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NCTribeFan

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Everything posted by NCTribeFan

  1. If the Navigator app was a thing on my last HAL cruise (K'dam, Nov 2017), I didn't know about it. I found out the other day that my quasi B2Bs on NCL Bliss for April & May 2023 have been cancelled. No email from NCL. My TA wasn't informed. Only reason we found out was a friend who was also booked found out on someone else's FB feed! Still no word from NCL I know they have my email because I get something almost daily with another great "special offer." I had a B2B booked on MSC for this past January. I got the cancellation email for one of the bookings but not the other. At least I did receive the emails for both that my FCCs were available. Unless you've changed your email address, there's no reason to not receive that cancellation email. It should go out automatically to every email address associated with every booking number for that particular cruise. No excuse for it not happening. Seems like every line has issues with their IT, though.
  2. I know that when Carnival first started selling the Faster to the Fun, many upper-level loyalty members were annoyed. After all, we'd spent a good chunk of change and many, many nights sailing to get to our loyalty level and here they were selling many of the perks for $49/cabin. Supposedly, they limit the number of FTTF that they sell on any given sailing. I have my doubts. But the CCL shareholder in me thinks, fine! If people are willing to pay so they can get on the ship an hour earlier, whatever. I decided to purchase CO mostly because my friend said it was well worth the extra. I'm most interested in the menu items. That and getting to pick the cabin I wanted. I was a bit concerned with having booked a guarantee. If we're still at limited capacity when I sail, then I imagine priority boarding isn't going make much difference.
  3. Yes, on the more-unique itineraries on Carnival, there tend to be more Platinum Diamond than there are the lower-tier pax. Add in the fact that they sell "faster to the fun" which includes priority boarding, service desk, and tender. Then you have suite pax which "only" get priority boarding. Then you occasionally have the special casino sailings that also give priority boarding. I've often noticed in the past couple of years before the pause that Priority was not much of an advantage! I won't fill up this thread with Priority stuff, but I have a story about my first experience as Platinum on Carnival when we had a call at HMC. I was solo and there were very few Platinum on that sailing. I went to the service desk to ask about the procedure for the tender and they told me to wait there. A young man came from behind the service desk and escorted me down to the tender. One had just left so there was no line. The big group who had met in the show lounge with their ticket numbers arrived. A woman came up, got in my face and yelled "WE'VE BEEN WAITING OUR TURN. WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE TO IN FRONT?!?" I was stunned. The young staff member, who had waited with me, told her, "Oh, ma'am, she's a VIP. She gets special treatment all over the ship." LOL. She backed off. But getting off the tender, the woman's daughter rammed her kid's stroller into my ankles. Twice. Anyway, as long as my boarding pass shows Priority, I'll be fine. Actually, I'll be fine in any event. I don't need to be first on the ship. I just want on in time to have lunch.
  4. Well, my cruise sail date was just changed so hotel rooms are now a much-more reasonable rate and there are rooms available at Hyatt Place for about $170 before taxes. Has anyone used Value Trips since the restart? I may send a request and see if I get any response since they would save me about $40 ($30 if I have to pay for breakfast).
  5. FTR, I just had a look at my luggage tag and there's no indication at all of either Priority or CO. Not a big deal. Since Carnival instituted Priority boarding a few years back, my luggage has consistently been delivered later than it was prior to any priority boarding scheme! I also preferred to get my bags unpacked before muster drill. Once I was unpacked, I felt like I could really begin my vacation. But, really, as long as I'm unpacked by sail-away, I'm fine.
  6. Doesn't Cruise Critic have a "COVID-related discussions" policy in place and the boards should be kept to actual cruiseline policies. There's a link in the red banner at the top of the page. Back to the OP's question. I had a PCR test at CVS in early August. Test as 11 am on a Thursday and I got results at 4:40 on Friday. Of course, just because a few of us here had a good turnaround time for results doesn't mean anything, really. In other words, your results may vary.
  7. I'm not unhappy with the resulting itinerary. Actually, I did the 11-night itinerary on Zuiderdam a few years ago. It was great. I did the small boat excursion all the way thru the canal. I had planned to stay on board this time. Evilmuffin: I have no insider info. I'm making assumptions as to why they just moved us back a couple of days rather than needing to cancel the whole thing. As far as I know, there are no known issues to keep ships from calling at the ABCs. At least, I haven't heard about any. If they now don't have time to call at both A &C, I imagine they figured it made sense to cut them both and keep the Canal day. I know it's why I booked Zuiderdam and I imagine a lot of people book these mainly for that day.
