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Everything posted by greg2014

  1. Thank you for your posts and live report from the world cruise. I was always interested how it could be on such a long cruise. I will wait for your next posts πŸ™‚ Dubrovnik is always nice but outside peek season it looks different. No crowds everywhere, sometimes it is even possible to find empty narrow street.
  2. @jayfurr - what was your itinirary ? where have you started and finished your cruise ? As it was wrote here, charging VAT depends on different parameters (port of start/end + if you have non-EU ports onroute).
  3. @Anoynmous Phoenix - thank you for quick answer πŸ™‚ Was it possible/allowed to make photos during this excursion ? Was bridge included ?
  4. I have a question if Behind-the-Scenes Ship Tour for Platinium members are still exists ? In November I have cruise on Prima - it would be nice to see sth more than usual πŸ™‚ I remember that because of COVID all "Behind-the-Scenes Ship Tours" have been suspended. Is it still valid ? On the other hand - if my friend in the cabin has no platinium level (only silver) - can I go for this tour with him or it is dedicated only for me ?
  5. OK, so I see that price is the same and I can pay only the difference (250 USD) for two certs πŸ™‚ Thank you for clarifying!
  6. I have a question about buying CruiseNext certificates. During my last cruise in 2022, two CN certificates were offered for 500 USD with 250 USD OBC for using onboard spendings. I have two questions. First, what is the current price for CN certificates ? Second, must I obligatory use above OBC connected with CN during cruise ? Is it possible to pay only the difference, so 250 USD for 2 CN certificates ? Thank you for any help πŸ™‚
  7. What's your itinerary ? Where have you started and finishing your cruise ? Basing on other post charging of VAT could depend where cruise is starting/finishing. If both ports are in Spain, it was reported that NCL charge VAT all the cruise including sea time.
  8. We also booked cruise on Prima (1st Nov 2023, Barcelona to Rome) with ports of call in Spain, France and Italy. Question if they will charge 10% Spanish VAT only in Spain ports/waters or during entire cruise (including f.e. Italian ports).
  9. I was travelling with Costa in South America twice (before COVID) and on both cruises pizza was available in buffet free of charge - when on European cruises of Costa not. I am afraid that it is connected with different product of Costa during South America cruises. Buffet opening times were much longer, menu also was a little bit different. Because of Brazilian law, big part of crew were from Brazil, so it could be the reason of communication problems for English speaking guests (most of guests for South American cruises were from Brazil, Argentina etc. - maybe except transatlantic cruises and Costa was focused on them). During my last cruise from Santos on first European stop (as I remember it was Tenerrife) almost all Brazilian crew have been replaced with "typical" for Costa cruises - from Asia countries.
  10. When we talk about minibars in the cabin - it was said that Costa Firenze has no minibars in cabins (below suites). The same on Costa Toscana (and probably Smeralda - but I am not sure; have experience only on Firence and Toscana/balcony cabin on both).
  11. Below you will find menu of MDR and Suites Restaurant on Costa Toscana - 27 Jan 2023. elite_en.pdf mdr_en.pdf
  12. They cut points every year in April - but only for points collected more than 3 years earlier. It does not mean they reset your account every year.
  13. @Schlinger - to be more precise: there was no dedicated restaurant for gold/platinium guests. I am not sure but think that suite guests on Costa Toscana had dedicated restaurant.
  14. Basing on my last experience on Costa Toscana (Jan 2023): priority embarkation for gold/platinium does not exist at all. Staff in terminal does not know anything about it. All passengers waited in one line. I have also not seen any special line to suites guests. Special restaurant at the moment means dedicated part (sector) of normal restaurant. Menu is also the same like in MDR.
  15. In the past they had some itineraries which do not exist now - Asia, India/Sri Lanca, Maledives, Mauritius, Caribbean from Florida... Maybe I wanted to cruise with them more but need more new itineraries. At the moment have gold but keeping it for longer time is more and more difficult and has no sense. On the other hand after last cruise in January can say that many privilliges do not exist anymore - even they are listed by Costa (f.e. priority embarkation or "behind the scene" visit). Unfortunately also credit for spending onboard has been cancelled (it was 75 EUR for gold members).
  16. I have a question, how do you rate Costa's current loyalty program. Below are my current impressions. Costa's loyalty program has looked decent over the years - both in terms of earning points and privileges. The first blemish was the introduction of the rule a few years before the pandemic that points are valid for 3 years (but not on a calendar basis - "cutting off" old points takes place on April 30 each year, then the status is recalculated without taking into account points from three years ago). When the pandemic was about to end - around the middle of last year, Costa drastically changed the rules of the program. First of all, the statuses and score thresholds for entering them have changed. Second, many perks (especially the really cool ones) have been abolished. And thirdly, points are currently accrued depending on the cabin you book. The current statuses are: Bronze 1-5000 pts. Silver 5001-30000 pts. Gold 30001-140000 pts. Platinum 1400001 pts. and above Points are awarded as follows: for each night on the ship: 100 pts. (inner cabin), 200 pts. (window), 300 pts. (balcony), 500 pts. (apartment) additionally, if you have purchased the AI package - 400 pts. and for expenses on the ship - for each EUR 1 spent - 2 points. In addition, there are some extras if you order a cruise with a flight or as part of some travel packages. Now all that's left is math. To become Gold, you need to spend approximately 300 nights in an indoor cabin or 100 with a balcony over the course of 3 years. If someone spends a lot on a ship, maybe a little less πŸ™‚ To be honest, impossible for me. Platinum status now is for me sth like science-fiction: you'd have to spend more days in an inner cabin than there are in three years. But assuming it's apartment guest status, that works out to 280 nights/3 years (in suites only). That is, almost all year round. Of course, expenses can improve something here πŸ™‚ What's interesting: platinum in terms of privileges is not very different from gold (the differences are ridiculous). Poor if we are talking about appreciating someone who spends so many nights on a ship. And the biggest problem. Even wanting to sail all those nights with them, there is a problem: no new routes and fewer and fewer ships because they are constantly selling or scrapping the old ones. How many times can you do the same circle around the Mediterranean Sea or a cruise to the Norwegian fjords? A few times for sure, because the places are charming, but here it's not about a few. Now let's move on to the privileges. Currently, in my opinion, it is better to simply buy them without looking at the status in the loyalty program. What the Costa program gives is absolutely inadequate to what you have to put in. From my conversations during the last two cruises, old guests skip participating in the program and talk directly about moving to other operators - the more that they usually did not sail only with Costa. A kind of moment of truth will come after April 30, when Costa will "cut off" all the points accumulated before the pandemic. Only those won after April 2020, when most of the time Costa practically did not sail at all or hardly at all, and only since last summer it began to take off - but so far part of its fleet is turned off. In my opinion, according to their current rules, they will not have any Platinum guests and almost no Golds because they simply weren't there when to do it during this period. And I guess that's what the last changes to the program were about πŸ™‚ After all, the program is about costs. From my point of view, if I combine this with the progressive decline in quality and visible savings, I have no particular motivation to make further bookings with Costa. What do you think about it?
  17. Also booked during cruise on Costa Toscana from/to Dubai. No extra discounts. 20% for Costa Club (gold member) and 10% for premium cabin. In the past received also extra 5-10% for booking onboard.
  18. I have a question about port of Doha. Had Costa or port organized any bus transfer to city center for passangers self-visiting city (with no excursion) ? Thank you for any help in advance πŸ™‚
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