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Peter D

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Everything posted by Peter D

  1. An unrelated drink package question.... Does anyone know whether the Diamond Plus, 30% on ship discount can be used pre-cruise (through cruise planner or calling C&A? Does anyone know whether that discount stacks with other promotions ie. on ship frequently offers buy one, get on 50%? Could a D+ 30% be also used?
  2. Many ships have installed nightlights in the bathroom. I do not know for sure if Freedom does, but I'd bet it does.
  3. That is a very unusual item to pack on the cruise, but I cannot see why they would be prohibit you from bringing it, other than maybe power issues to fill it up with air. I cannot speak to the neighborhood balcony, but I was just on Symphony in a standard ocean view balcony room. In that room, there was not much floor space between the couch and the desk/storage cabinet across from it. If it could fit, I am sure it would be very tight with no walking space around it.
  4. I am pretty certain that the Samsung TVs in the rooms are set to "hotel hospitality mode" which disables the HDMI inputs, which would like mean the media server would not work. I have never tried the USB drive option, but I have doubts that works either.
  5. These days, you cannot really predict what is going to happen. I can only speak for myself, but as I led up to the most recent cruise in March, I just lived my life, business as usual. Follow reasonable precautions, ie frequent hand washing, minimize huge crowds where prudent. I didn't worry about the pretesting, because I cannot really do much about it. You can hibernate for 30 days, and still test positive. I just got off the Symphony and it is a great ship. Try not worry about it and have fun.
  6. You can also look at the dining menu through the app. I am almost positive they have the same menu for formal nights regardless of the ship. For example, Duck L'Orange and Grand Marnier Souffle are on the first formal night, and Lobster tail and baked alaska on the second night (assuming 7 night cruises with 2 formal nights). Like Atlantix2000 stated, if the only reason you don't want to do formal night is presumed need to dress up, don't worry about it. You can wear the typical casual clothing.
  7. Only you can truly answer that question. Without doing any of the excursions or specialty activities (cabanas, beach club), Coco Cay is basically a beach stop. The free facilities are great (beaches, oasis lagoon pool) and plenty of good food options, but is it worth $200? Not sure. If you looked at it differently, would it be worth $67pp for the full family to have a full beach day? Maybe.. Is this likely the only time you would go to Coco Cay? probably worth it then. In the end, if that visa would be required to get off the ship at Coco Cay, you could just consider it to be part of your overall vacation cost. You might regret not having it when you get there and cannot get off.
  8. I cannot recommend any things to do, but if it makes any difference, the check-in times were not enforced when we were on the Symphony last week. On March 19th when we embarked, Royal started the boarding at 11am and there was no wait to board. Some in our travel party had 1130am check in time and two had 130pm everyone boarded at 1130am.
  9. With today's announcement of CDC dropping the cruise ship warning, I am hopeful that things are going to change soon (maybe even by June 1 as suggested earlier in this conversation). I actually think (hope) vaccination requirements will go before testing. They could either continue requirements for all to be tested (vaccinated and not) or I could also see them just requiring unvaccinated cruisers to test negative (no testing for vaccinated). I think the cruise lines will continue to phase out the requirements and hopefully soon.
  10. I was streaming using my iPhone. It was very straightforward to do the stream, but sometimes the phone would 'forget' its streaming and become unresponsive. It would usually work fine for the show that was playing, but it required a restart/reconnection to play another show. Not terrible, but not perfect. For the record, I just got off Symphony and that tv was not chromecast capable and I didn't have HDMI...
  11. Last July, prior to our Serenade of Seas cruise, my wife and I stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites Seattle-Downtown. It is 1/2 mile north of Space Needle Park. It's all sidewalk on a main street to that park and there is alot to do there (Space Needle, Popculture museum, Chihuly Garden & Glass). Aside for the general filth on the streets associated with homelessness, we didn't observe much overt homeless or criminality. We actually walked all over Seattle from that hotel during day and early evening. We walked back and forth multiple times to the Pike's Place Market which was about 1.5 mile from the hotel. Again, there was alot of pedestrian foot traffic. There were several homeless tent communities in the area, but we didn't travel near them on our routine travel. Of course, this was all almost 1 year ago, but that was our experience.
  12. Just came home from Symphony 19-26th. Had an opportunity to attend the Diamond, D+, and pinnacle entertainment talk. The dance captain told us that Hairspray cast is currently rehearsing in Miami. He said the new cast is about ~1 month into a ~2 month rehearsal. Both the dance captain and Dennis Charles (CD) stated that it could be back onboard within the next couple months. Based on that feedback, April is very unlikely, but May is not out of the question.
  13. I might be missing something, but don't the EMED/Abbott have a net cost to use? Does insurance cover them totally like they do for the CVS test?
  14. That is interesting, because same thing happened to me yesterday in Massachusetts. I went to CVS to get our test. The outside pod had note stating as of 3/16/22, testing at minute clinic. I didn't think much of it. the nurse did take vitals before the swab. An hour or two later..... my phone rings and it is nurse practitioner calling..... my heart sank. Then he tells me the test was negative. I was thinking, they would only call for a positive. I cannot wait until the testing goes away... hopefully soon.
