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LinRon2

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  1. we love this cruise [the ports]. Wife saves for emeralds in Cartegena, ha. Wish one of RCL's larger ships could do it though. We can't afford the balcony's on Vision class. Balconies become affordable for us about Serenade level of ship. Our congrats for those wealthy enough to do the suites [ok, ok...sour grapes on my part, ha]. So...first inside for us since...sheese, can't remember last inside, ha. Never been on Vision before but been on Rhapsody twice (yea, come to think of it, Rhapsody was our 'last' inside). Any good recommendations on excursions for this cruise would be appreciated. We did it on the Serenade in 2019 so looking for new experiences along the way. Hoping the covid stuff goes away by December 5th too since CDC no longer requiring testing on airplanes to get back into the USA. Oh...wait...I think I heard the next pandemic already being planned or something [La bump!]. At least my cruise stock doing well [La BUmp! again].
  2. We just finished our 10 day Baltic cruise on the Voyager OS [June 5 sailing from Copenhagen]. We had signed up for the Berlin "discovery" excursion but were very hesitant given the excursion entailed a 3.5 hour bus ride both ways. I looked for any info on this board before we went, but didn't find much [that was recent]. So thought I'd provide a word here now [june 20, 2022]. Of course, Warnemunde is being given as one alternative on Baltic cruises instead of St. Petersburg [given the Ukrainian conflict etc] and Berlin is one excursion choice at that port. Well, in a word, we had a great time. The bus was modern, large, comfortable...and we had rest stops along the way. It was quite interesting viewing all the alternative energy structures across the German countryside [wind turbines and solar panels]. The 3.5 hours went by quick both ways. But the highlight of the trip was a professional guide that joined our group once in Berlin. He was great and we visited all the major bucket list sights (Brandenburg Gate, Bundestag, checkpoint Charlie, remnants of the wall memorial, and other sights) where we exited the bus for short guided walking tours at every site. Then, after seeing the sights, we were given 3 hours on our own. We wandered the streets buying some german chocolate at a large department store [selling nothing but chocolate] and stopped at a cafe for brats and beer We finished up perusing some requisite souvenir shops before getting back on the bus for the ride back to the Voyager OS. Whatever doubts we had about the long bus ride, it turned out to be a high point of our cruise. Berlin is a great city and so much history there, it would have been a shame to NOT have visited [even if just for the day]. Hope this helps anyone thinking about this excursion [actually there were several versions on a Berlin trip; but the trepidation is probably that long 3.5 hour bus ride like we were wary of]. For us, the ride was enjoyable and not the ordeal it might sound like when reading. And the guide that was provided really made the trip ;more than worthwhile.
  3. Wow, very helpful for anyone wanting details on how the ABBOTT tests are performed on board. Thank you so much. Yes, getting printouts of results most important [for our previous boardings; but always obtained at home where we know the computer and printer operation]. On board, or in a foreign place, a whole different ballgame. You provide some details we all need to know about. The 24 hour constraint is disappointing though as we understood the requirement to be a calendar day before arriving back in the USA. Calculating actual hours when flying can get to be quite confusing [gain time hours one way, lose another...by the clock, but actual time, one needs a calculator [I do anyway]]. Hard to believe authorities are being that 'persniggly' (that is a word, right) on all this. Or is this just a California thing? We thought we had this all planned out, but methinks we should go back to the drawing board to meet that 24 hour thing if that's what the CDC requires now [not a calendar day].
  4. I have to agree. Keep to the regular dive/snorkel masks. Many here say they have good luck with these full face masks. I'm sure some do. My wife bought one and I tried it out and I immediately knew the big flaw. Inevitably, there is some reason you might need to clear a mask [usually fogging, but water seepage, sinus pressure...other]...and there no way to clear these full face masks without essentially taking it off. Clearing a mask, any mask, is essential. But each to their own of course and some people really like them [the fullness of breathing is surely more comforable...again, until you need to clear]. My vote is don't buy them. My wife's sits in a closet somewhere; used once or twice and she gave up on 'em as well .
  5. Tomorrow is 'cruise day' for you guys [May 15]. Hope your cruise is a great one!!
  6. Well, to continue beating a dead horse Thought I'd post protocol to this issue of testing, sailing from Copenhagen... first, "On arrival, all guests from non-EU or Shengen countries must present a negative covid antigen test taken within 24 hours of their flight departure". Later, a further protocol reads: "Vaccinated guests must show a negative result for an antigen test taken no more than 2 days before boarding day". [this protocol is more clear and is the standard we've met for months now on other RCL cruises]. We might add that 'fully vaccinated ' is also required [if one wants to get off at the ports of call etc and not have to do further testing onboard]. Fully vaccinated could mean you need to get a booster at least 14 days out from embarkation. ------- I post all this that it might help someone; but also, for some reason, the more I read that first testing protocol having to test negative "within 24 hours of flight departure"...well, I was wondering how others interpret that 'sentence'? We are assuming that means within 24 hours before the day we leave [Miami for us], we need to test. TO be specific, if we have a flight on the 4th, so all we need to do is backtrack 24 hours from flight departure to get that testing done? Are we seeing this correctly? It's that 'UPON ARRIVAL' that sometimes throws my brain all screwy for some reason. We also searched far and wide to see where this 'new' requirement comes from [we assume from the EU]...but all information we find seems to give each country freedom to make their own rules for testing [and Denmark has lifted all their restrictions]. Plus, any restrictions we do find [non specific country], seems to suggest the EU gives 72 hours window for such testing [if required]. Anyway, does anyone have a link or some info on that specific 'before flight departure' testing requirement? Who checks that for instance [we don't think the MIami airport will check that...so...in Copenhagen? At the ship?]. It all seems ambiguous to us...why we ask the question. Of course, the RCL protocol IS the protocol...no matter how it's worded. We're just trying to figure it out 'exactly' what it means. any help appreciated and sorry for my brain being decrepit on all this.
