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Everything posted by dswallow

  1. Now all Freedom sailings are gone, except for the July 5th sailing, until the August 23 sailing. 7/2 went away about 5 hours ago. 7/9, 7/12, 7/16, 7/19 went away about 3 hours ago. 7/26, 7/30, 8/2, 8/6, 8/9, 8/13, 8/16, 8/20 went away about an hour ago. There's also some activity with Odyssey sailings being removed over the last 2 to 4 hours.
  2. I still kinda consider it a worthless benefit. If it could be traded instead for a significant discount off the Deluxe Beverage Package, not just the 30% off (Diamond Plus) onboard pricing which frankly anybody can usually get in advance anyway (or 40% for Pinnacle, which was a rare sight in advance until last year), I'd consider myself to be much more valued by Royal Caribbean than I think of myself right now. ?
  3. If it's just two people, you probably could book two connecting ocean view balcony rooms for a lot less, and still each earn 4 points per night. ?
  4. These are the sorts of corner cases that Royal Caribbean hasn't dealt with well. Things like a 16-17 year-old from the UK trying to sail on Adventure of the Seas, where Royal requires everyone 16 and older to be vaccinated, but that's not possible for the 16-17 year-old from the UK. There similar issues with a short window between kids 16 or 17 who also were booked and were going to be tested, but now had to be vaccinated, but couldn't be fully vaccinated in time because the sailing was too soon after they were finally eligible for the vaccine, so even if they got an appointment on the very day they became eligible, they couldn't be fully vaccinated. Corner cases But not that hard to predict when you change protocols amidst known variables in what can be done. But you need to be in the mindset of thinking about things like different protocols for vaccinations in countries other than the US. At least now in the US in most places there's sufficient vaccine supply to be able to start the process when one is ready to start. It's now just a shame so few of those remaining unvaccinated seem to be ready.
  5. The CDC's basic argument now appears to be "people are doing things the CSO says to do, so that means the CSO has to be real because they're trying to obey it."
  6. "Now this raises the issue of the Florida law which prohibits business in Florida from requiring proof of vaccination for services within the state. This unique law only applies within Florida. While we obviously have to comply with the law of the land, we do not believe that we will have significant numbers of unvaccinated for several reasons. Remember, the vast bulk of our guests want vaccinations and, in most cases, already have them." I think some parts of this talk are worded very carefully.
  7. Transcript of Richard Fain’s video released on 6/7/2021. Hello again travel partners! We here at the Royal Caribbean Group hope you’re all having a great start to summer especially as cruising is beginning to resume in earnest. In response to questions from some of you, my wife is still acting as my cameraperson, but I expect I’ll soon be back in the office with professional help. Actually, I’m not eager to give this up. I’ve enjoyed doing these videos with her and I will miss her “constructive” criticism. Management guru Tom Peters once said, “if you’re not confused, you’re not paying attention.” Well, I’m paying attention and I’m confused as hell. Overall, of course I’m a very happy camper because our healthy return to service is well underway and that’s very exciting. But I’m still confused about the details involved in getting us there. Let me try and explain my view of the current state of play, knowing that it’s all going to change tomorrow. The key to everything is the vaccines. They are proving to be the game changer that we all hoped for. Fortunately, our country is in a strong leadership position regarding vaccines. The US was in the forefront of developing the vaccines and the US is in the forefront of delivering them. Already almost 2/3rds of adults have gotten them, and that number is climbing. America is leading the world in this regard and when I talk to people in Europe and Asia, they look at us with envy. As more and more of the country gets vaccinated, the role of the vaccine is beginning to morph. Initially when the number of vaccinated was small, the vaccines mainly protected the person taking the vaccine. That’s still true that vaccines protect each of us individually. But today as we get vaccinated, we’re not only helping ourselves, we're helping the people around us. In order to reopen society, we need large numbers of people to be vaccinated. Even if we don’t feel that we need the protection for ourselves, we should still do it to help our friends and neighbors. It’s a bit like litter. If I drop a piece of litter on the ground, it makes an insignificant impact on the environment. But if a lot of people drop litter, the cumulative impact is enormous. The same thing’s true of vaccines. Getting one today not only protects you from the virus, it protects the whole society and allows us to get back to normalcy. Which brings us to the question of vaccines on board our ships. We believe vaccines can help make our cruise ships not only as safe as land-based activities but even safer. That's because we control the environment in a way that few on land can even dream of. If I go into a store on land or go to a theme park or attend an event the ability of the operator to vet who enters is limited. They can't do extensive screening for something that’s only going to last for a few hours. All they can do is implement protocols to limit interaction once the people are there. But such protocols are more intrusive and less effective than preventing the introduction of the virus in the first place. On the other hand, cruise guests will be on for days and days and we can therefore enact extensive requirements before people board designed to prevent the virus from coming on board in the first place. In effect we can establish processes designed to prevent COVID from entering the ship, creating a sort of bubble. That bubble not only gives greater protection than available almost anywhere, but it also means that we don’t have to have such extensive operating protocols. The result is not only a safer cruise but a better and more enjoyable one. So, as I said before we intend to vaccinate all our crew members. 