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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/08/2020 in Posts

  1. 19 points
    So my Iceland & Greenland cruise is officially canceled now, and I learned something very important that I wanted to share here. It appears that if you cancel a cruise that has been Lift & Shifted and you were past final payment when you did the Lift & Shift, you will be assessed the standard cancellation penalty that applied at the time the Lift & Shift was booked. That is, if you were in the first 15 days past final payment when you did the L&S, you would then be assessed a 25% cancellation penalty if you then cancel the sailing; doing the L&S between 15 and 30 days after final payment would mean a 50% penalty; etc. I was utterly unaware of this when I did the L&S, as was my TA at the time. I even had him call Celebrity before doing the L&S, just to confirm the cruise was still cancelable and to see if there was any problem with the fact I was already past final payment on the original booking. The Celebrity rep that he spoke with assured him the cruise could be canceled and said nothing at all about penalties. (likely because he hadn't yet gotten that particular memo) Now, I got really lucky. Because I did have my TA call Celebrity beforehand, and he was not informed of the penalty by their rep and had documented that person's response, he was able to call them and speak to a senior supervisor to get all penalties waived for my particular cancellation. I will actually be getting back 100% of my fully-paid-for cruise (after 60-75 days ๐Ÿค‘), for which I'm incredibly relieved. Otherwise I'd have had to take the FCC option to keep everything that had been paid, and had my money locked up with Celebrity for who knows how long before cruising actually resumes in any meaningful way. Please make a note of this if you have already done an L&S on a cruise you had. If you have an upcoming cruise that hasn't been shifted out, you have any doubts about whether it will actually sail, and you think you would rather L&S to the following year to be safe, do it before final payment if at all possible. That should ensure you can also get a 100% refund with no questions asked, although I would still advise to have your TA get that in writing / direct from a rep in some way in case they try to finagle a way to keep some of your money.
  2. 18 points
    I donโ€™t miss the muster drill
  3. 12 points
    JohnK6404

    What I Don't Miss About Cruising!

    Watching the day of the week tiles on the elevator floors advance... Thursday, Friday... very sad. ๐Ÿ˜ž
  4. 11 points
    Matt

    Lift and Shaft

    Tell your TA to look it on their site: http://creative.rccl.com/Sales/Royal/General_Info/CWC_Enhanced_FAQs.pdf 32. Understanding that the same itinerary, stateroom category, sailing length, and timeframe are a requirement, is it essential that my client rebook on the same ship as well? No, it is not required that your client rebook on the same ship or ship class
  5. 10 points
    Matt

    Is it safe?

    I understand you had a bad experience with a TA, but I can assure you that is not the typical experience. Moreover, your idea of "surrending all control" is a bit over dramatic characterization of what occurs. If you don't care for travel agents, that's totally fine. But please stop spreading painting all TAs with a broad brush. There are so many hard working agents these days, and pretty much all of them are struggling.
  6. 10 points
    Jolly Ogre

    Lift and Shaft

    Update: So I sent my TA an email last night with the links to Royals site that has the info listed saying that it looks to me that I don't have to stay on the same ship. Lo and behold today at lunch I get a voice mail and email from the TA " Oh look I talked with Royal and I am able to get you switched to Symphony!". Yeah thanks That is all I wanted to hear. But why did "I" have to do all this? It was her job in the 1st place. And that is why I am going to go with MEI for all my future sailings.
  7. 9 points
    JasonL

    Support your TA

    I really like my TA, I feel so bad for her right now. She was very appreciative of the cruise I just booked for next year and was excited that I was booking something not canceling. I think I'll try and book my non-cruise trips with her as well for anything I have coming up even though I normally would do it myself.
  8. 9 points
    deep1

    What I Don't Miss About Cruising!

    They block up straight line paths and stairways with their photo stuff and we need to go the long way around...
  9. 9 points
    FionaMG

    What I Don't Miss About Cruising!

