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  1. Like
    whitsmom reacted to Rose City Cruiser in What is your favorite memory from your last cruise you took?   
    Watching that sunset gets me every.... single.... time.¬†ūüĆÖ
  2. Wow
    whitsmom reacted to MadamG2U in What is your favorite memory from your last cruise you took?   
    My favorite memory....Last December (2019) I took my parents on the Oasis to celebrate their 63 wedding anniversary.  We normally drive to Florida but this time I talked them into flying.  Note they had not flown in over 20 years.  What they did not know is that I booked us first class tickets!  We normally stay at holiday inn or such the night before. This time I booked us in the Mandarin Oriental Miami.  By this time they are just beyond happy.  As we left for the ship I kinda forgot to tell them that we were staying Star Class again.  It was the best cruise ever!
  3. Like
    whitsmom reacted to velts in If Lift & Shift request is submitted, do you have to accept their pick?   
    we managed to L&S a 14 night relocation cruise, Sydney to Singapore 2021 to a 16 night Sydney to Hawaii 2022 with negligible price difference so just ask! never know what your going to get.
  4. Like
    R Rate is what it was in April so they have came up with new rules, schools and workplaces are still open however we CANNOT visit other houses, can only meet 1 other household at a time outside with a maximum of 6 people. If this does not stop the trend then other more severe measures may be introduced, this includes a complete lockdown as has been recommended by scientists for 1 month possibly over xmas and new year. 
    Bloody idiots wont listen to whats being said and either go out partying or protesting etc ruining it for those that stick to the rules 
  5. Like
    whitsmom reacted to WAAAYTOOO in Airline doesn't want to book flight....   
    Resurrecting an old thread.  I wanted to report on a GREAT experience with American Airlines and itinerary changes.
    I had to change a flight NOT once, but TWICE.  For both calls, AA made the necessary changes quickly and without charging a dime in change fees.  I am thrilled with this new policy.  The first time I changed it, there was an increase in fare (which I absolutely expected) so I just paid the increased fare.  The second time I changed it, the fare went DOWN by over $350 PP so I got credit vouchers for that fare difference.
    After so many bad experiences trying to change air itineraries, I was happy for some good news.  I hope they NEVER change their no change fee policy !!!
  6. Like
    whitsmom got a reaction from JLMoran in Alaska Cruise Planner Sale 2021... your mileage may vary   
    My DDP was $57 and today it was $43.  I purchased it so I really hope our L&S October 2021 will be a go!
  7. Like
    whitsmom reacted to mrp4352 in Alaska Cruise Planner Sale 2021... your mileage may vary   
    Thank you! Just saved $25 each on our excursion in Victoria!
  8. Thanks
    whitsmom reacted to JT2 in Beverage Package Spreadsheet   
    Simple spreadsheet, go to the number of days you will be cruising on the tabs at the bottom, change the cost of the deluxe and refreshment package to what yours is. Go down and approximate (don't be stingy) how many of each type drink you would have each day, this will vary for most due to port/at sea or private island.
    After you've done this it will tell you how much you would save with the package.
    I think my pricing of drinks is still right, let me know if I'm off.
    Hope this helps!
    Beverage Package Comparison 3-8day.xlsx
  9. Like
    whitsmom reacted to twangster in Did Covid-19 Kill The Early Check-in?   
    That's a slippery slope.  How many slots do Full Suites vs. Junior Suites get?  Pinnacles?  The Key?  D+ then D and so on down the chain? 
    It's one thing to say if you are checked in and waiting in the terminal, then here is the boarding order.   It's another to reserve slots for arrival because at what point do you they give up on a "class" that hasn't checked in online to get their arrival time?
    I suspect they will adopt something like the Sydney, Australia format.  
    In Sydney only Star Class really gets priority arrival/check-in at the terminal.   I didn't get a special early arrival time for my C&A status, I think I received what was available when I checked in.  I dropped my bags then went off to walk the Sydney Harbour Bridge and get pictures (to kill time).   Once back I was still too early for my arrival time.  It didn't matter what my C&A status was, I had to wait.  Walking from the ship luggage drop to the bridge, across the bridge and back isn't exactly a "quick" walk. I went to the museum up there too and I was still too early to check in when I got back.  I asked about C&A status ... nope, what time I had was the only thing that mattered.  This was before any pandemic.  
