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Beth 2001

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Everything posted by Beth 2001

  1. We tipped $800 to our first Genie and $1000 to our second (who we felt really went above and beyond for our party of four). He put out a huge spread (including a custom anniversary cake) in our suite when we boarded; brought trays of vodka/whisky shots and buckets of beers to our suite every day; delivered any snacks/bites we wanted from Jamie's, Izumi, Sabor, and other specialty restaurants every afternoon; arranged all of our shows/meals and met us at dinner and escorted us to reserved seats in the theater every night; booked an overwater cabana for us at Labadee; scheduled a private bridge tour for the four of us hosted by the ship's captain; arranged for us to meet the Mamma Mia cast after the show and film a video of them singing a song for us; decorated our suite and organized a custom birthday cake for our twins; gave us very nice anniversary and birthday gifts with heartfelt handwritten cards; and escorted us off the ship in every port and walked us past all the lines to get us off quickly on disembarkation day. We spent about three times what we would have normally paid for two balcony staterooms but we loved our Star Class suites and appreciated our Genies' excellent service.
  2. Harmony January 19, 2020. Spent several pre-cruise days at WDW so we were really grateful to have enjoyed normal cruise and Disney experiences right before the world shut down.
  3. Several folks have stated that they were able to use the UDP to eat lunch in a specialty restaurant on embarkation day. However, on our last pre-COVID cruise (Harmony, Jan. 2020), we were told that we could not do so (and we tried at both Chops and Jamie’s). When we got home from our cruise, I read the fine print on the UDP and it stated (as it still does): “And as an added perk, this unlimited package also applies to lunch at specialty restaurants on sea days.” On our cruise, embarkation day was not considered a sea day for UDP purposes. Just a heads up for those who have their heart set on enjoying a specialty lunch after they embark.
  4. I canceled a four-bedroom Villa Suite booked through my TA back in January and have only received refunds for two passengers and FCCs for four. Still waiting on refunds or credits for the remaining four passengers (which ironically includes DH and me, who paid for everyone else). Not sure why some passengers are getting refunds and others are getting FCCs. All 10 passengers were booked at virtually the same time (8 one day, then 2 the next) when bookings opened back in October 2019. The four who received credits are the least likely to sail so needless to say this experience has been very confusing and frustrating!
  5. January 19, 2020 - Harmony of the Seas 7 night Western Caribbean. Also snuck in a few pre-cruise days at WDW. So glad I got both my cruise and Disney fixes early this year!
  6. Tests must be conducted prior to embarkation and disembarkation, and results must be available prior to embarkation and "prior to passengers and crew departing for their final destinations after disembarking the ship." p. 32, para. (a)(4). This suggests that, if passengers are unable to obtain negative test results prior to disembarkation, they will be allow to leave the ship but must wait for a negative test result before they can leave for their "final destinations." It is unclear where (or for how long) passengers would be required to wait for their test results, or what will happen if they test positive. The CDC also reserves the right to require post day of disembarkation laboratory testing of passengers and crew, as well as additional laboratory testing during a voyage. p. 33, paras. (b)(2), (3).
  7. Thanks so much for sharing, Ourusualbeach! We are planning to cancel our June 2021 Harmony Mediterranean cruise and rebook for June 2022 (likely Caribbean) so this information is very helpful.
  8. Here is a link to the 2008 paper published by Dr. Fauci: https://academic.oup.com/jid/article/198/7/962/2192118?fbclid=IwAR1iuzLdKkJOoFw-O8ZEoSNwOVKd2uh4Q4Zk4LOk8xvvrxBScuvBY5WLvQg The paper does not reference masks or assert that mask wearing led to an increase in bacterial pneumonia during the pandemic. This claim has been fact checked and debunked by Politifact, Reuters and CheckYourFact.com, among others (links below). https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/oct/21/facebook-posts/dr-anthony-fauci-didnt-blame-masks-1918-19-flu-dea/ https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-fauci-mask-pneumonia-1918/fact-check-fauci-study-did-not-attribute-1918-spanish-flu-deaths-to-bacterial-pneumonia-caused-by-masks-idUSKBN277200 https://checkyourfact.com/2020/10/22/fact-check-anthony-fauci-spanish-flu-deaths-face-masks-study/
  9. Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us, Miaminice! Until reading this thread, I was firmly in the "I won't cruise if I have to wear a mask" camp. However, after seeing your photos of social distancing in action, I find myself reconsidering 🤔 We sailed on a shortened post-Hurricane Dorian cruise on the Symphony of the Seas last fall and greatly enjoyed the open space and lack of crowds on our half-full ship. Of course, there wasn't a global pandemic at the time so everything else about the cruise was "normal." But much has changed since then and my "normal" today already involves wearing a mask and social distancing. If I'm willing to do that at home, perhaps I will consider doing so at sea, as long as adequate testing and safeguards are in place.
