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Everything posted by Petersonfcu

  1. The airport in Barcelona is quite a ways out from the city and associated stuff to do. Its too bad you couldn't get a decent rate closer to town.
  2. John, you know what I want when you board the Queen Elizabeth. Well, maybe you don't. A picture of the Fun 21 table please!!
  3. This. And of course, use a credit card that has no foriegn transaction fees.
  4. My offer begins with "Get a one-time $300 statement credit by using your enrolled eligible Card to spend a minimum of $1,000 in one or more purchases of cruise reservations . . . ." So clearly you can use more than one charge.
  5. I assume you purchased the shore excursions separately from your original booking and did not pay for any part of your cruise fare at the same time you purchased the excursions? If the shore excursions were truly stand alone, that is pretty sweet.
  6. Actually, your food pictures generally look better than what I remember from my recent Carnival cruises. Don't get me wrong, I like Carnival food . . . but I want it more after looking at your photos!
  7. I copied the offer I received, including the fine print, into this post below. I agree that the offer is limited to certain expenses associated with new bookings made in the three month period from now until December 29. I think the acceptable expenses will include things like deposits, cruise fare, port taxes and fees, and prepaid gratuities. In my AMEX offer some of the exclusions you list above (like flight ease and travel insurance) will also count toward the $1k requirement as long as they are paid for at the time of booking. And if you make two or more new bookings in the next three months, you can combine those deposits/cruise fare payments together for purposes of reaching the $1k spend requirement. Of course, folks may have received different offers, so you should look closely at the offer you received. I will have no problem taking advantage of my offer, since I plan to book a new cruise in the next couple of months and perhaps even two cruises, with the cruises to take place in the first 6 months of 2024. DETAILS Get a one-time $300 statement credit by using your enrolled eligible Card to spend a minimum of $1,000 in one or more purchases of cruise reservations online at hollandamerica.com by 12/29/2023. See terms. OFFER TERMS Enrollment limited. Must first add offer to Card and then use same Card to redeem. Only U.S.-issued American Express® Cards are eligible. Limit 1 enrolled Card per Card Member across all American Express offer channels. Your enrollment of an eligible American Express Card for this offer extends only to that Card. Offer valid only for reservations booked between 10/2/2023 and 12/29/2023 with Holland America Line at US website hollandamerica.com, by phone at 1-877-932-4259 or by contacting your travel advisor. Excludes onboard purchases, gift and services, Denali Square, McKinley Chalet Resort, Worldwide Emergency Assistance Services, Cancellation Protection plan, online shops, formalwear rentals and charitable donations. Excludes if not booked at time of reservation: airfare booked through cruise line, excursions, onboard celebrations, luggage valet services, baggage insurance, Flight Ease, travel Insurance, charters. Excludes Ship to Shelter programs and Exploration Café Charges. Excludes Carnival, Cunard, Princess Cruises, Denali North Star Inn, Princess Lodge Costa, Royal Hyway Tours, Seabourn, AIDA, Costa and Fathom. Ships’ Registry: The Netherlands. Offer is non-transferable. Valid only on purchases made in US dollars. Limit of 1 statement credit per Card Member. You may not receive the statement credit if we receive inaccurate information or are otherwise unable to identify your purchase as qualifying for the offer. For example, you may not receive the statement credit if (a) the merchant uses a third-party to sell their products or services; or (b) the merchant uses a third-party to process or submit your transaction to us (e.g., using mobile or wireless card readers); or (c) you choose to make a purchase using a third-party payment account or make a purchase using a mobile or digital wallet. Purchases may fall outside of the offer period in some cases due to a delay in merchants submitting transactions to us or if the purchase date differs from the date you made the transaction (for example, the purchase date for online orders may be the shipping date). Statement credit will appear on your billing statement within 90 days after 12/29/2023, provided that American Express receives information from the merchant about your qualifying purchase. Note that American Express may not receive information about your qualifying purchase from merchant until all items/services from your qualifying purchase have been shipped/provided by merchant. Statement credit may be reversed if qualifying purchase is returned/cancelled. If American Express does not receive information that identifies your purchase as qualifying for the offer, you will not receive the statement credit. Limit 1 enrolled Card per American Express Card online account. The enrolled Card account must be active, not past due, canceled, or have a returned payment outstanding to receive the statement credit. Any benefit earned from this offer is in addition to the rewards (i.e. Membership Rewards or cash back) earned as part of your existing Card benefits, but your ability to earn spend-based rewards for the purchase will be based on the amount after any statement credit or other discount is applied. Amex Offers are available for varying and limited periods of time and are dynamic and personalized. If you navigate away from the Amex Offers page, you may see different offers when you return. For questions regarding your Card Account, please call the number on the back of your Card. By adding an offer to a Card, you agree that American Express may send you communications about the offer. POID: K6GG:0001
  8. I didn't see this post (responding to my post) last year! 🙂 The answer is that applying for, or having, many credit cards does not necessarily screw up your credit score. https://frequentmiler.com/how-new-credit-cards-can-impact-your-credit-score/
  9. I also got the AMEX offer again this year. The offer language clarifies that you can spend the required $1k in one or more transactions.
