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Everything posted by bcarney

  1. They should have waited until I won this week's PowerBall. I would have bid $225M. ?
  2. Stop worrying about pinching pennies, and spend the money to stay in Old San Juan. A $100 difference isn't going to make or break you, but will add SOOOO much more to your vacation memories. Remember, it's one of the oldest cities in the western hemisphere, full of history and charm. I can't recommend staying there highly enough!
  3. Don't do that, book at Hampton Inn & Suites Tampa Ybor City and explore that part of the city, then take their shuttle (or a Lyft) the mile or so to the port. Ybor City is walkable and you'll have a great evening preceding your cruise.
  4. In the county I live in we have a population of 292,406 people. Our Health Department has posted that there have been less than 5 people hospitalized for COVID-19 during last three weeks. Yet we are still stuck under what amounts to house arrest by our Dictator Governor. None of this makes any sense anymore.
  5. Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Looks like I'll be on an NCL cruise in the future, but I doubt I can get all my family members in the same place again.
  6. So last year a number of members of my extended family booked a cruise on Norwegian, and, despite it not being on RC, we decided to join them. The cruise was to sail on 3/29, and by mid-March I decided to cancel the cruise since NCL hadn't at that point had been shamed into cancelling cruises like the other lines did. No refunds, FCC only at that time. So I'm stuck with a $4K credit with NCL and I'm going to lose $2,220 in airfare from Spirit. And honestly, I have no intention of sailing NCL since they basically had to be SHAMED by their competitors to shut down. I want to stick with Royal - bumps and all, they are doing the right things IMHO. I'm considering booking another cruise, buying "cancel for any reason" insurance, and then 'cancelling' the cruise to at least get 2/3rds of my money back so I can book with RC. None of NCLs offerings have any appeal to me now that I've gone through their 'nickel and dime' pre-boarding process, I found the whole thing distasteful (free wifi! Unless you use it, then there's a fee. Free meals at upcharge restaurants! But if you order anything but the kids menu, there's another fee). I know it's unethical, but is this something you would do? I dont want to sail NCL, but I also don't want to be out the $3K I could recover by doing this.
  7. The biggest ramification for me would be having to explain to the server in the WJ that yes, I really am asking you to put sausage gravy on my corned beef hash. It's my "cruise thing" and I'm not giving it up. ?
  8. My deal breaker is that I'm not sailing until there is a vaccine. Getting sick because some yahoo declines to note that they have a fever when boarding the ship since they don't want to lose their vacation.... yeah, not worth it to me.
  9. Doubt I'll be cruising anytime soon, but absolutely will not be flying anymore if I can help it.
  10. I'm a hard core conservative, but in this instance, I do think that the government does have some responsibility in regards to the cruise industry. The auto manufacturers dug their own hole with mismanagement and poor products yet they were "bailed out". The cruise industry, through no fault of their own, ran into headwinds due to COVID-19, and then willingly suspended operations at the behest of our government in defense of our nations health. If that doesn't deserve a helping hand, nothing does.
  11. Even if they are protected, it's still twice the amount of work to earn the commission-once on the booking side, and then again on the cancellation and rebooking side (which they won't get another commission on).
  12. That's the way the market works. Back in the Oughts I bought it at $44 and sold at $8. Then I bought it again at $71 and watched it rise to $135...and then bought more at $76 on the way down. Now it's at $30ish. Next week I'll likely buy more to dollar-cost-average, but more importantly I believe in RCL and that they will get through this crisis, and while I can't cruise in the near future this one a way I can support the company and it's employees.
  13. During these extraordinary times take a moment to thank your travel agent for all they have done for you - in the past, and into the future. They're losing a lot of commissions right now, yet still dealing with cancellations and such, and could use some positive vibes and support. Next to the cruise lines they are on the front lines of this, and are taking the biggest economic hit. I can't imagine being in their situation right now. Just send them an email, and conclude the email with "no response needed" or something along those lines (I neglected to do so) so that they can still deal with other customers without spending time responding. These are tough times, but things WILL get better!!! Once things settle down, if you don't have a TA, please reach out to Michelle Cunningham at [email protected] (MEI is a sponsor of this blog). She has taken care of me well, and will be my TA for the foreseeable future. May God bless everyone.
