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Our Journey Starts Today......


Moby Dick
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As promised, I am attaching a copy of my iHealth test results.  These results will be used to gain access to the ship.  But, as a back-up, I also have the Abbott/eMed results that I took this morning, as well.  And I'll post the results here too.

The journey starts today, in an hour or so we leave to go to my daughter's home (to spend the night) in Senoia, GA where she will take us to the Atlanta Airport to arrive by NLT 0500 tomorrow morning.  We arrive in Seattle at about 1:30 PM Local.  

Unless something noteworthy happens, this is it until we get processed.  

Let the fun begin!

 

 

 

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WELL, there isn't much to show, damnit!  On one, I repeat, NO ONE, asked to see our Vax verification OR COVID test results.  You heard it right, NO ONE asked to see our Vax verification or COVID test results.  We are on the ship.

A couple of bad things to report though, the line to get into the terminal was looooooooooooooong, real loooooooooooooooong.  Someone in my wife's Facebook page says that it was the worst embarkation that they have experienced in decades of cruising on Royal.

The Solarium Bistro isn't open, not for the whole cruise.  Our Genie says the ship has a serious shortage of crew.  

The Northstar is broke down and they aren't sure when it will be working again.

Too much bad news, so far.  But, we are trying to make the best of it.  Our Genie is really great, so far.  The food in the Coastal Kitchen for lunch was fantastic.  

Will be back with more as it happens.

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2 hours ago, 10-42 said:

WELL, there isn't much to show, damnit!  On one, I repeat, NO ONE, asked to see our Vax verification OR COVID test results.  You heard it right, NO ONE asked to see our Vax verification or COVID test results.  We are on the ship.

A couple of bad things to report though, the line to get into the terminal was looooooooooooooong, real loooooooooooooooong.  Someone in my wife's Facebook page says that it was the worst embarkation that they have experienced in decades of cruising on Royal.

The Solarium Bistro isn't open, not for the whole cruise.  Our Genie says the ship has a serious shortage of crew.  

The Northstar is broke down and they aren't sure when it will be working again.

Too much bad news, so far.  But, we are trying to make the best of it.  Our Genie is really great, so far.  The food in the Coastal Kitchen for lunch was fantastic.  

Will be back with more as it happens.

So I'm glad for you that your COVID tests weren't an issue.  It stinks that embarkation was rough.  However, you are on vacation!  So many other things to do on the ship. Have a wonderful time!

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4 hours ago, 10-42 said:

WELL, there isn't much to show, damnit!  On one, I repeat, NO ONE, asked to see our Vax verification OR COVID test results.  You heard it right, NO ONE asked to see our Vax verification or COVID test results.  We are on the ship.

A couple of bad things to report though, the line to get into the terminal was looooooooooooooong, real loooooooooooooooong.  Someone in my wife's Facebook page says that it was the worst embarkation that they have experienced in decades of cruising on Royal.

 

For us today we had to:

  1. Show our negative COVID test results to get into the terminal.
  2. Next stop in the terminal was verification of passport and sail pass.
  3. Then security.
  4. At the actual check in we showed passport and sail pass.
  5. Then before going on the gangway another check of the sail pass.
  6. Finally at the ship itself a final check of the sail pass.
  7. At no point was the ArriveCAN verification asked for.
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12 minutes ago, rbdavis3591 said:

Ovation of the Seas May 13 - 20, 2022.

Seattle
Juneau
Skagway
Sitka
Victoria
Seattle

thanks!  So tell me do they have any specialty drinks for the Alaska cruise that they advertise?  Only aware of all the tropical drinks.  

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I'm not going to go into the negatives, of which, unfortunately, there are many.  But, I will say that there are a lot of unhappy people on this ship, me being one of them.  I'll say to Royal however, if your aren't ready to open fully, have 100% crew availability (not just a service issue  but also a safety issue <I can only imagine.), ships systems aren't up and running properly, supply chain isn't up to snuff, etc etc etc., don't sail or don't sail at 100% capacity.  The current state of, at least this ship, isn't going to win any supporters or praise, it can only hurt.   

