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Everything posted by Joebucks

  1. I would also say that many restaurants I go to are also not the same quality of what they used to be. All for a much higher price.
  2. What the internet thinks an upgrade is: Having a balcony and getting a grand suite for $200 What the upgrades usually are: Marginal discounts on higher categories of rooms you already said no to. I got a chuckle out of those who immediately went to "ROYAL MUST HAVE MESSED UP!" All businesses are guilty until proven innocent. No customer has ever been wrong in their entitlement.
  3. Some companies have it. Often limited in scope. For GeoBlue, you are supposed to "request" DirectPay within 48 hours of your appointment. Most of the situations people talk about here, are more of an emergency care. By and large, people have this crazy expectation that travel insurance can do all of these amazing things. Even my US-based health insurance takes time to process claims. Do people honestly think they just call them and say "Hey, I was sick Antigua" and they just pay them right the hospital right then and there? GeoBlue's policy requires time to do as much of this work beforehand. Even then, it probably doesn't work everywhere.
  4. When you buy a cruise, you are getting the cruise. If you don't go on the cruise, yes I would fully expect a refund per the terms you agreed to. Cruise companies might as well shut down now if they are going to held legally liable if anyone of their "advertised amenities" goes down for whatever reason. What's more dangerous than anything else, is the increasing entitlement of "I am the center of the universe. Everything must conform to my maximum satisfaction."
  5. One thing most people don't realize is almost any medical coverage outside of the US is going to require you pay in full. Even travel insurance (in most cases) isn't going to have everything settled for when you want to leave a foreign hospital.
  6. I remember the first time I had to take a tender, and didn't have FTTF. This place scared me that my day would be lost. We rushed to the tender line to hopefully get an ideal spot, we were one of the first people there. "The beards" aren't the ones in charge of this. There are likely corporate data analysts in charge of this. Likely viewing different data sets, trends, etc. When something constantly sells out quickly, you have clearly underpriced it. You jack up the price until you find that equilibrium. Who's to say that selling out in advance is the best method? What if it costs $700 in advance to "secure your spot" and there are still some left for $400 when you get there? Some people might buy that on the spot.
  7. Insurance is a lifelong waste to the average person. Most of us already buy (and many overpay for) auto, home, and health. You go on the internet and everyone talks about how important it is to buy pet, life, travel, etc. If people truly understood how much they spent vs how much they claimed, they would be sick. Then you see someone who swears by their insurance because it "saved them $500." Yet they spent many times that. Sometimes, you are even lucky to get anything at all after all of the hoops and exclusions. Most people are much better off taking all of this money and putting it into savings. Insurance should be for catastrophic loss, not minor inconvenience. With that said, it's not always a terrible purchase. If you are traveling months per year, and/or are in poor health, an annual policy may be worth considering. If you are young and healthy, you probably don't need that $150 policy to cruise to the Bahamas because someone on the internet scared you into it. Always know what you already have, what you need, and what you are buying. Some plans may not cover your pre-existing conditions, may be secondary (and largely worthless). There's no one-sized-fits-all approach. It's not a magical plan that fixes your every inconvenience. Medical costs are a bigger concern than CFAR or bag insurance. However, like in my case, my employer medical insurance covers overseas care. That might be a good thing to know. Instead of paying for high premiums in my normal insurance, and buying travel insurance, I have a healthy HSA savings and HDHP that would not bankrupt me in any medical scenario. Medical evac can have varying importance too, depending on your health, risk of trip, etc. Some annual med evac plans exist. Some credit cards include the coverage. If you're going to travel a lot, it might be wise to look into a CC that includes these benefits.
  8. As with anything in life, there are always going to be varying context. Also, in usual internet fashion, taking an extreme example like .001% of cruisers who booked an "Antarctica" cruise and could not go there. Now we need sweeping reform (with zero consequences) for something that honestly doesn't need such attention. When will we learn to stay out of such things. As to what is "frivolous" and what is "valid," who draws that line? What about a picture of bacon on the website, and there was no bacon on the ship? What about an advertised theater show didn't play because someone got injured? What about the port "I booked this cruise for" and the ship couldn't make it? What about a medical injury that threw off some other plans? As we see daily with these forums, there is a lot to complain about. It is impossible to make sure everything goes on without a hitch. Credit card companies are not there to ensure your total satisfaction. They ensure that sellers are acting in good faith with that they are offering. That does not mean if one of 100 variables is unfavorable, that the trip should be free for you, decided by the CC.
