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leaveitallbehind

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    Philly burbs
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    RCI

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  1. Well like it or dislike it, marketing is clearly the motive. Definitely want everyone to know what ship it is! Interesting that it is the only RCCL ship to date with that style of naming.
  2. Not sure I'm a fan either as it seems a bit over the top, but probably more neutral about it than anything.
  3. Kind of along the same path as NCL with their over the top art. I realize its not the same as NCL with all of the graphics, but in the same marketing direction. Certainly lets everyone know what ship you are on.
  4. None. But the current circumstances could warrant any change of itinerary options. BTW, the one time that Quantum of the Seas recently returned to Singapore one day early due to a Covid concern turned out to be a false positive Covid test.
  5. Why? Wouldn't that just allow the facts to get in the way?? 😉
  6. We are doing well and remain optimistic for a return to normal from this past year and, in particular, to return to cruising - hopefully sooner than later. And it is always good and valuable to hear from you as well! Will look for you on other threads down the road.
  7. Don't meant to hijack the thread but just want to say hi. Been on a CC hiatus for a while but checking back in now and saw your post and wanted say hello and hope all is well.
  8. They logically would start with existing tour providers under prior agreement and most of these operators have been in place for a long time. And I would have to believe that the cruise lines have been in regular contact with them for a number of months. Confirming their ability to comply with the guidelines would be the only likely task at hand, and many of them likely have already been working within their own government protocols to prepare to return to operations. IMO I don't think it is as big a task as you suspect. As mentioned, the cruise lines currently are targeting May 1 to return and I would think all of this is already in place, or will be by then. Keep in mind the initial US based return is only with a few ships (per cruise line) and limited Bahamas-type itineraries with private destinations as the focus. Not many independent tour operators involved. Its all going to roll out over 2021 from there.
  9. Here is the link: https://www.royalcaribbeangroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Healthy-Sail-Panel_Full-Recommendations_9.21.20_FINAL.pdf Here is an excerpt from the RCI guidelines regarding shore excursions: Guest Excursions 59 During the initial return to sailing, cruise operators should only allow guests debarking from a ship at a destination port to participate in cruise line-sponsored or verified excursions as a way of limiting potential exposures in the destinations they visit. 60 Cruise operators should establish expectations of the vendors at the destinations they visit to ensure that they are taking recommended steps to reduce the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. 61 Cruise operators should incorporate verification of compliance with SARS-CoV-2 protocols into their routine ongoing monitoring guidelines for excursion vendors. 62 Cruise operators should ensure that guests are thoroughly informed about potential exposure risks and how to minimize their risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 at the planned destination. 63 Cruise operators should offer indoor excursions only if physical distancing, use of masks, and other recommended protective measures can be implemented. I have also been told directly from RCI and Celebrity that ship sponsored tours are the plans for the initial return to US based sailings. I also agree with you and clearly see this as an opportunity for revenue enhancement as well. The part that I missed was "or verified excursions...". That may open up other avenues as well? But it doesn't look like wandering around in port or self planned excursion would be included.
  10. Actually the CLIA cruise lines have been ready to return to US based cruising since September, which is when the return to cruising protocols was completed, and cleared to conditionally return by the CDC in November, which is when their acceptance of the protocols was given. The cruise lines' first hope was to look at a January 2021 return timeframe. Clearly the current covid situation and getting the logistics in place and - more importantly - the steps necessary with the CDC condition of needing to show compliance with the protocols is primarily what is taking the time - now targeted for May 1 - to commence passenger based cruising. The port of call restrictions were part of the original protocols proposed, so they are prepared and able to do so. It just is an unfortunate condition of the initial itineraries planned. As mentioned, this is a fluid situation and the hope is that this condition will be dropped, hopefully sooner than later in their return. Aside from the current global covid situation still impacting most travel, the only reason the cruise lines have not already returned to US based cruising lies with the CDC, not themselves.
  11. To add, you are correct that the traditional buffets are gone, replaced by staff served food courts or other dining venues. Currently, a valid negative covid test within 5 days to 24 hours of boarding by all passengers will be required. (It will be interesting to see what, if any, impact or change in policy is made relative to vaccines). Masks will be required for indoor venues (except dining and staterooms) and other outdoor venues where 6 foot social distancing cannot be maintained. Daily temperature checks at screening stations around the ship will be required by all (including crew). Etc., etc. So at least for the near term once US based cruising resumes, it will be an interesting scenario.
  12. CLIA members will be adhering to the guidelines established through the work of RCI Group in partnership with NCL that was presented to and accepted by the CDC for the resumption of US based sailings. This has been published on, for example, the RCI website and likely found similarly on the other members websites. One of those protocols is the restriction of passenger disembarkation in ports of call to only those passengers booked on ship sponsored tours. This is to help limit any exposure off the ship by controlling the on shore experience with those passengers in conjunction with tour operators following agreed upon mask and other social distancing guidelines established by both the island government and the cruise lines as accepted by the CDC for those sailings. This only applies expressly to US based sailings but is likely to be in place similarly in other regions of the world as well. Many of the guidelines - this one included - are subject to review and change as the return to cruising expands, and it is hoped that this (among others) will ultimately be lifted once things stabilize. Wide distribution of the vaccine is expected to be one positive mitigating factor with this. I think it's fair to say that 2021 will largely be a rebooting and rebuilding year with cruising beginning with the now targeted return to limited US based cruising date of May 1 with most cruise lines. This will start with a limited number of ships per cruise line, operating on limited capacity of around 50%, sailing on short itineraries (mainly with private island and Bahamas). Over time this will expand in both ship numbers and longer itineraries at higher capacity, but IMO I would guess that this will be a phased roll out that, as mentioned, will take most of 2021. As most lines are publishing and actively marketing 2022 - 2023 schedules, it seems as well that this will be the likely return to more normal cruising timeframe. For reference I am involved with the travel industry and this information is coming from multiple cruise line webcasts and direct communications as well as CDC information. As mentioned, the 76 point CLIA return to sailing protocol developed for and conditionally agreed to by the CDC is publicly available. Unfortunately, this approval requires a number of test runs with both crew and volunteer passengers to confirm cruise line ability to successfully conform to their goals, which is why the current return to sailing date has moved from its original January 1 date to the current May 1 date for passenger sailings.
  13. That would be very good pricing comparatively and I'm guessing you got that a while back? I checked a few weeks ago (and confirmed through RCI) that the price for new bookings - we were looking at Thanksgiving - is now $2,000. I was quite surprised as the last pricing I was familiar with was the $1,199 range you indicate.
  14. Except for the over the water cabana's at the Coco Beach Club which have had their prices raised to $2,000 - just in time for the return to cruising!
  15. Your TA will have all of that info as they would get it directly from RCCL and would likely have the latest pricing updates. Your gratuities would be $14.50 per day per person. As mentioned already, drink packages and Vroom vary and would also be affected by any promotion that is offered at the time. I don't have the current CocoCay water park pricing but I do know that many of the prices are increasing - likely as a Covid revenue recovery. Again, I would check with your TA (unless it is an online only service with no human being to talk to) as they would have the best connection to RCCL for current pricing. You can also get a lot of this information through the RCCL website.
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