But, that is how I see things and my milage.  Your milage may vary. 

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1 hour ago, 10-42 said:

I'm not going to go into the negatives, of which, unfortunately, there are many.  But, I will say that there are a lot of unhappy people on this ship, me being one of them.  I'll say to Royal however, if your aren't ready to open fully, have 100% crew availability (not just a service issue  but also a safety issue <I can only imagine.), ships systems aren't up and running properly, supply chain isn't up to snuff, etc etc etc., don't sail or don't sail at 100% capacity.  The current state of, at least this ship, isn't going to win any supporters or praise, it can only hurt.   

But, that is how I see things and my milage.  Your milage may vary. 

If you don't mind, we'd like to know what's going on. Besides what you've already said. 

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2 hours ago, RWDW1204 said:

If you don't mind, we'd like to know what's going on. Besides what you've already said. 

No Solarium Bistro.  No Northstar (broke down), Broke down elevators, cabin phone doesn't work, one dining room not open for dinner (I've been told, I don't eat in the MDR), No olives (at least the first night), No draft beer in the Pub, Poutine in the pub was French Fries and cheese sauce and I was told that's the way it is and always has been yet the menu says cheese curds and gravy which is what I actually wanted (yes, I know Poutine is supposed to be French Fries and gravy), no Pina Colada,  laundry didn't make it back to the cabin when promised, had to go to Chops Grill in less than semi-formal clothing.  Security in the Terminal almost confiscating my Drone saying they aren't allowed on the ship, finally a supervisor reversed the untrained individual and I got my Drone back.  I'm sure there is several more things to report if I wasn't under the influence of massive amounts of adult beverage, I'd probably remember them all.  

None of this on its own is earth shattering.  But, you add up all the little things and it really starts to frustrate.  Well, no draft beer in the Pub is kinda earth shattering.  I really don't like to be like this.  I'm very loyal to Royal but this cruise and ship will go down as a big disappointment.  This is my old Army buddy's first Royal cruise and I really talked it up to him and his wife, they've been Brand X cruisers.  I'm trying to convert them.  Not sure it's going to happen, now.

 

 

 

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Our first Genie (Rahul) "hurt his ankle" on day 3, our second Genie (Dexter) "Got hurt" this morning.  They're both on bed rest for the remainder of the cruise.  So, the only remaining Genie who is on her first week as a Genie is now going to take care of all eight Star Class Suites.  I feel for her.  We haven't heard from a Genie since this morning.

Do you believe that two Genies within a couple days of each other "INJURED" themselves?  Nope, I don't.  But, then I can be a little cynical about the motives of big business.  

When we were told that the Northstar wasn't operational due to mechanical issues, again I was cynical but didn't voice my opinion.  But, apparently, it has been fixed but they aren't going to run it.  

Coastal Kitchen is operating with about 3 people short.  For what reason, I don't know.

THIS SHIP WAS/IS NOT READY TO OPERATE AT FULL CAPACITY, PERIOD.  Too many functions not functioning.

Our friends, that are sharing our suite and have never sailed with Royal before just told me that they are going to cancel their next Royal cruise they have booked and go back to Brand X.  What a shame.  I feel bad, it was me that talked them into cruising with us this trip.  😡

My wife and I are still loyal to Royal, thought.  Love the Genie program and it's amenities, when it works as advertised.  

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2 hours ago, 10-42 said:

Our first Genie (Rahul) "hurt his ankle" on day 3, our second Genie (Dexter) "Got hurt" this morning.  They're both on bed rest for the remainder of the cruise.  So, the only remaining Genie who is on her first week as a Genie is now going to take care of all eight Star Class Suites.  I feel for her.  We haven't heard from a Genie since this morning.

Do you believe that two Genies within a couple days of each other "INJURED" themselves?  Nope, I don't.  But, then I can be a little cynical about the motives of big business.  

