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Everything posted by Tourist1292

  1. We upgraded to Concierge Veranda for our cruise last year. They do know something although not completely what class of room you are in as the card key is in a different color, but I don't think they would treat you very differently (unless you are a big tipper). The embarkation lunch at MDR is great but you can certainly live without. The disembarkation breakfast is just okay but having a room to sit down instead of standing in the hall is great. My daughters like the thicker robes as they wore them to the hot tub everyday. Other than these minor things, they will treat you very well regardless of what kind of room you stay in. I would rather save the money and get the regular drinking package perk instead. Initially we booked the regular veranda and with no perks. As the price keep dropping even after the final payment deadline, we ended up getting the room upgrade and added 2 perks with minimum cost. At the end, we actually save some money as one of the perk is OBC which is much more the cost of the upgrade.
  2. We booked our cruise at one of the warehouse club site which list all perks optional. Initially, we booked the cabin without perks to save money. The price of higher categories (2 levels up) cabin went below the price I've paid a month after the final payment. I added two perks (OBC and classic beverage for 2) with the cabin upgrade to make the cost slightly higher and paid the small difference. With the OBC as one of the two perks, we actually ended up paying even less than the original booking as the gratuity and the wifi package (which we would have to pay out of pocket otherwise) was mostly covered by the OBC. So, I would leave the perks out in the initial booking to give you more options for upgrade and saving money.
  3. I would not do that. It is a lot easier to get price adjust and pay on the final payment due date than getting refund. We did 3 price adjustment with the last one on the day before final payment. Then we upgraded our cabin after the final payment with the amount we paid as credit towards to upgraded cabin + perks.
  4. There are free movies but just not as up to date or wide selection as on a flight. I don't remember any from my cruise in May but we did watch one movie within the 7 days. We simply have no time to waste on a cruise.
  5. First, the wifi connection is not very reliable on the ship. Second, you will need a travel router to set it up. Bringing the Echo is not a very good or practical idea, however, bring a travel router regardlessly is very useful.
  6. We took the Amtrak Cascade which is very nice and we paid around $35 this year with discount. The only problem is the schedule. It either arrives near midnight or noon.
  7. I guess it may depend on the port. We got priority boarding in a separated line that is also for Elite member at Vancouver. There was almost no waiting. We also got invited to the helipad sail away/in.
  8. We stay in the cabins on Solstice near the front elevator. There is no noise issue at all.
  9. Fruit tarts and almond croissants at the Cafe are my favorite.
  10. You may want to get a travel router. It would increase security, improve coverage inside the cabin, and allow simultaneous access.
  11. Also debarkation continental breakfast in a designated waiting room.
  12. That is not true. Many fruit juice can be used to marinate and tenderize meat.
  13. We got the classic package as a perk on our first cruise last month. Originally I chose no perk to save money. After the cruise, my wife said it is a must have for future cruise. We would not pay the full price for the package separately though.
  14. The mailed tag on sticker is much smaller than the self printed ones. We almost purchased holders for the tags and decided just put the stickers on to save money.
  15. We also went to the Totem Bight a couple weeks ago. There is now a $5 admission at the entrance. After that, we passed by the heritage center during the walking tour, but we decided not to enter as we need to get back to the ship in an hour and there is an admission fee.
  16. When you are at port that has cell phone connection, that would be the case. Phone time does not change on ship.
  17. If you are going to Alaska, you will find the arrival and departure time of each ship at the port on the claalaska.com site which uses local time. It does not matter what ship time they use on different cruise lines. I bet there should be similar info for the ports in other areas too.
  18. Avoid move up bid for Aqua. You may end up in a room with noise from above. If you pay for an upgrade that you can pick the room, then it is a good deal for $100. Otherwise, I would keep the room with large balcony and enjoy the embarkation lunch with CC.
  19. I don't think it is even allowed to bring your own hair dryer. You may bring a hair iron for straighten your hair thouhh. The one on Solstice was strong enough. The button is not too hard to push or hold. It is intended that way for a safety reason.
  20. Solstice in Alaska uses local time. The captain announced the time change on PA. The TV and phone show current ship time and the waiter at MDR reminded us each time at dinner. The time change worked out well with our itinerary as we gained one hour the night before an early port arrival and lost one hour before the day with later afternoon port.
  21. If you are not a big drinker, it would be hard to justify purchasing any drinking package at full price plus 20% gratuity. It costs $70.8 per day even for the classic package. You can bring a couple bottles of wine and a 24-pack of water per room to the ship on embarkation. We are not big drinker either and we only get the drinking package as a perk from a good deal. You may purchase additional drinks when needed and save the money.
  22. There is no one size fit all answer. One have to do the calculation based on their need, cost of different options, and current promotion. It can be a rip off or a bargain depending on multiple factors.
  23. Thank you very much for posting this. We took a shorter cruise on Solstice right in between your trip. The weather was amazingly good with sunny days and high at 60s most of the time. It was even mid 70s in Vancouver.
  24. For us, the gratuity is $210 for one CC with 2 people and $410 for the other with 4. We did skip the perks initially to save money but added the 2 perks during the upgrade to CC after the final payment. We only paid $190 per cabin for the upgrade which includes the 2 perks. Or we can just get the upgrade without perks at no cost. However, we saved even more by adding the perks as the OBC alone is more than the amount we paid. The OBC was used to pay for the gratuity of both rooms for 7 night plus part of the internet package. At the end, we still need to pay a small amount as the OBC is not sufficient for the gratuity and internet package. If you do not expect to use the OBC fully, then you should not get the perks. Even if we do not purchase the internet package, the upgrade with perks is basically giving us the classic drinking package for free as the upgrade cost is less than the gratuity which is almost completely covered by the OBC.
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