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How smoothly are the cruises running? Is mask wearing very strict?


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Hi all, newbie here,

Just looking to see if anyone has been on board mariner of the seas or did the bahamas & perfect day cruise from Port Canaveral, Florida? We are travelling on it as a group of 8 from Ireland.

Leaving from Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida onboard Mariner of the Seas 28 Dec, and return to Orlando Sat Jan 1st.

We are at Nassau for one day, and perfect day for another. The other 2 days we are at sea. New years eve will be on the boat, i hope it's not a let down!

We booked it for my mums 50th, 8 of us going - 3 siblings and their partners all in 20s, then mum & dad. We have not purchased any extras yet or beverage packages.

I am looking forward to it, we are all double vaxxed, I am just a bit sceptical about how the cruises are running at present, are they fairly normal?

 

Firstly I'd like to point out we went and got our vaccines right away, we're not anti-mask or anything. But I do not want my holiday to be spent wearing one for 4 days on the ship. I've read the guidelines on the website stating its only in certain places..

I'm not the biggest fan of masks, we do have to wear them indoors here in Ireland in some places, but things have got more relaxed. I'm hoping the ship isn't super strict.

 

We have only been on one cruise before, it was Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas, from Barcelona around the Mediterranean for 7 nights, we loved it.

We are spending the 2nd week of our holiday, Sat 1st - Sun 9th in Orlando around the parks etc. Part of me says maybe we should spend the 1st week somewhere else in Florida on land/at the coast, with everything that's going on at the moment, think i'm just a tad worried about how the ships are running!. But if the cruises are running fairly smoothly, i'm sure it'll be fantastic. It is a fairly short cruise anyways. 

 

Thank you in advance.

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@Matt will be on Mariner on Oct 8, 2021 and will post a Live Blog from there on the RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com main page, so keep an eye out for that.  Others who have been cruising lately will likely chime in here as well.  Honestly, December is a long time from now (in the terms of Covid protocols) and anything can change by then, so what may be true now may not be true in December.

 

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thanks very much for that, i will keep an eye out to tune in when it goes live. 

 

Yeah that's true. I think we had until November 1st to cancel our cruise, after that we have to pay the balance or lose the cruise as far as i'm aware! We aren't thinking of cancelling, just looking at backup options.

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I’m boarding symphony in 3 weeks. Right now mask wearing is indoors, generally as you’re moving about the ship. Getting from point A to point B. Once you get to where you are going (bar, restaurant, theater) it can be removed. 
 

A lot will depend on what the virus is doing in December. I can’t see it getting any stricter. 
 

The good news here in Florida is that our cases have dropped dramatically. Our 7 day average is about 5,500 cases a day. Nationwide we appear to be moving on from the surge we saw over the summer. 

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Posted (edited)

That’s great, I know it’s on the RCC website protocols somewhere, but I’ve read that much stuff in the last few days my head is all over the place. 
 

we arrive into Orlando from Dublin, Ireland on Monday 27th December. We cruise Tuesday 28th. Does that mean our best option for having a test to show at boarding on Tuesday is to have a rapid antigen or whatever is fastest? Just trying to get organized. I don’t think it’s wise to assume arriving in Orlando on Monday evening, we’ll be able to just get a test with very fast results somewhere that will be ready for boarding Tuesday afternoon?

maybe we should take one in Ireland on Sunday 26th night time, hopefully that should be ok inside 48 hours

 

And on 1st January when we arrive back in Orlando - what is the protocol? Do we take a test on board, does it have to be paid for? Or do we just continue on with our trip to our hotel in Orlando?

 

thank you 

Edited by Kilash
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Protocols could be different in December, but here now on the Oasis…

Masks are required for indoor public areas except certain areas where only vaccinated people are admitted. It seems most clubs, the pub, casino and the majority of the theater are vaccinated-only so as soon as you walk in…mask free. I received a bracelet to show I was fully vaccinated upon check in. Crew members man the entrance of the venues to ensure you are wearing a Vaccinated Bracelet. Restaurants ask you wear a mask until seated...unless it’s a vaccinated-only venue. Shops are open to all but masks are required. I have seen crew members gently reminding some guests who forgot to put their mask back on when they entered a public area. There are other protocols for social distancing such as max 6 people (or your party) on an elevator. All in all it wasn’t terribly inconvenient. I got used to it pretty fast.

Also, we were in Nassau yesterday. Some businesses require you show your proof of vaccination at the door in order to enter. 

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Expect to wear your mask indoors when going between venues or in an unvaccinated venue. They enforce the rule all the time.

