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Joanne G.

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About Joanne G.

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Wisconsin USA

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  1. Nadia, that's good news that it got straightened out. I almost made the same mistake. When I recently went to pay a deposit, the default choice was to pay in full. It's easy to see how someone could be moving too fast and miss that. Clearly, it is Princess' choice to make "pay in full" the default option. Apparently the extra funds they get early from those who let it go makes it worth the time their customer service reps spend on the phone reversing the payment for those who didn't intend to pay in full. 🤔 Pay attention everyone when paying a deposit!
  2. That is my biggest concern - meals, especially dinner. I have several solo cruises booked in 2022, so I better figure out what I want to do for meals. A couple of the cruises are on NCL, which has no fixed dining times. And my most recent experience on NCL is that they no longer ask if you want to share a table. Even if I said I would like to share, that would only work if others coming to eat at the same time also made that request. The last thing I would want would be to be put at a table with a group who did not request others to join them. I would rather eat alone in
  3. A friend and I spent a couple days in London before a cruise in 2019, and we loved it so much that we planned a one-week land vacation there in 2020 - canceled due to covid, of course. We had everything planned out - big touristy sights in the city and nearby, as well as simply taking walks and exploring neighborhoods. 😥 We still have our airline credit for that trip, good though the end of this year. if the quarantine requirements are lifted, we hope to do that trip yet this year. But for sure, I will include time in London before and after my long cruise adventure in 2022.
  4. Thank you all for your comments about my - and your own - long solo adventure. I like that I can reserve these cruises with only a down payment while I think through my plans and get use to the idea of that much time alone. By the time final payments start coming due next May, I expect to be all fired up and ready to go. And ready to retire! The more I think about it, a cruise - or cruises, plural - seems like the best way for me to see a lot of Europe on one trip. It's so much easier to plan than a long land vacation to multiple cities, and so much more relaxing than unpackin
  5. Due to covid-related re-scheduling, I ended up with a Carnival cruise in early September of 2022 and an NCL cruise late that same month - both in Europe. I have been thinking about when to retire, and I have come to think August of 2022 may be a good time. 😉 I recently booked a 2nd Carnival cruise for a back-to-back experience. The first cruise is London to Rome with stops in Spain and Portugal, and the 2nd cruise is round-trip Rome to Greece, Turkey, Naples, and Messina. If I continue my adventure, I will then have 5 days to get from Rome to Copenhagen for the NCL crui
  6. Good to know! Thank you. I have always made my own flight arrangements, but this may be the time to try something different.
  7. I am waiting to book excursions for my 2022 cruises until I feel reasonably confident that the ships will sail. I don't want any money besides my deposits tied up in these uncertain times. My cruises are in Europe, and I want to see other cruises sail those itineraries first, with minimal or manageable restrictions and no incidents of virus breakouts that lead to extended onboard quarantining or ships being turned away at ports. I am not booking flights either until that point, whenever it may come. My decision has cost me the usual happy planning and anticipation period p
  8. Here's a tip I learned on these boards that worked well for me. If you have a post-cruise hotel stay which you planned to put on a credit card, consider using leftover currency at the end of your vacation to pay all or part of the hotel bill. It's a convenient way to avoid carrying home currency if you don't want to save it for a future trip.
  9. Good point. Though I chuckled at the memory of a tour guide in Denmark who told us he was a retired banker. His pension was probably more than my salary LOL! I was less concerned about tipping in Northern Europe than I am in the Caribbean. But, tipping is generally appreciated, and small bills or euro coins are about the only way to do that. To the OP, you can see that people have different habits and preferences. No right or wrong way to do it. Ultimately, decide what you are comfortable doing. Have a great cruise!
  10. Besides your personal spending habits, another factor in your decision is if you plan on exploring the ports on your own or taking ship-sponsored excursions. We typically take ship-sponsored excursions, and we have found that access to ATM's may be limited or non-existent at some stops. Our personal preference is to have enough currency that we don't have to use valuable port time looking for an ATM. Contrary to many on these boards, we get our currency before leaving home. For the small quantity we get from our local bank, whatever difference in the exchange rate compared t
  11. We have been on a couple of cruises from New York with the first stop being San Juan, and both times the arrival was mid-afternoon, exactly as scheduled. I don't think there is any way for the cruise line to try to arrive earlier. I am sure they would if they could, but the distance from NYC seems to make the late arrival inevitable. We had been to San Juan several times on other cruises (from Florida) when the arrival was a more typical morning time. So, the first time we had the late arrival, we were OK just walking around the Old Town and returning to the ship after a c
  12. My sister and I, senior citizen ladies, take along our Carnival mascot dolls. I probably shouldn't mention that we sometimes talk to them and can get as silly as we did as little girls growing up together. 😁
  13. Carnival recently canceled the entire European season for the Legend. I was offered the $600 OBC in order to transfer the deposit from my August 2021 cruise to a future cruise. I chose the same itinerary on the Pride in 2022. Final payment would have have been due until May. I also could have taken a refund, as I booked with a refundable deposit. So, yes, sometimes they do cancel before final payment and in my case, the OBC was offered.
  14. For me, it is not just about the mask. I interpret a mask requirement as an indication that a potentially deadly virus is circulating around the world. It's the related restrictions and requirements that could make cruising unappealing to me - cruise line or port restrictions on activities in the ports, covid tests before returning to the U.S. or even before being allowed to re-board in port, with the risk of a positive test causing me to be stranded overseas for a quarantine period, the risk of being quarantined in my cabin due to an outbreak onboard, and what I perceive as the impossibil
  15. This morning I started looking at beach rentals in the panhandle of Florida. If I don't feel comfortable flying, I can drive. I used to go there regularly when my sons were growing up, and we loved the beautiful beaches and the protected National Seashore. A closer alternative is Door County, WI, the "thumb" that juts into Lake Michigan. There are beaches, waves, lighthouses, and state parks. Lake Michigan is too big to see across, so it can feel like the ocean. The water is darn cold even in mid-summer, but it is a pretty place and only a few hours away.
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