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About SuiteTraveler

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    5,000+ Club

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    Travel, pets, photography, reading, computers, working out
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal

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  1. I'm a longtime road warrior (extensive business travel.) I prefer Travelpro Maxlite luggage. It lasts forever. I have 4 wheel spinners and since mine are the coastal blue color, I put a vinyl cover on them if they will be checked. I bought the 26", the International carryon and the 22" roll aboard. The large suitcase with either of these carryons is more space than I will ever need. In fact I brought back a whole set of crystal in the international carryon last November as everything else I had fit easily. in the big suitcase with room to spare.
  2. Best cruise lines for kids are: Carnival waterpark that is best for kids under 10 RCCL (best for kids ages 7 and up with ice skating, climbing walls, surfing, zip lining) Most Oasis class ships are idea for older kids and teens with great family shows as well. NCL (full scale waterpark good for all ages but limitations on height for the slides and ropes course) Disney (especially best for younger children ages 4 - 10) All ships buffets include pizza, hamburger, hotdogs, deli, pasta and other kid friendly items. All ships restaurants have a kids menu, although I'd encourage my kids to try stuff from the regular menu instead since it is all included. Incidentally, unless your friend has full custody, he will need a notarized letter from his kids other parent that he can take them on the cruise.
  3. As of April 11, 2020: At sea: Pacific Princess MSC Magnifica Costa Deliziosa Columbus Queen Mary 2 Docked with passengers aboard are: Greg Mortimer Coral Princess (Disembarked last weekend) but 13 passengers are still onboard undergoing a 14 day medical quarantine. Rotterdam still has 29 passengers onboard awaiting flight arrangements Celebrity Eclipse with 9 passengers still onboard awaiting travel arrangements. https://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/tourism-cruises/article241929131.html
  4. Not unexpected, but so sorry to hear this, especially for all of the employees who will be off work for the foreseeable future. I watched Chris Wong's blog and sounds like a lot of employees were told they would be sent home in 2 days today.
  5. As expected, RCCL has cancelled all cruises through May 11, 2020: https://www.*****.com/2020/03/24/royal-caribbean-extends-suspension-of-cruises-additional-30-days-due-coronavirus?fbclid=IwAR11reHK14HQCEBgc9cobK_fzE6lYqY_RMhYGAviK3HROXPgKOW-OKYUSyE Chris Wong says he is officially going home in 2 days. I also read that the virus was still on surfaces on the Diamond Princess 17 days after it was disembarked in Yokohama. We are all going to have to do tons of cleaning of any public spaces to get rid of this virus. https://nypost.com/2020/03/24/coronavirus-found-on-diamond-princess-surfaces-17-days-later/
  6. labradorsunseeker, I am so glad you were negative. In the US, 9 out of 10 people tested for Covid-19 are negative and I was hoping that was going to be your situation as well. Very happy for you.
  7. We are in a time of so many unknowns and uncertainties. What I would do if you decide to book is buy Cancel for Any Reason insurance for a cruise in December 2020. I looked on Insuremytrip.com. I think, in your position, I would call them and ask if they are selling any plans for next December that would allow you to cancel due to the virus. If they do, then find out what the cost is and decide if that is reasonable or not. Here is what they say about the virus: If you are looking for trip cancellation coverage because you are concerned about the Coronavirus, you will now need to purchase a plan with an optional Cancel For Any Reason benefit selected since the travel warnings are now foreseen. This benefit is time-sensitive and has eligibility requirements, so not all travelers will qualify. Please be sure to read the plan details carefully before purchasing. We are aware of the New York Governor's statement in regards to Cancel for Any Reason coverage. While we do offer plans through some of the insurance companies he noted, at this time we have not been provided with additional products to offer Cancel for Any Reason to NY residents. To see only the plans that may have coverage for cancellation due to Coronavirus fears or related issues, choose "Comprehensive" under Plan Types list and then select "Cancel For Any Reason" in the Coverages list below.
  8. Chris Wong is saying today that he expected to fly home to the UK in then next 4 - 5 days - so he would be off the ship until at least April 27 or so. The UK is on lockdown and if RCCL can't find a flight for him, he may be staying onboard the ship. Honestly, if I were him, I'd rather remain onboard that ship than fly to the UK right now - too much possible exposure to the virus. I feel like he is safer on the ship. I am also worried about the cruising industry. This really is a terrible situation and I hate that it is going to hurt so many cruise employees.
  9. I love these shows about gardens. I garden a little but I'm not THAT into it, but these shows are absolutely inspirational in their telling the stories behind these famous gardens. Even non-gardeners will find the stories amazing: Monty Don's Italian Gardens Monty Don's French Gardens Monty Don's Paradise Gardens Monty Don's Japanese Gardens Monty Don's American Gardens The Secret History of the British Garden
