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Host Jazzbeau

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About Host Jazzbeau

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    Cruise Critic Host & 10,000+ Club

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  • Location
    New York
  • Interests
    Jazz, food, wine
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    the next one
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
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  1. The buffet is to die for [from]
  2. This is exactly what I have been saying! 'Loyalty' works both ways... These programs started with airlines trying to steer business travelers [the ones who generate real profit...] to prefer them; then tourists got into it and even though their points grow more slowly they do ultimately pay off [and their smaller profits are still not nothing...] But airlines can control the payoff by restricting the pool of seats available for free tickets and upgrades, so they have nothing to lose. Cruise ships, OTOH, have a lot to lose because the typical loyalty program offers discounts, perks, and recognition parties. Discounts and perks [which are otherwise profit centers, like laundry and internet] cost the line, and the recognition parties have started to overflow the venues. Perhaps more importantly, the cruise lines have discovered that there is 'gold in them thar' suites, and they want to reserve the most desirable real estate for current suite guests rather than long-time cheap-seats travelers. So I think MSC, rather than being 'prehistoric' is actually a 'creative-destruction' innovator. Award loyalty points easily through status match to get frequent cruisers from other lines to give you a try, then weed out the 'tire kickers' by requiring a sailing every three years so you only reward your truly loyal customers. Note: because we tend to choose our trips based on itinerary first, we are among those likely to be weeded out. [We have taken 21 cruises spread over 11 cruise lines, plus 2 land tours from 2 different vendors; over the next two years we have 2 cruises with one repeat and one new cruise line and 3 land tours booked with 2 different vendors. Lots of travel, but little 'loyalty.'] But I still think this is a smart policy by MSC.
  3. Where do you plan to go that requires a rental car? Because a much simpler solution to your itinerary would be to take the train from Basel to Lucerne, enjoy Lucerne for the day, then take train from Lucerne direct to Zurich airport for overnight at airport hotel.
  4. All loyalty programs have an expiration date – it's the fine print where it says that the program may be changed or terminated without notice.
  5. Thanks! That's a load off my mind. Looking forward to a wonderful visitor to your country.
  6. Our Ponant pre-cruise extension in Queenstown is supposed to do a "a two-hour guided walk on the Routeburn Track which commences by crossing a swing bridge and entering a spectacular red beech/tawhero dominated forest." I know the Routeburn Track is closed because of these landslides, but I wonder if this baby stretch near Paradise is still available.
  7. Status match is only if you never had MSC status before. Your 2012 cruise ended your eligibility. Their rules.
  8. We had an early arrival so we rented a car and drove to Deia and Soller, didn't eat at any restaurants. @roger b is the expert on Mallorca, but your thread title probably didn't alert him to click. Try posting your question in this thread:
  9. MSC takes away both if you don't cruise every three years. The real question is "how are you showing loyalty if you don't cruise for three years?" OP blames MSC for having boring itineraries – which is true – but only booking cruises because the itinerary or the price suits you doesn't actually show loyalty. So why should you expect the cruise line to reciprocate?
  10. Cruise Critic is really two separate communities. The folks who post here don't necessarily post on the Review part. And the folks who post Reviews rarely seem to join the discussions here. So the most helpful thing is to post your review in both places, but if that's too much work [since the formats are different] I hope you will post here!
  11. We're on our snowbird visit to LA [Lower Alabama!] so I don't have access to my travel books. But I think that Rick Steves can give you good advice on this – either his Italy book or his Mediterranean Cruise Ports book. Your local library probably has them! [says the retired librarian...]
  12. So we have this 10% FCC from a cancelled Legend cruise that may expire before we have a spot in our calendar [I know, First World Problem!]. But we are snowbirds who spend 2-3 months in LA [Lower Alabama!] in Jan-Mar. So we could include a Caribbean cruise in January – if we could find an itinerary that was interesting beyond beaches and snorkeling. Any ideas for Jan. 2021?
  13. I'm not an MSC cheerleader, but look at what is happening to the other cruise lines that keep loyalty points forever [e.g. Celebrity]: the 'elite' group on board is so big that they don't have a venue for the loyalty party, so they switch to free drink coupons and the camaraderie is lost. I would also point out that there are plenty of threads complaining about how other cruise lines don't value their 'loyal' customers because they sell VIP packages or give Suite guests lots of amenities. I view loyalty program amenities as nice gifts, but I recognize that they are gifts – I did not earn them: I paid for a cruise, they delivered the cruise I paid for = we're even. Then if they give me some loyalty bennie on the next cruise = thanks!
  14. New article on Cruise Critic: Uniworld Adds New Land and Train Options to 2021 Cruise Itineraries
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