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BoughtMyPoints

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  1. My travel agent has advised me that Carnival does not allow multiple FCCs to be stacked. As I already have one from last February, I am choosing the cash refund of my cash deposit for the 1/25 transatlantic on Valor. I was not intending to make further payments.
  2. Yes, I see that. Thank you. For the ill fated 5 March sailing of the Luminosa, I have been credited only with border points and no cruise points. I can only hope that I will be credited with time in Costa quarantine. A month so far.
  3. The letter was sent only to North America booked passengers. 12 hours later, on board there was a slightly different letter that walked back a few of the assertions. 1. Disembarkation in Marseilles is 100% voluntary. The ship continues to the Italian ports. 2. This level of compensation or any compensation is limited to North America booked passengers : think Costa's water policy. 3. $250 per passenger OBC, regardless of booked destination. Plus up to $400 per cabin for travel expenses to be sorted later. Plus some sort of future cruise credit. 4. Costa appears very keen to off load the Americans and Canucks. 5. There are few British pax on board, so no passenger mutiny. It has been handled really well by the various cruise hosts/hostesses. In my case, this was excellent news. My trip to northern Italy was already dead in the water. My hotels, train ticket and car rental sorted before sailing. All fully refundable, as were my previous Italian arrangements.
  4. There's force majeure and then there's someone having a larf. Waiting until the night before sailing ... still not offering passengers the opportunity to cancel without penalty. And $50 obc in my case! No worries, I had already booked a hotel in Marseilles, just in case. IMPORTANT COMMUNICATION Costa Luminosa - Cruise from 03/05/2020 Dear Guest, As you may have learned, the alert level for CoVid-19 declared by the World Health Organization has been raised, and this has led the health authorities of some countries to further increase their precautionary measures by introducing a series of bans on entry into their territories. With the main aim to gain the most up-to-date information, Costa Cruises remains in constant contact with all the local authorities of the countries called by its vessels. This is done to allow Costa to make the most appropriate decisions and/or put in place the most adequate measures to be sure that the highest level of safety for its guests and crewmembers are met. Safety, in fact, is an absolute priority for us, both during navigation and on land. Given the continuous evolution of this specific situation and in accordance with the directives issued by US Department of State, who have further strengthened their restrictive measures on some specific north Italian regions (Lombardy and Veneto) , we are forced to modify the itinerary originally planned for all American guests. In light of this situation, the itinerary for your Transatlantic cruise aboard Costa Luminosa will now end in Marseille, France, on March 20, avoiding all the subsequent Italian calls. Please see the itinerary below. 3/5/2020 Port Everglades, Florida - 23:00 3/6-7/2020 At Sea - - 3/8/2020 San Juan, Puerto Rico 08:00 18:00 3/9/2020 St. John's, Antigua 09:00 1800 3/10-15/2020 At Sea - - 3/16/2020 S.Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Isl. 09:00 17:00 3/17/2020 At Sea - - 3/18/2020 Malaga, Spain 14:00 20:00 3/19/2020 At Sea - - 3/20/2020 Marseille, France 13:00 - While we regret this adjustment, we certainly understand this decision could be disappointing and as a gesture of goodwill, you will receive up to $250 per person onboard credit* that may be used for expenses onboard. Furthermore, Costa will provide transfers to the Marseille airport. Guests will be responsible to change flights with airlines from Marseille, France (MRS) to the final destination if needed. Costa will provide reimbursement up to $250 USD for airline change fee†, and up to $150 USD for 1-night hotel in the international flight city prior to departing home. Finally, you will be receiving a 25% discount on a future cruise (based on the cruise fare, this will be mailed to you at a later date). Thank you for your understanding. Costa Cruises *Onboard credit amount is based on the Guest's original disembarkation port: Savona- $50pp, Naples- $100pp, Venice- $250pp. Onboard credit is based on double occupancy, may not be used in the casino or for Hotel Service Charges. Any unused portion will not be refunded. † The reimbursement will be considered when receipts have been reviewed. Please send receipts to customercare@us.costa.it
  5. Once the teenagers on board Encore discovered the Observation lounge, it lost nearly all its value to me. I still went at 05.30 for Muesli and was astounded to find certain passengers tanking up on it. I would joke that the locusts had dropped by.
