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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Doing your part in RCG's non-governmental aid package.
  8. 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.
  9. This is basically a sea-going timeshare. You could be a permanent 12-month per year resident, but their calculators on the site default to 3 months per year. I see little or no incentive for the operators to keep up high levels of service once the entire boat is purchased. Yes, they do have all-inclusive monthly fees, but the incentives would be at best to keep it barely better than acceptable. A regular cruise line has to earn every cruiser's trust and $$$ every time a ship embarks. Not so here. They got you, because you already bought into this. Literally. Could it work? Sure. But
  10. My spouse was military (USAF, Lt Col Retired). They had a couple of these outrageous itineraries. Let's just say yours was limited by navigatible waters; theirs were not.
  11. As one who is living here at the moment, I agree with YOLO. It's not the right time to be here. Hopefully, situations will improve. Try my hardest to keep this as neutral as possible. But not now. Wait.
  12. Just to gloat a little bit, I live in Central Florida on the East Coast. That's a cruise day's morning drive to Tampa, Port Canaveral (Orlando), Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) and Miami. Though I will admit that Miami is starting to stretch it a bit. But then again, the Florida peninsula is way more isolated from the rest of the country than you normally think. For instance, if we need to evacuate for a storm, it can take almost 350 miles to get somewhere safer. When we purchased our most recent vehicle, one issue was that we would need 500 miles of range on one tank of fuel, just in
  13. Concur, with a twist. Saw a news article independent of RCG about repatriation problems in the cruise industry. Majesty of the Seas was being used to house certain employees off the coast of the UK because a lot of repat flights, which might pop up quickly, are done out of London for Africa and the Middle East. The country in question might say 150 citizens total (not just cruise line employees) today, on this particular flight, or you won't get home for a month. In the article, it used Mauritius as an example.
  14. Don't disagree, but that will be the exception that will have to be dealt with, rather than the standard. A large percentage of folks would live with the smartphone app if it meant less contact and faster service. Those that can't will have to be addressed. Yeah, the kiosks are almost a non-starter due to the issues you raised. First thing that comes to mind for exception processing is simple paper menus with checkboxes. RCI has been pushing people to app for a while now, and this will certainly continue to process.
  15. See this current post. In that post, there are some photos of some menus from one of the specialty restaurants. In the small print, you should see that there are Gluten-Free entrees available, but that Royal Caribbean galleys are not allergen-free zones. So both good and bad news. Call RC by phone and be a little insistent on getting to the correct people on the phone to get the exact information you need to get to the point of you being comfortable with the response. The answer might be "No" in certain cases in certain restaurants, but it's much better to have good, accurate information
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