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Everything posted by JasonOasis

  1. Anyone who is booked on a cruise leaving this 4th of July weekend as an airline employee I implore you to please have a plan B if you are flying. If you can try to fly out a day earlier than you planned. If that is not possible then do same day standby which for most airlines is free for revenue passengers and try to get out on an early morning flight. It is better to sit in a hotel lobby in Florida, Galveston, New York or wherever your cruise is leaving from than sitting at the airport hoping and praying your flight doesn't get delay or canceled. If all else fails BE PREPARED TO DRIVE IF NECESSARY. If you can't leave a day earlier than planned, or can't move your flight to an early morning departure and your flight gets delays have a reasonable cut-off time in mind how long you are willing to sit at the airport and deal with rolling delays. Once you hit your personal cut-off time if your flight is still on a rolling delay do not hesitate get in your car or go rent a car and DRIVE. Some airlines are already issuing waivers to passengers booked between July 1 and July 4th. Normally airlines only issue waivers when there is a major snow storm, or a hurricane so the fact that some are already issuing nationwide waivers is a indication that there is going to be some major operations meltdowns this weekend do to staffing shortages. This holiday weekend DO NOT MISS YOUR CRUISE BECAUSE YOU DON"T HAVE A PLAN B. The FAA only allows pilots and flight attendants to work so many hours before they are "illegal" and are required by law too go into crew rest and the length of crew rest depends on the total number of hours they were on duty. So a pilot who was on duty for 12 hours or a flight attendant who was on duty for 14 or 16 hours is not going to be legal to fly for at least 10 to 12 hours.
  2. Reading the newly posted article on the home page of this blog it appears as though the testing requirement will remain in place for at least a few more months according to Royal Caribbean's CEO. Which could mean the testing requirement might still be in place this fall or perhaps even this winter. And as far as the vaccine requirement to cruise and when that might go away he had no concrete answer because according to him many countries/destinations still require a high degree of vaccination for all arriving cruise ships. I personally (even though vaccinated) was hoping the vaccine mandate would go away by the end of this year but after reading his comments that he gave on Ovation this week I'm starting to think the vaccine mandate will still be in place well into 2023.
  3. I know no one is buying cruise ships let alone an entire brand which is partly why Carnival is moving ships from struggling brands to brands that are doing better. But with $35.1 Billion dollars worth of debt that is costing you $120 Million dollars every month in interest payments alone how does Carnival Corporation get that debt down? Demand here in the US is strong but Carnival Cruise Lines can't do all the heavy lifting for the Carnival Corporation. What has gone wrong for Carnival Corporation this year in Europe but hasn't gone wrong for MSC? Was Carnival Corporation perhaps late in their response to move ships and shift itineraries in response to the war in Ukraine? I'm just trying to understand why Europe has all of a sudden become a challenge for Carnival Corporation while other cruise lines which are facing the same challenges in Europe are doing a better job navigating these challenges?
  4. Just don't tell me they've ran out of Vodka, Belvedere is my preferred brand but I'll take Tito's as well.
  5. During a conference call with investors Carnival Corporation refused to rule out selling one or more of their 9 brands to raise cash. Carnival did not dispute rumors that they could sell their Seabourn brand, Holland America brand or other brands as means to raise cash all the CEO said was the company would evaluate all options including the sail of brands. It was revealed that because of the Covid shut down Carnival Corporations debt has ballooned to $35.1 Billion dollars and the interest on that debt is costing Carnival $120 Million dollars every month. Carnival reveal that while they are doing extremely well here in the U.S., they are not doing so well in Europe. Although other cruise lines are doing well in Europe Carnival Corporation revealed they have experiencing more as they put it "challenges" in Europe in regards to demand. This is why Carnival is taking 3 cruise ships from Costa one in 2022 will go permanently to Australia a 2nd Costa ship will set sail from New York starting in 2023 and a third Costa ship will set sail from Long Beach in 2024. According to Carnival's CEO they are moving and will move ships from brands that are experiencing weaker demand to brands where demand is strong. https://thepointsguy.com/news/carnival-corporation-cruise-brand-sale-question/
  6. Carnival Cruise Lines just announce effective immediately they are ending their policy that required all unvaccinated guest to either either book a shore excursion through Carnival or remain onboard the ship in ports of call. While Adults traveling on Carnival were required to be vaccinated Carnival did allow unvaccinated children and teenagers to cruise as well but they couldn't get off the ship unless they were on a Carnival sponsored shore excursion. That policy ends NOW, but there are a few exceptions there are some islands in the Caribbean that still require all passengers who disembark be fully vaccinated. The ports of call that still require all passengers be fully vaccinated are San Juan, Bonaire, Grand Cayman, St. Kitts, Tortola, and Gran Turk. This is a small but major step back to normality. I still don't know when the overall vaccine requirement will be dropped but it appears that a majority of islands in the Caribbean have dropped vaccine requirements for passengers to disembark cruise ships.
