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jb008

Members
  • Content Count

    967
  • Joined

About jb008

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    WNY
  • Interests
    Reading, relaxing on a beach, and drinks with little umbrellas :)
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity & Princess
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean

Recent Profile Visitors

200 profile views
  1. Check each device! This is one of those instances where trusting the internet is probably OK, unless it isn't... then you might literally be toast. For the "cost" of 20 seconds just check the device (or the manual) and don't just wing it. For example, one of my name brand digital cameras (either Panasonic or Sony, can't remember which) came with a charger that does NOT say 110-220 V input, just 110 V. Had I just assumed that it was OK I would have been out a camera battery and charger and might have also done additional damage beyond that too. Added in edit: My iphone charger, NiMH battery charger, and macbook charger were all rated 110-220V and worked fine using just an adapter (no V converter)
  2. I think it was the boards? I was just able to download both the menu and w&w zip files. (2/7/19) If you're still having issues though I can see about hosting them on a 3rd party site temporarily (probably my dropbox account)
  3. I agree with you that the cruise lines need to reevaluate their loyalty programs, and I'm a great case for that because I'm not really loyal between X, PCL, and now HAL - so the internet credit on PCL as a loyalty perk could definitely be a factor when I choose my next cruise (but wasn't enough of a factor to keep me sailing PCL over HAL on my last vacation). X offers free cruises to their top tier loyalty members. Similarly, most of them offer some amount of free drinks at some level of loyalty program. At the 5 sailings (which could be less than $2.5k per person) level most don't offer much (and part of why many switched to days/points versus sailings was the people who'd log the 1 or 2 night sailings to help get to higher status levels), with Princess having the best perk IMHO of internet credit on your 6th cruise and beyond. Idk about you, but for me I've easily been gifted the value of a 7-day cruise in onboard credit during the course of my 4 sailings on X, and I got back 18% of my all-in cruise fare (fare, taxes, fees) as OBC on my last HAL sailing. I can't complain about the givebacks I'm getting from the cruise line, especially vis-a-vis the paltry benefits I've gotten for being a Gold Medallion on Delta over the several years I kept that status. Also some of the lines will give better/more perks if you book a higher category cabin, so instant gratification versus delayed gratification of a longterm loyalty. I don't think the system is as broken as your view of it would indicate though. And one factor on cruise line loyalty programs versus hotels/airline loyalty programs is that many people don't do that frequent of vacation, much less cruises, relative to flights/hotel stays. I'm sure the accountants and analysts have compared the benefit to the bottom line of promoting immediate spend (e.g., buy up to a better cabin, speciality restaurant, excursions, spa treatment, drinks/drink pkg) versus rewarding brand loyalty.
  4. I know my spouse would kill me if I took a cruise without her ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sorry, but I just had to add that note ๐Ÿ˜„
  5. Small addendum on this, HAL actually gives you cruising "day" credits for $ spent while onboard. So we got credited for 11 sail days on our last cruise even though we only sailed 7 actual days (7 + 4 credited for onboard spending). So bigger spenders will get to a higher loyalty status faster. AFAIK that was not available on Royal Carib., Princess, or Celebrity (although cabin category can be credited at a higher rate of "sailing" days/points for all 3 of those lines, with Celebrity having the most credit tiers IIRC). Also IMHO Princess probably has one of the better loyalty benefits, at their Platinum level (5 completed cruises or >50 "days) you get an internet credit.
  6. Since you have status on RCL have you considered Celebrity? They'll transfer your RCL status into their loyalty program. We just did our first cruise on HAL for a New Year's voyage and very much enjoyed it, but I'm not so much that we're willing to go "exclusive" with HAL. I agree MDR food and service was great, probably one of our top 2 or 3 experiences across PCL, X, HAL, and RCL as far as MDRs go... (cautionary note that I haven't been in X's MDR now since Jan. '16) - I didn't find it to be markedly different than my last to PCL cruises though. I also preferred the buffet food on Equinox and Silhouette as I felt they had better options and variety... but all of the buffet foods across X, PCL, and HAL have been fine imho. I hate hate hate the new internet package on HAL, they were doing 24-hour passes that are capped at a fixed amount of data or a voyage-long pass (still data capped per day though). I needed about 1-10 megabytes and 2-5 minutes of internet a day as all I wanted was to check my email; at something like $25/day that's some expensive email though. I'm happy to consider HAL on a future cruise, but would happily sail on X or PCL too (and would prefer PCL a little since my loyalty status now gets some amount of internet credit... which is something I've paid for on basically every cruise to date).
