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Marc

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Everything posted by Marc

  1. Yup. I used my supervised test with my Cue Health device (at-home rapid NAAT test) and it was accepted without issue (other than the lack of a standardized form for what they're looking for).
  2. We did just that in March and it was a good thing, too, as this was the second week of a B2B and our first week's points hadn't yet gotten added to our start-of-cruise balance. Once we pointed out our prior week's sailing, the Loyalty Ambassador took care of it. The block was in our cabin on the last day. (We were not offered the choice of having it sent to us.)
  3. We did just this 9 days ago (so a Saturday — no impact from commuter traffic, I guess) from Oasis of the Seas. We had no problems disembarking during self-assist (around 7:45 AM, I think), headed very easily through the terminal and out to an Uber pretty quickly. I don't recall any waiting on the way through and out. Our flight was scheduled at 10:18 AM (Delta out of MIA). I just checked my Uber app and it shows that I was picked up at 8:13 AM. According to Google's location history for me, we arrived at the airport around 8:36 AM. It's contrary to the advice given above by people I respect, but maybe the data points will be interesting to some.
  4. It had been the case that kids weren't permitted in the DL during happy hour; that didn't apply to kids in the suite lounge. The last time I looked at that, though, was several years ago.
  5. I received this from the concierge for next week's (eastern) sailing. It may be of use to others, but it is subject to change, of course. Whoops, forgot it had the highlighting in there. Well, now you know what I've chosen. Shows at Glance.pdf
  6. I don't know whether this will be useful, but I'm offering it as a way to show that if the casino is offering you free cruises, you should consider calling them when you want to book cruises because they may be able to provide additional discounts if you were to upgrade as well. Below is the pricing for a cruise that I had for Oasis of the Seas, the week after Labor Day. The offer I'd received from Casino Royale was a comped junior suite. So, the "Casino Offer 67" is basically taking off the cost of a junior suite. However, because I booked through the casino, the incremental cost to upgrade to a grand suite was only $237/person. I don't know where that number came from because it wasn't something I saw on the public-facing website, but for a total price of $800.90 (not including gratuities) to get a week-long cruise in a Sky Suite accommodation on an Oasis-class ship? How could I say no?! Now, note the bottom line here. This was the second week of a B2B. The first week was in the same cabin, booked on an identical offer. Yes, I got comped a junior suite on Oasis of the Seas for Labor Day week. It's rare, but it happens. That sailing only cost $422.90, and that included $500 in freeplay, which hubby and I handily turned into $540 in cash. I will note, however, that Casino Royale is definitely overestimating any future revenues they will likely get from me. It seems that I somehow finagled their rating math to get a higher standing than I should get. Still, you may not get offers like this. Heck, I don't usually get offers like that. My B2B on Symphony of the Seas (same offer -- comped JS upgraded to GS) are about $4K/week total, still quite a respectable discount for the "Signature" tier, but much more typical.
  7. Royal Caribbean also allows you to submit your special needs requests online.
  8. The price of specialty dining gets to me, too, but that's really just supply and demand. Clearly, enough people are paying those prices to appease our cruise masters. Still, now that we choose to sail in suites, I'm perfectly content with Coastal Kitchen's first night's filet mignon instead of Chops Grille's for $55.
  9. I’m really glad to see that I’m not alone in my thinking. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something obvious, what with effectively given Royal Caribbean a lot less money. I used to buy the drink package after seeing two bartenders get fired for giving customers they liked free drinks. Since my friend and I were the beneficiaries, I vowed never to accept a free drink like that and to ensure that wouldn’t happen, I bought the package. I can probably drink enough to make it worthwhile at the older price and maybe even now, but it was more about convenience and personal ethics.
  10. I don't think I really thought about Prime offering drinks. I've been Signature forever it seems (well, the pandemic has really stretched this tier out far longer than what it should have based on my actual play), and I remember that comped drinks was a perk specifically only for invited casino guests in the early days. (I think one had to earn something like 2,000 points on one sailing to get invited, and once in, one stayed in.) These days, I don't even go into the casino much. On Oasis, the only time we went in was to play the $500 in free play we had gotten for that sailing. We turned the free play into $540 cash. I'll note that we actually only paid a total of $422.90 for that cruise — comped JS upgraded to GS. Thus, Casino Royale paid us $117 for us to sail that week.
  11. Thanks. It makes sense, but the logical person in me really wonders why they'd go through the effort of verifying the card electronically if they're going to verify it in person anyway. (Now, perhaps the in-person verification merely matches the card with the verified image that was uploaded. That has a modicum of value.)
  12. That's exactly the range I used for targeting my drink package pricing, too. The sweet (most frequent) spot was right around $45, IIRC. Sigh... I never got to use my $18 drink packages.
  13. I noticed during one of Matt's recent livestreams that he held up his Seapass card and on there I noticed that he had the Deluxe package. Since Royal Caribbean started the drink voucher thing, hubby and I now each get 5 drinks. We did the math, and for the two of us, the math just doesn't work out that we could get 11-12 drinks per day (and that's assuming they're all alcoholic). Now, if it were just me, I could probably swing it as I drink more than my husband, but since it's a both or neither thing, it just doesn't work out. (I am getting the soda package as I can definitely take advantage of that, and I do like the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines.) So, now I'm curious about others, including @Matt since this question his his fault (), how has the Diamond or higher vouchers changed one's calculus to get the Deluxe Beverage Package. For us, now we can save several hundred dollars per week-long cruise by paying a la carte for the cheap, non-alcoholic drinks during the day and getting (mostly) free alcoholic drinks in the evenings. Thanks, Royal Caribbean!
