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Everything posted by PurdueFlyer

  1. Well, I didn't "take myself to Chops or something" but I did learn something else. You can use OBC to add extra gratuity for staff on the ship, instead of using the little envelopes they give you and putting cash in them. I asked at guest services if this was possible, and she said yes. You have to fill out a little piece of paper with the crew member's name and work position and write in the amount that you want to tip them. So I frittered away an extra $60 of OBC ($20 each for attendant / head waiter / assistant waiter) instead of my own cash. Something to keep in mind if you practice additional tipping at the end of the cruise anyways and have remaining OBC that you can't figure out how to spend.
  2. if it's a nonrefundable OBC, and you haven't used it all by the end of the sailing, does anyone know if they can roll the rest of it over to another future booking? or does it just go to waste? I'll have about 100 bucks left over when I disembark Freedom on Monday unless I take myself to Chops or something
  3. Correct. I did get a cash refund for my Grandeur sailing out of Barbados in December, which was paid in full, using this exact reason, and they didn't argue. (my TA made the phone call, but I instructed them to use that verbiage when explaining my desire to cancel). OP: All you can do is ask!
  4. that's like the Hail Mary of last-second cruise rebookings. good work!
  5. I just use "snipping tool" to cut out the boarding pass and paste it into a word document. That way the ads don't get printed, either.
  6. Highly annoyed by this. On one hand, we were already bringing masks with us for the cruise. It's not like we have to get a test on embarkation day now, versus 2 days prior. Or PCR tests only instead of antigen. You just have to wear your masks more of the time once onboard. It could be much, much worse. On the other hand, I'm sick of this "health theater" nonsense. Unless its an N95 mask, its not preventing squat. Public health, and the collective population's commitment to it, is an interesting paradox. The administration's promise that getting vaccinated will allow us to get back to doing the things we used to do, hasn't materialized. I don't want to spend my vacation under siege. If I am hassled by staff in between bites or sips, I might lose it. I have 2 short solo cruises booked in January, both after the seemingly-arbitrary end date of 1/5. These sailings will get me to Diamond Plus. If that wasn't at stake, I'd be cancelling them both as soon as the new protocols are released, and demanding a refund. I'm done.
  7. thanks so much for this! update: I called my TA today, and explained that I had seen your note above circulated before. Since he had to call Royal to initiate the cancellation, i told him to specifically mention that the "protocols were finally announced" and that the client isn't OK with them, blah blah blah. result: FULL REFUND! Said the Royal agent just "entered some authorization code" and it'll be credited back to my AMEX in 30-45 days. Even though I knew months ago I wasn't going to sail on this, I think waiting until the health protocols were issued definitely helped my case in this instance.
  8. sorry for the bump, but looking for a clarification with regarding the CWC policy. I *thought* at some point along the way, there was verbiage that covered you with a refund option AFTER they released the health protocols for a particular sailing (ie, if you didn't like or couldn't comply with those protocols you could get a refund in lieu of the FCC). I cant find what I'm looking for at this point. anyone else remember this, or is my brain foggy? protocols are finally out for my Grandeur / Barbados sailing and in addition to the litany of testing requirements you must purchase a Royal shore excursion for all of the ports of call during December. womp womp.
  9. I wonder if he gets to 10,000 if the system will even be able to handle 5 digits of C&A points ... Royal may have to prep for this like Y2K
  10. mixed emotions on this. haha. for one, Fain's comments came 2 months ago. if Mabel Diaz said this more recently and specifically cited "Americans desire to have a self-served buffet" then I can't imagine Fain doesn't have the same information, and signed off on it. like it or not, consumer surveys rule corporate decisions everywhere. anything with tongs, IMO, is gross. You hanitize to get inside the Windjammer. then watch as someone shovels a hamburger into the gaping hole in their face. then they go back up and touch 8 different pairs of tongs as they continue to construct their next cinder-cone shaped pile of food. in this case the initial hanitizer when they first entered, is useless. however there are sections like coffee and individually-plated dessert items that I think would be safe enough to let guests handle it themselves. take a clean coffee mug from the rack and fill it from the carafe. it's not like you're putting your mouth on the spigot I'd say overall I'm in the "nay" camp for the purposes of this survey, but with considerations.
  11. @Pam from DC Protocols are out now for December sailings. FYI.
  12. negative. still unable to check-in. although I'm cancelling the sailing anyways now that the protocols are out.