When we were told that the Northstar wasn't operational due to mechanical issues, again I was cynical but didn't voice my opinion.  But, apparently, it has been fixed but they aren't going to run it.  

Coastal Kitchen is operating with about 3 people short.  For what reason, I don't know.

THIS SHIP WAS/IS NOT READY TO OPERATE AT FULL CAPACITY, PERIOD.  Too many functions not functioning.

Our friends, that are sharing our suite and have never sailed with Royal before just told me that they are going to cancel their next Royal cruise they have booked and go back to Brand X.  What a shame.  I feel bad, it was me that talked them into cruising with us this trip.  😡

My wife and I are still loyal to Royal, thought.  Love the Genie program and it's amenities, when it works as advertised.  

That's tough having two genies get covid on the same voyage. Hope you still make the most out of the trip.

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Well, we supposedly got the story with our Genies.  Apparently, the first Genie, because of the shortage of crew, had to fill in at one of the Kid's rooms to babysit/entertain the kids.  Was playing with the kids and stepped on a ball or something like that and twisted his ankle.  The second Genie, the same story but not sure what part of his body got hurt.  

This is what is unbelievable:  There are only three uniquely qualified people that are Genies on the ship, no one else can do it.  They have what is virtually a 24 hour a day job that people pay a ton of money for their undivided (well almost) attention and they assign them/pick them out to fill a last minute position.  We now understand why we couldn't get ahold of our Genie for hours, for 3 days. 

More enlightenment:  If you take the 7 day, Ovation, Juneau - Skagway - Sitka - Victoria cruise, make sure you cash out your money from any casino vouchers you have the night before you go to Victoria.  Today, which is our Victoria day, the Captain made the decision NOT to open the Casino, ANYMORE.  So, if you have Casino vouchers and you don't hear the announcement that the casino won't be open (they made the announcement during the Pixal Show (in the 270 Lounge) and/or Adult Comedy (In the Main Theater).  We didn't hear the announcements because we went to both of those venues and there was NO written notification place in the cabins.  So, if you have casino vouchers and you didn't get to the casino where they opened the Cashier Cage for 20 Minutes at 8:00 AM, you are out the money that you have on your voucher(s).  ALSO, if you have non-refundable OBCs, make sure you (if you do the casino voucher trick to get the money/cash out) the night before you arrive in Victoria.  If you have refundable OBCs, you can go to Customer Service and cash that out.  

Next:  As usual, the shops closed when we docked in Victoria, totally expected.  Well, they will not open again for the duration of the cruise.  So, as we became accustomed to the final day of the cruise sales in the middle of the Promenade, there will be none.  We held off from buying some items expecting that we could shop for some sale items on the last day.  SO, be warned, if you want to shop, do it on or before in the morning of the last full day (Victoria). 

Now, don't get me wrong, I am very happy with the service that we did receive.  The wait staff was beyond great, the food, for the most part was fantastic (I can't say that the Fish and Chips at the Fish and Ships was any good.  I even liked the Food at Wonderland, and I generally don't like FuFu food.  The two excursions we purchased (Mt. Roberts Tram (I flew my drone from up there (and at Mendenhall Glacier) and Skagway Streetcar Sightseeing Tour) was very interesting and worth the money. 

After all is said and done, I must keep in mind that this is only the second cruise of the season with many first time crew members and far too many supply chain issues.  They do have a lot of wrinkles to iron out and I still think that they are/were not ready to sail with a full capacity ship.  The crew is fantastic, the management/Corp have a lot to be desired!  When the first Genie went down, some member of management SHOULD have come to those of us that were effected by it and what was going to be done to keep us happy.  No one did!  When the second Genie went down, some member of management SHOULD have come to those of us that were effected by it and what was going to be done to keep us happy.  No one did!  When we were assigned a Genie that is her first week as a Genie and she was going to be the only Genie servicing all Star Class suites, someone from management should have come to talk to those, which are all, of us that were effected by this.  We have been told several times that the one and only Genie will take care of us as if nothing was going on.  We asked - Genies are assigned X amount of suites for a reason.  When you take one away and another Genie takes on the suites from the down Genie, SOMETHING has to sacrifice.  Then you take away a second Genie and you are left with a single Genie for all Star Suites, SOMETHING has to be sacrificed.  

