As I write this, my cruise is 107 days away...... Ship and Date: Allure of the Seas Oct 31st-Nov 7th Departure and Ports: Port Canaveral...PHILIPSBURG, ST. MAARTEN.......CHARLOTTE AMALIE, ST. THOMAS........PERFECT DAY AT COCOCAY Cabin: GT-9644 Grand Suite - 2 Bedroom's...aka SKY CLASS People: Originally 3 and now 5; Me, my brother, my mother, our bff and his mother.....all over 30 Plans: 2 days at WDW, 2 Days at Universal, then 7 Night cruise Hotel: Floridays resort Orlando, 3 Bedroom suite Oct 24th-Oct 31st Cruise planner: Guacamole and Sushi classes x2, refreshment packagex1, Snorkel all day CocoCayx3 Intro: So I booked this cruise in Feb of 2020 on a whim. Got an incredible deal on this sky class suite. Then Covid happened and the 4 cruises I had planned before this were cancelled. I was afraid this one would fall through the cracks but thankfully it looks like a go! We were taking this cruise as a late birthday present to our mother. We decided to grant her wish of attending both theme parks. This had been my mother's dream vacation for as long as I could remember and as 2020 went on, we realized we should try to do all the things we love, when we can. So I planned theme parks visit before the cruise, we would definitely need to relax after battling both WDW and Universal. In late Aug 2020 bff's mother had a mild heart attack, coupled with Covid; thankfully she survived but we all lost people. That was a rough year for all and bff mentioned he wish he could afford to take his mom on vacation. As the vacation planner, I went to work. Having been on these boards and learning from some of the best, I found the perfect solution. At the time, Sept 20' it was $1400pp just to book an interior on Allure. This wasn't a bad price but they wouldn't be able to eat in CK, visit the lounge or enjoy the suite deck with us. I started a topic about possibly adding them to our suite as it holds 8. Thankfully, I was able to add them at the 3rd person rate of $859pp. Now came the hard part, telling my mother. She had met bff but never his mother, she was going to have to spend 2 weeks with her. I probably should have ran this by her before we said okay but I am a sucker for helping people live their best life. Thankfully they met and become best friends. So I guess I should start off by saying a few things. Most of the time I travel solo, I am fat, and normally a very bougie girl. That means at least a 4-star hotel and 1st class on domestic flights. I only get 3 weeks of vacation a year and prefer experiences over things. However, none of the rest of my travel party is like that. My brother would fly on top of a wheel if he could pay something like $5. It is not that he is cheap... it is that he is a gourmand and a nice whiskey drinker, so he would rather spend his money on that. The most expensive airline ticket he brought was to Osaka round trip at $627. Our bff and his mother have never taken a vacation...bff went on a business trip to Orlando and snuck in a day at the theme park once. We took (aka paid for everything) our mother to Italy in 2017 and that was her only vacation and first time flying. I said all that to say I lost the battle for a decent airline and class. .....we are flying Spirit airline. I flew them once because of an AA accident and definitely missed all the accoutrements I am used too. I have been told that while service is still bare-bones, they have gotten better. I am use to everything being included in flight price so it was weird to have to bundle up to get checked bags and a carry-on. I also upgraded so I can have what they consider their first class....a Big Seat. We have the first flight of the day, which means it should be on-time and thankfully we aren't flying in the day of the cruise. So none of them have ever been on RCG and 3 have never even been on a cruise. Both mothers are occasion drinkers aka they will have champagne on New years, maybe a glass of wine at fancy dinner. Outside of that they only drink sparkling water and sometimes juices. Brother and bff are heavy-ish drinkers, I like smoothies and stuff. I was on the phone with a rep and she wouldn't allow 3 refresh packages and 2 DBP. Tried another rep and was same answer. Tried the third time and rep was willing to reverse it, 3 at UBP and 2 at refreshment. Since the mother's don't really drink anything, even though they said yes, $29(w gratuity) a day was too much of an obligation for them. They would be forcing themselves to drink just to get monies worth. After a little back and forth we decided to just supplement the suite lounge a la cart. Leaving me with the only beverage package because I needs my frozen drinks and such. We originally had a 3 night dining package. My brother doesn't eat red meat, both mothers decided they were going to eat tons of junk