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Everything posted by avalon007

  1. I live in rural NSW on our farm, work from home (web & graphic design) & usually only go into town once a week for groceries - so if we hit lock down my life apart from lack of work coming in will be much the same! 😄 At least I have acreage to roam about, a beautiful view to enjoy & plenty of farm & gardening jobs to do, a tonne of books to read & other household projects I haven't time for previously. I think going through 2 months of fires in Jan/Feb, staying inside because of weeks of smoke pollution etc has hardened everyone in my area to be better able to cope with self isolation as we have already experienced worse prior. At least the virus isn't going to burn our house down or destroy our farm & livestock. I don't have to keep looking out the window for weeks on end checking to see if had crept on me either!
  2. The question was posted way before the cruise cancellations or before any of this blew up back when Royal was saying if you presented to board with any signs of illness you would be screened. 🙂 But yes, we are way beyond that time now. Luckily we managed to complete the last Ovation cruise to NZ before they stopped the cruises.
  3. Update - After watching day 5 video above he now says he is being sent home next week to the UK , but with the airlines shutting down more each day who knows if that will even be possible by then?
  4. Yes as far as we know - one crew member on Oasis is doing a daily video blog of what happens on board with the crew. He is up to day 5 of the 30 day shut down
  5. Yes Radiance anchored in the harbour at Athol Bay, & will be joined by MSC Magnifica tomorrow (the ship that refused to allow anyone leaving the ship in Tasmania to reboard) according to the port authority schedule. Spectrum is currently off the Australian East coast doing the last of her free fire related first responders cruises to nowhere & Ovation heading back from NZ currently in the Tasman Sea after maybe just one port (Auckland) before NZ closed ports to cruise ships. We just did the cruise before on Ovation to NZ so were lucky to have just missed all the closures. Looks like Voyager is at Eden NSW south coast tomorrow & from the info on the port authority cruise ship schedule it looks like for the next few weeks at least most ships in our waters are rotating every few days or so between anchorage, days at sea, then Sydney or Eden terminals to restock food etc I assume? So maybe this will be the same process worldwide, a constant rotation to allow ships to go out to sea to make water, dump allowed treated waste, then anchor for a few days, then dock for supplies for crew - repeat until things improve.
  6. Ship - Ovations of The Seas Deck - 7 Stateroom # - 7128 Stateroom Category –Balcony Starboard or Port Side - starboard Quiet Stateroom? – NO - see below Was stateroom a connecting stateroom? - No Balcony View - Give comments on view, noting if location of any obstructions was an issue. – great scenic view, ledge outside stops direct view down side of ship. Balcony Size? Normal or oversized for class? - Normal Was wind a problem? - No If an aft cabin, was soot a problem? - N/A Any specific problems with this cabin? - Yes, very noisy compared to the other 2 cabins I have had on Ovation in the past - mostly water noises of all kinds as if the plumbing from many cabins was running through the roof or walls at the front of the cabin. Toilet was also very loud which I reported along with the rest of the noise & they fixed the toilet same day, but running water, hearing lots of other flush like sounds etc continued & would often wake us up middle of the night. Opposite this cabin is housekeeping areas, so not sure if pipe work happened to connect into there etc. Also could hear anchor drop and cabin vibrated slightly during that process - but cabin is quite forward in position so no surprise in that regard. Any other comments? - No
  7. OR if they have their marketing hats on the cruise lines will want to attract back as many cruisers as possible after the virus has passed, and regular loyal to Royal cruisers are more likely to do that than newbies scared off cruising by the over hyped media coverage of quarantined ships. So what better way to get people to cruise than to offer Crown & Anchor members deals with extra perks, rather than reduce current perks which will only alienate members? Hope you are listening Royal! 😄
  8. LOL - yep tendering only for D/Plus & above so same experience regards tendering as you in that regard.
  9. We have had priority boarding for Diamond every cruise since becoming Diamond 6 years ago except for this last cruise & in some cases with loads of Diamonds on board. I have found in the past that some staff at the OPT are just unaware of the Crown & Anchor benefits or unless you ask for it they don't automatically notice what level is on your boarding pass.
  10. One positive regards Diamond perks - on Ovation there were 2 of the icey type cocktails now included in free drinks, Pina Colada & Strawberry Margarita. 🍹😄
  11. Human nature being what it is, self isolation is not fully effective as people break the rules & the trust system employed by most countries when screening people by asking if they have been to affected countries, or in contact with anyone who has in the last 14 days is a joke. Many would lie & most people would have no idea if they were close to people who had returned from affected countries overseas - could be the hotel guest check in staff, the local shop keeper, some random person on the bus, train etc. Looks like our Ovation cruise that returned from NZ on Thursday will be the last one to have completed a NZ cruise for a while. Their tourism sector was already suffering according to a local tour company we used, now it will be hard for them in ports that have grown used to multiple cruise ships arriving each week, although the season is at least near it's end, so could have been worse if the virus consequences had hit in October.
