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Everything posted by mmcgann11

  1. We're booked on Edge, Aug. 28. I've been covering the pandemic (yes, the WHO has officially called it that, so it literally is one, opinions not withstanding) as a local journalist since March, 2020. We'll be going and taking some care -- especially in Florida, where we have to fly from a Pa. county that is more than 90% vaccinated (those over 18) to an area where the virus runs rampant. Will we mask up on board? Probably, at times, especially in crowded areas inside, although I have confidence in the changes to the ship's HVAC systems to constantly cycle fresh air inside (the lack
  2. First off, it's a wonderful excursion — highly recommended. But, probably not the best for little ones. Aside from the fact that you'd need to keep an adult on the boat to stay with the little one, once snorkeling is over, there's lots of food drink and dancing — with a lot of people moving around up and back to the top side (the higher area in front — perfect for sun bathing and watching the waves, but with little protection to keep a small child from falling in). It might be hard to keep a little one engaged and happy for three or four hours. My 20 year old twins thought it was a
  3. Meh. We have one booked on Aug. 28. I see them as somewhere between a balcony and an oceanview. If you could only get oceanview, this would be an upgrade, with a floor to ceiling window that opens — but probably not as nice as a normal balcony. As we have balconies for our next three trips, I'm willing to see whether this is cool concept or not. We do spend time on the balcony (obviously, it's why we book them) but don't live on them. Mostly morning coffee and pre-dinner beverage (and sometimes when sailing in/out of port). So this may work just fine for us. I hope we g
  4. Ignoring the stupid, misinformed and rude on this thread, I think it is safe to think that RCI would have a "casual" NYE celebration/farewell event. Not sure it would have the full-on dressy pomp of mid-cruise NYE, though (enjoyed that on Grandeur a couple years back). Like another poster, I'm on the Dec. 31 Anthem out of Bayonne -- will be interesting to see how that plays out (packing the tux, of course)...but I have little doubt it will be a fun night.
  5. We will, too. Thanks so much for these on board updates, Elf426. Really enlightening, fair and detailed.
  6. I want to join the chorus of those thanking @bnurickfor these on board reports. My DW and I are booked on the Aug. 28 Edge (after having three other cruises cancelled on us since fall, 2020) and each post gives us more optimism that we will have that moment, just after clearing the gangway, of peace bliss in just about eight weeks. I hope that last couple days prove as enjoyable -- again, thank you.
  7. It's all about what you need, in terms of measuring cost/benefit. We're loyal RC - if all cruises through next spring go off, we'll finally hit diamond. But...booked on Celebrity Edge after our Aug. 28 trip on Oasis was cancelled (rebooked for a year later, again). As we do get the drink package/wifi and such, the total cost for Celebrity wasn't that much higher than we were used with RC. We've been on other lines, but have generally settled on RC as the right mix of value/comfort/fun for us. But we're kind of excited to try out Edge.
  8. Quantum is a pretty serious departure from what has been traditional RCG ship design from Vision class through Oasis -- initially, we found Anthem a bit disorienting. But once you get a feel for the ship layout and the many improvements and upgrades, it ends up being very appealing. We're taking it to the next level by sailing on Celebrity Edge in late August, which seems to take the same design ethos much further.
  9. I'm sort of on both sides of this argument. I don't smoke cigarettes, but enjoy a cigar from time to time. I'm always happy to smoke those outside in the designated area -- and enjoyed my one trip on Liberty with its cigar lounge (I enjoy Anthem's outdoor "bus stop" as well). But in truth, I hate cigarette smoke (while cigars are pure tobacco, cigarettes are full of nasty chemicals) in the casino. Looking forward to my trip on Celebrity Edge, which has a smoke-free casino and an excellent Deck 15 outdoor smoking lounge.
  10. We had a poor experience with Nextcruise, booking on Majesty for a future trip on Liberty. Many details were wrong and we basically had to rebuild the reservation once on shore. Benefits were not worth it to us -- we already get some C&A discount, with more to come after the next 2 cruises.
  11. Which then leads to litigation and a loss for Fla./Tx on the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution (first step, likely a Temporary restraining Order (TRO) on the states), not to mention the issues with the Commerce Clause. As they literally can't stop lines from sailing at 95% vac., it comes down to fines, litigation and such later in the year or in 2022.
