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Everything posted by crabkitty

  1. 1) Yes, if you sat down and had a drink, nobody would say anything to you. To be honest, as long as you have a drink in your hand, they really didn't say anything at all. The guests all did a really good job (IMO) with the masks, so they were pretty loose about it. 2) YES! Every table option was actually still available. Craps, Roulette, BJ, Three Card Poker, the works! 3) It was mask on at all times for all of the table games. This is where they were actually pretty strict. They would still let you pull it down to get a drink, etc.
  2. Yep, no problem! La Spezia - we booked the Best of Florence and Pisa. We absolutely loved this, as we'd never been to Florence. We didn't get to go into any of the churches, but we saw enough that we know we'd like to go back some time and spend some more time on our own. We saw many statues, including "a" statue of David. It's not "the" statue, but we saw a lot of structures that we loved. Pisa was exactly as we expected. We spent about 90 minutes there, which was enough for us to see the leaning tower and the buildings around it. I personally do not like guided tours, because they move so slow, but you're going to get that with all Royal Caribbean excursions in Italy. Rome - We did the Gladiator tour, as we'd both been to Rome already. I had not been inside the Coliseum, so this is exactly what I wanted to do. We explored the Forum as well, so we saw a lot of Rome. We had already been to the Vatican, etc, so that played a big part in our tour. We loved going into the Coliseum for sure. (Vaccine proof required) Naples - Capri, Sorrento, and Pompeii by Land and Sea - Capri was possibly our favorite spot in the Italy stops. That place is incredible. Again, another guided tour, but we spent a lot of time getting snacks and doing some shopping, which we didn't get with the others. I had been to Pompeii before, and did it without a tour guide. We didn't get much time in Pompeii at all, so that was disappointing based on what I know is there. We still loved this tour. (Vaccine proof required) One thing to note about the tours is that they sold water at the beginning of all of them. We did get a bottle of water in our Naples excursion, for free. We just filled water bottles before we left the ship and took them with us, to avoid dragging around their giant bottle of water that cost $4.50.
  3. Yeah, it wasn't a planned boarding. If they did get on, they were only on for 3 days. Again, I can't confirm, so I definitely could be wrong.
  4. 1. Yes, this is for ALL guests. Everyone over the age of 16 was required to be vaccinated on our cruise, but everyone still had their temperature checked. The only difference between vaccinated and non-vaccinated was that the NON had to get a test mid-cruise, where vaccinated did not. 2. This is probably dependent on where you're coming from. US to Spain, we did not need a negative test. Our first test was at the terminal, which is a complimentary RC test. I'd look it up, just in case, but if you're US to Spain it doesn't currently require one. This changes on a regular basis though. 3. I really tried, but with everything else going on, I couldn't get pictures or even keep them. No musical on ours, but I'm happy to share the activities. a. Aquatic show (about 7 different times throughout the week), Ice show (3 different times), Comedian (English and Spanish comedians), Magician (English and Spanish), Tribute to Celine Dion, and a few different game shows. 4. You know... I didn't even think of this until you asked. Nobody was up and dancing, but I also wasn't sure if that's because we were asked not to. The ship was so empty, that there was definitely less energy, so the "no dancing" didn't feel out of place unfortunately. 5. Yes, this was the Florence one. RC told us that it was copied and pasted over from pre-covid. We weren't able to go into any churches in Florence or Rome. We walked around the Duomo, but were not able to go inside. We thought we would go inside as well.
  5. The debarkation process was so smooth. The earliest possible time to get off was 6:00am. We met another couple that had a 10am flight and they made it off easy. It takes about 30 minutes to get to the airport, so you should be there by 7:00am at the latest. There are mandatory temp checks every single day. if you miss it (which we often did because of early excursions), you have to go to guest services to get it or they will call you down. Nobody gets away with it. Haha. All joking aside though, it was super easy and they just grabbed you as you left or came back to your room. It was quick and easy.
  6. I don't believe so. Where we docked, they boarded us right on the busses. It didn't appear that anybody was able to go out on their own. Things are always changing frequently though. We had the bike tour booked, but it was cancelled because we were the only ones signed up. ? After that, we booked the caves tour, which I would ABSOLUTELY recommend. Spain is requiring masks everywhere you go, and are pretty strict about it.
  7. 1. Specialty Dining - I would say that the deals weren't any better than what I've seen in the past. They did offer a 2 dinner package, for two, for about 130 euros. I will admit that I don't know a lot about the prices for specialty dining, but it didn't seem a lot better than what I've seen in the past. 2. Excursions - We didn't try it, but they offered 50% off some excursions on board. There were some people that cancelled their excursion and rebooked to get the 50% off. It was very limited excursions, so it wasn't 50% off on the ones that we had booked. It didn't seem like the other deals were better. We did book one, since one of ours was cancelled, and the prices were the same as we saw online. 3. Drink deals - On day 1, there as a deal on the Deluxe Drink Package. I think it was get one and get a second 50% off. Not sure if that will be on every cruise. 4. Taxes - yes, that is correct. We have about 10 receipts that we're going to give to customs in the US to get a majority of the tax back. They'll be sending us about $300 in tax refunds within the next week or so. We did have to pay them on board though. 5. Testing - It took about 10 minutes for us to get the results to our tests. They weren't very clear on what to do, so we probably waited longer than we needed. Once you get your negative result, you just walk up and show the crew member in your boarding zone and they'll tell you to go ahead. You'll do your final test the day before you get off, and it takes about 10 minutes to get that result too. The first test we did was the "brain test" where they shoved it up our nose as far as they could. The final test was just 1cm in the nostril, which I appreciated. 6. Debarkation - We opted for the very last slot, and ours was 8:45am. We got breakfast in the Windjammer and then took our time walking off the ship. Happy to help!
