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Mandatory RC excursions- Italy


Ch3l51
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Received attached email today regarding a much-needed upcoming trip. Was made aware of need for RC excursions for Italian ports a few weeks ago, and have already purchased for 3 ports. It seems they are planning on offering them onboard at a deep discount (now stating 50% off of on-board prices). The first Italian port is on day 4 of the cruise. If we arrive and find our excursions are eligible for the discount, will I still be able to cancel my current res and re-schedule? Is cancellation 48 hours prior to the actual excursion port, or starting port?

98E41C7F-3790-48EB-A9D3-99D1A33C3C8F.png

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I just spoke with them and they told me that there are no guarantees. When I first spoke with them, they had no idea what email I was talking about. I forwarded it to them and they let me know that excursions may be full before we even get on board.

I'm having them call me back, because it's very weird to incentivize people to book AFTER they're on board. That's very different than RC of the past.

Also, glad to see another passenger on our ship!

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14 minutes ago, crabkitty said:

I just spoke with them and they told me that there are no guarantees. When I first spoke with them, they had no idea what email I was talking about. I forwarded it to them and they let me know that excursions may be full before we even get on board.

I'm having them call me back, because it's very weird to incentivize people to book AFTER they're on board. That's very different than RC of the past.

Also, glad to see another passenger on our ship!

Glad I’m not the only one confused! I guess I’ll keep what I have, and go with the flow once onboard...

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12 hours ago, Ch3l51 said:

It seems they are planning on offering them onboard at a deep discount (now stating 50% off of on-board prices).

Aaaaah, now I see what they're up to...

I don't know about your cruise planner prices but mine - for the same cruise at the end of September - were hiked up by between 30% and 60% a few days ago when the last "sale" ended. Bearing in mind that Royal's definition of "percentage off" means some random amount deducted from some other random and never-disclosed amount, this means that they will now be able to offer a seemingly very generous 50% discount for onboard purchases, but will actually only be bringing the prices back down to normal. If you booked your excursions before that last sale I would bet my bottom dollar that the onboard prices will not be cheaper than what you paid. In any case, if they are, the 48 hours is prior to the excursion date not the cruise start date, so check as soon as you board and that will give you time to cancel and rebook if necessary. As far as I am aware, onboard cancellations of excursions are refunded as onboard credit so you would then be able to use that to rebook at the cheaper prices.

I hope you have a great cruise and if you'd care to share your impressions here on the boards those of us sailing after you would be very grateful. ?

 

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7 hours ago, FionaMG said:

Aaaaah, now I see what they're up to...

I don't know about your cruise planner prices but mine - for the same cruise at the end of September - were hiked up by between 30% and 60% a few days ago when the last "sale" ended. Bearing in mind that Royal's definition of "percentage off" means some random amount deducted from some other random and never-disclosed amount, this means that they will now be able to offer a seemingly very generous 50% discount for onboard purchases, but will actually only be bringing the prices back down to normal. If you booked your excursions before that last sale I would bet my bottom dollar that the onboard prices will not be cheaper than what you paid. In any case, if they are, the 48 hours is prior to the excursion date not the cruise start date, so check as soon as you board and that will give you time to cancel and rebook if necessary. As far as I am aware, onboard cancellations of excursions are refunded as onboard credit so you would then be able to use that to rebook at the cheaper prices.

I hope you have a great cruise and if you'd care to share your impressions here on the boards those of us sailing after you would be very grateful. ?

 

You are right! The excursion prices are way higher than when I booked after the first notification about requiring RC excursions in Italy.

 

SIDE NOTE for you travelers on Harmony 8/22 - CALL IN AND GET THE PRICE DROP GUARANTEE!! We just received $1400 in onboard credit, since the price of the cruise has cut in half!

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38 minutes ago, crabkitty said:

You are right! The excursion prices are way higher than when I booked after the first notification about requiring RC excursions in Italy.

 

SIDE NOTE for you travelers on Harmony 8/22 - CALL IN AND GET THE PRICE DROP GUARANTEE!! We just received $1400 in onboard credit, since the price of the cruise has cut in half!

Wow, great price drop! It definitely pays to keep checking. How are you going to spend all that obc?

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3 hours ago, FionaMG said:

Wow, great price drop! It definitely pays to keep checking. How are you going to spend all that obc?

Right?? My wife and I will probably book a couples massage, and then maybe we'll upgrade some of our excursions to do something that we wouldn't have bought originally. Any other ideas?

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We booked the Aug 29th sailing on Harmony.  I had no idea about the Italy excursion restrictions.  I’m really disappointed as we are both fully vaxed.  NCl isn’t mandating cruise excursions…..any vaxed passenger can travel on their own.  

In any event, we recognize we are early adopters in the ‘return to cruising’ world and are willing to put up with some annoyances.  
 

if you can share any tips from your cruise before we board we’d really appreciate it!  Have a great trip!

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14 hours ago, crabkitty said:

Right?? My wife and I will probably book a couples massage, and then maybe we'll upgrade some of our excursions to do something that we wouldn't have bought originally. Any other ideas?

The big thing to remember with this OBC is that, as per the Terms and Conditions, it's non-refundable so it's a case of use it or lose it.

With that in mind, you should consider cancelling stuff you've prepaid, like gratuities, specialty dining, drinks packages, internet, etc. as this will then be refunded to your original form of payment. Even if it takes a month or two, at least you'll be recouping your cash. Note that there is a deadline for doing this and it is pretty much imminent so I wouldn't wait around to do it if I were you.

