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Everything posted by VACruiser

  1. If you are cruising now you're going to have to be very flexible on ships, itineraries, and overall changes of the rules quickly as new Covid variants appear. Only the most flexible people and diehard cruisers could enjoy all these changes to get on a ship to cruise. I love cruising but with all the changes I've found out that I am not as diehard as I thought I was and flexibility is not my thing. If you can take all the changes, coupled with all the Covid testing, you are truly a flexible person. If this is not you, the experience will drive you crazy. Just flying to the port is an adventure in of itself. Once you enter the world of the airlines you will truly see the experience is not the same as 2019 and you are at the whims of those in charge and rules change often. Just getting from point A to B on time with nothing occurring is a win. Then you get to the cruise port and it happens all over again. If you are a flexible person and these rules changes don't bother you than I think you'll be OK. If not, cancel and move on to land based drive to your location vacations. As I'm not flexible person I have chosen land based where I can control some of the vacation.
  2. I've given up on cruising in the near-future as in several years, until some semblance of normalcy returns and I well know that may never happen. I went on a Vacation this year to Cocoa Beach, Florida and said numerous times how I miss cruising. But, when I go to mock-up cruises on Royal Caribbean's website I get put-off by the rise in prices so I give up and move on. I go back occasionally to mock-up more cruises only to leave thinking how crazy these prices are. Alas, I hope one day for something to change. I had two cruises that were cancelled in the past two years that I was in Crown Loft Suites and I can't touch those original prices I once had. There is an increase of about 40% so I may never get to go to the 17th floor on an Oasis Class ship if this stays at these levels. ?
  3. I was at Cocoa Beach this week and saw the Explorer of the Seas at Port Canaveral on Wednesday followed by the Disney Fantasy the next day. The Fantasy stayed just off shore for three days and was being whipped by the wind and rough seas. Local news says they were there for vaccines. There was a drowning on Cocoa Beach on Wednesday due to strong rip currents. A Coast Guard Sea Hawk was flying patterns up and down the beach for hours. They had not found the man as of last check. A terrible tragedy.
  4. I have been on both cruise lines and I don’t think you are off the mark in your analogy. I use the Walmart versus Target analogy as the clientele are very different. That being said, it depends on what ship and what time of the year. If you go spring break on a Carnival lower priced cruise you are going to amazed by some of the sightings you’ll see as I have been in the past. But I’m in my late 50’s so my tolerance for drunks is pretty low. On the flip side Royal has its share of dress code violations at the pool and on excursions so it’s not immune. I just think Royal is a cut above Carnival in the cruising market. With the Carnival Mardi Gras coming on line soon that may tighten the competition market but only time will tell.
  5. I had my second Moderna shot on Friday at the VA. I am an avid cyclist so I thought the best prescription for care would be to wake up Saturday morning and ride in which I did for 43 miles with a friend. I got home and showered and then got cold chills, headache and extreme body aches. I guess I got it mad by me taking it out for a spin. I took some ibuprofen and hung out the rest of the day and did nothing. The chills were very real and I felt like it was mid-winter but it was 70° outside. I’m hoping today will be better but we shall see. Oh well it’s done now so I’ve had my second shot so I did civic duty.
  6. The one thing I do know is there is big-money involved in these vaccinations so I can imagine that this will be a lifetime issue, like an annual flu shot, and we will be asked yearly at our annual physicals if you would like to get booster shot. It wasn't long after the vaccines started being issued at sizable numbers that the discussions about booster shots had already started. When it comes to money you can bet your bottom dollar big pharma will find a way to make more of it...(my ode to Jurassic Park - life will find a way).
  7. Transportation Worker Identity Card. This card is issued by the United States Transportation Security Administration and the United States Coast Guard. Individuals must have a TWIC to gain access to secure maritime facilities. These often include ships, ferries, dockside warehouses and port customs offices.
  8. Today Bitcoin is $57,365 so if we get there I’m really out.
  9. I am with you there! I've done some mock cruise research and laughed so hard at those prices. Now, I just do it for a laugh in the morning to get me going; it's better than coffee. These are insane prices and the Return on Vacation Investment (ROVI) is just not there. I hope they come back to reasonable levels at some point as I would miss cruising at, but I could live without it if this remains - sad, but come on Royal...that's crazy. When booking a Grand Suite on an Oasis class ship gets to almost 8-9K levels - come on you're killing me here RCI. I looked at a Crown Loft Suite on Harmony this morning for a laugh and mocked up with travel insurance and pre-paid gratuities for 10.5k - again, I laughed so hard I almost fell over in my chair. By the way, I actually had the same cruise and same CLS room (1710) that was cancelled in Dec 2020 and it was $7300 so we are talking a difference of $3200 ?.
