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Traveling Mike

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Everything posted by Traveling Mike

  1. Economy vs Economy Plus Currently I am in the middle of my flight from Los Angeles to London and woke up and decided to stretch my legs. I also wanted to see if I could get me a diet coke. I headed back to the back half of the plane and noticed a big difference…. The low life section… the peasants… the cramped people. Don’t get me wrong, I am normally that person, but I did not know I was. This flight, I was able to get a good price for economy plus and I might have just runed my budget for flying in the future. Once I got south of the Economy Plus section there was a huge difference, the people were shoulder to shoulder and people’s arms and legs in the aisle. The aisle was also very narrow. I had to turn sideways just to walk down it. When I got back to my seat I realized, on this plane, there is a big difference between Economy and Economy Plus. The leg room is way more, a few inches make a big difference. Each of the seats is separated by a divider of 4 inches or so, economy it just the 2 inch arm. There was a footrest. My seat reclined back far enough to feel like I am laying back, not down, back. Right now I am reclined back with my feet up on a foot rest and comfortable with the laptop on my lap; It's not bad. Ok, I am sure you are the business class flyer and you are thinking I am stupid. Give me a break, people like me do not think about flying business or first class unless we have a lottery ticket in our hands. We do not think of cruising in a suite unless the cruise line decides to do an upgrade for some strange reason. I can look in the front section and see them on the plane laying flat and sleeping. But for people like me, we ignore that and pretend we are high class flying Economy Plus. Note: Getting off the plane we walked though business class. They are pigs. All of them left big messes for someone else to clean up.
  2. My Pre-Trip Fun ☹ My adventure really started two days ago. I had a mini vacation as a warmup. I drive a passenger van full of High School Water Polo players to the California coast to play in a tournament. When I should have been home packing and planning, I was on the coast taking care of teenage boys. On Saturday afternoon we finished and I came back home as quick as possible to start figuring what I needed to pack. I got back, turned in my van for my car and then had my son take me to the airport to get a one way rental car. I finally got back home at 8:30 pm and figured out I needed to do laundry to have cloths for my trip. I got on my computer and started to double check paperwork and ……. THE POWER WENT OUT OK, wet clothes in the dryer, nothing packed and no packing list or documents printed. I gave up and went to sleep. About 4 hours later my 25-year-old son woke me up to let me know electricity was back on. Ok on to laundry and packing. I got to my dress pants and …. They were still at the Dry Cleaners. So I looked for my work pants and …… they were also at the Dry Cleaners. Well …. After trying on everything in both my closet and my sons closet I found a pair of dockers that will have to do. I finally got everything packed and got a few hours sleep. I left the house at 8:30 am to give myself time in case something happened during the 250 mile drive to the LA Airport. Now guess what happened….. everything went smoothly and now I am sitting in the airport for 6 hours waiting for my flight.
  3. I have started one of my bucket list type of vacations. This morning I left Fresno California in a one way rental car. I drove 4 hours to the Los Angeles Airport. Now I am doing my 6 hour wait for my flight. I will be flying to Prague in the Czech Republic. From there I will be taking a train to Copenhagen Denmark. After a couple of days there I will be getting on the Voyager of the Seas for a Trans-Atlantic Artic Cruise. If this sounds interesting stay tuned for the details and pictures. Mike
  4. I watched a video from a staff member that said everyone in the kitchen are part of the tip package.
  5. I am purchasing an annual policy in November of this year. I had already purchased trip insurance for everything through my September cruise. I have not decided on what company I am going with because all of them are so different in what they cover and how much. I guess I am getting close enough that I have to make a decision soon. I am sure I will be going with Travel Guard or Allianz.
  6. My son got an ear infection while on the cruise. Seen the ship doctor and he let us know what was going on and gave us medicine. My health insurance paid part of it and my travel insurance paid the deductible. Norwegian Cruise Lines shorted my TA cruise from 14-day cruise to a 10-day cruise the week before we left. My travel insurance paid me for trip interception and gave me $250 a day (for the 4 days) for hotel room in London. I had the choice to do that, or they would have flown me home and paid for the ticket. Covid canceled my cruise, and I had a hotel room and outside excursion that was nonrefundable. My travel insurance refunded me the amounts.
  7. When you board the ship for the first time, it is local time. After that always go by ship time. The captain has the choice of changing time and when to change it. On my last trans-Atlantic cruise, we changed an hour each day, but the captain did it at noon. That really messed us up. You would get out of bed and know your time then at noon we would lose an hour and be late for everything.
  8. What you need to remember is they cannot let you board until everyone from the previous cruise is off the ship and they get clearance from the customs authority. If they have people with covid or hurt during the cruise it can take longer to clear customs. That is why some of the time you have 11 am and you are on the ship at 11:10 am. And other times you have 11 am and you do not get on the ship until 12:30 pm.
  9. You gave Gilligan an adventure of a lifetime.
  10. Being in the hurricane, almost none. The ships watch the weather and take the ships around bad weather. Your ports of call could change based on the weather. The season is June 1 through November 30 and normally peaks in August and September. Just understand in September you might have different ports than what were there when you booked the cruise.
