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Voyager of the Seas - Jun 26, 2022 - Jul 3, 2022 (7 Night Best Of Scandinavia Cruise)


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We booked this cruise back in 2019 for a 2020 sailing.  Obviously that was cancelled twice!  I am kind of excited about the new itinerary, shame to not see St. Petersburg, but you just cant go there, period.  Not sure about Kotka, but I look at this as to go places that you would never go.  My wife and I did this at trip to  North and South Dakota (we live in the States) during the height of the pandemic and did not regret it at all.  Curious what other people think, 

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  • AshleyDillo changed the title to Voyager of the Seas - Jun 26, 2022 - Jul 3, 2022 (7 Night Best Of Scandinavia Cruise)
  • 4 weeks later...

Hopefully protocols for European cruises will be announced soon.  Looks like getting into Sweden is back to some form of "normal".  It looks like each Scandinavian cruise is a little different as far as ports go, ours is very port intense.   I have heard that each of these ports is extremely walkable.  Spending a couple of days before and after sailing in Stockholm.  

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On 4/8/2022 at 8:07 AM, AtlantaNole said:

Hopefully protocols for European cruises will be announced soon. 

I was just looking into this, and what COVID tests are required before/after sailing and traveling home.  I'm trying to figure out how we can disembark, and get to the airport for an afternoon flight while still getting the required test (whatever that will be.)  As of right now, RC's website says:

"Europe Departures

At this time, we have not yet determined our health and safety protocols for 2022 sailings departing from Europe. Guests will be advised of specific requirements via email before setting sail."

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/10/2022 at 7:02 PM, AdventureKenandCar said:

I was just looking into this, and what COVID tests are required before/after sailing and traveling home.  I'm trying to figure out how we can disembark, and get to the airport for an afternoon flight while still getting the required test (whatever that will be.)  As of right now, RC's website says:

"Europe Departures

At this time, we have not yet determined our health and safety protocols for 2022 sailings departing from Europe. Guests will be advised of specific requirements via email before setting sail."

Thanks so much for this posting.  We're on one of the first cruises out of Copenhagen June 5th...and yes this was booked early 2019 and will be our third try at it, ha.  We've been trying to find some sort of information on this covid testing we'll need before getting on plane 'back into the USA' after the cruise.  Checking the RCI website is a soup to nowhere [for us anyway]...and our agent hasn't told us a thing.  We haven't even booked our air yet as the logistics of a 24 hour window in a foreign country without any advise, instruction, or info leaves us probably having to cancel.  We just don't know yet...and have a whole mess of bookings we'd have had done weeks ago if this were a normal undertaking [parking, dog sitting, hotels...that sort of thing...much less the air fare].  We are SOOOOOO stressed out about all this...and ANGRY as heck at our own CDC who wants to keep us in pandemic mode FOREVER and then some.  Denmark, Uk, Sweden...and other countries are withdrawing restrictions and as Denmark said [their authority], the virus is already out and the only option left is learning to live with it [unlike what is happening in China now apparently...or look how the Aussies did with zero spread strategies].  No stopping a virus once it's out.  But, where we are having to cancel [most likely if we don't get any info soon] once again!  So, thanks for any info...and that single sentence [which we failed to find on RCI website] about RCI not yet determined safety protocols for Europe sailings this summer at least gives us some pause to wait just a bit more [before deciding to cancel or not].  It's not the virus mind you...it's the DARNED testing to get on a plane back.

Sorry for the little rant here, but we're going on our third year of this and societies are breaking down all over the place...from road rage to civil disorders to western civ collapsing...you name it.  TIme for the CDC and government to get off our backs.  IMHO of course.  So, we'll wait a bit longer with only MAY to do any further booking for this Scandanavian [no longer including St. Petersburg] Cruise.   

Thanks for the post of that single sentence; and any further info appreciated on this...like from ROYAL CARIBBEAN!!!  

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On 4/20/2022 at 12:03 PM, LinRon2 said:

It's not the virus mind you...it's the DARNED testing to get on a plane back.

Is there any reason why you aren't just considering using the Abbott BinaxNow Ag Card proctored tests?  You purchase them and they are shipped to your home. You take them with you on your trip and then test the day before your flight home. You will need an internet connection and a laptop or smartphone. 

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6 hours ago, AshleyDillo said:

Is there any reason why you aren't just considering using the Abbott BinaxNow Ag Card proctored tests?  You purchase them and they are shipped to your home. You take them with you on your trip and then test the day before your flight home. You will need an internet connection and a laptop or smartphone. 

