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Posts posted by TAD2005

  1. In the summer, some cruise lines home-port ships in San Juan, so they don;t have that 2 day cruise from Miami or Ft. Lauderdale to reach the Caribbean.   What are these ships doing for their passengers ?  

  2. 3 hours ago, MJB1437 said:

    Thank you all for your info.  To MAVIP- this is my first HA cruise, but I've been on over 25 others, and I never heard of paying for the distilled water.

    I knew I could count on CC folks to help.

    I use a CPAP and I order one gallon of distilled for every 14 days onboard.   You can pre-order it online for $2.95 per gallon.   In my local grocery store I pay $1.19 for a gallon, but who feels like humping gallons of distilled water around the embarkation port and onto the ship, all to save $3 ?   You say you never heard of paying for distilled water ??   Please tell me which grocery store you shop in.  I would love to get it for free.  You have to pay for it, HAL also has to pay for it, and $3 is a pretty decent price for the convenience of finding it delivered to your cabin on the day of embarkation.   However, some folks here on CC say that the tap water on the ship is so pure that they use it in their CPAP reservoirs with no problems.  

  3. we were on the Eurodam from March 4 to April 6.  The Eurodam was one of the 4 test ships.   Even though it was on the menus for our entire 28 day cruise, it was not enforced, even on gala nights.   Because all menus on the cruise were printed at the beginning of the cruise,  the $10 fee was still on the menus on the last day.   That may be where the OP got the idea that the $10 fee was still in effect.   It did extend past the March 31 cutoff, but only because our cruise lasted until April 6.  Never enforced, and waiters, and staff hated the idea.

  4. Why bother ??  You would pay $7 X 5 days, or $35 for unlimited laundry.   The by-the-bag price of $20 is a much better deal if you aren't 4 or 5 Star or in a Neptune suite.   You can't send any laundry out on the last day before disembarkation, so paying for 5 days of unlimited laundry only gets you 4 days.   Unless you plan to get on the ship with only one change of clothes and keep washing every day, then the $20 bag fee would be the best deal.

  5. 18 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

    The advantage  to the passenger is that  you select a cruise that is priced fairly in your judgment,  and pay the bill.   End of story..  no hidden extras .  One price up front. you can count on.    I also appreciate  when the line holds the price and dos not play games to fill last min cabins...  one price 300 days out or 10 days out.    Seeing fares jumping up and down as the inventory  is an insult to  those who booked and paid a fair price. With some  lines it is like the stock market  up down sideways every day

    As we all know, about 50% of the actual revenue from a passenger's booking is generated by on-board purchases.   That's why cruise lines will fire-sale empty cabins close to the sailing date.   They want a full ship, or "heads in beds".   That's why 3rd and 4th passengers in a cabin get such great rates.   They will spend just as much onboard as the 1st and 2nd pax in the cabin.   So, even the premium lines will offer some very attractive rates for unfilled cabins.  It may be a lower fare, or a credit for air fare, or a free shore excursion.   The bean counter's ultimate goal is a full ship every time, and they will do whatever they can do make that happen.   So yes, even the "premium lines" will discount fares or offer other incentives to fill those last cabins.

  6. It's the same marketing tactic the airlines and hotels use.   A bare-bones price, then all the "surprises".   Airlines nick you for bags, occasionally carry-on bags, pets in the cabin (not service animals), seat selections, advance boarding, etc.   Hotels do the same by nailing you for "hotel service charges" for many items that you may never use, and hidden taxes charged by the city.   Cruise lines started this to be able to show the lowest price.  

    But if you can afford to pay for Business class or first class, then everything is included, bags, carry-ons, drinks, food, seat selections.   Cruise lines are the same.  If you can afford to pay for lines like Oceana, Crystal, Regent, etc, then all is included.   In today's cut-throat marketing environment, buyers must be very aware of extra charges.   Read the details, ask questions, and always ask for the "out the door price".

  7. Only available onboard.

    On the Eurodam in March, we loved checking out the MDR menus on the Navigator.  They are also available on the cabin TV's on the Vista Class ships and larger.   Something that is missing is the Lido lunch menu.  It is posted on the TV screens as you enter the Lido, so obviously it is in the proper format for posting.  But they never have that on the Navigator.   Seems like a simple fix.  The menu is properly formatted for display on the TV monitors in the Lido, so why not take that one more step and post it on the Navigator ?

