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Everything posted by MightyMike

  1. If your ship has a 6:00 am arrival and all goes well with customs and such, then a 10:30 am flight is quite doable, especially with self assist. If anything goes wrong, then....
  2. Looks like Royal has some fixing to do in its schedules. Both Allure and Wonder are scheduled there for April 5, 2022.
  3. The search button is your friend! Sweet sixteen cabins are the first (forward) 8 balcony cabins on each side on deck 6 of Millennium-class ships. Searching will give you the exact cabin numbers. Deck plans don't show any difference, but in reality, the balcony is double (possibly more) the standard size--more square than rectangular. It's just cool to have a bigger balcony than others paying more than you. Many suggest that cabins 6030 (starboard) and 6035 (port) are the best because they are farthest aft and offer great views of the side of the ship.
  4. We had 6030 in April 2019 and there were no noise issues whatsoever. Being the furthest aft sweet sixteen cabin, it has spectacular views all the way back. It's a fantastic cabin.
  5. An additional complication is that some of the moves are of different lengths. For example, Allure's April 2 sailing is 8 days. Wonder's April 1 sailing is 7 days. I realize that Wonder is a newer ship and can command a higher price, but it would be brazen to simply offer to replace an 8-day cruise with a 7-day cruise and call it even. I think they need to work out some additional compensation. And yes, I have skin in the game on this particular change!
  6. I'm curious what you consider to be a considerable price difference. I am looking at a cruise where the price difference is $360 total. I'm thinking that might be a low price to upgrade to ocean view, but am curious what the difference is for other people. That shouldn't be an issue for cabin 12329--the OP's cabin. That cabin is beneath an overhang and is always shaded. No smaller (and no larger) than standard balcony cabins. As a matter of fact, I think the balcony itself is a little larger than ocean view. I have reserved ocean view balconies on other ships in the past. We only use them occasionally. I guess I feel like I'm missing out on the fun of the ship when alone on the balcony. I get plenty of solitude here at home. I'm wondering if being able to people watch would make a Boardwalk Balcony better than ocean view.
  7. Finding ways to spend money is rarely a problem!
  8. Carnival does have more experience with ramming other ships.
  9. NCL has changed over the years. I have been on 3 NCL cruises dating back to when the Norwegian Wind got "stretched". I loved the first one. The itinerary was excellent and it had a really fun vibe. Our last NCL cruise was aboard the Norwegian Pearl and while it was still a decent vacation, as cruises go, it was probably among the worst. Everything fun (like bowling) or high-quality (like specialty dining) entailed an extra charge. It was easy to get bored if you didn't take advantage of upcharge events. My first Royal Caribbean cruise will be next spring aboard the Symphony. I look forward to having lots of free activities and entertainment to choose from at any given time.
  10. If in doubt, stay put with what you have. I have experienced problems with the web site where I am absolutely sure I chose a refundable deposit, but it did not add the charge for refundable. The price looked pretty good! I went through the booking process again and that time it added the upcharge. I never reprice unless the price reduction is significant. Then I scan anything and everything within 24 hours to make sure I don't see "NRD" written anywhere.
  11. I got brave because I found a backup plan. The Cruise Planner item I wanted repriced was a Bungalow that I purchased for $263 (full price) that went on sale for $157. I was able to snag a Cabana for $237 which is normally $395. If I couldn't get the sale price on the Bungalow, then I would still be saving $26 by "upgrading" to a Cabana. Now I'm faced with a new dilemma. I sort of like the Cabana better now anyway. It has a few advantages over the Bungalow. Decisions, decisions!
  12. I have a question about what can be done in Cruise Planner when prices drop (like today). Several times in the past I have cancelled my previous Cruise Planner items and reordered at the new price. No problem. I get a refund for the old and then get charged at the new price. All is well. This time, I have an item that is sold out, but its price dropped 40%. I called the customer service line and asked if I can simply get a refund for the difference. They said no. I would have to do what I did for the other items--cancel the previous order and order new. They said that the item would go back on sale when I cancelled since a spot would open up. Has anyone done this before on a sold-out item? I want the lower price, but I don't want to risk losing it even more. Has anyone here ever taken a risk like this? Do sold-out items automatically become available in Cruise Planner when someone cancels? My gut instinct is to leave things as they are and not take the risk.
  13. That part stood out for me too. It highlights how bad things actually were when rumors like this gain traction. People seriously believed that governments valued them so little that they would sink the ship (with them onboard) rather than render care. It says a lot about how public faith in our institutions seems to be fading.
  14. I was wondering the same thing. I have always purchased third-party insurance previously for the reasons you state. However, when I attempted to get my latest policy, I found out that the basic policy I usually purchase provides no coverage if the cruise line cancels. That pretty much nullified my reason for looking. These are definitely times to read the fine print and ask questions before purchasing.
  15. I was thinking the exact same thing. If you are ready for something different, then go ahead with Symphony. There should be plenty to do. The "neighborhood" design of the ship reduces crowds, but sometimes you just can't hide the fact that there are thousands of other people on the ship with you. You are just one of the 6,000 there--all trying to make the most of their vacations. Our last cruise was aboard Celebrity Summit. Drinks were included as a perk. Premium coffee was always quickly available at Cafe al Bachio. Buffet food was on par with what was offered in the dining room. There were no silly cash towel deposits. I was never on a cruise with fewer lines. We practically walked right on the ship. There were no lines at port. It just had those touches that made us feel special. It sometimes got boring at night and the shows were ho-hum, but the laid-back experience worked for us.
