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About ChessE4

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    North Carolina
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    Playing chess during sea days

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  1. We are still hoping for a South Pacific cruise with a fall back of the Mediterranean.
  2. I'd give another vote for Stingray City, which is where we'll be headed on our next cruise. We enjoyed the Turtle Farm when our son was younger, and it is possible to snorkel around their pond.
  3. I think Ravenna would enable a visit to San Marino!
  4. Other folks have posted, and I agree, that this is a good reason to have a travel agent. Maybe it's not to late to transfer your booking and get some help from a TA?! Have a great cruise...
  5. I could see more tournaments that require registration and offer the ability to control the number of people at each table. Maybe less drop in play. I would agree to a mask or might choose to wear a mask, but I generally go to the casino when it is less crowded. I am not a big gambler but could see the value of regular players wanting good playing conditions, hence more reservation-style play. Just a thought...
  6. For dinner we enjoy the lobster and lamb dishes in the MDR, along with duck and pork medallions (haven't had those in awhile). Most desserts in the MDR or specialty restaurants are outstanding, but my favorite was the chocolate sensation. I also miss the escargot! For "snacks" I will confess to loving the pastries at Café Promenade (or its equivalent in other ships) when I have my morning cappuccino.
  7. Our only insurance claims have been for lost or delayed luggage. If Royal loses your suitcase (as happened to us), and you don't have their trip insurance, they cap the loss at $300. At least they did in 2015. Now as mentioned, some credit cards offer limited protection, such as luggage loss. So in addition to the medical evaluation concerns addressed in other responses, think of what coverage you need for luggage loss or delay.
  8. I try to have paella in the Windjammer for lunch on embarkation day. For dinner I choose a fish entrée of some sort. I loved Chocolate Sensation for dessert, but lately that hasn't been available. That said, anything chocolate is good for me! I am not sure what your delivery options are, but I hope you can enjoy your special celebration. When we sailed from Southampton, we toured the Canaries, so perhaps you can find some nice videos online...I recall a travel show that described Funchal and the hand-pushed carts down the hill (we actually did that). Take care...
  9. I don't think there is anything wrong with having your agent ask the question. But I don't know that Royal would allow re-booking after you have exercised your option to cancel. Again, asking a question is certainly legitimate, in my opinion.
  10. We have had the same experience as mworkman. If I want to use the OBC for Cruise Planner, I call to have it applied. Otherwise, I don't see it until I am onboard the ship.
  11. That is a good ops research question that Royal and other cruise lines are probably addressing. I do believe an "expert" blog member reported some cost/revenue data on another thread. The ships vary in staffing requirements, fuel requirements, and operating costs. There are certain sunk costs in maintaining the fleet -- costs Royal will incur without cruises. So the issue is whether the marginal increase in revenue (from a partially full ship) will exceed the marginal cost increases in conducting a particular cruise. (Royal probably won't cruise if losses increase except to make a public relations statement.) Again, a great question....
  12. Unfortunately, that network has a lot of misinformation. You might check another news outlet and see if they have confirmed. Other networks insist on two sources before they run a story. But the main point is that travel will likely be limited for awhile--whether to resorts or other destinations. I hope you can cruise in October or whenever you reschedule.
  13. Your words of caution certainly make sense about buying stock in cruise lines (at this time), and many Wall Street analysts point to other ways of investing $$. But I don't think your concerns are limited to the cruise industry, as all travel-related industries face similar issues. They all play "financial chess games", and any vacation $$ you plunk down with any company could be lost after bankruptcy or related financial distress. So I think it is wise for all of us to be cautious with our finances and our health.. But most members are cautious and simply prefer to take their risks on a cruise rather than on some other travel activity.
  14. Recalling what happened in the 60's and 70's, I expect a major public health initiative a year from now. I also expect proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be useful in air or cruise travel, certainly to obtain visas when required.
  15. I think current practices will be modified and fluid, with cruise carriers looking for a best balance between safety and efficiency. One factor will be the passenger load for the first cruises that are permitted and the availability of documentation (e.g., vaccine records). I would expect many procedural changes over the next 18 months before practices stabilize.
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