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Everything posted by MrB

  1. Switched over to duckbill N95 mask. Made in USA (only important for certifications). I wear both glasses and hearing aids, and this mask has two separate straps that I can put the top strap on the crown of my head, rather than one contiguous earloop. I need this so that the strap/loop doesn't grab my $$$$ hearing aids and send them flying. BTW, in the beginning of all this, 18 months ago, we were told to wear masks everywhere. When I tried to bicycle, it was like Helmet Mask Glasses Hearing Aids Choose any three Usually, I took the hearing aids out into case and put them in the rack bag.
  2. I saw that they pulled out of antigen testing in FL at the same time you mentioned. There does seem to be a scattered return of antigen testing to CVS in Florida according to the CVS website. That's good news to have an alternative / backup to home testing. Or have home testing a backup to CVS. Dealer's choice on which is the primary and secondary if both are available and consistent.
  3. I am also a Tom in Central Florida. Seeing the same testing environment that you are. Our cruise is scheduled for a Tuesday, so one of the possible testing days is Sunday, which may or may not affect a PCR test return time. Also not seeing any rapid tests at local pharmacies that are accepted. We are planning on taking Matt's advice on home video testing, buying two tests per person so that if we burn one by mistake, we're both still good. I have seen some CVS pharmacies in areas in Central Florida where we aren't, literally more than half-way across the peninsula, that do have the rapid tests now. Maybe that will spread to where we are between now and testing time.
  4. As BeachGal has said, Los Angeles traffic is on another plane of existence. There is literally nothing quite like it in the US. Be very careful about booking anything like this. I lived in LA for 30 years.
  5. If cruising in the tropics in the summer, remember that, as Jimmy Buffet once said, "there's no trying to reason with Hurricane Season." It starts 1 June and ends Late October (usually), with the peak in early to mid September. So July would be better than August, which would be better than September. But, that's just the averages. A storm could happen. That's life in paradise.
  6. ProTIp: Set your analog watch on your wrist to ship time on embarkation day. Digital watch is OK as long as it does not set itself. All party members over a certain age (8 or so? Depends on the child?) should have a watch. If a member in your party doesn't have a watch, I'm pretty sure that you might be able to find one on board at a reasonable price. Double-check your watch to ship time when you leave the ship for an excursion. There is usually a clock right there.
  7. Small ship person. Majesty of the Seas. RCI had to make the decision they did about those ships. I will have to find a new favorite. That's not a bad thing, I guess.
  8. By description, yes. "Spacious" allows for 4 guests and non-spacious is limited to 3. I would assume that the room is configured slightly different so that the furniture required for 4 guest fits. So, bigger sofa. In normal, double-occupacy mode, I can't see that it makes a huge difference.
  9. The last 18 months have changed my perspective on these kind of things. It's now limited to: Shoes on? Hands clean? Vaccinated? Mask properly worn when appropriate? Other than that, not caring much. Also, the robe is better attire than what a lot of people wear anyway.
  10. Not useful for this trip, but High-Speed(ish) rail project is in the works for MCO to Miami. 2022 at the earliest. https://www.gobrightline.com/orlando . This has been known as a crazy problem in Florida since the 1970's. Too short to fly, kinda dumb to rent a car for a drop-off, no good bus transport, way long for airport shuttle type transport.
  11. 1 a must fly in the day before and go exploring. This is a big deal. If you try flying in on the day, and there is one hiccup or delay, you can miss the ship or you are going crazy in your head about possibly missing the ship. Really, fly the day before. The exploring part is up to you. Personally, I'm the "fly in, hotel next to the dock, not gonna miss my boarding time" kind of guy. 2 Try to board as early as possible That may be out of your control as boarding times are now assigned, instead of just getting on the ship anytime after 12 noon. This is a new COVID thing. The intent is that boarding day is the first day of your cruise, with the difference being that the ship is moored. Most venues on ship are available, and there is always the WindJammer for food. Good day to walk around and get your bearings on the ship.
