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About Jasalth

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    Pittsburgh, PA
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  1. When they said an announcement last Friday, I thought about what we would do for our September Legend Cruise. When the Monday announcement didn't include the Legend, I had a replacement cruise for 2021 already on hold. I ended up putting down the deposit Monday night because.. September is really far away and who knows what would happen. That being said... September is REALLY far away. That also being said.. I booked my airfare to Italy in December.... So as of right now, not only are we will cruising, but I am also in the planning stages of a 22 day Europe land trip in case my airfare doesn't get canceled and we are stuck with it. I can't change my vacation days, we bid the year before for them. If airfare get canceled I will worry about that later at this point. I am not going to stop traveling and cruising. It is what I go to work for everyday.
  2. Alas there isn't enough data to all to even begin to speculate on that. Can we really actually trust the numbers in China? The numbers in the rest of the world say we really can't at all. All we can really do to attempt to even guess a time-line is by watching the numbers here and in Italy as they are reporting basically every little thing from full blown ICU to non-symptoms cases. Their curve just started to flatten in Italy, so it looks like 6 weeks from partial lockdowns happening or about 3 weeks from full lock down. Even basing it on that is going to be iffy for American's because.. well most of America is filled with selfish, self-centered jerks. My neighbors and their 9 kids between the 2 house are still outside, talking to and stopping any one else out to chat, playing, having parties. I have seen pictures of places in my city where people are gathering in groups of 30-40.. just to get good pictures of the city empty. Then again, the group that watches our bald eagles have implemented strict rules, marked "allowed" standing points on the trail and are keeping safe in doing what they love while a majority have switched to only our cam view. As for what PSK said about warmer months, no one can say for sure and scientists DON'T agree that it will stop it! Thinking like that as it gets warmer out is what is going to get us into more trouble! Australia is in an up-curve of cases! The average temperature last month was about 72-75 degrees! In Egypt case numbers are rising with an average March temperature close to 80! Warmer weather /= safe!
  3. I assume that you are financially stable at these times, which is a good thing and I know I am grateful we are! Ask yourself if between now and September/October or whenever final payment is due, if that $200 could break you. If not, book it and the worst that will happen is you will get it as a future credit to a cruise by the end of 2022. As it seems to be a casino offer (I am jealous we didn't get any! But haven't been on Carnival in 4 years) is it something you are willing to gamble on? But I will say.. if you have any financial concern for the next 8 months, then I would not book it. I keep thinking of things to do, and then I stop and think how darn lucky we are that even with all this, I am still planning trips! Neither me or my DH have a fear of loosing our jobs or even having a reduction in work for.. well ever! DH works in a Union Grocery warehouse, and I work in Specialty Pharmacy. And if for some reason I was to loose my job, I am still getting emails 2-3 times a week from recruiters actually offering my more $, but I love working overnights and unlimited OT! I just took a gamble. I was waiting to see if September for Europe was going to be canceled yesterday. It wasn't. I had a hold on the same room on a sister ship until tonight for a 2021 cruise I would love to take. I ended up putting down the $398 deposit. I am gambling on either A: Nothing gets better and everything gets cancelled, B: Carnival pulls the trigger and cancels, but my airfare doesn't and I have planned a basic back up 22 day in Europe plan; or C : I have to work 142 hours of OT in the next 16 months to pay for the August 2021 cruise. As I have unlimited OT as double time right now at work, and work 8 hours OT a week normally but working from home I am working 15+, I am okay with any of those gambles. But do you feel lucky?
  4. I'm keeping my September 8th cruise from Venice and the only way we will not be going is if Carnival or the airlines cancel. Though I also have everything paid for with the cruise & air, and the hotels pre-booked with a pay on arrival type situation since well before this all started. Funny enough the cruise price hasn't gone down from what we paid, and neither has the airfare. I know the air market it is a total flux right now, but looking at the prices for the flights currently vs what I paid? I wouldn't even imagine booking now ($3000+ difference for flights alone...) I do only have 2 excursions fully paid for though, 1 Carnival & 1 private. The others I have deposits on and won't be paying off until things are more solid. Though in all honesty if I got emails from the tour operators saying... hey.. we are struggling bad, could you pay off your excursion? I would give that "loan". Both me and DH's jobs are considered essential (though not hospital/doctor setting) and in truth, our income in going up over this because lot of OT being forced on us.
  5. I can't say for sure what Carnival would say, but I will answer from a pharmacy perspective on this one. Most of the things they are asking about are things that require strict medicine regimens or compromise your immune system in some way. I mean, I would add a lot more things to that list (transplant pt & hiv are the one that come to mind first IMO from a medication standpoint). Though this is all a moot point now but... I don't know what medications your wife takes, nor do I wish you to tell us. But there are MS medications that would cause a compromised immune system. I would strongly suggest your wife speaking to her doctor if/when the time comes to sail again. Again not a doctor here so I won't offer medical advise, and the pharmacy you get any meds filled at will say the same thing. Please don't count on a cruise line agent to know the in's and out of MS, what your wife's medications entail and if she would have serious issues in cruising until after everyone is 90% (nothing is every 100%) sure it is safe for her to sail.
