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The Demise of the Souvenir Cup?


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I'm sorry if this was addressed in previous posts.

What will happen to the refillable cups given with the beverage packages? I can't see people using the cups over and over at the freestyle machines or having them filled at bars as they have discouraged people from using their own mugs and water bottles in the past.

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It's a good question. I don't partake in the soda package, but I liked the souvenir cups from the "reusable" standpoint. Clearly we're going to pivot away from that.

I'm sure that to start with, the freestyle machines will be off limits, and you'll only get the fizzy stuff from the bars. Inconvenient, but not a big deal in the long run.

What comes next will be interesting, and it's probably predicated on what advances Coke puts into the freestyle machines. I'm reading that they're trying to add bluetooth/mobile app  support for the next gen machines, so that might work. 

But from a cruiser's standpoint - and I realize that this is easier said than done - it might be best to transfer the freestyle activation chip to a card (or maybe even the Seapass card) and the scanning location to the front of the machine. Again, easier said than done, since I'm sure that on the inside there are circuits and wires running everywhere to make a simple drink dispensing operation work. 

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I think the Freestyle machines could probably be modified to limit an individual's contact with it, and I think I'm correct in saying that it doesn't survive on surfaces as long as initially thought. I'm not sure that there are insurmountable obstacles to keeping the machines as they are. OTOH, requiring every beverage transaction to involve a human at a bar is surely less than ideal. 

Specialty drink souvenir cups are the worst of both worlds: human contact required and something that has been trekked all over the ship/port/wherever. I'd imagine those go by the wayside for the time being.

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The one downside I see is the the selection the freestyle machine offers (kind of assuming never really used it on a ship, but have at work) vs what might be offered a bar. I'm sure anything reusable but not under Royal's sanitation control will not be initially offered.   

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2 hours ago, LizzyBee23 said:

and I think I'm correct in saying that it doesn't survive on surfaces as long as initially thought.

I believe you're correct. It didn't click until now but (at least in NY) we are all touching surfaces that others have touched and not sanitized, including ordering systems. Example: I just used a touch screen to order my lunch at QuickChek.

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2 hours ago, LizzyBee23 said:

I think the Freestyle machines could probably be modified to limit an individual's contact with it, and I think I'm correct in saying that it doesn't survive on surfaces as long as initially thought

 

6 minutes ago, sk8erguy1978 said:

I believe you're correct. It didn't click until now but (at least in NY) we are all touching surfaces that others have touched and not sanitized, including ordering systems. Example: I just used a touch screen to order my lunch at QuickChek.

I think the greater concern would be that the cup that might have come into contact with someone's mouth comes into contact with the dispensing nozzle. I'll admit, looking at the Freestyle system this is less likely than a traditional lever type soda fountain, but not out of the realm of possibility.

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12 minutes ago, sk8erguy1978 said:

we are all touching surfaces that others have touched and not sanitized, including ordering systems.

This is going to be with all contact surfaces on board. Slot machines, elevator buttons, bathroom door handles, pool deck chairs. The list goes on and on. 

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2 minutes ago, FManke said:

I think the greater concern would be that the cup that might have come into contact with someone's mouth comes into contact with the dispensing nozzle. I'll admit, looking at the Freestyle system this is less likely than a traditional lever type soda fountain, but not out of the realm of possibility.

Yep, I agree it's more about the reusable cup, but surface touching might be a concern of the panel, CDC, etc. Probably more from a passengers prospective than a scientific one.

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3 hours ago, LizzyBee23 said:

I think the Freestyle machines could probably be modified to limit an individual's contact with it, and I think I'm correct in saying that it doesn't survive on surfaces as long as initially thought. I'm not sure that there are insurmountable obstacles to keeping the machines as they are. OTOH, requiring every beverage transaction to involve a human at a bar is surely less than ideal. 

I remember on a recent(ish) cruise on Enchantment of the Seas (2018) that the ice machines and IIRC the Freestyle machines were staffed and you handed them your container. I can't for the life of me remember for sure if this was the case on my last cruise on Majesty December 2019. I remember the Freestyle machines in 2018 being staffed as that's the best place to get water and ice refills for your own containers. It's filtered to Coca-Cola's specifications. That's actually a big deal.

This staffing might be a possibility, but the cup would have to be cleaned in some fashion to transfer back and for between the parties. Not sure if that would be useful, but much better than 5000 of your closest personal friends and minions attacking the machine independently without supervision.

