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RickinNYC

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About RickinNYC

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    NYC
  • Interests
    Gym going, tatooed, horror movie/book loving, beer/martini drinking NYC resident charity worker.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    RCCL, NCL & Carnival so far!

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  1. Simple solution. . You owe $900. Pay it and enjoy your cruise. If you can't afford to do so, you don't go on the cruise. Frankly, if $900 is going to break you, perhaps consider a vacation when your finances are back in order. You'll be disappointed, but it's reality, sorry to say.
  2. So it's ok for you to attempt to diminish my own opinion, yet the OP is in the right. Got it. (insert huge eyeroll emoji here). Continue to be annoyed if you like.
  3. When we were younger and not making much money, we sailed in inside cabins. When our income and priorities changed, we started booking ocean view, then followed by balconies. Now that we're in our 50's and have a much higher income, we now sail in Haven class. Are we now wealthy? Not by any stretch. But my husband and I work damn hard throughout the year, so we intend to spend our time and money in a manner that suits us. We certainly won't apologize, and if the OP wants to view the various cabin levels as class levels, that's on him.
  4. Since you'll be there October 31, you might want to head down to the Village for the annual Halloween Parade. It's the largest of it's kind in the world, with some of the absolute most outrageous costumes you've ever seen. Be warned, it does get pretty crazy, and super crowded, but it's an NYC staple these days.
  5. Sorry to break it to you, but staying in the Haven has absolutely NOTHING to do with "riff-raff". We've sailed in the Haven twice, and both times we saw or met a handful of very loud, very entitled, very obnoxious people that were no different than when we sailed in inside or balcony cabins.
  6. I work for one of the larger homeless nonprofits in NYC; we operate 30 shelters and programs throughout the city. I happen to be the director that oversees the volunteer department. Over the years, I've received calls from various cruise companies that hoped to promote "voluntourism" as a shore excursion option. Nice in theory and something I support. Our clients, shelters and staff reap the benefits of an enthusiastic group of volunteers by way of freshly painted dorms & shelters, spruced up gardens, sorted donated goods, etc... Our clients are given the option of participating, or at least meeting the volunteers, saying hello, getting as involved, or not, as they choose. Most opt out for their own personal reasons and I won't question their rationale. Now, in order to coordinate groups, it does take expense on our part. I give a presentation about our agency and what we do in the community, about homelessness, about our clients, about mental illness & chemical addiction. We have to purchase supplies to insure each volunteer is equipped. We provide bottled water, lunch and staffing. We give each participant a t-shirt to insure their own clothes don't get soiled or paint spattered. I'm there before they arrive and stay well after they depart, and cheer lead along the way. We take photos of volunteers in action and send them to both the company/cruise line, as well as email them to the volunteers. All that being said, it takes money to insure a successful volunteer opportunity for a group. Thankfully, almost all companies and cruise lines will offer a donation to cover all costs, as well as a few dollars more to support our mission. It's clear they understand and want to take the financial burden off of us, while also insuring their passengers' needs are met, while also meeting the needs of the charity. I wish it were always as simple as that, however. One major/massive/multibillion $$ cruise line in particular didn't offer, so I had to gently guide them to understand why I was requesting money to purchase supplies, etc... I was immediately told, albeit cheerfully "we don't have the budget for that, we just want to give back to the community. We don't charge our passengers for this sort of shore excursion" I explained further. Nope. Hence I politely said "thank you, no thank you". The cheerful demeanor was dropped and was replaced by a shockingly bad attitude, "I can't believe you won't work with us." I said, "I'm trying, but if you can't help us offset the expense it would take to work with you, it's not financially feasible to do so." I was pretty surprised how insistent they became, yet abjectly refused to help with the supplies. I kept trying to reason with them, then kept trying to simply end the conversation. My hand was forced and I simply said, "we are a NON-profit" and was promptly hung up on. I would have loved to have had the chance to talk to their passengers and let them know how their cruise line of choice operates, but, in good conscience, I can't. Anyway, very long winded way of saying voluntourism is great, provided it's done in a respectful, well though out manner, and doesn't come as a detriment to the agency or beneficiaries of support.
  7. Interesting. We'd always sailed in balconies and it took a while to get our luggage. Our last two cruises we stayed in the Haven (Breakaway and Escape), our luggage came ridiculously fast. I'd assumed it was a perk, but I guess it was just luck.
  8. I think the question has less to do with onboard water quality and that this poster has a preferred flavored water. Be that as it may, I do agree. Onboard water is fine, and is pretty much exactly like the bottled stuff.
  9. Sailing in the Haven is pricey, that's for sure. We can surely book an inside or standard balcony for much less. We've sailed in those cabins over the years and enjoyed ourselves. We have since enjoyed the Haven on the Breakaway and Escape and there's no going back for us now. I supposed we can book a lower level, place a bid for a Haven cabin and hope for the best, but I refuse to risk not getting a Haven cabin. So we'll continue to pay the asking price. Incidentally, though we're not sailing this year, we do have three vacations in 2019 so far. A week long trip with extended family to Walt Disney World. A week in London. Almost two weeks at a B&B in Provincetown, MA in July. All three trips are pretty much the same price we're paying for a cruise we have booked on the Bliss, in the Haven, in February 2020. Given that understanding, the Haven price structure is pretty equitable to what we pay anyway for our vacations as it is.
  10. Weird. Each and every time we sailed and had Vibe passes (quite a few times - not sure how many), not only were we allowed to bring our drinks into the hot tubs, the waiter would constantly take drink order while we were in the tubs, and bring them to us, no questions asked.
  11. We live about a 20 min drive south of La Guardia in Queens. Every cruise we've ever taken out of NYC, we've almost always been in our apartment by 9am. The one exception I can recall is getting home at 10am because we took our time disembarking. Bear in mind, we have always either carried our luggage off by ourselves, which does save a huge chunk of time. Traffic on Sunday mornings at 8/9am in Manhattan and Queens is pretty light. Admittedly, even based on my own experience, I'd still allow another hour buffer, but simply due to luggage check-in and TSA potential issues.
  12. We've sailed in the Haven twice, and both times, the butler did ask us, but a smile and a "no thank you" was our response. No big deal.
  13. Jig is up. Cash, cash and cash. Or maybe a pack of gum and a People magazine.
  14. When we cruised on the Breakaway last year, we had made reservations to have dinner at Le Bistro. We were enjoying relaxing and decided not to keep the reservations, so we stopped by the maitre de's podium to cancel. When asked, "are you sure? Reservations have been hard to come by this week," I explained that we weren't dressed appropriately per the guidelines and didn't want to go and change. FYI, my husband and I were both wearing plain, flat front chino style shorts, docksiders and polo shirts (we looked like we fell out of The Official Preppy Handbook, minus the popped collar). The maitre de was insistent and said we looked just fine, to please join them for dinner, we could be seated shortly. My husband was all for it; I'm a rule follower, so we still cancelled and went on our way. Admittedly, I was surprised.
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