    Packing on the last night and the plane ride home, doubly so if it's an overnight transatlantic.
  10. 9 points
    twangster

    RCL to Resume Cruising 9/16

    It only took me a trip to divorce court.
  11. 8 points
    The dealers who take all my money. I always seem to sit at a broken slot machine too, I put money in but none comes out.
  12. 8 points
    Exactly, the entire ship. Forgive me but I just can't stop picturing looking up at the transparent elevators, and then if they are packed in, I am laughing just thinking about the types of prints left "behind"
  13. 8 points
    LMAO on this comment in total agreement. Our 1st cruise (10 night Med) was the exact opposite. We were 27/28 yrs old. It was the size of Enchantment. They sold 50% of it to AARP. It was the strangest feeling ever. It actually felt like you were on your own personal yacht. 9 pm and the bars/dance venues were just a handful of passengers. However, since this was back in the 90s, at 11:30 they all came back out again for the midnight buffet to take pics. 12:15 and the ship was silent again. I would never do it again even though it felt like my own yacht. It just had the wrong vibe. OBTW I am now eligible for AARP.
  14. 7 points
    deep1

    You're not Alone

    One AM is the new 10:00 PM. I fade into sleep by the glow of my laptop...... "Turn right then left" your destination will be on your right." My Hyperhot fiancee turns off the cell phone. Our teens in the back seat wake slowly. In the rear view I see their expressions. Nearly a 1/4 mile long machine 18 stories high and over half a football field wide greets them. Each with a rolling suitcase and backpack we make our way into a giant hall. Though I have some packed everybody gets a new lanyard. Crowds are still light but coming quick. I spy a Crown And Anchor line open. I carry myself as if I'm "someone" and we are motioned to approach. Check in lightning quick as we are carrying on, not check in. We are barely seated in the great hall when they announce we can board. The endless ramp grows shorter as we approach the door... We're in. A world of glitz and glamour accented with shine captivates the teens. Long lines at the elevator as expected. Its ok. We walk to the far end of the promenade, exploring along the way, to empty elevators,. We are whisked to the high decks. We pass pools and hot tubs. Giant slides and other attractions mesmerize the kids. We encounter the first of a zillion "washy washy" guitar duos and find a corner of Windjammer. The kids go off and explore then meet back at 1:00 PM to go move into our room. We take the left to a lower deck and walk the halls. We take the sea pass by the door and open to our balcony room. The kids and fiancee beaming... I say "nice but I wonder what this room looks like next door?" The teen girl says " Thats somebody else's room you can't go in there!". I ignore and open that door . The kids are worried that security will surely throw us off. I hand them each a key... This is yours... They are blown away that I went deep on two. More explore We meet for muster then sail away... We watch people waving at the inlet as we press to the southeast. The promenade grows lively with the first of many parades. The kids meet us at MDR and taste their first escargot. "Rules are simple. Home when Fuel closes. Text when you are in your cabin. Sea pass has some arcade but not a lot. " The sounds of the sea passing beneath our balcony soothes us and we drift off to sleep...... Bleep bleep bleep... the alarm sounds... I look around my land based room. It seemed so real. I close my eyes... "Soon... Soon this mess will be astern of us and what I just dreamed will again be reality".
  15. 7 points
    I guess the best news here is that Royal Caribbean has any money to purchase anything ! A bit of reassurance, I suppose https://seekingalpha.com/news/3590167-royal-caribbean-acquires-remaining-stake-in-silversea?utm_medium=email&utm_source=seeking_alpha&mail_subject=rcl-royal-caribbean-acquires-remaining-stake-in-silversea&utm_campaign=rta-stock-news&utm_content=link-3
  16. 7 points
    You have made it very clear in all your posts that you dislike TAs. However, it sounds like you let one bad experience turn you off from all others. You dealt with a lemon of a TA, that much is certain. It's not fair to paint all TAs with the same brush though. I am Type A to a fault. It's in my nature and I have to be so in my job. The Type A nature never goes off, so I know what you mean when you say that you want control over your reservation. It does bother me as well at times when I cannot get full access because I have booked with a TA. A bit about my background, I too am Canadian like you. In my 18 years or so of booking cruises, I have gone every route. I have tried using my local travel agency, booked direct through Royal, booked with Royal Vacation Planners, booked with US based TAs. There are advantages and disadvantages to all of them, like everything else in life. This is what I have learned. Some TAs are flat out awful. The exact kind that you are talking about, they are prompt for a booking and then go AWOL for all else. I had booked with those. Some TAs don't even know much, and you know more than them. Sadly, I have booked with those as well. However, if you look hard enough, there are some TAs that are simply wonderful. And if you let one bad experience (which I have had my share) let that spoil you for all others, then you could be missing out as well. Wonderful TAs are out there. They are hard to find, but they exist. Why would a Type A person like me still use a TA? Bottom line, it saves me time and money. You are right, I know all the numbers and short cuts too to calling Royal. However, for as much as I know, my TA knows more, and she has deeper connections as a TA that I do not have. So I could sit there over and over again on the phone or let her fight for me. The end result with her is that either I get what I would have been able to get by myself, or I actually get more, because she can sometimes work her magic and get rules to be bent. It's kind of like cruising with a Genie or without. Could you still have a great vacation without one? For sure! But I will choose the Genie every time if possible. I also save money in the sense that TA's get deals that the general population cannot get access to. The trick is that by giving up control, it has to be worth it. I have been really discouraged too a few times by some lemons out there and also not impressed by those who don't go the extra mile. But a good TA, a really good one, can make a world of a difference and it is worth giving up the control. How is that possible? Well, for me, it's because my TA is fighter, she hates the word no, and she is more Type A than I am. But it took me a while to find her. So what I am saying is that just because you came across one bad one, it doesn't mean they are all like that. And as far as MEI goes, they are well known for their service and their competence. As you know, they are also a sponsor of Royal Caribbean Blog. They help @Matt keep the lights on here. As you have discovered, not only is this a great community of people, but also a valuable resource for those who love to cruise or are learning to cruise. As a Canadian, you may personally not prefer to use MEI or other TAs, but again, your situation is one of many, and for many Canadians like myself, it still pays, and then some to use MEI or other US based TAs.
  17. 7 points
    Like a plane ride, train trip or ferry ride it's almost certain that symptoms of a viral infection that occurs during the transportation will only present themselves days after the transportation has concluded. That makes them appear to be safe. By the time someone has symptoms they've been involved with so many other activities it becomes difficult to know for certain it was the plane/train/ferry where the infection occurred. Maybe it was in a visit to a store the day before, maybe it was at church the day after, maybe it was that pub that just opened after the trip, or the person who picked you up in their car, etc. In the end those modes of transportation are just as risky or more so compared to a cruise but it's more difficult to know they were involved with an infection so it's easier to give them a green light and mark them as safe.
  18. 7 points
    Id be surprised if there IS a Royal Up program, and if there is, it wont be a big savings. Probably wrong, as my wife points out, I usually am.
  19. 7 points
    SpeedNoodles

