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Canadians - Are you cruising this year or waiting?


WannaCruise
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We are booked on Oasis over Christmas and are planning to go. Honestly, even with the changing protocols I feel like this is our best chance to travel outside Canada before the goal posts move again. The recent testing changes are a nuisance as we booked our flights on day 2 with testing planned on day 3 (so that one test could be used for entry into the US and at the cruise terminal). So if testing protocols remain we will need to get another test in Florida. Not a deal breaker but an inconvenience and added expense.  Royals covid coverage has helped with our decision as it is tough to get any sort of covid coverage in Canada.  I never imagined the biggest obstacle to travel would be scheduling multiple covid tests. Lol 

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9 hours ago, Jax said:

We are booked on Oasis over Christmas and are planning to go. Honestly, even with the changing protocols I feel like this is our best chance to travel outside Canada before the goal posts move again. The recent testing changes are a nuisance as we booked our flights on day 2 with testing planned on day 3 (so that one test could be used for entry into the US and at the cruise terminal). So if testing protocols remain we will need to get another test in Florida. Not a deal breaker but an inconvenience and added expense.  Royals covid coverage has helped with our decision as it is tough to get any sort of covid coverage in Canada.  I never imagined the biggest obstacle to travel would be scheduling multiple covid tests. Lol 

If the covid coverage by Royal does in fact expire Dec 31,st, then that is also a big factor for us too, for going on Dec cruise (plus lower crowds...maybe...cause we have the xmas cruise so am guessing it won't be that low)

We currently have a flight booked for the day before so with current protocols, the 2 day testing still works for us (but who knows what it will be by Dec)

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We sailed at the end of Aug on Indy from Galveston and are sailing again in Nov on Allure and Dec on Oasis.  It was a bit of a process to book tests and coordinated how many days we had to get in and out of the country.  The biggest problem was coordinating getting our PCR test to get back to Canada.  At every turn everyone at Royal seemed to give a different answer about the availably of PCR test on board.  This literally included right up until the moment we actually got our test on Board!!!!!  We booked an extra night in Houston just in case but clearly we didn't need it!  However to say that it was confusing for the staff to comprehend that both me and my wife and my kids needed the test is an understatement.  They were very pleasant and accommodating but we had to explain it about 5 different times.  If you have sailed with kids recently (or B2B) you'll understand the cards they leave in your room to book tests.  The process on the app makes it impossible to schedule a PCR and they actually run those first thing in the morning so it was redundant to have our son booked for a late morning antigen test.  They even left a message on my SeaPAss card to come to guest services.  Even arriving on deck on day 7 required some explaining.  In the end they left our negative tests letters for us and CBSA barely looked at them.  

Thank you so much Royal for providing the test and at no cost!!!!!!  I simply wish it was more widely understood by the crew but they were fantastic.  Now.......for how long will they offer his service??? 

@Marlena @KWong @Leahanne67

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My wife and I are booked on the Allure for Dec. We will get our test at Shopper's on Wednesday, fly Thursday, and board the ship on Friday. Not sure yet how to arrange the return test - that has to be a PCR for our return to Canada, whereas we only need the antigen screen to fly and board outbound. Any suggestions or experiences would be welcome.

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7 hours ago, Marlena said:

Thanks! I have already contacted them and they said theyvwill not cover cruises.

If you are vaccinated they cover cruises, I just had another look at the conditions.

"What's excluded?

 If you have not received the vaccine, this policy does not provide any coverage for Coronavirus (COVID-19) and related complications on a cruise or at any destination included in your cruise itinerary."

 
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On 9/8/2021 at 8:08 AM, Marlena said:

Our medical insurance is void on a cruise due to the level 4 warning. Does anyone have a medical travel insurance that is covering us?

I use Allianz.  They always send an email emphasizing it does cover covid. I get it through my travel agent, so I don't know if she has to specifically request covid coverage.

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7 hours ago, Marlena said:

Anyone know if there are issues with our vaccine proof being different then the US CDC cards?

No. Many Canadians have gone cruising without issues. And different provinces have different forms of proof. I haven’t heard of a single issue. They may look at it a little longer but accept it for what it is.

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20 hours ago, Marlena said:

Anyone know if there are issues with our vaccine proof being different then the US CDC cards?

I wondered the same but have also heard of no issues.  Just make sure that you bring both pdfs (first dose and second dose) as I heard they do look at both of them.  

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I have a cruise scheduled for October 10th out of NJ. I want to go so badly and absolutely nothing will stop me unless the land border doesn't open. I think it's very likely to remain closed, and I've come to terms with that for the most part. If it opens it will be a lovely surprise and I will be super excited to be on Oasis for the first time. If it remains closed, then I will be moving my cruise to Oct 2022 instead.

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59 minutes ago, Danielle OG said:

I have a cruise scheduled for October 10th out of NJ. I want to go so badly and absolutely nothing will stop me unless the land border doesn't open. I think it's very likely to remain closed, and I've come to terms with that for the most part. If it opens it will be a lovely surprise and I will be super excited to be on Oasis for the first time. If it remains closed, then I will be moving my cruise to Oct 2022 instead.

