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Rob the Cruiser

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Everything posted by Rob the Cruiser

  1. Ponant announced its COVID-Safe Protocol yesterday: The updated guidelines developed by the French-flagged line is based on health standards that exceed international regulations. In addition to strict cleaning procedures advised by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), implementation of social distancing requirements and enhanced employee training, new measures include: Pre-Boarding • Prior to boarding, all guests and crew members will have to present a signed doctor’s medical form, complete a health questionnaire and undergo a health check and screening by the ship’s medical staff. • All luggage will pass through a disinfecting zone by sanitizing mist or UV lamps. • Surgical and cloth masks, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer bottles will be provided to passengers. Onboard Experience • 100 percent fresh air in staterooms, through non-recirculating air conditioning systems. Ventilated air will be renewed in the common areas at least five times per hour. • Restaurant layouts have been redesigned and will only offer contactless a la carte dining options. • Public spaces, such as the fitness room and theater will be capped at 50 percent occupancy. • Hourly disinfecting of high-touch points, such as door handles and handrails, with peroxide, which eliminates 100% of germs and bacteria • Crew members are required to wear a mask or protective visor when in contact with guests. Guests will be asked to wear a mask in hallway corridors and will be recommended in public spaces. • Thanks to large investments over several years, Ponant said it has some of the most complete and renowned onboard medical centers in the world of cruising. Each vessel is equipped with advanced hospital equipment, including mobile laboratory terminals that enable testing on site for infectious or tropical diseases. Advanced diagnostic equipment such as ultrasound, radiology and blood biological analysis is available fleet-wide, one doctor and one nurse are present on every sailing. • All ships will have five vacant staterooms should guests need to isolate. Shore Excursions • Zodiacs will be thoroughly disinfected after each stopover. • Re-boarding after shore excursions will only be permitted after temperature check and disinfection procedures (individuals and personal belongings). --------------------- DW and I are following all of the guidelines that are suggested in the US. Masks, distancing, etc. We support it 100% but for us, cruising is fantasyland. Cruising is an escape from the real world. Once we're aboard our phones and laptops are stored away. We totally disconnect. These new guidelines, while totally reasonable, aren't fantasyland. They're the harsh reality of what may continue for a long time. No thanks. We'll stay home.
  2. We observed a family using walkie-talkies on Celebrity Infinity. Comically annoying? No, just annoying. Something like: "Where are you?" "What? I can't hear you." Louder - "I CAN'T HEAR YOU." "What? Where? Where's that?" "Where's your father? What?" Another passenger shouted: "Turn that thing off or I'll throw it overboard." Response in the area was laughter and applause.
  3. Our deposit refund arrived yesterday. It was exactly 60 days from the time we cancelled.
  4. The food in Blu for Aqua class passengers used to be excellent. Since three years ago, not so much. We haven't cruised on Celebrity since then.
  5. From our experience, seating in the specialty restaurants on the night of embarkation had been available. Table for two, no problem.
  6. I'm hurt. Devastated. Somebody loves me. I wonder who--o-o-o-o. 💔
  7. Another input: The Grand Dining Room can be a zoo the first evening of the cruise. From our experience, it's easy to book a reservation for one of the specialty restaurants for the first night.
  8. We ignore the late seating "suggestion". You are welcome to dine in the Grand Dining Room at any time it's open. There is no assigned seating.
  9. Clo, clo, clo...what are we going to do with you?
  10. I agree with you that the fries are great. Fantastic, actually. I like them very much but unfortunately, so does my waistline!
  11. Fortunately, barbershops & salons opened in Colorado three weeks ago. I was beginning to look like an old hippie.
  12. We always avoided the buffet aboard Celebrity. We were afraid of being trampled by people behaving as if they hadn't had a meal in weeks.
  13. I understand your point. Oceania may have to take all the actions that you mentioned. At that point, they would be nothing more than a mainstream cruise line with smaller ships and great food. Health permitting, we have 20+ years of cruising left. We're not going to "hunker down". My point is if they take those actions (#1 and #2), we'll go elsewhere.
  14. #1 and #2 would drive us away.
  15. We did the same back-and-forth thinking that you're experiencing now. We talked it through over the weekend. On Monday, we cancelled our Jan 2021 Caribbean cruise that would have been aboard Riviera. TA told us that our deposit will be refunded by Oceania in 4-6 weeks. No second thoughts. Best of luck with your decision.
  16. I wouldn't be surprised if the stockholder benefit is discontinued for new bookings.
  17. Our TA sends the rebate prior to the cruise. If the cruise were to be cancelled, we would repay it.
  18. We enjoyed our cruises with Celebrity but wouldn't consider them again after our fantastic experiences on Oceania. To make comparisons to hotels: Celebrity = Hilton Oceania = Four Seasons If you need highly visible officers that treat passengers as if they are best friends, then Oceania wouldn't be a good choice. There are no pesky photographers, art auctions or crew members pushing specialty restaurants and drink packages. Restaurants are open to all passengers, unlike Blu and Luminae on Celebrity. There is no additional cost for the specialty restaurants.
  19. Ask Visa. Visa will tell you that Norwegian isn't out of business. Ask "but what if?" Visa will tell you that Norwegian isn't out of business. Cancel your reservation and wait until all of this uncertainty has passed.
  20. Riviera sailed yesterday. The ship at terminal J today is Seven Seas Explorer.
  21. They charge...and charge...and charge. DW became sick while on Marina two years ago. ( " We don't know what it is but it isn't Noro." ) The bill came to approximately $10K! Fortunately, our primary coverage and travel insurance covered the bill 100%.
  22. It took three times to get our TA to wake up and stop the mailings. Try "You are wasting your money by sending the literature to us. We don't bother reading them. They go directly to our recycle bin."
  23. How do you know he is an American?
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