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Everything posted by marktwothousand

  1. There are no organized social groups that encouraging mixing of any kind on epic: That means no cruise critic, no solo cruisers, no veterans, no AA and no “friends of” groups. As I was going to be basically solo on epic, no socials is one of the reasons why I decided not to proceed with my trip. Also, there is no late admittance to any of the parties, To discourage mixing and people coming in and out. not my idea of having fun. YMMV.
  2. Nah, this is actually the way they do them in most of the US now…it’s simply a less invasive kind of PCR test…the Deep swab you’re talking about isn’t any more or less accurate, it’s just that the type of companies’ tests that require it are different. They’re still all PCR, NAAT or antigen. It’s just that some companies have been able to make tests that don’t require a deep swab. the deep swab is one of the older and cheaper technologies but the accuracy is comparable.
  3. Well. Thanks for the dailies but this sux. They’ve eliminated all the organized social meetups. No solo cruisers group. No other organized meetups for other speciality groups (Friends of Bill W, military, etc). So basically if you’re looking for friends on a European cruise, you’re on your own. Every social interaction outside your immediate group is basically being discouraged. No late entry permitted to the topdeck and nightclub parties. No touring Italy on your own. No wonder this cruise is going for fire sale prices for solo cruisers. This is bullcrap. This is not a cruise. It is basically a floating resort. With half the capacity and half the fun
  4. Encore. It’s New, but bad decisions about constructing huge water slides, race tracks and play areas on the roof have resulted in little Space up top for crowds and being up there is not atall enjoyable
  5. But my point is, how is that gonna work at ports? Will NCL be testing UK PAX throughout the Cruise to make sure they can get off in Italy?
  6. I read that it will apply to unvaccinated Americans only
  7. Every piece of news or article I’ve read says the following: Vaccinated travellers from the UK Fully-vaccinated travellers arriving from the UK will therefore no longer have to undergo the 5-day quarantine upon arrival to Italy. However, they will still have to take a Covid-19 test and show proof of vaccination.
  8. If anyone knows anything new about what’s happening with tours, free roam, ports, etc for the epic, Please post here. also, Italy’s regs say testing is required? Does that mean everyone on epic will be doing rapid tests a couple times on the cruise before getting off in Italy?
  9. Are there any tours that fall within, or close to, the $50 excursion credit for the Epic cruises? Like bus rides to town and things like that. Thanks.
  10. As another poster just posted a couple posts up, we are smashing records in the developed world up here, vaccinating at rates beyond the US’ wildest dreams. I didn’t think we’d surpass the UK. But we even did that. And Now, Royal has delayed yet another cruise by a month due to COVID. so you tell me, based on the facts above, if cruising will be ready to go? Feel free to let NCL or whoever hold your money and keep cancelling on you, I don’t think you should, but it’s your choice. But until the vaccination rates go much higher in the US, another 10% at least I’d say, not much is going to change…not to mention the spat between Florida, the CDC and the cruise lines is going on and on. I get it: Don’t tell states what to do. But this is a port that sails to international waters and cruise ships are a different industry than any other. They should be granted an exemption for the vaccination requirement to allow for cruises to sail. This isn’t going to be a forever thing, it’s just a short-term public health measure to allow these companies to operate. Otherwise we are looking at 2022 before they sort this out and anything other than 30% full (or whatever the number is) “test cruises” sail. Trust In Science that the vaccinations work, keep yourself safe, and we will be back.
  11. We started vaccinating 12 year olds weeks ago here and now we are pretty much at the stage where those are the people mostly going to the clinics right now. If you want to rest on your laurels among a less amount of fully vaccinated people vs. a larger amount of partially vaccinated, that’s fine, but you guys have hit a wall on your overall totals because of the huge anti-vaccine population and just general apathy. We are going to be fully vaccinated here very very soon and I would much rather live safely among a population with low COVID circulating and partially vaccinated than only a handful of people fully. Our COVID rates per capita are dropping fast and let’s see where you guys are two weeks after this Memorial Day with all your “no vaccinated” people travelling. Hope your news covers what’s happening in the UK because it’s not good and their cases are rising. PS Plus: Partially vs fully really doesn’t matter anyway in the big picture because we’re probably all going to need third shots for the winter until the next generation of vaccines are approved anyway. So if you’re only looking at this as a two-dose deal you’re not looking at it longer-term. It’s really probably going to be four total doses once you factor in another booster of this vaccine generation and then maybe one final shot next year with newer, better vaccines. So, I hope you Enjoy the rest of your summer after the explosion of Memorial Day cases in two weeks. the hospitals will be jammed with people on oxygen again, unfortunately. And there will be no cruises…thanks.
