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Everything posted by gumshoe958

  1. I can assure you they’re not 20% occupied any more. TAs have shot up in popularity since the restart with surprisingly large numbers of kids.
  2. Whether you can book for all nine nights on day 1 will depend on the maitre d’. Some might let you but others may only let you book one night at a time. As with many things Royal, there doesn’t seem to be a consistent rule.
  3. It’s possible, yes. St Andrews involves a train ride from Edinburgh Waverley to Leuchars (journey time about an hour) then a 10-15 minute bus ride. So allow 3 hours’ travel time for the round trip plus however long you stay in St Andrews. So allowing for a 2 hour visit to St Andrews and travel time between the ship & central Edinburgh by bus, you should still have 4 hours to explore the city. Which isn’t a lot but enough to get a flavour of it.
  4. I think you mean “have to use a TA for if you booked with one”!
  5. There will be plenty of notice, and it will be well publicised.
  6. Short repetitive itineraries are all part of the strategy to attract high spending young families with limited vacation time and shift older top tier cruisers over to Celebrity. Those short cruises are more profitable because of higher on-board spend and because people are prepared to pay higher average nightly rates for them. And don’t be fooled into thinking a loyalty scheme merger would be good news. Sure, some folks would benefit - the folks Royal believes it can make the most profit out of. But those it sees as a lost cause would lose.
  7. Jason Liberty, like most CEOs, is happy to make hay while the sun shines. If and when the strategy starts failing he’ll change it. Most people have short memories. Those who’ve deserted Royal due to high prices and cuts to service can be enticed back if the price is right and they’re flung a few perks. But he’ll cross that bridge if and when he comes to it.
  8. I never said I liked it. But if I was Jason Liberty I’d sure be considering it. Anyone who doesn’t think a major devaluation of C&A benefits is coming needs to get their head out of the sand. It’s just a question of when.
  9. I have no plans to lose the lottery this weekend. But I bet I will! If a Hotel Director is even in the loop on board level discussions like that, which I doubt, they’re hardly likely to reveal confidential information at an officers’ lunch. RCG could actually play it quite cleverly and use a program merger to offer carrots and sticks to encourage more veteran top tier cruisers to move from Royal to Celebrity.
  10. I was considering Rome-Dubai at the right price but I think I’ll stick with my Allure TA rather than pay 150% more for two weeks on a tired old ship. I’ll reconsider if and when Royal announce they’re sending Voyager via South Africa.
  11. Prices are up everywhere, on all lines. Yet we’re told demand is at record levels and ships are consistently sailing full so I’m not convinced Australia will be any different. This is the new normal.
  12. That, and they might make it revenue-based like the airlines. Right now a point is a point whether you spend under $100 a night on an inside or over $300 on a prime balcony. And two points are two points whether you book the cheapest JS or the most expensive suite. So some earn elite status for far less than others. I could see them changing to, say, one point per $200 spent. And extend it to include cruise planner & on-board spend.
  13. That was 2017 BC (Before Covid). Welcome to the new normal, and it’s not pretty.
  14. If the tiers are revamped it won’t be to our benefit. All loyalty schemes are devalued at some point and the problem with Royal’s is you literally have to die to lose your status. So every day more and more people qualify for Diamond and above and Royal has to give away more and more free drinks. That’s not sustainable. I’ve never understood why there’s no requirement to sail at once a year (or two or even three) to keep your status.
  15. But it shows anyone who ends up paying $1999/$3499 is just being ripped off. Those things are just a license to print money.
  16. I’d bet a lot of money on it not being in force when you arrive in June.
  17. It all depends when Easter falls. It was quite early this year so many schools’ spring break was after Easter. Next year it’s very late so I’d expect many schools’ spring break to be before Easter.
  18. Not for the cabanas I suspect, which is what the OP was asking about.
  19. Ok. Anyone booking Voyager should only do so if they’re prepared for a change of plan then!
  20. But no word yet on how Voyager will get from Rome to Singapore, just that it will take 28 days. Interesting to see whether the repo’s announced tonight/tomorrow, or whether Royal will wait a bit longer to see how things pan out in the Red Sea.
  21. Contactless can be used for any tube journey (and should, because it’s much cheaper than buying a paper ticket). The escalators to/from the tube station at Waterloo are within the main rail station but totally separate from the mainline platforms. So if you were to take the tube to Waterloo then the train down to Southampton, you would go through two sets of ticket barriers. First you’d touch out with your contactless card to exit the tube station, then go upstairs and use your train ticket to access the mainline platform.
  22. You cannot ‘tap in’ with a contactless card or Apple/Google Pay at Waterloo for trains to Southampton. That only applies to journeys wholly within London and a few destinations just outside. For Southampton you need to buy a ticket. If you know the exact train you want, it’s far cheaper to buy an ‘advance’ ticket online, up to about 3 months in advance. This can be delivered either as an e-ticket on your phone or as a code you use to get a paper ticket from a machine at the station. If you’d rather stay flexible, you can buy a ticket on the day from the ticket office or the machines at Waterloo station but you’ll pay considerably more for the flexibility.
  23. The cynic in me says they’ve figured out that clearing the MDR half an hour earlier each night saves them money somehow.
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