    Travel Insurance company suggestion

    I always try to buy mine within 14-15 days of putting my deposit down to ensure that I get "cancel for any reason" and coverage for pre-existing conditions activated.
  20. 7 points
    Ray

    RCL to Resume Cruising 9/16

    You are correct with what you say, the article does state that a cruise may in fact be safer than going on a vacation to a city such as London....HOWEVER it says in a Covid environment at no point does it mention crime rate. My question would be have you ever been to London or are you just going by reports in newspapers. London is no different to any other major city in the world! It has its good and bad areas, good and bad citizens, US cities will have far worse crime rates, shootings, killings and thats just the police!
  21. 7 points
    The public is so bad at looking at the media's reporting critically...that is as damaging as the response and the virus itself. Why isn't mortality being reported with the spiking cases. I saw one social media comment from someone who says they are a doctor that the with the current numbers right now (I haven't seen it elsewhere yet for more credibility), this wouldn't even be listed as an epidemic in a normal situation much less a pandemic. This whole thing has just eroded more of my personal trust in media and government bureaucracies which were low to begin with. No, not low....I will say non-existent.
  22. 6 points
    Katy H

    What I Don't Miss About Cruising!

    going to bed on the last night, knowing when I wake up in the morning, the vacation is over.
  23. 6 points
    USFFrank

    What I Don't Miss About Cruising!

    Debarkation, which means for most, vacation over until next time.
  24. 6 points
    SPS

    It really can pay to re-price your cruise!

