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Everything posted by sanger727

  1. I'm unclear about what you are asking with "non drink package". But you cannot bring any liquid drinks on the ship. You can get tap water anywhere on the ship for free, we just bring our own refillable bottles and keep them filled from the station at the buffet. You'll be able to get drip coffee at dining venues or the buffet at any time. The soda package and included drink package do not include specialty coffees. I think there is an upgrade to the package that would include specialty coffees and bottled water if this is important to you. As far as your son, there will be milk and juice at the buffet in the morning. I am not sure if you can get it throughout the day by request but would hope so.
  2. I absolutely wouldn't have tipped the one that yelled at me or one who requested a tip. I agree with a previous poster that usually when we get to the port the porters grab the bags out of the back, or the drivers grabs them and hands them off to the porter.
  3. Since the OP posted this 18 months ago, they probably have already taken their cruise...
  4. I wouldn’t worry about the state room occupancy. Could they move you? Yes, technically. Are they likely to move you, no. They don’t move you from a connecting room because a family wants to book both sides. But I wouldn’t pick a connecting room because I’ve read that the door between the rooms let’s more noise through than a solid wall would.
  5. Keep in mind that 3rd party insurers are insuring all kinds of trips, not just cruises. Cruises are unique in the deadlines for when payment is due and being able to get the deposit refunded up until then. Many vacations involve non-refundable hotels, air, etc. The way the insurer looks at it, the closer the cruise gets, the more likely you are to discover an issue and potentially need to cancel, so their risk goes up. Part of why they are willing to issue higher risk products like cancel for any reason and pre-existing condition waivers if you purchase coverage when you book (theoretically at the time you book you feel confident you will go on the trip). As the 75 or 90 day period approaches all kinds of things could change for your personally or medically causing you to decide that maybe you should purchase coverage, and that's why they decline some of those riskier coverages at that point.
  6. That has not been my experience. Can think of at least 2 times where we arrived at the airport more than 3 hours early and we were refused to check our luggage in. I've never had an airline willing to check out luggage in that early. Not saying that it's never happened to anyone, but I would certainly not go to the airport thinking that they will let you check it that early. I would rent a car. Gives you complete freedom to go wherever you like and can store your luggage in the trunk.
  7. We did the baths. They are quite easy to do on your own. Can walk to the ferry pier from the cruise ship pier. Tickets were not very expensive (think round trip was around $30pp). Once you get to Virgin Gorda there are open air taxis that will take you there and bring you back for a set fee. Tell your taxi driver when you want to return and he will be waiting for you. We made sure to return on the second to last ferry that would return us to the ship on time so that if things fell apart we had a backup ferry to take. I would highly recommend doing them on your own. They can be difficult to navigate and very tight spaces. Trying to get through them with a large group would have taken alot of time.
  8. Yes, I consider my safety on shore excursions. I consider my safety in everything I do. But I still try to live my life and enjoy experiences. You just have to make the best judgement you can with the information you have. This seems to be a bit of a freak occurrence so I'm not sure that any amount of good judgement would have prevented people from being there. When I saw the title of the post I was thinking more in line with not wandering around in Belize City by yourself or being in shady areas of mexico after dark. We did have an experience with a volcano in Hawaii, but it was in line with making the best decision we could with the info we had. We knew that one of the volcanos on the big island was having more eruptions and activity than normal. But the immediate vicinity to where this was occurring was shut down and we had no intentions of going near it (mostly due to the air quality). We did go to the volcano national park because it was open and had no increased activity. While we were there we passed by one of the large vents and took pictures and it was emitting the normal amount of steam it emits. As we continued through the park we were near a large canyon type area and we felt an earth quake that was followed up by a rock slide in that canyon. At point we were a bit more nervous but continued on. As we headed towards the next stop we saw tour buses stopped on the side of the road. We stopped to see what they were looking at. That vent we had stopped by that had been emitting a bit of steam was now emitting an enormous cloud of black/orange smoke. That was enough for us and everyone on the tour agreed that it was time to leave. Luckily, there was no eruption there and no one was hurt. Since we were on a small group tour and everyone voted to leave, the guide accommodated us. I did find out later from the people on the cruise ship excursion that they did not leave after that. Eventually the park was closed by the park service and at that point the cruise ship excursion left. Overall, it was scary at the time. But there were no warning signs indicating that it was unsafe to be there before we went. And then were flexible enough to decide to leave early when warning signs started popping up. Think that's about all you can do unless you want to lock yourself in your house and take absolutely no risk at all. Staying on the cruise ship would have been risky even in this situation. A full blown eruption would have released a lot of toxic gas in the air. And as we returned to the ship we found out that everything around it was closed due to Tsunami risks after that earth quake.
