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Everything posted by JMKreno

  1. Yup. Just off the Oasis. When we were with our 6yr old, we were considered "unvaxxed" and had to avoid those areas where she could not go. Once she was in the kids club or with grandma, we were free to enjoy the vaccinated venues/treated as vaccinated! We were even allowed to wander Nassau if we wanted as long as our 6 yr old stayed on board the ship (which we did not do, but it was an option). This was really a non-issue on-board as few locations where the kids were restricted from you'd take a kid anyway (maybe Izumi was the exception, but we didn't go there this cruise anyway).
  2. And the requirements were pretty damn easy to meet and follow once you understand the rules. If people think they are too much, they need to stop cruising for the foreseeable future. I will enjoy the reduced crowds for as long as possible (booking again as soon as possible). ALL OF THIS will stop eventually, but personally, I woudn't mind the testing and protocols a bit longer as the experience is exceptional in terms of service, quality, and crowds! Just got off the Oasis of the Seas. Best cruise we've EVER had, hands down. Sure, testing was a bit stressful but I trusted science, my vaccinations, and my family doing the right things (hand washing, masking, vaccinations, social distancing when possible) and everything worked out great as it is doing for the EXTREME vast majority of cruisers who are sailing now. It also worked for the other 2400ish people on our ship and all the other ships we saw.
  3. Part of the issue with COVID is that it is the morbid "sweet spot" for being a big enough issue that society can't ignore it, but it is just survivable enough that most people don't see its effects first hand. If COVID had a 10-20% IFR while maintaining its initial R0 of 2-3, the world would have done a hard lockdown like China. The national guard would have been ordered to enforce restrictions (possibly augmented by the military under the epidemic authorizations allowed for domestic military use in H.R. 5122). If things were not under control, even supply chain essential businesses would have been shut down - likely electricity restrictions, water restrictions, and other wartime-like controls would be put in place to limit the amount of people required to "keep the world turning". But with an IFR of .5-.1% (Delta is likely closer to that 1% figure in immuno-naive individuals, although new treatments are helping) and heavily biased towards the elderly? It's just deadly enough that it's a big deal for society (and also is a severe enough disease to overrun medical systems), but not deadly enough that people see and feel the danger day to day. It allows denialism to fester, and allows people to rationalize the absurdity of not getting a safe and effective vaccine. If COVID had an IFR of 10-20%, there would be no noise on vaccines being mandated. We wouldn't be having these conversations. If the disease was not controlled entirely by the hard lockdown mentioned earlier, the national guard would have had to secure distribution of the vaccine because people would have been so desperate to get it. Unfortunately here we are with the IFR just under 1%, and so we're having a bunch of political and social drama about having to force people to do the right thing. Because it's necessary to protect the many, but it's not so dangerous that an individual can't roll the dice and end up ahead most of the time even without the vaccine.
  4. My personal favorite way to snark on the internet would be by using this link: https://letmegooglethat.com/?q=royal+caribbean+home+test+kit
  5. I think this is a gross exaggeration and not really reflective of the real-world and frankly BS. We live in Reno and travel extensively to Northern California. Life is pretty much the same there as it is anywhere else we've traveled. We had an amazing time recently in Santa Cruz and the Bay. Spent the day enjoying San Francisco and the waterfront. Hell, they just had the Majestic Princess visit! Sounds like things are back to near "normal". We went to Las Vegas back when they just started mandating masks again in the city. First day there, no masks, 2nd day, masks. We were there for a week, had an AMAZING time. As good as any experience on any trip there we had previously. Just got back from NYC. OMG best trip we've ever taken to the city. Broadway coming back to life, less crowds (but still plenty busy), great food, NOTHING wasn't open. Hell, the city doesn't even require masks if you are vaccinated but lots still wore them regardless. We happily whipped our our Covid vaccination cards wherever we went. I put in the effort to get vaccinated, now I get to benefit from it. IF ANYTHING, we were astonished at the LACK of Covid restrictions in the city. We stopped in Florida (Port Canaveral), and honestly our quick venture onto land there felt much more uncomfortable than I ever felt on any of our trips since the pandemic started. The lack of courtesy regarding social distancing really annoyed us. They acted like not a damn thing was different in the world everywhere we went. We even got a few looks wearing masks. Pretty remarkable. But, we still had a good time! Otherwise, we felt little difference in Florida than we did in NYC or in California. tldr: We have traveled to Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, New Jersey, New York City, Florida and Utah during the pandemic and the ONLY time we saw any major differences was during the more strict lockdowns last summer. If someone is insisting "CA" and "NY" are not living a fairly normal life TODAY haven't actually been there and have as much credibility on these forums as someone who says "Carnival is crap" but never actually sailed on the line.
