Jump to content
Royal Caribbean Blog

monorailmedic

Moderators
  • Content Count

    746
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    18

Reputation Activity

  1. Like
    monorailmedic reacted to AshleyDillo in Paradise Beach Cozumel   
    Paradise Beach is great if you aren't looking for an all inclusive.  It will cost $3 per person to get in and they expect you to spend $10 per person on food and drinks.  You don't have to pay for your chair and umbrella at the beach and you will have a waiter that takes care of you.  
    I didn't find the drink and food prices to be extremely outrageous.
    They have showers and changing rooms and and a nice pool on site as well.
    I have visited Cozumel in January and was able to handle being in the water, even being from Florida where 70 degrees feels chilly.  
  2. Like
    monorailmedic got a reaction from ChessE4 in Paradise Beach Cozumel   
    I was there this past April and had a nice time.  It's been a staple for years and my visit made me realize that this is the case for good reason.  No, it's not one of the all-inclusives with a lot of entertainment options and such (though there is an $18 option to enjoy those things if you're so inclined).  It is a nice beach however, with friendly folks service reasonably prices food and drink.  
    Matt's write up from July 2018:
    https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2018/07/25/excursion-focus-paradise-beach-cozumel
    My visit there in April 2019:
    https://www.cruisehabit.com/holland-america-line-nieuw-statendam-live-blog-–-day-6-cozumel-mexico
     
  3. Like
    monorailmedic got a reaction from DMLM in Paradise Beach Cozumel   
    I was there this past April and had a nice time.  It's been a staple for years and my visit made me realize that this is the case for good reason.  No, it's not one of the all-inclusives with a lot of entertainment options and such (though there is an $18 option to enjoy those things if you're so inclined).  It is a nice beach however, with friendly folks service reasonably prices food and drink.  
    Matt's write up from July 2018:
    https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2018/07/25/excursion-focus-paradise-beach-cozumel
    My visit there in April 2019:
    https://www.cruisehabit.com/holland-america-line-nieuw-statendam-live-blog-–-day-6-cozumel-mexico
     
  4. Like
    monorailmedic reacted to Jaymac Radio in Celebrity now offering "Perk Packages"   
    It Look Like Celebrity's Version Of The Key.   
  5. Thanks
    monorailmedic got a reaction from mikebarr in Crown and Anchor   
    Very true, and that's because out of all the perks (save for the free Pinancle cruise, which falls into the "not reasonably attainable" category in my mind), the diamond drink benefit is probably something most would agree to be the most valuable, regardless of how much or little it might move the needle for any individual.  Hey @Matt, when was the last sailing you didn't buy a drink package? (honestly don't know)
    That's pretty awesome.  I'd love to see that work out for others.  Like I said, for me, a few drinks from a selection that isn't interesting to me doesn't help.  If they added to the numbers and the options (which I don't anticipate one bit, but who knows) it'd be a different deal for us - but everyone's mileage may vary.  I am jealous 🙂
    Absolutely!  That's one of the things I really love about RCLB message boards!  No one being honest with themselves loves or hates every aspect of an experience or product, and other communities that hold a "my way or the highway" stance just confuse me.  Well, there was that time @Matt banned everyone on the site who didn't pledge their undying love of falafel, but I can get behind that. 
  6. Like
    monorailmedic got a reaction from KathyC in Infinity   
    You can find a few posts from a live blog on Infinity along with some other info at the below link.
    https://www.cruisehabit.com/tags/celebrity-infinity
    I'm happy to answer any Celebrity questions I can.  We've sailed several X ships and will actually be on Equinox in less than three weeks.  You'll find a lot of similarities to RCI, but quite a few things setting them apart as well.  The more favorable passenger : space and passenger: crew ratios, we find, result in better service than on contemporary lines. 
    If you're a dessert person, make sure to try a few of the pastries, cakes, etc at Cafe al Bacio, Celebrity's coffee shop.
