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About SteveinPhilly

  • Rank
    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Philly PA
  • Interests
    Recorded sound (in any form!)
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    RCI as we are now Diamond, but Celebrity and HAL too
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Italy, Barcelona,

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  1. You watch FAST! 😄 They run over an hour. Glad you enjoyed. There are others from the Baltic Cruise on YT too!
  2. And Day two. Each is about30 minutes. Hope this gives you a feel for what yo expect:
  3. Assuming that CCdoesn't block the URL here are my two videos of what was in our Alla 2 day tour: Day one -
  4. In our case the Cruise Line (it was RCI) kept sending alerts to say that unless you had a VISA or were on their Tour - same places at 40% more than Alla - you could not get off ship. This scared folks though they don't mention that ALA and SPB have "group Visas". ItIS TRUE that - even with the ships tour or ALLA or SPB you MUST stay with the group. If you want to get off on your own, you need a visa which costs $400. Good luck with booking your tour Dog 55. You are obviously more optimistic than me at this point. Not only are we not certain it will be safe to travel next summer but - depending on how the November election goes and any repercussions we don't know what political situation will be in Russia next summer. Just make sure you have a way to cancel if need be. Glad we could help you here and thatyou found out the problem for you was your email address.
  5. Anna at alla usually answered within 48 hours but the world is not the same now. Many are still trying to stay safe. It seems like you have plenty of time if for 2021. Btw the standard tours for alla and spb are in 16 passenger vans - which are roomy. Any smaller group will be a lot pricier. And the admissions in Russia are high. Hope this helps some. As I said earlier you can see video of our two day alla tour on YouTube
  6. We LOVED ALLA. They are similar but we opted for a box lunch one day to eat while travellinbg and saw an extra palace. I have a video ourr two day ALL tour on my You Tube Channel if it'll help.
  7. Sounds like you are happy and also a gambler (I'm not). Dare I ask if you bought directly through X or a TA. Since all the perks you mentioned come from X , I don't see any from a TA. I am surprised that yougot 3 perks for just a 4 or 5 night cruise though. I assume you are not in a suite? Anyway a sweet deal (pun INTENDED).
  8. I respectfull disagree with MPK. Until this week I have found EVERY TA's OBC refundable. As I always tell my friends - unless yourTA is your brother, cousin or other relative, it pays to shop. IMHO you should ALWAYS get a quote and then use the "Compete" site to find others. I am not recommending a particular agency (not allowed here on CC) but you will get at least 7 or 8 quotes from established agencies and my guess is MOST will offer refundable credits in addition to the ones the cruise lines are offering which - of course - are always non-refundable.
  9. Woody. Watch those OBCs when booking on BoArd. For even a Balconyy 12 night you only get $50 now and usually deposit NOT refundable. It used to pay to book but no more, OBCs got small. I use the compete site and have 15 bids and choose one. I can usually get what X offers plus about $500 OBC on a $5000 balcony and even get PPd gratuities BTW RCI treats the Refundable OBCs different than X. Just one more "hoop".
  10. Denny: Just to clarify. The NOn-refundable one used first. THEN refundable. If any refundable still left - always for me. it will go back on the credit card X has on file. As to Woody's question - you ASK the TA before booking how much is nonrefundable and how much is refundable. Anythingfrom X (like taking the $300 OBC as a perk - or an on board booking OBC is always NOn-Refundable. MOST (but not all from a TA is refundable this as I said the major TA I checked with gives you the OBC but it's NOT refundable. Simple to ask Any agent BEFORE you put deposit down. They better know or find another TA. While here and discussing X - the NON-refundable OBC from X can be used at tables in the casino but can't be cashed in. You get special chips that you use and any wins are given to you in "cashable" chips. I usually have a $100 or so left in NON-refundable OBC and use for $100 in "marked" chips at the casino. I then find a regular gambler at one of my meals and offer them to the person at a 10% discount. They are gambling anyway and are usually happy to do it. So I lose $10 but don't need to spend the $100.
  11. On our last X cruiose the accounts on the TV screen showed the refundable and non refundable OBCs separate and any charges (like dinner) were charged FIRST to the non-refundableOBC.
  12. I just wanted to share I surprise I got yesterday. I always use the compete site to get quotes. As we all (should) know the price for a particular category on a particular ship on a particular sailing is always the same no matter the agency. And on X there perks are offered by X. But the difference is the OBC the TA gives you OVER what the cruise line does. EVERY agency I've used has always BOUGHT the credit from the cruise line and so it has been "refundable" if unused. (sometimes you need to request but always refundable). Since we often choose perks like PPD gratuities and Classic Drink Pkg - and never use ships shore excursions - we net the extra OBC to figure our cruise cost. Yesterday I got a quote from a MAJOR TA (can't give name) and learned the $650 OBC was not refundable. I then asked another of the 6 TAs who quoted me and they said they had same policy. It was an AGENCY policy. They are the only ones. So, even if they were giving me a higher OBC the fact that it was NON refundable lost them the booking. So advice when getting quotes. ALWAYS ask up front if it its a non-refundable or "refundable: OBC. Oh yeah. The BIG agency has fine print saying the non refundable OBC "cannot be use for gratuities or in the Casino".
  13. Thanks all. Ill stock with classic. But noticed on the summit list that quite a few reds exceed then$15. Max for even premium. But I'm really on the cruise for the destinations so things will be fine. Ibwascjust surprised that none of the mostvasked questions via Google us: where can I find the wine price list.
  14. I know but it gives me an idea of how many wines are $9 or under. Interesting that on the list above there are no MERLOTs. Good to see that not a lot of Calif ones. I did a google search on some reds and they sell for $8.99 to as high as $12.00 bottle on line. You can tell that X is not breaking the bank. MOST of my drinking is cappucino and lattes and I know I can get with skim milk at a bar or in dining room. The "Machine" in Captains club doesn't offer that. (and I can add liquor too with my Classic Bev Pkg) Also, unlike RCI the Captains Club HH is only till 7:30 and I sometimes want a drink at the show. But this does show me a sample of what's being offered and how many (or few) are covered in the Premium Beverage Package (See how many wines are between $9 and $15 - cap for Premium)
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