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Step side to side to side.... there's a Star in the middle!! Jan 10-28th


Ampurp85
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So update. Only B2B cruisers will receive free testing from RCG.

Guest services informed me this changed went into affect a week after they got rid of testing for people traveling to Canada. They said if you aren't staying on the same ship, you have to pay to test at the port or find your own. I literally spoke to several reps between Jan 6-8, who told me I wouldn't have to pay or furnish my own test as long as I was sailing within 3 days on a royal ship. I only brought 1 extra test as backup so I guess I will be dragging my luggage around Friday looking for a testing place.

@MLH If your ship leaves from the same terminal they will help you get there. Just let them know and they can make arrangements. If it's a different port, you will be on your own.

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I decide to save the whole testing thing until tomorrow. I grabbed my kindle and headed to deck 12. I read for about half an hour before the cool wind became too much for me. Freedom was docked next to us in Nassau. I notice a few people doing the same thing. I don't think many got off in Nassau on both ships as most places had the same amount of people I had observed over the sea days. When I went on the other side, hoping it would be warmer, I saw a Disney ship was also docked.

I then spent most of the afternoon reading in various places. The last was on my balcony. I went to the love and marriage show then got Sorrento's as my dinner. I played a bit in the casino, I have won no money on this cruise but did observe a few people hit the jackpots.

It is the last day of this 4 night cruise. We arrived at PDCC around 7am and were able to leave the ship at 8am. Captain Gus is an engaging, funny guy. I don't know if it's because the ship is smaller or has a better announcement system, but I can always hear him clearly. I hit the Windjammer for breakfast and today they have bacon. I am going to guest service about my testing and then hitting PDCC. It's about 70 degrees and cloudy. Hopefully it warms up.

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36 minutes ago, Ampurp85 said:

So nope, no testing for S2S guest on Indy. They are sticking to their guns that the only testing included is for B2B. I showed them screen shot and they gave me a card with numbers to call.

Argh. Stand your ground! Especially since it is in writing on Royal's website.

Maybe go talk to the Loyalty Ambassador onboard and see if they can help you if you can't get in touch with someone shoreside.  I'd be emailing or sending a social media message.

If you didn't have the backup plan test kit with you, I would also sign up for the pier side testing when you get off and if you end up paying for it, you can push it up to shoreside to get reimbursed.

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@Ampurp85 Can you (or others) comment on the internet speeds? I'm on Allure for Feb. and will need to work. With the "surf and stream" on AOS in December, my experience was a slow connection.  I could work via email, but Zoom calls were ridiculous. (We had to resort to talk...wait 5 seconds to hear the response....talk...wait for response.) My hope would be to be able to attend Zoom calls as needed and desired.

Wondering if my cell phone "cruise ship" data would be any faster. It's ridiculously pricey but for important client calls might be worth it.

 

 

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@seabird So I had issues with teams and zoom. I connected and for the first few minutes it froze and lagged. After that it was fine and I didn't loose connection. This however could be the case of such reduced capacity. That means less people trying to use  it when I was. I ended up making a few WhatsApp calls because of the lag at first. It was infinitely better on both port days.

 

@AshleyDillo I don't know how to escalate on social media. But I was tempted to sign up for at port testing and asking for refund. I am also going to try the C&A desk. Thanks for the advice.

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7 minutes ago, Ampurp85 said:

I don't know how to escalate on social media.

Just a polite DM through any/all social media site to their official accounts. State the facts and cite the FAQ. All else fails email [email protected]rccl.com and they should escalate it.  That's likely the route you'd take post-cruise to try and get any charge refunded.

Maybe shoot an email to your TA for this cruise and ask if he has any suggestions?

I wonder what international travelers are being told by Guest Services? The policy changed for them but they're still supposed to get complimentary testing through January 31 still.

