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Everything posted by JLMoran

  1. You’ve got a great PM there. Glad he’s not easing the pressure on the stone workers and making sure things are to spec and, more importantly, to the customer’s satisfaction.
  2. Just made final payment, now that my card will be on a new billing cycle by the time the payment actually posts (tomorrow at earliest). Official final payment day is Sunday (May 16th). Will be curious to see if they drop the prices after final payment date to make the sailing more appealing for anyone looking for a close-in booking with those crazy-good airfare rates.
  3. If I read today's latest CDC update right, crowd size is no longer an issue when it comes to fully vaccinated individuals. Either indoors or outdoors. So the pool deck and other outdoor onboard spaces will all be fine. Especially for these Adventure and Vision sailings that are running at much-reduced capacity.
  4. That's slightly older news from a couple of days ago, I think. Both that and the fact that masks are no longer required in any outdoor space on board.
  5. I see suites available again for my Aug 14 Vision sailing. Looks like whatever Royal was debating or mulling over has been resolved to their satisfaction. EDIT -- Looks like the only option for a suite is "Suite Guarantee". Innnnnnnteresting...
  6. My hope with this change in policy, for the upcoming Adventure and Vision sailings we'll see these additional updates from the Healthy Sail Panel / Royal: No masks required in the MDR or any other dining space (including smaller venues like the pub, Boleros, etc.) No masks required in the Royal Theater or other performance venues, the Viking Crown Lounge and other mainly lounging areas indoors, etc. No masks required while using loungers in the Solarium (if enclosed and not open to the outside air) Only time masks might be required, if even then, is when walking the hal
  7. Yeah, that really is just a BS way to do it. At that point, pay the minimal "extra" for the all-inclusive room since you'll more than come out ahead just on tips, even if you don't use one byte of wifi data or take a single non-free drink. That is a point to consider about the drink package inclusion. Even if you don't drink alcohol, the classic beverage package also includes coffees, sodas, and a few other semi-premium beverages. So you can still get some value out of that being included if you like to get coffees at Cafe Al Baccio or other premium coffee venues.
  8. Our guys used the same machine to level everything out, but did it after the settling had a chance to happen. NJ soil is very clay-heavy and tends to move a bit once it's wet, especially when topsoil or sand is added in. And in my case, the work was also done after displacing a lot of the soil in the area to remedy a leak / hole in our foundation wall's cinderblock. If your soil is more sandy or otherwise drier, and wasn't really moved around a lot in that area (not the area that just got back-filled by the bobcat) you could well be correct about them being less-concerned with settli
  9. They actually may want the rain to help settle the material. I have a paver patio that was put in many years ago, and before the pavers were laid down they put the top layer of sand and soil in place and left it there for about a week, maybe two. They wanted to get it rained on and really settled / packed down so that once the pavers were installed, they wouldn't get uneven from further soil settling and compression. It definitely worked. The patio is still level everywhere, except the very edges where the retaining strips have come a bit loose as the soil in the yard has shifted over the
  10. Point of order. @Lovetocruise2002 always posts to her blogs first. Or at least always starts them before @Matt.
  11. When you drive past the local Izumi on the way to work and think, “Nah, I’d rather swing by Giovanni’s Table for lunch today.” Yes, there really is a sushi / hibachi place not 15 minutes from my house named Izumi, and I would drive past it every day on the way to work. Back when “driving to work” was actually still a thing.
  12. $210 is way less than the cost of those perks when purchased separately. Assuming that they are also not including gratuities in the rate, that alone runs about $100 per person over 7 nights, if I’m remembering right that they are $14.50 per night for non-suite cabins. Classic beverage package by itself is $50 per person per night, so on a 7-night sailing that would be $350 all by itself. That “discount” stinks to high heaven. Even allowing for some fuzzy math package rate for AI, you’re not saving a damn thing once you have to pay the gratuities.
  13. Expect the cost to be higher than a standard excursion since it will be for far fewer people. I booked one with Celebrity, that combined a whale watching tour with a walking tour of Akureyri in Iceland, and for just four people it was running about $90 per person. They do scale the price based on the size of your party; if you have friends or people on a roll call who want to join you, the per person cost can drop much closer to a regular excursion.
  14. Oh, to answer about the chair and umbrella rental. There is a booth right as you enter the beach, a bit to the left of the entrance. You can rent chairs, loungers, and umbrellas. They have bundle options that save you a little bit, and some of those include a bucket of beers if you want that kind of option. Earlier you get there, the better the locations to set up. Even though it means a hike to get to the bar / restaurant and the gift shop, try to set up as far down the beach as they let you go. The area closest to the entrance gets absolutely packed by 11 AM. But I’ve gone all the way d
  15. I can also tell you the restaurant’s bar makes an awesome Dark & Stormy. My wife is at the point where if I bring up a sailing that goes to Bermuda, it’s an all but guaranteed yes. Where any other sailing will require days of careful broaching and negotiations.
  16. This. Although my wife does like to also experience new ships, rather than sail again on the same ship a second or third time if it can be avoided.
  17. You won’t have cell reception on board, except through what the ship makes available. And that doesn’t fall under your regular carrier plan or even the low-cost international plan like was mentioned. It is VERY expensive, especially for data. If you need wifi while on board at sea, you’ll have to purchase a package (or daily rate if offered). In port, you will likely have access to cell service through your carrier, and can then use your phone as a hotspot if needed.
  18. Second post-op visit today. All sutures are taken out now, except a few that will dissolve on their own over the next week or two. Graft site is still not healed enough, and did degrade a little bit at the lower end, but doc said it’s nothing of concern; he could see there is still healthy tissue growing in that spot, so it just needs another week or two to finish firming up. Everything else is looking great. I’m able to sit normally for about an hour at a pop now before I feel like it’s time to put it back up again, so it seems I’m making some rapid progress on that front. I have another
  19. Knock knock. Who's there? Dwayne. Dwayne who? DWAYNE THE TUB, I’M DWOWNING!!!
  20. Not according to NCL’s CEO. https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2021/05/06/norwegian-cruise-line-ceo-says-july-cruises-us-not-possible
  21. PM: “Guys, shape the fire pit into a circle!” Stone crew: “What’s a circle?” PM: (annoyed) “Looks like a big zero. The same big zero I’m gonna pay you if you don’t [email protected]#ing get it right TODAY!!”
  22. Only a few cruises under my belt, but so far all have been balcony / JS level. My wife and I love being able to sit on the balcony with a beverage in hand, looking out over that deep cobalt blue of the deep ocean and hearing the water gently lapping along the side of the ship. That said, I was perfectly ready to sail an inside cabin for the Iceland & Greenland cruise we were supposed to take in 2020 before Covid happened. Was going to be a very port-intensive cruise and the climate wasn't going to make staying out on a balcony for extended periods worthwhile in our minds. Eventually u
  23. Not really much new to report. I'm able to keep the leg lowered and sit normally for 20-30 minutes at a pop now before it gets too uncomfortable. But because it's still so limited I spoke with the doc about my return to work date. He agreed it would make sense to push that out a week to May 17 instead of this coming Monday, and we'll see about restrictions on initial hours if even that doesn't get me to a point where I could pull off an 8-hour day at my desk right off the bat. In the meantime, I've found out that the guy on the airplane at the start of Die Hard was right. Making fists wit
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