  8. I'm not sure I've opted in for emails but surely they would send one to let someone know their cruises were cancelled, right? Or, at a minimum, notify that person's TA who did the booking. Right? Guess not.
  9. Here's the content of the email I received yesterday... Dear Valued Guest, We are writing to advise you of some changes to our deployment schedule that affect your 10-Day Panama Canal Sunfarer voyage on board Eurodam (booking xxxxxx). Your voyage will now be an 8-day cruise, and will begin on Tuesday, November 16, 2021 rather than Sunday, November 14. This change is necessary due to updated mandatory testing and inspection requirements for ships returning to the United States from international homeports that must take place before the beginning of your cruise and in order to obtain necessary permissions to embark guests in the U.S. Your cruise fare will be automatically reduced by 20% based on the shorter cruise length and we will recalculate Cancellation Protection Plan Standard or Platinum and Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses based on the updated booking. Guests with Holland America Line's Flight Ease air will have their embarkation flight automatically rebooked based on the new sailing date. As a gesture of goodwill and gratitude for your understanding, each guest who sails will also receive $100 USD per-person Shipboard Credit. The credits may be used toward specialty dining, spa treatments and shore excursions, as well as all purchases in the bars, boutiques, and photo gallery. We will no longer call to Oranjestad, Aruba or Willemstad, Curaçao, and some call times and dates have been adjusted. Your updated itinerary will be as follows: Date Destination Arrive Depart Tuesday, November 16 FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, USA 4:00 PM Wednesday, November 17 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas 8:00 AM 3:00 PM Thursday, November 18 At Sea Friday, November 19 At Sea (Caribbean Sea) Saturday, November 20 Enter Panama Canal at Cristobal 5:00 AM 5:00 AM Cruising Panama Canal & Gatún Lake Gatún Lake, Panama 9:00 AM 10:00 AM Cruising Gatún Lake & Panama Canal Exit Panama Canal at Cristobal 1:00 PM 1:00 PM Colon, Panama 3:00 PM 8:00 PM Sunday, November 21 Puerto Limón (San José), Costa Rica 6:30 AM 2:00 PM Monday, November 22 At Sea (Caribbean Sea) Tuesday, November 23 At Sea (Caribbean Sea) Wednesday, November 24 FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, USA 7:00 AM Guests with Holland America Line shore excursions booked for the cancelled ports will receive refunds to the original form of purchase. ***** My booking was a "free" casino fare (paid $200, get $200 OBC) so I don't expect any pro-rated refund but if I get one, it will fairly minimal. I had not booked any excursions, dining, spa, etc., but I had recently pre-paid my gratuities, so I imagine I'll get a small refund for that. No future discount of any type. I'll happily take the $100 OBC. I see no reason why the following cruise would be impacted at all. I actually was expecting our sailing to be cancelled since there was the question of whether the ship would have to go into quarantine upon arrival in the states. I believe what has happened is that only US citizens/residents are being allowed on the preceding sailing - the TA. I was in that roll call this morning and apparently Canadians are not being allowed to sail. I imagine this is all to avoid that 14-day quarantine.
  10. I rebooked my flight. Price drop of $55 so that means more credit on SW for whenever I get around to booking flights for my December NA cruise. Haven't decided on a hotel yet. For me, although I'd rather have 10 nights to 8, and I really like Curacao, so I'm disappointed to miss that, I have a very small silver lining. I can now purchase my annual Allianz travel plan to begin on 11/15. That means it will end the day after I disembark my B2B2B that begins in Rome next October on Carnival Pride. There was a reason I hadn't booked any excursions, spa appointments, or specialty dining. I've actually been expecting this to be cancelled entirely. Now to see when they get the revised itinerary loaded properly. Right now it shows sea day, sea day, HMC, 2 more sea days, Gatun Lake and Colon, Costa Rica, then disembark the next morning. Actual itinerary starts with HMC with two sea days between Costa Rica and return to FLL. As usual, the website is incorrect. I'd prefer they just leave it as inaccessible until they get it right. You just know there will be people not paying attention who will book things that turn out to be on totally different days than they realize.
