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Everything posted by ScooterScott22

  1. On our cruise, we had some special circumstances and timing of the sail away. Because of that we asked for a specific dining location and time for that evening. We submitted the request via email before sailing and there was not an issue. So as long as you have what you want in mind for that first evening is communicated, expect that it will happen. The more details you can share, exact time, orders etc. the better it will be. Knowing the genies they may even through in a few surprises. On another day we had a later shore excursion so the evening before we just asked our genie to have dinner in the room when we got back. We ordered the Seafood tower (that might be a Star Class Requirement!) and some appetizers and they timed it nearly perfectly for our return. On the coffee question, I can share that our party did get specialty coffees on our own. Since I am the only coffee drinker And I am usually up early and either out for a a run or just to walk about, we never made a request for morning coffee. I have heard that some genies will do that on their own, so there is probably some variability. If it is important the options are either communicate that or make a direct ask of them to bring some.
  2. Like you we found a wealth of information from the people on this thread and others on these boards. We were able to relax and enjoy the experience and let the genie work their magic since folks on here eased our itch to plan. There are some great tips and info so far but I wanted to address your item about specifically planning before hand. When we did our Grand Loft Suite last year due to a few reasons we had two specific dining requests that we submitted to the genie via email prior to the cruise. If you know that you want to do something specific, especially that first day, don’t be afraid to ask up front when you get the email from your genie. You could actually make all your requests before boarding but that takes any some of the fun that accompanies spontaneity. Enjoy!
  3. Great info! Quick follow up on this item. We have done the one cruise in a suite so far on Ovation and did breakfast in room, Grabbed a quick bite in the suites lounge or usually had Coastal Kitchen. Is the suites breakfast In Chops available on all ships?
  4. @WAAAYTOOO helped answer questions about the GLS for us not long ago. I can add we did Alaska last year in 10720 and were very happy. It was our first time in a GLS so we did not have many expectations about the room going in. We have done suites on other Cruise lines. For out party of three the room was large enough but we do understand it is one of the smaller suites. Since we were doing the Alaska cruise having the three balconies was really a bonus. Being on the corner and able to walk out to the side balconies on either level, as well as the back payed off. The rear balcony was fine but I feel that we saw more scenery and wildlife since we had the side also. It seems that the main benefit of the corner is if you expect less time at Open sea and more direct scenery having the corner might be a relative trade-off for the space. I’ll also add we did make the switch on our cruise next year to the middle lower room, I think 8324. So we can share more but it is almost 10 months away.
  5. There are some great tips and info in this thread so far. One thing I think you should remember is that the general layout of the ship is the same even if it is much larger. Your will find the top decks still have the public spaces for sunning and swimming as well as other activities and some places to get drinks and eats. Progressing down you will find mainly Decks with staterooms until you reach the lower public spaces which will have theater, shops Restaurants and Casino. Yes, there is much more to do and lots more stairs and walking but if you are typically on the top decks to sunbath, swim and play person, then that will probably hold true for the larger ship. If you recognize your normal pattern of where you spend your time on the smaller ship it will help with your planning for the larger one. Unless you are doing a longer cruise like a trans Atlantic understand you will not be able to do it all. Have fun and happy planning.
  6. Since I travel to and through MIA a lot for work, thought I would share some options. Much of this will depend on the dates of your actual cruise and what services and business will be operating. - MIA has quite a few clubs and restaurants as well as shopping so after you deplane you could just grab a bite and relax a little before hitting baggage claim. That doesn’t let you rest much but if you really take your time, you likely won’t be to the port too early. - There is a small hotel connected to the airport (Miami International Hotel?). I had to stay there once due to flight delays and it isn’t terribly nice. It would be an option to crash for a nap and grab a shower to freshen up. It is pretty cheap, like $75, so even if you are charged for a full day it is not a great cost. There are other nicer places around the airport but not sure how successful you would be on getting a day room. - You could see if you could purchase a day pass to one of the lounges, or see if one of your credit cards might be a partner. A few of those are pretty quiet and have some good options for food and drinks. The Centurion lounge under normal conditions has showers and spa service. Those service are currently suspended due to Covid.
