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Redtravel

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  1. Ships are different. Some ships have soundproofing that work. We have had adjoining cabins on a variety of ships. If you hear noise, ask the cabin steward to block it. They can tape the cracks or some will cover the door. While a non adjacent cabin is preferred, a noisy cabin can have noise blocked. If they cannot get your cabin quiet, they will move you. There are always solutions. The worst noise we ever had was when we had a cabin above a lounge. The music at night came through the floor. It stopped before we turned in at night. People next to us complained and were relocated. Try to book a cabin on a deck in between 2 passenger cabin decks. If you are sensitive to noise, bring earplugs.
  2. I am elite plus on Celebrity. After taking many Celebrity cruises, we got tired of it. There were too many cutbacks. Food was boring. Hated the a Buffet. Too many people really was getting crowded. We looked for smaller ships with mostly adults...and better food. We moved on to Azamara, Windstar, and Oceania. All are good. Favorite is Windstar. Oceania is an excellent choice. Once you try Oceania, you will be amazed at the difference. Oceania has best food. All specialty restaurants are complimentary. No crowds. Service is fabulous. Ships are beautiful. We still sail once in awhile on Celebrity with family and friends. It is not our first choice. Oceania costs more and is worth it.
  3. Bed near bathroom. Windstar ships are small and often rock. At night a short walk to the bathroom is preferable. On Windsurf, beds are near the window. Walking across the cabin can be tricky when the ship is sailing in rough seas. My spouse fell one night. On the motor yachts which has huge cabins, walking across the cabin in rough seas is not for me. Put me near the bathroom. When we first saw the expansion plans for the motor yachts, we were surprised to see the bed near the window. We would prefer the older cabins with bed near bathroom.
  4. I have never been able to cash in free nights on Azamara because I took many Celebrity cruises. The people who started sailing years before Azamara existed have been excluded from the free nights. Rule states that you must earn more than 50% of points on Azamara. as discoverer plus/elite plus, I have lots of points. I am being punished by Azamara because I sailed on Celebrity. Had they had separate programs, I could get free nights. This loyalty program needs revamp. Since nobody is sailing anywhere now or anytime soon, I have lost real interest in cruising.
  5. For us living in west Jersey near Philly, going to the shore is 1-2 hour drive. With beaches limiting people, we would have to start at dawn to get there before they close it off. We like Island Beach. We watch the web site for open and closing times. They fill up early and close often. Weekends close often at 9-10. This is the summer of no day trips to the shore. Miss it.
  6. Thought about you when I saw the fires in the news. Good that you are ok. Staying home is what we all do now most of the time. Here in Jersey, things have somewhat improved. We can leave and go to all states except NH without quarantine or testing. Returning is completely different. Returning from a small group of states is ok. Most require 14 day quarantine and testing. It changes often. DC was on the list until Trump wanted to golf at Bedminster. It is tricky. From day to day, we have to check if Delaware or Pennsylvania have restrictions. So we stay home most of the time. Not going to the Jersey shore this summer. I dearly miss it. Too many people getting sick there. We still do not have open gyms, movies, or indoor dining.
  7. If cruising insists that you must book excursions like MSC to exit the ship in ports, expect those excursions to be expensive. Oceania is not a charity. They provide a service and want to make money. If excursion groups are smaller, excursion prices should be higher. If you think that excursion prices were high, wait until you see prices when they sail again. I would expect higher fees. Nobody is forcing you to sail or book an excursion. You can stay on the ship. You can stay home. Supply and demand will keep prices in check. If there is increased demand, increased prices can work. If demand is low, raising prices could kill them. Businesses near me that have reopened have increased prices due to increased costs caused by the pandemic. Some are justified. Some are just greedy. One salon near me doubled all fees and added ppe charges. Within 2 weeks of opening, they were out of business. People wanted haircuts, etc. however, they weren’t willing to be ripped off.
  8. I miss LIVING. My life is on hold. After disembarking Sirena’s final cruise in March, we have been at home trying to stay safe. We seldom go out unless necessary. We haven’t seen our friends since February. We haven’t hugged our kids/grandkids in months. We stay in touch using phone, email, FaceTime, zoom, etc. Some restaurants are doing outdoor dining. No gyms or movies. Some stores are open, but not going to them. If I need something, I buy it online and get it delivered. While beaches near me have reopened, we are afraid to go. Do we miss sailing? As time passes, I am missing it less. I am not missing it as much as I miss other things. My priorities have shifted. I want to hug my grandkids. I want to share Holidays like Thanksgiving together in my house. Most of all, I want to feel safe when I leave my house.
  9. EBest was in Bordeaux at Chateaux Giscours. Tour of vineyards and winery, entertainmentment, lavish food, and the most fabulous wine I have ever tasted. It was over the top devine.
  10. Yes, I can do that too. However, above a certain limit the credit card company will not authorize the charge unless they can call me and verify the purchase. It protects against fraud. Having been a fraud victim, just using email is not always secure. The credit card companies are getting really great at spotting fraud. Last week, I was notified that my card was used for an $.89 purchase at a store that I don't shop at. It was fraud. I got an email and responded. Killed the card. Since I travel or used to travel internationally often, it was the suggestion of my credit card company to do this. Fraud is up during the pandemic. Be careful. Check all purchases in person and not.
  11. I never negotiate cruise prices. I only book if I like the price. I mostly used one agent from a big online agency that would match other prices. And, if I asked he would requested that my final payment date be moved. There have been times when moving dates made sense. When I used my credit card for a large purchase, I have high security on my card to avoid fraud. I have been a victim. I notify my credit card company of the upcoming charge...amount and payee. When it is posted, they call me. Works well most of the time except when I am cruising. So if a final payment date is due while I will be away, I ask for a different date after I return home. I used to prepay. My agent suggested to request a date After I get home from a trip. Worked really well. Never really had a problem. You may be pleasantly surprised at how nice cruise lines can be when you just ask for a reasonable accommodation.
  12. Anything further out than 90 days is outrageous. The only line that I have ever paid more than more than 90 days before sailing was on Viking. most on Viking was 150 days. Just because a cruise line or travel agency asks for a final payment by a specific date, they often will adjust if asked. I am amazed at how many people just pay up way in advance. They often complain, but never ask for an extension. In this new time of the pandemic when nothing is sailing, you should be able to dictate your dates. That's if you still really want to sail. With the news coming from the few ships that have attempted to sail unsuccessfully, I doubt that bookings will happen much until safe.
  13. Really? There is so much conjecture floating around that it seems like much of the stuff on the Internet is not always completely correct. Today I got one that said a Viking was discontinuing operations indefinitely. Go to Viking website, it doesn’t seem correct. Just got email with Viking offers for 2023. Not sure what to believe. For now, just staying home, not booking, hoping for a cure or vaccine, and praying that we survive 2020.
  14. Been on R ships on Oceania and Azamara many times. However, the O ships are more desirable. Love the large cabins And gorgeous bathrooms on O ships. My spouse doesn’t want to sail on R ships again. O ships have more restaurants. On R ships, the 2 specialty restaurants feature many of the O ship dishes from their 4 restaurants. The bistro in the GDR also features several dishes from a Jacques. Oceania ships have outstanding food. Not sure what cruising will be like when it returns. My guess is that the Terrace will ditch the buffet setup.
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