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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. I think Royal is motivated to cruise wherever it is legally permissable, so that would be the driver, I think. They need revenue!
  2. On the topic of inconsistent rules enforcement, we have found it frustrating when noisy kids are in the Solarium (e.g, not supervised properly by parents). But I'd say I am not bent out of shape about this as most ships still have a quiet space somewhere.
  3. I was referring to the article this week about Florida being one of five states with the highest rate of new infections. I don't think that supports efforts to begin cruising. I love Florida, I have a brother in Florida, I am booked to cruise from Florida. But the data could be better...and we need to do a better job in my state, too. Despite what you have stated, Florida and several other states have made several missteps that have delayed the restart of cruising. I am glad vaccinations are going up everywhere, as that is making us all safer.
  4. We did a combination excursion at Jamaica--Dunns River Falls and a dolphin experience. It was worth it. The photos are expensive, as mentioned. We bought just one of our son being kissed by a dolphin, but it provides a lasting memory. Also, as mentioned, you need to decide how much interaction with dolphins you want.
  5. Until Florida gets a handle on controlling the virus (e.g, new cases and hospitalizations), I doubt Florida ports will stand a chance of reopening. We need folks to be less self-centered and follow protocols so everyone is safe. Many Floridians are doing the right thing, but the visiting spring breakers and some others haven't really helped the port re-opening. I'd urge politicians to pledge to follow recommended COVID protocols. Then the petitions and lawsuits will appear to be on-target. Without evidence we are really following safe practices, we can't expect the CDC to have confidence
  6. I believe the first US cruise will be delayed until Thanksgiving, 2021. There is just too much red tape to wade through, but cruise lines need to be able to capture the market for fall/winter holidays.
  7. We are booked for two; Rhapsody in Feb 22 and Mariner in June 22. We are still searching for the right South Pacific cruise.
  8. For those who don't have a medical reason NOT to get the vaccine, my wife and I believe getting the vaccine is important for the safety of others. It isn't just one's own health at stake, it is reducing the likelihood that one will be a "carrier", it is increasing herd immunity, reducing the chance of dangerous variants, etc. Now I admit I am selfish about my own life -- I want to have a happy and enriching life -- but I find that part of the enrichment I receive from cruising is what I gain from others. I wouldn't want to put others' health at risk unnecessarily. We have been fully vaccin
  9. Notwithstanding all of the spot-on comments, at this stage even the ugliest cruise ship is better than no cruise ship at all! I like any cruise ship that is near enough to be available. Good luck to all you are able to travel!
  10. I have seen posts about renting chairs and umbrellas at St. Maarten. No personal experience, though.
  11. We have a June 22 cruise, and Cruise Planner isn't yet open except for a scuba diving certification class. Everything else is under construction. (Mariner) I concur with those who said it might be too early.(SpeedNoodles)
  12. My physician printed off exercises I could do in bed to re-train my inner ear (turning side-to-side in a particular sequence). Only happened to me once in about 15 cruises. So it is a well-documented phenomenon.
  13. We enjoyed going to a nearby shopping area, I believe it is Cocoa Village or something like that -- took a bus from Ron Jon's, I think. There are lots of gift shops, restaurants, art galleries, etc. We have also just taken a bus to Cocoa Beach to enjoy the sand and water.
  14. As has been said, we found the Escape Room underwhelming. We also found the Specialty Dining over-rated; if it's free, we do it (coupon). Otherwise, we actually prefer the MDR as we get to know other cruisers. Finally, I'll never order a birthday cake or strawberries -- in our experience, the food doesn't arrive on the date scheduled, which ruins the "surprise".
  15. On a related matter, we discovered to our chagrin that the $100 transfer to the port would have been included in the price of a pre-cruise excursion. It would have involved arriving a day early and staying in a local hotel, but adjusting for the transfer price, it would have been worth it (the excursion ended at the port). When we traveled in 2015 we had no trouble locating the Royal rep at baggage claim, and we were then directed to the appropriate location to wait for the bus. We actually had enough time to get a quick bite and go the ATM for local currency.
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