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Russ Lomas

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About Russ Lomas

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    London, Ontario
  • Interests
    Flowriding, scuba diving, skiing
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    RCCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Southern Caribbean

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  1. Your theory about Oasis starting up later than Harmony and Symphony sounds plausible, but I hope not since we have Oasis booked for March. I do not know how the occupancy on the Oasis is compared to the Harmony and Symphony on sailings booked the same week, but I know the reason we booked Oasis over Symphony (sorry John, it was not because Oasis has CATS) was that the price on the AMPlified Oasis was about $350 cheaper per person than on the Symphony sailing the same itinerary sailing one day earlier. I wonder if more people did the same and occupancy on the Oasis is higher than the similar ships that were charging more previously.
  2. Let's just hope they leave the DL beverages on there.
  3. We are loyal, but with 4 kids, cruising more than once per year is just not an option. That said, if Royal does sail our booked cruise next year, and give double points, and does not move the number of points to become Diamond, we will finally reach that level after sailing with them for 10 consecutive year. Good point Andrew. Now after making a lot of people here happy about the double points, some bean counter who has never cruised better not come up with the idea of adding another 20 points required to reach the next tier for each level. Kind of like drawing the line in the sand and keeping moving it.
  4. I am glad I read about this in this forum. We purchased the card in advance for our cruise (which was cancelled on us) and nowhere did I read anything about it saying if you chose a large or frozen specialty coffee that it would "cost" you more than a small regular coffee. That is certainly not the way I interpreted their advertising. I would have been upset on the ship when told this. Glad we booked the refreshment package for our upcoming cruises so we do not have to worry about size or type of specialty coffees.
  5. Or a non-alcoholic beverage in your hands at all times when in line for the flowrider or water slides. Interesting point. I did not read anywhere that you could remove your mask to smoke, only eat/drink/or while in the water. I am sure they would not ban smoking on their ships, especially ones out of Singapore. So if this was an oversight and smoking is still permitted on the one side of the pool deck, I am sure there will be plenty of happy people with a lit cigarette in their hands on the pool deck all day long.
  6. I had previously read that the PVSA (which I mistakenly referred to as the Jones Act earlier) prevented the cruises from nowhere since the cruise line would be fined for each passenger on board. Thanks for sharing the link that explains that ships departing from a US port and not docking at a foreign port before returning to the US, is due to a concern by the CBP and the issue of those working on the ship not being US citizens, thus an issue with not being permitted to work on such a voyage. It is hard enough to keep up to date on all of our countries laws, never mind those of the US.
  7. Someone is snarky this weekend...So I erred and mentioned the same act but the one that applies to cargo instead of passengers. I suggest you go back to sleep and wake up when you are not so grumpy
  8. I am assuming you are only speculating this plan. Cruises to nowhere are not permitted under the Jones Act sailing from the US. They have to port in another foreign country, therefore I do not think your idea of the first stage will occur. They would likely go straight into what you call the 2nd stage and offer short cruises to a single port, likely Coco Cay or Labadee would be my guess (or another port like Nassau if they were permitted to dock there). I think RCCL would like to get their Oasis class ships out soon (maybe late February) after the 3/4 sailings are deemed to have been traveling without major incidence since those are the largest, offer the most space, and the most profitable for RCCL to operate. I think they would want to stick to the 7 day itineraries they currently have booked with them. If they cancelled these, it would piss a lot of people off are already booked on them and I think RCCL would prefer to keep these ships docking on their regular weekend schedules in Florida. Now, this is totally speculation on my part as well.
  9. I loved my time living in the mountains in BC. Ontario is VERY different. Winter in Ontario is depressing. In either case, when retirement comes, multiple cheap cruises (as opposed to March break, Christmas, and summer price gouging we currently suffer through to feed our addiction), and a few months in a nice warm climate without Ontario's humidity is something I hope to enjoy.
  10. I love skiing and snowboarding, so as long as I can leave Ontario to ski, I will be happy. I would just be in further cruise withdrawl since it will be over 2 years without one (and we were really looking forward to sailing on an Oasis class ship again after not doing so for 5 or 6 year). Probably fully legal now. I drove onto the Oneida reserve as I was passing it two days ago to get gas (much cheaper) and passed about a half dozen dispensaries in less than a kilometre drive (and there are many more on this small parcel of land).
  11. I disagree. Canadians only from Florida (we have much lower infection rates 🙃) Well said, though there are a few other countries much of the world is afraid of as well due to Covid numbers. We have driven over 24 hours from Canada to cruise out of Florida several times (it is expensive to fly a large family vs. driving the minivan to Florida). Those who want to cruise are willing to make the effort to get there. It is funny when I read about people complaining about having to drive 5 or 6 hours to the port to cruise. Totally false.. I saw your other postings on your reasoning and I disagree. Death rates as of today according to https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/?utm_campaign=homeAdvegas1? are 660 deaths per million population in the US as opposed to "only" 253 deaths per million in Canada. You are about 2 1/2 times more likely to die from Corona (based on current stats) if you were to live in the US than in Canada. Well said. We live in London, Ontario. We are booked for March Break out of Florida on a cruise. We hope it goes, but the border being closed is the first roadblock we face (we have flights from Detroit and need to drive across the closed border to get to the airport - hopefully Covid numbers will improve by then and the border will open for non-essential travel). The mandatory 14 day quarantine is the thing we cannot afford to do. Take a week holiday over the March Break and then have to take the next 2 weeks off unpaid from work. In order to leave the country if the borders open up and cruises resume, we need that restriction lifted, otherwise vacationing in Canada will be the only real option for most of us.
  12. I too wish that RCCL had offered that previously. When you have a sailing cancelled and you were to travel with the kids that can not travel with you in the future due to university, the FCC on them would have been wasted, so we took the refund instead. Guess time will tell if other cruise operators start offers similar to NCL. People may not appreciate an offer like this, but it sure should make the book keeping a bit easier for the cruise companies not having to keep track of FCC. Also, I feel the change in policy makes me feel slightly more optimistic that cruises will start again soon. Seems like NCL is content to offer back refunds instead of keeping people's money in the form of FCC. That would lead me to believe that they do not feel they need to keep more of people's money in the way of FCC to stay financially afloat (since the timeline to increasing revenue by actual sailings is approaching in their opinion). We were to sail RCCL on the first day of cancellations and got offered the 125% FCC from them. I thought that NCL's offer of 150% was very generous and had hoped other cruise lines would have done the same for those who were cancelled on with under 24 hours notice. Part of our group had already driven to Florida from Canada, only to have to turn around and drive right home. Most of us here have had cruises cancelled on us that upset us, but having your vacation cancelled with less than 24 hours notice was truly heartbreaking for the kids.
  13. Just thought I would let you know I arranged a REFUNDABLE fare for my sister on an RCCL cruise direct with RCCL. Six months later she noticed it read NON-refundable on her invoice. When she contacted them, she was told that they had listened to the recordings they make of each call and even though the agent said we were getting a refundable rate, we had waited too long and now were stuck with the non-refundable rate. I told my sister to write to Michael Bayley and explain this. She wrote them a courteous email outlining the issues asking them to review their recorded phone call reservation. She got an email back a week later and they said they had reviewed the recorded call, they apologized and changed the fare to refundable or offered her the deposit returned. I would give this a try. Try not to rant in your email and you may get some satisfaction, especially if they have the recorded call to review. mbayley@rccl.com or the agent who responded to my sister is Jessica Fernandez <ex-co@rccl.com>
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