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About evag

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  1. I was looking at a travel agency's website that had a grid and it showed a HAL cruise that was discounted 65% for $441 but when you went to the singles rate with NO single supplement it was higher because they charge you the rack rate of $1193. Now of course, it is not sanctioned by ANY cruise line that you book for two people and you make up a second person who won't be coming at all but there is nothing to stop you from paying for a booking for two people where the second (real) person is highly unlikely to show up and thus is a no show, the port charges are refunded, just FYI.
  2. this should follow up with my most recent post about the travel insurance thread but there are some important points to be made so I am starting another thread. With the advent of the internet people think, why use a travel agent, the airlines used selfbooking to get rid of travel agents. If you are familiar with cruises and room locations (as I suppose most readers here are) you probably won't need them for advice, but since the business is very competitive many of them rebate part of their commission so you will get OBC or something extra the cruise line won't give you (they may know the cruiseline's agent for travel agents very well also to get you some perks or upgrades) or there are some (one who has a well known grid) where they buy cabins in block and they can sell the cabins at any price the want since they and not the cruise line own the cabins. Also (most cruise lines won't tell you this) you can put it on a 24 hour courtesy hold and then pay and most travel agents will do that and in some cases extend the hold as much as they can even if it's final payment period. I am using one now affiliated with an airline just to get the extra airline miles and I hesitated about them because in the past I booked them and there was a $25 service charge and because the agency's rules are no written quotes, you must book at the first time you call so I stopped using them but when they had a good mileage special, when I explained to the last agent I talked to why I haven't used them for my last few cruises and she saw that I booked loong (sic) repositioning cruises and balcony cabins, she bent the rules and would give me a written quote AND hold the reservations if I needed to find a mate to travel etc. The most important reason though to have a travel agent, is that they are there to protect you, they want to keep you as a client because if you are not happy with one line, you can still use them for another line, whilst the cruiseline is there to protect THEMselves. The family who claimed to have lost $25K on their Asian cruise, booked through a warehouse club travel agency who may because of their low prices and booking online wouldn't go to bat for them but I maintain a personal relationship with my agents and if I had a problem like that, I would say to the agent, I am booking through you so you can help me with any problem I have and I'd like YOU to try to solve the problem first. The problem with agencies that want you to self book (usually an online one) is that often you don't build up a relationship with one person, it goes to a call center who may not be allowed to work on your behalf and not being their personal customer have no incentive to do) or if they bought a policy (as I said in my post about travel insurance) NOT sold by the agent through the cruise line, which DID contain the cancellation policies, just can't help. That is why it's important to book with ONE agent, I used to hop around to whatever agencies offered the lowest fare (forgetting the online agencies who also had a loyalty tier but again, because of problems you might encounter as I had mentioned they might not be the best bet.) If you get a lower fare they will try to pricematch it, if the fare goes down after you paid (and YOU have to monitor that, they will not as it's not in their interest) they may be able to help you get a refund or more likely an upgrade or OBC. They are more likely to do this if you have been a longtime customer who books a lot of cruises with them, than a first time customer who booked a 4 day Bahamas cruise. There are some cruises that were said to be sold out the online agencies claimed, talked to my personal travel agent who talked with the cruise line (who I tried to talk before and as also told was sold out) and there in fact were some cabins available so that's another reason.
  3. Was surprised that the family who had lost 25K on the NCL cruise was not issued a refund since they had travel insurance, but the whole story wasn't told in the news (and I am NOT a fan of NCL!) Called them and told them that the carrier was AON which is used by the Carnival owned lines, and knew that the policies do include trip cancellation for any reasons on both policies cruise lines sell, and he told me that insurance that the cruise lines sell DOES include cancellation for any reason but the family bought a Centex (not sure of spelling) which does not include trip cancellation just medical expenses and evacuation. I often get flyers for them and the Centex ins. is like the free travel insurance you get on your credit card and also carry Allianz annual travel insurance plan but when I read the policy it only have trip cancellation for covered reasons, illness, etc. (went to Sth America last Nov. when they had demostrations and Allianz said civil unrest was not terrorisim and had no problems with the demos) so make sure you get either the cruise lines or a travel insurance plan elsewhere (it's cheaper) that has cancel for any reason. Surprised at the many people who don't ask questions about their policy.
  4. The reason why I asked is under general questions as to why some high end lines are selling out their Asian cruises now vs the lower end, and was somewhat admonished for it. So a simple question if you have taken these cruises are they mostly made up of native Chinese or foreigners from the Western world? Thanks
  5. Thanks for replying, you are right, but think I should be posting this under NCL as those are the passengers who took this cruise.