at the theme park and lighter on the cruise. BFF is funny, he doesn't fool with "business" aka vegetables or anything frou frou. So we cancelled the 3 night dining package as 3/5 people at any given time didn't like the choices. My brother and bff are fans of sushi, so they are signed up for that class and the guacamole one as well. After showing some menus, we plan to eat at CK at least 5 nights. Try the Windjammer, if it is open during our sailing and do a la cart at whatever specialty restaurant floats our boat. I would prefer if we could take care of this beforehand but 5 adults, 5 different personalities. Right now we only have snorkeling at CocoCay as a paid excursion. We figured after the parks, the ship is our destination. As things progress I plan to update this blog. I expect a lot of food pictures....maybe a few of us if I feel like it. Thanks for reading TTFN
    14 points
  24. A masked day on a cruise ship is better than an unmasked day at home
    14 points
  25. I have no issue with any Royal ship. Even those that recently left the fleet were good enough for me. However it really depends what you are seeking. I don't need zip lines and bumper cars to have a great cruise. I can have a great cruise with just the basic or core essentials - pool, buffet, hot tub, casino, theater, salt air, wind on my nearly hairless head. Some people are looking for the latest whiz bang and there is nothing wrong with that, that's what they seek. Just this week I booked the now oldest ships in the fleet because there are some stellar itineraries that the newer ships just don't do. If you seek more diverse itineraries then those older ships are perfect. Put me on a ship, any ship, and I'll have a great cruise. So it all depends on what you are seeking and what your expectations are.
    14 points
  26. Are the chairhogs in the vaccinated or unvaccinated area?
    14 points
  27. I have always felt that cruises are cleaner environments compared to hotels. As a former frequent business traveler it was not unusual to pick up something on a business trip. Having had that occur on a number of trips I started wiping down everything in my hotel room from the TV remote to the telephone which I avoided at all costs, and I was wiping down my seat area on the airplane. That was before any notion of a pandemic. Even with that sometimes I'd get something from a common cold to some kind of crud in my chest. However I never did get any of that on a cruise. There has always been plenty of hand sanitizer on a ship but rarely in a hotel until now. Fifty plus cruises later and I'm still of the opinion that cruises are safer, healthier environments compared to hotels. Now even more so. Cruise lines took a pretty clean environment and made it safer with the protocols we know about. Hotels aren't doing most of that. Hotel employees are cutting back service so they don't come in your room as much but employees may or may not be vaccinated. Hotels are now putting sanitizer out in some places but still not as prevalent as on a ship. There will be cases occurring on cruise ships but there are also cases occurring in resorts and hotels. The difference is that they are detected on cruise ships because of the protocols. Make no mistake - cases are occuring at resorts and hotels but there is no reporting requirement, few protocols and zero awareness that cases are occurring. Out of sight, out of mind and out of the news but that doesn't mean it isn't occurring at land resorts.
    13 points
  28. Yes, it was cancelled! I felt the earthquake where I live (Kenai Peninsula). I heard the tsunami warnings going off for a couple of hours before it was cancelled. The earthquake felt a little different that others in that there were no hard jolts, but just a long 2 minutes of moving and swaying. My hanging lights and chandelier just swayed back and forth, and there was enough movement that my grandfather clock stopped! That was rare! People along the coast do take this seriously, and I watched a steady stream of cars evacuating low lying areas. The news reported that some of the coast guard ships based in Kodiak left port and headed out. While out on the water, a tsunami is usually barely detectable, and only materializes once it gets close to shore in shallow water.
    13 points
  29. It seems to me (as a totally NON-lawyer observer) that the 3-judge panel knew they were going to get their little pee-pees slapped. Forgive the use of technical legal jargon.
    13 points
  30. Only in Canada eh? The government's guidance to keeping a safe distance is measured as: ✔ 2 arm lengths ✔ 0.5 Canoe ✔ 1 Fishing rod ✔ 1.5 Wakeboards That's right folks, make sure you stay 1/2 a canoe away from others. Is that a metric canoe or an imperial canoe? So confused.
    13 points
  31. BrianB

