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Everything posted by ConstantCruiser

  1. "... and while we'll tap dance around and not actually say, the state and federal governments in the US suck".
  2. FWIW this graphics doesn't seem to indicate the extension applies only to new bookings. The C&A website hasn't been updated and still the references the previous Sept. 2022 date. I'd be highly surprised if existing bookings did not qualify. Give it a few days, they will update the website this week.
  3. Royal Up is run by a 3rd party and I don't think they look, and they probably can't access any reservations to look, they just execute upgrades on a per cabin basis. Canceling a different cabin to xfer guests to a newly obtained 2BR cabin will carry the standard fees for cancelling that cabin so definitely not worth it. If you have connecting cabins or a desire to stay close to another cabin I'd avoid Royal Up.
  4. Maybe for the very first sailing they are reducing it below 50%.
  5. Unconfirmed report in an FB group of a call from Royal offering 150% FCC for the July 2nd Freedom sailing due to over-capacity. No idea how they pick who gets called. So much will change by October.
  6. Muster station capacity is finite. Cabins are grouped into muster zones. The result is that certain cabins in a muster zone can accommodate different numbers while some are fixed at a capacity of 2. Royal has been at this game a long time and they know what works, what tends to sell and what doesn't. It might not make sense to us but that's because we don't see things from their perspective. There is a lot more that goes into ship capacity design compared to a hotel where they can put 8 people into a space and not care.
  7. https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2016/04/14/royal-caribbean-primer-the-disney-cruise-line-fan-sticker-shock https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2014/12/22/first-time-cruisers-comparing-royal-caribbean-disney-cruise-line https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2015/09/18/5-ways-royal-caribbean-different-disney-cruise-line https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/podcast/episode-50-royal-caribbean-versus-disney-cruise-line
  8. Protocols worked. Cruising is safe. Safer than being on land at least. Had these two been out and about with their friends at home on land there would have been no testing and no detection. Thanks to the cruise it was caught and now the families know and they can respond appropriately. Time to move on.
  9. Seems like the protocols worked. The goal is not zero cases, even the CDC acknowledges that is not a realistic scenario. This gives me increased confidence that cruising is doable and Royal has the right procedures in place to manage cases when they inevitably occur.
  10. cruisemapper.com is just a website that attempts to aggregate information that is publically available. They have no special access to inside information. Take everything they say with huge grains of salt water.
  11. This may vary between airlines. I suggest reaching out to the airline as a 600 lb. wheelchair may require special accommodations.
  12. This was partially addressed on a number of galley tours I've enjoyed. To optimize the supply chain all Royal ships build their menus from the same set of entrees across the fleet. The head chef and food & beverage manager can make changes to each night's menu to reflect small differences in guest trends. For example, if they find that fewer guests have been ordering entrees with a particular protein they can offer a different menu that has more of that type of protein on it. Instead of one chicken entree there may be two chicken entrees that night. Consequently there can be subtle changes between ship menus or even one week to the next on the same ship. The entrees themselves will be standardized across the fleet just potentially offered in different combinations to make up the menu that guests see each night.
  13. TA's can sometimes access group rates not offered by Royal direct but this varies cruise to cruise. TA's can sometimes offer cabins not available on Royal's site. This occurred recently when my TA could book an aft balcony on Odyssey that just wasn't available through Royal direct. It was hard to believe until I saw screenshots, there were actually a number of aft balconies I could pick through my agent that were not available through Royal direct. In this case if I didn't use a TA I would never have known these aft balconies were available. As a frequent cruiser the benefit of using a TA is more for when things don't go right which during this pandemic has been every cruise. The only impediment is when you see a specific cabin and want to switch to that cabin. In that case you can't call Royal, you must go through your agent. The cruise planner works the same regardless which way you go.
  14. Royal is telling travel agents that if a ship isn't available to book that should be (like Freedom and Odyssey) it's reached its capacity given reduced capacity limits over the summer. If guests cancel or if they can adjust capacity limits as the situation improves additional cabins could become available to book at any time.
  15. On a call with travel agents Royal stated that the ship has reached the reduced capacity limits so it doesn't appear to be available to book. However as things progress some guests could cancel or they could adjust capacity limits resulting in cabins becoming available to book over time. Keep checking often.
  16. I suppose I can see your point, an Oasis Ultra class ship would be a blank canvas.
  17. These days it seems they might open new bookings at any time. Basically most things we knew about how Royal used to open or release new sail dates has been thrown out the window. A good travel agent can be very helpful at times like this since they are constantly in the booking system and any hints of new cruises available to book tends to spread quickly amongst travel agents.
  18. It depends on cruise length. The crazy Voom pricing this year that some cruises seem to "enjoy" in the cruise planner is also a factor so YMMV. With a cruise planner price of $18.99 for a diamond you are better to buy it on board for anything less than 8 nights. With a cruise planner price of $14.99 for a diamond you are better to buy it on board for anything less than 4 nights. With a cruise planner price of $11.99 for a diamond you are better to buy it in the cruise planner. The age old trick of waiting to buy Voom until the morning of day two on board still works, assuming you don't need Voom on day one since the ship is in port most of day one. With so much going on and the ship departing at 4pm or later do you really need Voom on day one? This approach changes the statements above by a few days in each scenario.
  19. Why did summer split up with winter? They had a fall-ing out.
  20. Short cruises typically don't get a lobster night. How long is your Freedom cruise?
  21. Florida is pretty much open as usual right now so I'm guessing they are just busy focused on restart ship excursions.
  22. CK will have a lobster entree on the lobster night menu but more often than not it's some kind of lobster pieces in something kind of an entree. You can ask for a conventional tail on lobster night in CK or so I've read. To be honest the Caribbean lobster used on lobster night has never wowed me. It isn't a New England or Maritime lobster. I don't enjoy the complimentary Caribbean lobster so I don't order it in CK or in the MDR. Everyone's food tastes are different, no offense intended for those that love lobster night.
  23. It does free the cruise lines from being beholden to the whims of the CDC. They don't have to expend vast amounts of energy asking and negotiating with the CDC on a ship by ship basis for the next several months, waiting for the CDC to make a change and then investing countless hours to redo process and procedures based on the latest outdated CDC requirements. Cruise lines can now choose when and where to restart and what protocols they will use. They can be agile in responding and adapting as the situation unfolds (the CDC is not agile). It also saves the industry millions of dollars. Test sailings cost money. They consume vast amounts of fuel and crew salaries have to be paid. Test cruises have to be resupplied with vast amounts of food and other provisions. Port fees and taxes have to be paid yet they can't charge passengers anything. Pilots have to be paid. Longshoreman have to be paid. Terminal contractors doing things like check in have to be paid. All the while test cruises are generating zero revenue. That's hundreds of thousands of dollars saved per ship for a beleaguered industry shut down by the government.
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