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About twangster

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    3,000+ Club

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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    San Juan

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  1. I'm sorry to say this is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Across the globe and across all levels of society this will impact many wage earners in ways that will be devastating as we all go through it.
  2. Adventure is at anchor just outside Port Everglades. Port Everglades looks full. Port of Miami has waived berth fees. I'm guessing anchorage for many taking turns at beths to resupply and fuel as needed.
  3. Some of the people I was hanging around with had booked through A2S. Royal let them use phone on board to call but wait times were hours. It was a sea day so nothing missed but some people spent much of the day dealing with it. One lady in our group stopped and had lunch with us and then went back at it after lunch. She told stories that they were saying there are routings through this country or that country but they were being blocked from booking them because it was a ban country. This is the problem when these type of travel bans are announced on TV without anyone in the industry having anytime to prepare. Travel professionals didn't know anymore than we did. Some assumed worst case and made up rules to implement to protect themselves. Royal placed computers and phones in the conference center that was available for guests. They were pretty strict about sanitation and wiped down each station after use, or so I'm told. I used my cell phone in my cabin. Here is more background on how I found my wallet $2,445 lighter: I had used Delta Skymiles to book my airfare returning Tuesday March 17. I got a great deal, only 25k miles in comfort plus. I had flown to Fort Lauderdale on Southwest. In the aftermath of the travel ban Delta also had long wait times, like 2 to 3 hours. Being an award ticket I couldn't change my flight online. Voom was pretty crappy on that sea day and my 1st call dropped after 60 minutes. Ugh. All the while I am watching flights sell out for Friday. First the 1pm Delta flight, then the 11:30am flight out of BCN. There was a 9:30am but I wasn't confident making that if the ship was late arriving and if I recall that routed through Amsterdam and Paris. Some of the Delta options were multiple hops through Europe. Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt - did I really want to add more ban countries to my routing? At this point it wasn't clear that US citizens were exempt but even so, why route through more European ban countries? Delta had Saturday and Sunday options through JFK but not many seats left and long wait times to talk to someone. I was checking multiple sources like Kayak and the big US airlines plus foreign carriers. American was the only one offering a Friday connection through the UK. As I am bouncing back and forth between sites whenever I went back to American some options began disappearing. Now the fear amd FOMO start to kick in. If I don't act fast, I am not getting out on Friday. At least on American I'd get out Friday and I overnight in an country that isn't banned. Then the 2:15pm option on American disappears. Only one option left, or at least the only one presented for booking was the 3pm before the only options were first class for $$$$$$$$. My cheapest option was $500 cheaper than the 2nd cheapest though a ban country. Prices skyrocketed for business and first class after that. So absent of all the facts (because the White House hadn't clarified it yet) I booked a non-banned ticket through London. My $455 AirBNB for Barcelona was also lost in this. So be it, I wanted to get home before the borders were closed. By the time Delta answered I had booked AA. They couldn't get me out Friday by that time but they did offer to waive my Skymiles redeposit fee so at least I got my 25k miles back plus the taxes I had paid for that flight. That afternoon when we met for the nightly happy hour some were still dealing with it. Some thought I was the smartest person on the ship to fork over $2,500 since at this point most of them had to overnight in Barcelona but at least by that time we had heard US citizens weren't banned. However we all feared that airlines would cancel flights if they were half empty and fully empty on the way back for any foreign airline. The funk pretty much hung around the entire last sea day and we joked about having to do firewatch duty in dry dock. Hindsight is always 20-20 but sometimes you have to make a decision in the heat of the moment and that is what American Airlines was counting on. Long winded answer but those who booked A2S had to wait on hold like everyone else to speak with A2S. Since I was booked independently I was more agile and could book anything I wanted, at a cost. While A2S people probably didn't have any extra cost many did overnight in Spain. I'm symptom free and like I told the CBP agent I feared catching something in the DFW CDC waiting area more than my brief transit through BCN but who knows?
  4. When PR announced that a few days ago I was wondering what would happen to Freedom since she was mid-cruise. Now we know. Personally I think it's an overreaction to ban a ship that embarked in PR, it's the home port for that ship. Someone didn't think this through very well and has caused a lot of unnecessary inconvenience and stress. Perhaps they'll close the airport too, that will really mess up any locals on board. If the previous political kickbacks that corrupted the PR ports wasn't enough, this is another reason to pull all cruising from PR.
  5. Algorithm's are easily programmed with safety limits. That's the beauty of programming, it can handle complexities. If $price is 400% of $normal within 3 hours then something is wrong. Keep in mind $1,209 is the capped but inflated price. If you want to compare to normal averages I am probably 250% to 300%. While some may see them pointing the finger at their computer systems, I see their computer systems pointing the finger right back at them.
  6. There are other agencies to complain to. Domestically the DOT may be involved, uncertain for a flight starting in Spain. Need to explore the proper governments to involve, who may have more pressing issues at the moment.
  7. I didn't want to say much while enroute fearing AA would cancel my ticket but I caught them price gouging. My one way ticket from BCN with an overnight in London cost me $2,445. I booked after the travel ban was announced but before it was clarified that it didn't apply to US citizens. Coach not available so I booked Premium Economy, the cheapest fare available. While I was at BCN airport after I had checked in I was curious what options were available. My exact flights I was about to board was now half the price. Coach still sold out, Premium Economy had been cut to $1,209. Business class was $3,694 and First was sold out. Thirty four hours with an overnight stop in London at my own expense. Better routing with one less hop was available for $2,915. As I booked it flights were selling out. I am not the only gouging victim. Got give AA credit for knowing how to capitalize on a situation. While I am glad to be home I won't be flying AA for a very long time. They may have maximized revenue in the short term but lost me as a customer in the long term. I was once Platinum with them when I flew a lot for business. Some blame lies at the feet of the administration for not articulating the travel ban properly when it was initially announced.
  8. Fortunately the airport is a ghost town. Pick a seat? How about pick a row?
  9. AA rebooked me on new connection except my new boarding pass was rejected by TSA. New flight boards in 9 minutes at a different concourse. Waiting in line out of security for AA to fix it.
  10. That was ridiculous. Stood with CBP who asked me everything that was on the form. He typed it all by hand. 20 minutes later he said “okay, good to go” and gave me this:
  11. Just talked to them. Process seems to be larger parties first. Families of four have priority over solo travelers. They “promise” to get to me after the next family of four.
  12. Looks like my 3 1/2 hour layover isn’t enough time. 45 minutes at Global Entry who sent me to the CDC penalty box. I was 3rd when I got here, now about 30 more with me. We are packed into close quarters where it’s impossible to maintain 6’. If I end up with CV this will be where I get it. No end in sight. Missed my connection that boards shortly. CBP apologizes saying this is the first day so they are learning as they go. Health declaration form below.
  13. Anyone who has visited a ban country has to stay onboard and fill out a health form. Others are free to go.
  14. Arrived at our gate. Have to remain seated. Agent coming on board to make an announcement.
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