I know that doesn't sound wonderful, but it's really not that big of a deal. Wearing a mask is MUCH easier when there is a lot of air conditioning, and I found you get used to it quite quickly.

Of course, you can always spend more time outdoors or in vaccinated only venues and enjoy no masks.

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3 hours ago, SpeedNoodles said:

@Matt will be on Mariner on Oct 8, 2021 and will post a Live Blog from there on the RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com main page, so keep an eye out for that. 

Actually, there will be a live blog beginning Oct 8, but it will be from Ovation of the Seas! I am sailing that same weekend, but I will not be live blogging. 

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I've been on Indy and Adventure recently.  Masks were required between venues and at unvaccinated events. You could remove the mask outdoors,  in the pool and at vaccinated venues.

As far as enforcement,  it was mixed. I  forgot my mask one day and went to the pool. This means I was unmasked in the halls and elevator.  Nobody said anything. 

On the other hand,  I went to the show one night and didn't realize the balcony was for unvaccinated, so I wasn't wearing a mask. I was quickly,  but politely, corrected 

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You could test at the Orlando airport when you arrive or choose a Walgreens/CVS drug store to test the day before in Orlando or wherever you’re staying the night before. I’d start with the airport test. 
 

Currently no test needed to disembark if you’re staying in the US. You may need one to get back to Ireland though. That’s up to your country. 

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Hi, We just got off of the Freedom Sept. 20 with 2 stops at co co cay. On the ship as others have said getting around inside requires a mask in halls and elevators. I saw a few without but no biggee. 

No masks outdoors on ship or coco cay! We had a Great time. Enjoy!

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Just off Mariner last weekend and back on next weekend.

Mask wearing is "required" in indoor spaces while moving around but then not required in most areas once you sit and settle.

"Required" seems to be very much in the eye of the beholder, we sat and watched people meandering around without masks and no one said a word ... wouldnt count on that being true either way in the future but I would sum it up as "everyone took advantage of every opportunity to be unmasked".

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Is it too late for us at this stage to get travel insurance if we've already booked the flights to US from ireland and cruise with RCCL?

In any case, any recommendations of travel insurance providers? Not sure whether its best to insure as a party of 8 or individually..

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I'm late to this convo, but I wanted to comment on your time after getting off the cruise.  If you are planning on Walt Disney World, you are going to need specific park reservations in advance.  You can't just show up right now and get in, without a reservation.  Disney has announced they plan on keeping this reservation system in place for a long time, to control crowds as they are not allowing in 100% capacity yet. 

Currently, they are also requiring masks indoors, and in indoor ride queues.  Florida is still coming down from being the leader in delta variant covid cases, and depending on what is happening by January, you may or may not be wearing masks at Disney.  

Universal has a different set of rules, so make sure you research each one to see which fits your group best.  Have fun!

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3 hours ago, Kilash said:

Is it too late for us at this stage to get travel insurance if we've already booked the flights to US from ireland and cruise with RCCL?

In any case, any recommendations of travel insurance providers? Not sure whether its best to insure as a party of 8 or individually..

You should be able to get insurance, but it probably won't have cancel for any reason. Contact your travel agent. 

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We were on Symphony last week and we wore our masks in all indoor spaces when required and frequently even if we weren't (example:  theater shows).   Getting on and off the ship, check in for excursions and through security at the ship or the ports was also a mask wearing event. 

Just remember "Masky, Masky!" and you'll be fine.

 

Edited by Va4fam
typo
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When I hear someone ask ‘how strict is mask wearing?’ my first thought is you probably shouldn’t cruise right now. Cruise ships are able to cruise right now because of their strict policies and if you are someone who prefers to flaunt the restrictions it’s best to wait for the restrictions to be removed. I dislike wearing masks as well and feel it’s a bit of theatre however I do wear them wear required, especially when it means I am allowed to cruise. 

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I just got off Oasis on the 3rd.  Masks are required in all public areas of the ship except when eating/drinking, swimming, or posted otherwise as a strictly vaccinated area.  The shows advertised as vaccinated (v*, on the cruise planner) don't require the mask but many still wore theirs.  In the Bahamas masks are required everywhere unless eating or on the beach and there is still a curfew but the ship was long gone before the curfew.  I cannot speak for getting on in a Florida port but in NJ you must have your mask on in the line even outside or they will let you know and have no problem telling you to leave.  In shows and in various areas of the Bahamas be prepared to be asked to use hand sanitizer before entering or getting on ferrys.  

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