  7. Like
    monorailmedic got a reaction from bobroo in Crown and Anchor   
    There are a few points that I can't shake when thinking about cruise line loyalty programs (for RCI and others):
    I've yet to find any reasonably attainable perk that is worth compromising new experiences for.  Companies have loyalty programs because they can offer things of less than consequential value to keep customers.  If the benefits held that much value, it wouldn't make any financial sense for a line to offer them.  Digging in deeper for a loyalty program is, in a funny way, showing to cruise lines that they work - they can offer something of little value and get you to shell out more money. Loyalty program perks/rewards are benefits one gets FOR cruising with a given line, and shouldn't be seen as THE reason to cruise with a certain line.  The reason TO cruise with a given line is because you like their product!  If I have a local ice cream place that gives me a free scoop after buying ten, it'd be odd to keep going there for the "free" (definitely not free - you paid to get that perk), it makes sense to go there if you like their ice cream.  That's why you went the first and second time, right? Now, all that in mind, I recognize that there are certain circumstances in which "strategic escalation" might make sense, but they're very slim cases.  An example might be if after your next cruise you'll be just a point or two away from Diamond, and you know that the cruise after that you'll be sailing solo.  Since you'll get a much more favorable solo rate on that next sailing if you move up, you might do the math and find (depending on the rates), that a suite upgrade on your sailing has somewhere around a net-zero cost (or you might not - many variable exist here).  Again though, those are fringe cases.
    Remember why you cruise a given line (or lines) in the first place - the things you like about that experience are the reasons to cruise.  The loyalty perks are just that, perks - not the part of the offering anyone is trying to sell.
    A final thought (from me at least) on this: While I don't aim for loyalty levels, I'll of course welcome the benefits as they come.  This is much easier to do with Royal Caribbean's Crown & Anchor Society, as they do have much more to offer than some other companies.  Ric and I went over perks of various lines on the below/linked podcast, and I think most here will see that they don't have it too bad at all.  
    https://www.cruisehabit.com/podcast/loyalty-programs-do-past-passenger-programs-keep-you-coming-back-more-episode-5
  8. Like
    monorailmedic got a reaction from 4ensic in VOOM Surf and Stream question-   
    Texts will still come through - but in most cases they're not terrifically expensive to receive (depends on the carrier obviously).  Random fact - texts/SMS messages actually ride on the packets of info that your phone and the tower use to check in on each other.  That is to say, the idea that carriers ever got away charging for texts is nuts, as it requires no overhead on their part.  The text info is smaller than the packets going back and forth - much like sticking a coin in an envelope - the stamp doesn't get more expensive as whatever you can fit in travels.  Nerd-rambling complete. :-)
  9. Like
    monorailmedic got a reaction from 4ensic in VOOM Surf and Stream question-   
    @JLMoran Summed things up nicely.  It's, generally speaking, a regular internet connection.  If your phone supports WiFi calling that should work - but it's just one of the many ways of keeping in touch.  The below articles should provide some additional guidance.  Reach out with any questions!
    https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2016/07/27/how-stay-touch-someone-your-royal-caribbean-cruise
    http://cruisehabit.com/wifi
  10. Thanks
    monorailmedic got a reaction from love2cruiseonwheels in VOOM Surf and Stream question-   
    @JLMoran Summed things up nicely.  It's, generally speaking, a regular internet connection.  If your phone supports WiFi calling that should work - but it's just one of the many ways of keeping in touch.  The below articles should provide some additional guidance.  Reach out with any questions!
