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About dreamercruise

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  1. I just booked an ocean cruise with Scenic. My former TA retired, so I switched to a new one who gives me similar cash back percentage. Since the amount is unknown Scenic fare (definitely less than price in our invoice) x Percent of cashback, I do not know if I get more or less cashback than from previous TA. However, I am quite sure my new cashback is more than 1%. Besides, my new TA gave me additional perks. You may want to consider shopping around for new TA. Of course, if your TA has been providing you other valuable service, definitely stay with him/her. Are you able to take advantage of the latest Scenic promotion of air discounts, free deposit protection, and early payment discount? Mine is a new booking without using any future cruise credit, so I do not know if these promotion discounts apply to you. It does not hurt to ask Scenic. Have not checked river cruise pricing, but my ocean cruise fare has risen A LOT. I booked and almost took the same cruise in 2019 (this previous cruise did not sail), but switched to another cruise. Thus I have the pricing information from my old invoice. Even if I take advantage of all the current promotions, my cost for the new cruise is still higher than my old invoice by 2 categories. My new stateroom is just a few staterooms down the hall, no biggie. I am OK with some price increase due to inflation, and especially the difficult financial hardship faced by the cruise industry. Lastly, I am content with being able to take the cruise, hopefully, as my active age time frame is limited. Thus, no matter what cost you end up with your cruise, enjoy it.
  2. Is there any update on the status of the Eclipse II construction? Since the Cov-19 vaccine will be months away, wonder if Scenic would run out of cash for the construction? Not sure if I should book any Scenic Cruise at the moment for fear of the cruiseline going bankrupt.
  3. I would also like to know which cruiseline is best for Alaska? I would like to take my grandson to Alaska in Summer 2022. He will turn 9 by then. We are more interested in the land tour extension (Princess calls it cruise tour), but do not mind taking the cruise as well. Princess is popular for Alaska cruising with cruise tour Extension. Wonder if there is a better alternative? Love to take Viking, but Viking does not allow children. We may consider skipping the cruise and signing for a land tour if there is one better than Princess’ cruise tour.
  4. Helicopter and submarine rides are available on a lotto system. Since there was a problem with the software program in the submarine ride, Scenic made more helicopter rides available. All guests went on at least once, and some people got on three times. I signed up and got on once in Antarctica. In hindsight, I should have signed up another one. The view (of carving glacier, ridges, and cracks) is spectacular. The scenery and wildlife are different with each ride, even in Antarctica. Why not more times for me? There are just too many things to do. I have to do give up kayaking and zodiac cruising (or shorten land excursion) In order to free up time. Scenic’s helicopter is specially designed for luxury. Seats are very comfortable (wide and cushiony, with fancy secured seat belts). To allow for maximum viewing, there are oversized glass windows and top. Guests sitting in the two seats in the front row and the two window seats in the back row have the best view, of course. The two middle seats in the back row still get an acceptable view due to the open glass design and the guests’ own statue. To balance the weight for safety, guests who are the tallest and heaviest sit in the two middle seats in the back. One thing worth mentioning Is the state-of-art design of the stabilization system. The ride in the rough sea is smooth, and the transfer from the ship to the zodiac is a breeze every time. Of course, the experienced staff helped as well.
  5. My Scenic cruise included Antarctica, Falklands Islands, and South Georgia. If you have time, including Falklands Islands and South Georgia in your Antarctica expedition is a must. You will be able to see a more complete list of various penguin species and have more opportunity to see other wildlife in action. There is one hike up a snow covered hill to see penguin colonies, although there are plenty of penguins along the shore leading up to the hill. There are no snorkeling or diving. Unless you do not swim, kayaking is highly recommended In the serene water with a snow-covered backdrop. The feel is very different than kayaking in the Norwegian fjords. If you still do not want to kayak, no problem, because you can take the zodiac ride to see whales, dolphins, leopard seals, and etc.. There are plenty of included excursions available to keep you busy, but you can opt to relax on the ship watching the dolphins or admiring the scenery with a drink or specialty tea (make your own). It is your vacation. You decide. A balcony is convenient, because sometimes I can keep my pj on while watching sunrise or sunset. Port or starboard sides are irrelevant here, because there is action all around. I spend most time in the lounges (food and drink) to enjoy view, and rush out to the open deck when there is interesting action. Eclipse is polar class ship. My friends like Silversea, and they also like Crystal and Scenic. Someday, I shall try Silversea. It all depends on the itinerary.
