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Everything posted by AspiringCruisePlanner

  1. If you're within 10 days of purchasing the policy (not the cruise), you can cancel for a repayment of your premium and purchase elsewhere. Otherwise, I'd book flights with Air2Sea so at least you're covered so that you can get to the cruise if there was a significant delay in flights.
  2. I just did a bunch of research when I got a new credit card earlier this year, so I can provide some insight. I've never had to use the travel insurance benefits, but it's important to read the benefits before you decide that you're fully protected. In your situation the Chase Sapphire trip cancellation/interruption covered reasons are much more broad than Capital One's. Currently, Chase Sapphire cards have cancellation/interruption limits of $10k per person and $20k per trip and coverage applies to all immediate family: "Spouse, and parents thereof; sons and daughters, including adopted children and stepchildren; parents, including stepparents; brothers and sisters; grandparents and grandchildren; aunts or uncles; nieces or nephews; and Domestic Partner and parents thereof, including Domestic Partners or Spouses of any individual of this definition. Immediate Family Member also includes legal guardians or wards. Immediate Family Members do not need to be traveling with the Cardholder for benefits to apply." Covered reasons for Chase Sapphire are very broad and I won't list them here, but it does include coverage for weather and strikes but not mechanical breakdowns for Common Carriers. For Capital One Visa Infinite, trip cancellation/interruption benefits are currently only $2k per person and the only Covered Individuals are you, your spouse, and dependent children. Additionally, the only Covered Reasons for the cancellation/interruption are limited to death, sickness, or injury of an immediate family member and default of a Common Carrier - no coverage due to weather, strikes, quarantine, etc. Credit card travel insurance benefits are a great benefit for domestic travel, but cruises are a whole different ball game when you factor in missed connection coverage and emergency medical care and evacuation; which most credit cards do not include. Apparently, CC companies have been pulling back these travel insurance benefits and they are able to do so whenever they choose (with advanced notice). Also, the trip costs have to be purchased with that credit card to get the benefit, so the RC credit card fans wouldn't be eligible for the benefits.
  3. WorldTrips Atlas Journey Premier has a missed connection coverage of $2000 per person, or their Preferred plan has $1500 per person. I'd look into those to get you better coverage in the broader missed connection category. Ideally, the missed connection max benefit would be higher than the total cost of your flights, cruise, and onboard purchases. Make sure that the Missed Connection it includes payments for non-refundable travel arrangements as well, and not just added cost to catch up to your travel arrangements.
  4. I'll add a data point here. Requested a vaccine exemption for religious reasons for my sister aboard Allure on July 31. Request was denied today.
  5. After a long journey of waiting and hoping and waiting and hoping again, we are not going to be going on this cruise for our family vacation At the start of all this planning, we thought our biggest hurdle was going to be figuring out how to plan around my older brother's first year of residency which starts July of this year. After hearing in April that his department head made some adjustments so that he was able to take our week of the cruise off, we were so excited because we thought that was the biggest hurdle. That wasn't the case. When we booked the cruise back in November of last year, we were aware of the protocols that all passengers over 12 must be vaccinated. I told this to my unvaccinated older sister when we booked this that the vax requirements may or may not be in place by the time we sail. She was very adamant that she would not have my two nieces (under 12) get vaccinated, but she would consider getting vaccinated if it was a requirement. Fast forward to about a month ago when the protocols for our cruise date were officially released, we decided that we would take a shot at the vaccine exemption for my sister. Today we finally got an official response back saying they cannot accommodate the vaccine exemption due to unvaccinated capacity limits. We're seeking a full refund for both of the reservations that we have and our wonderful TA, Grace, is helping out with that. We just can't do the vacation without everyone being there. It just wouldn't be right. We do plan on doing a family cruise some other time when everyone can go. It's really too bad because we got such a good deal on this cruise and have been planning and looking forward to it ever since we booked it. It's unlikely that we'll find an opportunity like this one in the future at the same or somewhat close in price for the same rooms. As an alternative for this year, we're probably going to do a short family vacation at the "Water Park Capital of the World", Wisconsin Dells. Here's hoping that the general public will stop paying attention to the COVID headlines so we can move on with our normal lives. P.S. if anyone is looking to book either a 2BR Aquatheater Suite or Royal Loft to sail on Allure on July 31, keep your eye out for these rooms to become available in the near future. It'll be interesting to see what price they will have on these.