    Hello, All! Been a while since I've been here. Several times in the past, I've done a second "mock-booking" of my existing reservation, to see if I would come up with a lower price to no avail. With the current 2021 sale going on, I was able to see that booking an available cabin RIGHT NEXT TO MINE was $79 cheaper so I decided to call RCCL. (Not a bunch, but, hey, every bit helps!) To my surprise, not only was the basic rate $79 cheaper, but, I actually qualified for an additional discount as a resident of MICHIGAN! This has NEVER happened for me. In my experience, those discounts have usually been available for those in the home port state. At the end of the call, I had a $244 discount off my cruise fare! If not for finding this blog a few years ago, I wouldn't have known that re-pricing an existing reservation was possible.
  25. 6 points
    Actually, no cash involved. "The remaining one-third stake held by Heritage Cruise Holding Ltd. was paid for in the form of 5.2 million shares of Royal Caribbean Group common stock, which represents about 2.5% of the total common stock."
  26. 6 points
    In our community newsletter someone (don't know them personally) is selling their cabin on a chartered Oasis sailing next November 2021 the week before Thanksgiving. We were considering a B2B in that time frame to use up our existing FCC. Price was okay, so started doing my due diligence, they were even going to pay whatever change fees. Wow, right? Well investigation was successful because it was a full ship charter, mind you we have a teenage daughter we sail with. Oh my word, ready? Clothing optional ahem pineapple cruise, complete with playrooms and theme nights, well now I'm not even sure how I am feeling about sailing the following week that is booked already, forget about COVID, ugh...always something! No judgement to each their own I say in earnest but I might feel funny about this one, not sure how much social distancing takes place on this type of charter, I hope everyone has fun but hard no for our little family for that sailing. Otherwise, we are good to go!
  27. 6 points
    twangster

    Drink package

    Take care of the bartenders and they take care of you. Often a new drink magically appears before the last one is half gone.
  28. 6 points
    WAAAYTOOO

    C+A Oddity?

    My advice, with C&A....if the count is in your favor, say nothing.
  29. 6 points
    ^^^^This! is exactly why I love cruising so much. It's about the only vacation that I can truly unwind and step back. Saddens me even more that there is no start date in sight. I tried to explain to my family the other night that for me, it's not just a lost vacation. Cruising represents something far greater for me.
  30. 5 points
    WAAAYTOOO

    Quantum Class Advice?

    I've only sailed on Anthem, but I love the Quantum class. It's my second favorite class, after Oasis. It can seem a bit crowded along the Esplanade at certain times but generally not a big problem. There are lots of unique activities on the Q class and I love 270 and the Music Hall. The food is about the same as any other Royal Caribbean ship. I've actually never eaten in the MDR but I'm sure it's on par with the rest. On Anthem, Izumi is a very small venue, if that's important - sushi only with no hibachi. I would probably choose Odyssey just b/c I haven't been on that ship but I would not hesitate to go on Anthem, too.
  31. 5 points
    Drewww

    When is your next cruise?

    Please add me to November 25, 2021 on Enchantment of the seas! Just added my next cruise for Turkey day at sea ๐Ÿ˜€
  32. 5 points
    Lovetocruise2002

    Support your TA

    I just booked a cruise yesterday with mine! lol No FCCs or anything attached. Just a nice, simple, book this on Deck 17 please. ๐Ÿ˜„ Done. Now I just need it to sail!
  33. 5 points
    twangster

    Tip with drink package...?

    Very different experience for me. I can cite many Royal ships where the bar staff know exactly what I like and in some cases have it ready for me as I approach. You have in a nutshell defined the entire service industry in Canada. Oh, and I guess it works that way on a ship too.
  34. 5 points
    Jill

    Air travel....

    I promise weโ€™re not all on ventilators. ๐Ÿ˜‰ This article deserves attention. So tired of the fear. https://www.850wftl.com/opinion-why-the-new-case-numbers-will-mislead-you/?fbclid=IwAR1pJLWJ_lrSeMVB41ny6EI8dqWZyXAh2ruDE92ReFJHN5IdArAlLrzlVNg
  35. 5 points
    I'm desperate enough right now that I'd watch the crap out of that. ๐Ÿคฃ
  36. 5 points
    1 - Visiting the Coco Beach Club for the first time 2 - E-muster (if true) sounds like a great step up!
  37. 5 points
    Ogilthorpe

    What I Don't Miss About Cruising!

    I dont miss the phenomenon of all the clothing in my closet beginning to shrink by mid cruise! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ
  38. 5 points
    I'd love to do any train sleeper anywhere!
  39. 5 points
    ugh hope this is not true as well - I love Key West and getting there by Cruise Ship is so much easier - although the drive down is beautiful and you can fly into Key West so there are options.
  40. 5 points
    Matt

    What I Don't Miss About Cruising!

    That entire last morning. Super tired, hungry 45 minutes after leaving the ship, waiting in a long line to get off the ship, and then another long line in the terminal somewhere.
  41. 5 points
    FManke

    What I Don't Miss About Cruising!

