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Doh15

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  1. Thanks for the reply, and sorry to hear about that price bump-- that would be frustrating. I had posted because I saw a flight that seemed like a good deal (cheaper than what I could get), so I booked on their website but it never asked me for a credit card. Wondering if I had missed something (since when have you ever been able to book an airline ticket without giving someone a credit card number) I called them but was put on hold for a while and decided it might be easier to ask here. After seeing your post (and others suggesting things don't always go smoothly) I started to wonder if something had gone wrong for me so I called back and this time waited on hold. The very nice person at ChoiceAir told me that my booking was a "book now pay later" booking where I would not be charged until final cruise payment. I knew it was a refundable fare but she made clear I could change or cancel it at any time before final payment, which suggests to me if the price does drop you could call and rebook at the lower price. She did say that not every fare falls in this category, but it wasn't clear to me if every refundable fare does or not.
  2. Could someone tell me, if you book Choice Air before final payment is due on the cruise, do they just add the cost of the flights to final payment, or do you pay for them at the time of booking (or something in between)?
  3. We did this once because it was a really interesting itinerary and had a great trip. There might have been a few families and adults under 40 but nothing rowdy 😉
  4. That would irk me too-- it seems quite unfair and just a cheap way to treat people. Also, I expect if you lined up that policy against other policies related to repricing it would seem even more outrageous-- heads they win, tails you lose.
  5. Were your other visits to Japan also cruise-based? I am interested in those itineraries as a great way to see different places but then I start thinking maybe Japan is a place that’s good to visit on a land-based itinerary to get more of an immersive feel I was wondering what you’d say are the advantages of each and which you’d recommend for first-time visitor?
  6. That’s interesting because I have checked some of their websites and they “availability” calendars but they all seem for this year only (that is, next year’s tour show as not available for booking yet) so I took that as a sign to check back in a couple months. Am also curious which Lofotens tour you took.
  7. I was wondering if people had thoughts on going with blue puffin vs renting a car and going up to the visitor center (and maybe signing up for a crab safari) independently? Also how far in advance do people book tours (or car rentals) for next summer? I was thinking at least not until this summer season was over (and maybe closer to winter)?
  8. Fair enough— I picked that wording intentionally. But I seem to recall reading somewhere on these boards that some ships could qualify if the chose to use low sulfur diesel marine fuel (vs the residual crud most ships burn). If that’s true I don’t know how you project who will actually comply and who is marketing an itinerary they can’t deliver. (Probably naive of me but I’d like to think at some point cruise lines would suffer legal or reputational consequences from marketing an itinerary they know they can’t meet.)
  9. HAL's Nieuw Statendam is still advertising itineraries going to Flam and Geiranger in 2020
  10. Those pictures of the ships looming over the city are terrible, even leaving aside the number of passengers they disgorge. That said, in the latest Azamara sale email there is a fantastic itinerary from Venice to Istria, down the Dalmatian coast, around to Sorrento and Corsica and then to Nice. If we hadn’t visited most of those places in the last few years I would try to get on that trip (although I guess if we hadn’t been I wouldn’t be so enthusiastic about it...)
  11. FWIW, I don’t think Bacardi Gold is spiced in the sense that Captain Morgan’s is, but it might have more noticeable flavor than a white rum.
  12. We have always arranged our own air travel, but we also usually don't plan cruises very far in advance. We are looking at a cruise for next summer and I assumed I'd start shopping airfare this winter but then I decided to check out Choice Air just to see what was on offer. There is an economy ticket which is slightly cheaper than what I can get now, and not unreasonably priced based on my past experience ($850 RT US-Europe). It is marked with a green star as "refundable, fees may apply", which I understand means that it is fully refundable up until final payment, and then refundable with $175 fee after that. Am I right about that refund policy? I was thinking about booking those flights and then doing my shopping in the winter and if I find something better I could cancel the Choice Air, and if not then I could keep it. Other questions-- We might want to fly business class if cheaper fares or award tickets become available-- can I upgrade tickets bought through Choice Air? (Or will they let me buy two one way tickets?) How easy is it to change dates before final payment on a "refundable fare" (does it require canceling and rebooking based on current pricing, or is it a change fee to move by a day)? Any idea how common it is for Choice Air flights to be changed after purchase (absent a change in airline schedules)? Am I right to think that if the price is close between Choice Air and the airline I should just book directly with the airline (especially if we are planning to come in a day or two early)? If my cruise is booked through a TA, do I need to (or should I) go through that TA to book Choice Air? I was thinking if I am considering not keeping the flights it might be better to do it all myself on their website if I can. If you have any other advice about or experience with Choice Air to share, I'd love to hear it. Thanks!
  13. We had a cruise end in Aruba a few years ago (one of the cruises where they are repositioning from Costa Rica to Europe in the Spring). We had to be home that day, but (with the help of an Aruba-specific forum) we found a friendly beach bar only a couple miles from the airport, so we were able to spend the day hanging out there, had some lunch, I think they even had showers we could use and then they called us a taxi. Was a great way to spend an afternoon and actually made me think Aruba might be a nice place to spend more time.
  14. Note that the boat is using Messina not Giardini Naxos as the port for Taormina (Taormina is about 30-40 minutes away by car from Messina). I expect you could find a private transfer and/or tour if you want.
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