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Everything posted by LeeW

  1. Actually a repo that begins or ends in San Juan is also ok. While Puerto Rico is technically part of the US it has an exemption. The NYC/Bermuda/San Juan was around 6 days last time we took it. The place people most often get caught is wanting to sail from LA on the repositioning to Vancouver and then up to Whittier. Not allowed.
  2. Bungalow is farther away but maybe a bit closer to the lunch buffet. You ride the Columbus Cove tram to the end (where food and bathrooms are), then walk maybe 100 yards farther, all flat (not shown but at very bottom right on the map). The cabanas are about 1/2 the distance but walk to the buffet is over a small rough hill. As I recall you don't get much with either - towels and maybe some water. You have to be on the suite beach to get an upgraded lunch. http://www.creative.rccl.com/Sales/Royal/Private_Destinations/14039222_Labadee_Map.pdf
  3. Interesting comments, Chief. Especially the must/shall stuff that I spent 20 years writing into government research contracts. One word was often worth over $100K. As a government scientist I cringe every time these clowns tell us to follow the(ir) science. But they do get lots of funding that way. We do know that the CDC hates the cruise industry and only dropped the Do Not Sail order because the President wouldn't let them renew it. So they stuck in a bunch of vague requirements designed to make it very hard for the industry. We know that the cruise lines can't offer to sel
  4. Just booked a B2B yesterday. And our large TA should know if there were any restrictions.
  5. Anytime dining works well on Royal - two entrances and most people use the one to the right. You want the one to the left next to the candy shop. There is a menu for dinner posted outside the dining room as well as at the entrance to the buffet around noon. Should also be available on the ship web site. This class of ship has the best buffet of any that we have seen - about 6 cross corridors with food on both sides and seating by the windows. One corridor is pastries. It also has a really good snack and coffee shop, with a gelato shop across the atrium area. Snacks are includ
  6. You can replace the land line with a voice over internet server using the same phone number (we use 1VOIP for $11.51/mo). This hooks into your home phone and will ring there and includes voicemail. You can also forward calls to your cell phone. Most of the home call scammers get blocked, since they are automatically screened by Nomorobo, but unfortunately the calls direct to the cell phone from those warranty folks have to be blocked individually - had three of those today. For those that don't want the cell to ring on a cruise, you can just turn off the voice over internet feat
  7. Yup. You don't need an active phone to connect to the ship wireless (or wireless anywhere) but you do need something with a screen (my old flip phone wouldn't do the job). There are lots of providers out there (MetroPCS, Boost, Cricket, and several through department stores) that will sell you a low-end phone for free or less than $100 with unlimited phone, text and some data that have plans that are $30 or less a month. Note that the "data" part applies only to data over the cell network - wireless doesn't count. Since retiring I don't use mine much but I did drop the land line and saved
  8. Sometimes you can get to another booking from the bottom of the login page. But last time I had two cruises booked they didn't load the app access until about 90 days prior to the cruise. Not that much was available before actually getting on the ship, but even the itinerary didn't show until very late.
  9. For Symphony sailings next August they have been selling both cabanas and water park access for at least three months. And still are, as of a few minutes ago. Water park is $40.99 on two cruises. Cabana in water park $499 on two cruises. One cruise is $64.99 and $999. As OP said, these are in Cruise Planner under Shore Excursions. I have seen cases where I needed to dump the cache to get Cruise Planner stuff to show up but working fine at the moment in Chrome.
  10. We have certainly had OBC from cancelled cruise planner purchases applied to new cruises that we also applied regular Future Cruise Credits to. Both had 125% returned, and both had similar code numbers. It was pretty easy to use the link on the Royal home page to apply the OBC codes to a booked cruise. The "Redeem your Future Cruise Credit" link takes either FCC or Cruise Planner Credit numbers. Note that the emails we got with these numbers clearly stated which was which - we didn't get two FCCs.
  11. Logically some of the "passengers" will be given cards saying they now are coughing and running a fever, call the medical center. Should be similar to disaster simulations since they need to check on the crew response. Both victims and responders learn a lot in these, so logically crew members that are not medical folks would be used as "passengers" as much as possible.
  12. Not going to book excursions that we are not interested in just because we have OBC. We will find something to spend it on. The funny thing is that lots of folks have complained about higher costs on cruises next summer but ours was essentially the same price. Royal is now allowing the FCC to be applied to several cruises. Disney's policy is just different and unique.
  13. Some of the helicopter/floatplane tours we have taken in Alaska have been as high as $400pp. Never seen anything close in Caribbean, and we take quite a few non-cruiseline tours there. Even in Alaska you can often get better tours and cheaper prices booking direct. Plus groups are smaller. Disney tours do tend to be more costly than other lines.