  6. I was also on the same cruise and a previous one 2 weeks earlier. By and large, I enjoy Encore but I am neither a sun worshipper nor a smoker. The Buffet is fine for late evening dining, otherwise "look out". The assistant maitre d's look after me after I tell them of my special needs. It helps to be recognized from previous NCL cruises. The Manhattan Room has been destroyed as a refined dining space, the dance floor removed with noise levels off the scale. The issue for me were the entitled children running in the narrowed corridors, never heeding warnings and not brought to book by cruise staff. By the end of the cruise, packs of teenagers had taken over The Observation Lounge. As a contrast, I was on Carnival the week before and I never had a problem there.
  7. No, my neologism "Carnival brand" refers to the "Fun ships". This is an extremely rare occasion when I have booked more than 2 months in advance.
  8. Was surprised and delighted that Carnival brand has approved my $250 for January, 2021 departure. Carnival brand also approved $50 CCL benefit for dirt cheap 5 day sailing with 2 days' notice.
  9. The lady's behavior suggests Munchausen by proxy syndrome. She isn't the first mother to play hero.
  10. I thought we were at a small port in Costa Rica but I have been told it's El Salvador which would make sense timewise. We have now been anchored the past 5.5 hours off a small banana port for a medical emergency. It has been 6 hours since an announcement from the Bridge. We were due to call in Costa Rica in the morning. Yes, 3rd evacuation of the cruise. This one is not routine.
  11. After 3 attempts to enlist his assistance and his ignoring me, I got in his face. Rather than take a step backward or request me to do the same, he took matters into his own hands. I don't think he lost his temper. This was his SOP.
  12. Size12Stilettos wrote previously of their December 2019 embarkation at San Pedro on the Joy: "SMS International Shore Operations was the company facilitating the embarkation process at the dock. They are the most unprofessional group of people I have ever witnessed. It took 3 hours to get onboard and for some 5-6 hours - the longest of the dozen or so cruises I’ve taken over the years. SMS employees were guarding the door like we were refugees trying to invade their border. There were handicap people waiting for wheelchairs for hours showing visible signs of pain. One woman with no teeth was yelling at people when they asked simple questions. Another with a lazy eye kept asking for management to come out and get order and provide information. That never happened. They even had ship representatives coming outside in full uniform not saying a word. I had to learn from scuttlebutt talk in line that the delay was likely the result of the Norovirus outbreak over the past 2 weeks which was reported by the local news. They were likely running late because they were sanitizing the ship. The only problem with this? Why wasn’t this communicated to us in advance to help manage our expectations? Why have us arrive at 1 PM to wait 2-3 hours? Why couldn’t we wait inside the terminal where there were hundreds of empty seats available? Want to know how bad it was? They had people fully checked in that morning around 11 AM, then they fooled them by telling them to go outside to get fresh air, they then locked them out and made them wait in line all over again. We’re talking about people who had turned in their health form and gotten their room key card. CRAZINESS!" On January 17, 2020 it got even worse. My experience : The January 17 boarding for the Joy was at best, chaotic. Thanks go to the disembarking passengers who posted they were late getting clearance. I arrived at 11.30, a line in the sun that was not moving. I and my 20 year old son moved further away from the entrance and found a shaded bench. We had drinks, WiFi and were quite prepared to sit out the next 2 hours, as the line got longer and then much longer. I saw a lady with a Haven paddleboard and she said strictly Haven only. Fair enough. My son went to the nearby food truck for snacks as we settled in. Then after circa. 1 hour, an older gentleman came by with a Concierge Class paddleboard, working for security sub contractors, SMS International Shore Operations. Well, that's us! We are in a Concierge cabin. 3 times, he shined me and my son on, after we identified ourselves as "Concierge Class". Each time, moving away from us down the line towards the food truck. After refusing to accept our printed boarding passes, I started telling him off, he pushed me forcefully down into a flowerbed. After slowly getting up, he pushed me again. Bleeding profusely, police were called, besides paramedics. No handcuffs for "Bob". No offer of assistance or apologies at any point. Cruise line is in SOP CYA mode. He did me a favor. I am no longer fighting off the gang of 4 robbers from last October's robbery in a Paris hotel in my idle thoughts at night. My fighting days are well and truly over. But I don't go cruising to get into fights. Eventually we were escorted by a supervisor, given the "Haven" treatment. I like it. Absolutely no explanation from anyone as to why this SOB would not do his simple job of escorting Concierge Class passengers. In an attempt by my son and 2 by me, we acted normally, actually chilled. He demanded boarding passes then would not accept them, just staring at them. Look, I have been subject to a 12 hour delayed boarding in New York. I am quite sanguine about these things, so long as the ship is not steaming away without me. And to be clear, I never touched the perp. Not a finger. And I never saw him escort anyone. What was he doing there? In other news, Concierge Class, unique to the Joy, is brilliant. I hope to stay on for the next 12 day cruise.