100%. In fact, we’ve already given vaccines to 16,465 seafarers. Clearly, we’re not messing around. On top of that, we want all of our guests to be vaccinated as well. We want that because we believe it makes us all safer. And we want that because our guests want that. In our surveys the vast majority have either already received a vaccination or are about to do so. Ideally everyone on board would be vaccinated. But in practice there have to be some exceptions. The main exception will be children under 12 who cannot get a vaccine today. But children tend to spend time in the family unit and studies have shown that children are a lesser source of infection than adults. Soon children as young as five years old will be eligible. That will result in even fewer exceptions. Now this raises the issue of the Florida law which prohibits business in Florida from requiring proof of vaccination for services within the state. This unique law only applies within Florida. While we obviously have to comply with the law of the land, we do not believe that we will have significant numbers of unvaccinated for several reasons. Remember, the vast bulk of our guests want vaccinations and, in most cases, already have them. In addition, due to the health and legal requirements of many jurisdictions, those who are unvaccinated will need to undergo additional testing and other restrictions. That necessarily adds to their cost and adds limitations on the cruise for those people who choose to be unvaccinated. There would be no additional cost for children who are not eligible for the vaccine. Our plan therefore continues to be that virtually everyone who’s eligible for a vaccine will have one. On some of our ships with fewer children, including Celebrity and Silversea and some Royal Caribbean International ships, we will ensure that the percent vaccinated will exceed 95%. On other ships we expect almost everyone over 12 will be vaccinated. The specifics are confusing and there will undoubtedly be movement of the various details during the coming weeks. I know some observers will greet each issue, each minute action, each side comment as momentous. But we should all take a collective breath. We're working through the details in a positive and constructive manner. While there will inevitably be some elements of confusion as we do so, the outcome isn't in any real doubt. After 15 months of no forward motion suddenly everything is happening at lightspeed. We are moving forward, and cruising is restarting. All the parties seem aligned that cruising needs to restart. The CDC in Atlanta are now constructively dialoguing with us. The governor and other Florida officials clearly want to welcome the jobs that cruising generates. The mayors and other officials are eager for our return. Even Congress understands the importance of our industry, passing, unanimously, the bill that allows us to provide cruises to Alaska this summer. Can you think of one other piece of legislation that got every member of Congress to support it? OMG, rarely have so many different interests agreed on one thing and that thing is the importance of the cruise industry restarting in a healthy manner. Therefore, it's all happening. We are moving inexorably towards the total resumption of cruising in a safe and healthy manner. So last Saturday Celebrity Millennium started her first voyage in 15 months leaving from Sint Maarten to destinations in the Caribbean. In less than a week Adventure of the Seas will start sailing from Nassau. In just two weeks Celebrity Edge will depart Port Everglades with our own Captain Kate at the helm. On July 2nd, Freedom of the Seas will leave PortMiami on her first sailing to Nassau and our incomparable private island Perfect Day at CocoCay. And during the rest of the year, we will be methodically bringing back the rest of our fleet. By the way, I intend to be on these inaugural sailings from Miami to celebrate. I really do have a tough job but taking these inaugural cruises… that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make! So, while I may not know every detail of the process, I can assure you of this: we will not restart any ship unless and until we are confident of two things. Firstly, that it is safe to do so and more so than shoreside equivalents, and secondly that the experience on board meets our exacting expectations, including guest ratings of the cruise at least equal to what they were pre-pandemic. One of the reasons I’m so confident of the experience going forward comes from my discussions with our employees. Those conversations frankly have been very emotional for me. You all know that it’s our crew that makes our cruises so special and has for 50 years. The ships are exceptional, of course, but the crew are the people that take the experience to the next level. But while the crew are normally amazing, they are walking on cloud 9 today. It's just so emotional to talk to them and to see their enthusiasm. Frankly you can't talk to them without being overwhelmed by their emotions. That excitement is contagious, and your clients will be the beneficiaries. And something similar is happening with our guests. We can already see from the first sailing on Celebrity Millennium how people are reacting. After 15 long months of isolation, the freedom of being in this kind of bubble is incredibly liberating. So, start counting the days on your fingers. Mark the dates off on your calendars. Make sure your businesses are ready to respond to the pent-up demand. Summer is starting in the United States and cruising is going to be a big part of it. And don't forget to get your vaccine and wash your hands!