  12. What is the current policy on canceled cruises after final payment date?
  13. Seriously. Until we see NCL ships sailing to their home ports full of crew, nothing is certain. You wanna be disappointed by more and more re-planning and cancellation? Be my guest. We all want to look forward to something. But for the first cruises going back, if you really wanna be certain, you’re probably gonna have to wait until a month-or-so out to book anything with any certainty anyway. I’ve found some of my best deals on cruises a month out so don’t despair. As long as it’s not high-season or a holiday, and you’re not a diva on picking “Cabin 12128” EXACTLY, you can get some good prices. Don’t worry, You can be a diva later, once cruising is back. You might have to just relax on your laundry list of particularities for the first one. I know y’all are good planners and such but for this one, we just gonna have to wait it out a little longer. If you’re from the US, Not sure if you realize, but most other NCL cruisers’ countries and staff countries are under strict travel restrictions right now. So it’s not gonna be over for everyone till it’s over for all of us. let’s see how the situation looks toward July when NCL actually start moving Human Resources and assets around, and in the meantime, if you’re in the US, enjoy maskless heaven within your borders now and get those vaccination rates up. Canada and UK have well surpassed the US’ first-dose vaccination rate now (you won’t hear that in the US media) and the US has to catch up if they are going to even have any hope going launching cruises with the current CDC standards. That is how the UK was able to launch its first domestic cruise last week. So make sure your ”peeps” (as the young ones say) go and get those shots, because the daily US per capita vaccination rates are dismal right now (back down to February levels) despite being awash in this white gold. (Again: You won’t hear this on mainstream US media like FOX or CNN, but it’s all over the news everywhere else). China is currently administering 16 million per day with totals of over 500 million. THAT is the level the US needs to be at for cruises to truly resume. Facts. If you want to go cruising, telling your friends, family, workers and everyone else, to get the vaccine, is the #1 thing you can do, in your communities right now, to make cruising a reality, faster. Stop focusing on booking vapor-cruises and putting your energy into that instead. I mean, many of you are all retired, what’s the urgency in booking so far out? You got that much going in your retirement during lockdown that you can’t plan around a one week cruise and a 3 hour flight? Not to mention, the last thing you want is not enough people vaccinated, another resurgence and wave, and we can kiss US cruises goodbye until 2022 minimum. How depressing is that?
  14. The cancellations from Jamaica are sad but what did everyone expect. I’m sure the cruise line even marketed it with “first ship back” with good intentions at first. But I know there’s a lot of smart people on here, and you can’t tell me that threatening to launch from Jamaica wasn’t also sending a message to state and federal governments… I want to hope for cruises to come back as much as everyone else but I’m starting to find the view on this very US-centric. Not sure if US people know about what’s happening for COVID outside their country, but many popular countries for NCL customers are in the thick of serious travel bans or return-quarantines right now…the UK, Canada, and Europe namely…and with the US only hovering around the 40-50% vaccination rate and we’re basically in June, how could anyone think the cruise line could actually get crew from all over the world (including not to mention India, where much of their staff comes from and has the world‘s highest cases right now) not to mention customers…to Jamaica…for a cruise in a couple months’ time. Sorry people, but it’s not over for one of our countries until it’s over for all of us…sure the US can live in vaccinated maskless heaven within its own borders, but forget anything major travel related for a bit, yet. I hate it as much as all y’all, but, facts. July/August is the earliest we will likely see quarantines lifted for the other countries, and it is only THEN that cruises can begin to think about staffing up and deploying
  15. Christmas trees and decorations everywhere? Christmas Shows and music all over the ship? Families gathering in pyjamas and opening gifts with kids screaming and running around the atriums? How is that anything like a normal cruise and not christmasey?
  16. It would be pretty hard to enjoy it as a regular cruise because of all the special Christmas events on the program, the decorations, and families doing christmasey things. Even the corridors had sombre Christmas music playing as I went back to my cabin on Christmas Eve. The Buffet has traditional Christmas dinner and it’s very good
  17. I know everyone wants to be positive and bla bla bla but seriously. I also know cruisers are a smart bunch and you all know that nothing is certain for the return to cruising right now, let alone a “August 2022” cruise. Come On.
  18. Don’t bother. I would never book the Encore again let alone during a pandemnic where that top sundeck is crammed into one tiny area in the middle of the deck around the pool. N E V E R A G A I N.
  19. My slot story is a little different but fun. One night I was playing a bunch of machines while awaiting a reservation. I jumped from machine to machine and then went to dinner when I heard my table was ready. I had about $300 on my room card after inserting a ticket I pulled from another machine. A few hours later, I went back to play. Inserted my room card and BANG. zero. in panic, I went to the casino desk and explained to them, I had money, where did it all go? their response was that, I probably placed and pulled the card and ticket in the wrong order and the money did not transfer to the card. Overnight, they did a FULL audit on video and computer records and tracked down all the machines I played (I couldn’t remember) and determined another player had placed their card in the machine and got the money (whether knowingly or Not) they were able to recover that money from The player and return it to me the next day. I was Gobsmacked, as I as sure it was lost. They took it extremely seriously and I wrote the entire team customer cards.
  20. I agree. Prices are so much lower in those Two weeks before Smas. I did one Smas cruise on the bliss and I would probably never do it again. I met great people and the ship was great, but there were just TOO many families...like teens crowding the nightclub and there was never a day anything was quiet. I am generally not a picky person on cruises, looking for all sorts of things to complain about, and, I like a lot of action on the ship. but this was really nutso/crazy. And If you’re a planner, you can Forget reservations for anything and will have to make decisions on board “as space permits”. Also, if you like socializing, it’s an awful time in my opinion because everyone tends to keep to themselves because they’re all there in big groups. If I hadn’t been with a group on that sailing, I probably wouldn’t have gone. So if you just like seeing ports and keeping to yourself, It’d probably be OK. and the price premium wasn’t worth it either. I would have rather spent that money on a better cabin or two cruises instead of one.
  21. Pros: it has all the good stuff that you probably like on other NCL ships. It is basically the same in most areas as the newer NCL ships so If you like that stuff you’ll be content with the encore cons: pool deck. Ridiculous. way too much space dedicated to the vibe and laser tag. I was on a packed sailing and hardly anyone was ever in vibe and laser tag. I know pool decks are notoriously crowded on cruises but really, this was too much. That kind of crowding won’t fly in the SARS-nCoV-2 era. I will not sail encore again for the pool deck
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