    https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2016/07/27/how-stay-touch-someone-your-royal-caribbean-cruise
    http://cruisehabit.com/wifi
  11. Like
    monorailmedic got a reaction from Mike P in Crown and Anchor   
    There are a few points that I can't shake when thinking about cruise line loyalty programs (for RCI and others):
    I've yet to find any reasonably attainable perk that is worth compromising new experiences for.  Companies have loyalty programs because they can offer things of less than consequential value to keep customers.  If the benefits held that much value, it wouldn't make any financial sense for a line to offer them.  Digging in deeper for a loyalty program is, in a funny way, showing to cruise lines that they work - they can offer something of little value and get you to shell out more money. Loyalty program perks/rewards are benefits one gets FOR cruising with a given line, and shouldn't be seen as THE reason to cruise with a certain line.  The reason TO cruise with a given line is because you like their product!  If I have a local ice cream place that gives me a free scoop after buying ten, it'd be odd to keep going there for the "free" (definitely not free - you paid to get that perk), it makes sense to go there if you like their ice cream.  That's why you went the first and second time, right? Now, all that in mind, I recognize that there are certain circumstances in which "strategic escalation" might make sense, but they're very slim cases.  An example might be if after your next cruise you'll be just a point or two away from Diamond, and you know that the cruise after that you'll be sailing solo.  Since you'll get a much more favorable solo rate on that next sailing if you move up, you might do the math and find (depending on the rates), that a suite upgrade on your sailing has somewhere around a net-zero cost (or you might not - many variable exist here).  Again though, those are fringe cases.
    Remember why you cruise a given line (or lines) in the first place - the things you like about that experience are the reasons to cruise.  The loyalty perks are just that, perks - not the part of the offering anyone is trying to sell.
    A final thought (from me at least) on this: While I don't aim for loyalty levels, I'll of course welcome the benefits as they come.  This is much easier to do with Royal Caribbean's Crown & Anchor Society, as they do have much more to offer than some other companies.  Ric and I went over perks of various lines on the below/linked podcast, and I think most here will see that they don't have it too bad at all.  
    https://www.cruisehabit.com/podcast/loyalty-programs-do-past-passenger-programs-keep-you-coming-back-more-episode-5
  12. Like
    monorailmedic reacted to AnnetteJackson in MEI Travel   
    Thank you for giving us a try!
    So glad that Danette was able to save you money along with a little extra gift!  
  13. Like
    monorailmedic reacted to Ladyxsuebee in Vegan choices!?!   
    25% of American's 25-34 years of age identify as vegan/vegetarian.  Eating a predominately plant based lifestyle is the future.....Royal Caribbean is a business and they are looking beyond the boomer generation because, frankly, they are dying off.  
    Why do you think their new ships look the way they do with I-fly, rock climbing walls, flowrider, sky pad, etc....they are trying to attract new generations of people and their kids.
    People who eat plant based or gluten free don't think they are "elite" or "special", it's the way they eat for health reasons.  Some people eat this way for other reasons as well, but it's never to feel "elite or special', it's a belief reason. 
    We should all be glad for more variety in food choices, shouldn't we?  
  14. Like
    monorailmedic got a reaction from tiny260 in Crown and Anchor   
    Very true, and that's because out of all the perks (save for the free Pinancle cruise, which falls into the "not reasonably attainable" category in my mind), the diamond drink benefit is probably something most would agree to be the most valuable, regardless of how much or little it might move the needle for any individual.  Hey @Matt, when was the last sailing you didn't buy a drink package? (honestly don't know)
    That's pretty awesome.  I'd love to see that work out for others.  Like I said, for me, a few drinks from a selection that isn't interesting to me doesn't help.  If they added to the numbers and the options (which I don't anticipate one bit, but who knows) it'd be a different deal for us - but everyone's mileage may vary.  I am jealous 🙂
    Absolutely!  That's one of the things I really love about RCLB message boards!  No one being honest with themselves loves or hates every aspect of an experience or product, and other communities that hold a "my way or the highway" stance just confuse me.  Well, there was that time @Matt banned everyone on the site who didn't pledge their undying love of falafel, but I can get behind that. 