In 2018, It could have been that because we had no drink package, they wanted to dispense the water and ice as a loss prevention. Because people will do that.😒 Just like having every occupant of the room has to have a drink package. Because people.

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5 hours ago, FManke said:

I'm sorry if this was addressed in previous posts.

What will happen to the refillable cups given with the beverage packages? I can't see people using the cups over and over at the freestyle machines or having them filled at bars as they have discouraged people from using their own mugs and water bottles in the past.

Might still get the cup, but won't use it until you get home.   Guessing disposable paper cups become the norm for awhile..

 

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As far as the Freestyle machines I guess they could have a crew member wipe down the Freestyle touch screen and cup base between guests much like a big box retailer that does at the self check out registers.

The cups themselves are somewhat contact-less in that you just sit the cup in the machine, only the bottom touches anything.   The points of contact are the touch screen and the place where you sit the cup. 

Think of this like a self checkout machine at Walmart or a grocery store.  If staff wipe down the scanner area and touchpad it seems to work at home so this approach should work at a Freestyle machine.

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17 hours ago, SpeedNoodles said:

The last 3 cruises that I was on did not allow self service at the ice cream stands - they were all staffed.

Makes sense especially now.   Sailed Liberty in Mar '20, and they were still operating next to the pool, and doing a really good job keeping clean and operational.

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13 hours ago, twangster said:

As far as the Freestyle machines I guess they could have a crew member wipe down the Freestyle touch screen and cup base between guests much like a big box retailer that does at the self check out registers.

The cups themselves are somewhat contact-less in that you just sit the cup in the machine, only the bottom touches anything.   The points of contact are the touch screen and the place where you sit the cup. 

Think of this like a self checkout machine at Walmart or a grocery store.  If staff wipe down the scanner area and touchpad it seems to work at home so this approach should work at a Freestyle machine.

With the cup I think the concern is more about the splash when you're filling it up. 

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6 minutes ago, KWong said:

With the cup I think the concern is more about the splash when you're filling it up. 

I don't recall large volumes of splash liquid occuring at the machines up to this point.  There is some I suppose but with clean liquid going in would need to be mixed with a lot of virus in a cup to reach the point of concern.  In the interim they could simply close the machines and only use bar glasses/cups to dispense beverages at bars.  Bring your souvenir cup home unused - it's a souvenir.  Honestly I'm more worried about elevator buttons and railings in the stairwells.  

When cruising first restarts I might even ask my cabin attendant to just drop off towels and skip the daily room refresh.  A cabin attendant moving from cabin to cabin to cabin is more likely to spread a virus than splash from a cup IMO. 

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When I have been on ships without the Freestyle machines I just showed my card at the bar to show I had the drink package. And this also works if you've forgotten your cup in the room, or if you're in an area where there is no Freestyle machine. I would imagine this is a low priority for them but so many people use the machines they'll have to address it.

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9 hours ago, twangster said:

I don't recall large volumes of splash liquid occuring at the machines up to this point.  There is some I suppose but with clean liquid going in would need to be mixed with a lot of virus in a cup to reach the point of concern.  In the interim they could simply close the machines and only use bar glasses/cups to dispense beverages at bars.  Bring your souvenir cup home unused - it's a souvenir.  Honestly I'm more worried about elevator buttons and railings in the stairwells.  

When cruising first restarts I might even ask my cabin attendant to just drop off towels and skip the daily room refresh.  A cabin attendant moving from cabin to cabin to cabin is more likely to spread a virus than splash from a cup IMO. 

Yeah I don't think it's a huge amount of splash from the dispenser. But all the same, you could have respiratory droplets on your cup and not know it, so probably an easy ask (although perhaps not an easy task) to switch from the chipped cups to a paper or plastic cup. Even if it makes zero effective difference from a health standpoint, it might be a good psychological move.

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18 hours ago, KWong said:

Yeah I don't think it's a huge amount of splash from the dispenser. But all the same, you could have respiratory droplets on your cup and not know it, so probably an easy ask (although perhaps not an easy task) to switch from the chipped cups to a paper or plastic cup. Even if it makes zero effective difference from a health standpoint, it might be a good psychological move.

Or ban breathing on the ship...

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Last couple of cruises the ice cream was hit and miss if they had an attendant. It seemed the first couple of days and the last day they were there almost constantly. I think the days of self serve are going to be gone for awhile.

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I know it's not the same situation in some respects, but Five Guys in the UK are allowing customers to use Freestyle machines and reuse their paper cups in them. They say on their website they are sanitizing the touchscreens,  more often but I didn't witness this ( I wasn't watching for this though).

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