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lcand1923

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  1. Ellen495 Since you are talking about taking a cruise to Alaska, look in the Travel Section of your local Sunday newspaper. I know that a LOT of companies are booking 2020/2021 Alaska cruises and there are quite a few ads for Alaska cruises and, sometimes, a "cruise to Alaska" presentation. Many times, these ads will feature some sort of discount if you "book by XX" or "attend our Alaska presentation and get a special package if you book your cruise with us". KENNYSTWIN gave you great advice about looking for a TA that has experience in booking cruises. Over and above that, you want to look for a TA that has experience working with the Cruise LINE that interests you. Each cruise line has a personality and you want to book with a line that has a personality that suits you (and an AGENT that matches your personality). You have dealt with the Agency for years, but the AGENT you worked with has retired. You have a new agent. It is perfectly correct to ask questions. If you can go to the agent with information that you have gathered from other sources, you will find out if this new agent is interested in keeping your business and has a personality that matches yours.
  2. I've used the same Travel Agency for 20 years. I've used a PCC with HAL. I booked another HAL cruise with friends who are travel agents. Below find my thoughts on each. ALL are able to reprice cruises. The HAL cruise booked with friends (who were going on the cruise with me) worked the easiest regarding price drops. (Since they were cruising, too, they watched the price closely.) They booked the per-cruise hotel for me. I booked my own air. I would go this route again if I were sailing with them. My Travel Agency is great for being a one-stop shop and for adding me to Groups so that I can get a reduced fare. They charge processing fees, but normally will issue OBC that negates these fees. I would go this route anytime they have a Group that interests me. I use a PCC when I am booking a cruise very far in advance and I find cabins blocked on the HAL website. I have used the same PCC for several cruises and she is great. She get the cabin I want released. If I see a promotion, I will ask her to add it to my booking and this gets handled quickly. If the cruise needs to be re-fared, she will list the advantages/disadvantages of doing so. I also used Flight Ease through HAL. The flights were A LOT cheaper than if I booked them on my own. If I want a HAL cruise that is 18 - 24 months out, I will go this route.
  3. The Crew, The CREW, THE CREW!!! I've been sailing other lines this year for various and sundry reasons. I have interfaced with some very nice crew members on each of these cruises. BUT, the crew on Holland America is by far the best in every venue, every capacity, every station.
  4. I will be taking my first Cunard Cruise in about one month. I have sent two email questions to the email address listed as "Contact" on the Cunard page associated with my cruise. (Can't remember the exact name of the page but think it is something like "Cruise Personalizer".) I resorted to using email because no one answered the Telephone Number that was listed. Can anyone give my any tips on how to reach Customer Service at Cunard? I want to purchase a Wine Package (the link on the email they sent me does not work) and I want to get the OBC associated with my Shareholder Benefit posted to my account (I had sent a USPS letter with all of the information needed to the address shown on the Carnival Shareholder Benefit page -- no answer after one month). Thank you!
  5. I was on the December Transatlantic and gave this suggestion to the Cruise Director. I know that, years ago, you could find Podcasts of the art on various HAL ships and referenced this with my suggestion. The Cruise Director told me that all of the art onboard is available for purchase, so it will be constantly changing. For that reason, they could not develop a tour.
  6. I would look at what is included on the Sea portion of the cruise and use that as the deciding factor. I've done land/sea on both Princess and HAL. (Sorry, can't remember ships.) HAL has that wonderful wrap around Promenade Deck which I prefer for scenic viewing. (You can walk all around Princess, too, but have to go up and down stairs.) Food is subjective, but I prefer HAL. There are more activities on a Princess cruise, so Princess wins if you are looking at stuff to do on the ship.
  7. Years ago I was on a cruise paying a Single Supplement. I met three women who were very good friends. From what I could gather, they had done two-in-a-room cabins in the past, but couldn't decide who would share on this cruise so had opted for three single supplements. Some how or other they had priced out a Penthouse (don't know if they still exist) and decided it would be cheaper. Unfortunately, the cost was their friendship. About mid-way through the cruise, they stopped dining with each other, taking shore excursions together and, I believe, speaking to each other. I know they went their separate ways when they disembarked the ship, not even exchanging good-byes! Go with adjoining or across-the-hall cabins (insides are cheaper than outsides).
  8. I did this with HAL about eight years ago. Everyone who was on the HAL excursion was booked at the Sheraton with rooms overlooking the Argentinian Falls. I was the only one in my group who had arranged a Brazilian Visa pre-cruise. The guide who was with us from HAL arranged for me to have a guide take me to the Brazilian side of the falls. It was a full afternoon trip. I had to skip a boat ride on the Argentinian side to see the Brazilian side. You definitely need two full days at Iguazu to see everything. I was very satisfied with the HAL excursion and would not hesitate to recommend it to others, especially since the HAL passengers had the best rooms at the in-park hotel.
  9. Many years ago, my Dad (some mobility issues) and I went on a Viking River Cruise on the Danube. At that time, Dad relied on a cane. On that particular cruise, one woman relied on a wheelchair or rollator. Another woman used a rollator or cane. Naturally, these two women and my Dad talked a lot about the travails of travel when you have mobility issues. The original transfers from the plane to the pre-night hotel (booked as part of the Viking cruise) and then the hotel to the boat were pretty much ignored by the group that handled things for Viking. We all pitched in to help the women. Once onboard, the Cruise Director with Viking was excellent. He arranged for various pick-up/drop-off points so that my Dad and the two women saw as much as possible. He also advised all of us as to which tours were impossible. The worst part of the trip was when the Port Agent would force the ship to move from the original berth. We got to the point that we would go back to the original berth and then set up "search parties" to find the ship and then report back to the group. We knew the cane/rollator people could not walk that far and wanted to make the trip as short as possible for them.
  10. I did a solo on AMA a couple of years ago. At that time, they had a reduction in the Single Supplement. I don't remember what it was, but can say the cruise was very good. I would sail with AMA again.
  11. I have learned through the years that AMEX is not widely accepted outside of the US. I have even noticed that Master Card is not as widely accepted as Visa. (Of course that may just be where I have been attempting to use a Credit Card.) Thanks for the clarification. I am not on the 3rd of July trip, either.
  12. Thank you, Salad Muncher. You have provided more food for thought!
  13. Thank you, Dogs4fun. I have a good idea of what to do based upon your comments about credit cards and that USD and Euro are happily accepted for tips. Between Coral and you, I know to get some rubles ahead of time, notify the credit card companies and bank that I will be travelling and take some cash, both Euro's and USD's. I have been looking for advice online and kept getting conflicting information. This is why I like the folks on Cruise Critic. The advice I get here is always reliable.
  14. Thank you, Coral. This will be my first Uniworld Cruise, so I found your comment about tips on the last day interesting. My two other River Cruises did allow tips to be charged to a credit card. I know that Russia more or less controls the river cruise industry so getting "the real information" is very important.
  15. I will taking Uniworld's Imperial Waterways of Russia River Cruise in July, 2019. The only time I've been in Russia was on a Baltic Cruise that stopped in St. Petersburg in 2004. At that time, the currency that was being accepted at shops and with street vendors was the Euro and the USD. Is that still the case or do I need to get Russian Rubles? If I do, I would appreciate some advice on what amount I should get since I know they are not easily exchanged. Thanks!
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