  8. No matter what protocols Royal Caribbean finally follows for passengers, they have very clearly communicated that 100% of staff onboard every ship will be vaccinated; perhaps the very rare exception for medical or religious reasons should there be any of those. That, plus how crew are brought onboard (test, flight, test, quarantine, test, board ship, quarantine, test, vaccinate) does not make the process happen quickly. And in doing this they move masses of crew between ships so as to further separate non-vaccinated crew being processed from their final positioning.
  9. Just for comparison, my version of that sailing looks like this: Raw data involved:
  10. It's all fully automated but it runs on systems at home. So until I migrate it to a cloud-based location that I can access from a public web server location (and also move the code the generates that stuff into a technology that can run on such a public web server :)) it's only accessible to me. If there's something in particular you want to look at maybe I can grab it for you, or at least get some sense of the kind of thing people may want to be able to do with it. Realistically I'm about to go off on 3 weeks of cruises so nothing will happen till I return if it isn't something I can do in the next 6 days. ? Grabbing those graphs for any sailing is really easy though. Of course grabbing them for every sailing wouldn't be!
  11. A lot of things come from Royal Caribbean in automated ways and they have a tremendous number of online assets that have to be adjusted. Their business model is not normally needing to be reactive-by-the-minute to changes, so a whole lot of conflict goes out as messaging. The only way to really figure out what's going on is to watch the sources of different changes, as they come to you, as well. For instance, the emails explicitly sent by the individual in charge of putting together the protocols probably are more current than anything that gets triggered in some timed automated way like an email, especially one with pretty graphics attached and likely one that went through design and revision and redesign, et. al. ? Yes, it's very subjective to try to figure this out! But you know it's really where we are, and really where we were told we would be in some of these communications. So give priority to things that are attached to individuals when reading communications from Royal Caribbean, for sure. And right now, the only real upcoming sailing in North America is on Adventure of the Seas, somewhat outside the purview of CDC control, though apparently to some extent being used in some way to demonstrate something to the CDC. So if you're looking for signs and portents to divine what will happen with other sailings, this is really all you've got right now. ? And I think most everyone on the Adventure 6/12/2021 sailing is staring at their email and chanting various spells awaiting the next one, too. 5/17/2021 5/21/2021 5/28/2021
  12. Are you in 2 cabins? If so, separating the adults so you have one adult and one child in each cabin lets you do whatever you want with drink packages since then there'd just be one person of drinking age in each cabin. Otherwise you usually can get them to sell one adult the Deluxe Beverage Package and the other the Refreshment Package if you call; usually that's all they need -- being called/asked. Usually the Classic Soda Package is NOT an option for one of the adults in this situation. The Refreshment Package and Classic Soda Package could be purchased for either or both of your kids. The Refreshment Package can be purchased for either or both of the adults. The only issue is when an alcoholic beverage package is involved and there are multiple adults of drinking age sharing the cabin. If you're traveling on Adventure of the Seas out of The Bahamas, or one of the European sailings, the drinking age onboard will be 18, and not 21, so that would affect who's considered an adult, of course. Be aware there currently is a Cruise Planner Sale that ends today (6/2/2021) that is applicable to all sailings departing through 5/31/2022. Sales occur pretty regularly, usually a week or three off then a week on again. And sometimes shifted a bit so the sale coincides with major US holidays. It's very likely the next sale won't start until near the July 4th/Independence Day weekend. Everything on the Cruise Planner can be canceled before sailing and a full refund issued, so if you buy something now, and later see the price drop, you can cancel the purchase of the item and buy it again at the lower price. Be just a little careful because once you cancel it it's canceled, and if you discover you made a mistake and the new price is actually higher, you're stuck; you can't take back the cancelation. You generally can't buy things that are associated with an individual until you've canceled the same item associated with the same individual (i.e., you can't buy a second drink package for yourself and then cancel the first; you have to cancel the first and then buy it again). Everything available via any Drink Package can be purchased a la carte.
