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Everything posted by SuzanneM

  1. When one reads HaAretz one must do so with ten buckets of grains of salt. Even better, not to read it. They're sensationalists with very little objective journalism. Obviously Israel did not want to sell vaccines to a luxury cruise line. I'll hold my breath for them to correct the claim. RC website does not have Odyssey out of Rome this year. Maybe the person who saw it was looking at a cruise website that hadn't removed the old Rome '21 schedule?
  2. Israelis don't have to watch the news to understand what's going on. It's right here. And we remember what has happened multiple times in the past, including for ground invasions. They usually have a very specific objective, and then they're done. A few days, or a few weeks, and things will be quiet again. The cancellation was almost certainly due to vaccination issues. RC expected to receive them on 7 May and didn't. This is the preparation they're probably referring to that they couldn't resolve. The conflict flared up in the last week. So they tried the political approach with the vaccines and failed. Israel doesn't have a formal government right now (which is why we keep going back to the polls; I expect we'll have a fifth election in two years before long). Lots of red tape, lots of budgetary issues held off because you need a formal cabinet to create a new budget, approve spending plans (for vaccines!), etc. The Ministry of Health is being very strict about who receives vaccines that is not a resident. Currently it's Palestinians, undocumented foreign workers, and refugees. No one else can get one without purchasing minimum three months of tourist insurance from the Israeli national insurance, because it's meant for people staying here long-term, not people coming for a trip to get a vaccine. That's probably where RC hit a snag. The Ministry of Health obviously wouldn't make an exception, same as they don't for any non-Israeli without long-term tourist insurance.
  3. These are different factors. The 85% is referring to the eligible population. The 30% refers to the total population. 85% of people able to get the vaccine in Israel (people age 16 and older) have done so. However, this 85% of the eligible only amounts to 60% of the total population. 10% are eligible but haven't gotten it and 30% are children under age 16, therefore ineligible. In other words: The population of Israel is just over 9 million people and of that, about 6.3 million are eligible. 70% of the total population is eligible, but only 60% of the total population have opted to be vaccinated. Another 30% are children under age 16, and therefore currently are ineligible. 10% have opted out thus far, despite being eligible. 60+30+10=100. Of the 6.3 million eligible, about 5.35 million have gotten the vaccine. 85%. Of the 6.3 million eligible, nearly a million have not gotten the vaccine. 15%. 85+15=100. Make sense?
  4. It's the same thing. 60% of the total residents, i.e. Israel's population, is vaccinated. That's 85% of who is eligible for vaccination (the rest, 30% of the population, is under 16 years old). Eligible residents: Anyone age 16+ Total residents: All ages, children and adults This is relevant for calculating possible herd immunity, among other things.
  5. Currently about 85% of eligible residents in Israel are vaccinated, and that's about 60% of the total residents. 30% of our population is children under 16. Haifa Port is a couple hours' drive from the main conflict. It's out of range of most rockets. Also, it's very possible everything will quiet down in the next few weeks, whereas the Odyssey is booked out of Haifa through end of October. It's been selling well. If there are any issues, it will almost certainly be related to vaccinations. Likely they're swapping out unvaccinated crew for those who have been vaccinated, and vaccinating those who need it. I'd expect them to be back for the 2-4 June cruise—which I'm scheduled on, haven't received any notifications of cancellations, and was told earlier today by a RC rep that the cruise is still planned.
  6. Somewhat of a zombie post but wanted to confirm: in the Royal app, it says Odyssey's Coastal Kitchen is on deck 14.
  7. I booked a solo balcony with an obstructed view for 2 June on Odyssey so I can take pictures to show, if you'd like.
  8. Coronavirus privacy policy: Corona_Virus_Privacy_Policy_and_Health_Measures_Information.pdf Supplementary terms updated as of 24 March, sent to me today as the price went down a couple hundred on my JS and I called them to adjust it. It's pretty much the same, from what I could tell just browsing it: COVID_19_Supplementary_Terms_and_Conditions.pdf In other news, thanks to the current sale, I grabbed a solo balcony for the non-official maiden voyage (2 June). So I'm exactly seven weeks from cruising again!! ? Just a two-day but the price was great and it'll totally be worth exploring the Odyssey on its first voyage. I'll be taking a billion pictures. ?