  15. Like
    monorailmedic got a reaction from YOLO in Crown and Anchor   
    Very true, and that's because out of all the perks (save for the free Pinancle cruise, which falls into the "not reasonably attainable" category in my mind), the diamond drink benefit is probably something most would agree to be the most valuable, regardless of how much or little it might move the needle for any individual.  Hey @Matt, when was the last sailing you didn't buy a drink package? (honestly don't know)
    That's pretty awesome.  I'd love to see that work out for others.  Like I said, for me, a few drinks from a selection that isn't interesting to me doesn't help.  If they added to the numbers and the options (which I don't anticipate one bit, but who knows) it'd be a different deal for us - but everyone's mileage may vary.  I am jealous 🙂
    Absolutely!  That's one of the things I really love about RCLB message boards!  No one being honest with themselves loves or hates every aspect of an experience or product, and other communities that hold a "my way or the highway" stance just confuse me.  Well, there was that time @Matt banned everyone on the site who didn't pledge their undying love of falafel, but I can get behind that. 
  16. Like
    monorailmedic got a reaction from Vancity Cruiser in Crown and Anchor   
    There are a few points that I can't shake when thinking about cruise line loyalty programs (for RCI and others):
    I've yet to find any reasonably attainable perk that is worth compromising new experiences for.  Companies have loyalty programs because they can offer things of less than consequential value to keep customers.  If the benefits held that much value, it wouldn't make any financial sense for a line to offer them.  Digging in deeper for a loyalty program is, in a funny way, showing to cruise lines that they work - they can offer something of little value and get you to shell out more money. Loyalty program perks/rewards are benefits one gets FOR cruising with a given line, and shouldn't be seen as THE reason to cruise with a certain line.  The reason TO cruise with a given line is because you like their product!  If I have a local ice cream place that gives me a free scoop after buying ten, it'd be odd to keep going there for the "free" (definitely not free - you paid to get that perk), it makes sense to go there if you like their ice cream.  That's why you went the first and second time, right? Now, all that in mind, I recognize that there are certain circumstances in which "strategic escalation" might make sense, but they're very slim cases.  An example might be if after your next cruise you'll be just a point or two away from Diamond, and you know that the cruise after that you'll be sailing solo.  Since you'll get a much more favorable solo rate on that next sailing if you move up, you might do the math and find (depending on the rates), that a suite upgrade on your sailing has somewhere around a net-zero cost (or you might not - many variable exist here).  Again though, those are fringe cases.
    Remember why you cruise a given line (or lines) in the first place - the things you like about that experience are the reasons to cruise.  The loyalty perks are just that, perks - not the part of the offering anyone is trying to sell.
    A final thought (from me at least) on this: While I don't aim for loyalty levels, I'll of course welcome the benefits as they come.  This is much easier to do with Royal Caribbean's Crown & Anchor Society, as they do have much more to offer than some other companies.  Ric and I went over perks of various lines on the below/linked podcast, and I think most here will see that they don't have it too bad at all.  
    https://www.cruisehabit.com/podcast/loyalty-programs-do-past-passenger-programs-keep-you-coming-back-more-episode-5
  17. Like
    monorailmedic got a reaction from JLMoran in Crown and Anchor   
    There are a few points that I can't shake when thinking about cruise line loyalty programs (for RCI and others):
    I've yet to find any reasonably attainable perk that is worth compromising new experiences for.  Companies have loyalty programs because they can offer things of less than consequential value to keep customers.  If the benefits held that much value, it wouldn't make any financial sense for a line to offer them.  Digging in deeper for a loyalty program is, in a funny way, showing to cruise lines that they work - they can offer something of little value and get you to shell out more money. Loyalty program perks/rewards are benefits one gets FOR cruising with a given line, and shouldn't be seen as THE reason to cruise with a certain line.  The reason TO cruise with a given line is because you like their product!  If I have a local ice cream place that gives me a free scoop after buying ten, it'd be odd to keep going there for the "free" (definitely not free - you paid to get that perk), it makes sense to go there if you like their ice cream.  That's why you went the first and second time, right? Now, all that in mind, I recognize that there are certain circumstances in which "strategic escalation" might make sense, but they're very slim cases.  An example might be if after your next cruise you'll be just a point or two away from Diamond, and you know that the cruise after that you'll be sailing solo.  Since you'll get a much more favorable solo rate on that next sailing if you move up, you might do the math and find (depending on the rates), that a suite upgrade on your sailing has somewhere around a net-zero cost (or you might not - many variable exist here).  Again though, those are fringe cases.