  12. Only problem is that it's on I-Drive (International Drive in Orlando) which is a full hour away on a good day.
  13. Misread the title of this post as "OBC from simply having midlife crisis".
  14. I agree wholeheartedly on how it is set up presently. I would like to be more honest about it. How about paying them a living wage? If that raises the upfront price of the cruise, so be it. Tipping as income is borderline evil.
  15. The cruiselines don't want to mess this up. They want and need to show they are very very serious about this. If, for the first cruise back, they want to enforce masks, I'm OK with that. I'm scheduled for December 2021, and going into that cruise with the expectation that masks might be required even for vaxpax. If no mask is required, it's a bonus.
  16. I'm glad to hear that it seems to be working out to your satisfaction.
  17. First, get written notification from your spouse's doctor, with clear indications that this is a real-deal medical issue. Second, this is why we need everyone else to get vaccinated - to cover those who absolutely in need of coverage. Our vaccinated response to this is "Sure. Real problem? We got you covered".
  18. Someone was willing to give a $1 million donation to the Governor to influence this issue. It may have backfired in this round, but you can deduce that this is far from over and that sometime in the near future big cruise ships will magically appear in Key West. Too much money involved. If the citizenry of Key West doesn't want us there, and it voted 3 times to that effect, we should respect that. I say "thank you for your hospitality" and let's move on to another port of call.
  19. Here's the big But.... Each port has to have it's own health and safety plan in place and that's at the discretion of the state (FLORIDA) to approve. The local news reports I'm seeing state that's where Gov DeSantis may hold things up. They won't be able to sail in or out of the port with a vaccine mandate (state) and won't be able to sail at all without a vaccine mandate (federal). I live in Brevard County FL (Port Canaveral), so it's a thing in the news here. There is no indication that this governor will change his position, if the past year is any indication.
  20. When spouse retires, looking forward to TA's for that same reason. We live in US, and we were thinking about Westbound to home port where no flight is needed. Our thinking is that once we were on the ship, we were heading home and most of the logistics are done. Are we wrong in that reasoning? Thanks Tom
  21. My spouse and I started cruising on RCG with a Holiday 4 night trip from Port Canaveral to Coco Cay and Nassau a few years back. The port is local(ish), no airfare, easy drive. The timing was right (spouse has shutdown from Christmas to New Years). We looked on the Royal Caribbean website, booked the cruise without much comparison as we had no reference. It was not a cheap cruise, but within our budget at the time. We specifically did not want a bargain cruise because we were "Buying Information". We wanted to know if cruising was for us (it is) and whether cruise pricing was worth it (it is). Had we gotten a bargain cruise, we would have been filtering everything through the bargain versus straight-up enjoyment. You are willing to put up with things or see things differently if you believe that you got things as a bargain. The money spent on the cruise reflected that "buying information" ethos. We parked onsite as close to the dock as possible regardless of price. Awesome. We'll never park anywhere else on the short cruises. Longer cruises, we'll get friend or Uber to drive. We knew we didn't need the drink packages (non-drinkers). We purchased a photo package. Not worth it for us, but worth spending the money ONCE to find that out. Went on a couple of RCI excursions, found them to be OK at best and fun enough, but we found out we need to be very circumspect on excursions. We found out that spouse doesn't like Spa stuff. I wouldn't have guessed that without trying it out and spending the money. Well worth it to find out. We found the entire experience fantastic at full holiday price. Because we paid full price and still absolutely loved it, we knew that the experience was worth it, especially if we could find the bargains in the future. We knew that the bargain was not driving the decision. For instance, 6 months after the 1st cruise, a flash sale came up on the same cruise itinerary and we booked it and went cheaper and had a great time.
  22. Absolutely understand. When other modes of transport are involved, offsite starts to make more sense. We're lucky to have Port Canaveral (closest) and Port Everglades (much further away) in easy morning-of-cruise drive. With that, we can splurge for the onsite parking to luxuriate in the lower stress levels.
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