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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/20/2018 in all areas

  1. As I've thought about this and in particular your last sentence in reference to your daughters accepting this: I can safely predict that won't be an issue. You have displayed great patience and resolve as this has played out. Sure at moments it has gotten to you, and how couldn't it? In the end you let it play out, maintained faith in Sharla and MEI Travel and worked towards a resolution. That is commendable. Our children watch and learn from us in subtle ways none of us appreciate from their early years to later in life. My kids have endured flat tires, locked up brake calipers, hotels that didn't come close to the brochure, flights delays, lost luggage, pets pass and so on. It didn't take me long to learn that their reaction mirrored my own during life's challenging moments. This is a process for them too but I'm confident you will find they handle it with as much grace as you have despite how frustrating it has been. After all, they learned that from you.
    10 points
  2. Sharla and Annette at MEI have gone above and beyond and have gotten a vacation that at least I am happy with and at no extra cost to me. My daughters need some convincing, but I have 8 months to do so.
    8 points
  3. Just an update to this string.... If you look you will see there was a new string created with an update We were able to jump in and work with Royal to get a satisfying resolution for alamode123. Sometimes these situations take a little longer - but we always strive to help take some of the stress out of planning a vacation - even if it was caused by the cruise line!
    7 points
  4. We are so glad that we could jump in and try to help you out. It does take some time to talk to all areas at the cruise line, and sometimes it doesn't work out this well, but so glad we could could help keep your spring break plans in place. Im sure once the kids see the new ship and the changes they will be excited and then all the new changes on Cocoa Cay. I know many times people will ask Matt or our agents, "why should I use a Travel Agent" its these situations where you need a few other people in your corner to fight for you - and we are happy to do that for all our clients.
    6 points
  5. Day 6 - Nice Today we're docked in the beautiful port of Villefranche-sur-Mer on the south of France's Cote d'Azur. From here it's possible to visit Nice, Monaco and Cannes; we'refreshing been to Monaco we're visiting Nice. After breakfast in the MDR buffet, we head to go to the theatre to meet our tour. We'd booked the 'introduction Nice' tour through RC. This simply involved a coach transfer to Nice with some commentary about the history etc on the way. I'm not sure ofthe exact price but our was about £40pp. It probably would've been cheaper to go by private taxi as it's only about 30mins away from the ship, but the traffic can get pretty bad on this stretch of coastline so I felt happier being on RC's bus. In fact, when we visited Monaco previously, our tour was back late because of the traffic and we were back later than the advertised 'last tender' but our wasn't a problem for us as it was an RC tour. We had to wait in the theatre for about 5mins for a tender to become available, then we were on our way. The tender ride is only short - about 10 mins, but it's a nice chance to take in the views of the stunning scenery and super-yachts in the harbour. From the cruise terminal, there is a very short but steep walk up to the citadel where the coaches park - how they manoeuvre through the tiny lanes with cars parked either side I'll never know. Then we settled back to enjoy the views on the short drive to Nice. Our drop-off point was next to the Albert I park on the Promenade d'Anglais. This was right next to a little tourist train that does a 1hr tour of the city with pre-recorded commentary including taking you to the top of the 92m high Mont Boron for €10pp. There was a train about to leave so we hopped on for the tour. It was a good value option especially for the views over the city from the top of Mont Boron. After the tour, we had a wander around the old told and bought a couple of souvenirs and a bottle of wine to take home. We then had a very delicious (if expensive!) lunch as one of the pavement-side restaurants. We then had a stroll through one of rhe parks before heading back to the promenade. We had 44mins left before having to get our return transfer but it was extremely hot - 34 degrees - and there was little shade to be had anywhere. We spotted a rickshaw that did tours for €15 pp for 30 mins so we jumped on as it was a good way to get out of the sun, generate a refreshing breeze and see a bit more of the city. It was such good fun, if a little hairy, as the driver took us down really narrow streets chock full of pedestrians. In hindsight, we'd have preferred to have done a longer rickshaw tour rather than the train tour but both were good experiences. The driver dropped us off at our bus stop right on time for our return transfer. After a short drive, we were back at the cruise terminal where we were greeted by RC staff had out cold towels and complimentary ice-cold water and flavoured water. We only waited for a few minutes for a tender and then we were back on board. We grabbed a frozen mocha each to cool down and headed up to our cabin for husband to check his eyelids for holes whilst I sat on the balcony watching some of the super-yachts sail out. Sailaway took us past the St Jean Cap Ferat peninsula which is the 2nd most expensive residential area in the world after Monaco. As we sailed past, we saw The Grand Hotel (the big ehite building on the cliff in the photo) where a room will cost on average a mere €2090 per night! As we headed back out into the Med., we could see the Seabourn Encore and a Viking (possibly the Orion) in the distance sailing away from Monaco. We then got changed before heading down to Bolero's for a pre-dinner drink. Dinner tonight was in the MDR where I had the Lasagne which was DELICIOUS! Then we had a stroll round the promenade deck before heading to rhe Schooner bar for a nightcap and a sing-a-long. Tomorrow we'll be in Civitivechia where we plan to stay onboard as we're not visiting Rome. Apparently there'll be several other ships in port with us too so I'm hoping to get a good look at them.
    4 points
  6. UPDATE! Tell ya what, snake bites are different breed altogether! The swelling in my husband's leg has gone down considerably. It did not "pass the second joint " a la Poison Control not your local dispensary LOL! , in this case his knee. So he didn't need the anti-venom. (Whew!) During the time his leg (above his ankle) was HUGE, the temp of it was 10 to 15 degrees warmer than his non-bitten leg. Now that the swelling is down, the temp is equal to his other leg. Here's the weird part. His foot is still huge (no way to put on a shoe, yet), BUT it is now colder than the foot that didn't get bit. I hope this is okay. He's got an appointment with his PMD this afternoon. Hoping he can go to one crutch (or no crutch) and get some exercises/pt for mobility. What a roller coaster we've been on this week. Monday started out like any other day, just like today for anyone reading this (perhaps?), and it ended and Tuesday started with a possibility lethal situation. Then we went from averting death (I guess it is THAT dramatic) to possibly losing limb. Now, we're back to, I think, how Monday started, for the most part. Here's the take away, if there is one: Looking at the epidemiological data (before I had my own business, I was an epidemiologist so I'm kinda of a science/medical/statistics nerd), the chances of being injured or killed in a car accident OR being struck by lightening are greater than being bit (note, I didn't say "dying") by a venomous snake. Since, most of us have already driven somewhere today, and you lived (you're reading this, aren't you? ?), buy your trip insurance if you haven't (add that "cancel for any reason", if you still can). If you still won't, go buy a lottery ticket and pray. THANK YOU THANK YOU everyone for your well wishes. I have truly found a community of wonderful, nice, caring folks!
    3 points
  7. michelle

