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WAAAYTOOO

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Posts posted by WAAAYTOOO


  1. aelpern - Yes, I ended up paying $288 out of my pocket to transfer from the Empress (5 night) to the Freedom (7 night), but I got SO much for that little bit of money.

     

    I was able to get into a Jr. Suite for the cancelled cruise refund + 100% future cruise credit that they gave me (+ $288 of my own money).

     

    To be fair, I will say that I was in an Owner's Suite on the Empress but truly, the OS on the Empress is equivalent to the average Jr. Suite on any of the other ships, so I feel like, as far as accommodations are concerned, it was an even trade.  I will not have a gold card on the Freedom, but honestly, what was a gold card going to get me on the Empress ?  NOTHING !  There's no DL, CL, or SL on that rust bucket so where was I going to go and enjoy the "gold card" perks ?  I will still enjoy all of the lounges on Freedom (as a D+ I can still get into the CL on the Freedom - I think !).

     

    Anyway, between the awesome job that Michelle did and the Club Royale agent on the other end, it ended up that we received a 65% discount off the full, retail price of this room. Even with the BOGOHO promo, it was still a 53% discount off of that, which is more, by far, than any Club Royale discount I have ever gotten on my own.  Amazing !

     

    In the beginning, I had hoped to be able to make a switcheroo from my OS on the Empress to a balcony on the Freedom, but with all the work that the 2 of them did, I was able to go up to the JR Suite for very little out-of-pocket, so I was very pleased.

     

    So the cruise part of this was awesome.  Unfortunately, I did not make out so well with the airfare upcharges.  Those were over $1000 !!!!  ...of which I will get $200 back from RCI....presumably.  They still owe me $200 from the LAST airline change fee charges.

     

    I do believe that the saving grace for me was - well, obviously, Michelle - but I think Club Royale really came through for me on this one.  From all of the stories I have heard on this and other sites, the normal "Customer Service" Agents or Crown & Anchor or whatever they happen to be, just don't have any flexibility to do anything except what they are told to do.  On the other hand, I know that the Club Royale agent had to have done some extraordinary manipulation to get the final result that he and Michelle got.  The online price of that JS was $2874 PP and my invoice shows a charge of $869.50 PP.  To be fair, you must add half of the $288 that I paid out of my pocket to that, so we ended up paying $1009.50 PP all said and done.  That's an incredible deal, and quite frankly, I don't think I would have gotten that kind of deal from one of the C&A or normal CS agents.

     

    What is even MORE amazing is that, in addition to this incredible room discount, they transferred the $1000 CR OBC that we had been moving around from ship-to-ship from our play on the Allure in Feb. RCI also added another $100 OBC for the cancellation so we ended up with $1100 OBC on top of the great room rate.   So Club Royale really did make an extraordinary effort to help us out here. 

     

    As always, Michelle was an incredible advocate.  She told them exactly what we wanted and by jingo, we got it all...plus some I hadn't expected.  I cannot recommend her more highly.  She spent her entire day yesterday working on this.


  2. Never had any ex-girlfriends...but I'm with ya !

     

    The incredible, awesome, unbelievable deal that Michelle got for me on Freedom is doing WAY more to heal my hurt feelings than any amount of time could.  :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

     

    I will post some details about that shortly, but she and the Club Royale agent that helped her worked some miracles.  I've never gotten such a good deal.  Maybe the agents ARE feeling a little sorry for those of us that were disenfranchised.  Whatever the cause, I am very happy.  Can't say that about the airfare situation (UGH) but the cruise part couldn't have worked out any better.


  3. I don't get the drink packages but I went into the Cruise Planner and happened to notice that, under the drinks packages option, there is no Ultimate Drink Package option to purchase.

     

    I thought maybe the UDP was just somehow missing from the tab header so I clicked on the "All Beverage Packages" link and it's not there, either.

     

    There IS a [apparently] limited time offer for a 20% discount on prepaid Premium Packages but nothing at all about an UDP.

     

    Anyone else notice this on their sailings ?

     

    My sailing is Freedom, June 26.

     

    BTW, there are also 8 VOOM options advertised, too.  I believe that Freedom does have VOOM.


  4. I actually love NCL.  I know that there are some that don't...but I do.

     

    I was on the Sky way back when it was new...probably 2002.  It was really great.  We had a big group and we had a blast.  Of course, back then, I had only been on 1 other cruise before that one so it was still very new and very exotic.