  8. On most of the "premium" cruise lines, their per-day rate is considerably higher than HAL.   Yes, they do include some extras that HAL charges for, but they charge enough that if they get a port charge increase from a particular port, they usually eat it instead of hitting the passengers.   But in the reverse situation, where a port charge is reduced or eliminated, there is no credit given to the passengers.   I guess they figure it all washes out in the end.

  9. The terms NV and BV are Dutch corporations.  NV is a business license for a larger company.  BV is for smaller companies.   I am the IT manager for a small resort and a beach bar in Philipsburg, St. Maarten.   Both of these companies have NV after the corporate name.

  10. 9 hours ago, iancal said:

    We use itmatrix to understand what fare codes are attached to the ticket.  We have found that Orbitz and I also think Cheopoair display the fare code attached to the quote PRIOR to you hitting the buy button.   On some other sites this is a mystery until you have actually paid for the ticket and get to see the reservation details.  We like to know exactly what we are paying for.....especially if we are flying in the winter months or have one or two connections to make.


    We also had a routing, price, and fare code on itmatrix two years ago.  Called the airline to book.  It was available (identical routing, fare codes)  but a price of 50 percent more.  Tried Travelocity and another site.  No luck.  One had the routing but at the same AC price of $1500.  The other did not have it.  As a last resort I tried Orbitz.  They were the only vendor that had the identical routing, fare codes, and price (1050). All this done within about 15 minutes of the itmatrix search.

    I don't care how low the fare is, I would NEVER buy a ticket from a company called Cheapoair.   If you have a problem anywhere along the way, you have to deal with them, and not the airline.   

  11. 3 hours ago, DougK said:


    Hmm... seems like HAL must not care all that much about this "rule," if they don't have it on their website and don't have it in materials provided to passengers. It seems like the only way a passenger would know is if they happen to read the appropriate thread on Cruise Critic, and we all know that only a small fraction of passengers are on CC. And even there, there's no statement by HAL, just a thirdhand statement that HAL once answered a question that way on another site several years ago.


    It may be best practice to carry on soda, but I'm hard pressed to view it as a rule unless HAL actually communicates it to its passengers.

    Posted or not, please be considerate of other passengers luggage and clothes.  We have all seen how the gorillas handle the luggage in some ports, especially Ft. Lauderdale.   They throw them into the steel cages and all other bags are thrown on top of your bag until the cage is full, possibly hundreds of pounds squashing your bag full of hot Coke cans which can burst and destroy everyone's clothes.   Carry it on !!!   Nothing ruins your cruise quicker than getting your luggage all sticky with somebody else's coke.

  12. Multiple CC members have asked "what genre of music are they performing" ?   60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, 00's, Rap, country..... please explain.   It's hard to understand when people say "I didn't like it and walked out", or "I loved it and want to see it again".   Provide some song titles, so we can determine what era they are performing.   That would go a long way in letting people know what kind of show it was.

  13. On 7/15/2019 at 9:24 PM, catl331 said:

    I've  always thought they did it simply because it's easier for the crew to not have to switch back and forth.

    The ship's crew (even Carnival) are well conditioned world travelers.  Their job demands it.   For some crazy reason, Carnival feels that changing time zones is too confusing for their clientele.   But as Silver to Gold mentioned above, by not requiring passengers to adhere to local time, they open themselves up to a disaster at departure time.


  14. 22 hours ago, DAllenTCY said:

    You are welcome to bring sodas onboard at embarkation.....or leave them with a porter with your room tag on them.


    Most cruise lines have a similar policy.


    Purchasing sodas onboard, or even pre-purchasing in some cases is an option





    HAL's regulations require that you must hand carry all bottled water, wine and soda on with you, and NOT in your checked luggage.   With a flat of cans of soda, there is too much of a chance that it can be squashed or punctured in the steel cages that your luggage is placed in, even if you pack it securely in a piece of luggage.   Yes, you may have gotten away with it in the past, but all it takes is your luggage being on the bottom of the huge pile of bags in the steel cages they use to fork-lift luggage into the ship.  If it gets squashed and a can of warm soda bursts, not only will your clothes be ruined, but so will all others who were unfortunate enough to have a bag under yours.  The rules say carry it on.  If that is too much trouble, then buy a beverage card.