  6. Put it this way, if you CAN cruise now, CRUISE NOW. We just got back from the Oasis of the Seas (Oct 3 sailing) and it was probably one of the BEST cruises we have ever taken, if not THE best. 1) Yes, there are some activity differences - less overall activities but still a ton to do. Honestly, by the middle of the week I was trivia'd out, seen plenty of shows (Aqua 80s TWICE, both Headliners, the Ice show, the Escape Room) to not really want to see anymore, and shopped out. We THOUGHT before hand that there would be a lot of downtime due to the perceived lack of activities so we brought a bunch of games with us (mexican train, travel runnikub, etc) but we only ended up playing games 2 times the entire cruise and only because we WANTED to play games, not that we HAD to! 2) We only sailed Carnival prior to this cruise, but despite the lack of crowds on the Oasis (more on that in a minute) we thought the ship was far superior to anything we sailed on Carnival (we've sailed all classes of Carnival ships with the exception of Mardi Gras) and could tell even with double the occupancy we were at the crowds would be more than manageable. 3) CROWDS. OMG. THE LACK OF CROWDS TO BE SPECIFIC. This is the SINGLE BIGGEST REASON TO GO NOW. We NEVER waited for anything on the ship. EVER. We had NO CROWDS AT COCO CAY. We rode every slide many times and never waited. In fact, the biggest limiting factor to the Thrill Park was being exhausted walking up stairs and having to keep catching our breath in order to ride the slides. Always had to tell the attendants we needed a moment, haha. Normally you have to wait in a line and you have a moment to catch your breath. I bet there were no more than 100-200 people in the Thrill Park the day we were in Coco Cay. No line at meal times on the island, easy to get chairs everywhere. GO GO GO. We are booking another cruise as soon as we can BEFORE all the people come back. 4) Masking. Non-issue. Sure, if you hate masks it will be annoying, but my wife is a nurse and doesn't think twice about masks and our entire family has been wearing masks since March of 2020. We now feel more uncomfortable NOT wearing the masks. We have a 6 year old who forgets to even take hers off, my 14 year old prefers them because it hides blemishes on her face. I don't mind as it hides my 2nd chin (haha). But honestly, there were so many places where you COULD be mask free it was a non-started as far as I am concerned. And to be honest, this is the 1st trip we've EVER taken with this much flying/travel that NO ONE IN OUR ENTIRE PARTY got sick (cold, flu, sore throat, 'travel crud') and I attribute that to MASKING on planes and the emphasis on hand washing. It was a dream. I almost wish masks would stay on planes because it was really that much better (but I know they will go away and the 6 yr old now has been trained to not touch or put things in her mouth will be life lasting). 5) Food and service. This likely goes back to 3 (crowding) but food on this cruise always came out PIPING hot and service was most often incredibly fast (though, there were some bumps but I attribute that to crews still learning the ropes). I NEVER had food as hot and fresh as I did on this cruise. Rarely a bad meal (and never because of preparation, those I didn't liek I just didn't prefer the flavor or texture). The crew genuinely seemed to EAGER to be serving guests. They often mentioned how they all were waiting for so long to get back to work and often heard how much having guests again made their days. I could go on and on...but as I mentioned before. IF YOU CAN CRUISE NOW AND WANT TO, GO GO GO!!!!
  7. The Solarium Bistro was open for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner on the Oasis on our 10/3 cruise.
