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Posts posted by BVILady

  1. On 2/15/2022 at 3:56 PM, Mich3554 said:

    We did too.  My take home message is that if we are looking for a place to go in winter, it is now on our short list.  That extra time on in this country helped us see more of what makes it appealing.  

    Visiting Uruguay in 2015 we were considering a get a place in Punta del Este, thankfully because of the long distance to travel we did not go ahead. It would have been an expensive hobby for the last 7 years and not being close I am not sure how comfortable I would have been with renting.

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  2. Carina79, I have been traveling with my kids from age 5 month old and would have loved to do a World Cruise if there would have been a possibility, but would never have been able to get away from work for an extended time like this. The more I think about your plans and if it would have been me, I think that I probably would have booked on Costa. Besides me having taken quite a few cruises on Costa and being booked on 2 World Cruises right now with them, I have been on Princess, HAL and several smaller not so wide known cruise companies included sailing the Greek Islands on a 16 Cabin Sail-boat. Costa has more an international clientele and your children might actually consider learning another language. I probably would take a language course with me onboard, in whatever language they decide on and then when on the ship besides learning on sea-days they can look for people speaking that particular language to practice. My World Cruise 2023 goes around Africa and South America, so I would probably take Spanish, even Brazil is Portuguese. Whatever you decide I know you will have a great time with your family. My "children" are now 41 and 43 and we are going to spend 2 month in Europe this summer together, quality Family-time. Costa 2024 World Cruise is Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand and Asia.

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  3. All Public Transportation and a lot of other places in Europe are requiring N95, KN95 masks. So make sure you travel with them. I think airlines flying to Europe from the US also do so. You might want to check with your airline. I am also pretty sure that proof of vaccination will stay in place. Just checked during our vacation my daughter and me will be ok but my son will need a booster-shot, since a lot of European Countries the vaccination can't be more then 270 days prior your stay.


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  4. I would stay away from the High End Cruise lines since the base price is already very high and your children do not drink, so will not take advantage of the drink-package calculated into the fare. In your case check out the base price and then calculate what your additional expenses are going to be. Inside Cabin a cruise critic member has a cost-calculator on her website which is very helpful. For example high end cruises also include excursions but doing my research I found that the included excursions were not what I wanted to do and I would have had to pay for the excursions I did want to book on top of the supposed to be all-inclusive base-price. So living in Europe you might want to check the European World cruises like Costa and P&O. My first cruise with my now Adult Children we were all 3 in an Ocean View cabin on Costa which was very spacious and we managed for 2 weeks in Asia without any problem. Not sure whether Ocean view cabins are connecting, but they probably do. Check cruise-mapper for layout of any ship you might consider. Now with my children being adults we all have our own cabins 😄which makes our trips pricey.


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  5. I agree with Sargasso Pirate. I also prefer an a-la-carte cruising style. I am by no way a teetotaler, but what I do drink is way less then calculated in an all exclusive package. I am booked on a cruise-line which includes beer, wine and water with lunch and dinner which covers most of my needs already and the additional cappuccino's and after-dinner drinks or aperitif's are not going to break the bank. Also doing a lot of research I did not like the excursions usually included in all-inclusive and I noticed whatever excursions I am interested in I would need to pay on top of the fare I already paid for. In my case it is also important that cruising solo my basic fare on the all-inclusive is already much to much for what I am willing to spend. I have a spread sheet where I do work all my estimated expenses and in comparison with all-inclusive I should be able to do 2 World cruises for the price of one, with everything they do offer and more accounted for. I might not have 5 * but am perfectly happy with the 4 * experience. Your cost-analysis  might be different for you booking double-occupancy. Just use your pencil and work it out.

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  6. On 10/14/2020 at 11:36 PM, Wendy The Wanderer said:

    I also agree with picking out two or three things and sticking to them.  That might mean taking a "Rome on Your Own"-type excursion, where they drop you off and pick you up.  You could spend the whole day doing the Palatine Hill, Forum and Colosseum, for instance.  Or the whole day at the Vatican. Or do the "touristy" stuff like the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps. Think about your interests--art, history, antiquities, shopping, grandeur, ...