  11. Just paid for my Club Orange. Got the email today that my 10-night Eurodam 11/14 sailing has been changed to 8-nights on 11/16. PCC came back and said he couldn't access cabins right then due to the change. But I'm now in the J cabin I wanted from the start. Same cabin I had on Zuiderdam. Far enough away from the club that noise isn't an issue. I'm usually in the club until the band finishes anyway. Only $120 balance due. So $15/day. Works for me! Glad I started reading this thread. Friends were on NA a few weeks ago and said it was well worth the extra.
  12. Just received an email from HAL that our 11/14 10 night sailing has been changed to 8 nights, departing 11/16 instead of 11/14. Your voyage will now be an 8-day cruise, and will begin on Tuesday, November 16, 2021 rather than Sunday, November 14. This change is necessary due to updated mandatory testing and inspection requirements for ships returning to the United States from international homeports that must take place before the beginning of your cruise and in order to obtain necessary permissions to embark guests in the U.S. We get $100 OBC; fare will be pro-rated; lose both Aruba and Curacao ports. At least they didn't cancel it entirely!
  13. I was booked on Bliss April 8, 2023 EB TA to Miami-Barcelona where she was going into dry dock. We were going to do some touring of Europe, then re-board on May 5 for the WB TA back to NY. No email regarding cancellations. Our TA wasn't notified, either. Just logged in and, sure enough, no cruises showing in my account. This was going to be a fabulous, long, wonderful vacation combining two relaxing TAs with some land adventure in between. No way to replace the quasi TA B2B, though.
  14. Good to know. I'm still considering it for my free Nov Eurodam cruise. I have a guarantee inside and don't know where I'll be assigned. Not particularly interested in moving up to an OV. If I don't have a veranda, I prefer an inside. Love it nice and dark for sleeping. I may send my PCC an email and just find out what my options might be.
  15. I tend to not carry cash around on the ship (except for what I plan on donating at the Roulette wheel on a given night). I think I've asked before about adding a gratuity. I don't have Have It All in November on Eurodam, but have DOU in the casino. If HAL no longer provides a paper receipt for me to sign, I imagine I need to bring a bunch of $1s. Will I also need cash should I elect to have any specialty dining? If I pre-purchase a reservation for Sel de Mer, does that payment include the gratuity? Should I carry extra cash when I'm on NA in December and do have Have it All? I hate the paper waste, but it certainly was easier to add an extra tip when you had a slip of paper to sign and it all just went on your account. I feel like I should know this but it's been almost 4 years (!) since my K'dam cruise and almost 2 on any ship. My memory has faded.
  16. Swell. I'd better hurry and order a half dozen that might expire before I resume cruising in November and December just because there will be a run on them now by people who want to "stock up" in case of supply shortages! 🙄 Sorry. I had just finished reading the thread where people are freaking out about receiving theirs and thinking they expire before they cruise.
  17. I'd also like to thank all the others who have also posted their thoughts about the cruise. I soak it all in even if I don't make all my decisions based of these reports. Like I said, statistically insignificant sample size. Note I'm not saying the posters are insignificant! It does seem that many of the people on this HAL board who post reviews are long-time HAL cruisers, upper-level tier loyalty members, and also book Neptune cabins. I would think that would mean that you've had rather "nice" experiences in the past. I'm a lowly 2-star Mariner with only 3 HAL cruises under my belt but I'm Diamond on Carnival and have 30 cruises with them, so I've seen the changes over the years, even if I'm not used to a certain level of luxury. If staying in an inside cabin means I can fit 3 or 4 cruises a year into my vacation budget, I'm perfectly fine doing that. The cabin doesn't mean anything to me. I take most of my dinners in the MDR. I've eaten in Carnival's steakhouses a few times and the meals have varied. Some have been really good; others just OK for the upcharge. I did have a very nice meal in the surf & turf specialty restaurant on MSC's Armonia. I did the Chef's Table on one Carnival sailing and thought it was good but won't spend the money to do it again. As to the matter of consistency, it seems that's also an issue everywhere. One thing that surprises me when I read these posts is that so many people here seem to know the names of the crew and staff. I can't tell you who the cruise director was on my last cruise. I have no idea who the hotel manager or head chef has been on any of my 40 cruises, even when I've sat and talked to some of them.
