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About jc719

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  1. Maybe I should add that we are on the Edge, if the ship's implementation matters. My only recent, possibly relevant, experience was on RCCL Oasis OTS in 2017 and that service was excellent (at least for the services I used) & much better than my pre-2017 Solstice-class experiences. I got download speeds of 3 Mbps, which was quite usable. At the time, RCCL used SES/O3b as their internet provider. I can't find whether Celebrity is also using the O3b MEO satellites, but the internet service tiers are marketed and priced similarly between RCCL & X (surf vs. stream/unlimited).
  2. Both DW & I each get the Elite 90 min/30% discount. We haven't been on Celebrity for a while, but were on RCCL a couple years ago (with reciprocal Diamond status) and used the strategy of using the free minutes from one acct first for a day or two, then buying a discounted package on the other acct for the remaining days. So the question is "surf" or "unlimited". Does anyone know the technical implementation differences between the two packages? How do they enforce the surf limitations? Do they blacklist IP addresses for surf (like Netflix, etc), or ports/protocols (for VoIP)? Do they block VPNs? I got the impression that the speed was the same for both rather than throttling. True? Are there usage caps in either plan? For the "free" minutes, are those "unlimited" or "surf" class of service. Also, the pre-cruise "unlimited" plans show a 10% discount, while the "surf" packages show no pre-cruise discount.
  3. Is there any benefit to purchasing an internet package pre-cruise for those with Elite status?
  4. Upon further investigation, the EXACT SAME THING is true of my Royal Caribbean C&A account. She has 2 7 day cruises (one with sister, one with me) and 28 points. I have 1 7 day cruise (with her) but also 28 points.
  5. My spouse completed a cruise with her friend on Celebrity. I didn't go. We're both currently Elite. She got her points as expected, but I also received points matching hers. It doesn't show a completed cruise for me, while it does for her. I'm not complaining, but confused. Her's was 15 nights in AQ but she (& I) got 80 points. I was expecting 75 for her (& none for me). So I'm confused about that too (the apparent 16th night). Can someone explain? Thanks.
  6. We aren't doing it based on cruise days. Elite is from 16th completed cruise credits, with 2 for suite or solo, 3 for suite and solo, 1 for everything else, or 151+ cruise days. We're achieving Elite status by completed cruise credits. I only have 68 completed days. You don't get to accumulate double cruise days for suites or solos.
  7. We did exactly this in May. 3 day suite repositioning from LA to Vancouver, followed by one day solo inside from Vancouver to Seattle (upgraded to a balcony, not that it mattered). 4 quick points and we'll be elite after our next "normal" cruise in December.
  8. Just completed this, too, matching my Celebrity Elite to mLife Gold (phone) to Hyatt Explorist (online). Does this expire or do I have to do something to keep it active/renew it? I couldn't find any mention of this and neglected to ask the mLife CSR. Thanks for the tip.
  9. We've cruised several times in a full suite on 7-15 day cruises and am familiar with the suite benefits. I have a suite booked on a 3 night repo cruise. What suite benefits do we NOT get on a short trip? Sabatini breakfast? First night free specialty restaurant? Free laundry? We're both platinum.
  10. jc719

    Pre-pay OBC

    Here's an update with my experience on Diamond Princess... I bought $1000 USD in OBC. Went to the casino, linked my card and loaded $500 to the card. Immediately cashed out $500. No casino play. A couple days later, loaded another $500 and immediately cashed out again. A few days later, I tried to do it a 3rd time and the card had been disabled for loading cash from my on-board account. I had the same cage cashier both times. Had DW setup her card and download another $500 and immediately cash out. No problem and I didn't try again as I had all the cash I needed. So maybe I should have been more subtle. I also noted that there was no need to preload OBC from home. It would have worked the same, I think, just drawing down the on-board credit, still generating cash from a CC that pays more points for travel.
  11. Is it possible to pre-pay & buy On-board Credit and withdraw it in cash (USD) on board? We have some private tours and the guides want to be paid in cash (either local or USD). I'd prefer to do this rather than taking US currency to earn points on my credit card & I don't like carrying large amounts of cash. I assume that a purchased OBC is refundable in the event I don't use it all up. To withdraw it on-board, can I do this at Guest Services or do I need to use the casino?
  12. +1 for the HooToo Tripmate. I've used it successfully on RCCL Oasis and, I think, on Grand Princess (maybe in 2016). Even then, it was a bit problematic when moving around the ship between access points as the wifi channels changed. Usually needed to be disconnected and reconnected once we settled in a spot. Not at all seemless. I don't know of any cell phone or tablet that would work in this application since it would need two wifi radios. Maybe a laptop with two wifi interfaces (maybe one built-in and one USB) & appropriate software. It requires a bit of networking knowledge to get it working. On land, the cellular radio provides one network connection and the wifi radio provides the network connection for the hotspot clients so it's much more transparent.
  13. My experience with getting a China visa was quite exasperating. It was for a land trip, not a cruise, but tourist visa is the same. I'm near San Francisco (and not wanting to pay a visa agency $140 in addition to the China $140 fee) so I made the trek to the consulate. Found street parking a few blocks away, then waited 4.5 hours in the waiting room for my number to come up. I started @ 100 behind the current number. Then someone ahead of me gave up & gifted me her number that bumped me up 30 spots. Still took 4.5 hours. Sitting on the floor for 3.5 of that. I needed: my completed visa application form, printed only. No script writing. new photos (not the US 2x2" but 33x48mm.) Ears have to be visible & other requirements. Not a problem for me but long hair has to be pulled up or back. My local Costco knew the rules but charged extra for "special handling" (they had to use scissors instead of their 2x2 punch) My current passport with 2 blank pages My previous passport Any passport with a previous China visa. Arriving and departure tickets (air, in my case) must arrive within 6 months Itinerary in China (dates, cities, hotels) Invitation letter from China sponsor on their letterhead (I am on a tour) Proof of US residency (driver license) to show you are applying at the correct consulate Many people ahead of me were rejected for some defect (most common were non-compliant photos or written form). Conveniently, there was a photo booth (with a 30 minute line & $10 fee). And there were the runners for the visa agencies who would pull out a few dozen application packages that took ~5 minutes each. There were two windows. Once at the window, it took ~5 minutes. You get a receipt and sent home. Come back in 4 days to pay & collect documents. That only took a few minutes. No line. I've had visas (back when they required them) from Brazil, India, Russia, and others. None compare to China. I'm good for 10 years now but if I need another, I'd use an agency. Or utilize TWOV if I qualified.
  14. You can combine points for accounts in the same household, so if, for example, DH has a CSR and DW has a Freedom, DW can transfer her Freedom points into DH's CSR to get the redemption options of the CSR, including transfer to partner airlines.
  15. There are (technically) 3 Chase Sapphire cards: Sapphire Reserve ($450 AF), Sapphire Preferred ($95 AF), and Sapphire (no AF). The Sapphire is not available for new applications (but if you already have one, you can continue to use it). It is now also available as a product change from Reserve or Preferred (although Chase Freedom or Freedom Unlimited are usually a better no-fee option for most people). I don't think Sapphire shows up on the Chase website (although if you have a grandfathered card, you can probably find the benefits if you login to your account). I'm not sure what benefits it has, but I don't think there are many since it has no fee.
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