     

    I am guessing here...but I believe that the Sky will be a much better ship than the Empress would have been.  It's bigger, newer and hasn't had the sordid history of Empress.

     

    AND I am really looking forward to Freedom.  We were on her, in the Royal Family Suite, in May of 2015 and I'm looing forward to being on her again.  I have another "tribute" posting to do for Michelle on her heroic efforts and the outstanding deal she got for us, but I will do that elsewhere.  Just know that I made a VERY good decision to exchange the 5 day Empress for the 7 day Freedom.  Airfare was a different story.  That wasn't so wonderful, but I did what I had to do.

     

    Whatever you decide to do...enjoy yourself.

     

     ...and this, too, shall pass.... 


  5. I hate to be political here, but it really depends on which port it is.  I am with the majority here and feel that $5 is probably enough.  I usually give a little more but I don't really think it's necessary.

     

    ....UNLESS you are going out of Bayonne.

     

    That is the one and only port where I have had very BAD luck with the "porters".  Actually, the porters aren't the problem and (at least in Bayonne) the guys that meet you at your car to get your bags AREN'T porters.  They are longshoremen....and they are big time Union.

     

    When we went on our Explorer repositioning out of Bayonne I gave [the guy who appeared to be "the boss"] $20.  He seemed to be collecting the money....for whatever that's worth.  When we got onboard and our bags were delivered, 2 were missing.  We had to go to GS to try and find them and sure enough, they were in the "lost and found" along with MANY other bags.  There were NO tags on either bag...and we have metal tags with a metal attachment so they HAD to have been cut off. 

     

    I was extremely mad that this happened.  It would have been different if we hadn't given the guy a very generous tip...but we did.  Knowing that the tags were intentionally CUT really infuriated me.  While on the cruise we learned, from some "locals", that the Union had been in a scuffle with the port about renewing their contract or some other ridiculous thing and that many people had suffered the same fate.

     

    There's not much you can do, really.  It's not like you can carry your own BIG bags on.  You are forced to use them and if they are determined to cause a problem, then it's going to happen.  Very disappointing reality but the truth, nevertheless.

     

    Now...for those who are going to say "that is the reason why I always put another set of luggage tags on the inside of my bags"....we did.  They will not open your bags unless you are present, so in THIS particular case (no tags), that action was useless.  I expect if the bags had gone unclaimed for some period of time then they have provisions for opening the bags eventually but on the first day, they will not open your bags...they expect you to come looking for them.  We did.  We found them and all was well, but it really irritated me.


  6. Welcome home Bill.  I'm surprised you're still speaking to us lowly RCCL bloggers now that you are a big bad Pinnacle. 

     

    :P :P

     

    Congratulations.  What an achievement.  I know you worked hard to get there.  Well done

     

    ...so there is a "less-than-full" version of Voom ?  First I"ve heard of that one !


  7. Welcome, koalabear !!  June is coming quickly !  You will be out on deck before you know it !

     

    Yes, the drink of the day is absolutely included in the [alcohol] beverage packages.  Wines are included up to a certain price (I believe it's usually $12/glass).

     

    A lot depends upon the number of days of your cruise and the number of sea days...and of course, how much you will be drinking ! as to whether the drink packages make financial sense.  There is also a no-so-insignificant convenience factor, too.

     

    I personally do not get the all-inclusive beverage packages b/c I just don't drink enough to make them pay off but many people get them just so that they will have a fixed and known drinking expense.

     

    Enjoy your cruise and welcome to the boards ! 


  8. There has been some [semi-recent] discussion on CC about the new hard mattress.

     

    Apparently RCI made a huge new mattress purchase for replacing existing mattresses and they are very hard.

     

    I was on Allure in Feb and the mattress was very comfy but (b/c of all the negative chatter) I had them place a mattress topper on my bed before I got onboard so I don't know if the underlying mattress was ok or had.


  9. Matt, I wish I could be as gracious as you're trying to be with RCI on this one.  I have really lost my confidence in their corporate-level decision-making.  It's not even just Empress-Gate...there have been so many bonehead moves in the last few months.  Is Liberty still sailing without one of its slides properly operating ?  How many times have they changed their minds about whether Majesty is staying or going ?  How many upgrades have they reneged on after telling the WORLD that they were going to do them ?  Empress-Gate is the worst, but not, by ANY stretch, the only one.

