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happy cruzer

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Posts posted by happy cruzer

  1. Do all the Edge class have the beautiful walking track?  That and the 4 MDRs are what we enjoyed the most on Edge.  However we did notice that the bars especially the Martini Bar were crowded and that was on one of the early cruises after covid with only 1/3 passengers.

     

    I guess we will go on whichever ship is sailing where we want to go :0

     

  2. Virgin will not have the white table cloth except in one restaurant.  And thought that the service was good but very casual.  It does not match going back to traditional style cruising.  Only one ship in the Caribbean and often doing shorter cruises.

     

    Op might try some of the premium lines when they sail in the Caribbean like Oceania or Seabourn.  The cruisers skew younger in the Caribbean.

     

    But really don't think you can find the traditional experience any more.

    • Like 2
  3. On 4/24/2024 at 12:40 PM, Gardyloo said:

    One big drawback to Alaska's program is that they don't allow multiple partners on one award - either Alaska + 1 partner or the partner alone.  So itineraries like American to London then BA to Oslo don't show up.  

     

    However, there are numerous open flights from DFW to London in business class in August using AS miles; the OP would have to purchase a cheap one-way connection to Oslo from London.  

    More info about the cheap one way connection Oslo from London.  Is that on SAS?

     

    Looks like I may not have my 75000 reward until June.  So do I book something now and save the miles for later??  I need to be in Oslo before my RTW starts at 1pm Aug 27.  Don't want to miss that first leg.

  4. Planning on using the same combination of Chase Sapphire and GeoBlue Trekker,  when should we buy the GeoBlue Trekker policy?  We already have a deposit on the cruise and will buy airfare soon but the trip starts in Aug of this year. 

     

    Also if your US medical insurance provider changes during the travel period does it affect the GeoBlue Trekker policy in anyway.  One of us may go from a private policy to Medicare during the time. 

     

    Thanks to Steve and all the other great poster for being a great resource.

    • Like 1
  5. On 4/16/2024 at 10:27 AM, Gardyloo said:

    The only recommendation I'd make given this would be to look at using Finnair via Helsinki to get from Oslo to Prague instead of BA via London.  As long as you use AA between Madrid and DFW, which would incentivize the AA RTW desk to issue the ticket, switching from BA to AY for the first segment would potentially help you avoid big BA fees and surcharges.   The total elapsed time will be similar for OSL-xHEL-PRG but will give you some time to visit the nice Helsinki Finnair lounge, while the LHR transfer would potentially be a footrace.  Plus, the HEL route would all be in Schengen, speeding things up for your arrival at PRG.  

    Points well taken and will be pursued when I call in to AA. 

     

    Have been caught up in the credit card stuff.  The Citi AAdvantage was approved but needed to see the terms and conditions in writing.  Took over a week to arrive in snail mail.  No mention of miles bonus.  Called and they will now send that seperately via snail mail.

     

    FYI (many may know this already)  the new cards typically come with a fairly low limit about 13500.  So purchasing the RTW tickets may be difficult.  Then I pursued the Sapphire Preferred card thinking I would get that bonus on a card with a higher credit limit.  We have a sapphire card (very old and nice high limit) which I am the authorized user on per the first call to Chase.  Applied for Preferred and was denied.  Called the reconsideration line and told I was denied because I am a Secondary card holder not the same as authorized card holder.  No way to drop off the sapphire card, would have to cancel that card totally, reapply which would possibly lower our credit limit, take 30 days, etc.  Tooooo much hassle.

     

    So getting close to resolving cc issues, to start the RTW ticket purchase.

     

    So we will stay with our current cards plus the new Citi AAdvantage for the bonus miles.  More later.

    • Like 1
  6. On 4/16/2024 at 10:12 AM, SelectSys said:

    In terms of your Europe segments, maybe you can consider dropping at least one location as you are trying to make lots of stops in a very short amount of time? 

     

    Each stop will eat up some amount of time traveling and checking in and out of hotels or other forms of accommodation.

     

    Be optimistic that you'll have additional opportunities to pick up another trip in the future.

     

    Good luck!

    Yes, we will be allowing a full day for travel time that include the time traveling and the hotel check in/out.  Only 2 full days in each city with have to suffice.

