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Observations from the Poop deck


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4 hours ago, hcat said:

What is the black thing?

Could you  possibly double wrap it?

The black thing is a plastic locking mechanism that only tightens does not loosen. We tied the knots in the excess ribbon. Who thought to bring scissors on a cruise to cut off the excess, dangling ribbon that we tend to drag in our plates while eating, unless twisted upward around the wrist. Really a small price to pay for the ability to cruise.

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23 minutes ago, morpheusofthesea said:

The black thing is a plastic locking mechanism that only tightens does not loosen. We tied the knots in the excess ribbon. Who thought to bring scissors on a cruise to cut off the excess, dangling ribbon that we tend to drag in our plates while eating, unless twisted upward around the wrist. Really a small price to pay for the ability to cruise.

You might be able to go to guest relations and ask to borrow a pair of scissors. That's what we normally do when I'm at a hotel for a multi day festival that uses these kinds of wristbands.

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14 hours ago, kwokpot said:

The black thing is the security locking nut which once you tighten it it can't be loosen. This is meant so you can't remove it and share the wristband. It's meant for use in multi-day events like fairs, music and dance festivals where you purchase a multi-day pass for whatever event and this wristband is your entry pass. If you were able to loosen and remove it you could pass it onto another person and thus enter an event paying only for one person but passing the entry band among other people. It's used throughout the world for events. 

https://www.wristbands.com/collections/wristbands-by-material/products/woven-1-2-vip-design-wristbands-high-security-closure-wovv-100-package?variant=35947456399

 

https://www.wristbands.com/pages/fabric_rfid_wristbands

Sleeping with the band with the lock sounds like a negative!

But we will accept it and trim the tail if needed

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16 hours ago, morpheusofthesea said:

DW agrees with you. We got to Port Everglades at 12:15 and we were on board in 15 minutes, at lunch 10 minutes later in Luminae. Fastest terminal to cabin ever recorded.

Curious, did you undergo the required health and wellness screening in the 15 minutes? When do you have to show proof of vaccination?

 

We are staying in FLL the night before our Equinox cruise in August and when I checked in yesterday the earliest check in available was 12:30.  We have to check out of our hotel by 11am and also do not want to find something to pass the time to boarding.  We would like to be at the terminal by noon so we can board in time for lunch in Luminae. One of the Retreat benefits is not having to have our lunch on embarkation day in the buffets.

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45 minutes ago, terrydtx said:

Curious, did you undergo the required health and wellness screening in the 15 minutes? When do you have to show proof of vaccination?

 

We are staying in FLL the night before our Equinox cruise in August and when I checked in yesterday the earliest check in available was 12:30.  We have to check out of our hotel by 11am and also do not want to find something to pass the time to boarding.  We would like to be at the terminal by noon so we can board in time for lunch in Luminae. One of the Retreat benefits is not having to have our lunch on embarkation day in the buffets.

The only health and wellness was answering Yes or No to the on-line questionnaire provided on the Celebrity app exactly 24 hours before boarding.This ,of course, is only for vaccinated. At the terminal I dropped DW with $30 cash (she travels with 8 luggage bags) and headed for the parking garage across the street from the terminal. When I walked back to the terminal DW went directly to the front of the entrance (ignoring the long line) and was stopped by Celebrity employee asking her appointment time. She stated emphatically it is now (not wanting a confrontation by showing our 4:30 boarding time paper) we are suite guests in the Retreat. Yes, my lady, right over here to the far left is your check in. Walk through the door and show your passports and vaccination cards. Keep them out to show again 3 -5 times more. That was it. No temperature check. No nasal swabs. No waiting for test results.

   We planned to arrive at the port at noon. 'My lady' may be treated like Royalty by Celebrity, but I don't think she has much 'pull' with Port Authority, so we did not attempt an earlier arrival than that.

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1 hour ago, terrydtx said:

Curious, did you undergo the required health and wellness screening in the 15 minutes? When do you have to show proof of vaccination?

 

We are staying in FLL the night before our Equinox cruise in August and when I checked in yesterday the earliest check in available was 12:30.  We have to check out of our hotel by 11am and also do not want to find something to pass the time to boarding.  We would like to be at the terminal by noon so we can board in time for lunch in Luminae. One of the Retreat benefits is not having to have our lunch on embarkation day in the buffets.

