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About rbt001

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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    Hollywood, FL
  1. Now, now, now....perhaps is was the OP's choice of captain that caused me too to feel the OP was upset about this. And in defense of newmexicoNita who specifically included an "if" yet had to receive your admonishment....I'd suggest and agree with your words: For the benefit of these boards, please set down your pom-poms and take a moment... Perhaps is you said them out loud, you could hear them better.
  2. If it were me, I'd call and innocently ask if the info gets transmitted to the ship. If you get a good agent, they may even send a note onwards.
  3. Isn't this a Honeymoon Cruise? Your birthday too? I'd suggest that you call Princess and see if they have the Honeymoon noted. If that note flows through, I'd hope your special occasion would get special consideration. Let me add that I'm a solo traveler and prefer to eat alone for breakfast and lunch, but I always enjoy Late TD at a large table. I've always managed to meet interesting and fun people on Princess Cruises. Dinner became a nice pause in the evening to relax over a good meal and converse with others. In December I sat with a woman from Australia, a gentleman from South Africa, and newlyweds from Mexico. We had great dinners and enlightening conversations together. Yes, you can do that on a case by case basis by requesting a "community table" in the MDR during breakfast or lunch. Issue is those meals always seem to take longer, so not a good idea if you have something planned afterwards.
  4. Oh.. I don't blame the OP from avoiding this thread. OP posted, came back and read, and then followed up for clarification. Most of what has followed in no way adds or helps the OP. Instead we're off in our own discussion that was hashed out a year ago when the beverage package was initially changed. OP is probably in another line's thread planning the next cruise.
  5. I think you made the right choice with the late seating and I hope you have a good experience as I've always had. I sincerely doubt there will be a change to 8:30 PM. Most likely your cruise card will show it's the same 8:15 PM or pushed up to 8 PM. None of my 15 cruises over the past several years had 8:30 PM
  6. I hate to wade in this pool, but I think this one needs some balance. I've been on both the consumer side and merchant side of credit cards for 37 years. There is a uniformity as to how chargebacks must be handled, and that's outlined in the franchise agreement from MasterCard or Visa, which banks agree to in order to become card issuers. A merchant may have applied through ABC Bank to accept and deposit card receipts from card holders with cards issued by XYZ or PDQ Banks. Every bank follows the same rules for chargebacks. American Express, Diners, & Discover issue their cards and deal directly with merchants and truly are right in the middle, seeing both sides, determining the outcome. While they model their own procedures, I do believe that all issuers must conform with The Fair Credit Billing Act. One of the acceptable reasons for chargeback is: "Goods and/or Services not received as promised." So as some have posted: OP paid and was promised unlimited, then was capped at 15, so he didn't receive what was promised. But that is NOT ACCURATE. The promise from Princess includes all the fine print, allowing them to miss ports or in this case alter the beverage package. When a cardholder initiates a chargeback, the clock is ticking, as there are deadlines to be met. The burden falls on the merchant to respond timely and thoroughly proving they delivered as promised. Many times the merchant fails here in some way, and the chargeback is resolved in the customer's favor. Take the example where you received the 6 oz vs 2.3 oz, charged the ticket back and received a full refund for everything, when you may have only been expecting a partial credit for the 2.3 oz item. More likely than not, the merchant responded with: "here's proof I gave him more than he wanted with the 6 oz. case closed in my favor." Which it wasn't. BETTER: "Here's proof we delivered all the items the customer ordered except the 2.3oz item. We have issued a customer credit of $x.xx for this one item on (date)" More likely than not, the full charge would have stayed and the chargeback resolved with the small credit. Card issuers, more accurately, should be characterized as being most concerned with following the guidelines for chargebacks. While they care about their cardholders as you say, they are on one side of a dispute as a bank, with another bank who is out to protect their customer, the merchant. I can see where the merchant side feels dumped on and without support of their bank. Cardholders don't incur a fee to dispute and chargeback while many merchant banks impose a chargeback fee for handling the dispute. The whole process is a nuisance for all parties. I'm pretty sure that some large card issuers have made their own "customer friendly" policies. A number of years ago, all I remember of the circumstances was a charge that was possibly $18 more than it was supposed to be. I called to dispute, was walked through the uniform Q&A, and it was assigned a case number. In just a few days I got the "good news" notification that it was resolved in my favor. I'm sure the bank found it more cost effective to just eat it and not even move forward with the claim against the merchant bank. (I'm also certain, it happened this way since my only other disputes had been clearly fraudulent charges where my card number had been compromised.) American Express has been know to eat charges given circumstances and how they value the cardmember. Now think of Princess and the high volume of credit card processing (and revenue) they provide for their merchant bank. I wouldn't be surprised if the merchant bank doesn't have a dedicated team to facilitate and defend Princess. When I was part of a group in the corporate office at a major hotel chain, if was a factor as we prepared recommendations on which credit card processor to use. One more thing regarding the charge back process. The first question the card issuer asks the card holder: "Did you attempt to resolve the issue with the merchant first?" It takes a "Yes" answer to proceed, since that is the cardholders first responsibility. As to the burst pipe and room flooding incident as you described it, I think that it's a terrible shame and embarrassment on Princess that the Hotel Manager wasn't pro-active and accommodating. Staff should have been there to take pictures and complete an incident report with the guest, providing any forms along with instructions if the guest has to make a written claim. It points to selfishness on the part of senior officers who were more concerned about revenue goals for the voyage to make bonus in their personal paychecks. That's why when I expected a full refund for a half day excursion, I didn't bother with anyone on board and waited until I returned home to call Princess. It was a black & white situation easy to charge back. To argue on board would be met with deaf ears as they focused on revenue goals. I doubt a chargeback counts against their voyage goal, since it's so far after the fact. So to them the chargeback fear has no meaning. Princess listened, asked me to fax it in writing, and just took two days to respond that they processed the refund as requested. As for this thread, hasn't the discussion for the past 30 to 40 posts, about the legality of the change made by Princess to the beverage offering already been discussed more than a year ago, when Princess announced the change? I never buy the package, yet I read all about it, including these same arguments. As for the OP, I hope he decides to contact Princess for their consideration, but he's in Germany. It may have been easier and more relaxing to just visit his local pub for a few drinks and review future cruise offerings from the competition.
