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Everything posted by VACruiser

  1. I totally agree with your assessment and would love to see that happen; BUT, in this environment I think the cruise lines will take a very conservative approach like we are starting to see now. Cruise lines get the microscope on them as a vacation industry more than any of the other vacation venues. And, those headlines kill the industry so that is the reason they will be very conservative. As you can tell in this blog site alone there are many strong feelings on the way forward. If you bring up an idea, even what I would consider benign, lots of people get offended by the mere mention of an idea that may not be mainstream.
  2. I'd almost rather have all the cruise lines go to 100% testing for everyone regardless of Vaccine status and here is why. Some of these vaccines shots taking by individuals can be very old by now, over a year old and efficacy rate could be close 0%, Then you have the 4 and 5 shot crowd and their efficacy rate is varying depending on a whole set of factors that I'm not going to get into. If the goal is to keep Covid off the ship, with the highest chance of success, the only way to do that is test 2-3 days prior to have as best of a baseline as you can have. We all know that this is not 100% guaranteed but it seems the easiest way to make it work. We are just going to have to learn to live with this virus always knowing it is present. I type this as I sit here with Covid coming back from a vacation at the South Carolina beaches. I had my shots, and boosted, but the little beast got me anyways. It didn't matter how many shots I have had because there is no meter on my body that tells me my day-to-day efficacy rate of the shots in my body...today you are at 05% left on your shot status - oh no better get another one. It becomes an exercise in chasing your own tail. I can say having a summer sickness is the worst way to end a vacation and it has truly over stayed its welcome. I had to take another 40 hours off from work, which I didn't want to do, and I have to wear a mask at work when I do go back because I'm typhoid Mary. Can't say I blame my co-workers this coughing doesn't sound good - ugh!
  3. I'm curious as to if someone happens to get off the ship at say Grand Cayman and is caught without the proper documents by Grand Cayman officials trying to visit tourist areas or trying to get back on the ship? I'd bet the fines would be large and you may end up in the pokey. You better know the rules to the place(s) you are visiting.
  4. @NeesaI enjoyed your blog. Sometimes it's about the writing style and you tell it like it is - warts and all. I like when people write about the good and the not so good so it gives a good overall perspective on how some things on ship really are. And, maybe others can read it and take mitigating actions to improve their cruise. Glad non of that made you down and you were able to stay positive throughout your journey.
  5. I got that, and that is true, but the only reason that is true is because RCL is so hard to deal with and has such poor IT that things like this occur. It's kind of sad for a multi-Billion dollar company.
  6. Might as well get used to Covid-19 as it is here to stay like all viruses that frequent the human host.
  7. Not to be a Debbie-downer but the balance sheets for all the cruise lines are in the pooper ...it may be a long time hold but buying a commodity on the way down is like catching a falling knife. You can catch it but sometimes it's going to hurt. RCL has a lot of money to pay back to investors to get their financials back under control and that is why they don't have a positive Price to Earnings (P/E) ratio and their earnings per share is a -20.79. That's not a healthy company. If you are dollar cost averaging for the long haul you may be rewarded in the end but not anytime soon.
  8. ^^^ I agree with all the points above. The Return on Investment is not there for a once in a year vacation for my family so I will hold off until much later. At the moment I'm renting houses at the beach for my vacations with the family. I can better control the outcome.
  9. I'll never understand why we should accept less for the money spent. Any other product to price point we'd hold the producer of the product to a high standard for money spent, aka Return on Investment (ROI), and we'd demand standards are kept but cruising seems to be the one place were I read they are trying, they have X problems and it'll get better. If I go on a trip and pay thousands of dollars, sometimes 10's of thousands, I better get a good ROI or I'm not doing it again.
  10. To get close to the break-even point you would have to drink 7.5 drinks a day per person - 98 x 2 = $196 per day for a seven day cruise = $1372 and just say the drinks are $13 = 105 drinks for the cruise broken down to 2 people = 52 drinks for the cruise and 7.5 drinks per day. That's quite a bit of drinking - doable but there are days you are in port or on excursions so you have to do some drinking when you get back on ship. There is a point where the juice is not worth the squeeze...literally I think I'd rather pay as I go. I'm not a big drinker so I'd be fine with that option as I watch my daily expenses. I have caught several times where drinks were put on my tab and I haven't drank them so off I go to customer service - it happens.
  11. As they say, go first class now or your kids will go first class later.
  12. I have really enjoyed this blog I think you have been extremely honest in a balanced kind of way weighing out the good and bad. As others have said, we all know that this has not been the best couple of years for cruising and we as consumers have to weigh the Return On Investment for a vacation. When it gets too hard to justify the money spent fewer people will book cruises and the lines will respond. But, RCL is still 45 Billion in the hole right now and they have to take that into consideration on ship occupation. I'd hate to be the CEO and CFO right now. Awesome blog I'll miss it when you're done.
