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Hello, im considering cancelling my cruise but i dont want to. I would love to hear from anyone who just finished cruising recently within the last few weeks since everything is changing so quickly.
In general how was your experience. PROS? CONS?

Are you glad you went? Would you go back and do a different vacation if you could?

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I think the important thing to note here is that, as you noted, things are happening quickly. 

We booked a cruise in October for December thinking it would barely be different than a pre-COVID cruise and ended up cancelling it after Omicron threw everything off-kilter again. Turns out the boat we were supposed to be on got held off of Coco Cay for 5 hours while RC negotiated with the Bahaman government. So, in retrospect, we're glad we didn't go!

It's really difficult to know how things are going to be at any particular moment. It seems things change every 90 days or so, sometimes from one extreme to another. We thought COVID was more or less 'over' in October and then December comes and it's the largest outbreak as far as positive cases since everything began. It's really hard to predict and you may be best off waiting until close to your cruise to make the decision. 

We booked another cruise for this March, banking on what we think is a likely chance that Omicron will have dissipated and things will be more 'normal'. But we never know when the next strain is going to pop up and what it's going to be like.

Overall, though, I would feel pretty confident. After the cancelled cruises pass this month I think they're going to come out the other end in pretty good shape. 

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We sailed on the Oasis the first week of January and our entire week was fantastic!  Boarding was easy and efficient...as long as you had all of your required documents organized.  The crew was amazing and we felt safe and comfortable throughout.  We have a few more cruises planned in the coming months and other than the concerns about border controls (we are in Canada) we have no hesitation about sailing again.  Royal is doing a fantastic job in ensuring guests have a wonderful vacation.

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I’ve done nine since September, number ten is this Thursday. Oasis in Sept and Oct…the rest on Anthem. All out of Bayonne, NJ.  Here are some of my pros and cons. These are just my highlights and I’m sure each passenger has their own personal list.

The Pros:  Reduced capacity and everything that goes with it…easy boarding, less lines onboard, chairs available on the pool deck and solarium;  Easy peasy safety drill on the app…love it! No more herding like cattle waiting for those selfish late arrivals before the video starts;  Knowing every adult is vaccinated and tested…and every child is PCR tested prior to arrival and tested before boarding;  Knowing the crew is vaccinated and boosted when eligible;  The food, entertainment, venues, service and crew are fantastic as always.  Biggest pro, I’m on a cruise!

The Cons:  Getting the Antigen test…always a bit nerve wracking knowing a positive test is a personal cruise killer. Wearing a mask, although for me it’s no big deal and makes me feel safer.  A major con is the uncertainty…anything can change at a moment’s notice. Entertainment or itineraries changed or cancelled…port delays or denials…venues changing access times or limiting capacity. Changing protocols. And of course the biggest con…I may get quarantined.

So far…after nine cruises, I’m used to it and feel like it’s just normal. I’m an optimist and I love cruising. I usually sail solo and do my due diligence. I know what the requirements and protocols are. I’m also flexible and know that anything can change. I guess I’m lucky that I am able to cruise often and feel bad for those who plan a family vacation just to be hit with unexpected changes. It is a challenging time to cruise. Hopefully we can all get through this in good health and get back to pre-pandemic cruising. I’m looking forward to it. But not the chair hogs…I’m not looking forward to them. You know who you are! Good luck!😎

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We just returned from sailing on Oasis Jan 9-16. It was a fantastic cruise. There is much to be said about a ship, especially and Oasis class, being at less than capacity and in our case, just at 50% or a little less. The boat never felt deserted but was a nice capacity to have no waits. We were able to port at all our ports (Western Caribbean) and all of the shows were going on as scheduled except for the second half of the Aqua theatre shows. The chief safety engineer responsible for making sure all safety equipment for the shows is up properly to keep the divers safe tested positive and without him they could not go on. I always felt there was plenty of room to distance ourselves from others, even in the bars and lounges but enough people to enjoy a group type atmosphere. Having done the whole cruise experience, we felt our greatest risk of contracting Covid was probably at the Miami airport. We were in an area were there were throngs of people and that was our most uncomfortable moment for the week. Whether to sail or not is a personal choice and we stressed about the testing and boarding during these times for about 2 weeks unnecessarily as we look back. Boarding was very easy and smooth. I hope if you feel comfortable enough, you will sail, as we had a fabulous time. Understanding and flexability is key but there is much to be embraced about sailing now. 

