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Everything posted by JillK

  1. Thanks hancogran and Fouremco for your insights - that's exactly the kind of input I was looking for. We are currently planning on arriving several days early to tour Rome ahead of the cruise so perhaps we'll borrow a day from the start of our trip to add a day in Rome upon disembarkation. I definitely do not want to spend any cruise time stressing out about making our flight home. Very much appreciate your feedback!
  2. Thanks for the recommendation - in our case, we are going to be booking with Aeroplan points so can only consider Air Canada flights. Will keep Air Transat in mind for future though!
  3. Hi everyone. We are going to be booking a cruise next summer out of Civitavecchia and I was hoping a fellow Canadian could offer some insight regarding return flights. The only direct flight from Rome to Toronto departs at 11:30 am and is only offered once a day. I'm concerned about having enough time to disembark the ship, clear customs, pick up luggage, find transportation (which I plan on pre-arranging) and travel time from Civi to the airport to make the direct flight. Our only experience flying from Europe post cruise was in Amsterdam where we barely made our flight (others on our ship sponsored transfer missed theirs) and in that case, the port and airport were in the same city! Not knowing what we can anticipate for COVID protocols that may still be in place next August, in addition to regular security at the airport for international travel, I'm a little concerned that we will be at risk of missing the flight. I know no one can give me a definite answer but I was hoping that based on previous experience some recommendations could be made as to whether or not we should stay an extra night in Rome to make the 11:30 flight the day following disembarkation or if we should be able to make the flight on disembarkation day. A final consideration that at this time (and of course this could change) is that we need PCR tests to re-enter Canada that would be provided by Celebrity on board which I believe has to be within 3 days of re-entry. Thanks in advance for any insight!
  4. Sounds like you are stuck with the assigned flight as you are in the penalty period. When we last cruised in December 2019 we also had booked the free air promo. We ended up going to a different destination post-cruise for my husband's work Christmas party but decided to leave the "free" air promo in place and just booked our flights to the new destination on our own... we were no shows at the airport. You can always do the same with no financial loss at this point. For what it's worth, when I priced that December cruise both with and without the air, there was no difference in the fare so it genuinely was a "freebie" as such you are should not be out of pocket for not using the flight. Perhaps you can just think of it as a perk you are unable to take advantage of this time around. Most importantly, enjoy your cruise!
  5. We have booked for this package for March 2022 at Hilton Garden Inn Ridgefield Park where we stayed the last time we cruised out of NYC in December 2018. I was able to find the rate using the Hilton website.... select the room type and hit the "more prices available" button.... scroll to the bottom of that list and click "show more rates".... that's where they are hiding the "Park, Ride and Cruise" rate and the "Park and Cruise" rate (no shuttle).
  6. I understand that the cruiseline has to follow guidelines but there has to be a better way to handle it than to kick people out of their cabins without consulting on what would constitute an acceptable alternative. Like the OP, I take (probably) a ridiculous amount of time choosing my cabin (and often it's two as we are a family of 6 so if we are all cruising we are split 3/3 in two cabins). Some of us are prone to motion sickness so I prefer mid-ship and make sure that there are no public spaces that will be keeping us awake until the wee hours (learned that lesson the hard way). If we are cruising together and can't get connecting rooms I try to keep us close. So in that sense, the cabin I have spent a lot of effort selecting is very important to me. Hopefully the OP will keep us posted and has a satisfactory resolution.
  7. I purchased a Cruise First a few months ago to take advantage of the bonus $250 but I was sure to read through all the terms and conditions (fine print) before I did. I am actually surprised that the OP is getting an FCC for $500. My interpretation was that if I cancelled, I would lose the promotional value and that I would get an FCC worth what I paid $250... so kind of like what happens when you cancel with a CruiseNext without the bonus.
  8. My understanding is a CruiseNext would be the voucher you buy on an existing cruise to apply to a future cruise and the CruiseFirst is a voucher anyone can buy through NCL right now. They both act in the same way in terms of having a bonus value beyond what you paid (ie. CruiseNext buy for $125 and get $250 value and CruiseFirst buy for $250 and get $500 value). I did note that in the T&C of the CruiseFirst, if you cancel the cruise you applied the certificate to, you loose the "extra" value. I would guess the amount you paid would be retained in an FCC or "CruiseFirst" voucher (worth $250) but the bonus additional value of $250 on top of it would be lost. You can cancel a cruise booked with a CruiseNext and it still retains its "extra" value when you use it on a future booking.
  9. Agreed! I have been enjoying that show too. Hubby always asks me why I want to watch those type of shows... I tell him it's not to see the disaster but rather how the investigators are able to figure out what happened and what changes came from them.
  10. I find it frustrating when the shows air in the US and then not here. Why are they not simulcast? I used to love watching the show "Mayday" (also on Discovery) and according to Wiki they have aired two full seasons in the States that they have not shown here and I cannot get any info on if they will ever air here... Especially strange since it is a Canadian series.
  11. Although we are a year out, I went through the shore excursions currently being offered this past weekend and did write down pricing for those we may be interested in. A few of the options in some of the ports are at a 20% discount but for the most part, the prices have remained static or in some instances have actually gone up by an average of $5! Definitely need to critically look at the pricing offered.
  12. I still say taping too!
  13. Ooooo wouldn't it be fun to spot yourselves in the background!
  14. Noticed a promo yesterday that the show "Mighty Cruise Ships" started airing its new season last week. It runs at 10:00 pm Thursdays on Discovery. Have to admit I'm curious about when they would have filmed it.... assume 2019?