  9. We debated upgrading to premium on our last cruise. In the end we didn't. We were able to get any drink we wanted except the specialty martinis at the martini bar on our classic package. We found the selection of wines on classic to be fine. I don't care a thing about premium water so that wasn't a selling point for me. We did go to the martini bar a few times and paid less than $5 per martini for the specialty ones. Think all in all we spent no more than $30 extra. Much cheaper than upgrading on a 12 day cruise.
  10. or you could purchase the ‘under-insured’ ‘un-insured’ driver rider on your insurance and be covered yes, people who drive should have insurance. But the reality is there are many many unlicensed and uninsured drivers on the roadway. I would rather pay a bit more to be covered in the event of being hit by an uninsured driver
  11. I would just use the passports. Assuming you are on a closed loop cruise to Caribbean islands, I don’t believe they any of them require the 6 month rule for cruise ship passengers.
  12. I can see that. I was thinking more from the standpoint of finding someone after the connection is lost. Bluetooth range is very limited. And heavily influenced by solid materials like doors and walls. I often use Bluetooth headphones and I wear my phone in a waistband. I have lost connection before because my body was between my phone and my headphones.
  13. We always just wait until we are onboard and book one of the port day specials. Those start getting advertised the night before.
  14. I will preface this by saying that I have no experience with the trackers you mentioned. that being said, I have a hard time imagining technology that would allow you to track someone from a distance on a cruise ship. GPS based technologies won’t be able to distinguish between different floors and midway down the ship from the end of the ship. I do a lot with gps trackers on phones and find my iPhone and it can’t get you to the correct building. Whatever building it shows the phone in, it could easily be in any adjacent building. bluetooth has a limited range also. And while a device that was in range can alert you if it leaves the range, I’m unaware of any Bluetooth technology that would give a direction to point you in to find the person.
  15. i assure you I am not. Just expressing an opinion that differs from your own. Differing opinions is what makes the world the interesting place it is.
  16. gratuities have always been added to your bill to cover the room steward, waiters, and some other behind the scenes staff. They have never included bartenders in that. So yes, you’ll still be charged the daily gratuity to your account. Without the drink package you would have had a mandatory gratuity added on top of each drink for the bar tending staff. With the drink package you won’t have any gratuities for the bar tending staff added.
  17. Not even close to an analogy. Again.... I am not responding to the OP post. I was responding to a couple follow up posts were the person finished their cruise, purchased pictures if they were going to, and had no interest in purchasing more pictures. The employee then discreetly handed them the photos as a thank you, not for a tip, but for a positive comment card. A random occurrence like this isn’t going to discourage anyone from buying photos. No free photos were solicited and no bribe/tip was solicited. It cost the employer nothing. And it probably left the cruiser with an extra positive experience. i have no doubt that things like this happen from time to time. Just like free drinks and double pours happen from time to time to big tippers. The difference is the free drinks and double pours to big tippers does cost the cruise line in unpaid alcohol. Discreetly handing someone photos on their was off the ship instead of shredding them does not.