  6. This is a good question because coverages can overlap in some cases. Trip Interruption kicks in the day you choose to start the benefit, so it's very important to pick the day you start driving or flying to the cruise port. Everything before that falls under Trip Cancellation. With Trip Interruption, you are covering all non-refundable pre-paid expenses that you've paid to the airlines, hotels, cruise line, etc. up to the limit you set in the event you cannot make it to your destination due to the policy's list of Covered Reasons. Depending on the plan, it can also cover additional cost that may be incurred due to extra costs associated with buying alternative transportation to catch-up to your cruise, or alternative travel home in the event you get sick and cannot make your original flight/transportation home. Here's a quote from an IMG policy for example: "TRIP INTERRUPTION If You must start Your Trip late or are unable to complete Your Trip, We will reimburse You, up to the Maximum Benefit Amount shown in the Schedule of Benefits, for the unused, forfeited, prepaid non-refundable Payments or Deposits paid for the Travel Arrangements You purchased for Your Trip plus the Additional Transportation Cost paid to either: (a) join Your Trip if You must depart after Your Scheduled Departure Date or travel via alternate travel arrangements; or (b) rejoin Your Trip from the point where You interrupted Your Trip to the next Scheduled Destination; or (c) transport You to Your originally scheduled Return Destination of Your Trip;" The key thing to look at are the list of Covered Reasons a claim can be made for reimbursement. I have not been able to find a travel insurance plan that will cover the entire cost of a cruise under the Trip Interruption section (assuming you miss port departure) when an airline causes a delay to your arrival that is due to overbookings, understaffing, or other related circumstances where the airline is at fault. The only Covered Reasons that these policies include in their Trip Interruption section are weather related delays, mechanical issues, or strikes and these Covered Reasons can vary from plan to plan. So, for example, if you get bumped or your flight gets delayed or canceled because they are short staffed, the Trip Interruption portion of the policy doesn't come into play. Other sections of the policy like Trip Delay or Missed Connection can come into play for any type of transportation delay, but these coverage limits are often lower than your entire cruise fare. Finding a policy that has a high Missed Connection coverage limit would be wise to cover all your bases if you're flying to your cruise port.
  7. Check insuremytrip.com they give you a list of quotes from different insurance providers. Since you're flying in day of, make sure that the coverage in the Trip Interruption section kicks in after a small number of hours. I believe 6 hours is as low as they go, but you may find better. Do your research and make sure it covers all your bases.
  8. From the RC Australian site FAQ. Not searchable on the US site. https://www.royalcaribbean.com/aus/en/faq/questions/what-is-a-guarantee-stateroom-and-how-does-it-work- At times we may offer you the option of making a ‘Guarantee’ (GTY) booking. This means you may book a stateroom of a guaranteed category type (Interior, Oceanview, Balcony or Suite) on your chosen ship and cruise. However, the exact grade, number and location of the stateroom on the ship will be allocated by us (at our discretion) and at any time up until checking in at the port. Once your GTY stateroom has been allocated to you, we are unable to accept any changes requested by you. Guests booked in GTY cabins may not be berthed with other travelling parties due to availability. Staterooms allocated may be subject to obstructed views.
  9. Oh, then you'd still get 10 points if she joins you in the suite. Enough for your D+
  10. If you booked prior to March 31, the booking is still eligible for CWC benefits, but the cancellation would have to cancel on the Thursday before your sail date to get the 100% future cruise credit. Unless you are flying out Thursday or earlier, you probably won't know whether your flight will be canceled. So, you're probably going to want some better protection. I'm fairly certain that you can still purchase travel insurance, even this close to the trip. Travel insurance while traveling overseas is a good idea in any case. Make sure it has sufficient trip interruption coverage to cover the cost of the cruise.
  11. This must be a 10 night sailing in a GS then?
  12. I've also been curious about the answer to this question in regards to having a person in a room that provides suite benefits in addition to a separate non-suite stateroom. For example, a family is booked in a star class room and wants grandma who is booked in a balcony room to also get the DBP and UDP benefits while being able to sleep in a different room. I'd imagine there could be issues when counting passengers for the manifest and muster station assignments, but I haven't heard any solid answer to this question.
  13. Critical piece of information in the article: Yet, since the phased restart of cruise travel in July 2021, there have been no critical emergency situations where any ship has been overwhelmed with the need to evacuate guests due to a crippling outbreak of COVID-19. Even where higher numbers of cases have been reported on vessels, the cruise line’s emergency measures, including contact tracing, isolation measures, and quarantine, have proven effective, and most passengers who do test positive have been either asymptomatic or experienced only very mild symptoms of discomfort.
  14. I love the sound of this, but the definition of a nova doesn't seem desirable in the context of a cruise ship. "a star showing a sudden large increase in brightness and then slowly returning to its original state over a few months."