  8. Just got off the Oasis of the Seas. We had 2 internet packages. One for my wife and one for my daughter (teenager). However, I needed to use internet at certain points and my littlest likes to watch a video in the evening as well. 90% of the time either my wife or daughter were logged into their accounts. When we were all in the room, I used my TripMate HT-TM02 "HooToo" travel router I have had for years. Super easy setup to login into the network. All I had to do to get it to connect was connect to the HooToo wifi network, select the Oasis network on the device (log into the console interface on the device from a browser - all documented clearly if one is not familiar), and then I was prompted on my phone to login to the voom network as if I was connecting directly through the app. Switched from any logged in devices and worked like a champ connecting 3 devices in the room. Have had no issues with this over the years on Carnival and now on Royal. Once I left the room, my phone would disconnect from my personal wifi network and then reconnect to the Oasis network and would work seamlessly onboard. The Royal App even worked without issues when connected to the hootoo network as long as it was connected to the Oasis network.
  9. We just got off the Oasis of the Seas. Attempting to put up a review but life is already in the way.. That being said, we RARELY ate in the Windjammer. However, we did eat lunch a few times and we never had reservations. We walked right up and entered through the correct entries (they did have in/out designated), no issues at all. Food was served but little issues getting what we wanted/amount we wanted. Not having dinner available was a non-issue for us. We ate in the dining room 6/7 nights (one night we had a free specialty dinner from our TA in Giovanni's Table) and had outstanding service and food. No complaints at all! Our servers were so happy to be serving us and did a great job. You can tell they are still learning/getting back up to speed/shaking off rust now and then but nothing terrible. This was probably the BEST cruise we've ever taken, or at least a VERY close 2nd (hard to beat the 1st!!). IF YOU CAN GO, GO!! We are SO eager to book another one before everything comes back... And as for Covid worry, pretty much non-existent. The airports and planes were MUCH worse than the ship. People generally had masks on all the time where needed (and FYI the masks were a non-issue 99% of the time to the point I often forgot I had them on and wore them in many places I wasn't required to, I was to distracted having fun or doing other things to be bothered). We are Covid paranoid and have been vaccinated since we were able (I even volunteered for weeks to get it much earlier than I would have otherwise), wear masks non-stop, sanitize, social distance, etc. We had no issues and felt pretty safe actually.
  10. Yes, our 6 yr old got the rapid CVS test in Manhattan and it was the "LUMIRADX SARS-COV-2 AG TEST", so would be good for an adult as well. This was accepted without issue when we got to the terminal.
  11. We just got off the Oasis of the Seas. Had a 6yr old in Adventure Ocean and she had a blast! Always wanted to go. There were probably 20-30 kids consistently showing up. The AO counselors indicated not a LOT of kids but around 50 in her age groups (6-12). Mind you this isn't a super busy time of year for kids so your mileage may vary slightly but I BET there will be enough kids for them to have fun. We did NOT need to schedule AO time as others have mentioned in prior threads due to the low counts. My 14 year old also used the Social 298 quite a bit. Also managed to find a few friends and disappeared unless me made her come around..haha
  12. We are on the 10/3 sailing...a bit nervous about Sam, but the vast majority of models appear to be coming in more and more agreement that Sam will veer away from the coast. But..we all know how "models" can change...but at least they are mostly consistent....
  13. This is one of my most paranoid concerns. My wife is a frontline nurse and received her shots back in December/January. The card was filled out by hand and pretty sloppy, it has lot numbers but they wrote "Moderna" as an afterthought in the line above areas where they put the lot info (they wrote the lot numbers across all the lines and filled in the manufacturer/lot/expiry date section) and then wrote out the hospital name. I hope this isn't a concern. It HAS all the info. Unfortunately, the people who can re-issue the cards won't have any appointments to re-do hers until after we get back As a backup, we printed out our Washoe County COVID-19 vaccine records which shows manufacturer, dates, and lots which match her card. It has the county seal and the details of our vaccinations. We can also log into if we are boarding to ImmunizeNV and pull up our records if needed (though a pain in the a...) We should be good? I don't want them thinking the card is fake.
  14. Thanks so much!! She is super excited for the splash park upgrades on the Oasis (it was actually a selling point...) so this is great to hear!
  15. Oh, goodie. Nice to see things are back to "normal"! Even if not right by the pool, are there chairs available? We have a younger child (6) who is more into the splash park than swimming. Are there chairs available near that if you get an opportunity to check?