  10. For most drinks, they are included in the basic package - I believe up to $15. We paid nothing extra on our last cruise. We had to get our drinks one at a time - we used The Haven bar. If you order through your butler, you have to pay for drinks, though. We found it easy to go upstairs to the Haven bar instead. As far as drinks in the spa, alcohol and saunas and steam rooms are unsafe to use together. In the case of just one drink it can cause fainting or dehydration leading to a severe headache. If you have more, it could even cause a heart attack or stroke. Kind of defeats the purpose of the spa. https://www.sauna-talk.com/sauna-and-alcohol.html And it is an equally. bad idea to drink alcohol in a hot tub: https://www.thermospas.com/blog/is-it-safe-to-drink-alcohol-in-a-hot-tub/ Go enjoy the spa, then get showered and dressed and go to a bar afterwards instead. That's the etiquette at most on-land spa resorts.
  11. I feel terrible for those who are out of work. I hope that government money will come through for them quickly. I know in Italy they have suspended mortgage payments for certain people for up to 18 months and suspended tax and insurance payments. I hope the same is done here for all those who need the help. When this situation is over, we're going to travel within the US first while we wait to make sure it is over in other countries. I'd love to go to New England in the fall, the Florida Keys, Napa/Sonoma and Sedona, AZ. So many wonderful places to travel in the US and in my own state who will need our support to rebound from this. In the meantime, I'm putting in my gardens. Growing tomatoes and salad hydroponically and herbs. If needed, I will expand to vegetables, especially if this looks like it is going to go on for a long time. I feel like if we all go into lockdown for a solid 4-6 weeks, we have a good shot at getting this over with quickly...but then I see the video of kids partying over spring break as if nothing is going on and read about people who are still going out and about in defiance of restrictions meant to help us end this situation quickly and I'm concerned we will have to hunker down for a lot longer. I hope I am proven wrong and everyone quarantines and this ends sooner rather than later.
  12. Here's what the Department of State advisory says: " The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel. Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice. Airlines have cancelled many international flights and several cruise operators have suspended operations or cancelled trips. If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe. On March 14, the Department of State authorized the departure of U.S. personnel and family members from any diplomatic or consular post in the world who have determined they are at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19 or who have requested departure based on a commensurate justification. These departures may limit the ability of U.S. Embassies and consulates to provide services to U.S. citizens." https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/travel-advisory-alert-global-level-4-health-advisory-issue.html
  13. I wanted to mention that I follow Chris Wong on Youtube - he works on a RCCL ship in the casino and he was told yesterday that he was being sent home instead of being kept onboard with no passengers for 30 days. I've got a feeling that your Oasis cruise will probably cancel due to the virus. I'm sure you know to keep a close eye on the situation.
  14. You have a butler and there is a pool of butlers working different shifts so a butler is available 24x7 to deliver whatever room service you want. Butlers mainly deliver room service including food and cocktails. The spa tub in the room is small but works OK - not a great one but not bad just average. It comes with bath salts. It is up against a picture window. There is 1 door to the balcony next to it. You. would have to block it open, not sure it would feel like being outside as there is a glass surround on each end of the tub. The shower is large - plenty of room for 2 normal size people. You have a coffee/tea maker, access to the thermal suite, access to The Haven, The Haven Bar, The Haven restaurant (we always eat breakfast and lunch there unless we are onshore.). You will have flowers in the suite when you board as well as fruit and some sparkling wine. There is a wine opener in the room as well as wine glasses, champagne glasses, cocktail glasses, plates and cutlery. You can get different types of pillows - I asked the room steward and received 2 foam pillows and a lighter blanket as the comforter was too heavy and hot for us. You will get upgraded Bulgari amenities. Some spa rooms have a table and chairs, other have a small sofa and coffee table. Having had both, I think I prefer the table and chairs. Each day your butler will bring canapés to your cabin in the late afternoon. We got stuff like chocolate covered strawberries, tea sandwiches, cookies and other types of canapés. It was our anniversary cruise, so they surprised us with decorations and a cake. Here's a video tour of The Haven Spa Suite:
  15. Kim, Thank you for another great cruise review. I'm so sorry to hear about the setback with your leg. It is definitely time for a different specialist to correct this situation. With the swelling and pain, I was concerned you might have developed RSD but it sounds like there is a clear and obvious physical reason for what you are experiencing which can be corrected. I am wishing you all the best in getting this successfully fixed. So now we have this corona virus situation to contend with. The "Cats" show is not a fave of mine by any measure, (here's a video from it to give you an idea why I don't care for it, yet some people love this show, but I just truly don't like it at all: but I also saw "Shampoo" and "Mama Mia" on Oasis class ships and they were great shows with quality casts far beyond the usual cruise shows and the shows flew by quickly because they were so well done. So, should you reschedule, maybe you can go on an Oasis class ship that has a different show than "Cats." Any of the other shows they are doing are terrific! Just a thought. Anyway, take care and I truly hope you get your issue with your leg squared away quickly and can start healing ASAP.
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