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Everything posted by djjoe

  1. This is a follow up to my post on April 23. I was happy to see so many positive responses. NCL is saying 100%, not 95% or 98%. If Royal Caribbean and NCL are both part of the "Healthy Sail Panel", just get with the program. Please forget about what the Governor of Florida did today. As I said in my last post, we will never get back to "normal" cruises until the vaccine is required. Let me be clear, I have no intention of jumping ship to NCL. We are both "Loyal to Royal" as Pinnacle members and stockholders. Royal Caribbean has a responsibility to do what is best for their shareholders, which is get back to sea ASAP and start making money in a safe environment for their guests and crew.
  2. I'll probably get flamed for this post, but here goes. The Royal Caribbean cruises outside of the USA require the vaccine, why can't we. I'm tired of hearing all the complaints that the CDC is holding up the process. Too many Americans are delaying the process. I'm tired of getting daily e-mails from the cruise line asking us to contact our congressman, CDC, etc. We have cruised over 100 times on Royal, Celebrity and NCL, so I understand that social distancing, better ventilation, masks, etc. aren't really going to work especially on older ships. I know folks that will never get the vaccine and think the government is taking their rights away. We have been vaccinated, what about our rights and a chance to get back aboard a ship without having to fly to Bermuda, Bahamas, etc. Royal plans to resume in July. Right now most states are offering the vaccine to anyone over 16 that wants it. By summer there's no reason why we can't get back to sea feeling comfortable aboard a ship knowing that all guests are fully vaccinated.
  3. By land it's 21.4 miles from airport to Royal Naval Dockyards, almost an hour of expensive cab ride. We have been to Bermuda many times starting with our first cruise in 2004. If you time it right you can taxi to Hamilton, high speed ferry to Dockyards. THe other possibility is taxi to St. Georges and enjoy the long scenic ferry ride to Dockyards. No matter how you figure it, it's basically a trip from one side to the other in Bermuda.
  4. We are hoping to book Oasis in September and I'm a little confused about the Suite Lounge and Coastal Kitchen. It seems that Royal Caribbean has made several changes in the past few years, removing lounges and adding cabins. We were looking forward to Coastal Kitchen and the lounge. If Pinnacle members are not allowed in the lounge in order to make space for Grand Suites and above, it changes the dynamic of sailing Oasis class ships. Where do Diamond Plus and Diamond members go for evening cocktail hour. Is there an area for them? I realize that no one has cruised in the last year, but any info from 2020 or 2019 would be very helpful.
  5. I just looked at the Enchantment schedule for May 2021 and the summer. Since they are not able to have 8 night cruises, there seems to be a big space between the 5 night Bermuda cruises where the 8 night cruise would have been. I'm trying to understand what they plan to do. They can't stay at the pier for 8 days. Are they going out into the bay and drop the hook? Has anyone else noticed this? Please don't shoot the messenger, just my observation.
  6. Before I get flamed, we love Grandeur, sailed her many times and met great people and crew over the years. We were on the last cruise on March 7, before Royal ceased world operations on March 14. I just checked online and the only cruise that is listed is January 2, 2021, a 7 nighter. That chances of that happening are slim to none. As we all know nothing above 7 nights is listed until next November on any ship . When Royal begins operations again, they want "smart" ships that passengers can no everything using the app on their phone. They also want advanced HVAC systems. And of course larger public areas for social distancing. These requirements alone exclude older ships like Grandeur. This might be speculation on my part, but I think her days are done.
  7. Yes, but doesn’t know where Grandeur is going. Royal has new bookings on Enchantment out of Baltimore, so I doubt if she stays there. Maybe Cuba will open again someday, possibly Miami runs, but really nobody knows at this point.
  8. I just did a rough count, it’s over 30 cruises aboard Grandeur for us. I know folks that have done many times that amount. It doesn’t matter, 3 or 30, it’s a great ship with the best crew and officers in the fleet. We did the last cruise in March before Covid closed the world down. We are scheduled for March 26 2021, the last cruise. I hope it happens. We made Pinnacle aboard Grandeur last August with Captain Thor. We have many good memories and had good times sailing from Baltimore.
  9. I cruised from Norfolk with around 4000 other sailors on a mega ship, the USS Independence, and 400 men on the USS Belknap many years ago. Baltimore was 2 hrs. south for us, Norfolk is 5 hrs. I would fly to Florida before I drive that distance. It might be OK for folks in Virginia and southern states.