  13. I do hope that whoever is looking out for vaccine issues for you and your son at least do recognize that the mRNA vaccines may not have a parallel to vaccines that have caused previous reactions and will look more closely at trying to identify the reasons for the previous reaction before blanketly avoid any vaccination. The same issues experienced before may simply not apply here.
  14. I'm gonna have a big laugh if in general this argument holds up and the cruise lines have to sue Florida over the vaccine-proof ban, and get a preliminary injunction granted quickly, too.
  15. Royal Caribbean has published information that people who are unable to get a COVID-19 for medical or religious reasons should start by contacting the Access Department (aka Special Needs) at (866) 592-7225 or send an email to [email protected] no later than 30 days prior to the date your cruise departs. If I am not vaccinated for a disability or other reasons, who should I contact? | Royal Caribbean Cruises
  16. Prices jumped in November on the first 3 of those... Prior year cruises; I would ignore the prices from after February since at that point we were affected by COVID-19. But the prices were up there until that point.
  17. You're just not understanding HIPAA and what it really applies to.
  18. No it wouldn't. Because those terms would be clearly indicated to you prior to boarding. You are choosing, and thus consenting, to board in conditions requiring that you adhere to wearing a mask. Thus again, HIPAA could not apply. Further, just because someone is not required to wear a mask does not mean they cannot wear a mask, so you're wrong in interpreting the wearing of a mask in that theoretical condition to indicate your vaccination status. Nonetheless, you have chosen to board under conditions that require you to always wear the mask; what people may or may not think that means is irrelevant. And if the circumstances ended in you being detained onboard because you refused to adhere to the conditions you agreed to, again HIPAA does not apply, because you have previously agreed to these conditions.
  19. Let me explain this theoretical scenario in simpler terms... Prior to boarding you would be requested to provide proof of vaccination or told that if you didn't provide that proof that you could still board but you would be isolated in your cabin for the entire sailing. This would be your consent and there is nothing HIPAA could apply to in any way from anyone making any interpretation onboard from you being restricted to your cabin.
  20. No they don't. You'll be restricted to your cabin. People become restricted to their cabins for a number of different reasons. And they don't label your cabin with your name, either. And you knew that entering the ship, so you've consented to the circumstances that you're in aboard the ship, too, so even if your name were known and it was known you were restricted to the cabin, and that restriction was because of not being vaccinated against COVID-19 it still would not violate HIPAA, because HIPAA does not prevent or restrict you from disclosing your medical conditions. It's a shame people so ready to claim a law is applicable can't be bothered to even read it.
  21. Think of it like this: Day 0 - The day you travel/arrive, so Saturday Day 1 - Friday Day 2 - Thursday Day 3 - Wednesday Day 4 - Tuesday Day 5 - Monday So the test has to be done on a sample taken no earlier than Monday.
  22. My first visit there was on Admiral's Emerald of the Seas back on a 3-night sailing on May 22, 1987. Again on July 3, 1987. And again on August 21, 1987.
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