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Everything posted by gmerick

  1. My experience leads me to suspect they wait until their actuarial models predict the optimal inflection point between the apt to forget doing so, and the apt to blow their stack not doing so.
  2. The travel router seems like a compliant use of VOOM. The connection is used from one location. The reason I would purchase a multi-device package is to simultaneously use the network from multiple locations. Specifically, so the group of us can call each other. Cruise ships are rather large towns, approaching the size of a small city. When it's supper time, how else can we plan when to eat, and which show to see afterwards. It's not like that travel router will be shared with folks in neighboring cabins. That would be against policy. But for watching a streamed video, or streaming video to people off the ship, go for it. And while you're in the cabin where the router is, go ahead, connect and check your e-mail. To keep the ship network gurus happy, buy a package for the cabin, and one for each person who will be using their phone while wandering.
  3. Add up all your FCC's, and subtract off the TBZ5 ammount (that's the 25% extra you got with your FCC). The difference between this and the Amount Paid is your deposit.
  4. 12 night Anthem cruise in December. I'm going to do it with just a carry-on. 1 Dockers, 1 Walking shorts, 3 Polo shirts. 1 t-shirt, 1 swim trunks. I'll wear the other pair of long pants and a dress shirt on the plane. Laundry service is cheaper than airline extra bag charges. The attire suggestions for dinner are equivalent to dress-up-day at grade school. I didn't do it then, and 60 years later, I'm not going to start.
  5. Heavy cream for the coffee. It doesn't pour very well, but sure does taste good.
  6. Secret Perk: Even if you're staying in an inside cabin, they swap cabin stewards around. If you're doing the stealth Pinnacle thing by cruising in an inside, Royal Caribbean will also give you a stealth Royal Genie as a cabin steward. You can ask them for anything.
  7. A search on royalcaribbean.com for any Florida departure during September or October has every ship calling in the Bahamas (either PDCC or Nassau). The Serenade and Mariner 4 day trips to Coz were switched this morning to PDCC.
  8. I keep my mask in my cell phone belt pouch. I suppose if one were wearing the appropriate attire, my Aunt's solution would work. She now has a bit of the elastic ear loop of a mask alongside the corner of her hankie descretely peeking out of her neckline. I've learned not to ask......
  9. Sorry, forcing the governor's hand can't be the reason. Mexico is adopting the Bahama's rules. Got to have the jab to enjoy tequila, mezcal, kahlua. https://www.jornada.com.mx/notas/2021/08/31/estados/propondran-que-turistas-extranjeros-presenten-certificado-covid-19/ Oaxaca . The Union of Secretaries of Tourism of Mexico will present next week to the Mexican Foreign Ministry a proposal for foreign tourists to present their vaccination certificate, as well as antigen tests or PCR to enter the country, reported the state Secretary of Tourism, Juan Carlos Rivera Castellanos, who chairs this group.
  10. I cancelled when my Serenade 25 Oct changed from Cozumel/Mahuhual to Nassau/Little Stirrup Caye. I lost my bonus 25%.
  11. To me, it looks like the move away from Cozumel / Mahuhual is simply a capacity issue. Cozumel can handle 4 ships from RCI brands and NCL brands at the International Pier. Mahuhual can only take 3, and maxes out at 15000 pax/day. There simply aren't enough ports open in the western Carib to handle all the ships. Something had to give.
  12. St Maarten: Many dive shops. I have dived with Aqua Mania, and have booked another excursion with them in December. Recommend. San Juan. As omeinv posted, not much close. RCL occasionally posts a Discover Scuba shore excursion with Scuba Dogs in the marine park (walking distance from the pier. On my previous COVID canceled cruise I had independently booked a City Night dive with them. Dive at 7PM, back to the ship before 9. I will do this one again, as night dives are a blast.
  13. My latest inside cabin atrocity. I had booked a great bargain on Brilliance for an inside deck 4 cabin. Convenient location, low noise area, great price. Then our RCL friends decide to switch ships, and move my cabin. Couldn't even keep me on a low deck, made me go to a deck 8 balcony. I guess I can put up with it, but I sure will miss my dark hole in the bowels of the ship.
  14. Anthem OTS, 12 nights, 12 Dec 2021, Solo Balcony. $81.42 per night for Cuise Fare.
  15. This was originally a Grand Cayman / Cozumel trip on Brilliance. Much regret, but I opted for the refund. Good luck to those who stay with it. I just can't see two "stay onboard" ports as making a fun vacation. There will be more opportunities, and I'll be applying the refund to other sailings I already have on the books.
