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Paul from Maryland

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About Paul from Maryland

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess
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  1. My wife, son and I attempted the Road to Hana a few years ago. About one-third of the way in my son was feeling nauseous. We turned around and headed back, but he didn't feel better until we got back to the "normal" roads.
  2. We bought sleeves for our credit cards and passports on Amazon that block RFID scanning. But mostly we leave them on the ship or in the hotel room. Last time we ventured off the ship in Nassau the only thing we took with us was about $60 cash, our state photo ID and our ship ID card. We even left our iPhones and Apple watches on the ship.
  3. To wrap this up, I found the help and advice from Trip Insurance Store to be just what I wanted. I'm using the "pay as you go" method described above. Today I purchased enough insurance to cover my cruise down payment. Next April, when I pay the cruise balance, I'll call the folks at Trip Insurance Store to have them increase the insured amount. I'm very happy with this strategy. Why pay now for insurance I won't use for ten months?
  4. I do not anticipate having other prepaid non-refundable costs. So "pay as you go" may very well work for me. Great info, thanks!
  5. Hmmm. I've participated around here for a long time but never knew there are "recommended" brokers. Recommended by the folks that run Cruise Critic or recommendations by the folks that post public messages? I'll look around on the main CC site for any such recommendations. Thanks.
  6. Steve, I read those links, and want to make sure I understand this strategy. When I booked the cruise today I paid a deposit of $750. So within the next few days (maybe up to 14 days?) I would buy travel insurance for $750. Buying insurance now, while the cruise is 100% refundable, gets me coverage for pre-existing conditions? Or cancel for any reason coverage? Then, when the final payment ($5,000) is due, I'd "up" the travel insurance by $5,000. At that point I'm fully covered for the money I'm spending on the cruise. Have I got any of this right? It sounds like you're a professional in this business. Can you tell me with who? Or tell me if there are more questions I should be asking?
  7. Are there insurance policies that refund the cost if you cancel the cruise before final payment? I recently had to cancel an upcoming trip to Disney World before final payment. They refunded my deposit but said the cost of the insurance could not be refunded. We just booked a Celebrity Cruise for July 2020. The following text was on our confirmation page: ------ Help protect your vacation payment by purchasing travel protection. You can purchase Celebrity CruiseCare at any time from deposit up through and including final payment; however, the Cancellation Penalty Waiver takes effect only upon payment of the appropriate plan cost amount, which is in addition to any required cruise deposit/payment due. Payment of the cruise fare deposit amount without the additional plan cost due will not enroll you in this plan. To view the terms, conditions and exclusions, please visit https://www.archinsurancesolutions.com/coverage/celebrity. ----- Does the "however, the Cancellation Penalty Waiver takes effect only upon payment of the appropriate plan cost amount, which is in addition to any required cruise deposit/payment due" mean that you're not covered for cancellation until the insurance is paid in full? That seems too obvious? It must mean something else? We just booked today, do we have two weeks to purchase insurance so that pre-existing conditions are covered?
  8. If you're nervous about the feel of a larger ship then you definitely should get the Haven. You'll have the best of both worlds where you can venture out in to the general areas of the ship and then retreat to the Haven if/when you need some peace and quiet. We've done the Haven twice on the Breakaway and we LOVED the peace and quiet of the Haven.
  9. On our last Haven trip the Butler visited our cabin twice a day. A morning run to check/replenish the coffee maker, maybe drop off some fruit. Then an afternoon run to drop off snacks. I agree with most posters, the flat rate per day, per person, is crazy. I don't remember the exact tips I left, but it was around $40 to $50 to the butler for the week. $20 or $30 to the concierge, whom we only asked one or two questions during the week. I did tip the maitre d and head hostess in the Haven Restaurant. They made our visits to the Haven Restaurant enjoyable, they certainly went above and beyond to make us happy. I should have tipped one of the Haven bartenders. I didn't, but he was a joy to talk to and made me some great drinks. Even suggesting and pushing me to try a few new things. I did turn in a complimentary comment card for him -- I hope it helped him in some way.
  10. If you're a CC regular then you won't learn much from the Haven briefing. I'd still recommend going though. They'll be giving out sliders/fries and welcome aboard drinks (free). Don't overindulge...you'll want to enjoy lunch in the Haven restaurant on boarding day. We've done two Haven sailings on the Breakaway. The briefing will be about 15 to 30 minutes after the first Haven group boards the ship. Our two briefings on the Breakaway were in the Haven pool/outdoor dining area. The briefing only lasts about 5 minutes. On the Breakaway it was hard to hear the concierge, even though he was using a small portable public address system.
  11. On your iPhone: Settings / General / Date & Time. Turn off Set Automatically. Then set the local time as necessary. The Apple Watch, I suspect, will pick these changes up from the iPhone.
  12. I use an Activity Stream for finding posts by specific users. Works well but is a bit tricky to set up right (there are seven or eight variables to configure). Post a note if you're interested in more information on Activity Streams.
  13. My wife and I, along with our adult son, drove the Road to Hana in January 2016. In a rental car. We only made it about half way, my adult son was nauseous from the motion. We had to turn around and head back -- and my son suffered the entire time. My wife and I were fine. And as for the motion sickness...we probably never went faster than 20 or 25 MPH, and most times were slower than that -- and it still made him nauseous. He never vomited...thankfully. But he felt awful. We also drove the road north (?) out of Lahaina (I forget what they call that). Scariest road I've ever driven. There are one or two places where the road is simply two tire tracks and one side of the car is about 12 inches from a cliff wall and the other side of the car is about 12 inches from drop-off of several hundred feet. I could look out the drivers window and straight down...several hundred feet! And the worst part...just as we exited to the normal road...we found a "road closed" barrier! We had to turn around and go right back through the scary part. That's something I'll never forget and will never attempt again!
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