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1 hour ago, Ampurp85 said:

@seabird So I had issues with teams and zoom. I connected and for the first few minutes it froze and lagged. After that it was fine and I didn't loose connection. This however could be the case of such reduced capacity. That means less people trying to use  it when I was. I ended up making a few WhatsApp calls because of the lag at first. It was infinitely better on both port days.

Thanks for the feedback. Interesting it's better on port days. I'll keep that in mind.

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Day 4....

After breakfast, I visited guest service on my way to PDCC. I walked off around 9:30 and began my trek. Ever since my first visit I make it a habit to walk the island and then decide where I would like to sit. This is a mental exercise,  the same reason I mostly take the stairs. I feel like if I can get my steps in then I have earned all my treats. I settled on Harbor Beach and spent the next 2 hours reading, enjoying the perfect weather.

Close to noon I go to Chill grill for tacos. Several seagulls attacked my plate of salsa and limes. They were really aggressive today. I walked to South Beach and read for another hour and a half. I noticed on my walk that even though 2 ships were here, there weren't lines for anything.  I decided I wanted a funnel cake for dessert and made my way to the snack shack. I couldn't resist and took a shack chicken to go. Around 2:30 I made the trek back to my room to shower off all the sand. I emailed my TA about testing and took a nap.

I awoke to an email informing that the testing for S2S guest is still a thing. They should email guest services and arrange something. Even if it is I pay for test and they reimburse me. Earlier they were rigid, who knows what will happen now. Guest services had dug their heels in the sand. I believe that this is very much Indy specific. Maybe they don't have test but they refuse to accept anything and immediately just gave me a number to shoreside. I got the feeling they were exasperated with me. I was in no mood to argue as I imagine they deal with enough during this time. My only gripe was they required I provide proof from the website and when I did, they shut down. At least with a Genie on my next cruise,  I shouldn't have this issue. I continue to wait to hear from them. I have seen @Matt blog employee but have not engaged. At the time she seemed focused. I hope to engage with her on another sailing

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1 hour ago, Ampurp85 said:

Day 4....

After breakfast, I visited guest service on my way to PDCC. I walked off around 9:30 and began my trek. Ever since my first visit I make it a habit to walk the island and then decide where I would like to sit. This is a mental exercise,  the same reason I mostly take the stairs. I feel like if I can get my steps in then I have earned all my treats. I settled on Harbor Beach and spent the next 2 hours reading, enjoying the perfect weather.

Close to noon I go to Chill grill for tacos. Several seagulls attacked my plate of salsa and limes. They were really aggressive today. I walked to South Beach and read for another hour and a half. I noticed on my walk that even though 2 ships were here, there weren't lines for anything.  I decided I wanted a funnel cake for dessert and made my way to the snack shack. I couldn't resist and took a shack chicken to go. Around 2:30 I made the trek back to my room to shower off all the sand. I emailed my TA about testing and took a nap.

I awoke to an email informing that the testing for S2S guest is still a thing. They should email guest services and arrange something. Even if it is I pay for test and they reimburse me. Earlier they were rigid, who knows what will happen now. Guest services had dug their heels in the sand. I believe that this is very much Indy specific. Maybe they don't have test but they refuse to accept anything and immediately just gave me a number to shoreside. I got the feeling they were exasperated with me. I was in no mood to argue as I imagine they deal with enough during this time. My only gripe was they required I provide proof from the website and when I did, they shut down. At least with a Genie on my next cruise,  I shouldn't have this issue. I continue to wait to hear from them. I have seen @Matt blog employee but have not engaged. At the time she seemed focused. I hope to engage with her on another sailing

Yes, I will be on Harmony! I'm usually never too focused, so don't be afraid to say hi! I must have had my "YouTube filming" face on.

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41 minutes ago, Ampurp85 said:

Update:

My wonderful TA John From MEI was able to escalate things and I am schedule to get tested at 8am on Fri before I disembark. This is exactly why a good TA is worth their weight in gold. I am going to the comedy show then packing for my next adventure.