  18. Victoria is quite close to Vancouver. If they do cancel the Victoria port, perhaps you could just make arrangements to travel there on your own for a night before the cruise. You'll have extra days with with the delayed embarkation.
  19. I don't have a Samsung so no idea if this could be related. On Iphone, the default setting is to use their "imessage" feature which works through internet, not SMS. There is a setting to change back to SMS texting. Is it possible Samsung has a similar thing where it's default now is to text through the internet instead of SMS?
  20. I'm talking about a completely different things. A couple people on here have mentioned that after the they purchased photos or on the very last morning of the cruise, after they turned in a comment card praising and employee the employee gave them the photos that prior to destroying them .
  21. The employer throws the unsold product away. It costs them nothing for the employee to give it away at the very very end of the cruise when it's clear it won't be sold anyway. Would you also have a problem with an employee giving restaurant leftovers to a homeless shelter after closing?
  22. As far as the cell phones, keep in mind that while your provider may offer free calling and texting in other countries; that wouldn't apply while you are at sea, only in port. The first thing you need to do is find out what your provider offers with your plan. Then determine what you needs are for using your phone. You will want to put your phone in airplane mode to turn off the cellular connection (you can then turn wifi on if you have a wifi plan on the ship) and only turn airplane mode off in port when it will be included in your plan or if you add on an international plan. Always turn data roaming off before you leave home. Having your phone connect to a roaming network for calls and texts will likely only incur costs in the range of dollars to a hundred at the most. Having your phone connect to a roaming network for data can easily run up a bill in the hundreds to thousands. As far as the drink plan, that will vary by cruise line one whether you can get one for just yourself or will have to purchase one for both of you. If she is drinking only water, most likely you will be better of purchasing drinks as you go than getting a drink plan for both of you. I think that all ships have some designated smoking areas but smoking is not allowed in cabins or on balconies. Some cruise lines allow smoking in the casino and some don't. Not sure what you mean by a driver's license with a star on it... whether is referring to a REAL ID or enhanced driver's license. A REAL ID does nothing more than a regular driver's license expect for when they enact the rule that you have to have one to fly domestically in the future. For a closed loop Caribbean cruise you can use a passport, a passport card, an enhanced driver's license, or a regular driver's license (or REAL ID) and birth certificate. I personally would never advise someone to invest in a passport card. They are only good for cruises and crossing at land borders. You couldn't use one to fly home if you needed to. If you have a passport, use that. If you don't it's really up to you if you want to use the free option of using a driver's license and birth certificate or getting a passport which has alot more flexibility if you choose to travel in the future. I have a passport.
  23. I agree that you are unlikely to get a walk up at Teppanyaki. I don't know how easy it is to walk up to the other restaurants. But I think that with the number of people who get the dining package now as a perk, the restaurants tend to fill quickly. We booked all of our times online ahead of our cruise just to make sure we had spots with the idea that we might change them onboard as the days got closer. Midway through our cruise I visited the reservation desk to see if I could change on of the days/times. All they had left for the restaurant I was looking at (can't remember which one it was, maybe cagneys) was after 9. I think Moderno and La Cucina are easier to get into. They have electronic boards posted that indicate on them which restaurants are full at which times to make it easier to plan. But if they are all red on the night you want to eat in one, you may be out of luck.
  24. Unless he has a reason to need bottled water, you can also get free tap water anywhere on the ship. And he can get his diet soda with the "free drinks" plan.
  25. If you are experience an hour wait just to book the cruise I would hang up and run. When you are booking you are getting the optimal experience because they want your business, just imagine how it will be when you are already committed and need help. I do some of both. A lot of it depends on the cruise line. I haven't found any TA's like some people do who get consistent discounts and credits on cruises. When I use a TA to book it's usually an online TA. The one I use does a good job with customer service. There is always someone there to take your call 24 hours a day, which I like, and they consistently have good deals on celebrity. When they don't offer a better deal than the cruise line directly, I book through the cruise line.
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