    Remember why you cruise a given line (or lines) in the first place - the things you like about that experience are the reasons to cruise.  The loyalty perks are just that, perks - not the part of the offering anyone is trying to sell.
    A final thought (from me at least) on this: While I don't aim for loyalty levels, I'll of course welcome the benefits as they come.  This is much easier to do with Royal Caribbean's Crown & Anchor Society, as they do have much more to offer than some other companies.  Ric and I went over perks of various lines on the below/linked podcast, and I think most here will see that they don't have it too bad at all.  
    https://www.cruisehabit.com/podcast/loyalty-programs-do-past-passenger-programs-keep-you-coming-back-more-episode-5
  18. Thanks
    monorailmedic got a reaction from Matt in Crown and Anchor   
    There are a few points that I can't shake when thinking about cruise line loyalty programs (for RCI and others):
    I've yet to find any reasonably attainable perk that is worth compromising new experiences for.  Companies have loyalty programs because they can offer things of less than consequential value to keep customers.  If the benefits held that much value, it wouldn't make any financial sense for a line to offer them.  Digging in deeper for a loyalty program is, in a funny way, showing to cruise lines that they work - they can offer something of little value and get you to shell out more money. Loyalty program perks/rewards are benefits one gets FOR cruising with a given line, and shouldn't be seen as THE reason to cruise with a certain line.  The reason TO cruise with a given line is because you like their product!  If I have a local ice cream place that gives me a free scoop after buying ten, it'd be odd to keep going there for the "free" (definitely not free - you paid to get that perk), it makes sense to go there if you like their ice cream.  That's why you went the first and second time, right? Now, all that in mind, I recognize that there are certain circumstances in which "strategic escalation" might make sense, but they're very slim cases.  An example might be if after your next cruise you'll be just a point or two away from Diamond, and you know that the cruise after that you'll be sailing solo.  Since you'll get a much more favorable solo rate on that next sailing if you move up, you might do the math and find (depending on the rates), that a suite upgrade on your sailing has somewhere around a net-zero cost (or you might not - many variable exist here).  Again though, those are fringe cases.
    Remember why you cruise a given line (or lines) in the first place - the things you like about that experience are the reasons to cruise.  The loyalty perks are just that, perks - not the part of the offering anyone is trying to sell.
    A final thought (from me at least) on this: While I don't aim for loyalty levels, I'll of course welcome the benefits as they come.  This is much easier to do with Royal Caribbean's Crown & Anchor Society, as they do have much more to offer than some other companies.  Ric and I went over perks of various lines on the below/linked podcast, and I think most here will see that they don't have it too bad at all.  
    https://www.cruisehabit.com/podcast/loyalty-programs-do-past-passenger-programs-keep-you-coming-back-more-episode-5
  19. Like
    monorailmedic got a reaction from fonemanbob in Crown and Anchor   
    There are a few points that I can't shake when thinking about cruise line loyalty programs (for RCI and others):
    I've yet to find any reasonably attainable perk that is worth compromising new experiences for.  Companies have loyalty programs because they can offer things of less than consequential value to keep customers.  If the benefits held that much value, it wouldn't make any financial sense for a line to offer them.  Digging in deeper for a loyalty program is, in a funny way, showing to cruise lines that they work - they can offer something of little value and get you to shell out more money. Loyalty program perks/rewards are benefits one gets FOR cruising with a given line, and shouldn't be seen as THE reason to cruise with a certain line.  The reason TO cruise with a given line is because you like their product!  If I have a local ice cream place that gives me a free scoop after buying ten, it'd be odd to keep going there for the "free" (definitely not free - you paid to get that perk), it makes sense to go there if you like their ice cream.  That's why you went the first and second time, right? Now, all that in mind, I recognize that there are certain circumstances in which "strategic escalation" might make sense, but they're very slim cases.  An example might be if after your next cruise you'll be just a point or two away from Diamond, and you know that the cruise after that you'll be sailing solo.  Since you'll get a much more favorable solo rate on that next sailing if you move up, you might do the math and find (depending on the rates), that a suite upgrade on your sailing has somewhere around a net-zero cost (or you might not - many variable exist here).  Again though, those are fringe cases.
