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Kellie in Texas

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About Kellie in Texas

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Location
    Austin, Texas area

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  1. Our June 2020 Alaskan cruise from Vancouver got moved to June 2021. I had booked us on Alaska Air flights, which I was able to get refunded. They have flights and times already available on their website for June 2021; should I book now or wait a bit? My concern is booking specific flights and then those flights getting changed. That's how I was able to get a full refund for this past June; they actually changed two of our flights (we had four total, no nonstops to Vancouver from where we live) and I never got any notification of the changes in times. I guess once you book, you just have to keep checking periodically.
  2. Update: Our son's passport arrived yesterday, after being "in quarantine" since Feb. 27th.
  3. Update: Got an email last night that older son's passport application is now approved and his new passport is being printed. Whew! Younger son's passport application was received in the office on Feb. 20 and we got his passport in about three weeks. Older son's was received on Feb. 27 and it got hung up in the quarantine. We were supposed to fly today to Vancouver for our Alaskan cruise on Serenade (with an aft balcony!) for younger son's high school graduation. 😞 It's rescheduled for next year.
  4. Checking in on this thread. We had (past tense, sadly) an Alaskan cruise from Vancouver in a couple of weeks, now rescheduled for June 2021. In February, we had to get a new passport for younger son whose original passport was issued when he was under 16 and would be expiring this year. Because he was under 16 when the first one was issued, and now is 18, we had to go to the post office, submit everything to the post office person, and then the post office sent the application to the passport center. That was on Feb. 20 and we received his passport in about three weeks. Older son's passport wasn't expiring until 2021 but since we were already renewing younger son's, we decided to do older son's at the same time. Since he was already 18 with his first passport, he was able to do the renewal by mail. We mailed his old passport and the application on Feb. 20, certified mail, and got the green card back on Feb. 27 that it was received in the passport center in Irving, Tx. This was all before the quarantine began. After a couple of weeks, I would check his status online and it said Application: In Process. Even after we knew our June 2020 cruise was cancelled, I'd still check the status every few weeks. Always said In Process until yesterday when it said Not Found. According to the travel.gov website, they significantly reduced passport operations in March and specifically mentioned passport applications submitted to them beginning in March would be delayed. I know that his passport being received by them on Feb. 27 was right on the cusp of their restricting the processing. I did some googling on the In Process/Not Found issue and evidently it's very common and has been for years. The question is, should I follow up with them or continue to wait? We don't need it until next year. Sorry for the rambling but I wanted to include all the details.
  5. OP here with an update: We received our FCC via email about 10 days ago and today got a confirmation email and phone call from the TA that the FCC has now been applied to our June 2021 cruise. The cruise fare actually went down a little bit, so even using the FCC to pay off the balance, we still have FCC remaining, about $1400. 🙂 We also ended up with a small amount (less than $200) being refunded to the original credit card.
  6. @Ourusualbeach but what happens to the $7000-plus that's already charged to our credit card? (and some of which we've already paid off). I guess the question is how do I use the FCC to pay off American Express? Or can I get the TA to apply the $7000-plus that we already paid for the 2020 booking and switch those funds to the 2021 booking? Thank you for answering so quickly.
  7. Need help with the math here. We had booked Serenade to Alaska for 6/14/2020 and made final payment on March 6, 2020. The full amount was paid on our credit card was $7274.40 which included our original deposit, the $514 Travel Guard insurance policy, and the remaining balance that we paid on March 6. This cruise was cancelled by Royal due to the Canadian ports being closed until at least July 1. We decided to rebook the same itinerary on Serenade for 6/13/2021 through our online travel agent so we paid $1,000 deposit to hold the same cabin. Yesterday, we received our email from Royal with the 125% FCC. Question is, what happens to the $7274 which is already charged to our credit card and which we've already paid bits of this off over the last several months? In other words, we've basically already paid Royal this amount, so how do we get the amount we've already charged on the card transferred to the new 2021 booking? Does my question make sense? I know I'll have to get back to the TA next week, but thought I'd also ask you experts. 🙂
  8. I just tried the Twitter trick with Alaska Air. Flights were June 13, 2020, and return June 23, 2020, from Austin to Vancouver, BC. It was just a minute or two before I got a reply via direct message. As of today, Alaska Air only has the cancel waiver to May 31, 2020, but the agent said to keep checking their website because it might be extended.
  9. What about Serenade? Would it be with the group that Radiance is in?
  10. To get back to the OP's question about Serenade and Alaska ... we are booked on the June 14 departure from Vancouver. On the same Friday (two weeks ago from tomorrow) that most of the major cruiselines cancelled cruises for 30 days, Canada also closed its ports until July 1. Those two announcements happened within a couple of hours of each other. On the Monday afterwards (March 16), I emailed our TA and said I knew she was probably busy trying to handle the 30-day cancelled cruisers. She told me to check back with her in two weeks, which would be early next week (March 30, 31). I told her at the time that I didn't want to cancel anything yet. I'll report back on what I find out from her. We have an aft cabin, so I'll be extra disappointed if this doesn't happen. 😞 Still keeping my fingers crossed.
  11. We're in a different boat ... <ahem> ... we are/were booked on Serenade for June 14 out of Vancouver and, also yesterday afternoon, Canada said no ships over 500 passengers until July 1. I emailed our TA but she's on the east coast and was probably already out of the office by that time. It's been booked for over a year to celebrate younger son's high school graduation. And we had an aft cabin. 😪
  12. We're booked on Serenade in June to Alaska; just made final payment a few days ago with our online TA. Yesterday I logged into our RCCL account and found $300 OBC to use for a limited time. I had no idea it was there! I booked the behind-the-scenes tour that includes the bridge; only had to pay an additional $47. We've never done that tour before and I've always wanted to, so I was excited to get this almost-freebie. We will still have more OBC from the TA that will be available once we are onboard. It was a nice surprise!
  13. @coolprag go over to the Northern Europe/Scandinavia board here https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/116-northern-europe-amp-baltic-sea/ for lots of those details. We did these cities on Serenade in June 2016. In SP, we booked a van tour with TJ Travel. They were outstanding. We had a driver and a tour guide (who spoke perfect English) and about 14 people on a maybe 18-passenger van. There are lots of other tour companies discussed on that forum. I'd also recommend getting Rick Steves' book Northern European Cruise Ports book; it's a paperback. Tons of details on these ports and others. In Tallinn, we followed his walking tour, which was perfect as we could go at our own pace. Absolutely loved Tallinn. Wear good walking shoes as there are lots of cobblestone streets.
  14. Thank you all for the replies. You've helped me understand the process better.
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