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Everything posted by teacherman

  1. Follow this situation on TripAdviser-Santiago. Much information updated daily by those who are actually living and touring there.
  2. My friend got a "great" package deal with his travel agent and ended up stuck in the middle of a 4 seat row on Delta for 8 hours. Know what you are buying. Maybe you agent is simply including the lowest cost air ticket available through the cruise line air program.
  3. Watch for what class of ticket (economy vs main cabin). A $350 trans Atlantic seems a very good price. But if it is an economy ticket you may not be allowed to select a seat and will be "stuck" in the middle of a 4 seat arrangement. Also, check your cruise lines web site for airfares.
  4. I think it is Plaza Italia. It also has another name. You can find it on Google Maps. Read through the above link for TripAdviser.
  5. It took us 5 months to complete the entire process, from the on line application until receiving the cards. Don't wait too long to begin.
  6. Follow this on TripAdviser-Santiago-Forum. People who actually live there are giving daily updates. I do not believe the cruise line will let YOU cancel the cruise because of this. They may decide to cancel and refund your money, but that would really take some massive civil unrest. The situation appears to be very fluid. You probably do not want to be staying at a hotel near to the Plaza where most of the demonstrations begin. We are going in January and are staying at a hotel in Vitacura area which is far from the demonstrations. At least, so far. 🤔
  7. We had private tours at several ports. Tendering was never a problem. I thought the staff member who gave the port lectures was very informative and also very entertaining. There were a couple of "guest" lecturers who were also enjoyable. Most lectures were full and had people sitting and standing in the aisles. We are from Michigan😁. I never thought it was COLD, but only very cool. We wore the same things we wear in Alaska and will take on our Zaandam Antarctic visit this winter (summer down there): jeans, long sleeve thin t-shirt, sweater or thin fleece, thin wind breaker, thin rain jacket with hood, and a scarf. Worn in layers and sometimes a bit warm when walking around in the ports. In Halifax, it was warmer. We rented a car and drove to the Bay of Fundy and wine country. Great day. We had a balcony cabin and did use it sometimes, especially when cruising through the Greenland passage. A "personal" thought. My brother spent his whole life in Michigan, but moved to Florida when he was 65. When ever I speak with him he asks me how cold it is. I never ask him how hot it is.🤔😞
  8. We did the Rotterdam to Boston this summer on the Zuiderdam. It was 17 days. We did not get bored. We had 4 days in Iceland and 2 days in Greenland. We also visited 3 other ports for our first time. It was very enjoyable and we did not get bored. I do not believe I would want to do both segments.
  9. You can IF FlightEase will accept the points as payment. You don't actually buy the ticket from the airline. You buy it from FlightEase. Call Flight Ease and ask them.
  10. I have booked on Flight Ease and then re-checked for cheaper/different flights every few days. As long as you do not hit the button that says CANCEL FLIGHTS, I think you will be okay. If you go to MANAGE FLIGHTS, you can look for different flights. Once you SELECT the new flight, it will automatically cancel your other flight. I also THINK that you cannot just cancel one of your flights and keep the other. If it is round trip, you must re-do both flights, even if one of them is the same one you originally selected, as the new combination will have different pricing.
  11. We are doing a 22 night cruise. I looked on my reservation to purchase a wine package. It said the "service charge" was included in the cost of the package. Is it the same way if you buy it on board? Normally I would wait until I was there to make sure they had the wines available shown on the internet. But service charge for 22 nights of wine could be a sizable fee. Is it the same charge either way? Also, my account shows that I am eligible to be 3 star Mariner in 4 more sail days. So, will I be able to use any "perks" available to 3 star after my 4th night of the cruise, or will I have to wait until the following cruise? Any information is welcome. Thank you.
  12. I have used a CPAP machine on over 20 cruises on 4 different cruise lines. My machine has a humidifier that heats the water. I generally use the ship tap water and have never had a problem with accumulation of residue in my water reservoir. However, I do wash it out with soap and water every few days. Due to extreme allergies, I do a nasal rinse each morning. I do order distilled water for that purpose. No brain eating amoebas for me.
  13. We booked round trip business class from Detroit to S America for our cruise in January. We booked them last spring the first day they went on sale. We got the flights and airline we wanted. The price was significantly less than booking on the airline site. Bur we kept checking every few days for a better price. We ended up changing airlines and flight times twice and reduced the price almost $1,500 from our original booking. Finally paid for the cruise and flights this week.
