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About Joebucks

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  1. The statistics tell us your 20 cruises have averaged about $5k. So you probably aren't actively paying for $20k cruises. It's tough to say you saved that much if you were never going to buy it in the first place. Inversely, I have yet to break half of that $5k on a cruise. Will I in the future? Probably. However, to say I need to more than double the cost of my cruises to get something free goes to my whole point before. It's like tax returns. Some people will swear up and down that that getting it all in a return at the end of the year to pay down their debts is the best way. Argue it all you want, if it makes you feel better, fine. You're just putting the same money in a different column.
  2. The problem is the statement of what "should be included" This is a mass-market cruise. Comparing it to luxury cruise lines is like comparing McDonald's and Ruth's Chris. In your fare, you get a room, food, and entertainment. You can do all of those things without "nickel and dimes". The best this thread has really come up with is that you can buy better food. To make the model more accessible, it is industry-standard that higher quality food options are available at an extra fee. You also leave out the things that are included now, but didn't used to be included.
  3. I do not tip anything extra by default. I have not been able to quantify that I'm getting slower service or less alcohol by doing so. With the forced 18% gratuity (the way it should be), they are doing just fine. I may give a few extra bucks eventually to someone I really liked. Had Cheers on my last cruise three weeks ago. I nearly always got a drink fairly quickly unless there were clearly people waiting before me. Obviously, spend your money as you see fit. Giving tips is a great reward for the employees who work so hard. I don't buy for one second that it makes you bar royalty and/or is going to give you this huge return.
  4. I think it's a pointless comparison. Basically, how do you "feel" like you have saved more money? I am not concerned with what I got for "free," and feelings do not save you money. What matters is what is coming out of my checking account in the end. Everything else in between is marketing.
  5. It's not extremely common for a company to publish the "limit" for such offers. They don't want people looking to spend the minimum to earn a perk. They are looking more for people who are spending huge amounts, and want to keep them there.
  6. Fair assessment. Sharing my own experience, the comedy is my favorite night time activity, by far. The worst experience I had was on the Dream where all seats were always filled unless you were at least 30 min early. In that case, you got a crappy seat. The best experience has been on any fantasy class. Always plenty of room, even if you walk in at show start. With that said, I would still pick a larger ship over fantasy because I like the total experience better. To each their own
  7. Do yourself a favor and experience something yourself before you trust a bunch of "nickle and dime" horror stories. There's a product out there right now that you enjoy that someone else claims is a nickle and dimer. These stories usually lead to someone telling you why their choice is superior and all of the things they get "included". Yet they seem to always leave the price out. You know, those special cruise lines who zero out airfare and cocktails because they are feeling generous. We are so completely, overly, and utterly obsessed with having things "included", that we will pay much more to avoid feeling like we paid more. Makes sense, right? I haven't been on NCL. Do I believe people who say their food is poor? Sure. But don't assume everyone is looking for the same thing. Choice is the reason cruising is as big as it is today. You don't want socialism in your everyday life, so why do you want it with your cruise?
  8. It really depends what you are looking for. The Horizon has more going on, which I believe usually brings a higher chance of fun. If you are going to let some of the poorly designed lounges ruin your time, I would choose the Magic, which is no slouch. I had a heck of a time getting a Punchliner seat on a Dream class though.