  15. Louder @smokeybandit! Even if you only use the card for RC purchases, you're missing out. Also, something to be aware of is the points expire after 5 years. So if you plan on not cruising for a while or wait to save up, you could be loosing those points. The best card out there IMO for the occasional or active cruiser is the US Bank Altitude Connect Visa. Earns 4x points on travel, including cruises. 4x at gas stations! 2x at grocery stores, grocery delivery, dining and streaming services, 1x on other purchases. Points never expire and can be redeemed for cash, merchandise, or travel. No foreign transaction fee. It does have a $95 annual fee, but it's waived for the first year and the $500 sign up bonus is very nice. The annual $30 streaming credit knocks the effective annual fee to $65. Not saying this is for everyone, but for an average consumer that travels even occasionally this card kicks butt.
  16. Sure, but based on the issue being reported, the takeaway from this for me is to call Royal for cruise planner price adjustments rather than canceling and repurchasing on the website. At least until there aren't any more reports of this popping up. It's crazy to think the code doesn't have a solid enough validation process for these transactions to eliminate the chance of this happening.
  17. Looks like there's two types of gift cards/certificates, because the certificates on the page below can be used towards OBC. The caviat is that the funds must be applied 10 or more days before the sail date. https://www.royalcaribbeancertificates.com/ So the answer to the OPs question is it depends what type you have.
  18. I can't see them allowing this. There's no way to verify that the sample was collected properly or from the correct individual.
  19. Most certainly, the test will not be accepted. It's written very clearly that the test must be supervised. https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/if-need-an-rt-pcr-test-before-i-cruise-where-should-i-go Accepted Tests for Guests Sailing from Europe Below are details about which tests are accepted to board the ship. The type of test you need for your cruise, as well as the testing window, can vary depending on your vaccination status. If you are unclear on test requirements your for your cruise, visit our main COVID-19 testing FAQ to learn more. Accepted Types of Tests and Results There are two common types of diagnostic COVID-19 tests A molecular test, also called a PCR test or NAAT test – our testing requirements call this a “PCR test” An antigen test, also called a rapid antigen test – our testing requirements call this an “antigen test” The test must be supervised by a health professional, such as a doctor, pharmacy technician, public health worker, or telehealth professional. Telehealth testing at home is only accepted for vaccinated guests, and only when it is conducted under live video supervision. Learn more about acceptable telehealth tests including our home test kit. You must receive a valid results document from your test provider that includes the name of the lab that processed the test, the lab’s CLIA Lab Number or Certification Number, the address of the lab, your name, the date the test was taken, type of test, and your negative result. This can be a printed document, email, or telehealth app notification. Fully handwritten doctor’s notes (such as those written on a prescription pad) will not be accepted. Minimal handwritten components (such as a check mark on a “negative” box) are acceptable as long as the other required information is printed on the document. Tests We Do Not Accept Antibody tests are not accepted, as they do not detect a current infection. Home test kits that are self-administered at home, and not supervised live by a telehealth professional, are also not accepted.
  20. Based on the photo for the diapers in the Royal Gifts page it's the Huggies Snug & Dry type, but I can't say with confidence that's the type you'd receive. Honestly, the 34 pack for $14 is pretty reasonable considering you don't have to lug them on the ship yourself. If the type of Huggie is a deal breaker, give them a call to be sure. Here's there number: (800) 722-5443 Make sure to order before the cruise, because you'll probably pay a whole lot more onboard. Here's the faq page for Royal Gifts. https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/royal-gift-order-options And here's the page with the photo I referenced. https://www.royalcaribbean.com/royalgifts/gifts/huggies-diapers
  21. Virgin is in a very competitive space in the cruise industry already and their target market, millennials like myself, need to persuaded that the price they pay is worth the vacation. Appealing to that type of market requires a very heaving marketing presence. Also, millennials who are in a position to drop a couple grand on a vacation often have job positions that make it difficult to find a week off that doesn't leave them drowned in work once the vacation is over. Baby boomers, on the other hand, have more flexibility and can go on several cruises in a year with one of the major cruise lines. Having a larger population in this age range in the Florida area also makes the trip more manageable since a flight to the cruise terminal may not be required, especially with the rising costs of flights nowadays. Besides the food, I don't see how Virgin Voyages has positioned itself leaps and bounds above other the major cruise lines. There biggest differentiator is that it is 18+. I still put my name in the drawing because a free cruise is a free cruise, but at this point I would much rather book a cruise with RC or Celebrity over Virgin.
  22. The cost breakdown shown on the Royal Caribbean booking confirmation page doesn't show all the discount details well. The 100% discount for your grandson is included in the line titled "30% Off" along with the 30% off discount for everyone else.
  23. My neck hurts already thinking about looking up at the screen for an extended period of time.
  24. There are still some CWC eligible bookings. Any booking confirmed on or before March 31, 2022 for a sailing that departs on or before September 30, 2022 is still eligible.
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