    We have been in Rome several times but never managed to get into the Colosseum. We are booked for a cruise in August 2022 now and have booked the Colosseum this time early enough to manage to get a tour inside. Taking the train from Civitavecchia, the connecting metro will get us straight to the Colosseum. Watch out most cruise-tours will have small print saying you will only get into the Colosseum if it isn't too busy - and you can count on it being too busy.


  7. SargassoPirate, so happy for you to have been able to see them. I had wanted to go to Cuba too about 2-3 years ago. Good thing I was a little slow with making my booking because when I was ready, the stop in Cuba had been cancelled. Need to just go on a not-cruise trip now one of these days. So many places to see, so little time 🙂


  8. I do feel you with this problem, but in the end I don't think the money you will spend or not spend will make any difference to the country or it's regime. Maybe it might even help one person you are dealing with appreciating your tip, like the guide on your tour. All you do is prohibiting yourself experiencing the place. Years ago when I went to Vietnam for the first time my feelings for the country (irrational I know) were not too positive even I do not even know anybody who had been in the Vietnam war - and what a beautiful country it is with lovely people.  But I don't really qualify as a world cruiser, looking just forward to my first in January 2023. I would love to take a trip to China including the Yangtze River, the history and culture is what I want to experience not the regime and it's politics. Land-trip for one of these days in the future, too much to see for just a few days cruise-stops. In 1971 I had been on Crimea and was really put off seeing ladies the same age as my mother paving the roads but what an amazing place. Seeing the depression in people's face and them not smiling was also a learning experience, seeing it first hand not just from news-reports, still sticking in my mind. Even me hoping for the best for them doesn't seem to have worked out.


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  9. Andy and Judy; By now it is perfectly clear that we have two different cruising styles. So might have the author of this post that was the reason for my post. I cruise to see the world. If you are happy with the 1-3 hours excursions included in your fare, very good for you. Meanwhile I would have to spend additional money to pay for the excursions I really want to take. Paying a much lower base-fare allows me to book any excursion I want without any second thoughts. As I have previously mentioned I don't drink much, so having a certain amount of money calculated for drinks every day would be much to much for me. Have lived for 35 years being able to drink anything I wanted for free, so know it doesn't interest me.

    A-la-Carte is just perfect for me.

    We are really quite different, I prefer to be  placed higher up preferable 2 decks below the pool and the spa, also mid-ship but closer to the back, which I have gotten. Have further to go to Main-Dining, Theater and to exit but no problem with the additional exercise.

    My cruises are sold without segments and I had actually hoped that my son would be able to go for the Africa portion on my 2023 WC, but was told there is not much hope that they will have availability close to the sailing-date for segments. By the way got an e-mail from a cruise-TA, Oceania is up to 80 % discounted right now, apparently the WC was something like 63 %. Viking is also discounted can't recall the %. Just looked at the e-mail,  didn't check into the details.

    As I can see you are happy with your choice as I am happy with mine. There is a market for your style and for mine. Have never had a bad day on any of the "Tramp ships" I have been on. The only time I did not fully enjoy my 1 week cruise was on a smaller Greek ship, due to limited shaded area by the pool that is why I am happier on a ship with 2000+ passengers.

    Being European I love the cruise-line I am on, but do not push it since I know most American's might not like the mix of different Nationalities but prefer everybody to speak English.

    So again enjoy your cruise, I know I will mine - can't wait.


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    • Thanks 1
  10. On 5/2/2021 at 5:02 PM, CptBoatface said:

    We are a couple 53 me and spouse 46. I'm closing in on an early retirement or a downshift when I hit a certain date in late 2024.   Last year has made it clear we need to do the things we want to rather than staying on the hamster wheel indefinitely.  We've budgeted, but it is still intimidating, as we are very middle class. Looking at Crystal and Oceania due to a comparison of what is offered vs other lines. We also like HAL, but I like the idea of paying once for the majority of the costs.  Does this sound like a good idea?