  9. Well then maybe I learned something here. St Maarten looks pretty busy in January. I went May of last year, and we were the only ship there. May seems to be less congested. Date Port Load Ships in port 01-Jan-19 3959 MSC Preziosa 02-Jan-19 6088 Royal Princess, Allure Of The Seas 03-Jan-19 10819 Jewel Of The Seas, Oasis Of The Seas, Celebrity Edge 04-Jan-19 05-Jan-19 6580 Carnival Fascination, Wind Surf, Freedom Of The Seas 06-Jan-19 7531 Jewel Of The Seas, Costa Pacifica, Riviera 07-Jan-19 2162 Celebrity Summit, Star Pride 08-Jan-19 2650 Koningsdam 09-Jan-19 13493 Adventure Of The Seas, Harmony of the Seas, MSC Seaside 10-Jan-19 7780 Regal Princess, Anthem of the Seas 11-Jan-19 12-Jan-19 6580 Carnival Fascination, Wind Surf, Freedom Of The Seas 13-Jan-19 3780 Costa Pacifica 14-Jan-19 4000 Costa Magica, Seven Seas Voyager 15-Jan-19 14442 Norwegian Dawn, Carnival Pride, Disney Wonder, Ventura, MSC Preziosa 16-Jan-19 6088 Royal Princess, Allure Of The Seas 17-Jan-19 18562 Jewel Of The Seas, Veendam, MSC Magnifica, Oasis Of The Seas, MSC Divina, Celebrity Edge 18-Jan-19 2501 Serenade Of The Seas 19-Jan-19 2946 Carnival Fascination, Wind Surf 20-Jan-19 9232 Grandeur Of The Seas, Costa Pacifica, Carnival Sunshine 21-Jan-19 212 Star Pride 22-Jan-19 4950 Carnival Conquest, Riviera 23-Jan-19 15887 Norwegian Pearl, Adventure Of The Seas, Harmony of the Seas, MSC Seaside 24-Jan-19 13187 Jewel Of The Seas, Celebrity Silhouette, Regal Princess, Norwegian Escape 25-Jan-19 3030 Celebrity Reflection 26-Jan-19 9230 Carnival Fascination, Wind Surf, Freedom Of The Seas, Koningsdam 27-Jan-19 3780 Costa Pacifica 28-Jan-19 3300 Costa Magica 29-Jan-19 3959 MSC Preziosa 30-Jan-19 7222 Oriana, Allure Of The Seas 31-Jan-19 16703 Jewel Of The Seas, Celebrity Summit, Oasis Of The Seas, Carnival Horizon, Celebrity Edge Date Port Load Ships in port 01-May-19 13493 Adventure Of The Seas, Harmony of the Seas, MSC Seaside 02-May-19 3006 Carnival Sunshine 03-May-19 04-May-19 2634 Carnival Fascination 05-May-19 06-May-19 07-May-19 8169 Carnival Fascination, Symphony of the Seas 08-May-19 5400 Allure Of The Seas 09-May-19 4375 Independence of the Seas 10-May-19 11-May-19 3634 Freedom Of The Seas 12-May-19 13-May-19 7814 Freedom Of The Seas, Anthem of the Seas 14-May-19 6286 Carnival Fascination, Carnival Magic 15-May-19 5179 MSC Seaside 16-May-19 5200 Harmony of the Seas 17-May-19 18-May-19 19-May-19 20-May-19 21-May-19 2634 Carnival Fascination 22-May-19 3120 Caribbean Princess 23-May-19 5200 Harmony of the Seas 24-May-19 25-May-19 3634 Freedom Of The Seas 26-May-19 27-May-19 4180 Anthem of the Seas 28-May-19 2634 Carnival Fascination 29-May-19 10579 Allure Of The Seas, MSC Seaside 30-May-19 31-May-19
  10. As someone who enjoys bourbon, there is no such thing as a "top-shelf" experience currently on Carnival. At least the ships I have been on. They have Woodford Reserve and Buffalo Trace, which don't get me wrong, served me just fine. They do have more top-shelf options as far as stuff like tequila. Most people couldn't tell you what was in their drink (especially a mixed drink) unless they saw it being poured. They just want to feel like they one-upped Carnival on the $860 Cheers cost by breaking a $100 retail cost of alcohol.
  11. More Carnival cutbacks. Eliminating bathroom space
  12. I haven't been there yet, but I believe you. However, when making an example, something that is <1% of a cruising variable doesn't reinforce an entire point. I went to St Thomas and St Maarten last year. Really no problems, but I could see issues arise with St Maarten. While I should say I have never been to an overrun port, I will admit it CAN happen. I still believe it is an overblown topic. There's usually only 1 day or so a month that I've ever noticed certain ports really getting that busy. I just think we stress people out, especially new cruisers, about topics that really don't matter that much to the average cruiser. If we want to have on purpose warnings about the few small islands, by all means.
  13. The most surefire way to get best rates is to book in the off season. Usually anything other than peak weeks, spring break, holidays, and summer, deals can be had. Booking in July is probably one of the more expensive months, so I would stay away from that. Other than that, flexibility is your friend. Instead of wanting a specific cruise and hoping it gets cheaper for you, you want to find a cheap price and work more around that. Sometimes, you can find last-minute deals. Being in the right place at the right time can pay off
  14. I would pick the Carnival cruise. You will often find that RC usually beats Carnival in the ship department. Yet, I believe the Radiance wins here. Not to mention more OBC, drinks (since it sounds like you gamble), and 2 extra cruise days. Sign me up!
  15. Docking space is relative to amount that the ports can handle. The mega ships only go to so many ports, They go to ports that can "handle it". I have never, ever been to a port that was "overrun".
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