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Everything posted by Georgeny

  1. We sail every Xmas for years. We like to get away for the holiday after celebrating with our family members just before Xmas. I must say in general most ships decorate to some degree for the holiday. Some have caroling or a holiday get together but it is far from overwhelming. That can be a plus or minus. Our lastXmas cruise was on the Anthem of The Seas, our last cruise little did we know, due to pandemic. I will try to attach a couple pictures. They decorated the ship nicely and had a large Xmas tree in lobby area. Xmas morning Santa was in the 270 lounge and a long line of kids took their turn. Each received a gift from Santa, what it was I do not know, sure some sort of logo memorabilia but all seemed happy. Have been on some ships that you barely realized it was a holiday cruise. Of course now with the pandemic who can say about anything being as it was? Us in front of Anthem's Xmas tree - Anthem Xmas display - Osterdam small area Staff caroling I believe. George in NY
  2. Thank you so much for the pics and comments! Sailing Oct 3rd appreciate the input. George in NY
  3. We ordered test through RCL website on 8th, though was supposed to arrive on 10th they ( EMED ) notified us would be later. Received it this morning early ( 13th ). Along with he two tests we ordered was an insert from RCL that gave assistance phone number for EMED. They also noted a number to call for a refund if the later delivery was not going to work for you. It also noted that if you test positive to Call Royal Caribbean at 1-800-256-6649 to make other arrangements for your vacation. George in NY - sailing Oct 3rd Oasis
  4. Bare in mind the world has changed so I will answer regarding our previous experience. We have sailed from Baltimore many, many times through the years. I will start by noting that Baltimore has the best parking arrangement bar none. They have TWO lots, each dedicated to a ship when two ships are sailing from Baltimore on separate days, Carnival and RCL. If you arrive way early you may be held up until lot cleared, doesn't take long since ship disembarks early. They stage three lines side by side then start to feed you in once lot is available. As you drive in there are luggage carts and handlers. You stop don't even have to get out of car if you don't want, take it right from trunk or cargo area. You make a right drive to cashier, pay, make right follow directions park. Get your carry on's and walk to terminal about a minute walk. You will see in photo you enter at top go around to luggage carts then to cashier and park. In this photo you will see collapsed gangway. That happened in 2016 no one was on it thankfully. Workers truck got crushed though and took couple years to get new one.
  5. Have to love all the SWEET Suite talk 🙂 I far prefer part of cruising in 1984 when suites were rare on a ship and the only gain was simply a larger sleeping space and only in a few instances a small balcony. You could be in the grandest suite onboard, but you ate together, drank together, paid the same everywhere, had the same chance to get an excursion booked, hunted for pool space like everyone else. Basically a cruise was an EQUALIZER. 1988 wife and I we were a couple of blue type collar workers who saved all year to cruise each year. Often still had a balance on credit card for initial cost of cruise when returned. Fought to pay it off and start saving again. That year, we were seated with a couple who actually did have one of the maybe 8 suites on the Carnival Celebration. Us the blue collars, they the real deal VP of a major international financial operation. We enjoyed each others company and first port we shopped and walked together. Watched them spend thousands on collectables she was into and watches he was into. We got a couple T-shirts and a deal on a inexpensive watch because we were " with them. " Who cared we had a great time together. Through the years these became known as the H.... shopping tours LOL. Over the next couple of decades we cruised together many times. Them in a suite us in ever better accommodations as resources grew. We met their kids and watched them grow, cruised with them attended their weddings. We emailed daily. We became very comfortable financially through the years, they became ever wealthier. None of us gave a good c--p. She passed in recent years forever leaving us with memories of her. He is always still in touch but cannot bring himself to cruise again. 1992 again met a couple getting married in Saint Thomas during cruise. Wound up standing up for them. Same story been fast friends for decades now. Cruised together many times. In fact just returned taking a road trip NY to NC and staying with them a few days. We have all been through health concerns together etc through the years. My point! Had any of us been separated by class or status to special lounges, seating areas, dining areas etc we would have never met the best friends of our lives!!! Yes we cruise a lot and have obtained various past pax levels. We have enjoyed lounges and bennies but honestly wish they would do away with all that including speciality dining etc. Through the years the class system has been reconstituted on ships like the transatlantic ships or years ago. WE HATE IT! Again yes we haveused the concierge type lounges only for the free