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About Beardface

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Raleigh, NC
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  1. There are no special lines once you are in the hands of Customs, which you are once you enter the baggage area. Embarkation on the Seaside was awesome. Showed up to the YC tent, signed some papers to say we were there, and was white gloves whisked through security to the YC lounge to finish paperwork. Once there was a group of about 6 of us, we were all escorted through the health check and onto the ship. We were the last ones in our group to check in, so we were taxi to Top Sail Lounge in 15 minutes. Disembarking was similar. When we were ready, our Butler escorted us down the elevator and to the head of the line, much to the ire of one lady in line who was demanding to speak to security because we cut them in line. At that point we were just another passenger needing to get through US Customs, so we had to wait in all the wonderful lines with everyone. Even then, I think we were Top Sail Lounge to taxi in 30 minutes
  2. I don't think you are going to see any of the CLIA requirements are going to be relaxed until the global numbers start to significantly decline, signaling we're past the worst of the disease. South Korea, long championed as the pinnacle of keeping this under control, is beginning to see their cases spike now that they are starting to relax their quarantine measures. Given the very public backlash and the fact that multiple governments have specifically scapegoated the cruise industry for the global spread of the disease, this industry is going to be the absolute last to relax its standards. Not because they won't want to relax, but because they know the ramifications of appearing to not be doing everything in their power to stop it from happening on their ships could cause irreparable damage to the entire industry. Lets not beat around the bush here, the cruise industry as a whole is in jeopardy of completely going out of business, and there are prominent people globally who would relish that happening. The ships themselves aren't environmentally friendly at all, the countries the ships port into largely hate the influx of tourists, there isn't a good reputation on being a member of the cruise staff, and its hard to contain an outbreak of a disease on a ship, as we've all seen the past few months. So yeah, tangent aside, until those global numbers start significantly tailing off, I would expect the cruise industry to be very selective on who they allow on ships going forward. Yes, I would expect you to have to get a doctors note if you are a high risk demographic. I also would not be shocked if local governments force 14 day stay-at-home quarantines on any of their citizens returning from a cruise. Like it or not, there is a global stigma right now that cruising is not safe in the era of COVID-19, and the industry is going to need to bend over backward to at least attempt to show it is, knowing they simply don't have the money to not completely bow to political pressures.
  3. Its the same crap we're dealing with from the IRS right now. Basically, if you mailed in your taxes on time this year in the US, don't expect to see any tax return for a very long time. They're simply just not processing them right now, as practically the entire processing dept has been furloughed. We filed back in March right after we got back from our Seaside cruise and its still just sitting in their offices not having been processed. And their website is very clear that it might be months before they will get to it. And this is from an agency whose only job is to file these things and process payments/returns.
  4. There's probably a good chance they don't have firm information on the actual layout of the ship right now. Many ships nowadays are kind of designed on the fly, and it would not shock me if this is the case with the Seashore, given the big changes they are trying to make, so there is no actual deck plan to show. My wife and I originally booked on the NCL Encore for what would have been this week before we flipped to the Seaside last year, and we didn't have a firm deck plan for it until about a year ago now for a ship that was supposed to sail in November. And that ship was just adding pieces from the ships of that class that came before, and when we booked we were told to use the deck plan of the Joy for reference. I have no idea how they would have booked rooms on a deck they were adding.
  5. Beardface

    MSC Seashore

    ok yeah that's what I was trying to say. I'm interested to see what new features they plan to introduce for the YC pool deck. When we were on the Seaside in Feb, it didn't really feel crowded at all, but the location of the hot tubs were awful when the ship was under sail. And I'm curious on what they'll do in the Deck 20 space above the Aurea area, because just having a bunch of loungers and a cabana would seem like a waste, given that the current setup didn't seem that crowded, even in perfect sea days.
  6. Beardface

    MSC Seashore

    Show lounge? Interesting. I guess something similar (though smaller) to what RCI has with the Quantum Class, then? With the Aurea deck, maybe, but I guess this means the area around where the bar is now will be inside and not open air? Then again with the new YC cabins on Deck 19, not sure there will be room for that Aurea area, at least as it was. And I would guess its not going to be Deck 20, since that looks to all be YC, down to the additional cabanas.
  7. I was looking forward to seeing the reviews come in from the big independently planned vlogger group cruise they were planning to do on the MG later this year. That would have given everyone a great idea from multiple content creators that generally go in depth with their reviews. Unfortunately, that's probably not in the cards anymore. Hope they're able to make it work at some point.
  8. Beardface

