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Everything posted by JasonOasis

  1. If you are a person who generally uses the UBP to the fullest then I would suggest you buy the packages. I have 5 cruises booked so far starting with Symphony on October 30th. Both my husband and I take full advantage of the UBP and we booked our UBP package this past spring for our October 7 night cruise, the total price for 2 people including taxes was over $1,200 dollars. Royal is currently running a special promotion so I call Royal to see what specials they were offering on the UBP for my October cruise and the representative quoted me a price of $969 dollars for 2 people including all taxes. I had them cancel my original UBP and refund that money back to my card and rebooked the UBP at the new lower price. We made the mistake one and one time only of buying the UBP onboard and never again will we ever do that. If you see a good deal or think it is a good deal book it and should Royal offer something better pick up the phone and call them to get the better rate. The UBP is no different than your cruise fare if you find a lower rate for you cruise you call your TA or Royal and get the lower rate, the same applies to the UBP.
  2. I don't disagree that an Oasis Class ship at some point will home port in Sydney and Singapore but I still don't see Wonder staying long term in the US and Europe. Royal still hasn't released Wonder's fall/winter 2022/2023 schedule and it has me asking why. I think as Royal is updating Wonders schedule and making decision on what to do with Wonder as they get more information from China, on when that country will reopen when they will allow cruising to resume. I think just like here in America and in Europe once China reopens and allows cruising to resume there is going to be overwhelming demand for cruising because since February the cruise industry in China has been shut down. The rumors I'm hearing in the airline industry are don't expect China to reopen (have any type of normalcy travel wise) until late 2022 at the earliest some rumors even move that date into spring of 2023. Should these rumors prove true and China does not reopen or allow cruising to resume until 2023 then it it entirely possible Royal will leave Wonder here in the US for the fall/winter 2022-2023 season, send Wonder to Europe for the 2023 summer season and then send her to homeport in China starting in the fall of 2023. Unless China bans cruising for ever I don't see Royal Caribbean abandoning their Chinese ambitions and China is the most populous country on this planet. Should the government allow cruising to resume I firmly believe Royal will send Wonder to the market she was built for. My question is does Royal still intend to build a 6th Oasis Class ship? In February of 2019 it was widely reported Royal had entered into an agreement for a 6th Oasis Class ship. Does Royal still intend to build a 6th ship or has the pandemic changed their plans for that 6th Oasis Class ship?
  3. I agree it cost MSC nothing to status match us and we've done 2 MSC cruises and in my opinion the big 3 have nothing to worry about from MSC at this time. I would go on NCL again (I've had nothing but great experience with them) before I get back on a MSC cruise. Both of the cruises we took were in the MSC Yacht Club "suites" (which isn't a suite at all) and to be honest except for Cirque du Soleil at sea and freshly made Mozzarella we were both underwhelmed by MSC, their onboard employees don't really engage with passengers, their ship layout is strange, and their boarding process in Miami for Yacht Club is a mess. As far as Casino Royal's offer our post card showed up 3 days ago, I was a bit shocked to get the card because our last cruise will be over 2 years ago when we finally set foot on Symphony later this month. In 2019 although we did 3 Royal Caribbean cruises that year we didn't spend nearly as much money in the casino like we did in 2018 or 2017 so I was surprised to get this offer.
  4. As long as the CDC does not attempt to once again over step their authority and do something drastic I think the industry will be okay. The cruise lines have demonstrated they can operate safely during a pandemic. They were scapegoated early on in this pandemic, shut down, held to a higher standard than any form of land based vacation yet this industry has risen to meet the challenge. At this point the CDC needs to just leave the cruise industry alone and let people enjoy their cruise vacation.
  5. It depends on where you live, here in the Chicagoland region there are multiple Walgreens and CVS's where you will have your results in 15-20 minutes and there are others who send them out to a lab but now results come back within 24-36 hours. Labs here are open even on the weekends processing tests but depending on where people live that may not be the case. But the BinaxNow option is available and in my opinion anyone going on a cruise should have a BinaxNow kit as their backup insurance policy to speed up their boarding process because testing pier side sounds out right dreadful.