Actually, we've used the abbott 'proctored' test before but are fearful of the internet connection we might incur 'on the road' [or at sea].  It's an unknown, like so many issues with all this.  Hard to imagine teleconferencing with "onboard" internet.  But if others have used the Abbott test abroad [or onboard] to satisfy this requirement, that would be great to hear.  We'd like to hear how it worked.  Any problems with 'slow' internet; lost connections; buffering...that sort of thing?  And how does one get the 'documentation' to satisfy airlines.  Again, we're not techies and relying on digital proof is scary for us. Printer won't fit in the suitcase [joke].  Devil is in the details [always].

On another note to all this, we were informed by our agent that the EU requires 'testing' a day before getting aboard a ship?  Is this true? We know RCI requires a 2 day window for a negative test, but we hadn't heard of an EU requirement [and 1 day window]?  Or perhaps she was referring to the 2 day negative test that RCI requires. This would be embarking from Denmark too?  Boy...have they EVER made life complicated with all this covid stuff.     

On a good note, the cancellation policy of RCI appears to still be up to 48 hours with FCC's given to use within 12 months [not sure about refunds though].  If you have air booked however, there is a $200 penalty apparently [why we are holding off on air fare until we can sort out this mess; and mess it truly is].  Thanks for any help though [info]. We'd love to do the Abbott testing...if we heard of other's success using the internet 'on the road' so to say.   

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/21/2022 at 1:36 PM, AshleyDillo said:

Is there any reason why you aren't just considering using the Abbott BinaxNow Ag Card proctored tests?  You purchase them and they are shipped to your home. You take them with you on your trip and then test the day before your flight home. You will need an internet connection and a laptop or smartphone. 

additional question on emed test onboard.  What kind of data service does one need anyway? I use tracfone, which is a pay as you go plan...and they say they don't service but in the USA?  My wife uses AT&T however.  Again, not being techies and totally 'bananas' to today's LTE digital service technicalities...what kind of 'service' does one need to use the emed kits 'onboard' anyway?  Would the 'wifi' or 'streaming' service purchased through Royal suffice...but does one service provider also play an important part? This is critical to us.  We just need to verify that we CAN use the Emed kit onboard before we commit to signing our lives away to an overseas extended stay that will essentially ruin us [and put us in our graves].  Ha..no lie Royal.  This is how important this stuff is that you won't provide at least some minimal information.  Just sayin'..  

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I just gotta say this [and hope someone with clout from Royal reads these forums].  A couple from Hawaii was stranded in europe from a Norwegian cruise because they tested positive.  We all know why Royal doesn't want to 'involve' itself for covid testing that the CDC requires to reenter the USA from europe...because what do you do if someone tests positive?  Flying people home or even quarantining would be uiltra expensive for any cruise line to pick up...and what would any cruise line do if someone DID test positive...except somehow 'feel' responsible for getting them 'home' safely [after all, what do we hear time and again except that cruise lines including ROYAL are most interested in except our safety].  But now, they want nothing to do with covid testing 'after the cruise' in europe for people needing to get back to the USA.  "Check your country's requirements for exiting or re-entry' is all they 'PROVIDE".  Not a peep on 'how, where, when' [for covid testing]...just 'check your country's requirements'.  Too bad for that Hawaiian couple; hope they 'survive' this [not the covid, but the financial ruin].  We are 'STUPID' for continuing to try and do this 'BALTIC' cruise [or any european cruise] with not support from the cruise line [ROYAL in our case]...to get back into the USA after the cruise.  But...we booked this cruise well over 2 years ago...and canceling now, will mean losing a lost ot $$ [it's complicated, but involves all this Future credit crediting compared to original monies spent, and expected fares into next year] etc.  So, we are STUPID..as we opt to jump in, head first, into the quagmire of 'personal ruin' for a stupid cruise.  But...we're old..and wonder how many years we have left to 'see the Blaltic' etc.  Point to all this is...is we need to see just a MINIMAL degree of support [at least for us USA citizens who have a PUNITIVE politically aligned CDC] to find our way BACK HOME after our cruise [and we imagine, this applies to anyone [especially from the USA|.  Just saying 'check your country's requirements'.  well, it's a total cop out; and transparent to anyone with an average noggin' to be about MONEY; ie not having to provide to those who might test positive [for example].  For us, it's not about 'positive' but simply 'how, where, and when'.  Please, ROYAL, give us some idea to this...at least.  And not just, YES, 'THROW US OFF THE SHIP'.  [in our case, the VOYAGER in Copenhagen.