In addition to the above and the things you're already thinking of, you could perhaps use some of it at Next Cruise to put down as a deposit for a future cruise or do some shopping at the onboard shops, buying some treats for yourselves (a nice handbag or perfume for your wife, a watch or a wallet for yourself, for example?) or as gifts for folks back home (early Christmas shopping!).

I think I've read you may also be able to cash OBC out at the casino for a (small?) charge but I don't play so I need to refer you to @WAAAYTOOO for this one, as I'm pretty sure she will know if that is actually an option.

It's so nice to see somebody actually getting to take advantage of this offer with all the ups and downs we've all been through these past months. I'm so pleased for you. ?

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3 hours ago, Cidney said:

We booked the Aug 29th sailing on Harmony.  I had no idea about the Italy excursion restrictions.  I’m really disappointed as we are both fully vaxed.  NCl isn’t mandating cruise excursions…..any vaxed passenger can travel on their own.  

In any event, we recognize we are early adopters in the ‘return to cruising’ world and are willing to put up with some annoyances.  
 

if you can share any tips from your cruise before we board we’d really appreciate it!  Have a great trip!

Sorry to hear you didn't know about this. Notification went out on the 6th of August so it's unfortunate you didn't receive it. If you booked through a travel agent notification would have gone to them and they should then have forwarded it to you, like mine did. Unfortunately, sometimes communications get lost in cyberspace and it is not uncommon for people to find out such things either on these boards or on other similar ones. I'm glad you're able to take it in your stride; I've seen posts over on another forum from people who are really badly upset. ?

I believe this is a requirement of the Italian government but I don't know the exact ins-and-outs. If it's a blanket requirement it would affect NCL too and sooner or later they will have to inform their guests of it. However, there is also the possibility that it has been imposed because Royal are not sailing 100% vaxed, which NCL are, in which case perhaps NCL will not be affected.

In any case, as discussed in the posts above, don't book any excursions through the cruise planner at the moment because the prices have been inflated to ridiculous levels. I'm pretty sure you will get much better prices on board given what they've said about offering discounts on board. What you can do for the time being is take a look at the excursion descriptions so that you can book the ones you want as soon as you get on board.

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Yes, you can use OBC in the casino BUT if you are not at least Prime level in Club Royale, they will charge you a 5% "convenience fee" to use/retrieve it.

Actually, @AshleyDillomay have some suggestions on getting your OBC without the fee.  I don't play slots so I can't remember the process but I think sometimes you can access your onboard account via the slots.

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32 minutes ago, FionaMG said:

In addition to the above and the things you're already thinking of, you could perhaps use some of it at Next Cruise to put down as a deposit for a future cruise

You can't use OBC for this unfortunately. 

22 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

sometimes you can access your onboard account via the slots.

Yes..if they have the slot machines set up to charge to your room, they don't charge the 5%.  It ends up loading the money to the slot machine and then I cashed out without playing and took the redemption ticket to the machine and it spit out cash.  I think you can also take the ticket to the cashier, although I never actually did that.  I posted step by step instructions from when I did it September 2019 on Allure and I can dig up that post if needed.

If the machines aren't allowing it in the casino, look for their digital posters.  I noticed on my Oasis cruise they specifically advertised on this option on one of the digital posters and it said to see the cashier for more info. I wasn't able to access the option the same way through the slot machines, so I did ask the cashier and they asked me how much I wanted and gave me a redemption ticket. I was not charged the 5% extra the same was as if I would have tried to get cash for the table games. I tried to immediately go use the ticket in a redemption machine and it wouldn't work. So I ended up putting it in a slot machine and reprinting it from a slot machine and it worked then. That was too much work and talking to people so it deterred me from really racking up my onboard account ??

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On 8/15/2021 at 8:42 AM, FionaMG said:

With that in mind, you should consider cancelling stuff you've prepaid, like gratuities, specialty dining, drinks packages, internet, etc. as this will then be refunded to your original form of payment. Even if it takes a month or two, at least you'll be recouping your cash. Note that there is a deadline for doing this and it is pretty much imminent so I wouldn't wait around to do it if I were you.

This is what I was thinking as well. The "Next Cruise" would have been awesome. I would spend most of it toward that, just to book another cruise down the road! This is all super helpful, and gives us some ideas. Thank you, @WAAAYTOOO as well!

23 hours ago, AshleyDillo said:

Yes..if they have the slot machines set up to charge to your room, they don't charge the 5%.  It ends up loading the money to the slot machine and then I cashed out without playing and took the redemption ticket to the machine and it spit out cash.  I think you can also take the ticket to the cashier, although I never actually did that.

This is perfect. If we don't find ways to spend it, we'll spend a little bit of time in the casino and get it cashed out. Good to know this is an option!

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On 8/15/2021 at 5:44 AM, Cidney said:

We booked the Aug 29th sailing on Harmony.  I had no idea about the Italy excursion restrictions.  I’m really disappointed as we are both fully vaxed.  NCl isn’t mandating cruise excursions…..any vaxed passenger can travel on their own.  

In any event, we recognize we are early adopters in the ‘return to cruising’ world and are willing to put up with some annoyances.  
 

if you can share any tips from your cruise before we board we’d really appreciate it!  Have a great trip!

I'll share my experiences for sure! We wanted to do a lot of this on our own as well. Take advantage of the price drop and it may end up paying for a lot of the excursions for you.

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