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BVILady

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Everything posted by BVILady

  1. If you want to you can also order 2 main dishes in the Main Dining room. We have been sitting with 2 gentlemen a few times on a HAL open dining cruise and between them they would select 5 deserts every evening, that encouraged me, to also sometimes pick 2 deserts. I just love deserts only once in a while will prepare them at home. Main dishes I wouldn't manage πŸ˜„πŸ˜πŸ˜„
  2. This might also depend on the cruise line you are on. On my World Cruise on Costa for 128 days naturally items on the menu were repeated but not the menu itself. Also there were quite a few standard menu items, which were available every day if you did not like anything else on the menu, like grilled Salmon or grilled Chicken breast. This Staple Menu was listed on side of the regular menu at lunch and dinner. Also there were dishes reflecting the area we were traveling in and some nice Asian dishes. For example there were quite a number of Asian dishes on the buffet for lunch, the Spring rolls being one of my favorites. And being Costa there was great Italian Cuisine. I am sure you will not have to worry about going hungry or being bored with your choices. They do pick up supplies in the ports passing through like for example sometimes we might not have plain yogurt only yogurt with fruits or vanilla, looks like the plain yogurt turned out more popular then they expected. But we never run out of fresh fruits, chocolate croissants or smoked salmon for breakfast, very important to me.
  3. There still is. When they ask people not to fill bottles off the dispenser it is to not contaminate the faucet. You can fill cups and then transfer to your bottle. I don't understand all these comments about water bottles to be bought, I have been on HAL, Princess, P&O and several smaller lines without having a drink-package and had to buy the bottled water when I went on excursions. I am not sure about MSC, because we did have a drink-package on MSC.
  4. I think researching is half of the fun and does most of the time involve watching youtube, going on tripadvisor and all other sites offering excursions. Youtube especially helps me watching people on excursions, whether it will suit me. On the excursion to Iguazu Falls I saw the boat ride included in the ship-excursion was not something I would enjoy, so I talked to the agents and they turned me on to the 2 hiking trails on the falls and doing that was a great experience. Quite a few of the other passengers on the tour actually joined me and comparing our experience with the people doing the boat-tour we had a much better time. Something I would not have known if I would not have gone onto youtube and seen people being miserable, soaked in the boat by the water from the fall. Tripadvisor Forums have proven especially helpful to me. Costa had previously offered a tour to Sentosa Island but then cancelled it because the Tiger Sky-tower is permanently closed. But that had gotten me interested in visiting Sentosa Island. Did you know that the Southernmost Point of Continental Asia is on Sentosa Island? I did not. I figured out what all I wanted to see there and went on TripAdvisor Singapore Forum because to work out the transportation had gotten to overwhelming. And there is my Hero - Singapore expert, now I know how to get there, how to get around and due to him discovered the Sentosa Express to get me back. I am a happy camper and looking forward to the 1/2 day I will hang out on Sentosa Island. A lot of times the excursions offered anywhere do not really cover what you would like to see, so you have to make up your own. Hong Kong also took quite some time, to figure out how to see all the places I wanted to see without having markets included in every excursion I was looking at. Made it work with 2 full days only visiting one market. I have been in Hong Kong several times before so markets were not something I wanted to do again. Another Cruise Critic member is on the same cruise as me and has recommended quite a few excursions to me, which I did book. He is a great planer and a big help to me, who also put me on to sites offering excursions I had never known about before. For most cruise lines you might have an active Roll-call to help you with excursion. One time on our HAL roll-call we ended up getting an incredible deal for a side-trip to Angkor Wat, one of the best side-trips we ever did and priced way below the ship-excursion. Found by one of our fellow-cruisers and organized by her. So I hope for you that your roll-call will be an active one with lot's of options. I always think I don't know whether I will ever get back to that port or city again and I travel to see things and want to see as much as possible. Have fun.
