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About djjoe

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    South Jersey outside of Philly
  • Interests
    Music, especially Oldies
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  1. I cruised from Norfolk with around 4000 other sailors on a mega ship, the USS Independence, and 400 men on the USS Belknap many years ago. Baltimore was 2 hrs. south for us, Norfolk is 5 hrs. I would fly to Florida before I drive that distance. It might be OK for folks in Virginia and southern states.
  2. I am more concerned about Royal staying in Baltimore. If their new business model is more profitable bigger, newer ships, then the port of Baltimore is in trouble. We live 100 miles from Bayonne going north, or 100 miles from Baltimore going south. We prefer Baltimore having sailed Grandeur, Enchantment and Mercury out of there. Time will tell what Miami and the corporate folks plan to do in the future. We are flexible, but at 75 I don't want my only choice to be Bayonne or fly to Florida for a cruise.
  3. Quantum class can't fit under the bridges to Baltimore. The largest size for that port is Radiance class.
  4. We shall see is the only answer at this time. We are scheduled for the final cruise on March 26, 2021 out of Baltimore. We departed Grandeur on March 19, 2020, a few days after Royal Caribbean ceased global operations. The Enchantment is supposed to replace her. Whatever ship is in Baltimore, we will be happy to sail on.
  5. Royal announced today that social distancing and reduced passenger load will be the new norm for the near future. I guess my cruising days are are on on hold for a long time to come. You go on a cruise to socialize, meet new people and have fun. Maybe somebody out there can explain it to me, I just can't see how it will happen. My wife and I have been cruising for a long time and going to the lounge, having a drink, talking to other cruisers, playing trivia, etc. is part of the day, especially at sea.
  6. As a Pinnacle member, It's getting harder to be "loyal to Royal" as the days drag on. We were on the Grandeur March 7 cruise, one of the last before everything came to a full stop. The cruise returned on March 19 after visiting two ports on a 12 night cruise. We applied for a refund as instructed, tomorrow is July, well beyond 90 days. We are also waiting for refund on May 28, Canada, NE, that Royal Cancelled along with FCC from Oasis Bayonne cruise. I check email and credit card every morning, nothing. No status, nothing, it would be nice to maybe get a email that says, "we are working on it, and we really want you back". I understand that a refund must go through accounting, but a FCC takes a click of a computer keyboard.
  7. This is BS, it’s RC ploy to get people to book now for cash flow. It’s like when the car dealer says the deal expires today.
  8. We are also past 90 days on our March 7 cruise. I’m tired of calling TA, and calling RC is useless as they won’t talk to me. Maybe it’s time to put crystal blocks on eBay, I might get a faster refund on them.
  9. Just had the same thought. Who wants to buy them? How about Vision class? They date back to mid to late 90’s. Grandeur is scheduled to leave in March, but to where?
  10. I applied yesterday for our 2/20/21 Rhapsody (7 nights) and 3/26/21 Grandeur (8 nights). I got the answer back in a few hours. They approved each one for $100. The stock is around $70 today, so I guess the shareholder benefit is still available. It's a very simple process. Email shareholderbenefit@rccl.com and attach a screenshot of your brokerage account that shows at least 100 shares and your booking number.
  11. I also read this article on Royal Caribbean (unofficial) blog yesterday. It sounds great, but it still requires months of testing before FDA, CDC approval. A vaccine is the only way we will return to cruising. I think we can all agree that social distancing and masks will not work on a cruise ship. I cant imagine having to use a table for 8 with only 4 diners seated. They would have to have 3 seatings in the dining room, early, middle and late. And yes we would be vaccinated, although I know many cruisers that don't believe in vaccines and never get a yearly flu shot.
  12. The pic of the racks brought back memories. In 1963 I started on the USS Independence (CVA-62), had a top rack on 03 level directly under flight deck. The first time I heard an F4 Phantom land was an experience not to be forgotten. Went to the Belknap (DLG-26) in '65 after ET, Crypto, and test equipment school. I was discharged in 1969 as an ET1. I always thought the best rack was the middle. After many cruises on Royal Caribbean, they inducted us into the Officer's Club AKA Pinnacle last August. The Senior Chief in the photo is Mark Sette, PNCS, USN Retired. He's a great guy and loves to meet former Navy, actually all veterans at his gathering aboard a cruise ship.
  13. We returned from our last Grandeur cruise on March 19, I have yet to see the refund. It's not just Royal, it's all the cruise lines, they have no reason to rush your refund, they need to hold the money as long as they can. Check the online travel sites, great prices on cruises that may never sail. Right now, their main source of revenue is deposits that are still coming in. Without those deposits, they can't pay refunds. They love to issue FCC, that's your money that they are borrowing at the 25% premium. This info came from Royal Caribbean. "As of March 31, 2020, the Company had $2.4 billion in customer deposits. This includes approximately $0.8 billion of future cruise credits related to previously announced voyage cancellations through June 11, 2020."
  14. Yes we had a Norovirus outbreak which resulted in crew serving everything at breakfast and lunch. Passengers were not allowed to touch anything. The band, photographers, dancers, crew from all over the ship helped out. They couldn’t pull those crew members from their regular jobs at dinner time.
  15. We came home a month ago from the Grandeur, having caught the last sailing before the shutdown. The month at home has given me time to speculate on the future of cruising. If and when Royal resumes , I expect to see many cost cutting measures. The free flowing daily booze in the lounge might be gone, especially for lower tier C&A members. The balcony discounts may disappear, the shareholder benefit may be gone too. On our last cruise the Windjammer was closed at dinner time because they didn’t have crew to serve food. Maybe one less food venue could save money. I hope I’m wrong, but in our almost 100 cruises, I’ve seen many cutbacks over the years. The current crisis with zero revenue will most likely result in cost cutting measures to keep the company afloat and turn a profit again.
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