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About Joebucks

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  1. That sounds like a great TA relationship. I know I have been on many different "TA websites" that offer additional perks. They almost never give those out on the cheapest options. Whereas the balconies and suites they will give out big OBC. I would bet it may vary by line too.
  2. I argue most of the time, most people would be overpaying on Cheers for 2 people @ $960. I'm sorry, but to me, it makes no sense to not want to feel "wasteful" and worry about a "budget" for $960 in drinks. That is the epitome of waste.
  3. Some people are flabbergasted because they believe a vacation revolves around 5-star dining at every turn and to boast about their refined palette. One of the best things about cruising is the variety of options for everyone. While I personally don't frequent the buffet too often unless I want something quick and/or something looks good, it's a great option for a lot of people. Quick, convenient, informal, portion control, etc. For some people, the food is not the entertainment, and getting past that process quickly helps them enjoy more of what is important.
  4. May is an amazing month. July is probably one of the worst. The beginning of May has great pricing. Demand is lighter due to spring break being over and the kids not yet being out of school. So you'll have less kids too. The weather is also great. I refuse to go in July. The prices are astronomical because demand is through the roof. Tons of families and kids. Weather is too hot.
  5. One of the things I've realized with "TA perks" is simple economics. For a $1000 cruise, the TA generally isn't making enough to give away much. For a $5,000 cruise, they want that business. They will throw out OBC, wine, gratuities, etc because I assume those things cost less than an actual discount, yet still provide an "equal value". When you are making $500 vs $100, the game is different. It's like saying you got a $10k hot tub for free with the purchase of your car. Everyone is like wow, where is this dealer? Oh, you bought a Maserati? I just bought a Corolla. Most of my cruises are off peak season, in an interior, and overall, relatively inexpensive. The best offer I have gotten from a TA yet was an extra $25 gc. I book mine through my credit card points, which pays for the cruises in full. I do find it annoying that I don't have as much "control". Not that I need to change much, but when I do, it is a hassle.
  6. I don't claim to be an expert in understanding why they do what they do. I also don't buy a few personal opinions on here as to why they are "on hold". Looking at reality, Royal wants to grow their business. When populations grow and demand for cruising grows, it is logical that you add new ships. Adding larger ships with more capacity allows you to grow faster. However, you hit a plateau where these new ships can't visit every port. There is only so much demand for mega ships to Cozumel, Nassau, etc. Meanwhile, other smaller ports could use a bigger ship than they have, but smaller than Oasis. You could grow that market and repurpose that little ship almost anywhere. Never say never, but it makes sense why they are hold for now.
  7. Depending on what your children drink, they may want to consider buying bottles. ~$110 will get you a liter of alcohol.
  8. I lost a dog last year, and it still hurts to this day. At the age of 12, I feel it is safe to assume he at least lived a long life for a dog. I'm glad he lived that long and didn't die from some idiot tourist messing with him.
  9. There are pros and cons to every kind of vacation, and I like them all. Cruising is currently my go-to. Mostly because of the seamless experience. I am not one of those obsessed with a single price, feeling like I've saved so much money by overpaying up front. With that said, I feel cruising addresses some vacationing problems better than others. Traveling during land travel is always a gripe of mine. When you go somewhere, you have to spend a significant amount of time and money securing transportation. Taxis/rideshare, rentals, parking garages. Searching for things to do. The entire group having to agree on times. Can't drink because you're driving. It's nice to just have the freedom to go! But land vacations often do win in the night life. As far as AIs, the food, beach, and drinks are usually tough to beat. Those things are very important too! Where they fall short for me is the huge price and often lack of things to do. All of those "free drinks" do little good when you are out and about and I don't always want to stay at the resort. Plus, 80%+ of my drinks are going to be a whiskey, I would be just fine having my own bottle vs paying hundreds for fruity, sugary, drinks.
  10. From all of the comments about reducing lines, I'm a bit skeptical for that. Guy's is sometimes a generic breakfast station in the morning. I believe I've seen it serving omelets before. For omelet lovers, it may not help that situation. I'm all for additional choices though. I love Guy's, but I often don't get to go there as much as I want because of a lot of great lunch options. I will absolutely try this out!
  11. Perks are nice, but overrated. Marketing departments know that too many people are completely and overly obsessed with "free things". Never mind the $50,000 you spent on that line and/or extra thousands by choosing it over a less expensive alternative, saving $100 in laundry is suddenly the best financial decision you could make. In the grand scheme of things, the "free" stuff is insignificant. I say try other lines for multiple reasons. Try new itineraries. Try new experiences. Try new amenities. Maybe you find the variety in it self keeps it fresh. Maybe you thought you liked one thing, but turns out you didn't. Maybe you find in the end, you do have a favorite line. Maybe that line is your favorite for 10 years, then your interests evolve. It is all ok, and up to you! Just don't plan your life around what is "free". Because nothing is free, no matter how much a CCer defends it to the death.
  12. Not only should you use a credit card, but make sure to use one without foreign exchange fees. Those add up fast. Exchanging currency is a waste of time and money.
  13. Sounds like a memorable event indeed. If I can ask, when you say it was expensive, how much was it?
  14. Many people are content with feeling like they got a deal more than they actually saving any money
  15. Instead of considering it a cutback, consider it one of the many ways they were able to keep cruise fares affordable. As we've already discussed, there are plenty of gluttons who overdo it on the lobster. As much as the world hates fees, the $20 Lobster charge is far cheaper than many of the alternatives to get lobster on vacation.
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