  7. absolutely! Spot on. We've always loved Royal and Celebrity and this 'protocol' from European ports is not really in their character IOHO. My wife says someone [maybe a lot of someones, like the Hawaiian couple off Norwegian this week, or even "US"] might be getting stranded missing flights that's gonna create a lot bad will and bad press [already doing that from posts here perhaps; well at least my barking anyway, ha]. We just need DIRECTION on how to get this done; not necessarily that it be FREE, or even on board. We'd glagly pay any reasonable cost. But to just be thrown off the ship...I dunno; just doesn't sound like Royal Caribbean's true character to us. But, we'll deal with it I guess. We've decided to not cancel [though we probably should with no information on how to do this]. I've been napping in our wooden dining room chair trying to get acclimated to airport seats where we'll probably end up sleeping for days on end when we can't get on a flight home, LOL. I'm 71 too. Just sayin'...
  8. Ha, we're actually considering doing that now too...stay a few nights in Copenhagen [for us] and then give us more "time buffer" to get all this done at the airport. Denmark has lifted all travel restrictions so we assume we could do that now [stay a few nights]. We'd love to see more of Copenhagen anyway. But, I just read a discouraging post over on Cruise Critic that some 'US guests' eMed tests were not accepted at their check-in and they had to get tested at the airport. The good news is that they could 'STILL' get tested [even if the eMed tests were rejected] and we assume, still catch their flight.
  9. Yes, thanks on this. We plan to use the airport [for us in Copenhagen] as the primary...the ABBOTT test as backup [but tried first onboard]. Probably for us is we arrive at 5am so probably won't get off ship, may earliest 7am [probably later] then transfer...say get to airport...a guess...9am?10am? and the latest flight is...wait for it...1:30pm. This is a very tight window...and optimistic at that [lucky to get to airport before noon actually]. So the Abbott test seems to be the 'real' answer for us [though we'll go on try the airport too if that abbott fails onboard]. Doing 'air to sea' through ROyal, one would expect more help in this. Ah well. C'est la vie.
  10. Yes, not sure people are understanding the difference coming home from a european cruise where one has to test to get on a flight to get home [to the USA]. We've been trying desperately to hear from someone or others who have actually done this test 'onboard' a ship [a Royal ship]...specifically to get home [before disembark, not embark]. Yes, a great test in comfort of one's own home, with good wifi and internet...or even in a familiar local setting [hotel or whatever]. But...how about on a ship? Or in an airport with people milling around everywhere? Or in a cab on the way to that airport? Or on a street corner somewhere in a foreign city? Or any help from others having to deal with this CDC requirement to get on a flight home [again to the USA]. Thanks in advance. RCL offers no help from European ports for that covid testing [at least in their protocols]. No information whatsoever except to check one's home country's requirement for re-entry. INFORMATION. needed; how, when, and where to get this done?
  11. We are very interested to see how this cruise goes/went, especially how everyone might have tested for covid to fly back to the states. Anyone doing the Abbott test onboard just before you disembark? How did it go? We're on the Voyager in June, so would like to know how their wifi works and how people fare doing that test while still onboard. Also, we heard of being able to purchase just 24 hours of Royal's best streaming but only after you board [not on their website]. Is this true? Anyone done this? We lost St. Petersburg too, but picked up Warnemunde [Berlin]. Thanks for any help and hope your cruise is a great one!
