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Everything posted by CrznTxn

  1. No check-in for Liberty for us either. We are on the October 31 sailing and knowing that the Cayman Islands are going to be closed to cruise ships until late January 2022 we have been waiting for an itinerary update. No word and the port schedules still show the original ports.
  2. Couple the additional vaccination/testing restrictions, school starting and a short cruise I expect the numbers to be low at the moment. We have an upcoming cruise later this month and I expect that it will also have a smaller number aboard. Not a problem for us but it is certainly more interesting to people watch when there is a larger number of people aboard as your chances of seeing that "odd" character goes up.
  3. Everyone must arrive at their scheduled time. Only Pinnacle members have a slight leeway in their boarding time (I believe an hour each side of their time). All others must adhere to their schedule.
  4. Spend more time in the Solarium loungers by the pool. Was able to get in the Solarium hot tub this last trip which in the past was overcrowded but was running around too much to enjoy the pool loungers. Great place to sit back and enjoy a good old fashion book.
  5. We use these for our badge holder at work. They are heavy duty and take the snap attachment on the lanyard or the regular snap hook. Easy to slide the card in and out with the thumb slot in the back. Used to (at least in Galveston) the vendors who sold lanyards before we boarded had slot hole punches so you did not need a holder.
  6. If you have two rooms with two in one and one in the other someone is going to have to pay for a second person or solo rate in the single person room. Might talk to Royal about consolidating into one room if you have only three cruisers. With them trying to move everyone to a balcony or higher on the ships you may get a good deal.
  7. Yes, we walked each port on our own and browsed through the shops that were open with several closed. In Cozumel we actually walked out of the port with no issues and went on our tour that way.
  8. Hope to get to the port early for our Galveston Cruise in October and swing by for a quick peek. Cannot wait to sail out of the new terminal.
  9. Once on the ship the app was easy to use to make reservations for the shows and most restaurants. They did have little tables for each of the restaurants in front of Izumi's on the promenade for our Adventure sailing a couple of weeks ago with folks there to sign you up, super easy. The app lists all the activities during the day but I still set the alarm on my phone to signal for an event I wanted to attend. Wish they had that feature but not required.
  10. Agree on having the book passport. Have made unexpected stops in the middle of a cruise in a foreign port to drop off very ill passengers and injured crew. Hard to get back to the states without a passport. Also passport cards will not work for an airline flight from a foreign country.
  11. You do not have to wear the mask while on the beach, in the water or while eating (was in Cozumel in early August) but need to wear it when going place to place. It is the rules and does no good to debate anyone on it. You either accept it or don't go and I am from a state where masks are not required.
  12. We are going the end of September on Ovation OTS and looking at Matt's latest posting I cannot wait to see (hopefully) the Northern Lights as he said September is the best time during the Alaska cruise season for this. Have been all over the world but this is one of the things that I have not experienced. Swapped my snorkel gear for my big camera. Hoping we will pass the Covid testing again and enjoy the scenery and wildlife along the way. Hopefully that will be outside the ship and not inside.?
  13. We have had our pre-cruise COVID testing done at one of the local CVS locations. We had to find ones that administer the rapid testing as not all of them around us do. The past several days they have been cancelling appointments for the rapid test due to the large number of testing done and shortage of supplies. We ordered the Abbott home test kit through eMed that Royal and the airlines accept for our next cruise in September. Matt did a great review on it on the Blog and we also read up on it. It comes in a six-pack which for us is ok as we have several cruises coming up in the upcoming months. Cost was approximately $175 with tax and shipping for all six kits. Our insurance covers the CVS test but we did not want to bump anyone locally who might really need the test for health reasons.
  14. We were in Cozumel a couple of weeks ago. If you are vaccinated you can get off the ship and go on any excursion you wish. If you are not vaccinated then you need to take a Royal Excursion. The wife and I were the only ones traveling and we booked our own excursion to the beach. There were families there with unvaccinated children but they are in their own designated area as were we. Only overlap was when we were in the water, restrooms and water slide (for me). As far as I know they did not restrict anyone from going to the downtown area. Cannot say for sure as we did not go there.
  15. Must be why they were so stingy with the bacon in Windjammer on our Adventure cruise. They were only giving out one at a time from a small stack and seemed hesitant to add more when requested.?
  16. Our last sailing in August had kids everywhere. Adventure Ocean is open although you must schedule for it and it is size restricted. Kids can get off the ship for shore excursions but they must be through the ship. Everyone I saw was having a good time and enjoyed their cruise. We are also on the Thanksgiving cruise on Navigator.
  17. We sailed out of Nassau on 8/7 and we also minimum bid for a Jr Suite for grins. Two days before we left we received the email that we won the bid. Larger room and a lot more storage space although we packed very lightly for the flight and did not use half the space. Was a great preview for our October cruise where we actually have a Jr Suite booked. Now I'll have to contend with trying to upgrade on all our future cruises.
  18. Departure time on all past voyages on Liberty OTS has been at 4:00pm. But as stated above, with the current new protocols, it may be delayed as the crew needs additional time to clean the ship after passenger disembarkation so boarding may not start until 12:00 pushing the departure time out.
  19. Royal sent this gem out through a Club Royale benefit yesterday. A couple of weeks ago they had cancelled our September Liberty OTS cruise the end of September and the wife and I jumped on this as a perfect replacement. AA also has a sale going on from DFW to Seattle right now and the fares are the lowest I have seen in a while. First time to Alaska and cannot wait.
  20. We had a summer cruise on a competitor's ship and late one evening after the wife and I strolled through the ship we made our way back to the room. Needing some fresh air I stepped out on our balcony and looked down. Just below us was one of the many hot tubs and the sights I saw were forever burned into my mind as I noticed all the clothing off to the side and the extra large folks in their birthday suits. ?
  21. According to the cruise staff, the passenger load for this week's cruise is 890 guests. This is super light and they said there were approximately 180 kids on-board, so only about 600 adults. That is super light. Another great thing about this past week's cruise, NO CHAIR HOGS!!
  22. We try to book 9 ~ 12 months out so we can watch the pricing and cruise planner sales. The CWC deadline is approaching later this month and we are trying to decide on a replacement date next year for our September Liberty OTS cruise that was cancelled. Lately we have received our refunds sooner than later and are just waiting for the refunds to hit on the September cruise so we can move the OBC to our January cruise. That will be the third move for that money.
  23. Was also on this cruise and liked the less folks on-board and the multitude of open beach chairs on CoCo Cay. Was easy to find the perfect spot on the beach and spent large amounts of time snorkeling and taking pictures until my camera memory ran out (inadvertently removed the memory card and the in-camera memory is small) ?. Going to the shows was great and the reservations through the app worked great. The elevator behavior was different, had one gentleman see I was the only one in the elevator and refuse to get in and others pack it out. There definitely was no social distancing in the shops and in some of the other areas and other than the masks, seemed like old day cruising. They did send one family home down the hall from us after the COVID testing but there was no hoopla made of it and it was done quietly and discretely. Did see where others received a second test due to close contact but came back negative. Overall a fantastic experience and the staff was exceptional. Can't wait for the next one in October.
  24. Don't think an amplification is going to happen. Royal announced the test cruise for Liberty to occur on September 18th. Not enough time from now to then for a proper entire ship update. They may be doing some updates but do not expect a big change.
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