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Everything posted by leesam82

  1. @smokeybandit thanks for the update. I just pulled this screen grab from the RCL website
  2. This is a great point as infection rate is calculated by the tested population. I would also add that many people and the media in general are getting too wrapped up in this number. What should really be concerning is the hospitalization and or ventilation rate. Basically the % of covid patients that require either hospitalization or ventilation. This rate is very important as it tells you how many covid positive patients actually require further medical intervention. I will shout this out from the mountain tops as long as I can. The vaccines were never meant to prevent mild to asymptomatic covid-19. They were all developed to prevent severe to life threatening infection which it has done very successfully. Out of all the covid cases on board all the ships regardless of cruise lines, I personally have not heard of any cases that required hospitalization or ventilation. Which means the vaccines are working as the vast majority of passengers are vaccinated. Even if there were cases of hospitalization or ventilation, I would think that those rates are lower compared to land as the vaccination rates are lower on land than on a cruise.
  3. I would like to add a search and filter function where I can search the app for one specific activity and have it listed there for the sailing.
  4. Although you are correct that the vaccine is available to 5-11 year olds, it is not readily avalible worldwide. https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/countries-vaccinating-children-against-covid-19-2021-06-29/ This maybe one reason why cruise lines are a little hesitant to mandate vaccines for 5-11 year olds. Many parents with kids in this age group from countries that do not have the vaccine would not be able to travel. @wordell1 brings up a very good point about testing. Also not all cases were spread by cruisers in this population. Many got sick on board because they tested negative prior to embarkation, but the testing occurred too early in the incubation period and they became sick while on board. This is another reason why I do not understand this mass hysteria about there being cases on board. There will always be cases of covid on board. It is highly improbable for there not to be a single case of covid onboard known or unknown. I also do not understand the infatuation of the media to call every case of covid in a vaccinated individual a "Breakthrough" case. The vaccines developed were never intended to prevent all covid infections. They were developed to prevent severe to life threatening illness. So a breakthrough case would be a vaccinated individual that needed hospitalization and or ventilation. Overall I have not heard of any cases on board any of the cruise lines that required the infected who was vaccinated to be ventilated and hospitalized. I do think that some time Q1 timeframe we will see RCL and other cruise lines mandate vaccinations for this group.
  5. As someone who works in the Medical Device Industry that manufactures In Vitro Diagnostics tests, I can tell you that this sector has been hit hard by supply chain issues. I am sure that Abbott which manufactures Binaxnow the quick test sold in many pharmacies is being hit with these supply chain issues. One major issue that is not being talked about in the news at all is the supply chain constraints on disposable sterile plastics. This has greatly impacted the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. These issues continue to have downstream affects such as backorders on finished products.
  6. For me personally, I think Royal has done a pretty decent job at trying to continue cruising during pandemic. Any venue that has a lot people congregating together you increase the risk of spreading. What I think some of the alarmist tend to forget is that the vaccine was never meant to prevent asymptomatic or mild covid. I fully expect royal to possibly slow down their increase in capacity. I also caution cruisers from looking too much at only the number of positive cases. We have to look at the types of cases as well as who is getting infected. If its the vaccinated on board but they are asymptomatic or mild, then there really isn't too much to worry about. However, if there is spread amongst the vaccinated and it leads to serious covid with hospitalization, then I would be more concerned. This isn't to say that Royal or cruises should not be concerned about Omnicron. I think we should all be cautious. I know for myself even if there is no mask mandate, I wear a mask when I cannot social distance and when I cannot control who I am interacting with. I know there are some who say lets not worry about omnicron because its less deadly than delta. However this is not a great way of looking at this variant. Is omnicron less deadly because the world is becoming more and more vaccinated against Covid? or is it because it is truely less deadly? Secondly I know some have voiced their opnion about not caring about omnicron because if i'm asymtomatic why should I care? Again one maybe asymptomatic and it doesn't adversely impact them, but that person can still adversely impact others such as children who are not vaccinated and on board. Overall I do not expect there to be cancelations baring an outbreak of severe cases of Omnicron or any other Covid variant. What I do expect are future protocol pivots/changes. My advise for cruisers would be to try and be as flexible as possible as RCL changes their policy and also understand that protocol changes maybe just as inevitable as port changes or time changes when going on board.
  7. I have canceled for a family member under the CWC program. They were issued a future cruise credit. However, in my relative's situation they canceled about more than 30 days before. So they only received their deposit as a future cruise credit. The other caveat was that they did not get their FCC till after the cruise was over. With that in mind please know that RCL will be slow on getting you the FCC.
  8. I would say even prior to 2019 there have been unforeseen changes such as itinerary changes or port cancelations. I am not a smoker but I am a gambler and I personally welcome this change.
