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annnmarie

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  • Content Count

    216
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About annnmarie

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    The Villages, Florida
  • Interests
    Cruise travel, golf, Mickey's Fan-atics member, beaches/swimming, yoga, reading ,my family & fri
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    RCCL, HAL, Disney, but honestly many others for various reasons like unique itinearies
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean

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  1. Just wondered if you ever got the book ? What a treasure of memory and humor for those of us who cruises in the early days of cruising....
  2. Did you ever hear of the book "Nothing Can Go Wrong" ? In the mid 80's I was in a Walgreens near Port of Miami desperately eyeing the paperback book rack looking for something to grab quickly, check out, and get to the terminal to board what I think may have been the Nordic Prince, don't remember but definitely RCCL ship. I saw the book by author John McDonald & Captain John Kilpack. I had no knowledge of either, but the cover clearly showed it was something about "cruising". After boarding later that morning and settling down with the paperback after lunch, I found it was about the last world cruise of the Mariposa, San Francisco May 1977 to S.F. July 1977. Having done about half a dozen cruises at that time, all from Florida and various Caribbean itineraries, I was TOTALLY fascinated with the world of extended cruising (though short on time and money then !), and this tale of the last world cruise as the Matson "Mariposa". If you have never read this book, and have any way to get your hands on a copy ( I searched for months to get a copy a few years ago as a present for a friend who also stated cruising right after college as I did) and it was really hard to find. Found one in a Sarasota used book store finally ! It is one of the funniest, most enjoyable books I have ever read. I do admit that those who never cruised BEFORE the advent of bumper cars, prep portioned meals, water parks, and internet cafes, may not understand every reference and innuendo, but it will not interfere with the ultimate enjoyment of this book.... if you love cruising, you will love this actual tale of an experienced captain and a long cruise. This book is a family treasure ! Although written in a very readable "novel" style, the opening pages include the names of the officers and the major cruise staff, the complete itinerary, dates, etc. but a "dry" documentary history it IS NOT ! !
  3. What a nice surprise this a.m. reading your post, the Gruziya is the one ! Interesting, named after Soviet Georgia. Most interesting for me, many many years later after cruising on her, I had my family, grand kids, etc. on the Carnival Freedom. Carnival has never been a favorite of mine, but from time to time we did Dream, Freedom, etc. A family cruise on Freedom turned out to be exceptional cruise, and our head "waiter" was a young woman from Russia who was especially personable. We ended up having some lengthy conversations as this was a bit longer cruise, 9-10 days. Turns out, she got into the cruise ship work because her MOTHER had worked on many ships..... her longest deployment being on the Gruziya while she was cruising out of TAMPA ! Needless to say, we were all stunned, what are the odds of that ? A family who only occasionally cruises on Carnival, takes a family cruise and finds the woman serving them is the daughter of a woman who served them on an obscure cruise ship they only cruised on ONE time.... coincidence is alive and well...LOL ! Thank you so much for finding and sharing the info
  4. Does anyone remember a line that sailed out of Tampa in the late '80s and early 90's ? We went on a ship of theirs that I believe was called the Garuzia or Guruzia in the early 90's. It was an old ship and a wonderful cruise. No casino or Vegas type shows, cultural entertainment every evening; Russian instruments, dancing, traditional costumes, authentic menu selections and elaborate samovars for afternoon tea.
  5. Another question, did they send you the going g g flyer ? I always have to remember to go to my C&A account and look at on a regular basis, then lately I started wondering if it is still Tues. that the new one comes out ? Things change so often and so much. Remember when they used to have double nights days and would send emails ? Seems like it was the slow weeks of Dec. before the holiday cruises. Thanks for reply !
  6. Thanks so much 😀. Live in a community of constant cruisers and one let me know about cruise plum dot com. Knew some of the sites to look, but this one is really outstanding. It lists every commercial cruise ship including those in UK and other countries, very helpful. They do not sell or book any travel, just have so many filters and data is constantly being updated. Could not believe how exact: lists the % of supplement, exactly what this translates to in terms of dollars, etc. Takes a bit of just trying out the various displays and filters, but have not seen a site this detailed before !
  7. Well said ! Also a reason I stay loyal to Royal, the rejection of the "perk" pricing/marketing model ! But when Celebrity (which I also frequent) fell into this, my heart sank, will RCCL be next I thought. Hope not ! As I understand the "Royal Up" is as you stated. I just booked a series of cruises on the Odyssey which is going to be interesting. First segment in balcony room for 2, second segment in single cabin WITH BALCONY, and third segment as one person occupying a traditional double balcony room ! This will be really interesting to see which I get double night's credit, etc. The first segment will of course be one point per night for each of us, but the single balcony cabins (which certainly cost as much as just occupying a regular double cabin by yourself !) probably is ONE point per night, and then the third of nine days as a solo in a regular double cabin will probably result in 18 points. We'll see !
