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Everything posted by dumbth

  1. I wish I could just do everything on NCL web pages, but consultants can get some rules bent for you. Like whether credits can be used for deposits, and whether a credit can be split into 2 cruises. Of course this human intervention drives up everyone's costs, especially when folks learn the squeeky wheel can get advantages. Then we gotta get unsolicited call interruptions from them from time to time, altho mine seems to vanished and not replaced. Folks have pointed out some incentive reward advantages from using separate TA's, especially if they are altruistic and run themselves ragged fielding cancellations and rebookings for no more compensation. Some folks like the human touch, but we all ultimately pay those increased costs and I just wish those folks utilized therapists or 900 numbers and let the rest be efficiently done by web sites.
  2. You should examine your heart to avoid being disappointed if it's rejected. Normally you get more value than what you pay for in a bid, so best not to be super frugal. I think it is a real treat to have this bidding opportunity. Best not to use the exact bottom number or overly round numbers because you tend to tie with other offers. Come up with a number and imagine it fails - do you feel bad you didn't increase it a bit? I am typically a cheapskate, but bid generously and won all my bids.
  3. Sail resolutely; to cower about the 9/11 date is to reward and give in to evil. Furthermore you would be falling into original intentions of commemorating the attempted conquest of Europe in 9/11/1683, which was averted thru staggering sacrifice the next day.
  4. That must have been propeller cavitation, where vacuum bubbles are created and collapse with a bang because they are bubbles of nothing rather than air. Strange they weren't tuned out by designers, unless they had to run with unusual thrust to push against waves or timetable. I would pay extra for the chance to listen to them, even all night. I wouldn't miss the first Napali cliff sail-by even if it meant pushing your illness to the point of fatality. Murphy's law will inevitably try to stymie your shore excursion there or first or second sail-by, and maybe all three. It is a world wonder that dwarfs other HI sights
  5. From which port? CT is very over rated due to the Steves publicity. Probably you weren't targeting the hikes themselves which can range from ankle-breaking to trivial to closed for repairs (otherwise always mobbed), but you can find a more scenic yet fairly level coastal hill hike from the Abbey to Portofino. Best to connect those 2 by miniferry to nearby train towns. Same thing for CT where mini ferry connections let you see the village panorama the best, altho their service is unreliable and must be supplanted by train. There are really about 8 special towns in a string; the 5 is a marketing ploy. The most ghastly is Ricks favorite V.; anyone with fond memories there should see recent youtube ultradef walkthrus such as from prowalks - time to switch to lesser known villages nearby.
  6. Not true, even in the previous century I preferred to deal directly with reservation computers via my laptop and not use any person as intermediary. Computers are obedient and patient for endless queries. I once spent 40 hours exploring and setting up a miraculous chain of ferry arrangements, and no meat puppet is gonna handhold me thru that.
  7. It's hard to get a diet formula to taste good, so those of us no longer mainlining the corn syrup stuff have a right to be picky. But onboard you aren't gonna cross the coke/pepsi products line because they give a special deal to stay exclusively one family or the other including more than just drink products. And those combo dispensing machines give incredible variety of dozens of diet flavors within a family, but seem a nightmare to keep in service even on land. Everyone here is overlooking a huge way to spice up mediocre sugarless drinks - those super concentrated "liquid water enhancers" like Mio. I was very skeptical but tried it for the first time today in seltzer water and it was a blast. Very sharp complex tastes from just a couple squirts from tiny squeeze bottles that don't have to be refrigerated. I tried this after finding my diet coke bottles enhanced from a squirt from the spigot of box red wine. Something like Mio will turbocharge ho-hum colas, lemon limes, or even water over the course of a cruise. Almost the only liquid that touches my lips is diet coke, and only that let me pull away from the brink of diabetes. You all who can tolerate corn syrup or booze may have to consider the diet stuff later in life. Most diet flavors are ghastly, but with repetition diet coke tasted to me like chocolate. I may even switch to seltzer with these squeeze flavors because in spite of the price they up your flavor satisfaction so dramatically. P.S. Kudos to NCL and folks helping here who just cashed me out of 4 cruises worth of FCC and deposits.
