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REALLY ANNOYED …. Would have cancelled if they told us this YESTERDAY when we had 48 hours to go!


ChrisK2793
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I totally understand why everyone here is upset, but I wish you would just step back and understand why they're doing this. They're fully aware there are people out there like you who would be upset about this. They have plenty of people calling them right now complaining. When they made this decision I'm sure they had a pretty accurate approximation in mind of the revenue they'd lose over the next few weeks by instilling this policy. They know they will lose bookings over this. They've baked that into this decision.

However, their (very) educated decision -- as the people who lead this industry and know more about it than we ever could -- is that this policy will do more to keep cruising (and the public's perception of cruising) safe than the negative effect of people cancelling right now. I understand also that some people here think masks do not work. Unfortunately for those people, RCI listens to their full-time medical staff, who are medically trained doctors whose full-time job is to evaluate the efficacy of masks and other safety measures on cruising. It's a pretty specific job that they dedicate their life to. And those educated individuals (along with other business executives more concerned with finances and long-term viabilty of the company and industry) have determined this policy will help them continue to cruise safety. 

The executives at RCI don't give a crap about politics. They care about what's going to allow them to succeed now and years and decades into the future. That's why these decisions are made. 

That said, I think anyone with a cruise between now and Jan. 5 should absolutely be provided the opportunity to make changes to their itinerary if they don't wish to cruise under this policy. 

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health-safety-ship-icon-hub.png

Onboard the Ship

Mask Guidance

Here's our current guidance for facial coverings for all guests (except those under age 2, who do not need to wear a mask at any time).

Due to the latest public health evaluation, masks are required for all guests, regardless of vaccination status, at all times indoors except while eating or drinking. This includes at venues reserved for vaccinated guests only. Note that this policy is in place for all sailings departing before January 5, 2022, at which point it will be reevaluated.

Masks are NOT required to be worn:

  • In open-air areas of the ship, unless you are in a crowded setting.
  • In the pool or any activity where they may become wet.
  • In your stateroom when you are with your traveling party.
  • While visiting our private destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay, unless you are in a crowded setting.
  • By any guest under the age of 2.

Masks ARE required to be worn:

  • While indoors in public areas of the ship, unless seated and actively eating or drinking.
  • While visiting public ports of call, where local regulations may require them.

Dining

All dining areas will feature spaced, sanitized seating. Nearly all restaurants and cafes will be available to all guests, though a select few specialty restaurants may be reserved for vaccinated guests only.

In the Main Dining Room, which spans multiple decks, we will designate areas for parents and unvaccinated kids, and areas for vaccinated parties only. My Time Dining will not be available to parties that include unvaccinated guests.

If you prefer a buffet, Windjammer will be open to everyone for breakfast and lunch, and the food will be served by our crew. We recommend that you make dining reservations via Cruise Planner before your cruise or using the Royal Caribbean app onboard.

Entertainment

Theaters and activity venues will offer spaced seating and more showtimes. Some activities, showtimes, or seating areas will be reserved for vaccinated guests only. Be sure to make show reservations once onboard using the Royal Caribbean app.

Adventure Ocean Youth Program Reservations

Our award-winning Adventure Ocean youth program is looking forward to welcoming your young explorers. In order to plan for a healthy experience for every child, we ask that you make a reservation before bringing your child to Adventure Ocean. Stop by Adventure Ocean on boarding day to reserve time throughout your cruise. Program capacity may be limited on certain sailings during peak hours, in order to preserve social distancing.

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23 minutes ago, Pooch said:

I don’t know guys but half the time I forget to take my mask OFF!  So used to wearing it now, I barely notice it.

Exactly, I just got back from a cruise and I wore my mask the entire time I was indoors unless I was eating or in my stateroom. It was not a problem for me. I felt safe and it didn't take away from my experience. 

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I am from Canada and we have to wear masks everywhere indoors anyway. I believe it is all theatre but am so used to wearing it now that it won't deter me from cruising. I am next scheduled to sail Jan.8 (after the stated Jan.5 end) but I doubt it will change. I will not be cancelling and will enjoy the limited capacity from all the cancellations.