booze and hot snacks. Do away with them have multiple lounges with hot snacks open to all. Provide my good customer bennies ( yes I want and deserve some recognition ) QUIETLY! Some booze vouchers on card, discount in shops, upgrade at booking but don't separate us from all the other great cruisers on board. I want to meet people from many spectrums in life, it's dam interesting that way! Cruising today is better in many ways, size of cabins and cabin amenities in general, smooth sailing ships, etc. But also lost much, being a melting pot of people from all walks of life, being small enough to share much with reasonable group sailing not a passenger group larger than many home towns. If sailing with friends with less cruises we don't want to have to decide on going to a free booze and fancy treats lounge or hanging out with them and foregoing that benefit. Yeah give me free laundry, drink vouchers, free internet etc I deserve it spent a lot of bucks with your company. But don't make it look like I think I am better than anybody else out there. Don't give me some stupid pin or us only lounge. Make cruising the great equalizer again. Not 1st class, 2nd class, and steerage levels. Okay I will keep priority boarding LOL 🙂 George in NY
  6. There are so many things that are simply nonsensical in this world and in the world of cruising too. I recall having a Swiss Army knife in my carry on bag confiscated at port Baltimore one sailing. Had sailed with knife in carryon ( this is a pocket knife, you know scissor, screwdriver head type ) numerous times. However a new guy became Security Head and he had simply copied items list from airlines list. I advised that I failed to see the point of confiscating a pocket knife when boarding a ship full of steak knifes etc being constantly handed to me on board. No matter what is written is written. It was receipted and it was returned! It had sentimental value to me so was a real issue personally. I have often ( I am retired from managing a total maximum security facility ) been walked through hundreds of metal detectors and frisked by wand and the ones that were actually set and working properly I could count on one hand. In the security business this is called security by bluff and BS. Sadly Covid testing requirements are much the same. You must provide an easily forged proof of vaccination. If you can't check a record against by a reliable, realtime, and secure database then written proof of anything is useless. That's just a fact not a criticism. How many years was a drivers license enough to do almost anything, yet in many states no proof of almost anything was required to get it in first place? That until Federal real ID license requirements which have still not been totally implemented I believe. How many people that filled out the old " how are you today slips at embarkation " ( now being done day of sailing on RCL App ) answered yeah I have a fever feel like I am dying. Just flew across country to take this cruise but would like to be barred from taking it now because I woke up sneezing this morning. Yes bluff and BS but as they say rules are rules. George in NY
  7. We are on her Oct 3rd sailing. Thanks so much to those onboard now and doing these posts. There are also live then archived YouTube coverage by this young lady. George in NY
  8. Having started this topic I have found the responses very varied. Bottom line for me is that time to pay attention of changing protocols and changing availability of Covid Testing. We have Oct 3rd sailing. We live in a suburb NY county adjacent to NYC so lots of resources in a county of a million. However Rapid testing is getting harder possibly because of that. Just received the other day from CareMount an extremely large medical group that many Doctors here joined recent years. Covers several counties. Seems that Rapid Covid testing getting harder to find simply because travel, school, pre employment, in are requiring it. This is overwhelming rapid testing for people showing symptoms and in need of care. What that tells me is that this is obviously going to be a fluid situation concerning availability and getting timely results. They are still offering other sites through your Doctor etc by appointment. But knowing how hard to get just a Doctors appointment now who knows how that will go.
  9. I will also note that cruise lines, pre-covid, were always horrible at giving correct notices and instructions. How many here have had multiple responses from lines regarding a simple question? We love cruising and have been sailing since 1984 about 100 cruises under our belts. I couldn't count how many times we were told one thing by C&A another by customer service and a third different response by ship staff while onboard. I see no reason to doubt these people. Another thing, not everyone is computer savvy, email and text addicted etc. We are many are but there are just as many that are not. There should have been a rapid response provision at pier. Or they should have coordinated with this people knowing they were all going to Urgent Care, a working relationship between RCL and that Urgent Care would have been nice. Finally I bet of the ships booze delivery had been delayed they would have made a provision to wait for it. George in NY
  10. I don't recall if you can post a link to interview but I'll try. This story also shows the receipts for test and notice.
