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Everything posted by msmayor

  1. What does the contract you signed say about pricing?
  2. When I used Celebrity Air for my flight, I let the Celebrity Vacation Planner handle the booking for me. It was an easy phone call to her, letting her know exactly which flight I wanted and then getting it booked.
  3. We did it on Serenade and thought it was a fun and entertaining way to enjoy a specialty dinner. Started with champagne in the Safari Club and the 'first act', then we moved into Giovanni's and were seated in groups of 8-10 at long tables. The wine flowed freely and we ordered our meals from the set menu, enjoying additional 'acts' of the mystery. We were given some paper/pencils for notes, and as a group tried to solve the mystery. Each group had an opportunity to ask a few questions of the cast to refine our guesses. Throughout, we enjoyed each other's company and chatted about other things as well. The mystery was a nice way to 'break the ice' in meeting new people. At the end, we each put our guess of the murderer and from the correct guesses, they drew a name to win a nice gift basket.
  4. It's time to politely explain to the boss that the vacation cannot be moved without significant financial consequences. I would be saying to the boss - "I would be happy to come in, but I need the company to cut me a check for the loss I will suffer in not being able to take this pre-planned and paid-for vacation.".
  5. The lesson here is that if you question the connection time, your gut is telling you it might be a problem. I do not consider myself a frequent traveler by any means, but knowing the state of air travel today there isn't a single airport anywhere in the world I would consider 40 minutes an acceptable connection time, and would press any travel provider for a different flight. Most flights now begin the boarding process 45 minutes before departure (to allow all that carry-on luggage to be stowed properly) so the last thing I want is to be touching down/heading to a gate knowing that my ongoing flight is already boarding. We're traveling from Philadelphia to Vancouver to catch a cruise in October and I believe our layover in Toronto is about four hours. Coming home from San Diego we have another 4-5 hours in Chicago. I'll hate that it will take us so long to get home, but feel secure that even if there is an hour or two delay somewhere, we'll still have time to make the connection.
  6. My experience with Choice Air was that I chose the flights...I had the ability to pick the day and time I flew...so it would have been on me to choose from the available flights that worked best with my schedule. Did someone else book the flights for the OP?
  7. My first balcony was a VB on deck five of the Westerdam, and it was AMAZING...husband and I loved the size and ability to spend so much time out there during the entire trip. We didn't feel at all like it was a 'tunnel', and loved the fact that we were out of the direct wind. We've since had two other aft balcony staterooms on other ships - they are our favorite.
  8. They will happily accept any cash you are willing to part with.
  9. I can't say for sure if that will do it. My husband and I have a pretty strict casino budget (albeit it is more than $25 a day - it is roughly $100 each per day, and we play more table games...video poker is our only slot indulgence). When I say strict, I mean strict - we put two hundred-dollar bills in an envelop and mark the day of the cruise it will be used. At the end of the day, whatever may be left of that $200 goes into our 'Onboard Bill' envelope and on the last night we take that to Guest Services to apply against our bill. I can tell you that more often than not, we pay off our whole bill and still come home with funds. Anyway, that $100 each might fund 3-4 visits to the casino in a single day. We'll put a hundred down at the blackjack table, they swipe our card, and maybe have a good dozen hands...walking away with $150. A couple hours later, we're back in the casino putting a hundred down again (the same hundred we put down before), swipe our card and play. Maybe now we walk away with $75 (so total $125 still available). A third trip a little while later, another hundred down at the tables, swipe the card...and by now the casino has a record of us dropping $300 in the casino. But it was really all the same $100. It may come down to how much time you spend in the casino...because statistically the longer you stay, the better odds for the house. We also register and play in the blackjack tournaments (and have won or placed three times). That got our name in the casino systems as well. We've been getting casino rates and offers for five years, ever since our first HAL cruise finished.
  10. How easy is it to wire the cash, and is there a fee? We're on the Eurodam in the fall and I'd love to do this. My husband and I have always carried cash and are not a fan of this. We took out a marker for a recent trip to Vegas and loved the freedom it offered, not needing to carry cash across country or store it in our safe.
  11. Honestly, this is a great rule. While I respect those who say they know how to handle their luggage on an escalator, there are some who do not know. Imagine someone with a 50lb bag struggling to get it on and balanced a down-escalator, losing their balance and starting to tumble forward. Those of you ahead of that person will fall like dominoes. I've seen escalator accidents, and they can be physically brutal scenes.