     

    I'll be honest here...I'm not sure that they had ANY choice in whether or not to cancel these cruises.  I believe that they did not pass muster and that they weren't going anywhere. Period.  Would they have sailed with a sub-par situation ?  I wish I could answer "NO" with confidence, but I cannot.  Would they sail with an unsafe ship ?  To that one, I can still answer "NO".  I don't think they would do that.

     

    ...but would they have sailed if they could have ?  My gut tells me they would have.  I'm not going to be as generous as you by saying that they cancelled these last cruises out of some high sense of moral obligation.  I think they cancelled b/c they had no other choice. 

     

    I understand that all of this is pure speculation but it's based on their handling of the entire situation.  They knew their ship wasn't ready, yet they continued to take peoples' money and reservations right up until the very last f'n minute and then just dropped everyone without providing any real explanation....and with no real remorse, or recompense, as far as I can tell.  I'm sure that their attorneys are telling them to admit nothing and don't give out any information than you have to...but their underhanded handling of this does not provide us with a "warm and fuzzy" that they have done this for US.  Rather, the opposite.


  10. Candie, I can answer your questions about the double cancellation folks - b/c I am one of them.
     

    We have the option of a "price guarantee" sailing on Empress, Enchantment or Majesty in the same cabin category through June 26 (or in the case of Empress, through some time in July...forget the date).  $-0-.  These are the only ships for which the price guarantee was offered.  If you do not want the price guarantee, you can get a full refund of everything that you have paid into the cancelled cruise.  They will not give you any of the OBC that they awarded you from the original cancellation.  In addition to the price guarantee or refund, we get a future cruise credit (FCC) valued at the cost of the CRUISE FARE only...so no taxes, no port fees, no gratuities, no OBC...just the cruise fare.  Up to $200 in airline change fees.  No OBC.  Nothing else.

     

    I do not want to exchange a 5 night cruise for a 4 night cruise (Enchantment and Majesty options) and I will NEVER cruise on the Empress...so the price guarantee option is not going to work for me.  I will say that I considered doing a 4 day Enchantment cruise in an Owner's Suite, since this is the cabin category that I had on the Empress, and the cost of the Enchantment OS vs Empress OS was significant.  So while I would have exchanged a 5 night for a 4 night, the switch would have cost them a lot of money with the price guarantee....but I realized that I just don't want to take a 4 night cruise.  It's more work than it's worth.

     

    So...I am [hopefully] going with the 100% refund + cruise fare value FCC towards an entirely new cruise on Freedom.  Michelle is working hard on this for me.  Let's see what she's going to be able to pull off !


  11. Welcome, Fran and DH.

     

    I love the Adventure.  I am cruising on her NEXT (2017) Christmas.  Leaving from PR makes the southern Caribbean so much easier.

     

    As for dressing, your husband would be absolutely FINE in a polo shirt and docker/khaki pants - even on formal night.  The sports jacket would be a nice touch, but totally unnecessary.  Trust me, almost anything goes these days...unfortunately.

     

    Welcome back to cruising and to Royal Caribbean !


  12. Thanks for reminding me, Todd.  I had forgotten this little tidbit in my write-up.

     

    When Dan and I took this tour, we were the only ones who signed up !  ...and they did the tour with just us, anyway.  It turned out to be a wonderful piece of luck for us b/c as an added bonus, we got to go to the Captain's Quarters.  I'm sure they would not normally do this but (without making this into a very long story) there was something on the Captain's personal computer that he wanted to show Dan.

     

    So, while it is posted quite clearly that they require a minimum number of people to do this tour, in some situations (apparently) they will go forward even with just a couple of people.

     

    It made this tour even more special b/c it was like a private ship tour - well, actually, EXACTLY like a private ship tour.  REALLY worth the money, IMO.

     

    PS.  The Captain's quarters (this was on the Radiance) are very nice.  Big, but no balcony.  What ???


  13. First of all, congratulations to Ib0336 on completing your finals !  WOOHOO !  I hope you get to do something even BETTER than cruise on that rust bucket.

     

    klc317, I can sympathize...and quite honestly, RCI is LUCKY that I have Michelle Cunningham working this for me b/c if they were dealing with me, they would be getting an ear full.  I DO understand that those that answer the phones have no power...and that this is not a problem of their making.  They are just the punching bags that have to deal with those of us who are TRULY PISSED OFF...so from that aspect, I am glad I am not having to deal with this issue directly.  I AM sorry for Michelle, b/c she IS having to deal with my misery but she is a lady and a real professional so I am not worried...except that I will give her so much grief that she won't take any more of my bookings....