  15. I have always used Costco travel as my 'travel agent', because of the 'cash back' Costco cards post sail. They are ultimately just a middle man. Almost every time I have needed to interact with them, they almost always need to contact Royal. Especially when it comes to price changes. In the past, it hasn't been that bad, but lately it has been unbearable. For whatever reason, their staffing has led to hours of hold times to speak with them and more hours to resolve issues. They don't have a robust system for offline contact. They do not check prices and rebook, which is what I'd agree is key in a good TA. My question is incentive for TAs. I assume TA's commission is based on cruise fare, and if that's true, does it change when cruise fares are repriced? If so, what is the incentive of a TA to spend time for price reductions when it ultimately means less commission in pocket. If a TA does that (such as MEI mentioned above), that is key. Nevertheless, I am the type that is obsessive with checking prices, so I am sure I'd be pestering a TA anyway.
  16. It cannot hurt to call Crown and Anchor loyalty number to advocate for all your children to gain the same status once it happens. When my wife and I hit Diamond Plus, my two youngest were given the same status as described above (under 18). I called Crown and Anchor and was able to get my oldest the same status as the rest of us. In fact, they told me that it was already done. Anyhow, never hurts to ask.
  17. I second the votes for No Quarter and DSB! They were both on the Christmas week Odyssey of the Seas, and they were both excellent. The added bonus was that Miles Schon (DSB lead guitarist and son on Journey's Neil Schon) jammed with No Quarter on the Christmas Eve show in the Music Hall. It was great! In general, the Music Hall on the ships is a great location to see these bands.
  18. We are booked to fly out of Miami on March 26 at 11:49am. I generally do not book anything before 11am. I do not think 8:35am is even possible given you would want to be at the airport 1-2 hours ahead of the flight, the ship would not likely be cleared to do so. I would find that way to stressful.
  19. Option 2 is better in that even if you have to 'kick off' a device, the log in will ask permission to do so. It's definitely better to get the multiple devices for one person. For example, in my upcoming Symphony cruise, I checked and 1 person-3 devices is same prices as 2-person-1 device. Best to decide how many devices you want to use and try to do it under 1 person. Hope these comments help.
  20. I cannot speak to the Liberty of the Seas specifically, but the tvs will most likely have HDMI. However, sometimes, the HDMI ports and inputs are disabled on the tvs, so you might not be able to switch the input to HDMI1 for example. Nevertheless, it cannot hurt to bring an HDMI cable and try. An alternate option might be if the TV is Chromecast capable. Recently on the Odyssey, the tv was capable and I was able to stream Netflix to it through Chromecast and it worked pretty well (but not perfect). Hope that helps.
  21. I can only speak to my experience on Anthem 21Nov21 out of Bayonne, NJ and Odyssey 18Dec2021 out of Fort Lauderdale, FL. In both cases, there was no 'wellness check' at the port. They only wanted to see your negative test, your vaccine card, and checked that you completed the health questionaire. No temperature check or anything like that. Other ports/ships might do it differently, I do not know.
  22. On the Odyssey of the seas for 18Dec2021 sailing, smoking was totally prohibited in the casinos. I'd expect this to be the same for the Freedom for the foreseeable future. Craps table was open at times, but they clearly had some staffing issues due to the positive covid results for crew.
  23. We just got off the Odyssey with the missed ports. I do not think Royal knew that Curacao was going to cancel our visit. We were docked waiting for local authorities to clear our disembarkation. They announced over PA that island Health Minister was coming to the port to review our situation after their Prime Minister gave local address. Even at that point, there were excursion buses waiting at the port when we arrived, but as time went on, they were sent away and the port was cancelled. Aruba followed suit shortly afterwards. During the 'chat with the captain' in 270, he mentioned that they looked at other possible stops as alternatives, including Labadee or another stop at Cococay. There were already two ships at Cococay and they considered relocating one out or tendering us, but ultimately decided it would not work. With the cancelled ports, Royal reimbursed some port charges as well as giving us refundable OBC for the two days cruise fare. We also got 50% Future cruise credit. I think they were very generous in this case, but I would not bank on the same for future cruises. If Royal Caribbean decides to change the itinerary ahead of boarding, you will definitely know. Changes made on the fly, (like ours) are the risk we take, but RCL was very accommodating. Even if they plan to go to Curacao and Aruba, I would bet that Royal would have some contingency plans in place for your trip for other stops and you would not have six days straight at sea. In the end, Odyssey is a great ship and being onboard for 6 days at sea was not bad at all.
  24. Sailed on Odyssey of the Seas, 18Dec2021. Overall, I think the protocols were fine. I had recently been on Anthem over Thanksgiving with the mask off in vaccinated areas, and this was the first all masking cruise. It was not as bad as I assumed it would be. Social distancing was pretty much impossible and areas such as 270 (for disco night) or Music Hall (at all times). It was not a problem for me, but if there were people who are bothered by close proximity to others, this would have been an issue. On a particularly busy night (night 7) in music hall, we were standing next to tables marked 'unavailable for social distancing' on deck 4. A bar waiter came over to us and asked us to move, because "pictures of non-social distancing were posted on social media as a 'look, Odyssey is having massive outbreak and they are not social distancing'". Fact was that the captain was very forthcoming with information about covid and explained why the ports would not allow us to disembark. I do not blame the ports for these decisions, and the captain and crew made the best of it for us. No complaint overall. Great cruise!
  25. Odyssey of the Seas on 18Dec2021 sailing had both aluminum cans and bottles. The cans were provided as C&A water in the room. Don't like the cans at all. The beauty of the plastic bottles was the resealability. The aluminum bottles are resealable.
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