  11. If you read the story or watch the news cast it is stated that THREE weeks before departure they received info that NO pre covid test was required. Then on the 13th TWO days before departure they were given new information notice that new protocols required a pre-test which they immediately did. They did both a test at Walgreens and a home test as well to make sure they had results. Walgreens wasn't recieved in time and RCL would not acept home test. Just the fact that RCL now requires RESULTS no more than 3 days prior to sailing makes it hard to comply. Please search and watch video of their interview. RCL has not yet commented other than they will investigate. I am willing to bet that the 3 day results will be found harder to comply with than many think. George in NY
  12. Thanks for posting such great photo's! I watched her on port webcam and was initially surprised to see her head towards Manhattan. Thought maybe she was waiting for a tidal change. But since this was "test" sailing for the winners of the RCL lotto and has but one port I believe, CocoCay, maybeCaptain though nice sail by the Statue and look see at Freedom Tower was in order. BTW Alanna Zingano is doing live videos on youtube from the Oasis. Watched her live on board yesterday. Thanks again George in NY
  13. Unbelievable, feel so bad for this Utah couple who planned to celebrate their 44th wedding anniversary. Change the rules at last minute and despite all their efforts and THREE negative tests they were left at pier after getting third test but results 15 minutes after ship closed doors. Make me very hesitate about our Oct 3rd sailing coming up on RCL Oasis. Their interview all over the news not hard to find. Their luggage sailed off, they did not PLUS they say there were 20 other couples left at pier but don't know what those circumstances were. Note they did not accept home test, and first pharmacy results were not emailed in time. Third test was local near pier but they missed boarding by minutes! George in NY
  14. Sailing Oct 3rd on the Oasis so looking forward to hearing all about the cruise from you official testers 🙂 George in NY
  15. Haven't done it yet but online checkin is now activated for our Oct 3rd, 2021 Oasis cruise. George in NY
  16. We are scheduled for Oct 3rd out of Bayonne so hoping to hear your experiences as the leader out of Jersey on Oasis. Honestly just recently booked had to pay in full, now wishing I had waited longer. Just so anxious to get to sea again but really hate this pre-test if fully vaccinated. George in N
  17. Have stayed at Hilton Garden Inn ( Hampton Inn shares parking lots ) numerous times sailing from Bayonne. Minutes from Cruise terminal and yes they PREVIOUSLY offered shuttle to terminal and return to hotel while your car is parked.( Stay & Cruise rate also included shuttle to and from Cruise ) If you cannot find park and cruise deal/rate online call the hotel direct and ask. I say previously meaning pre-covid. Pays to check now what is offered anyway directly. Will be, deciding as we speak, sailing Oct 3rd on Oasis. If we do we will drive to Staten Island day before and stay at Garden Inn. Relatives nearby will join us for dinner if the restaurant for Garden Inn still operating. I haven't checked out site yet. Was a great restaurant for dinner. We will drive to port next day rather than take shuttle. We have done shuttle and was great with one exception, coming home debark ship early like 8:30 am and shuttle doesn't arrive until like 9:30. Easier for us to just get in car there and go rather than wait then go back to hotel and then reload car and go. But no problem if shuttle both ways is preference. We had no concern security wise about leaving car at hotel for 7 days. The Hilton Garden or Hampton the only hotels I personally would stay at in area. And I agree your itinerary pre-cruise is very ambitious! Good luck with that. George in NY
  18. LOL we all know that feeling. You forgot NJ! George in NY
  19. We have done this sailing many years, last being Anthem holiday cruise 2019. Who knew it would be our last cruise for so long due to covid. I believe you are flying in from California? Then I would have to recommend that you fly to Florida and find something with more southern type Caribbean ports if sun and fun outdoors are what you are looking for. We enjoy sailing from Bayonne simply because it is a simple drive and park for us. Baltimore Harbor the same. Especially now because flying is not something we wish to do right now. Weather on December sailing from Bayonne, no one, not even those nice weather persons with all their acu-weather and high dollar radars can really predict. We have sailed from Bayonne in December and it was a warm Spring like day. We have sailed same time frame boarded with snow on the deck and having to wait in port until 4 am next day to actually sail due to high seas. Your weather will be luck of the draw! That includes Florida and Nassau ports. We've had sailings that cold front followed us entire cruise which I admit was frustrating. Day before we arrived in Port Canaveral was close to 80, day we arrived 60's, Nassau was same. To sum up, think of this as a cruise where you will enjoy ship. If you want to enjoy ports pick something else. Anthem has great solarium pool area, as people have said, built for cold weather sailing. No problem getting from airport to cruise port, very close bur we always go day early even though we are only 66 miles from house to port. It is a heavy traffic area and we don't like taking chances. Newark airport is only 10 miles away. JFK and LGA can be a bit more difficult. If you decide to take this cruise I would offer that booking the Hilton Garden Inn in Staten Island as a day before might be of interest. They are close to Airport and Cruise terminal and offer shuttles for both. Though I would confirm that is still the case. Covid has changed so much. The Hilton Hampton Inn is in the same parking area shares shuttles if less of a rate. The Garden Inn has a nice restaurant right in it as well, easy walk from Hampton through parking area. Again please check since things have changed since covid. George in NY
  20. I wish you well but NCL has announced that they doubt they can continue. Norwegian Cruise Line warned that its upcoming financial statements will carry a statement detailing "substantial doubt" about its ability to continue as a "going concern" in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, another sign of how the crisis is affecting the cruise industry." They were in dire straights before all this, bled by hedge fund that ran them. This is just a convenient excuse.