  10. I agree with Twangster... if the market, aka us, are willing to pay more than the cruise lines will make the new prices the norm; however, once the initial fervor subsides it will become more clear if those prices can be sustained. For me personally I don’t see the Return on my Vacation Investment (ROVI - new term) at these prices. I can rent a sizable house with a pool on the beaches of NC, SC, and Georgia for 3.5-4K a week. That’s for 4 bedrooms and 2800sqft. Granted I have to pay for food and entertainment for my wife and me but I’m still saving money rather than staying in RC suites that I love on an Oasis class ships. I’m an avid cruise hound and I’ll be back once this subsides but that maybe years from now but I shall return one day - hopefully. ?
  11. I've had a couple of cruises cancelled in the past year so I was excited to go look at the late 2022 and 2023 cruises. I priced them apples to apples from last year's on what I had, which in my case was Crown Loft Suites on Harmony and also Oasis in Mar and Dec 2020. I looked at the same cruise itinerary, Oasis March 5th 2023, and was a little shocked at the price increase. I expected increases but not in the 40%+ range. May be I had some decent deals in the past but now... The pricing for my cancelled March 2020 cruise was $5825 with insurance and pre-paid gratuities and that cruise for the same time in March 2023 is now $8459 - that is a 45% increase for my mocked up cruise. ? Am I missing something or just doing something wrong but that seems excessive to me. To go on a cruise, now based upon my budget for travel, I'm going to have to drop some room classes.
  12. That is true. I always read and don’t comment a lot so it’s interesting to see where people come down on the sides of COVID issues. I know my cruising days are over for awhile and have had three cruises cancelled thus far so my thirst for cruising has diminished. Hopefully that will change in the future but it will probably be years. I have to wear a mask all day at work, because that’s where my livelihood comes from, but wearing a mask on a cruise that I pay dearly for is not going to happen. I’ve already made plans to go to the SC beach’s for the next couple of years until this craziness has subsided. We shall see.
  13. Cruising is an expensive adventure and I am interested in the freedom of a vacation and restrictions that limit my fun so I won't cruise under these restrictions. It's going to be tough going for cruise lines for the foreseeable future as they try to get up and running but are limited due to country rules in order to operate. I'm sure a lot people on this forum will cruise just to cruise because they love it that much, but as far as the general population, I don't see people flocking to get back unto ships for their vacations in the near-term. I personally have chosen a different path for the next couple of years of renting a house at the beach. Cruises are starting to get expensive as the prices have risen for all kinds of reasons; but, suffice to say, until the value is back, I'm not going to go cruising again. I hope one day to be back but for now, I'm on land.
  14. I've already started my cancellation proceedings for my November 2021 cruise on Oasis as I'm sure this is going to be a requirement for future cruising events. My largest fear is to get on a ship and someone tests positive, whether false or true, and I get stuck in my room after paying a lot of money to go on a vacation. I'm out until all this gets sorted out. I've already booked a house on a beach in South Carolina for August 2021 and this may now be the new vacation norm. What ticks me off is even if I get the vaccine I will still have to take a Covid test prior to going on vacation and I bet also wearing a mask on ship too. And, that's why I'm not going to jump all these hoops just to go on a vacation that is supposed to be fun and relaxing...?
  15. I have an Oasis of the Seas cruise on 7 November 21 and I'm wondering if that will occur? Honestly at this point I'm not caring too much about it anymore. I've had two cancel thus far, (I wonder who has the record of cancellations on RC Blog), so I guess this one maybe the straw that broke the proverbial cruisers back if it gets cancelled too. If it happens again I think I may be done with cruising for quite some time and will spend my money elsewhere. I know it is not the cruise lines fault, but it is a waste of years planning to get close to the cruise and the emotional ups and downs of am I going on vacation or not to have it cancel and leave me scrambling for something to do. Also, my wife and I's vacations have to be planned out at work so as to set-aside in advance to ensure we both have the time off for the cruise. We shall see but I figure April or May is my mental cut-off to go figure out what we're going to do for vacation for 2021. We have a CLS for this cruise, our first time cruising in a CLS, and really want to go; however, if it seems there is going to be all these rules it will take the fun out of the cruise and it would seem more prudent to just give up. What scares me most is getting on a cruise and someone testing positive and we get locked in our room in a heavily controlled environment for our yearly vacation and everything gets ruined not to mention of getting quarantined past my worked allocated 10 days of vacation - that would be very bad.