At many hotels, you can request a no charge late check out time.. take  a taxi or shuttle at 11:30  or 12 and arrive on time to board.

 

You mentioned aluminae so  it sounds like suite guests check in sep from the masses,

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On 7/5/2021 at 8:37 PM, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

 

I sailed on the Equinox just before cruising shut down.  Best crew ever in my over 300 nights at sea.  So I wouldn't worry about it.

I too found the crew/service on the Equinox to be perfect....

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 Today is Thursday July 7 2021 Philipsburg, St.Maarten. Upon arrival we are greeted by 2 other already docked ships. As we got closer, they took on the aura of ghost ships. No movement on board. While walking around the outside deck we passed through the Oceanview Cafe (always stop to wash hands, everyone is watching, even if just passing through) and could only see the name of one, the Enchantment of the Seas. Two security officers had just finished their breakfasts and stood up to leave when DW ask them the name of the other ship. The one with 3 stripes first proceeded to replace his face mask on and got on his phone and called someone who he knew would know ( the bridge?). It is the Rhapsody of the Seas. We are impressed by the service that everyone is providing. DW asked for more towels from the steward. There are 2 more fresh towels in the shower and 2 large pool towels in one of the cupboards. Chit chatting with the officers I observe the same reply when we answer the question "Are you going ashore ?" as we did from our waiter. Our reply is we seldom ever get off the ship. They all say the same thing. "Its better, you are safer on board." My observation is that this is their livelihood and they are serious and do not want it to be blown away again.

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Thursday July 8, 2021. Had the butler bring me a lounge chair to put on our balcony to enjoy this sea day and the rest of the voyage.. Its another world here on board. The whole ship feels like a bubble or its own little planet, planet Celebrity. Every venue is cleaned every hour. Calm seas and beautiful weather. Capt. Kate is steering this cruise perfectly, of course the weather and sea gods have also been kind to us as well. Lounge chairs are piled up and awaiting greater capacity of future cruisers. I discover new venues every day. Last night I found Cypress Restaurant, a Greek style menu with lamb shank, all complimentary for those with or without reservations. This cruise is booked from the top down, was told we sailed with only one cabin left open in the Retreat. Dinners have worked out better after the second evening. This 'ship within a ship' concept is being taken to the next level by Celebrity. We make sure we have the same waiter for the entire trip because we enjoy tipping extra $$ for superior service which has always been our experience in Celebrity suite class. Everyone we have come in contact with leaves us with the same comment "Please, tell me if there is anything you want." I didn't know I wanted it until I had it on Celebrity.

  It was just yesterday evening walking around the ship that I felt we should have booked a longer cruise on the Edge. But we did not know really what we were in for and with covid we wanted to get on and off at Port Everglades. I even drove to the port and self parked instead of our usual car service, due to CDC protocols for those testing positive while on a cruise and not being able to drive home with a taxi or service other than our own car. Our parking stub may just become as important to authorities as our vaccination cards. If it wasn't for all the crew wearing masks, I wouldn't be reminded by the pandemic at all on board.

  Socially distanced lounge chairs and the ubiquitous chair saver can still be found walking the decks even at 50% capacity. DW would not allow me to photo the empty of passenger, but full of stuff lounge chairs . Menus can be read through these QR codes, I will have watch a utube video to see how to do it.  Don't miss the soft ice cream machine to the far left in the photo of the mast grill.

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Celebrity is testing every crew member for covid every other week. Hoping other cruise lines follow suit with 100% vaccinated cruises. Went to the Oceanview Cafe after lunch in the Luminae for dessert. Only line is in front for ice cream, when the line disappeared we went to retrieve a half dozen, served, chocolate chip cookies, they had 6 different types of cakes, I tried 3. Yesterday I tried bread pudding with vanilla sauce for the first time, reminded me of french toast and syrup. Only thing that disturbed me were the 2 dozen bottles of condiments that passengers were being allowed to touch and dispense next to the fried rice station. I shy away from self serve even in the best of times.

