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About MightyMike

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  1. I think it would be better for the economy as a whole if companies would stop using these confusing, if not deceptive, pricing practices. Everyone is doing it now. I'm sure all of us have been bitten by it at one time or another--only to be referred to some fine print. The only thing it does is it makes us more reluctant to purchase anything big. It sows distrust. It ends up harming all companies--not just those that abuse the trust.
  2. I'm not sure I understand the premise of the original question. It sounds like the original poster wants to purchase travel insurance *after* making the decision not to go. The time to purchase insurance is *before* the unforeseen circumstance happens. I would question the viability of any insurance company willing to take that bet. What's in it for them? I would love to be able to purchase premium auto insurance immediately after getting in an accident, but that's not how insurance works. The only option I see is one to plead your case with the cruise line and leave things up to their mercy. If the cruise is full and they think they can easily resell the cabin(s), then it makes sense for them to work with you on an offer.
  3. Coco Cay nets Royal Caribbean a lot of money. For them to cancel, the weather issues must be pretty serious.
  4. The only downside is that a named travel agent might be less responsive than Celebrity direct. We have done both and appreciate the onboard credits travel agents add. The one time I appreciated being booked directly with Celebrity is when I saw a room that I wanted open up in the evening. I called Celebrity and since they had the reservation, they swapped rooms right then. If I would have been booked with a travel agent, the room might have been taken before my first opportunity to contact the agent the next morning.
  5. I very much enjoyed our last cruise which was out of San Juan rather than Florida. It is tough to get direct flights to Florida from here. Whether we fly to Miami/Fort Lauderdale or San Juan, we always have one connection. Prices seem to end up about the same. Hotels are expensive in San Juan, but Florida isn't that cheap either. A pre-cruise hotel stay feels more exotic in San Juan. Miami and Fort Lauderdale feel similar to here. It's warmer, but the stores and entertainment feel too similar. San Juan gives your ship about a 1000 mile head start to the southern Caribbean islands.
  6. All three of my M-class cruises have been in sweet sixteen cabins. We never had noise issues. My only comment about 6016 is that it is the furthest forward of all. It has the most privacy, but one of your balcony sides is a steel wall as opposed to a translucent divider. The steel wall makes the balcony feel colder and perhaps a little smaller.
  7. "Kids Sale Free" was a wonderful surprise for us. It may not seem like much at first glance, but the difference between half-off and free can be huge--especially with 2 kids. With only 1 kid, our cruise price went from $3,600 to under $3,000. Adding the onboard credits and beverage package perks that Celebrity offers changed Celebrity's price from being on par with Royal Caribbean's to being significantly less. We are getting a higher-quality product for less money.
  8. This seems to be an issue in multiple industries--cruise lines, cable TV installers, everything--even doctors. This just seems like lazy management: Invent some questions, package them into a "survey", tell the customers to do the work, summarize the data, and punish the workers appropriately. The thing that is really being measured is how effective the employee is at communicating that a "10" rating is the expected value. The process isn't entirely useless. If there truly is a problem, then it is an opportunity for the customer to point it out. Those who advocate these surveys are quick to point that out. What they miss is how useless this is in the general case. Managers that do this aren't really interested in improvement. They are interested in creating an illusion that they are using data to generate improvement. Any statistician will tell you their process introduces serious bias. It is unfair and immoral to impact compensation based upon this data alone.
  9. We were in that room on Summit just after its refurbishment last April. Being the furthest aft extended balcony, we could see all the way along the ship. It is still a very desirable location. I took that walk down to Cafe al Bacio many times. It is very convenient especially when the shops are closed. The only downside is that we could not talk the room steward into bringing us lounge chairs. They used to allow that on the Infinity years back. The balcony is plenty large to accommodate long chairs, but they are not allowed to replace them.
  10. Exactly! People reserve their chairs at 7 am, go about the day's activities, and perhaps, just perhaps, sit their butts in the chairs they reserved for a half hour after lunch, before resuming their afternoon activities around the ship. Then they collect their things before dinner. They expect the chairs to be their property all day. Fixing that situation alone would be enough to solve the problem.
  11. I remember seeing reports from the Summit that nothing seemed out of the ordinary until the last day of the last cruise before dry dock.
  12. Imagine a cruise where no one saved chairs more than to get a drink or go to the bathroom or go back to the room to get something. Imagine how everyone would easily be able to find a chair whenever they walked up to the pool deck. Imagine how happy everyone would be when they realized that there really are enough chairs for everyone.
  13. The criticism is not unique to the cruise industry. It's everywhere. There seem to be fewer and fewer places where people of different backgrounds (economic and otherwise) mix. I agree that the experiences on cruise lines are starting to look more like the days of ocean liners. If one takes advantage of priority embarkation, priority tenders, exclusive dining options, exclusive lounges, exclusive sundecks, and priority disembarkation, then they can pretty much experience the entire cruise without interacting with (or perhaps even seeing) those who paid the more general fare.
  14. Upgrade? That word is music to Royal Caribbean's ears! They will take care of you.
  15. I use a similar calculation. The only difference is that I recommend to get the package even if you are only at about 80% of breakeven. The reason is because I'll purchase more beverages if I'm on a package than if I'm not. I might get something on a whim if I'm on a package. I don't have to decide if I really want it. I just get it. There is value to not having to keep track of costs, but there is also value in being able to order beverages that you might not have otherwise ordered.
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