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leaveitallbehind

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About leaveitallbehind

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    Philly burbs, PA.
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    RCI

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  1. That is totally incorrect. The Infinite balconies are the same as any other balcony with the exception that the interior door opens completely across allowing the balcony to become part of the overall room space. The exterior glass at the edge of the balcony lowers electronically to open the space as as with a typical balcony. This door can be closed and access to the balcony then is in the typical manner as with any other balcony stateroom. And BTW the stateroom sizes are also 23% larger than the normal balcony staterooms on other Celebrity ships. Here are two links describing it - the first is from the Celebrity website and the second is a Youtube video of a stateroom showing the full functionality of the balcony: https://www.celebritycruises.com/edge/accommodations/infinite-verandas/
  2. Then I guess that could be an issue. What isn't clear is when - or where - they are sailing, other than commenting on the resulting possibility of "no holidays this year". If he is certain (and I would want to confirm that if I were the OP) that his father can enter the US and all of the ports on the itinerary, as this seems to be an MSC policy issue, perhaps they should look at other cruise lines with similar itineraries that may not have that mandate. It sounds like perhaps it is a Caribbean itinerary and there are several cruise lines that may not be a stringent as MSC with this. I would check my options with my TA.
  3. I agree completely with everything you say and perhaps was not clear with my message - which I appreciate you pointing out. You are correct that individual cruise lines set their policy regarding Passports, and some may in fact be more stringent than the Government policies. However, what I was trying to indicate is that those individual cruise line policies are based on the Department of State (and other relevant departments) policies and guidelines along with the entry mandates of the individual countries that may appear on a given itinerary, and would not be less stringent than that. It is always important to check each lines policies as, you indicate, some will mandate a Passport on US based closed loop itineraries while others will not, even though the current requirement for US Citizens is a valid gov't issued picture ID and a birth certificate - or - a Passport. My bottom line message to the OP is to avoid any question, just update any Passport in question to assure no expiration issues. Again - appreciate your comments on my previous post. Accurate responses are the goal.
  4. As others have said, it is not a cruise line policy, nor is it specific to one cruise line v another - it is a US Department of State (and Department of Homeland Security) advisory, which is (also as noted) specified by individual countries regarding travel to them. It is most frequently not as stringent for Caribbean cruises as most of those ports of call are not ones who require or enforce that - some requiring only 3 months.. But for most other regions of travel, the 6 month expiration past your itinerary travel date is something that should be taken seriously. Relative to MSC, as they are predominantly a Europe, South America, Africa, etc., focused cruise line who has only made entry into the US departure (and Caribbean itineraries) market in recent years, their interpretation for this policy is likely a carry over as a corporate policy based on their focus with these other regions. I would continue to press with your TA to get confirmation. This is part of their responsibility to you to get this information from MSC, and MSC should provide their policy. However this is from their website deferring responsibility to the passenger based on intended country of travel, and referring US and Canadian citizens to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) for further guidance. Clear as mud! Here are links to both: https://www.msccruisesusa.com/en-us/Contact/Contacts-Faq.aspx https://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/western-hemisphere-travel-initiative To be on the safe side, you may just want to incur the expense to make sure all of your Passports are current with greater than 6 months expiration past the planned travel date - then there can be no issues or concerns.
  5. You just need to read the descriptions closely as the prices for similar excursions would be based on small variances between them - one may include a lunch or drinks where another does not, one may be longer than the other, one may be at a different location or include different activities than the other, etc. If you are booking a ship-sponsored excursion, you just need to ty to determine the ones that - based on their write up - appeal to you most. And I guess reviews can help as well, but remember all reviews are subjective. As a new cruiser you also need to be aware that all ship sponsored excursions are higher priced than booking independently with private tour operators as these vendors are 3rd parties contracted by the cruise lines who receive a percentage of the booking fee as their cut - which adds to their cost to you. Just as comparison you may also want to check competing similar non-ship excursions for content and value to decide what would be the best option for you. In our earliest cruising days we would book through the ship, but after our first couple of cruises realized this was not the best value and subsequently for many years now never book through the cruise ship for anything we do on shore. Just FYI.
