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Everything posted by LB_NJ

  1. I think I just heard Gov. Cuomo say that the Brooklyn cruise port will be turned into a temporary hospital.
  2. I recently bought a $100 watch, Tequila, and some "artwork" at a ship auction. All on Grandeur of the Seas. I paid a few dollkars higher for the watch then I could have bought it at Amazon. OK with that. Tequila was comparably priced. Haven't received the "artwork" yet, if it comes in one piece and looks the same as what I bid on, I'm OK. Probably paid 20% - 40% higher than what I could have gotten them for if I had searched the internet, but it was fun and I got free champagne. I consider what I ordered artwork posters. If I want real artwork I'll go to a gallery in NYC, or maybe bid at a real auction house.
  3. This will may not be over in 2020, it takes some amount of time to devlop a vacine and deploy it to hundreds of million people. Unless the US government uses taxpayer money to bail them out the cruise lines will probably go into bankruptcy along with the airlines. With all this not even sure how solvent the travel insurance companies are. I would plan accordingly.
  4. Do you have to book the future cruise right away or can you wait as long as the cruise you book is before the end of 2021? Thinking of canceling an upcoming cruise however not sure of when we would go in the furture. I am assuming that whatever happens the worst will be over by the end of 2021.
  5. When we were on Empress last year we had no problem using wifi calling from the cell phone with VOOM SURF. Your results may vary.
  6. I know TAs offer many various perks including OBC, free gratuities, etc. Which effectively lower the rate. Usually though the current price is the same across TAs unless there is some group cabin purchase by the TA. I wonder what happens to your reservation if the TA goes bankrupt. Some of the travel insurance companies now explicitly exclude travel agency bankruptcy from coverage.
  7. The cruise aboard the Princess ship starts in Whittier. However, the land based portion of the tour (the OP talked about a combined land and sea option) starts in either Anchorage or Fairbanks.
  8. Look carefully. I do not believe any of the southbound cruise tours start in Whittier. They start in the city of Anchorage or the city of Fairbanks. They all end in Whittier where you board the ship. You are responsible for getting to the starting city. Anchorage is where the main Alaska airport is.
  9. Never pay unless: 1. It is part of a package that includes gratuities. or 2. Gratuities are going up for your cruise.
  10. The online TA may offer more perks (eg OBC) however I would carefully check the prices for any extra charges and that everything is included (also your local TA may have missed something like a state based discount that can still be added). I say this because it is very rare (unless there is a group based discount which I have gotten) for TAs to have different base rates.
  11. Saw something about wind gusts to about 50 mph. You might want to stay indoors.
  12. Yes that is true although not exactly sure you are closer to the person next to you, never actually measured. There is a benefit in that you can have a conversation with the table(s) next to you if you want to without feeling obligated to engage in a conversation that happens at large tables. Depends on what you want.
  13. Unless you are staying a night in Manhattan ("Take the train to the plane" used to be available, now LIRR and AirTrain) fly into EWR. I always recommend the night before to be safe unless buying airfare and transfers through cruise line.
  14. We did mytime dining on Empress and always got a table for 2. Usually the same table with the same waitstaff which was very nice. If I remember correctly they had piano player at times during dinner. Ask for a table as forward as possible. My one pet peeve with Empress is that they only washed the dinning room windows at embarkation so they get a little dirty after a few days.
  15. Thank you to everyone for the input. I don't think I will bother calling. The restaurant BOGO might be interesting but that would be about it for us.
  16. On a cruise I am taking (in 2020) they are now offering a coupon book for new bookings. I have an existing booking where I recently added the BSE. It took a LONG time on hold with the TA to get that, over an hour. On the cruise my cabin class is already sold out and I don't want to rebook. Is it worth the effort to try and get the coupon book. Is there anything in the book worth the time and effort.
  17. Do a search on beverage package in this forum. This same question is asked every day or two.
  18. LB_NJ


    The audio books are also nice. My library loans out free audio books using Libby. FYI, the best library at sea is probably the QM2. Also found a very nice library on Oceania Insignia. The library on Crown Princess was practically non-existent.
  19. It was sold however it is still cruising for Royal this year
  20. There are no available cruises that I can find online until March 27. Is Grandeur OK? I ask because I have a cruise booked at the end of Feb. and I did not think it was sold out.
  21. All the cruise lines you mention are mainstream cruise lines. On average they are probably slightly better than Carnival and RCL the two companies that own Holland and Celebrity but not premium cruise lines.
  22. I noticed vibration when I sailed on an inside aft cabin.
  23. Do they serve the regular Chops lunch menu at embarkation if you are not doing the Key?
  24. I sailed on the Insignia loved eating meals on the stern. Great cruise.
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