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Covid testing snafu creates public relations nightmare for Royal Caribbean in Galveston


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I feel for anyone that gets stuck in a situation like this due to a last minute protocol change, but this is just a case of bad luck (PCR test not coming back soon enough) and misunderstanding of which antigen tests are acceptable.  

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Hmmm.

July 29 - Royal announces policy of testing for all US cruises effective July 31.  

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2021/07/29/royal-caribbean-will-require-negative-covid-19-test-all-us-sailings-longer-4-nights

  • The new policy is effective for all U.S. sailings between July 31 and August 31.

 

August 13 - CDC grants Indy certificate to sail

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2021/08/13/royal-caribbean-gets-cdc-approval-independence-of-the-seas-sail

  • Independence received her Conditional Sailing Certificate from the CDC, which means the ship is ready to sail with passengers on August 15.

 

 What am I missing?

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I feel sorry for anyone in this situation as well, but seriously, people really shouldn't consider traveling internationally (including cruises) during a pandemic unless they are willing to keep up with the ever-changing rules daily.  You really have to stay on top of things.  A look at the website each day for RCI, and understanding the different types of tests that are acceptable, including turn-around times, would have really helped this couple out.  That, and actually reading the many 'forms' they have to sign off on.

I have friends that are (or have) travelled internationally and they are clueless.  I have no idea how they either get where they are going....or eventually make it home.  

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32 minutes ago, twangster said:

Hmmm.

July 29 - Royal announces policy of testing for all US cruises effective July 31.  

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2021/07/29/royal-caribbean-will-require-negative-covid-19-test-all-us-sailings-longer-4-nights

  • The new policy is effective for all U.S. sailings between July 31 and August 31.

 

August 13 - CDC grants Indy certificate to sail

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2021/08/13/royal-caribbean-gets-cdc-approval-independence-of-the-seas-sail

  • Independence received her Conditional Sailing Certificate from the CDC, which means the ship is ready to sail with passengers on August 15.

 

 What am I missing?

So you're asking what cruise had a 2-day lead time to get tested?

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29 minutes ago, Mark_A said:

The comments under that story are ridiculous.  Obviously most have never been on a cruise...

I've heard it at work recently when I've been talking about my upcoming cruise on Adventure.  When I've asked the people crapping on cruising if they've ever been on a cruise, they all have replied "no" and said something about they wouldn't be caught dead on one.

It depends on how I feel whether I educate them or call them a dumbass and go on with my day...Lately I've been pretty exhausted at work, so there have been more dumbasses.

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I empathize with people who go through these types of disappointments, but…there is such a thing as taking responsibility for one’s actions (or inactions) and doing due diligence regarding traveling during a pandemic. It’s not like there hasn’t been any media reports about how the cruise industry has been devastated by the fifteen month shutdown and how they are trying to reopen as safely as possible…and are sometimes struggling to do so. The health protocols are always issued with the caveat that they could change frequently and passengers should be aware of all policies and restrictions before and during their cruise. I’m sorry for them…sorry that they ruined their cruise because they failed to be aware. They failed to plan.

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There's lots of this story that feels very odd.  "Several of us called and Royal would not answer the phones!" Um... No.  It may be a long wait time (Though not recently in my experience) but they don't refuse to answer the phones. (The it's been 4 days and they haven't heard anything does seem to gel with the Royal Customer Service I've heard about though, sadly).

The "Large group comes back from a place that does testing and not allowed on board" Also feels very odd.  And the "You can't have your luggage back" seems uh...lawsuit worthy?

Something is off here.

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I don’t know how anybody can blame these people for this ….. Royal literally emailed them testing requirements with only TWO DAYS NOTICE before their cruise.  They did everything they thought they needed to do …….. they did BOTH a PCR test and an Antigen test ….. is it really their fault that they weren’t given enough notice by Royal before their cruise for a PCR test to come back?  Or that Royal wouldn’t accept the Antigen test they used?  I’m willing to bet Royal didn’t give enough info in the email on what Antigen tests they’d accept.  I have a cruise in 56 days and have yet to receive any info from Royal about any requirements.  If I wasn’t on here, I’d most likely be just as blissfully ignorant as these people and be thinking that ROAYL would email me well in advance with any changes.

