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About bobhosk

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  1. I received a response from the ASA from initial complaint, with regards to what was then assumed to be 100% mandatory service charges not included in the price - as their wording still implies. They said they are already investigating service charges not being included in the price based on prior complaints and any decision they make would apply to MSC as well. I presume Costa, I'm not aware of any other brand forcing charges? The decision of a few lines to include the charges in the fare in recent times might be foreshadowing their decision.
  2. Out of interest, as I'm not from the US, so thought I'd investigate for myself. Just went and looked on all the big cruise lines websites and they all exclude taxes and fees. They have a slight problem in that sales tax (which I'm assuming is one of the taxes) differs from state to state.
  3. Which is worded badly. That makes it sound like a one-off €10 charge per adult, €5 per child. No mention of 'daily' or 'per day'.
  4. I have filed a complain with the ASA. Let's see what their opinion is on not including a mandatory charge in the headline price. It seems like a slam dunk violation of 3.18, https://www.asa.org.uk/type/non_broadcast/code_section/03.html
  5. The difference is different cruise lines charge different amounts by default. It also makes it very annoying when you are searching for a cruise. If you're itinerary-led and not ship/line-led then you will run a search and look for the best deal. But you don't know what the best deal is because the gratuities are mostly an unknown. I always presumed that them being optional was the only reason they're allowed to keep it out of the headline price. Would be interested to hear what the ASA thinks.
  6. They took the first cruise in the list when filtered by inside cabin. https://www.virginvoyages.com/book/voyage-planner/summary?cabinType=IN&cabins=1&currencyCode=USD&durations=&fromDate=2020-04-01&isCabinAccessible=false&metaType=INSIDER&packageCode=5NOH&sailors=2&shipCode=SC&toDate=2020-10-22&voyageId=SC2005035NOH The second in the list (https://www.virginvoyages.com/book/voyage-planner/summary?cabinType=IN&cabins=1&currencyCode=USD&durations=&fromDate=2020-04-01&isCabinAccessible=false&metaType=INSIDER&packageCode=5NCM&sailors=2&shipCode=SC&toDate=2020-10-22&voyageId=SC2005085NCM) is a good one to compare as the itinerary has lots of comparable cruises with other lines at a similar time of the year. $2,700 + taxes. For the same price with NCL on the same week, also departing from Miami, visiting Costa Maya and NCL's Harvest Caye you can get a Balcony or Mini Suite and take free wifi, speciality dining, unlimited open bar, $50 shore excursion credit, 3rd and 4th guest free.
  7. Looks like a TV set. And the previous description makes it sound awful. Some of the stuff screams like a company overly trying to be hip and cool. I think the design, food offering, inclusive pricing, free wifi, casting to your TV etc are all big ticks but the rest of it is only going to apply to a subset of us younger folk (tattooing etc).
  8. Looking at comparable cruises with similar itineraries and similar times of the year it does look expensive. Even when factoring in wi-fi and gratuities. They look like they are aiming at the types who would have paid stupid money to go to Fyre festival, so I can see them doing well even at that pricing.
  9. Perhaps this differs by country. But drinking in young people is falling sharply in many countries, especially in the likes of the UK. They are moving away from drinking to excess and numbers of total non-drinkers are rising in the exact age range VV is aiming at. Lots of people still at it, of course, but, it is falling and if it continues to fall then packages would be a waste of time. On a personal level I've always found drinks packages to be hard to justify. If you're spending all day off the ship then you really need to guzzle down your drinks to make the price worth it. That is, unless the cruise line is one for over-pricing their drinks. But they are convenient, and I do get how it could help some people stay within budget.
  10. They appear to be aiming at millennial hipsters.
  11. This is more a general question, but as a P&O cruise is highest up on my list for my next potential cruise, I figured I'd ask it here. In 'colder' weather - so not raining, just not sun bathing weather, 'shoulder season' I guess, do the likes of for example the Lido Grill and Pizzeria on the Britannia open? Only ever cruised during summer but I do like a burger!
  12. T&Cs say juices and smoothies not includes. And saying 'don't forget it is soft drinks etc too' just makes it even worse value. Those drinks are cheaper and drinks are usually drunk in lieu of other drinks, in in addition to. And on that topic the soft drinks package is outrageous. If you're a soft drink drinker you need to be drinking over 10 a day. You'd spend more time in the toilet than elsewhere with that watered down fountain rubbish.
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