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About DfDinLA

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Los Angeles, CA
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    travel, food, sports, movies

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  1. As others before me have mentioned, Wells Fargo and B of A both have foreign exchange services for people who have accounts with them and the rates are very competitive. Travelex has a reputable online ordering service with good (not great) rates. They will FedEx the money to your home or business and you must be there to sign for the delivery, it will not be left on your doorstep. If you travel to Europe frequently, consider opening an account in a bank in the European Union. Once the account is open you can wire transfer money from your US bank to the foreign bank and interbank exchange rates are the best you can find. For all those who say use credit cards and ATMs and you don't need much cash, I doubt you have gambled in the casino in Monte Carlo.
  2. During a transatlantic crossing on Rhapsody I decided I wanted to host 6 guests in my suite one afternoon. I told the concierge I wanted to buy 5 bottles of champagne and a case of Evian, and I wanted the champagne delivered chilled in ice buckets with 7 champagne glasses, 7 drinking glasses and some cocktail napkins. I also ordered a tray of assorted veggies and dip, a tray of assorted cheeses and asked that it all be delivered at 1 PM the next day. At the desired time it all arrived and he stopped by to make sure everything was OK and then he told me the snacks were compliments of Royal Caribbean.. My guests and I had a very nice afternoon and afterwards I thanked the concierge for his help and the nice surprise.
  3. I did the eastbound TA on Indy last year and there were fewer than 10 teenagers onboard. There were more toddlers than teens.
  4. Miserable? I certainly have not seen that. I've seen employees who were not friendly, but that's a long way from miserable. I admit my sample size of cruises is small but I have encountered mostly friendly employees and no one anywhere near miserable.
  5. Things must have changed a lot. I was on Rhapsody 2 years ago and the ship was very clean and well-maintained. I'd sail on it again without concern.
  6. I can't figure out any practical use for this "information."
  7. Where do I want the money to come from? RCI shareholders, not fare paying passengers or tax payers. However, I suspect RCI's accountants have managed to make this a tax deductible contribution.
  8. Let's start again. The first sentence from the Original Post said, "Cruise line executives will continue to bluster they are recession proof and quietly reduce prices when a recession softens bookings." The news article I cited said the industry was able to maintain margins during the Great Recession, 2007-2009, during periods of reduced passenger counts and revenues because: a) cruise ships are mobile and were sent to areas with better economic conditions, b) itineraries were altered so lower cost ports were substituted for high cost ports, c) debt was restructured as the Federal Reserve combatted the recession with lower interest rates, d) cheap labor was available worldwide and e) larger and stronger cruise lines acquired smaller and financially weaker cruise lines. I have no idea what happened to a the price of a JS during a specific cruise. I do know why cruise executives "bluster" (the OPs word, not mine) about their ability to preserve margins when passenger counts and prices decline. For those interested in more information, check out "Damn The Torpedos - Cruise Lines In The Recession" in The Economist dated February 11, 2010. However, you will need a subscription to view this article.
  9. I suggest you do a search on NBCNews.com for an article written by Anita Dunham-Potter dated March 17, 2008, titled "Recession? Not For The Cruise Industry." Cruise ships are portable, itineraries are flexible, ships can be refinanced at lower interest rates and low cost labor is available worldwide. The industry also experienced a fair degree of mergers and acquisitions.
  10. Any customer survey only works for my benefit when I am scrupulously honest. I point out the things that were done exceptionally well and those which need improvement. No grading on the curve. Then it is up to the company to use my information for intelligent decision making. I am the one paying the bill, not the company, not the employee. I'm going to use the survey for my benefit, not someone else's.
  11. I've been on 3 cruises and cannot remember the CD for any of them. To me they are irrelevant. I saw them for a few minutes each night before the show. None made much of an impression on me. Somebody maintains a list of CDs for each ship and I can't figure out any use for it.
  12. I did a 10 day European itinerary (Barcelona to Amsterdam) on Vision and liked it very much. Independence of the Seas was too big for me. Too crowded. Not a fan of the Royal Promenade. I'm going back to Vision for my next cruise. No more 4,000+ passenger ships for me.
  13. Typing is such an American thing. Foreign countries have different labor and wage regulations than we have in the USA. Therefore, when traveling abroad I adopt local customs.
  14. I'm on Independence right now for a TA and there are 5 enrichment programs on the itinerary. Arts and Crafts Classes with Peter and Roz Fruhling (Multiple days) An Insight To Forensics with Aaron Elkins (Various subjects on multiple days) Bridge with Bridge Director Tony Cruden (Several topics on multiple days) Ballroom Dance Lessons With Instructors Kay and Amy Wong (Many different dance types on multiple days) Morning Mass With Father Pascal Kassis I plan to attend the forensics talks. The first one is "Facts, Fallacies and Myths - Do CSI and Bones really get it right?"
  15. My thinking seems to be a bit different than the others on this topic. My dream itinerary would be any where the Diamond Lounge is located on deck 1, pool deck chair hogs are detained in the naughty room, people dress for formal night the way they do on Cunard and the ribeye at Chops tastes like the one I get at Ruth's Chris.
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