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Everything posted by WesKinetic

  1. "Regular" coffee means basically just that--plain ol' coffee that you can add some cream and sugar to. You don't need a drink package of any kind to get that for free. "Premium" coffee is exactly what you mentioned--lattes, cappuccinos, espressos, iced coffee, etc. Usually served at a specialty coffee bar somewhere. The one caveat on the refreshment package is that it cannot be used at the standalone Starbucks kiosks on Oasis-class ships.
  2. Pfizer has been in production for some time anticipating this move and say they're ready to ship as soon as they get the green light. That said, I don't know exactly how the distribution chain will work so it could be a situation where it's not available at every vaccine provider at the same time. EDIT: Just found the info--they reportedly have about 20 million doses ready to go. They'll be shipped out to states on a pro rata basis based on how many eligible children each state has.
  3. I just wish I'd get an email like that. I've had two cruises (Dec. 2021 and March 2022) have itineraries change, and yet neither my travel agent nor I have ever received any notification of this. Has anyone else had this problem? I've gotten confirmations and other such communications about these cruises, so I know they have the correct email. I didn't have strong feelings about these particular itineraries, so it's not a huge deal. It's just weird and a little concerning that we haven't been notified.
  4. Just thinking about the timeline, I really don't see a way they could require pediatric vaccines before the first of the year, at the earliest. FDA panel is examining data today. If they recommend approval of the vaccine, it goes to the CDC for consideration next week. For sake of argument, let's say they approve it and the CDC commissioner signs off and vaccines are available by the end of next week. The Pfizer vaccine is two doses, supposed to be 21 days apart. And then you have to be 14 days after the second shot to be considered "fully vaccinated." So you're really looking at five weeks minimum from the date of first dose to being considered vaccinated for RC's purposes. You have to build in some time to allow kids to get vaccinated, so my guess it would be at least a month longer than that before any kind of requirement would be on the table.
  5. I'm on Serenade on 12/10 and just noticed that same thing. This is my second cruise that has changed itineraries in the last two months, but neither my travel agent nor I have gotten an email about either one being changed.
  6. I was curious about this myself. Just booked Symphony in July 2022 and it's not showing up. Hard to imagine it sold out this early, but who knows. Hadn't really planned on getting it for that cruise; just found it interesting.
  7. Got two in at the last minute. Dec. 2021 on Serenade and July 2022 on Symphony.
  8. Nope, black and white copies work just fine. Enjoy!
  9. As a former political science geek, I'm kind of hoping this becomes a great con law precedent. Given that (a) cruising is, by definition, international commerce and (b) the Constitution specifically gives Congress the authority to regulate such, is there wiggle room in that for a state to put in regulations of their own? My hunch is there will be a more narrow ruling, but I'd love to geek out reading a ruling that, one way or the other, sets a precedent on state oversight of cruising. ?
  10. I know at one point, Norwegian was pretty adamant that they wanted to require vaccines. Will be curious to see if/how they choose to move forward.
  11. @SpeedNoodles That's a good point. I'd forgotten about that.
  12. True, it's nothing to shake a stick at. I just meant that, if you see a cruise you want to take at a reasonable price but your next scheduled cruise is a few months away, you're rolling the dice on if/how much the price would increase between now and when you could book it on your cruise. But you raise a good question--let's say you have a cruise booked for 2021 and you want to schedule one for 2022. You go ahead and get online today to book that 2022 cruise. But when you go on your 2021 cruise, you find the price hasn't increased. Is there any reason you couldn't cancel and rebook through NextCruise to get the same rate plus the OBC offer?
  13. NextCruise is great if you're already on board and know what you want for your next cruise. There's certainly no downside to it. The only thing I would say is that, generally speaking, the amount of OBC you'll get is nice but not huge. So, if you already know what you want for a future trip, you're likely still better off booking early on your own than waiting until a future sailing to book through NextCruise.
  14. I realize the corkscrew was just an example but, to answer your question, at least in my experience, they have some overnight people with guest services who handle stuff like that. On a cruise a few years ago, one of my daughters was "overserved" at the Windjammer dessert bar. In the middle of the night, she got sick in bed and we called down to guest services for some clean sheets. There was someone other than our regular steward who came up and helped us remake the bed with new linens.