    Everybody standing shoulder to shoulder for a muster drill might be a thing of the past with the current state of affairs when cruises start up again. Finally, something positive to come out of the pandemic!
  42. 5 points
    JLMoran

    First and Last to Cruise

    No numbers analysis for me, just thinking about the statements already made and where they logically lead. My vote for first ship to sail is Symphony. It's been stated that the bigger ships are more profitable with smaller passenger counts, and she's the biggest (as well as the newest) they've got. She's also got all the bells and whistles, making it easy for the people who book on her to enjoy their time even while social distancing. I think it will be the radiance class ships that are the last to return to service. They're smaller than vision class and from what I've seen do mainly more-boutique itineraries. Which Radiance ship specifically? My bet's on Radiance, which if I remember rightly is the ship assigned to the Alaskan sailings. I think with Canada shutting down their border for the foreseeable future, Alaskan sailings are going to be the very last to resume, even though they're typically the 7-night duration that regions like the EU are looking to max out at. When Alaska does open up, they'll put Ovation back on those sailings before any Radiance class ship, since she's bigger / more bells and whistles / more profitable with reduced passenger count. I think Empress will actually sail before the Radiance ships, or at least before the last one, even though she's smallest of them all. She can do the 7-night Bermuda sailings out of NJ that go nowhere else while Anthem / Adventure / Freedom can do the 5-night version. Alternately, she could be put on a purely Canadian itinerary, say from Montreal to Halifax and back, avoiding the problem of a closed border with the US; and yes, that might even make it possible to leverage the double standard that exists with flying into the country from the US today, making it possible for US passengers to do that sailing while Canadian passengers fly to / sail out of Bayonne. So there you go, for whatever it's worth. ๐Ÿ™‚
  43. 5 points
    Dad2Cue

    Lift and Shaft

    Do you have any other FCCs, refunds, credit card disputes, or future flight credits to keep you busy?
  44. 5 points
    Mrs. Thomas

    Just Because....

    Two years ago life was a bit easier and carefree. Also, this lady was at dry dock. Click the link for a video of what the Symphony of the Seas looked like then at dry dock, still getting some work done. I hope that she will be filled with smiling faces and laughter soon. (preferably mine and my family's lol) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YWQZCBK5N0&t=11s
  45. 5 points
    Matt

    Travel Insurance company suggestion

    I think travel insurance is a great idea for a lot of people, but the biggest mistake with travel insurance is not understanding what it covers (and doesnt cover). Be sure that whatever policy you buy covers the scenarios you have in mind.
  46. 5 points
    Shari3

    Lift and shift help

    In answer to your first question I did. My travel agent took care of it for me. Saved quite a bit of money. All done within a day. Use MEI.
  47. 5 points
    WAAAYTOOO

    Lift and Shaft

    Ugh. Horrible situation. If it were me, I would tell the current TA that unless he/she handles the L&S correctly within the next 3 days, I intend to contact Royal and ask for help with having the booking transferred out of the current agency. Now, I realize that this is a bit of a bluff as itโ€™s next to impossible to move a booking that the Agency isnโ€™t willing to give up, but Iโ€™d sure make the current Agent believe that a YOU believe it can be done !
  48. 5 points
    This virus doesn't make you just "drop dead". It isn't the black death. If you have an underlying condition then by all means, please wait until you feel safe. For the relatively healthy person you have a small chance of dying from the virus. There are multiple statistics on it. That being said, do what you think is necessary to stay healthy.
  49. 5 points
    I am for it. I have a JS balcony, thus I have no problem lounging on my balcony. Only exception would be that long walk to a car to get my drink. To me the issue I am seeing is the "chair hogs" It is bad enough already with chairs slammed up right next to each other to the point you have to shimmy in to the lounger. Imagine now if they reduce those chairs by even 25%. What time in the a.m. will you have to be there to get a lounger at the pool? 4;30 in the a.m.? The upshot of this maybe RCL pool attendants might become more pro-active removing towels. Before they didn't want to upset passengers that "hogged" the chair. I would think now if they reduce the chairs, the non-hoggers will be pointing out to attendants at a higher rate and demanding the attendants remove the towels.
  50. 5 points
    I'd do whatever I needed to do to cruise, I've stated that before. I don't like people in my personal space unless they're invited...so I'd be thrilled. Elevators with too many people have always freaked me out. I will wait or use the stairs...just not sure how this would happen. Personally, if it's a packed space like an elevator or a venue I don't know how I'd feel on a cruise ship.
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