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Stefan_Varong

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About Stefan_Varong

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    little village 3rd rock from sun
  • Interests
    History, architecture...
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Costa
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Trans

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  1. I don't know, but quite a couple of years ago I saw it first, but not seen it on my cruise next month. So it might be on selected ships only. I didn't do, but have seen these zones. Positive as there are still so many people blocking deck chairs with towels early in the morning and you have one in any case, negative as you need to pay for.
  2. Hello, gay man, solo travelling on this cruise. Anybody else?
  3. The price difference between the packages Brindiamo and Più gusto is about that if you book them individually: it is 3 € per person and night. So it is no big difference anyway, not about twice the price as the top package for famous brands e.g.
  4. Sure, it is all depending on the personal taste. If you really like more expensive brands and compare the Costa packages to some other lines Intenditore might be the best choice. Everybody enjoying a cappuccino once a week and bound to a few glasses of water every day shouldn’t take a package at all. For my personal habits Brindiamo would cover most, but seen the very small price difference I generally take the Più gusto package to enlarge the possibilities according to my wishes concerning just a few cocktails I like, while Intenditore for me personally is something, what wouldn’t pay out. As everything everywhere else available I use in my cabin perhaps one bottle of water a week - if I use that much. But as I said before: it is all depending on the personal taste.
  5. Yes, cocktails are a bit more expensive than for example long drinks - if you buy them one by one. But attention: the days that the package is linked to the price are gone! You have for example drinks in the most expensive Intenditore package only, that are even a bit cheaper than some others of the Più gusto package, what is included or not can be found by colour codes only. Main difference between Brindiamo and Più gusto that there is no cocktail at all in the Brindiamo package. In every case you buy something what is considered to be above your package you need to pay the full price plus service charge, although you are entitled to unlimited drinks - just not this special one. £ 88 is the equivalent of about 10 or 11 cocktails during the entire voyage.
  6. I wouldn’t even send a container with MSC! Done MSC once and from handing back the wrong cruise card (my door didn’t open, am I at the right door? No, not even on the right deck and since when is my name Anastasia?) over dirty plates in the buffet (“so what” was the reaction from the staff) up to really dangerous situation by pressing more and more people into the already overly full atrium, where people already were unable to stand. It would have been sufficient that one got in panic. I am no anxious person, but in my job I need to pay attention to escape routes and know what mustn’t happen in any time. In that case I did what I never did before: I looked where to escape to in case of an eventuality and especially where no masses of people would follow. MSC? Never again!
  7. Bob, indeed, you're right. Today I got mine with the information "I would like to remind you that the Carnival Shareholder Benefit is not transferable, cannot be exchanged for cash and cannot be used to pay Casino Charges or Service Charges".
  8. Would make things easy of course, but no need to. If you have spent 1,000 € your card should have a limit of 1,000 € (no problem of course if it is higher, but no need to). Preapprovals are made to ensure your card will bear the bill, for nothing else. Worst case happened to me, when my bank's system detected a card fraud, while I was abord a ship and the entire card was blocked. I went to the hospitality service to discuss the problem, but it had no effect at all to the preapprovals and my bill was paid as it should. The only situation that more might get blocked than the actual bill is if you book something that doesn't happen and will be cancelled from your definitive bill, relase of a preapproval takes a couple of days, while putting them on your card happens immedeately. Generally drinking package and service charge (if to be paid on board) are blocked directly, excursions when tickets are issued (a couple of prebooked tickets you might find in your cabin on arrival, perhaps even all). If you buy anything aboard it will be preapproved at the moment you buy...
  9. I've never seen any regulation that a shareholder OBC mustn't be used for the service charge. Up to now I just got a notification that my claim is approved - without any restrictions. I usually register my credit card aboard and the balance is taken from the card. Last time and with my cruise over a couple of weeks the service charge had already been included into the price anyway, so it doesn't appear on my bill at the end of the voyage. Debit cards are not accepted by Costa, but nobody knows whether a credit card is linked to a credit or is prepaid. The difference is just that you either need a spending limit high enough or enough money on that card, both nobody knows - except you and the issuer of course. My bank allows even to transfer money onto my credit card as well to expend spending limits above my credit limit - and even pays a relative high interest, although in these days even that is...
