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Everything posted by cbr663

  1. I don't see the July 2021 date on the link from the OP. When I scroll down to the bottom of the page it states a date modified of 2021 -10 - 21.
  2. The avoid all cruising remains. It’s the second last bullet in the big yellow box in the link above.
  3. Your ability to dine on your balcony really depends on the ship and the cabin category that you have. The Nieuw Amsterdam and the Eurodam still have the adjustable coffee tables in the balcony staterooms. You can easily move the coffee table to the balcony and enjoy a meal there. The new pinnacle class ships do not have this coffee table in their verandah staterooms so dining on your verandah means sitting with your plate on your lap. We love having room service breakfast on our verandah. It's the quintessential cruise experience for us.
  4. You read so many negative reviews because of the simple fact that there are systemic issues on HAL ships that time has shown that the cruise line simply will not resolve. The top two in my experience has been: 1. On board account/billing errors. Billing and account errors happen way too frequently on HAL cruises. So much so that many have resorted to having to spend time saving every receipt and reviewing and consolidating their statements daily. This is not only a waste of your time and energy while on a cruise it also speaks to a cruise line that simply cannot get its accounting house in order. This issue has been ongoing for years and years and I see from today's live threads that it is still occurring. It simply leaves a bad taste in my mouth. 2. Inconsistent service, especially in the MDR. A recent poster said it best in her live thread - the only thing consistent about HAL is it is inconsistent. You can go to the MDR or a speciality restaurant one night and have a wonderful and impeccable experience and the next night the experience can be so disappointing that you wonder if the ship sailed through the Bermuda Triangle. From our past experience it really is the flip of a coin as to whether your MDR experience will be great or disappointing.
  5. This is good news. Just a reminder though that the Canadian Gov't still has travel advisories in place to avoid all nonessential travel and to avoid all cruise ship travel. https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories
  6. It's so disappointing when this happens. My wife ordered a surprise birthday cake for me on one the Eurodam and it didn't arrive. I ordered a surprise birthday cake for my wife on the Celebrity Reflection and it didn't arrive either. We've given up with special orders trying to surprise each other on cruise ships.
  7. I fully support these measures. Looks like Air New Zealand and Air Asia are also introducing, "no jab, no fly" policy. https://www.futuretravelexperience.com/2021/10/airasia-and-air-nz-introduce-no-jab-no-fly-policy/
  8. Our thoughts exactly. Anyone travelling during a pandemic must be willing to accept changes as the situation constantly evolves. Things can change from the time you board the ship and when you disembark. If you don't want to get tangled in the laundry (I love this analogy) then you really should delay your travel until a sense of consistency has returned.
  9. I think some will consider it generous as these tips are mostly additional tips. When you sail on HAL your onboard account will automatically be charged $15.50 per person per day for a non-suite cabin and $17.00 per person per day for a suite cabin for a Crew Incentive Charge (Tip/Gratuity). Most cabins have double occupancy so there will be an automatic charge of $31.00 - $34.00 per day for tips. In addition to this, a 18% gratuity is automatically added to all beverage purchases, Bar retail items, Speciality Restaurant surcharges, and any a la carte menu item purchases. So this means that for most passengers sailing you are more than likely already paying tips throughout your cruise without the need of adding anything extra to it. Of course it is your choice should you want to pay extra - just make sure you understand fully when you are paying a tip already and when you are paying an additional tip.
  10. I agree. On land you can certainly make the choice to walk away from an area and pursue other options. You are extremely limited on what you can do on a cruise ship. For instance, if you observe a large portion of your fellow passengers not adhering to masking requirements what options do you have? Wear your mask and hope fore the best? Not great options imo.
  11. We aren't even looking for something to book right now. For us, there still is too much uncertainty and too many moving parts that are quite frankly, still moving. I've written previously on CC that it is going to be a while before we venture back to cruising and that hasn't changed yet for us. I am enjoying reading the live threads though of those who have ventured onboard.
  12. I can relate as at times it certainly feels that way. The reality is though that we are all still knee deep in a pandemic and anyone travelling today, whether by air, plane, rocket (as that's possible now) or cruise ship must be prepared for sudden changes as the situation is still very much fluid. The Canadian Gov't, for instance, has not changed its advisories on travel and still advises that Canadians avoid all cruise ship travel outside of Canada.
