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grandgeezer

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  1. It only counts if you want it to. It took you five days, and this is the best you can come up with? No wonder you were too ashamed to sign your own screen name, I would have done the same thing.
  2. We were on the Equinox last month and the Retreat Lounge was on deck 5, I think, midship, and the Retreat Sundeck was on deck 14, all the way forward. Too far for me to go back and forth for drinks. There is a free standing bar in the Retreat Lounge on the Equinox, in response to a later post. Might be ship specific.
  3. The black bar across from the Celebrity logo says applicable sailings which means not every one.
  4. The question isn't if you could the question should be would you? If you, normally drink the alcohol, coffees, sodas, etc, then it makes sense. If you increase your consumption just to get your "monies worth", then you are the target demographic. If you do get your "monies worth", based on even the price I could buy it for, they are still make a nice profit. I drink mostly beer and soda. My cost is $.23 per can of soda taxes included, and $.59 per can of beer taxes included. These are brand names, not generic.
  5. This is an entirely different situation. Like it or not, Celebrity has turned into a booze cruise. Of all the posts so far, how many have said that this would be their line in the sand, and they wouldn't pay it, or change cruise lines? If this doesn't sputter, I can see them doing it again in six months or so.
  6. A serious drinker is someone who drinks enough that the perk has some value if they apply them self. The not so serious drinker, like us, has a drink or two occasionally, or none. This is their target group who drinks some but changes their normal pattern in order to get their “monies worth” for getting the package. Some of the reasoning is it includes specialty coffees, soft drinks, premium water. Also, the connivence of not having to sign a slip, plus they can try different drinks and not having to drink them if they don’t like them. My favorite, not surprised by a huge bar bill at the end of the cruise. Easy cure for that, watch your spending so there won’t be any surprises. The point was about leveling the playing field. Everybody should have to pick a perk they want where all of them have a somewhat equal value. The choices and value now are: prepaid gratuities $103 p.p., $150 p.p. obc, and classic drink package $430+ p.p. The new charge only adds $98 p.p. so there is still a bias that way, but it’s a start.
  7. About time they level the playing field between the serious drinkers and not so serious drinkers.
  8. I agree, I either book through Choice Air, if there is a financial benefit to me, or directly through the airline. If there were no financial benefit, I would book directly through the cruise line, until then I'll take my 10+% kick back and live happily ever after.
  9. You think travel agents are obsolete? What do you base that on? I know they're not, based on facts. Searching online, I found in an article dated last year, that 68% of all travel was booked through travel agents. That was up 4% and 5% the previous two years. Before I retired I worked for one of the biggest paper converter in the U.S. and didn't own any finished product warehousing. We paid to have it done for us. Why? Because we got a better return on our money by investing in our product through R&D and modernization than warehousing. I think the cruise lines feel the same way. Just think of the cost, they would have to incur to process another 68% of customers above and beyond what they are now. They can't develop a regular functioning web site now, why would that change?
  10. They make up the money in volume. Would you rather have all the commission for booking 20 cruises a week or half the commission of booking 50 cruises a week? Several years ago we did a group cruise transAtlantic with our online travel agency of choice, and they had two travel agents aboard. They had talks which included a Q&A session. This exact question was brought up and both of them were adamant on how much more money they made than their friends made at the local brick and mortar agency, and it was all because of the volume. They didn't get into specifics but they said "they were compensated really well", but they worked hard for the money.
  11. MSC must be pretty stingy with travel agents, if I book just about any other line, I get in the 10% range, mostly in refundable obs. Not a lot of online travel agencies handle MSC, hence in the two cruises I've done on MSC, the obc has been between 5-6%. They are still the best bang for my bucks (only in the Deluxe Yacht Club Suite).
  12. This has got to be the biggest trollers post of all time, especially he part about getting deals. Sounds like someone who can’t find the deals and can’t accept the fact that other people can. Except for when I got group rates, I paid EXACTLY what I would have if I would have by booking direct. We’ve booked 47 cruises and this was true for every single one of them. 10%+ is the norm and since we usually book longer cruises, in a higher category the $$$ are pretty significant. Last cruise was $1,125. If you need someone to hold your hand, keep on booking direct. That helps the line make their profit goal so they can continue to pay the agency so they can pass the savings on to me.
  13. Not all travel agencies list all their perks online. The online agency I use doesn't, I just call and talk to them, you'd be surprised what's available. Except for transatlantics, I always get 10%+. The best part is when I accept the deal, they put the room on hold, and send me a written conformation including what I'm getting from the cruise line and what I'm getting from them. When I reply back, if it's what I agreed on, the cabin is booked. I guess, if it isn't what I agreed on, I'd have to call them back, it's never happened in 20+ cruises booked through them. This gives me written conformation on what we agreed on. Talking to people about who they use is a good idea to find out what's working for other people.
  14. I would give the food quality nod to Luminae but just by a hair. The service I would call a draw. There are two things I would give the edge to the Coastal Kitchen which would make them a better venue for us. 1) The Costal Kitchen is open for all three meals everyday. Luminae is closed for lunch on sea days. We had three sea days out of seven. That made we either had to go to the MDR, where the service is really slow or the buffet, where the food is just all right most of the time and tables could be ar a premium at certain times. 2) Luminae has a limited menu and there were a few days there was no beef available. at $300+ p.p. per day, that’s not right. You could order off the MDR menu but it was a real letdown when compared to the beef that was available on the nights it was available in the Coastal Kitchen.
  15. No, it was booked with an online travel agency about four months before. I have never booked a new cruise while we are on one. We book whenever we decide we want to get away and where we go changes regularly. We went in August which usually have better deals than February. You could book it while on the Panama Canal cruise and transfer it to another agency to pick up more perks. I think you have two months to transfer it.
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