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  1. As the spouse of an airline employee, I've been on flights that are being ferried from one airport to another w/o pax. Except me, that is. At times, flights are no-go due to a mechanical (for example, cabin communication systems goes out) and cannot be flown with pax. However, craft needs to go to a maintenance base so are ferried by crew.
  2. I'm not suggesting they SHOULD proceed with the changes. I'm simply throwing out the idea that it could happen. I'm happy with the benefits of being D+. But I was probably much happier last December when I still had access to the CL. We all recognize there have been a number of changes within the C&A program over the years just as there have been for the overall cruising experience. These changes have ticked off D and D+ to varying degrees, but RCL made them and I'll hazard a guess management knew there'd be pushback.
  3. We were thinking the exact same thing. It seems this would be an opportunity for RCL to reset the C&A program, including but not limited to the matter of the lounges.
  4. Who can predict when the virus spread will abate? We know the Canadian government has guessed at July 1 and I'll guess that if data supports opening their ports sooner then the Canadian government will open ports earlier. However, in the mean time, wouldn't it make sense for the US government to suspend the Jones Act for a set period of time. That way, if healthcare officials feel the likelihood of spread has been diminished to a target level, then US cruise lines could restart Alaska service and bypass the need to stop at a Canadian port. It would still need to be a call from healthcare officials, say CDC, but it would create possibilities not only to assist the cruise lines but also help Alaska. DW is in my ear now saying, Dump the Jones Act altogether. Made sense at one time but no longer.
  5. The Sagrada F is impressive from the outside but the inside is marvelous.
  6. We always enjoy Vison Class (Well, I do more so than Nanci) but visiting the CL on that class has been a challenge. Small and, as @Blizzard54 noted, the layout is not very conducive to meeting up with others and engaging in conviviality. The overflow makes little sense, was always there simply to accommodate the numbers, How many times have we gone to the Vison-class CL only to leave because there were no seats available, even after 1st seating. So, in the end, are those who are D+ really losing all that much by not having access to the CL on Vision Class? One has to accept that lounges, DL or CL, were never conceived/designed to accommodate the large numbers of D and above that RCL has created. Suites? I always wonder just how many guests in full suite also purchase drink packages and have little 0r no reason to stop by the CL in the evening. The appetizers? Hmmm. Yes, the Vision Class has fewer suites, but the reports suggesting the CLs are not being used as they once were suggests to me that maybe they don't always appeal to this who have booked suites. There is a certain camaraderie that can be found in the DLs and CLs, and that is why they are important to Ds and above. This camaraderie can be found in the bars elsewhere on board, but, for many, it's not always as easy to turn to someone, say in Schooner Bar, and strike up a conversation as it is in the DL or CL. At least, I don't. Disclaimer: I'm not happy that we're losing access to CL.
  7. Indian menu. Ask your waiter what is available and as Bob noted it's usually limited. Fish curry has always been very good on any ship. You can often get butter chicken but you can find that in WJ at times. Once the waiters know your interest, they usually will check it out for you in advance of your arrival. We've also had a head waiter come to our table and tell us what was available for the next few days.
  8. What the future holds is hard to predict. Given the recent development with CLs, it may be a bit too soon for RCL to make another bold move such as refusing DL admittance to Ds. Also, Alaska cruises tend to have fewer upper tier C&S. Last August, a Radiance cruise had 7 P and about 170 D+. Don't recall number of D.
  9. OK, but 80-90 D+? I can't recall the last time I was on a cruise with that few D+. Usually when there's 150-200 you start to wonder where all the D+ are. 80-90? Is the Ovation CL ever open to D+?
