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About ano

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  1. ano

    Will Virgin Voyages be successful?!

    That is a VERY easy one to answer for anyone that cruised on one of the large cruise lines 15 to 20 years ago. That can be Carnival, Royal, Celebrity, Princess, Norwegian. That is what VV should aim for, and that DOES NOT exist on any cruise line today. Not in the least. I've moved on to Oceania, and its fine, but not even close to what these bigger ships had. Here is a refresher, including some nice things I think should included as well: Included gratuities, no charge for any restaurants and all the food is actually VERY good, no "Haven" or other areas that exclude "lower class sailors" from enjoying the whole ship, all non-alcoholic beverages/coffees included, and maybe 2 alcoholic beverages included per person per day. Remember midnight buffets? No you don't need to bring those back, but some elegant parties on board once or twice would be nice. And why not give each "sailor" a few free photos to remember the trip for free. Also, including most excursions would be good, as that is why you likely cruise in the first place. None of this is what I would call "luxury" and I don't see VV as a high-end cruise line. Instead stop nickel-and-dimming, and make the vacation that people have saved up a year or more for memorable. When you get off the ship, you should be remembering the great times you had, not trying to figure out why your credit card was just charged $1296 for gratuities and extra charges.
  2. ano

    OLife Air vs. DIY

    Will it save you money over booking them yourself? Likely not. Will the flights be less-than-ideal? Probably yes. You can get OLife without the flights and that is what we do.
  3. Here is a simple guide to see the deception. I'm a new cruiser, or maybe not. I start at the NCL Homepage. NCL Home Page And I'm hooked by the free drinks. So I look at the cruises to see more. I'm first on the "Find a Cruise" here: Find A Cruise I see lots of cruises, but pick one that has "Free At Sea" like this first one: Nice Inside Room ... On the bottom right, it says "Free At Sea" So I'm on the right path. So I pick a nice room, and my "Free At Sea" selection shows up here: Free At Sea Selection Wow it says "Unlimited Open Bar" for Guests 1 & 2. I press ADD. Nowhere on this page is ANY NOTE about a gratuity. NOWHERE. I click ADD and Continue. Not a peep about gratuity. It does include "Free Unlimited Open Bar" So I press "Select and Continue. Pay for Cruise I enter my name and credit card. Depending on the date I may have booked a non-refundable deposit. It does NOW say $277.20 for "Free At Sea Gratuities" but its easy to miss, and there really is no explanation of this charge. Its almost the same as the "Gov't Taxes, Frees, and Port Charges" at $270.90. With the excitement of booking the cruise, its easy to book. Now please explain, on which of these pages above does it explain about the 20% Gratuity Charge? The answer is none of them. If NCL wasn't tryng to slip this by people, it would pop up when I selected this option. It doesn't. That is the deceptive part. On all these pages you go through to BOOK your cruise, ONE of them needs to explain this charge. I should not need to wade through pages to find it.
  4. I also don't think we would be at 42 posts in a rather short time if nobody felt deceived.
  5. Since I just got off an NCL cruise, the answer now would be yes, but I certainly wouldn't have signed up for the "free drinks" knowing what I know now.
  6. I think I will be filing a complaint with the FTC, and I suggest others to as well. Its pretty easy: FTC Complaint Link Not only is the "Free" part deceptive (Sometimes with the tiny asterisk, sometimes not,) but it actually says "FREE UNLIMITED OPEN BAR & MORE." Really? I must have missed the disclaimer on the $15 price limit, or the limit of only certain wines. Oh wait, there is none. The "Free Airfare" is pretty amusing as well, because when you click on "Learn More" you learn its not always free, and the term "Reduced Airfare" suddenly appears. Funny how no mention of "Reduced Airfare" on the home page.
  7. Good review. We went two weeks earlier, and I would say our impressions were about the same. On the drinks, they are definitely pushing their drink packages, and they are raising the price of that, so it only makes sense they raise the price of individual drinks. I think many cruise lines have realized that alcohol is a way to make lots of money from a cruise. When you look at the markup its incredible. And as you say, the drinks weren't even particularly good.
  8. ano

    Suite perks?

    Just announced, $15.99 soon.
  9. When people save up all year to go on "vacation" they don't want meals that they eat the other 358 days of the year. I personally like scallops also, but they were nowhere to be found, even on NCL's "Seafood Night."
  10. ano

    Did we get drunker than we had to?

    The sugar in soda isn't good for you anyway so you were probably better off. Diabetes or alcoholism, your choice.
  11. ano

    Smoking Cannabis

    On a recent New England NCL cruise, it was definitely being used. We could smell it on our balcony.
  12. If they want you to "upgrade" to good food in the specialty restaurants, what incentive do they have to give you good free food? Mark my words, in 5 years they will be charging you for all food. They will do it in steps. First, they will give you a credit with which to buy your food, so if you only go to the dinning room and buffet you "credit" will last you the cruse. Then slowly they will lower the credit, and soon, poof, you pay for all your meals. Just wait.
  13. We have the OLife excursion extra, with 8 excursions. If Oceania misses these ports, do we get any kind of refunds? Since the excursions have to be reserved before the cruise, it doesn't sound like we can just use our "free" excursions at another port.
  14. Maybe I'm showing my age, but when we started cruising with Royal Caribbean many years ago, they offered lobster EVER night. The only lobster we have seen in the last few years is Celebrity still seems to have it once on 7+ day cruises.
  15. What people often forget, is when you pay say $30 for a specialty restaurant, you are also paying for the meal in the dinning room or buffet you didn't eat. That $30/person meal really becomes a $45/person meal. When they drop what they are paying per meal in the dinning room or buffet, they have to increase the price of the specialty restaurants to make up for it, and over the years, they definitely have.