  14. I fear that people will just stay within the compound, and not venture out to the island and contribute to the island's economy.
  15. My son is allergic to peanuts. In the MDR the head waiter comes over the night before with the following day's menu and goes over it with us, noting what dishes may have peanuts (very few, of course). We're on our own in the Windjammer, but basically just avoid the cookies and desserts and you'll be safe. The soft serve ice cream comes out of the machine and into the cone or bowl, so you don't have to worry about cross-contamination there either. RC takes allergies very seriously. You need not worry.
  16. THANK YOU for not saying "Ron Zacapa 23 YEAR OLD". That phrase is like nails on a chalkboard to me, because it isn't. It's just marketing - it used have a teeny, tiny portion of a possibly 23 year old rum in it years ago, maybe a full molecule or two, but nowadays it does not. It's like "Pilar 24" rum - how can a 5 year old company have a 24 year old rum? It's not, it's just the number 24 slapped on the label. Everyone assumes "year old" when they see a number. Zacapa also has 45 g/liter of sugar added, and also glycerine to make it "smooth". I have no real preference for spiced rums, by the time you add it to a frozen drink you've covered up a lot of what makes rum, rum. I haven't seen Mt. Gay silver in a long time. I've toured the distillery (not the visitors center) twice, they make a proper, no stuff added (unless it was aged in a used barrel) rum.
  17. How nerdy can I get? ? I'm a traditionalist, so it's Goslings for me (the standard bottle, not the 151). Goslings only has 11 grams/liter of added sugar, whereas Kracken has 43 gpl, if that is a concern for you. Goslings is also the more traditional 40 proof vs 47 for Kracken. "Groupthink" rates them about equally https://www.rumratings.com/brands/482-kraken-black-spiced https://www.rumratings.com/brands/420-gosling-s-black-seal Kracken uses a younger rum base as well, IIRC (hence the added sugar and caramel colorings), so personally I'd be sticking with Goslings. But all that said, keep in mind these are SPICED rums, not regular rums, so you might want to make room in your cabinet for a traditional rum like Appleton or Mt. Gay (both easily accessible) for recipes that require a non-spiced rum.
  18. I have the final statement in front of me. $700 was refunded. It paid for 2 Deluxe Beverage packages, all gratuities, $20 on t-shirts, my wife decided she wanted a drink in a pineapple so there was a $10.62 surcharge for that, and she also bought $61 worth of perfume. Our final bill was $94.17.
  19. I was on one of the impacted cruises last week. I think the Company handled it well - they gave us 50% of our fare back as refundable OBC, and we in turn spent every penny of it onboard. We're happy, and Royal still managed to keep our money (on high profits items like the drink package), so everybody wins.
  20. We just got off Majesty on Monday. It was one of the Cuba-cancelled cruises where we received 50% of our fare back as a refundable OBC. Upon boarding we ordered a drink, and there was a guy there pitching BOGOHO drink packages. After doing the math it was a $47.50/pp per day plus tip - which is a far cry from the $66/day last spring. Normally my wife wouldn't get the package, but we were cruising without the kids, and to be honest the money was already "spent" mentally, so with a little bit of arm twisting she relented and we purchased the package. On a side note, the refunded money covered drink packages for two, all the gratuities, and some other miscellaneous spending. We walked off the ship with a final bill of only $94, after living large all week. It was most definitely a great cruise. ?
  21. All - this thread is doing nothing but causing harsh language and hard feelings. It's accomplishing nothing. Nothing can be done to bring that little girl back, so just let it go and move on.
  22. Amen to that. Six or so years ago they were dredging small marinas on the Great Lakes because water levels were at all time lows. This year, there's so much water that some of the marinas are under water and no-wake zones are being expanded because the wakes are flooding houses. When it comes to nature the only thing consistent is change.
  23. I've been on (I think) 17 cruises, and even with all that experience I still learn new tips from people almost every time I visit this site. It's a very useful resource, and I've even made some virtual friendships along the way!
  24. Not to mention that, for the most part, the items being served in the MDR are also being served in the WJ. Plus, the food is warmer as they haven't been sitting on a covered plate along with the 23 others destined for your waiter's section.
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