    Cancelled Cruise Update

    Woo Hoo to Annette and Sharla - I know its always the best thing to hear when someone has your back and works out a problem for you We have a great team of agents here. Thanks Raye for always being so supportive - you are the best client - and keep 'em coming! I can cancel, reprice and rebook All day long if you need me too HAPPY Weekend people
    3 points
  8. Bravo MEI ! SO happy that this is coming to a good end. There are so many lessons here. Twangbot's are extremely important - our children DO learn to handle life's disappointments (and joys !) from us and we don't know until WELL after it's too late that the way we handle crises is exactly the way they will handle crises. Another important lesson here is to be persistent (well done, alamode123) and not accept the answers you sometimes get if it's not what you want ! The third lesson is one we hear over and over and over again on these boards. A GOOD TA is worth waaay more during adversity than they are when things go the way you want them to go. I LOVE my Agent (Michelle Cunnningham, in case there's a soul on this planet that doesn't know yet). She works hard for us. Very hard. Believe it or not, I am NOT the easiest customer to have ! ? I ask for stupid stuff and have her check prices WAAAYTOOO often. I cancel and rebook, change rooms, overreact and whine. But she couldn't be more professional and attentive. To be completely honest (now that the crisis has passed) I did not expect this unfortunate scenario to end well for alamode123. I have heard MANY such stories (there shouldn't even be ONE) and they rarely (never ?) work out in the passengers' favor. Honestly, I think this might be the one and only time I've ever heard of Royal actually changing their minds and offering an alternative option to what their pathetic offers usually are. So, hooray for this time. The girls and you are going to have a great cruise. It won't be long and you will not even remember that your cruise was originally booked on a different ship. The truth is, you are getting a BETTER ship now and you will all have the time of our lives. Good deal !
    3 points
  9. Every time we've given our cabin number to a crew member, they've laughed at it. We actually won the raffle at the Suite Life presentation and then heard other passengers discussing our room number ??
    3 points
  10. Ray