  8. We just docked back in Barcelona and I figured I’d jump on and share our experience with everyone. Would love to answer questions as I’m sure many of you had questions similar to what we had. Overall, we had an incredible time and have almost nothing but good to say about our first “post-covid” cruise. On our ship, that carries over 6000 passengers, had 900 on board. We heard we picked up 300 more in Rome, but can’t confirm that. We hear there’s 600 on the 8/29 sailing. The ship was unbelievably empty. We bid the lowest amount on a RoyalUp suite and won. So, we were spoiled with a bigger room and incredibly empty ship. Everyone paid so much attention to you. No lines at slides, empty mini golf, empty rock wall and flow rider… you could do anything you wanted. Shows were well attended, but still so much seating available. One of the only complaints we had, sorry had to add it in, was the push for specialty dining. The first two days, literally every crew member that saw you, would give you a 5 minute spiel about the packages. It became very annoying. After day 2, we only heard it here and there. Excursions had to be through Royal Caribbean, but they all went smoothly. Not my style of tours, but we were happy to see all of the sites. The tours were even smaller groups and some people didn’t even get off the ship. Shopping was usually cut out, as we weren’t able to go out on our own. We still managed to get some good souvenirs. Heads up on the churches… you don’t go inside. So ignore the “wear pants and sleeves” rule, or at least ask about it. Testing went well. We had a test at the beginning and the end. A couple passengers did test positive and were immediately removed from line and weren’t allowed on the ship. You get your results before they even let you on. Nerve racking, but once you get the results, it felt so good to just get on board. The new muster drill is AMAZING! You just watch a couple safety videos on the RC app and you get it checked off near the entrance of the ship. Takes 2 minutes. Everything on the ship was open. Masks were required at all indoor spaces, so if you just hang out outside, problem solved. The staff was not even super strict about pointing out if a mask falls below your nose, etc. We even took our masks off at most tours, because it seems Italy is only “requiring” it for cruise passengers. In Florence, it blew me away how many tourists there were and we were the only group with masks. Play bingo and go to the contests and auctions, because there’s no competition on the ship. Attend the casino drawings and raffles. We won more stuff on this cruise because our chances were so much higher. We even won a $1200 painting (3 groups at the raffle) As always, food was amazing, shows were awesome, crew was all smiles, and everything felt very normal for cruising. Can’t wait for masks to become non-existent. Let me know what else you want to know? For those holding out… just go. It will be worth it to be on an empty ship.
  9. Oh good! So glad you got the Royal Up!! $20 is worth it, no matter what you got!
  10. So, I lied. We were upgraded to a Junior Suite today, for our 8/22 sailing. We bid the lowest possible amount on the Junior Suite, and got the upgrade! Will be the first time that either of us have been in something other than an interior room.
  11. Heading out on 8/22 and mine still shows GTY. Also, I bid super low on some of the Royal Up upgrades and all of them were unsuccessful. Hoping to see something soon!
  12. We had more OBC than we've ever dreamed of, on this upcoming cruise. We booked a couples massage, to treat ourselves. That's still only half of what you have. Outside of that, we're looking at using it for drinks on board. A tip that another poster gave me is that if you go to the casino on board, you can use it on the slots for free. Just play for a few pulls and then cash out. You can take the cash home with you without paying the additional fee that you'd pay to use it on the tables.
  13. I'll share my experiences for sure! We wanted to do a lot of this on our own as well. Take advantage of the price drop and it may end up paying for a lot of the excursions for you.
  14. This is what I was thinking as well. The "Next Cruise" would have been awesome. I would spend most of it toward that, just to book another cruise down the road! This is all super helpful, and gives us some ideas. Thank you, @WAAAYTOOO as well! This is perfect. If we don't find ways to spend it, we'll spend a little bit of time in the casino and get it cashed out. Good to know this is an option!
  15. Right?? My wife and I will probably book a couples massage, and then maybe we'll upgrade some of our excursions to do something that we wouldn't have bought originally. Any other ideas?
  16. You are right! The excursion prices are way higher than when I booked after the first notification about requiring RC excursions in Italy. SIDE NOTE for you travelers on Harmony 8/22 - CALL IN AND GET THE PRICE DROP GUARANTEE!! We just received $1400 in onboard credit, since the price of the cruise has cut in half!
  17. I just spoke with them and they told me that there are no guarantees. When I first spoke with them, they had no idea what email I was talking about. I forwarded it to them and they let me know that excursions may be full before we even get on board. I'm having them call me back, because it's very weird to incentivize people to book AFTER they're on board. That's very different than RC of the past. Also, glad to see another passenger on our ship!
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