  12. At the time we used it, MP was in very limited availability and one of the spots was Port Everglades. There was a customs agent stationed at the queue entrance and once she saw our mobile screen for entry, she directed us to the special line. Only one agent had the proper scanning equipment so they reserved it for MP guests. Very few people must have known about it - I only learned about it on board when our disembarkation information came, suggesting we download the app and complete it for faster clearing.
  13. I know when we used it the first time a couple of years ago it had to save us close to 40 minutes of waiting. The lines in the terminal to clear customs were crazy-long, and we were able to walk right up to the dedicated lane...ten minutes from entry to the terminal, grab our bags and out to get a cab. Fastest debarkation ever. People looking to race to the airport for early flights will likely happily pay the $15 for that time edge.
  14. I think even if you disembark at 6:30 you are cutting it very close. VERY close. Perfect world, off the ship at 6:30, clear customs and in a cab 15 minutes later...then 45 min to MIA. Another 10-15 min to exit the cab and get to TSA security. With pre-check and a small line, another 10-15 minutes. It's now after 8:00am and your flight is scheduled to depart less than an hour from now; boarding has likely begun (most start 45 min before takeoff). The doors to the plane will shut at 8:50. You are at a minimum, very briskly walking to the gate to be in the last group to board. For me, this is not even close to comfortable.
  15. We have been eligible for casino rates for a few years now, and whenever I call my PCC to check pricing she is able to tell me if the casino rate applies. We've also been able to combine the casino rate with other booking perks. On Zuiderdam a couple years ago, we got Explore4 with the casino rate. On our upcoming Eurodam cruise we have a casino rate and qualified for the air credit, saving us nearly $800 on airfare.
  16. I didn't realize I could see the flight schedules. I have air booked through Flight Ease and see my reservation now. If I click on "Change Flights", will that just show me what is available without releasing what I already have? I don't want to make any changes on my own just yet, but would be interested to see what else might be available.
  17. With just 65 minutes, I wouldn't count on any time at all. By the time you get parked at the gate, it's going to take a good 10 minutes or more to debark the plane you're on. They will begin boarding your onward flight 40 minutes or so before departure and may shut the doors with 10 minutes to go. Depending on how busy the airport is, you may find yourself with barely enough time for a bathroom stop, never mind waiting in line for food.
  18. Martincath, such a wealth of wonderful information. I truly appreciate your knowledge! How safe and 'populated' is that area around the hotel at night? Will there be other people wandering about?
  19. I saw the 10,000 point offer, but already had the $100 offer loaded on the card. Was just waiting to decide on the excursions before using it. This is the second time I've been able to take advantage of this offer. First was about 18 months ago.
  20. Thank you so much - this is wonderful information! Good to know there are restaurants near the hotel we would easily be able to walk to. It really will be quite a long day of travel as, including the 3 hour layover in Toronto, we'll be on the road about 10-11 hours. It will be nice to move around a bit.
  21. Traveling to Vancouver in October to catch the Eurodam for 11 nights...never been to the city and unfortunately will not have much time at all to sightsee this time. We fly in from the east coast and arrive to YVR around 6pm. I booked a room at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Downtown on Howe Street (on my IHG points) based on proximity to Canada Place. I noticed that have an on-site restaurant so husband and I can get a bite after we arrive, as I imagine we'll be dog-tired from the day of travel to go out and do much more. The one thing I'd like to find, though, is a place to purchase two bottles of wine to carry on-board the next day when we board. Any locals or folks familiar with that area know where we can go? Walking distance, or short cab/uber ride?
  22. My husband and I have been getting the casino rate on all our HAL cruises ever since we finished our first on the Veendam back in 2011. We have never considered ourselves 'big' gamblers and have a pretty strict budget for the casino when we cruise. The only slot-type machine we play is video poker (and that is limited to one $20 bill each day) and for the rest we are on the tables. But even that, we do not spend a tremendous amount of time or money there...we're just there every night, even if it is to watch others play. We also play in the Blackjack tournaments where a $20 entry gets your name on a list. Win or lose, they now know you play. (We've won or placed in two of the tournaments we've participated in too!).
  23. I purchased excursions for my fall Eurodam cruise and had notification of the Amex Credit almost instantly...so yes, as long as you charge at least $500 on the Amex for anything and the charge is for Holland (or any of the other cruise lines this promo is for), you'll get the credit.
  24. Even when the special offers of free/heavily reduced casino fares are not around, my husband and I have had the benefit of casino fares on our bookings. For us, we've always been able to combine the casino rate with whatever promotion is currently running.
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