Yippee !!!  Great news.  Congratulations on sticking it out and pushing forward.  

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Day 4 continued....

I woke up from my nap and shot out a few work emails. I decided to hit WJ for early dinner as I was planning on seeing the Ice show. It was fancy cake night and boy were those cakes fancy and delicious. Also, they had a short beef rib, that almost gave the CK on Allure a run for the money. As soon as I sat down, Ricky the CD got on the intercom to tell us that both showings of the Ice show had been cancelled. I was super bummed. I debated going to see the comedian but a few people I had talk to said he wasn't that funny. I got my last drink of the day, a rum runner at Schooner, before playing 20 min at the casino. I got the email from my TA at 5:30 and I waited for a call from guest service. I ate early dinner around 6:15 and went to guest services close to 7. They tried to say they called me, but I had no messages on my phone. It took 10min for them to give me a confirmation of my test and then I had to wait almost another 10 for them to give me a location. I retired to my room early, knowing I had to pack and get up for a test. I had forgot luggage needed to be out before 10. I had no intentions of dragging my luggage that far. I was able to get it outside my door with 5min to spare.

I woke up today putting good juju out. I needed to test negative, I have a star class sailing after this one. I don't think I mentioned it, but I had a bathtub, so I took a nice bath got dressed and heading to the WJ for breakfast. Like most disembarkment days, it was a mad house. The most crowded I had ever seen the enter sailing. I ate a light breakfast of bacon, eggs and chocolate milk then went upstairs to wait for my test. Disembarkment had been fast and smooth. Although I arranged to be the last called by 8:40. By 7:45 all the numbers had been called and all other pax who needed to be test had been tested. I was the last to be tested and she asked if I was getting PCR or antigen and I said antigen and she said no you are scheduled for PCR. I shrugged and let her swab me. The facility is located behind the arcade room. I was heading to the steps before a crew member came and got me to informed me, she took the wrong kind of test. I went in and got swabbed again. I took my time walking to deck 4. But from deck 12 to the rideshare area was about 15min and that's because I was chatting with crew members along the way. By 8:20 I was in my Lyft on the way to the Hampton Inn praying they would let me check in early or at least leave my luggage. They had my room ready and as soon as I dropped my carryon on the bed, I got a beep on my phone. My test results were ready, and I was NEGATIVE!!!! Now I am just praying that @AshleyDillo and the rest are the same. Room is a nonsmoking king facing the pool. Very nice size for a single person, bed is a lot softer than I like.

Misc.....

Indy has the white, annoying cloth wristbands for vax.

I saw 3 types of seapass cards, there may have been more: My grey card, a light blue card and a darker blue card.

Not all suites were occupied, not just JS but RS/OS/GS. I was told you could go to guest services and ask for an upgrade. 

We received a letter saying positive rate was 1%

I was in deck 10 aft, under the WJ and barely heard anything. I took the stairs often and my area was often very quiet. I was told there was over 200 kids on this sailing, it seemed like more.

There was only one outlet as the coffee maker was plugged in the other. None near the bed, so if you charged your phone, you had to get up to get it. 

Other than trivia at Schooners, no place was ever really crowded. They seem to always have reservations at the specialty restaurants. 

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26 minutes ago, Ampurp85 said:

My test results were ready, and I was NEGATIVE!!!! Now I am just praying that @AshleyDillo and the rest are the same.

3/4 tests down, all negative! I'm still the single holdout.

The other 2 in our room had to cancel last minute to unrelated family issues.  I've tried but I can't seem to find anyone who wants to step in and take their place...would be a bargain and get them a little bit of money recouped behind the scenes 😂 But alas...looks like our room that can hold 14 people will have 4..so we each will have our own room now.

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2 hours ago, AshleyDillo said:

3/4 tests down, all negative! I'm still the single holdout.

