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    Long Branch, NJ, USA
  • Interests
    Cruising (duh!)
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. These are all good suggestions for anyone uncertain about the value of a package to do in order to examine the value to them. Another thing to look at is if you can justify the refreshment package for what it offers at its cost, then look at the price difference between it and the deluxe package to consider if the incremental cost for the package to also cover alcoholic beverages makes sense. A daily specialty coffee, and occasionally a second one would be about a $6 or so value each. A soda or bottled juice/sports beverage would be a $3.50 value. A frozen non-alcoholic drink falls in a $6-$8 value. A bottle of water would be a $2 value. Fresh squeezed orange juice seems to be about a $4.50 value post-Covid, but I previously saw it sometimes priced at as much as $9 on some sailings. If you depend on the Coke Freestyle machine for favorite sodas, you need to evaluate the refreshment package incremental cost over the classic soda package cost, since Freestyle usage is only as part of a package, you can't readily think of it as a per-drink value. Much of it can come down to you not actually spending the full cost of a drink package if you were buying a la carte, but when you have the drink package, you may be more willing to get things that would've had a cost instead of settling for things that don't; like having a soda with a meal instead of iced tea or lemonade or water. Or enjoying a glass of wine with your meal when you might not normally do that. So it may be good to consider if you can come close to justifying the costs, that simply the small extra amount is something you can safely ignore for the ease of choice it provides you, too.
  2. A sale begins 9/23. Prices usually adjust the evening before, but the percent-off banners, at least on the old-style cruise planner pages, generally doesn't change until sometime later, on the day the sale is actually supposed to begin. This leads to people thinking sales are "faked" because they visit the day before, see a price and the wrong banner, and then come back the next day and see the same price with the correct banner. If you've seen $71 at 20% off, the onboard price will be approximately $89-$90. It's not exact because Royal Caribbean likes to round things to dollars much of the time, and for legal reasons 20% off the price cannot turn out to be 19.8% off the price, it must be at least 20%, et. al., so the actual discounts are usually slightly better than the indicated percent-off works out to be. Since you also see $62, which likely will turn out to show being 30% off when the banners are updated properly for the sale, that would also indicate an onboard price of approximately $89-$90, so that's consistent. This sale was first announced around 12 noon ET on 9/21, and starts on 9/23, so it's a rather short-notice sale. I've attached the flyer.
  3. From the last sale in the Cruise Planner, Thrill Water Park Full Day Pass was $88.99 and identified as 10% off the onboard price, so that would put it at $98.88 onboard. Probably something like $98.99 the way Royal Caribbean prices things. The current pre-cruise price is a 5% discount. And it's at $93.99 which would make the onboard price $98.94, so again, probably $98.99 onboard. Almost never will a price be cheaper onboard than offered in advance. There will not be another sale for the 9/4 sailing, but the sale that begins on 9/3 will be available for the 9/11 sailing purchases.
  4. Yes, there is no different restriction on the vaccinated parent just because they are traveling with an unvaccinated child. The vaccinated parent can enter any area that is limited to vaccinated-only passengers. The restrictions are based on what you do when you have the unvaccinated child with you, including things like leaving the ship. If for the port Royal Caribbean requires excursions unvaccinated people be on ship-sponsored excursions only, but unvaccinated people can move freely around the port, you cannot take the unvaccinated child with you and freely move around the port.
  5. They've always wiped them down between uses; I'm sure there also using some disinfectant if they hadn't been before.
  6. This is pretty much how they always describe the process in the past, and it simply can vary based on the ship and the port, depending on staffing of US Customs at the time (when a US port is involved). From Nassau, where it's pleasantly relaxed they don't even need to wait for the ship to go down to zero passengers aboard before letting B2B'ers out of their processing/holding pen onboard. 🙂
  7. I have yet to hear anything back from eMed but I consider the useful life of these to be unacceptable; they were manufactured in February and expire in October. Even if you allow for the 3 month extension, I've bought tests that I get half the useful life out of. Pitiful. This company will either be addressing it by guaranteeing to replace the kits if needed after that expiration, or will be taking all 6 back, and issuing a full refund including shipping, or will be the recipient of a credit card fraud dispute.
  8. A passenger currently aboard Adventure of the Seas out of Nassau reports that according the the suite concierge there are no changes for B2B handling on Adventure. B2Bers stay aboard and continue to report to the Dining Room on deck 5; testing had previously moved from Saturday on turnaround day to Friday, the morning before, and I presume that remains the case.
  9. I'm aware of the extension the FDA allowed; the tests I bought last week were manufactured in February and expire in October. Even 3 more months, if applicable to this lot, is still way below any reasonable expectation of the useful lifetime of the test kits.
  10. This was provided in June on Adventure out of Nassau. I'll just post all 6 levels here for reference.
  11. The QR Code on the box and on the "do not open" sleeve simply takes you to the Abbott web page with basic info and links to download the NAVICA App, and which says nothing about the expiration date.
  12. That's not abnormal; whether US Customs/Immigration comes aboard the ship or has B2B passengers leaves the ship and come to them is based on whether or not the US Customs folks feel they have sufficient staff to do so for that turnover day. So that one aspect of it -- being done on or off the ship -- has regularly previously been something that can be different. But the rest of the process -- packing up the cabin if you're staying in the same cabin isn't needed in any case, and apparently with this change, they want that, and worse, they want you to take all the luggage off and bring it all onboard again. And that means doing the split on the night before, too, keeping on piece in the room so everything you need in the morning is with you.
  13. It's a great concept. And I bought a pack of 6 of the tests. All of them expire in October. I'm currently trying to get a response out of eMed by email; will probably call next week if they fail to reply. And if that doesn't work, will dispute it as a fraudulent sale to my credit card company.
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