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Posts posted by terry&mike

  1. 10 minutes ago, NMTraveller said:

    That is the wrong week for us.  We would need a week of Dec. 20 2021 type of date.  Thanks.

    Yes, I didn't think that actual sailing date would work for you, as we fly out in just 4 weeks from now - I thought you might want to look at the itinerary route to give you some ideas for future cruise itineraries to look out for. Once you know the itinerary you like and want, you can watch for similar sailings to be released and be ready to book. 

    Happy travels!

  2. A couple of times a year Princess has an itinerary that sails from Singapore, 3 ports Vietnam, Taiwan, 2 days in Hong Kong, 3 ports in Japan which include the disembarkation port of Tokyo (Yokohama). This route is sailing Jan. 6, 2020, on the Diamond, if you want to take a look at it for future ideas. I have a group of 29 sailing on it, and we have waited for over a year for it to finally be here!

  3. Has anyone had any luck in upgrading a beverage package once on board? For example, if a guest has the Premier Coffee & Soda package on their reservation as a perk, but would like to upgrade to the Premier Beverage Package - can they pay the difference in the value of these two packages?

  4. I don't know if this will be helpful, and each person has their own comfort level and travel style, but the information below is what I have posted on my web site on the page "Things To Do Before You Go" for my group that is traveling on the Diamond Princess from Singapore to Tokyo in January: 


    Get cash for the countries you’ll be visiting: this is a personal choice, and totally up to you how you like to manage your money in general, and when traveling. Personally, I like to hit the ground running and I feel like having a bit of “walking around money” in my pocket makes me more efficient, so I bring along both U.S. Dollars cash and a bit of local currency for the places I’ll be visiting. You can also choose to locate and withdraw cash from ATM’s as you travel, visit money exchange booths, or rely more heavily on credit cards, whatever your preference, as I said, this is a personal choice. I order foreign currency in advance from my bank, always requesting smaller bills, a couple of weeks before departure. Only you can judge your spending habits and style, keeping in mind that street vendors and small shops will lean towards cash, while major stores, large businesses, and nicer restaurants will usually accept credit cards.  Below are the amounts of foreign currency I will be purchasing, and amounts of USD (small bills) cash I will be bringing, this will cover the 2 of us. I don’t mind having extra USD cash with me as it is easy to bring it back home if I don’t use it, I can buy foreign currency on the spot if needed, and it helps in a pinch. I will have a credit card for larger purchases or nicer meals. Of course, we all have different spending habits, so your mileage may vary – you do you.

    • Bali: this only applies to a few of you, as most of you start in Singapore. Mike and I are staying for 4 nights and have budgeted some money for casual meals, shopping, touring, tips. I will be buying $284 usd worth of IDR (Balinese Rupiah) and bringing $150 usd small bills cash. Cash society, credit cards accepted in higher end places.
    • Singapore: Mike and I are staying for 2 nights and have budgeted some money for taxis, casual meals. I will be buying $125 usd worth of SGD (Singapore Dollars) and bringing $50 usd cash. Credit cards regularly accepted.
    • On Board Ship: most everything you do or purchase on board the ship will be charged to your shipboard account and settled by the credit card you have on file with the cruise line. I will be bringing along some usd cash for thanking any service staff who go above and beyond, or for tips in specialty restaurants, or for whatever could pop up, in the amount of $170 usd cash. Mike will most likely be bringing a larger stash of usd cash for the casino that he will not disclose to me to keep me out of his business!
    • Vietnam: we have 3 ports in Vietnam, and most of us are on tours in 2 of these ports, so those days you will only need money for lunch, a $5-$7 per person tip to the guide, and possibly some street vendor shopping; maybe a bit more when not on a tour. They like USD in Vietnam, but often won’t make change so focus on small bills, also on bills in good shape. I am bringing $288 usd cash.
    • Hong Kong: credit cards are widely accepted here, so I’m just bringing enough local cash for street food or small purchases. I will be buying $50 usd worth of HKD (Hong Kong Dollars) and bringing $50 usd cash.
    • Taiwan: I’m only getting a little pocket money for wandering around or a taxi, as I don’t have any specific plans here. I will be buying $50 usd worth of TWD (Taiwanese Dollars). They prefer smaller bills in Taiwan, and credit cards are randomly accepted.
    • Japan: We have 3 stops in Japan (Osaka/Kyoto, Toba, and Yokohama/Tokyo), and in 2 of those stops Mike and I, and several of you, are on a tour which includes lunch, and tipping is not done in Japan, so I don’t need much money here. I then will stay on for 2 full days in Tokyo. I have budgeted for some spending money, some casual meals, and some entrance fees. Japan is heavily a cash society. I will be buying $340 usd worth of JPY (Japanese Yen) and bringing $100 usd cash. 
    • Money Round Up: as a summation of the above, to cover 2 people for the amount of time I am visiting, I plan to purchase $284 usd worth of IDR for Bali, $125 usd worth of SGD for Singapore, $50 usd worth of HKD for Hong Kong, $50 usd worth of TWD for Taiwan, and $340 usd worth of JPY for Japan; and bring along about $808 usd cash.

  5. I always pre-order a bit of local currency for each port, as I like to hit the ground running with some local cash in my pocket. Everyone is different on this, so go with your comfort level. I pre-order from my local bank, and my exchange rate has not varied much at all from the exchange I am given when using ATM's overseas. 

