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MeHeartCruising

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About MeHeartCruising

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
  • Interests
    Cruising
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    NCL, RCCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Europe

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  1. The Star is now sitting in a dry dock in Rotterdam according to the Marine Traffic website.
  2. Its next destination shows as Rotterdam on the Marine Traffic website.
  3. While on a cruise, you are only close enough to shore to get land-based cell signals when you are pulling into a port and there for the day. While in port, it is possible you can use your cell carriers data plan easily IF they have a roaming agreement with that country's carriers. If they don't it could be expensive. While you are at sea, away from shore, your only access to a cell signal is from a ship-based carrier that will also be expensive. I don't think any US carrier has a cheap agreement with them.
  4. Frank Del Rio says... "Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings' $3.5 billion in cash on hand will be enough to bankroll the company for "at least 18 months" without any new revenue, chief executive Frank Del Rio said Thursday." Link to article
  5. One Royal Caribbean, two Carnival, and one Celebrity ship are back in port this morning. It would seem that yesterday's exodus was partially just part of the shuffling of ships into/out of port that they have been doing for several weeks as they get supplies and do what they are permitted to do. It does seem that NCL ships are indeed up to something at Great Stirrup Caye as previously reported.
  6. My theory... land-based support personnel supplied by the Port/City/Government that are required to be working while ships are docked are no longer permitted to work on weekends, so the ships had to leave at close-of-business on Friday. I would think there might be people who keep an eye on the ships while they are docked to ensure they do not offload people that are not permitted on shore right now. Just a theory.
  7. If you're not hearing from them, they may no longer have a job with NCL. If I were a laid off sales person for a cruise line, I would not be returning calls from customers. I'm sure things are changing daily with the cruise lines and their employees.
  8. FYI, You can also check the status of your request on that same webpage. In both of my submissions, the status changed to indicate it had been refunded back to my credit card on about the 2nd day after I submitted it. The refund showed up on my credit card about one week after that. The second one was processed about one week ago. Maybe 10 days. Your mileage may vary.
  9. 1. Yes, the airlines can and will re-book you on alternative flights if your original flight needs to be cancelled. And they should notify you about it when it happens. American Airlines has done it to me twice in the last couple months. One time they never notified me. One time, the notification email came in about a week after I discovered the change myself. So their system is not perfect. 2. I had non-refundable tickets purchased, and when they changed my flight to a time that did not work for me, I CALLED them and cancelled and they refunded me -- however, I used frequent flyer miles, which they returned to my account (waiving the usual fee to do this). However, they would not immediately refund me about $200 extra that I paid for upgraded seats. I now know that when they sell you extra leg room seats on top of the base fare, that the extra leg room fee is not refundable. This is not clearly stated on their website unless you happen to click on a link that give more details on the fare. Deceptive. Anyway... the agent told me that while she could not refund it, that there was a website link that I could submit a request for refund with my details and she said they might refund it. You can try using https://prefunds.aa.com/refunds to submit a refund request if they won't do it in person. You need to enter your ticket number which the agent can give you if you don't have it. I have now used this link twice to get a refund of the extra leg room charges they would not otherwise give me in person. There is a list you pick from to categorize your situation and a box where you can enter a very short description. I used the category that was something like "flight change not suitable". I don't recall the exact wording. That link takes a lot of work to find on their website if you don't have it given to you. They clearly try to hide it from people who might prefer a refund, but feel forced to take a voucher.
  10. It's working fine for me in the USA. There's a lot of Dutch writing (as I would expect!), but it is still pretty easy to figure out how to use it. Thanks for sharing.
  11. I spent 4(?) nights in Paris for Christmas about 3 years ago followed by 4(?) nights in London. I arrived in Paris on the morning of December 24th. Christmas Eve is the big family gathering event of Christmas from what I've read, so things close down early on the Eve. I spent this first day mostly exploring outside sights and walking around. I did have pre-purchased tickets to go to the top of Eiffel Tower at 4:00pm (I think). By that time, I was so tired from jet lag that I went back to my hotel and slept through the night after climbing the tower. On Christmas Day, not much was open, so again, it was a day of external sightseeing. I went to Montmatre and explored that area and went inside Sacre-Coeur during Christmas Mass. It was very crowded and I couldn't see much since I was stuck in the back. But it was memorable to hear the service in French with chorale singing. The Metro system was open and I used it extensively to get around