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Everything posted by ChessE4

  1. We check a smallish bag with the porters when we plan on snorkeling - fins, masks, etc. No problem. Just make sure you tag it.
  2. We found emed test kits easy to use. I now recommend them. I also recommend masking on the ship when you go into an elevator. My wife got Covid on day 7 although we didn't know until we got home. We masked most of the time, but you never know about the person sitting next to you when you are eating or drinking. I tested negative when we got home, so it's hit and miss on the ship. But to get to the ship, emed is just fine.
  3. My best shows were production shows or special performances by Royal's singers. The Headliner Shows have been good, but rarely a "peak experience". The Oasis Class shows aren't my favorite, although I appreciate the performers. They are all a little too weird. Grease was OK.
  4. Today, the Voom package dropped in price about $4 per day. This is after a fake sale a couple of weeks ago when it didn't drop at all - the listed price had a surcharge that made the total only pennies apart from the original price. I did see excursion prices that were 10-15% less than what I paid a few months ago. So the bottom line is investigate the sale, you might save some $$. With multipole purchases the savings can add up, as was previously mentioned. Wishing you a great cruise!
  5. As another person posted, Mariner was pretty crowded on our 18 June trip. I was told about 3700 on board, one-half being Crown and Anchor members. We were two of less than 10 people who wore masks inside or on buses. Still, I didn't feel overly crowded except on elevators or in bars just before the Main Dining Room opened. I was always able to find a quiet space to sit, and deck 4 was fun to walk. At most shows, there were empty seats
  6. We used goport for parking last week. We left the ship (self-assist) at 7:30, got our goport shuttle at 8 AM. At the same time another bus was taking a group to the airport. I imagine they arrived by 9 AM. Now if you want your luggage handled by Royal, you'd be getting off the ship a little later. I found Goport well-organized (reservations in their computer by name so you don't need a "ticket"). I can't comment on riding to the airport.
  7. We just returned from the ABCs. All three excursions were drive-around-the island, the Bonaire excursion being a last-minute substitute for a snorkeling excursion the operator cancelled. I felt a little down because we missed the beaches, so pick at least one excursion that is fun. Bonaire's shopping was very limited, but Aruba and Curacao are walkable into town. We enjoyed Curacao the most, even got caught on the floating bridge when it opened. Had a nice lunch at a local restaurant. So I would say you should try the beach at Aruba, and divers like Bonaire. Bonaire was a short port call (on board at 1:30 PM) but Aruba and Curacao were long days. Thus, you can visit the town center in the AM and hit the beaches in the PM.
  8. So you don't spread the disease -- you then have the knowledge to quarantine. My wife got the bug from someone......
  9. My son had an airline problem on day of travel to Denmark -- his originating flight was changed twice. On the 2nd change, he realized he would miss connections. He got a revised 2nd flight from Air2Sea in about 10-20 minutes. I am sorry you had a bad experience, but my son had a good one. I will add this: after a recent American Airlines problem, be sure to have travel insurance for your flight, not just the cruise.
  10. Our AAA certificates are paper, and they are in our edocs. Please print them when you print your luggage tags. Restaurants get confused as they aren't all that common. I took them when I booked (on the ship), and I turned them in at my reservation time. Since they are prepaid, they may show up in Royal's computer, but don't depend on that. Example: When I ate at Johnnu Rockets for lunch, the manage initially denied my request because she said I used the coupon at Chops. However, that was a Dinner, and I was using a Lunch voucher. She admitted her error and I was admitted with my wife, but the paper made it really obvious we were correct.
  11. We wore masks on our recent ABC cruise (Mariner) all the time except 4-5 hours per day we were eating, drinking, or dancing. My wife got congested night 7 (thought it was alergies),and she tested positive on day 9 when we arrived home. She is getting a little worse -- has sleeping problems because of coughing. I am fine but will test tomorrow because of my exposure. We were very careful, but who knows who sat next to us in Johnny Rocket or Boleros? I really wish everyone would mask up in elevators. I don't think that is too much to ask for preventive health. I recommend everyone take masks on their next cruise. The cheap ones provided in your room may not mitigate the risk.
  12. My Allianz insurance (for a cruise) covers the cruise if there is a common carrier issue, whether cancellation or delay. Trip interruption generally applies to medical issues whereas re-booking transportation is typically "travel delay". However, my policy doesn't cover the fare of the common carrier. (If I want the airline covered, I call my agent and pay the increased premium.) If you use Air2Sea, they will act as an agent to get you to your cruise, but you may be responsible for additional airfare charges (e.g., a revised itinerary). Various members have mixed stories about Air2Sea - sometimes helpful, sometimes not. On 2 of 3 cruises departing overseas, we arrived the same day as our cruise, on time despite various delays along the way. I prefer arriving a day early, but that won't help much if the airline loses your suitcase.
