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Everything posted by recogneyes

  1. We are concerned about much of the same things you are! The kids have missed out on two March Break cruises, covid is still an issue and no way of knowing what restrictions will be in place down the road. We cruised earlier this month on Oasis and felt safer on the ship than we did in the hotel the night before! RCCL did an amazing job of ensuring protocols were enforced and we had a wonderful time. I don't think there is any risk in paying for your cruise in full and then you have until 48 hours before to fully commit. You would receive an FCC and then could apply that to your December cruise. With regards to the $5000 fine, I know the politicians are urging the Canadian government to do away with because this not only impedes people from vacationing but also from visiting family on either side of the border. It isn't really accomplishing anything anyway. If we are turned away and forced to stay in a hotel for 11 nights, how is that safer than heading straight home in our vehicle and quarantining in our own home? It's just ridiculous. With March Break in sight, the government/public health will either decide to do away with this to avoid the amount of potential headache it is going to cause, or they will enforce and make some examples of in order to truly deter us from travelling. Barring any positive tests before we head to the US, we are planning to take our cruise as planned.
  2. Yes...it was me who called CBSA and Public Health who both advised the Switch Health Lamp Kits are not accepted because they are not performed in a lab. I would think since Air Canada promotes that they partnered with Switch Health to provide these as options for international travel back to Canada that they would be accepted to board the flight. It's the coming through customs at the airport....or at land borders.....that appears to be the issue. At the airport, I would think perhaps an argument could be made that you purchased the test through Air Canada in good faith. I would be more concerned at the land borders but the whole thing is such a mess.
  3. We had a boardwalk balcony on Oasis a few weeks ago....also on deck 11 about 6 cabins from the end and we loved it. You could hear some noise but nothing that made it non-enjoyable. You can see action on the boardwalk, out to the ocean and the balconies can be open up between cabins if needed. The central park balconies would definitely be quieter but as far as privacy goes they would have the same set up.
  4. Royal will no longer test on board so you either have to test at the pier (if mobile set up is available) or at the airport and it is at your own cost. As you say, Royal is not responsible for getting any of us home once we leave the ship. CVS in some location is offering a rapid PCR test but from what I can find out it's still $129. It would be wonderful if they still tested us on say day 6 and then we used that test to fly or drive home, but that is no longer an option.
  5. On my sailings it specifically states that the price advertised includes the discount ... the price showing is discounted by 25%....so not really 50% off second guest but 25% off of both. Is that maybe what yours is showing too?
  6. I confirmed this when I was onboard a few weeks ago as I wasn't completely sure how it worked.
  7. That is such a loaded question! I assume you are considering Anthem and possibly March Break? We are in Niagara so always drive to Bayonne. The parking garage is right beside the terminal so the convenience of leaving the ship and being in the car in minutes it's just better for us than the headache of heading to the airport etc. We usually stop one night on the way there but drive straight through on the way home. You do not need a covid test to drive across from Canada to the US (just proof of vaccine is my understanding), but you will need an antigen test (at minimum) to board the ship. There are some indications that the at home proctored rapid antigen tests will be sufficient to board the ship (sold by Switch Health and Air Canada) however it's still a bit of a gamble. You can book an in clinic one before you leave Canada and as long as it is within 2 days of boarding you can use it. The bigger headache is getting a test to come home. Canada requires a PCR or LAMP test done in a lab/medical setting and so far the only rapid one I can find at a decent price is through CVS. $129 pp and they say results in about an hour. I believe you need to book in advance. Royal is no longer testing on board (unless you have symptoms) and I haven't been able to find any info on testing at the pier. Even if there is - Royal doesn't cover the cost. Once you leave the ship should you test positive, it is up to you to determine your quarantine plan in the US or try to cross with a positive test and possibly be fined $5000pp. That's another reason we prefer to drive - if you have a positive test, the option to fly is gone.
  8. Same here in Ontario - no antigen tests to be found. You can't even buy them at any pharmacies. The PCR testing is only if you are symptomatic and even then they are so backlogged. I agree you're best bet is if your son shows positive on the PCR and then you can use that for him to travel. It is just so maddening when we are doing everything right - first shot, second shot, boosters, lockdowns etc etc and then they still screw us around and make it so stressful to try to travel. I guess that's the point - they don't want us going anywhere. Just have to keep planning and being as best prepared as we can.
  9. Anything under $60 is something I would jump on. We have one that is priced at $88 and went down to $69 - still too high IMO.
  10. I know how you feel - it is all so very exhausting. In Ontario, we don't have much access to PCR tests either. It's basically if you have symptoms, assume you have covid. The kids are sent home with a few antigen tests to use if needed but beyond that, getting any kind of test is difficult. I hope you son feels ok.
  11. Please see my update under the Canada RT-LAMP Test based on information I received today from CBSA and Public Health. No wonder we are all so confused and frustrated!
  12. I'm glad you were able to use them - that gives us hope because we have ordered them to use next month. I called RCCL and they said to ensure they are US FDA approved for emergency use. When I phoned Switch Health they said they didn't think they were and it was up to travellers to determine acceptability wherever they are going. There's another thread where one of the members included info which shows that they are approved (I can't find it off hand) so here's hoping that will be the case.