    MSC Seashore

    Dredging up an old thread to post some pictures I hadn't seen, yet From the comments earlier, it looks like the Yacht Club pool deck has been extended back and has absorbed the Aurea Sun Deck to accommodate the new passengers. There's now a glass divider next to the smokestack, and I am going to guess the area around the retractable roof is going to be the new Aurea Sun Deck, as it looks like a hot tub was added to each side in that area, with a bar under the overhang created by the YC extension. Also looks like they've eliminated the dun deck where the Bridge of Sighs is, and have added a bar in its place. I wonder if this implies that the buffet might have been moved up to that deck as well, which would explain the new glass enclosure. Also curious on what that new glass enclosure is on lower back. If that's the new location of the buffet, first of all, great view, secondly, I wonder how much space will be accessible with the pool right overhead.
  9. Granted this is the design they have right now and could always change during the build, but it looks like it'll just be a deck higher, with a similar layout. Also looks like the YC pool area is absorbing the Top 19 Aurea area for more seating ability, as its now completely closed off from the rest of the ship. I wonder if this means the Aurea area might be relocated. I see there is a glass divider right around the glass retractable ceiling to the indoor pool, I wonder if that area is where it will be now, with the Aurea bar under that overhang created from the new YC extension?
  10. Define "normal" If you're asking specifically about quarantines, social distancing, not being allowed to mentally separate yourself from the pandemic going on in the world while on the ship... Yeah, you're going to be seeing this for a while. Mandatory quarantines will likely be implemented for anyone coming back from a cruise, and you'll likely need a signed note from your doctor stating you are healthy before you'll be allowed on the ship. Most countries are going to be very conservative on allowing people back into their countries, even if those same countries are acting like complete morons within the borders (looking at us, United States).
  11. You can let the guys get your bags as you get out of your car, but be very clear you are in the Yacht Club. We did that and the person escorted us all the way to the right to the YC tent where we began the check in process. It was also nice having our bags ready before muster. Allowed us plenty of time to get settled in before we left. Also, the YC Deluxe Suites are large and nice for the price paid, something isn't obvious when looking over it all. I mean the rooms themselves are 50% wider than a standard cabin. Gives you plenty of room to spread out.
  12. If you know you are going to go, book now, and then just push out your sail date to when they are actually back. Personally, I'm waiting for 2 things before I book. 1 - Ships to actually sail, so I don't begin my countdown too early only to be disappointed 2 - Prices to fall once lines realize the demand has sharply fallen for tourism & travel coming out of this
  13. Hope you get to sail My wife and I were in the Seaside YC the week before cruising was canceled. Its truly wonderful. Embarking is seriously a breeze. We went from taxi to Top Sail Lounge on the ship in about 15 minutes and basically only waited as long as it took to process our documents at every stage before we were escorted through security and onto the ship. And yes, you don't have to register your CC until you are on the ship. And you can do that with the kiosk at the YC Concierge. First day was really quiet, so that was a breeze to do as well. Drink plan is different as well. We paid a little extra ($17pp pd) and got the Premium Plus plan (though for some reason even that cost was refunded to us, so we effectively got it for free) and literally drank whatever we wanted for the duration of the trip. While the rest of the ship was nice, we never really wanted to venture too far from the YC itself, only really going out at night for shows or events. Do not worry about reservations for shows, there are 2 dedicated rows in the theater for YC guests to use and all you really need to do is show up and you're in (except for the Michael Jackson show, go to the YC Concierge about 20-30 minutes before and they'll escort you in. Dining was easy. Because its a European line, its busiest around 8:30-9, so for my wife and I, who tend to eat at 7, the YC restaurant was always empty when we went. No reservations needed, though they do appreciate if you show up around the same time so they can use the same waiters, who make a point of remembering your perferences. The YC Pool Deck is very nice, and the pool is plenty big for how many people are there. There are 2 hot tubs at the front, but when under sail, they get incredibly windy, and unless you're in ideal warm weather, are fairly miserable because of the cold wind. As for the staff, they were great for us. Bartenders in the TSL also rotate through the Pool Deck during the day, so they quickly learn your preferences. Butlers also rotate through waiting at the TSL and Pool, and you'll notice good service if yours is on duty, which is not to say service otherwise is bad, but they tend to be very attentive to their own.
  14. If they aren't thoroughly sanitizing the glass walls after every patron leaves then this has the opportunity to be far more dangerous than just keeping everything open. As we've seen on ships, the virus sticks on smooth, flat surfaces for a period of time (upwards of 17 days on some Princess ships), so doing this could effectively do nothing more than creating incubation chambers to eat your meals in.
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