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After I posted about it on Twitter with Royal tagged, they made us an offer we couldn’t refuse to still go on the cruise tomorrow …… since what they did when I called technically didn’t cancel the cruise and just put in a refund request and refund approval in the notes if we did a no show.  So, we’re still going to go on he cruise tomorrow now.  We can wear a mask all the time inside for what they offered!

 

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Not sure why people are so mad with this. Very little is being changed in comparison with what they already had. 

The only difference is that you can't take your mask off once seated for an indoor entertainment. Not a big deal. Everything regarding outdoors is still the same. 

I'd prefer cruise companies to keep sailing rather than have an enormous amounts of omicron outbreaks and CDC shut them down again. 

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57 minutes ago, TonyYOW said:

Not sure why people are so mad with this. Very little is being changed in comparison with what they already had. 

 

Think about this.  We like to cruise.  The whole family.  We took the Nassau cruise this summer that was supposed to be mask free.....that change to not mask free 4 days before the sailing.  Our 10 yr old is a huge fan of rock trivia games and singing.....both things she couldn't do over the summer because she wasn't vaccinated.  So we made the choice and got her jabbed so she would be vaccinated for this cruise.  A vaccine that has a HIGHER % chance of a negative side effect than the virus has % chance of causing her harm....just because we wanted her to be able to participate fully in the vacation and be able to enjoy parts of the ship mask free since she is vaccinated. 

So for her.......EVERYTHING has changed.

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3 hours ago, dodgestang said:

They keep doing this bait and switch crap....first it was the mask free cruises over the summer that turned into masked up alot....now its masked up alot turned into masked up alot more.   I'm just going to do the only thing that makes sense......always have a drink in my hand....even if I'm not drinking it.....once it gets warm and nasty....I'll get another.

I just read on the Freedom they're making people pull their masks up in between drinks and bites.

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1 hour ago, BB1 said:

It seems that this whole tirade was basically a ploy to get something for nothing. Very sad.


I called and cancelled and posted my annoyance with the LAST MINUTE protocol change on twitter.  I DID NOT ASK THEM FOR A THING other than my REFUND  ……… They’re the ones who contacted me AFTER I cancelled ….. we had already completely unpacked ……. But I’m not an idiot …… I wasn’t going to say no to what they offered.

 

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44 minutes ago, dodgestang said:

Think about this.  We like to cruise.  The whole family.  We took the Nassau cruise this summer that was supposed to be mask free.....that change to not mask free 4 days before the sailing.  Our 10 yr old is a huge fan of rock trivia games and singing.....both things she couldn't do over the summer because she wasn't vaccinated.  So we made the choice and got her jabbed so she would be vaccinated for this cruise.  A vaccine that has a HIGHER % chance of a negative side effect than the virus has % chance of causing her harm....just because we wanted her to be able to participate fully in the vacation and be able to enjoy parts of the ship mask free since she is vaccinated. 

So for her.......EVERYTHING has changed.


^^^^ ‘THAT RIGHT THERE is the main reason I got so pissed off with this change ……. I swore I’d never let my 10yo son get the vaccine even though we did and also since he already had Covid in the spring and it was nothing for him but a fever ……. But I let him get it because he wanted to be able to hang out everywhere with us on cruises like we used to and not have to wear a mask in those places as well ………. TODAY, he became  what Royal considers “fully vaccinated” ……. Then this was thrown at us out of left field at the last minute before our cruise tomorrow 

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13 minutes ago, ChrisK2793 said:

I swore I’d never let my 10yo son get the vaccine [...]
But I let him get it because he wanted to be able to hang out [...] and not have to wear a mask [...]
Then this was thrown at us out of left field at the last minute before our cruise tomorrow 

I agree. It's very unfortunate when you break your own oath for nothing 😢 SARCASM

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I’m sorry that some of you have had your travel plans disrupted because of CDC demands and the cruise lines having to jump thru hoops to please this bloated government bureaucracy.  I’m also sorry that you voice your disappointment only to be judged by a few for sharing.

I hope things work out for those of you who don’t want to sail under the current conditions. You, and RCI, have been put in a tough spot.  I wish you all the best.

