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About dswallow

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  1. BTW, the next cruise planner sale is from July 15 to July 22 (http://www.creative.rccl.com/Sales/Royal/Promotions/Snapshot_of_CruisePlanner_Offers.pdf), so look on Sunday night/Monday morning. 🙂 Probably should mention I've seen it take RCCL some time to adjust all the prices for a sale, too, so check again and again after a sale starts!
  2. There's also something going on with prices when at least both embarkation and debarkation occur at non-US ports. For example, I have a Barcelona sailing on 10/25/2020, before the 11/1/2020 transatlantic, and it regularly shows pricing that isn't even dollar amounts, and I'd never seen that happen before. My initial suspicion is that in some way the pricing is kept in the local currency and I'm seeing a conversion to US$. But I really don't have enough experience with non-US sailings to venture much of a guess. You mention a Shanghai departure in your situation. So the best I can really say is it generally works as described, definitely for sailings with US ports as embarkation and/or debarkation. And it probably works similarly in the other cases, but with base prices somehow different than the US$ prices we're accustomed to starting with. Part of me suspects the system RCCL uses behind the scenes is very manual rather than very rule-based, and thus subject to a variety of entry errors or rounding differences depending on how someone configures it in the first place, and possibly edits things as adjustments are made or sales are configured. Considering what we saw with the $18/day drink package mistake, it makes a certain amount of sense. So, obviously you should always compare the actual price you'll pay versus the price you paid previously if you are looking to see if the price went down since you made a purchase, but I think you can also generally count on this being how it works, and once you've made a deluxe beverage package purchase that was a 30% or so discount, you're unlikely to see better.
  3. Every sailing has an "onboard price" set for the drink package. It varies by ship and by sail date. Online, they sell that drink package at one of 3 discounted prices: 20% off 25% off (RCCL always calls this buy one get 50% off the second, etc, but it's just 25% off) 30% off For 2019 the official onboard drink packages are priced between $63 and $70 per day. You'll generally see $63, $67 or $70. But I suppose they could occasionally price it elsewhere in that range. The calculated price after the discount is usually rounded down. Online, the discount percentage is placed over the graphic of the drink package separately, and this often will not happen, even though the price reflects the discount amount properly. Not sure why or if there's a pattern. At least recently it seemed that distant-future sailings that still were within the period to begin booking the package would be most likely to not show the percent-off banner properly. YMMV. Onboard if you're Diamond Plus, you can buy the package for the 30% off price; generally you can find a slightly better price when purchasing in advance when the package is 30% off and bundled with VOOM Surf+Stream (sometimes this will even calculate out to "over 35% off" as the discount banner). Onboard if you're Pinnacle, you can buy the package for 40% off the onboard price; this is almost always a better price than you will ever find in advance. I'm not sure how widespread this may be, but I paid attention on my last sailing and noted the ship sold the drink package at the same discounted price that was offered online for the first day of the sailing. I wouldn't really count on it, but it's worth mentioning. There will be times when RCCL increase the base onboard price on sailings; for instance when they announced 2019 pricing changes suddenly future 2019 cruises may have higher onboard base prices. But otherwise it appears very rare they adjust th onboard price, so you usually can calculate what it is at any time by dividing the sale price by the sale discount (i.e., $50 @ 20% off = $50 / 0.80 or $62.50 (remember rounding, so the onboard price on a sailing with that discounted pricing is most likely $63/day. And as we know, RCCL can make a mistake now and then. But this is, most certainly, the exception and not the rule. 🙂 The main thing to remember, as with all Cruise Planner purchases, you are not locked in to a price. If the price goes down after you purchase you can always cancel your previous purchase for a full refund and make a new purchase at the lower price. Just be very careful to cancel only just what you are going to purchase again. And there may be times RCCL might just drop a price unexpectedly on purpose for some reason. So it does pay to look regularly and pay attention to social media posts from others on your sailing(s). But once you've purchased the drink package online at a 30% discount (or the VOOM combo at similar pricing), it's likely rare, if at all, you'd see the price drop below that.