  8. I hate phone transactions like the plague - is there no button for cancelling on the NCL site where I originally made the reservation? They should be able to give a cancel confirmation # so you can be confident in clicking into an alternate reservation. I reserved under the program of free and easy cancellations or whatever they called it thru October. Otherwise it looks like they are fighting revenue loss simply thru inconvenience, like the way you have to talk to a backroom thug face to face to cancel a gym membership. Or wrestle with endless phone menus and argue at length with a flunky to cancel newspaper subscriptions. Nobody is gonna not cancel a cruise due to these tactics, so what's the point? Just makes me want to avoid signing up with these operations.
  9. I am still twisting in the wind, having been 1 day behind others in getting prelim approval. I imagine only on the last day of every month they will check to see if there is any cash to disperse, if the refund program hasn't been cancelled by then. If I get a refund, I plan to hang tight for a few years for the demand bubble to settle down, then catching up with some back to back cruises.
  10. I always had good luck bringing delicious specialty sodas on board NCL at the end of port stops. Six packs galore, for instance of hyper caffeinated "Antarctica" which looks exactly like forbidden beer if the reboard staff can't read the Portuguese label. If chilling is a problem, a lot of diet drinks can be surprisingly good tepid. It really can be more of an opportunity rather than a constraint because you don't know what you are missing from abroad. It was a thrill for me to guzzle blackcurrent soda in my cabin, scarce in my own country because growing that berry has been banned for most of my lifetime due to false concerns about it spreading disease to forests.
  11. And somebody has to pay the ever increasing costs of downtime when they don't have zero wage, dockage, and fuel bills, let alone carrying costs of however they finance the ships.
  12. I had switched from the Hawaii loop to the original Hawaii-Tahiti run due to the poor value of the Hawaii only loop. The Tahiti run used to cost far less per day and made most of the same Hawaii stops. This is because of special stifling regulation of the Hawaii-only run making it super costly and possibly less satisfying. I looked forward to the long equator crossing journey at sea bookended by exciting stops at both ends, and was going to ride it in both directions. I was disappointed by NCL dropping the most interesting far flung stop in the Marquesas recently, and what was at first a modest price rise. Now my strategy is to check price a couple weeks before every (rare) departure.
  13. It might be they only issue at end of months. I got prelim approval 4/15 but FCC is still stuck in my account. I hope NCL comes thru in time (or at all) for some big dental charges reaching my cc. I committed to having elective work done after making a quick killing in crypto, which I lost soon after. 😝
  14. Day and nite in majestic Rome or scruffy little Civita.? Always consider the train, which won't be so bunched up with cruise passengers as in the other direction. Also don't robotically choose Rome central station for departure; from there I think it slowly orbits around southern Rome stops which make for intriguing alternate departure/visiting places and faster trip. If you are allergic to Rome itself, maybe spend the day right near the airport and the magnificent archeo site of Ostia Antica which is like a peaceful version of Pompeii. Maybe hotel at adjacent (scruffy?) beach town Lido de Ostia.
  15. If idle or even cruising along a scenic coast, a nice investment would be the latest generation of stabilized binoculars. They apply anti-jiggle technology like on a gopro to make high magnification practical. Very expensive, so better value on a monocular. I got an earlier generation monocular using gyro stabilization and nonrechargeable batteries.
  16. This is the opposite of my experience on Oahu for months. I walk to the main tourist beach as one of the few masked people and rarely see enforcers and never any in action. Not wanting to leave my gaiter on the beach to be swiped so that I can't legally walk home, I get it wet in the water and then nearly die of asphyxiation when refitting the wet clogged thing to my face on return. I will admit my stretch of beach has weird conflicting jurisdiction issues, sort of like a nearby marina where you can't call the police but apparently only some rarely available kind of marine police. Hawaii is full of rules, but very unevenly applied.