  5. Just stunned by not knowing about the safety drill. It is in the daily Oggie and it is announced over the loud speakers. I have been on various cruise lines and so far am happiest on Costa, not only because of the price and itinerary. But booking the World Cruise or 2023 and 2024 the deciding factor has actually been the itinerary, not even the price. Concerning price, if you pay $ 102,000.00 for your solo cabin on a World Cruise you really should not have any complaints and have to leave bad reviews. So everything is relative again. What I read on Facebook a lot of people are complaining about the apps on ships. For example having to make reservations for dinner and having long waiting times to get a table. I had my assigned table and no problem with seating. I prefer breakfast and lunch at the buffet because there is a wider selection and I am particular of what I am having for breakfast, like lot's of fruits I can pick at the buffet and a certain pastry again only available on the buffet. Costa is the only cruise line where I had smoked salmon and croissant available every morning and had not to request it and chase it down. And my large salad for lunch is also easier from the buffet where I can choose what and how much I want from anything and then I can add whatever meat I want and again how much - lol. We had Lamb, slices of Prime-rib and even slices of Tomahawk steak on some days as choice on the buffet, so nothing to complain about. Watching what I eat I do have enough choices even I might not pick any pasta-dish, so what is the problem with serving Pasta? I am residing in the Caribbean so am not able to have the Costa App, but that has not been a problem for me. Excursion meeting-points are advertised in the Oggie and the menu is available at the table in written format. My cabin was well maintained, the steward went overboard with everything I needed and after a short time knew when I was out and about so which was the best time to clean my cabin. I did not have any complaints on any of the wait-staff. As a matter of fact I like to have 2 cappuccinos for breakfast (one is too small) and the lady would bring it to my table when she saw me in the morning, I did not even have to ask for it after the first few days. I personally being European I do not like all that ice in my drinks, so didn't any of my table-mates even they were American and Australian. I do live in a Tourist area and have been working in the Tourist Industry myself for 35 1/2 years and know what to expect and sometimes am over critical because you just see things when that is what you have been living in your job all these years. I am always stunned about the complaints about the charge for Pizza, on every lunch-buffet were 2 different versions of Pizza and you could stuff yourself free of charge if you so desire. And the complaint about having to pay for bottled water I keep on seeing, on every cruise I had to pay for bottled water if I did not have it included in a drink-package. But that is just me, everyone has their own expectations. I personally do like the variety of nationalities and having in the long past worked in the Fashion-industry I love seeing all the fashionable Italian, French and Spanish Garments, and when little old Island-girl me actually gets a compliment about something I am wearing I am just tickled pink. Actually on one cruise I saw all these people wearing Capri Pants (not sure whether it was HAL or Princess - definitely an American Line) and I could not understand what I was missing here, how they were all of a sudden fashionable. My best friend owning a boutique here in the BVI, laughed and explained to me that this was Cruise-wear - DUHH, silly me. Not many Europeans being on Cruise Critic and most of the reviews are from English Speaking guests, we can't expect to see any good reviews from the not English Speaking guests who cruise with Costa again and again. I have noticed that mainly people who have a bone to pick will leave a review and most others leave it alone. So just my 2 Cents.
  6. I am tempted to take a private Tour in the Easter Islands, which is 2 full days with more offered and naturally better priced then the ship-excursions. I am confused about the reports about tendering not possible due to rough seas. Can anyone please tell me about their experience, shall I really be concerned. The private tour company will refund 50 % in case of not able to tender, so it will not be a total loss. And naturally I will want to see as much as possible since I am most likely never going to get there again.
  7. BVILady

    Scams

    I think you have to watch out everywhere you go. I have been quite to a few places including 3rd World ports and the only place I got pick-pocketed at was Malaga. I always keep my jewelry, money and cards (besides one) in the safe and carry my valet and ID in a funny-pack covered by an open shirt, so not so easy accessible also from behind to rip off. The funny-pack also has removable straps so I can use it like a small cross-body purse.
  8. My iPhone uploads pictures to oneDrive nightly and I have the full internet package. Being not very techy, that should be enough or should I still carry an extra hard drive? It did work perfectly on my 2023 World Cruise. Thanks for the watch advise, need to get another charging cable for my fit-bit.
  9. spare sunglasses are essential to me, only want to use polarized glasses. Picking up any of my daughters fashion sun-glasses I can't believe using these, bad for your eyes. When you make your packing-list just look at each item and consider what problem it will be if you lose it or it breaks, that should help. I did have a second iPhone cable but it wasn't working, good thing I had only picked it up because I had two and didn't actually need it. I carry 3 back-up batteries to charge the phone or kindle - I know I am overdoing it :). I even carry my old iPhone to have as spare to take pictures. After I missed taking pictures in one port in Australia because my spare battery for my digital camera was not working, I need to make sure I have every back-up possible.
