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San Juan - Explorer of the Seas


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Hi all,  I am scheduled to take the Explorer of the Seas sailing leaving San Juan on Jan. 2, 2022.  Given San Juans new strict requirement that anyone getting off a cruise ship to be tested within 48 hours how will we disembark at the end of our cruise?  Anyone have any thoughts on this?  I have a hard time believing the cruise line is going to test every passenger before we disembark at the end of the cruise.  Anyone think they will cancel the cruise?

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5 hours ago, BrownEyedGilr67 said:

Hi all,  I am scheduled to take the Explorer of the Seas sailing leaving San Juan on Jan. 2, 2022.  Given San Juans new strict requirement that anyone getting off a cruise ship to be tested within 48 hours how will we disembark at the end of our cruise?  Anyone have any thoughts on this?  I have a hard time believing the cruise line is going to test every passenger before we disembark at the end of the cruise.  Anyone think they will cancel the cruise?

I'm wondering the same thing - we're scheduled on the Explorer on February 6 for a week long cruise.  😕

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We are scheduled to sail Jan 9. We have serious reservations. St. Lucia is highest on my list for islands to visit, and if the ship was refused on the present voyage, I am guessing we won't be visiting on my cruise.  And what fun if we have to mask everywhere?  I can't see Omicron numbers dropping in the next two weeks.

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I was on the last voyage on Explorer of the Seas. (12/19-12/26/21). We docked at St. Lucia and then were denied disembarkation by local officials. We stayed in port for about 4 hours and only admired the view from the ship. We then set sail again to our next port. In total, we missed 2 out of 5 ports because we were later also denied access into the St. Kitts/Nevis port. The ports are definitely tightening up and assessing each voyage individually; it will depend on Covid status on board and the CDC cruise guidelines are followed strictly. Currently, Explorer is “yellow” status and is being observed closely by the CDC. The Captain was very transparent about Covid statistics on board and kept the passengers current on the port situations. It is ultimately up to the local officials/CDC to decide whether a vessel is allowed to disembark for the safety of all involved. 

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Thank you everyone for your comments.  I am sorry to the past cruiser who missed 2 ports.  For the future cruisers, like myself, we def. need answers.  I called RC today and they said they have "no information" about the cruise not going as scheduled.  As far and not going to planned ports and/or different ports they have "no information".  I feel like we are on a need to know basis.  We have all paid a lot of money and if this is not going to be the cruise we hoped for we should be told so ahead of time and be given options to cancel and given a refund or delay and get a cruise credit.  I envision going to few ports and just cruising aimlessly in the Caribbean.  If anyone gets any concrete information please share it here for the rest of us.

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I'm going on Explorer 1/9. I agree finding any information is a struggle. Thanks to Flcen for giving us an update. I did get an email last night from RCCL that gave us the option to cancel or rebook cruises departing though 1/17. If we are not going to the all the ports and a chance of not going to any of the ports rebooking might be the best option.  

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Rick, G. I received the same email.  They seem to be pretty upfront about not knowing if/what ports would still be visited and that activities like the ice rink, rock climbing wall, etc..could be impacted.  My read on this is they may not be available.  I agree that rebooking or cancelling is the best choice.I have to give credit to RC for the email and giving us options.

 

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8 hours ago, Rick G said:

One thing they left out is how they will address additional testing if a port requires a negative test to disembark. That tells me that they would rather sail by a port rather than give us tests so we are able to get off. 

I can understand them skipping a port that requires a negative test to disembark.  The logistics of trying to test everyone on board would be challenging, to say the least.  😕  And if the test has to be within 48 hours...ugh.

I'm still wondering what will be required to disembark when we return to San Juan.  I guess I'm glad we didn't book a flight home the same day since I'm afraid it may not be a quick process.  (We're on the February 6 cruise.)

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Well it doesn't seem like we need a test to re-enter.

  • For cruises ending in Puerto Rico, all guests will be automatically enrolled in the SARA alert program upon disembarking the cruise ship. This is an open-source tool allowing public health officials to monitor individuals at risk for COVID-19 and is also the same alert program used for guests registering with Travel Safe for air entry.

I'm looking for a flight out but Southwest doesn't have any good times for to fly back to Chicago. I guess I need to work Google to figure it out!

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2 hours ago, Rick G said:

Well it doesn't seem like we need a test to re-enter.

