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Old 22 Jun 21, 06:09 PM  
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#21
Milpston
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Join Date: May 16
So another small update for our little cruise that we are really starting to look forward to now.

We had an update from Royal Caribbean fairly recently which read as follows:

Know Before You Go:
Vaccination Requirement.

We’ve put together sailing requirements based on vaccination status. All guests 18 years and older are required to have all doses of their COVID-19 vaccine completed 14 days prior to sailing. Additionally, all crew members onboard will be fully vaccinated.

Testing
Vaccinated guests must bring the negative result of an rt-PCR test taken within 72 hours of sailing. We will email instructions on how to register for your complimentary test approximately 14-18 days before your cruise.

Unvaccinated guests, 2-17 years old, must take a complimentary rapid antigen test at the terminal and receive a negative result in order to sail. We will email instructions on how to register in advance approximately 14-18 days before your cruise.



This is a bit of a change. When we booked it was stated if you were fully vaccinated then you would only need to do Lateral Flow Tests at the terminal but we now need to have a PCR test too but the good news is Royal Caribbean are arranging them and paying for them so I've no problem with that.
We were also expecting to have to arrange and pay for PCR tests for the kids but they now only require a Lateral flow test at the terminal so that will be a bit of a saving!

Obviously everything is still subject to change (or cancellation ) but the next part has really cheered us up!

What to Expect During Your Cruise

Face Coverings
• Onboard, face masks will not be required outdoors, on open-air decks, except in crowded settings. In indoor public areas, masks are required for guests 11 and older except while seated to eat or drink.
• At public ports of call, local face covering guidelines apply.
• We’re continually evaluating our mask policy to align with the latest health standards.

Shore Excursions
• At this time we anticipate that you won’t need to book a tour to go ashore in our destinations, we are working closely with each of the ports we visit and will ensure we adhere to the protocols they have defined. Be sure to check out our selection of curated shore excursions on our Cruise Planner — we’ve worked with local tour operators to ensure that they are following the health protocols we have outlined, and to offer a variety to choose from for all interests and budgets.


The kids not wearing face masks will be the massive bonus we were hoping for so it all seems like good news... which means it will all change again no doubt

We have paid our balance today. We actually got the price reduced slightly a week or two ago under RCCL's price promise as someone had posted on a facebook group that prices had reduced if you had 3rd and 4th people in a state room... every little helps!

I have also made a couple of little bookings on the pre-planner today.

I decided that it would be nice to get some photos of the 4 of us for our first cruise together and Sally agreed so we have booked the below which I thought was a pretty reasonable price when one photo would usually cost $20+



I've also bought some towels for us as it'll save remembering to take some and we could do with some replacement beach towels anyway as ours are starting to look a little ancient.
We got Sally and I one of these each:



We also got the kids a towel each and a little plush and blanket each:





We have also checked in online and selected our arrival time for 12:00 noon. Again, someone updated on a FB group that online check in had become available one evening a week or so ago. I wanted to get the check in done as soon as possible to get an early arrival time. What i didn't realise was that we had to take photos of each of us for check in and it was quite late when I saw it was available. We were actually in bed but I persevered and woke the kids up to take their photos. I hope no-one else can see them as we all look like death


The only things left to do are Speciality restaurants, booking our tickets for Paulton's Park and we are still thinking about getting internet packages.
The restaurants I think I have decided to wait until we board and see what's available. If we can't then get the ones we want then fate has decided we don't need them. We wasn't going to get internet packages but are now thinking we may get one device each for the kid's Ipads.
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Orlando Villas/cruises 2001-2013, DLP Newport Bay Compass Club Feb 2017
October 2018 - 22 nts, Beach Club & Dibb villasTrip report *Completed*
July 2020 and August 2021 - cancelled by Covid!
August 2021 - Anthem of the seas UK mini cruise Trip report *completed*
Vegas/LA Aug 22 - Trip Report In Progress
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Old 17 Jul 21, 05:50 PM  
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#22
Milpston
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Join Date: May 16
So with 37 days to go we couldn't want this trip to come around any more. The trouble is, with the current Covid case rates, the lifting of restrictions coming and that fact that we are self isolating awaiting Covid test results for 2 of the household I'm really starting to get the familiar sinking feeling that this trip might not happen... again!

