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Notlad

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  1. If you are looking for bargains and nobody has mentioned it yet you can set up a Google Flights tracker based on the dates you want to travel. I did that for our Nasvhlle to Rome flights last Septermber and for months the fare never varied within a small range. Then one Saturday I remembered to check my tracker and it said if I booked an American Airlines flight through British Airways as a codeshare I could get 2 round trip tickets for what the price had been for 1 ticket for months. The info was so detailed it even said this price was only good to book by phone but the price included the $50 booking by phone fee BA would charge. I grabbed my phone and booked it ASAP! Oh, and on that same google flight tracker the two tickets I bought for about $1200 total would have been $2700 had I booked the same flights direct with American Airlines that day.
  2. The travel agent that was quoted made the most sense and what I have felt they would do. I think clearly the buffet concept will remain but with crew serving folks and probably better plexiglass protection for the food where it is visible but not subject to someones sneeze, etc. These changes may sound simple but it is going to require a lot more headcount than is currently required to run Windjammer. Holland America is in good shape in this regard as their buffet is already designed for crew members to serve passengers for most things.
  3. Yesterday I snagged The Key for $19.99 for our December 2020 Harmony cruise. I have been tracking the pricing for many months for this cruise and this was by far the least expensive it has been. This is the same price we paid for it last September on our 9 night Greek Island cruise on Brilliance. My anecdotal observation is that it costs more on the larger ships like Harmony so I feel like we got a bargain.
  4. Life is all about risk management. If I were in my 20's or 30's and healthy I would probably take advantage of the current and coming cruise bargains. However I am 61 and a diabetic. My wife is 68 years old. The mortality rate for someone my age with diabetes who get the coronus virus is 7.2% vs the overall rate of 3.4%. With a cruise ship being a giant petri dish I believe you have a much greater chance of catching the virus due to the close quarters should a fellow passenger have it. With that in mind my risk management assessment says my wife and myself need to not cruise until this pandemic subsides. Thankfully our next cruise isn't until the beginning of December so hopefully things will be better then. However our 40th wedding anniversary trip to England in August is worrisome at this point. I fully support the Federal government warning people about the increased danger of catching the coronovirus on cruise ships. Hopefully in coordination with the CDC the cruise lines can put some good screening measures in place that at the least includes temperature checks before boarding and ideally as test kits become available testing of passengers (not sure if that is feasible unless the test is an instant one). I know at least one cruise line is screening passengers for fever. That is a limited measure though because it appears coronovirus has a 2 to 5 day period after infection before fever and other symptoms.
  5. For my September Greek Island cruise on Jewel it has been $19.99 per day since it showed up on my cruise planner.
  6. Because of the restrictions banning passenger brought extension cords and power strips I just let them know I have a CPAP machine and require an extension cord and they provide it.
  7. Oh it was more than $100 on the HAL cruise! LOL!! Just in the past it has only been about a $100 on my previous cruises including RCCL ones.
  8. We took a 4 year break from cruising then tried HAL's Nieuw Amsterdam the end of November last year. I usually only gamble a hundred bucks on cruises, including my past RCCL ones, but this time I gambled a bit more although at the end of the week I only lost $137. I was shocked two weeks after returning home to get an email with "exclusive casino offers' that included free inside cabins on a lot of sailing and inexpensive upgrades to other catagory staterooms and suites. April 7th we are going on our "free" cruise (we still had to pay port fees , taxes and airfare to Florida but still a $1200+ value free). We could have upgraded to a balcony for $598 total and a suite that would have cost me $4300+ to book otherwise for just $1598. Would have definitely done the suite if we didn't have a 2 1/2 week trip to Italy and Greece in Septyember that includes a 9 night Greek Island cruise on Jewel of the Seas. While we are on Jewel in September I will gamble more than the hundred bucks or so I have in the past on RCCL and will be curious to see if I start getting casino offers like HAL sent me.
  9. It's fun reading everybody's status and strategy for moving up. Also I appreciate the good advice on trying to go ahead and book the one additional cruise tht will be me to the 80 in case they change the program and I need to ask them to grandfather me in. My only issue is that we took our first HAL cruise after Thanksgiving last year and HAL thinks I am a big enough gambler that they gave me a free cruise next month on their new ship Nieuw Amsterdam. I would like to book an Alaska cruise for 2021 but don't want to jump the gun just in case HAL decides to keep on giving me free cruises. Who knows though if this September I impress RCCL enough in the Casino maybe I will get some good casino offers from them!
  10. I did the all access tour on either Mariner or Independence, can't remember which right now, and it was very much worth it for me. I am fascinated by cruise ship operations and so to see I95, the food storage area, giant freezer and refrigerator rooms, engine control room and last but not least the brdige was fascinating. I wish I had done it years before. We spent probably 15-30 minutes on the bridge and got to ask the Captain any questions we wanted to. By the way the only two places we had serious security was the engine control room and the bridge. If anybody would have had intentions of doing something nefarious they would not have gotten very far!
  11. I thought I was sitting at 30 points Crown & Anchor points but when I looked discovered I was actually at 36. Our next Cruise in September will be our first as Platinum. Finally out of the basement! After this September 2019 9 night Greek Island cruise on Jewel we will be at 45 points. I have booked a 15 night Caribbean / Transatlantic crossing junior suite on Independence of the Seas for May 2020 which with the doube points will be 30 added to my 45 for a total of 75. That means by the end of May 2020 I will be only 5 points away from Diamond status! After a four year break from cruising starting last November with a cruise on HAL I am back in the game!
  12. Thanks for the info. After our first HAL cruise a couple of months ago my quality time in the casino earned us a free cruise we are taking April 7th so I am curious to see how RCCL operates their casino guest program since our next two cruises will be on RCCL. We have cruised RCCL several times before but really didn't gamble on the ships then.
  13. A couple of months ago we had an interior cabin in almost the same exact spot on Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam and really enjoyed it. I usually book midship so was concerned about being right at the front but the only issue that came up was on the last night crusing back to Ft. Laudersale. Middle of the night some weird loud noises and vibration we didn'ty experience at all the other six nights. We were actually above the pool deck and only one deck and a few steps from the private cabana we had rented for the week. It was heavenly! This will be our first junior suite ever (we usually book inside cabins and have had a few balcony ones as well). We will be celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary so splurging.
  14. If you plan to gamble some on a RCCL cruise and want to get some "Casino Royale" benefits from it does that happen automatically as long as you have your seapass card in the machines tracking what you spend or do you sign up for Casino Royale?
  15. Wow! I hate to hear you had such a bad experioence. I do a lot of research and check reviews, etc for things like limo companies but I read just the other day that for $60 someone can buy a few hundred positive reviews for their site / business. I had a similar situation to yours a few years ago in Honolulu. Small limo company that I booked as a surprise for my wife to take us from the airport to our hotel. He never showed up and when I called the number just got a recording. Luckily for me at the limo waiting area there was another limo driver with the opposite problem. His booked fare never showed up. After an hour of so and a bit of chatting he told me he couldn't book me directly as that violated taxi / limosine rules for the airport but if I called his office and booked him he could take me right then so I did. I left a voie mail with the limo service I had booked that I expected no charges to my credit card and to their credit they didn't. However they also never emailed or called with an apology. When I am in Miami or Fort Lauderdale for a cruise now I use Lyft or Uber.
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