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Everything posted by BrianB

  1. To suite or not to suite...that is the question. As already posted above, there are many perks and advantages that come with suites that make them a very attractive option and well worth the cost. Especially if, like me, your time on board is more important than the cruise itinerary. Keep in mind that different ships, as well as different cruise home ports, may not have the very same perks available. Plus, your loyalty status comes with certain perks as you rise through the levels. There is also the option of purchasing the Key which comes with perks such as priority boarding, disembarkat
  2. Because I am lucky enough to be able to cruise often (retired)...I have a lot of cruises booked. So far thirteen cruises have been cancelled. I decided that what’s best for me is to continue paying in full and then getting the 125% FCC when the trip is subsequently cancelled. I consider it an investment. There are, of course, worse case scenarios involving the industry or me personally that can cause me to lose my investment but, in my opinion, the risk is minimal. I also believe when cruising comes roaring back, prices may be elevated due to higher demand and the need for the company to
  3. I have a B2B scheduled in March...March 4th for 4 nights and March 8th for 5 nights out of Fort Lauderdale. Two days ago I received an email reminder letting me know I was near the final payment date. I made the final payment online and it was accepted. This reminder email was probably automatically generated based upon payment due date so I don’t believe this is the final word. I’ll just wait and see. As far as making payments are concerned...even if it’s probable that the cruise will be cancelled, I will still make the payment. For me it’s a no-brainer...if and when the cruise is c
  4. I understand everyone has an opinion on wearing masks...most based on science and metrics...and there is more than enough personal preference and reasoning on either side of the argument... ...but... To answer your question, Chris...yes. If wearing a mask will allow me to cruise again, I will wear a mask. Whether I agree or disagree with the effectiveness of wearing one doesn’t matter. If that’s the condition to get back to sea...so be it.
  5. My last cruise was on the Bliss...7 nights to Florida and Bahamas from NYC...and it was very stressful. It started with PPE wearing medical personnel taking our temperature in the terminal. It ended on March 15th...the day the cruise lines decided to self-stop. It was a rough week with all the bad news coming in. The ship had their infection protocols in place. These were the Norovirus precautions...no self serve at the buffet...constant deep cleaning...more hand sanitizers...multiple announcements about hand cleaning, etc. Because international travel was about to be shut down, we were delay
  6. I think the reality here is that there is virtually no way to completely keep the virus from getting on a ship. The important thing is the timely recognition of it’s presence through testing. Then the mitigation taken to isolate those who are infected and to stop the risk of spread. The Healthy Sail protocols plan for this eventuality by having on-going testing, designated isolation cabins, positive-pressure medical facilities, virus killing air scrubbers, and a robust sanitization protocol to prevent spread by surface contact. Also, by limiting passenger load to help with social distancing. A
  7. Sea days; “Gotta get to the pool deck early before all of the chair hogs!”
  8. 12 so far...and January’s eleven night cruise will most likely be cancelled because of the seven night maximum cruise limit. I know...I’m very fortunate to be retired and able to do so many cruises. I wish we all remain healthy and safe as this pandemic subsides and we can return to some sense of normalcy.
  9. I have done several back to backs on the Anthem out of NJ. As previously noted, the pre-pandemic process differed depending on the ship or port. In NJ, back to back passengers (along with any guest entertainers who were staying for more than one cruise) met in the Diamond lounge by 9am. Security set up a scanning desk at the entrance. After our name was checked on the list, our room keys were taken and security scanned us out...thus allowing the ship to receive a ‘zero count’. CBP officers came to the lounge and checked our passports. Then we were handed our new room keys (even if in the same
  10. Check in opened for my cruise on the Anthem departing January 4th from Port Liberty NJ. It accepted all of my information and photo...but when I try to submit, the ‘Sorry, hit a snag’ message keeps coming up. I was optimistic because every time I checked, my info was saved but it wouldn’t allow me to submit. Now I realize that the cruise will most likely be ‘Corona-cancelled’ because it is for eleven nights. Oh, well...hoping my seven night February cruise is still happening.
  11. Yes. Retired after 35 years in public safety/emergency management...healthy, no medical issues. Would love to be part of the process evaluating the new procedures and protocols. I think it would be a great experience showing Royal Caribbean is serious, capable and committed to bringing cruising back safely and carefully.
  12. I’m thinking my Dec 19th Holiday Cruise on the Anthem will be cancelled because they need more time to start up...and because it’s an eight day cruise. Also, my January 4th cruise will probably be cancelled because it’s an eleven day cruise. Oh well, it is what it is and I’ll be patient with the process. At least there is now light at the end of the tunnel... I would much rather they take their time to do it right rather than do it quick and suffer another closure. I can’t wait!!......but I will.
  13. 58 days out from the cruise and I am unable to reserve any entertainment at all. Makes me think they either haven’t yet completed the planning for seating in the venues...or finalized casting, staffing and scheduling shows...or are convinced the cruise will go as scheduled. However, the rest of the cruise planner is open...including dining, spa, shorex, internet...in other words, everything that requires payment. With the Key onboard the Anthem, you still need to reserve your entertainment choices. When the Key first came out, no reservations were needed. But not anymore.
