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Everything posted by bonsai3s

  1. Scheduled our PCR test with Kaiser August 31, 3 days, before our Sept. 3rd sailing on the Ovation. Kaiser did not guarantee results to come back in 3 days, so..... We also scheduled a PCR test with CVS that same morning of August 31st. A bit stressful waiting for the results. Fortunately, we got both test results in less than 3 days...at least before we boarded. Our health insurance paid for both...so no out of pocket cost for us. Protocols have recently changed that requires us to have the results 2 days, instead of 3, before the sailing...RCCL policy. For our next cruise, we scheduled Kaiser again but this time 2 days before sailing...again no guarantee to get results on time. CVS has the antigen/rapid test, unfortunately not in our area. We found Covid Clinic, www.covidclinic.org, that will do antigen/rapid testing, and results will come back in hours. Our cost will be reimbursed by our health insurance. If you don't have health insurance, the cost is $129/test. Happy and Safe sailing to all!
  2. Agree with mac_tic and jasukkie. Just off the Ovation...we had $400 non- refundable obc's...went to the casino and asked...selected a slot machine...followed the prompts...charged $400....so easy. Just like last time we decided to play a bit and hit a few small jackpots...ended up with $462 and cashed out...no 5% fee...we gave some extra tip to well-deserving crew members.
  3. On our recent b2b on the Ovation out of Seattle: * We were able to use the vouchers before and after the muster. * No taxes added while still at the cruise terminal. * Ordered various types of Long Island ice teas...Italian ice tea, Tokyo ice tea, Pyrate(?) ice tea, Mexican ice tea...multiple shots in each of these drinks but was only charged 1 voucher for each drink. * We didn't use vouchers for bottled water, sodas, fresh squeezed orange juice or coffee...but we know others who did...no problem. * We were able to use vouchers the morning of debarkation...got 2 spicy bloody mary's...no problem. * We were able to use vouchers everywhere, including the Windjammer and Coastal Kitchen. * We were able to see on TV in our cabin all the vouchers we've used and where...looking at all the vouchers we've used and all the different venues made me feel like an alcoholic...I may have to sign up for the Bill W. meetings. 😉
  4. Traveling...for a cruise...layover in San Francisco, SFO...late night/red eye flight...nearly empty airport. I glanced to my right and noticed a young girl the same age as our grandniece, playing...then I look up and with my very little vision left, I recognized one of the best and Hall of Famer UFC fighter...Chuck Lidell. One of the nicest guys I've ever met. I treasure the picture I took with him and it's proudly hanging on the wall.
  5. Yes, the sushi chef will be more than happy to accomodate you.
  6. Just emailed them yesterday and got a response today. Price quoted: $190 roundtrip, IAH/GALV/IAH.... $150 roundtrip from Hobby. They will pick you up at the airport or hotel. Is this reasonable? Approximately how much would Uber/Lyft cost? Thank you.
  7. Sigh...our last cruises were on the Freedom out of San Juan before the pandemic. Our dinners at Giovanni's were simply outstanding. They will be more than happy to cook you a special pasta dish not listed on the menu...for your appetizer. The risotto and pork belly (we ask for it to be crispy) were both to die for. We couldn't decide what dessert to eat...were were given a "sampler platter"...nice. And oh! the rib-eye just about melted in my mouth.......another sigh.
  8. Royal App...bar menus with prices. Can't wait to try drinks we've never heard of...early in the day.😇
  9. Yes, very easy. We got our ATVO tickets online...printed the receipt/ticket...walked outside the Marco Polo airport, showed our ticket, they pointed us to the bus. The bus driver then instructed us to place our luggages underneath the bus. We got on, waited a few minutes for other passengers, then it was a quick ride to Piazzale Roma.......all that without speaking Italian. Our hotel was only a short walk from P. Roma, 2 short bridges, located across the Grand Canal from the main train station. The next day, we took the people mover from Piazzale Roma to the cruise terminal.
  10. Furthermore.... * Where do you put your seapass card?...or do you use a lanyard? * Imagine the photography during formal night or the private sessions? Or embarkation photos? * The rock climbing wall would be popular...for viewers...it would hurt for the climbers. * Hmmm...from gym to the sauna...lockers would be smaller. * How many inside the elevators...could be really awkward. * Chef's Table? * The belly flop contest would be interesting. * If the crew asked: "Would you like mustard on your hotdog?"...would this be harassment? Note: This is my sorry attempt on humor...forgive me.
  11. This thread is simply too funny....what's not to like? 😃 * Less clothes to pack. * No laundry. * Formal night...no worries. * I was once denied entry to the MDR for wearing a tank top...no worries. * You may have pack lots of sunscreen. * Be prepared to be on Youtube. * Lastly.......washy, washy. 😆
  12. When we were much younger and poorer...we were frugal. Now that we are older and saved a bit of money...we splurge. We are often reminded "When you die, you can't take it with you."
  13. The Bionic bar was fun to watch....regrettably, EVERY drink made had spillage....good alcohol wasted. Not good for Royal, and not good for passengers.....difficult to watch perfectly good alcohol not getting poured in the cup. Hoping it's been fixed.
  14. Thank you for taking the time...safe and happy sailing! Looking forward to a few things: * Traffic into Pier 91 and embarkation. * Test to all prior to boarding? * DL and CL concierge. (List of bar drinks with prices. We know the drink vouchers are for drinks $13 or less...we wanted to make sure we know what to order. 😁) * Loyal Ambassador. * Captain Henryk Loy onboard? * Lastly, what is the anticipated passenger capacity for the paid sailings? Thanks again!
