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Russ Lomas

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Everything posted by Russ Lomas

  1. That is a great price. We paid $60 each in August times six people to get tests done at the Pearson airport before boarding our flight (the $40 ones would have been conducted too early to count for us to board the ship back then).
  2. That is with Royal Caribbean. That is the board here that I am looking at 99% of the time, so I forgot which thread this was in and that it was not the RCCL thread. So my assumption you were with RCCL could very well be wrong
  3. Be sure to check you final payment date. I have been told that all cruises departing up until the end of January have had their final payment dates changed to 30 days prior to sailing (and not 90 days). This may give you some leeway in making your decision.
  4. I guess my cruises are just one day too short then. I have done a few 8-night cruises and no luck. Must be that magical 9th night meal.
  5. Different flavour every night for the 7 nights they served it to us after we requested them the first evening.
  6. We recently cruised to Curacao on the Odyssey. No issues at all getting off the ship on our own. We had a fantastic day on the island. Rented a vehicle from Advance Car Rental (best rental dealership we have EVER dealt with). Planning on doing the same when we go back there in March to see the west end of the island since we explored the east end this time.
  7. I dove with Aqua Windies in Aruba on our Odyssey cruise last month with my daughter. I do not know if your S/O is certified to dive or not (we are certified). We simply got off the ship and walked a couple of minutes to the right to the boats docked there and they were waiting for us (this is where they dock their boat over night). We did about a 20 minute boat ride to pick up divers on a dock at Palm Beach and then did two good dives with them. They are an excellent company to deal with. I do not know if they offer a discover scuba program though for cruise ship passengers if you S/O is not certified.
  8. We took the public bus to Eagle Beach on our Odyssey cruise last month. A simple walk across the road to the bus terminal and $2 per person US and we were on our way. We took the bus to the far end of Eagle Beach. The sand and water was beautiful, but there was not as many bar and restaurants on the beach as we had hoped for. The day we were there, there was a bit of a sewage like smell in the air as well (not sure why). When we go back next time in March, we plan to stop at Palm Beach instead to see how it compares.
  9. In Ontario (at least in the school board I work for), all remote teachers must report to work in a home school this year. They are no longer permitted to teach from home, cottage, or other location (like your friend in Mexico). Last year this was not the case, but this year, your friend would be reporting to an empty classroom, office, or even a storage closet, where they are told they must work from daily this year. I have read about this happening several times but never to a non-US citizen, so until it actually happens, I guess we will never know. As the policy is stated, they would fly you to your local Canadian airport on a private plane and then provide transportation for you to get to your home.
  10. I was unaware they had started 80's parties on some ships. As a large part of RCCL's main customer base was not really around in the 70's or too young to appreciate the music at the time, I would love to see an 80's night. I would love to see the crew doing the Thriller dance, freestyling to Footloose, breakdancing, spinning on cardboard, doing the worm, and best of all...sending the rather large crew member who often dances as one of the Village People running at the cruise director and jumping in the air to do the Dirty Dancing lift would be classic.
  11. Ditto. Well said. We cruised the Odyssey in August and felt the exact same way. For those who are vaccinated and do not mind the stress of jumping though hoops to get a negative COVID test prior to sailing, sailing now is glorious.
  12. Just ask on the first night and you will receive every evening after that. We got them 7 out of 8 days on our Odyssey cruise last month even though they were never on the menu. Kind of pot luck though since you never had a clue what was coming until they placed it in front of you. A few misses, but most were excellent.
  13. Unfortunately, RCCL has not had Beef wellington on their menus in the Caribbean for over 10 years (on cruises 8 days or less). I asked out waiter on the Odyssey about it last month and he said he had not seen it on an RCCL menu in many years.
  14. The Allure never got amped. It was supposed to, but due to Covid and the shutdown, the Allure was never Amped. She just got a technical drydock without all the added bells and whistles. I believe the Allure currently has its original waves. I was told only the Odyssey and Freedom currently feature these new "safer" wave surfaces (as they called them). Likely it will be the same on the Wonder of the Seas. Sports staff said ships going into drydock and getting a resurfaced wave will likely go to this inflatable type.
  15. You will find out for yourself. I wish it was better. After the initial shock and difficulty riding it on embarkation day, each successive day on the cruise, you got "used to it" - did not like it, but used to it.
