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Stockjock

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    875
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About Stockjock

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    San Diego, CA USA
  • Interests
    Traveling, good food, nice wine, great company.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Is there a bad one?
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Have mostly done the Caribbean.

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  1. I've never been asked for more than 1 card when ordering drinks.
  2. Eze is nice to look at, but basically it's a bunch of shops. So you go for a very long drive, which is mostly fairly scenic, get to Eze, and it's a tiny area with little other than some shops and a restaurant or two. Not sure if it still stops there, but they also took us to a perfume factory that seemed more like a revenue opportunity than an interesting stop. I thought it was a waste of time. Kind of a funny story, although it wasn't funny at the time. In Eze they only had pay toilets. And when not in use, the toilet actually retracts into the wall. I had to go but didn't have a Euro to use the toilet. Hit up several shops and finally got change. Paid, entered the stall, and right in the middle of my business, it retracted into the wall. I can laugh about it now, but it wasn't funny at the time.
  3. Apparently not. Well, as mentioned, not only did the system allow me to book a drink package for just me at $245, but for some reason it excluded my GF. This could work out to be a good deal.
  4. We have the same stop and we did the MSC tour that went to Eze. Eze is very pretty and it’s a nice drive there, but I’d probably avoid that one. I usually stick with the MSC tours because the ship waits for you if you are late, plus they’re usually well-priced. Obviously you will usually get a more personal experience with a private tour, but if something goes wrong you’re on your own.
  5. I was just looking at my European booking and trying to see if it made more sense to retain the 20% discount on the Voyagers Selection (VS) cruise (20% discount + double Voyagers Club points) versus doing the new (to European sailings) All In promo with the Easy drink package and wi-fi included. I tried to do a trial run by adding (but not yet paying for) the Easy drink package at $245 USD to the existing VS sailing, but it would not allow me to add my girlfriend, only me. Looks like it would allow me to book just myself for $245, and obviously I could share with the GF (shhhhhh!). Has anyone done this? Typically, I thought that both parties had to book the drink package, but looks like it will let me book it for myself only.
  6. Not yet. Between us, I also have an assigned cabin. If I don't get an assignment soon, I'll cancel the guarantee while I'm in the penalty-free period (which ends for me in about 10 days). I think my odds are good for an upgrade with the GUAR Fantastica OV though, but you know what they say about a bird in the hand. As you may know, MSC has been more generous with upgrades than any other cruise line that I know of. Not sure if things will change with their new bid/pay to upgrade program.
  7. Someone just posted this question (so far unanswered), so since I asked the same essential question recently, thought I'd bump it.
  8. We left from Barcelona about a month ago. Most likely that would be fine. Just get off the ship fairly early. I think we got off at 8:30 am. Color tag was 10 am, I think, but customer service changes it for me. Getting to the airport is usually pretty quick. But immigration lines at the airport can be extremely slow. Also, extra screenings (indicated by SSSS on boarding pass) are also common in Barcelona, which can add 15-30 minutes onto the process. But...you're probably fine.
  9. Very few people in Shanghai speak English. So it was convenient to have someone pick us up in an air conditioned car and show us the sights with an English narrative. Obviously, to each their own.
  10. Am I allowed to recommend tours here? If so, we booked the following 8 hour tour in Shanghai and I think our tour guide was "Tom", who spoke good English and was quite good, in my view. I think the price we paid for 2 was around $230 USD and we felt that we got a lot for our money. We did have to pay a small amount for things like a trip to the top of Shanghai Tower (World's 2nd tallest skyscraper), but it was worth the cost, in my view. In Shanghai, we also did the tour of their water towns outside of the city (separate tour) and I don't recommend that. As for Japan, Triple Lights tours seem to pretty much dominate and their prices are reasonable. You can pick the tour guide that you like and each guide's prices vary. We used them 3 times in Japan and were very satisfied with 2 tours and 1 was okay. Here's the Shanghai guide we used. As you might guess, I have no affiliation or financial incentives in making this referral. Tour operator, HIKESHANGHAI Phone: +86 15021986304 Further queries: hikeshanghai@gmail.com https://shanghaidriverguide.com Here's the website for the Japan tours, and again, there are many tours, many tour guides in many different cities. Most/many will meet you at the ship. You would likely be responsible for things like their train fare, if applicable. We also bought our Tokyo guide dinner, which we enjoyed a lot (Tokyo Night Walking Tour in Shinjuku).
  11. Last year we flew to Shanghai and did an eight night cruise that visited Tokyo, Kobe, and Osaka, Japan. I was very impressed with both places and I really came to respect the Japanese people and their culture in particular. While there were some cultural differences, especially in China, we did enjoy the experience overall and had a nice time in Shanghai before the cruise. But this is an example of the type of thing that I am referring to. Culturally enriching Cruises to different locations, rather than the usual stops at the same old places.
  12. I've been on quite a few cruises. But one thing that is starting to get to me is port redundancy. As an example, did a 10 night on Divina in 2016 and a 7 night recently on Bellissima. While I had a great time on each sailing, many of the ports were the same. Looking at some future Mediterranean cruises on Seashore and others and they all seem to be visiting a lot of the same places. Malta, Naples, Barcelona, Genoa, Rome, etc. Don't get me wrong, most of those ports are interesting places to visit, but after a certain point, I suspect that many cruisers want something new and different. I even had to do a bit of a "sales job" on my girlfriend for this most recent cruise, as we had previously visited several of the ports. I would think that most of the repeat cruisers and big spenders on cruises are repeat cruisers who are looking for something fresh and new, right? You'd think they could come up with something different, wouldn't you?
  13. My total wait time lasted almost 2 hours, so I would have settled for 49 minutes, lol.
  14. I have used travel agents, but if the cost is the same, I prefer to do my own thing to avoid this sort of thing. I do understand that there are pros and cons. Plus, with MSC, if you do a direct booking, coffee and water are included. Just a little thing, but it comes in handy.
  15. I booked Cirque online for a recently completed Bellissima cruise without difficulty. Both shows that I attended appeared to be sold out, so I would not wait until you are on the ship. Same goes for shore excursions. We booked an Amalfi Coast tour online (out of Naples) that was very good, but didn't show up anywhere onboard. Didn't even show up as sold out or unavailable. If you have difficulties, give MSC a call and I presume that they can do the reservation manually.
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