  17. There was recent news about the Lt Gov doctor aiding interisland travel with vaxx passports or a bunch of similar measures for folks who may have lost vaxx card or whatever. Meant for residents but should have wider effect. They stupidly paused local J&J vaxx even tho it should be recipients judgement call about infinitesimal risks, but other vaxx campaign is progressing well locally.
  18. So you applied FCC to Dec cruise? It wouldn't even let me apply FCC to a down payment or whatever it's called, and there was no reason for me to spend FCC before much later deadlines. Even my down payment seems to be refundable under the pre-Halloween sailings promotion. Probably my luck will turn sour and have a snag on a technicality anyway. PS later edit: I have to enthuse that as I typed NCL gave me prelim FCC refund approval, bless their hearts. A potential obstacle is the cc they would refund to no longer exists; that is I had to have at least the acct number changed due to attempted charges by online thieves. Lucky I didn't cancel the account as was my first inclination.
  19. The request form is extremely generic, mostly asking for info not relevant to FCC issue, like current booking. I hope I assumed correctly that they have my multiple suspension history at hand and I didn't have to dig up a bunch of old booking numbers or dates or worst of all have to attach my various suspension letters.
  20. The close run war for US independence could be considered won by mass innoculation of US troops. Benedict Arnold and Benjamin Franklin advocated it due to rampaging smallpox and George Washington secretly ordered the controversial measure even tho it sickened troops for a month and killed some. It was very successful in an age when the majority of war fatalities were due to disease rather than combat.
  21. I think you can only do that by phone, and have to have to tell them all items to apply the FCC to in one transaction. Maybe you can include some knick knacks from their store. Problem is I think gratuity prepayments are non refundable, while your FCCs may be subject to umpteen expiration extensions. I tried to prepay gratuities online but it gets put in a shopping cart where FCC is not allowed. Lucky for me because it's looking like my booked cruise may be suspended and my type of FCC is now refundable. I'm gonna invest any refund into cryptocurency which may grow enough for me to charter an entire ship just for me to circle the world - grin.
  22. I laminated my social security card ages ago - it would have never survived 20 times over if not. In my state until recently you could not request a replacement without a lot of in person red tape. Now lamination is explicitly forbidden, and showing mine at an SS office recently nearly caused a swat team to be brought in. The oversize of this vaxx card is silly - they better accept a folding crease and 90% bleach out from real life sweaty use.
  23. I think you are missing the point. Nobody is being prevented from giving an opinion, but we must question the genuineness of the chronic negative nancy naysaying. It smells like they don't really have faith in their stated opinion, so constantly belabor it here hoping there will others agreeing so they can rationalize their negativity by votes if not by logic. There has got to be some pragmatic component of spouting off here. I could endlessly warn that navigation can be jeopardized due to increased shifting of the magnetic north location (true), but if I am not a participating passenger it makes no sense for me to pontificate on this more than a couple times to people here who have accepted this and want to move on.
  24. Insurance is an inherent racket to be avoided for non-essentials. There is a self-selection bias where by joining you become grouped with a statistically higher risk subgroup than the self insured and thus charged accordingly. You will also be subsidizing any fraud by customers. Insurers no longer can make much by investing your payments in bonds. Build, don't squander, wealth by self insuring whenever practical.
  25. Could be a big jump in vax acceptance with recent unleashing of single dose. A couple days ago a vax appt here required very inconvenient time and place times 2. Now every grocery pharmacy seems to offer the single dose, and if my experience is any guide so far it seems the most painless flu shot and aftermath ever. Probably I already had the antibodies from everyday exposure. I think we are so well supplied with non-superfrozen 1dose they are thinking of offering to anybody in a month. Ha-ha to exactly half the population here who sneaked into the awkward two-shot rigamarole ahead of seniors often due to crony favoritism.
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