    I think initially some Suites/Pinnacle/Key/D+ will be upset when they assume privilege.  Blah, blah, blah.  We'll hear about it without doubt.  But oh well, I'm okay losing this privilege if it means getting back on a ship.  Others will be more vocal but we all have to give in these difficult times.  Trying to appease special status may not work like it did before.  Eventually it will be back. Until then everyone needs a super large dose of "Calm down and cruise on".
  10. Like
    whitsmom reacted to WanderPam in Mother + Daughter = Europe   
    I second this! But it depends on what you are looking for in your adventures. We loved our 10 night Mediterranean cruise for the ruins in Italy and Greece but it was SO hot even in mid September 
    The 14 night cruise we did of Scandinavia and Russia was simply incredible. Weather much cooler which we prefer and there is so much to see right near the port in most cities so easy to navigate by ourselves by walking or HOHO tours. We also sailed from Southampton which allowed a visit to London first (some also did Paris!) 
    You really can't go wrong in Europe though and we have never had an issue with transit or safety. Do your research first and take the regular precautions you would in a big city and you will be fine !
  11. Like
    whitsmom reacted to Neesa in Shhh, Sharla Manglass MEI Travel   
    Don't tell anyone please....I have been stalking my "possible sailing" scheduled for Thanksgiving this November because I lost my August VP cabin this past August and I really needed this cabin. (only 1854 or 1804) and both were previously booked so unavailable for this sailing. Of course we have no assurance this sailing will go, BUT it appeared available Friday night, OMG can I switch ??  Enter Sharla our MEI guru, I called her and shot off an email, understanding fully it was after hours so I did all I could do. 
    Within minutes of my email I received a response simply saying " I'm on it" I was flabbergasted, this amazing lady interrupted her personal evening and secured my preferred cabin, shhh don't tell anyone SHE.IS.AMAZING. 
    I am so thankful for the day I reached out on this blog and was put in contact with Sharla, I feel like she is more then a TA, she is a friend. Thanks @Matt¬†for being the conduit for our amazing advocate all things Royal, @Sharla. [email protected]
    LISTEN CDC, we are more then ready to sail, let's go!

  12. Like
    whitsmom reacted to ctwilliams in What it is like to cruise now: MeinSchiff Blaue Reise   
    I came across this video today of someone that is onboard one of the ships that has started sailing (MeinSchiff Blaue Reise). He talks about how boarding was different and the procedures they have on the ship. I thought it was interesting and possibly what it would look like when we can start back.
  13. Like
    whitsmom reacted to Wilson in Free trip from playing a Facebook game MyVegas   
    Royal is required to authorize these promotions. IMHO this a great sign Royal feels confident they will be sailing short cruises in January. 
  14. Like
    whitsmom reacted to MelKaps in Stupid Chair Hogs   
    A few years ago I sailed on Grandeur with my mother. The maitre'd came around to each table on the first night asking how everything was. The couple next to us said it wasn't good. The maitre'd asked what was wrong and how can they make things better, etc. They just shrugged and said it wasn't good food. My mother chimed in and said, "Well I thought everything was absolutely delicious!"
    That couple never returned to the dining room for the rest of the cruise, which was nice because we didn't want to be around negativity.
  15. Wow
    whitsmom reacted to WAAAYTOOO in Lift and shift help   
    So this thread is as close as I can find to my L&S news.  I'm hijackin' it.
    Last week @michelle booked the Royal Suite for me on Empress (11-22-20, 6 night Western Caribbean) with the express intent of L&S'ing it to next year.  According to the website, the appropriate cruise to which to shift this would have been a 6 night Western Caribbean cruise on Odyssey.  YIPPEE !  That sounds great.  Since the appropriate shift from a RS on Empress to another ship is an Owner's Suite, I was happy with that idea.  So she called and they stone cold refused to make the shift to Odyssey even though the website showed that sailing as an appropriate "match" AND there was an Owner's Suite still available (Odyssey only has 2 OS so it was a surprise that one was still available...but it was).  Nope.  Nope.  Nope.
