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Everything posted by DavidSodapop

  1. Thank you I will reach out to them directly and say exactly how I was referred!
  2. Hi and thanks for quick reply. I am happy to use them but I am not thinking of RCI on my next trip actually which is one reason I want to speak to a travel agent :(
  3. I recall one of the regular folks in here (meaning you frequently answer travel agent questions) identifying as a travel agent...I am look for one for an upcoming cruise for several reasons, can someone please contact me if you are one?
  4. Our first cruise was on Vision out of Venice over Thanksgiving. I have nothing to really compare it to, except we will certainly cruise again. I found the food just okay, but the service was generally very good. We were in a larger suite so the concierge lounge and our concierge were outstanding...we always had available table whenever we showed up and I thought it was overall a great value for a vacation. Voom was so lousy on the ship it was a complete waste of time and frustration so I just used the computer in the concierge lounge and was much happier when I needed one. Ship seemed spotless to me, crew extremely friendly, captain and officers very accessible. It was a good first time experience. Hope this helped a little bit
  5. I can't wait to hear about that in truth. I just reserved on another line (NCL) because I can get a ginormous haven suite for a remarkable price so I'm doing it...but it's really a sky class I am after...big ginormous ship with tons of stuff to do but always at the front of the line :)
  6. I didn't realize they would reprice to the lower price if a sale occurs after you've put down your deposit...okay that is great advice I will do that!! Thanks as always for great support! David
  7. After our first cruise a couple of weeks ago we discovered that the bigger the stateroom that happier we are. That being said I looked at several Caribbean destinations this spring I was interested in had nothing larger than a jr suite. Is booking a year out really necessary for those cabins? I'm really not a year-out passenger (I'm way too impatient) --- but I will do it if necessary: our suite really made the trip for us so I want to find one on the newer ships with more kids activities. Or is it time for me to employ a travel agent? Any thoughts?
  8. So I m not alone on the food topic. Our first cruise was two weeks ago on Vision out of Venice. The Windjammer occasionally had some great options, but hit or miss otherwise---canned fruit on the salad bar is astonishing in this day and age. The MDR was like eating at a wedding from the 1980s---heavy and well presented but tasteless. I ordered "filet from Chops" twice in MDR and it was a gristle each time---I thought that I was just being picky about a steak as we live in Texas but it was just poor quality meat. Izumi was great for someone who has never stepped foot in a Sushi restaurant in their life-- who has ever seen a green pepper used in vegetable tempura? Is the food on Celebrity better? I realize the RCI is filling it's rooms with people who want a value vacation and then they add on a la carte things people want but when I added together our airfare (to Europe) and our spending on board (about $ 500 in booze and then another 900 in all the other crap) and add it to the cost of our room Silverseas, Regent, and Oceania aren't any more expensive-...And those bartenders are so overworked because they oversell those drink packages and people literally stand by the bar to drink as many drinks and get their money's worth---I never was offered anything interesting nor did any of them suggest anything fun at all--they all looked tired of dealing with drunks---so sort of a let down. The best bartender was in the concierge lounge he was so friendly and nice and worked hard for us everyday.
  9. i would like to see it, I found our first cruise to be super convenient but I think that Oceania might offer more of the experience I like when traveling. I found the food and entertainment completely underwhelming RCI after trying several specialty restaurants .... so for me the comparison would be welcome....as I'm looking at other RCI ships that have more options for what interests my family group :) The lodging itself, however, was outstanding. Great beds, and our suite was huge. Two most important factors for me :) And they treated us extremely well---despite the food being overly heavy and boring----i mean the service was stellar!
  10. I paid for trip and airline tickets all at once on a travel card that gives me a big multiplier for hotel points, and then I am using those hotel points to go for a week in Hawaii this year. I funnel all expenses through a single card to max my points out for travel and maintain a high "club" status to get perks and more points. But in advance of anything I sock away enough cash to pay it all off the month the bill comes due so in a way I save early but just use the card to get the points...it's not that different I just like getting the points for stuff I"m going to pay for anyway.
  11. I would leave out of Florida with certainty...it's has so many european visitors for a reason it's very appealing to everyone and there are many things to do, and then pretty much ask yourself if it's sun and interesting cultures your seek, or is it shopping/gambling you want. I like the swimming with the dolphins and rainforests and places that make various alcohol so I like San Juan as a stop and then pretty much anywhere is great in Caribbean but I prefer to skip bahamas generally.....I can't imagine that not being fun, hell I want to go!
  12. While I was only on my first cruise about a week ago our little family of four was very comfortable on the Royal Family Suite on Vision. It was like a little apartment on the ship...and the amenities and perks are what MADE the cruise. Nothing beat the private concierge in the concierge lounge, and we met our comrades and they put us in the front of the line so no waiting ever---I am already looking into our next suite booking and I would take at least Sky class --- just my two cents
  13. I had the Royal Family Suite on Vision of the Seas and they had a starter stocking in our mini bar and then just let us stock as we wanted. Personally I found the perks made the cruise for us, particularly at ports where we were escorted off first and we also had a bridge tour on the last sea day---there were 8 of us and it was so interesting. And always having a table for us with no lines at the MDR it was a nice think with kids, I hate waiting in lines.
