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About av8tr21

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Bellevue, WA
  • Interests
    Flying, Photography, Cruising, Travel, Running, Weightlifting
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean, Disney
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    St. Maarten

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  1. I am still waiting for a refund from an early May sailing. It was cancelled beginning of April, we requested refund on April 13th. We bank with USAA, and I have disputed once. Only time and LAST time I have paid for a cruise with a debit card (still don't know why). The temporary credit was reversed because NCL gave USAA some bs story. I escalated and am waiting for a callback from a department manager at USAA. To say the file at USAA has grown would be an understatement, although I have a feeling they will rule in our favor. I'm sorry but AFTER 90 days is not an acceptable time frame for a refund. I do not care about their cash flow, and the work from home excuse is old. Most everyone has been working from home since March, so that argument is invalid. I paid for something that I did not receive, give me my money back NOW. Now we wait for all the NCL apologists...
  2. Going on 6 weeks at home now...AGHHHHH!!! We both can work remotely, so not a whole lot of change. I prefer going into the office since I manage a team, but so far everything has been great. I normally travel for work quite a bit, and that has been an adjustment. Started sewing masks yesterday, trying to play the piano everyday, getting 5-6 Peloton rides in a week and other workouts, walking the dogs, hiking, etc. LOTS of wine...speaking of which.... We had a cruise booked the first week of May with my entire family (they live in FL) for my 30th bday, my Dad's bday, and my younger brother graduating from Embry Riddle. Not gonna lie, SUPER bummed out. But what can we do? Other than try to stay positive and have a good attitude. Currently sitting on our balcony pretending to be on a cruise....sigh
  3. We live in Bellevue, which has turned into a ghost town during the week. I work for a large company but have my own team and a satellite office in downtown Bellevue. Took a proactive approach, and my team and I have been working from home for the past two weeks. Leave once a week to go to the store, and to go hiking a few times a week at a nature preserve about 10 mins away, but that's it. If everyone would stay home and stop being selfish and exercise a bit of common sense, I think this would be over a lot quicker. I expect the 30 day pause on cruising to be extended...
  4. We are on the ship! Beautiful train ride from Anchorage, HIGHLY recommended. Here are some photos. More details later. Currently relaxing on the Verandah with a glass of wine and a book 😎
  5. We’re about 180 miles from Anchorage, should be starting our descent soon. Flight has been great, awesome crew. Terrible catering this time around. Ridiculously small portions. I was on this same flight a week ago, and the entree portion was 3x the size! Crazy!
  6. The day has finally arrived! Said goodbye to the dogs (they were not thrilled to say the least, but fortunately they LOVE our dog sitter. We actually love her so much, that we flew her up from Phoenix (where we moved from in April), because we don’t just trust anyone with our “kids”. One of the challenges of moving to a new city/state. Anyway. Grabbed an UBER and off to SeaTac! July 27, 2019 Delta 688 Seattle-Tacoma/KSEA – Anchorage/PANC Scheduled Departure: 6:59PM PST Scheduled Arrival: 9:29PM AKST Aircraft: Boeing 737-900ER Seats: 3C & 3D Airport If you have flown in or out of SeaTac, you know it is an absolute nightmare. Security lines are long, especially in the summer. There are 3 Pre-Check checkpoints, only 2 of which have CLEAR. Allow plenty of time regardless, as you never know! Fortunately, Saturday evening is not TOO busy a time at SeaTac. I travel often for work, and generally see complimentary Medallion upgrades (Gold), being a Seattle-based DL flyer. If you read my previous blog post detailing the booking process, you would know I purchased these flights with Skymiles. Only 7k per person for the one-way. After booking, I was offered a paid upgrade for $120 x 2. I consider this to be a good value for a 3 hour flight, and accepted the offer. Side-note, I have noticed many more paid upgrade offers, despite being a Gold (should hit Platinum by September. FCM=first class monetization. I’m not going to bore with many details, this was a typical Delta flight. I find the service to be consistent from the Seattle crews, and it’s very seldom I have a poor experience in-flight. SkyClub We are currently relaxing in the SkyClub, which is practically empty. Food is fresh, and actually pretty good! Should be boarding here in about 25 minutes or so. Remnants of my charcuterie plate (need to catch up on the Rosè 😁)
  7. So the packing is going, about 75% of the way done. I had ordered two new medium sized spinner suitcases (needed to replace two that had worn out), and those arrived today. Also purchased some new bag straps, and some pretty nifty cruise luggage tags. These tags are great! Extremely sturdy, and they are guaranteed to fit the printable cruise luggage tags. And they fit like a glove! I won't bore you with anymore details of packing, but I feel I certainly won't be without options! Plus, with the uncertainty of the AK weather, I figure it better to be safe than sorry. As far as shore excursions go, I typically avoid booking them through the cruise line (there are exceptions to this rule). I love scoring deals and finding a good price is a thrill. For this sailing, I spent hours researching. I asked my husband, James, what he was interested in but got the "I'm good with whatever, why can't we plan it the day of?" Silly boy. We can't do that because my mind won't stop thinking about what we could and would be missing out on! Obviously. You should know me by now! Trust me, I love to relax and take a leisurely path at times, but there is WAY too much cool stuff to miss in AK, and I'll be d@!$%# if we do! Ultimately, I settled on: Haines- Self-guided bike tour/hiking (no firm plans yet) and of course visiting Haines Brewing Company Juneau- Harv and Marv's Whale Watching Tour (6 person, 4-hour tour) Ketchikan- Orcas Cove Sea Kayaking As for the rest, we can make it up as we go. I assume most days will be spent relaxing on the verandah...and unfortunately for me some work (extremely hard for me to get away from my job, but I can work anywhere and we travel a lot...so I guess you could say we take advantage of the flexibility). Oh, look what popped up! Time to check-in: I'll be back with more tomorrow or Saturday, thanks for staying with me thus far!