  7. The equation can get really complicated if you factor in the parks and strategies to visit them. For example, time of year, budgets for parks, must do rides - thrill vs kid vs classic vs Harry Potter, fastpass/ultimate pass use, your park familiarity and Transportation can impact how successful your park time will be. With the post-COVID uncertainty it makes it even tougher. So looking at your question and trying to simplify by ignoring some of those details, I think you can get the answer internally from you and your family. You mentioned in the first post that the kids would be fine because “they don’t care” and then state the would want to do Universal and Disney. So float the idea of cruise only and see how they react. Then give the option for one park and see which they pick. That might help gauge what park(s) are important and how you can best use the 9 days. For the cruise longer is better but it is stealing from park time. If you just want a few days at sea to relax and get away the 4 day is fine. If you can narrow that park time with the questions above to the kids and family the 7 day becomes more do-able. For me the answer is easy, the 7 day. But I live in the Orlando area, know the parks very well and have season passes so my situation isn’t a fair comparison. This is a cruise message board and that might also be influencing my response some. Good luck with the planning and have fun.
  8. Jim Van Fleet will come to the rescue and keep these guys safe. As @Twangster mentioned it shouldn’t be too bad for the ships unless it suddenly intensifies. A few years ago we were out on a cruise and sailed through the system that became Hurricane Matthew. Didn’t impact the ship much except for a few outdoor events. About a week later back at home we were preparing since it did develop.
  9. Agree with pretty much everything above. Between the two choices there doesn’t seem to be a huge variety so it really probably depends on something that only matters to you like best travel dates or specific room availability. As for which side of the ship it probably doesn’t matter even more when you consider your stops. Many days you head into port you will sail into a fjord to get to the location (Juneau and Dawes for example) and then sail back out. So the views for both side of the ship will be pretty much the same just at different times of the day. We have never done Quantum, only the Ovation in Alaska last year, so can’t give a direct comparison. Having looked at the deck plans they don’t seem all that different, even the restaurant choices that you mentioned are similar. It seems the only difference is really the noodle shop that was removed from the Ovation and replaced with the fish and chips place. You had mentioned having a suite so I can share that Coastal Kitchen had pretty good views. If your suite will have all day access then getting spot near the window is pretty easy at breakfast and lunch, dinner was a little more crowded and near the windows was not as reliable.
  10. You know your child the best so only you can really determine if they might have a positive experience in AO. The staff will attempt to engage and even though our experience is that most of the staff have some official educational background and child life training the success can be very individual. It seems that with regards to shy children they all make an effort to engage everyone but some of counselors do better with certain individuals, so a little luck may be involved also. To me there seems to be two types of shyness in children. The first being a true shy child that appears to be much more of an introvert and the shyness may wane but is persistently present. The other, which seems to be more common, is the child that is shy to start but once they get engaged open up and they tend to engage easier with subsequent events. It is not an either/or situation as as shy children can be somewhere in between. Our son is pretty shy to start but usually after a day or so gets pretty comfortable once he finds a few friends or a counselor that he likes. After a couple of days it become hard to get him out of the club. All children have a pretty good is chance to enjoy themselves as the type of events in AO will vary each day. Besides the open houses, I would encourage you to review the daily schedule. If your child is more of the first type I described above the GaGa ball and other similar activities would be better to avoid. The “classroom” like activities, like the science classes, that are on the schedule might be good to attend. Some of those allow the parents to attend also. It may take a couple of visit but with the right events, right kids or counselor the AO usually wins the kids over at some point.
  11. Haven’t seen any reference to this and it is not set in stone but there is some good news. A group of researchers at Oxford had been working on vaccines and the timing of this pandemic has helped speed some things up for them. They were able to take some established work and quickly modified things specific to this virus to get a head start. That coupled with the world focus on this disease has provided them some additional support/funding and “fast track” pathways for approval. If things progress then predictions are a vaccine could be ready by September. https://www.ovg.ox.ac.uk/news/oxford-covid-19-vaccine-begins-human-trial-stage https://www.astrazeneca.com/media-centre/press-releases/2020/astrazeneca-and-oxford-university-announce-landmark-agreement-for-covid-19-vaccine.html https://www.barrons.com/articles/good-news-on-oxford-vaccine-is-bright-spot-in-somber-covid-19-landscape-51588084298
  12. 218 since the last cruise... ...372 until we board the Ovation. Even though it is a long way off since it is the trans-pacific there are still a lot of “what if’s” in my mind. So I am really hopeful that the Oxford group’s vaccine really does well and is out buy this September as some are predicting.
  13. @MarvinS thanks for sharing, the stepped plan sounds pretty reasonable. Some of the success is obviously due to the unique, relatively isolated geography of Alaska. Quick follow up question - how are they dealing with the North Slope? Are they exempting those trips as necessary? Just wondering partly because with reserves up and prices down, the companies probably want to cut down the overhead as well as the travel restriction implications. Since quite a few workers up there rotate in from the lower 48 are they allowed in, are they restricted to staying in state or just using the staff that reside in state and they make the trip up there? It seems like if they are allowing those workers in, the risks of importing a case increase even with the quarantine period since transmission can happen when people are asymptomatic.