  11. Before COVID, all of the cruises had a DJ or Band around the pool with a lot of ship staff. They would try to get everyone up and dancing and sell you a sail-away drink. It was a big party to make leaving port exciting and sell drinks. Now Post COVID they just have music everywhere and try not to have big crowds. Social Media Groups: Like @Pattycruise said the social media groups get together to meet each other and enjoy the ships departure. On my September 4th cruise I have over 500 new friends from the Facebook Cruise Group for our cruise to meet.
  12. No, they are just guaranteeing you a cabin on the ship. I have heard of people moving cabins after they are assigned as long as it is the same category that is assigned to you.
  13. Yes, we were posting at the same time. Mine took longer because I had to get the screen print.
  14. Those kinds of things never seem to happen to people that would like it. On my flights to the ship, they are always offering big money to delay. On the flights home when I don't care they never offer it. I would love to delay my cruise for a free cruise, I would be on that in a heartbeat. I must be living life wrong, the only thing I get lately is my flights changed to give me a 8-hour layover in Heathrow.
  15. I have had the water package 4 times in the last year and have had 4 different brands of water and they have all be in plastic bottles. The Symphony gave me twice as much because they were smaller bottles.
  16. This seems to help figure out what room you are in before they release it. Someone on my September cruise pointed it out to us and it worked for everyone on the thread. In the RCL App take your boarding pass and save it in the iPhone wallet. Then look down in the barcode and you will see a long number with a dash then a 4- or 5-digit number. That number is your room cabin.
  17. The front of the ship you will see more dolphins because they like to ride the ship wake. The middle of the ship is good because it has less movement and is easy to get to everything. The back of the ship rides smoother in the water and is closer to the buffet. The Aft (very back ) of the ship is relaxing watching the path of the ship.
  18. I do not know this for sure but if I am not mistaken you can transfer your booking to one of these travel agents and they can get you the lower price.
  19. Let me start by saying I have not been on the tour. I have lived in central California all my life and have been to most of the places listed. I would say if you have not been to any of these places it is worth the time to do it and it helps it is not too expensive. So, you do not have false expectations I do not think you will go away wowed. I think you are going to go away from this excursion with that was it? The perfect example is the Mann's Chinese Theatre with the Stars in the cement. Unless it has changed in the last few years you are going to see lots of people dressed up in really bad costumes and many of them very dirty. The handprints and stars are net to see but I expected to see a lot more. The drive through Hollywood and the Sunset Strip you are going to realize it is not the place that made it famous but the people that have been there. Now with all of this said it is something you want to do once so you can say "I have been there".
  20. On all cruises the shore excursion will bounce around but timing is everything. On our Alaska cruise everything was sold out at expensive prices and people were waiting. I did not try to get any of them but I was told as soon as anything opened it was taken by someone else.
  21. On our trans-Atlantic the casino gave us a hassle about giving us small bills and quarters. They told us the casino cash was only for playing in the casino.
  22. I have not been to Catalina but it is a large tourist area for a reason. I have been to Ensenada many times and I like the town. I see lots of people hate them but every port is what you make out of it. Below is what I have experienced. Thinking about adding a 4 night cruise to Ensenada and Catalina. In November I am booking a B2B2B because of the price and ease of cruising in my own state. 1-Do we get off with all of our luggage at the end of the 7 nighter and reboard later that morning to start the 4 night cruise? How early can we board? ** You will leave your luggage on the ship. If you keep the same cabin you will leave the luggage unpacked. 2-The 2nd cruise will be in a different cabin, how will we move our luggage to the new cabin and get new sea pass cards? ** If you are moving cabins your cabin steward will move the luggage for you. You will get a new sea pass card when they exit you and bring you back on. The ship takes everyone doing a B2B off and brings you back on at the same time. You will be the first back on the ship. 3-COVID Testing. With the current rules, we must test before the 7 night cruise, but not the 4 night cruise, is this correct? ** The current rules have you test before your first cruise and not on the second half of the B2B 4-We used a travel agent for the 7 nighter but might book the 4 nighter on our own or use a different agent. What issues might come up with not using the same TA for both cruises? ** I had different travel agents and different cruise line (RCL and Celebrity) and I did not see any issues. You just have to deal with multiple people. 5-Has anyone done the 4 night cruise to Ensenada and Catalina Island and have recommendations of things to do and see? ** This is what I have booked: Catalina: Undersea Semi-Sub Expedition Ensenada: Taste of Mexico & Margarita Madness (1st cruise) ATV Adventure and Wine Country Tasting (2ed cruise) Note: I used to like the La Bufadora 15 years ago but it has turned into a major tourist trap.
  23. I am sure it has to do with who, when and where.
  24. There are lots of different opinions. If I hit the lottery, I would hand everyone $100 bills. I have not hit the lottery and I work for a school district, so I am limited on my funds. Everything you purchase has 18% gratuity added on. If you give them $1 for a $10 drink, you are increasing their tip to 28%. If you give them $2 you are tipping 38%. You can also look at it the other way that $1 or $2 is nothing to you but it means a lot to them. The short answer is money is relative to how much you have.
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