  10. Well, rules and enforcement are not always the same: No drinks and food during embarkation. Once I had half a bottle of water and because there was no waste bin I put it just aside. Costa staff attended me that I forgot my bottle. No alcohol from the shore aboard. On Martinique I bought rum - as being on a TA and Martinique being within the EU quite a coupleof bottles, also as presents. Packed in the bags with the name of the destille on it they went through the scanner and I took them to my cabin. According to the rules I would have gotten them back before debarkation only. Anyway, I have my drinking packages and opened the first bottle at home. I never tried to order a bottle of wine to my cabin, but it shouldn't be a problem. As a club member I got already a free bottle to my cabin. You only mustn't take open drinks to your cabin (package drinks are not allowed in the cabin and not handed out in bottles). Just as you may take a bottle of water to your cabin, you also may buy a bottle of wine and take it to your cabin. All for your health is allowed, contact Costa as soon as possible (I know, they are not very responsive) and what they don't provide anyway take with you. Your waiter in the MDR will take care of your dietary needs, I had a guest at my table with multiple problems once, who got a personal menu with remarks what could be ordered and what not. Even if not about your health, they try their best to please you, I remember a guest every evening getting an extra large portion spaghetti - nothing else. Taking rare meat to your cabin would cause a problem I suppose and would be pretty understandable. But originally packed industrial products not needing any cooling should be fine, especially if you have a note of your doctor.
  11. Club members get a small OBC, I think it is 20 € for Perla, not grown above that yet. And shareholders (at least 100 shares) get an OBC depending on the length of the cruise. Reminds me to apply for mine. Others you might get on occasion (I got one for delayed bording, since the ship wasn't in port on time), but I don't know about other regular programms.
  12. Generally you have the choice between cash and card. But regarding an Italian law you mustn't pay any more than 999,99 € cash. If paying cash you need to pay a deposit, as I know correctly at least 150 €. If you spent about that amount you will have to add funds to keep your card working. Separately booked drinking packages are taken at the beginning of your cruise, the rest - including service charge, if not already included in your fare - on daily basis. Cash will only be returned if the deposit has been higher than your actual spending and you did not use a credit card for amounts above the legal limit. If you use your credit card they'll block an amount. If your spending is higher they will block more. But it is never higger than what you booked before your cruise plus your additional costs aboard. On a longer cruise you can get a row of approvals, but at the end only one amount will be booked from your card (I can see all approvals and bookings by internet banking). Regularly you won't have a higer amount blocked from your card than to be paid, of course for example an excursion blocked from your card, that didn't take place by any reason, will not be billed at the end and that amount will be released. There won't be amounts blocked plus amounts billed, this is not how credit cards work and if somebody makes such a kind of error this is not your fault, and as you said that double amount won't be approved by your bank anyway. At the end of your cruise you will get a bill to your cabin, but if you used your card you don't need to do anything as long as the bill is correct, you just leave the ship. Remaining cash you need to collect in person, time and place will be announced. From the TV in your cabin you can regard your account in real time whenever you want, if there might be a problem just report it. By the way: you also might buy a prepaid card and wire there the money needed. I don't know whether you have them in Russia, but you can get them from another country as well, there are companies accepting customers from all over the world. It just needs to be a physical card, not a virtual one, as you need to put it into a machine aboard to link it to your cruise card(s). I use one for some internet transactions, never have a lot of money on it, but as long as it is no payment service offered by a reputated bank or pay pal I protect my regular cards this way.
  13. From the governmental website: " Instructions for e-Visa ... 8. The validity of e-Visa will be 60 days from the date of arrival in India. Double entry is permitted on e-Tourist Visa and e-Business Visa. Triple entry will be permitted on e-Medical Visa." You may apply for 3 visa in one year. Besides 26 airports you can arrive through the following ports only: Cochin, Goa, Mangalore, Mumbai and Chennai, but leaving through any checkpoint is permitted. I hope that this information is practically usable at all. When cruising from Italy to India in 2017 the e-visa was just extended as quoted, but Costa told that we need a multi-entry from the Indian embassy (got one but single entry would have been sufficient according to the embassy as my journey ended with the first visit of India although visiting two ports). Obviously there were people with e-visa aboard as we had quite a lot of announcements for those travelling with e-visa. As far as I know Mumbai seaport had none of the needed e-Visa facilities at all those days.
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