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iancal

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  1. iancal

    Changing wardrobe

    Neither of us needs a list. DW does it the day before. I do it the night we fire we have a very early flight. We could both be packed and out of the house in 15 minutes. I would be ok with it, DW would feel rushed but could do it. The caveat is that we each take a 20’ roller so there is not a lot to pack.
  2. iancal

    Transiting Incheon

    We arrived in the late afternoon. No more tours that day but the tour desk was open. This is our first time at this airport. By far the nicest transfer airport to SE Asia that we have experienced. Far better than Narita.
  3. iancal

    HAL Private Sale?? Not really.

    That is exactly why we trash all cruise line snail mail before it even gets into the house. Most of the email marketing gets deleted without even being opened.
  4. iancal

    JUST BACK FROM CUBA ON THE VEENDAM

    Hlitner is spot on with those comments. Clearly unbiased comments from an individual who does not limit himself to one cruise line nor does he look at any one cruise line or ship through nostalgic eyes or rose colored glasses. Unlike some other posters who have a different view of reality. Just the harsh light of reality and a sense of fair comparison between ships and cruise lines. They are, after all, only for profit corporations.
  5. iancal

    PCC Personal Cruise Consultant

    Our TA gives us OBC's. This is what we want. Then we can buy what we want. She gave us a private day tour/lunch in Barbados on our last Caribbean cruise. Three other things she does for us. When we call to book she scans her list and lets us know of any other offers on other ships/similar itineraries that are as or more attractive. When we book inside the final payment window, which is most times, she holds the reservation for a few hours which allows us to finalize air prior to finalizing the cruise. At times, when booking inside the window, she had advised us to 'wait a day or two'. It has always been to our advantage. She gives us independent recent feedback on various ships/itineries that she has rec'd from clients.
  6. I cannot imagine paying $295 for a dinner, any dinner, on HAL. This is far, far outside of HAL's wheelhouse.
  7. iancal

    Malta: tour guide or on our Own????

    We disembarked without any plan. There was an hoho parked outside. It included a boat tour. We enjoyed the day very much..including the harbor tour by boat. So much so that we returned two years later and spent 10 days on the islands
  8. iancal

    JUST BACK FROM CUBA ON THE VEENDAM

    I would add three things to that list, apart from the usual. Elevators that work. All of them. AC/HVAC that works. Plumbing that works. We are not interested in playing cruise ship lottery with older ships that have a history of issues. It may be that only 5 percent of the cabins have the issue but our goal is to reduce that risk by selecting ships with higher customer sat ratings and fewer reports of on going issues-some year after year after year. It is about getting what you pay for and having the cruise line satisfy the expectations that they have set.
  9. iancal

    JUST BACK FROM CUBA ON THE VEENDAM

    We learned a long time ago that cruise ship nomenclature, as it pertains to cabin size, is next to useless. You really do have to look up the specific cabin data and then adjust for balcony size where applicable. The numbers are all over the map. So often we have seen various cruise lines call what we would refer to as a standard balcony a suite because it has an extra 10 sq. feet or so of space, two complementary bottles of water, and so called priority boarding. We do not care about having our egos stroked. For us, after ship and itinerary, it is all about the ratio of size of cabin, location, and bottom line pricing. We suspect people try to relate what the cruise line may call a suite to their perception of a suite in a hotel. No doubt cruise lines are very aware of this. The marketing gurus spend their careers trying to determine how to increase the revenue by offering low cost amenities or creating a sense of exclusivity.
  10. We buy insurance to reduce or eliminate risk. Some of our premium cards do include medical but they always seem to have an age or a limit on the length of time that they will cover. Since financial/coverage is our largest concern our first cut when shopping is to compare coverage amounts. Then cost. And we are always willing to sign up for a deductable if it significantly reduces our premium. The first three or five thousand is not our fear, rather it is the hundreds of thousands that could follow it.
  11. iancal

    Transiting Incheon

    One ticket on Delta. YYC- SEA-ICN-BKK. 4.5 hour layover at ICN but realistically about 3 hours or so allowing for de-planing/re-planing, Carry on only-no checked bags. Will look at the ICN website again to look for this tour. We may be too tired given our schedule prior to that.
  12. We have never purchased trip cancellation insurance. Our first ever claim was last May. Our premium credit card comes with cancellation insurance. Fortunately we put our trip on this card. Sent in the claim (medical issues). It was paid in full within ten business days with not one query by the insurer. I was surprised how quickly it was paid and I half expected them to ask a bunch of questions with the view of weaseling out of paying.....as insurers often seem to do. The cancellation was not attributable to a pre-existing condition. We do of course buy out of country medical coverage. We buy it direct, never from the travel product provider.
  13. iancal

    Transiting Incheon

    We are changing planes in Seoul next week. We are connecting on two interntional flights next week. Will we have to go through customs or security or will be in some sort of international transit area?
  14. iancal

    Which HAL Ship and Itinerary would you pick?

    We leave on Monday to spend the winter in Thailand and Australia. We will take a look at last minute cruises from Australia. We don't bother looking at the Singapore cruises that spend much of their time in Thailand and Vietnam. Really depends on your priorities for travel and what you want to see. As an aside, the last time we did an OZ/NZ late booking cruise we paid considerably less by booking direct in Australia vs booking as we normally do with our NA on line TA.
  15. iancal

    Which HAL Ship and Itinerary would you pick?

    I would take Australia. Why? We are fairly familiar with Thailand and Vietnam. There are many ports on that cruise that are a good long way away from the attractions. And it takes longer than you think to get there. We have spent several winters in the area. Cruising is definitely not the best option to see either of these countries. Do some research on what you want to see in Thailand and Vietnam, then get an understanding of where the ship will actually dock. We have also spent time in Australia and have done two cruises, one of which was OZ/NZ.
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