    Cruising in Europe

    Must admit i do the same no matter where i go, i always learn the basics ie how to say good morning, good night thank you etc Only ever had issues once while in middle East, i asked filipino guy who worked for me to teach me some Tagalog ( filipino) so he did! Good morning , how are you etc Walked in to bar later that day and said confidently " malaki dede " followed by "cig e who bood ney" ( not how its spelt but how it sounds) turned out i wasnt saying " good evening how are you today, in fact i had just said to the female waitress " nice boobs lets get naked" Just as well waitress had a good sense of humour and a bad right hook lol
    3 points
  11. They already have my new cruise in the system, so booked ultimate dining package, Coco cay cabana and soda/internet for the girls. Im sure the drink package cost will drop.
    3 points
  12. Thanks again Annette (and Sharla). Couldn't be happier. Thanks for the over the top help. Twin 15-year-old girls are always a challenge, especially as the only parent 24/7. I totally saw their point. Why on earth would you give a company your money when they just screwed you over? If I could change our flights without penalty I would have done just that. But in the end, we'll be getting off the Mariner when Matt's group cruise is getting on. For those of you on that group cruise next March, make sure you ask at the Bamboo Room about Paul from Toronto from the cruise before you. I'm a tiki nut, so I'll be in there whenever I'm not eating or sleeping. Also, thanks for everyone's kind words.
    3 points
  13. As expected, Sharla and her supervisor did their magic since my cruise cancellation, and put on hold the exact same room on Mariner. Same week, same port, just one day fewer. They are now talking with Royal to see about price matching back to when i booked my original cruise, as I shouldn't be paying more for one less day through no fault of my own. Best case scenario it all works out, and we end up with an extra day before our cruise. Hopefully my girls will be as accepting of this result as I will be.
    2 points
  14. Twin 15 yer old girls......God bless you!
    2 points
  15. Thanks Mark! so glad you are booked with MEI-Travel and support Matt's blog!
    2 points
  16. This webcam has been focused on Mariner all day as she gets ready to set sail later today. http://www.portmiamiwebcam.com/ Pick some future Mariner sail date and watch her depart with your daughters. It's hard not to get excited anytime I watch a sail away.
    2 points
  17. This absolutely made my day ...... So glad I work with MEI (Michelle in my case) ---- The girls will come around ..... encourage them to watch YouTube videos of the ship and your destinations, that'll get them ramped up. Mark
    2 points
  18. I wanted to pass on a tip to try and reduce your cruise fare. We are booked on Freedom for ABC Islands in Oct. for my wife & I. Sunday is our final payment deadline. Today before I called the travel agent to make our last payment, I checked the pricing on our Stateroom. 2B Spacious View Balcony on the hump deck 10. 3 days before final payment deadline it was $468 cheaper than when I booked it 18 months ago during a BOGO 60 sale. One thing that Royal allowed was for us to change our deposit from refundable to non-refundable (don't need it for final payment) at the lower cruise fare rate. We booked today under the standard BOGO 50 offering, no onboard credit. Not only did Royal give us the lower fare they allowed us to keep the onboard credit from when we booked originally. Cruise Hack #1 always check the available fare before making your final payment and if you booked your cruise with a refundable deposit change it to non-refundable. This hack just paid for one of our airfares to San Juan.
    2 points
  19. Thank you! ? We were able to make our reservations the first night for the entire week - no problems at all!
    2 points
  20. I have been sat alone at a two top as well as with other people at a larger table. I have always been cool with sitting with others. I spend so much alone that it was nice to have the company and chat.
    2 points
  21. Love this forum! I have one cruise under my belt now, yeah! We booked one for next year on Adventure of the Seas. We reserved My Time Dining for our family of three. If my teen son meets a friend that week, can he spontaneously ask his friend to join our table in the MDR? Is that allowed? Also, part two of my question: since we are a party of three, will they add people that we do not know to our table to “round it out”? (I was kind of hoping not to have to socialize with people we do not know, call me crazy....LOL). P.S. the people on this forum are so much nicer than other forums..the others get a bit snippy with each other!
    1 point
  22. Thanks for the update. Glad to hear it's been working out so far. Keep the updates coming.
    1 point
  23. When I was a young fellow I got bit by a rattlesnake on my foot. Painful, swelling & nausea, but, didn't loose a limb. So glad to hear your husband is doing well! But, how did the trout fishing go?
    1 point
  24. Awesome, glad everything is working out.
    1 point
  25. Matt

