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Everything posted by steamboats

  1. DH arrived in Seattle yesterday and had a flight on a seaplane with this nice view 😉 - there´s more to come as he´s on the Vancouver - LA trip. steamboats
  2. They are buying back three of the old TUI Flussgenuss river cruise ships WT Sonata (ex TUI Sonata) - Werner-Tours Excellence Allegra (ex TUI Allegra) - Reisebüro Mittelthurgau Escellence Melodia (ex TUI Melodia) - Reisebüro Mittelthurgau All three of them are twin cruisers originally built for Premicon AG and operated by TUI Flussgenuss. The former TUI Maxima is now with nicko cruises as Maxima. But that was the only ship which wasn´t a twin cruiser. BTW I posted this back on April 11th on my FB site and on a German cruise board 😉 steamboats
  3. On Harmony back in 2016 guest services first told me they can´t be reused. I insisted (as I was told on here they can). So they went back and asked and finally the answer was yes. Last year on Symphony we asked at guest services and were directly sent to Boleros where they sold them. No problem, they just replaced on for free which had the muster station printed on it. steamboats
  4. Still the same place - Largo della Pace - a former parking lot. 20 min walking to the train station. steamboats
  5. Exactly, that´s why RCI does not return to Rotterdam. The Spanish are happy to get the contracts. steamboats
  6. Hmm, my swimsuit does not have any pockets to put my card in... So I prefer the WOW Band - also for the Fitness Center. I can´t lose it, forget it and it doesn´t fall down. Be aware that you can reuse the WOW Bands on other ships (Quantum Class, Harmony, Symphony). I reused mine from Quantum and Anthem both on Harmony and Symphony. On Symphony one got replaced for free as it had the muster station printed on it (I think that was the one from the Anthem). steamboats
  7. No, Oasis was in Rotterdam back in 2014. Allure was in Cadiz in 2015. steamboats
  8. Exactly, the Cruise Planner does add the tax to online purchases. And yes and no... it´s an EU law requiring to charge the VAT on cruises (or ferries). It´s up to the EU country what rate they charge. But it´s not an EU tax. The tax is charged by the country not the EU itself. steamboats
  9. No, not yet but they are working on it. They are using the Euro as currency. Croatia and Slovenia are EU members. Montenegro has applied to become a member. steamboats
  10. VAT will be charged in all Spanish ports and within the 3 mile zone! steamboats
  11. Spanish VAT is 10% on all food and drink items (which includes beverage packages and cover charges for speciality restaurants). For all other services / goods it´s 21 % (including internet packages). Spain charges this VAT within the 3 mile zone of every Spanish port. So even when you do have a non EU port on your itinerary you at least pay it when you get close to a Spanish port. For all cruises with no non EU port departing from Spain you pay the Spanish VAT throughout the whole cruise. steamboats
  12. According to this article (and you may download the full paper) OceanMedallion does use Bluetooth (BLE) and NFC (but no RFID). Both technologies are used in almost all smartphones. NFC is used in payment cards like credit cards or bank cards for payments. Bluetooth does need a built in battery. NFC does not. steamboats
  13. Yes, that´s correct. But as there is additionaly Bluetooth in the Medallion there´s a battery needed as Bluetooth is an active system. Locating people on the ship to serve them their drinks which they´ve ordered via an app only works with Bluetooth. steamboats
  14. The entrance at the Fortress is still open. But the shuttle busses don´t stop there anymore - only at certain times for the parking lot there. So when you´re docking at 10 to 13 walking is an option. But be aware that you need at least 30 min from 13 to the train station (walking fast). You can also walk from Largo della Pace to the train station which is 20 min. When you dock at 25 there´s no real option for walking. The shuttle bus to Largo della Pace is the faster option. steamboats
  15. Bluetooth usually works on distances up to 8 or 10 m. RFID/NFC has way shorter distances. You need to install beacons all over the ship to track the Bluetooth devices and locate the people through the device. MSC is using Bluetooth with their family tracker. steamboats
  16. Yes, Bluetooth would require a battery. This is needed for tracking people. steamboats
  17. @John Bull In Germany it´s pretty common that bread (especially here in Bavaria Brezn / pretzels) are standing on the table and when you ask for the bill you are asked how many Brezn you had. The price is noted somewhere in the menu but noone really is taking notice of that. It´s sort of a common knowledge that they are not for free. It´s another thing when a piece of bread is coming with a soup or some other dish (and usually it is marked in the menu that the bread is part of the dish). Then you don´t have to pay it extra. steamboats
  18. You will find an item called "coperta" on your bill in an Italian restaurant. This covers the service and bread. But anyway it´s usual to give a tip. There´s no percentage like in the US but as said before... When you have a bill of 36 Euro some give 38 others 40. In the meantime I even tip 10 % in Germany (being German) for a good service. steamboats
  19. The magnet might be used to "fix" the Medallion in the certain devices (bracelet, wristband, necklace...). But it has nothing to do with the RFID chip. RFID chips (the inactive ones) are used very highly in labels on clothing (as theft protection), for medical purposes, in passports... They are even used in supermarkets. It´s not the chip itself causing the problems for pacemakers and other electronic medical implants but the RFID scanner which is "sending" out an electromagnetic field to provide the energy for the chip and read it. So the problem is getting close to a scanner. steamboats
  20. Similar to other Breakaway Class ships. You can see my photos here. steamboats
  21. You can still use a wristband or the bracelet. steamboats
  22. You can´t have both... cheaper US price and German consumer protection laws... That´s what I always mention when someone is asking "can I book in the US"... If something´s going wrong you have to deal with US laws and not with German laws and the German call center can´t help you at all as they can´t even acess your booking. steamboats
  23. Here in this video it´s say "it requires no charging". As you can use it for more than just one cruise I don´t think there´s any battery involved. Unfortunately the Medallion FAQ does not mention anything regarding a battery or medical problems. steamboats
  24. Then you´re lucked out! That´s why I do book in Germany as I do have German law then. steamboats
  25. There´s no battery inside. Isn´t it just an RFID chip inside? I can´t think of any medical problems with that. From the Princess FAQs: Will I be able to opt out of or turn off this new technology? If you do not want to take advantage of the full Ocean Medallion experience, you can switch your privacy setting to "Safety Only" and enjoy the cruise the same great way you do today. So you should be able to "unable" the Medallion. steamboats
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