  21. No one should really consider an OBC perk when buying this or any stock. I would look at the stocks financials, a perk like this is inconsequential. A great marketing strategy for CCL both for their stock and bookings. There is no significance to share value. Since CCL is so leveraged I would doubt that this perk will be continued. They have already suspended their dividend and stock re-purchase program. They have said they have increased liquidity, that is like the phrase I mis-spoke from a politician caught in a lie. What they increased was their credit lines sold 4 billion junk bonds at 11.5 % to keep, pardon the pun, afloat! All these ships operating expenses remain with virtually no cash flow. A ship must be manned and maintained. Minimum crews must be paid, fed, etc. Fuel must be purchased and burned even at anchor or trolling. Now the investor lawsuits have commenced. Will Carnival survive, I believe so but as a much different company and after some sort of bankruptcy reorganization leaving stock holders holding the bag. CCL looks like a cheap stock right now that's because it is. Another line is worse, you have to understand the history of that line, once family owned driven to bankruptcy by a son without a clue. Refinanced by Chinese and Apollo hedge fund operated I believe. If I was going to buy a cruise stock, and I am not, RCL would be best gamble. Simply because they maintained best margins in pricing for many years. Still their debt level must be looked at closely too. Cash flow is key in cruise industry. They don't buy these huge ships they build using loans. Cash stops, loan payments do not. All just a personal opinion, I only trade my own personal portfolio and have certainly been wrong many times. I will however say again, an OBC would never be anything to consider buying a stock. For what it is worth. George in NY
  22. First I agree totally, I am old enough to remember when being at United States Citizen meant something!!!! I do recognize that much like being in a foreign embassy, on a ship attached to United States you are still technically in a foreign country. The Captain of the Ship is the legal entity on that ship. That said the Captain was basically caught between his company corporate entity and the US government. Readaing the article and acting on the presumption that it is basically accurate this all boiled down to $$$. "Reed noted, "In the last two weeks, other cruise lines have provided signed attestations to disembark crew members. And CDC has approved those disembarkations. Neither Holland America nor Carnival provided the attestation despite requests from CDC." Holland America and Carnival told the agency that arranging travel for its crew without using commercial aircraft was proving too expensive, she added." See, bottom line under no sail line must provide certain guarantees. Those cost money, corporation says costs too much. Thus a citizen of the United States of America was left to go to back to sea under the authority of a foreign entity. Funny Carnival had no problem collecting sales dock for drinks at while at dock. No problem reporting gambling winning to US while at sea. But they couldn't comply with these rules? Shame on HA, Carnival Corporation, and the United States Government. This is why so many served, went to Europe, Korea, Nam, fight in Afghanistan, Iraq? To have some foreign Corporation refuse to comply with requirements to do right by their staff and have the United States Government stand at dock scratching their b--ls? There are over 40 United States Citizens on board ships, don't know how many want to come home to us but those that do should have been confident that their government would have made that possible. George in NY
  23. Cruising was already heading to the former class system of transatlantic sailing. The Suite Only areas, extra pay restaurants and deck areas etc. One of the problems I have with where cruise's had gone in recent years. If traveling with friends of various financial resources you were becoming more and more isolated by areas defined by ability to pay. George in NY
  24. We have 10 day NY to FLL reposition of the Sky Princess deposited pre-covid. We will have to make our decision, IF still scheduled, on August final pay date. Trying to play it by ear but honestly will most likely cancel then. This was a great deal, really great, so hate to see it not be used. But really not likely all will be good by August. Think we are fooling ourselves that all will be well and we will be sailing in November. Too many variables for us. Too many can go wrong's for us. In general before we start cruising again, and we are cruiseaholics, about 100 of them since 1984, we will first want to see if our state, NY, has even come back to normal. If US is not on normal operation we are certainly not getting on a ship and hoping to be allowed to disembark. If country isn't normal why would I get on a ship with limited medical and only travel insurance coverage. Medicare and most medical plans never covered you while on a ship, considered a foreign country. Who knows what happens to the travel insurance industry as well. No we won't be booking and not going to buy stock in cruise corporations either. They are assuming a lot of debt on top of a lot of debt while only paying out money. I have seen ships " arrested " that's what they call it when bankruptcy hits and ship is grabbed at a port. Have concerns there as well. George in NY
  25. Common practice is sharing performers between ships. Comedian/band whatever boards Miami plays there scheduled show before arriving at a port. Leaves that ship boards another sailing leg back to Miami of the same company plays again on that ship. This way hire one comedian of specific group and provide entertainment on multiple ships. The house band, piano bar guy etc, would stay aboard one ship. George in NY
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