  • For cruises ending in Puerto Rico, all guests will be automatically enrolled in the SARA alert program upon disembarking the cruise ship. This is an open-source tool allowing public health officials to monitor individuals at risk for COVID-19 and is also the same alert program used for guests registering with Travel Safe for air entry.

I'm looking for a flight out but Southwest doesn't have any good times for to fly back to Chicago. I guess I need to work Google to figure it out!

Thanks for finding that! My google-fu failed me on this.  

I hear you on the flights/times - the main reason we ended up just staying the night and flying home the next day.  I'm SO excited to get back to cruising but sheesh....all of these logistics/rules changing every other day are seriously messing with my calm.  lol

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1 hour ago, BrownEyedGilr67 said:

I ended up cancelling my cruise  and hours later got a text from the airline that my flight to San Juan had been cancelled - so I guess this trip was not meant to be for my family. I  hope all that are still cruising have good trips.  Would love to hear feedback.

 

 

So sad everyone has to be in limbo are we going or not or will the CDC let us go?  Why did we get vaccinated and boostered?

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19 hours ago, BrownEyedGilr67 said:

I ended up cancelling my cruise  and hours later got a text from the airline that my flight to San Juan had been cancelled - so I guess this trip was not meant to be for my family. I  hope all that are still cruising have good trips.  Would love to hear feedback.

 

 

I'm sorry to hear it's not going to work out for you this time.  I just paid the balance due for ours (Feb 6) but I have to admit that part of me still doesn't believe it's going to happen. The past 2 years we've had so many plans cancelled that I'm feeling a bit jaded I guess. 😕

Can I ask what airline it was that cancelled yours flights?

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Myself and some friends (elderly all of us with health risks) supposed to cruise on 1/20/22.  All of us tried to call and have our cruise moved to 2023, all of us were pretty much told  “too bad” I was even left on hold for over 40 minutes when I asked to speak to a manager, she never came back to phone.  There is “Cruise With Confidence” policy but apparently Royal Caribbean not honoring and also don’t seem to care one way or the other.  Also from these posts pretty sure all of our ports not letting us dick or we have to practically give up an arm to get on one.  My friends and I spent a lot of money for this, had been booked over a year. I am writing to everyone I can including Senators to have our cruise cancelled because it seems that is the only way we can A. Get our money back or B. Be allowed to reschedule.  Royal Caribbean should not be treating their customers this way.  I didn’t spend all this money to have a scary (bc of Covid, or by some horrible chance of being isolated in a room for however long that could happen, and not go to the ports we are supposed to dock at or stare at the ports we are supposed to visit from out in ocean) Royal Caribbean should cancel some of these cruises give full refunds and/ or give patrons the choices to change until things could hopefully/ possibly be a little safer.  Apparently they also need to get their Crews straightened out too, many of them seem to be infected and are possibly giving infection to patrons who spent tons of money taking their cruises. I pray every night to somehow be allowed to change or get a refund.

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On 12/29/2021 at 6:38 AM, Rick G said:

I'm going on Explorer 1/9. I agree finding any information is a struggle. Thanks to Flcen for giving us an update. I did get an email last night from RCCL that gave us the option to cancel or rebook cruises departing though 1/17. If we are not going to the all the ports and a chance of not going to any of the ports rebooking might be the best option.  

Hello, have you received any updates from RCL, since the cruise is closer? 

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On 1/2/2022 at 9:31 AM, Laine said:

Myself and some friends (elderly all of us with health risks) supposed to cruise on 1/20/22.  All of us tried to call and have our cruise moved to 2023, all of us were pretty much told  “too bad” I was even left on hold for over 40 minutes when I asked to speak to a manager, she never came back to phone.  There is “Cruise With Confidence” policy but apparently Royal Caribbean not honoring and also don’t seem to care one way or the other.  Also from these posts pretty sure all of our ports not letting us dick or we have to practically give up an arm to get on one.  My friends and I spent a lot of money for this, had been booked over a year. I am writing to everyone I can including Senators to have our cruise cancelled because it seems that is the only way we can A. Get our money back or B. Be allowed to reschedule.  Royal Caribbean should not be treating their customers this way.  I didn’t spend all this money to have a scary (bc of Covid, or by some horrible chance of being isolated in a room for however long that could happen, and not go to the ports we are supposed to dock at or stare at the ports we are supposed to visit from out in ocean) Royal Caribbean should cancel some of these cruises give full refunds and/ or give patrons the choices to change until things could hopefully/ possibly be a little safer.  Apparently they also need to get their Crews straightened out too, many of them seem to be infected and are possibly giving infection to patrons who spent tons of money taking their cruises. I pray every night to somehow be allowed to change or get a refund.