  14. It is recommended to bring an original birth certificate when traveling with children whose names on passports differ from your own. I just returned from my first cruise in Greece on RCI and while I was never called upon to use it (as my childrens' last names are a combination of two last names ) it is still something to have in case--extra documentation particularly in the case of "these are MY kids" is really never a bad thing and could provide clarity---remember the laws of the USA do not apply to us when traveling to foreign countries....a stupid point I realize but I and others sometimes forget that :)
  15. We are departing on the 19th from Venice for Greek Islands cruise, I will certainly review it upon my return, it is our first cruise but I eagerly await to see if our family likes this form of travel!
  16. We are going on Vision out of Venice on the 19th and I'm so glad to travel on the holidays---we have done it for years (albeit not cruising) I cannot wait I just wonder if we like to actually cruise (which I suspect we will) if I will be able to book another one for the next holiday (Xmas). For someone who hasn't cruised I love this web blog.
  17. I should probably stay out of this but I don't think "grammar shaming" somebody who is angry is anything except treating someone the way they said they've been treated already. If a mistake was made (and don't for a minute suggest that sometimes a large corporation and it's employees don't make mistakes--or are rude) why not just say so. I like reading this blog because it was so nice to see everyone's positive outlook on cruising. All of you love to tout how much money you saved, and the value of the dollar, and saving up your pennies to go on cruises. It's nice to read--so when someone is upset they've lost a deposit I"m pretty sure all of you would be pissed off if you were out $500 in 24hrs for a clerical error on your part. Anger can get the best of us, as clearly at has gotten the best of you at this person with their vitriolic language. Direct them and help, don't criticize them for their opinion....it's always our behavior in bad times that is a great reflection of who we are, and admitting when we are wrong and moving on....
  18. Consult your physician. My husband happens to be an infectious disease doctor, for our upcoming (first) European cruise through Greece we did get our flu shots and also Hep A. I figure why risk something serious that can be warded off by a quick shot. Happy to do it. That's my two cents. The flu shot this year has had no side effects on me or the kids for what it's worth.
  19. I think that it's all about your personal budget preferences. I chose not to pre-pay gratuities at time of final payment because why not leave my money in the bank for three more months....but I still have to pay them on the account I set up and they are charged daily so either way I am paying it whether it's daily or not. I just don't mind the bill at the end of the cruise...and additionally I booked a phantom person in our room because I wanted the larger accommodations but since that person is not sailing I don't want to pre pay gratuities for someone not in existence....I will also tip for room service, etc as I know people work super hard to make my vacation fabulous and I value that.
  20. Jerel I admired your method as well, like dollar cost averaging in investments...sometimes the simplest method is the best. We are going to Europe (partly for a cruise) after the Nov 8th elections so I fear that if the dork somehow wins our dollar will crash against the Euro so I'm wondering if I should buy a bunch of euros while watching election results...I wish I had your discipline!
  21. I booked my sister on a bigger suite so I could get the extra room but she is not really going on the cruise. I told RCI this when I booked it, they said I could swap the names of another person as long as it was within a week of sailing, so I guess if someone else wanted to come? I don't really know the answer in truth I'm just guessing---I just know that they said if the other person doesn't show I will be refunded only my port taxes, which is fine with me...
  22. Why do you think they walk you through first class on airplanes before getting to coach? So you can see how much nicer it is at the front of the plane. It's okay wherever you sit, sure I love to fly first class who doesn't but I don't always do it, just depends on the trip, the price, and all the other factors. I am a happy traveler....happy regardless of where I am...and I can tell everyone on this blog is really keen on travel and just LOVES the adventure like I do. Spring for first class on the airplane (it's often cheaper than you think domestically) or upgrade to a suite at a hotel...its fun sometimes, other times you don't want to....but TRAVEL and the adventure is the best part....I never feel bad regardless of the room or seat I"m in...just happy to go
  23. Um, I am going to differ on my reply. I go to Mexico frequently, and I just use Pesos. Everything is priced in pesos and you can negotiate with them too....just walk away if you don't like the price.
  24. If my comment is off-base I apologize but my thinking is like this.... Unless you ask RCI the company to charge you 30% less then of course you can't ask the employees to accept it either with tips...unless you just decide to opt out of tipping altogether. With fluctuating rates on any currency (including USD) you can't really time the market...you can prepay your cruise if you think that will help but you just have to decide in advance whether or not the exchange rate issue is within your budget. Plus you aren't paying 30% more, as tips are just a fraction of the cost of the cruise, and higher percentage if you get a smaller cabin, and lower percentage if you get a more expensive cabin. It will cost my family of four $420 in tips for a week on a cruise...in our case just under 5% of the total amount for the cruise---so calculate 30% of 5%...that's really the difference.
  25. we are booked on our first RCI cruise as well on Vision of the seas in a royal family suite and here are the suite "extras" listed that I know about (but haven't actually been riority check-in Personalized attention throughout the cruise with complimentary Concierge Club service on select ships Reserved prime seating in the main theater for entertainment shows, where available Priority tender tickets on select cruises. (Tender service is provided when smaller vessels are necessary to reach shore in locations without docking ports large enough for cruise ships.) VIP pool deck seating, where available Full breakfast, lunch and dinner dining room menus available for in-room dining Private breakfast and lunch seating in specialty restaurants on our Voyager and Freedom Class ships Complimentary luggage valet service Luxury spa bathrobes for use onboard Complimentary pressing service on formal night Priority departure with exclusive suite* departure lounge featuring continental breakfast on it yet so just pulling this from website) other comments perks include ordering from the MDR menu for room service, loaning of dvd and players on board and a couple of them say use of an iPad on board for booking things, movies, etc...we shall see I suppose:)Hope this helped.
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