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About awestover89

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    Key West, FL
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  1. Not a flu (influenza) variant. It's a coronavirus variant. The last coronavirus variant to come out of China (SARS) had an initial outbreak that lasted 8 months. During the heat of an outbreak, the death rate is almost always understated. SARS was listed at a 5-6% fatality rate during the outbreak, but after it was under control the WHO upped it to 14-15%. For those 65 and older it was a 50% fatality rate. MERS, on the other hand, was another coronavirus variant with a much higher fatality rate but lower infection rate. The fact is we don't know nearly enough yet about Covid 19 yet, and it is a very real possibility that Royal and other cruise lines may cancel or change itineraries around Italy like they have around China.
  2. It sounds like American told Royal that they would allow cruise passengers to change tickets without a fee, so Royal is not offering any reimbursement. However, American told the OP that they weren't going to allow him to change the tickets, so he had to pay. I think this is something that will need to be taken up with American; if they told Royal one thing and their passengers another. OP, what credit card did you use to pay for the cruise? Many travel cards have a basic travel insurance included so you may be able to use that to get a refund of the new tickets. This is why I always put cruises on my Chase Sapphire or Amex Platinum
  3. Yeah, we've been keeping an eye on it since they announced the outbreak. Scheduled to do back-to-back med cruises in May
  4. We used to always board around 10:30/11, but honestly last few times we've shot for later boarding and actually really prefer it. Usually we get lunch off the ship and board at around 1 PM now. The reasons for this are: Lines for check-in and boarding seem crazy; everybody wants to be on as quick as possible. At 1 we just breeze right through Lunch on the ship on boarding day has become completely obnoxious. Way more relaxing to eat off ship and not have to deal with that. Rooms are usually available at 1, so before then you have thousands of people with their book bags and carry-ons, all in the same few open public areas of the ship. Also, having to drag around our book bags and carry ons. So by boarding a little later we get a relaxing lunch, breeze through the check-in and boarding process, and can immediately drop off our stuff.
  5. The travel agent site shows the itinerary as Hilo on the 8th and Kauai on the 9th as well.
  6. You will pay for the third person. If they are a no-show they won't be charged gratuities and taxes and port fees will be refunded. I don't think you can expect to get any refund for their cruise fare, though. If you cancel the third person before final Royal may reprice the reservation and make you move to a 2 person cabin (we had this happen when we had an actual third person who originally was planning on going but backed out about 6 months before sailing)
  7. Current data from HIDOT says Kauia on May 9th https://hidot.hawaii.gov/harbors/files/2019/01/2020-Nawiliwili-Harbor-Cruise-Ship-Schedule-update-11-21-2018.pdf https://hawaii.portcall.com/#!?date=2020-05-08 Shows Hilo on May 8th and Kauia on May 9th These both seem to agree with your Cruise Planner and invoice
  8. One other thing my husband just reminded me of, an international power adapter. We currently have this one: https://amzn.to/2ufHxJ6 It's not necessary on the ship per se, but we have so many electronics and there's so few power outlets in the room. If there's a European style outlet we can use this to give us an extra US style plug and 4 USB ports. Even if there isn't a European plug, we can just plug this into a regular outlet and get the 4 USB ports. Plus it has the added benefit if we are cruising from an international destination. This got quite a bit of use when we sailed out of Shanghai. Power strips are large and run the risk of being confiscated if they have a surge protector, or the person checking bags thinks it has a surge protector. This is small and doesn't raise any red flags.
  9. Those are fairly standard prices for online purchase, maybe a little cheaper than normal. I think we usually see around $200 for digital, $250 for digital plus print. Prints are typically 8x10, but the actual photo portion is closer to a 5x7 with a decorative border. For us, we don't really do anything with the prints, so we stopped getting them. But we're also a young couple so all of our photo albums are online anyway.
  10. No, UK booking rules do not allow for price drops, you would have to cancel, lose the penalty, and rebook The one exception (if this is still active) is if you booked on board through the Next Cruise desk. Then you get 1 price drop allowed (at least that was the case last time I checked like a year ago)
  11. Yeah, we've tried to pack less and less, it just doesn't seem to work for us. We took two suitcases for a 4 day weekend in Panama last month... The cash point, though, it does depend on destination. Asia we definitely should have taken more cash than we thought, and we already thought we would need quite a bit more than normal.
  12. That's interesting advice, we've pretty much started doing the opposite. We take very little cash and tend to overpack, but every time we scale back what we pack we inevitably miss it and end up having to go out and buy things or pay for laundry or other services.
  13. Here are our big must haves: 1) Luggage tag holders. We use these https://amzn.to/37pgFE0 Luggage tags can get ripped, wet, or otherwise damaged and if that happens they can't deliver the luggage to your room. That happened to us once and we bought these the second we got home. 2) Magnetic hooks. We find them very useful for a wide variety of things around the cabin. We currently use https://amzn.to/38rwwD7 with 80 pound pull strength. We started with a set of 22 pound strength and they weren't strong enough for a lot that we tried to use them for. 3) To go with the above, we got a hangable toiletry bag. https://amzn.to/2Ssktjn Easy access and we can keep it out of the way by hanging it up 4) Motion sickness, whatever works for you. Dramamine works best for me but knocks my husband out, and the less drowsy doesn't work for him. He uses the patches and Motion-Ease. Maybe bring each and see what personally works for you
  14. In my experience it's usually more on board than it is in advance. Purchase at any bar or they have tables set up in the promenade area and Windjammer
  15. Recently found a new quiz on Sporcle (an online quiz/trivia website) featuring Royal Caribbean, you have to choose the ships in order of largest ship to smallest. The big ships were pretty easy for me but I struggled more than I expected with the smaller ships, only got 18/26. Thought people here might be interested in giving it a try https://www.sporcle.com/games/arcilux/largest-to-smallest-royal-caribbean-ships-minefield
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