  14. I checked in last week for my Nov 13 cruise on the Anthem out of Port Liberty. I also purchased the Key and dining package. Not saying they wouldn’t take my money knowing the cruise is not happening and would refund it after they cancel...but...I’m still hopeful! I’ll keep an eye on the the Anthem’s position. Fingers crossed!
  15. I purchased the Key after I checked in. My check in time is 2:30 (the earliest offered)... I know it’s going to be different now that things have changed to accommodate the extra precautions and cleaning. I’m patient and understanding with that. There will be trial and error and I hope it goes as smooth as possible. I know each port is different and each have their own way of doing things. What works in some ports may not work in others. It may be a later departure than usual, but I just know that I’ll be aboard and getting ready for sailaway again! Leaving New York harbor at night is bea
  16. I just checked in for my Nov 13th cruise on the Anthem leaving from Port Liberty in NJ. Hopefully the cruise will sail and not be cancelled...fingers crossed! My first concern will be inside the cruise terminal. Will I be able to even enter the terminal or be held outside until a certain time...and if so, will the system of who gets to go in next be well-planned or will there be the usual crowding about near the entrance. Short-cutters always looking for the short cut! I am Diamond Plus but I also purchased The Key. I’m solo and I use the internet so it’s worth it for me....also beca
  17. Two of my cruises were ‘Corona-cancelled’...March 22 and April 5, both on the Anthem. On March 9, I received a refund to my CC for one dining package. On March 23, I received the refund for both Key/Internet packages. On April 1, I received the refund for the other dining package. I have not yet received the emails regarding the 125% FCC nor have I received the refunds to my CC for the taxes, fees and port expenses...understanding completely how busy they must be. When I do receive the FCC, I plan to use it to apply to the balance of some of my already booked future cruises.
  18. Love Jaime’s on the Anthem! Meat plank, lasagna, tagliatelle bolognese...my favs! Always consistent. Did Giovanni’s on the Allure. Loved it also. Please don’t make me choose!!
  19. My Diamond Plus status secret is cruising solo. Getting two points per night adds up quick. I have eight cruises completed and just reached Diamond after my cruise in May. So the first time I was able to enjoy the benefits on board was this past b2b in Sept-Oct. The Diamond Lounge on the Anthem is very nice...and Federico, the concierge, helped me with some reservations. I will be Diamond Plus in two months after my December cruise. I love cruising (obviously) and agree that the cruise itself is the main reward. The benefits are appreciated and the C&A program is a very nice way to r
  20. I've discovered the policy can change from sailing to sailing. Sometimes it may depend on how many crew members need to see CBP whether they come aboard or not. If they don't, then b2b'ers would need to disembark. Or, as posted, if CBP has enough officers on duty that day. Plus, there's always the unpredictably factor. Luckily for us, it's the onboard check...at least for now. We'll see what happens when we get back to Bayonne Saturday. Fingers crossed!
  21. Hi, and thanks for the replies. I'm aboard now and just learned how b2b's are handled on the Anthem at Cape Liberty in Bayonne NJ... Because I was unable to book the same cabin, I have to pack up all my clothes that I keep in the drawers...plus, of course all my bathroom stuff. My room attendant will take care of the clothes hanging in the closet, moving them on the hangers. He will also move my suitcase when the other room is empty. I, and every other b2b'er must report to the Diamond Lounge on deck 4 on turnaround day where we must show our passports to CBP and then we will be chec
  22. I leave tomorrow on the Anthem from Cape Liberty for a nine day cruise to New England and Canada. I then stay aboard for a back to back for a five day to Bermuda. This will be my first b2b aboard the Anthem. Does anyone have any information on the process aboard the Anthem at Cape Liberty? I was unfortunately unable to book the same cabin so I have to move to another nearby cabin. Do I pack everything and leave my bag in the cabin taking only my carry-on and valuables? Or do I pack everything but the clothes hanging in the closet? Do I need to leave the ship to pass through customs or is
  23. I, too, noticed the ‘Buy One, Get One’ free items don’t seem beneficial to solo cruisers. Maybe there is a discount applied to the first purchase...like the specialty restaurant...if you tell them you are solo.
  24. I can’t imagine the company making such a huge infrastructure investment without taking into consideration the high probability of a direct hit by a major hurricane. In the event of a direct, or indirect, hit...I’m sure many of the structures will sustain damage...as will many of the areas susceptible to the tidal surges accompanying the storm. There is plenty of historical data to guide their storm damage assessment and recovery planning. The island has been transformed into a very popular and hugely successful money-making project and they will work quickly to bring it back to full operating
  25. I can’t imagine the company making such a huge infrastructure investment without taking into consideration the high probability of a direct hit by a major hurricane. I’m sure many of the structures will sustain damage...as will many of the areas susceptible to the tidal surges accompanying the storm. There is plenty of historical data to guide their storm damage assessment and recovery planning. The island has been transformed into a hugely successful money-making project and they will work as quickly as possible to bring it back to full operating status as soon as possible. We just need to ke
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