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Supposedly Royal Caribbean is reaching out to customers affected. Well, my sailing leaves Monday which means my 48 hours to cancel would be tomorrow - and I received no notice of this whatsoever until viewing this site. Has anyone actually received a notification BEFORE their 48 hours was up? Just curious. I completely understand the need to up the requirements, but not being transparent with the customers until it is too late is unacceptable.

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2 hours ago, SummerRose said:

I just read on the Freedom they're making people pull their masks up in between drinks and bites.

Where did you see this?  I’m supposed to be on Freedom in 10 days.
 

i’m fine wearing a mask while moving around but when I’m at the bar with a drink or in a restaurant, I’m not putting my mask back on. Don’t do it in restaurants here and that’s in places where I’m sure there’s tons of unvaccinated people.

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I would also like to point out that Royal Caribbean has posted absolutely nothing about this new requirement on social media, and it is very well hidden on their website. This is a lack of transparency to their customers which is where I have an issue with it. Typically, these announcements are on the front page of the site and posted on their social media platforms. Very odd and off character for the company.

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Jesus. This whole thread is ridiculous. When it comes down to it, we are talking about the option of going on a vacation. A lot of people in the world don’t even get the opportunity to do that. I am about to go on my first cruise on Sunday post COVID.  I’ll sleep with a mask on if they want me to at this point. 

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They had this policy when I last sailed in October in Europe. It honestly isn’t that bad. If you were at your table with intension to order you could take your mask off. It says actively eating or drinking but they aren’t mandating after every bite or sip. They’re basically doing away with the vaccinated areas where they exist.  We had no vaccinated areas onboard our cruise. If you got up to walk somewhere you put it on. I didn’t feel it impacted my holiday. I’m sure you’ll still have a great time!

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5 hours ago, DunwoodyDad said:

Where did you see this?  I’m supposed to be on Freedom in 10 days.
 

i’m fine wearing a mask while moving around but when I’m at the bar with a drink or in a restaurant, I’m not putting my mask back on. Don’t do it in restaurants here and that’s in places where I’m sure there’s tons of unvaccinated people.

Someone said it on a Freedom thread.  Not sure where, I can't remember.  Facebook maybe?

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Highly annoyed by this. 

On one hand, we were already bringing masks with us for the cruise.  It's not like we have to get a test on embarkation day now, versus 2 days prior.  Or PCR tests only instead of antigen.  You just have to wear your masks more of the time once onboard.  It could be much, much worse. 

On the other hand, I'm sick of this "health theater" nonsense.  Unless its an N95 mask, its not preventing squat.  Public health, and the collective population's commitment to it, is an interesting paradox.  The administration's promise that getting vaccinated will allow us to get back to doing the things we used to do, hasn't materialized.  I don't want to spend my vacation under siege.  If I am hassled by staff in between bites or sips, I might lose it. 

I have 2 short solo cruises booked in January, both after the seemingly-arbitrary end date of 1/5.  These sailings will get me to Diamond Plus.  If that wasn't at stake, I'd be cancelling them both as soon as the new protocols are released, and demanding a refund.  I'm done. 

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2 hours ago, PurdueFlyer said:

 

I have 2 short solo cruises booked in January, both after the seemingly-arbitrary end date of 1/5.  These sailings will get me to Diamond Plus.  If that wasn't at stake, I'd be cancelling them both as soon as the new protocols are released, and demanding a refund.  I'm done. 

 

The 20 points for 5 nights in a suite is the biggest reason I agreed to still go, even more so than the credit they offered.  We’ve spent so much money on suites since early 2019 when we only had 21 points just wanting to get to Diamond Plus and 20 points on this cruise plus 28 points on our February cruise will get us to 178 points.  When I really thought about it, it wasn’t worth the money we’d have to spend to make up these 20 points later.

 

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I posted this to another forum but I think I’ll post it here, also. I don’t like masks…I don’t think anyone really does (with the exception of Batman and the Lone Ranger) but it is what it is. The cruise industry is still transitioning from total shut down to taking baby steps…all while under the microscope of unrelenting scrutiny, fair and unfair, of the media and political appointees. I knew this transition would be flexible and fraught with change, for good and bad, and decided I will enjoy my cruises.
 