  14. We did our first WBTA last September and I think that the statement for other cruises holds for the most part with the TA - The sea conditions you experience will depend on the current weather conditions. If the weather is decent expect it to be pretty smooth and if there is a storm, not so much. We had a mix of both rough and smooth sailing. There was a tropical system that moved up the east coast and to the Canadian maritime providences. Because of that we started off great in England and Ireland and the first days at sea. Things started getting rough as we progressed west and got closer to the storm. It was projected to head right into our path, based on timing of the storm and our port schedule they made the decision to turn south and skip the Canadian stops. Once far enough south and out of the reach of the storm, things settled down. With the change we ended up with an extra sea day and a night in port at NYC.
  15. Agree with this statement that since since the C&A status is lifelong there is not many concessions that they will extend, BUT there is a window that might be left for some cruises. As evidenced by some of the post above, how many people think that Royal will honor the C&A points for a specific time period? It would be easy for them to take an all or none attitude of “if you didn’t cruise, you don’t get the points” and revoke the points that were credited for those mid March cruises. It is also pretty unlikely that they would take the opposite view and let anyone with a cancelled cruise keep their points. Likely they will land somewhere in the middle and let the points for the cruises up to a certain date stay in people’s accounts. I’m thinking a cut off date for that might be cruises that were scheduled before March 31.
  16. In case anyone wanted to know what the asterisk next to a cruise was about without looking up the article. *CDC was notified about COVID-19-positive travelers who had symptoms while on board these ships. For all other ships, CDC was notified about travelers who had symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19 within 14 days after disembarking. Since these travelers’ symptoms began after the voyage, the traveler might have contracted COVID-19 during the voyage; however, other sources of transmission after the voyage cannot be ruled out.
  17. This seems moot since most ships do not have passengers so the concern becomes if these recommendations end up remaining in place. There are many interesting items like face masks for all debarking passengers and transport of the sick. Some of it is not bad like masks but chartering flights for everyone seems like a huge issue. “As of April 4, 2020, CDC has updated its recommendations to help US cruise ship travelers get home as quickly and safely as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. CDC is working with partners as part of the Unified Command, including Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, port authorities, local and state health departments, and Department of State, to respond to COVID-19 aboard cruise ships. CDC recommends that cruise ship travelers with no symptoms or mild symptoms disembark as quickly and safely as possible at US ports of entry: Cruise line companies must get travelers directly to their homes via chartered or private transportation. Commercial flights and public transportation may not be used.” https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/cruise-ship/what-cdc-is-doing.html it does have an interesting list of all ships/cruises and reported cases. Cruise Ships Affected by COVID-19 Ship name Voyage Start Date Voyage End Date Carnival Imagination 5-Mar 8-Mar Carnival Valor 29-Feb 5-Mar Carnival Valor 5-Mar 9-Mar Carnival Valor 9-Mar 14-Mar Carnival Vista 15-Feb 22-Feb Carnival Vista 29-Feb 7-Mar Celebrity Infinity 5-Mar 9-Mar Celebrity Eclipse* 2-Mar 30-Mar Celebrity Reflection 13-Mar 17-Mar Celebrity Summit 29-Feb 7-Mar Crown Princess 6-Mar 16-Mar Disney Wonder 28-Feb 2-Mar Disney Wonder* 6-Mar 20-Mar Grand Celebration 22-Feb 24-Feb Grand Princess 11-Feb 21-Feb Grand Princess* 21-Feb 7-Mar MSC Meraviglia 1-Mar 8-Mar Norwegian Bliss* 1-Mar 8-Mar Norwegian Bliss 8-Mar 15-Mar Norwegian Breakaway 29-Feb 7-Mar Norwegian Breakaway* 7-Mar 14-Mar Norwegian Pride of America* 29-Feb 7-Mar Oceania Riviera* 26-Feb 11-Mar RCCL Explorer of Seas 8-Mar 15-Mar RCCL Liberty of the Seas* 15-Mar 29-Mar RCCL Majesty of the Seas* 29-Feb 7-Mar RCCL Oasis of the Seas* 8-Mar 15-Mar RCCL Symphony of the Seas* 7-Mar 14-Mar
  18. Are you also on their list too, I normally get the Email link to the journal regularly and with the Coronavirus NEJM has almost a daily update. I don’t read all the articles but not sure that is completely accurate. While science and scholarly articles usually leave at least some possibility of change, there is proof that this passes from person to person, usually droplet. The info from NEJM below does show it does remain in the air. Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1 N. van Doremalen and Others DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc2004973 | March 17, 2020 “Our results indicate that aerosol and fomite transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is plausible, since the virus can remain viable and infectious in aerosols for hours and on surfaces up to days (depending on the inoculum shed). These findings echo those with SARS-CoV-1, in which these forms of transmission were associated with nosocomial spread and super-spreading events,5“
  19. Adding that in this day of lean business processes (thanks Toyota) there is quite a bit of “just in time” supply. While some of the items may have been ordered or even made, they might not be onsite. In lean processes having the necessary material lying around waiting for use is wasted money, space, etc. That can help the port by reducing unnecessary supplies from laying around and wasting space. Looking at lean processes for Royal this means the project manager could have a timeline that does not require the new materials to be available until after the removal and cleaning of the space that will be remodeled. As a byproduct in this situation, it is possible that the supplies were on order but not actually purchased. That could mean the capital is still with RC and the higher ups are choosing to keep that capital. That is just speculation but does seem to fit with the situation.