  16. I worry about Covid lingering here a lot longer. Israel already has over a 93.5% vaccination rate. I don't think the United States will come anywhere close to that because so many people here are skeptical of science now. My guess is that the reintroduction of cruising in the US will have many setbacks before things finally get back to normal.
  17. One thing I haven't seen mentioned much yet are the "private islands" of Labadee and Coco Cay. The Royal Caribbean cruise I've reserved visits both. The Celebrity cruise I've reserved has nothing like that. I'm unsure whether I see them as a positive or a negative. I like having a free buffet on land. I like how it is just us cruisers on the beach. On the other hand, there is such a thing as it being too sterile. And you can see the effect of the cruise line's monopoly on excursions through the high prices.
  18. But I did! I originally booked on M-class during a "Kids Sail Free" promotion. They honored the same deal on Lift & Shift to S-class even though the kid will be 18 when the new cruise sails. As far as onboard credits: $150 came from booking onboard our last cruise $300 came from choosing a perk $258 came from the travel agent $450 good will gesture and redeployment offer I have no idea how I got the $450 one, but I'm not asking either. The sad part is that I will probably let it all go anyway since we really want to try Oasis-class on Royal Caribbean.
  19. We face a similar dilemma here. Through various Lift & Shifts, we now have both a Celebrity and a Royal Caribbean cruise reserved for spring break next year. Before this year ends we will have to choose one or the other. Our son was 15 aboard our last cruise on Celebrity Summit. He loved it. There were only a few teens, but they formed a pretty tight bond over the week. They had to make their own fun by gathering at the ping pong tables or the basketball court or the tiny teen's club--which they did. Everything was low key, but it worked for us. It was probably our favorite cruise ever. Our Royal Caribbean reservation is aboard Symphony of the Seas--a huge Oasis-class ship. It has all the bells and whistles--escape room, laser tag, aqua show, water slides, etc. My instincts say this would be the better choice because of the size and activities. That ship has a lot of new stuff to explore. One thing I can't quite let go of is how we have a much better deal on Celebrity than Royal Caribbean. The room is better (ocean view versus boardwalk view). We've got the classic beverage package on Celebrity as a perk. Also we somehow ended up with about $1,200 in onboard credits on Celebrity. It's hard to let that go.
  20. This happened to me. I executed a Lift and Shift on the Celebrity Summit from April 2021 to April 2022. A week later Celebrity moved the Summit out of San Juan and cancelled the cruise. I asked them to reverse the Lift & Shift back to the original booking since they cancelled so soon. They did, then a few weeks later they offered another $450 in onboard credits if I shifted to the Reflection out of Fort Lauderdale. You might not be able to move to exactly the cruise you want, but they seem to be accommodating and try to rescue the reservation if you demonstrate flexibility.
  21. I won't be sailing S-class until 2022, but I have sailed M-class three times. I believe the M-class ships have a lot of life left in them. I know that there are many S-class fans on this site, and won't know for sure until I try one, but I'm skeptical my S-class experience will be much different from my M-class experiences. They are a little bigger. They have a lawn (yawn). There are more specialty restaurant options. I don't see much of a differentiator that would entice Celebrity to abandon M-class yet. As a matter of fact, I think some aspects of the M-class design are superior to S-class. There are lots of obstructions on the deck 6 cabins of S-class. M-class seems to avoid the need to categorize huge blocks of cabins as obstructed. Cruise ships underwent a huge design change during the 1990s. The big difference is balconies. Look at the two ships Royal Caribbean sold. Look at the many Fantasy-class ships that Carnival built around the same time. The hull supports lots of windows, but balconies are scarce. Now look at every ship deployed after 2000 (including M-Class)--deck after deck of revenue-generating balconies. Cruise ships made a remarkable transformation in the late 1990s. M-class is on the desirable side of this "revolution". The first ship I ever sailed on was a Carnival Fantasy-class ship. It was great for its time, but that design just isn't desirable anymore mainly due to the balcony situation. If Celebrity does sell off its M-class ships, I would see it as and act of true desperation. Those ships are certified money-makers. Selling them now would only impair their ability to recover once we get to the other side of the pandemic.
  22. Cruises will go on sale for double the price that they were a year ago.
  23. I decided to take advantage of Lift & Shift last week. Not sure when everything will be back to normal so decided to play it safe. Today I learned that the cruise I shifted to has been cancelled. I booked the original cruise onboard a previous cruise and got a very good price. Celebrity is offering $200 in onboard credits if I reschedule for the inconvenience. The problem I have is that particularly since "Always Included" is now mandated, there is nothing even close to the original cruise price. I am not exaggerating when I say all similar cruises are now double or triple the price. I understand that cruise lines occasionally need to reschedule. I'm pretty good at going with the flow. But the timing of all these changes is troubling to me. Celebrity waited until after implementing this new pricing scheme to cancel all these cruises. If they would have left everything else alone then I can see where this would be fair, but they combined the cancellations with the price changes in a way that forces pretty much everyone to pay more--a lot more. We get $200 in credits only if we rebook to a cruise that costs $4000 more. This is nothing more than a money grab, and Celebrity knows it. Shame on you, Celebrity! You have lost a customer forever.
  24. Save any evidence you have of attempting to make the call. Make a video. Contact them by email. If their backlog is preventing you from cancelling, then it's not your responsibility to meet the deadline. Keep trying in a reasonable manner and when you do finally get through, be prepared to show evidence that it was their issue, not yours.
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