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EatonDoolittle

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  1. RC has 2 ships out of Tampa doing just that, starting in Dec. of this year. Scheduled as of now, anyway. 4, 5, or 7 days to Cozumel and a few other stops.
  2. As mentioned, don't ignore cruises out of Tampa, especially if you decide on the Western itinerary. Disney is actually closer to Tampa then it is to PC. It is about 45 minutes to the Port, straight interstate all the way Both Celebrity and RC have cruises scheduled from there starting (hopefully) early winter. The ships are not the giants like Harmony because of a bridge they need to go under, but they are not rowboats, either. It's a great port to sail from, easy parking and access, nice terminal, scenic and lengthy sail away. And valet parking for the locals!
  3. Saw a FB post this AM from Coleen at Cozumel Bar Hop. She said we may not hear from her for a couple days because the hurricane was bearing down and they may lose power. She said they were in a safe space, and planning to return soon. Pretty upbeat, but that's how she is anyway.
  4. I remember taking it many years ago before I discovered Calabaza and Silver Moon. I see it now when I am on those boats, and it is still completely packed (pre-Covid). If it is your only option to get out on the water, then take it. Expect it to be as crowded as RC can get away with "Healthy Sail"-wise, and expect there there be too many people in the water to snorkle comfortably without getting kicked in the head. There will probably be plenty of rum punch, tho.
  5. I got this email last Thursday from my TA's parent company. I even said to a friend, "Hmmm, they must know something is coming". Sure enough, the now well publicized "healthy sail" recommendations have the same 5 days to 24 hours wording about tests. I have replaced the agency name with (deleted), and removed any links for more info so as not to break the TA mention rules here. Agree, a lot would be banking on Fed EX and the lab to do their part correctly and timely. (Deleted) Your Expert in Post-COVID Travel As part of our ongoing commitment to the health and safety of our travelers, (deleted) is now offering a suite of options for expedited COVID-19 testing. Accessible COVID-19 testing is an integral part of the world's pandemic recovery. To ensure safety, many local governments are requiring travelers to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result. Effective immediately, you have access to an array of convenient COVID-19 PCR testing options and expedited results. At-Home RT-PCR Saliva COVID-19 Test Kits Shipped throughout the United States In the comfort of your home, you can take a simple saliva test and receive reliable COVID-19 test results within 24-36 hours. Through (deleted), you can request a test to be shipped via FedEx 2-day delivery. Simply follow the included instructions to take the saliva sample and drop the completed test kit at a FedEx dropbox. Results from the FDA EUA approved test are available within 36 hours. PCR Nasal Swab Testing with 24- to 48-Hour Turnaround in New York & Los Angeles Individuals located in Los Angeles and New York have the following testing options available to them through (deleted): At-home testing performed by medical professionals Testing at health centers located in Manhattan & Beverly Hills Onsite testing for groups of 10 or more
  6. IMO, November would be better. That part of the world is verrrrry hot and humid, and the further away from summer, the better. Plan on hot, humid, and daily rain any time of the year (it is rain forest, after all), but there is a small bit of relief in the winter months.
  7. I have no insight, and unlike many on here, I think it is futile to speculate. However, I do have a 5 day Western out of Tampa on Royal Caribbean booked for Jan 4. I found a sweet deal a few months back, so I do plan to make final payment on Oct 6 unless I hear otherwise from them. RC is not my preferred line, not do I specifically enjoy short trips, but I booked it as a possible opportunity to get back out there, and to see how they are planning to manage things. Plus Tampa is such a great port to sail from. I'll keep everybody posted, because it is safe to assume RC and X will decide on similar post virus policies.
  8. It seems to me to be a targeted marketing plan, since so many on here say that they are signed up to receive emails from Celebrity, but do not get these Power Up invites. Targeting to whom is the question...Upper CC tiers? Pax with one or more cruises already booked? Ppl who have sailed recently? I don' t know or really care, that's up to the no doubt highly compensated marketing team, but the invite is apparently not sent to every email address in their data base.
  9. I read number 7 as a bit of lawyer speak...the first part is to protect the cruise line (you must...) and the addendum (you may go independently but...) to protect them as well, from law suits yes, but also from excessive guest complaints about personal freedom.. I expect they are hoping ppl will stop and adhere to the "you must take our tour" section. It will increase their revenue, of course. I am reminded of when Cuba first opened up to cruise ships. The rule from the US State Department and across all lines was (paraphrasing) you must follow these rules, and tour with a Company that meets these criteria. Then, all the lines stressed "all our tours meet Gov't regulations". So people who did not do any research ended up taking substandard and expensive tours from the ship. Those of us who did a little research found that there were many wonderful tour companies based in Havana that met all the US Gov't regulations, and had first class tours of the island that were also a much better value. Or, you could walk off the ship and simply explore on your own. Hoping we can sail soon, but just read and understand the small print about leaving the ship once Princess distributes their rules.
  10. Amazon, wrist bands and clips. Worked well, and cheap enough to have an assortment to choose from.
  11. The Shipmate app will let you list all your cruises, past and upcoming, as long as you know the ship and departure date. It populates the daily itinerary for you. I checked, but Monarch is no longer available. When the app first started, you could add cruises on retired ships, but they took that option away during an update. There are Disney Magic sailings available going back to 2000. So, create an account (free), and you can get the Magic one, as long as you know the date.
  12. RC has an excursion to Blue Water Beach, which is very nice and about a 20 minute drive. It may be cost prohibitive to reserve through the ship with so many people, but you could look into getting a cab to take your group there and back independently. There are beach only, all inclusive, food, chairs, etc. options available if you go on your own, so you could tailor it to your desired budget. I mention it because I remember there being lots (or nothing) to do, including a wrangler for kids who was leading them in games, etc. I cannot imagine going to Falmouth again (only did it because of a dirt cheap week available on Oasis, which I wanted to try), but if I ever am there again, I'll do the same excursion. To me, the port is just an outdoor mall with a Margaritaville. M'villes used to be fun and nice when they started out, but they are waaaayy too big business now. Bad food, bad drinks, outrageously expensive trinkets and apparel. I do recall a nice coffee shop inside the port, and a killer Blue Mountain iced coffee, which was well appreciated on a hot day and after the weak ship's swill.
  13. There is the obvious one, Cockleshell Beach. The cockleshells are pretty common, I have a few that I picked up across the channel in Nevis.
  14. There is a straw market to buy typical Bahamian stuff. I may be mixing it up with Princess Cay (Princess's Private stop a few miles away), but I think there is a store with logo'd stuff, sunscreen, etc. as well. If you check Holland America's web site, there are many pages of shore excursions and other stuff to do there. As mentioned, it may be a bit different for Carnival, but you can at least get an idea. Also search YouTube, I'm sure there are many videos of HMC. It's a nice, stress free stop.
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