  6. I have seen the sale you saw!!! Now... to explain why PACruise isn't actually wrong! Actually, in truth if you look deeper into the prices and NOT just at the what the deal says, you would find that you are generally wrong. I assume this is NCL you are talking about. Now... it sounds good, until you do the final price. Air really isn't "free" unless you are flying to/from very specific airports. Then it goes up from $99+ pp from there and it is only good for 2 people. Bar/Dining have the service charge then added to your cruise, $400 and again, only good for 2 people. So if you use the KSF and take them to eat, it costs you. Or if they want something that isn't water/juice it is going to cost you. Excursion is $50 per port.. so you still have to spend $ to actually USE this perk. The kids you still have to pay port taxes on so not really free, especially as 3/4th person rates are normally really really low compared to the 1st & 2nd fare. A good example is the cruise we have booked for 2, I got them to match the 1st & 2nd person rate in a 3 person room. It was the only one of the rooms available at the time so I thought I would try. As that class is only being sold for 3 people as it opened up again I keep checking that. For a 12 day cruise, the 3rd passenger fair is only $220 but taxes are about $280. The only real free is the Wifi and the $200 OBC which may offset some of the "cost" of the perks but not much. Also as a note.. NCL has had basically all those offers for the past 5+ years on an on-going basis. The kids said free & airfare cycle in and out though. I make spread sheets for cruises I am looking at and watch prices. A good example was a RCCL sale that seemed really really good once! 2nd passenger 50% off! Thought hey... you know what? This might be the time to finally not put 4 of us in a room! Priced for 2 people in 2 rooms, priced for 4 people in 1 room. The price difference was close to $2000 with their "50%" off sale for 2 rooms vs 1 room. So it wasn't really a sale at all. Another good example when we sailed on NCL we booked BEFORE they started adding gratuities to the free bar. A bunch of sales happened between when we booked and sailed. At no point, did even things like $250 OBC + 3 specialty dinners for 2 added on even make up the difference in price we would have had to pay vs booking them ourselves when these "sales" started.
  7. I'm in the same boat, waiting to see if Med cruise in September has people running away. As of right now? It's really now happening. A good example was when I booked I really debated between a Vista Suite and just an Aft-Extended. Now.. if I was to book the 1 Vista Suite that opened, it would cost almost $3000 more than when I booked. Also can't book anything higher than an obstructed balcony. Even after US said... Hey.. don't fly to Italy and this cruise leaves from Venice. I bit the bullet and looked at prices and possibly switching, though I didn't want to, if panic gets out of control this week. I can book an 8 day in a Cove balcony.. for the same price I paid for a 12 day Med in Aft-Extended. No one has dropped out of our roll call here or on Facebook as far as I have noticed (100+ rooms...) I think with how the cruise lines are handling it, if people are paying attention they aren't canceling, especially if they are in penalty. If my flights/cruise are canceled then I won't go, but then.. they also give me my $ back and normally extra if they do that, so why loose $?
  8. We did 2 of us with 2 large bags, 2 carry on bags, and a backpack/purse for each of us. We actually found the high speed train to Rome the easiest of our train travel (Venice > Rome; Rome > Genoa for cruise; Genoa > Pisa > Florence) If you are worried about your bag, Amazon has these steel cable things with locks you can use to "tie" your bags into place in the luggage storage areas if you are that worried. In truth we just booked seats closer to the luggage storage so we could keep an eye on them easier. As the fast train is well really fast I also feel it is the way to go. I would not want to get to the Venice airport, go through their security, wait for the plane, get to Rome, wait for luggage, get to where we needed to go. You are going to be arriving on the train for a lot less $. I packed 14 days worth of clothes for each of us for a 22 day trip. This time I am packing about 8 days worth of clothes for a 23 day trip as there was stuff we never even looked at. Look at any laundry packages on your ship or if they have self service laundry IMO. Yes, I understand "I am on vacation I don't want to do laundry!" but while I would do trains everywhere again even with that many bags, it has made me really think about packing and what I need and don't!
  9. Don't know if you booked already, but IMO I would go with the bowling alley balcony. I say this though I am in just an aft and was debating to go to the wrap but for our sailing was like $3k more. Depending on what the Med cruise is, the priority boarding might not matter. Our sailing out of Venice leaves at 11pm. Sure we will check in and drop off bag, but we won't be actually on board until 8pm or later. On another note, excursions can be.. pricey in Europe depending on what you want to do and/or how many people you want to do it with! Our last Med cruise (13 days) I spend more money on excursions (all private for me and DH) than I did on the suite on MSC itself. I am actually on track to spend about the same amount as our Legend 12 day for stuff off the ship (not including hotels) also. If you are cool with big groups it might not matter to you, but in all honesty... esp our Athens and Malta stops were made because we were alone and had private archaeologist guides with us. But we paid a lot for them ($700 & $650 just for those 2). If you (or anyone else reading) are budgeting, think about what is more important. The better cruise room, or experiences? I don't sleep much in general. I work 3rd shift and get an average of 5-6 hours of sleep a day (unlimited OT with $500 bonus's per WEEK that you work 10+ hrs of OT? Yeah... I am soo there!!) Even when I wasn't 3rd shift and working 51+ hr weeks, I would still only get 4-5 hrs of sleep a day. I was so exhausted at the end the port days in the Med both me and DH were in bed by 10pm.