    Remember why you cruise a given line (or lines) in the first place - the things you like about that experience are the reasons to cruise.  The loyalty perks are just that, perks - not the part of the offering anyone is trying to sell.
    A final thought (from me at least) on this: While I don't aim for loyalty levels, I'll of course welcome the benefits as they come.  This is much easier to do with Royal Caribbean's Crown & Anchor Society, as they do have much more to offer than some other companies.  Ric and I went over perks of various lines on the below/linked podcast, and I think most here will see that they don't have it too bad at all.  
    https://www.cruisehabit.com/podcast/loyalty-programs-do-past-passenger-programs-keep-you-coming-back-more-episode-5
  20. Like
    monorailmedic got a reaction from Ala_Paul in Benefits of using MEI Travel   
    I'll echo something several have shared already, speaking as someone who has been booking with MEI for a decade.
    To me, it's not about saving money (though when it happens, that is of course awesome).  It's not even about how easy it is to book on any given line's site (more on that in a sec).  It's about the service.  There are agencies out there that rebate commission, and to those who use them - I genuinely hope you have awesome experiences.  I don't use agencies that do that for the simple reason that I've worked in that world, I've been around the industry - those agents are stacking as many deals as possible and just don't have the time to get to know their clients, triple check their work, provide guidance as needed, check for price drops, etc
    I love that my agent (and others) at MEI have got to know my preferences (and they've got all my info stored, too).  I don't like to speak for @Matt, but I think it's safe to say we're both quite capable of booking trips ourselves.  Despite this, we've used MEI agents for a long time.  What's awesome is that I often book trips with a call or email of just a sentence or two.  My agent knows my tolerances, so if I ask for an OV, but they've got a group rate or other incentive that makes a verandah $250 more for a seven night, they know I'll probably want that - and I'll end up with a hold until I confirm that difference.  There are times too that I am not sure what I'm looking for, and I'll just throw out some basic criteria (x type of line, y date range, z part of the world), and that's another time when it's helpful for an agent to really know what you like.  
    When something has come up, either because I've needed to make a change, or the cruise line wants to bump me, etc - I have a liaison.  Someone who will fight for me.  I'll never have to wait on hold for Royal or any other line (that's never fun), nor will I have to plead my case.  It's pretty great.
    In short, booking is a bit easier, but that's not the reason I use an MEI agent.  Sometimes there are some additional perks (OBC, category upgrades, etc), but that's not the reason I use an MEI agent.  I use them because whether things go perfectly, or the trip encounters some unexpected turbulence, they're in my corner - and those are the times you'll REALLY wish you were working with a great travel agent - whoever that may be.
  21. Like
    monorailmedic got a reaction from StephanieH in Benefits of using MEI Travel   
    I'll echo something several have shared already, speaking as someone who has been booking with MEI for a decade.
    To me, it's not about saving money (though when it happens, that is of course awesome).  It's not even about how easy it is to book on any given line's site (more on that in a sec).  It's about the service.  There are agencies out there that rebate commission, and to those who use them - I genuinely hope you have awesome experiences.  I don't use agencies that do that for the simple reason that I've worked in that world, I've been around the industry - those agents are stacking as many deals as possible and just don't have the time to get to know their clients, triple check their work, provide guidance as needed, check for price drops, etc
    I love that my agent (and others) at MEI have got to know my preferences (and they've got all my info stored, too).  I don't like to speak for @Matt, but I think it's safe to say we're both quite capable of booking trips ourselves.  Despite this, we've used MEI agents for a long time.  What's awesome is that I often book trips with a call or email of just a sentence or two.  My agent knows my tolerances, so if I ask for an OV, but they've got a group rate or other incentive that makes a verandah $250 more for a seven night, they know I'll probably want that - and I'll end up with a hold until I confirm that difference.  There are times too that I am not sure what I'm looking for, and I'll just throw out some basic criteria (x type of line, y date range, z part of the world), and that's another time when it's helpful for an agent to really know what you like.  
