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About ashank1m

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Fairfax, VA
  • Interests
    Traveling, trip planning, drinking (and shedding that calories)
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    NCL(Dawn Class), MSC
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Much luck to you. First time on Divina in '16, made mistake in setting up onboard account, all my OB spending went to my daughter's account (1200 points), that is separating me from my Silver to Gold, I tried several time to have that move to my account but I had better luck getting banks to refund me fees..... Also, I made Voyager Club account then found out I could get a matching status. I used my NCL Silver not realizing I could have used my Platinum/Spire Elite, I was upgrade to Silver for first cruise but only got wait for it.......... 1 point.
  2. $5-7 for typical shelf (house domestic), $8-10 for little better, anything over $10 are good stuff.
  3. Check out some credit cards that have Trip interruption, Trip Cancellation, Travel insurance in the benefits, it will cover what Cruise line insurance covers and more.
  4. Yup. Heineken draft and Miller Lite can. Don't know about other ships but Seaside, buffet there are some self pour draft of Heineken and white/red wine using your room cards. (also soda draft use with room card), if you have a package, it is free but if you don't have package, it will be charged. Easy package also gets about 10 different simple mixed drinks (you will see them in bar for Easy package menu), and house wine.
  5. Cave Tubing in Belize is ..... start at near the cave, water was deep enough and but as towards the end of cave water was very shallow and after cave we had to literary has to pull the tubes. I guess if you had not done it maybe it is worth it but I have not heard from those who had done it including myself, repeating. So, you know. Also, water is very cold so in a chill day be aware of this.
  6. Besides the added gratuity, you will be getting lot cheaper pre-book than onboard. Specially if you are planning to use more than one or two days, prebook you have (at least it did on my May booking) a week which was not avail onboard. by booking for a week, it came out to be about 40% cheaper. Also, did notice on my last three cruises with MSC they don't seems to have much special on board for discounts.
  7. Got it. Many sites only has Price/Feature/Duration. I see Exp has Departure option. I haven't used EXP but it is a good place to start my search by dep dates so I can planned for B2B, same or diff ships.
  8. Not sure but access to YC means you can get meals and Bev. Spa prory not.
  9. Does Sapphire Pre trip insurance include Trip Cancellation?
  10. Does anyone know of travel site that list the cruises available by dates? Most sites typically gives options of Popular/Feature, price, and Duration. I want to plan for B2B for long term travel utilizing Re-positioning ships but dates are all over the map and hard to figure out what that ship schedule is like.
  11. It is more like, "cheating" on Kroger's if you pay $1.79 for a can of Progresso, when you use a manufacturer's coupon to pay $1.50 a can.
  12. This upgrade isn't free, I think it was $150-180 per person a day, when you add up the number, price was similar to YC pricing. This isn't something being advertised, but my butler told me. I was looking at Meraviglia and YC was fully booked.
  13. I am a light cruiser (Royal 1, Carnival 1, NCL 4, MSC 2) but I had more pleasant experience with MSC than others I have been on. Although, brand name has certain affect, some times the ship (new crew, tired crew etc) has more effect in your experience. I enjoyed, MSC Divina and Seaside, planned for Meraviglia next year. Also, CC MM is really nice, so dont forget to go to Roll Call forum and sign up. You will have an invitation when you board the ship. (Custom cake, various desert, fruits, spark wine provided plus group photo is free and send to your room.) - MSC food was a bit lacking compare to others, but I do enjoy the Pizza. Room menu pizza has more options than buffet. If you are nice to waiter, you can ask for off the menu items (items that are available but not on menu). - Kids activities are lacking compare to Carnival, Royal, NCL, so pool area gets really cramped during holidays when kids are out. - Tend to have more European and S. American crowds so expect some rude kids, line cutting, etc. - Customer service on ship was good, comparable to other cruise lines, but on land that is another story. Long wait, hard to resolve things, etc... its curse service! - MSC has MSC me app which is very helpful in reservation etc. When you checkin at port, they don't tie your CC card to room key. You have to do that on your own at kiosk on the ship. If you pay cash deposit you do that on the ship. - Shows are various them 2-3 times a day for 6 days for 7 day cruise, last days typically has MJ Thriller show, very popular. - MSC Voyager membership, nice of them to give a matching status. DO NOT create Voyager membership if you planned on having matching done, they will create one for you. I made this mistake, although I got a classic (got 1 point for NCL Silver, should have used my Holiday Inn Platinum membership, yes hotel membership works too) but I wasnt able to get my 5% disc, I should have cancelled and redo, but price was almost same as price when up. - MSC ships are beautiful, tons of photo opportunity. Planned on getting phote use online to pre-purchase, same for if you plan for SPA usage, you can get week pass online for $120(?) while it cost $40 a day on ship. - MSC is following NCL on pricing. When you see a Free drink/WiFi package, compare the price to Escape to Sea fare. If you and your party is mod to heavy drinkers, it is worth it but if you like premium drinks, cocktails, or light drinker it is not worth it, diff is about $180-200 per person on 7 days cruises. (Free drink package is Easy package: Heineken draft, Miller lite can, 7-8 basic mix drinks, basic shelf liquor, house wines, soda, juice, coffee) - If you are on a ship with YC, try not to use two forward elevators with YC Reserve on it , YC members/butlers have priority over ride. You are riding then bam, you get called to 16th floor and all the floor setting gone and you have to go where they go first then go on your way. Well, I could go on but I think that sums it up.
  14. You can go to MSC forum for more detail. Here is my Seasdie YC review from April 2019.
  15. In Asian community, old way of living is still a thing. Parents always told me work hard in your youth and enjoy your retirement. But, as the pic shows, traveling is not an easy thing to do when you are old, also, those who didn't travel young are most like not to travel in old age. Why? they don't know how and everything seems to be a challenge as well as physically demanding. Parents didn't save but gave all to kids helping with house down payment, short falls, etc. Now I support mom after pop passed, she goes to trips with my family 1 -2 times a year. We mix, cruises, theme parks, ski resorts, Cities, etc. She still gets allowance from my siblings and uses my CC to spend and save her money, then gives to grandkids, and I have to save money to send her tours with her friends. Well, that old way stops with me. I am saving much as I can and planning my future. Way I see, if you do it right, you don't need to work until 67 to retire and have a rich kids that can support you. So, I planned to retire at 60 and use my IRA and home equity to fund my world travel for 7 years. 2 yr RVing in USA 49 states (I have it mapped out already, 28123 miles point to point), 5 years WC and segment B2B cruising, mix with air, train, cruise around Asia, Europe, Africa. Then retire on a sailing boat to Caribbeans with intermittent cruises and places I have missed.
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