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About Loonbeam

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  1. A couple of notes--- 1> There is a difference between seaworthy with irregular operations, normal operations, and cannot sail. There is nothing that would prevent this ship from SAILING in this damage (pending a full inspection), but there will be some loss of capacity and some cabins may be affected. The ones above and below may be made unavailable for safety and repair noise reason, etc. (Which is also why bookings may be closed, for rearranging). 2> Based on the photos, they can seal the areas with plywood and other materials to make her equally as seaworthy as she was when it was glass windows. Obviously, a significant part of the MDR will be unavailable for use for a while however (can be walled off). 3> Whether they end up cancelling any cruises will depend on how they want to repair her. What I would expect (and purely a guess) is that the next few cruises will go as scheduled or pretty close (I could see a one day delay), but with modifications to dining operations (I would expect going to an all anytime model and possibly opening up specialty dining at a discount or free to pax and extending buffet hours). Meanwhile, they will stabilize and start to repair damage, loading on a repair crew on turnaround day). Depending on what they find and what facilities are available, and the speed they want to resume normal operations, they may schedule a future drydock for a week to do fast repairs without pax on board, maybe in Feb or Mar. The CEO has been very careful to say the sailings will continue, on schedule but did NOT say normal operations, so some pax may see disruptions or cancellations even if the ship still sails.
  2. The main damage is to the 3rd and 4th floor dining areas, assumably the entire rear areas are out of commission for a while. That doesn't affect sea operations but will make meals, especially dinner a challenge. There may be other structural issues, those will be pending inspections. Inspections may delay departure of both ships from port. Apparently (details differ), someone was observant enough to notice what was happening and got everyone to evacuate the dining rooms (which hopefully were not too crowded). One person at least was injured in the scramble (one report indicated a broken arm, one a broken leg, one a sprain) enough to require treatment, there may have been other minor bruises, etc. There is no information on who was actually at the helm. For a docking maneuver it was likely ship staff under direction of a harbor pilot, but usually for the docking itself the pilots role is complete in many ports. The main culprit appears to be a wind gust at just the wrong moment that the thrusters could not handle. A main question will be were there tugs in use and if not, should they have been, given conditions. (Snarky note - taking bets on how many people are at Guest Services demanding compensation)
  3. Other than usual diligence I would not have any concerns. As notable as the current issues have been, they are not in the port area, have been focused around hotels, and while tragic represent a VERY small number of visitors...
  4. I rented and tested both on my Nikon D500. The Nikkor is sharper,but not THAT much sharper at equivalent lengths. The Tamron loses a little at the 400 end, but it HAS a 400 end. The versatility was more important to me than the difference because while saying that the Nikkor is sharper implies the Tamron is not sharp and its not true. It's more of a comparison to good/very good than bad/good. Except for wildlife or landscape runs, the 18-400 rarely leaves the body now.
  5. You can easily take a taxi there from the port, and Coral world will call one for you to pick up at the beach next door to get you back, just plan times accordingly.
  6. As far as rainforest goes, I would recommend a tour guide like Ellis (who we used). By doing so, you can plan in advance what kind of day, they will already know the appropriate trails etc, plus they know the spots likely to be less crowded etc.
  7. Pretty much. Viator just resells tours, you could book through them and get Marysol. We did Marysol's and were very pleased. Had a van for just the two of us, great guide who customized the tour for us and a driver to watch and move van. (yes, it did include two shopping spots where I am sure he got a kick, but we actually were happy with both of them, both had cheaper prices and better stuff than port area (Jewelry store at Amber Museum and a Souvenir shop somewhere near the Brugal facility.) We did the Cable Car first (worth doing and had it to ourselves almost on the way up, then the town central and amber museum, the the Brugal Factory and tasting, then a chocolate factory (we had no interest in the scheduled cigar factory) as well as stops at the fort, the aforementioned shop. I don't think we did lunch that trip, ate back on the ship as it was only about a 5 hour tour. Driver had water and snacks cold. The only downside to private tours (applies to both) is the way Carnival has Amber Cove set up, its a LOONG walk to the port gate and then to tour pickup. We very much underestimated the distance and heat, so plan to disembark a little before you think you need to.
  8. When cruising, I would have the 150-600 second body on a tripod for glacier bay and while underway for possible sea life (I didn't have mine then but it would have been on my travel tripod if I had). Then use the 10-24 or 28-300 around the ship on the other body.
  9. morrisomar23@gmail.com or via FB
  10. This is currently challenging. Karib apparently has gone bust. Omar (Grand Turk adventures) has decent good recent reviews on Tripadvisor but his website was hacked at one point (supposedly) and is now down. Wet Money has a website and some options, but honestly I felt their rep onsite was sleazy (he was offering pretty girls discounts and I am pretty sure weed). They were also the only one operating inside the port area for some reason. We used Omar (pre-reserved via email paid on site) and were fine with it. The cart itself wasn't the best but it did the job and he was great with email responses. There are many threads on the topic, some have maps etc. Note that the island itself is only 7 miles long, there's not THAT much to see there (and no road signs but its kinda hard to get lost)
  11. Someone posted the effectively the same question about 1 day earlier, going to respond there to avoid duplication.
  12. Excellent! I also put that in there in case someone saw it and went 'What a good idea! Lets take my drone!' for future reference.
  13. Still catching up on the great review, but one thing I need to point out if no one has.. Not sure if you took the drone pic at the beginning, or someone else, but... Don't fly drones on ship. I had mine on the Anthem and was considering it, and noticed someone starting to fly one off the pool deck late at night (presumably for a similar shot). I'm not kidding. 3 minutes later 2 security guys and an officer were there requiring he bring the drone it, land it and never use it on board again or he would be disembarked immediately... I knew they had a policy but assumed it was hit or miss enforcement. Nope. Not this one. (https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/can-guests-bring-drones-onboard) And now, back to the review (only on P2 so far! Great work!)
  14. Let me get this straight. Somehow a waiter adding a $10 tip has something to do with ship safety, and because they don't monitor that the ship is somehow unsafe because of cultural issues? I have no idea what the OP expected to happen. They got comped a meal. Do they want evidence the waiter was tossed overboard and left to swim home for his or her transgression? Bluntly if something like this came in repeatedly over multiple channels for a $10 issue? I'd just close the customer's account and tell them to go find another provider. Not worth the effort involved.
  15. Note that while you do not NEED a passport, it is highly recommended. If there is an emergency or diversion however, you will not be able to fly home without assistance from the US Embassy
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