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Everything posted by HMR74

  1. Thanks for the wine list! I had to chuckle--the base Reisling I like is 43 a bottle on Board but when I buy it, I get it at $5 a bottle by the case. I used to have a small partnership interest in a restaurant and that place charged 39 a bottle-so just a normal on board mark up. The premium Reisling which is pretty good is 22 a bottle at home in retail stores, but a special order, and 16 a glass listed here-- thats a pretty normal. We get the premium Drink Pkg, more for myself than my wife, not necessarly because we drink so much, more so we feel unemcumbered to get a drink or try something. Especially when at the Sunset or Oceanview bars in the afternoon, as teh bartenders are pretty accomodating. So I'll put this on our iphones so my wife will not just choose any old wine but one from the premium list. Probably more important, at the end of a cruise, esp a 14 day one, I do not have to look at a multitude of days of charges for drinks. As to CM, it was a nice quiet elegant environment for a few people to get together for a drink. I will miss it just because we could chat while sitting back in our chairs. But our next cruise is scheduled on Reflection which has not been renovated/ Revolutionalized. Thanks again.
  2. I have not seen anybody mention music you can bring with you (on the phones or tablets storage so you do not have to stream). Good for when you exercise on board or take a nap on deck. Then you can play games of all sorts. We usually play arouns happy hour at an aft bar. Many you need the internet to conect. The other use of technology, is with family, if I am watching the grandkids at night (I can do without shows) the kids can call to check on me! and on a big ship with the family people can be anywhere and the phone helps. Oh, one can also bring a lot of books on a tablet. Thats great for a TA or TP. and with Whats APP you can call via the internet or do face time, which makes the kids who worry a lot happy. Even if its only a 3 minute call. And we do not mind seeing the grandkids on FT either. Only problems are when we ate more than a few time zones apart. And its a quick and easy way to check on your daily schedule as we find we have a hard time quickly fining our paper trail of what we have going--especially when one day looks and feels like the next. ditto for important documents. Finally, it, the App, tells you "ships time".
  3. I bought a big duffle for a lake trip this summer. Problem is with everything in it, it was too heavy! Luckily, my son in law was ther to do the heavy lifting. Ya know, after a big dinner tonight, I thought about packing for a 25 night B2b. 16 has been the longest for us. I need to pack 2 sizes of slacks and shorts. Yeah, we are careful, but strange things happen on board ship. If the CDC was to real save lives, they would recommend that scales be positoned as you enter each restaurant, and you swipe your card, it goes into your record to follow your weight on the app or in the cabin TV. Cruise lines could cut out carbs, Two benefits, saves lives for eating too much and the ship saves money on food costs and probably a percent or two on fuel costs. (yea, I am joking around)
  4. Thankfully, the newest luggage is light weight and the wheels are great. We do carry a cheap carry on expandable bag in the event we buy things especially on the longer and more exotic trips. But then again, as we get older we do not buy much and are cutting back on clutter. My record dumb buy was a 7 by 10 flokatti rug I bought somewhere and they actually let me carry it on board as the flight was almost empty, and the flight attendants wanted something to talk about. Northwest Orient.
  5. I figure 4 shirts 14 days means I cam almost get away w/o sending laundry out. But its the daytime shirts where you sweat up a storm that you probably have to do something. I have to do better with the magnet hooks and not waiting to rinse things out. Too much hanging from ceiling. but there are more fun things to do on board than doing the ez laundry.
  6. if you do not mind wearing the same things every day. ... My old foreign business trips I took a carry on and 2 slacks and 2 business shirts and each night I had a pair cleaned and pressed. Was worth it particularly going into India . landing at 2 in the AM along with 5 or 6 loaded 747's and I was able to move quickly around everybody in the arrival hall, in time to be depressed by the little kids in the dirt parking lot selling chicklets. I forgot a lot of aspects of those trips but remember that clearly. A real bummer.