  6. That is "The Rising Tide" bar, which is a large open sided oval shaped platform that holds about 40 -50 people originating in the Royal Promenade and terminating in Central Park. It rides on four corner post tracks and typically spends about 30 minutes on each of decks 5 & 8, then transits between those two. It is relaxing and provides an interesting perspective of the Royal Promenade and Central Park.
  7. Just to add for clarity, the ice show you refer to on Oasis and Navigator is on all Voyager, Freedom, and Oasis class ships in the RCI fleet, or 12 of their 26 ships. The Aqua Theater is on all 4 Oasis class ships, but not on any other class ship.
  8. They are both good ships and cruise lines - as you can see from my signature, we like them both quite a bit. But they are completely different demographics and cruising styles. The comparison between the two is apples to oranges - you just need to decide which flavor suits you best for your cruise expectations with this itinerary. But once you determine that, I doubt that you will be disappointed - either way.
  9. Completely different ships and demographics. RCI focuses primarily on families, and Oasis is a ship with plenty of venues for the families and entertainment such as rock climbing walls, aqua theater, ice skating rink, zip line, carousel, flow riders, water slides, mini-golf, etc. There is also a Broadway show - Cats. The likelihood of families and children on board is high. Celebrity is more of a traditional cruise experience with none of the above activities and venues, with a focus more on adults, with a more relaxed cruise environment. Edge is their newest launch and features some unique venues that are not on their other ships, such as the Magic Carpet exterior multi function elevator platform. There will be far less families and children on board. I am not one who cares much for reviews and that rarely sways my thinking, so I won't comment on that. I have cruised both RCI and Celebrity extensively (including Oasis) and can say that the food quality and variety on Celebrity is better (far better in their buffet), with a higher level of overall service and personal attention than RCI. When our kids were younger they grew up cruising on RCI - and we still like them and have several cruises planned with them - but now they are adults and we are in your demographics our first choice typically is Celebrity. We have a Med cruise planned on Edge, so I will admit to a bias with that, however if it were me facing your decision, that would be my choice between the two.
  10. True, and I agree with your suggestion as that would provide responses specific to that cruise line. But if it is a ship sponsored excursion then they will have the necessary information regarding a meeting time and place provided in their stateroom and will have coordinated that with the tour time. That would likely be true for any cruise line.
  11. If your excursion is one sponsored by and booked through the ship then the answer is yes, as the ship will have a meeting time and place for everyone on the excursion and will typically disembark those passengers first. This information will be provided to you in your stateroom. They also will wait until all who are signed up for the tour arrive before departing. If it is an independent tour that you signed up for separately, they also typically would wait until everyone is off the ship and has assembled wherever that tour will meet. This information will be provided by the tour operator. They know the ship arrival times and understand disembarkation - that is part of their business. So either way, you should be fine.
  12. Can you? maybe - if all goes well and there are no delays. But as experienced cruisers with a lot of them from Port Everglades and FLL, I would not try that. The earliest we have ever made was 9:50 AM, which we did off Allure with normal luggage handling with no problem. But we typically book 10:30 - 11:00 as the target early flights.
  13. I have never sailed on Carnival but have sailed on Equinox a couple of times and would suggest that based on the criteria you've identified, Equinox would IMO be the far better choice. Celebrity's focus is more on adult cruisers with less of a family make up when compared to Carnival, which is more oriented towards younger and family demographics. Celebrity / Equinox is more of a traditional cruise experience without most of the whistles and bells and younger activities often associated with Carnival. Food is very subjective and I have no basis for comparison to Carnival, but I will say that in experience, the food on Equinox is very good. As experienced cruisers whose children are all now adults, our first choice in cruise lines is Celebrity.
  14. This may vary by cruise line. To know for sure, I would suggest calling the cruise line (or the Travel Agent) you booked with and ask them directly. If you booked through a TA they will be able to assist in confirming this for you. This will provide the most accurate answer. At the very least, the cruise line website should address this under their FAQ's or policy guidelines.
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