  7. Put simply, define Trip. If someone really is worried about what's covered they should check the actual benefits contract to see what the definition of Trip is (Trip with a capital T) for the exact policy they're interested in. On cards where they do not require the whole thing to be charged to activate coverage they probably have a broader definition of Trip. On cards where the entirety needs to be charged to be covered the definition of Trip might be more narrow. I'm not even sure OP has the Costco Visa card you're referencing. For example my AmEx card defines "Covered Trip" as "a trip taken by the Covered Person between the point of departure and the final destination as shown on the Covered Personโ€™s ticket or verification issued by the Common Carrier". Using my AmEx card's definition my flight is one Covered Trip, while my cruise is a separate Covered Trip. Same trip, two separate Covered Trips though. Basically, I'm saying read the fine print for your specific case(s). Also worth mentioning, Pre-Existing Condition Waiver is only needed if you have a Pre-Existing Condition. That probably applies for most people, but it may not apply for every person and thus is worth keeping in mind as you consider your individual scenario.
  8. Thanks for the info. Still worth checking the actual terms of coverage, they define Trip in an ambiguous fashion in the guide, and if you fly in the day before and stay a day after you could actually argue you have "nested" tickets which can be viewed as separate "trips". I'm not an attorney, but there are some legal nuances that are worth checking on an individual case basis if the travel insurance coverage is an important/key issue for you.
  9. A lot of New England is accessible as a road trip... Alaska is a very unique experience by cruise ship. I'd vote Alaska over NE. Disclaimer though, I live in the Finger Lakes region of Western NY and have road tripped to Boston, Cape Cod, Montreal, Quebec City, and lived in NYC so I'm probably biased. Also part of the appeal of a New England cruise is the fall foliage, which is all green and boring in the summer. Idk about NE pricing, but I don't think Alaska is as oversupplied as Caribbean so I wouldn't expect to see much in the way of fare sales until after final payment cutoffs... although I bet there will be decent perks offered prior to final payment (so higher fares, but free beverage/grats/OBC) to work on filling cabins before they actually reduce fares. Remember that beverage packages hit the company bottom line less than discounting the actual fare. I like to use the lines with 90-day final payment deadlines (e.g. X) to help guess at fares and availability in the region for lines that have a 75-day final payment deadline (P & HAL)
  10. Worth seeing if the coverage limits are per person or per charge, and also if it covers flights and cruise fare individually if booked separately. For example, I book airfare direct with Delta via delta.com for two people that gets charged as one charge per ticket, so two people is two separate transactions (even though they're booked together as a single delta.com transaction). If your coverage is per charge, each ticket would qualify for its own insurance coverage (2 separate claims for airfare alone). That still won't help beyond the 1500 for cruise fare... although your TA/Cruise consultant might be able to run the charges separately for each individual's ticket, so you might be stretch the $1500 per item coverage to $6k for two people across separate air and cruise fares.
  11. On our 12/29/18 Oosterdam voyage we got a non-dairy chai at the Explorations Cafe without a problem, I can't remember if it was soy or almond (I think soy, at least that's what I would have asked for first).
  12. Oosterdam - Explorations Cafe alcoholic beverages menus (12/29/2018)
  13. The pre-existing waiver clause can be a real gotcha if you do the bookings on-board for a future cruise. There is at least one travel insurance company, Generali (fka CSA) that does their PEW based on purchase of insurance within 24h of final payment instead of initial deposit. One of the TA companies we book with periodically recommends that insurance in part because of the PEW @ final payment instead of initial payment.
  14. If you have luggage taken ashore and you're going to collect it yourself, do yourself a favor and buy a bright colored luggage strap and run it vertical. It'll make it 10x easier to pick your bags out of a crowd both in the cruise terminal and at airport baggage claim. I bought a 2 pack for $9 and it was money well spent!
  15. I'm a country bumpkin and just clapped for the chefs and then told our server and assistant server thank you and gave them envelopes with cash (and a note saying thank you and that the cash was in addition to the gratuities I did through my stateroom). I hope they let me sail again, even with the napkin-clapping faux pas.
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