   The CDC is still concerned about the variants and the public well-being. Mitigation is only one weapon to combat the virus, vaccination is the most powerful. Forcing the cruise lines to limit extended voyages may or may not be a temporary thing. The only way for extended cruises to pass CDC muster is 100% vaccinated, passengers and crew.

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Posted (edited)

Last day aboard of a 7day cruise. I still have to condition myself to live in the moment. Focus on the present, mindfulness, in order to enjoy the cabin, the balcony, the service, the sea.

   I guess I spoke too soon about the waning wait for dinner in the Luminae. Last night was lobster night and the normal flow of 140 guests for dinner in the Luminae turned into 240. There will be 1400 passengers on board next week. Here is a shot of the next morning Luminae. I think they want everyone off the ship by 8am. They opened lobster night at 5:30 in anticipation of a larger crowd, but nothing like the entire Retreat at the same time. The maitre d (s) are going table to table this morning trying to 'head off' tomorrow mornings breakfast barrage.

  Took a shot of the view from the shaded alcoves with the Magic Carpet lifted one deck higher. Still no ocean view. The plants help to provide a little more privacy, but also obstruct the view. With the Magic Carpet most times directly across from the alcoves the view is practically nonexistent, except of passers by.

  Ran into our butler on the stairs this morning and she asked where we were off to. We said to guest services to go over our bill. She said "please let me escort you. There is generally a very long line of passengers doing the same thing last day and I have a faster way for you." Well, needless to say, but I will say it anyway "I didn't know I needed it until I had it on Celebrity !"

 

 

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Edited by morpheusofthesea
added quotation marks
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1 minute ago, morpheusofthesea said:

  Ran into our butler on the stairs this morning and she asked where we were off to. We said to guest services to go over our bill. She said please let me escort you. There is generally a very long line of passengers doing the same thing last day and I have a faster way for you. Well, needless to say, but I will say it anyway "I didn't know I needed it until I had it on Celebrity !"

Another suite tip.  The Concierge in The Retreat is a member of Guest Services and will do almost everything for you without a line.  Also booking excursions.  I think the only thing to wait in line at Guest Services is if it involves cash or currency exchanges.

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3 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

  .  I think the only thing to wait in line at Guest Services is if it involves cash or currency exchanges.

Thanks for the tips. You can add that Retreat guests DO NOT need to stand in line if it involves cash. We did not have to return to the end of any line. The cash drawer popped open and DW scooped up the change. There are a few nationalities on board and once I witnessed a foreign national pay their bill with US currency. It took 2 pursers 10 minutes  to count and recount and recount again about $15,000. I know because I was waiting patiently behind her and I was not sailing in the Retreat at the time, I had to wait in line.

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On 7/8/2021 at 2:51 PM, morpheusofthesea said:

Celebrity is testing every crew member for covid every other week. Hoping other cruise lines follow suit with 100% vaccinated cruises. Went to the Oceanview Cafe after lunch in the Luminae for dessert. Only line is in front for ice cream, when the line disappeared we went to retrieve a half dozen, served, chocolate chip cookies, they had 6 different types of cakes, I tried 3. Yesterday I tried bread pudding with vanilla sauce for the first time, reminded me of french toast and syrup. Only thing that disturbed me were the 2 dozen bottles of condiments that passengers were being allowed to touch and dispense next to the fried rice station. I shy away from self serve even in the best of times.

   The CDC is still concerned about the variants and the public well-being. Mitigation is only one weapon to combat the virus, vaccination is the most powerful. Forcing the cruise lines to limit extended voyages may or may not be a temporary thing. The only way for extended cruises to pass CDC muster is 100% vaccinated, passengers and crew.

 

The CDC has basically been told to bugger off and leave the cruise lines alone by a judge who opined that they have exceeded their authority.  So when their conditional sailing order expires this month, that's it for them.  And good riddance!  No other industry has been so harassed or shut down.

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

 

The CDC has basically been told to bugger off and leave the cruise lines alone by a judge who opined that they have exceeded their authority.  So when their conditional sailing order expires this month, that's it for them.  And good riddance!  No other industry has been so harassed or shut down.

 

The CDC appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and if they don't like that outcome they ask the Supreme Court.  The CDC isn't done with cruising, yet.