  10. We had made it to Madagasar, we were ahead of Freddy. Madagaskar just broke my heart. The people there are so friendly with a genuine smile but so poor. We were really concerned for them after we left and heard that Cyclone Freddy was hitting it. The population is working as a human quarry, they are breaking down rocks with a pick-ax to make smaller stones and gravel. I had never thought that possible but that is how it must have been everywhere in the old days. Reminded me of Haiti, also very poor population and always hit by Natural disasters.
  11. I do understand your reasoning that you do have everything included and not to worry about extra charges. But if the price is already HIGH, you are not saving anything. Price especially matters when you are cruising solo. I had just priced a solo 28 days cruise with HAL and considering the sale they had on, 2 persons in the cabin were less expensive then 1 person - even it included drink-package and wifi for 2. I had been on Costa World Cruise 2023 and had added the drink-package to the already offered wine and beer with dinner and booking any excursion I wanted, full WiFi and ended up much more reasonable priced then any quoted solo-price on the upscale cruise-lines. I did see that the Costa solo-price for 2025 is really reasonable, saw that the 15 excursions are included again but did not check on the wine and beer with lunch and dinner, maybe you need to call and ask.
  12. I am not loyal to any cruise line but have been on Costa 2023 World Cruise and am booked on 2024 World Cruise because I like their itinerary more then other cruise lines. And the price for solo cruiser is just right.
  13. Right now I am researching excursions for my 2024 World Cruise. Costa is pretty slow with putting excursions up and since there is hardly anyone on cruisecritic roll-calls for Costa I am having problems finding excursions for 1 person only. It looks most excursions even on Tripadvisor, Viator, Getyourguide and Toursbylocals are for private groups now and hardly offer anything for 1 person to join. I am on cruises to see the world so only in Ports I have done already what interests me, I will just walk around by myself and even then I will find something to do, for example in Barcelona I will use the day to visit Casa Battlo and Casa Mila, which I missed when we were staying in Barcelona previously. So now my excel worksheet has in lots of ports points of interest listed to research again at a later date.
  14. wow - that is $ 36670.00 for 2 persons in the cabin (fare and taxes) without anything, my costs were single-occupancy including everything. I can see the demand for World Cruises is really driving up the prices. LOL Luxury Inside Suite - my inside cabin is just perfect for me alone. And for a World Cruise believe me all the closet space is filled.
  15. Finished my 2023 World Cruise on Costa - this is what it has cost me: Air-fare (only 1 way, return on Credit Card Points) - please remember I am flying a long way: $ 1181.00 - Premium Economy Cruise Cost including Service-Charge, Port Fees, Insurance and additional tips: $ 29914.33 full Internet Package for the 128 days: $ 538.00 upgrade on Drink package (a waste of money in my case, since wine, beer and water with lunch and dinner are included and my extra drinks like Cappuccino, cocktails and water were much less): 2460.00 Excursions - and I did not safe any money there, includes 2 overland trips, to Taj Mahal and Iguaza Falls: $ 5788.00 Laundry: $ 257.00 Total $ 40,138.33 But please take into account that this includes all excursions, the ones I did want to take - not just some the cruise-line will include. And Single occupancy - interior cabin. I saw that 2025 Costa single is a little more expensive, but still a great deal. I am also booked on the 2024 cruise and will not make the mistake again to upgrade to an additional drink-package because again in my case it is a waste of money. I hear Princess had offered a single 2024 including drink-package and internet for $ 39.000 - but not sure whether there are any excursions included. So shop around. I had a great time and never kept myself on any budget but did what I wanted to do. I had been offered an upgrade to balcony cabin at a reasonable rate but did not take it because I am comfortable in the interior, nowhere can offer me the view I have from my bedroom at home πŸ™‚πŸžοΈπŸ™‚I do like the quiet and darkness of the interior cabin, it helps me sleep and I would be up on Deck 10 looking out on the ocean checking my e-mails or reading whenever I felt the need - free of charge. And cruising into and out of ports we were usually in the dining room or buffet restaurant anyhow. So shop around, it is doable. My friend here was laughing, 4 1/2 month for that amount - the luxury yacht she works on is $ 40.000 for a week.