  10. Chops: Wild mushroom soup, red velvet cake 150 Central Park: Urban Garden Martini, pumpkin bisque, roasted beef tenderloin Jamie's Italian: Cured meat plank, garlic rolls, truffle and carbonara pasta, raspberry pavlova and lemon meringue cheesecake Wonderland: Helios in the Sand, Cheshire Cat Cosmo, reconstructed Caprese, crispy crab cones, spicy tuna with yuzu ice, chocolate "World" dessert Sabor: Paloma cocktail, spicy calamari, coconut flan, cafe con leche Cafe Promenade: Coconut ranger cookies
  11. Just received notification that our shortened 9/4 Symphony cruise will not be sailing to Coco Cay this Friday. The email says that they hope to reopen Coco Cay on Saturday 9/7. Royal Caribbean is offering us an additional days' worth of future cruise credit to compensate for the loss of our "perfect day," which I think is more than fair.
  12. From Royal Caribbean's chief meteorologist via Twitter:
  13. Royal Caribbean's chief meteorologist just tweeted photos showing that the Coco Cay waterslides are still standing post-Dorian and the balloon is deflated and under weights. Great news, thought we obviously don't know when Coco Cay will reopen. Theoretically I'm supposed to go there this Friday on my shortened Symphony of the Seas cruise.
  14. Amazingly, Royal Caribbean just sent an email asking if I want to Royal Up for my 4-day September 3rd cruise. It seems the right hand doesn't know what the left is doing (and I think if folks battle a hurricane to make it to a shortened cruise they should receive free upgrades)!
  15. Just received this email from Royal Caribbean re: our September 3rd Symphony sailing. The itinerary is obviously subject to change, depending on Dorian's impact on Nassau and Coco Cay and on whether the Port of Miami will be open on Wednesday. I called Royal to try to book a cabin on the Symphony for tomorrow's sailing so we could ride out the hurricane and go back-to-back, but was told they had already submitted the final passenger list and couldn't add anyone at this point. Dear Guest, After careful review of Hurricane Dorian’s Path, our Symphony of the Seas sailing will now depart on Wednesday, September 4th, 2019, instead of Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019. We’re terribly sorry for this last-minute change, but we made this decision to maintain a comfortable cruise and avoid adverse weather at the beginning of our journey. Please know, your safety is and always will be our top priority; it’s not something we’d ever jeopardize. Although starting later than we originally planned, we’re looking forward to welcoming you aboard. Below, please find our new itinerary. Day Port of Call Arrive Depart Tues Wed Miami, Florida 4:30 PM Thurs Nassau, Bahamas 8:00 AM 9:00 PM Fri CocoCay, Bahamas 8:00 AM 5:00 PM Sat Miami, Florida 6:00 AM While these circumstances are beyond our control, we understand they impact your vacation. To help make up for this unexpected change, we’re providing you with the following: A refund, which will be added to your Onboard Account as a refundable onboard credit. Plus, a Future Cruise Credit so that you can come back and sail with us. Both amounts will be in the value of the 1 day your cruise was shortened by, and based on the total cruise fare paid, per person, non-inclusive of taxes and fees. In addition, if you purchased an internet or beverage package, unlimited dining package, or pre-paid your gratuities, you’ll receive a prorated refund as a credit for the 1 day your cruise was shortened by to your Onboard Account. All credits will be applied to your Onboard Account by Day 2 of your cruise. And remember, they can be used anywhere onboard, and if unused, they will be refunded back to your credit card on file about 3 – 5 business days after the sailing ends. Please know, we’re currently working with some of our airline partners, as some have agreed to waive change fees for our guests due to this special circumstance. Please contact your airline service provider for additional details. Unfortunately, if your airline does not waive the change fees, you’ll be responsible for any charges incurred. While we hope you choose to sail with us, if you decide not to sail, we’ll provide you with: A 100% Future Cruise Credit of your cruise fare paid, in hopes you’ll join us on another cruise vacation in the near future. You can expect to receive your Future Cruise Credit by email by Friday, September 20th, 2019. You’ll also receive a full refund for any pre-purchased items like, shore excursions, beverage packages, pre-paid gratuities, and your taxes & fees. If you booked a non-refundable fare, fees will be waived. We are truly sorry for the storm’s impact on your vacation. Our guest’s and crew’s safety is our number one priority and while not the itinerary we originally anticipated, we know your time with us will be nothing short of amazing. Sincerely, Royal Caribbean International
  16. My husband and I are considering booking a last-minute cruise on the Norwegian Escape next month. The prices for the H4 and H6 are the same and there will only be two of us. We've had aft balconies before and love them but have never been in the Haven. I'm leaning towards the Family suite for the gorgeous bathroom and proximity to the Haven, but would like to hear opinions on the pros and cons of these two categories for couples traveling without children. Thanks!
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