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kryos

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  1. LOL ... we all wonder that ... but at least as far as I can see, he's not telling. :) Blue skies ... --rita
  2. Yeah, but my travels were more along the lines of the Jersey shore for a couple of weeks with friends, four of us sleeping in two beds in a motel room designed for two ... and one trip to Disney World. Yeah, I was a real world traveler back in the day. :) Blue skies ... --rita
  3. Let me add my voice too ... these boards, and the people on them, have been a Godsend to me as well. Just using Karen's thread about the problems she is going through with her travel agent ... if I had not read on these boards in the past about the importance of all deposits and final payments processing through credit cards directly to HAL, I wouldn't have known that either and wouldn't have known to question any case where it wasn't to be that way. That's just one example. There are literally tons of others. So I thank everyone on these boards who share ideas and tips and suggestions with their fellow cruisers. After all, even for someone who may consider themselves an "expert" on cruising, there are still a whole lot of things to be learned. These boards help us to do that. Plus, they're just plain fun too! :) Blue skies ... --rita
  4. Those are group bennies (bought with something called GAP points ... group amenity points). The "concierge" is their group host who will probably have scheduled desk hours in the atrium on certain days. She would be available to resolve any problems group members may have ... such as with dining assignments or whatever. They've got a block of cabins reserved. No question. Blue skies ... --rita
  5. Okay, that explains things. I was wondering how the heck you could have even had an open reservation if the deposit had not gone to HAL. Enjoy your clogging class and don't worry about this crap. If the agency is working with HAL, it sounds like they are trying to get everything straightened out for you. If they were just "going under," they would be avoiding HAL's phone calls, as well as yours. Blue skies ... --rita
  6. True, the agency's errors and omissions would cover if some idiot at the agency just failed to make the final payment timely and Karen lost her cabin. But if there was some sort of fraud involved, then the individual agent would be covered under the home office's bond. No large "franchised" or "host agency" type operation would not have their individual agents under some sort of a bond, because otherwise the home office could get dragged into any law suit that could result if the agent plays games with clients' money. Believe me, the home office is gonna make sure they are protected for that sort of thing. Otherwise, the whole operation could go under, including other, innocent agents working for the same host. Blue skies, --rita
  7. Normally I would agree with you 110%. But ... this is a grand voyage that Karen is booked for ... the same one that it almost tore my heart out last year to have to cancel because of changes at work. HAL has ABSOLUTELY no problems filling the ships for these voyages. In fact, they generally have some people on wait lists. The prices never come down. They only go up. But ... getting stuck with something like 50 empty cabins a month or so before sail date could be a problem ... even on a grand voyage ... and I'll bet that's why HAL is really scrambling with damage control in this case. Of course, I could be wrong, and you could be entirely right ... I'm only judging by past experience with these types of sailings. HAL is pretty much the only cruise line that does them ... a trip all the way out to Australia and New Zealand, and then back ... and with a lot of really neat South Pacific and even some Hawaii ports thrown in for good measure. And ... best of all ... no long tiresome flights. Believe me, HAL has that ship full ... bad economy or no bad economy. Just my opinion ... Blue skies ... --rita
  8. If your husband's insurance applies worldwide, that type of occurrence (broken leg) should be covered in Curacao. If you have medaJet through a yearly policy, your evac charges will also be covered. If you "self-insure" for trip cancellation, then that's covered too. It would seem to me that you don't need any further trip insurance. But ... have you discussed this with your travel agent? She should be able to do some research for you and find out exactly what type of "supplemental" insurance you may need, if any. Personally, I'd at least let her do the preliminary legwork and save myself the trouble. But at least from what you're telling us here, it sounds to me like you're all covered. Blue skies ... --rita
  9. They let you break all the rules without fear of getting banned -- advertise in your sig, get nasty with other posters, etc. :) Blue skies ... --rita