town (with a LOT of walking too). My Fitbit measured 11 miles of walking on Christmas Day. On December 26th, the city was pretty much back open for business. I don't recall any tourist sights being closed. Lines were quite long to get in the museums. I had decided to not focus on museums this trip and didn't pre-purchase any tickets. In hind sight, I wish I had, because I had time and interest to go in the Louvre or the d'Orsay, but the lines were very long and I didn't want to spend time in them. So, yes, it is crowded. But not "summertime crowded", I'm sure. The weather was fine. I think it rained a little one day. It was chilly, but not overly cold. Maybe in the upper 40s/low 50s. I did not take a heavy coat. I wore layers and a fleece sweatshirt type jacket and was fine. Since I did so much walking, I was keeping myself warm. There are several Christmas Markets around town. A big one is along the Champs-Elysees and well worth the visit. It was very crowded once it opened in the evenings. There was a smaller one near my hotel in Saint Germain area. That was enough for me to visit! One of the things I loved most was seeing how little squares or traffic triangles all over the city were decorated with a few Christmas trees or something ornamental. Lots of smaller streets have lights hanging across them. You should definitely check out the area around the Hotel de Ville and the rest of Le Marais. Also, don't skip the Christmas window displays at the large department stores (I think it was Printemps and Galeries Lafayette). Very large crowds walking past them, but well worth the visit. Go. Just walk around. See some sights. It's a good time and the family will love it. Consider splitting your time with London and taking the EuroStar train under the English Channel to get there. For me, that was a bucket list item. I found London was still largely in Christmas mode when I arrived there on the 28th (or 29th) and just as memorable as Paris.
  12. As someone who cruises NCL, Royal Caribbean and Carnival, I would not book NCL because you think it is "more luxurious" than the others. They are more similar than different. As other's have said, the Free at Sea concept has been around for many months (years?) now. The specific details of what exactly the deal is changes as they feel the need to tweak it. Right now, it is a little more generous than most of the past offerings. It is probably fair to assume they will reign back some of the benefits as the virus situation improves. If you feel the overall price point is right, I'd probably go ahead and book your cruise. Only time will tell if that is a smart choice. No one can tell at this point. In case it's not already known, be aware of one "cost" that is sometimes not fully realized when reading about Free at Sea. During the booking process, they will add in automatic/mandatory gratuities for the "free" alcohol package and dining package. You will see these costs as you approach the purchase point if you do it yourself online. You can do a test booking and see how much these impact your "Free" at Sea. Generally, if you drink a fair amount and like the specialty restaurants (NCL does them very well), Free at Sea is generally still a good deal even with the gratuities cost added on.
  13. I was curious where all the cruise ships are hanging out these days while they are "shut down" from passenger cruises. There's been a few posts with Vlogs and such where crew have made posts about what they were up to. I was cruise WHERE they are at. Using the marinetraffic web site, I poked around. Port of Miami is full of ships from Royal, NCL, Carnival, MSC, and Virgin. Port Everglades and Canaveral also have ships. Many other ships are either at anchor or slightly underway in the Bahamas. Here is a map clip from the site showing an area between Freeport and Coco Cay. The little yellow anchor in the lower right corner is Coco Cay. Freeport is at the top of the map. Just to the west of Coco Cay is a large cluster of mostly anchored ships. Circles show anchored ships. Triangle shapes are underway ships. I've filtered the display to only show passenger ships. The cluster of ships just west of Coco Cay are Oasis of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Veendam, Zuiderdam, Niew Amsterdam, Celebrity Edge, Niew Statendam and Volendam. The cluster that is further west and north are Mariner of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, Caribbean Princess, Crown Princess, Island Princess, Regal Princess and Sky Princess. Up near Freeport (docked or anchored) are Empress of the Seas and Carnival Elation. Also in the picture are Celebrity Reflection and Emerald Princess.
  14. It was not mentioned in their press release announcing the financing. "MIAMI, March 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (NYSE: RCL) today announced that due to the spread and recent developments related to the COVID-19 outbreak, the company has increased its revolving credit capacity by $550 million bolstering the company's liquidity. The company is pursuing additional actions to improve its liquidity by reducing capital expenditures, operating expenses and taking other actions to improve liquidity by at least a further $1.7 billion in 2020. The company is also planning reductions to the 2021 capital expenditures and operating expenses. The company had previously communicated that its 2020 guidance did not include the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Given the recent government actions and the heightened impact and uncertainty of changes in the magnitude, duration and geographic reach of COVID-19, the company is withdrawing its first quarter and full-year 2020 guidance."
  15. Ouch. They have used the Epic as collateral. I guess that means she is their least favorite child. Haha.
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