  16. She had a serious round of flu a few weeks ago, was good practice for Covid testing...had to get tested multiple times to check whether she had covid (she didn't). We DID learn, however, that she is MUCH more cooperative with having someone else perform the test on her or having a doctor/someone else present while we adminster. Much like other scenarios, kids seem to fight their parents more than authority figures..haha As for resilient about stuff up noses, most of the time that is self inflicted 😄
  17. haha yea that's my post. Just asking here as I am not getting much info in my thread. Pretty sure we just will have to schedule an antigent test at CVS for our youngest. Was hoping for the convenience factor once again (since we will be traveling during the 3 day window)...oh well
  18. Apparently even though Royal now allows under 12 to take the antigen tests instead of PCR, they cannot use the BinaxNOW tests? The email I just got from Royal says home telehealth is not allowed for under 12 antigen, but the website says nothing about it. SO CONFUSING!
  19. Now I am super confused. Royal updated their website with the change to allow antigen but then I just got an email from Royal confirming but with "telehealth home tests are still not accepted for unvaccinated guests." Does this mean that under 12 can't use the Abbot Home Proctored test like the over 12s can? The website does NOT clarify this in fact has no mention of this restriction, even outlines using the home proctored test for antigen testing. How confusing can they make this? CDC Change in COVID-19 Testing RequirementGood news: The U.S. CDC revised pre-cruise COVID-19 testing requirement for unvaccinated kids, making it easier. Previously, only PCR tests were accepted. Now, unvaccinated kids ages 2 to 11 may present either a negative PCR or antigen test result. The test must be taken no more than 3 days prior to sailing, but not on boarding day.Then on embarkation day, unvaccinated kids ages 2 to 11 will undergo a complimentary PCR test for COVID-19 at the terminal. Pre-cruise test cost continues to be the guest's responsibility and telehealth home tests are still not accepted for unvaccinated guests.Review all of our health protocols at RoyalCaribbean.com/Health orcontact us at 954-628-9290 or 1 (800) 256-6649 with any questions.
  20. Sorry, I had a typo. I meant my 6 yr old. Over 12 hasn't changed. As of yesterday afternoon our 6 yr old had to get a PCR test, in fact I JUST got my safe sailing email at 4pm. The requirements changed after that email. Now, we can get her antigen test once again. The difference makes it much easier to get testing completed for our 6 yr old. This was the "old" standard, then PCR was required (which takes 2-3 days unless you find or pay extra for a rapid PCR), and now antigen tests are back.
  21. I checked didn't see anything on this. It appears the CDC changed their requirements, again, for kids under 12 and testing. Royal has apparently adopted this. I JUST ordered 3 EMED kits for our family yesterday for our cruise in 2 weeks as I wanted a buffer to get them. Now, I could have ordered the 6 pack and test our 6 year old as well. Oy vey. IMHO this is becoming pretty difficult to plan for. Testing Requirements All Guests: Required Pre-Cruise Testing Before boarding day, you’ll need to take a COVID-19 test on your own, at your own expense. Vaccinated guests age 12 and older must show a negative COVID-19 test result for a PCR or antigen test taken no more than 2 days before boarding day. Unvaccinated kids age 2 to 11 must show a negative test result for a PCR or antigen test taken no more than 3 days before boarding day. Kids’ pre-cruise test cannot be taken on boarding day, because that may affect the sample taken during the kids’ test at the terminal. Guests under 2 years of age do not need to complete a pre-cruise test. Have questions about which tests are accepted?
  22. We have a 1230 flight out of EWR to the West Coast in October, also on the Oasis. I felt this should be ample assuming we get off by 8-9am. And if my understanding is correct, disembarkation has been pretty quick so I imagine a lot of airport down-time. LGA/JFK, not so sure...
  23. Just general schedules or daily planners and any other info (we are curious on restrictions/limited hours, etc). For our group basically the 6-12 group and teenagers. Any info is appreciated!
  24. Perfect!! A little spendy for what it is but super convenient. Thank you very much!!
  25. I haven't seen anyone confirm this. Is the option for chatting/texting now enabled in the Royal app on the Oasis of the Seas? I know this was limited to certain ships prior to shutdown but hoping it's now available!
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