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Everything posted by VACruiser

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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,
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. Even though that is sad to see written I think you're correct that pre-Covid cruising is gone forever. I have not been on a cruise since 2019...I was scheduled for one in March 2020 on Oasis when everything got shutdown. I've been watching these protocols come and go and the one thing I have seen is they don't get relaxed much and they just shift the narratives. The cruise lines are trying to navigate these rules to make money, totally understandable, but we will not be close to even full cruises much less pre-Covid protocols again, if ever. It's just sad I may never step foot on a cruise ship again. Yes I've had the shots, two of them, but I will not get a booster - I'm done. Paying to go on a vacation to wear a mask is just not something I'm willing to do. Too many other places to vacation and spend my money. I'm still working for a couple more years so one vacation a year is all I get and it's got to be relaxing. Cruising to me now is just too stressful to just get on the ship. I'd love to cruise again as I really miss it but...not looking good for VACruiser.
  9. Because there will be so many new Diamond and Diamond + members in the future, due to the double point sailings, I wonder if the benefits will be watered down in the future to save costs?
  10. I can't think they will WANT to keep all these protocols in place long-term with these types of quarterly earnings - "The company's earnings came in at -$1.36 billion, or -$5.33 per share. This compares with -$1.37 billion, or -$6.09 per share, in last year's fourth quarter." That would be financial suicide. Once COVID becomes like a seasonal flu or cold they will drop them - they have to as they can't go for too long at those revenue points.
  11. If this is about a mask conversation it is nothing more than a placebo to lessen the fear of humans. The best you can get out of it is that someone your talking to won't spit on you accidentally when talking to you. How do I know, because I have to wear a mask at work at all times and this gentleman that I speak to daily at work got Covid and spread it to me. I did all the right things based upon, yea Science, and still got it. RCL can follow the CDC guidelines to stay in business, and I'm good with that, but to say masks are the panacea for the spread of Covid is like applying a bandaid on a carotid artery bleed. It still gets around the supposed cure. We are almost two years into this in American and a lot of the so-called people who say that they are Science act as if it is still March 2020. We've learned a lot since then but to get them to change is like getting a 5 year old to take and bath - it's difficult.
  12. I am getting over Covid, probably the Omicron variant, and it has been about what has been said by others- mild cold symptoms, joint pain, and fatigue; but, was over after five days. On the 5th day it was like a switch was flipped in my body and it said, ok, you're done Omicron move along and I no longer had any symptoms. My wife has had Covid, the Delta version, and that looked like something I didn't want, bad-bad cough and she still has some of it three months later. Interesting enough, I never got that variant and we are just two people living in the house alone. I was pleasantly shocked I didn't get it. @Curtis Kari I hope your wife gets the easy variant and gets better soon.
  13. I am shocked that Royal Caribbean has incongruent policies between ships and their websites.
  14. It's not the virus itself that has a hold on the psyche of the population because we have lived with disease and viruses our whole lives. It's the over reaction of those in charge of us that has us scared and talking nothing but Covid19 as if it has the death rate of Ebola - it doesn't even come close. As this is a cruise site, and I'm sure this thread will get locked soon enough, I'll keep the rest of my opinions on those in charge of the Covid response to myself.
  15. I could only imagine what this would feel like if it occurred on Day 2 of the cruise vice the last day. And, if I had to give up a suite like SpeedNoodles is talking about it would be more insult to injury. I would hate feeling like I am patient zero of a plague that is ravaging mankind and I'm the cause of it all. Of course this is not the case and the OP indicated that his family had little to no symptoms. I walk around daily with allergies so my symptoms often mimic Covid so unless I positive I would probably never know.
  16. You're correct it is not bait and switch it's an added cost to your vacation and if you are already on a tight budget it may tip over your plans. If you are traveling with a family of 4 the added cost is $840 and that is a pretty steep cost to add.
  17. This is becoming a game of Whac-A-Mole as the ever changing rules of the CDC/FDA continue as the die-hard cruisers fight through the maze of ever-changing rules. It's now down to 5 year olds, oh not good enough - now #3 shot for boosters this year, nope not good enough, #4 and now your not-yet born baby must be given a shot ...where does it all end? But, we just blissfully follow the ever-changing rules so we can get on a ship to float around the Caribbean with a drink in our hands.
  18. Orlando is a terribly busy airport. Even if you got there on time the notoriously long security lines can be your downfall.
  19. 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.
  20. 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. ?
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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).
  25. 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.
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