    • Like 1
  7. On 4/16/2024 at 9:21 AM, Zach1213 said:

     

    Honestly that's a pretty good itinerary. Lots of moving around, so you'll get a little taste of some really good cities. Oslo itself is...fine. I would say that's the weakest of all of those cities so if you wanted to cut one of the two Oslo days and apply it somewhere else, that's not a terrible idea. But Oslo is still great and you'll find plenty to do. Maybe adding a day to Madrid to hit either Toledo, Segovia or El Escorial would be nice. 

    Yes, you are correct about Toledo, Segovia and El Escoral.  We did all 3  many years ago on a road trip around Europe - 18 castles, 17 churches in 21 days....  It was fantastic and got us hooked.  Would visit again if there is time.

  8. 8 hours ago, Gardyloo said:

    Once you're ticketed, you'll get a record locator/PNR that you can use with the individual airline's website to pick seats, the same way you'd select seats with any other type of ticket.  Note some carriers (BA, Iberia) will charge a fee for seat selection until 24h before the flight (yes, even in business class.)

     

    Note that there are two systems that issue the PNR locators.  Some airlines (American, Alaska) use the Sabre system that will issue locators comprised of six letters, like ABCDEF, while others (BA et al) use the Amadeus system, which issues locators with mixed letters and numbers, like AB12CD.  It's useful to have both locators on hand; contact any airline and they can give you both, otherwise you might run into a situation where Airline A can't see Airline B's PNR for your trip.

     

    Regarding the itinerary, a couple of notes.  First, by having BA for your first flight (OSL-LHR) the Oneworld tool will default to having BA issue the ticket.  That will expose you to very high BA fees and surcharges for the whole trip, which conceivably could add hundreds, maybe more than a thousand dollars to the final price.   

     

    This is your trip, of course, but if it was me, I'd do the Prague/Budapest visits BEFORE starting the RTW in Norway.  Look at it this way - with a $5K+ price tag, each of the 16 allowed flights is worth around $312.  A one-way ticket (yes, in economy, but it's only an hour flight) between Prague or Budapest and Oslo costs $150 or less (even less than $100) so if you save those segments for higher-value flights later, you're money ahead.  It would also have the added benefit of avoiding BA and their fees.  Your first RTW segment would be on Iberia to Madrid; while Iberia and BA have the same ownership, Iberia's surcharges and fees tend to be a lot less than BA's, PLUS, if you chose the American Airlines flight from Madrid to DFW (which leaves a little earlier than the Iberia flight but which will be a much better experience - AA uses new Boeing 789s rather than Iberia's clapped out A330s) you'll be using AA planes for a transoceanic segment, thereby greasing the skids for AA to issue the ticket in the first place, a good thing. I hope that's not too confusing.  

    Time, Finances, and Resources

     

    Time - we have two weeks (one of us is still employed with limited vacation time) to spend on the Europe sections.  Either Aug 24 to Sep 8 or the start Aug 31.  Note the Aug 24 to Aug 27 part is on our nickel to get to Oslo.

     

    Finances - still employed.  Fairly low priority to save bucks.  The great ideas of using cheaper econ flights will matter in 2 years. HA!

     

    Resources - We are slowing down.  Like to spend 4 to 6 hours touring then a nice meal.  A few days can be longer.

     

    So maybe we change the order of our itinarary?  Right now we plan to have two day in Oslo, two day in Prague, train to Vienna, 2 days in Vienna, train to Budapest, 2 days in Budapest, fly to Madrid, two days in Madrid.

     

    Ideas to improve?

     

  9. Check out the Cruise Air board.  There is some interesting discussions over there.  You might want to look at a Round The World ticket.

     

    https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/77-cruise-air/

     

    And do look at the Celebrity pricing as well.  We have found good international rates.  But remember that Celebrity will be in the loop if there are changes or refunds after ticketing.  That was an issue for us.  We booked the air about 1 year out, then when we flew there was an delay that caused a downgrade in the ticket and a refund.  The airline refunded the payer of the ticket i.e. Celebrity.  It look month to get Celebrity to issue us the refund.  Still would use them for significant savings.

  10. OK, I will call AA this coming week.  But before maybe I can have a bit more knowledge?

     

    How do you get seat assignment in business class (how to easily check seat configuration)?

     

    Here is the RTW Segments of note:

     

    osl prg 27/aug/2024 BA763/BA860

    BUD MAD 05/sept/2024 ID32914

    MAD DFW 08/sept/2024 IB6149  (AA only shows econ)

    three US trips

    dfw tyo 22/feb/2025 JL 11

    TYO SIN 26/feb/205 JL35

    HKF OSL 16/Mar/2025 AY100/AY911

     

    Any ideas of options?