    If you do consider what you are spending and depending what your requirements are you might like me decide more on an "A-la-carte" approach. The Inside Cabin has a cruise calculator on their website. I have done my own calculation and have worked out to do 2 fully paid-up cruises for the price of one with Oceania or Viking, so including the excursions I am interested in, laundry, drinks and insurance. And I have not been shy with calculating for the excursions, I have budgeted an average of $ 150.00 per day and have seen on excursions previously offered on the 22 WC, which had been cancelled, that that will easily cover what I want to do, most of them were $ 100 or less. And I will paying for the excursions I do want to do, not for the one's the cruise-line decides to include. Since I do my air-fare on credit card points, I will not need to have it included in my all-inclusive trip and my 2 World cruises do include a drink-package (many WC's do) which is sufficient for me, whatever extra drinks I will have will not break the bank and are included in my calculations already. Cappuccino's will be a large point! Luggage forward will be $ 300 each suitcase each way, so no reason to change cruise-lines for. Cruising solo I will be hit with a high single-supplement, so might be different for you as a couple but I doubt it. Again the Cruise line I am booked with is not so high with the single-supplement. And having booked early, 2023 when it was first released and 2024 in June 2020 for planned 2022 which had been cancelled and reservation forwarded to 2024 without any additional cost my base fare is very reasonable (checking yesterday my savings are already $ 1500 and $ 5500 just on the base-fare - premium not basic). And I have cruised several times with the Cruise-line I am booked on and have cruised several times on Princess, HAL, P&O and several smaller lines, so I know what my money will provide and I am happy with it and the fare and itinerary had been the deciding factor. Will be missing out on HAL's Amazon but sometime in the future 🙂

  11. I really think that everybody should book what fits them best. The entire argument was only about people claiming that their all-inclusive was a better economic deal. If you are happy with what your cruise line offers and willing to spend the money that is the only thing which counts. I hope that the World Cruises which are operating in 2022 are going to be not affected with any Covid problems. Had been told off on facebook about people cruising when the reports came out about 17 persons with Covid on one of the ships when innocently saying "Good for them to be vaccinated and go on with their lives" that I was ignorant and arrogant 😀😁😀 So all the best to all us ignorant and arrogant people getting on with our lives cruising. Enjoy your cruise.

    • Like 3
  12. 8 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

    Don’t blame visa issues on the cruise lines.

    As for the availability of ”cruise only” pricing, it’s been that way for many years (at least in the US). And even for “O Life” pricing (choice of perks), you can opt for an air credit if you choose to DIY. 
    Few other cruise lines build such flexibility into their inclusion package.

    I have not blamed the Visa-Issue on the cruise-line, don't know where you got that from, I did cancel because it was to much of a hassle for me, nothing to do with Oceania. The problem with Visa's for me is my place of residence, Embassies in the US and US-visa-services cannot provide them, not even for US-Citizens residing here.

  13. Viking Cruise excursions. The Cruise industry is a business so every item included is calculated in, they will not give anything for free. Whatever they do include they will get at a very low cost-price. for example if you do have an island tour, let's say 40 people in a bus. the cruise line will sell it for $ 80.00 per person, the bus-driver will get $ 20.00 per person and will go home very happy, he turned over $ 800.00 in one day. the guide is most probably not as lucky, he/she will get $ 60.00 for the day. Please remember in some Third World Countries they will get much less. The rest is profit for the tour-operator and for the cruise-company, I do think the cruise company get's about 40 % of the profit kick-back. So if the island-tour is one of the free-bees included in the all inclusive the cruise-company will have a very good rate from the tour-operator (for the people actually going on that excursion) because they are still selling all the other excursions where both of them will make a nice profit.