  4. I suppose there's factors like ship-building capacity to consider, but I don't really see why RCCL couldn't invest in new ships that were wider/longer but not as tall as Oasis/Quantum so they would be able to navigate under some of the lower bridges that are likely to be around for a long time at many ports they currently or would prospectively serve. Grandeur needs some work. I was on her in February, and almost every outdoor area that was covered was in need of some serious scraping of all the paint on the ceilings and replacement. There's always something needing that sort of care, but this was every single square foot was obviously flaking. Elevators that never work for the entire sailing are another issue. Undoubtedly areas we don't normally see have mechanical issues as well.
  5. I've not had occasion to make a change, but I've never seen that mentioned before and never seen anything among all the FAQs or terms and conditions I've read related to Air2Sea.
  6. For Book Now, Pay Later Refundable reservations, there's no fee to change or cancel up until 90 days before sailing date (the booking fee is not refundable -- $15 or $25 depending on domestic or international reservations). For the nonrefundable fares, it's whatever the airline offers in the way of credits towards a future booking or charges for changes, which varies by airline and class of service.
  7. Basically yes, they won't have fares on flights until airlines release them, which is typically something like 330 days before hand. But not everything Air2Sea offers will be fully refundable; that's only some subset of what's offered. You'll see little icons identifying the terms when you browse flights, though maybe if you call they can directly look up just the refundable options. And I've seen plenty that are higher than you can get yourself, too, so you would want to balance whatever things Air2Sea offers that would be worth having vs the extra aggravation of a third party and potentially only getting the price difference in a form of non-refundable OBC. Not to mention dealing with all the crazy different fare categories/rules. 🙂
  8. I believe that guarantee is only available within 24 hours of the initial booking (and it's for 110% of the difference as a non-refundable OBC). https://www.royalcaribbean.com/terms-and-conditions/air-2-sea Though at least for the fully refundable Air2Sea reservations, while in the refundable state, I'd expect that should be essentially a cancellation and rebooking.
  9. Yes I'm fairly certain I picked them from the Air2Sea side of things. I can also readily adjust that on Delta's web site as well.
  10. Yeah, I was pleasantly surprised, but still nervous. I could see the flight reservation on Delta's web site attached to my FF#, though, so felt with that showing it was actually really reserved. 🙂
  11. I booked Delta first class tickets r/t between JFK and San Juan several months ago via Air2Sea, it was about $60-$80 cheaper than direct with Delta, was fully refundable, and didn't require payment till cruise final payment. Now if Delta would stop changing the return flight time by a minute or two every three weeks I'd be very happy. 🙂
  12. You should get $22.99 x 2 as a Diamond Plus discount on any internet package (the value of 2 SURF day passes onboard). Perhaps your sailing had a lower price than usual on the SURF day pass.
  13. Your Diamond or Diamond Plus free 24-hour period(s) are the SURF version, not SURF+STREAM. You get the free/2 free 24-hour periods _OR_ you get a fixed-dollar discount off buying the package onboard. Not both.
  14. Nope. RCCL doesn't offer per-minute based internet pricing; they do sell a day pass but it's usually at a higher price... something like $22.99/day for the slower SURF, and $29.99/day for SURF+STREAM. And it's for a contiguous 24-hour period. Onboard there are usually discounts offered for a day here or there, but that's sort of a maybe/maybe not thing. I think I recall on one sailing they offered a 50%-off price one day (the day pass, not the rest-of-the-sailing package).
  15. $22.79 * 9 = $205.11 (2 devices, in advance) $19.99 * 9 - $45.98 = $133.93 (1 device, on board) x 2 (you're both Diamond+, I presume) = $267.86 $18.99 * 9 * 2 - $45.98 = $295.84 (2 devices, onboard), even if you could coerce them into doubling the Diamond+ discount since you're buying for 2 devices it'd still be $249.86, still worse than buying in advance. If you wait 2 days and buy it when there's 7 days remaining: $19.99 * 7 - $45.98 = $93.95 (1 device, onboard) x 2 = $187.90
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