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Royal pain

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  1. Was thinking if I might find this here. Yes a good idea, might be a little tricky to navigate all the details but when you can find a spot on a strangers couch while traveling , it should transfer to the ocean you'd think. Would RC take a booking for two people separately for a cabin? That would be the tricky part. Yes, they do slap a good penalty on a solo.
  2. Away from the ocean for quite a while , I had to think hard about my login deets for RCB but did remember finally. Was thinking about something another year out or so. So we'll see how fast the google algorithm will work and I start seeing cruise ads. I see the result of how the cruise industry has to compete amoung themselves to gets the lowest - *as low as price* - onto the pricing structure and marketing. First change I noticed was room selection upcharge and the corresponding deposit refund policy attached. Like airline pricing so not a big stretch that its here now. Like vehicle pricing, get them in the door at $ and make them leave at $$$. What will the lines do strip more off to get that number even lower,...will the buffet still be "free" in 5-10 years? Consumers still have the ultimate power but is funny to see the cat and mouse game from a distance. That's why I stayed with this forum to get knowledge from the cruising class.
  3. Got to imagine FEMA or other agencies are close to asking CARN and RC to cancel for a few weeks and keep away from Galveston until people can come in and leave safely from that port. I think both lines are probably going to have to accept more losses and tell those gulf area passengers they might have be prepared for another week on board. This is the next story the media will look to, how did these huge corporations help or hinder the disaster.
  4. Great reporting Kansas. What a weekend of drama. And just getting worse for that area. There must be hundreds on the ship that live in Houston and suburbs that have got to be in agony.
  5. Cruising in hurricane season. A textbook example today of worst case scenario. Forgot about the Act of God small print no one ever reads. So I guess RC could cancel and be in the clear. On the other side if they just don't outright cancel the sailing today they force those passengers not already at the port to travel into an oncoming tropical storm/hurricane. Galveston must have a huge portion of guests that come from a days drive away. Fly ins probably come in weds to friday. I wonder if trip cancellation insurance would generally cover this situation? They must also have the Acts of God exclusions too. A definite no win.for anybody.
  6. Away from the scene for a while. Then it was the eclipse and now the hurricane to get me thinking since Glaveston was my next port I wanted to try. Thought there might be a few posts on this already. I understand why RC and CARN would wait to the very last minute to even think of a cancellation out of Galveston. I've since learned two new marnier terms - Yankee and Zulu when a port decides to shut operations. Galveston went to Zulu this AM. If the lines cancel they are on the hook financially. Would they have insurance to cover losses like this? What a mess this could turn out to be. How do they staff the port? Houston floods with just a few inches of steady rain. Fuel and food are going to get deliveries disrupted. Lawyers who go after cruise lines are going to love this disaster.
  7. A gift of entertainment from the YOUTUBE algorithm. I had no idea of the cruising subculture devoted to avoiding the $12.50 drink of the day. The recommended video just turned into another and another. Flasks, fake shampoo bottles, recorking wine, mouthwash scam, cabonation, fake umbrella even. The cruise industry has apparently started a second industry - probably china based, sorry Donald. The comment sections are even more entertaining. Seems to be a cat and mouse game with the port screeners. Maybe more Carnival than RC, but I can see the logic behind the drink packages in the booze war. These modern day pirates are costing the cruise lines hundreds per person. Am I just late to the party on this? Anybody admit to trying this stuff to success? Another mother of invention story.
  8. A Drudge link and UK newspapers , especially Daily Mail, I thought it would be one of those ginned up headlines with fake outrage. Daily Mail can turn a one paragraph story into five , recycling the same quotes. But not this time. Unless RC had a pretty good discount already in place I'd be ticked too. Or the very least said upfront this is a pre-finish test cruise, you'd have to accept the conditions. That floor cuttout with the planks to walk over, thats a lawyers wet dream. Grandpa rolling with his air tank and walking cane over that? Don't buy a first year car model applies as well to a new ship maiden voyage.
  9. San Fran is also a longshore closed shop. That is one union way to powerful for the job they do. Maybe changed now but we specifically were told not to tip or give into the " we make sure your luggage gets on the ship" scam story.
  10. Pop, soda, cola, fizzy lifting drinks... The amount of drink discussion never fails to amaze. I guess that is why Coke is in the Dow 30. Just on the pop side the amount of profit per sailing must be astounding, pennies to the cruise line for hard costs. Can an energy drink package be far off?
  11. That escalated quickly... Anchorman movie reference, the original better one. Tipping, what a goodie box of possibilities. To insure promptness was the basic story I thought but it has a more colourful history via an interesting site. Could a cruise line market/compete with a no extra gratuity offering? Either lower wages or raise the ticket cost are the only two choices. That $499 cruise is not enough for competitve wages AND the profit margin the company requires. The fare needs to be subsidized. The site I looked at had some interesting cases about the "mandatory" tips from restaurant cases in the US. Turns out mandatory is not a legally enforcable statement, on land anyway. Get bad service in that "large group" table service and don't leave the mandatory you can get taken to court. You'll win but still. Good service should get rewarded, but why did the food service industry manage to make it their own? The Home Depot guy in plumbing who helps for 30 minutes finding the right fittings, no tip for him? One thing that always bugged was the amount of service vs the amount of tip. Open a bottle of beer, $1... open a $50 bottle of wine, $10 tip. Same amount of work. For another day.
  12. My recollection was , apart from this thread, you start in $cdn, aud, or mex or ..., your entire final payment stays in that same currency. Switch, not so easy, you have to start over again in the new currency. For that $12 drink Royal will charge 1.45 , VISA might be 1.42 Bottom line is expensive either way, now. I guess we will have a definitive answer shortly.
  13. Better method is to get a $usd credit card, BO montreal has them. Link to your $usd account for payment.
  14. Actually surprised that RCI is still sticking with $cdn pricing that they set per cruise. Yes it pays to check to see which price is more avantageous at booking time. Royal seems to set exchange rates a few times per year, so winners and losers depending on the markets. Would be nice to be able to switch with a mouse click but they want to make it more difficult. Fair enough I guess because they are taking the currency risk with non $usd bookings. They have to hedge this risk in the FX market. I'm sure they'd love to avoid dealing with all other currencies. It's nice they do, we're buying a US product in essence. Curious to know what the average nationality breakdown is for the caribbean cruises, canada has to be a strong second still.
  15. Yes, the three day statement seemed pretty cut and dry. Curious why no rebuttal on your post. Further to the processing end of things, since you cannot book a ticket without a passport (limited exemptions shown on RCI page) you think you'd be pre-screened well in advance of three days. If a TSA / border agent can chime in, I assume they already know before they ask the question "what is the purpose for your visit" ? The flight / cruise booking where you gave the passport number has already been sent on. Been tempted to test but these people have no sense of humor anymore - either side of the border... the non walled (currently) northern one. Lastly, if the 3 day is correct, how did the cruise industry get saddled with that one and not the airlines. They love last minute booking$.
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