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Curt From Canada

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  1. I have been defeated. If I didn't have a real job, and had time to return to University for the 4th-Year Course ... "Travelling in a Pandemic 401", I think I could prepare for my Grandeur Cruise in FEB 2022. However, the "Gods conspire against me", and this latest one has put me on the sidelines until MAY 2022 (our next cruise ... hopefully): Given the number of emails we get sent, the number of politicians screwing this up, news outlets "flipping a coin" to determine what to say next, and science being shuffled into the background, we will be sitting on the sidelines for the next few months. We will continue to live vicariously through the many contributors on this forum (thanks to all) ... every time we cancel a cruise, we schedule 1 or 2 more. I feel very sad for our great TA at MEI (Jacki). Good luck to all ... we will be watching for now. Stay Safe, Stay Apart, Stay Connected, Curt from Canada and his lovely and talented Soulmate.
  2. The protocols would be OK, if I would take the time to understand them. I think their is a 4th year university course being planned (Cruise Protocols 401). Curt from Canada
  3. We have an advantage and a "restriction": Advantage: Frequent Flyer Miles ... I really do not care where the cruise originates. The destinations are the main draw. Restriction: Canada ... once the frequent flyer miles run out (and they will), we are limited to Bayonne, Boston and Baltimore (I wish there were more B's) as home ports. Flying to Florida is not that much less money than flying to Barbados (and even west coast or some European hubs too). Deane
  4. If anyone is on Grandeur now, or if anyone is on in December or January, I would love to hear about your experiences. A few things are top of mind (but any experiences would be helpful): I can not imagine Grandeur sailing out of anywhere but Baltimore. For sentimental reasons, please let me know if she fits in with her new home. The itineraries out of Barbados are very, very tempting. Given whatever restrictions were in place for your cruise, did any of the destinations stand out (good or bad)? Dancing ... there was always lots of opportunity during happy hour in the Centrum (and every so often in the South Pacific Lounge). Are there opportunities on board? We have sailed on every RCL class of ship, and Grandeur was very accommodating to people who love to dance. Curt from Canada
  5. It has been a long time since we have cruised Alaska, but we chose to do a "land tour" after our cruise from Vancouver to Seward (actually the RCL booking agent convinced us out of doing the return trip to Vancouver). Best advise from any Travel Professional. She said you can not go all the way to Alaska and not see Denali. We took a bus from Seward to Anchorage (more below) and then 5 days from Anchorage to Denali and back (flying home from Anchorage). The bus ride from Seward to Anchorage was very nice, and just before we ended up in Anchorage we saw a once in a life time sight ... People surfing on the Bore Tide in Turnagain Arm. It is very difficult to be there at the exact correct time to see it. They do publish a Bore Tide Schedule, so adventurous explorers could plan an easy half day trip if they wanted. We saw from the bus. Surfing a Bore Tide in Alaska ... it was magical site. I always recommend to Alaska cruisers: Cruise one way and combine with a land tour of as much of Alaska as you can see. Take the train from Anchorage to Denali and spend 2 or 3 days there. Denali and Denali National are "other-worldly". Hopefully you can see Talkeetna along the way. Hopefully the little café in town still plays full Beatles' albums on Sunday mornings. The memory was so vivid that I still taste that breakfast, see that view of the café and street, while hearing the White Album. A very special memory which started out just as a walk. Figure out how to experience the Bore Tide on Turnagain Arm. Hope you have a blast, Curt from Canada
  6. Yes ... you are correct. The closer you get to your sail date the more accurate it becomes. I start looking one month out at sailing with the same itinerary. Curt from Canada
  7. Glad to have helped. However, be careful as you travel down the rabbit's hole. I once spent almost 3 hours preparing for 3 future cruises. I now know how Alice felt. Are there others outnthere that schedule each and every Martini they drink each and every day? Curt from Canada