  7. I think a lot of the complaints this past winter and early spring were outside of Royal Caribbeans control. My husband and I were on Symphony on a 7 night cruise this past October 2021 and Chops was amazing. The steaks, the sides the bacon the deserts were all amazing in fact we had unlimited dinning package and we ate at Chops twice during that cruise. However on our 12 night Anthem cruise this past January 2022 Chops was terrible and they didn't even have all of the items listed on the menu and the items they did have were not high quality that we expect from Chops, but I think most of it was due to supply chain issues and disruptions where Royal simply couldn't get the quality of product they normally would for Chops. Every other restaurant we ate at on Anthem during that cruise the food was amazing. We going on a free 3 night cruise July 1-4 on Freedom thanks to Casino Royal and we already are looking forward to going back to Chops, and we also have a B2B cruise on Harmony this coming December and we will be booking the ultimate dinning package on that cruise with Chops at the top of our list.
  8. Today Carnival Cruise lines announced that in addition to Costa Luminosa which will sail from Australia later this year Carnival will also take Costa Venezia and Costa Firenze in 2023 and 2024 respectively. Unlike Costa Luminosa which was built in 2009, and is over a decade old Costa Venezia was built in 2019 and Costa Firenze was built in 2021 when factoring in the global shut down of the cruise industry that makes these two ship practically brand new. In an article on the website The Points Guy Carnival is on the record saying they will NOT rebrand Venezia or Firenze instead Carnival will sell cruises on these ships as Costa by Carnival. They are calling it a brand-within-a brand and as such Carnival is saying as a result of not rebranding these ships passengers will be able to enjoy Italian ambiance, culture, and food but at the value they've come to expect from a Carnival cruise. According to The Points Guy Carnival hasn't released any itineraries for either of these new Carnival ships but did state Venezia would set sail from New York and Firenze would set sail from Long Beach once they are delivered to Carnival. While this may be seen as good news for Carnival customers it means Costa Cruise Lines which Carnival Corporation owns would be left with just 10 ships in its fleet. At a time where European juggernaut MSC Cruise lines is expanding like wild fire in Europe and other places around the world and adding new ships it does beg the question what is going on over at Costa Cruise Lines that they need Carnival to take now a total of 3 ships off their hands? https://thepointsguy.com/news/carnival-to-get-more-costa-ships/
  9. We always prepay gratuities but we also tip at the stateroom attendant at the beginning of the cruise. We generally will give them $75-$100 dollars cash, my husband and I have found in most cases it results in better service. And in many cases we will tip them an extra $20-$30 dollars at the end of the cruise if we feel like their service was truly exemplary. Even though we stay in suites we don't use the suite concierge often, there are some cruises where we never even walk in the suite lounge so we don't tip the suite concierge separate from the prepaid gratuities.
  10. Adventure of the Seas, she was the first cruise ship I ever sailed on and after my first 7 night cruise I was hooked. I've sailed on Adventure multiple times and it is always a great time. Of course there is Oasis Class but most people love Oasis Class however a ship that I believe is underrated or looked over is Anthem of the Seas. I've done the ferris wheel once on Oasis Class ships and I don't know but I felt like i was to old to be on a ferris wheel, but on Anthem with the bumper cars it is the best it's like I'm a kid again at Six Flags Great America and the whole idea behind the SeaPlex is great. Then there is the entertainment, every time we've been on Anthem, Royal knocks it out of the park with the artist they book to perform in the Music Hall. I don't know who is responsible for booking the artists for Music Hall but whoever they are they are great at their job. Then combine that with the shows We Will Rock You and Spectra's Cabaret, and you can rock out on Anthem from start to finish.