It’s not only the passenger’s health being protected…but it’s the crew…and with the crew, the business.

Remember, the crew has to wear masks virtually all the time. Especially when near passengers. They are all completely vaccinated with the addition of boosters and they have to remain on the ship. Shore leave is cancelled. Any infection would likely be carried aboard by a passenger or contractor. As the Hotel Director just told me…if one crew member gets infected, then contact tracing results in a whole group or section of the crew being quarantined as a precaution. That’s what happened to the entire entertainment crew on the November 8th cruise…and that spilled over to the November 14th cruise. Doesn’t matter whether they have symptoms, test negative, are asymptomatic or not. If he loses a few to infection, then the amount of crew being quarantined multiplies. With that comes a lack of personnel to operate a cruise. Cancellations would follow.
As masking is supposed to be good at stopping the infection (droplets) from leaving an infected person…it’s makes sense to me that they try this reasonable step to protect the health of the other passengers in general…and the crew…and the business.
Inconvenient but understandable. Just my opinion.

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12 hours ago, ChrisK2793 said:


After I posted about it on Twitter with Royal tagged, they made us an offer we couldn’t refuse to still go on the cruise tomorrow …… since what they did when I called technically didn’t cancel the cruise and just put in a refund request and refund approval in the notes if we did a no show.  So, we’re still going to go on he cruise tomorrow now.  We can wear a mask all the time inside for what they offered!

 

There’s a very old joke about a prostitute that I won’t repeat here.  But the bottom line is this was a HUGE problem until Royal threw enough money at you?  So how big was the problem really?

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@BrianB, I agree completely with your assessment. For some, I think it is this last minute shift, in a situation we are all weary of, no matter what our level of risk tolerance is.  We personally chose to sail under the previous guidelines and had a truly wonderful cruise, despite the “put on/take off/etc” of the masks indoors.  We personally believe masks are theatre for the most part if they aren’t N95s, but the rules are the rules and we chose to sail, which means to us choosing to observe the guidelines. 🙂  I personally have a lack of tolerance for people who know the rules, choose to go, and choose to break those rules, as if they don’t care that the cruise lines will suffer for their childish behavior.

IF the new guidelines require wearing/removing during meals and drinks in addition to theaters, etc, we would be sad and postpone cruising for a bit if we had one coming up soon.  My husband works in food manufacturing, 12.5 hour shifts, in a mask. For him, that wouldn’t be a vacation. So, for us, we would choose to wait. For others, it won’t bother them, and they would choose to sail. As you and I both know, both are personal decisions, and neither is wrong.  So many have no tolerance for choices different from their own, which leads to the bickering on social media. 

I think it’s great that RCI is sailing again, and they allow cancellations for situations like this. 🙂 Not many vacations you can say the same for.

Hopefully the current drama over Omicron will prove to be wrong, and Omicron will be one more step toward exiting a pandemic. Hopefully, THIS will become COVID’s last hurrah. (Wouldn’t that be great?) 

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9 hours ago, KyleW22 said:

I would also like to point out that Royal Caribbean has posted absolutely nothing about this new requirement on social media, and it is very well hidden on their website. This is a lack of transparency to their customers which is where I have an issue with it. Typically, these announcements are on the front page of the site and posted on their social media platforms. Very odd and off character for the company.

I would be much more accepting if Royal would publish some of their own medical data. Such as “ in the last 30 days we have seen xx cases of Covid onboard, including xx% of the omicron variant. Of these, xx were breakthrough cases of fully vaccinated passengers.”

They have already instituted essentially a no vax, no cruise policy. In addition to a Covid free test policy. Without showing this type of data, i personally think this is less a medical decision, and more of a let’s stay in the good side of the CDC decision.

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I wish Royal would enforce the indoor mask rule on the Odyssey of the Seas which I just finished today.  People need to understand Masks will be part of everyone's life for a while.  It is no different than we stopped indoor smoking on flights and restaurants.   Smokers were complaining for a long time but everyone accepted now.

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