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Flatbush Flyer

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About Flatbush Flyer

  • Rank
    10,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Point Richmond CA
  • Interests
    Travel, Food, Wine, Sailing.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    The Pacific Ocean

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  1. With the exception of any legal requirement (e.g., motor vehicles), the "bottom line" of any insurance is that "you don't need it until you need it." Add to that the issue's subjective and objective components - all overlayed with "risk" - and it's easy to see why there's such opposing views about the value of insurance for cruise vacations. FWIW, we are very very fortunate to have CalPERS (California Public Employees Retirement System) health benefits. While our age requires us to have a Medicare supplement version (we use PERS Care), its flexibility converts the coverage to regular PERS Care the minute you step out of the U.S., and that translates pretty much to a premier version of Geo Blue. Like most medical insurance, Its shortcomings include some copays and no Medevac (which BTW should never be confused with govt. authority "field rescues" from ships or emergency ambulance services). Our preferred credit cards do provide some trip cancellation/interruption benefits for travel purchased with those CCs. But, as is the case with most credit cards, there is no waiver when a PEC is the basis for a travel claim. And the cancel/interrupt claim limits of most CCs fall far short when you consider trip costs for an intercontinental premium/luxury cruise and related travel exceeding a month's duration. In an ideal world, if you do what many folks would consider "big ticket" cruises (e.g., $15k-20k per person - before adding bizclass airfare), it would be great to be able to find high limit/low deductible trip insurance disaggregated from travel medical coverage. But, such policies (particularly if you desire that PEC waiver) don't come along everyday. And insurers are smart by offering comprehensive (travel and medical) polices that bundle the travel in for a very minimal cost differential. In any case, we assess each planned trip in determining whether or not to purchase a comprehensive policy. For "short" Pacific coast cruises (Mexico, Alaska), we usually "self insure." But, for "long" expensive intercontinental cruises (particularly with ports "off the beaten path"), and given our formidable regular medical insurance, we usually purchase PEC-waiving comprehensive policies with good trip coverage but minimal medical and medevac coverage. Note that doing the math will find the cost of a MedJet Assist medevac membership (which we have) is usually cheaper than the premium increase for good Medevac coverage in a comprehensive policy. In OUR case, for the long "big ticket/distant corners of the earth" trips, we are, in essence, tending to do a bit of necessary overkill on the medical coverage. But, we always leave the house with complete "peace of mind" about our minimal risk. So, yea or nay on insurance really is a choice best based on your circumstances. But, as I always suggest with cruise pricing analysis, DO THE RESEARCH in order to make an informed decision.
  2. $20k+ (100% refund) paid by insurer for cruise we had to cancel a few years ago due to non-PEC medical/surgical issue. No CFAR coverage involved. We provided detailed MD letter. Recently (February/March) collected small $250 for missed port due to weather. It was a replacement port for itinerary modified as Covid during a cruise itinerary modified due to Covid concerns elsewhere. We provided Oceania letter clearly identifying "weather" so there would be no question about Covid relationship.
  3. U bethcha! Ave H and E. 32nd street. Midwood HS and Brooklyn College (undergrad). St Vincent Ferrer grammar school. Also spent much time with grandma on Sackett and Henry (down the block from Camarerie Bros Bakery - the bakery in Moonstruck). Howyadoin'?
  4. Oceania ships have no buffet. They each do have a casual restaurant called the Terrace Café which is designed/organized/staffed to prevent passenger self-service. In addition to one or more selections from daily GDR menus and themed regional menus aligned with the cruise itinerary, there is a la minute cooking including wok and grill stations (yes- steak and lobster available nightly) and even a sushi bar. There's an al fresco dining option (weather dependent) and full bar service. Prefer not to carry your food to your table after selecting it? Galley staff will carry your items to your table.
  5. IMO, the only regular con is that folks can look down at your outdoor space - but really only the extended portion beyond the normal balcony depth. That said, there are some folks who don't care for the perceived "tunnel" feeling of the extra divider sections. And there's always the chance that some unthinking person above you will leave room service dishes on their balcony only to have them blown down onto your balcony (and you) by a stiff wind. Yes- it can and does happen (rarely).
  6. Everyone needs to "get a clue." Whether anyone likes it or not, if Americans booked on cruise lines serving primarily Americans can't get to (i.e., barred from) an embarkation port outside of the US, the chance of that cruise going are very doubtful (at best).
  7. I doubt most folks' TAs or they themselves are willing to time it down to the second to grab those beauties. So, we still may be in luck. Here's 7108:
  8. Amen to that! The cabin above can see down to your balcony. I don't have pics but, look at a deck plan and you'll see four cabins (two forward and two aft) that transition into the regular balconies. They have railing on two sides and only one divider. Those four cabins (numbers escape me) are booked immediately when a future cruise itinerary is first announced.
  9. AND s/he got the misinformation about cruise credits corrected (e.g., 24 days can only be 2 credits in a "combo cruise" and not in an "extended journey."
  10. It's not quite that simple when it comes to cruise credits. Here's a pic (below) of the breakdown. However, there are two types of longer cruises on O. The first type is "extended journeys," which are multiple segments marketed as a single cruise with a single booking number and a varying discounted price. In that case, the "cruise credit" chart is correct based on the total number of days. The second type is "custom (a.k.a. Combo) cruises," which are multiple segments that you combine and for which there is also a single booking number and an approx. 5% discount. However, with combo cruises, the segments are considered separately for cruise credits. So, in some situations of how many days/segment, combo cruises can mean a different number of credits. Note however that you can no longer book multiple segments as a "combo" if it is marketed as an "extended journey." And, for folks with higher O Club loyalty, that can sometimes be a bit of a bummer since combo cruises get O Club SBC/spa perks, air credits, etc for each segment and the approx. 5% fare discount (vs the total cost of the multiple segments). However, do note that there actually are some long "extended journeys" where the fare discount is significant enough to make it a better bottom line value than if you had been able to book it as a combo. We have a 40+ day one booked in May 2022 where that is the case - even for Platinum O Club folks. As for the food reservations, no matter how your multiple segments cruise is booked, you receive restaurant pre-reservations based on each segment's regular allowance for your cabin class. Note that those reservations must be made/dated as allocated in each segment. So, you can't lump them together in one segment, etc. BTW, you can also do booze packages per segment as well. Another slight benefit is that you get to book all your segments' reservations starting on the start date for the reservations of the first segment.
  11. Nautica was supposed to get its NEXT makeover earlier this summer (last of the four R ships). Because of Covid-19, It has been rescheduled to summer 2021.
  12. I'm going to guess that you don't regularly cruise with Oceania. The "ultimate sale" is hardly "ultimate." Rather, it is the regular holiday period sale O does throughout the year - perhaps extended a bit longer. As for "price to fill," remember that what FDR may say about NCL may have little to do with NCLH's Oceania or Regent lines. Nonetheless, this version of the O Ultimate (the current catchphrase) Sale regards about 60 (?) cruises. Make of that what you want. As for "getting rid of" the R ships: The $100 million Oceania NEXT total interior renovation of all four R ships demonstrates that these proven niche-serving ships ain't going anywhere.
  13. And, while we're at it, let's be clear that the Platinum cruise is not "free." You still pay port taxes/fees and it is "cruise only" since the economy airfare was eliminated from the deal (about a year ago?).
  14. R ships do not have Privee dining room nor LaReserve dining experience space.
  15. $250 for the room. Normally, it seats up to ten. But, who knows what social distancing will do to the number. Again, it's just the regular menus from Polo and Toscana (since it's located aft between those two restaurants). So, there's no extra charge for the food.
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