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Baron Barracuda

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Everything posted by Baron Barracuda

  1. Does voucher require you to sail within 12 months or just make a new booking by then? If the latter you can push your sailing date back another year or so.
  2. Always looked forward to prime rib on embarkation night menu in mdr. Was never disappointed.
  3. You can just pre-book to lock in your desired days and times for specialties and then have a chat with your waiter on night 1. He usually has all the menus and will let you review them. Then you can just decide whether to change any of your reservations.
  4. Don't understand why Carnival can't just buy all that non--compliant bacon that California no longer wants. Sounds more like a hidden cutback.
  5. If Royal can't or won't provide testing at the pier they should allow a third party to do it for a fee. Great business opportunity for a drugstore or urgent care center to set up a kiosk and charge nosebleed rates for rapid test. Cash or charge only, no insurance accepted. The high fee will discourage passengers from using the service as anything other than a last resort.
  6. Around me free rapid and pcr testing is easily available everywhere from govt sponsored sites to drug stores to the large labs (Quest, Labcorp) to doctors offices and urgent care centers. If you need one you can find one. If all else fails there are always the airport kiosks.
  7. 20 years ago when our 3 girls were young we did the reverse drive several times from Ct or NJ to Miami or PE. With 5 people plus stroller and all the kiddie stuff minivan made more sense than flying. Tried to avoid rush hour around DC and get to Jacksonville on day 1 leaving 5 hours to port. We'd do a 7 day sailing followed by a week in Orlando. Looked into Autotrain but way expensive. Today we fly.
  8. We did a couple of Anthem sailings just before covid where dining room manager would get on mdr pa, play loud music and spend five minutes raving about how hard his people work and how they all deserve top marks on survey. One I might tolerate, maybe two, but he did it every night. Made me want to give all 1's as punishment for disturbing my dinner.
  9. At first glance VO prices can seem high but factor in all the inclusions and they can be cheaper than an X SS. They often throw in free air and we've found their payment policy to be negotiable. Had two VO bookings last year (ultimately cancelled by covid) where they offered us 90 day fp. Like them a lot
  10. We started with X in '93. White gloved aw's offering to carry female passengers trays from buffet line to table. Sterling silver service in MDR. MIchel Roux's mdr creations. Hw's preparing flaming desserts tableside. Three hour gourmet dinners in ocean liner restaurants on M class.
  11. Don't confuse earnings with cash flow. Assuming covid doesn't worsen don't believe cash flow positive in 6 months is unrealistic. Cruise lines benefit from a positive float where the bulk of their cash receipts (deposits and final payments) arrive months prior to sailing while some expenses aren't paid until well afterwards. Once most of RCG's fleet is available for booking (and the 2024 schedule opens up) cash should come rolling in. They can also temporarily improve their cash flow situation by deferring capital expenditures and modifying debt maturities.
  12. RCG quarterly loss of $1.3B was same as last year but thanks to all those new shares they issued EPS increased from ($6.13) to ($5.06). Ain't dilution wonderful.
  13. op - most likely you were another victim of call center mis-information. Still, why not call the rep back and demand that the "free" scooter be stated in your new reservation.
  14. This week Amazon's stock took a big hit on disappointing sales. Analysts blamed it on the reopening with business shifting back to brick and mortar stores. Etsy, Wayfair and other online outfits also fell. For many items online is great but for categories like clothing it's nice to be able to touch the merchandise before buying.
  15. One thing we have enjoyed on winter sailings from NJ (in addition to not having to fly) was very attractive pricing. Just checked my ta's web site and found balcony prices for Anthem (including port charges but before my d+ discount and other percs) of $509pp for a 7 night Bahamas sailing on 2/27/22, $805 for a 9 night on 2/11/22 and $923 for an 11 night on 1/31/22. TA picks up my grats so can sail for under $100/night.
  16. Have done a number of winter sailings out of Bayonne. Love leaving from Cape Liberty as it takes the uncertainty of flying out of the equation. Few years back did a family Xmas sailing from NJ on Explorer. Ship left in a blizzard, 10" of snow on the deck. Pool deck was closed to passengers for two days. Many, many arriving by plane missed the ship including the band and priest who was to say Xmas mass. They didn't catch up to us until our first stop three days later in San Juan. Believe winter sailings from NJ are great, but only if you can drive to ship. Why take the risk of flight delays/cancellations and two days of cold weather each way. Better off flying direct to Fl and enjoy warm weather throughout.
  17. Can see walk--off line begin growing around 4:30am and be hundreds deep by 6:00. IMO better to get a full nights sleep, enjoy your breakfast and let Royal carry your bags ashore.
  18. And yet the CDC position doesn't seem to have changed despite switch from a Republican head to a Democratic one.
  19. If the judge felt the outcome of the case was obvious perhaps he felt he was doing the parents a kindness by ending things now rather than forcing them to re-live the event throughout he trial.
  20. So why not just set fare for 7 night sailing at $1MM pp (kids under 12 sail free) and offer a $999k discount to those who voluntarily provide proof of vaccination? Doubt they'll get many unvaccinated.
  21. Did a 17 night PC sailing from SF five years ago on Infinity. Loved it. Must have been lucky as we saw few homeless or panhandlers. Enjoyed a real nice port stop at Monterey before turning south.
  22. Have seen long walk-off lines build at 5am. Whole families standing restlessly for hours. That's not the way I want to end my cruise. Prefer to enjoy a leisurely breakfast and maximize my time aboard ship.
  23. Who knows if what was normal in the pre-covid world still holds true. Recently read TSA is short 1k airport scanners. CBP likely understaffed too. Don't know if FLL is impacted. Is switching to MIA an option?
  24. The DD reservation system was maddening. It frequently lost reservations forcing us to continually check the online planner. Linking reservations was often problematic. The system allocated time poorly, blocking out 2 hours for each reservation. If Grande opened at 5pm and you had a reservation for 6:30 the system would hold your table open from 5 to 6:30 believing there was insufficient time for someone to dine ahead of you. Then it would assign it to you from 6:30 to 8:30. At that point with less than 2 hours until closing it didn't believe there was adequate time for someone else to dine after you. Finally, if you changed or cancelled a reservation the system added the new one but refused to delete the original. This led to hostesses holding tables open for reservations that did not really exist.
  25. Don't know if guests rejected the concept of DD so much as the botched design and implementation by Royal. They could do a Harvard Business School case study on this. The four mdr's which had a capacity of 1450 (375 each). Ships total capacity was 4800 so they needed to turn tables 3x per night (there are also specialty restaurants but guests seemed to want to sample the different mdr concepts). Demand for the four restaurants was uneven as a number of guests didn't want to eat in Grande (formal dress requirement) or Silk (not fans of the Asian food). Reservation system had IT issues. On our early Quantum sailing it lost all our dining reservations four times. Royal promoted that reservations weren't really unnecessary, just come down when you're ready to eat. Each night there was a long walk-up line at the hostess desk. Many diners were infuriated when told there were no openings anywhere and they would have to eat in the Windjammer. Operationally, Royal initially attempted to go without aw's, forcing the waiter to handle both jobs. Service was slow, glasses didn't get refilled and dirty dishes piled up on tables and service counters. They also tried to roll out a tablet based ordering system which waiters had trouble using, ultimately switching back to pen & paper. Early on the mdr menus stayed the same every night limiting variety. This was later changed. On a later Anthem sailing we had menus "A", "B" and "C" for 4 nights each. There were other issues, most of which were worked out over time. They tried the rotating dd classic however that brought issues of its own. Ultimately Royal just gave up on it. We hated it the first time through, but later saw improvements and could have lived with it.
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