  18. Lisa, I very much agree with your comment about how one's experience can vary greatly from even someone in the cabin next door. I appreciate all the time and effort it takes to write these reviews. I used to write very comprehensive day-by-day reviews but, honestly, it got to be So Much Work that I haven't done an in-depth review in several years. I do always preface my reviews by saying that my experience can be very different from someone else's on the same sailing. What I do, and when, and what my expectations are can definitely impact my impressions. It doesn't mean I'm "right" or that someone on the same sailing who had a very different experience is "wrong." It just means that it's such a miniscule sample size that, statistically-speaking, my views are meaningless! I don't have Have It All on Eurodam in November, so I'm trying to decide what to do about specialty dining. I've never eaten dinner in Pinnacle. I did have lunch there on K'dam but, unfortunately, I'd had a bit too much to drink the prior evening and don't feel I did it justice. No fault of anyone in Pinnacle, though. I'm thinking I'll definitely try Tamarind and may even spring for Sel de Mer. I do typically purchase a wine package. I'll have DOU while gambling, but I'm just not going to get a couple of glasses of wine in the casino and carry them to the MDR! Tacky! I may pre-purchase the base wine package before I sail and see how that goes. I do have Have It All on NA in December (for 12 nights). It will be interesting to compare the two ships and the two experiences. Thank you, again.
  19. Googled it. Website is gone. Says Permanently Closed. Sandals took over? Maybe search there.
  20. FTR, I pre-paid the gratuities for my November sailing (bare bones casino booking) but they are included in my December sailing as part of Have-it-All. Both bookings look exactly the same on the website as to where it shows up (as noted above in Post #3) when you click on the Itinerary link.
  21. Same for me for both my November and December sailings. I have the included package in December but not November and thought about purchasing it. I don't even know what's included in the dining package. Does it vary based on the length of the sailing?
  22. Everything about MSC is pretty awful. Except their cruises. My first was Divina. Beautiful ship but too large for my tastes. The next spring, I sailed Armonia (small and old but I'm fine with that) to Cuba. We were on the next-to-last sailing that was able to call there. I enjoyed it so much I booked the same cruise (minus Havana) for 6 months later. I currently have 2 FCCs to use on MSC. Just trying to figure out how to squeeze them in since I already have 10 cruises booked between this Nov and May 2023. I guess I could've asked for a couple of refunds, but I decided to make up for lost time and rebooked every cancellation. I expect my two Carnival Australia cruises for February to be cancelled any day, so I'll have those to rebook. I may actually get one of those as a refund. Back to the subject of seeing your perks, I also had a look at my November Eurodam booking. That one is a "free" casino offer, so I have the DOU while gambling. I did go online and prepay my service charges. For that one, it makes no mention at all on my confirmation about the casino off or drinks, but I also saved the original email offer showing the perks that come with that booking. Hey, I'm a CPA. I can't help myself. Documentation is important.
  23. I see the "pre-paid crew incentives" there as well. Hadn't thought to look on that screen. If I click on the option to purchase/pre-pay tips, it shows I have "booked crew incentive." But both Signature and Elite drink packages are available for purchase. If I select either, the full price shows in my cart. One would think they would only offer the upgrade to the elite, but no. They offer the signature package that's already included. And they're still willing to let me purchase an internet plan, which is also included in my booking. We're expecting too much from HAL's IT folks, I guess!
  24. I don't see anything for my December cruise on the website except 3 specialty dining, 0 shore excursions (I booked when the perks included service charges instead of excursions). I keep every confirmation and will print them all and take with me. They all show the perks. They also show OBC. I had $250 when I booked that came with my FCC. Then I paid $500 on my booking and got another $125. For whatever unknown reason, I just had a look at the confirmation I received Monday night when I paid the balance, and it now shows $500 total OBC. No idea why I have another $125, but I'll take it. I'm not sure if my SH OBC will show up once I can print my docs. I know on Carnival that you can't see that anywhere except when you print docs. But I do also have the email confirmation for that. Hate to print so much paper and carry it with me while travelling, but I just know that if I need something and don't have a hard copy, they won't have a record and I won't be able to find it on my phone!
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