  20. While I am not discounting the economic impact there are some other things to consider. Imagine being the local health care center Dahl in Skagway. Since the local population is near 1000, the numbers work out easily. If the percentages hold, it would mean that 600 town members become ill with the virus, and 200 would need to be hospitalized, not to mention how many would need intensive care. Dahl would not be able to handle the patient volume. And most would have to be transported out.
  21. We live in the Orlando area so not much experience with port Canaveral area hotels. I will second the vote on the Hilton in Cocoa. We put family up there the day before a big family cruise and spent some time on property. That and the Doubletree just up the road are a few of the options that are directly on the ocean/beach. The others may have beach access but are not on the beach itself. It is a little further but still a short drive up to the port. There is a group of hotels closer to port but they are on the lagoon side and most not on the water. Not sure on the costs as that can change depending on dates..
  22. That is all part of why I am wondering about the changes and credit. Since it is over a year away I am surprised by the credit, they can just change things up. The info stated changes to the port day in Yokohama but are there other changes beyond the end date too, of the Singapore to Tokyo? We didn’t get any info on that since we are not doing that one. All those cruises are gone from the website, so it can’t be booked.
  23. Our trans-pacific cruise is a long way off but thought it was kind of odd that Royal was giving options for guests to change this cruise. The Tokyo to Seattle in May 2021 had the departing date moved from 5/8 to 5/7. It will also change the ports in Japan, now with 2 stop instead of 1, and lose one port day in Alaska. The rest of the cruise is the same except the when we get to Seattle we will do an overnight there because of the additional day on the front end. (Guessing they want to keep the rest of the Alaska season on track as scheduled.) None of this is particularly concerning since the cruise is a long way off and the cruise lines can change itinerary at anytime. What I found strange was they are giving you three options - stay on the cruise as booked but you will actually get a credit to the stateroom. - rebook to another sailing and get the same credit. - full refund. Wondering about the credit, so any ideas or thoughts would be appreciated. While we are only planning on this cruise, many folks are doing the back2back from Singapore to Tokyo beforehand. So it doesn’t look like this change really is too problematic for many on this cruise and even those not doing b2b have plenty of time to arrange/rearrange travel. It looks as if we are getting cruise credit to have extra day on the ship. The credit could just be changes in the port fees. But it seems that just changing from one port in Alaska to one in Japan would not be drastically different for fees and there is extra time at port in Seattle too compound that theory. Also since people can change to another cruise and still get the same credit making it look less like it is all port fees. So is Royal just giving the credit to be nice and loyal to guests?
  24. I’ll add that if you are choosing specialty dining they all have their own feel, so what you might be comfortable with at one may not work for others. Not sure if Jamie’s is still there but that seemed like jean and collar shirt. Chops would be also jeans at minimum but more likely Khaki’s or nicer. Izumi also jeans at minimum, that one seemed more casual on the Quantuum class ships. There is no Wonderland on Symphony, right? That is another that I would do something nicer than jeans. And Chef’s Table is someplace where I would also dress up more.
  25. It is not unusual but it can be problematic if it continues. There is a condition is called Mal De Debarquement and if symptoms last more than a few days you should consider seeking treatment. There is not a specific treatment but there are options. I do like the idea of getting back on the ship!!!
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