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Curt From Canada

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  1. 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
  2. One of the greatest philosophers of the 20th Century (Doc. Brown) got it right: ? Stay Safe, Stay Apart, Stay Connected, Curt from Canada
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. I was looking for Del Rio quotes specifically. Not because I think it will make a difference, but because of the "theatre" (not something I can go to these days). ? Here are a few of my favourites from the article: “This impasse has got to stop,” Del Rio said. “The cruise industry must participate in the great national reopening. Every other hospitality travel and tourism sector has been allowed to operate and we have not.” “We were disappointed,” Del Rio said. “We thought it was a step backward, quite frankly.” Del Rio called the combination of safety protocols and the vaccine requirement “just an unbeatable airtight set of circumstances that will make cruising a very safe vacation alternative.” “I’d like to hear an argument why we couldn’t sail,” Del Rio said in an interview. “If everyone on board is vaccinated and following the protocols, there is absolutely no need for the conditional sail order to exist as it is known today.” This is what a "Cruise CEO Super Hero" sounds like. ? Curt from Canada
  9. Article in the Washington Post April 5, 2021 (I do not think it is April 1st anymore). Del Rio issues the Cruise Ship equivalent of a "Shot Across the Bow". Can't get the article link on here due to a paywall ... not sure how I was able to read it. Calling all techies! ? Curt from Canada
  10. @Matt Doing his best "Devil on my Shoulder" impersonation. Curt from Canada
  11. My favourite tracking graph is below. A few observations/questions (all cruising related): 1) Why is Australia not cruising? Their control is world class (even without wide spread vaccine rollout ... using Israel as the gold standard). 2) Given the phenomenal results out of Israel, it is not a random selection to home port Odyssey there. Israel is still the "canary in the cave" and their results mean Cruising may return sooner than even the most pessimistic among us. 3) UK & US vaccination rates are very encouraging. Vaccination rates approaching Israel will result in a similar "off the cliff" drop in infection rates. I can smell the sea air now. ? Stay Safe, Stay Apart, Stay Connected, Curt from Canada
  12. Sometimes I think I am on Candid Camera (young people ... look this up). Two images from the identical cruise. Same price ... but missing "Pre-Paid Gratuities" option. Now I am certain it is IT gremlins or someone pressing the wrong button: Always Included "Discount" shows on both. However, "Always Included" is not indicated on first. Not a big deal ... I am sure my TA would fix. Below is the "new" options screen. Darn, I can not longer pay "pre-paid Gratuities" that I "paid' in my AI rate: As before I get NRD and Pre-Paid Gratuities. But pre-paying for something that is included in my AI price is really odd. Curt from Canada
  13. Thanks to you and @twangster for trying to solve my "Cruising Mystery". To be more direct with my questions: 1). Celebrity ALWAYS INCLUDED [AI] has Drinks, WIFI and Gratuities included. There is no option to book a Celebrity Cruise (unless the cruise is very, very close in) without Gratuities being included in the booking rate. Why, then, does the website have the option to "pre-pay Gratuities"? Why would anyone do that? 2). I understand that all AI bookings are NRD. It is nice that you have the option at the end to make them refundable. My process is to "ALWAYS" book Refundable and then convert to Non-Refundable at final payment day. Is this an option? Thanks for the input ... I think Celebrity is in transition and there are a key issues that I find confusing. Curt from Canada
  14. That makes a lot of sense. One twist is the for an AI rate they asked to Pre-Pay Gratuities (or "Maybe Later": It also skips the Two Upgrade Option Page. Website gremlins??? Curt from Canada
  15. I just looked up my May 2022 Silhouette Cruise (where we got a great "pre-AI" price). There were no options for AI "upgrades", AND a choice for pre-paying gratuities was required. I choose to not pre-pay gratuities and this was the summary I got: I will not go on a rant about how AI puts Celebrity out of reach for me (virtual non-drinker, "always" wanting to disconnect and someone who enjoys paying gratuities with on board credit ... OK that was a small rant). My question is ... "What is a credit of $368 for ALWAYS INC NRD?" This is definitely new. Curt from Canada
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