  13. I figured as much lol. the only wrinkle is that I'm the one with all the FCCs in my name, because I've been churning bookings during the pandemic. so I risk paying more in cash for both of us, knowing that the 2nd person won't be there. even if it's a moderate increase in price for just me, I could probably cover all of it in FCCs I might wait for any Black Friday deals and look at a reprice for a solo and see what happens. I can always just tell them "never mind"
  14. late to this thread...sorry! if there's 2 of us booked in a double-occupancy cabin and the other no longer wants to go, but I want to keep it as a (now) solo traveler, would that automatically trigger a re-price no matter what? this is probably going to play out in Feb for us on a quick 3-nighter on Freedom. all we have paid so far is a $100 deposit for each of us. sounds like @Matt has been on this rodeo before.
  15. I didn't find out until 2 days prior to my sailing last week, and it ended up being a successful bid. There have been other reports of people getting the "yay or nay" email after they've already boarded. I, too, was showing the "pending" status and was unable to modify or cancel it. don't sweat it. hope it works out in your favor!
  16. well I was just in Cozumel yesterday and we had 4 ships here at the same time ... everyone fit. this is at the INTL cruise terminal down by Señor Frogs. there is another cruise terminal closer to downtown and I think Disney? was up there as well, but it was too far away with the rain and clouds to really tell which ship that was.
  17. If Twitter says its good, I would agree that you're good. I've done 3 cruises so far with an electronic screenshot from my care.CVS account. nobody blinks and nobody has asked for the original paper CDC copy. now, it does say "CVS pharmacy" at the bottom, but the information is all in one paragraph. it doesn't say "name of administering medical provider: CVS Pharmacy" like a line-item list. just "CVS Pharmacy". so there's some level of inferencing here, but I can't be the only American who has been on a cruise so far that got the jab at a CVS. (from my card) 1st dose PFIZER COVID-19 VACCINE (EUA), Lot #EN6199, 03/11/21, Dose 1, CVS Pharmacy 2nd dose PFIZER COVID-19 VACCINE (EUA), Lot #ER8732, 04/13/21, Dose 2, CVS Pharmacy
  18. I'm curious what you ended up doing here, as the letter from Royal stated they would hold the 1-bedroom Grand Suite until Friday, 11/5. but this thread was started on Monday 11/8 so that date would have already passed. As a former airline gate agent, I get Royal's intent here. they want you re-accommodated in the balcony and off their books, so they can work the rest of their oversale . But- if they didn't offer the other half of your party an option besides the balcony, I would have pushed back on the arbitrary date of 11/5 for how long they hold the 1-bedroom suite for. Just as how a suite became available for you, another one could become available for them. guests could be cancelling their suites as I type this because Royal gave them the same crappy re-booking options. maybe there should be a bit more leeway since you had 2 cabins from the beginning. just my .02
  19. hi @Pam from DC I'm "booked" on the Dec 5th sailing, but I already know I'm going to cancel it. (I whacked my air2sea flights already & booked a Navigator sailing out of LA at the same time, so I've crossed my Rubicon with regards to Barbados. I'm done with them). Royal just issued our docs, but its still not open for online check-in. there have been no protocols announced yet either, from what I can tell. when you go to the "getting ready to cruise" page on rc.com, Barbados still doesn't even show up in the drop-down menu. but then again, none of the INTL ports of departure show up. based on my own research from the visitbarbados.org site, they have scrapped the mandatory testing on arrival at the Barbados Airport, which also came with a mandatory quarantine until the results of that airport arrival test came back (how nice of them!). however it looks like if you do a pre-cruise stay, you'll need to get another PCR test on the island to get onboard the ship. it doesn't say what happens if you test positive on the island before you board. returning at the end of the cruise, it looks like as long as the cruise line can get you an antigen test within 3 days of arrival back into Barbados, and its negative, you're good to disembark and start a post-cruise stay on the island. is that how you interpret it as well? these were updated by Barbados in late October but previously they were much more onerous, which led to my decision to scrap the voyage. and I haven't even glanced at the requirements for the other ports. shame, because as you said, the itinerary is pretty epic.
  20. there's a multitude of threads on this subject, with everyone's own spin. years ago I used to follow a blog called "WaitButWhy." back in 2014 the writer did a totally unscientific piece on tipping and the results he found. it's pretty interesting and you can read it here: https://waitbutwhy.com/2014/04/everything-dont-know-tipping.html warning: his writing style isn't for everyone, so proceed with an open mind. but the parts in the middle are particularly interesting to me, "other factors that should influence tipping decisions" including time, effort, their salary, etc. these are the parts that are quasi-relateable to cruising. (ie, the bartender cracking open the bottle of beer at the Schooner Bar versus poolside making your labor-intensive Miami Vice. there's a difference in effort here. something to consider!) bottom line, OP, just remember that US tipping culture is beyond bizarre, and its totally OK to be unsure of protocol. whether you "pre-pay" gratuities before your pay-in-full date, or whether you're having them deducted daily on your seapass account, you're still paying them. anything you do above and beyond that is totally up to you.
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