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Posts posted by Algebralovr

  1. A friend in the know told me last week that Apex has a nearly complete crew.  They needed substantial crew to do shake down he said, and test everything completely.  While they may not have full hotel side, apparently they have a full marine side, along with substantial hotel side.

    A couple of people I correspond with said they received email from their schedules asking for their status:  desire to come back, if their passport, visa and certificates were in order.   They are  ready.  Tired of being at home, and not able to find a job locally that will provide similar compensation.  Even in Europe, they can’t find jobs where they will earn what they do on board.  

    I’m expecting my holiday cruise to be canceled any day, though.

  2. I'm ready!  I have a holiday cruise booked and paid for out of Tampa.  The ship barely has any rooms booked at this point, but I'm happy to go and make a technical stop somewhere to stay within the requirements of the PVSA.  It is a 12 night cruise that is supposed to do a half transit through the Canal, but I'll live with just being pampered on the ship.

    Meanwhile, I'm playing Cruise Chicken.  Will they cancel or will I?  
    If needed, we have a plan to drive the 16 - 18 hours to the port rather than deal with flying.

  3. On 9/28/2020 at 4:40 PM, Panamama42 said:

    I am trying to let all of Roz’s friends know that she has passed away. Her service dog Horton is here with me. He has been retired and will live out his days here. Thank you all 


    thank you for passing this on.  I’ve been away a few weeks, snowed under with work and more work.  I’m teary eyed at the passing of someone I only knew through some emails and a lot of posts here.  She was so supportive!  
    I know she has now crossed her own rainbow bridge and met back with Morey and Brenda, along with your own husband, and will be waiting for Horton and her family to join them in their time.


    Thank for for sharing your home with Horton in his retirement.  
    I will think of all of them when we get to resume cruising.


  4. 1 hour ago, DragonflyCruiser said:

    We had that trip for Jan, 2021.  Yesterday I rescheduled it for next year.  The stress was getting to me over it all.  Even if it does go the fact that the Covid 19 test would need to be obtained 5 days prior to sailing wasn't going to work.  It's hard to schedule and we had planned to spend some days in Fla prior to sailing.  For us, it was just too much.  We have an Alaska trip planned near the end of the season.  I'm hoping they have the details all working by then.  Lift & Shift ends the end of Sept.  If you plan to do this better check to see what is still available.   Best of luck to you!


    Our situation was that we are not eligible for Lift and Shift.  Our Dec 23 cruise is a Canal Touch cruise, and is 12 nights.  Celebrity is not offering 12 night Canal Touch cruises on M or S class ships in the 21-22 season, so the three they are offering in 20-21 are non-eligible for Lift and Shift.    It really stinks. I'd have happily moved to a 12 night on Equinox that was just a Caribbean, but we were not allowed.  We would also have accepted a 11-night out of Tampa, but again, not allowed.  


    The not knowing is definitely the issue!

  5. We are on the Dec 23 Constellation cruise out of Tampa, and made final payment on Tuesday.  Today is the actual final payment due date.  

    I think we are all just waiting to see what happens.  We won't know for another couple of weeks if the cruise lines will be allowed to sail in November as they are hoping. 


    Before they can sail, they have to get the crew back, along with getting the ships into place.  Infinity and Constellation are both in the Med, waiting, with minimum crew on board.  The crew will need to be quarantined before they actually board working cruise ships, more than likely.  I'm guessing that IN will probably go back to India to pick up crew from there, since there are so many, and that will allow them to quarantine that group of crew for the trip back across the Atlantic.  It is possible that CN will pick up crew from Europe, since it will be easier for the crew who are in Europe to get to Greece to join CN rather than all the flights.   They might use Solstice to pick up crew from the Philippines, Bali, and others along the way from SE Asia and come back on a TransPacific, hard to say.  Again, though, that would allow for the full quarantine and to move crew.  They could then charter flights from San Diego to Miami to move them over to the east side of the US for the Caribbean season.  Since the Aus/NZ cruises have all been canceled through the end of the year, they might do some cruises out of CA and down to MX with Solstice, Eclipse and Millennium, or sail those ships through the Canal to hit the Caribbean.  No way to know.  Maybe a mix of the two.  Millennium was already through Revolution, so maybe she would replace Constellation out of Tampa?  I'm likely dreaming here.  We just don't know.  


    The crew can be tested at home, then again before boarding, then be in quarantine on the trip back to the US.  Remember that all the ships will need to be checked over before passengers are allowed on board as well.  Meaning, they will need to start moving ships and people next week to be able to sail on November 1.  


