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Everything posted by luckybecky

  1. Explorer dry dock has been put "on hold" indefinitely. Not sure it is going to happen this year at all. The ship is currently in Bonaire. She should have been in dry dock already in order to be ready for the summer season. Edited to say, one cruise tracker I checked said bonaire, but cruisemapper shows Explorer being off the coast of Florida. Either way, she is in the Western hemisphere and has not made her way to Europe for the dry dock.
  2. We are booked on a B2B Eastern/Western Mediterranean July 2020 on the Explorer. Our final payment is due in about a week. For the past several weeks, we have been in "wait and see" mode. I have been leaning toward making our final payment and then let RC cancel us if necessary, and we would take the FCC. But at the same time I was hoping we would still be able to cruise and the FCC was just a backup plan. As this thing has dragged on, I think it is becoming less and less possible that we will be able to sail, in no small part because we are flying to and sailing from Rome. Italy has been hit so hard, I think it may be a very long time before their travel industry gets back up and running. I get the impression from this and other threads that very few people here believe cruises will be back to normal as early as this summer. So now we have the dilemma -- cancel before final payment in order to cut our losses, or just pay and then wait and see what happens. We have a total of $1000 in deposits, but $500 of that is refundable if we cancel now. The remaining $500 would be a FCC. I'm OK with that. But if there is truly no chance at all that we will sail, then I don't want to lock up several thousand dollars in an FCC that we may or not be able to use. The thing I am not OK with is losing the roughly 3K that we have spent on related travel expenses: $2000 on air. Several hundred on trip insurance (not "cancel for any reason") and a few hundred for a few days in a B&B in Rome pre-cruise. None of which is refundable. I'm not sure if there is anything at all that we can do about that. Another thing that bothers me is that half of our B2B is in an inside cabin. I don't think I could tolerate a quarantine under those conditions. I could live with it in a balcony cabin where at least I could open the door, see outside and get some fresh air. So even if RC says we can cruise, should we take the chance that a flare-up could put us into quarantine floating around the Med? Sorry for the long post. Just thinking out loud, so to speak. Still so unsure what to do, like everyone else. Would welcome your thoughts. But our problems pale in comparison to people who have the disease and especially those who have lost loved ones. My thoughts are with all of you. I am a respiratory therapist so I am a front line responder, but thankfully my city has not been hit hard -- yet.
  3. Sorry if this has already been discussed and I missed it... Just wondering if there have been any reports about this family, and specifically the step grandfather, having cruised before? Are they novice cruisers? Or have they been on other ships where they might have encountered very similar ship design as far as the windows are concerned?
  4. I haven't been on this ship and I'm sure someone will correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the Squeeze bar serves fresh fruit juices and smoothies, appropriate for kids.
  5. I agree. Here is a quote from the step grandfather: "“I remember trying to find her on the floor and then I saw her fall. I saw her fall the whole way down,” the grandfather told CBS through tears. “I think for a while I was just in shock.” This is from this online story https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/grandfather-charged-toddler-s-cruise-ship-fall-says-i-thought-n1091321 Now, if it was impossible for him to lean out the window, as he and the attorney are claiming and the staged photos attempt to show, then HOW did he see her "fall the whole way down"? Unfortunately every thing he says to defend himself just doesn't make sense. If he saw her fall, then he must have been able to lean at least part way out the window to see the pier directly below. It's tragic but I think there is just no excuse for deliberately lifting a toddler up and over a railing. Period. No matter how the family tries to spin it, THAT was the act that caused the poor child to fall.
  6. Yes, I'm confusing the ship with land based casinos which often have slots at the bar. The Carnival rep that I was speaking to yesterday did tell me there was a 15 drink limit with this DOU offer. Good info from everyone. Thanks for your help.
  7. Would it be uncouth to sit at the bar and feed a $20 into the machine and do a spin or two, order a drink, and then cash out and leave as soon as you get your drink? We often like to gamble at the bar, because you get faster service. Alternatively, could I sit at a slot right next to the bar, order a drink and tell them, I'm playing right here?
  8. So if the drink is free, would you consider $1 per drink to be an adequate tip?
  9. OK thanks everyone! I thought DOU always had a gambling threshold you had to meet before being eligible. This is a nice perk that I wasn't expecting. Good to know!