  16. Dear Guest, We’re looking forward to welcoming you onboard Serenade of the Seas for our October 25th, 2021 cruise. As we countdown to your sailing, we have an itinerary change to share with you. As part of the guidance received from the CDC, we’ve implemented new boarding protocols, so we’ll need some extra time for check-in. As a result, we’ll depart from Tampa, Florida at 5:00 PM, instead of 4:00 PM. Additionally, due to some itinerary planning changes, we will no longer be able to visit Costa Maya, and Cozumel, Mexico. Instead, we’ll now visit our private destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay, and Nassau, Bahamas. We know how much time and effort go into planning your cruise with us, and we’re sorry for any inconvenience caused by this. However, we’re excited to take you to new ports! We know you’ll have an excellent time. Below, please find our revised itinerary. Day Port of Call Arrive Depart Mon Tampa, Florida 5:00 PM Tue Cruising Wed Perfect Day at CocoCay 7:00 AM 5:00 PM Thu Nassau, Bahamas 8:00 AM 6:00 PM Fri Cruising Sat Tampa, Florida 7:00 AM
  17. Another "What is this space? Deck 14 aft:
  18. I am not worried about the supply of at-home test kits. The proctored tests are far too expensive for the one-person, one-test-kit method to even be considered for mass testing of even a 100 person small business where's there is likely 15 people being tested weekly. Mass testing will probably be conducted much like the RT_PCR test that I received at a hotel in Belize prior to returning to the US. We had 11 people scheduled for the test the day prior to our return flight the next day. The med-tech collected samples from each, and then returned to the lab. The lab's web site indicated they had a RT_PCR medical device that tested up to 96 samples at a time, and returned results in under an hour. This same lab did concierge testing at a number of Belize hotels so vacationers could comply with US transportation requirements. If I can remember how the math works, the medical device mass tests are only a tenth the cost of the single test BinaxNow AG tests.
  19. I ordered a two-pack BinaxNos AG test from Optum Store. Both tests are lot number 142425. Both have an original expiration date of 04 Oct 2021, and an extended expiration date in the Abbott letter of 04 Jan 2022. I called Optum. Apparently all kits in the Optum warehouse are from this same lot number. They could not offer to replace the kits with a later expiring product. I asked for a refund. The Optum agent said a refund would be sent, and I should dispose of the product. Hopefully there will be more test kits available before my ship sails in January from Newark.
  20. If this was my situation, I would at-home test before going to the airport, and at-home test again in the San Juan hotel. The first one is for me alone, the second one is to satisfy the cruise contract.
  21. 2 days is OK. Getting a test before leaving home is the only way for me. I'm not going to waste the plane ticket and a day of travel if my at-home test says I won't be cruising. Waiting until I'm at the port is akin to wearing rose colored glasses. Even if RCI does implement testing at the pier, I will still test myself before hopping on the plane. A positive test at home means my Air2Sea ticket and my Cruise fare gets refunded. Failing at the pier means I've wasted a plane ticket, and I have to find a way back home without using that return ticket.
  22. Called them up. VPP, Gratuities, Taxes, Port Fees are all "refunded" and "reapplied" when the ship changes. Most of these don't change between ships. The Cruise portion of the bill was adjusted to match; before (Brilliance, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, studio interior), new (Serenade, Cozumel, Mahahual, balcony). The port fees changed, and I was charged a bit extra. VPP, Gratuities stayed the same. All it took was a bit of patience.
  23. As the first response said -- take a class. (My recommendation, (I'm certified by this organization) https://www.padi.com/courses/skin-diver). All your questions explained, answered. Practical experience, and a whole lot of confidence and comfort. CAUTION: An instructor will have to explain about full face masks and ear plugs, there's issues and big considerations for both. As for sunscreen, I don't like wearing it. I'm a blond haired blue eyed Norwegian, and I spent a week on the Mexico barrier reef wearing full body rash guard and a hat. No sunburn, hardly even a suntan.
  24. I'm not a fan of big meals. I consider meals part of the entertainment package. So far, I've been quite satisfied with the MDR staff (host, waiter, asst, head waiter, sommelie... (ok wine guy), and the big shots with stripes on their sleeves, musicians, .... I'll try a pay restaurant for the variety, but I couldn't justify it for just the food. For a solo, no, the package just won't make my list.
  25. I consider onboard internet price cheap. I always buy the surf package for the whole voyage. I use a soft-phone app. I can call ahead about privately booked shore excursions. I can call friends on the islands, and arrange to meet at the pier. I can check in for my return flight. It's also great for weather forecasts. Yes, I also work on sea days, and telling my CIO I'm "available" makes it a whole lot easier to take an extended vacation.
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