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  1. The US has had a precipitous drop in February from the crazy January. But.. those numbers have leveled off, and actually look like there might be one more spike before the vaccine numbers start to take over. That leveling off started about 10 to 14 days ago. I'm hoping we can avoid that spike, but it's looking like that's gonna happen. Yes, there is some optimism to be had here, but we need to be watchful and accept that there will be setbacks, both major and minor. I process the county-by-county numbers in the US everyday (I'm a data nerd) and have since I found my good CSV sourc
  2. This might have been OK, if annoying, in the "Before-Times". But now, this could be very problematic in COVID era cruising. Choke points for the purpose of choke points are now going to be seen as straight -up evil.
  3. Functionally, these ships are amazing. Given their size, they could look worse - in fact some folks here have mentioned some egregious examples from other fleets. The RCI ships are about as good as these newer ships get. My issue is that all the cruise lines are having to do a lot of form following function, with various levels of success. A great example is the Airbus A380 vs the Boeing 747. The A380 was well liked by its passengers on the inside, and hated on the outside. That's one ugly plane. The 747 in its time changed its world. More than people would admit it, it's because of how f
  4. I'm with you. My old favorite just left the fleet - Majesty of the Seas.
  5. I'm sure that being on the ship will be fantastic, but I'm not in love with any of the Quantum / Ultra ships. The Odyssey of the Seas new extremely large name livery on the starboard side screams billboard, rather than "I'm so classy, you known who I am." More than other classes, these ships look like a low barge with a sideways high-rise hotel on the top. Yes, this is the trend and there are some very good reasons why this is the case, but there is a proportions problem with the boat part and the hotel part. Some other cruise lines have this problem and make it worse by painting t
  6. Not a requirement. Norwegian has a US flagged ship that wanders around the Hawaiian Islands only. The idea being you fly to HI and then cruise around the Islands for xx days and then fly back to US mainland. Given the archipellago's isolation, there is no opportunity for foreign port of call. The US would not (maybe could not) grant them exemption, so NCL did the work. They took an existing ship, certainly not built in the US, and flagged it.
  7. Not unexpected, and it makes economic sense, but it saddens me. Been on Majesty for 3 cruises out of FL, and always enjoyed the (now) smaller scale. I would walk around that ship for days and could decide to go anywhere at any time because nothing was that far away from anywhere else on the ship. Also, I could use the stairs for almost all inter-deck traversing, because most things were between deck 4 and deck 11. Thanks, Majesty, for my introduction to cruising. You will be missed and appreciated.
  8. Yeah, this is a dream itinerary for us. We live 40 minutes away by car, and our cruising buddy is even closer - 15 minutes away from the port. We were thinking pre-pandemic about leaving out of Baltimore or Cape Liberty, but we aren't even considering any cruising that entails flying. Not until everything is figured out. Luckily for us, Port Canaveral, Tampa, and Port Everglades (Ft Lauderdale) are easy morning-of-cruise drives. Miami is juuuust that much farther that we normally don't consider it. This is not a short cruise. RCI's other Bermuda itineraries are 5 and 6 day. There are
  9. 6 positves out of a very small ship of 100ish total people. That's pretty bad. Anyone thinking about getting on a boat with 2500 passengers (50% capacity of a big boat) and 1300 or so crew is pretty much taking a huge risk. Even with testing. What we need now is complete capitulation until a) this Northern hemisphere winter wave recedes AND b) a vaccine is in place and distributed to enough people to start knocking down the infection rate, not just protecting those that have the vaccine. Both of those things look like it would take until at least 3rd quarter of next year, possibly longer
  10. We live quite near Port Canaveral (Orlando) and have gone on four Royal Caribbean cruises so far. Not the most experienced cruisers in the world, for sure. Royal Caribbean has been a fantastic introduction to cruising. We loved leaving the house, driving less than 45 minutes total door to door, parking the car in the port garage overlooking the boat, and getting on the boat in about an hour from leaving. Shockingly good experiences all the way around. We are smaller boat fans (Majesty and Enchantment) because we look for simpler, calmer trips. Basically an hotel room that moves around o
  11. I remember on a recent(ish) cruise on Enchantment of the Seas (2018) that the ice machines and IIRC the Freestyle machines were staffed and you handed them your container. I can't for the life of me remember for sure if this was the case on my last cruise on Majesty December 2019. I remember the Freestyle machines in 2018 being staffed as that's the best place to get water and ice refills for your own containers. It's filtered to Coca-Cola's specifications. That's actually a big deal. This staffing might be a possibility, but the cup would have to be cleaned in some fashion to transfer ba
  12. What it tells me is that until a) better testing or b) effective and pervasive vaccine, there's going to be insurmountable problems. Either the cruise lines wait until a) or b), or they have to base their decisions on whatever information they have, however fallible it may be. The other alternative is up to us. We can just wait this out for a year and don't blame the cruise lines for what they have to do in the interim.
  13. No specific recommendation from experience, but when in Jersey, look for Jersey Diners. I know that they are a dying breed, but they still do exist. Look for 24/7 (before the pandemic) joints. Two that pop up on a quick search are the Broadway Diner and the Liberty Diner. I would suggest this over IHOP.
  14. Doing your part in RCG's non-governmental aid package.
  15. The political environment of the last several years concerning the ability to cruise to Cuba indicates to me that RCG and the other lines should be loath to put too much capital into it at this time. I am assuming that there are myriad other restrictions concerning investment in Cuba that we may not be privy to.
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