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All good information so far! It seems like everyone for the most part is having a good time. All you ever hear are the horror stories.

Based on the numbers theres maybe a 1/2% chance of getting covid and stuck in quarantine. I would imagine those people getting it aren’t vaccinated? If anyone knows…

ilI don’t mind a few shows not going or some port of call changes, but some reviews make it sound like the covid precautions are a huge hassle. It does seem crazy if the crew is basically telling you for 7 days straight that you cant do this or that.

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I was on Odyssey of the Seas Jan 2-9. We had a great time. We were able to have 3 port days. San Juan was changed to St Thomas, so it was all good. We were a little nervous about going with Omicron emerging, but it was a good time. No regrets. The ship was about half capacity, so there were no issues with crowding. RC did all they could to ensure a safe cruise. I wouldn't hesitate to go again, in the near future. It's a bit of a gamble these days. If the positive percentage stays low - good times. If the positive percentage creeps up, you may lose port stops.  Getting on and off the ship was a breeze. 

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Just returned from a sailing on Friday from Freedom of the Seas 4 night.  
Airport was more crowded than the ship.
Ship ran all shows, made the 2 stops (Nassau and Cococay) as scheduled
Mask wearing seemed to be observed by all.
Crew is double masking-N95 type mask under their royal caribbean mask.  
We were at 1/3 capacity (I loved it)
Flight home on Friday-the airport was EMPTY.
My only "complaint" was in the Main Dining Room, 5:30 seating, they had 3 tables at 1 foot apart while there were plenty of other empty tables
So we were 3 tables with no one else pretty much within 4 feet of us so I couldn't understand why put a table for 2 within 2 feet of my table (they did try to move and were told no).  Made zero sense to me as far as "preventing the spread".  I'm sure it made sense from a serving point of view.  I guess I could have complained to the head person about the seating so close, but didn't .

Pros:  Less people on the ship (if you don't mind less people)
Cons:  Masking?  Honestly, so used to it it was a non issue for me.  They provided me with 2 paper RC masks and I could get more if needed.  
The ribbon "bracelet" that identifies you as vaccinated.  Don't tighten it too much if you want to be able to slip it on/off for showering, it won't loosen.
Entertainment may be cancelled due to Covid.

Other than that, I've thoroughly enjoyed my cruising.  
These are different times we live in, so everyone needs to "go with the flow".
 

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It’s all about expectations. On my Christmas cruise, I expected AO to be available for my kids, but it only guaranteed one reservation. As we had already booked a date night at Hooked and had planned on using AO to allow us to wander in the ports without or kids, we wound up not being able to leave the ship. Knowing ahead of time of the limitations on AO and ice skating and lack of amenities like the escape room and laser tag, we would have been able to pivot and/or change expectations. 
If those things are important to your trip, cancel and rebook a trip further out. If you’re ok without reliable child care, some shows, and some activities, go for it!

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4 hours ago, Royalwithcheese said:

All good information so far! It seems like everyone for the most part is having a good time. All you ever hear are the horror stories.

Based on the numbers theres maybe a 1/2% chance of getting covid and stuck in quarantine. I would imagine those people getting it aren’t vaccinated? If anyone knows…

 

Vaccinated people can, and do, still catch Covid, and everyone over the age of 12 is vaccinated on the ships, so vaccinated people are being isolated.  However, the percentage on land far exceed those on the ships.

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39 minutes ago, SpeedNoodles said:

Vaccinated people can, and do, still catch Covid, and everyone over the age of 12 is vaccinated on the ships, so vaccinated people are being isolated.  However, the percentage on land far exceed those on the ships.

Thank u, this trip will be my honeymoon. If i test positive for covid, but my wife does not. Do we get to quarantine together?

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10 hours ago, jeffmw said:

I think the important thing to note here is that, as you noted, things are happening quickly. 