     

    Thanks.

     

     

    • Like 1
  11. 1 hour ago, SelectSys said:

    I just got off the phone with the AA RTW desk.  The agent was really quite knowledgeable and helpful as you suggested previously.    The availability of one segment (DXB to CMN via DOH) changed by the time I called in so the agent made a bit of last minute adjustment to the ticket.  The connection was a bit worse, but still acceptable.  I guess we will run around in Doha for the day (if it's not too hot) or just hang out in the airport...

     

    The agent said I would receive the price back tomorrow from the ticketing desk via email.  She said I should get the Japanese pricing.  I will see what happens.  If the pricing holds up, the ticket should be $6100 including taxes for a 31,451 mile journey (~$.19/mile) in business class.   I priced a somewhat similar journey starting from LAX and its price came in at just under $12k which is almost twice as much as starting in Japan!  Wow, what a great "hack" to start outside the US!  It's basically like either my wife or I are travelling "free."  Your second suggestion, or "hack," to add in supplemental trips was great too!  With this is mind, I was able to get a flight to and from South America for very little marginal cost.  

     

    Thanks again for all your help!  I don't think I would have attempted to get this ticket without your posts as the process seemed a bit intimidating at the outset if you have never done it before.

     

    Here is my route map if you are curious:

    image.thumb.png.1557488e7d7fe979ac3fd06da35f1252.png

     

    BTW - I am still not certain how we will get to and from Japan.  I have a cheap points ticket reserved in an economy exit row as a place holder to get to Tokyo and maybe we will return back from Tokyo on a cruise.  Also, AA seems to be unbundling their one way fares between the west coast (at least LAX) and Tokyo while JAL is not.  I wonder if AA's move is a reaction to ZIPAIR as a new player in the market? 

    So glad to see your post!

     

    We are getting ready to book a ticket as well. 

     

    We have one segment showing in the ONEworld tool for 21 Feb 2025 DFW to TYO which we want a time later than 6pm departure but the tool only shows early in the day departures.  Otherwise we could purchase in the one world tool.

     

    Any ideas on which is better?  Call AA's desk or book in oneworld tool?

     

    Thanks.

     

     

     

     

     

  12. We are Back!  We loved Sky Reef.  The taxi fee was posted and was $16 one way.  Easy!

     

    They did try to get us to get the package rate, just said we wanted a short quiet stay and kept walking.  They need tried to get us to buy anything after that.  Great!

     

    Good chairs.  Great view and snorkling from the stairs on the beach!  Our new favorite.

     

    Thanks for the information from everyone!

  13. On 3/21/2024 at 9:50 AM, Easyrider949 said:
    UPDATE: 
     
    I’m pleased to announce that Princess Cruises has recognized and satisfied our complaint regarding our EZair booking due to their unreasonable short notice cancellation of our Sun Princess 2/18 sailing. They did the right thing, so thank you Princess!
     
    As individuals, when we have been harmed by others we do have a loud voice via Social Media, writing emails to the various folks within the top echelons of the company, and working with your TA to support you. They do monitor these social postings, so there is hope to be heard.
     
    Also, I want to recognize and thank all of those who were empathetic and supportive of our situation. We appreciated your comments and positive thoughts.
     
    For the mean spirited, judgmental, know-it-all, and nasty people on this social forum who were quick to tell us how stupid it was for us for go on an inaugural cruise, that they would never go on one, and those who thought insurance was the answer, when it wasn’t, and that we deserved what happened to us because we should’ve planned better, (even though the reason we booked BtBtB cruises was just in case the ship was delayed being delivered for the 1st & 2nd sailings). We hope you have a blessed day.
     
    As an early adopter to new technology and willingness to explore new concepts we are very much aware of the shortcomings they can bring, but they also can bring excitement and joy. Try being a pioneer sometime and enjoy the journey.
     
    With all of the issues and hurdles we had to get over getting to the Sun Princess, we really did enjoy our experiencing on the Sun Princess inaugural cruise. We look forward to being on her again in October. Also, we look forward to being on the Star Princess inaugural transatlantic crossing.

     

    Thanks for coming back to report.  Being one of the nasty people who suggested that insurance could help you out,  would like to know how you were satisfied.  Did you get an actual refund, more over offer or future credit??

     

    Hope you have many future adventures and continue with your early adopter ways.  Thanks for sharing.

