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triptastic3

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  1. Surely you can change the airline tickets to something you can use and pass the change fee up to $300 per person on to NCL. Even if you don't cruise with them. At least the $2000 is not totally lost.
  2. not sure if you are looking at the same date and ship. I just tested all balcony categories for Bliss Dec 13th sailing and I see a total of a minimum of 91 balcony cabins. Given that cat BD, BA, BC, B8, B1 and B9 each show 15 then I assume more than 91 As for the Gem Dec 13th sailing I show a minimum of 75 Balcony cabins with cat BB, B2 and BA all showing a minimum of 15 So I would definitely wait a week. Now there always is the chance that an Indian Tobacco company could come and book up all the available cabins over the weekend, but that is a whole other problem.
  3. Both of those cruises are 93 or 94 days away. Given the number of balcony categories that display 15 cabins when you do a mock booking on either cruise I would say you are safe to wait another week and get well under 90 days. The next price drop if there is one should be then.
  4. If you are using ATMs in Europe for currency then make sure they are major bank ones. Santander, HSBC, Credit Suisse, etc. You will still pay a fee, usually the equivalent of 1 or 2 euro's but they are much better than the currency exchange booths you will see in airports, train stations or street corners. Avoid the independent ATM's like, Travelex, Euronet, Moneybox, Cashpoint. These have terrible hidden fees. They usually take a 3-5% fee before they apply their terrible exchange rates. Pretty much every ATM has an English language option so they are easy to use. A good tip is don't just keep taking 20 or 30 Euros at a time. You will lose a lot in fees, even from the big banks. I would take at least 100 Euro's with you. It should be easy to get from your local bank in the USA. That way you are not desperately searching for an ATM when you get there. Also don't ask the locals for an ATM, they don't call it that. Most will recognize the term bancomat especially in Italy and Greece. Also look for the Cirrus logo or Plus logo, usually most North American banks are part of those networks.
  5. Tipping on the ship above the DSC is a personal choice. If you don't get exceptional personal service the DSC should be plenty. As for when you are ashore if you eat in a restaurant for lunch or snacks etc, be aware most places include the tip. I spend a lot of time in Europe on land trips and it is common for the service charge to be already in the total bill in most places Tipping overseas isn't like tip crazy America. Read this for a better idea of what is normal in Europe https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/money/tipping-in-europe
  6. I have seen whales in the Bay and off the south coast ( Yarmouth) a lot. You are in a good time of year to see them. It is much easier on a calmer day as you see the whales break the surface and blow much further away so they are easier to track. They can dive down for a long time. On rough sea days it is harder to see them until they are closer. This is a good page that shows the types of whales found there https://www.bayoffundy.com/about/whales/ The large Whales sometimes approach ships but they usually keep a little ways away. Dolphins on the other hand love to play around moving ships. It is common to see them playing in the bow waves. I used to go to sea a lot around the coast of Nova Scotia, to me there is nothing more majestic than whales. We could be hundreds of miles off the coast and sometimes there would be 30+ dolphins riding the bow waves. They do it everywhere. The bigger the ship the more they seem to love it. This is what I mean about playing in the bow waves.
  7. I think it is safe to assume the Jewel is undersold for November. The Jewel only has two sailings in November, Nov 1-14, Honolulu to Papeete and Nov 17 - Dec 1 Papeete to Sydney. All cabin types show available and if you try a mock booking in every category there are many that display 15 cabins, many. At 63 days and 76 days to sail they are well past the 120 day cut off. I have been monitoring both cruises. The total cost for both has come down more than $3000 Cdn since July 1st. Unless they get a last minute rush and book a few hundred cabins in the next 8 weeks I think both will sail with quite a few empty cabins. I suppose there is a chance of a mad rush on cabin bookings but the airfare to or from Papeete isn't cheap and unless someone is doing the B2B going from Hawaii to Sydney the cost of flights will be a factor.
  8. and by OP I meant the poster of the comment about paying $9000 for a cruise Niki-Dee
  9. "if you’re paying $9k for your cruise for a family of 5, you better be sailing in a large Haven Suite." Just looking at the OP avatar they are from Ottawa, Canada. That means 5 airfares to Florida or some southern city. That is easily $3000, if they are going on school breaks then it is even more $750 or more per person for a flight, plus the cruises are more expensive those weeks. Given where they are flying from, $9000 is just about right. They are probably using Canadian dollars, so $9000 is definitely right. That is about $6700 US at todays rate
  10. The cruise lines, all of them, could alleviate a lot of these discussions with some simple transparency. Years ago with the envelopes you knew what the recommended amount was for each person, cabin steward, waiter, assistant waiter, head waiter etc. There weren't very many people. You also knew that they were getting it. I think a big problem many have with it now is that nobody knows where the $15 a day goes. A simple breakdown by the cruise line would be easy to publish, how much of that goes to the Waiter, cabin steward etc, and how much to laundry and other behind the scenes people. The cruise lines don't publish this because it is all at THEIR DISCRETION how they distribute it. Who knows how they hold this over the staffs heads when it comes to working extra shifts, covering for sick co workers etc. I for one hope it is 100% distributed to staff and fairly but we are talking about big business and given the desire for profits, who knows. Will it affect my enjoyment of the cruise, no. Am I a little curious about how NCL and others distribute what amounts to a few hundred thousand a week in gratuities, Yes a little.
  11. Good to hear. I had not been tracking that Van - Hon cruise but I will now. I see there are still a ton of cabins left on that sailing in all categories. I do notice it is down from when I first looked in late June but I don't remember if there was a noticeable solo discount back then. A 50% solo surcharge would be great for both of the ones I am looking at. Right now it is a 100% surcharge. I had planned on waiting until early August and less than 90 days. I will definitely do that now.
  12. New to NCL but did a bunch of cruises years ago on RCL, haven't cruised in 12 years. Looking to do something different. I plan on traveling around Australia and New Zealand but thought why not cruise to Australia to see a different part of the globe that I normally wouldn't see. So. I am looking at doing a back to back on the NCL Jewel From Honolulu to Papeete sailing Nov 1st. Followed by the Papeete to Sydney sailing Nov 14. I will be cruising solo. I have two questions. 1st. Both cruises show a solo discount but the price for a sail away inside is just twice the double occupancy rate. Is this common that it says a discount but there isn't one? 2nd. The price has dropped on each cruise since early July, a total so far of $1200 cdn between the two. Given the time out from sailing and the fact there are still tons of cabins available I assume it will drop further. When should I wait until to book? I understand there is no definitive answer on when to book but for those who have looked at similar cruises or re-positioning sailings in the past I figure someone may have some insight.
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