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Flatbush Flyer

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Everything posted by Flatbush Flyer

  1. Incomplete info. All sorts of ways to explain that (e.g., booking $199 tours for O Life pretty much doubles 4 excursions each). $1200 pp price drop could be price drop 30 days pre-Cruise sale and/or in combo with 10% off O Club sale.. ETC ETC ETC.
  2. If you pick the right cruise line, its sodas and bottled water (as well as things like internet and specialty restaurants and even items like airfare or an air credit at no extra charge). Those same lines often also include added perks such as SBC, tours or booze. When shopping for a cruise, do not rely solely on cabin cost. Do the bottom line math on all of your required and optionally desired extras. You may be pleasantly surprised at the true cost of partially or fully inclusive cruises.
  3. Sadly- there are some really bad Travel Agencies and Agents. And even when you find one, they may not be around forever. That said, you may want to do a search here on CC. I have (on several occasions) posted detailed instructions on how best to find a good TA who specializes in cruising. One thing for sure: It usually takes time and effort! But, it can be rewarding both in level of service/problem solving and added perks like commission sharing.
  4. Sure- if you’re going on a <1 week boat ride. Long itineraries (e.g., 3-5+ weeks), particularly to locations where you’ll add “gear” (snorkeling, hiking...) don’t work well for just a “carry-on.” Have you flown since the beginning of this spring? Many airlines have started to more strictly enforce the carry-on “bag box” limits as well as require the last passengers to board to check their carry-on bags. And don’t forget that most international carriers have more restrictive size/weight carry-on limits than do US domestic carriers.
  5. Perhaps you’re missing the main points of extra dayS (Particularly if you’re talking about intercontinental flights with a connection). At a minimum, see my post #47. If your flight is cancelled, the next flight with available seats may be the next day or even two days later.The luggage issue is also a major concern (reuniting can easily take at least a day).
  6. And let’s not forget that “catch the next plane” ain’t gonna happen for most folks since any empty seats will go to the FFs and top $ fare payers from your cancelled flight.
  7. All this depends on the circumstances. If you’re using a TA, that is who you’ll need to contact. The right TA can work wonders and do so quickly. If you’re not using a TA (or have yet to transfer a directly booked cruise within the allowable 30 day window), call Oceania reservations. Explain the circumstances and ask nicely. I’ve only done this once before (when I knew O would have to cancel my booked cruise). And, because, I have an established connection with one particular (long serving) O rep, he put me on hold while he got the OK for a transfer to the almost identical cruise a year later. Bottom line: O is known for a degree of reasonable flexibility for making policy exceptions. Likewise, I recommend having multiple avenues to get what you want/need. FWIW: we have 2-3 trustworthy TAs (important in this Covid-fueled uncertain TA situation which has hastened many “retirements”) and, still, we most often initially book direct with O (onboard for those perks or direct to maintain a good O direct contact) and then transfer to a TA within the allowable window. If nothing else, establishing a working relationship with the right O phone rep adds another option to getting things right/fixed (particularly when it comes to add-ons like tours). AND we never book a cruise on the O website nor do we usually buy O tours that way. We use the shore excursions PDF for planning, then do a mock web purchase to see if our math for O Life and YWYW jives with the web bottom line. (BTW, note that you can’t book more than one tour per day on the web and the web tour listings are not always up-to-date). BTW: Though not your current case, it’s worth mentioning for the future that one of O’s book onboard perks is an allowance to switch the booked cruise to a different one. Also, for the future, consider giving yourself an “out” by initially requesting a “hold,” which requires no deposit, can be done by either a TA or an O phone rep and can be active for several days (I’ve had them up to a week).
  8. Pick the right airline and their app tracks your bags. (e.g., United - including it’s Star Alliance partners).
  9. Not “cruises” - rather “credits.” Five 3 “credit” cruises gets deviations too.
  10. Our cruise ends in NYC on 7/5. Arriving 7/4 and was looking forward to watching fireworks from the west side. Our luck- the fireworks have been moved to the East River. Oh well. After a few days of Broadway binge, we’ll head home via EWR to SFO non-stop. Have never had an issue with mid-afternoon non-stop United flights home (from EWR). Nonetheless, we’re planning on getting to EWR 5 hrs prior!
  11. No Fast Track until you actually got into the main immigration area. They were stopping folks long before then. As for connections in Europe, my experience is that the bizclass cost of United 58 (SFO-FRA) is very hard to beats and Lufthansa connects from there are often sale priced (though you won’t see that sale price (e.g., FRA-ARN) on the United website (Gotta call UA for that sale).