  13. I don't want to de-rail this wonderful thread. Here's a link that provides an over view of the technology and the risks associated with it. In a nutshell, a QR, or Quick Response code simply redirects the user to another location when scanned. You must have faith that the location that you are being redirected to is safe. https://www.kaspersky.com/resource-center/definitions/what-is-a-qr-code-how-to-scan
  14. We've booked suites and weren't that impressed. Glad we tried it as now we know that for us, a suite isn't a big deal. We'd take it as a free upgrade but we aren't interested in paying extra for it.
  15. Just wanted to reply with a huge BRAVO. I received a Pfizer and a Moderna to prevent my catching this terrible virus and to prevent spreading it to anyone else. It was a life saving decision. I didn't receive it to travel on a cruise ship. I didn't receive it to travel at all. The vaccines have been a gigantic step forward for us all. The travel industry and all it partners will work out all the details in due time.
  16. These new offers are very carb heavy. Am glad that the reliable low-carb options are still available.
  17. That's not obvious to a lot of folks. My sister and I were chatting today on all the negative reviews that she is seeing on people attending resorts and expecting things to be "normal" and complaining when it is not. Things like their room beds not made, difficulty getting clean towels, having to make an appointment to use the pool, reservations for all meals...apparently there are long lists of covid restrictions that vacationers are complaining about. I fully expect that the next coming months cruise critic will be littered with poor reviews from cruisers whose pandemic cruise experience (as let's face it, we are still in a pandemic) turned out to not meet their expectations.
  18. This. The Canadian Gov't was quite clear when it recommended mixed vaccines that its citizens who receive mixed vaccines would be considered fully vaccinated in Canada. The Canadian government cannot compel any other nation to accept mixed doses as being fully vaccinated. The Canadian gov't has stated publicly that it is working with the international community to develop a recognized vaccine certificate but that it could take months. In the meantime to head off any criticism the gov't likes to remind us that travel restrictions are still in place and all non-essential travel is discouraged. Personally, I think that this is just a lot of noise that we have to work through and in the coming months more and more of these restrictions will be lifted.
  19. This stands out for me: "All guests must complete the pre-cruise Health Questionnaire and Vaccine Attestation, and accept the Passage Contract and Risk Acceptance. " (bolding by me) Is this a new form? Has anyone seen it?
  20. Bravo on contacting the cruise lines directly with your questions. I think that cancelling your cruises was the best decision for you. And, I don't think it was an over-reaction at all. Like you, I have many questions that need answers before I will book another cruise. Thank-you for updating us all on the cruise lines responses to your questions. The response is as I feared - even the cruise lines don't know yet.
  21. OP, the Public Health Officer in Ottawa was asked this very question last night on the evening news. Her response was that if you received a second dose of an interchangeable vaccine that you would be considered fully vaccinated in Canada. No one knows how other countries will respond to this situation. Because of this I will decline if I am offered a different vaccine for my second dose. Also keep in mind that not every country is staggering the time between doses like Canada and several other countries are. It is quite possible that some countries may deem you not fully vaccinated if your vaccination schedule did not follow the manufacturer's recommendation. Until there is a global agreement on vaccine passports we will have to be patient and wait for the best.
  22. We don't know yet if there has been spread to other passengers. We know that of the passengers that were tested the results came back negative. We don't know what future testing may reveal. We also don't know whether any passengers not tested were okay. We also don't know whether there has been any impact to crew. And, we don't know if there has been any spread from the excursion to others in Barbados or whether the positive cases caught the virus in Barbados.
  23. Yes there were disruptions to the cruise. 200 passengers had been tested and were required to quarantine to their cabins until all test results were available. Of the 600 passengers on board, this represents over 30% of the passengers affected by the 2 cases. We don't know how many crew were affected.
  24. That is why I am paying attention to the headlines about what happens when positive cases occur. Before I feel comfortable booking another cruise I need to have a clear understanding of exactly what I am booking. I don't want unrealistic expectations going forward. As for breakthrough cases, they are occurring. The CDC is monitoring and more can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7021e3.htm. Some take aways from the CDC article (and these apply to the general population, not the cruising industry): 1. Breakthrough cases are expected, 2. Rate of breakthrough cases is low, 3. Less than 27% of breakthrough cases were asymptomatic, 4. The number of breakthrough cases reported is thought to be substantially undercounted
  25. The risk is low, not doubt about it. It isn't zero though. And as the risk of breakthrough cases is fluid, it will take some time to see what the risk really is. I am Canadian and we are seeing more and more provincial health agencies reporting breakthrough cases in the past several weeks. There is an outbreak of the delta variant right now in a Calgary hospital involving at least 10 people who were fully vaccinated. https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/10-delta-variant-cases-connected-to-outbreak-at-calgary-hospital-were-fully-immunized-1.5466403
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