  13. Ridiculous is the perfect word for all of this! I still think it may come down to which border agent you get but risking hundreds of dollars to find out doesn't seem like the best option. Thank you for posting the article about the fellow who had the issue at the land border because that helps to confirm that it's not an acceptable test. My guess is that we would have more luck at the airport due to Air Canada recommending and Switch Health selling (being based in Mississauga) but until I see it in writing that it is actually approved by the Canadian government and public health, I am going to hold off on purchasing. As an aside - RCCL did tell me that the Switch Health at home rapid antigen tests "should" be ok for boarding the cruise ship but it is up to me to prove these tests are approved for emergency use by the FDA.
  14. We were just about to purchase these tests from Switch Health but I thought best to do some due diligence before doing so and wanted to share what I have just learned: 1. I contacted Canada Border Services Agency and was adamantly told that whether you are providing a PCR, NAAT or LAMP test it must be done so in a licensed facility. I explained that the Switch Health tests were proctored and was told they are not valid. 2. I contacted Switch Health and was told that while their website states that they are accepted, it is up to the customer to verify and remain up to date with protocols. As far as they were concerned, their LAMP tests are accepted upon entry back to Canada. They did suggest I contact Public Health. 3. I was advised by Public Health that these tests would not meet entry requirements because sample collections must be sent to a lab in order to be valid. I find it extremely frustrating and misleading that Switch Health and Air Canada are recommending these tests when the border agency and public health are saying that they are not acceptable. It is also not very accurately stated on the government of canada travel site that the tests must be lab based. It simply lists the type of tests that can be used. I suppose it may come down to which land or airport border representative you happen to get upon arrival into Canada but I don't think it's worth taking a chance unless clearer information is updated.
  15. On our Oasis sailing a few weeks ago, the tables were all open, everyone was wearing a mask and it was busy. Craps was a go as well and the poker table got busy every night around 11pm. You could drink while playing but basically had to take your mask off, drink, mask on, repeat. It was so much more enjoyable with the no smoking rule.
  16. Royal is no longer covering the cost of PCR tests for sailings after February 1st. Should you feel unwell during your cruise, Royal has the capability to perform a test to determine if a guest is positive for Covid. At that point, a determination about quarantine and or getting the passenger home will be determined. Testing for international passengers can be done at most ports or at the airport but passengers will incur these costs and Royal will not be responsible for providing hotel or transportation at that time which is why many of us are looking into purchasing pandemic insurance. We received an email on December 26th that stated the following: Guests sailing February 1st and beyond: Starting on February 1st, 2022, guests who require a re-entry test to travel back home will be responsible for the cost of testing. The cost of testing in the terminal varies by port and test, starting at $105 per antigen test and $210 per PCR test. You can also take advantage of other testing options, like airport testing or testing at a local pharmacy. The arrangement and cost of these tests are the guest’s responsibility and should be paid directly to the test provider.
  17. I feel the exam same way. Kept checking the dependants clause and particulars but it seems to be the way they work it. Would still feel better if I actually spoke to someone. Will try that again and post if I do.
  18. We had the same reaction when we purchased for our family a few weeks ago - it was about $85 for the duration of our trip (family of 5). I input all our information twice in case I had made an error the first time but that was in fact the pricing.
  19. Absolutely I will share any responses I receive form Switch Health and RCCL. With regards to the LAMP test that is good to know about the US address requirement. If the test is taken at the port on them morning of disembarkation, I'm thinking the address of the port would satisfy this requirement.
  20. Wow, that is a very detailed document - I read it twice and it would appear that these tests could in fact work for cruising. Thank you so much for sharing! The only issue I could see would be the wording about testing twice within 3 days...obviously RCCL just requires the one test. I've emailed switch health and will circle back with RCCL. Confirmation either way would be so helpful to the Canadians who are planning to cruise in the near term. I will share if I receive a response. Thanks again!
  21. The LAMP test does seem to be the best option. Order and bring across with us and test before leaving the ship. With that and fully vaxxed lets hope they remove the fine should anyone test positive and just allow us to implement our quarantine plan.
  22. That is worth considering for sure then. I tried calling Manulife before we purchased to try to get some advice on what would offer the best for the least amount of money. We have a few cruises booked so thought the all inclusive might be the best choice. Waited on hold for hours and never got through so we just purchased for our last cruise and will do again for our February one. The online site is pretty easy to navigate so I guess you could price it out a few different ways and see what works best but with your CC offering a lot of the other insurance it's likely a lot more money than you need to spend. I'm assuming your Anthem cruise is sometime this summer - perhaps we won't require quarantine upon coming back to Canada by then? So many unknowns for sure.
  23. The worry I have is that if someone in my party tests positive then the "new" rules (I think this was added very recently) is: Canadians: To avoid being fined $5,000 per traveller (plus surcharges), wait to enter Canada until the 15th day (starting January 15, 2022, 11th day) after your positive test result. If you had symptoms without a positive result, wait until the symptoms have ended and you have a valid negative pre-entry test result.
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