We live in hope! A week or so ago I thought it might be nice to extend our little break for another night. We were going to drive down to Paulton's park for the day on the morning before the cruise departs. I had a look around to stay the night before. Some of the hotel/B&B prices around Hampshire, Dorset etc were pretty high so I moved further afield.

I have booked a night at the Holiday Inn near Reaing. It's a little over half the journey done a day earlier and the kids soon get bored in the car so I thought it would be nice to break it up and more to the point just gives us another little night away. I managed to get a family room including breakfast and dinner for under £100 so I'm happy enough with that. Its also fully cancellable should the worst happen.









We have paid our balance for the cruise. I have also placed a few bids in the Royalup program in a feeble attempt to get a stateroom upgrade. We will be happy enough with our original balcony cabin though. Fingers crossed this cruise happens.
__________________
Orlando Villas/cruises 2001-2013, DLP Newport Bay Compass Club Feb 2017
October 2018 - 22 nts, Beach Club & Dibb villasTrip report *Completed*
July 2020 and August 2021 - cancelled by Covid!
August 2021 - Anthem of the seas UK mini cruise Trip report *completed*
Vegas/LA Aug 22 - Trip Report In Progress

Edited at 06:11 PM.
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Old 5 Aug 21, 04:51 PM  
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#23
Milpston
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Join Date: May 16
I think our last few plans have been put together,

Having read that the free reservation for ripcord by ifly and northstar have been pretty hard to com by during the recent sailings I have gone ahead and booked the paid extended versions.

I have booked Ripcord by Ifly for day 3 before lunch. It's one of the few activities both the kids are big enough for so I didn't want them to miss the opportunity. God knows if they will both actually do it but I live in hope.



Benjamin appears to be bang on the cusp of the height requirement of Northstar with the right shoes on so we will have to wait and see if he makes it or not. I have booked it in for day 6.





I ummed and ahhed about specialty restaurants. Initially I booked the three night package. However, I have heard a lot of people have struggled to get Wonderland booked whilst on board including a friend of mine who is currently onboard. They had the same package we had booked and couldn't get Wonderland at all. For that reason I have paid a little more and booked the three restaurants we want at the time we wanted them.

I have booked Chops Grill for the 1st night. I've done this as we have the early seating in MDR and didn't want to be sitting eating at sail away time.





We have booked Wonderland for day 4as, having scanned the MDR menus, we fancied it least on this night.







We have then booked in Jamie's for day 6 for a lunch. This mean will will still eat in the MDR on 4 evening which we usually enjoy.





I have also caved and got the internet packages for both the kids. Paultons Park tickets are also booked.

The next step will be arranging our PCR tests for the 4 of us now that RC have changed it to the kids needing PCR tests as well as Lateral Flow tests on arrival a tthe terminal.

I have some mixed feeling about this cruise. In many ways I cannot wait for a break away but there have certanly been some mixed reports coming from the ones that have already sailed. I think social distancing has made things like getting any activities, shows and restaurants booked a bit difficult. Also with reduced numbers allowed in the swimming pools at any one time I think this could become a bit difficult with the kids. The Windjammer has been open much in the evenings either so I am just trying to manage our expectations a little as it may not live up to our previous cruises but I'm just going to go in with an open mind... and hopefully a full set of negative Covid tests

18 days to go.
__________________
Orlando Villas/cruises 2001-2013, DLP Newport Bay Compass Club Feb 2017
October 2018 - 22 nts, Beach Club & Dibb villasTrip report *Completed*
July 2020 and August 2021 - cancelled by Covid!
August 2021 - Anthem of the seas UK mini cruise Trip report *completed*
Vegas/LA Aug 22 - Trip Report In Progress
Milpston is offline Boy Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
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