  6. I would buy the 3 pack to cover the November 2021 cruise and wait on the March 2022 cruise. I made that mistake back in late August of this year of buys 6 kit pack. Until now the only international flying my husband and I have done has been to Mexico to stay at resorts where you didn't need a negative test to enter Mexico and the resorts provided free testing to come home. However this September we took our first trip to Europe since the pandemic began and even though we can go to Walgreens or CVS that doesn't help us coming back to the US. So I had the bright idea of buying a pack of 6 test thing we would use one to come home from Europe another for our October cruise and the last on on our January 2022 cruise. Luckily we will be able to use the test for our upcoming October cruise but the last test will be wasted because it expires before our January cruise. What is causing me concern is this as Europe continues to re-open many countries are now or I'm hearing will require all passengers to present a negative COVID test taken no more than 48 hours before arrival and I'm not sure Walgreens and CVS can always meet that turn around time which is going to put pressure on companies like Abbot (who has partners with quite a few airlines and also Royal Caribbean and who knows how many other cruise lines) to make sure they keep these test in stock and not the over the counter test many of which are NOT acceptable for travel. Working in the airline industry I can tell you the airlines are preparing for surge in travel from the US to Europe starting next spring. For those who are not just traveling to Europe but also going on a European Cruise depending on how early you arrive in Europe a single person may need 2 test (1 to enter Europe and a 2nd to board the cruise). I understand wanting to be prepared because it would suck if a person couldn't board their European cruise because they couldn't find a test. I hope BinaxNow does not become the new toilet paper in 2022 but I would suggest you resist the urge to buy the test to early because unlike toilet paper these test do expire.
  7. At first I thought the photo was real but then I noticed there are no passengers anywhere in that photo so I started digging and found out the photo isn't real. There are no records of Symphony of the Seas ever passing through the Panama Canal and if she did go through the canal what was her purpose in passing through the canal since she was built in Europe? Also there are also no records of Symphony of the Seas ever sailing in the Pacific Ocean. According to records the largest CRUISE SHIP that has ever passed through the Panama Canal is The Norwegian Bliss at 168,028 tons. If and or when Royal moves Wonder of the Seas to Asia they are going to have to go the long way around not through the Panama Canal. Even if they could get the ship through the canal can she fit under the Bridge of the Americas? I know some time ago I posed the question what if Royal sends Odyssey to Los Angeles to combat both NCL and Carnival both of which before the pandemic were using new ships out of Long Beach. Several posters pointed out they don't think Odyssey could fit under The Bridge of the Americas. So if Odyssey can't fit I don't see how an Oasis Class ship could fit under the bridge.
  8. This is exactly what I've done my upcoming cruise I've order the at home test through Royal Caribbean's website as a back up just in case my Walgreens test results which I plan to take 2 day prior does not come back in time. After reading the email about pier side testing I was like thanks but no thanks, $99 dollars and you have to wait outside for at least an hour for test results to come back, I don't need that kind of aggravation before boarding a cruise.
  9. I've done this multiple times at Port Canaveral, they open the door at 7 AM and most time pre-COVID we were getting into per-arranged car or getting into a taxi by 8 AM at the latest and arriving at MCO by 9 - 9:15 AM. Off the ship and getting into your limo by 8 AM is 100% doable. The later you disembark is when customs and immigration begins to get crowded.
  10. They do have a whole section dedicated to passengers booked in Grand Suites and higher. Even though this is an Oasis Class ship when you look at the deck plans you will notice from deck 6 through deck 14 there are no Grand Suites, no Owner Suites on any of those floors like you would find on every other Oasis Class ship. Outside of Junior Suites the only suites you will find on decks 8-14 are Aqua Theater Suites, all other suites from Grand and higher are located on decks 17 and 18 on Wonder of the Seas. I would suggest people look at the deck plans for Spectrum of the Seas (a Quantum Plus Class Ship) and compare her deck plans to Odyssey of the Seas another Quantum Plus Class Ship, the one thing you will notice is the placement of Grand suites (not the lofts the suite only) and the Owner Suites on Spectrum are all located on decks 15 and 16. Again there are far fewer Grand and Owner suites on Spectrum than there are on any other Quantum class ship. Keep in mind both of these ships were built for the Chinese market Spectrum went directly to China via the Suez Canal. Wonder was supposed to go directly to China but for now China is not allowing cruising to resume. Now because of everything going on the ship is coming to both North America and Europe, who knows when she will make her way over to China. The deck plan layout is the reason I don't think Wonder will stay in the US/Europe, I think the moment China reopens and allows cruising to resume within a few months Royal will send her to China, she doesn't have enough suites to remain in the US/European market.
  11. Looking at the deck plans for Wonder it clear Royal designed this ship with way less suites than any other Oasis Class ship. Although there are quite a few junior suites there are only a handful of grand suites and even fewer suites in categories above the standard one room grand. Depending on how many suites about a junior Royal sold on Allure many customers may be in for a partial refund if the only cabins available are junior suites or ocean view balconies. One thing is clear judging from the deck plans, if Royal sold at least 50% of their suites in grand suite or higher on Allure not every passenger who booked a grand suite or higher will be in a suite on Wonder of the Seas.
  12. Canada will allow cruise ship to resume porting in their country starting this November, however like twangster pointed out there are some in Victoria who would like to see a permanent ban on cruise ship so what Lisa Murkowski is trying to do is get ahead of this by being proactive instead of reactive. Alaska's cruise season shouldn't be linked to Canada allowing cruise ships to port in their country. Hopefully Alaskan's support Murkowski in this endeavor and hopefully Congress realizes the importance of this issue and not allow a foreign country to ever again dictate they type of tourism allowed to take place in Alaska.