  7. I think part of the the problem at rcl and other cruise lines and companies is the worker shortage due to extra payout and whatever. The quick revision on this was a good sign when there is a problem affecting many. But I still can go nuts with those on the phone at RCL and its a combination of new untrained workers and I know that because a few months back I had a problem and when I called in I got seven different answers from 7 different agents and its not like you can just go with the best answer given. I finally found someone who knew exactly what she was saying and please forgive me for stating it this way but she did not have a strong foreign accent (if you are going to problem solve you have to know what the problem is ) so we coudl understand each other. Took her name down and the TA the next day confirmed what the TA said I could not do was doable. Thats what I mean when I talk about the front office frustrations vs once you get on the ship its magical (not necessarily Disney Magical)
  8. thats about what we take. of course, performance varies depending how you actually travel, eg, what if you are going to a cold spot on the cruise or vice versa. I'll wear jeans on flight with sweat shirt in winter and some sort of light weight jacket I can fold up but it stil takes up space. and now a days, electronics and cords take up space. Thankfully I have an old 2.7 pound laptop that works well enough to take. Not sure what happens to that with windows 11.
  9. and here I thought I travelled lite with 2 dress slacks and 4 nice shirts and dressier shoes for a 14 nite cruise, and 3 pairs of shorts and good walking shoes for excursions, a few t shorts and the other essentials. And of course workout shorts and t shirt and shoes. The shoes get me but I also take old t shirts and some old shorts and toss them at near end of cruise.
  10. what I have observed, after a 2 decade hiatus away from cruising, is working with the RCL "front office" is usually a royal PITA, except for a few fantastic folks. Feast or Famine there. Once past that experince, once you board the ship, it exceeds your raised expectations. Thats good. People are well trained and very nice. Another reason to avoid going thru the rigamarole of getting off with or without luggage between sailings on turnaround day. Us older senious who have the time for B2b might not have all the energy to schlep luggage or spend time just standing around. This post is intended for management at RCL and its subsidiaries to see. I have tried investor relations but they never get back to me.
  11. Our next B2B is our second , including the Nov Dec 2020 B2b which was to be our first but was canceled. I really liked the concept of having a choice to stay on board or get off and do an excursion during the day, especially after I was told that the B2B'ers in the past had a special meeting the day before where cards etc were issued And finally we have the time. Now all they have to do is test us at that alleged meeeitng, which by 2022, will not be the PCR test which does not differentiate between flu or Covid, and the new test wil not have has many false positives. And is faster, better, cheaper. Please It makes the trip a breeze compared to doing a city to city bus rail or plane type of land based trip. Since our trip is next spring, we have plenty of time to soak in all the changes good or not so good. Gosh, I do hope thngs get much better over the next few months for many reasons.
  12. When things are moving fast I will watch a you tuber Don's Family Vacations. Or listen to others take on whats happening. He was on the Edge 10 days ago and it took him 5 days to get home to Canada because of snafu's on testing and flights cancelled. He stated last night that he thinks he s going to "can" his late august cruise as basically, who needs this potential aggrevation? We knew the retart was not going to be very smooth, however, its being complicated. If the CDC has the power to call for a moritorium on evictions, aganst a Supreme Court Ruling, and it stands, then will the CDC reach back into cruises? With Italy and Greece on the CDC do not go there list and now the wildfires in Greece, Italy and Turkey, I am keepng my expectations low, so I will not be disappointed. Just canceled a family Thanksgivng 2021 cruise. Following a rule, if you are going to panic, panic early.
  13. This is the problem with EAU fixes. They were never meant for large portions of the population. They were meant for people with diseases or problems where new ideas, untested, were available and it was almost a "What do I have to lose" proposition. Well, we still do not know the downside medium and long term risks of the vaccines (whats the long term for many seniors anyway-I'd be more concerned as a 20 something now about what develops 30 years from now, but now we know from what was mentioned in the above quote) that the efficacy "probably" is not lasting more than a few months. What else do we not know.
  14. LOL, just thinking about the sailngs on ~April 1who have to make final payment 29 days before those sailing March 31.
  15. I am travelling in Sept and perhaps things might be a bit calmer. so I continue to keep thinking and tossing and turning at night. sigh When I spoke to an RCL person last week who has been there a while, basically she said there are so many uncertainties viz a viz things changing on protocoals reacting to everything else that they are planning protocols one month at a time and last week they were working on August, while noting the virus issue seemed to be worsening, meaning the protocols would be tighter for September. Thus to think about the Oct and Nov and Dec cruises was not on their radar now for specifics. SO I canceled my Nov cruise and the next two are in the spring, plenty of time, I once thought, for things to normalize. I thought that because I used FCC when the last time to use them was for April and May 2022 cruises. Plenty of time, Yeah, right.
  16. Remember the movie Groundhog Day: This is the time of the year, based on last year, we start cancelling trips. Or have trips cancelled on us. I have booked flights for next May and when I checked them the other night, on a 787, there are 5 seats sold. Gone are the days where we were in a hurry to book flights 11 months out to snare the mileage seats. Now just want a non stop back from Europe or Asia.
