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VACruiser

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Everything posted by VACruiser

  1. Today Bitcoin is $57,365 so if we get there I’m really out.
  2. I am with you there! I've done some mock cruise research and laughed so hard at those prices. Now, I just do it for a laugh in the morning to get me going; it's better than coffee. These are insane prices and the Return on Vacation Investment (ROVI) is just not there. I hope they come back to reasonable levels at some point as I would miss cruising at, but I could live without it if this remains - sad, but come on Royal...that's crazy. When booking a Grand Suite on an Oasis class ship gets to almost 8-9K levels - come on you're killing me here RCI. I looked at a Crown Loft Suite on Harmony this morning for a laugh and mocked up with travel insurance and pre-paid gratuities for 10.5k - again, I laughed so hard I almost fell over in my chair. By the way, I actually had the same cruise and same CLS room (1710) that was cancelled in Dec 2020 and it was $7300 so we are talking a difference of $3200 ?.
  3. I agree with Twangster... if the market, aka us, are willing to pay more than the cruise lines will make the new prices the norm; however, once the initial fervor subsides it will become more clear if those prices can be sustained. For me personally I don’t see the Return on my Vacation Investment (ROVI - new term) at these prices. I can rent a sizable house with a pool on the beaches of NC, SC, and Georgia for 3.5-4K a week. That’s for 4 bedrooms and 2800sqft. Granted I have to pay for food and entertainment for my wife and me but I’m still saving money rather than staying in RC suites that I love on an Oasis class ships. I’m an avid cruise hound and I’ll be back once this subsides but that maybe years from now but I shall return one day - hopefully. ?
  4. I've had a couple of cruises cancelled in the past year so I was excited to go look at the late 2022 and 2023 cruises. I priced them apples to apples from last year's on what I had, which in my case was Crown Loft Suites on Harmony and also Oasis in Mar and Dec 2020. I looked at the same cruise itinerary, Oasis March 5th 2023, and was a little shocked at the price increase. I expected increases but not in the 40%+ range. May be I had some decent deals in the past but now... The pricing for my cancelled March 2020 cruise was $5825 with insurance and pre-paid gratuities and that cruise for the same time in March 2023 is now $8459 - that is a 45% increase for my mocked up cruise. ? Am I missing something or just doing something wrong but that seems excessive to me. To go on a cruise, now based upon my budget for travel, I'm going to have to drop some room classes.
  5. That is true. I always read and don’t comment a lot so it’s interesting to see where people come down on the sides of COVID issues. I know my cruising days are over for awhile and have had three cruises cancelled thus far so my thirst for cruising has diminished. Hopefully that will change in the future but it will probably be years. I have to wear a mask all day at work, because that’s where my livelihood comes from, but wearing a mask on a cruise that I pay dearly for is not going to happen. I’ve already made plans to go to the SC beach’s for the next couple of years until this craziness has subsided. We shall see.
  6. Cruising is an expensive adventure and I am interested in the freedom of a vacation and restrictions that limit my fun so I won't cruise under these restrictions. It's going to be tough going for cruise lines for the foreseeable future as they try to get up and running but are limited due to country rules in order to operate. I'm sure a lot people on this forum will cruise just to cruise because they love it that much, but as far as the general population, I don't see people flocking to get back unto ships for their vacations in the near-term. I personally have chosen a different path for the next couple of years of renting a house at the beach. Cruises are starting to get expensive as the prices have risen for all kinds of reasons; but, suffice to say, until the value is back, I'm not going to go cruising again. I hope one day to be back but for now, I'm on land.
  7. I've already started my cancellation proceedings for my November 2021 cruise on Oasis as I'm sure this is going to be a requirement for future cruising events. My largest fear is to get on a ship and someone tests positive, whether false or true, and I get stuck in my room after paying a lot of money to go on a vacation. I'm out until all this gets sorted out. I've already booked a house on a beach in South Carolina for August 2021 and this may now be the new vacation norm. What ticks me off is even if I get the vaccine I will still have to take a Covid test prior to going on vacation and I bet also wearing a mask on ship too. And, that's why I'm not going to jump all these hoops just to go on a vacation that is supposed to be fun and relaxing...?