    Based on the required movement of people and ships, if they don't start moving people around in another week or two, I'm pretty sure the early November cruises will be canceled, but we will have to wait and see. 


    It is a giant logistics problem to solve.  

  6. Equinox actually got the GastroPub in 2014 during that dry dock.  It got Slush at the same time.  

    EQ had a partial revolution in early 2019.  Only partial because of the incident with the crane in the Bahamas.  She received the Suite Retreat makeover in Michaels Club, part of the retreat update to the Solstice Deck, but not the elevator or hot tub on the Suite Retreat deck that was formerly the Solstice Deck.


    We were on her in December 2019 and she was in great condition.  


  7. 1 hour ago, Johnamac123 said:

    This is so very true for those of us with a 2021 booking that is not eligible for L&S....

    My next cruise on the books is a holiday 2020 cruise.  It isn't eligible for L&S because it is a Canal Touch cruise, and they are not doing those on either M or S class ships in the holidays in 2021.  Edge is doing it, but we can't L&S it to Edge under their rules.  


    I would happily L&S it to Equinox over the holidays for 2021, but they won't allow it.  The 2021 cruise on the same ship is only 11 nights.  No winning here.

  8. 1 minute ago, chengkp75 said:

    That is not quite correct.  Their "wage" from the company may be only $100/week, and the rest from the DSC, but since the MLC 2006 went into effect in 2013, there is a minimum wage of $641/month (based on a 40 hour work week, and this increases annually), that the cruise line is obligated to pay.


    Thank you for the correction.  I knew they tracked hours the crew worked and figured there was a minimum salary, but when room and board is included, it can become an interesting calculation.  


    My direct experience is with US based summer camps.  My youngest was paid a whole $180/week plus room and board.  They lived with the children, and had a 24 hour period off each week (usually on turnover Saturday starting at about 11am until Sunday about 11am - except there was always a staff meeting before 11am), another 6 hour evening off each week, plus 1 hour per day other days of personal time.    So, 133 hours a week between working and on call time (when you consider that even sleeping they are on call).  

  9. Got a friend on board.  His contract was to have ended in late May, but he is still on board.  He has mixed feelings, as can be expected.  The cruising halt has been difficult - to go from a vibrant vacation ship with energy, to what they have now.   Plus, now that they are at minimum manning, they have a number of odd chores to do, like going from room to room to turn the water all on, flush the toilets, turn the chairs around, move the mattresses to get air to them, etc.


    OTOH, the alternative is to be at home with  no income for who knows how long.  

  10. 2 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

    No, most lines pay for travel to the ship, and all must pay for travel home.


    I will add to my post above, that if the crew member's national laws, or collective bargaining agreement requires it, that in the case of a delayed repatriation, that normal base pay is maintained from the time the crew member's contract ends until the time they reach home.

    Thanks for reminding folks of this. 

    We all need to keep in mind that their normal base pay is much less than they actually take home most of the time during cruising.  Often their guaranteed pay is only around what, $100/week plus room and board?  Then they receive all the gratuities we all pay, which brings the pay way up.  At least, that is the case for room stewards, wait staff, etc.   The service side people who are paid out of gratuities.



  11. 21 hours ago, TN Spartan said:

    Hi Everyone!  Longtime lurker, first time poster.  

    I wanted to share my experience with Lift & Shift for our Constellation 12 night Touch Canal Holiday cruise on December 23, 2020 - we have 4 Concierge staterooms booked for 8 people.  Just got off the phone with my travel agent (big box store) to see which 2021 cruises were options for lift and shift.  TA called Celebrity and there were no available options for L&S as this itinerary does not exist for a holiday cruise in 2021, and would not let us move to either the 11 night Connie (12/23/21) because the number of days is not the same 😲, or the 12 night Equinox (12/22/21) as it is Eastern Caribbean/different itinerary.  TA spoke to 2 different Celebrity reps with no success.  

    It looks like our options are to cancel and get our non-refundable deposits back as FCC or wait to see if the rest of 2020 is cancelled by Celebrity before our final payment due date of Sept. 10, 2020.  

    we are booked on the same cruise, and have the same experience.  The “Canal Touch” is not considered Caribbean for some reason.  

    I’d speak to your TA about delaying final payment.  The Sept 10 date is earlier than my statement from Celebrity says, as Celebrity just requires payment 90 days out.    I believe my due date is Sept 24.  It is quite possible they will cancel between September 10 and Sept 24.  There are also some instances of final payment being delayed a little further, while they evaluate the situation.  