  9. It's a loaded topic. I used to work in the "back office" of a large retailer. We would get people all of the time that would dispute charges because they felt entitled to a full refund at any inconvenience. The bank would ask us for proof the customer got what they bought and/or our written policies. The policies of a Fortune 100 company weren't illegal, no matter how many people on the internet you could get to shake their fist at them. I spoke on the phone to quite a few bank agents that laughed at various disputes. I've also personally noticed that sometimes the bank might just side with the customer on small charges because it's not worth the battle. To think credit card companies are refunding entire cruises because an unforeseen act wouldn't allow them to reach a certain port or whatnot is crazy. You still went on a cruise, slept in a room, used the services, ate the food, used the amenities. That's not to say there aren't instances where it works. Perhaps not getting your river cruise, and getting a bus tour may do it. Who knows. That doesn't mean a lot of busybodies who never had such a thing happen to them, need the entire book rewritten.
  10. A dispute is for paying for a cruise and not getting a cruise. Good luck getting your cruise refunded because your port schedule had to be changed. Like do you honestly expect a full refund? This whole thread has a lot of nonsense in it. While I understand wanting balance, understand, there are pros and cons to EVERYTHING. The cruise companies were already on thin ice. What happens when another pandemic or whatnot hits? Do they bankrupt themselves because of the inconveniences of spoiled cruisers? Do you think IF these kinds of changes were implemented, it would carry no negative side effects? Are you all really that taken advantage of? I mean honestly, how many of all of your cruising days were that messed up? More often than not, they also provide a credit or whatnot, when they don't have to. In my last 10 cruises, there was one time I didn't go to a port. Clearly the water was bad. They gave us all an OBC. What else do you want? I see no evidence of things being changed all willy nilly, that is ruining my vacation. Just because the Antarctica story came out, now people need something to get outraged at.
  11. I worked in electronics for a while. Some people absolutely lost their mind when they heard on the news TVs had some tracking features to make recommendations based on what you watch. Good luck telling them their cell phone, Facebook, email, etc all do 10x more than that.
  12. There will always be complainers, no matter what. Royal has already shown that the demand for all of their Oasis and Icon classes is strong. They command premiums, and they sail just fine to the available ports. It almost has paved the way for Carnival to build just as many large ships without much repercussion. The only reason Royal would return to "smaller" ships is not because the complainers won, but because they are looking to maximize other ports the best they can.
  13. There are more problems than that. Otherwise, the seas would be loaded with older ships. Even though an older ship may be paid off, you can't ignore the fact that a newer ship might still get 2-5x higher fare multiples. This is why companies take on debt, because they believe the ROI will be worth it. As you hint on with your engine comparison, ships need dry docks, upgrades, maintenance, etc. Is it worth putting hundreds of millions into old ships (suddenly, the paid off theory really no longer applies) or is it better off to put that money towards something that will attract more interest and upsells onboard?
  14. Are we still on this? We are past the days of asking if the price and benefits are worth it to you as the consumer. Now it's important for "purposes" to reverse-engineer scenarios that don't apply to you to see if it meets an "equation of equity." This absolutely sounds on-par with 2024 internet advice.
  15. Wasn't Royal dedicating a new Icon class to short private island cruises? Seems like a good way to grow the business. Capture higher priced fares for people who can only sail 4 days, at ports where they capture even more revenue. I don't know that I see the business case yet to put these in Galveston, New Orleans, or Long Beach. LB would need to redo it's fuel infrastructure. Good luck with that. It also seems like Royal is ordering far more large ships than Carnival.
  16. Another day, another unfortunately occurrence that is sensationalized because the word cruise can be found in this story. This can and does happen in any US city. However, it won't make the same headlines as big scary boat! No one told me this could happen!
  17. I don't want to contribute to another tip thread. However, there is no difference in tipping the staff between fixed, YTD, or eating in the buffet. All of the food staff is included in the gratuity. If you think someone went above and beyond, by all means, give them more.
  18. If I drink 3 glasses of water before I go to bed, a hangover is significantly reduced for me.
  19. I mean, if there was no risk, you wouldn't find a sign at nearly all hot tubs that says something along the lines of "caution" "limit to 15 minutes" "consult doctor if you have heart disease, high/low blood pressure, diabetes" etc.
  20. Oh good, I hope we get to the bottom of the smoking debate, once and for all. In all seriousness, it reminds me that I want to see a cigar lounge of sorts. Even if it's a half-assed add-on to the outdoor bar near the smoking area. This should have some type of presence.
  21. If the tubs were actually hot, I'd imagine Carnival would have worse problems on their hands. Hot weather, hot water, alcohol, obesity. That's not going to end well.
  22. In my experience, it seems like more kids go to the aft pool than any other pool.
  23. What a first world problem. "I'm only getting free beverages however I'd like them. They haven't figured out a way to let me sit in this room I absolutely must be able to sit in!"
  24. Agreed that I would like to sail it, but not at these prices. In another edition of a country where everyone complains "I can't afford to live" while $6000 mass-market cruises sell out just so you can experience a marginally bigger ship ASAP!
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