  6. 21 hours ago, FlyerTalker said:

    Sure hope you read the disclaimer and policies of your "new travel site".  Personally, I wouldn't trust using a website where they can't even use proper English and punctuation.  Or where they explicitly state that "action you take upon the information you find on this website (www.MyFlightMart.com), is strictly at your own risk."


    But what do I know.




    I'm agreeing. I'm in the travel business and always am looking for new sites to refer clients to, this one does not make me feel confident in their ability to perform. Hopefully, I am wrong on this. 

  7. Hello,

    I am taking a group of 29 on the Diamond Princess, Jan. 6, 2020, sailing from Singapore to Tokyo. They released most of the shore excursions in September, only about 4 months out. 

    In our offerings, they do have a disembarkation transfer and tour, ending at Haneda Airport for $129.95, for flights after 5pm, and one ending at Narita Airport for $179.95, for flights after 6pm.  Both appear to be a bus tour with visits to Meiji Shrine and Sensoji Temple, and time for lunch. 

  8. As you are flying to Asia, take a look at Celebrity Air's pricing on Premium Economy seating, as it tends to be priced very well. Premium Economy is a different class of seating than Economy, offering a better seat that is slightly wider with more leg room, slightly more recline, more comfort, often small footrests. Premium Economy is booked as an actual ticket class when you book your flight, like Economy, Premium Economy, Business, First. It is often not offered on the domestic flight legs, as many don't have true Premium Economy seats.

    Economy Comfort, Economy Plus and those similar products are just an Economy seat, usually located towards the front of the Economy section, with more leg room, sometimes a few other services like priority boarding, or beverages, but not a different actual seat. These generally can only be selected after you have purchased your Economy ticket, then you go to the airline and access your reservation and pay an upgrade fee for each leg you want to upgrade. You usually cannot see what the exact fee and availability is until you have booked your Economy ticket. 

    I think for Asia, you will be much happier with Premium Economy. 

  9. 4 hours ago, Kaylacool said:

    I've booked a cruise and ezair flexible fare with Princess.

    With a current promo Princess have I can save over $500 on the cruise cost. If I contact my travel agent to rebook with the cheaper fare, what happens to the airfare compenent. Does it have to rebook as this would be a worry as currently airfares are $100s of more and are no longer flexible only fixed.  Ideally I would want to keep the airfare but rebook the cruise.  Is this possible? 



    I'm not sure the terms in Australia. In the US, if you are before final payment and you "refare" your cruise (not cancel and rebook) then your air that you have saved to your reservation does not change. If you need to cancel your reservation, and "rebook" then you will not retain your saved airfare. 

  10. 10 hours ago, Zach1213 said:

    In my experience, as someone who flies from North America to Europe monthly, if you can’t do a daytime flight, the best thing to do after you land in the morning is just keep going...go go go, get fresh air and sunlight, eat good meals and drink plenty of water, and then crash early. Get a good nights sleep, and by the next morning I’m pretty much on schedule. 

    I also practice this method and find it works very well for us. We travel internationally about 6 times per year. 

  11. This brings up something I have coming up. I have a dinner party for 12 people that I am hosting/paying for on Diamond Princess for DH's 60th birthday. I paid the $29 pp fee in advance, as the ship requested, to secure the reservation. Usually, when DH and I dine in a specialty, I leave $10 cash ($5 pp) for the wait staff, unless the service is poor. Based on that, I was thinking I should leave $60 for the birthday dinner, but it sounds as if many think this is not necessary. Thoughts?

  12. She may have boarded the flight using the new biometric screening. On September 14 we flew Atlanta to Amsterdam, on Delta, and only needed to look at a facial recognition scanner and get a check mark on the screen to board. As to her boarding pass and ID, possibly she misplaced them after TSA or had stuck them somewhere in her belongings and couldn't recall where.

  13. We sailed Hurtigruten's new ship, the Roald Amundsen, in July to Svalbard, and they are working hard to be as green as possible. In our room when we boarded we found 2 refillable Hurtigruten insulated water bottles as a gift from the cruise line. On each floor, there is a water bottle filling station similar to those found at some airports. This worked well for us, and we found it quite a good solution. 

  14. I would have waited until after the trip to cancel the card. Many people "churn" credit cards for the mileage and other sign up awards, and this is specifically prohibited by the card. If the card issuer feels that churning is afoot, they are not obligated to honor the perks. 

    At this point, I'd just continue to check my reservation and see that it stays active. When you show up at the airport, if you have to pay for luggage, just pay for it and go forward. 

  15. I am happy this worked out, and glad the couple got a cabin. Hopefully, all will be well going forward. 


    As a TA, it disappoints me to see some of the practices in the industry. There are times when we get calls from people who have paid money for trips to other agencies, and the trips don't materialize and they are hoping we can fix it. Last year, someone brought me a flyer where they had paid a $1200 deposit ($600 pp x 2) in check form to join a small group tour to South America and now could not reach the agent, and no details or bookings had been forthcoming, and they were scheduled to leave in less than 2 months.  It is disheartening, but I think it's the same in every industry - some great, many good, some bad. 

    As a TA, the best advice I can give to a travel consumer is that when you provide a credit card for a deposit or a payment, this amount should be charged from the actual service provider, not from the travel agency. Whether it is a group or individual booking. Whether it is a cruise, tour, lodging, components, or air. 


    Happy travels, and enjoy your trip!

  16. Some of the Ponant ships also have this feature, a glass wall that faces into the bedroom but has a moving piece of wall that can be slid over the glass wall for privacy. 

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