  6. My friends took Silversea’s Antartica cruise and loved it very much. Per their positive experience, I signed up for the same cruise. Just before I made deposit and final payment, I switched to Scenic. Reasons are that Scenic Eclipse is brand new (Launched in late 2019) with all balcony staterooms, of similar price, and most importantly are equipped with helicopters and submarines. I must say I am very lucky to have taken this exciting adventure on the Scenic ship, not to mention just before the Coronavirus hit. Everything, especially service, was first-class on the Scenic ship. My next expedition cruise will be the Arctic Polar region. I have thought about other alternatives such as Viking’s brand new expedition ships, but I think I shall most likely take Scenic. No expedition cruise is complete without helicopter and submarine rides. BTW - I took the 18-day Antarctica cruise including Falklands Islands and South Georgia. Attached photos were taken aboard the luxury helicopter (6-passenger + pilot).
  7. Clay, I just sent you an email. Hope you would respond my email, so I can transfer my booking to TA within 30 days. Must I transfer booking before deposit payment?
  8. Update - As mentioned before, I called AA on April 13 about a missing segment of my June flight (nonrefundable ticket). Agent cancelled my flight and gave me instructions for requesting refund online. On April 20, the website’s status showed my refund was successfully processed. Two days later, the full refund appeared in my credit card account.
  9. Does this Penalty-free cancellation rule apply to non-refundable tickets? Please clarify rule for voluntary cancellation of non-refundable tickets. Mine were non-refundable. I got free cancellation because AA cancelled my flight. Do not think I can get full refund if I cancel the flight before AA does.
  10. Update - I patiently waited for AA to cancel my non-refundable flight to South Africa, and the wait paid off. When I noticed one of the flight segment disappeared in my account, I called AA, and the agent confirmed flight cancellation. I opted for cancellation/full refund (instead or rebooking or flight credits) and followed simple, online directions to request refund. Now ten days later, I got email confirmation about refund granted and to be deposited back in my credit card. Thank you, AA. In addition, thanks AA for extending my elite status for another year. If you also have upcoming flights with non-refundable tickets, you may also consider waiting for your airline to cancel flight.
  11. Like the OP, I found out the information about AA cancelling flights and not notifying passengers yet from az2sea ‘s thread “Flight Warning” under Regents Seven Seas. My cancelled (involuntarily by AA) scheduled in June was a non-refundable ticket. Due to the cancellation, I am entitled to a refund. I do not fault AA for not informing me timely, because I think they got their hands full with many last-minute flight cancellations and reshuffling. Rather, I thank AA for being very accommodating; first allowing me to re-book up to Dec 31, 2021 without change fees, and now refunding me 100% for non-refundable tickets. If I had booked some other airlines, I could end up with restrictive future flight credits, which may likely not be used amid a dangerous virus outbreak. If you have AA flight reservations, I suggest that you monitor your flight status frequently and adjust your travel plan accordingly.
  12. Wholeheartedly agree with papa B Me about thanking OP az2sea for starting this informative and helpful thread. I also benefited from it. The “warning“ word in the title caught my attention. I looked up my June, RT AA flight from US -> LHR -> CPT South Africa. Surprised to see that the segment from LHR to CPT was cancelled. Never got a notice from AA. Perhaps AA is currently overwhelmed with flight cancellations and reshuffling. Since my flight was non-refundable, I called AA to inquire. Agent said I had a choice of refund or rebooking. She helped me cancel my flights, and instructed me to go online prefunds dot aa dot com to request refund. The request process is simple. It has a drop-down menu for refund reasons and a comment section for me to indicate that the cancelled flight segment was reason for my refund request. Although AA is already very generous to allow passengers who shall be flying up to Sept 30 to rebook anytime up to Dec 31, 2021, I much prefer the flexibility of getting refund due to uncertainty of the virus and availability of vaccine. My final payment for a guided land tour is due in May. Now, I need not let non-refundable ticket loss to affect my decision to cancel the tour, before I dump more money into the pot of future tour credits. I thank OP for this timely thread.
  13. +1 Went on three cruises and two land tours last year. Will be difficult to fight withdrawal symptoms while I wait for the vaccine.
  14. I am thrilled and relieved to learn that AA has just waived change fee and extended air credit for travel till Dec 31, 2021. I can cancel original booking and rebook later. Now, I can relax and rebook my Africa trip next year. Hope the new information also helps you.
  15. Just because Regents includes air in cruise fare does not make it different than other cruiseline who offers air for an additional price. In both cases, it is the cruiseline’s responsibility to fly the passengers back home, based on your answer. The question is, as pointed out by Grey kitty, in case of a cruise with sick people onboard, who pays for the special chartered flight back home for passengers who are not infected and those contagious virus carriers who do not show symptoms? Would Regents charter flights to each country? i expect the cruise fare would go up due to disruption and cruise cancellations as a result of the virus outbreak. No need to explain to me how many thousands of dollars Regents each Regents cruise costs. My last cruise costs about the same amount, but for one person only.
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