    I don't have to go on a cruise with Viking to see, that the free excursions they are offering are not to my liking and I would be forced to purchase other excursions, so whatever had been calculated into my price for the cruise is a total loss for me.

    I have never been on a cruise where any of the excursions has been sold out. Actually when I was in Russia and went to St. Petersburg I had booked the English excursion but the ship had also offered a German excursion and I switched because they did run this excursion for only 2 people booked and me joining them we walked straight into the Hermitage and had the best service ever. So why would an excursion be sold out, you just add another bus or whatever.

    I am not on the Viking board because i did not book the Viking cruise but I am lurking on it. What very much surprised me, that the booking of excursions are not open to everybody at one time but by category, so if you a poor cabin-guest you might find the excursion you want already booked, looks to me like a class-system I don't want any part off. But the most important thing is, that you love what you booked and that you will enjoy it, no matter what a schmuck like me thinks. So the upmarket cruise ships are selling prestige - fine with me, it is something I do not need.

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  14. I had booked with Oceania once and had to cancel my booking because it was just to much of a hassle for me to get a visa for India. That had been before e-Visa's and I would have to fly down-island, very expensive and time-consuming. For example on expense I paid the same amount round trip to Nairobi my son had to pay round trip to Barbados and I can't get down-island trips on points. I had never gotten any option "cruise only", maybe that had not been a thing done then. It was only a 2 week cruise, date and itinerary suited me, so did not do the thorough calculations I am doing for a WC As I remember there was no flights included, since that would have been no good for me, they usually do not include my airport 🙂 and I do like to use my points instead of spending any money, whether cash or included (so calculated) in price. .

  15. Concerning Drink packages - a funny one for all of you. On the first day on a cruise with HAL I had been sitting at the bar with a young lady and the bar-tender convinced us what a good deal the drink-package at $ 49.00 per day would be. Foolishly after the young lady signed up I did so too, only to run to Guest-services an hour later to have them take it off my account again. I do like my glass of wine with dinner - preferably the wine of my choosing, so I order a bottle and then have as much of it as I like on any given day and it is the wine I choose - not what is allowed on the drink-package. Having some accounting in my back-ground I figured out that there was no way I would spend $ 49.00 a day on drinks. in my case I would have been sloshed the entire cruise drinking all that. Just think it would have worked out being a job, being on an excursion all day and now having to catch up with drinking 🙂  So considering my accounting-background I can just imagine how miserable I would have been if I would have signed up for a cruise with all included excursions and not liked them and not being a penny-pincher just a frugal shopper would have ended up having to pay again. If I am so lucky to get to these places I do want to experience there what I like to experience. I think it is great  if persons do have the money that they do not care how much they are spending on their cruise, so good for you. I just will always want to know what I am paying for as long as I don't reach the income bracket where money is absolutely now object.

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  16. On 12/5/2021 at 8:04 PM, Ashland said:

    Apparently the RCI offering is over 70% booked and I believe in February it will open up to book individual segments. So, looks like they were right to test the water and join the World Cruise party. 

    I agree with Ashland it looks like the Royal Caribbean WC will be a real World Cruise and only maybe some people booking segments. The cruise is exceptionally long (it is 274 days if I remember correctly). The price for me was just to much. I had been quoted $ 102,000 for single occupancy and even there are some excursions included and internet and other extra's in the end the cost would have been just more then what I am willing to spend so there came my decision to take 2 World cruises calculated fully paid for less then the base price from Royal Caribbean. I have nothing against Royal Caribbean will be cruising with them next summer in the Med. Being retired I want to make sure I get what I pay for and do a lot of traveling as long as I am still able and I have a lot of time to research research research. Can't wait to get out there again!!! Whatever cruise you will decide on, enjoy your cruise. As Sargasso Pirate says :


    "A person can be about as happy as they make up their mind to be"

    • Like 1
  17. 13 hours ago, The-Inside-Cabin said:

    Here is my cost calculator.   You can fill it out online.  