  9. I booked over the phone and they played a message that I had to verbally agree to, acknowledging I take full responsibility for my choice to book this cruise, knowing it could result in illness or death. They really are covering *all* the bases. I think it's as up-to-date as can be expected; it was provided last week during the booking process so we can trust at least that it was still the plan last week. Israelis are generally less likely than Americans to be open about private matters like this. Americans are provided a list of questions on a form, answer each one carefully, and sign their name and provide the date in the date field. Israelis skip most of (if not all of) the questions and sign their name, no date unless mandatory, let's just be done with it. As an American-Israeli dual citizen, I've seen it play out that way with both groups more times than I can count. I doubt the full medical history is needed, nor do I expect them to request it. But it does seem reasonable for them to give notice they may need to request more information.
  10. Independence - 12 September 2021 - Galveston Independence - 12 September 2021 - Galveston Navigagor - 24 January 2022 - Los Angeles Navigagor - 28 January 2022 - Los Angeles Navigagor - 31 January 2022 - Los Angeles Oasis - 18 December 2022 - Miami
  11. I thought some of you who will be cruising this year may be interested in seeing the various terms and conditions RC added for COVID, at least as pertains to the cruises out of Israel. This was provided upon booking for my Odyssey cruise this October. It's an interesting read. Maybe it will give an idea of what precautions and conditions may exist for other cruises soon after. Safe and happy cruising to all. ? https://www.royalcaribbean.com/content/dam/royal/resources/pdf/israel/israel-supplementary-terms-and-conditions.pdf
  12. Thank you, it's great to get a peek into these meals and especially your ratings. Dinner clearly looks much better but what are your thoughts on how the breakfast and lunch compare to other options?
  13. I'm on a JS on Odyssey in October and it explicitly said when purchasing a couple weeks ago that CK dinner was included.
  14. I loved the class! They easily accommodated my request for no shellfish and gave me substitutes. At the end I had delicious sushi to eat. It was totally worth it and I plan to go to the class every time I'm on a cruise with Izumi on board. And yeah, they provided all the ready ingredients and demonstrated how to assemble the sushi. My own efforts on Jewel of the Seas in 2019:
  15. Agreed; probably it'll be quicker because some people will shame themselves into staying away from the buffet to request that third (or sixth) cookie from the same person who is so good at customer service they greet you by name each time.
  16. I had no problems requesting no shellfish. They gave me a different dish a couple times and it was delicious. Make sure to note it ahead of time when you make the reservation; don't tell them as you walk in.
  17. I really enjoyed the Oasis class over others. The dining options are better (El Loco Fresh is great and Portside BBQ is straight-up delicious). It's nice to have so many entertainment options, like movies every day, a broadway show, comedians and singers, historians lecturing about stuff at the ports. It's a lot of fun.
  18. I tried to find a room layout resource for Odyssey but wasn't sure how reliable the stuff I found was. Does anyone know if Odyssey has spa suites, with the nice, large shower with its own bench? I looked around the RC website's booking app but couldn't find anything other than JS.
  19. I booked a JS for my next and I'd be content with that, but I'm hoping that I'll be able to get an upgrade closer to the date for much less money. Currently the Odyssey is only offered with balcony rooms and suites available so maybe the lower general interest in cruising will work in my favor and they'll have a nicer suite available for a decent price. One can hope and try!
  20. I don't see it as running scared; that's somewhat inflammatory phrasing. It makes sense to require masks as a precaution until we have more data and confirmed studies. Better to err on the side of caution with fewer sick as a result rather than erring on the side of recklessness with more sick. They are working on the data and there are already some really promising preliminary conclusions. I'm optimistic it won't always be needed but until then, I appreciate Royal Caribbean's strict mask policies because it makes it clear they care about the health of guests and employees above all. I already loved them and the way they've handled things during the pandemic makes me even more confident in them long-term. I'm scheduled on a cruise for 22 October and I wouldn't have booked it without the strict vaccination and mask requirements.
  21. Yeah, the last time I was in Venice (2019) it was a significant issue there. I even came across a graffiti illustration in the streets protesting the cruise ships filling up their horizon. This doesn't come as a surprise.
  22. Thank you! I definitely will. I'm debating buying another earlier in the year but waiting until I can pay for the whole October cruise first. I splurged on a junior suite since I don't have to pay for plane or lodgings in Europe this time. I don't know if they'll ever depart from Israel in future again (instead of just using us as a port in Haifa and Ashdod) so I'm going while I can. I'd love if they made it permanent but it's probably not practical for them long-term.
  23. Really looking forward to the cruise and walking around the Odyssey. I bought for 22 October out of Haifa.
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