  8. I have an Oasis of the Seas cruise on 7 November 21 and I'm wondering if that will occur? Honestly at this point I'm not caring too much about it anymore. I've had two cancel thus far, (I wonder who has the record of cancellations on RC Blog), so I guess this one maybe the straw that broke the proverbial cruisers back if it gets cancelled too. If it happens again I think I may be done with cruising for quite some time and will spend my money elsewhere. I know it is not the cruise lines fault, but it is a waste of years planning to get close to the cruise and the emotional ups and downs of am I going on vacation or not to have it cancel and leave me scrambling for something to do. Also, my wife and I's vacations have to be planned out at work so as to set-aside in advance to ensure we both have the time off for the cruise. We shall see but I figure April or May is my mental cut-off to go figure out what we're going to do for vacation for 2021. We have a CLS for this cruise, our first time cruising in a CLS, and really want to go; however, if it seems there is going to be all these rules it will take the fun out of the cruise and it would seem more prudent to just give up. What scares me most is getting on a cruise and someone testing positive and we get locked in our room in a heavily controlled environment for our yearly vacation and everything gets ruined not to mention of getting quarantined past my worked allocated 10 days of vacation - that would be very bad.
  9. I have to wear a mask at work when not sitting at my desk and I have become accustomed to wearing one; but, I don’t think I would be interested on going on a cruise if it were required. I expect my vacation to be a relaxing period of time and wearing a face covering while sitting at the pool just seems the opposite of relaxation. It will be funny when face tans everywhere but the nose down to your lips becomes the new fad.
  10. I would imagine you would get the two normal options - Future Cruise Credit or refund in which flights and hotels are on you and I agree that would be the hard pill to swallow. I too live quite a distance from a cruise port, not Australia mind you, but nonetheless, still costs money to fly and I need a hotel. Pretty much over the years I budgeted a thousand U.S. dollars for movement to the port and hotel with restaurants. Sometimes it may not cost that much but other times I’m pretty close to that number. Cruising isn’t cheap so the thought of not making it on a ship gives me anxiety when what I’m looking for is fun in the sun.
  11. Covid-19 is a strain of the many cold and flu viruses we humans can get on an annual basis. Even if a vaccine can be developed for this one strain, the virus will mutate like all other viruses do. People have to start to understand this will be with us forever as just another virus that can make you sick. We are going to have to live with this beast. However it got into humans will be debated for years but the one thing we do know is it is not going away anytime soon. ? I ventured out for a Flu vaccine last year because I knew I was cruising in March 20 on Oasis and low and behold I get the flu 5 days before the cruise and had to shift my cruise to Dec 20 on Harmony which now I have subsequently cancelled with a refund. I got Influenza Type A and the vaccine last year was for a different strain. It’s going to be like this in the future with the many different strains that will mutate.
  12. You can also hit them up on Twitter or Facebook and you will get a response. In my case I had waited 60 days for a refund and called my TA who in turn called RCI to find out my refund had fallen through a big dark crevasse (my visual anyways) and got lost. Once that was determined I got a refund within 5 days. I have learned in the cruise world having a Travel Agent is almost a mandatory only because the cruise lines can be very hard to deaI with and I think it’s almost by design.
  13. I have a Crown Loft Suite (CLS) planned for November 21 on Oasis of the Seas that I booked in 2019. After the most recent sale came out this week I priced another cruise for a CLS for April 22, and to my surprise, I noticed that the price had risen $1300 dollars for the exact same specifications. Sorry if I’m late to the sad-party but has this been the case on all cruises going forward? The difference in price was $5400 to $6700 with the exact specifications. That’s a pretty big jump in price.
  14. It took over 75 days to get my refund for my last non-cruise so the sting is still very real to me. It would take a lot of time and forgetting the last experience for me to give RCI any money. I swore I would never give them money until they start cruising again and at the moment I’m standing by that. Count me on the I’m on the #nomoneyRCI train. We’ll see how long that lasts when the 2022 cruises get posted in the fall.
  15. I’m with you on that...today is July 19 ( cancelled 18 May 20) and still nothing of a refund. I called my TA last week, and much to my chagrin, my paperwork for the refund fell through the cracks - imagine that. So the TA went over the numbers with RCI to make sure the refund will be correct, and after RCI keeping $200 due to a changing dates long ago, I should see a refund - well sometime. It’s maddening what they are doing. I don’t know how they will ever get loyalty again as I’m just one person and I’m sure there are lots of people like me. I’m basically losing $200 for a silly reason, long story, but I guess that’s my RCI tax or donation to the RCI cause.
  16. Oh that would be interesting and a total misunderstanding on my part. An email has now been fired off to poor Michelle on what category I’m in at the moment. If that’s true I can apply the FCC to my November 21 cruise so I guess it would work but that just leaves more money with RCI. As @Jillstated above they need money from others to pay others money out is the very definition a Ponzi Scheme.