We were on the 2/6 cruise out of San Juan; I just got off the phone with Royal Caribbean and they are giving us a FCC and cancelling our reservation.  Our cruise was paid in full too.  Maybe try again?  It was way faster and easier than I expected - less than 30 minutes total and they actually answered right away.  On hold a few times as they looked into other cruise options for me.  

As disappointed as I am about not getting to go on this particular cruise, I'm thrilled at being able to cancel it.  We'll probably try to book something out of Tampa (close to home) that won't require airfare & hotels and wouldn't be a big deal to be flexible about - it's only a little over an hour from us.  

I'd encourage you to try again for your cruise though!!

 

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We have not heard anything from RCL about our 1/20 Cruise right now I am very sad because my cousin died from Covid overnight.  I can’t believe these cruise lines aren’t cancelling these cruises until things settle down.  I also can’t believe that with the money they make on these cruises they can’t afford to think about  their patrons first and cancel some of these cruises until things settle down.  I know that RC has the exact same itinerary of a cruise lvg. today for the same ports as ours for 11 days.  From what I’ve read there doesn’t seem to be any ports we are supposed to visit open, a FCC is nice, but that means you are supposed to book with that FCC within one year.  Who is to say that this Covid mess will be any better within that year, it could be even worse the way things are going so far.  I know that I will never book another cruise with them again.  It seems to me that Norwegian cares more about the safety of their patrons, they have been canceling cruises and giving refunds so people can reschedule when things might be safer.  I will most likely call again within the next week and get that FCC only because losing the $$$ is heartbreaking especially when cruises are one of or used to be one of my favorite vacations.  I will most likely lose the money altogether. I know I can’t go now because I will most likely will be going to a funeral.

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4 hours ago, Laine said:

We have not heard anything from RCL about our 1/20 Cruise right now I am very sad because my cousin died from Covid overnight.  I can’t believe these cruise lines aren’t cancelling these cruises until things settle down.  I also can’t believe that with the money they make on these cruises they can’t afford to think about  their patrons first and cancel some of these cruises until things settle down.  I know that RC has the exact same itinerary of a cruise lvg. today for the same ports as ours for 11 days.  From what I’ve read there doesn’t seem to be any ports we are supposed to visit open, a FCC is nice, but that means you are supposed to book with that FCC within one year.  Who is to say that this Covid mess will be any better within that year, it could be even worse the way things are going so far.  I know that I will never book another cruise with them again.  It seems to me that Norwegian cares more about the safety of their patrons, they have been canceling cruises and giving refunds so people can reschedule when things might be safer.  I will most likely call again within the next week and get that FCC only because losing the $$$ is heartbreaking especially when cruises are one of or used to be one of my favorite vacations.  I will most likely lose the money altogether. I know I can’t go now because I will most likely will be going to a funeral.

I'm so sorry for your loss Laine! There's no doubt covid can be a nasty b*stard!!

We each have to decide on our own comfort level as far as living with this virus - I don't really believe that it is ever going to go away completely.  It will always be with us - probably ebbing and flowing as other endemic viruses do.  We cancelled our cruise because of the increased testing requirements Puerto Rico has put in place - we would each have had to test 3 times to go on this cruise.  At a cost of $130 for each test, that's almost more than I paid for the cruise itself.  I already have my travel agent ready to book a February cruise out of Tampa that goes to Mexico rather than the Caribbean.  Just waiting for the cruise credit voucher to come through. Even before all this, cruise ship staff were cleaning all the time and personally I don't feel at any more risk that I would at most retail establishments.  

I'm absolutely not trying to minimize your experience and feelings! Like I said, we each need to figure out our comfort level and do the best we can.  I prefer making my own decision rather than having the cruise companies cancelling everything though - no one has to book them and if no one does, well, they'll figure out that maybe they need to scale back their schedules or something.  

I hope you are able to get the FCC with no hassle - the last email I got from Royal Caribbean about the increased testing requirements said right on it that if these changes made me not want to cruise or want to reschedule to just call.  We're getting an refund of the taxes/fees and the credit is just for the basic cruise fare.  So like $650 credit, $225 taxes, etc.  

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