  9. As a scientist who works in the field of In Vitro Diagnostics and a person who loves cruising, I am going to give out some facts and my personal opinion which I think is not an extreme view from either side of the issue. 1) Vaccines were not developed to prevent asymptomatic or mild Covid. The vaccines were developed to prevent sever to life threating covid. So the idea that mild cases or asymptomatic cases are "breakthrough" infections is incorrect. There will always be vaccinated guests on board who my be asymptomatic or come down with mild symptoms. Just because one is vaccinated does not mean you are 100% protected and will never get Covid. A perfect example is the flu vaccine. It is never 100% effective and there are vaccinated people that will still get the flu. I would also state that it is impossible for vaccines to be 100% effective. 2) Testing is a lagging indicator. Meaning just cause a guest gets tested 2-3 days prior to going on board does not mean that there should be no cases of covid on board. This is due to the fact that there is an incubation period which can last 5 days after. Another reason why its not surprising that guests who have left cruise ship can develop symptoms later. 3) Overall Royal Caribbean has done a pretty good job in their comeback to sailing. Yes there is room for improvement but overall for me I am happy about the way they have handled themselves in dealing with covid cases on board. For me personally the only time I will get concerned is if there are server cases on board. Even though RCL has taken steps to increase their medical supplies and equipment, they are not equipped to handle to many severe cases. I know some cruisers have opened up about their frustrations with regards to the Covid protocols, but personally for me I rather have the cruise lines be overly cautious than the other way around. 4) I have not read anything specific about omicron, but I am not at a point where I think its the end of the world, but I am also not at the point where I am going to belittle this variant and not worry at all about it. I say this because I know many people have stated that Omicron is more infectious but less deadly. This maybe the case, but you also have to factor in that the world is getting vaccinated. So is Omicron just less lethal due to vaccinations? or Is it truly because its less deadly? The plan for myself as I look forward to my next cruise is one not get to wrapped up into the sensationalization of cases on board, but I still plan being as cautious as possible.
  10. I agree with you. Although I wasn't on the odyssey, I was on the Anthem, and for some reason even though I was on Anthem at reduced capacity vs when I was on Allure at full capacity, I don't know why I felt like Anthem's esplanade felt congested. I don't know if its the angle at the pub that cuts into your sight lines.
  11. That is such a great idea. I may have to steal this idea as well. I think if there are no cruise documents i would just try to make up a mock one.
  12. This is all based on conjecture and is my own personal opinion. 1) Baring some sort of an all out travel ban or mandate I do not think that RCL will cancel cruises. 2) What I think what we will see are some protocol changes. Which we have already seen with the masking changes. I am also sure that internally they are monitoring the epidemiology of covid on board their ships (eg who is getting sick, how sick are they, where are they from, age, etc). I think that they may slow down the ramp up to increased capacity. My personal prediction, is that I fully expect there to be more cases on board RCL ships just like the Symphony OTS. I think that as long as cases are mild or asymptomatic, RCL will not try to change their protocols too drastically. However if they see a rise in severity or a huge influx of cases, I think they may take even stronger precautions. I expect that RCL will slow down their increase in capacity over this winter, and ramp up faster during the spring of 2022. I fully expect by summer of 2022 to be close to full capacity and definitely at fully capacity by the end of Summer 2022.
  13. Hello Cruisers! I have a question about C&A points. I know that the rate is different depending on your stateroom. I know that suite guests get more points per night. My question is what happens if your cruise gets extended? I was reviewing my points for my family and some of my family members have 10 points for a previous sailing that got extended, while others received the standard 7 points for the sailing. All of us were on the same sailing and had the same category of stateroom. Just wondering if anyone else ran into this issue before. Thanks
  14. Yes it looks like the default limit is 5 other staterooms. I will have to give royal a call to see if they can overide that limit. But worse case scenario I will try that work around.
  15. Hello Fellow Cruisers! I know that you are able to link cruises with family members and friends. I have alot of family going over nearly 10 reservations. I would like to link them all especially as the main planner for this trip. I have already linked 6 of the reservations. However I cannot link the last three reservations the site tells me I have reached my limit. Does anyone know if there is a way to get around this? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  16. When I was on the Allure OTS, my family and I did the 3 specialty dining package. We at at 150 Central Park, Chops Grille, & Izumi for hibachi. All the food was good. Some of the standouts was the hibachi at izumi, especially for my kids they had so much fun there and the hibachi chef did a great job keep everyone engaged. The service at 150 central park was impeccable. We had a late reservation and both of my kids were sleepy and hold on to my wife or me. The staff made a little makeshift crib with chairs so that my wife and I could eat. I think for me chops was the least impressive out of all the specialty dining. Not because it was not good. The service and food was great, but it also wasn't unique to me. For me it felt like I was going to one of those nice chain steakhouses such as Flemings, Capital Grill, Ruths' Chris, etc. I think if you are pushed for time I would do 150 Central Park and Izumi. With the included options I spent a lot of time at Park Cafe (this was also do to the fact that my room was on the 8th floor close to central park entrance.) I really enjoyed their fresh squeezed oj there. I also really like the central park ambiance.