  10. The first we ran into it was a Nov 2014 TA on Indy. And that was an experience. 1200 or so D and above and we were advised that they would not open up the VCL for overflow. We would use our 3-drink vouchers at other bars. First night: absolute chaos. DL packed and others stood in line for drinks. I think it took people by surprise. We didn't necessarily arrive early but we did have seats in the DL. For some reason, the concierge stood at the DL door checking off names on a printout. Not sure why, Second night, the card room was opened as well as the adjoining room to the card room. However, those who ended up there needed to use their vouchers. Well, that really upset quite a few people. Third day, captain's talk in theatre. A woman raised her hand and asked: Have you been advised what's happening in the DL? And a discussion began. That night, the entire VCL was opened as overflow...AND...any drink, including frozen and you could order any brand that was displayed. And that was how it was for the rest of the cruise. I'm sure others predicted it and still believe that's what is happening. Just providing an anecdote: no claim to prescience.
  11. Yes, downgrades to DL. And, as we've seen, the elimination of CL access for D+ as RCL moves toward a SL format. Well, I guess one could say that's a done deal as CLs that still exist are no longer available to D+. The fact that CL door signs still exist means little: these lounges/clubs are de facto SLs. I've enjoyed this perk and it's unfortunate that these changes are being made. Will DLs disappear in 12-24 months as @phish tales suggests? I don't know, but I do agree that that seems to be the overall prevailing trend within RCL. If demand stays strong, RCL can and probably will rethink the incentives/perks that it has in place to attract cruisers and/or reward repeat customers. If the ships keep filling up (and, yes, I understand that they fill up in part due to the loyalty of many C&A members), is it really that difficult to understand that possibly RCL decision makers are sitting in a meeting in Miami asking themselves, "Do we really need to offer this perk? If we keep this perk, are we missing out on added revenue? If we do keep this perk, how can we strip costs out of it? Do we really need a DL, if we've given D and above three drink vouchers on their cards?" So much is driven by enhancing revenue and reducing expenses. Fresh flowers on the MDR tables? Dare I mention pepper mills? How about assistant stateroom attendants? Pool towels with RCL logos? RCL will raise prices and cut costs whenever they can and will continue to do so until demand drops. Of course, an economic downturn could make that happen at some point in time. I remember when RCL rolled out the three drink vouchers. I turned to my wife and said something like "Well, this all seems to be the beginning of the end of the D lounge." Obviously, the DLs are still around. I never did predict how soon it would take, but I'm still convinced that at some point in time the DL will be history.
  12. The Canada Line works well in your case. Other posts do caution everyone who will arrive same day as departure (flight arrival time), and that's true no matter the port. Canada Line is easy to access at YVR. There are self-pay kiosks and if you have any questions about their use, there tends to be an attendant on the platform. You want to get to the Waterfront station. Once there, the exit brings you to the intersection of Hastings and Granville and you're about 3-4 short blocks from the Pan Pacific. As @hallux has stated, there are some strong positives for taking the Canada Line into Vancouver. The service is very inexpensive.
  13. Excellent advice. Short walk from baggage claim to light rail platform. Relatively short trip into Vancouver (You want to go to Waterfront Station). Very short walk to Canada Place. There is signage for entrance to cruise check-in but it's not necessarily the best. Just ask. If you're arriving the day before your cruise there are many hotels in that area. A little pricier but there's a lot to do in that part of Vancouver and Gastown is not that far. Alternately, you can stay near the airport and take light rail into the city on your departure day.
  14. Not defending RCL here. It created the C&A program. It created the levels and the cruse points/nights for each level. It created the lounges. It has a problem (largely caused by the growing numbers of D and above) and it's a problem I think many could see taking shape over the years. At least, many cruisers saw it coming. RCL has made changes to the C&A program over the years and the nature of each change really determined the amount and the intensity of the pushback. D+ losing access to CLs? Well, I'm not happy about it. I also know that on some classes of ship we've preferred the DL over the CL (Freedom- and Voyager-class CLs of old). Often, the DL overflow areas make for more congenial areas than the actual lounges. But isn't it a case that RCL will be damned if they do and damned if they don't? I feel the real mistake RCL is making is not stepping forward, admitting the problem, making the change and making it consistently throughout the fleet, announcing it, and then moving forward. Isn't that how corporations should deal with problems? RCL's approach simply prolongs the controversy and, for some, the angst. You want to turn to the decision makers within RCL and say: Just do it! Cut out all of the mystery and intrigue.
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