    When something has come up, either because I've needed to make a change, or the cruise line wants to bump me, etc - I have a liaison.  Someone who will fight for me.  I'll never have to wait on hold for Royal or any other line (that's never fun), nor will I have to plead my case.  It's pretty great.
    In short, booking is a bit easier, but that's not the reason I use an MEI agent.  Sometimes there are some additional perks (OBC, category upgrades, etc), but that's not the reason I use an MEI agent.  I use them because whether things go perfectly, or the trip encounters some unexpected turbulence, they're in my corner - and those are the times you'll REALLY wish you were working with a great travel agent - whoever that may be.
  22. Love
    monorailmedic got a reaction from uradoll786 in Benefits of using MEI Travel   
    I'll echo something several have shared already, speaking as someone who has been booking with MEI for a decade.
    To me, it's not about saving money (though when it happens, that is of course awesome).  It's not even about how easy it is to book on any given line's site (more on that in a sec).  It's about the service.  There are agencies out there that rebate commission, and to those who use them - I genuinely hope you have awesome experiences.  I don't use agencies that do that for the simple reason that I've worked in that world, I've been around the industry - those agents are stacking as many deals as possible and just don't have the time to get to know their clients, triple check their work, provide guidance as needed, check for price drops, etc
    I love that my agent (and others) at MEI have got to know my preferences (and they've got all my info stored, too).  I don't like to speak for @Matt, but I think it's safe to say we're both quite capable of booking trips ourselves.  Despite this, we've used MEI agents for a long time.  What's awesome is that I often book trips with a call or email of just a sentence or two.  My agent knows my tolerances, so if I ask for an OV, but they've got a group rate or other incentive that makes a verandah $250 more for a seven night, they know I'll probably want that - and I'll end up with a hold until I confirm that difference.  There are times too that I am not sure what I'm looking for, and I'll just throw out some basic criteria (x type of line, y date range, z part of the world), and that's another time when it's helpful for an agent to really know what you like.  
    When something has come up, either because I've needed to make a change, or the cruise line wants to bump me, etc - I have a liaison.  Someone who will fight for me.  I'll never have to wait on hold for Royal or any other line (that's never fun), nor will I have to plead my case.  It's pretty great.
    In short, booking is a bit easier, but that's not the reason I use an MEI agent.  Sometimes there are some additional perks (OBC, category upgrades, etc), but that's not the reason I use an MEI agent.  I use them because whether things go perfectly, or the trip encounters some unexpected turbulence, they're in my corner - and those are the times you'll REALLY wish you were working with a great travel agent - whoever that may be.
  23. Love
    monorailmedic got a reaction from SpeedNoodles in Benefits of using MEI Travel   
    I'll echo something several have shared already, speaking as someone who has been booking with MEI for a decade.
    To me, it's not about saving money (though when it happens, that is of course awesome).  It's not even about how easy it is to book on any given line's site (more on that in a sec).  It's about the service.  There are agencies out there that rebate commission, and to those who use them - I genuinely hope you have awesome experiences.  I don't use agencies that do that for the simple reason that I've worked in that world, I've been around the industry - those agents are stacking as many deals as possible and just don't have the time to get to know their clients, triple check their work, provide guidance as needed, check for price drops, etc
    I love that my agent (and others) at MEI have got to know my preferences (and they've got all my info stored, too).  I don't like to speak for @Matt, but I think it's safe to say we're both quite capable of booking trips ourselves.  Despite this, we've used MEI agents for a long time.  What's awesome is that I often book trips with a call or email of just a sentence or two.  My agent knows my tolerances, so if I ask for an OV, but they've got a group rate or other incentive that makes a verandah $250 more for a seven night, they know I'll probably want that - and I'll end up with a hold until I confirm that difference.  There are times too that I am not sure what I'm looking for, and I'll just throw out some basic criteria (x type of line, y date range, z part of the world), and that's another time when it's helpful for an agent to really know what you like.  
