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  1. After making a few posts regarding using a travel agent and the fact that some of the benefits are not easily quantifiable, I thought I'd mention a few of the unusual things that my TAs over the years have helped me with that go beyond finding the best deal or some added agency incentive like a specialty dinner or some onboard credit, not that those aren't enjoyed, too! When I ended up in the hospital less than 24 hours before leaving on my cruise with appendicitis, my TA handle all of the arrangements of getting the trip rearranged so that we could still make our cruise. This was largely taking care of precruise stuff like hotel and DisneyWorld stuff, but it was still nice to have someone else do it. When my father-in-law wanted to snorkel in Alaska (don't ask me why), the TA worked with the cruise line to get a waiver that would allow him to participate. The excursion required guests to be younger than 70, but she was able to work with the cruise line to get this limitation waived. When I booked to sail on the new MSC Seaside, my travel agent advised me of MSC's Loyalty Match Program. As a result of my status with Royal, I will receive all of the top loyalty perks that I wouldn't otherwise be able to enjoy including welcome back cocktails, onboard discounts, fruit basket in the room, complimentary thermal suite access, complimentary gift, complimentary photo, complimentary specialty dinner, complimentary champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries upon arrival, priority embarkation/disembarkation, complimentary dance class, Welcome Back Party, late stateroom checkout, etc. These have a definite value to me and my TA was also able to get an additional discount because of my wife's occupation. When I booked a Celebrity cruise, my TA was able to use my loyalty status to obtain a free upgrade that I didn't know I was available. I've received onboard credits because of sales that were available but not advertised by the cruise line as well as lower deposits. While there are many other reasons to use a travel agent, many of which have been posted previously, I thought I'd try to mention some of the more extraordinary things that my TAs have been able to do over the years. Please share some of your experiences.
  2. Good Morning all, I have seen several posts that contradict each other on gratuities and the Drink packages.\ Some state that the gratuities are included, some state not. The terms and conditions stated on my Beverage offer is: (I actually read this stuff)(And yes, I tried to get the answer before asking) Online Beverages reservations for your sailing will be available up until 22-Mar-2017 11:59 PM EDT. If you are within the cut-off time, you will need to make reservations onboard. * Prices are per person unless otherwise noted and shown in USD. All selections are subject to change. Royal Caribbean International reserves the right to verify eligibility upon arrival to the activity. Prices subject to change without notice. Not all selections available on all sailings. Alternate selection of equal value may be substituted. TERMS AND CONDITIONS: *Prices subject to change without notice. Packages cannot be shared and are not transferable. Your check may reflect an additional tax for certain ports or itineraries. When ordering a beverage selection onboard, you must present your SeaPass card bearing the package sticker to your server. Upon arriving to the ship, please visit the Beverage display table at the ships Expo, check your Cruise Compass or ask your dining room waiter for more information. Beverage Packages must be pre-reserved a minimum of 2 days before your sail date. If you are within the cut off time, please visit a beverage table on the first day of your cruise to complete your purchase. Please note that orders cannot be modified once they have been purchased. To change an order, you will need to first cancel the existing order and then make a new purchase for your desired beverage package. Gratuity may be added to or included in the published price depending on itinerary. Selections are limited and subject to availability. Valid only for the voyage for which it was purchased and cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotional programs. No refunds for previous days will be issued. As of 0617 Central time on the 31st of January, 2017, what is the policy? Do I pay 18% on top of each drink or not? Thanks, Russ
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