  10. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to how they parcel out these offers. I was able to use my Carnival offer. And the bonus AMEX points posted only two days after I completed the required spend.
  11. I am not entirely sure about what you are asking. In my personal experience, I have bid for upgrades twice. In both cases the sum of 1) the price I paid for my original cabin and 2) my upgrade bid was significantly less than what a guaranteed cabin in my target category would have cost at the time of booking. And, yes, I won both bids. In one of those cases I had a free interior room on a casino deal and I upgraded to a balcony with my winning bid, so maybe that is not a fair comparison.
  12. As many of you probably know, at the Platinum/Diamond get together the cruise staff often introduce the youngest Platinum passenger. On our last cruise (to Alaska) the youngest Platinum passenger was a toddler, just 22 months old. From the looks of it, she was traveling with an older couple, probably grandparents. I wondered what the parents were up to having their baby on a cruise ship for a good chunk of her life.
  13. Yeah, in my experience Lido is always bad at embarkation, particularly before the cabins are ready.
  14. I am actually hopeful that Cunard is not using the shuffle machines at ANY of their tables. But we will see!
  15. Thanks for the info! (Even though it included evidence of the dreaded machine . . . ).
  16. John Just noticed your blog. Very nice! Thanks for doing it. As a casino player, I have a very specific casino-related question for you. Could you take a picture of the Fun21 Blackjack table on each of your ships and post the picture? Should be easy to do, particularly when the casino tables are closed. I play Fun 21 mostly because it is often the only blackjack game still dealt by hand as opposed to the machines. I don't like the continuous shuffle machines, but many Carnival ships are now dealing even Fun21 from the machine. So with your picture I can tell if these ships are using the machines or not. (If you don't want to post a photo, please just post about whether the dealers are using those black boxes to deal the cards from). And like you I am going on my first ever Cunard cruise next spring, and Cunard also has Fun 21 tables . . . so please check out the same machine info when you are on the Cunard ship. Thanks!
  17. I got this offer today on my American Express Credit Card: Get 25,000 additional Membership Rewards® points one-time by using your enrolled eligible Card to spend a minimum of $1,000 in one or more purchases on cruise reservations booked at carnival.com, by phone at 1-800-764-7419 or by contacting your preferred travel advisor by 10/10/2023. See terms. The good news is that you can trigger this offer through multiple different purchases and you can make the purchases through carnival or through your travel agent. The bad news is that you have to make all those purchases in the next three weeks. Travel bloggers generally value Membership Rewards Points at about two cents apiece. That would make 25,000 points worth about $500, a 50% return on your $1,000 of Carnival payments. But this two cent valuation is only if you transfer the points to other travel partners and know how to best use the points that way. If you cash out Membership Rewards points they are generally worth less than one cent apiece. I will probably use my offer by prepaying some grats and also maybe paying off an upcoming cruise before final payment date.
  18. When you call it "Official" or "Unofficial," the U.S. Dollar is in fact the onboard currency of Cunard. I know some Brits who really don't like that.
  19. I know for a fact that Carnival cruise line ships sailing out of Australia use the Australian dollar as the onboard currency. And, of course, the same Carnival cruise line ships when sailing out of U.S. ports use the U.S. dollar onboard.
  20. Hello Markus We will be cruising on the Diadema next spring. I am very interested in your blog! I have two casino questions. Does the Diadema have "Ultimate Fun21" blackjack tables? I know some Costa ships have them. If so, could you post a picture of one of the tables and also the rules (which would be on an electric screen or somewhere on the table). If you can't post a picture, can you see how much a blackjack would pay at the Fun21 table? This should be either 3 to 2 (3:2) or 6 to 5 (6:5). Vielen Dank!
  21. Thank you for starting this blog and your live reporting. Board the Ruby tomorrow . . . can't wait!
  22. I could have written your post myself. Word for word! Like you, I started taking the WOO Fun21 basic strategy chart to the table before I learned that strategy by heart. And, yup, sometimes people also object to how I play. But the reality is that Fun21 remains a favorite of Carnival Corporation and its subsidiary lines because they make good money off people who play the regular BJ strategy, which I think yields a house advantage of 4 percent or more. So my wife says I shouldn't try to educate anyone at the table if I want Carnival to keep the Fun21 game . . 🙂
  23. Is a $6 minimum a thing of the past on Princess? It is on Carnival. No blackjack tables with less than a $10 minimum on Carnival.
  24. Hopefully, someone from the casino staff also told her to declare. Otherwise, major malpractice by the staff.
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