    When something has come up, either because I've needed to make a change, or the cruise line wants to bump me, etc - I have a liaison.  Someone who will fight for me.  I'll never have to wait on hold for Royal or any other line (that's never fun), nor will I have to plead my case.  It's pretty great.
    In short, booking is a bit easier, but that's not the reason I use an MEI agent.  Sometimes there are some additional perks (OBC, category upgrades, etc), but that's not the reason I use an MEI agent.  I use them because whether things go perfectly, or the trip encounters some unexpected turbulence, they're in my corner - and those are the times you'll REALLY wish you were working with a great travel agent - whoever that may be.
  24. Love
    monorailmedic got a reaction from AnnetteJackson in Benefits of using MEI Travel   
    I'll echo something several have shared already, speaking as someone who has been booking with MEI for a decade.
    To me, it's not about saving money (though when it happens, that is of course awesome).  It's not even about how easy it is to book on any given line's site (more on that in a sec).  It's about the service.  There are agencies out there that rebate commission, and to those who use them - I genuinely hope you have awesome experiences.  I don't use agencies that do that for the simple reason that I've worked in that world, I've been around the industry - those agents are stacking as many deals as possible and just don't have the time to get to know their clients, triple check their work, provide guidance as needed, check for price drops, etc
    I love that my agent (and others) at MEI have got to know my preferences (and they've got all my info stored, too).  I don't like to speak for @Matt, but I think it's safe to say we're both quite capable of booking trips ourselves.  Despite this, we've used MEI agents for a long time.  What's awesome is that I often book trips with a call or email of just a sentence or two.  My agent knows my tolerances, so if I ask for an OV, but they've got a group rate or other incentive that makes a verandah $250 more for a seven night, they know I'll probably want that - and I'll end up with a hold until I confirm that difference.  There are times too that I am not sure what I'm looking for, and I'll just throw out some basic criteria (x type of line, y date range, z part of the world), and that's another time when it's helpful for an agent to really know what you like.  
    When something has come up, either because I've needed to make a change, or the cruise line wants to bump me, etc - I have a liaison.  Someone who will fight for me.  I'll never have to wait on hold for Royal or any other line (that's never fun), nor will I have to plead my case.  It's pretty great.
    In short, booking is a bit easier, but that's not the reason I use an MEI agent.  Sometimes there are some additional perks (OBC, category upgrades, etc), but that's not the reason I use an MEI agent.  I use them because whether things go perfectly, or the trip encounters some unexpected turbulence, they're in my corner - and those are the times you'll REALLY wish you were working with a great travel agent - whoever that may be.
  25. Like
    monorailmedic reacted to Matt in Ten Thousand Strong !   
    Holy moly!
    I've often said numbers and stats are nice, but not the focus of what I'm trying to do. I'd rather have a community of 10 people who are supportive, helpful and fun than 10k people who do not talk.
    I think it's safe to say that we've retained a good balance of fun and knowledgeable folks here, while attaining a tremendous goal.
    The credit lays not with me, but with all of you.  Seriously. These boards do not grow to 10,000 people just because of me. I can't answer every thread, start my live blog ridiculously early (*cough @Lovetocruise2002 *cough), share breaking news or comment for the umpeeth time if @twangster is indeed real.
    So many of you have been posting here for years, and others have recently joined and already feel like part of the family. It's been a tremendous journey so far and I am so thankful you are all here to share in it.
    A special thank you to the moderators, who help enforce the rules; to some special long-term members who help flag down spammers and alert me when @monorailmedic is being overly annoying; @WAAAYTOOO for answering all those casino threads that I know nothing about; the entire MEI Travel team for helping support our great community.
    There's no question the needle is moving in the right direction, and I thank you all once again for being part of this. One of the few regrets I have in the history of this site is not starting the message boards sooner, and today is a great example of why that is.
    Thanks all, and let's celebrate with a Kraken and diet coke while onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise!
×
×
  • Create New...