    Removed from RCG

    So long as there is a willing audience and an enabling media, these types of ‘horror’ stories will continue to appear. Unreasonable and self righteous personal drama created by agenda-driven malice. Deflect responsibility by completely ignoring the rules to which she agreed. Screaming loudly in an attempt to drown out her own culpability will not convince anyone of her being a victim. Except those looking for support of their own agenda. Sad.
    13 points
  32. twangster

    Volunteers of the Seas

    I am genuinely interested in helping the cruise lines succeed. Even to the point I would wear a mask on a test cruise. It's only 2 days (most of them in FL anyways) and it's not a cruise I'm paying for. I don't want to wear a mask on a cruise vacation I'm paying for that is 5 or more days, I've already posted to that effect. For a short test cruise that helps the industry? I'll gladly mask up and do my part. There is also a part of me that believes the CDC introduced test cruises to create a roadblock that cruise lines would have a hard time overcoming. It would be incredibly satisfying knowing I helped the cruise lines get past the CDC malarkey.
    13 points
  33. SpeedNoodles

    Mock Booking

    I just did a mock booking to see and had no problems. Actually, I did have a problem. I mock booked an AquaTheatre Suite on Symphony, and now I WANT IT TO BE REAL!!!!!
    13 points
  34. There is no amount of kick-back/rebate/OBC - whatever you want to call it that would make me give up the incredible, dedicated and thoughtful service that I get from @michelleat MEI. What a tough 16 months for travel agents ! Only people who truly love their jobs and their clients would still be around making calls every single day for those of us looking to salvage an otherwise disappointing past year. I know some people go with the big names for a few pennies of OBC but not me. I wouldn't give up my wonderful MEI agent for ANYthing. @ZsOverseasI truly do hope you find what you're looking for but not sure that big OBC is going to happen right now.
    13 points
  35. Even though it is after final payment I checked my fare price for the October cruise. The price had dropped so I called and got $445 in on board credit through the cruise with confidence program. So check your prices regularly.
    12 points
  36. We were the last ones off the ship. Had a limo van when we expected an ambulance. Driven right to the plane. I'll write something up when i get home summarizing the experience
    12 points
  37. Sofa bed comfort factor has been scientifically studied and determined to be directly proportional to adult beverage consumption.
    12 points
  38. Nearly 16,000 new cases in Florida announced today. Six cases on a ship. We know the virus has not been eradicated. We know unvaccinated are the primary transmission vector and we know that even some vaccinated will get the virus because the vaccines are not 100% just like other vaccines do not guarantee 100% protection. It is strongly possible that the infected guest "zero" could have become infected before leaving for the cruise. If those infected individuals did not cruise they would likely have never known and continued to spread it back home. Another example of spread being stopped because they went on a cruise. Now they know and can take appropriate measures at home while they recover. Protocols worked and cruising helped to limit the effect these individuals would have on their community. Sounds like a win, except for the innocent bystanders caught up in it on the cruise.
    12 points
  39. Unfortunately, there are a large number of Americans who seem to to be fine with government telling them what to do or not do and handing out free stuff without any thought of the government's bank balances.... and to hell with MMT. The argument mitigating toward CDC regulation of the cruise industry is clearly spelled out in 91 at the Court listener, ORDER resolving 25--Florida's motion for preliminary injunction. For those of us that have been following the CDC's circus act in the FL District and US Court of Appeals, and are close to this situation, the CDC's justification for the NSO and CSO are laughable. Judge Merryday presiding over the Middle District Court of FL seems to agree with us. His ruling was a blistering rebuke of the CDC's actions involving the cruise industry.......upheld on appeal by the 11th USCOA. Still, we have a large group of American citizens that think what the CDC is doing, a reflection of what our government is trending toward if not already there, is fine. That's a disturbing thought. Time to push back, not only regarding the CDC's buffoonery, but also the unrestrained drift of governance in America to an unaccountable executive branch.
    12 points
