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BrianB
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On 12/13/2021 at 1:47 PM, AlmondFarmer said:

I have not been on a Quantum class ship but understand they do not have Aqua theaters. Any possibility the North Star is utilized for a high diving performance on pool deck?

I would buy a ticket. 

I’m on the Anthem. According to the comedian (an excellent source of factual, non-sarcastic information)…the North Star operates as normal until such time as someone onboard tests positive. Then they use it to quarantine whoever tests positive…and after a couple days, if they still test positive, they just swing it over the side and hit the jettison button.😜

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I’m on the Anthem now and this is my eighth cruise from Bayonne since my personal start-up in September. On just about every cruise since, capacity has been trending up. Of course capacity jumped over Thanksgiving as demand was very high. 
As time went on…protocols noticeably, incrementally relaxed. In the beginning, the first two rows in the theater were closed for ‘physical distancing’. Now it’s just the first row. The pre-show recording on the Anthem went from advising everyone to maintain at least two seats between travel parties to now only in the balcony. No physical distancing is required on the lower, vaccinated-only levels. More seating areas are also open in the balcony. 
At Cafe Promenade, we started with no self-serve at all…now we get our own coffee and drinks. Very few tables are closed for spacing. On Oasis, there were no condiments on the tables…now they’re back. I haven’t been in the Wind-shammmere recently so I don’t know if anything changed there. Of course having the buffet opened for dinner is indicative of higher capacity. Specialty restaurants have opened up more tables. 
On the pool decks the loungers have increased and the space between them has shrunk. But so far, even with the dawn ‘attack of the chair hogs’ there are still availability late morning. There is still limited capacity in the pools but I don’t know if it’s been increased. There’s also limited capacity on the NorthStar and iFly and they now have the new ‘extended experience’ on both which is for a fee. Make early reservations or miss out.

With all that…there are and will still be instances where people are crowded together. Whether it’s outside the terminal, or choke points leaving entertainment venues (even with the incremental dismissal efforts) or queuing up to disembark at ports or final disembarkation, or even in the elevators. The point is to minimize those as much as reasonable and hopefully everyone stays masked…which so far seems to be the case. As capacity increases and distancing protocols ease, hopefully the number of breakthrough infections stays minimal and symptoms remain minor so that medical is not stressed.
 
Hopefully this safe and successful restart trend continues with #theRoyalComeback.
 

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1 hour ago, Raffer99 said:

I’m not too worried about crowds/lines as much as RC still limiting at pool, restaurants and so on with more people on the ship.

It’s going to create longer delays, which will not be relaxing. 

This. pre-pandemic there was no limit on going into a pool or sending kids to the kids club or other things. I experienced first hand on a Disney cruise what it looks like when they pack the ship as full as possible and dont loosen restrictions, it caused us to ditch Disney indefinitely, hoping to not have the same poor experience on RCL.

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2 hours ago, Austin said:

Just got off Odyssey yesterday and they said we had 3700 passengers. Cruise  director said Christmas week would have around 1000 kids and certainly more passengers. 

That's >85% based on DO, but only 65% of total capacity. 

Next week could really be a sh*t show if a particular boat hasn't prepared for the higher capacities. If there weren't a pandemic going on and there were no restrictions, I wouldn't care if the boat was full. I was on a full Symphony over Xmas 2019 and we never felt like it was too crowded.

However, if they're just maintaining the same staff and protocols with the larger crowds, that could be messy. My guess is different boats will have different experiences. Some might be terrible. Some may be totally fine. 

 

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Odyssey of the Seas is reporting 3,700 with 1,700 kids. The ship feels a lot more crowded. I keep thinking do they have to tell me the passenger the truth? 

Last night Led Zepplin cover band in the Music Hall packed upstairs and down and for every seating area there was a sleeping child or two, the one next to us about 6 years old laying on the chair with his fingers in his ears, kind of a weird evening. The little ones and carriages every where made me think AO may have been difficult to secure entry. 

Coastal Kitchen packed early at 1730hrs nightly, elevators stuffed, forget the solarium, standing room only! Royal accounting must be having a great Holiday!

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COVID test before boarding is hassle but it can limit many of the fake COVID test result.  If you cruise more than once for the last 6 months you know you can create a fake PCR/Antigen test result.  There are NO standard on the PCR/Antigen test forms and the person checking only looking for the date and "negative".   Royal should ask everyone to upload the test result before boarding so that people will take it more serious.  When we go to Canada, we enter all of the PCR test, Vaccin card, hotel  information to the ArriveCan App before crossing the boarder.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Brilliance Christmas Cruise was, by my best guess, 60 percent.  The only cluster “@&& was the “scheduled boarding” and the  7pm my time dining seating. That seemed to catch the MDR off guard every night.  Other than that no lines or waiting of any substance. Always a pool deck seat, always bar seating, zero wait in Windjammer, ample seats in the Pacifica Theater for all shows. Smooth and quick debarkation and reboarding at all ports. Honestly our best cruise of ten vis a vis crowds and lines. 

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