    She tried doing the online L&S.  Nope.  They outright refused.
    I was so disappointed.  I have read of so many people moving their Empress suites to Odyssey and simply could not understand why I was being denied.  If I had been there in person, they would have labeled me a "Karen" for sure.  LOL
    @michelle got a call this morning from the L&S team with the bad news for a second time.  Not only would they not shift me to Odyssey, NOW they wouldn't even shift me to an Oasis cruise that had been their offer last week (this offer never made any sense.  It was a 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise which violated all of their "rules" - different number of nights, different itinerary).  Now I was steamin'.  Poor Michelle.  She is so patient.  She texted me to let me know that they were "evaluating our options". 
    I was resigned that this was just not going to work out.  I asked Michelle to please just CWC and get an FCC for my deposit.  She said "okay".  Maybe 10 minutes later she texted me that they were offering to shift my Empress RS to an Allure Star Loft Suite during Thanksgiving week (6 night 11-21-21) !!  I almost dropped the phone !  So they were willing to give me a $12.5K SLS on Allure  but they couldn't see their way to giving me a $9K OS on Odyssey ?  Whatever.  I'll take Star Class every time !!!
    So....   @michelle is the queen of L&S negotiations.  I don't know how she does it....but she is awesome.  I'm soooo happy !!!!!!!
  16. Like
    whitsmom reacted to Woody in DBP dilemma   
    I took the bait last night and got it, I sold it to my hubby by saying it's only 3 alcoholic drinks a day more than the refreshment package which is ¬£18.24 pppd ūüėá
  17. Like
    whitsmom reacted to WAAAYTOOO in Lift and Shift on cancelled cruise???   
    WOW !  Waaay to go !  If it’s showing up in your online account I think you’ve done it !  That’s the best deal I’ve heard of yet !
  18. Thanks
    whitsmom reacted to Matt in Id like to give a gift cert 250   
    Sorry, I have to edit the info and close thread. There is way too high a chance this is not on the up and up (no offense to the OP, just no way to know).
  19. Like
    whitsmom reacted to ehw51 in I miss cruises so much I did something sad. ūüėü   
    WE have been making basicly the same trip for over 20 yrs for work, same rest stops same¬†fuel stop (Phillipsburg,NJ). It¬īs 6 hr drive from near Pittsburgh.¬†¬†Rt 70, to New Stanton, turnpike¬†to Carlisle , Rt 81 to Rt 78 to NJ turnpike to exit 16W to Rt17 Carlstadt. Spend night, bagels at Goldbergs, Liberty State Park (you can see the ship),¬†Then to the ship. The first sight of the ship never ceases to get me to my happy place. We did the straight thru to the ship, ONE time, NEVER again. TOO much stress. Retired, but still make the trip for a friend to help him out once in a while, 3¬†wks ago I actually made the trip and dragged my wife along and we made a detour to Port Liberty, just to see how far they have come with the new roads and the housing construction. Sad no ship to get on but the area still has plenty of port traffic. Hopefully we will be hearing of all the new protocols and will be cruising again soon.
  20. Thanks
    whitsmom got a reaction from fabfashionmama in Lift & Ship Question   
    Your final payment gets moved to October 2021.  We did the L&S for our October 2020 cruise to October 2021 and our final payment was moved to July 2021.
  21. Like
    whitsmom reacted to WannaCruise in Why are people addicted to cruising?   
    I'll repeat pretty much what others have said
    it's a way to totally get away from work and problems, etc it's a way to have complete family time (no internet for us so we really just enjoy our time together) no cooking, cleaning and laundry (well ok...laundry will be waiting when we return but none to be done during the week) so much to do for all of us, adults and kids, between the amenities (swimming, mini golf, rock wall, waterslides, zipline, laser tag, sky pad, etc etc depending on the ship) and the organized activities (e.g. scavenger huts, trivia, dance classes, games such as giant jenga, etc etc) great food selection and love the sit down every night excellent entertainment and variety every single night (broadway shows, musical acts, comedy type shows, etc, then fun things like Love & Marriage, Quest, Battle of the Sexes, etc) yummy fun drinks different music playing in the evenings (schooner bar, other areas along the promenade) crew is generally excellent, smiling, happy excellent ambiance...I love just waking and exploring the ship, looking at the art work on the walls and around the ship, etc relaxing...nothing better than going for a walk and watching the water move by (will often just watch the wake at the back) and seeing different places for a day I really don't think any other vacation even comes close.  