  8. I was trying to book a New Orleans cruise in the spring on Celebrity, and passed for the time being since, like you, if I am going to pay double, I want the drink package and the OBC as the "free" perks, but OBC had been removed as a choice. I decided to just monitor and see if it is added back at some time before the sail date !
  9. BTW, all of you who receive these "no single supplement" offers... do they come in RCCL emails ? We've been with Royal since the late '70s and have never received any kind of no supplement offers. Princess often did this in the past, paid 125 and 150%, but never any offers from RCCL. Do these no supplement offers come only from your travel agent ? Like to know more, thanks.
  10. Well said ! Also a reason I stay loyal to Royal, the rejection of the "perk" pricing/marketing model ! But when Celebrity (which I also frequent) fell into this, my heart sank, will RCCL be next I thought. Hope not ! As I understand the "Royal Up" is as you stated. I just booked a series of cruises on the Odyssey which is going to be interesting. First segment in balcony room for 2, second segment in single cabin WITH BALCONY, and third segment as one person occupying a traditional double balcony room ! This will be really interesting to see which I get double night's credit, etc. The first segment will of course be one point per night for each of us, but the single balcony cabins (which certainly cost as much as just occupying a regular double cabin by yourself !) probably is ONE point per night, and then the third of nine days as a solo in a regular double cabin will probably result in 18 points. We'll see !
  11. Thank you so much for the clarity. I cruise RCCL and Celebrity constantly and only been on NCL half a dozen times. I tried to help a friend, first time cruiser, understand why they had received a bill that had a pretty hefty gratuity charge (not the daily tip charge) at the end of their cruise (from San Juan). I was upfront with them and confessed I am not an NCL regular, but am on Celebrity and when I choose the deluxe drink package (as opposed to classic, the one most often offered but not always) it includes all gratuities. So nice to know now. Hopefully she kept her bill and when they return to Fl again for the winter, she can show me what was not included in their free perks. Honestly, in my opinion, the least "muddy" way of doing this is, like you say they are doing now. Whatever perks you choose that's it, there are no additional charges associated with that perk at all. That's the way Celebrity does it. For awhile there, Celebrity was not even offering the NO perk pricing as an option (like NCL's sail away I think they call it, the basic fare without adding extras) but I think so many of us frequent floaters objected when the dropped that for a period, they quickly went back to offering this no frills pricing. Clarity is the key I am sure all of us can agree. For brand new cruisers it is a mine field out there trying to figure out the best option. Drink packages for sure have always been a much better value for many, now at $89 PP per day charged by some lines, people are starting to really think if they will use that many drinks a day. On many Celebrity cruises (an example ones with three nights in ports like NOLA), you are purchasing so many drinks ashore that unless you have a passion for breakfast cocktails (mimosa ?) it's hard to justify the daily charge. For a weekend getaway, it's probably a raving bargain...LOL ! Thanks again for sharing your experience, if anyone asks me again hopefully I can help them understand.
  12. Should have added: probably won't take long for some lines to "catch on" that people have figured out the "free" perk game. NCL apparently caught on that some people figured out they will be left with huge gratuity charges on their final bill due to the "free" perks they accepted. Now, NCL also offers a bottom line, no frills (meaning no "perk", freebies, etc.) price for those who prefer to buy drink by drink, or book only one or two upcharge restaurants. Things change as people "vote with their wallets" as you say. Bravo !
  13. Good to hear what Brillohead posted about the double points ! I booked 4 cruises on Odyssey OTS for 2020, including the inaugural. Booked double balcony for that one; the other 3 I will do solo, booked single balcony room on those. No double points on those because they are priced for singles, but, only a few RCCL ships have single BALCONY rooms (maybe only Quantum or maybe just Quantum Ultra class ships ?). I think one or two oasis class have "virtual balcony" rooms for singles, but they also do not bring double points. It really varies. I paid very close attention until I reached the level where I'm not charged more than 150%, but then again, there are some exceptions to that also. It applies in most cases, but there are certain sailings on certain ships that the 150% max does not apply. Voting with you wallet is right on ! The "perk" game is a hot topic among frequent floaters, works pretty well for first time or those who have only been on, maybe less than 5 (?) cruises, after that, people start to think about the "free" offers very carefully...LOL ! Also tough on those forced to BUY drink packages and have medical conditions that allow NO alcohol at all, even moderate drinking. More and more are submitting the medical paper work for exemption. Paying $1500 instead of $750 when one has a spouse who is allowed no alcohol at all, is really making a huge "donation".
  14. As an FYI, someone was wondering if the parallel illustration of various marketing schemes I gave (grocery store incentive to spend at least $250 in one transaction and receive a $50 value gift card as a "reward") was literal or theoretical, and if it was a personal experience. Actually it was neither. The strategy was literal, not theoretical, but was not a personal experience because I never took advantage of the offer ! Continued to buy in smaller amounts....LOL... retired people here tend to eat out more.... LOL... and keep less on hand. Happy voyages frequent floaters, rather sailing solo or other 😍 I'll be off for Royal Caribbean's 50th anniversary cruise in just a few more weeks. Sailing solo on this one in a double balcony... maybe some of you are on this one too ?
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