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On 4/30/2022 at 4:46 PM, LinRon2 said:

additional question on emed test onboard.  What kind of data service does one need anyway?

I would definitely say you need the VOOM Surf & Stream to guarantee a strong enough connection to be able to do the tests. You're also relying on the connection to be stable enough to handle it.  I know it can be hit or miss sometimes.  If I was in your situation, I would consider the eMed tests as my backup plan if all else failed. I'd probably also be seeking out free wifi to take the test. My cell phone plan does have included international coverage, so I'd be able to possibly even do it on my data coverage. I do understand that not everyone conducts their life via their smartphones like I do, though.

If all else fails, plan to do the testing at the airport.  It's just something I'd have to factor into the total expense of traveling.

I always have travel insurance, so if something happened where I had unforeseen quarantine expenses, I know I would be indemnified for those costs. 

I hate the uncertainty, so I would probably invoke the Cruise Wtih Confidence on this cruise and put it off until traveling internationally becomes easier.

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(ED: Oops. Wrong roll call.)
 

Just for the heck of it, I decided to look into clinics in Stockholm that do same-day/within-the-hour antigen tests for travelers. I found one place with 3 locations in the Stockholm area, and one of them is about 2 blocks away from the hotel we’re staying in the night before we sail!  Seems like a good option! https://www.covidtestet.com/english/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw1N2TBhCOARIsAGVHQc4uVDAQ4UXh5WLRM2dPetXwbJBIKz9u6wl49NYZ6gwMR3skomixXVsaAtD6EALw_wcB#home

For the return trip, there is a different clinic conveniently located near the Central Train Station (where the Arlanda airport express train boards.)  This might also be a good option for anyone flying out the same day as debarkation. 
https://vaccina.se/en/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw1N2TBhCOARIsAGVHQc4n_BEsiSUYGdwQWoSlwLdEFp7WAi1FCJTddsFXlRgsLE1L_xJd_AcaAnaLEALw_wcB

Edited by AdventureKenandCar
Wrong roll call. My bad.
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On 5/4/2022 at 7:21 PM, Frances said:

We are going June 5 on Voyager from Copenhagen. Worried about testing too. Not getting much help from TA or RC. 

Tests available at Copenhagen Airport.....foc 

Pretty sure the link was taken off an RC email and posted here somewhere as it was in reference to protocols for Copenhagen Departures 

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Well, to continue beating a dead horse 🙂

Thought I'd post protocol to this issue of testing, sailing from Copenhagen...

first, "On arrival, all guests from non-EU or Shengen countries must present a negative covid antigen test taken within 24 hours of their flight departure". 

Later, a further protocol reads:

"Vaccinated guests must show a negative result for an antigen test taken no more than 2 days before boarding day".  [this  protocol is more clear and is the standard we've met for months now on other RCL cruises].  

We might add that 'fully vaccinated ' is also required [if one wants to get off at the ports of call etc and not have to do further testing onboard].  Fully vaccinated could mean you need to get a booster at least 14 days out from embarkation. 

-------

I post all this that it might help someone; but also, for some reason, the more I read that first testing protocol having to test negative "within 24 hours of flight departure"...well, I was wondering how others interpret that 'sentence'?  We are assuming that means within 24 hours before the day we leave [Miami for us], we need to test.

TO be specific, if we have a flight on the 4th, so all we need to do  is backtrack 24 hours from flight departure to get that testing done?  Are we seeing this correctly? It's that 'UPON ARRIVAL' that sometimes throws my brain all screwy for some reason.

We also searched far and wide to see where this 'new' requirement comes from [we assume from the EU]...but all information we find seems to give each country freedom to make their own rules for testing [and Denmark has lifted all their restrictions].  Plus, any restrictions we do find [non specific country], seems to suggest the EU gives 72 hours window for such testing [if required].  Anyway, does anyone have a link or some info on that specific 'before flight departure' testing requirement?  Who checks that for instance [we don't think the MIami airport will check that...so...in Copenhagen? At the ship?].  It all seems ambiguous to us...why we ask the question.  Of course, the RCL protocol IS the protocol...no matter how it's worded.  We're just trying to figure it out 'exactly' what it means.

any help appreciated and sorry for my brain being decrepit on all this.  

