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Posts posted by Allen2

  1. Quite simply, the rewards amount to one cent per dollar spent (1%) unless (as earlier stated) the expenditures are with Royal Caribbean.  Then the payout is roughly 2%.  The notable payout exception is one of the 50,000 point awards: "3 or 4 night sailing for two (minimum available oceanview stateroom).  Value of cruise fare for two may not exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000 USD value)."  If all monies were spent on Royal Caribbean and the full $1,000 value was used for the stateroom, payout approaches 4%. In this case, you would be spending $25,000 with Royal Caribbean for a $1,000 reward.  In our experience, some of the RCL sales are not honored when redeeming this award.  Drink packages have not been specifically offered, but onboard credit is offered, with the 1% or 2% return.

  2. As of October 1, Carnival has not cancelled November 1 - December 31 sailings from Miami and Port Canaveral.  Almost all other Carnival cruises are cancelled until December 31 or later (MANY much later).  Would hope for a Royal Caribbean announcement, so can make plans around future booked cruises - such as flight, hotels, tours.

  3. We have sailed on European river cruises, Victory Cruises on the Great Lakes, and four different American Queen/Empress itineraries.  Some considerations include (some already mentioned) shore excursions that are included, beer, wine, and soft drinks included (sometimes all alcohol included).  There is often a hotel night included in the price, including transfer to the ship.  For some travelers, there may be no air fare expense.  Some of the shore excursions include pricey admission tickets.  Almost always no casinos.  Food, in our experience, has been outstanding, with local cuisine often offered.  Small, intimate ships, with great opportunities to interact with entertainers and officers.  Right now there are some major discounts being offered, probably to increase cash flow.  All in all, these options are worth considering!  All the above has not deterred next year's three RCL cruises booked to date.

  4. Hope those thoughts about 2021 for New Zealand (and Australia) not opening are proven to be a bad estimate.  We missed three B2B2B cruises from Sydney which included stops in New Zealand, starting early in April, 2020, and ending in Vancouver in May.  Being hopeful, we have booked roughly the same three in 2021.  Questions to ask: the Australian Visa (which we could not use) will expire.  Will the government extend?  Should we buy airfare (or use frequent flyer miles) at the 331 day mark?  Any opinions?

  5. We have done crossings in all directions, both the Atlantic and Pacific.  Our experience, with rare exceptions, is that you can count on some rough sea days.  That being said, Matt's comments about enjoying the ship are "spot on".  Also, usually the entertainment is top notch, oftentimes with headliners returning for another performance, often a matinee.

  6. We live outside Jacksonville, and it is spooky seeing cruise ships sitting or cruising in circles just outside the jetties.  There are apparently four Norwegian ships in "idle dock" at JAXPORT, and Carnival has had one (sometimes two) ships anchored or moving within sight of land.  All are occupied crew only.  Seeing the Carnival Ecstasy nearby, off shore, sure increases cruising desires, especially because today we should be on the Radiance, docked and touring (steam train ride) in Picton, New Zealand.

  7. Lost three B2Bs starting in Sydney on April 7 and ending in Vancouver 39 days later (would be at sea en route to New Zealand today, after visiting five ports in New Caledonia and Vanuatu).  Re-booked same route next year, roughly same time frame.  Just hope it goes!  Two ship prices higher, one lower than this year.  Flying to Australia on frequent flyer miles, hopefully!

  8. Feel differently than most: we, in the past, cruised the Caribbean during hurricane season.  Over several cruises, we experienced ports skipped, hours shortened in ports, arrival delays upon returning, plus a ship that followed bad advice and turned into a hurricane.  Decks closed, all glassware in gift shops broken, people thrown from beds during the night.   Obviously the last was an exception, but we no longer cruise the Caribbean during hurricane season - there are too many other choices, including rivers, the Great Lakes, Europe.

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