  10. On a good note, if you book 4232 aft extended I can say the neighbors on your left will be relatively quiet and nice! Then again it's technically MY 40th birthday bash also for this cruise, well it's about a week before it leaves 🙂 While I can't give any other advise because this is our first aft balcony, I will say when we sailed in a 9A on the Legend (though 7th deck) we didn't notice much vibration or movement or anything, but it is up a little further. I could understand if a dozen rooms in between would make a difference though.
  11. I would so also recommend this for anyone having passport issues because of what seem like us "normal" people outrageous demands! My oldest DS (21 now.. this happened when he was 6...) passport was a.. struggle to get to say the least. They kept sending me letters back making me prove that I was his parent. His birth mother, not father mind you! From having to get official copies of birth certificates, marriage license, then amended birth certificates, then documents from the social security office to prove who I was, to his grandparents birth certificates... Funny thing was his 3 yr old brothers passport went through just fine w/o any issues with the exact same information as his older brothers. After 6 months of more and more outrageous demands and contacting the State Rep's office, his passport was in my hand in less than 10 days. Actually, it wasn't even us who contacted them, but my Grandmother and the Representative of where we were all born. Needless to say we still vote for him 🙂 But they can work wondering in these offices and always better safe than sorry!
  12. This is about how I feel. You also have to take into account these are basically also OT jobs, and since they go on seniority with Union..... they are making a pretty decent chunk of change for the hours they are there w/o tips included! DH loves to talk to these guys cause DH is a Teamster and well Teamsters are happy to back all Unions. It made me sad recently that I realized while I work in a skilled medical field (not nursing or doctor mind you so no high degree!) the OT hours I have been working come up to just over my DH's regular hourly wage and in working just 14 hours of OT one week, DH made only about 10% less than my normal 2 week pay, in 1 weeks paycheck. Even if you take one of the smaller Carnival ships with 1000 cabins, say those guys get $5 per cabin. If there is 25 of them working.. that is $200 each. Then you have to account if they were getting those cabins off the ship. So.. Union Wage (normally OT Wage...) + $250 or more in tips, for 8 hours of work. Even if it's not OT, tips included they look at $300-400 in a day for working a cruise. If you want to tip more, go for it! It's your choice, but personally, picking up a bag and moving it 5 feet means I should pay someone $5 to do it? Nah that's okay I can do it myself.
  13. I would say if you want to and/or are willing to spend $ on something, I would suggest doing it in Belize. While things can more than change since we were there a few years ago, it would be the place I would seriously have to consider taking a ship excursion from when we go back some day. And I would be hesitant to go w/o my DH and now my 2 DS's with me. They were smaller then, but now that they are 21 and 17.. I would feel safer with them around! A good example is our great guide who the cave tubing company called in for us because they overbooked on guides. He was the son of the owner of the big eco-extreme tourism in Belize. Like.. the ones who repel down 200 ft into caves to dive/swim/camp/rock climb for weeks tours. He was worried about time because it might be getting to dusk when we got back to the ship and outside is not where you want to be in his opinion. If you are really going on the cheap, I would say use it as a nice quite day to enjoy the Legend. Alas she isn't big and has amazing things like others, but she is my favorite!
  14. Can't say about most of your questions, but I will say something else about the airfare. If you are flying back, do not look at one way flights! Look at multi-city flights. In that case you will want to look for your flights separately. One being Home >> London, Barcelona >> Home and the other being Home >> London, Germany >> Home. I was going to do what you were on our first Europe trip, went... omg $1500 pp for a flight just to Venice? I should reconsider this... by booking Home >> Venice, then getting off the boat in Genoa and taking a train for Florence for 2 days, I ended up with less than $3000 for flights, 4 nights of hotels in Venice and 3 nights of hotels in Rome and 2 nights of hotels in Florence through the airlines "Vacation Package" (aka there TA partner). Sure there was another $100 Euro's for trains in there (cruise was round trip from Genoa but as my DH said.. when will we go back?!? 2020 dear.... lol) I think any train is doable in Europe. I would suggest though considering taking just a carry on for your portion of the trip to visit your son so you don't have to drag it with you. Account for another checked bag flying back with your DH in costs to make like easier IMO. Have a blast!
  15. Do you happen to know what coins they do use? Or if it changes with sailing? I don't want to bring say... a roll of US quarters to Europe when they change it to say.. taking Euro coins. Did it change from US coins to... whatever coins are used in Australia? I could probably assume one could go to Guest Services and get the "correct" change for them... but just thinking that this could be a real pain for cruises on the Legend who are from EU when she is there in 2020.
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