  13. Wonder was built for the Chinese market there are far less suites onboard Wonder than any other Oasis Class ship. I'm glad they are sending Wonder here for 2 months I just book my cruise on her but unless Royal is going to make changes and increase the number of suites onboard I think Wonder will eventually end up at her home port either in Hong Kong or Shanghai.
  14. There seems to be a lot of confusion here several articles are stating if individual EU countries decided to adopt the EU's recommendations it would apply to all Americans regardless of vaccination status. Then you have other articles claiming the ban would only impact the unvaccinated. If individual countries enact these recommendations they need to clarify who is in and whose out.
  15. The problem with the email isn't the fact they are having B2B cruisers disembark that is normal procedure or the fact they are having you pack your bags. If B2B cruiser tests positive then at least you already have your bags packed. The problem is according to the email you will only be welcome back onboard at your designated check-in time. That make no sense to have your B2B cruisers wait in the terminal area (at least we hope in the terminal area) until their check-in time. Pre-COVID royal took care of all of this before having customers disembark and once you were disembarked they had all your things ready for you for your second cruise, you cleared security and re-board before anyone else there was no waiting involved. Come on Royal there is a better way to handle your B2B cruisers during a pandemic. Also like someone else already pointed out why can't they conduct the COVID test onboard the ship especially since they already have the test available?
  16. Oh that sounds like heaven.... Very few children and teens and capacity limited I can only hope this is still true for my Symphony cruise in late October.
  17. I've already received an email for both my cruises one at the end of October and another in November advising me of the changes regarding testing and vaccine requirements. I don't know if it is all automated and the system hasn't gotten around to sending everyone who has a cruise in October and November the appropriate emails but Royal has already sent me several advising me of the changes I need to prepare for.
  18. It is fairly simple if Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines with itineraries that include stops in the Bahamas wish to continue to sail to the Bahamas then they must comply with Bahamian law and require all passengers over the age of 12 be fully vaccinated in defiance of Florida law which so far we have not heard of any cruise line being fined by Florida. However if a cruise lines decides they are going to comply with the Florida law and not require all passengers over the age of 12 be fully vaccinated then that cruise line or cruise ship can not stop in the Bahamas at all including the cruise lines private islands. Basically cruise lines and their passengers are now stuck in the middle of this mess and they never should have been in the middle of this vaccine passport bill to begin with.
  19. I knew something like this would happen the minute Ron DeSantis signed that bill on vaccine passports which didn't exempt cruiselines. I've said this from the very beginning cruiselines should be in the same category as airlines because except for the 2021 Alaska season there are no domestic cruises out of the U.S.. These Caribbean Island nations can not afford to be overrun with COVID and they have to do what they deem necessary to protect themselves until they have enough vaccine in circulation to where everyone of their citizens has a choice just like we here in the U.S. have a choice. I am not surprised at all to see the Bahamas take this approach even with the cruise lines private islands, we have keep in mind although it is a private island locals still work on those islands, not every person we come across on these private island work on the cruise ship some of them actually live in the Bahamas. Ron DeSantis has no power to tell another country who they can allow into their country even the USVI now require cruise passengers over a certain age be vaccinated.
  20. In the past I've done multiple GTY rooms for both balconies and even suites and from my experience there is no set time for when Royal assigns GTY rooms. I've had GTY rooms assigned in the past as early as 2 months out or as late as 2 weeks before a cruise. I think once they process the RoyalUP request then they will process the GTY rooms. With ships sailing at reduced capacity I think your chances of scoring a great GTY room are good and if you don't like the room or the floor they assign you just pick up the phone and call Royal they will change it to another room within the same category.
  21. Oasis is still a beauty, one of the best if not the best looking class of cruise ship ever constructed, in my humble opinion.
  22. No I'm not changing any of my cruises scheduled COVID isn't going anywhere and neither am I. At this point the way I see it we both are going to have to learn to coexist and I don't see cruise lines shutting down again over COVID concerns. I'm fully vaccinated, I still exercise caution and mask up when I think it is necessary and as my October cruise get closer I'll take even more precautions to make sure I protect myself from Delta and don't pop positive days before my cruise I refuse to live in fear of this virus. I respect the virus but I will not live in fear of it I'm not changing anything.
  23. With the Delta variant here requiring all passengers regardless of vaccination status to test negative before boarding a cruise isn't overkill it just smart business at this time. I'm not one to defend the CDC I think they have over step their authority but the CDC isn't requiring negative test for all passengers prior to boarding the cruise lines like Carnival and Royal are requiring this of their own accord. If people don't want to get vaccinated I'm 100% okay with it, its your body your choice. Requiring a negative COVID test to board a cruise ship isn't an imposition it is a step cruise line have to take to try and keep the more contagious Delta variant off the ship.
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