  10. I just got off the phone with Carnival and they said that I have DOU for the cruise I have booked next month. I've heard of the program, but we have never used it. We gamble a little every night, but never enough to reach the threshold to be eligible. In this case, however, the rep said that there is no threshold. The offer I have received is apparently good right from the start of the cruise with no minimum level of gambling required. Does that sound right? Do they often make an offer like this? She did say that only I am eligible on this casino offer. My daughter, who is my travel companion for this trip, is not receiving the offer even though we are in the same room on the same booking. I'm not knocking it! Just want to be sure this is correct before I go crazy ordering drinks in the casino. 😉
  11. I have wondered along the same lines. Every cruise ship I have been on has open decks, with just railings, no glass. The family has said they just want RC to "fix the ship." Fix what? Enclose every outdoor area/ deck/ balcony/ window?? In one CBS interview, the grandfather first said he was holding the child in a bear hug, with both arms around her. Just a moment later in that same interview, he said he was holding her with ONE arm, while reaching with the other arm to bang on the (nonexistent) glass. It would have taken him only half a second to realize there was no glass there, had it been true that he was trying to knock on it. As others have pointed out, his story just makes no sense, especially since he had ALREADY put his upper body out the window. I have also heard the grandfather and the attorney say that there should have been a sign saying not to go over the rail. "If there had just been a sign, I would never have held her over the rail" or something to that effect. I would argue that the railing itself IS YOUR SIGN. A railing is a universally understood signal of danger. It is understood in any language, in any country. If there is a railing -- on a staircase, a cruise ship, an elevated walkway, a mountain ledge -- that IS your sign that you should be cautious and there is danger on the other side!!! Such a horror for everyone involved. My heart breaks for the entire family, including the grandfather who I think was just stupid, but did not do this deliberately, and who must be suffering immense guilt. But I agree with most others here that the cruise line is not at fault and I hope they do not settle.
  12. Oh, ok. Thanks for clearing that up, Two Wheels Only.
  13. I'm curious about the "doctored" video. I haven't been able to find it online. How was it edited?
  14. I'm glad to know that the Captain has been careful in his public announcements. I am a heathcare worker, and very well aware of the need to protect the privacy of patients. Here in the US, HIPPA rules everything we do when it comes to sharing information. Now obviously I know the captain is not a healthcare person bound by US regulations, but the underlying principle of privacy still is valid, IMO. We all are interested in what happened and how it is being handled -- that is why we are here on a forum on Cruise Critic, is it not? But we have to remember that there are many grieving families in the aftermath and they have absolutely no obligation whatsoever to share their private grief with us. I can't even imagine the horror of going through such a tragedy, and then on top of that, it being such a public event with people clamoring for information on your very personal loss. So I am grateful that the captain is apparently being careful with his announcements. It is perfectly appropriate for him to share information on schedule changes or other things that may impact other passengers, but he does not have any obligation to share private information on deaths or injuries. Many of us have been on ships where passengers have become sick, or been injured or died, and we don't expect or deserve public announcements about what happened. My heart goes out to all those affected. I can't even imagine the pain these families are going through.
  15. Hi cruisers! We pre-purchased the 3 night dining package for our Explorer of the Seas cruise next summer. This is our first RC cruise so I'm not sure how it works. It is my understanding that RC will make a reservation for us at one of the specialty restaurants for the first night of the cruise. Do we get to pick which restaurant? Or if they choose, what happens if we don't like what they choose for us? I don't like seafood so I don't want to go to Izumi. Instead, we will want to eat at Chops twice and once at Giovanni's. Aside from the first night, what about the other two nights? Can we reserve those ahead of time, or do we have to wait until we are on board? Thanks for any help.
  16. We did this tour in St Maarten last year and it was hands down the best day of our entire vacation https://www.soualigadestinations.com/most-popular-tour-for-cruise-ship-visitors/ Costs $119 per adult, 99 per child. So not cheap, but it was an awesome day. Snorkeling, boating, beach time, iguanas, light lunch included. It was awesome.
  17. Yes, it definitely depends on the hotel. Most will allow you to check in early if they have a room ready. However, even if you cannot get into your room yet, you can almost always drop your luggage at the front desk for you and they will hold it for you. So at least you don't have to drag it around with you until you can check in later in the afternoon. What we usually do is try to take a 2-3 hour nap once we are able to check into the room. Yes, you are going to be tired. But you have to make yourself get up. Don't stay asleep! If you do then you are going to wake up at like 2am. They eat supper very late in Spain. Many restaurants don't even start opening until 8pm. So take a nap for a couple of hours. Then you can get up and go out for supper and enjoy walking around looking at the sights at night. If you are staying anywhere near the Block of Discord, it is beautiful. The impressive buildings, including Gaudi's Casa Batllo, are lit up and look amazing. Or you could try to see if there is an evening walking tour. We did an amazing bar-hopping tapas tour in Madrid last October. Maybe you could find something fun like that in Barcelona. Have fun. You are going to love it!
