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  1. Thank you for that. I knew about the 48 hours in advance, but not the OBC refund.
  2. I'm the same way - I'm on CC more often when we've got cruises booked and our last one was also in late 2019. Unfortunately, NCL made this change in Feb. 2020, just before all the COVID chaos, so a lot of us are discovering this now that we're getting back to cruising. We've got six excursions booked and they can be completely covered by our OBC.
  3. And... there it is on my credit card statement. They must be happy I booked so far in advance. I still like the old policy better when you could book early and charge it to your shipboard account. I don't like the idea of starting my vacation standing in line at the Shore Excursion Desk to rebook. With the Free at Sea drinks, specialty dining, and wifi benefits, excursions are all we can spend the large amount of OBC we have for this particular cruise on.
  4. Hi, I didn't see this topic, so someone please redirect me if this is a repeat. We've got two cruises coming up on NCL and when I called Shore Excursions to pre-book our excursions, I was told that we cannot use our OBC to pay for them at pre-booking. Used to do that on our previous cruses, but apparently that changed in Feb. 2020. In order to use OBC to pay for excursions, you have to book the excursion once onboard – obviously risky as the one(s) you want may be full. I booked the excursions and paid with my credit card (which is not charged until we go). My plan is to go to the Shore Excursion Desk once we board and cancel, then rebook the excursion so it can be paid for with OBC. Has anyone done this and how did it go? I don’t see any benefit for NCL to change this policy. They give passengers OBC to use to encourage them to book their excursions through the cruise line, then don’t allow them to use it conveniently. That doesn’t make passengers happy. NCL does not get any benefit from my paying for the excursions in advance as they don’t get the money until the activity is completed. The Shore Excursion team that passengers speak to on the phone must get an earful from upset passengers over this new policy, even though they are not the ones who enacted the change. Giving passengers the only option of rebooking once onboard just makes more work for the staff at the Shore Excursions Desk and, again, unhappy passengers. For the headaches given to so many by this new policy, I’m curious what the benefits of it are to NCL. What am I missing? Thanks, Firstin87
  5. I would imagine they would extend the credit for families, but you can't predict the future, especially if the industry hits another slowdown. You'd think you could be confidant about a cruise that's over a year away, but who ever thought the pandemic restrictions would last this long. I hope things improve soon for Australia. Sounds like you are very limited. We're in California and we've been all over the map with our mandates. After the initial shutdown, the vaccine became available for everyone in April and it fairly easy to get in our state, but a lot of people haven't done so for a lot of reasons. We opened up June 15 - no capacity limits; masks not needed if you're vaccinated, unvaccinated asked to wear them indoors but no one checks so it was basically a "you're on your own" policy; indoor dining back to normal. Then in early August, we went back to masks indoors for all because of the low vaccination rate and each County has different rules. Next month is a recall election for our governor because so many people are upset about how he's handled the pandemic response, but he hasn't done anything different than most of the other governors; not responding like the governors of Florida and Texas have ('leave everything open no matter what'). How are things in Australia and your state?
  6. I agree with ChiefMateJRK that NCL will continue their 100% vaccination policy for quite some time. They do not want to be a headline like Carnival was last week and their CEO has spoken about his strong support for people getting vaccinated. As someone posted earlier, the cruise industry does not want to end up in a situation where they are shut down again, so erring on the side of caution is their best business practice to prevent that. It's disappointing for those with kids under 12 that they can't cruise yet. At least there are other places those families can go on vacation - amusement parks, etc. Been a rough time for everyone and the 'return to normal' isn't a quick and smooth journey.
  7. Yep, I realized that after I hit submit. Based on Bird's post, RCCL is also notifying passengers often and clearly about the vax requirements.
  8. Bird, Glad you have returned to your nest safely. Loved your thread about the Encore's sailing. We're on the Bliss' first sailing in Oct. and your thread was so helpful. I cannot imagine anyone claiming ignorance of the COVID policies. We have heard it from both NCL and our travel agent. Surely these people did, too. Guessing they didn't read any emails from NCL. Also, common sense (which is not all that common) should tell one to check constantly the last few weeks before any trip for COVID changes. Sorry they were disappointed, but just do not support their complaint that the cruise line should help them. Being treated like "they were at fault" is what happens when they are at fault. Not sure why the article has to take a tone that the cruise line somehow owed them something.
  9. We were happy with the price we paid, too. Looking forward to not having to deal with flying, either, as SF is our local port. I wonder if Gov. Newsom will announce any information relating to cruise ships in Calif. when he is supposed to reopen the state on June 15. I'll allow myself to get excited when I hear something from the government that ships are allowed in their states.
  10. We were in Ensenada a couple years ago and my husband bought me a lovely pair of fire opal earrings. I'd like to go back someday to get a matching necklace. Hoping to see some jewelry stores on this cruise - lol.
  11. Kevin - With the great itinerary you have through the Panama Canal, you and your wife can certainly call it a 25 and 26 year celebration. Hope you had a nice anniversary and could maybe go out to dinner or something. CruiserKenn - Hawaii is gorgeous. You'll have a great time! Looks like your cruise is a couple before ours, so we'll both get the newly cleaned ship.
  12. Thank you, everyone. We booked it and are going to be cautiously optimistic. We are so upset about our Panama Canal in Nov. on NCL being cancelled since it was our fourth attempt at that cruise since 2018 and we book well in advance. Being so late, we thought we were good to go, but no. My husband looked up Ruby's dry dock dates and I see why CalLovesCruisingToo would be nervous. The way things have been this past year plus, you don't feel confidant about anything. I hope you get to go and have a wonderful time! KTB - congratulations on 25 years! Looks like a nice itinerary.
  13. Thanks for your opinion. With Gov. Newsom saying the state will open more fully June 15 and the relaxed CDC guidelines for both the country and the cruise industry (for vaccinated crews and passengers), I don't expect California to be the problem. Fingers crossed for both of us!
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