  40. I cruised last weekend vaccinated but with an unvaccinated member of our group and we also picked up another unvaccinated friend to hang out with while on board so I do have some experience. In general the vaccinated/unvaccinated experience was pretty much the same. Vax - had to bring our vaccine cards with us to show at check-in, Unvax - had to take a test a couple of days before the cruise and again at the terminal ; we went through the whole process as a group so no difference. Technically if we had ditched our unvax we could have been on board in 10 minutes instead of 45 since we wouldn't have had to wait for the test results but it was no big deal. Outdoors - no masks required anywhere, any social distancing that was in place was in place for all passengers (they took out a lot of chairs but people moved them around based on their group sizes so outside of making the whole deck more open it really wasnt social distancing). The solarium area was designated for vaccinated only, i didnt see anyone checking at all but i suppose technically unvax were restricted to the main pool deck. Indoors - most of the indoor area was "general population" meaning everyone could mingle so it was masks on for all passengers. There were a handful of bars/lounges/shows that were designated as vaccinated only but it was generally the minority and in the case of shows there was usually a "general population" one and then a vax only one at a different time so all could attend you just had to pay attention to which show time. Ports - CocoCay was completely unrestricted. Nassau was Royal sponsored excursions required for unvax to leave the ship, so we just stayed on board. In general the Vax/Unvax experience didnt seem very different, more minor inconveniences than a major deal and I did not see any sign of passengers "looking" to see if others were vax or not. EDIT - Forgot restaurants - there were some areas of the MDR designated Vax only and others mixed group, I think Chops was all access but Izumi was Vax only. The pizza, snacks, buffet were all open access.
    12 points
  41. You mean like the masks that worked so well in Japan with a society that has a much higher mask compliance than the US? Japan, who is seeing a surge in Covid cases so much so that no spectators are now going to be allowed at olympics? The CDC just released their new school guidelines that are saying that unvaccinated children should wear masks. CDC continues to be a joke. There will always be new strains of viruses just look at seasonal flu. Covid is well in the way to being endemic. Mass testing needs to end just like they ended testing of H1N1 in 2009-2010. Caseademic at this point. The variants are now just more panic porn. The Delta variant is no more deadly than original despite what media pushes. I get that the US wants more people to get vaccinated but fear is not the way to accomplish it Royal needs to drop masking because masking is just theater at this point and their customers are going to continue to cancel cruises if they continue these masking protocols
    12 points
  42. I’d never book another nudist cruise.
    12 points
  43. If they aren’t paid a ‘living wage’ how can one be a crew member for so long? That snark comment aside, I recommend talking to a crew member about their weekly net cruise wages compared to the average weekly wages of their home country for a similar skill set job. I have been told by many crew that net cruise wages are 5-7 times their home country. This is why so many are eager to work on a ship and are so serious about maintaining their employment. Think of the sacrifices they make being away from home and often family. If you think that all crew should be paid what is considered a living wage in the U.S. the cruise fare would increase tremendously and thus less people able to afford cruise travel. This lowers demand for crew as less ships are needed. Thus leaving more people in impoverished countries on a waitlist dreaming for a cruise job, likely never getting one, enabling them to forever improve the opportunities for their family. I consider this scenario evil. My masters in economics likely influences my thinking. Consider the unseen when making economic suggestions.
    12 points
  44. Ultimately this has just demonstrated the complete futility of a legal/government system that has become so incredibly bloated that it is non functional. A government agency puts in place rules, that subsequently may not have been legal but nonetheless shut down an industry for over a year ... A state government sued said agency asking for an "emergency injunction" ... months later we are still waiting on the endless waffling to end ... Meanwhile the original emergency that is the basis for the whole thing basically ended and yet the legal battles are still endlessly winding along ... And there is confusion over why people have increasingly no trust in politicians and lawyers (and the press for making this into a nightmare with conflicting over blown stories).
    12 points
  45. 11 points
  46. Matt

    Masking enforcement?

    I'll just add we should all assume mask mandate onboard going forward until we hear otherwise.
    11 points
  47. It’s just a mask… its just 2 weeks… it’s just 15 days to slow the spread.. its just shutting down children’s playgrounds to protect them.. its just closing beaches… its just a 5 year old wearing a mask all day in school… its just having children at summer camps in extreme temps required to wear masks.. it’s just suspending elective surgeries at hospitals for a Covid surge that didn’t happen… its just an increased rate in suicides among young people because of isolation… I’m sorry but it is a big deal when the CDC and our government has been so wrong so often about Covid and Covid protocols/lockdowns over the last year Hopefully we learn from the past and seriously evaluate the mitigation methods taken against Covid and not repeat these same mistakes moving forward and this includes the cruise lines and masking. After July 18 when the CSO is no longer enforceable, masks should not be required on cruise ships. Cause guess what, even with masks, Covid cases will happen.
    11 points
  48. Or is the finish line continually being extended because the race organizers don't want the race to end?
    11 points
  49. I'm impressed. I don't even know 19 people, much less have 19 family members, lol.
    11 points
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