  15. Thanks so much for your ongoing analysis, @JeffB. I get to play armchair attorney in my day job, but the intricacies of all of this are above my pay grade. So I appreciate your study of what, whichever way the ruling comes down, is a very complicated case with a hodgepodge of overlapping jurisdictions.
  16. And there's what I was going to be curious to see. My biggest fear all along was a protracted court fight if the cruise lines and Florida both dug their heels over a vaccine requirement. But it looks like this is going to be the workaround--vaccines aren't technically required but, if you don't provide proof of vaccination, be prepared for some additional hoops to jump through. So while this sucks for people who had cruises cancelled, it's nice to have at least a little bit of somewhat more concrete information going forward.
  17. CDC seemed to argue that it would in its court brief but, while I do work in the legal field, that gets a little outside my area of expertise as to how strong of an argument that is. My hunch is that Congress would find a way to fast-track legislation that accomplishes the same goal as ATRA, but without referencing the CSO. But Congress' definition of "fast" and mine might be two different things. ?
  18. So just thinking ahead to best/worst case scenarios (and I mean that purely in a "fastest vs. slowest" sense, not a value judgment of what I personally want to see happen), here's what I've come up with, but I'm sure I'm missing something. Fastest: 1. Court sides with FL, rules the CSO invalid. 2. Either cruise lines opt not to require vaccines or some kind of compromise is reached on Florida's vaccine requirement. 3. At that point, cruising (at least out of Florida) could theoretically start as soon as the cruise lines are ready to go. Slowest: 1. Court sides with CDC, CSO remains in place. 2. CDC slowly approves test cruises. 3. Cruise lines say they still plan to require vaccines for those eligible. 4. Florida digs its heels in and files suit to prohibit vaccine requirement. 5. Cruises are put on hold until a court ruling on Florida's case. 6. Whichever way the court rules, things remain on hold pending appeal. 7. Supreme Court ultimately rules in Florida's favor. 8. Cruise lines have to come up with new on-board protocols before they are finally ready to resume cruising. Love him or hate him, DeSantis deserves credit for finally getting CDC off of high center. But his rhetoric on the vaccine law has kind of painted Florida into a corner. It was Florida's suit that finally moved CDC to (slowly) start taking action, and they're to be commended for that. But, ironically, they could win their suit against the CDC but then have a court fight over their vaccine law grind the process to a halt. I hope it doesn't come to that and that cooler heads will prevail. But I'm not optimistic about that anytime politics gets involved.
  19. Agreed. I think it's one of those legal tactics where you throw every argument you have at the wall and see what sticks. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't. Will be interesting to see FL's official response.
  20. I'd started a lengthy legal reply, but @Matt's article sums it up really well. Basically, The Alaska Tourism Restoration Act requires the Alaskan cruise ships to have a valid Conditional Sailing Certificate from CDC before being allowed to sail. So the CDC argues, by requiring such a certificate, Congress has provided recognition and tacit approval of the larger CSO. By default, that would also make it the holding law for other cruises. Florida disagrees with that interpretation. While I have my own opinion on required vaccines and such, I'm just ready for AN answer, one way or the other, so cruise lines know what they have to work with. Required vaccines? Sure. Masks in public areas? Eh, not my favorite, but I'll suck it up. Mandatory hokey pokey before entering Windjammer? Put my right foot in and shake it all about, baby. I'm just ready to get on a ship again.
  21. Give a big hug and a big tip to the first bartender I see, and then head to the helipad with a drink in hand.
  22. It's complicated, but the short version is that each ship is basically treated like its own entity for regulatory purposes. Even pre-COVID, every ship has its own safety and health inspections it must pass. For right or wrong, the CDC is treating this process the same way. What I'm going to be curious about is what comes next? If this two-nighter is successful, does the CDC then say, "OK, you're good to go"? Or (and I think this is the more likely scenario) do they use the two-nighter to make sure RCL has the proper procedures in place and then say, "OK, now let's do a couple of five or seven night tests" before they allow actual sailing to begin.
  23. Agreed. Just like how you're more likely to catch norovirus or other such disease on land, but that's not how the media covers it on the rare occasions there is an outbreak of some kind on a ship. If/when someone catches COVID on a cruise, it's invariably going to be spun as some kind of super-spreader event. It's not accurate. It's not fair. But it's the reality of the modern media and something the cruise lines know all too well they have to factor into whatever protocols they end up putting in place.
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