The other 2 in our room had to cancel last minute to unrelated family issues.  I've tried but I can't seem to find anyone who wants to step in and take their place...would be a bargain and get them a little bit of money recouped behind the scenes 😂 But alas...looks like our room that can hold 14 people will have 4..so we each will have our own room now.

I saw your post looking for "volunteers" I would have done it, except that my wife would have murdered me for sure if I went on a cruise without her

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Our awesome TA came to the rescue and salvaged things.  Since we are in the Villa Suite and had 6 people, it ended up being split over two reservations. Fortunately the 2 that had to cancel were on different reservations. So it was a simple name swap so all 4 that are actually sailing will be on the main reservation and the second reservation was able to be canceled under CWC.  They will at least have an FCC for the 5/6th passenger rate and port fees and taxes coming back to them for canceling, so not out 100%. Just things to keep in mind when dealing with these larger than 4-person party rooms!

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On 1/13/2022 at 11:10 AM, seabird said:

@Ampurp85 Can you (or others) comment on the internet speeds? I'm on Allure for Feb. and will need to work. With the "surf and stream" on AOS in December, my experience was a slow connection.  I could work via email, but Zoom calls were ridiculous. (We had to resort to talk...wait 5 seconds to hear the response....talk...wait for response.) My hope would be to be able to attend Zoom calls as needed and desired.

Wondering if my cell phone "cruise ship" data would be any faster. It's ridiculously pricey but for important client calls might be worth it.

 

 

I did a zoom from harmony last week and it worked really well.  We were ported in St. Maarten that morning so I don't know if that helped.

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My mother told me to be at the house by 8:30 to pick her up so we could leave early.

9:45 she is still packing last minute stuff for our 4-5 hour car ride. We would hate to be caught without food or drinks for the drive.

10:45 we are getting gas at Costco..driving out of the way and sitting in lines to save 5 cents a gallon. I mean I only had half a tank.

60 miles down the road, time for the first bio break at a rest area 🙄

Random guy at rest area asked me if I thought my car would go faster if it was painted red? 

I feel like today is going to be a looooong day.

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Lots of folks asking where my family is and why I am cruising alone. Most are leaving today on the Carnival Magic. The breakfast area, which was surprisingly stocked with hot items, was nicely populated. Lots of families with energetic kids and luggage getting ready to cruise. I overheard a guest complaining that there are only two times for the shuttle, 10:30 or 11:15. She had received notice not to get to port early and wonder if she could get a later one. For ten minutes the girl at the desk explained these were the only hours. A man behind her said if she wanted to kill time.... walk. That didn't go over well. I went down to the pool a little bit but didn't stay. Two large families, who had checked out but were waiting to leave to check-in for their cruise, were smoking and being loud. Hard to relax as I am not a smoker, nor use to it. 

I have been reading a few accounts of the Jan 9th sailing and have coated my aura with patience. I knew some shows may not go on, but I am content with trivia, drinks and a nice room. I want a safe and happy crew. @AshleyDillo made it safely to the hotel. It rained a little and then it poured. Our Genie Joyce asked us to board between 12 and 12:30 and none of us had received any notice that boarding had been pushed back; that was the light rain. We speculate that it may have something to do with Joyce. A little while later notice was received that our genie had close contact with a positive crew member......she would have to be quarantined: this was the pouring rain. We were being transferred to Alexa. We then received our schedule. I don't want to step on any toes, but I am sure @AshleyDillo mom is not happy with everything......the most important is the delayed boarding. I am hoping we can make changes to accommodate her. It looks like there won't be any production shows and I am sad about that, but glad some entertainment is available. 

Just one more sleep and I am fancy pants!!!

 

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My mother is not a fan of going with the flow. I think she should just be grateful I invited her since this was originally supposed to be my girls' trip cruise that I wouldn't let her join 😂

This is the preliminary show schedule for the week for Harmony. Looks like the sportsball will be shown on the big screen.

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