  16. I have to wear a mask at work when not sitting at my desk and I have become accustomed to wearing one; but, I don’t think I would be interested on going on a cruise if it were required. I expect my vacation to be a relaxing period of time and wearing a face covering while sitting at the pool just seems the opposite of relaxation. It will be funny when face tans everywhere but the nose down to your lips becomes the new fad.
  17. I would imagine you would get the two normal options - Future Cruise Credit or refund in which flights and hotels are on you and I agree that would be the hard pill to swallow. I too live quite a distance from a cruise port, not Australia mind you, but nonetheless, still costs money to fly and I need a hotel. Pretty much over the years I budgeted a thousand U.S. dollars for movement to the port and hotel with restaurants. Sometimes it may not cost that much but other times I’m pretty close to that number. Cruising isn’t cheap so the thought of not making it on a ship gives me anxiety when what I’m looking for is fun in the sun.
  18. Covid-19 is a strain of the many cold and flu viruses we humans can get on an annual basis. Even if a vaccine can be developed for this one strain, the virus will mutate like all other viruses do. People have to start to understand this will be with us forever as just another virus that can make you sick. We are going to have to live with this beast. However it got into humans will be debated for years but the one thing we do know is it is not going away anytime soon. ? I ventured out for a Flu vaccine last year because I knew I was cruising in March 20 on Oasis and low and behold I get the flu 5 days before the cruise and had to shift my cruise to Dec 20 on Harmony which now I have subsequently cancelled with a refund. I got Influenza Type A and the vaccine last year was for a different strain. It’s going to be like this in the future with the many different strains that will mutate.
  19. You can also hit them up on Twitter or Facebook and you will get a response. In my case I had waited 60 days for a refund and called my TA who in turn called RCI to find out my refund had fallen through a big dark crevasse (my visual anyways) and got lost. Once that was determined I got a refund within 5 days. I have learned in the cruise world having a Travel Agent is almost a mandatory only because the cruise lines can be very hard to deaI with and I think it’s almost by design.
  20. I have a Crown Loft Suite (CLS) planned for November 21 on Oasis of the Seas that I booked in 2019. After the most recent sale came out this week I priced another cruise for a CLS for April 22, and to my surprise, I noticed that the price had risen $1300 dollars for the exact same specifications. Sorry if I’m late to the sad-party but has this been the case on all cruises going forward? The difference in price was $5400 to $6700 with the exact specifications. That’s a pretty big jump in price.
  21. It took over 75 days to get my refund for my last non-cruise so the sting is still very real to me. It would take a lot of time and forgetting the last experience for me to give RCI any money. I swore I would never give them money until they start cruising again and at the moment I’m standing by that. Count me on the I’m on the #nomoneyRCI train. We’ll see how long that lasts when the 2022 cruises get posted in the fall.
  22. I’m with you on that...today is July 19 ( cancelled 18 May 20) and still nothing of a refund. I called my TA last week, and much to my chagrin, my paperwork for the refund fell through the cracks - imagine that. So the TA went over the numbers with RCI to make sure the refund will be correct, and after RCI keeping $200 due to a changing dates long ago, I should see a refund - well sometime. It’s maddening what they are doing. I don’t know how they will ever get loyalty again as I’m just one person and I’m sure there are lots of people like me. I’m basically losing $200 for a silly reason, long story, but I guess that’s my RCI tax or donation to the RCI cause.
  23. Oh that would be interesting and a total misunderstanding on my part. An email has now been fired off to poor Michelle on what category I’m in at the moment. If that’s true I can apply the FCC to my November 21 cruise so I guess it would work but that just leaves more money with RCI. As @Jillstated above they need money from others to pay others money out is the very definition a Ponzi Scheme.
  24. I like my TA Michelle Cunningham too and hope the best for her but here’s my rant - I’m so ticked off at Royal Caribbean right now it’s hard to think straight. I cancelled a cruise that was scheduled for Dec 20 on Harmony on 18 May 20 as we didn’t want to cruise in the craziness this year. I chose to get a refund and as of July 14th 2020, I’m still waiting for my money back. That’s just robbing the customer. I can’t imagine any other company running a business like this and keeping brand loyalty. They have kept my money interest free and held hostage for almost 60 days and counting. If I would have gotten the money in 7-10 days, like it should have been, I would have booked another cruise but now they have kept it for sooooo long no way I’m giving them any money. They have proven they can’t be trusted with anymore than the deposit. Paying of cruises early like I used to do - nope no more money until I have to pay final. I’m trying to decide if I want to cancel my final RCI cruise on November 21 on Oasis and say bye-bye cruise line and do something else. I’m hanging on to a very small string and it’s about to snap. This really ticks me off!!!
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