  13. Well, the January 17 boarding for the Joy was at best, chaotic. Thanks to the disembarking passengers who posted they were late getting clearance. I arrived at 11.30, a line in the sun that was not moving. I and my 20 year old son moved further away from the entrance and found a shaded bench. We had drinks, WiFi and were quite prepared to sit out the next 2 hours, as the line got longer and much longer. I saw a lady with a Haven paddleboard and she said strictly Haven only. Fair enough. My son went to the nearby food truck for snacks as we settled in. Then after circa. 1 hour, an older gentleman came by with a Concierge Class paddleboard, working for security sub contractors. Well, that's us! We are in a Concierge cabin. 3 times, he shined me and my son on, after we identified ourselves as "Concierge Class". Each time, moving away from us down the line towards the food truck. After refusing to accept our printed boarding passes, I started telling him off, he pushed me forcefully into a flowerbed. After slowly getting up, he pushed me again. Bleeding profusely, police were called, besides paramedics. No handcuffs for "Bob". No offer of assistance or apologies at at any point. Cruise line is in SOP CYA mode. He did me a favor. I am no longer fighting off the robbers from last October in Paris in my idle thoughts at night. My fighting days are well and truly over. But I don't go cruising to get into fights. Eventually we were escorted by a supervisor, given the "Haven" treatment. I like it. Absolutely no explanation from anyone as to why this SOB would not do his simple job of escorting Concierge Class passengers. In an attempt by my son and 2 by me, we acted normally, actually chilled. He demanded boarding passes then would not accept them, just staring at them. Look, I have been subject to a 12 hour delayed boarding in New York. I am quite sanguine about these things, so long as the ship is not steaming away without me. And to be clear, I never touched the perp. Not a finger. And I never saw him escort anyone. What was he doing there? In other news, Concierge Class, unique to the Joy, is brilliant. I hope to stay on for the next 12 day cruise.
  14. I am confused. Why didn't you just re-book your return flight to fall within "intended stay (in Schengen Zone) plus 3 months"?, As it was a Baltic cruise on NCL, you would normally be embarking/disembarking in Copenhagen. You could disembark early in Helsinki or the designated Swedish port, both within the Schengen zone, after the excursion to the non Schengen Russian Federation. You just inform GS after you depart Copenhagen. Alternatively, if flying into Copenhagen a day or longer before the cruise, you head immediately to the US Embassy and you will obtain emergency passport replacements within usually 2 hours. Then change your return flights back! Yes, I've done it! (I had a party to attend in Gothenburg). The cruise itself is of no concern to the airline. Instead of your 9 day cruise adventure, you're in Denmark for a week is what the airline needs to hear and what you tell Danish immigration upon arrival at Kastrup. I am currently travelling on an emergency passport that I will renew at a Schengen zone US Embassy at least 6 months before expiration.
  15. As it was a holiday sailing, there was a huge contingent of well heeled cruisers from Mexico City who tend to keep to themselves even though multi lingual. (Saving a slot) This would also explain Dwight Blake's multi cultural - soul to salsa - musical sets. Of course, there are also smaller family units on board. Our family (father and son) enjoyed room service the most on sea days, choosing to hide in our cabin. Pater might venture out for afternoon tea.
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