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Bgwest

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  1. Bgwest

    MSC OBCs

    How exactly is that done? The Voyagers Club, that is. Is there a deadline after booking to ask for this?
  2. Bgwest

    MSC OBCs

    Thanks all. I suppose the 10% discount for teachers and first responders easily makes up for the stingy OBCs. We’ve never seen the others we sail give up 10% off the top.
  3. Hi Steve, I'm here with another "down in the weeds" question. Like last time, let me create a scenario to bounce off of you. Let's begin by stipulating I have a $9,375 FCC that Princess provided me after cancelling a cruise. Let's go further and stipulate that of this total amount, $7,500 is the part of the FCC that represents my "refund of cash paid" for the cancelled cruise and $1,875 is part that represents the Princess 25% "bonus" associated with "Option 1". Same with the 50% bonus from Pause 1 with only the numbers being different. Now I'm sitting here with $9375 that I'm ready to apply to a new cruise. Right now! And when I buy the cruise I have in mind, I'm going to contact you and purchase a Travel Insured Worldwide Trip Protector policy. All pretty well straight forward so far, right? Not so fast. Travel Insured's position, and for all I know all of the trip insurers, is that they will NOT insure any "bonus dollars" that I receive. Here's where it gets complicated. The $9375 I have in my Captain's Circle account that will go to funding my new trip is a mixture of "real money" and "bonus dollars". Once these monies are mixed, it's impossible to re-separate them. Much like mixing a quart of whole milk with a pint of chocolate milk. The resulting mixture can never be separated into the individual components that went into the mix. Same with the "real money" cruise dollars and the "bonus" cruise dollars. How in the world can the determination be made to insure only "real money" and not "bonus dollars". So, here's where I'm going with all of this. When I purchase this new cruise that, for the sake of this part of the scenario, we'll say cost's exactly $9375, how do we style a TI WTP policy? Now let's complicate it a bit further. Let's say the new cruise that I'm purchasing costs only $4,000 rather than $9,375. Now I'll have FCC left over in my Captain's Circle "bank". How would I then insure the $4,000 cruise? Remember, the "real money" and the "bonus dollars" remain mixed but are now only partially being removed unlike the first example where the entire amount was used to pay for the cruise. To add another layer of complexity (mind you, all of these scenarios are very much real life possibilities), after I've somehow insured the the $4,000 cruise, I'll have $5,375 left over from the original stipulated $9,375 FCC that Princess has put into my Captain's Circle "bank" (remember that original stipulation?). Now when I use that $5,375 to purchase yet another new new cruise, how in the world am I going to insure that? By this time the "real money" and the "bonus dollars" thoroughly homogenized. I can certainly understand any insurer being unwilling to insure "bonus dollars". But for the life of me I cannot figure out the mechanics of how they are going to make this happen. All of this follows nearly exactly what I'm looking at doing (only the numbers are different) for several upcoming cruises. This isn't a theoretical exercise. I'm going to be coming to you when it's time to book these cruise using FCCs and I'm bewildered how these cruises will be insured given the position of the insurers. Thanks for letting me ramble in the weeds. Bill
  4. Bgwest