  11. Favorites: We will Rock You, Hair Spray, Spectra's Cabaret and all the Aqua Theater shows and I also think Royal has some great shows on all their ships that have ice rinks. Least Fav but sat through the entire performance once but never again: Cats, Moma Mia, Grease, and Flight. Was confused maybe drunk (don't judge me) but left during the second half of the performance: The Gift.
  12. I've seen Royal play live sports on TV's in the casino on the cluster of TV's near the bar on Allure, but who goes to the casino to watch TV? LOL!!! There have also been a few times where Royal has shown live NFL games on the screens in the Aqua Theater when it is not in use. However, if you really want to watch the Stanley Cup Finals on your cruise I would suggest you once again bring your iPad, purchase the internet package and watch it on your personal devise because there is no guarantee that they will have the finals on any of their TV's.
  13. I've done several Halloween cruises prior to covid the party always takes place on Halloween 10/31 although you will see decorations up starting the morning of Halloween. This past year 2021 we were on Symphony it departed on 10/30 for a 7 night cruise the party (was not really a party in the normal sense) took place on 10/31. So if your cruise ends the morning of 10/31 and you are looking for a Halloween party on 10/30 that isn't going to happen, the party takes place on Halloween.
  14. I think this really shows just how much COVID has change the cruise industry's outlook in China. Genting Cruise Lines had some very ambitious plans prior to COVID. If I remember correctly they were looking at expanding the company's Dream Cruise Line brand throughout all of Asia then eventually expanding into Europe and perhaps even offering cruises in the US under the Dream brand, and now they are scrapping a 200 gross ton new build. I hope these ship yards in Germany find a way through these difficult times.
  15. Does that mean your booking your next cruise on Carnival Luminosa
  16. She will be brand new to Carnival Cruise Lines but she has been sailing around Europe and the Mediterranean for 13 years, under Carnival's Costa Cruise line brand. Originally Carnival was going to take the Costa Magic (a larger ship) and repurpose it into a Carnival branded ship but changed their minds and will now take(the somewhat smaller) Luminosa instead. I guess this is Carnivals answer to Royal sending Quantum to Brisbane.
  17. A couple years ago (again) was before COVID it has only been a little over a year since cruising resumed in the US. Royal did say the ship would be amplified in 2020, they said the same thing about Allure of the Seas. Stop trying to make it appear as though Royal Caribbean engaged is some kind of deceptive practice when both these ships were scheduled to be Amplified in the Spring of 2020 and then the world shut down in the last week of March in 2020 and weeks later Royal announced later they were temporarily pausing the Amplification project to conserve cash. During early days (most of 2020) of the shut down Royal Caribbean was burning over $1.2 Billion dollars every quarter, with a cash burn rate that high you still expected them to amplify ships? Really???
  18. I've experience it as well sometimes the input button works and sometimes it doesn't because they've disabled it. To get around that what I did was purchase a universal remote (that I always cruise with) that works with Samsung TV's and that has alleviated that problem for me.
  19. Hit and run people, hit and run. If this persons post had any shred of truth in it that means they booked the cruise prior to COVID (no one could predict COVID and it impact) and there were several ways for this individual to either get their money back. Or if amplification was really the deal breaker they could have switched their cruise to any number of newer or amplified ships. Hit and run.
  20. That is something I wish could happen more often. I wish during the sail away they could take the ship up river to get a bit closer to the Statue of Liberty then turn around and head out under Verrazano on her way out to sea. I'll never forget cruise I took on Norwegian out of the Manhattan Terminal (the terminal is a dump in my opinion at least back then) but sailing past the Statue of Liberty during the sail away has always stuck in my mind and I still look at those pictures. I remember my first cruise on Royal out of Cape Liberty and as we sailed away I asked some people who had cruise with Royal out of Cape Liberty before if we would sail up to the the Statue of Liberty they were like no this is a close as the ship gets, zoom your camera in if you want a good shot of the Statue of Liberty LOL. Other than that bit of disappointment I have to say sailing out of Cape Liberty is fun and there is a lot to see.