    Anthem Thermal Spa pass

    That does sound like it the thermal spa pass. Good catch!
    1 point
  26. Can you do that with twin 15 year old girls? ?
    1 point
  27. You echo my thoughts. This seems like a really bad idea. I am quite familiar with the IndyCar race in Toronto as I am a corner worker there and I just cannot see how this could work. Track construction generally begins almost 2 months before the event and the tear down takes weeks. That alone would be a huge impact on traffic not even considering totally closing it for a weekend which I would Imagine is the busiest of times for the port from a tourist perspective. The reason I asked about the RCL terminal is the proposed layout seems to use the roads directly in front of that part of the port. I would imagine that the tunnel could be used to access the ships further up the port but I think the existing RCL building would be completely inaccessible.
    1 point
  28. @alamode123 THANK You for your support - I have the best clients and THANK you for supporting Matt and his blog
    1 point
  29. I'm sure they will. How I got them hyped up for the Navigator was i found a Minecraft server where someone rebuilt the ship. They were roaming around, and even found our room. ?
    1 point
  30. Also checking for updates. How is he doing now? ...and I bought my travel insurance right after reading this the first time!
    1 point
  31. firebuck

    Anthem Thermal Spa pass

    @JLMoran I'm on the Anthem leaving October 27th, and new stuff is popping in every day on the cruise planner since I'm now 99 days out. It looks like the weekly passes to the thermal spa are available to purchase pre cruise according to my screenshot here - unless this is for something else?
    1 point
  32. Ray

    Cruising in Europe

    No tbh we are still friends 5 yrs later ? Thats the waitress and the guy who thought it would be fun to teach me the wrong sayings lol
    1 point
  33. Ray