We booked a cruise in October for December thinking it would barely be different than a pre-COVID cruise and ended up cancelling it after Omicron threw everything off-kilter again. Turns out the boat we were supposed to be on got held off of Coco Cay for 5 hours while RC negotiated with the Bahaman government. So, in retrospect, we're glad we didn't go!

It's really difficult to know how things are going to be at any particular moment. It seems things change every 90 days or so, sometimes from one extreme to another. We thought COVID was more or less 'over' in October and then December comes and it's the largest outbreak as far as positive cases since everything began. It's really hard to predict and you may be best off waiting until close to your cruise to make the decision. 

We booked another cruise for this March, banking on what we think is a likely chance that Omicron will have dissipated and things will be more 'normal'. But we never know when the next strain is going to pop up and what it's going to be like.

Overall, though, I would feel pretty confident. After the cancelled cruises pass this month I think they're going to come out the other end in pretty good shape. 

The only abnormal thing about March is going to be all the college spring break crazies onboard. 

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We cruised over Christmas on Oasis of the Seas just as Omicron cases began to surge. Our cruise experience was excellent but as others have said you need to be prepared for last minute changes/cancellations of onboard activities/entertainment and protocols. An example; when we landed in Florida we learned of Royals new new mask mandate and on Day 2 or 3 of our cruise they implemented a non smoking policy in the casino. Neither of these changes dampened our experience. I feel Royal did a very good job balancing the guest experience with Covid protocols but if you are looking for strictly enforced protocols similar to some states, provinces and countries now may not be the right time to cruise. Elevator capacity limits were disregarded by most people but if you weren’t comfortable getting on an elevator with more than 6 people, you could wait and catch the next one. If you wanted to wear a mask in a vaccinated venue, no one cared, just as others chose to take their masks off. Royals Covid insurance coupled with onboard PCR testing was a considerable incentive for us travelling from Canada because Covid travel/cancellation/quarantine insurance can be hard to find in Canada (many will not cover cruising).  If one of us happened to test positive onboard we would be flown home by Royal. Otherwise we must quarantine in the US for 14 days because Canada will not allow anyone with a positive case to fly home until day 15. And if you attempt to drive across the land border to quarantine at home you are subject to a $5k fine. 
Our onboard experience was truly outstanding and we would not hesitate to cruise again but unfortunately Canada has tightened their border measures even more since our cruise, complicating future travel.  And the possibility of flight delays and cancellations is another deterrent to travelling outside Canada right now.  Our Canadian friends that we cruised with had their flight cancelled for 6 days, requiring them to get new PCR tests. One of them tested positive and it has been nothing but a gong show for them since returning to Canada.  If you are from the US these issues will not apply to you.  

You can find more on our experience in my live blog: 

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/26592-🎄-🎄festivus-star-class-miracle-oasis-december-19-26th/

 

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Seems like passengers in the US and Canada side are having a good experience with RC overall.. too bad its not the case for us here in Singapore. Many are having a nightmare of an experience with RC.. such a shame as what I've had with RC so far has been pretty good.. I'm now feeling apprehensive abt my upcoming cruise

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4 hours ago, Royalwithcheese said:

Thank u, this trip will be my honeymoon. If i test positive for covid, but my wife does not. Do we get to quarantine together?

No, you will be moved to the Covid quarantine deck, and your wife will be isolated in her room. After 3 days of isolation, they will do a PCR test on her and if she tests negative, she will be free to roam, if she tests positive, she will be moved to the Covid quarantine deck. 

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Just came off Liberty of the Seas this past Sunday. The cruise was terrific and we visited each port with no issues. Due to COVID hitting the crew the main show, Saturday Night Fever, did not run but the singers got together and performed their favorite songs for us which was mind blowing. The ice skaters adapted with fewer skaters but you could not tell. Lastly all the performers put together a variety show which was again phenomenal. What this says is that you have to be flexible at this time and Royal and all the members of the ship staff are working hard to give us the vacation experience we are looking for. We are booked for another in March and are looking forward to another great time.

Also, if a member of your family tests positive for COVID you will be moved as a group to quarantine.

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9 hours ago, CrznTxn said:

Also, if a member of your family tests positive for COVID you will be moved as a group to quarantine.

Interesting.  This is different than what has been reported prior.  I wonder if they are changing this protocol or if LIB just had a different policy.

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