  14. We just did a Rotterdam to Boston cruise this summer. We booked one way business class from Detroit to AMS through our cruise line for about $1,500 each. We booked Boston to Detroit through the airline.
  15. I also booked through a big box store but did my air myself through FlightEase. I have changed it twice since, on my own, to get a lower price. I one time called HAL to ask about the possibility of changing a flight and was told that since I booked through the big box, I would have to call them. I simply said that all I want is a piece of information. If I call them, then they will put me on hold and call you. I am talking to you now so why not just give me the information? So, they did.
  16. YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Today, we had our "interviews". We drove to the CBP office at the Ambassador Bridge Detroit crossing from the USA to Canada. When we went into the room, there were 5 CBP officers next to each other at a counter. My wife and I were called at the same time. We were each asked about 5 questions-name, address, phone number, e-mail address, if ever arrested, etc. They then took our pictures and fingerprints. My prints were difficult for the scanner to read. I told the officer the countries visited on the application were incorrect and that I had an updated list. He said "don't worry about it." We were approved and given a little booklet that he wrote our Known Traveler Numbers in. They said we would receive our cards in about 10 days. The "interview" lasted approximately 5 minutes. I am only reporting this because I started this thread. It took 5 months from the application day until today. Thanks to those of you who told me to contact them about the delay, or we could still be waiting. AND, we did have a nice lunch afterwards.
  17. We just like a nice mild wine with our meals. We bought Cellar 1 (3 times). We drank the Estancia Pinot Noir and the Dreaming Tree Chardonnay. Enjoyed them and it was "good enough" for us.
  18. We are Celebrity Elite and HAL 3 Star. We have done trans Atlantic cruises on each line. We enjoyed all of them. We decide based on time of year and itinerary. I have always felt HAL offers more interesting itineraries. We just did a Rotterdam to Boston, stopping in Iceland (4 days) and Greenland. Very enjoyable and interesting cruise.
  19. We did this last April. We are in our early 70's. We did self disembarkation with our luggage (RCCL). We each had a 25" roller suitcase and a small carry on bag. We walked to Centraal Station-fairly flat walk and took about 15 minutes. A lot of passengers were doing this. We had purchased Thalus train tickets on line with first class reserved seats. Our luggage was stored in the compartment near to the entry door. Much easier to do all of this than I had anticipated. The first class tickets allowed us to use the lounge at the train station, so the wait for the train was a little more pleasant.
  20. We booked RT business class air through them for our cruise this coming January to South America. I booked it the first day it was available. It was Flexible Air. It was "expensive" but still less than booking direct with the airline. The cruise was through our TA, but I did the air myself through the HAL web site. Since then, I have continued to check and have changed the reservation twice, choosing different flights and airlines, and lowering the total cost by quite a bit. I will keep checking to see if I can do it again. We used them last summer to fly home from Paris. No problem.
  21. Thank you for the information. We also have the Melia booked for 2 nights at the end of January after we disembark from HAL Zaandam. We have booked our air already, but will probably book the driver through Melia. Approximately how many steps are there UP from the boat ride, as we are a bit old to be climbing mountains?
  22. Thanks for the information. We are on HAL Zaandam out of San Antonio on January 9. Did you use an AA credit card to book and get all of the miles?
  23. Just to report back-I FINALLY got through to someone at HAL. I was told that IF I re-book the departure flight, it will cancel the entire reservation and I will also have to re-book the return flight. I realize that prices change each day. If I re-book the departure flight to the previous day, which is what we want to do, then the first segment will go from business class to coach class, and the price will drop about $250 pp. (YEA) BUT if I then re-book the return flight, taking the same flight I am currently booked on, then the price will go up about $450 pp (BOO). I can avoid this extra charge by making one extra stop on the way back, and extending the total travel time by about 3 hours. Just reporting back on what I was told. Not sure what we will do.
  24. We have a reservation on FlightEase and want to change our departing flight so we leave for SCL one day earlier. Can we just change the one flight and keep the return flight, or do we have to actually cancel both flights and then select both of the flights, even though we will be selecting the same return flight we now have. It shows that if we do that, our flights will increase almost $500 pp, even though it is the same return flight. Any information is welcome. Thank you.
  25. In MHO, having eaten pizza on many different ships and many different cruise lines, Princess has the only GOOD pizza. And I don't know why, as pizza seems a fairly common food all over the world.
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