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About pretzlaff

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  1. We have the Sapphire card and tried to use it for a cancelled tour after a hospitalization the day before departure. Long story short..they make it so difficult that I finally just gave up. On a complex claim, you always have the wrong documentation and you can never talk to anyone in person. The company that handles the insurance for Chase is very difficult to work with. I suspect that if you have a simple claim like a single flight booked solely with the card and a very clean cancelation like weather, then you are probably ok. But a combination of air and land and other things really makes it a battle....that you will lose. And when you call Chase to complain about the insurance company, your call is routed right back to the insurance company.
  2. For C&A members booking the going, going, gone sale during the Monday preview, what time does it start on Monday? Midnight or some time in the morning? Thanks.
  3. We are TA on the Jewel now. Bought the 5 night package at $105/ person before we left. We have eaten at Chops and Giovani’s as well as Izumi’s twice on this trip. All were good. This was our first with Izumi’s and have really, really liked it. This ship does not have habatchis but “hot rocks” that seem to be about 1000 degrees. We do not like sushi but have gotten the steak and mixed seafood. Cooking it yourself is fun and done to our taste. Also, the side dishes like the soup and shrimp spring rolls are excellent. They give you $35 credit per person, so $70 for each meal. Our ordering has only gotten us up to $56 and $61 so far. So, nothing above the allowance, and great food for the $21/ person package price. On this cruise also, they have trouble filling all the specialty places. We are the only ones in Izumi at 5:30 and they all applaud when we arrive. They also delivered a smaller take out/ delivered menu to our room yesterday. So, they are doing whatever it takes. They also have a “buy Chops and get Izumi or Giovanis free” promotion. At the right price, it is a very good deal/ experience.
  4. Also, there is no service during happy hour in the dedicated Diamond Lounge. It is all down in the Safari bar. So there is no smaller, quieter option.
  5. On the Jewel now. There seem to be 80 Pinnacles on board and some 300 Diamond plus folks. D+ do not have concierge lounge access. The consierge says that corporate makes these decisions. It also sounds like this applies to all transatlantic cruises but few if any other cruises. The theory seems to be that the huge numbers of pinnacles drive this as much as the large number of D+’s. A normal cruise would have 8 Pinnacles and 80 D+’s, so that, then, would be about the same number. Regarding the stage, here too it is the same 8 people.
  6. It is 7:45 at night. The seas are calm. We are about 3 hours outside the staits of Gibraltar. ..and the sun is coming out. Life is good.
  7. It is now midnight here on the boat and I ran Ookla Speed Test. Ping is 810 milliseconds. Both up and download speeds are 0.32 Mbps. The ping is what kills you. A newspaper type website might have 20 elements that must each be ping’ed. My Ping at home is 5 milliseconds with 30.00 up and down load speeds. So, this is 1% of my at home service, or 100 times slower.
  8. Logging on to the internet is often painful. The speed is quite slow anytime that a number of webpage elements must be downloaded. Some times of day are worse than others. No time of day is good. If it were much worse it would be unuseable.
  9. We have not yet eaten in the mdr. All three specialty resturants are good. Sometimes they have not been on other boats. The windjammer for dinner is pretty good. Some nights we just eat the apps in the lounges for dinner after too much eating during the day, and that has worked well. The shows have been weak. One night was one of the chorus guys doing his own show as this is the last cruise for this troupe. Not professional enough. One night was a comedian/ juggler. He did neither very well. Last night was a hypnotist that was actually very good. I don’t know a bunch of drink prices but a draft beer was $9 including the 18% tip. So, if you do not have lounge access, then a package will pay for itself quickly. When we boarded, they were selling alcohol packages for half off, but with the 18%, it was like $1100 for two for the 15 days. Hard to know what the original price was.
  10. We are on her also. They have taken over the Safari bar on the back of deck six for the diamond lounge. There are a tremendous number of d and d+ in there each night. Happy hour is from 4:30 to 8pm. Lots of waitstaff and tables of drinks when you first enter. Lots of pretty good food, too. P’s are probably mostly up in the Concierge lounge with the suites. That is real open for seats early and then gets busy about 7pm. Same food up there. With open bars in those lounges plus 3 drinks on seapass cards, there is no lack of happy hour.
  11. On Royal and Celebrity there seem to be an entire deck of lifeboats. I see very few on this one. Doesn't look like all pax could have gotten in lifeboats had they needed to.
  12. It is not in port yet. It is stable and heading slowly into the wind and waves for stability. In the morning it will head into Molde (sp?) with the help of the tow boats.
  13. Hertz also has a free shuttle from their port/ non-airport location.
  14. On Royal ships, I get receipts about half the time. I find this irritating. On Celebrity, I have never gotten a receipt. Same company but two different approaches. This is one of several reasons that I like Celebrity over Royal. Classier, less upsell, and less tip guilt-ing.
  15. If you get sick ashore or something goes wrong and have your real passport, then you are on the next plane home or the next cruise port. If you do not have it, then a week later you are on a plane home. Airlines will not let you leave a foreign country without a real passport.
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