  16. I think this may be incorrect. You can book an April 15, 2022 cruise on the Wonder now on RCCL's website that is a 5 day sailing out of Port Everglades. That is the last listed cruise for the Wonder right now, so she likely heads to Europe after that one.
  17. There are three seams. Each one is about three inches wide and about 1 1/2 inches high. The two outside ones are just outside the white of the crown and anchor symbol. The other one (and most annoying) is right up the middle. The seams run from the very bottom to the top of the wave surface. They really play hell with your riding if you carve hard. It makes riding much harder than the other waves. I am told Freedom also has this newer wave type with the seams now after it got Amped. You can learn a few ways to get over the seam easier, but it still rides much worse than the other waves because of this. Why the seam could not have been on the underside of the surface instead of on top (unless it is on both sides) is beyond me. Photos below from Nick Vitani
  18. 970 on our Odyssey cruise last month. I had the Flowrider to myself for a couple hours each day I chose to ride on our cruise. The most people in line I ever saw was 6, so I left then and let the other 5 have it. It was awesome (other than those 3 horrible seams in that new inflatable design)
  19. I have only read about one death they deemed due to Covid which they say was a cruise ship passenger. Easy to search on the internet. I had the link posted here, but as you can see from the comment below, I decided to remove the link. I do not feel like getting a "time out" just for answering your question.
  20. That is one reason to always book the refundable deposit (assuming the news of an itinerary change comes at least before final payment). After that point, you are settling for what ports they take you to as stated in their cruise contract. Many of these changes are for sensible reasons (political unrest, hurricanes or disasters, port closures due to other reasons like pier reconstruction or Covid-19). It is those ones that are reasons like a cruise company wants to move ships around after originally selling them that is frustrating to cruisers and there is no recourse.
  21. I still think that they are going to limit cabins. They want to be operating at enough capacity to be turning a profit (which cannot be done at some of the very low passenger levels they have had the past month or so), but they are not going to crank up the occupancy and risk having a ship shut down due to an outbreak and putting the entire industry in the spotlight again. I do not think they will have too much trouble selling out cruises (especially the more desirable ships) when the time comes, but right now, I am sure they are thinking about the long game and not short-term profits. Very unlikely. I cannot vouch for the validity of a statement someone who sailed with me on the Odyssey last month made to me, but they said they talked to some senior crew members (this person said they were sailing the Odyssey again in April) and they were told that they hope to have the ship at about 80% occupancy by then. If this is true, that would bode well for you not being at full capacity next month. I would be shocked to see any RCCL ships sailing full prior to Christmas, at the earliest.
  22. I agree that trying a board out is the best way to see if you like it before committing to making the purchase. A great way to do it is if you strike up a conversation with other riders using their own boards at local waves and many will be happy to let you try them out. I was never crazy about the ship's Outlaw boards. I purchased a wood Ash board and loved it. It rides like a big smooth Cadillac though. Super stable and a great board to learn on. I added a fiberglass Mak board with channels to my collection next and found it less stable but far more agile and fun for hard carving and tricks. Trying out a few different boards prior to buying is the best thing to do.
  23. Hated all the hoops we had to jump through to cruise in August, but LOVED the cruise on the Odyssey. We are scheduled and plan to do it again in March 2022. We are hoping that some of the testing requirements are not needed by then, but who knows. A large chunk of the group we plan to sail with also have mixed vaccines, so hopefully the CDC and RCCL will start to recognize this regime as effective as well and permit them to sail. The one big holdup for us for March is we have flights booked from Detroit and we live in Canada, so we need that land border crossing open before then.
  24. I remember seeing Wonka pies on cruises for a few years. They were often available in Cafe Promenade, but also available in the Windjammer. Never in the MDR. I cannot help you with a photo of the Wonka pie, but they are not like the ever elusive rainbow unicorn, they do (or did) exist. We found that a lot of times the chefs working for RCCL have been there for years and they are happy to pull out an old recipe card for you to make some of these items that are no longer on the menu (for example, the cold soups that we get served every night to us in the MDR even though they are not on the menu)
  25. A nephew of mine loves them and we last cruised with him March 2017. It was his birthday, so his dad asked our waiter if his son could get a Wonka Pie for dessert on his birthday. The smile on his face lit up the dining room as our waiter brought out his birthday treat. The waiters and chefs will do whatever they can to make you happy, such as on this special occasion.
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