  16. Viking, Oceania and Regent charge you so much more. It is all a matter of calculations. When I checked Viking one time the excursions they did include were not the excursions I would have wanted to book and would have had to pay for them again. Currently on Costa Deliziosa World Tour which had included wine, beer and water with lunch and dinner and I got a special on the My Drink Package at 2.200 euro's for the 128 days, Gratuities are not included, but they come to Euro 11 per day. Wifi was Euro 500 for the entire cruise. The included excursions for example are Petra, Kennedy Space Center, so high ticket items. Their list has more then 15 tours as included tours so you book the 15 you do want, if you want to book more you will need to pay for the tours in excess of 15. Most people do take advantage of the 15 included tours. So you need to take a pen and work it all out. I am pleased with my cruise, I definitely get my money's worth and got a good deal. Especially being a solo traveler, Sometimes cruise companies offer a better deal then the listed one as specials. Someone booked Princess 2024 world cruise single including drink package, gratuities and internet for 39000, not bad. I have booked 2024 Costa early and expect to end up with a similar total but including all my excursions. The price for 2025 Costa World cruise single occupancy right now is pretty reasonable. Have been to all the ports on there already at least once, so will need to find some land-vacations again for 2025.
  17. To short of a notice for me, have booked my 2024 World Cruise already a while back. Also have not received any pricing for single-occupancy.
  18. Came across a business publications article yesterday about a 3Year World Cruise being offered with lowest price inside cabin at 90,000 for the 3 years. Ship will have a little over 900 passengers and is a former overhauled Holland American Ship. You have to commit to the 3 years total but you can also share the time with another party. That is too long a time for me but would really like to get to know all the details. Anybody has a link for it?
  19. I am at the moment on my 2023 Costa World Cruise and really happy. I noticed prices have gone up all around for World Cruises and I am fortunate to have 2024 booked at the price I would have paid for 2022 which was cancelled. Right now noticed that Costa has released their World Cruise 2025 which actually will start in December 2024 and the price is right πŸ™‚ . Having been to many of the ports already I will not be on it and now thinking what else I might look into - maybe Amazon or go back to extended Land-trips and do Asia including South Korea. There is a large world out there waiting to be explored. Enjoy looking for the trip which suits you most and hopefully you will manage to do it at a reasonable price. If price is not an object go for any of the high priced lines. I am to much of an penny-pincher/accountant to waste any money on my vacations - bite me.
  20. They are showing system-error for the excursions at the moment, seems they are working on the website since after signing in I see a new promo listed for my cruise, which does not open, looks like it is going to be a promo for exploring (excursions). The transfer from Venice to Trieste I had to book by phone with Costa. My friend who had booked the cruise through a travel-agent also had to call Costa to get it added into her file and then the agent was able to officially book it with the correct code. Agents just can't know everything about every cruise-line and cruise. Interactive Websites like Cruise lines or Airlines must be a lot of work, not envying them. I also noticed it mostly happens on weekends.
  21. I have been for forever renting apartments (from the good old times on when it was still called Corporate Housing) and find that the most comfortable way to travel, much more space and a refrigerator. I will do a hotel if it is only one or 2 nights. Booking.com and sometimes Expedia are my to go sites for accommodations and rome2rio for logistics to travel in between destinations. Sometimes you will have to play around with the travel options and instead of direct, check for a larger place in between to change carriers. On a train ride the ride from Augsburg to Trieste was a real pain with 7 hours layover in some Eastern State town, but going Augsburg-Mestre-Trieste was great and convenient. My son is flying to the Philippines next summer and EIS-Singapore, Singapore-Cebu was a much better fare. Have fun planning and playing around finding the best options for you. I am so envious and happy for you for your travel-plans.
  22. how about 1 line for 3 month in your name and one line for 3 month in your husbands name activated after your phone completed the 3 month? Don't know whether that is possible, maybe someone else has to open it for the 2nd line or just use someone else (relative, best friends) to apply for the 2nd segment phone.
  23. Has not happened to me with Costa but with online shopping. Credit Card companies usually ask you to contact the supplier first to query the charge. Then you will need to query it within 3 month of the charge. I made the mistake to wait to long for the answer from the vendor. And one time trying to get my money back I was out of luck because my daughter had signed the slip as advance payment for a service she never received. Master Card told me to take the supplier to court, which would have been just too expensive.
  24. I checked the price on one of the large cruise-websites. Not going to contact them, price is just too ridiculous, 100 % SS is already uncalled for considering that only one person is eating..... Have seen already on other price-quotes the single price on lot's of cruises being higher then 100 % SS but then it is usually just a few dollars more. I do understand that one person in the cabin will spend less then 2 people, drinks, excursions.... but to try to make it up with a higher base price is just greedy and low.
  25. that is just ridiculous, the itinerary I am looking at is $ 50299.00 per person double-occupancy but $ 113000.00 for single occupancy. Sorry Oceania that is just not acceptable.
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