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Everything posted by Allen2

  1. FYI - Just checked the Memorial Day "sale" for tour prices. We have cancelled and re-booked twice, but this time every sale price was higher than paid for tours on the October Snowbird Migration cruise. Also seems to be true for December cruise.
  2. Appreciate a great tutorial. Would add availability of "City Pass" in much of Europe.
  3. Interesting thought - the Empress is a great "little" ship after updates with terrific personnel. Maybe the ABC Islands?
  4. Points relatively easy to redeem, but be aware that the "best" value is the three or four day cruise - up to $1000 value for 50,000 points, or a 'worth' of two cents per point. The other awards are worth one cent per point, and at a point per dollar, this is pretty low for a credit card. Note, though, that points double on RCL purchases.
  5. Think not, but you still can use the three drinks nightly (per person) in the various lounges. Comment: nice little ship! Great crew!!
  6. Or the "Leaf Peeping" cruise Oct. 7 that spends the first two nights in Quebec City
  7. Very interesting story about Carnival's Pinnacle project. Still comes down to some of Carnival's shortcomings today, including no live music for shows. Carnival occasionally offers some great intineraries - and Cunard certainly does a much better job - at a larger price.
  8. Train rides that come to mind: the Southern most in Ushiaia, Argentina, into a national park, with train tracks that were built by convicts to transport convicts. Also as an add-on, the train ride that goes to Machu Picchu from Cusco. The Rocky Mountaineer and an Alaska cruise, although pricey, is a great combination. Oslo-Bergen train that connects with cruises in Norway.
  9. Great photo and memory! When you look, lots of train rides available on cruises around the world.
  10. Tried multiple times to join e-mail, with no success. Royal Caribbean may have the worst IT department in the entire cruise industry. We, too, get Celebrity notifications.
  11. Just finished a Cyber Monday session, and RCL's famous IT department made the time an ordeal - BUT - we saved over $200 on shore excursions for an upcoming cruise versus quoted prices!
  12. Discounts often arise. Not too much fills up unless the ship is on an itinerary that is rarely used or where the infrastructure is lacking. Black Friday may be great, and you can always cancel and re-book.
  13. ,No purse, no jewelry, no expensive watch, no big diamond rings - more likely to have no trouble on shore.
  14. One other thing to do: obtain a Royal Caribbean credit card and USE IT (especially to pay for cruises and on cruises to earn double points). Free cruises come quickly and will help mitigate your malady.
  15. If you can prove a medical issue for your spouse, Royal has been know to waive the run
  16. In defense of the TV comment: many people on board were concerned about the hurricanes. Toilet paper shortage was apparently ship-wide, although some room stewards apparently handled the issue better than others (hidden supplies?) The Senior Guest Services Officer confirmed the issue.
  17. Just returned from 12-day Baltic and 16-day crossing on the Brilliance. Overall good trip, including Captain avoiding weather issues, BUT several common complaints among many passengers (1) Menu repetition (2) Lack of decent television channels, and (3) Shortage of toilet paper. We ran out of toilet paper on three occasions, but luckily had plenty of Kleenix. Another passenger suggested the solution, which was to go to a public restroom and "liberate" a spare roll of toilet paper. Complaining to the Guest Service supervisor only got lip service, but she did admit that the ship did or would purchase toilet paper on a port stop. After many complaints, additional TV was added for the last 4 -5 days, including CNN.
  18. Food for thought: (1) Some oldsters who purchased Medicare J and never cancelled still have medical coverage overseas (2) Some credit cards still offer partial refunds for cancellation (3) Several insurance packages from DAN - Divers Alert Network - include a lot of coverage, even if NOT a dive accident. (4) Some 'death' policies cover returning a body from overseas. (5) Other options are also available. Trip insurance might not be necessary, even if you need coverage!
  19. Remember 331 days for most airlines. That is the first day prior to a trip that you can actually purchase. What this means, for a cruise booked in the future, is: start watching prices immediately. At 331 days, you can book, but will know prices to expect, and you can keep watching for those sales and other price dips. If you are using frequent flyer miles, the "real" prices often do not show up until that magic 331st day prior. Always look one or two days each side of "best" day, because prices vary on a daily basis (if you can). Often you can save enough on airfare this way to pay for your motel. Also, if possible, look at alternate routes and/or airports.
  20. Bring a few clothespins for hanging wet suits, or anything you have washed and rinsed
  21. Yes - use a good travel agent. No - Carnival would come up short for you. In the past, we had almost 300 nights with Carnival, but cutbacks are enormous. For instance, no live band for the evening show. A "game show" is supposed to pass for the evening show some nights. Sometimes the same show runs twice during a cruise. RCL has some shortcomings, but overall does a nice job.
  22. Food for thought on B2B - best B2B is final seasonal cruise followed by a repositioning cruise! Usually daily rate on repo cruise drops, sometimes dramatically. And staying in same cabin really makes great sense: your room attendant knows what you like, and you "hit the ground running".
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