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About ghstudio

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  1. IMHO, the HAL platinum plan offers just $10,000 worth of medical insurance. Honestly, that's a joke.....if you have a medical issue on board requiring hospitalization somewhere...$10,000 is woefully inadequate...if that's the only medical insurance you will have. Don't do it.....buy independent insurance which will cost less and provide better coverage. The only advantage to HAL's policies is that they will refund 80% of your payment..and I think that's only in the form of a credit towards another cruise. Do not...repeat DO NOT assume that HAL is providing the insurance you need. They are providing the insurance that will insure they can get you off the ship and you can pay their medical bills on-board.
  2. Not sure about "rules", but in practice you can bring a case of soda and leave it with a baggage tag with you luggage and it will appear in your room. No tote bag needed. Don't carry it on...just check it with your baggage.
  3. Many insurance policies will cover your transportation and treatment at the nearest medical facility that can handle your condition. While that sounds good...you may be stuck in that hospital in Pakistan for a few weeks while your hip heals...you get the drift. If the hospital in Pakistan says they can treat you adequately.....and your insurance company agrees (which they almost always do)....you are now stuck in a hospital in Pakistan....note: I said many policies...there are some that offer something closer to what I am about to discuss. Many of us who have traveled a great deal or who have followed trip insurance have have an annual MedJet Assist (discounted through AARP) policy in addition to a standard travel insurance policy. Here's where medjet steps in to help. If you or someone you are travelling with is admitted to a hospital anywhere in the world (farther than 300 miles from your home)....you contact MedJet and ask them to transport you to the hospital of your choice.....eg. your home hospital, the mayo clinic...you choose. The only questions asked by medjet are a) do you still require additional ongoing hospital treatment? b) are you currently admitted to a hospital (don't call if you are not admitted to a hospital)? c) are you medically stable enough to be transported home. If the answer to all 3 is yes, Medjet will arrange your air transportation home on commercial or a private medical jet, if needed, with the medical staff to support you during the flight. You are no longer stranded for weeks in Pakistan (or wherever). Important note: Medjet does not cover the cost of transport from the ship to the first hospital....that's part of your standard travel insurance. I suggest to everyone that they consider an annual MedJet Assist policy....or at least understand what it offers in addition to standard Travel Insurance. (I should note...I have no affiliation....I just know someone who used their services and swears by them).
  4. We consider Princess and Celebrity pretty equal and recently Princess has had better, in some cases far better itineraries than the repetitive Celebrity cruises. For us, Itinerary trumps all the other stuff......aqua dining is good (most of the time), we get better perks on Celebrity...but nothing really sets one better than the other overall. As far as dining, we often join a group table to meet new people. Some fascinating folks cruise and it's interesting to hear other's experiences. My DW and I have plenty of meals where we can talk alone. On cruises, I guess we are that horrid couple sitting next to you who dare say "hello, how was your day? Did you get off the ship?". We accept if the folks next to us are not friendly and we turn to the table on the other side and say "hello............" 🙂
  5. i believe the no perks price has a non-refundable deposit. I have not read Celebrity's non-refundable deposit T&C's....but fair warning...I have seen offers from some cruise lines (that includes river cruise lines) over the years where you are liable for the full normal deposit, not just the lower deposit you paid on a special promotion. I'd check that out before booking a low deposit non-refundable fare.
  6. was that "no fee" or "no fee?"
  7. One hard and fast rule you should never violate. If you have a question/issue about your bill, get it resolved BEFORE you leave the ship. Do not let anyone tell you that HQ will fix your bill. Get an accurate bill in your hands BEFORE you leave the ship. Read this note at least three times...and then print it out and put it in your luggage.
  8. Until the latest swizzle, you could get the stockholder's credit on transatlantic and repositioning cruises because they offered no perks. Now....your guess is as good as mine. I guess one could assume that if you buy the lowest rate which is non-refundable, you can still get the stockholder credit...but one never knows. Our rule of thumb is to request the stockholder credit on every cruise...let them decide.
  9. it is your level in their casino program....pearl is the lowest level
  10. One difference that may or may not be important to you......I believe the no perks price has a non-refundable deposit. The 2 and 4 perks deposits are fully refundable before final payment is due. Personally, we never book non-refundable fares...too much changes in our family's lives to book something six or more months out or we find something we'd rather do....so we don't even look at Celebrity's no perk price at this point unless it's a last minute deal. If you want to put a value on "refundable", when celebrity offered the option of refundable or non-refundable fares, the difference in price was $300pp more for refundable.
  11. Sorry...that cruise didn't show up on the TA site...when I looked for it specifically it said "call", maybe because I asked not to see non-refundable fares. Found on another comparable TA site: Explorer of the Seas 14 nights $1344 (I think this is a special..but fully refundable) As most know, it pays to shop around....different TA's have different prices and perks for different cruises....they vary by cruise, not just by cruise line. We always check fares with 4 or more TA's before booking. The only time we book with the cruise line is when on-board if they offer something special...then we always move the booking to a TA (again after shopping what they will give us in addition to what the ship offered. In some cases, we actually cancel the On Board Booking because the TA has such a good deal, it's just makes sense to book directly through them.
  12. RCL doesn't do a transatlantic from Rome....so it wouldn't even be close apples to apples. Pick your site(s)....you'll find all kinds of anomalies....I just picked one where I could look at multiple lines doing TA's from one port in 2020.
  13. Lowest refundable balcony price (perks differ)...from one big (unnamed because it doesn't matter) TA: Princess Island Princess 16 days 12/4/20 $1675 Celebrity Reflection 13 days $1979 Celebrity Edge 14 days $2464 Everyone will compare different cabins and different perks and their preferred TAs....and make their own decisions, as they should. We would compare a 1A price probably to a mini-suite on princess and that's not apples to apples, but to us it's what we normally book on each cruise line.
  14. Specialty dining reservations are hidden on the pages where you reserve specialty restaurants. Go to the page as if you want to book a specialty restaurant and scroll down to select dining.
  15. OP...no discount on QSINE any more because there is no more QSINE... We do what others apparently do....we don't really care if we eat in a specialty restaurant but if they make us an attractive enough offer, we'll do it. Depending on mood, I only do BOGO's, but occasionally when they knock of 40%, I'll book. I have never been offered any sort of discount or deal on sushi on 5 or the porch and I've tried. I think almost everyone is offered a deal on the first night. Again, as others have suggested, that deal you're offered may not be your perfect time or day...but you can try the restaurant at a lower price. Enjoy your cruise.
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