  18. We haven't been impressed with the "sales." I was hoping our drink package would go down. It did. From $59 to $55 per day. Woo-hoo. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad for even a little savings, but roughly 6% off is not a great deal IMO. Especially on a port intensive Med cruise where we will be off the ship much of the time. A few excursions have decent markdowns. Others not at all. As for the cost of the cruise itself, I don't see any indication of a sale at all. Prices have gone up, recently, if anything. I'm disappointed. This is our first time on RC, and after reading on the boards about sales, I was hoping to get maybe a little price drop on the cruise, or a deal on drinks, or something. Turns out to be mostly a bust. BTW, we are doing back to back Eastern and Western Med cruise July 2020 on Explorer of the Seas.
  19. Sorry I saw this too late to respond to your question. We stayed there a few years ago and were very happy. How did you like it? We found it to be very reasonably priced, superb location (Plaza Catalunya, top of Las Ramblas, near Casa Battlo, excellent restaurants nearby). We liked the buffet which saved us quite a bit of money. The room was definitely PINK and very rosy. 🙂 Not a five star room but perfectly comfortable and we liked the price. Very friendly staff. I hope you liked it.
  20. David thank you so much for sharing this!!!! You are an exceptional photographer and the videos are amazing. I really have enjoyed watching them and reliving our trip. It was amazing, wasn't it?!
  21. Thanks for the replies. Yes, the six day cruise is very affordable right now. I just called this morning and got $474 knocked off the price we paid a few weeks ago because it has gone down. Meanwhile the 8 day cruise is very expensive. Fortunately our daughter bought it before the price rose so much, but it was still considerably more expensive for an inside cabin than for our balcony on the 6 day cruise. I know it's all about supply and demand but this price difference seemed really pronounced to me. Anyway, we are very excited for this cruise. Thanks again for your comments. Becky
  22. Hello cruisers! We have booked a back to back Eastern and Western Mediterranean cruise for next summer. The price difference between the 2 cruises are very significant and I'm wondering about any thoughts you experienced RC cruisers may have. Our daughter booked us on the July 12, 2020 Eastern Med cruise from Civitavecchia to Greece. This was a gift for my husband's 60th birthday. (Yes, we have an amazing daughter!!!) She got us an inside stateroom on deck 6, category 6V. This stateroom category is currently going for almost $4500 for two people (when she booked, it was a bit lower). This seems really high to me, for an inside cabin. That's approaching $300 per day/ per person. This is our first time on RC so maybe that is standard, but it seems unusually high to me. So, we figured as long as we are flying to Europe, we might as well make the most of it. We decided to make this a back to back cruise and we booked the July 20, 2020 Western Med cruise. The price difference between the two cruises is very substantial. As mentioned, we are in an inside cabin for the first leg. Currently priced at roughly $4500. We were able to book a balcony cabin (4D) on the second leg, at half the price. It is currently going for $2160. Yes, the first leg is slightly longer but this price difference seems really out of whack, especially considering that the cheaper cruise is in a balcony, with the more expensive cruise in an inside cabin. Anyway I'm just wondering about any thoughts on pricing, why these two cruises have such wildly different prices, and is there any likelihood that the more expensive cruise might come down in price? We would love to upgrade to a balcony but not at current prices. Why would this cruise be so high priced? This is our first back to back cruise so I'm also wondering how that works. Do you just leave your luggage with the steward and he takes care of moving it to the new room? If you have done a back to back , do you get off the ship and find something to do in port, or do you stay on board and relax? Any other tips specifically for RC would be welcome. So far, we have sailed Carnival, Norwegian, Celebrity, and Paul Gauguin. We are looking forward to trying a new cruise line! Thanks!
  23. Yes, agree completely. Especially when you also have to book airfare. Air to Europe is crazy expensive already, and there is just no way we can do that last minute for a European cruise. We have only done one cruise on NCL, but now that I know this about their pricing structure, I am not sure they will be my first choice for a future cruise.
  24. On our Spirit cruise this past June, we booked about 10 or 11 months in advance. Much closer to cruise date, we saw prices had dropped by roughly $2000 total for our double occupancy cabin. We called and were offered a $500 OBC -- the 25% that others have alluded to. This was added to the $100 OBC we had as a perk when we booked the cruise and we kept all the other perks we had at booking. Obviously $500 is not equal to the $2000 price drop and we would have preferred to pay the lower price, but I am a big planner and am not willing to wait until the last minute to book our cruise. Also air fare would have been much higher had we waited to book that, as someone else has already pointed out. Bottom line is, call and ask what they will offer. Once you are past final payment date, you are pretty much at their mercy. Take whatever you can get and enjoy your cruise! Becky
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