  15. I have been getting that message to when I try to access the brochure for my Vision of the Seas sailing in August 2022. Just tried to go on to the Royal Caribbean main site and got the "Access Denied" message so I would say chalk it up to the funky IT that seems to plague Royal.
  16. I do hope that we hear back from the OP either way however I won't be surprised if we never hear back at all. I think s/he came here looking for advice and to gauge what other people would do next if they were in this situation and while they did get some of that, they faced a heck of a lot of criticism for their cabin choice, how much they elected to pay and for feeling that they were wronged. I think we can all agree that we expect to get what we pay for. Half my family is prone to seasickness so I spend quite a bit of time selecting my cabins (often two as we are a family of six). I have learnt from experience that not only do I want something mid-ship but I also like to avoid noisy areas (learnt a lesson on the Celebrity Silhouette where I was kept up every night from being right above the nightclub). As such, I am very sympathetic to the cabin switcheroo situation the OP is in. I have read (pre-COVID) of people being contacted and asked to move cabins, often with incentives attached (though not necessarily on NCL) and would expect that if the cruise line wants my cabin, they would contact me to work something out
  17. You bring up a good explanation as to why this may have happened. That being said NCL should have contacted the OP and ask them to switch rather than making a cabin change without their knowledge/consent. Hope the OP comes back and keeps us updated....
  18. I'm pretty surprised by the people who are replying with unhelpful comments about this person's cabin and / or the price they paid for the cruise. Only the person paying the bill has to decide if the price is acceptable or not. The issue here is not what you think of the price they paid or what you think of the cabin choice. The issue is are you ok NCL arbitrarily changing this person's booked cabin and then blaming them for not noticing the change? Would you be ok with NCL changing your cabin without telling you and telling you it's your fault? I don't see how it matters one bit if it's a studio cabin, outside, balcony or suite. If you have booked a cabin, it is supposed be yours for that sailing and it is unacceptable for the cruise line to change it without consulting you. It is further outrageous that they blamed the cruiser for not noticing the change sooner. Are you serious? I have cruises booked next year and in 2023 and I am not checking them daily for crying out loud. Completely unreasonable. NCL should be working with this cruiser to see how they can correct their mistake by finding them an acceptable new cabin for both cruises, offering acceptable compensation or moving the person they bumped this cruiser for so they have their original cabin back. A mistake was made and NCL should own it and work to resolve it. That would be good customer service. If a satisfactory resolution is not found, then this person should think long and hard about whether they want to keep these cruises and where they want to direct their vacation money in the future.
  19. Sure it's a nice treat at breakfast, especially when you're away on vacation, but I don't know why people are so upset. The last time I sailed with Carnival, it was inaccessible to the guest at the buffet and they had a person serving it. I had to ask her if I could have a second piece as she gave me only one. I figured they must have been seeing such an enormous amount of it getting wasted that they felt it was worth it to put a live body there to dole it out a little less generously than perhaps people were previously filling their plates.
  20. OK I'm going totally off topic here but you guys have me really nostalgic. I spent some formative years in the early 80's living in Gondola Point and went to Rothesay Park school myself until Grade 5 when my family moved to Ottawa. Have not been back since the early 1990s and doubt I would recognize the growth. Great news on the negative tests and thanks for posting about your trip - looking forward to cruising along with you!
  21. It is as of early Aug - agreed that this makes no sense.... I can't fathom why we would open to them with Delta raging in their 51% fully vaccinated population while they keep the border closed to us with our 63% fully vaccinated rate. https://thepointsguy.com/guide/is-canada-open-for-travel/?utm_content=F8668FB2-01F1-11EC-B764-68B14744363C&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=thepointsguy&utm_medium=social&tw=1&utm_term=editorial It's starting to look like the new US Admin is no friend to Canada...
  22. The other tip I got on the Nextdoor app here in my neighbourhood was to get it laminated so that you can carry it with you to show as proof when needed. Apparently it costs $2.99 plus HST at Staples.
  23. Thanks for posting. I guess that's why Pfizer is recommending a booster! Have to wonder if this study was done on people who received the vaccine within the recommended time frame only. Our government is telling us we are better protected if we wait longer between doses... would be interested to see if that was true. More fun to come apparently!
  24. One could reasonably assume that with increased Pfizer and Moderna supplies, a more traditional approach will be adopted (same brand within a shorter time frame) for those who are just now getting their first dose. I think we all recognize that the earlier approach was due to the limited supply that we had for months but which seems to now be (or is being) resolved. When I got my first dose in May my second dose was scheduled for mid-September. Increased supply and my area being designated a variant hotspot lead to me being able to received my second dose in July. Where that leaves mixed doses or single manufacturer outside of the recommended 42 day protocol folks (like me, I'm one day over) moving forward with respect to travel is an interesting question as different countries and cruise lines have varying (and confusing) guidelines. Fingers crossed it all gets sorted over the coming months and we can see the rules become more standardized and much clearer.
  25. I think we are going to evolve to a place where we have learned to live with COVID... I don't see COVID simply going away, but rather in the coming years we, as a global community, are able to better deal with it and as such it doesn't result in huge infections/deaths as it has been to date. With that in mind, I agree with what many others have suggested - that a positive case on a ship will become the norm rather than the exception in the near term, and possibly in the long term too. The protocols the cruise lines put into place and the way in which they are able to 1/ identify positive cases and 2/ stop a case or two from spreading exponentially across the ship will be really important. Sounds like in this case the identification happened quickly so it will be interesting to follow and see if it is contained and there's no reason to think it can't be. Hoping for the best!
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