  10. I am more concerned about Royal staying in Baltimore. If their new business model is more profitable bigger, newer ships, then the port of Baltimore is in trouble. We live 100 miles from Bayonne going north, or 100 miles from Baltimore going south. We prefer Baltimore having sailed Grandeur, Enchantment and Mercury out of there. Time will tell what Miami and the corporate folks plan to do in the future. We are flexible, but at 75 I don't want my only choice to be Bayonne or fly to Florida for a cruise.
  11. Quantum class can't fit under the bridges to Baltimore. The largest size for that port is Radiance class.
  12. We shall see is the only answer at this time. We are scheduled for the final cruise on March 26, 2021 out of Baltimore. We departed Grandeur on March 19, 2020, a few days after Royal Caribbean ceased global operations. The Enchantment is supposed to replace her. Whatever ship is in Baltimore, we will be happy to sail on.
  13. Royal announced today that social distancing and reduced passenger load will be the new norm for the near future. I guess my cruising days are are on on hold for a long time to come. You go on a cruise to socialize, meet new people and have fun. Maybe somebody out there can explain it to me, I just can't see how it will happen. My wife and I have been cruising for a long time and going to the lounge, having a drink, talking to other cruisers, playing trivia, etc. is part of the day, especially at sea.
  14. As a Pinnacle member, It's getting harder to be "loyal to Royal" as the days drag on. We were on the Grandeur March 7 cruise, one of the last before everything came to a full stop. The cruise returned on March 19 after visiting two ports on a 12 night cruise. We applied for a refund as instructed, tomorrow is July, well beyond 90 days. We are also waiting for refund on May 28, Canada, NE, that Royal Cancelled along with FCC from Oasis Bayonne cruise. I check email and credit card every morning, nothing. No status, nothing, it would be nice to maybe get a email that says, "we are working on it, and we really want you back". I understand that a refund must go through accounting, but a FCC takes a click of a computer keyboard.
  15. This is BS, it’s RC ploy to get people to book now for cash flow. It’s like when the car dealer says the deal expires today.
  16. We are also past 90 days on our March 7 cruise. I’m tired of calling TA, and calling RC is useless as they won’t talk to me. Maybe it’s time to put crystal blocks on eBay, I might get a faster refund on them.
  17. Just had the same thought. Who wants to buy them? How about Vision class? They date back to mid to late 90’s. Grandeur is scheduled to leave in March, but to where?
  18. I applied yesterday for our 2/20/21 Rhapsody (7 nights) and 3/26/21 Grandeur (8 nights). I got the answer back in a few hours. They approved each one for $100. The stock is around $70 today, so I guess the shareholder benefit is still available. It's a very simple process. Email shareholderbenefit@rccl.com and attach a screenshot of your brokerage account that shows at least 100 shares and your booking number.
  19. I also read this article on Royal Caribbean (unofficial) blog yesterday. It sounds great, but it still requires months of testing before FDA, CDC approval. A vaccine is the only way we will return to cruising. I think we can all agree that social distancing and masks will not work on a cruise ship. I cant imagine having to use a table for 8 with only 4 diners seated. They would have to have 3 seatings in the dining room, early, middle and late. And yes we would be vaccinated, although I know many cruisers that don't believe in vaccines and never get a yearly flu shot.
  20. The pic of the racks brought back memories. In 1963 I started on the USS Independence (CVA-62), had a top rack on 03 level directly under flight deck. The first time I heard an F4 Phantom land was an experience not to be forgotten. Went to the Belknap (DLG-26) in '65 after ET, Crypto, and test equipment school. I was discharged in 1969 as an ET1. I always thought the best rack was the middle. After many cruises on Royal Caribbean, they inducted us into the Officer's Club AKA Pinnacle last August. The Senior Chief in the photo is Mark Sette, PNCS, USN Retired. He's a great guy and loves to meet former Navy, actually all veterans at his gathering aboard a cruise ship.
  21. We returned from our last Grandeur cruise on March 19, I have yet to see the refund. It's not just Royal, it's all the cruise lines, they have no reason to rush your refund, they need to hold the money as long as they can. Check the online travel sites, great prices on cruises that may never sail. Right now, their main source of revenue is deposits that are still coming in. Without those deposits, they can't pay refunds. They love to issue FCC, that's your money that they are borrowing at the 25% premium. This info came from Royal Caribbean. "As of March 31, 2020, the Company had $2.4 billion in customer deposits. This includes approximately $0.8 billion of future cruise credits related to previously announced voyage cancellations through June 11, 2020."
  22. Yes we had a Norovirus outbreak which resulted in crew serving everything at breakfast and lunch. Passengers were not allowed to touch anything. The band, photographers, dancers, crew from all over the ship helped out. They couldn’t pull those crew members from their regular jobs at dinner time.
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