  17. From my experience (which i don't' have too much only have sailed with RCL since 2019). The only time I have ever received a price reduction was during a "WoW Sale". I think these sales are to sell out the unbooked cabins on sailings. I personally always look for those sales. I am going to keep my eyes peeled as I am booked on my third cruise with RCL next summer. Plus I would also be on the look out for any RCL cash back offers through credit cards. I know many in the community got lucky with amex offer earlier this year.
  18. I don't know the timing of these sales, but I always pay attention to royal Caribbean's WoW Sales. During the wow sale it was the only time I was able to get reduced pricing for my cruise. I don't know where I've heard this from. But I heard that RCL WoW sales are usually offered on sailings where they want to get rid of the unoccupied staterooms that are available and as a result they offer steep discounts on those sailings. Last time I was able to reprice my Anthem OTS sailing during the 24 hour WoW sale.
  19. Hello Everyone! I know earlier in the year the community shared the American Express offer. I was very lucky and able to take advantage of that offer. I saw an offer currently offered by the Royal Caribbean branded Bank of America Credit Card. It looks like there is a $100 dollar statement credit after a $1000 minimum spend in the first three months. You will also get a 10K point bonus which is equivalent to a $100 on board credit. The credit card is a zero fee card which is nice. You can find more information on the credit card https://www.royalcaribbean.com/plan-a-cruise/visa-signature-card. I know that a $1000 minimum spend is really easy especially with 4 guests paying the $250 pp deposit. I wanted to ask the community if there are any other credit card hacks or tips that you have tried that worked really well for you? I know for myself I've used credit card bonuses to book a hotel prior to embarkation day. I've also heard of others booking their flights using credit card points as well. Thanks!
  20. Thank you all for you input. An additional question. A fellow cruiser stated that insurance is regulated by state. Is it the state that I live in or the state the cruise leaves from? The other question that I have is if its the state that one resides in, then what happens to those who live outside of the United States. Would they have to get their country of origin's insurance? I ask this because for my upcoming trip I am considering purchasing insurance. My grandmother lives in South Korea but will be visiting family here in the states. Any insight would be helpful. THanks!
  21. Hello Cruisers! I wanted to get your thoughts and advice on insurance. I am planning on sailing in June and I have asked RCL many times to clarify what the extension for the CWC program means. I have talked to many agents and received many different answers. Some said my sailing would be covered as I am booking prior to the January 2022 deadline. Others stated that I would not be covered as there is the May 31 2022 deadline and that the sailing must occur prior to that date. Others have given me a hybrid answer and stated that I would get a future cruise credit to use prior to the May 31 2022 deadline if I canceled my june sailing prior to that date. Finally others have said something similar and stated that I would get a future cruise credit and I would need to use it for a sailing prior to December 2022. Due to the fact that I am getting so many different answers I decided to seriously consider the travel insurance offered by either RCL or a third party provider. I was wondering what the experience has been for the cruisers in our community. Does the community think its worth purchasing especially since I am going with the non refundable fare? Aslo with the Travel Protection program it looks like I can cancel for any reason and get a 90% future cruise credit. I wanted to ask if anyone in the community has utilized this feature. I also wanted to ask about allianz insurance which is what MEI recommends. Upon reading some of their brochure it looks you get cancelation coverage only for covered reasons while the RCL plan has a rider which allows for cancelation for any reason for a 90% future cruise credit. What are the thoughts on insurance of the community and what are the experiences that everyone has had as cruisers. Any advice that could be given would be greatly appreciated.
  22. I only did a single sailing in 2021, but the thing i loved about sailing in 2021 has to be the limited capacity. This was especially nice because on previous sailings sometimes the hot tubs would feel a little too crowded for comfort even pre-covid. Kinda felt like a bubbly human soup (not to ruin anyone's experience). I have not been to cococay when it was at full capacity, but I would expect that when i went at reduced capacity I didn't feel like the lines at thrill water park was too bad.
  23. Totally can understand your feelings. For me I coudn't totally be elated till i had my kids results that allowed us to get on board. That's when I finally was able to relax.
  24. I usually go business casual with a little more emphasis on the casual for dinners at the specialty dining. I will wear a nice pair of slacks and a matching polo shirt. or a matching button down shirt without a tie. Even for formal nights I don't reually go to a tie. It also depends on the group I am with. If the group really wants to dress up then I will put on a suit but for the most part mostly business casual. With our kids we put them in nice pair jeans and a polo shirt. They are 5 &7 and will run around as long as they aren't creating too much trouble i think its ok.
  25. Hello All I am going to be using a travel agent for the first time for an upcoming sailing. Because this is the first time for me I had some questions to ask those who are more experienced. 1) I know everyone on the message boards have espoused the advantages of using a TA. Overall I was under the impression that TAs can find better rates than if I were to just look online. Is that the case majority of the time? Are there any reasons not to utilize a TA? 2) Everyone talks about transferring a booking to a TA. Can some one explain to me what that means exactly? Secondly can you transfer a booking from casino royale? 3) If i transfer a casino royale booking to a TA would the TA be able to reprice for me through Casino royale? or would it go through the regular RCL bookings process. Thanks Again
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