  12. Flu vaccines are only on average about 40% effective so not going to be any guarantee.
  13. Now NZ has decided to ban all cruise ships stopping there until June 30th & all travelers from non Pacific nations to self isolate for 14 days on arrival. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-14/jacinda-ardern-new-zealand-travel-restrictions-coronavirus/12056754
  14. I didn't realise he was staff, I agree they would have no choice.
  15. Sharing an inside cabin with a stranger is reason not to go at all, let alone get off !!! LOL
  16. We left on Ovation on Feb 29 to NZ for 12 days & on boarding had to answer a set of questions as to whether we had been in the affected countries within 14 days - totally an honour system, no screening. On return 2 days ago, all we had was a letter the night before from the ship saying if we had transited through any of the most at risk countries in the last 2 weeks (they gave a list) then to report for additional screening before disembarking. We disembarked & nothing at all was any different than normal, just had the usual customs check & then walked right out. No known cases of the virus on board & very limited in NZ.
  17. We spent the last 2 weeks in NZ on Ovation & docked in Sydney no problem 2 days ago. seems the story relates more to protection of passengers than them bringing the virus to Tassie. " Cruise company MSC Cruises had taken the decision to stop people disembarking "to ensure [passengers'] health and safety, in response to potential risk of COVID-19", according to a TasPorts spokesperson."
  18. Just quoting an article from cruise Critic - that's what they called it - so maybe let them know they have it wrong if it concerns you. 🙂 " With Canada out of the picture until July 1, big-ship cruises from U.S. ports to Alaska could effectively be terminated as well, barring any relaxing in Jones Act regulations by the U.S. federal government." https://www.cruisecritic.com.au/news/5190/?et_cid=3320081&et_rid=40008568&et_referrer=Party - Celebrity
  19. Diamond club on Ovation (200 diamonds onboard) is the same as before with overflow into the Music Hall & on Voyager the DL moved down to a lower deck where the excess can spill out to the lounge area after the revamp I have read, but still exists - albeit without the great views. Diamonds never had priority tender from my experience - only Diamond Plus & above. However, if Royal says on their list of benefits priority boarding still, then the port should allow it. We have approx 2 cruises more before we get to Diamond Plus - seems we may need to get there asap before they think about moving the points goal posts! 🙂
  20. Currently only ships leaving from US ports I think for Royal, but give it time..... Ovation is due to go to Alaska/Canada after her Sydney stint, but Canada banned all cruise ships until July 1st, so who knows if she along with Spectrum will stay In Australia now? (unless US suspends Jones law) But does our Gov's ban on unnecessary gatherings over 500 people apply to cruises out of Sydney or are they exempt since they are not Australian vessels?
  21. We cruised on 29 Feb on Ovation & when we got to the passport control section the OPT person told us Diamond members no longer get priority boarding & to join the normal queue which had about 100+ people in it at the time. I asked why & she said that due to there being so many Diamond members now that the priority line was often just as long so wouldn't be any faster! This was BS as at the time there were 4 people in the priority line. We were travelling with a couple who are Diamond Plus & we said this & she then relented & let us join the priority queue. Royal's web site Diamond benefits list is still showing priority boarding. So is this an OPT thing now, or just this one persons misunderstanding? If it's a new OPT thing then that is refusing us a benefit granted by Royal & unless the priority queue was just as busy as the normal one I can't see any legitimate reason for stopping Diamonds from joining the priority queue???
  22. Thanks for your reply - what is the procedure then? We line up outside the OPT, show our boarding pass, if you don't look sick & have had no known contact with anyone from the 'banned' categories it's proceed as normal? When do they make the call if someone seems to be high risk, outside the OPT before entering the building or once they are inside amongst everyone else? 😮
  23. Not sure to whom you are directing your post? But if it's me then Yes totally serious. The latest Royal guidelines they say they will deny boarding to: b. Any guest who has come in contact with anyone with 15-day prior travel to mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, South Korea, and the Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto. The CDC characterizes contact with an individual as coming within six feet (2M) of a person. So if it turns out those guests in the queue next to you came back from a trip to Venice last week but lied about it until Royal checked their passport & you are in the line next to them, then technically you qualify for item 'b' above do you not? By boarding day who knows what other countries will be on the list that you can't be in contact with. 😷😮 They also say: 2. There will be mandatory specialized health screenings performed on: b. Guests who are uncertain about contact with individuals who have traveled from, to or through mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and Italy in the past 15 days. Couldn't that be anyone you pass in the street in Sydney, in the hotel you stay the night before etc etc as not everyone is honest about where they have been prior to arriving here?? So technically they would need to do health screenings on every passenger. I prefer to know up front how Royal is enforcing these health protocols rather than be surprised on the day. Hopefully Gbenjo will enlighten us considering he will be on the frontlines so to speak. 🙂
  24. Maybe Gbenjo knows the answer to this one? If Royal according to their latest email to us says if someone presents ill at boarding & tests high temp etc - they can't board. BUT what if you were in line behind them - you are now within the 6 feet boundary of being in contact with someone potentially who was ill - do you also get banned from boarding also?? What is the protocol in this sort of situation?
  25. Shame - I thought that space was very small & dark. I have been on Ovation lately but she doesn't do all the tropical ports so was thinking of Voyager again after her refurb, but having a nice DL does make a difference. Suite guests who are limited in number compared to Diamond members & some who have never even sailed with Royal before should not take priority of guaranteed loyal return cruisers, it must be partially to do with the ever increasing numbers of Diamonds & the high notes lounge not being large enough for an easy overflow? If they use the overflow into the star? lounge, then I would prefer that they rope it off like they do on Celebrity Solstice, that way it's easier for staff to identify Diamonds & easier for other Diamonds to locate people who you know you can start up a conversation with & have a chance to build on those conversations another day - this is how we have made some of our closest cruise friends & for me is what I enjoy most about the DL.
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