  14. Ken, they time this stuff here for the media and/or stock market effect. Has nothing to do with what makes sense. Especially when cancelling the ban reduces their power and they knew that they were not going to be allowed to extend it weeks ago. Although CDC is officially in Atlanta they are part of the DC mob, and DC cares only about power over the rest of us. Same thing as Ottawa and Toronto.
  15. While the CDC can modify the rules (and should if short sailings prove to be "safe") they hate the cruise industry and won't want to make things easier. They really hate that theme parks are open and working ok. And they resent the loss of power when they were told they could not extend the ban. My guess is that cruises in the near future longer than 7 days will be cancelled but cruise lines will wait to cancel longer cruises that are farther out. We have a 19 day Panama cruise scheduled for April. Current rules won't allow Panama cruises at all. Ships will need to go if there
  16. In the past we always just booked what is now called Savers, and paid the gratuities onboard. We only drink a glass or two of wine at dinner and the soda-only package used to be about 4 pounds/day/pp. As Elite, we also get a fair number of internet minutes (and unlimited wifi wasn't available). Now it is a bit more complicated. Medallion doesn't matter - it is just a replacement for the cruise card. As non-drinkers you don't need the Plus package. They got rid of the soda-only option and now the lowest level of soda includes mocktails. You can add premium coffee/tea for a bit
  17. A few more comments. Princess insurance tends to be cheaper if you are an older cruiser. However the benefits are less than private, and an air ambulance from the South Pacific could easily exceed Princess limits. Stock is kind of weird right now. Was at $45/share for years (up and down) but yesterday was below $20. So you could get 100 shares for around $2000. The OBC benefit has not been removed so on a long trip you could get $250 for each trip. The dividend has been stopped now - was 50 cents a share per quarter before Covid. Might take a while for that to resume but bet
  18. I got the email from Celebrity announcing double points before I heard about Royal. Celebrity is for new bookings, which didn't apply to the booking I moved from this year to next already before their announcement. Emails I have gotten from C&A imply that I will get double points next year but that booking is similar - moved a 2020 booking before the announcement. Royal site now implies new bookings also. Doesn't really matter - we just want to sail! If we get double points next year it will be like our cruises this year actually happened and we will hit D+. If not, we won't.
  19. Nope - there is a bar by the adult pool but it isn't in the Sanctuary. That Retreat area is now surrounded by cabins and we had one on the first real cruise out of Port Everglades. That area is very hot because it is now recessed into the deck. No beds around the pool either - just a row of chairs up against the cabin window walls. The folks running the Sanctuary didn't like the new arrangement because it has little shade, more cabanas that folks don't reserve, and only around 24 loungers. In theory you can order drinks from your phone but this only worked w
  20. The Princess Medallion will track you down to a specific deck chair location (so you can order from the app). But in most of the ship it is hit or miss. Even on Sky Princess, which was designed for Medallion. It was also hit or miss whether it would open the cabin door without actually touching it to the door pad.
  21. The 6 year old plans on spending her $371 remainder on Goofy Gummies. That is what is left after all excursions (estimated) and gratuities for her. Almost enough for a Bibbidi appointment! DW and I have $750 if we get a cabana (doubtful) and $1500 if we don't. Son and family have $2035. Other folks have complained that cruise cost for next year went up enough to eat the extra 25%, but for our 2021 cruise the cost is within $100 of this year's cost. So we are netting 1/4 of Disney booking costs as OBC. And they even transferred the taxes and insurance directly to the new cruise.
  22. If it was the Allure hurricane it was certainly different. First cruise got extended and second one shortened and free. Similar problem coming up on Disney. The 125% FCC covered whole cost of new cruise and left around $1000pp. On Disney they don't issue a new FCC, just give it to you as OBC. Even after paying for all the excursions, gratuities and some spa will still have maybe $600pp left as OBC. Apparently we can use this for transportation, hotels and similar but anything needs to be booked as part of that cruise. We already have a Goport hotel/transportation reservation
  23. Thanks, Ken. That's what is supposed to happen, just hasn't always been my experience. But we have only done maybe 6 B2B so not sure if this happens all the time or was a one-time situation. Might have been a case where cruise went to different ports due to hurricane and all the excursions were cancelled. First cruise did show credit there that carried into second cruise. I stuck the large OBC on the third cruise because that is where I expect to spend the most. Worst case is I do casino charges if I don't spend it.
  24. I seem to recall that on previous B2B cruises my onboard account was not closed out after each cruise and we only got billed when we finally left the ship. So effectively any OBC from the first cruise just applied to the final bill and didn't vanish between cruises even if not spent. And maybe OBC on second cruise can cover a charge on the first. When we transferred our Cruise Planner Credit from three cancelled cruises to a future set of cruises each credit had to be applied to only one cruise each. So for a B2B2B we now have $50/$650/$1250 showing in the new Cruise Planners.
  25. Interesting that Dr Sands thinks unilateral government lockdowns just kill the economy and don't solve the problem. And he resigned way back in May as a result of his position. We need him at the CDC.
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