    Very informative and more sophisticated then mine. Great to be able to fill it in online. Mine has been more catered to my own needs, since I don't gamble. Thank you! I am sure that will be helpful to most cruisers not on all-inclusive fares! Will be on a different Costa ship next summer so will have more prices to work with on my calculator, but figure what estimates I have worked with so far should cover the costs. Had previously seen laundry prices on several ships so taking advantage with prebooked 25 pieces at Euro 19.99 is a steal and you bet I have prebooked these already for my 2023 cruise and 2024 cruise - prices will only go up. Costa has also posted now an offer on the WC Euro 120 for 3 excursions, which will work out at Euro 40 each and on top of that they offer a 25 % discount on any other excursions you book, so my $ 150.00 per excursion might be to high, but over-estimate will cover me for more expensive excursions and give me extra spending money 😊. Can't wait to actually get on a ship again.

  18. For some people the price matters, especially when you are traveling solo. As I had posted on a previous post, I have developed a spread sheet to reach my total cost:



    Cruise Calculator      
    Hotel pre-cruise      
    Luggage Shipping      
    Pre-Cruise Total      $                           -  
    Number of Sea Days      
    Numer of Port Days      
    18 weeks      
    Base Fare      
    Port Fee's       
    Fuel Surcharge $ 9.00 128 9  
    Service Charge 128    
    Shore Excursions Port-days: avg.  
           less 15 included      
    ?   150  $                           -  
    estimated Internet:      
    3 GB x 4?      
    Laundry weekly      
    Hairdresser      $                           -  
    Pedicure/Manicure      $                           -  
    spa-Treatments      $                           -  
        x day  
    Coffee's      $                           -  
    Cocktails/Wine/Drinks      $                           -  
    Speciality Dining      
    Port Food/Drinks      
    Cruise Total:      $                           -  
    Post Cruise Transfers      
    Hotels Post Cruise      
    Airfare Post Cruise      
    Post Cruise total      $                           -  
    Estimated total      


    With having been quoted around $ 100,000 for single occupancy on cruise lines for the World cruise, I have been able to reach an estimated total of $ 43,000.00 each now for 2 World cruises, which itineraries bring me to different area's of the globe with only a few overlaps. The base price is low due to my early booking of 2023 and moving 2022 to 2024 at no additional cost.

    I have to fly from my home all the way to Europe but since I do that on points it is no problem and I don't need that included in the fare. And I have calculated a 2-weeks stay before the cruise to be sure I am not going to have any problems due to Covid-regulations. Luggage shipping from my part of the world to the ship and back is like $ 300 per suit-case each way, not breaking the bank and no reason for me to change cruise-line.

    I also have calculated each excursion at $ 150.00 - when I have seen most of them listed for below $ 100.00 on the cruise which had been previously cancelled, so I should be safe with higher priced excursions. I personally felt to tell guests excursions are included but then only include one per port, which have not been the one's I would have chosen very unfair.

    But it is every bodies choice which cruise line they prefer. I have traveled on quite a few, since my bookings have always been based on itinerary and date, so which ever one fit my schedule was the one I booked. And I have been several times on the cruise line I am doing my WC's on, so know what to expect. For me the base-price traveling solo is a major decision point.

    • Like 3
  19. Please remember that the price I have is for single-occupancy. You might need to call Costa during the week, but I have booked through the US-website and have the extra's, the drink-package and the 15 included excursions. Not sure now but might have only shown up with the confirmation. I had been aware of the extra's because I had already had reservations for the World Cruise 2022.Just in my humble opinion included excursions and included excursions seem to differ very much. When I checked one World Cruise included excursion I had been shocked. I had assumed that it will be a wide variety of excursions to suite peoples various interest and only special one's like Helicopter trips.... will be charged extra only to see that just to be tendered on shore is called an included excursion. Which line is the Edge?

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