  17. I like my TA Michelle Cunningham too and hope the best for her but here’s my rant - I’m so ticked off at Royal Caribbean right now it’s hard to think straight. I cancelled a cruise that was scheduled for Dec 20 on Harmony on 18 May 20 as we didn’t want to cruise in the craziness this year. I chose to get a refund and as of July 14th 2020, I’m still waiting for my money back. That’s just robbing the customer. I can’t imagine any other company running a business like this and keeping brand loyalty. They have kept my money interest free and held hostage for almost 60 days and counting. If I would have gotten the money in 7-10 days, like it should have been, I would have booked another cruise but now they have kept it for sooooo long no way I’m giving them any money. They have proven they can’t be trusted with anymore than the deposit. Paying of cruises early like I used to do - nope no more money until I have to pay final. I’m trying to decide if I want to cancel my final RCI cruise on November 21 on Oasis and say bye-bye cruise line and do something else. I’m hanging on to a very small string and it’s about to snap. This really ticks me off!!!
  18. I really liked Key West on a stop I had on a Carnival ship. But, if you happen to be there during one of their interesting festivals in the fall you will be in for an eyeful of things you wish you’ve never seen. ?
  19. I wonder what the profit margin is for a full ship versus a well socially-distanced ship say around 50% capacity? A company has to make money to operate and I’m quite sure operating a Oasis class ship is an extremely expensive venture. They may start like this, just to get going, but as time goes on, money must be generated heavily to pay back all these loans cruise companies have been borrowing to stay operating. I know this is a cruise blog, and people on it have a high level of tolerance for cruising under extreme conditions just to get going, but I have to think it’s still a minority portion of the ship. To get back to making money they need new people to try cruising and getting the ships back to a high profit margin. Either more people cruise or they raise the prices for cruising. Something has to change in order for the company to become profitable again and that’s going to be tough with social distancing which probably equates to lower people numbers on ships. We shall see but I do love the business aspect of how this is going to work.
  20. I think all this refund/FCC shenanigans is Royal winning a battle but overall may just lose the war. I’m still waiting on a cruise refund and some FCC. It’s on my count, day 45, and it’s been all quiet on the Russian front. I’m frustrated with what they are doing but I do understand it. They are hemorrhaging money with no revenue incoming so they are trying to hold unto the money for as long as they can as that is their near term target; but, it angers me as a consumer that they are doing this and it makes me question my need to go cruising in the future. How many people are like me that are thinking the same thing. I spend 7+ thousand on cruises all together so add lots of my mind-set up and they we lose loyal cruisers who will find other ways to spend their money. There are lots of resorts and vacation places vying for that money. I used to look forward to emails from Royal announcing new sales but now I just delete them knowing that all they want is more money to hold unto and not return in a reasonable fashion if it gets cancelled. They have hurt their loyal base. It’s to bad they have chosen this route - understandable, but not prudent.
  21. I’m still waiting on a refund for a cancelled cruise and I’m in the 40+ days mark. But, 90 days is just criminal in my mind. How would it be if I took a cruise and paid RCI 90 days after the cruise - I don’t think that would work but it sure seems to work in the opposite direction. No where else would this be allowed in commerce. I can add all kinds of analogies but I’ll leave it with - criminal! I have a cruise scheduled for November 2021 but I’m hanging by a thread here and extremely disappointed with RCI on this issue. I’m about to scrap it all and just start doing land based vacations...I’m still hanging in there but some days it is just an irritant.
  22. I imagine their driving factor in any of these decisions is about preserving as much money as possible. The thing that will change that is the backlash their decisions get; the blowback factor. And, this got one so they modified their rules to accommodate these changes. In the end of the day they still need to preserve the company as well as some thread of customer satisfaction. In normal times that is hard, but under these circumstances, almost impossible. Their customer service was spotty to begin with and this situation it has shown how poor it truly is. I’m still waiting for my money back on a cancelled cruise - I think I’m in the 40 day mark now - that is a bad company practice and it leaves a terrible taste in my mouth and there are thousands of people just like me.
  23. Reading these items makes me sad. I cancelled a cruise and I’m now at day 40 for a refund - my calculation and I’m sure not theirs. They did refund the excursions and I think insurance money within 3 weeks but the bulk of the money about $2.5k is sitting in crazy RCI limbo world. What this has done to me is taken the shine off a company I once used to give money to readily for a cruise vacation. Now I can’t trust them with any money and I am questioning if I should ever go cruising again. I’m very new to cruising and I liked it the four times I have travelled but this has really dampened my cruising mindset. It’s time to start looking elsewhere for my vacations. And, I’m sure I’m not the only one with this mindset. RCI may well weather this storm but loyalty has taken a hit on cruisers and they will lose valued customers.
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