  10. I've never used room service for dinner, but for breakfast I tip $3.00 for one, and even if the order is not that big for two. If I my order was particularly large ... such as a full breakfast for two, I might go $5.00 between the two of us. Blue skies ... --rita
  11. I agree with you. You pay for the service of not having to stand in line at the ShoreEx desk, or the front office, or wait on hold to make dining reservations. That's what buying concierge class accommodations onboard does for you. You pay for that service, so why on Earth shouldn't you use it? I certainly would. But, by the same token, I don't feel that these "normal" services necessarily are deserving of a super large tip at the end of the week. You're paying for the privilege of using those services when you book your suite. Why should you be "expected" to pay for them again at the end of the cruise with a large tip? Again, and this is only my opinion ... everyone will tip as they see fit ... if I were staying in those accommodations and the concierge did something above and beyond for me ... such as ran to a drug store on shore to get a vital prescription filled for me because perhaps I am too ill to do it myself ... yes, that's deserving of a very nice tip. But just to make my spa appointments, get me some DVDs for in-cabin viewing, cash a traveler's check, etc.? Sorry, but as far as I'm concerned, I'm paying for those services and while I would probably slide the concierge a small tip, it wouldn't be anything even coming close to $11 per day. Just my opinion ... Blue skies ... --rita
  12. If this travel agency is tanking, then chances are Karen is not the only one having this problem with HAL. They are toiling because there might be 50 cabins at stake here. Don't get me wrong, I'm not minimizing the work HAL is doing, but the bottom line is that I doubt they would be doing it if we were only talking one cabin here. The sad fact is that HAL can't afford to get burned at the relative last minute for a large group of cabins on a sailing such as this one ... a sailing that commands higher than normal fares. I'm still holding out hope that this is merely a paperwork bottleneck that will be resolved shortly. But without information as to which travel agency is involved here, it's kind of difficult to tell. The only thing I can say is if this travel agency is one that is "franchised" in some way, then even if it turned out that the agent engaged in outright fraud here, Karen can still get the home office of that agency to make good for it. All "host agencies" and franchise operations require their agents to have "errors and omissions" insurance. The home office also maintains some sort of a bond on them as well. If the agent has, in fact, made off with clients' money, the home office will be held responsible and will have to get their insurance company involved. The insurance company will have to pay off the claims and then seek recompense from the agent responsible (if they have any resources left). This whole situation really sucks ... but let's try to stay optimistic about it. Everything may work out fine. Someone may have just "screwed up" and took too long to send in the final payments. Blue skies ... --rita
  13. I'm hoping to do this itinerary in 2011 as well. Would love to do it in 2010, but the 33-day Hawaii/South Pacific sailing will clean out all of my allotted vacation time for that year. Blue skies ... --rita
  14. LOL ... your reaction seems to be the same one I had. I said "man, am I glad I never book suites!" My feeling, if I did book a suite, however, would be that I am paying for that added bit of service and it shouldn't necessarily accrue an added tip of any significance. Now, of course, as is mentioned in post number 50 ... if the concierge does something above and beyond for you ... such as going into town in one of the ports and picking up medication, or loaning you a pair of their own personal shoes when the heel on yours broke ... that is something entirely different. They don't have to do those things ... those things are not in the job description for a concierge ... and for those services, and others like them, I most certainly would hand them a nice tip at the end of the cruise. But for simply routine matters ... "can I get this traveler's check cashed?" or "I'd like to borrow a couple of DVD's for the cabin tonight," I'd maybe slide them a $20 at the end of the cruise and let that be it. After all, my extra cruise fare for that cabin category entitling me to use the concierges should cover minor services I asked them to perform for me. Blue skies ... --rita
  15. LOL ... I was gonna ask the same question. If you didn't eat in the Pinnacle, you'd be eating in the dining room or the Lido. Do you tip your servers there? I figure the auto-tip covers their services. But then, of course, tipping is a personal thing and people should do whatever makes them feel best. Blue skies ... --rita
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