  12. I just gotta say this [and hope someone with clout from Royal reads these forums]. A couple from Hawaii was stranded in europe from a Norwegian cruise because they tested positive. We all know why Royal doesn't want to 'involve' itself for covid testing that the CDC requires to reenter the USA from europe...because what do you do if someone tests positive? Flying people home or even quarantining would be uiltra expensive for any cruise line to pick up...and what would any cruise line do if someone DID test positive...except somehow 'feel' responsible for getting them 'home' safely [after all, what do we hear time and again except that cruise lines including ROYAL are most interested in except our safety]. But now, they want nothing to do with covid testing 'after the cruise' in europe for people needing to get back to the USA. "Check your country's requirements for exiting or re-entry' is all they 'PROVIDE". Not a peep on 'how, where, when' [for covid testing]...just 'check your country's requirements'. Too bad for that Hawaiian couple; hope they 'survive' this [not the covid, but the financial ruin]. We are 'STUPID' for continuing to try and do this 'BALTIC' cruise [or any european cruise] with not support from the cruise line [ROYAL in our case]...to get back into the USA after the cruise. But...we booked this cruise well over 2 years ago...and canceling now, will mean losing a lost ot $$ [it's complicated, but involves all this Future credit crediting compared to original monies spent, and expected fares into next year] etc. So, we are STUPID..as we opt to jump in, head first, into the quagmire of 'personal ruin' for a stupid cruise. But...we're old..and wonder how many years we have left to 'see the Blaltic' etc. Point to all this is...is we need to see just a MINIMAL degree of support [at least for us USA citizens who have a PUNITIVE politically aligned CDC] to find our way BACK HOME after our cruise [and we imagine, this applies to anyone [especially from the USA|. Just saying 'check your country's requirements'. well, it's a total cop out; and transparent to anyone with an average noggin' to be about MONEY; ie not having to provide to those who might test positive [for example]. For us, it's not about 'positive' but simply 'how, where, and when'. Please, ROYAL, give us some idea to this...at least. And not just, YES, 'THROW US OFF THE SHIP'. [in our case, the VOYAGER in Copenhagen.
  13. additional question on emed test onboard. What kind of data service does one need anyway? I use tracfone, which is a pay as you go plan...and they say they don't service but in the USA? My wife uses AT&T however. Again, not being techies and totally 'bananas' to today's LTE digital service technicalities...what kind of 'service' does one need to use the emed kits 'onboard' anyway? Would the 'wifi' or 'streaming' service purchased through Royal suffice...but does one service provider also play an important part? This is critical to us. We just need to verify that we CAN use the Emed kit onboard before we commit to signing our lives away to an overseas extended stay that will essentially ruin us [and put us in our graves]. Ha..no lie Royal. This is how important this stuff is that you won't provide at least some minimal information. Just sayin'..
  14. Actually, we've used the abbott 'proctored' test before but are fearful of the internet connection we might incur 'on the road' [or at sea]. It's an unknown, like so many issues with all this. Hard to imagine teleconferencing with "onboard" internet. But if others have used the Abbott test abroad [or onboard] to satisfy this requirement, that would be great to hear. We'd like to hear how it worked. Any problems with 'slow' internet; lost connections; buffering...that sort of thing? And how does one get the 'documentation' to satisfy airlines. Again, we're not techies and relying on digital proof is scary for us. Printer won't fit in the suitcase [joke]. Devil is in the details [always]. On another note to all this, we were informed by our agent that the EU requires 'testing' a day before getting aboard a ship? Is this true? We know RCI requires a 2 day window for a negative test, but we hadn't heard of an EU requirement [and 1 day window]? Or perhaps she was referring to the 2 day negative test that RCI requires. This would be embarking from Denmark too? Boy...have they EVER made life complicated with all this covid stuff. On a good note, the cancellation policy of RCI appears to still be up to 48 hours with FCC's given to use within 12 months [not sure about refunds though]. If you have air booked however, there is a $200 penalty apparently [why we are holding off on air fare until we can sort out this mess; and mess it truly is]. Thanks for any help though [info]. We'd love to do the Abbott testing...if we heard of other's success using the internet 'on the road' so to say.
  15. Thanks so much for this posting. We're on one of the first cruises out of Copenhagen June 5th...and yes this was booked early 2019 and will be our third try at it, ha. We've been trying to find some sort of information on this covid testing we'll need before getting on plane 'back into the USA' after the cruise. Checking the RCI website is a soup to nowhere [for us anyway]...and our agent hasn't told us a thing. We haven't even booked our air yet as the logistics of a 24 hour window in a foreign country without any advise, instruction, or info leaves us probably having to cancel. We just don't know yet...and have a whole mess of bookings we'd have had done weeks ago if this were a normal undertaking [parking, dog sitting, hotels...that sort of thing...much less the air fare]. We are SOOOOOO stressed out about all this...and ANGRY as heck at our own CDC who wants to keep us in pandemic mode FOREVER and then some. Denmark, Uk, Sweden...and other countries are withdrawing restrictions and as Denmark said [their authority], the virus is already out and the only option left is learning to live with it [unlike what is happening in China now apparently...or look how the Aussies did with zero spread strategies]. No stopping a virus once it's out. But, where we are having to cancel [most likely if we don't get any info soon] once again! So, thanks for any info...and that single sentence [which we failed to find on RCI website] about RCI not yet determined safety protocols for Europe sailings this summer at least gives us some pause to wait just a bit more [before deciding to cancel or not]. It's not the virus mind you...it's the DARNED testing to get on a plane back. Sorry for the little rant here, but we're going on our third year of this and societies are breaking down all over the place...from road rage to civil disorders to western civ collapsing...you name it. TIme for the CDC and government to get off our backs. IMHO of course. So, we'll wait a bit longer with only MAY to do any further booking for this Scandanavian [no longer including St. Petersburg] Cruise. Thanks for the post of that single sentence; and any further info appreciated on this...like from ROYAL CARIBBEAN!!!
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