  14. Regarding the vaccine card, I saw in the app that my vaccination records had been verified. Does that mean they'll still want to see them at the port (as in we should still have them in our hands like our SetSail pass and passport), or will they skip that entirely?
  15. I don't know how I feel about those areas at this point. They were a lifeline for me during my cruise on the first return-to-service (revenue) Oasis of the Seas. My anxiety was way out of control (that's since been addressed), so it was panic-panic-panic while being masked and going from the cabin to a vaccinated-only venue where I could unmask and calm down. So, when I embark on Symphony of the Seas in 10 days, I'm going to be relieved that I don't have to wear a mask for solely the reason of anxiety. However, if Royal Caribbean really still wants to encourage people to wear masks, keeping vaccinated-only zones where those people could feel more free to unmask might make sense, at least for some period of time.
  16. I'm still traumatized from my elementary school days when during our lunchtime, I couldn't even finish the 8 oz. carton of milk before the straw had sealed itself up tight.
  17. Sacrilege! I've got my dining planned out for my upcoming B2B on Symphony, and filet mignon in CK is supposed to be on night 1, just the way Michael Bayley intended! (IMO, the complimentary filet mignon in CK more than sufficiently makes up for the overpriced counterpart in Chops.)
  18. The language seems to refer to being "fully vaccinated" versus "up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines". Royal Caribbean is choosing to go with "Highly Vaccinated" and not the top tier. The way I interpret it is "up to date" means whatever the latest level of "boosted" means, while "fully vaccinated" means (currently) just the initial 1- or 2-dose regimen.
  19. If one uses an FCC from a cruise cancelled under Cruise with Confidence for an upcoming (qualifying) cruise, and then one decides to cancel that cruise, how long with the resulting FCC be valid for? I'm not sure what they may mean by "original sail date" (whether it points to the first cruise cancellation that resulted in FCCs being issued). What makes it a little confusing is that here we are, already in January 2022, so for any cancellations done between now and September 28, the "or by December 31, 2022" should be irrelevant unless they retain the first cruise's sail date for the new FCCs. (It's a historically useful message, though.)
  20. We (my husband and I) cancelled a December cruise in early September. After six weeks of not hearing anything, I called to find out. The FCC had been issued and emailed to... get this... our deceased son's email address. He's been gone for two years, and somehow Royal Caribbean managed to associate his email address with our FCCs for a booking made and cancelled in 2021. The person on the phone did give me the FCC numbers so I can use them, but they were unable to re-email the certificates to my email address as they'd been issued to the other one.
  21. I noticed while browsing cruises (in an incognito window to confirm repeatability), after playing with the filters a bit, and then even after clearing the filters, note the last filter chip: Why is Royal Caribbean promoting Oasis of the Seas to its own chip? I don't get this behavior every time, so I'm not sure what triggered it to start appearing. I do wonder whether the post-August sailings of Oasis of the Seas might be called out and Royal Caribbean wants to provide an easy way to find those sailings.
  22. The CDC has three possible criteria for ending the ban. November 1, 2021, is just the fallback one. If the Secretary of Health and Human Services no longer declares COVID-19 a "public health emergency" or if the CDC Director rescinds or modifies their order would also result in the ban being over (or modified).
  23. My guess: they'll try to match what you have now, otherwise they may upgrade you. (Note that neither of the sailings below were guarantee bookings, so your experience may vary.) I L&S'd two (back-to-back) cruises (a Mediterranean and the following transatlantic). This was from one Oasis class ship to another. The Mediterranean cruise transferred over and kept the same cabin. The transatlantic, however, was sold out of grand suites, so they upgraded us to a crown loft suite. I wasn't expecting that, and although I'm disappointed not to be able to stay in the same cabin between the two sailings, I think this is a very reasonable option.
  24. Are you sure about that? I thought the PVSA restricted travel between two US ports, embarking passengers at one and disembarking passengers at another (i.e., a repositioning cruise). For those cruises, a foreign-flagged ship must visit a distant foreign port, most often including one of the ABC islands. (One-way travel between Puerto Rico and any other US port are also currently permitted by explicit exemption in the PVSA.) Round-trip cruises are fine and may stop at any foreign port (note, not "distant"). Also, cruises to nowhere should be fine, but as I recall, there was some sort of taxation or immigration issue regarding the crew that caused those to go away. Also, if you're on a cruise that doesn't go to a foreign country, you would not be entitled to the $800/1600 personal allowance for duty-free purchases. (I think the default allowance is just $50 or $100.)
  25. No, that's different. When you get a certificate immediately after your casino play based on the points you earned on that sailing, you have to book it within 30 days and you can use it on one of the ~40-50 cruises listed on the back, or on any cruise sailing within the next year for its trade-in value. What you got is a promotional mailing that Casino Royale sends out frequently to its members. The offers vary by historical level of play.
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