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Everything posted by twangster

  1. Dear Crown & Anchor Society members, We are back! It has been full steam ahead since June, when Adventure of the Seas became the first Royal Caribbean International ship to sail the Caribbean after many months. Now 13 of our incredible ships are cruising again, including the brand-new Odyssey of the Seas, and all 26 ships will be sailing by spring 2022. It’s onward and upward on all fronts — including several new developments I’m excited to share with you! We’ve done everything but let up after our first cruise in North America. Every simulated voyage so far has passed with flying colors, more of our crew members are returning to work and getting fully vaccinated, and our health and safety measures continue to prove how effective they are week after week. More than 160,000 guests and their loved ones have safely cruised with us from home ports across the U.S., U.K., The Bahamas, Cyprus, Italy, Singapore and Spain. And there’s more to look forward to when Oasis of the Seas departs on her first-ever cruise from Cape Liberty on September 5, cruises restart from Tampa, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico in October and November; Navigator of the Seas becomes our first ship to sail from LA in a decade on November 19, and Ovation of the Seas marks our return to Australia in December. Get a look at our full lineup here. This has been a herculean effort, and throughout it all, our crew have been the shining stars you’ve always known them to be. Their commitment, positive attitude and smiling faces have made this all possible. And we can see the results of their impact in the feedback and record-setting guest ratings. I’m even prouder to stand alongside them — a sense of pride I didn’t realize could be stronger than it already was. While we’ve been focused on getting back to delivering memorable vacations to all of you, there’s been as much effort behind bringing to life the new adventures to come. Construction on the next world’s largest cruise ship and the fifth Oasis Class sister, Wonder of the Seas, is nearly complete. Keep an eye out because in the coming weeks we plan to share other exciting details — a new Royal Caribbean ship always has more than may meet the eye. I can also hardly wait to share more news about our plans in The Bahamas, including another expansion to make Perfect Day at CocoCay even more perfect with an entirely new experience we’re calling Hideaway Beach — you heard it here first! How exciting is it to talk about new ships and experiences again? We’re just getting started. As we look ahead, know that we’ll keep making your well-being and that of our crew and the destinations we visit our top priorities. Our health and safety measures will adapt to however many more curveballs and changes COVID-19 may have for us, including requirements from various countries and authorities. For example, The Bahamas issued a policy requiring guests 12 and older on a cruise ship visiting the islands to be fully vaccinated, effective September 3 through November 1. How have we adjusted? All our cruises from Florida visiting The Bahamas must require that our guests 12 and older be vaccinated. This now means every Royal Caribbean cruise from the U.S. will sail with fully vaccinated guests, while still welcoming children under 12 who are ineligible for the vaccine today. We do appreciate your understanding as we make changes and navigate these waters as best as we can for everyone’s safety. As unpredictable as the seas have been over the last 17 months, you’ve never wavered. Thank you for your support through it all. One of the ways we’d like to show our gratitude is by safely bringing back several Crown & Anchor Society benefits that were paused due to COVID-19. We recognize just how important your benefits are to you, and you can expect the following to return with some small adjustments on cruises setting sail as soon as September 1: • The Diamond Lounge is fully opening its doors to welcome more Diamond members and above • The exclusive Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club Top-tier Event • Complimentary breakfast in specialty restaurants for Pinnacle Club members Also incredibly important is the ongoing temporary pause on access to the Suite and Concierge lounges. Pinnacle Club members, please know we have been determined to bring you a dedicated space to come together in the meantime. We’ve found a way for you to do just that by introducing a Pinnacle Club Lounge to host nightly gatherings on each ship, where there will be light hors d’oeuvres and full bar service. This will be available to each member through November 1, during which we’ll consistently evaluate the current public health circumstances for everyone’s well-being on board. We’re committed to returning this benefit to you as soon as practically possible. There is more to come as we continue to keep you, our most loyal guests, top of mind. You can find more details about your returning benefits and more here. Whether we’ve had the pleasure of welcoming you on board this year already or you’re planning to cruise with us soon, we are counting down the days till we see you again. Let’s get cruising! Michael Bailey President & CEO Royal Caribbean International "Loyal to Royal"
  2. Michael Bayley's communication was targeted to C&A members, not suite guests. Everything in the email pertains to C&A members and only applies to C&A members who would have normally gained access to a suite lounge or concierge club using their C&A benefits when not staying in a full suite. If a guest is staying in a full suite their suite benefits are not diluted if they also happen to be a C&A member. Suite benefits are distinct and separate from C&A benefits.
  3. Casino MLife status relates to the casino program on board for Casino Royale, not the loyalty program for return guests called Crown & Anchor. https://www.royalcaribbean.com/experience/cruise-casinos/rewards https://www.mgmresorts.com/en/mlife-rewards-program/preferred-partners/royal-caribbean-and-celebrity-cruises.html How do I access my M life Rewards Benefits with Royal Caribbean or Celebrity Cruises? M life Rewards members must validate their tier status by calling Royal Caribbean at (1-800-762-0702) or Celebrity Cruises at (Platinum & NOIR: 1-888-858-4478; Sapphire, Pearl, & Gold: 1-855-227-2537). Benefits must be requested at the time of the initial booking and at least ten (10) days prior to the cruise’s departure date.
  4. If you and your wife went through different security lanes and you each carried two bottles... who would know? Or act like strangers. I cruise solo often and I've never been associated to the people before or after me. Security is a 3rd party company. The security company doesn't look at your cruise documentation to know what cabin you are in. Their focus is banned items that are considered a risk.
  5. I can only find four Next bookings and the paperwork they gave me. Three were in suites so NRD and $100 deposits. One was a 14 night transatlantic and refundable. I paid the full $450 deposit on that one.