Just because we all are on this forum all the time doesn’t mean everybody else is ……. Up until 2 years ago when I found this forum, when we went on a cruise, we’d book the cruise and show up …….. we didn’t know anything about making reservations for shows or food or even how to book drink packages in advance.  Not everybody knows what we all who are on here know or even puts that much effort into their trips.  Most people book a cruise and just show up.  At least 70% of the blame for this lies at Royal’s feet for not giving people enough notice or enough info.  
 

Where are the calls for ROYAL’S “due diligence” to make sure they give their paying customers all the information they need with enough time before their cruise?  

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12 minutes ago, ChrisK2793 said:

Royal literally emailed them testing requirements with only TWO DAYS NOTICE before their cruise.

Was it really two days notice though? Or were they just not paying attention the last month or so and this courtesy reminder email was the first time they actually paid attention to requirements?

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12 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

Was it really two days notice though? Or were they just not paying attention the last month or so and this courtesy reminder email was the first time they actually paid attention to requirements?


Well as of now, I’m 56 days away from my Symphony cruise and I haven’t heard a peep from Royal about anything …..the only email I’ve ever received from them about it was telling me that my final payment was due ….. which I’d already paid that over a month before then.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, ChrisK2793 said:

I’d most likely be just as blissfully ignorant as these people and be thinking that ROAYL would email me well in advance with any changes.

Again, your ignorance isn't the cruiseline's responsibility.

If I'm investing time and money into something, I am making sure all my Is are dotted and my Ts are crossed with respect to what I need to do on my end. I let the cruiseline handle dealing with the ports and the CDC regulations and running the ship. 

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13 minutes ago, ChrisK2793 said:


Well as of now, I’m 56 days away from my Symphony cruise and I haven’t heard a peep from Royal about anything …..the only email I’ve ever received from them about it was telling me that my final payment was due ….. which I’d already paid that over a month before then.

 

 

You’re still 56 days out and protocols for October aren’t released yet.  My cruise is September.  Protocols were released a day or 2 ago, I got an email from Royal that night which outlined exactly what I need to do to board and when with links to relevant q&a’s on their website.  

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13 minutes ago, ChrisK2793 said:

Well as of now, I’m 56 days away from my Symphony cruise and I haven’t heard a peep from Royal about anything …..the only email I’ve ever received from them about it was telling me that my final payment was due ….. which I’d already paid that over a month before then.

With the situation and protocols constantly changing, it wouldn't be prudent to send out requirements for your sailing yet.  56 days is a lot of time for requirements to change and evolve with the landscape of what's going on with the virus and the cruise industry.

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16 minutes ago, AshleyDillo said:

Again, your ignorance isn't the cruiseline's responsibility.

If I'm investing time and money into something, I am making sure all my Is are dotted and my Ts are crossed with respect to what I need to do on my end. I let the cruiseline handle dealing with the ports and the CDC regulations and running the ship. 


Yes, Royal has ZERO responsibility to make sure their customers are notified of the constant changes they’re making in a TIMELY manner.  If you’re the AVERAGE traveler who assumes a company you’re paying thousand of dollars to for a trip will keep you TIMELY notified and they don’t, it’s tough and all your own fault LMAO 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Jkaczano said:

You’re still 56 days out and protocols for October aren’t released yet.  My cruise is September.  Protocols were released a day or 2 ago, I got an email from Royal that night which outlined exactly what I need to do to board and when with links to relevant q&a’s on their website.  


‘Actually they are, my cruise requires vaccination for ALL passengers 12 and up recently announced, ….. plus pre-cruise testing of all passengers thru December 31 announced almost a month ago  …..and AGAIN ….. I found that out on this message board ……. Still NOT A PEEP from Royal by email about it.  

 

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