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About Tapi

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  1. Maybe it’s because I work in the travel/transportation industry, but I’m pretty used to wearing a mask and following a lengthy set of protocols, including temperature checks, distancing rules, testing, and extensive cleaning and sanitation procedures when I go to work. I travel by airplane, stay at hotels, and eat out at restaurants on a regular basis. So because I’m used to all these protocols which I’ve had to adhere to since the pandemic started, I would be Ok with them while cruising. With that said, I don’t want to be the first to set foot on a cruise ship once cruising resumes. I’d probably want to wait a few months to see how things pan out in the cruise industry before I choose to sail again.
  2. Royal is scheduled to operate Freedom and Enchantment for this upcoming 2020-2021 winter season, and they are scheduled to return with Freedom and Empress for the 2021-2022 winter season, so they are not dropping San Juan. There has been a lot of misinformation concerning Royal's decision to operate Freedom seasonally from San Juan, and it doesn't have to do with corruption or poor maintenance. Long before the pandemic, Royal had decided to shift some ships from the Caribbean to Europe during the summer months where they could be much more profitable. That meant that Freedom would be repositioned for the summer and then return to San Juan in the fall. A few months later, the Governor of Puerto Rico proposed changes to the Port Authority which were met with strong opposition by political rivals. Even though this proposal had nothing to do with Royal's decision to operate Freedom seasonally from San Juan (which was made long before this proposal was presented), some politicians claimed that Royal was "abandoning Puerto Rico" because of this proposal. Royal then confirmed that their decision to operate seasonally from San Juan had nothing to do with the proposal, and that it was simply a strategic move to maximize profits in the Mediterranean during the busy summer months. But the damage had been done, and a lot of people in the island still blame Royal's decision on the Governor even though the proposal had nothing to do with it .
  3. Other cruise lines seem to think that San Juan is still viable. Freedom of the Seas, Norwegian Epic, Celebrity Summit, and Empress of the Seas are scheduled to return to San Juan, and Disney has also announced a handful of sailings out of San Juan for 2021. Smaller upscale cruise lines like Windstar are also returning. Looks like Carnival is the only one giving up on San Juan for the time being.
  4. I have a LOT of great memories from my cruises aboard Fantasy class ships over the years, but I agree that this class of ship is not representative of today's Carnival brand. Not so much because of their age, but because they were not receiving the maintenance and refurbishments truly necessary to keep them up to speed. Our last Carnival cruise (aboard the Fantasy in 2019) was a lot of fun, but they ship looked sadly neglected, with countless maintenance issues, and cheaply performed patch works. And that shoddy, old, and poorly maintained image is what a lot of people who either have not sailed on Carnival's newest ships (or on Carnival at all) have in their mind. It saddens me to see the Fantasy class go, first because of the wonderful memories, and also because some smaller ports of embarkation may be affected with their departure, but it is time for them to go and for Carnival to embrace the future as we move past the pandemic.
  5. I wont be first in line, but I don't want to be at the back of the line either.
  6. Call me crazy, but I actually love Progreso. With that said, it seems like Dream my be a better deal since its a 6 night itinerary with an additional port. I've sailed all the way forward on the Dream class of ships, as well as others. Yes, you can feel a bit more pitching motion if seas are rocky, and sometimes you can feel shudders from waves hitting the bow of the ship. It wouldn't be a deal breaker to me but it would be a bit bothersome. It truly depends on your level of tolerance. Can you find cabins somewhere else on the ship that are more midship, even on a different deck or even if they are not right next to each other? I'd take deck 1 more midship before deck 2 forward. Do you need the cabins to be touching each other?
  7. I carry my "yellow card" as proof of vaccination. My next comment concerns testing, but I'm guessing that something similar could be applied to proof of vaccination. Recently, we traveled to a destination that required proof of a covid test within 72 hours of arrival. At the testing facility, we were given a paper copy of the test results. We then went online and filled out the required declaration where we had to fill out the name and number of the facility where the test was performed. We were also required to submit a screenshot (or scan) of the paper results. We were then given a confirmation number with a QR code which we presented at the airport upon arrival. It was a very easy and quick process. Upon landing at our destination, we presented the QR code to a representative as we exited baggage claim which they scanned, and we went on our way. It took all of 30 seconds. The line for people who hadn't followed the proper protocol was insanely long. I'm guessing that the cruise lines could incorporate a similar online process to include proof of testing or vaccination.
  8. In my humble opinion, for a first time cruiser, "big" is very different than for a seasoned cruiser who has sailed aboard ships of various sizes. For example, we cruised in 2019 aboard the 70,000 ton, 30 year old Carnival Fantasy (rest in peace). LOTS of first time cruisers. We chuckled as we boarded, hearing several people commenting out loud in awe at the ship's size and "impressive" design. Personally, I consider that an Oasis class ship can be overwhelming, even for a seasoned cruiser. I know that when we sailed on our first ship in this class (Allure of the Seas), I found myself exhausted trying to do it all. We finally gave up halfway through the week and agreed that we would just skip various shows and activities in favor of some quiet and relaxation. It was a wonderful vacation, but I could see how it could actually turn some people off since it doesn't feel like a more traditional cruise vacation. From the list provided, I think that the OP can't go wrong with any of them, even if they haven't been amplified. All are great ships. I would concentrate more on itinerary. Have a great cruise!
  9. My unscientific prediction keeps changing. Back in March when all cruises were stopped, I thought that 6-7 months (Sept-Oct) would be a realistic time span before cruises could resume. I wasn't surprised with each extension. Now, as we get closer to October, I feel like an additional round of cancellations for another 2 months (December) may be required. I do remain cautiously optimistic (although not confident) that we will see ships sailing then.
  10. San Juan does fall under CDC rules. In addition to that, they currently have additional protocols in place which may or may not be in place in December. We just traveled to Puerto Rico for a week during the last week of July. Covid tests are required within 72 hours of arrival, in addition to a health declaration from the PR Department of Health. If unable to get tested in advance, you must abide by a 14 day self quarantine and agree to be tracked using an app, OR you must agree to get tested in Puerto Rico and self quarantine until test results are received. Thankfully, we were able to get rapid tests 48 hours before our trip, and since we filled out the declaration online in advance, our entry was pretty painless and uneventful.
  11. I am seriously considering pulling the trigger on the Oasis of the Seas for June 2021. $74pppn.
  12. Thankfully we got to cruise mid February, right before everything shut down. The only thing that I have planned for 2021 is a quick 5 night getaway on Princess (which will be unfortunate if it cancels, but it’s not a big deal. It’s not some long awaited dream vacation). Besides that, I have chosen not to make other cruise plans until April 2022 (when we will sail the Panama Canal) in order to avoid all the disappointment and aggravation that so many have shared on these boards. I truly hope that things are good enough by then. That’s one cruise I’ve been wanting to take for a long time.
  13. We had an aft cabin on the main deck aboard the Imagination. The view of the wake is awesome, and it’s a location with little traffic, but I agree that the rumbling, sideways motion can be a bit unsettling for some people. But it turned out to be a great location to ride the choppy seas that we encountered during that sailing. We had friends in a forward location on that same sailing and they were seasick a few days (seas were choppy enough to cancel shows at the main theatre), but we never felt any “seasickness inducing” motion. Plenty of rumbling, but no up/down motion that would make us sick.
  14. I’m relieved to see that Fantasy is being replaced with the Sensation since Mobile is my closest port or embarkation. I was concerned that Mobile would be one of Covid’s casualties. Pre-Covid, I was hopeful that mobile would get bigger ships, longer itineraries, or other cruise lines. At this point in time, I’m just thrilled that they are not losing service!
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