  6. The article quoted experts who researched on that and were not just anecdotal incidents. I was NOT talking about people that have illnesses compromising one's immune systems and yes, YOU should not be handling borrowed, used books so therefore since YOU do not need to touch them don't use libraries but since I don't think the average person will die from handling a book read by others, they shouldn't ban libraries because of THAT reason. If as someone else posted they want to make room for new rooms etc. that's something else entirely but often libraries are there NOT just to store books but where they might have computers or just a quiet place to sit and read where people won't be talking (we learned from childhood to be quiet in a library, you can't shush people in most other places.) If you can find evidence that a person got a fatal illness from a book please post a link on here,
  7. I have been monitoring the Asia cruises this month, not afraid of viruses as the chances of catching are rare. I went on a cruise from Africa to the U.K. during the Ebola crises and fares were starting $999 per person for thirty days (we ended up on a back balcony where it was only $3 a day more and when we went up the waters. Captain threw that in-from France to England, it was fabulous seeing both shores.) Shortly before I went I took a cruse from Galveston and a friend of mine who knew my penchant for traveling, warned me not to go anywhere and get Ebola, the irony was that on the sailing before a medical worker who worked in a hospital where a colleague got Ebola from someone who came from Africa and was treated there, and although she never met the worker or the patient and never had it, she had to stay in her room (probably to protect her from fellow passengers who were NOT allowed to disembark because the ports wouldn't allow them because of the one woman!) When I went home, I told my friend, why go 10K miles away to get Ebola when I can get it 1K miles away but I digress. I saw a rate a little over 2K pp on Celebrity for an Aqua suite (for the first time at 2 AM last night) and was going to call my travel agent and a friend to see if he wanted to go but by 8AM it was booked and they only had one other left a Sky Suite at a high price , in contrast on NCL which had much lower prices with more added perks (granted the Celebrity had four more days and additional stops but the price differential was a lot), all categories of cabins that are listed are the same prices as for the past week, and don't seem to be selling so I wanted to have some thoughts from people as to why. Granted the amenities and type of service is better on Celebrity (for me it's the room service) but given how low the prices are on NCL, is it possible that more of the clientele on NCL are people from Asia especially Chinese so people in the U.S. are reluctant to book on there/ Has anybody on here from other than Asian countries booked on that and can comment. It shouldn't matter of course if they are Asian locals, as they would be screened carefully, but there is a chance that they could be more likely exposed to the virus before getting on board.
  8. Yes, but they should still have libraries for people who don't have ebooks and WANT to read (and yes some hotels DO have libraries., usually small locally owned ones or hostels.) What bugs me, is that people criticize what other people want to do. NCL (know this is Celebrity forum but only wanted to make a point) wants to promote their cheap entertainment which doesn't cost money for individual use, games and escape rooms and such vs. ones that do, books or DVDS that require to be purchased. Other than pretty insipid ones which can be watched for free, you had to purchase the other movies OnDemand, was a while ago, so couldn't remember how much, maybe $7.99 or 9.99 @ seemed pretty high. When I suggested on this websites forum and some others that they should have some movie pass one could purchase so that a person could watch as many movies that they wanted on the TV (remember paid, not for free so those not wanting to watch would NOT have to pay) you can't imagine the vitriol and ridicule I got from others, saying she's on a cruise ship, she should do other things besides watch movies, ad nauseam. I've been cruising almost twenty years, and in the beginning I would run from activity to activity, and now that I am older, I don't feel compelled to do all that. I travel mostly for the destinations, like to relax reading or watching TV, eat the good food, half the time I skip the shows having seen so many similar ones. So, yes, there still should be libraries for people who STILL want to use them, maybe more paperback and magazines, if weight is a factor.
  9. I had to address this issue RIGHT away, especially with the new Asian virus going around, there is practically NO chance of people getting viruses from a book https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/71875/just-how-gross-are-library-books-exactly. I was on a Holland American ship where they had the norovirus and although I can't remember reading books at that time, they had a lot of prohibitions i.e., we couldn't borrow the DVDs, use the hot tub (and I am talking about in the Persian Gardens which you pay EXTRA for so a little more exclusive), or use the washing machines etc. Now this is the irony of the whole thing, you COULD use the slot machines who somehow were "vaccinated" from the virus. I took Celebrity once which had the norovirus which left the dock late because of what they had to do and remember that the library was closed the first few days because they were "sterilizing" the books and that's why the cruise ships are doing away with the libraries, is the extra cost, books cost money to buy and add weight to the ship which entails using more fuel to sail NOT because people don't want them or read the books (noticed how many there are with not so friendly people not wanting to talk to others, before shows, events, dining by themselves, etc.)
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