 

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Since March 1, 2022, the only remaining COVID-19 entry restriction has been a requirement for testing within 24 hours of entry into Denmark for persons who have not been vaccinated with a recognised vaccine or previously infected and who enter from countries outside the EU and Schengen. This requirement will be lifted at midnight on the night of March 29, 2022, after which there will no longer be COVID-19 restrictions on entry into Denmark,” the statement of the Ministry reads.

 

Hope this helps 

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40 minutes ago, LinRon2 said:

I post all this that it might help someone; but also, for some reason, the more I read that first testing protocol having to test negative "within 24 hours of flight departure"...well, I was wondering how others interpret that 'sentence'?  We are assuming that means within 24 hours before the day we leave [Miami for us], we need to test.

I interpret that section as to be what Royal thinks is the requirements for entering the country to get to the embarkation port. They probably haven't updated it since Denmark lifted the requirement.  If you look at the Barcelona departure for an example, in that same area it's much more clear that their intent is to try and let customers know there could be requirements to enter the country via flight which are separate from the cruise requirements.  

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1 hour ago, AshleyDillo said:

I interpret that section as to be what Royal thinks is the requirements for entering the country to get to the embarkation port. They probably haven't updated it since Denmark lifted the requirement.  

RC protocals for Copenhagen which also mentioned that boarding was in some caribbean island that i cannot remember were released in April after Denmark dropped restrictions at the end of March. 

Just another IT glitch lol

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
7 hours ago, LaWhip said:

I'm wondering when excursions for Helsinki will be posted.  We sail in 2 weeks and one day! Wooo hooo!! Seriously though, what's the plan for Helsinki?

Helsinki is pretty easy to do on your own. Check out the roll-call for Voyager’s July 3 cruise - someone on there posted a TON of walking tour info. 

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On 6/12/2022 at 8:49 AM, AdventureKenandCar said:

Helsinki is pretty easy to do on your own. Check out the roll-call for Voyager’s July 3 cruise - someone on there posted a TON of walking tour info. 

You might be referring to my posts on another forum. I didn't find any reference to Helsinki from this board's July 3 roll call.

I'm happy to help with Helsinki related questions though. We are locals and going on the July 3 sailing from Stockholm. I'm eager to help especially those that want to do something special without booking any excursions, and want to experience something authentic while doing so. Walking, public transportation or a combo of the two. Streets here are among the safest in the world, locals know English, and locals are eager to help. Time-wise you can always budget for an emergency taxi back to the ship if you start to doubt yourself during the day.

Looking at the Helsinki excursions offered by the cruise line, I'm really sad that someone thinks that this is what Helsinki (or the Metropolitan area in general) has to offer. "Cattle-like" transportation from one boring site to another, and many times with quite unknowledgeable guides that offer made-up facts or pure stereotypes of Finns or their life. On top of it all, the guests are paying a 100% premium for the tour (if broken down to individual components, and separately purchased).

There is a reason (or many reasons) why Finland has been selected as the happiest country in the world five times in a row in an UN-sponsored "World Happiness Report", but you can't find any of those reasons or explanations from the standard excursions. You need to abandon the excursions, or should I say "sad tours", and mingle with the locals. If this takes you a bit off the beaten path or you get lost for a minute, you are still safe and will have a lovely time. Let's select a few areas of interest for your party, and I give you a recommended structure for the day with some interesting background for each destination. If you want to mix in a bit of local cuisine and drinks, I will build them into the tour. If you have a budget (per person) in mind for the whole day, I will take that also into account. You don't actually need cash euros in here as Visa and Mastercard are accepted everywhere, but if you are in doubt whether or not your CC will work in a foreign country, then I understand bringing cash.

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From all i have read, helsinki is pretty easy on your own, even if you have to take a tram or trolly.  Personally, we like to go off beaten path and mingle with locals, at least as much as you can in 8 hours on shore.  If only we didnt have the pre cruise test in stockholm.  Ben jabbed 4 times, would think that would be enough.  Does add to stress level, especially coming from the states.  

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On 6/18/2022 at 11:40 AM, CruisingFinn said:

You might be referring to my posts on another forum. I didn't find any reference to Helsinki from this board's July 3 roll call.

Quite possibly.  I have been bouncing around between forums a lot lately.  Looking back, I was thinking of a CC roll call forum discussion.  Someone with the screenname "ch__".  Is that you?

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