Edited by NutsAboutGolf
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1 hour ago, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

 

The CDC has basically been told to bugger off and leave the cruise lines alone by a judge who opined that they have exceeded their authority.  So when their conditional sailing order expires this month, that's it for them.  And good riddance!  No other industry has been so harassed or shut down.

Yet cruises know that vaccinated passengers will keep them sailing--and unvaccinated put them at risk.

I think you will see cruise lines (especially those that do not primarily cater to families) will stand by their 95% vaccination requirement. They are private businesses so they have that right. It doesn't seem to have hurt sales too much so far--July 10 Edge sailing is "Sold Out" (at limited capacity & higher than normal prices...)

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@morpheusofthesea..thanks again.  You’re posts have been so helpful.  Will be passing you at the pier tomorrow. 😉

 

Gotta give the cruise lines credit.  They’ve side stepped all of the political posturing and are forging ahead with their own policies to sail safe and work around the whole “proof of vaccine” boxing match.

 

Celebrity is making certain they’re sailing with more than 95% vaccinated (actually more like 98%) and found a way to get proof of vaccinations.  

 

Just a guess, but I say they aren’t in the mood to break what is working, and continues this policy well into the Fall.

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2 hours ago, KKB said:

Yet cruises know that vaccinated passengers will keep them sailing--and unvaccinated put them at risk.

I think you will see cruise lines (especially those that do not primarily cater to families) will stand by their 95% vaccination requirement. They are private businesses so they have that right. It doesn't seem to have hurt sales too much so far--July 10 Edge sailing is "Sold Out" (at limited capacity & higher than normal prices...)

There were still over 200 cabins when they pulled it from the website last night.

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10 hours ago, morpheusofthesea said:

Last day aboard of a 7day cruise. I still have to condition myself to live in the moment. Focus on the present, mindfulness, in order to enjoy the cabin, the balcony, the service, the sea.

   I guess I spoke too soon about the waning wait for dinner in the Luminae. Last night was lobster night and the normal flow of 140 guests for dinner in the Luminae turned into 240. There will be 1400 passengers on board next week. Here is a shot of the next morning Luminae. I think they want everyone off the ship by 8am. They opened lobster night at 5:30 in anticipation of a larger crowd, but nothing like the entire Retreat at the same time. The maitre d (s) are going table to table this morning trying to 'head off' tomorrow mornings breakfast barrage.

  Took a shot of the view from the shaded alcoves with the Magic Carpet lifted one deck higher. Still no ocean view. The plants help to provide a little more privacy, but also obstruct the view. With the Magic Carpet most times directly across from the alcoves the view is practically nonexistent, except of passers by.

  Ran into our butler on the stairs this morning and she asked where we were off to. We said to guest services to go over our bill. She said "please let me escort you. There is generally a very long line of passengers doing the same thing last day and I have a faster way for you." Well, needless to say, but I will say it anyway "I didn't know I needed it until I had it on Celebrity !"

 

 

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How did you get this number for next weeks sailing? 
 

how many passengers are on the current sailing?

 

there were over 200 cabins available when they pulled the cruise from the website last night

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Thank you, Morpheus, for a very enjoyable and positive Live Review.  It's people like you that make us all want to cruise more frequently than we likely can afford!  Best wishes on your last day and your short ride home.

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21 hours ago, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

 

The CDC has basically been told to bugger off and leave the cruise lines alone by a judge who opined that they have exceeded their authority.  So when their conditional sailing order expires this month, that's it for them.  And good riddance!  No other industry has been so harassed or shut down.

"From your lips"....

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17 hours ago, CruiseAF said:

How did you get this number for next weeks sailing? 
 

how many passengers are on the current sailing?

 

there were over 200 cabins available when they pulled the cruise from the website last night

1400 passengers on this weeks sailing July 10th we got from the purser at guest services while paying our bill. July 3rd sailing was + or minus 1546 ??

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16 hours ago, maxmtex said:

Thank you, Morpheus, for a very enjoyable and positive Live Review.  It's people like you that make us all want to cruise more frequently than we likely can afford!  Best wishes on your last day and your short ride home.

Thank you so much. You are very kind.

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