  21. The Trade association CLIA that represents the interests Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian and other cruise lines is now asking the CDC to drop its recommendation that recommends all cruise passengers present a negative COVID test prior to boarding. Although CDC only recommends passengers be tested it appears as though (at least here in the US) cruise lines will not take the next step and remove the testing requirement on their own unless the CDC first ends their recommendation that the test be required. This probably has more to do with legal ramification no cruise line wants to be sued by someone claiming they got COVID onboard a cruise. The CDC's recommendation is a problem for cruise lines as long as it exists. Should the recommendation go away that then may provide legal cover for cruise lines against someone looking to file a frivolous lawsuit. According to the article (link provided below) the CLIA is only asking for the CDC to remove its testing recommendation there are no signs yet that the industry is looking to move away from the vaccine requirement. The CDC finally caved into the pressure from the nations airlines, lets see if they extend that same courtesy to the cruise line industry. https://www.thestreet.com/investing/cruise-lines-call-for-cdc-to-change-covid-testing-policy
  22. So far 61 countries no longer require international travelers to present a negative test to enter including a few Caribbean Islands (which have seen their vaccination rates jump) and on Sunday at midnight that number becomes 62 as the US joins the list. If some articles are to be believed by the end of July the list of countries no longer requiring negative test should reach 100 or more as more and more countries continue to drop the testing requirement for entry. I would appear as though governments around the world are finally realizing what normal everyday people have been saying for months if not a year or more which is we are going to have to learn to just live with COVID.
  23. I say give it a few more months I think by the end of 2022 cruise lines will drop the CDC recommended pre-cruise COVID test. We are getting there slowly but surely, dropping the testing requirement for international passengers flying into the US is huge and long over due.
  24. Several other articles have asserted that Virgin could have taken delivery of Resilient Lady in August as planned because construction is back on schedule and the ship will be ready for delivery in August of 2022. However it was Virgin that initiated the delay citing supply chain issues and other things. According to one article from thestreet.com it stated Virgin could have still taken delivery of Resilient Lady in August of 2022 but has chosen not to do so citing a softening economy in Greece where the ship was supposed to be home-ported until moving to San Juan. According to thestreet.com Virgin Voyages is also questioning whether Carnival, Norwegian and Royal are really seeing strong demand they've publicly stated in the face of growing inflation? To which Royal's CEO responded telling thestreet.com Royal is keeping an eye on inflation but thus far future bookings and demand for cruises on Royal remains strong. Inflation has had no effect on future bookings or demand on Royal Caribbean. According to other articles that were a bit more objective or critical than travelweekly.co.uk they assert the root cause of Virgin Voyages delay of Resilient Lady has more to do with lack of demand on Virgin Voyages not so much supply chain issues, covid restrictions or even staffing. I asked this in a different thread which is what can Virgin Voyages do to increase demand on their cruise ships? https://www.thestreet.com/investing/virgin-cruise-line-news-a-warning-for-royal-caribbean-carnival?puc=yahoo&cm_ven=YAHOO
  25. Passengers booked on Norwegian Escape between September 8, 2022 and October 2, 2022 are being advised this week that their Mediterranean cruises have been canceled. In a statement Norwegian advises the cancellations are necessary as Escape must go into dry dock for required repairs, all effected guest will be given a full cash refund back to their original form of payment. According to some articles a 10% future cruise credit will also be given to all passengers and guest who book their airfare through NCL, are covered whereas passengers who booked their airfare separately unfortunately are on their own and will have to deal with the airlines directly. Some articles have speculated that this unplanned dry dock is directly tied to Escapes running a ground earlier this year in the Caribbean although NCL has not confirmed that. All NCL has said thus far publicly is the ship must go to dry dock for require repairs. https://travelweekly.co.uk/news/tour-operators/ncl-cancels-norwegian-escape-sailings In other news do to staffing shortages especially on the Pride of America Norwegian has decided instead of canceling entire cruises they would instead cancel an unspecified number of passengers reservations as a way to reduce capacity on ships. According to NCL effected passengers will be advised and offered a cruise on a different vessel. If the passenger chooses to not sail on a different vessel Norwegian will offer them a full refund, a future cruse credit worth 100% of their cruise fare and in this case NCL will cover any airline imposed cancellation or change fees. https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/27617-norwegian-limiting-occupancy-on-hawaii-cruises-due-to-crew-levels.html
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