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  • Interests
    Travel, reading, film
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess, Cunard
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  1. Or, worse yet, which I have seen on "premium line cruises" a guest takes a roll or something and then puts it back! Ugh!
  2. Yes. Definitely. You might want to transfer the booking (if already made) to a travel advisor. Let him/her know you will not be using Medallion..They can advise you on current procedures, print out boarding passes, luggage tags, etc. for you and mail (or email) them to you.
  3. That's cool. Just don't assume the smaller TA, local or not, cannot meet or beat the other prices. As always, if price is your sole consideration, shop around. Many can. To each their own, but I have seen estimates that about 80% of cruisers choose to book through a TA and not direct. I suspect that many of them don't want to spend many hours to save $50 or whatever and prefer to have high quality advice and service.
  4. Thanks--I just wanted tro be sure that if I booked an excursion, for example, now--that it would go against my Have It All credit--some cruise lines make you wait until you are onbaord to book the promotional ones.
  5. I think others have made most of the points pro and con. The most important thing is, if you find you are not happy with a TA, you have a choice of telling them why and/or just moving on with your next booking. Many local TAs are affiliated with large consortiums and often get lower rates or, more commonly, extra perks like OBC. I would not let that be the factor for that reason. If you have a serious problem with a booking, the local TA who is part of a large consortium is more likely to go to bat hard for you. Honestly, not to knock the HAL PCC or the Big Box, but they are big enough they don't care that much if you walk away on your next booking. The local TA, who is trying to maintain a good local reputation for service, is more likely to push harder and longer for resolution. For some Covid refunds, we had to fight for a year to get a refund for someone! The Big Box (at least the one I think you mean) rebated you virtually all of their commission and really does not want to invest that kind of time into resolution.
  6. For a really long trip there are virtual mail services like Postscanmail. They scan the envelope, you tell them to toss it or save it or open it. They will open it and scan the contents for you so you can review. They will also forward it somewhere if you want. All for a price of course!
  7. First, thanks to you posting from the voyages. It is very enjoyable to read! I'm going on the Nov. 7 Coastal cruise with some friends. A couple of quick questions: 1) Did any of you receive upgrades or upsell offers before the cruise? I keep thinking there should be plenty with the ship half full, but that's just my sepculation. 2) If you have the Have It All package--did you have to wait to book the shore excursion and specialty dining until onboard? Thanks in advance!
  8. I'm on the Nov. 7 cruise on Koningsdam. I'll be following your posts!
  9. So, looking at the title and content of your question, I suspect your underlying question is will the cruise line go bankrupt or seriously cut service. The finances of the cruise lines and the cutting of amenties are 2 different things, although I grant there can be some relationship. Cruiseline finances. While of course Covid has hit all the travel industry, Carnival Corp (CCL) which owns HAL, and other lines, is generally thought to be financially stable. Stock prices are not nearly at ther previous peak, but they are also not near their previous lows. There are other smaller cruiselines, usually privately owned, that are of more concern regarding their finanacial viability. Amenities. In the last month or so both HAL and Princess annouced changes to their loyalty programs (for people who have cruised often with them previously). There are threads here and on the Princess forums that can tell you what the frequent cruisers thought! If you are asking about the main cruise experience (I suspect you are) the main changes are due to health and safety. For example, a gloved cruise person will put your buffet food on your plate as you want. No more grabbing a piece of bread and putting it back! Personally, I consider this an improvement. There will be many little things like that. If you are worried about the Cruise Line going bankrupt, that seems unlikely in HAL's case. However, since travel insurance is always a good idea, you might want to look into third party coverage. The important thing is to make sure it covers "supplier bankruptcy or financial default." A good travel agent can help you get quotes for such a policy. Apologies if I read too much into your question!
  10. I emailed my request in last week for a Nov. 7 2021 cruise. Received it within a few days.
  11. If you look around there are many posts costing out whether it is worth it or not...Most think it is. To me, it is way better than NCL's similar offer--the Princess offer includes the drink tips--while NCL's does not. Here's one example of a cost-out in this thread:
  12. A travel advisor can go into the system and see how many cabins are available in each category.
  13. Others who have sailed Princess lately can say if this is wrong, but as of three months' ago, the specifics for laundry were: All ships offer laundry and professional cleaning services and all ships have self-service launderettes. The prices for professional cleaning are similar to shore-side dry cleaning charges. Please note that Full Suite guests and Princess Captain's Circle Elite level members receive complimentary laundry and professional cleaning service, except for Presto service, which carries a charge. Please note that irons/ironing boards are available in the self-service laundry rooms. Ironing and using personal clothes steamers are NOT permitted in any stateroom. For your convenience, Princess vessels have self-service launderettes where washers, dryers and laundry products are available for a nominal charge. Charges for self-service launderettes, hours and laundry soap are subject to change without notice. Hours of operation are 8:00 AM - 9:00 PM (on certain itineraries, environmental regulations relating to the consumption of water may impact the operating hours of the launderettes). Check the Princess Patter for exact hours of operation. Hours are subject to change per ship. The cost to utilize the washers and dryers is $3.00 per wash/$3.00 per dry for all ships. The individually packaged detergents/softeners are $1.25 each. On all ships the washers, dryers and dispensers take tokens that can be purchased with guest's cruise card from a machine in the laundry room. Tokens can be purchased using the Ocean Medallion. *When the ship is based in Australia, prices are in AUD All prices are subject to change.
  14. For transferring a direct booking to a TA the current policy is: The booking transfer form must be submitted no later than 60 days after booking has been created and must be outside of the Final Payment period. As to the rest of your question, once the TA has control of the booking, they can go in and see if your booking "took." If not, they can see what inventory is available Good luck!.
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