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About Paulchili

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  1. Sounds like the VV app is good for many things but not the final bill. In view of this I think I will go to the desk on last morning (sea day) and get a statement in writing - nothing should change after that as we don't drink and can't get off the ship.
  2. I can see how it would be that. Still, it's a little bit like the Carnaval in Rio - loud, fiery, extravagant but iconic for that place and IMO should be seen at least once (The Carnaval I saw 3 times - don't expect to do that with Tropicana ). We were in Cuba a few years ago on a land trip and went to the Buena Vista club and enjoyed the atmosphere and music. I expect Tropicana to be just about the polar opposite of that
  3. To be fair, no travel agent can “discount” the cruise fare. They have to charge you exactly what Oceania quote is. Then they decide how much of their pie they are willing to share with you in one way or another (OBC, rebate, etc) Whether you book the cruise onboard or at home the math from your agent should be the same as the starting price is EXACTLY the same. Onboard booking gives you $100 OBC and “lowest price guarantee” (caveat emptor with this one) - agent cannot give you either one of those. That said, I seldom book onboard as I am not sure of the future plans and don’t really need the $100 OBC. As always, YMMV
  4. Glad you enjoyed it. How was the Tropicana show - we are thinking of doing it.
  5. Was the overnight trip at extra cost or included?
  6. I can see how the staff might be helpful in organizing lines, etc but not how they could “ease anxious passengers” as they have no control over immigration process or speed of clearing passengers and no concrete info as to how long it would actually take to get through. Giving someone false assurances may feel good but is of no real help.
  7. Blexie may be “open and operating” for now but my money is that it won’t last long (unless Blexie pays enough money to the “right” person). I don’t think Fer Tours closed down because they were tired of making too much money 🙂 This is how autocratic regimes work.
  8. It was worth it for you as you probably had some free time in Moscow and SPB (as well as places in between). That is different for those that only visit SPB for a couple of days on a cruise, IMO. Those who do not speak Russian or cannot read the Cyrillic alphabet might be lost on their own in SPB and the tourist infrastructure in SPB (taxis, public transportation, people widely speaking English, etc) is not up to par with Western Europe. IMO, it's not worth the hassle for most people on a cruise to SPB - exceptions always apply.
  9. Dan - whatever works for you best is the right thing for you. 🙂 I just wanted to point some things out to others that may not be as familiar with all the options out there. Cheers.
  10. Do you not believe any of this?: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2655714-fertours-closing-down/?tab=comments#comment-57302631
  11. PS Not to mention that a better Marriott property will cost you a hefty 50K+ points/night and I can get a business class ticket to Europe for 57K miles. Which is a better deal? Disclaimer - I got the card but ONLY because of the 100K point bonus for opening it - don’t plan on using it much except occasionally when staying at a Marriott/SPG. Also, while each card has a hefty $450 annual fee, Sapphire returns $300 of that fee for ANY travel expense (easy-peasy); Bonvoy will refund the $300 ONLY if you spend it at Marriott (restrictive). End of rant 🙂
  12. Correction: 6X Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. Not exactly 6X for travel 🙂 Sapphire Reserve card gives you 3X points for ALL travel expenses. A $10K/pp cruise gives you $60K UR points transferable to multiple airlines at 1:1 ratio. With Bonvoy card you’d have to spend $10K at a Marriott property to get 60K Bonvoy points (not an easy task). Those points COULD be converted to airline miles but only at 3:1 ration (i.e you get 20K miles vs 60K with Sapphire). No brainer for me
  13. To OP - Not exactly answering your question but just commenting on how common it seems that ships transiting Lima run into this type of a problem. Been to Peru several times - including Machu Picchu in 1988 before it was overrun and after the changes as well as to Nazca lines - and have no desire to return. BTW - on our first trip in 1988 I got very sick after eating something in a restaurant in Lima - it was a horrible night and a few days after.
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