     

    :huh: :huh:

     

    So.  What am I going to do about this mess ?  Not sure.  I have 2 plans in the works.  1 puts us on the Enchantment in an OS but that one will mean trading a 5 day cruise for a 4 day cruise and that just doesn't sit right with me.  I have pushed this option to the backup plan position.  My new Plan A is to move everything (full refund + 100% future cruise credit) to the Freedom for a 7 night western Caribbean cruise in an E3 balcony on the bump-out.  Even though this is trading an OS for a balcony room, I am better with this trade than I was with the trade of 5 nights for 4 nights.  After all, on the Freedom, all the OS gives me is a bigger room and a gold card.  B/c I am D+ I can still get into the CL on the Freedom so the gold card has very little value to me.  Bigger room ?  Ho-hum.  7 nights vs 4 nights ?  OH YEAH !

     

    So I am hoping it turns into a win-win.  I am a glass half full kinda gal so I'm thinking I'm coming out ahead on this deal if my Plan A gets executed.  I can change my hotel reservations and excursions - no problem.  Airfare ?  Another $400 change fee of which RCI will rebate $200.  Not happy about that but it is what it is.

     

    Bottom line - am  I goin' on a cruise ?  Hell yeah !


  14. I highly recommend the tour. We did it once and your father will love the areas that few get to see such as the engine room (if not actually IN the engine room, at least allowed to peak in) the laundry, the garbage and recycling, cold storage, crew areas, galleys, and of course, the bridge.

     

    I do not believe that we booked this before boarding I think we found out about it and booked after boarding. I just can't remember.

     

    Enjoy !


  15. I don't know what's going on.  I thought we were getting a guaranteed rate on the Enchantment (or Majesty) for the same room category PLUS a certificate valued at 100% of our Empress fare but I can't get any confirmation on that.  ....and even if they give me a certificate worth the value of my Empress fare, how will they let me use it ?  Must I book a new cruise or can I apply the value to an existing reservation ?

     

    Honestly, I'm just sick of all of this right now.  I want to give it a rest but I'm afraid that if I wait until tomorrow, all of the good Enchantment rooms will be gone !  I am already pretty unhappy that they are making me switch a 5 night cruise for a 4 night cruise...and now I'm not sure what this "other" money is going to be eligible for. 

     

    They already owe me reimbursement for airfare rebooking fees from the FIRST cancellation.  Now they will owe me even more.  UGH.  This whole thing is just sickening.


  16. I see that all April and May sailings are "sold out" EXCEPT for May 28 but as you indicated, Ib0336, the link for that sailing seems to be inop.

     

    I was assured that our sailing (May 23) was going...but that was word from Michelle via the CS at RCI so I'm sure that's all they've been told to say.

     

    I really do NOT believe that they would cancel a cruise that is only 5 days out (April 25).  That would be worse than bad...it would be evil....and the backlash from cancellation of that cruise at THIS point would be horrific.

     

    Do I believe that all of these cruises are really sold out ?  Not for 1 minute.  I believe that they have closed off new bookings and that there will be "continued work" going on during the first several sailings.  I do feel sorry for those who have the April 25 sail date b/c I expect at least SOME delays with final inspections, etc.  I have not been on CC this morning so I cannot say whether there is news of the ship leaving Grand Bahama.  If it is still there I think that is bad news.  They surely are going to need SOME time in US waters for inspections.  Or maybe the inspectors to go her...in GB.  I really have no knowledge of such things.

     

    Anyway, I am somewhat relieved to have several sailings in front of mine...to help with the "untied loose ends" that are inevitable.


  17. Which ship ?

     

    Prime rib is served at least one night [on a 7 night cruise, anyway] in the MDR.  Is it the best prime rib I've ever had ?  No....but it isn't the worst, either.

     

    I rarely go to Chops so I can't recall if they have prime rib there but I would be shocked if they did not.

     

    Pastrami or salami.  Hmmmm....I don't eat either so I haven't noticed whether it is or isn't served anywhere.  A lot may depend upon the ship.

     

    I don't get off the ship in Nassau so I couldn't tell you anything about where to eat there.  Sorry.

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