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mk-ultra last won the day on September 28 2019

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  1. Floridian here (now transplanted to CA). As you mention, in FL it's always been "key" (with the usual habit of English just borrowing a word and then smooshing it into a spelling match). What has surprised me has been finding that locations around the world, with English English being spoken (example: Singapore) also pronounce "cay" or "quay" as "key." Clarke Quay in Singapore is spoken as "Clarke Key."
  2. Ouch. I'm not sure what I'd do... but a lot of it would be based on non-cruise related expenses like cancellation or change fees for hotels and airfare if you've got those. I feel for ya. I'd be very tempted to just pull the eject handle.
  3. Am I reading this right? I don't know what the original itinerary was, but it looks like they offset the departure date by +3 days? I know there's always a weather risk (this year's Caribbean schedule during hurricane season had me sweating a September cruise -- nasty year). I've got a Med cruise next year, and with all the flights, hotels and other stuff (different departure and arrival ports) this would be a huge PITA to fix if everything shifted 3 days this close in.
  4. I get upset when baked beans aren't available for breakfast. It's nearly impossible to assemble a "full English" without them. They've always got the sad grilled tomatoes and some random mushrooms... but where are my beans? Sigh.
  5. Tons of seating. It's segregated a bit (corrals for Star, Suites, yadda) like most other ports, but no real amenities like snacks and coffee you'll find in Miami or Canaveral. Bare bones but very efficient on both departures and arrivals. If you take a taxi out of port at the end of your cruise, make sure they use the meter. Cabs suck here.
  6. Enjoy your time at Guest Services arguing about you un-returned towel charges. No, you do not get to wander off for lunch and expect to keep your chair when tons of people would like one. What part of that confuses you?
  7. The Bermuda Triangle is indeed a terrifying stretch of ocean. Every time I've crossed it, buffet lines were long... the casino went all take-my-money... I was up-sold on everything imaginable... Crazy dangerous.
  8. I'm merciless with chogs. On my last cruise, there were 4 sorta suite "cabanas" in the suites-only area that folks staked out at 8AM, clipping towels to chairs. They'd literally be empty 90% of the time I walked by... hour-after-hour. After seeing one empty for over an hour I just un-clipped their crap, folded it up on a table and made myself at home. After reading a book for ~2 hours, I had an indignant couple ask me to leave "their" cabana. Nope. Take your stuff and find an empty one (if you can dislodge one of the other chogs). If you really want to, complain to a crew member that I "took" the cabana and see how far that gets you.
  9. 1. Book as far out as you reasonably can be assured you can do the trip. I usually book 12-18 months out when there is a BOGO50 or 30% off sale running. This not only gives you the opportunity to book at an advantageous rate when it becomes available, it also gives you a lot more time to take advantage of an additional price drop if one happens. If you're booking something like a suite, you need to be a little more conservative about this so you don't get hit with a non-refundable deposit, but still... the further out you can plan, the better. 2. Periodically make a repeat "mock booking" of the same category of cabin. If you see a significant price drop, call-in and ask if it makes sense to re-price your cruise. There are a lot of factors that go into both your original price and your re-booked price (various discounts, OBC, etc). You may lose some discounts, but gain enough on the lower fare to make it worth it. The nice thing is that the person on the phone can make an A/B comparison quickly and tell you what your final gain/loss would be for doing so... and it's a pretty easy decision at that point. 3. Don't drive yourself nuts looking to shave something like $50 off of a week-long cruise, unless cruise OCD is a hobby. I've had a couple of big drops in the last decade ($1200), but those were pretty rare, and becoming even less so as ships routinely fill to capacity and have staggered upgrade programs like RoyalUP that generate more profit than just discounting a cabin.
  10. With all of the paperwork and other legal and logistical hoops required to go through to ship a body internationally, you're usually looking at $5K on the low end and almost triple that on the high end. Too many variables to give a hard number.
  11. And absolutely check back in on the Royal Caribbean web site once your points post if you go solo. Royal has a 100% record for not automatically awarding my solo points. If I sail (7 nights, solo, in a suite) I always just get 14 points instead of 21. It's super-easy to fix though. Call the Crown & Anchor Loyalty number (800-526-9723) instead of the general one. They answer quickly and sort it out in a couple of minutes.
  12. I usually just unzip a suitcase and leave it out starting around a week before my cruise. I immediately plop into it the things I want to have on the cruise but don't need in the week leading up to it. Stuff like sun hat, extra pair of glasses, USB power hub, day pack, extra copy of cruise / insurance docs, etc. As the week progresses, I'm lining up stuff right next to the suitcase; mostly clothing as it comes out of my weekly wash. By the end of the week, I've got a good inventory and mercilessly stuff it into the suitcase the night before departing along with my toiletry kit.
  13. The differences between Diamond and D+ are pretty minimal. It took me 6 cruises to hit Diamond (lots of solo in suites even when traveling together with friends). What I'm really looking forward to between D+ and Pinnacle (at 340 points) is seeing the single-supplement drop from 200% to 150%. That's a genuine, tangible benefit I'll get a lot of value out of.
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