  13. One of these days people are going to start to realize that when you are vaccinated and boosted it is from a variant we already know of. When new variants come around it's all bets are off and you are not protected no matter how many shots you've had. At some point we have got to treat the Coronavirus like just another virus that humans get from time-to-time. The good thing is that with every new variant it is getting weaker and we are buiding better immunity against it. One day it will change but not any time soon with our current attitudes treating this as if it is the plague.
  14. There is a lady (close to 40 YO) I work with that drinks Diet Coke in a 24 ounce thermos that she fills with ice. She drinks at least two to three of those a day. I call her a lab rat and there are scientists that follow her around just to see what happens. On top of all that, she is a heavy smoker too - UGH!!!
  15. ^^^^I second and third that. Has way too much Personally identifiable information (PII) involved in that form to give it away for a 15% discount. I don't think I'd do it for a 100% discount
  16. I too am a retired US. Army veteran with a VA rating - how do they know you are above 50% do you have to bring along your VA rating paperwork too or do they take you at your word?
  17. It's not that they are wrong per se, it's more like hopeful and wishful thinking based upon business interests versus medical necessity. It's been true pretty much for the last two years. Cruise lines and restaurants have been the worst effected by all the so-called experts the past two years and RCL like others are just trying to survive the business environment.
  18. and, that is where it starts to get cray-cray. Every country will have different requirements for what makes up current and what happens if you have gotten over Covid and what that means for this mess. If you had two shots, three shots, but you got Covid and recovered what does that mean and on and on we go...the possibilities can be endless. The current cruisers on this site are much more diligent than I would be on keeping up with all the changes so my hats off to you who can do that. Me, in the mean-time, will head to the beaches in South Carolina until this gets sorted out
  19. I now this is off topic a little but maybe @Matt can start an end of Vaccine Requirements pool and we can all kick in $5.00 a piece and whoever is closest to the date and time it is announced wins a free cruise at the Balcony level.
  20. Good question on the CWC - I think it has to come down to money and how much that costs the company versus customer needs. Unless you get a Covid Positive Test I'm not sure how many people are using CWC right now for different situations. In my scenario I wouldn't even think of booking a cruise until the protocol changes and the vaccine is the thing of the past - and what I mean by that is a voluntary shot protocol that you can get once a year if you like; just like a flu shot was before all this started.
  21. I would be shocked if the vaccine requirement will be lifted this year and I really think it will be quite awhile (2023-2024) before anything like that is even contemplated. I'm only saying that based upon how much hubbub we had to do to get back to cruising and the current variant of the month that keeps occurring that is always right around the corner will keep the current situation intact. I'm in the boat (pun intended) where I've had the shots to maintain my job and my wife has not had the shots. When I floated the, hey I can go on a solo cruise I got quite the look so I'm on dry land for the foreseeable future. When it changes I'll book a cruise as quick as my keyboard allows.
  22. I have no issues with using a TA as I've used MEI on several cruises; however, the reason that is given by this Blog is basically that Royal is so screwed up that it takes too much time for a "amateur" to endure the pain of dealing with the corporation. Is that by design? I wonder some times. As the OP said, he took lots of time with all kinds of personal pain to work through something that should be pretty straight forward that the best answer is to get a TA so they can take over the pain of dealing with the cruise lines. That's messed up for an industry that is supposed to run on customer satisfaction,
  23. Fuel is one item that will have to dealt with but food costs are also soaring so that too will have to dealt with. Most economists are predicting a 3rd-4th quarter of this year to see the full brunt of inflationary values to hit the market. There is no way any business, much less cruise lines, not to pass on increases to their customers. I'm sure the cruise lines will have to bake that into cruise price increases. Fuel surcharges is not the way I'd expect them to handle it as it is too harsh for consumers to see. Better to raise the price of the overall cruise; kind of a take it as it is versus pay more now in an unexpected expense so we'll let you on the ship - too disruptive. We might as well get used to higher prices for all things...there are lots of podcasts where they interview farmers on how their prices are increasing and they are going through the roof. And, fuel and food touch almost everything in our economy. As the old adage used to say, when the US sneezes the rest of the world gets a cold is still very true. We are just in the very edge of the beginning of inflation - sorry to have to say that but it is true. Economists are saying a recession will show by the latter part of this year but by then we will have lived it for the 2 quarters of negative growth and by then we will know full well it's here. Takes a while before the statistics catches up to the reality.
  24. as said above I'll try to stay out of politics...I'm not sure that is completely possible as Covid has become nothing but political as everyday life revolves around that very thing and the world we live in is very different than March 2020. Will they ever consider natural immunity? Under the current protocols - I don't think so unless they say that you don't have to get a booster because you have had two shots and had Covid so a booster is not needed. I don't see any scenario where they give up on the shots in the near-term. I'm in the category as I've had two Moderna shots and had Covid so I should have a high-antibody count but I would have to get tested to test my theory on that. I think in the near-term that maybe the best we get out of it. If you have not had any shots you will be hounded every time you visit the doctor or need a medical procedure they will hold that over your head. I would hope that is not the case but that has been happening already so it's not unprecedented. May be we all get antibody tests before cruising and the highest count gets a Suite upgrade
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