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About nycruiser80

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    Westchester County, NY
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  1. My guy does. He uses a program that gives him updates daily. That is how he retains a loyal clientele. He books and take care of it call. Though the onboard credit he offers will fluctuate if the price drops by a lot as the onboard credit comes from his commission. Either way I still come out ahead so I am happy. My last cruise back in February he was notified of a substantial price drop I qualified for. Even though he lowered his onboard credit I did very well.
  2. I was a TA so I am partial. I use a TA who is great (a former colleague). I prefer booking with a TA as they advocate for me, price check daily and advise me of any price drops and best of all I always get an onboard credit on every sailing. I always come out ahead financially when using a TA. I don't understand how people pass up free gratuities or free onboard spending money to book direct but to each his own I suppose. The price my TA gets is the same a booking direct in addition he has many group sailings so if I book early I tie into those and pay a better price than booking direct. During covid he stayed on hold with Royal to hunt down my FCC which was "lost" for a while. I was thankful I didn't have to do all that leg work. The one time I booked direct,was with Princess. I had just left the travel agent business and I booked direct with them on their website. I called in to request an early dinner seating and the Princess agent I got made a mess out of my booking. Long story short she was obsessed with "upgrading" my no obstruction ocean view window on deck 5 that I booked on their website to an obstructed view ocean view window on deck 8 that had a lifeboat in front. I said I didn't want the "upgrade" but when I received the confirmation an hour later she "upgraded" me without my consent. With availability limited it was a challenge getting back what I booked, not to mention a complete waste of my time!
  3. Sad to see this. Thankfully some deluxe/luxury ships are still being built with full or partial promenade decks. The Spirit of Discovery/Adventure the Regent Explorer come to mind. From the renderings it appears Cunard will be using Koningsdam design which means no traditional promenade deck for their new build.
  4. Interesting observations. I am 39 and have been fortunate to have been cruising for the last 30 years or so. In that time, I have seen many changes but one notable change is the more inward trend of ship design. As the OP suggested, I too consider this to be a way for people to stay inside and hopefully focus more on onboard spending. Keep people inside to bolster onboard revenue. Most of the new ships lack an outdoor promenade deck which I miss greatly and if they have one it is sheltered with lifeboats and very narrow with no seating. I remember reading this was done as an enhanced safety measure but there are new ships still built with an open air promenade deck with chairs. These ships are mainly sailing for deluxe and luxury cruise lines. I do think having outdoor open spaces and less crowds would help the industry recover post COVID. Going forward people will not be happy cramming in crowded cruise ship elevators. I have been feeling that the newer ships will not help the cruise lines instill trust with travelers. While I do love the new ships of all mass market lines for their forward thinking interior designs, I feel they carry way too many people and don't allow for passengers to spread out. I agree, I feel the lines want younger guests. My last few Celebrity Cruises I found music was blaring in the atrium all day long. Don't get me wrong, it was the music I love to listen to, as I am guessing I am the demographic they are trying to please but in my opinion play that stuff in the clubs. I would definitely go visit one of the clubs to here music from 90s but in the atrium I thought it was tacky and intrusive. I teach middle school, the last thing I want to hear is nonstop noise! I can go to work for that. Don't want to come off as snobish, but I am finding paying more and trying more deluxe lines like Azamara I am able to recapture what cruising used to be about. Rest, rejuvenation, and connection to the sea - these are the reasons I love cruising.
  5. On my Azamara cruise last year I saw Ana Rucner in a Cello Concert at Mestrovic Gallery in Split. It was wonderful and a highlight of the trip.
  6. I had posted this idea in another thread. When they both came together for the the health panel I started to think that they maybe interested in combining forces. In that thread, someone who claimed to work as a consulting person within the cruise industry alluded to this being a possibility but also said that they couldn't say more. In my mind, if NCL and Royal did this I feel that Royal would fold NCL ships into their brand as I would think Royal has better brand recognition and NCL ships have a lot of innovative features like Royal Caribbean. Celebrity would stay as is. Azamara and Oceania would combine forces probably under the Oceania banner and Silversea would join Regent. I guess anything is possible in this environment.