  14. On 2/13/2024 at 1:05 PM, noshoobie said:

    We just got back from our cruise and wanted to comment about Sky Reef. There is a thread on this board titled Money Bar vs Sky Reef and that's how I decided on Sky Reef. So glad that we did. I had seen a photo of a chart on another board that the cost to get to Sky Reef was $13 but I think that was from the International Pier. We docked at Punta Langosta which is a little farther away. So we go to the cab area and I asked how much to get to Sky Reef and the first guy says $30. I said no. The second guy says $20 and I again say no. The third cabbie pulls up a chart on his phone similar to the one I saw on CC and it says $16. We go with that guy. I would say it was about a 10-15 minute drive. I wanted to do the ala carte but my DH insisted we do the package at $20 pp because it included the snorkel gear, tequila tasting, one drink per person, and a massage (which we did not do). It was well worth it. Every staff member we came upon was friendly and the food and frozen drinks were very good. We felt very safe there. The water was crystal clear and we saw many different fish along with sea fans. We both agreed that if we come back to Cozumel we would visit Sky Reef again. 

    Thanks for the report.

     

    We are pretty weak swimmers.  Is it possible to stand every once in awhile or is it all coral on the bottom?

     

    Did it get crowded?

     

    Thanks!

  15. Hope someone can share what they have done in the past or what they think is a good plan.

     

    Looking at booking a Oneworld RTW ticket.  It will start and end in Oslo.  We will pay seperately for transport to and from the US (may self insure this part).

     

    So one trip from the US will be in the summer for about 3 weeks in Europe, there will be two US trips in summer, then next spring a trip of about 1 month that will include a two week cruise.

     

    Pretty sure that we want to use GeoBlue annual policy for medical part.

     

    Any ideas for travel insurance.  Typically we are fine with our Credit Cards coverage, not perfect but good enough.  What I don't understand is how to cover the RTW ticket, it is a one time charge but there could be travel delays on multipule segments of the ticket.  Is there a way to cover these delays?

     

    Also the cruise will be paid by a credit card that may not be the one used to buy the RTW ticket.  Does that normally cause an issue if somehow the flight delay causes the cruise to be missed?

     

    Any experience or ideas?  Thank you.

  16. On 3/16/2024 at 7:41 PM, TRLD said:

    It would have allowed one to cancel for any reason if they had a B2B scheduled and chose not to go with a later uncancelled cruise after the first was cancelled, but it would not have covered expenses outside of those made with the cruise line.  Basically as far as coverage, except for the ability to cancel for any reason, it would not have provided any benefits because Princess had already refunded any monies paid to it for the canceled cruise.

    Helpful information.  OP's scenario is that the first cruise was cancelled.  At that point, if they had the platinum policy with CFAR, they could have cancelled the entire trip.  Probably losing prepaid items in their Madrid trip  (might those have been covered by the credit card that they paid with?).  They also had the option of flying on their ticket (either the first one or the second more expensive one) and doing a land trip at their expense as you noted.

     

    If they had flown out on a ticket purchased by Princess then the platinum policy would cover trip interruption costs when a cruise is cancelled??  Those costs would have to be filed for and approved which can take months. 

     

    I agree Princess will probably never make them whole on the business class airfare or prepaid items in their Madrid trip.   I might would try for the move over offer or OBC but getting a cash refund is very rare.

     

    Thanks for sharing your view on the insurance.  I have an upcoming expensive trip that I trying to determine how to insure (no policy covers everything 🙂 )

     

  17. Just read the Dec 2022 review of Chankanaab park.  We were there about 25 years ago.  So newer info is needed.  HA!

     

    We want to go back in a month.  Only two of us.

     

    Probably do a taxi.  The park.  Need two shaded chairs.  Will have our own snorkel gear to snorkel from beach.  No food or drinks needed.  Restroom and shower to get sand off feet. 

     

    So the questions are - do we need to make any reservations?  Approximate costs?  Does it ever get so crowded that chairs are hard to come by, if so is there a plan B once you get there?  Are the taxis easy to do coming and going. 

     

    All advice appreciated.  Thanks.

  18. On 3/15/2024 at 8:49 AM, AZjohn said:

    Did you have cruise insurance??

    Good question.  We typically do the free upgrade to Princess platinum.  Hopefully op has that policy.

     

    it is tricky in that sometimes they want you to travel at a certain time and cruisers decide to do a different option.  And it only covers things booked through Princess.  Credit cards often have some travel insurance.

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