  13. Ditto. On the Mariner last week, l picked up my card at Cafe Promenade. The associate checked a list, had me sign for the card, and then wrote ship on the back. Now when I lost the card the next day, they issued me a new one for free (less the 4 punches I stated I used). I thought that was great customer service! However, they don't know how to make a dry cappucino. So I started ordering an iced latte instead. They definitely punched by the number of espresso shots. Also, if all you want is a double espresso in the morning, it's only $3.25 a la carte. Skip the card unless you want more expensive drinks.
  14. Just disembarked. I know one night the Casino didn't open until 11:30 PM, and after Bonaire it was 3 PM (all aboard at 1:30 PM). So my experience was Casino closed during port visit.
  15. Just got off yesterday; we did facial recognition and were done. Didn't look at our passport, didn't give us a form to fill out.
  16. Just got off ABC cruise. Recommend ice show, production shows, and headliners. One special show (Singer Showcase) was two lead Royal singers (Flavio Tallini and Maria Donna). This was the BEST show even though the crowd was sparse. I felt I was in the presence of true greatness. If they are on your schedule, do see them sing.
  17. We have used Allianz. On a side note, we had insurance on an airline ticket that American delayed, causing missed connections. They refused compensation even though we had to spent a night in a hotel, and their delay was caused by switching planes (they gave our plane to another route). The trip insurance we had for the flight covered $150 of the $209 in expenses we incurred for travel delay. So my point is that you should look at the amount of coverage when you insure your air transportation that accompanies a cruise.
  18. How do you want to appear to others? I watch Rick Steve's videos, and he wears long pants rather than shorts along with a collared shirt. This is for walking around, getting into churches, and dining in family restaurants. Seems like a good guide except for bumming around the ship with other tourists. I always pack a coat to Europe but wear it with slacks while traveling. Then I change to shorts and T-shirt from my carryon. I find my sport coat gets more wrinkled in the suitcase.
  19. Two things. It sounds like you haven't booked a cruise yet. Therefore, you'd be looking at older web pages associated with port excursions, right? Second, some ships haven't completed migrating to the new cruise planner. For one booked cruise, we have found a glitch in the excursions because the excursion tab has different ports than the official itinerary. If I were you, I wouldn't choose the itinerary because of the excursions. Normally, Royal and 3rd party providers have the same type of excursions. For example, tours of the city, rides to the beach, snorkeling/boating, (in the Caribbean, dolphin/turtle/stingray), adventurous stuff like 4x4, kayaking, biking, ziplining; etc. In Europe there are often tours that drop you off and let you wander around, not to mention hop-on/hop off buses or visits to popular historic sites. Finally, there are now a lot of foodie/booze tasting excursions. I might look at the time in port on your candidate excursions. Longer port visits allow more a broader range of excursions. But it boils down to where you want to visit and what you want to do. Some people are more interested in the ship and its diversions than the actual excursions.
  20. I share some of your concerns -- not sure if cases are rising (we lack true random sampling), but certainly the virus remains ever-present. I am in favor of cruise line testing at the port for a modest fee built into the fare, but I don't think this is practical because of the thousands of travelers who would need testing in a short period of time. Also, would you really want to travel to a cruise port only to be turned away because of a positive test, or would you rather test yourself the day before you travel? Again, COVID is real, and we need to remain vigilant, but other diseases abound, too. We need a strategic approach to public health in the US that addresses many concerns. I appreciate you sharing your view and allowing me to give you at least partial support.
  21. You might want to look at Rick Steves' PBS videos or paperback guides as he is a bit of a rambler. Also, because of pickpockets be sure to keep the valuables you take with you very safe. As you walk, try not to look completely like a tourist. We found Pisa underwhelming, so we will go to Florence on our next opportunity. However, I did enjoy seeing the Leaning Tower having read about it in my youth. Have a great trip!
  22. We found the hotel packages very expensive this summer, like about $350-$400 for one night in the hotel and 8 nights of cruise parking. We opted to stay at a Hilton farther away and use third-party parking. I'd say you need to shop around.
  23. If you are in Florida a full week, could you order a proctored test from the hotel at arrival and use it? You'd be in the US, and delivery is normally just a few days. Just a thought.
  24. In addition to what has been said, I think the length of the cruise is a factor. My first cruise was 5 nights, and that was too short. I prefer 7+ nights so I have time to learn about the ship and what it has to offer. I actually prefer the shows on the small-medium sized ships; I find Oasis-class shows "not my cup of tea". My preference would be Vision, Radiance, or Voyager class ships, the latter with a decent promenade. But whatever you choose, enjoy your cruise! We have found joy on every Royal ship we've sailed.
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