  17. Geeze, if this is not resolved by 2023 we have immense problems. Far more than our planned cruises.
  18. So, all the false positive were for??? From what I understand everybody has a little of hte viruse. The US set the testiing bar at 42 and only recently reduced it to 28 (the higher the number the better off you are). So there is a whole lot of multidimensional "Fudge Factor" involved with this. As to the "fact checkers" if you have ever been in a decent sized court case the plaintiff and defendant each bring in credible expert witnesses. Who proceed to support totally different views. Money talks. So I have been jaded by years of watching various biases and stubbornesses. Boils down to instinct and just whom do you trust. Not all the time. But a lot.
  19. its that highlighted line that says a lot but says not much at the same time. Does it mean the current test does not and thats why its being put aside, or does it mean the current test does and we need to find one that differentiates. Yeah, I am putting on my atty hat now, and seeing some "wordsmithing" going on. The other problem is, before I would want to fly down to port, with a group of 8, I would like to have a pretty good feeling we (the adults that havebeen vaccinated and kids who have not been)) all continue to test negative. And not be subjected to last minute costly cancellations, perhaps quaranteins, and wasted flights. Better I should know early than late. Eg, before I can reconsider what to do I better be able to understand whats happening and all the options I have.
  20. here is the CDC post on internet site: its suggest sthat we find tests that differentiate between flu and covid. Good idea, but is that saying the current test they relied on did not differentiate between flu and covid. Or by ending the current preferred test, are they saying its inadequate, of has been superceded? CDC was not clear on that either. I am just trying to get a handle on it and at same time try to find a way that we see a cost reduction. And it woudld be interesting to learn if all the covd tests taken the last 18 months did or did not differenciate between covid and flu, just becase the CDC raised the issue in this posting. I am not an atty but I wil be staying at a Holiday Inn before my next cruise. (joke) https://www.cdc.gov/csels/dls/locs/2021/07-21-2021-lab-alert-Changes_CDC_RT-PCR_SARS-CoV-2_Testing_1.html Seriously, I need to know what hoops we may have to jump thru to just get on board.
  21. so, why did the CDC not just say the current test is being replaced by a new better faster and cheaper test. It did say in its press release that this will give time for those that need to find a new test to do that. And its coincidental to the cruise lines requiring the test. If the new test is already plentiful and faster better and cheaper, then its fine. Perhaps the cruise lines can advise where we can get those faster better and cheaper tests done. It would be nice to fly to MIA or FLL a day or two early, run over to a Walgreens or CVS, go to lunch or dinner and then go get the results to give to cruise line. Better than having to funnel a thousand or 3,000 at the port for the test and have a bottleneck there which waswhat happened this past Weekend.
  22. I agree there is the scoring issue with the PCR issue but concurrent with the cruise lines (RCCL, "X", NCR) now rewquiring a PCR or antigen test inside of 3 days, the CDC announced that effective 12/31/21 it would stop using the PCR by saying it would not extend the EUA. Not a warm cuddly feeling. The assumption for that is that the test is ineffective and misleading, in fact its the only assumption given the info we have, escept speculation that the test does not differentiate between covid and the "the " flu. But the problem is now for whatever the reason, the cruise lines are using a questionable test procedure. The one thats been used the last year thats created the need for a bunch of issues and probems incluing the suspension of cruise service. Regardless we are still left with the logistical issue surrounding getting the test and results inside the 72 hour window and rectifying false positives in that time frame, when many of us had planned to be near the port 1-3 days before the cruise. I will put aside the cost of such a test on a hurry up basis. This is like a simultaneaous equation, difficult to solve to everybody's satisfaction.
  23. one reason for a cruise, or vacation, is to get away from the normal daily stresses of life. Simple enough, huh? Get out and rejuvinate. Even on a cruise to nowhere , that you can turn your brain off for a period of time, stay away from the news, debates and controversies.
  24. I was listening to a podcast during the day and the issue was the PCR being discontinued. The assertion was that the PCR does not adeqately distinguish between covid and normal flu. I did doze off during the podcast but the gist was that , drum roll, many with flu virus were classified with covid. Tune in in a few months to learn what really happened, especially after the book written by an austrailian news reporter is released in late September.
  25. I said I just read about it and cannot verify. But just reported it. If you have the time, please feel free to google around and find out and report.
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