  8. Happy Friday Eve everyone... what a week. I have some wonderful new to report. Yesterday afternoon, I received an email... $270 for a Verandah? Do you have to ask twice? SOLD! I immediately called the 888 number, and after a brief hold, was connected to Travis. I explained I had received an upgrade offer, and a few seconds later we were going over cabin choices. Initially, all he offered were starboard VA category cabins. I had my deck plans ready, and asked if there was anything on the port side. He then offered 5106, which I accepted without hesitation. So there you have it. This is my first upsell in 15 years of cruising #score Packing is underway, I think it's going to be a long night...catching up on work and getting the house ready for our dogsitter, who will be watching our Miniature Daschund and Chiweenie, Paxil and P-R-O-Z-A-C (yes, those are their names...for real. And apparently that is a forbidden word on this site. Ooops!) 😂 We want to go!
  9. So it's tacky, yet everyone seems to discuss upsell offers and cruise fares on a regular basis? Got it.
  10. The beautiful thing about a forum is, you don't have to read the posts you're not interested in. Amazing.
  11. Is there any interest in a pinned thread, where everyone can share their upgrade offers? Include: Sailing: Ship: Category Booked: Upgrade Category Offered: Accepted: Y or N I'll start Sailing: 7-night Alaska Southbound Ship: Noordam Category Booked: HH (guarantee - assigned 4113, a fully obstructed OV) Upgrade Category Offered: C or F OV for $49pp or VA Verandah for $139pp Accepted: Yes - was able to select 5106. Cost was $270 for the entire cruise Originally paid $1248 including taxes/port charges. Wound up being $1248 + $270. This category was selling for $1696pp when I looked the other day while checking for price drops. Score!
  12. You might be wondering, Alaska Again??? Me too. I had previously booked a business trip to Anchorage on July 21-23, too bad it was before we booked the cruise, would have loved to spend a few more days in Anchorage! But due to some scheduling constraints, we were limited to sailing on a Saturday or Sunday. Otherwise, the Southbound Norwegian sailing on Gem would have been perfect. It departs on Wednesday, and has the advantage of visiting some ports on the weekend, when the other ships are preparing for another week. Check out my booking adventure HERE Pre-Cruise Earlier this evening, I arrived home from Anchorage. I was there Sunday-Tuesday on a work trip (landed at Sea-Tac earlier this evening). Hotel options were limited, and I chose the Courtyard Anchorage since it was conveniently located to visit my clients. Note, they are doing a large scale remodel of the hotel, so during the day it is LOUD. BEWARE! Currently, remodeling of the facade is taking place, and during the day the main entrance is unusable. The layout of the hotel lobby/bar area is not conducive to the crowds that frequent, however it is a transit hotel. Hopefully, it will be up to par with other, newer Courtyard properties. Staying at this hotel is fine for a night or two, but I doubled checked the rates for this weekend again, and I discovered I could select the Marriott Anchorage Downtown for only 10k additional points. Courtyard was 25k points per night, and the Marriott was only 35k. The Sheraton also showed point availability, but I am not a huge fan (dated, in my opinion). The cash rate for the Marriott Anchorage Downtown was $389 a night, while the Sheraton was $341. Seeing as there is much more to do in DT Anchoarge, this was a no-brainer. Preparation and Packing This is our first Alaska Cruise, and with the frequent weather swings in AK, I figured better be safe than sorry and pack a few extra things. I am a fan of packing cubes. Love ‘em! In the end, we (when I say we, I mean I..ha!) decided on: 2 roll-aboard carry-ons 2 medium sized checked bags 2 backpacks I also decided to bring the Patagonia Black Hole bag (90L model) and folded it up nice and small and zipped it up into the little pocket on the inside. It sort of "folds" into itself So much space, and hardly takes up any when it is folded! I usually use this as my travel ski bag in the winter. Highly recommend! In any case, that's all for now, more to come tomorrow. I am going to shoot for a LIVE review, stay tuned!
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