  22. Like
    whitsmom reacted to JLMoran in Mein Shiff 2 at Sea!   
    Sorry, also meant to comment on this in the prior post. I disagree strongly that the AIDA Explorer Dream cruise is the more important one to watch, purely speaking as an American in a country that's even less experienced than Germany at this point. If Explorer Dream goes without a hitch, the response from here, press and elsewhere, will be exactly your slant: "Of course! They deal with that sort of thing all the time!" Followed by, "Now get some Europeans on there and impress us."
    If Germany's cruises continue to go without a hitch, first without port stops and then gradually adding those in, the reaction here as well as Europe will hopefully be more along the lines of, "Hmmm. They actually got it to work without ever dealing with this sort of thing before, ever. People were actually willing to go along with the protocols and they actually did the job. Maybe cruising can be done after all."
  23. Thanks
    whitsmom reacted to Neaxan in Mein Shiff 2 at Sea!   
    Finally, as promised, a recap of Schiffstester Matthias Morr's conclusion video:
    - Boarding times were enforced (usually TUI Cruises doesn't assign boarding times). Masks had to be worn in the terminal and in the queue in front of the terminal. Health questionnaires & temperature check for check in. B2Bs are currently not allowed.
    - Muster drill: when on board you went from your cabin to your muster station. Explanations were given in small groups.
    - Ship sailed at around 40% capacity (= 1200 guests), max would've been 60% (=1400 guests), 800 crew. Possible difficulties in selling the cabins might've been short notice and comparably high pricing - there were no discounts and no interior or ocean view cabins, only balcony & suites.
    - Crew was quarantined on ship 14 days prior to the first cruise. They were very happy to be back working. Crew have to wear masks or face shields while working in contact with passengers - irrespective of social distancing.
    - Every passenger had to do a daily temperature check by infrared camera. Hand washing and use of disinfectant was enforced.
    - Masks were only mandatory where you couldn't keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres (about 5 feet). Masks were provided in the cabin on arrival, people with medical exemptions had to use face shields (not provided).
    - No seats at the bar - either service at a table or queuing with social distancing (TUI has waaaaay more waiters at bars compared to Royal, so not a problem). Buffet was available, but no self service. Also no full show ensemble, only solo performances. No party (sail away, pool party etc.). Sauna is currently closed but this might change soon. Whirlpools could only be used by members of the same travel group at a time.
    - Audience: younger than TUI's normal average, apparently no first time cruisers, many regular customers of other cruise lines (mainly AIDA and MSC)
    -  Staggered disembarkation times were enforced (usually no assigned times).
    - Most important: no cases of COVID were reported!
    "Fun" facts:
    - A few German media companies contacted passengers to try and get pictures of passengers not obeying social distancing rules. That's the state of the German press for you... 
    - Mein Schiff 2 met with Mein Schiff 4 and Mein Schiff 6 while at sea - a bit like the meeting of the 3 sisters (Oasis, Harmony and Allure). 
    If you've got any questions, feel free to ask. I'll try to find an answer - might be easier for me as many sources are in German only and Google translate is a train wreck.
  24. Like
    whitsmom reacted to Dan Curtis in Adapting to the New Normal   
    We visited Jim Beam in Louisville area, probably Makers Mark our favorite, but the drive to Woodford May be the most scenic, we are as about as far North as you can get in Ky, but we think the Ohio river area is also scenic. But sure we sure anxious to eventually get back on a cruise ship.
  25. Love
    whitsmom reacted to SteveinSC in Adapting to the New Normal   
    Seconded! Kentucky in Spring is one of my favorite places. If youve never been to Louisville for the Derby, you havent lived. It will change your life. You combine the beauty of Kentucky with BOURBON and horses???? Whats not to love?!?!?!!?  I need a mint julep. 
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