  6. Yes. By policy you will access to two on the first cruise and they'll release the other two on day 1 of the second cruise. Having said that I was allowed to keep all 4 bottles for a B2B on day 1 of the first cruise. To keep things manageable on boarding day I had two bottles of wine in a carry on backpack and my two other bottles in a small roller bag. They went through x ray next to each other but all they saw was two compliant bags and I can only assume they didn't associate both bags to me. I wasn't trying to slip through but I did.
  7. One way are better because you don't backtrack and you see more Alaska. Booking flight as two one-way tickets can sometimes save money. The round trip from Seattle are also great cruises that let experience Alaska and usually a glacier somewhere along the route so if one of those is working out better your family don't skip them out of FOMO.
  8. St. John ? But on St. Thomas Coki is good for kids because there will be sea life. Lindquist Beach is larger and often less crowded. Some snorkeling there. The crowds flock to Magens Bay Beach where the beach is great but snorkeling isn't really a thing. A boat excursion that picks up at the ship area can get to some slightly offshore areas for better snorkeling and it's always nice to get a on boat and see the island from the water.
  9. I don't think they'll care if the cruises overlap. In my experience Next doesn't always have great refundable rates and you usually get no or little OBC with refundable. Having said that they once found me a refundable rate that was the same as NRD but with no OBC. Most of the time though the really push NRD to the point where refundable through Next looks like nope.
  10. In previous years the advice would have been that St John on your own is doable when the ship has a longer stop in St Thomas. Here in 2021/2022 I'm not sure there is a lot of experience with tourists using the local ferries to make a recommendation. Coki Beach is a smaller beach but still a very nice beach. Historically there has been an abundance of Sergeant Majors and Yellow Jacks hanging around at one end who have been willing to approach very close to swimmers. Snorkelling out a bit and you'll see Parrot fish and other reef fish. It's been a few years since I've lived on St. Thomas and I'm sure things have changed but Coki Beach is where I used to take my kids to swim with fishes and it is very close to Coral World.
  11. September is historically a slower month in general terms primarily because many schools around the country are back in session. It wasn't unusual in prior years to see lower prices in September but this year with everything going on I think we'll see variable capacity. I don't think they'll need to throttle too many bookings and we'll likely see one week way different from the next. For ships with 3/4 cycles the weekend 3 night cruises will likely have more guests and the weekday 4 night cruises could be much lower. For larger ships having to reach the point of blocking new bookings probably isn't going to happen. It will be a great time to sail all ships but Oasis class ships will be fantastic experiences. Don't even worry about the Key not being offered, you won't need it.
  12. Just be aware it's not a policy that specifically allows this loophole so I wouldn't in there telling everyone you are on a B2B.
  13. There is typically one server making rounds but I don't mind getting to stretch my legs and visiting the bar on the suite sundeck. The 11am-11pm complimentary beer/wine is in the suite lounge only however it may be suspended at the moment due to protocols. The Sundeck bar functions like any other bar on a pay-by-the-drink or drink package basis.
  14. I have, but Royal isn't offering me any points on those cruises.
  15. I'm not expecting any issues. It's not even something I'm thinking about. In the past as a solo cruiser my points often posted incorrectly but C&A always fixed them with a simple phone call. I expect that to continue.
  16. It's supposed to be pretty simple. Double means double what you would have received without the double promo. If you would have expected one point per night now you get two. Normally two becomes four. Normally three becomes six. It is literally double points. I've yet to hear anyone complain they haven't received what the double promo states.
  17. By policy Pinnacles are "recognized" on the cruise they cross 700 but the perks and benefits don't fully kick in until the next cruise. Recognized means they are announced at Top Tier, get a certificate and a picture with the Captain. Some loyalty ambassadors have been reported to grant Pinnacle benefits on the same cruise when a guest reaches 700, most LA's stick to the policy. Given there is no Top Tier event on short cruises that can alter things a bit. Many Pinnacle plan their 700 cruise for a favored ship and long enough to have a Top Tier event. Like many things Royal, it can be inconsistent.
  18. Supposed to function that way but if it's the first few sailings I'd expect the terminal contractors to make a few mistakes until it settles in and becomes well known.
  19. Think you still get it from C&A. I was nothing in the casino program and got the freebie from C&A which is how I became Choice. What came first? Chicken or egg? Turns out the C&A chicken came first...
  20. Choice means nothing and you get nothing. No loss if your boarding pass doesn't say choice. I once did a free spin that came with gold or some level. That earned me choice. No perks, no benefits. Still says it years later.
  21. I have been on many diving excursion from cruise ships over the years. It's a great way to dive the Caribbean since you can't fly between islands day after day when not on a cruise if you have been diving. Diving and cruising is a natural fit because of no-fly rules for divers. Cruise ships are not causing the demise of reef systems. Chemicals in sunscreens and so many other sources is one way in which reef systems are being negatively impacted. PADI has recommendations about reef safe sunscreens for this reason but that has nothing to do with cruise ships, anyone swimming in the ocean or spending a day at the beach should follow these recommendations including fly in tourists. As far as visibility if a tropical storm has passed it's not uncommon for the sea to get turned up and visibility to suffer. It doesn't take a tropical storm or hurricane to cause visibility to drop. Winter storms and currents can cause the ocean to have lower visibility on some days. That's just the way the ocean is. The Caribbean sea and the Atlantic can often have rougher winter sea conditions compared to the summer which many don't realize because of the focus and attention paid to tropical summer storms.
  22. Be aware that Mexico has a mask mandate indoors and outdoors. Just left Costa Maya, was at Cozumel yesterday. Masks outdoors in this heat is not a lot fun. Pick your excursions with this in mind.
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