  12. 6 minutes ago, jelayne said:


    Looks like just a marketing flyer.  Most of these cruises have been available for some time.  The February 27 is a recent addition, due to a charter moving to 2022,  The thing I find interesting that most of these sailing are on the Infinity and yesterday they cancelled the November westbound TA for the Infinity.  

    My guess is that Infinity is hanging out and waiting because she will be used to bring crew back.  If the crew is picked up by Infinity, then they save a pile of cash on airfare, plus they have a guaranteed quarantine.  

  13. I don’t expect a merger.  I think, instead, the Royal Caribbean Group and NCL are simply combining forces for a couple of things where they would otherwise be duplicating expenses.  Both are individually smaller than Carnival Corp, so it make total sense,  

  14. 6 minutes ago, Caribbean Chris said:

    I hope your Constellation cruise goes as planned, fingers crossed for you! 

    We also have had a Tampa Constellation booking, since they first announced them, original scheduled for April 2021 with two other couples, old friends. But we decided the other day to do the Lift & Shift to April 2022, same week, also from Tampa, same everything. I’m concerned that all the lines won’t be back in service normally any time soon.

    If I’m wrong, I’ll be happy, and we’ll just check on a Constellation Tampa cabin to book after final payment time. I’d be happy to make the same Celebrity cruise out of Tampa in both 2021 & 2022, since we usually do a cruise anyway for our anniversary , and Tampa’s just an hour’s drive from our house. 


    I wish we had the freedom to do the same!  We are both still working full time, but the university closes from Dec 25 - Jan 1, and the timing of the holiday trip was just too perfect!  Dec 23 - Jan 4.  

    I've got airfare reserved, but on points on Southwest so that it is easy to cancel if the cruise is cancelled.  I'm just waiting to see what happens.  

    Our cruise is the Canal Touch cruise, that they are only offering a couple of, and 12 nights.  So, there are only a handful of other options we could Lift and Shift to.  I just can't bring myself to do so yet.  I'm hoping we'll get told next week that Lift and Shift is being extended.  I really don't want to decide just yet.  Final payment is Sept 24, and I don't want to pay if we aren't going, but want to delay making a decision until then.  


  15. On 7/18/2020 at 11:07 AM, Caribbean Chris said:

    So we were booked on a Christmas cruise this year, and have been sure for a long time that it would cancel. Got the email this week that Holland America sold four of their ships, including Amsterdam, our Christmas ship.


    That has got to be a disappointment!   I'm so glad you found an alternative you will be satisfied with.

    We have a holiday cruise booked on Celebrity Constellation  out of Tampa.  I'm waiting to see what happens.  Trying to decide if I should lift and shift to the Equinox for the 2021 holiday season, or what.  Lift and shift is currently scheduled to end next week.   I'm expecting the Royal Caribbean Group (their new name) to extend it, but hard to say.


    I don't really need a holiday cruise over Christmas 2021, we already have a Thanksgiving cruise booked then.  I need it this fall, darn it!

  16. @Mabbiez it will go well!    

    My experience has been the difficulty with the public where I live - because I live in a rural area that is, as the city planner put it, "Dog Country".  Everyone wants to be friends with my dog.  Especially all the kids.


    These days, Scooter gets less interaction since I'm working from home.   I have to make an effort to get him out in public at some point.   He has also been very energetic and playful, which is great in a pet, but not so great in a SD.  So, more doodling and remediation training.  

    Luckily, I own my dog, so I don't have to worry about an org saying I didn't keep him on task. 🙂

  17. We took all that we needed, even on the cross country flight.  That way, we had exactly what we wanted and didn't have to worry about finding it.  

    I packed each serving in a sandwich baggie.  I feed Scooter 150 gms of the kibble we use, plus a joint chew and a fish oil caplet.  So, each baggie had the 150 gms of kibble, the joint chew and the fish oil and all I needed to do was dump each baggie into his bowl at meal time.  

    Scooter had an entire suitcase.  Food, a few toys, extra leashes, extra cape, extra harness, life jacket, extra copies of documents.  We flew in the night before our cruise, and stayed afterwards in Seattle for a number of days, so we needed to take plenty.  Having each meal in a baggie was very helpful.  


    Then, I simply stored the pre-prepared baggies in the suitcase under the bed, taking a couple of day's out at a time.  Helped to keep the clutter down.  Went ahead and tossed each baggie in the trash when it was empty, since we were traveling.  I use baggies at home now as well, but use them a number of times before tossing them.  

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