  8. "Can someone send me a Cruise Compass from XYZ of the Seas? I am going on the ship next week and I want to do some detailed planning". This request comes up multiple times each month. As a Cruise Planning Addict I know exactly what they are going through. I have the "Cruise Compass" tab on the Royal Caribbean Blog as a favourite on my browser. Last month, I stumbled on a "hack". I hope my brothers and sisters of the "Order of Overly Organized" [OoOO] enjoy this one. I use the Royal Caribbean phone APP that lists all of future cruises I have. Then I: Go to the bottom of the start up screen (it lists all of our future cruises) and press the "Get more details on ships we support" tab at the very bottom. Find your ship that you will sail on ... I know all of them are not there but 23 of them are!. Select the ship you will be sailing on. Find a sailing date similar to the one you will sail on (you might have to do some digging on the Royal Website to find a similar one). I choose the one that is sailing currently or as close to today as possible. Press Daily Planner and ALL of the On Line Cruise Compasses are available for you to view. I am looking at DAY 1 of Independance of the Seas for the NOV 01 to NOV 05 sailing right now. I know there will be these events on these days: DAY 1: 8:00PM Headliner Showtime (in this case Nate Weatherup) ... this was in the past. DAY 2: 9:15PM Ice Spectaclar: Freeze Frame! (V) ... this has not even happened yet (it is 7:49PM in Montreal right now). DAY 3: 3:30PM Name That 80's Tune Trivia (V) in the Schooner Bar I think you get my gist. It is an absolute Disney World for members of the OoOO. It is not as nicely laid out as "real" Cruise Planners', but it will definitely scratch that itch for all my brothers and sisters of the OoOO. I hope this helps, Curt from Canada
  9. Radiance of the Seas (JAN 2006) ... 25th Wedding Anniversary. Great ship to start, many memories, but two stand out: 1). We flew in the day of the cruise (please don't judge ... we were rookies with a sub-par travel agent). Flight was delayed out of Canada (who knew that snow could delay flights). With no breakfast and no lunch we made the ship just before the muster drill. All venues were closed, so no food was available. One time events for: HUNGER: Only once and never since ... we were ridiculously hungry on a ship. Post Muster Drill we ate 3 meals in less than 15 minutes. SAME DAY FLIGHT: Only once and never since .. we have ALWAYS flown in the day before our cruises since that first cruise ... 25 and counting. 2). Our first date was at a restaurant in Montreal called Portofino (a long, long time ago). We were surprised, touched and impressed that Royal Caribbean would name a restaurant on the ship just for us. We ate there on our anniversary, and every cruise after that until they retired the name. We sail on Radiance again in SEP 2022, and can't wait. Stay Safe, Stay Apart, Stay Connected, Curt from Canada
  10. One of the greatest philosophers of the 20th Century (Doc. Brown) got it right: ? Stay Safe, Stay Apart, Stay Connected, Curt from Canada
  11. I am afraid the price stabilization might not occur until 2023. All the more reason to book well in advance (the conventional wisdom). We have our 3 cruises booked for 2022 and our early 2023 booked. As soon as the later 2023’s open up we will book those as well. These days are not the ones to be sitting on the sidelines. Stay Safe, Stay Apart, Stay Connected. Curt From Canada.
  12. I'm still laughing. Thanks, I don't get a chance to do that lately. It took me over 60 years to really understand my chosen profession (Engineering). With that much training, "nerd" is now genetically encoded. Curt from Canada
  13. A few observations: 1). The refundable upcharge is miniscule. (less than $100). 2). The price for the 14 day (early 2022) was almost exactly the same as this 7 day (the day they released these Grandeur sailings). 3). This is a pretty good ship for combining Drinking and Dancing ... The Centrum has room for both. ? Curt from Canada
  14. Before MAR 2020, I kept a database (with lots of input from this fantastic board). Below is the data (a small sample, but with some trends if you look at it). My plan is to start up again (as soon as the sailing begin ... I should have said that louder ... AS SOON AS THE SAILINGS BEGIN! ... and they will). A few observations: 1). A few get assigned very far in advance. These appear to be outliners (and the frequency may come down over time with more data). 2). Just over a month before there is an inflection point where almost half have their assignment set. 3). Almost all have been set 10-19 days before sailing. 4). All have been assigned by the time you board. ? Stay Safe, Stay Apart, Stay Connected, Curt from Canada
  15. I agree. Actually, that is the main reason that I called the Del Rio quotes a little bit of "theatre". They: Are good sound bites ... "I'd like to hear an argument why we couldn't sail" would make a great T-Shirt. Make me want to break into song ... which happens on literally every cruise I have been on (ask me, sometime, about an electric rendition of "Mack the Knife" at the Chef's Table). Feed the soul ... not quite "When the beating of your heart, echoes the beating of the drum", but good enough to take to the barricades. ? Better days are coming ... Curt from Canada
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