    MSC OBCs

    Does MSC make available any of the OBCs that other lines provide? Not discounts but OBCs. I’m thinking specifically of things like shareholders OBC, future cruise deposits, etc.
  5. You've cleared up my principal concern, that of the pre-existing clock starting upon payment of the Initial Trip Deposit. Your response to that part of the scenario is: >"June 22, 2020 is the last day you have to buy a plan with a 21 day deadline if the company defines the deadline as 21 days after the Initial Trip Deposit Date. The Travel Insured WTP does it this way". If TI WTP defines their insurance contract this way (key phrase "after the Initial Trip Deposit Date), no further discussion is needed. I've always gotten myself confused over the fact that even though I pay a deposit on the Initial Trip Deposit Date, that money is generally refundable (unless it is specifically noted as non-refundable) up to a defined point in the future. 90 days in my scenario above. So even though the deposit is refundable and "not subject to cancellation penalties", the act of making this deposit starts the clock running. Got it. >"Your trip costs are: any prepaid trip costs that are subject to cancellation penalties or restrictions you pay prior to your departure and before something happens to cause you to cancel your trip." >(Hotel) I have a question about this one: Are you prepaying this one night? >If so, you must include it if you forfeit your prepayment if you cancel your trip. Sometimes I'll make a prepayment that is refundable, sometimes it is non-refundable. If the prepayment is refundable, then I do not include it in the prepayment calculations. If the prepayment is NON-refundable, the I include it in the prepayment calculations. Same is true for purchases from the cruise line as in my scenario (water, drinks, tours, grats, etc). If they are refundable they are NOT included in the prepayments calculations and if NON-refundable I include it in the prepayment calculations? Have I got all of this right? >1) (Airfare) Is there any point in time before you leave home that the airfare is non-refundable? >2) Does your flight back home become non-refundable when you take the outbound portion? When (rather if) I happen to buy a fully refundable ticket from an airline, then that amount is not included in the prepayment calculations. Princess EZAir for example is fully refundable up to 45 days prior to departure. When I buy a non-refundable airline ticket then that amount IS included in the prepayment calculation. Have I got all of this right? Regarding the pay as you go strategy, you've trained me well. That's all that I've been doing since you and I first discussed it. Again, this stuff is really down in the weeds but stuff I think about. Thanks!! Bill
  6. The sky is falling, the sky is falling....🐔
  7. Been there done that. First Princess cruise was in C748 on the CB. Wife was amazed. I was too. 😃
  8. Hi Steve, I'd like to dig a little deeper into buying with pre-existing coverage in mind. Let me construct a scenario: Let's say I book a cruise on June 1, 2020 with a sailing date of June 1, 2021. For this booking I put down a deposit of $200 (either cash or FCD). Let's stipulate that the deposit is 100% refundable until 90 days before the sailing date. Let's also say that I independently book a pre-cruise hotel for the night before sailing and the booking is guaranteed but is cancellable until the day before the cruise. Let's also say that I purchase a water package, a drink package and a bunch of tours directly from the cruise line. Let's stipulate that any and all of these purchases are cancellable until a week or so before the cruise sails. Let's add a reservation for independently provided pre and post cruise transportation to and from the airport. Let's stipulate that I've provided a deposit and that deposit is 100% refundable until the day before pickup at the airport. Lastly, let's assume that I purchase air transportation (either independently or through the cruise line) that is 100% refundable until just prior to sailing. Consider that all of the above takes place on June 1, 2020. At the completion of all of this activity, I'm out of pocket zero dollars that are non-refundable. I can cancel any single item above, or all of them, and not incur a dime out of pocket. The first moment I've actually committed any money which I cannot retrieve without a penalty is when the cruise deposit goes past the 90 pre-cruise mark. At that moment, I've committed $200 that I will not get back if I cancel. Assume my intention is to buy a travel insurance policy (let's use Travel Insured WW Trip Protector as an example) that I want to provide me with coverage for pre-existing conditions and that policy has a 21 day window after the first payment has been made to lock in pre-existing condition coverage. Considering all of the above, by what date must I contact you to purchase this policy? 21 days from June 1, 2020 is, of course, June 22, 2020. But with the idea in mind that I've really not "spent" any money until the deposit is forfeited (90 days prior to sailing), don't I really have 21 days after the deposit is forfeited (or maybe paid to the cruise line might be a better word)? Very much "in the weeds" I'll grant you but something that I've been thinking about for some time but have just never thought to ask. Thanks, Bill
  9. Bgwest

    MSC Air

    What's the secret to booking air transportation alongside a cruise reservation? Apart from doing it directly with the air carrier. First time MSC cruisers but longtime Princess folks. Does MSC have something roughly equivalent to EZAir? I've scoured their website but guess I just haven't found the right place to look. Thanks
  10. Does this mean that I become Elite after the 15th cruise credit goes into my Captain’s Circle account (prior to embarking on #16) or after the cruise that puts cruise credit #16 into my Captain’s Circle account? ELITE From your 16th cruise credit on, or 151+ cruise days1,2,3
  11. All of this is very interesting (just now read all 141 posts) to MSC/YC newbies who are well traveled on Princess (Elite). Thanks for all the varied opinions and points of view as we prepare for our first MSC/YC experience. Here's something I find really interesting about MSC's DSC policy that departs from what we are accustomed to. https://www.msccruisesusa.com/manage-booking/before-you-go/service-charges From the above, I've extracted the following: What are the service charges? During your cruise, you will meet staff throughout the ship who provide you with excellent service. They are supported by just as many staff and crew who work hard behind the scenes to ensure you enjoy every moment on board. For your convenience, MSC Cruises will automatically add a daily Hotel Service Charge to your shipboard account, based on your chosen itinerary and the number of days for which the services are actually provided. The Hotel Service charge serves to ensure we maintain the highest quality standards of service to our guests. The daily amounts below have been calculated with this in mind and cannot be modified. However, should you wish to remove any of the daily Hotel Service Charge in the unlikely event that you do not receive satisfactory service, you may do so by contacting the Guest Relations Manager onboard. If you wish, the daily Service Charge for your cruise can be added to the price of your cruise at the time of booking, rather than added to your onboard account during the cruise. Please let your booking agent know if you would like to add the Service Charge to your cruise price. TIPS: MSC does not recommend tipping individual members of staff. Several things here jump out at me. First of all the idea that MSC doesn't recommend individual tips. Agreed, it's all very personal and each person is clearly able to proceed with this how she/he wishes. Just interesting to see in writing the "official" view on the matter. Second is the idea that The daily amounts below have been calculated with this in mind and cannot be modified. Looking back over the course of many cruises, we've often adjusted the base amount both up and down without issue. The MSC view seems very binary. Either pay the stated DSC amount or eliminate it completely. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground. Am I reading this correctly?
  12. Good for you! Finally someone offering something factual and substantive rather than the same hand ringing and gnashing of teeth from the same people over and over and over again ad nauseum.
  13. Wow. I imagine the Royal Suite was amazing. I've been concerned about the breeze (wind!) while at cruise from a forward facing cabin but wasn't sure there were any other drawbacks. Hadn't considered the darkness factor. Good call. Thanks!
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