  15. 8 hours ago, Hawaiidan said:

    If you cancel... an air ticket   you have 1 year to use that $ amount for another ticket  anywhere !    Done it many times...no loss .

    Yes, the amount you paid for your ticket doesn't disappear.  You have 1 year to re-book on another flight somewhere.  But, you will pay the airline change fee, usually $200 each way, plus the additional cost of the new flight if it exceeds the amount you have as credit with the airline.

    As far as using Consolidators for a one-way international, as Iancal suggested, they do work great until they either cancel or delay your departure at the last minute, or even worse, go totally out of business as many have done, stranding their passengers.   If you miss your flight or connection, you are not protected as you are with a regular ticket.  The fine print in many consolidator deals is that the flight, date, aircraft may change at any time.   This is great if you are backpacking through Europe.  But if you need to meet a cruise ship on a specific date, I would rather have a locked in flight using the cruise line.

  16. 5 hours ago, Hawaiidan said:

    NO.....   not when you add up the total you spend on a HAL cruise at the end.    O is maybe 10-15% more.

    The difference is the fare you pay with Oceania is inclusive of everything, soda, waters, coffees, all specialist  restaurants,..  everything but liquor.    You pay up front with O,   You pay at the end with HAL very close to what O charges.       Do the math..... great urban  myth  that its wildly more expensive...

    On "O" you pay for most things upfront, with the cruise fare (except alcohol), even if you don't use them.  On HAL, you pay ala-carte, only paying for the items or services that you want.   I would rather pay for the things I really want and value instead of paying for it all upfront and not using much of it.

  17. Booking your own tickets does give you full control.  But trying to book a one-way international flight on your own will cost you double or more.  Some people will book a round trip to save money and throw away the return.  The airlines are getting wise to this tactic and can charge you for a one-way.   Domestic flight prices are about the same as those booked on Flight Ease.   

    The big advantage by booking with flight ease, (other than the huge savings on one-way international flights) is that you don't pay for the ticket until you also pay for the cruise, usually 75 days out, occasionally 90 days.   If you book your own air, and your boss all of a sudden says you can't leave, or you develop a medical problem, you can cancel the cruise if you are outside final payment date, but you have to eat the self-booked air travel.   If you do book your own air, make sure you also buy travel insurance that covers "cancel for any reason" or if your credit card for the air has a cancellation provision that doesn't require you to be dead to collect.   

  18. Some cruise lines like Carnival feel that time changes confuse their passengers.   I guess they don't give much credit to their passenger's intelligence.   So, you are right, they stay on Florida time for the whole cruise, even into the Central time zone.   That works OK if all you do is take ship's tours.  But if you take a taxi or private tour, or just hit Carlos & Charlie's in Cozumel,  the driver will be working on local time and you very easily miss the ship.   If the All-Aboard time is 4:00 PM, on a Carnival ship that stays on Eastern time, but your taxi driver in Cozumel says "no problem, it's only 3:00 pm", you will be paying a huge amount of money to catch up with the ship in the next port.   One consolation though.... you will have some fantastic pictures of your ship sailing away from the dock.

    HAL does it right, by coordinating ship time with local time.   No chance for error.

  19. Whatever you do, don't book a HAL post cruise hotel.   Their prices are horrible, because they charge you per-person, and the same hotel will charge you for the room.   So, you effectively pay almost double.   Once you get off the ship, there are porters and water taxis that will take you to your hotel.  Many Venice hotels have their own docks and the water taxi pulls up to the dock, and you get off, and the hotel staff will take your luggage.   No problem.   

    Heading back to the Marco Polo airport, get another water taxi and they will drop you right at the airport terminal where you roll your bags to the checkin counter.   Very easy.

  20. We have had the hold drop off after 5 or 6 days.   But the hold absolutely reduces the amount you can spend on your credit (or debit) card for the hold duration.   The cruise line wants to determine that you have sufficient capacity on the card you have on file to cover the normal amount of spending on your cruise.   However, if they place the $60 per day/per person hold on your card, ($30 per day/per person on cruises of 26 days and up), and then you go to the gift shop and buy a $5000 watch or put $5000 in chips in the casino on your cabin account, I'm sure HAL will do another quick "authorization hold" for this higher amount, just to make sure you have the funds available to cover these purchases.

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