  12. Having just booked Edge for Aug. 28, the whole IV thing has me intrigued, as we will have one for our first Celebrity cruise (we were booked on RC Oasis, but the cruise was cancelled and we decided to try something out of the box). A real love/hate thing for people, it seems, but an upgrade over those old porthole cabins, at minimum. I expect to review it -- and everything else about how cruising is -- in early Sept. when we get back (probably old news, but its the journalist in me).
  13. Celebrity said they are in negotiations with the Florida Administration to make this work (some sort of weasel wording to let DeSantis save face). Unless DeSantis is getting very poor advice, he knows failing to work out a deal means the cruise lines go to court, get a Temporary Restraining Order allowing them to require vaccines (and then likely a fall trial where Florida will learn painful lessons about the Commerce Clause in the U.S. Constitution -- and potentially, the Supremacy clause, as the CDC is requiring vaccines for lines not doing test cruises, and federal authority almost always w
  14. Damn. There goes our Aug. 29 departure on Oasis. Frustrating -- but at least we have time to book another vacation. Not sure we're going to lift and shift or do the cruise credit, as this is the second time we've lost this booking (we were booked in the same window in 2020). Hopefully, our trip on Anthem in December will go as planned.
  15. Desantis _ I literally laughed when someone said he'd be president or vice president, as it appears he might be snagged up in the Matt Gaetz fiasco, which seems to be tied to a broader GOP corruption scandal brewing — misplayed this from the start. The litigation should have been a negotiation tactic, not a "our way or the highway" play. His vaccination passport ban is idiocy -- the vast majority of cruisers want it, as do the cruise lines. He could be screwing up sailing from Florida for the time being and also make cruise companies diversify their cruise ports more, so as not to end up so de
  16. We are on Oasis Aug. 29 and if we're stressed (timing looks a bit better), you must be freaked out. I hope it works out for you.
  17. Can you cite a source on this? I did see a local news Web site (in Hudson County -- I actually worked at the now long-defunct Hudson Dispatch daily newspaper early in my journalism career) suggest July was possible based on their reporting.
  18. Nothing matching this Port Liberty story on Matt's site. The link shared is only to a very old schedule of what was planned pre-pandemic. With Freedom sailing test cruises out of Florida June 20-22, it seems unlikely to be making its July 3 date in New Jersey. From what I can gather, PANJ/NY is "encouraging" fully vaccinated sailings and will not get in the way of sailings out of metro NYC. If the fight with DeSantis drags out (I think unlikely, as cruise lines will get a restraining order short term and win on the merits quickly at trial -- Florida is violating the Com
  19. Ah, no. Moderna, which I had, 28 days, plus two weeks for full immunity. Pfizer is 21 days, plus two weeks for full immunity. But that's moot, as the crew is largely getting J&J, which means two weeks to full strength. So, a crew could be easily vaccinated within three weeks or less.
  20. We're booked on the same cruise (hope to see you at the Schooner Bar). Oasis made one run already to Miami to vaccinate crew. Keep in mind, under CDC guidelines, fully vaccinated people don't need to quarantine. If they use the J&J, they could have an entire crew in on about two weeks notice (but I suspect they will be working on a weekly basis to crew up their ships to be ready for July sailings) -- I suspect they might be running crew through Miami before sending them to ships after shots. Additionally, as noted elsewhere, they have a full two-week (not 30 day) process for quarantining c
  21. There have been some indications in local media that the port will be opening -- but obviously, there have to be discussions between NY/NJ, as it would mean opening up NYC ports as well. Timing is the only question. I'm on the Aug. 29 Oasis (life and shift from '20) and feel like it will very likely sail. The July dates are going to be tougher, but it seems like things are moving in a positive direction for them.
  22. Since DeSantis has no right to regulate interstate commerce (you know, the Commerce clause in the U.S. Constitution) or International Maritime Law, which in this case involves ships registered in the Bahamas, it isn't going to stick in the courts. (I don't have dog in this fight as my next three cruises are out of Bayonne or Baltimore). While the Texas law will likely withstand challenge, Florida's is an extra-legal disaster.
  23. Shrug. My next three cruises (Oasis, Aug. 29), Anthem (Dec. 31) and Enchantment (May, 2022) don't leave from Florida. Until I want to go back to Cuba, I'm not sweating Ron DeSantis.
  24. However, the CDC guidelines say masks still needed on modes of public transportation. So, it's unclear how this will impact cruise ships at this moment.
  25. I would volunteer to go, but I doubt RCG wants a journalist on board detailing the process. Still, it would be fascinating to be able to be there to report on how it went.
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