Curious as I see you are from Toronto as well.  Does that mean that your hope is to drive to NJ?  We have Anthem out of NJ in Dec and are debating between driving (if border opens) or flying.  We do have refundable flights booked.

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6 minutes ago, WannaCruise said:

Curious as I see you are from Toronto as well.  Does that mean that your hope is to drive to NJ?  We have Anthem out of NJ in Dec and are debating between driving (if border opens) or flying.  We do have refundable flights booked.

Yes, the plan was always to drive. We did it in 2019 and it's a nice drive, and only 8 hours. I do have a fear of flying so that's why I chose to drive and cruise in the first place lol. Also there is quite a big difference in cost. Driving to NJ from here is gas money, and parking near the cruise terminal. Flying means $800 for two people round trip, plus hotel, plus uber to the port. 

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27 minutes ago, Danielle OG said:

Yes, the plan was always to drive. We did it in 2019 and it's a nice drive, and only 8 hours. I do have a fear of flying so that's why I chose to drive and cruise in the first place lol. Also there is quite a big difference in cost. Driving to NJ from here is gas money, and parking near the cruise terminal. Flying means $800 for two people round trip, plus hotel, plus uber to the port. 

I hear you...much cheaper.  We're a family of 4 so it's even more (but NJ airfare is less than flying to Florida).  It's also safer covid-wise being in your own car vs airport.  We are also thinking of driving in the worst case scenario where one of us test positive (i.e. if can drive ourselves home). 

Our downside is our cruise is Dec so weather is a big risk (Oct you would be fine).  Plus, I have back issues and can't sit that long so would need many stops.

 

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On 9/8/2021 at 4:13 PM, Eggbert said:

My wife and I are booked on the Allure for Dec. We will get our test at Shopper's on Wednesday, fly Thursday, and board the ship on Friday. Not sure yet how to arrange the return test - that has to be a PCR for our return to Canada, whereas we only need the antigen screen to fly and board outbound. Any suggestions or experiences would be welcome.

Were you able to find out for sure whether Royal accepts the rapid antigen test at Shopper's?  I understand it is the Abbott PanBIO one.

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I am not waiting.  I am in New Brunswick and just got off of a B2B2B cruise on Odyssey on Saturday.  It was a great trip and we had no problems at all with any of the testing.  Everything on the ship was open and there was no lines to go in the pool etc.  We have another B2B2B booked on Allure in November, with a 4 day on the Oasis before it.

Here is a little about our testing experience on this last set of cruises in case you are interested:

Our first sailing was Sunday 8/22/21 when it was still the three day testing requirement.

I went online late on Tuesday 8/17 to request our testing appt through the province. I got the call the next morning to schedule the appt. I explained our travel plan - (flying on Saturday 8/21 at 6 AM and then cruising on Sunday 8/22 and both need a test no more than 3 days prior) so I asked for a test on Thursday 8/19.  They explained that it COULD be up to 48 hours for results, so to have us covered for both, they had us go 8/18 & 8/19 for PCR tests.  That way we were sure to get the results in time for both the flight and the first cruise.   

On the morning of the 20th we had still not gotten the 1st results back yet so hubby made an appt with a place in Fredericton NB that offered rapid tests.  As soon as he hung up the phone he checked online again and the results of the 1st tests were there.  It was negative.  Later that same afternoon the other results came in too.  So we really only needed the test results from the 18th, but it was better to be safe than sorry. We cancelled the rapid test.

I had confirmed with multiple sources within RCL in writing (Bayley's FB, RCL FB, email) that we would be able to get the antigen tests between cruises for our B2Bs as well the PCR test to get home.  They were all consistent and said yes and there would be no fees.  

Regarding the antigen tests for the B2Bs, they had all of the B2Bers come down first thing in the morning the day before the cruise ended and we got swabbed.  We got the results back within an hour for the 1st cruise and I think it was a few hours on the 2nd one.

For the tests to get home we got a call from the Diamond concierge on day 2 or 3 of the last sailing and she set up the PCR test appt for us.  Disembarkation and our flights were scheduled for Saturday 9/11/21 but we requested to have the test on Thursday 9/9/21 in case we had any flight issues so we would not have to get retested at the airport or somewhere in Florida if we had to fly on Sunday. They set up up for an appt at 4PM on Thursday 9/9 and told us to go down to medical for the appt.  When we arrived, the nurse told us the results should be back in 35 minutes but asked us to come pick them up at 6PM in case there was a delay or she could send them to the room.  We told her we would come back at 6 to pick up the results and she was just about to stick the tester up my nose when an ALPHA ALHPHA ALPHA for deck 3 alarm came overheard and she had to take off, apologizing profusely.  She told us she would call us in our room when we could come back to get tested.  We totally understood - whatever the emergency was is the 1st priority. About 25 minutes later we got the call to come back down.  We were in and out in less than 5 minutes. We went back at 6PM and got he results, both of which were negative.  They gave us a print out of the results which we then uploaded into the ArriveCAN app with our vaccinations records.  Easy breezy!!

I know November will be more complicated to get tested before the cruise because of the new 2 day requirement so we will likely need to go with the rapid test in Fredericton before we catch our flight or try to find somewhere in Florida.

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