  15. And just a friendly reminder....if you end up with foreign coins, you might as well save them as souvenir or donate them. (A few international flights will ask passengers if they want to donate leftover foreign coins.) We framed some and have given some to our grandkids. Side story: We were in Hong Kong and decided to visit Macau...an island only a ferry ride away famous for gambling...much like Las Vegas. Gambled a little and ate at a restaurant. Got some change ( a couple of bills and coins) back from the restaurant. We get back to Hong Kong and mixed the money from Macau to pay for a meal. We didn't understand the waitress at first........then someone told us "We don't accept "Macau money" in Hong Kong". Lesson learned once again.
  16. Many years ago, we wanted to see the difference between all types of cabins. We booked a b2b2b2b, inside, oceanview, balcony, and in a suite. Perhaps our mistake was booking the suite first. JMHO, and some random thoughts: * It felt like the best cabin stewards were assigned to the suites. * On this particular small ship, all the inside and oceanview cabins were on the lower decks...2 or 3. * No one really cared or even knew what type of cabin we were in...except for a few crew members. * Food was relatively the same, the entertainment was the same, activities were the same...they were all outstanding no matter what cabin type we were in. Bottom line for us: Having a large (aft) balcony in a suite was nice, but the "regular" balcony cabin was acceptable. We didn't even mind the oceanview cabin...it was fun to at least have sunlight coming into our cabin. The inside cabin...well, let me just say this: The cabin was so small that our bed was against the wall...I'd wake up constantly after accidentally bumping into the wall. We have never booked an inside cabin ever since. Note: When we were much younger, and didn't have much money...we booked nothing but inside cabins. Now that we are both retired, and saved some money...we usually book suites (balcony on longer cruises). We are not getting any younger and you can't take that money with you when you die. Happy Sailing!
  17. Lightning has struck us twice... I've posted these most memorable events a few times but well worth repeating. (Condensed versions) The first time, we were assigned to the "Captain's Table", Song of America. Table for 8. We sat with a truly wonderful British couple, and the Staff Captain (second in command I'm guessing), and the other empty seats were filled by various members of the entertainment crew...mostly the dancers. There were special meals and free-flowing wine every night. And Oh!, the stories we heard. This was why we got addicted to cruising. The second time was on the Voyager of the Seas, out of Sydney, Australia. There was an invitation in our cabin saying we have been invited to the Captain's Table...for New Year's Eve dinner. Yes! New Year's Eve! Our large table of 11 (5 couples and the Captain) was in the middle of the main dining room...a bit more elegantly decorated with fine china and what appeared to be a gazillion spoons, forks, and knives. (We were even politely asked not to sit until the Captain sat down.) The food and service was simply over the top. And yes, my glass of wine was never empty...they kept re-filling it. I whispered and asked the couple seating next to me: "Do you know why you were invited?...because we don't know why or how we were invited". They didn't know either. We all received a couple of group pictures and the menu autographed by the Captain. We hope to someday, somehow get invited again to a Captain's Table........we'd happily accept the invitation.
  18. cruisemom42...thank you as always...for your wonderful post.
  19. Many thanks for sharing and happy sailing! 🍷🥂🍺🍹🍸
  20. Just wanted to say "hello" to a fellow triathlete. Agree...one must respect the water. * We did the Malibu Triathlon, 2018, waves looked normal before the start...the starting horn goes off...my age group takes off running into the ocean...I swam, swam, and swam some more. I heard one of the lifeguards yelling...next thing I knew, he pulls me hard out of the water and back to shore. I didn't even reach the first buoy. The waves, in an instance,...got much bigger and stronger. I was embarrassed, until I found out NO ONE made it to the first buoy...all swimmers were pulled out of the water.
  21. We've done a few b2b's out of Sydney...and absolutely love Sydney. Some random thoughts: * b2b passengers will have a meeting before the end of the first cruise. * You can choose to get back onboard or, do what we do...go and see Sydney. * There will be a nice lunch for b2b passengers...in the MDR or a specialty restaurant...and if your lucky, free wine. * If you choose to leave the ship, you will be given a "In-Transit" card alonv with your new seapass card. You will be able to bypass all the lines when you get back. (Except of course the security line) * The ship docks at the OPT, Overseas Passenger Terminal...you will be walking distance to many of the wonderful sights: The Rocks, CBD, the Sydney Opera House and adjacent gardens, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Circular Quay. * We highly recommend purchasing the Opal Card...it will give you access to buses, trains, and ferries.(Outstanding value) You can even use the Opal Card for the train back to the airport. OPT walk to Circular Quay train station...about 5 minutes. Note: Things can change post pandemic. Happy Sailing!
  22. We have enjoyed snorkeling our entire lives...we are now in our golden years, regrettably my wonderful wife still can't swim. She always pack her inflatable life vest, and wears it to snorkel. I bring a 5 foot bungee cord (with locking carabiners on both ends)...I attach the bungee to me and my wife. It has worked extremely well for us. Hope that helps. Happy sailing and snorkeling.🙂
  23. Don't give up and call again. We waited four months...crystal block didn't show up. We called again and were told it was mailed. I asked, "Where did you mail it"? Her answer, "Looks like we mailed to Switzerland". She apologized and mailed another one...we got it in less than a week...in Ca. 🙂
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