 

 

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2 hours ago, 10-42 said:

Well, we supposedly got the story with our Genies.  Apparently, the first Genie, because of the shortage of crew, had to fill in at one of the Kid's rooms to babysit/entertain the kids.  Was playing with the kids and stepped on a ball or something like that and twisted his ankle.  The second Genie, the same story but not sure what part of his body got hurt.  

This is what is unbelievable:  There are only three uniquely qualified people that are Genies on the ship, no one else can do it.  They have what is virtually a 24 hour a day job that people pay a ton of money for their undivided (well almost) attention and they assign them/pick them out to fill a last minute position.  We now understand why we couldn't get ahold of our Genie for hours, for 3 days. 

More enlightenment:  If you take the 7 day, Ovation, Juneau - Skagway - Sitka - Victoria cruise, make sure you cash out your money from any casino vouchers you have the night before you go to Victoria.  Today, which is our Victoria day, the Captain made the decision NOT to open the Casino, ANYMORE.  So, if you have Casino vouchers and you don't hear the announcement that the casino won't be open (they made the announcement during the Pixal Show (in the 270 Lounge) and/or Adult Comedy (In the Main Theater).  We didn't hear the announcements because we went to both of those venues and there was NO written notification place in the cabins.  So, if you have casino vouchers and you didn't get to the casino where they opened the Cashier Cage for 20 Minutes at 8:00 AM, you are out the money that you have on your voucher(s).  ALSO, if you have non-refundable OBCs, make sure you (if you do the casino voucher trick to get the money/cash out) the night before you arrive in Victoria.  If you have refundable OBCs, you can go to Customer Service and cash that out.  

Next:  As usual, the shops closed when we docked in Victoria, totally expected.  Well, they will not open again for the duration of the cruise.  So, as we became accustomed to the final day of the cruise sales in the middle of the Promenade, there will be none.  We held off from buying some items expecting that we could shop for some sale items on the last day.  SO, be warned, if you want to shop, do it on or before in the morning of the last full day (Victoria). 

Now, don't get me wrong, I am very happy with the service that we did receive.  The wait staff was beyond great, the food, for the most part was fantastic (I can't say that the Fish and Chips at the Fish and Ships was any good.  I even liked the Food at Wonderland, and I generally don't like FuFu food.  The two excursions we purchased (Mt. Roberts Tram (I flew my drone from up there (and at Mendenhall Glacier) and Skagway Streetcar Sightseeing Tour) was very interesting and worth the money. 

After all is said and done, I must keep in mind that this is only the second cruise of the season with many first time crew members and far too many supply chain issues.  They do have a lot of wrinkles to iron out and I still think that they are/were not ready to sail with a full capacity ship.  The crew is fantastic, the management/Corp have a lot to be desired!  When the first Genie went down, some member of management SHOULD have come to those of us that were effected by it and what was going to be done to keep us happy.  No one did!  When the second Genie went down, some member of management SHOULD have come to those of us that were effected by it and what was going to be done to keep us happy.  No one did!  When we were assigned a Genie that is her first week as a Genie and she was going to be the only Genie servicing all Star Class suites, someone from management should have come to talk to those, which are all, of us that were effected by this.  We have been told several times that the one and only Genie will take care of us as if nothing was going on.  We asked - Genies are assigned X amount of suites for a reason.  When you take one away and another Genie takes on the suites from the down Genie, SOMETHING has to sacrifice.  Then you take away a second Genie and you are left with a single Genie for all Star Suites, SOMETHING has to be sacrificed.  

 

 

Update:  Apparently you can take the casino vouchers to the Customer Service desk and cash them in there.  I think they had a lot of complaints and changed the policy for this one time.  

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