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raphael360

Members
  • Content Count

    416
  • Joined

About raphael360

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    South Florida
  • Interests
    Retired
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Seabourn
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Everywhere

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  1. So Islandchick, Now you have all the good poop... on euros 1. Bag some before you leave or 2. Find a bank in your bank's network, go to their "in lobby ATM" and ATM away or 3. Buy your rum runners using your "no foreign transaction fee" credit card like the AMEX Videopark uses. Capital One, Citi, Chase and Wells Fargo all offer no foreign transaction fee credit cards also. On a $10K cruise, every penny helps. As a world traveler you know to call your credit card providers and give them your "out of the country" itinerary. Be sure to have a back up credit card also.
  2. Islandchick, My ATM woes were from back between 1980-90. I was flat broke but had to travel to Europe and Brazil for work. I almost always had to get on a plane with less than $100 in my wallet so you can imagine the terror I went through when the ATMs wouldn't work for me in a foreign country. I totally gave up on the ATM concept and haven't used one in 20 years.
  3. Hi Islandchick, I love you spirit. Knowing you're a planner, just bag some Euros for any local major bank before you leave. If they don't have Euros at the branch, they will deliver them in within 1-2 day FOC. Paying a $5 fee to have €100 euros in ready reserve when you find your "one of a kind Basse-Terre refrigerator magnet" on your $10,000 SB cruise - priceless. As a side note: I've personally found International ATM's to be problematic, at best, on my 100 plus business trips to Europe and South America. Experienced travelers swear by them but I never found one that would work with my bank when in Holland (back in the 1980's). I totally stopped trying to use foreign ATMs when a bank ATM "ate" my ATM/credit card in Sao Paulo Brazil. Sunday, bank closed, no extra credit card - priceless. And then there are those pesky ATM fees. My Wells Fargo ATM card has no ATM fees" unless" I use it in an MGM Casino ($7.99) or Ballys Casino ($9.99) or a 7-11 in Vegas ($3.00). You get my point.
  4. I've never see a Cruise Critic Get Together - ever on SB. I would remember because I would LOVE to attend one. I don't know if Seabourn world headquarters reads this forum but I have talked to a few staff members on board who do so this confirms we're on their radar. How cool is that? However, now I should consider changing my dog's picture because they may recognizer her if and when I smuggle her on board.
  5. Hi islandchick, I'm assuming you're talking specifically about the French West Indies that SB sails to. If so, I've been to each of these islands 8 times over the last 4 years. These islands are heavily dependent on tourism and, as such, locals make it as easy as possible to separate you from your money ( be it Euros, US dollars, bitcoins etc.). I have never been denied a service or a product because I was void of Euros. I do, however, always travel with local currency when going countries such as Europe, Great Britain and Canada mostly for the occasional taxi ride or taking a beer in a local hole in the wall pub. If you would feel more comfortable having a stash of Euros for the "just in case", My suggestion is to buy some Euros (maybe €100.00 worth) at your favorite bank before you. I use Wells Fargo where most of their branches actually keep Euros in stock. I own a company that purchased medical equipment from a dutch company for over 20 years and, as such, I've purchased millions of Euros over the years. Here's how it works. There is "the actual exchange rate" which is called Spot. Then there is the difference between the Euro "buy price" and the Euro "sell price" which is called the Spread. And then there is the Commission. Today, Spot price is: €100 EUR = $110.43 USD (Bloomberg). Today Wells Fargo is selling Euros at: €100 EUR for $115.94 USD (including commission). In plain terms, it cost approx. 5% to buy a Euro and another 5% to sell it back when you get home (making the spread between 9 - 10%). The buy price, sell price and commission rates are not fixed. I use Wells Fargo because it's spread rate and commissions are consistent and fair. Commissions at airports such as Miami are 10% PLUS the spread rate. I know SB sells Euros onboard during their European cruises but I would doubt they offer Euros onboard their Caribbean cruises. I'm pretty sure Wells Fargo's rates, including commission, would be better than SB's. My advise is: if you would feel more comfortable having some Euro scratch in your pocket, buy it before you go at your local bank. Keep it when you get home for future trips. Become a Jason Bourn. Have a stash of international currencies (Euros, CAD aka loonies, ASD, Pounds, Kroners, and maybe some Cuban CUCs). One never knows which country they will be assignment to next ;) This post will self destruct in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 seconds.
  6. I do 2-3 SB cruises a year with my last one being Australia. I can tell you lobster is still on the menu and the free wines being offered are what I drink at home. I can’t speak to the exact passenger to crew ratio except to say: I am constantly amazed how good the SB service is cruise over cruise and year over year. Your right to ask the questions to confirm or deny a random post here. With that being said I have 2 SB cruises booked this year and will book 2 med cruises for next June as soon as I’ll onboard in 2 weeks.
  7. We once saw Diamond passengers permitted to check in first in Barcelona (all "4" of them in the terminal) . Our hotel was 100 feet from the ship so is it was the first time we got to the cruise terminal before check in started. We followed behind the Diamond passengers to one of the other 14 check in stations and actually beat them on board.
  8. Assuming this is an honest question and not a rant in disguise; my answer would be "not true". My last 8 cruises on SB since 2015 have been perfect. Same excellent food, same 'top shelf' alcohol and same excellent service. I've come to expect 'perfect' on SB and somehow they always manage to exceed my expectations. I'm not exactly sure what is meant by: "the top drawer in food and alcohol is not available". It's been the same since 2015. Some food never sees the inside of a drawer and I've never seen alcohol served from a drawer; top, middle our otherwise. Beer from an ice chest pool side sometimes.
  9. Take bunches of dollars and your favorite credit card. Both are very welcome everywhere in the Caribbean. I’ve done hundreds of cruise days all over the Caribbean and doing 21 days over Christmas this year. Trust me-no one will ever turn down your USD or cc.
  10. I did get on later in the day but the church goers got all the best tours. I got the last Spot on the “walking tour of the port fuel storage tanks” with tasting samples. No smoking allowed.
  11. Today (Sunday) is a good example of the website not working on a Sunday. I'm trying to log in to book some shore excursions for an upcoming cruise but.... every time I hit the "LOG IN' button, I get directed to the Register Now page. No soup for you!
  12. I've been putting my morning protein shakes into the same Fuji "plastic water bottle" for almost a year now. I wash it out every night, make my protein shake and refrig till morning. (Putting milk/protein shakes in this same plastic water bottle for over 300 days). I'm feeling great AND my wife says my male performance in the, you know where, is better than ever. Yeah micro cracks!!!
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