  7. It’s business. I may not necessarily agree with all of that model but a business conducts itself as it sees fit. I am selling my coop (condo) at the moment and the real estate made me sign paper work stating that I agree to pay any administration fees (For advertising and the like) if I elect to back out. In addition, airlines charge customers fees for making changes and even booking on the phone. Of course when you become a travel agent you do realize that you will go through a lot of people who waste your time but for some agents they see fit to charge for their time.
  8. I used to be a TA and knew of some agents who did that and continue to do so. A large part of travel agent work is research and planning and often times you may spend days on arranging someone’s trip and then they don’t want to take it. Generally, the few agents that I knew who do that specialized in luxury land travel in Italy and Asia which required a lot of leg work to arrange including making long distance calls. Having been in this business you get a lot of shoppers as well as people who quite frankly consume a large part of your time but then again as the professional it is your job to cut ties with people who require great time and no commitment. The travel agent I use is an old colleague of mine and he does not charge fees and always gives incentives when booking cruises. He is savvy and does his best to let go of prospects that do not seem to want to make a commitment.
  9. No, I don't work in the industry. I was a travel agent years ago and love to cruise other than that I was just speculating. I wish you could tell us more!
  10. I have been thinking about how NCL and Royal Caribbean teamed up with the health task force they created. Now with this name change for the parent company of Royal Caribbean, I am wondering if they are considering joining forces with the NCL group (NCL, Oceania, Regent). In my short time as an executive assistant to the CEO of a non-profit company, I was there for a merger and before we merged we created a new name and logo for our company and then proceeded with the merger. This is of course is speculation, but I could see both lines shedding older tonnage and Royal Caribbean merging with NCL as they both have ships which offer wow factors (especially NCL's newer ships). Azamara could merge with Oceania since they are both a similar line with sister ships held over from Renaissance Cruises (both Azamara and Oceania are not luxury lines, they are deluxe and do not directly compete with Regent and Silversea), then I could see them merging Regent and Silversea into one brand. Just a thought not trying to start rumors but this has crossed my mind lately.
  11. Sad to see this happen. I sailed the Horizon back in 1990 on her 9th cruise. She was a beautiful ship back then. Prior to that, I sailed Chandris Fantasy Cruises which was the parent company of Celebrity Cruises. Chandris had old ships with great prices and had wanted to create a new ship for their line to replace one of their old vessels. In any event, the Bermuda government had a few spare contracts for exclusive docking rights of cruise ships in the two main ports but would only offer it to a premium cruise line which Chandris was not. So the powers that be at Chandris decided to use the new ship under construction and create an entirely new cruise ship and that is how Celebrity Cruises was born with Horizon being their first new ship. They also used one of the older Chandris ships and renovated her and used that ship as well for Celebrity and named her Meridian. I have many fond memories of the Horizon. Sailed her twice and as well as the Zenith once. Celebrity was a different line back then. I still like them but it was different. I keep going back to this channel on YouTube where they have old videos of these ships. Here is one of the Horizon in happier times.
  12. I cruised on the Noordam and Maasdam in the past and found their space ratio to be good. There was always a quiet spot that could be found. My last Holland America cruise in 2016 was on the then new Koningsdam. The ship had great interior decor but I found she was crowded. I remember there was never a seat to be had in the Crows Nest in addition on my sailing they were allowing certain crew members to hang out in the Crows Nest and that also created a situation where you could not get a seat. To top that off they created a narrow promenade deck devoid of lounge chairs making this once useful lounge area obsolete. I am contemplating on trying the Nieuw Statendam because of an itinerary that I like next summer but for the price I rather go with Oceania or something of that quality.
  13. Bring back a real promenade deck not like the one on Koningsdam and her sisters.
  14. Thank you for this. Seems fair Celebrity is charging for this.
  15. Thank you! This looks wonderful! I am actually looking at a window suite on the Grand for a Baltics cruise next year but I have to put this one on my bucket list.
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