    Cruising in Europe

    France is the only country that i have struggled with people talking english, its not that they cant its just the fact they dont want to. Was in a resteraunt and menu was in french, asked for a little help as somethings i didnt understand, i was told in english that no one spoke english. After a little bit of a wait i asked again for assistance and was told the same and if i didnt understand menu just to leave. So i finished my beer i hadnt paid for and left. The chance of free beer was a good enough reason to leave and grab a pizza from next door lol
    1 point
  34. That's what I was thinking..... you have an extra "6" --- that can't be good.....Better put out cloves of garlic and wave the incense. Or--- buy a Pick 4 Lottery Ticket ..... that would be insane on the payout.
    1 point
  35. You'll love the loft suite - from the minute you first open the door to your final departure. Thanks for blogging!
    1 point
  36. Haunted by the @hayley_bopp at the moment. Here is her Indy live blog https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/6830-independence-14th-28th-july-med-liveish-blog/
    1 point
  37. @bellemiche thanks for sharing your week with us! Cannot wait for the CLS blog!! Oh and good to hear that you did not have trouble getting reservations each night to CK with the JS booking.
    1 point
  38. Could be... I have relatives in Jolly Olde England.
    1 point
  39. @hayley_bopp Your blog, your pictures, your scopes.....all fabulous. So amazing that I'm thinking you must be related to @twangster!!!
    1 point
  40. I barely dipped a toe into CC (mainly just lurked like I did around here before creating an account), but from the little I saw of it, it seems very quick to negativity and senseless rudeness. It really turned me off and made me not want to post there. But thank goodness this site seems very welcoming and helpful. I haven't been here long, but my reason for lurking for a couple months was to feel out the community to see if it was going to be a place I'd feel comfortable posting in. It can be so hard to find a place online that doesn't jump to rudeness very quickly. I guess it's just the nature of the semi anon medium.
    1 point
  41. Hoping MEI can still work their magic. Don't let one intern programmed to work from a script cause you to throw in the towel.
    1 point
  42. Don't take it personally. They hate everyone.
    1 point
  43. Always at a table for two, by myself. Tables are so close though that if you have friendly neighbors you can have a conversation. I actually prefer this and usually get great service. In and out in under 45 minutes, sometimes faster.
    1 point
  44. Thanks Matt, but if anyone really expects me to give one dime to Royal after this, it's not happening. Looks like I'll change flights to end of August and go to Universal instead. We've been to WDW 8 times, are DVC members, and my daughter is Potter obsessed. Sorry for bad mouthing Royal. I know it's your thing and all, but how do they really expect people to react? No one I know, or my kids know, will EVER cruise with them again if we can help it.
    1 point
  45. Because you always have Star Class, lol, you don't need the UDP...
    1 point
  46. Fish and Ships is making me hungry. Now I really want to sail Indy. Enjoying the blog so far.
    1 point
  47. Europeans in general speak a fair amount of English so the language barrier is likely to be less of an issue, especially when it comes to things like "taxi to the port" vs. an in depth discussion of the painting styles of various middle ages artists ... We flew into Athens a couple of summers back and did the Athens to Barcelona 10 night cruise with stops all along the coast as we went. Getting to the port in Athens was a breeze (see "taxi to the port" above). By the time we flew in it was "the next evening" after leaving Florida mid-morning. Crashed at the hotel more from exhaustion than time of night as soon as we got there. Spent the next day doing sightseeing in Athens, crashed again due to exhaustion and voila jet lag was solved. Taxi to the port the next morning was about a 30 minute ride. Disembarkation in Barcelona was similar, 20 minute taxi ride to the hotel that morning, spent the day exploring Barcelona on foot and then 20-30 minute tax ride to the hotel the next morning. As suggested above I would look at the itineraries of the cruises and consider that along with any other cities you have on your "bucket list" and then pick the one that best fits rather than worry about the best port to get on/off ... that's 2 1/2 day events out of a 14 day trip .. worry about the other 13 days :) For example, if London is on your list of cities you have always wanted to do and there is an itinerary you like out of Southampton ... target a Southampton cruise with a day or two pre/post cruise for time in London. If on the other hand the Grecian isles is your thing ... then plan on flying to Athens and looking at cruises out of Athens hitting the islands.
    1 point
  48. alamode123

    Royal Cancels Cruises

    Funny thing is my only other RCL cruise was a charter. A Comic Con like cruise on Brilliance two years ago. To me, it's like renting a hall for a wedding. You book over a year ahead, then the hall says eight months before your wedding "We found someone that's willing to pay more, here's your money back." I booked this last August, early, like Matt said. I booked m,y airline early, a day before our cruise and two days after. because it was March break, I didn't even risk waiting until the return flights were available and booked two one way tickets for us 11 months out. Now I have to use my flights by mid April 2019 or lose the $2000 US I paid for them (around $2600 Canadian). A five day cruise may not seem like a big deal to you, but I'm a widowed father of three teenagers. I saved up almost two years for this trip, and had EVERYTHING set. Room 1864 on the Navigator, the pie shaped Large Panoramic View room. It was a month after the Navigator's refurb. I had a bungalow booked on Labadee, our first time there. I booked the Ultimate Dining package. We watched endless hours of Youtube videos all about the ship, the ports, Miami and now ..... screwed. And their offer for the inconvenience? two sailings of THEIR choice that they will give me the price fix from when I booked. I have kids in high school. Ever heard of March break? Otherwise I get $100 on board credit for a new cruise, and rescheduling fees for my flights (but ONLY if I rebook, and it doesn't include increases in flight costs). Screw that. The ONLY way I could see them salvaging this is to say "We'll put you on ANY ship that week out of Miami or Ft lauderdale in an equivalent cabin, no extra cost. $100? Gee thanks but no thanks.
    1 point
  49. No early booking discount but they did get $100 obc ( On Board Coke )
    1 point
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