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About rochelle_s

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    Ontario, Canada

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  1. Thanks so much for sharing this. Never thought about looking at an excursion for the debarkation day. From your post I checked the shore excursions for my trip, turns out I qualify for a free city tour and transfer to the airport. Great to have this as an option if need be. Thanks again, Rochelle
  2. I should have clarified that this is an Air Canada Rouge booking, so there is the 5th category of Basic, which also incurs a fee for seat selection. From NCL I received the following; Fare Type: FLEXIBLE Passenger Information: XXXXX ROCHELLE PNR Record Locator: XXXXXX Ship: Norwegian Dawn Sail Date: January 5, 2020 When I went to the Air Canada website and did a mock booking for the exact same flights and an Economy ticket I was given five sub categories to choose from, Basic, Standard, Flex, Comfort and Latitude. As the email from NCL states my Fare type is FLEXIBLE and having read here on Cruise Critic about others being able to select their seats once their flights were assigned I was assuming that my ticket is in the Flex category as this is the lowest category with seat selection as per the Air Canada ( Rouge) website; economy Flex Flex Highlights*: 1st checked bag free Changes for a discounted fee 100% Aeroplan/Altitude Qualifying Miles Free standard seat selection
  3. This is actually a casino comped cruise for me. But I have been keeping an eye on the rates and cabin availability in case I was interested in bidding for an upgrade if that became available. I have seen absolutely no increase in the base fare when I have been doing mock bookings with or without airfare. When you choose the airfare rate the system automatically adds the transfers to and from the ship, so you do see that increase. For Tampa this was originally $40, which I felt was quite reasonable. When I decided to deviate and go two days early I called to have the transfer removed. They also allowed me to remove my return transfer as well as it was not necessary. My parents are snowbirds and my mom will be joining me on the cruise so my dad will be my personal chauffeur for all time spent in Florida! 😀 Rochelle
  4. Yes I understand that many people have said this is the way things are done. And incompletely understand your final sentiment of whether this happens or not being not our business. My comment was more for discussions sake, but your comment does make me curious.... If I leave the DSC in place and then tip cash over and above the DSC to acknowledge and thank those who have made my cruise exceptional, would those individuals have to pool this cash or would they not be free to keep this amount for themselves? Rochelle
  5. Yesterday I received an email with the flight arrangements for my cruise in January. I will be flying from Toronto to Tampa on Air Canada. In the the document that was in the email it said the flight category was ‘flexible’. When I went on the Air Canada website there was no seat assignment made at this point and when I went to choose my seat it incurred a charge. The amount was reasonable but from what I have read on here people have been able to choose their seats and incurred no charge unless upgrading. Perhaps I have misunderstood. Also on the Air Canada website it states a ‘Flex’ fare can choose their seat for free. Perhaps there is a difference between ‘flexible’ and ‘Flex’? This is my first time using the free air offer so I would appreciate any insight, especially from anyone who has used the free air using Air Canada in particular out of Toronto. Thanks in advance, Rochelle P.S. For those who might be curious I received my flights 90 days out. Paid $25 air deviation to go two days early. Nonstop flights in both directions. Outbound departure 6:15 am - arrive 9:08 am. Return departure 9:10 pm - arrive 11:59 pm.
  6. First off I am not trying to be argumentative but would like to play devils advocate on how this could not possibly be true. Imagine I were to go about my cruise tipping cash as I went, such as an upfront tip to my cabin steward and then cash directly to every waiter who served me along the way. On the final night I go to guest services and have the DSC removed from my account, how would they ever be able to know who received a cash tip or how much? If it were an honour system how would an employee know that I would be removing my DSC at the end? Seems to me the only employee they would be able to approach is the cabin steward and I am not sure anyone among the staff would think it was fair to single out this one department. Rochelle
  7. Just out of curiosity I did do a mock booking for the Epic out of Barcelona for the first week of June, 2020. I can only see Canadian prices on my end but there was a significant difference in price based on departure airport. From PHl it shows the add on price of $935.86 Cdn. From Newark or JFK the cost per person was $534.20 Cdn per person. With a group your size that adds up to a significant savings. I would be interested in learning what you can find for yourself in American dollars. Also when you fly from Newark or JFK you are more likely to get direct flights because there are more available from those departure points. Rochelle
  8. I do not have any answers to your specific questions but did want to add to your research if you are looking at other options for departure airports. I would recommend doing some mock bookings on the NCL website to see what the airfare would be from the different airport options you can consider. It is possible you will see some differeing air add on fees. For my cruise June 2020 that starts in Southampton, flights out of Buffalo, which is 40 minutes from my house are $1337.52 per person. But flights from Toronto which is 70 minutes away in the opposite direction are free. Easy decision for us....we are flying out of Canada. 😀 Rochelle
  9. Very disappointing to hear this. I’m sure many others will feel the same way as the themed nights were quite popular with a lot of people. Rochelle
  10. A picture of my door on the Norwegian Sun (May 2017). I suppose on longer cruises (around South America), when the cruise staff is looking for things to do to entertain the passengers, door decorations are acceptable. On my cruise they advertised and promoted a door decorating contest, craft supplies were provided if needed ( I used their crepe paper). The entries were shown on the big screen in the theatre and prizes were awarded - I received a loaded bag of NCL swag and a bottle of champagne for my door. Guess things have changed. 🤪 Rochelle
  11. Unfortunately there is no alternative on the Spirit for the Platinum option. La Cucina was it. Had a fabulous time on the Spirit in May. Have a great cruise. Rochelle
  12. I was just there in May and did not see any tuscanybus.com shuttles for $5 at the pier. We did see lots on lines for people waiting for shuttles that I believe were arranged by the port. We had a tuscanybus.com tour booked (Pisa and Lucca) and needed to meet up with the tour bus at the Livorno city center. Not wanting to stand in the long shuttle lines we opted to just take a taxi to the city center. We had a private van and the cost was €20. There also were folks opting to share. We were 6 ladies so the private van worked well for us. In the long run it worked out cheaper as the tour bus brought us directly back to the ship at the end of our day. If you opt for the taxi route just keep walking past all the lines for shuttles etc. And you will find the taxi vehicles lined up at the end. I have been to Livorno on several occasions but I did find this last time the most chaotic and do not really know why, so give yourself plenty of time in case you encounter a day similar to ours. Have a great cruise. Rochelle
  13. Have you though about doing both? You could add a few days in Portugal either at the start or end of your cruise. You just need to be a little creative in your flight selections. Perhaps make your flights to England, then you could pick up relatively inexpensive flights to the port of departure and to Portugal. If you are working with a travel agent they should have no trouble making this happen for you. Just about anywhere in the Med is beautiful and whatever you decide I am sure you will have a fabulous time. Rochelle
  14. To help with your peace of mind if you do live ‘dangerously’ by going with private tours or DIY Many of the European tour companies will guarantee to get you back to the ship on time. But even without that, keep in mind that in the unlikely event that you miss the ship, getting to the next port in Europe is not necessarily difficult, perhaps a relatively short and inexpensive train ride. Even with the Greek islands it is much easier to get from one island to the next that what you might face if you missed the ship in the Caribbean. Personally I love private and DIY in Europe, but whatever you decide for yourself no doubt you will have a fabulous time. Enjoy your cruise! Rochelle
  15. You might want to shop around for your airfare. For my upcoming cruise to Europe the 'reduced' air was $200 more than what I paid for direct flights of my choosing. Rochelle
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