  7. I applaud NCL for a management philosophy where officers are viable and observant. On several occasions I've seen an officer immediately intervene to rectify a guest issue; that's only possible because the officer was right there on deck. Personally I think it's a horrible management style to remain huddled in an office, invisible to guests. The introductions are their way of letting you know who they are and how they can help, should you need them. Another thing to consider, there's typically over 4,000 passengers on NCL Getaway and most of them are enjoying unlimited drink packages. Officers on deck are in a better position to spot something that may go wrong.
  8. I've lived your dilemma many times in Crown Grill. The Rib Eye is the best but hard to finish after the other great items. So the trick I've learned is to focus on the prize: Rib Eye. That's what I'm there for, so I'll start with the Onion Soup and pass on the many great choices* for appetizers and salads, remembering I'm there for the steak. And when it comes to the vegetables, I specifically ask the server NOT to bring "family style servings." Instead I ask for one 6" plate with a small dollop of mashed potatoes, mushrooms, and spinach. I reason with them that if I want more I'll ask. FSUGuuurrrrllll: you betta jump on that boat quick before alls they serv'in is hamburger or PB&J!!! See footnote. ____________ __________________________ *Footnote: Because I couldn't remember if it was spinach on the menu, I went and looked up the Crown Grill menu. CUTS, CUTS, CUTS!!! I see that gone are the Diver Scallops, replaced with cheap & tiny Bay Scallops featured in a different appetizer, Sausage is added to reduce the mussel portion, just as the Chilean Seabass portion was reduced to share a plate with shrimp. One word for sure is NOWHERE on the menu: PRIME as in USDA Prime. But I don't know that Crown Grill ever claimed to serve USDA Prime Beef.
  9. As far as I know, the menu plan is only on board. As reported in another thread and based upon my own experiences, the ship staff may alter the exact seating times for Traditional Dining. It happens regularly and is believed to be a result of best accommodating passengers on each cruise, so there's no predictable pattern. There seem to be more upset posters here when 5:30 gets moved to 5PM, and passengers begin using Anytime Dining causing long waits. You mentioned a late excursion return and its impact on your early seating. You can arrive too late for your seating and be refused, since they have another seating at your table following yours. So you'd potentially miss the menu you wanted as you were forced to the buffet or endure chaos of an overloaded ATD. (You wouldn't be the only passenger back late from an excursion.)
  10. Yikes! I'm just reading the comments and warnings in response to the credit card charge back strategy. While you may be sucessful with this IF you word your claim correctly AND still have the debt obligation with the card issuer, but you may end of burning a bridge with Carnival Corporation and all of its brands. They'll get stiffed by the credit card issuer but your obligation to the line is not canceled. It's very easy for them to ban you and your party members from EVER cruising on ANY of their brands. I also read Expat Cruise's experience where his charge back was answered with a personal call and an adequate resolution. If the charge back amounts to the full fare for a party of 10, I'd bet you'd get a call to Germany. I'm pretty sure I heard the story on Cruise Critic about someone banned from travel over charge backs related to art purchases on board.
  11. Yes, it is personal and the threads on the subject are well worn battlegrounds where you wish the soldiers would just die! But sometimes, as in the case of the OP, it's an honest question. I mean I had no idea how much to tip the concierge staff and butler when I was in The Haven on NCL. So I asked and got a few answers. I think I'm normally someone that tips well for good service, but even I was shocked at the enormity of one suggested tip. So I used it as a "guide" as I made my personal decision on the amount.
  12. Good policy to place the cabin number and last name. In the dining room they are required to add that information for the reasons stated. I understand, however, that the same policy does not apply to room stewards. Auto-grat or not, they keep their envelopes, unlike the MDR.
  13. It seems you are a details person and want to optimize your experience, so here's a few more things. While there's generally two formal nights on a 7 day cruise and three formal nights on a 15 day cruise, I can't tell you whether there will be 2 or 3 on your 12 day cruise. They are never the first or last night. Usually they don't vary from sailing to sailing of the same itinerary, so you may be able to ask someone who sails recent to your dates. But the most accurate info will be in your room embarkation afternoon. Also, I do understand that you may request to see the menu plan for your entire voyage, which has every day's menu, rather than waiting the "day of" to see the menu posted outside each MDR. I believe the Maitre 'd has the menu plan for passenger review. There have been a few times where I'll look and see they are serving something in the MDR I'll miss because of a SDR reservation. To avoid that conflict you can match your SDR reservation day to the planned menu in the MDR and switch out your SDR for another night, so you don't miss something you'd like. Lastly, I'd suggest that you consider Traditional Dining rather than Anytime Dining. There are just too many threads here about upset people because of long waits. Ideally, I'd suggest Traditional Dining Late seating meaning it will be 8PM +/- 15 minutes as adjusted and notified to you on your cruise card when you register at the port. That will align almost perfectly with attendance of the second theater performance of production shows. (There's a recent thread discussing an overload for Anytime Dining when the first TD time is moved forward to 5PM; the late seating avoids all of that.)
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