  12. We planned a 4 hour layover window recently at FRA on the way from SFO to ARN. The line for immigration at FRA was so long that they kept folks waiting in a separate hall while the immigration line slowly moved through the checkpoint. Just to move slightly forward within that hall took almost an hour before I decided to chat with a police officer stationed there and ended up with his partner getting us to the final queue via a staff elevator. Even then, by the time we got to the Lufthansa bizclass lounge, it was only enough to grab a drink and snacks before we had to board the plane to Stockholm. Sorry folks but, anyone who flies same day with a connection to the embarkation city and chooses cheap priced or quick connect over long layover and leisure with buffer time (and the usually higher price tag) is “pennywise and pound foolish.”
  13. The air credit can be sizable depending on several factors, the biggest one IMO being the cash you save that can be applied to DIY bizclass (we’ve already established that the cost of O bizclass is not the bargain it appears to be (once you realize that you’re also paying for the original coach fare as well).
  14. Today’s GDR lunch menu on Oceania Insignia. Need I say more?
  15. If you know how to remove “cookies” from whatever internet browser you are using on whichever device you’re using, delete anything with “Oceania” in the cookie name. Have your husband do the same thing. After that, get out of the browser and then reopen it and go to the O website and login to your account. Check to see if your list of cruises is now correct. If so (or even if not), have your husband do the same thing to see if his list has reappeared. If the cookie dump doesn’t work, you will need to contact O - even if it means just pressing the OZ office for assistance. You might also ask them for the direct email address of personnel in Miami who manage the O Club.
  16. Too little info. Oceania cruise credits are based on length of a cruise rather than number of cruises. Thus, someone with fewer but longer cruises might have more cruise credits than his/her partner. Not sure what you mean about “combined” accounts. Once you register your newly booked cruise or even if you just sign into the O website you should be able to see the cruise credits YOU have. Your partner would have to have their own O account to see their cruise credits. As for emailing O, you’re better off calling.
  17. You are correct for published Extended Journey bookings (multi-segment single booking number). I should’ve specified above that the tours are separated if it’s. Custom multi-segment (one booking number but two O cruise numbers). Our current cruise is a multi-segment custom one. That’s why the tours are separated per segment (see the pic I had posted: the start of the second tour allocation is at the bottom of the pic). Had this been a published “extended journey,” that divider wouldn’t be there and the amenities section wouldn’t list the segment perks separately. Thanks for mentioning “extended journey.” It always helps to understand that there are plusses and minuses to each type of multi-segment booking.
  18. All the chains now have good/better/best associated with their main property name. There’s Marriott and then there’s JW Marriott (just like Hyatt and Grand Hyatt or Hilton and Conrad). FWIW, the most consistent brand I’ve found is Intercontinental.
  19. As aforementioned, the online docs may be old or were poorly proofread when updated. That pic I posted was from the system generated math summary for pre-purchased excursions - no one would be able to alter it.
  20. Just recently (end of May) was at a high end Marriott in Stockholm- everything available. Also, United Polaris lounge was open at SFO and Lufthansa Business Class lounges at FRA were all open and fully operational. Surely, some places are using Covid as an excuse for all sorts of practices - some of which are legitimate.
  21. Nothing special about it. Often the T&Cs and Ticket Contract folks refer to are old or have not been updated. It used to be that the only letter designated tours were OS and OE, neither of which is eligible for O Life allocation. However, in the past few years, a variety of other letter designations have been added like GL (Go Local). They are OK for O Life as long as they’re under the $199 cap. If you don’t believe that, maybe this pic of a free GL tour BOD-GL5 (net price $0; original price $149) will convince you.
  22. Ask nicely and UA will not charge the $25. Particularly true if you ask phone rep for cheaper alternatives to what you found online. Also: in UA online search, dues several searches with time limits instead of one for the whole day. Those broad based single searches never show all the flights!!!
  23. Well almost correct. The true dividing line is price: $199 and under for allowed O Lfe, even with letter designations (e.g., like GL and the fitness one (can’t remember the letters used)). I know this for sure because the cruise we’re on right now had a couple of letter designated ones that were ok for our O Life.
  24. It would probably be a code share on a partner carrier(s). But, it could still be booked as a UA flight itinerary. I’d check on the web with ITA Matrix to see what combos are available. The beauty of United Is their customer service. They actually answer the phone!
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