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Everything posted by Redtravel

  1. Saw Windstar policy. It makes booking on Windstar attractive. Oceania might consider revamping their policy. We like Windstar and Oceania. We Sailed on Windstar in a January. We are on Sirena soon. Our plan was to book a future cruise while sailing. Windstar new policy could make them more attractive.
  2. Redtravel

    Soft Drinks

    That makes sense. After my first Viking River, I contacted Viking. Nothing changed. At meals, take food back to your cabin. They let you take the dish and will give you wrap to cover it. I also saw people walking out of lunch with cans of soda and glasses of wine. on one cruise,we took the Viking bus into town. No tours then. Just an opportunity to walk, shop, etc. We were told to be back on the bus by 11:30. Everyone was there except the cruise director. He was really late. He said that he lost track of time. By the time we got back to the ship, lunch was over. Dining room did not want to serve us lunch. After several people complained, we were served a small lunch. Had to eat fast in order to get to the Afternoon tour bus. Tour times don’t always mesh with meal times. From that experience, I now travel with food. Seems odd that you need to take food to a cruise. Riverboats are not like ocean cruises. Schedules can be altered for many reasons. Water levels, traffic, etc. Food should be available 24/7.
  3. Redtravel

    Soft Drinks

    On riverboats, wine, beer, and soft drinks are served with lunch and dinner. Want a soda any other time, it will cost extra. Water, coffee, and tea is always free. Since I mainly drink water, I was happy on the riverboats. Food other than at meal times does not exist. Aside from the fruit bowl and pastry during the day, there is nothing. After 6 pm, no food except at dinner. No room service. My spouse is diabetic. Had to bring snacks to eat at off times. Seems crazy to bring food to a cruise. It would be nice if Viking river had some food available after dinner. Some cheese, crackers, cookies or fruit would make a huge difference.
  4. Book cruise only. Add O life later if you want to take tours or like to drink. You can book O life without air. Buy your own airfare. Unless you can save money, it is better to have control of your air.
  5. Not knowing what will happen is making people uncomfortable. Nobody wants to get sick. We hope to be able to take the cruises that we have booked. Not booking anything new now.
  6. With all the hype about corona virus, I looked at the cancellation policy. I do not want to cancel. If I cancel now, the 100% still has a $500pp or $1500pp air inclusive fee. That means if I cancel, I lose $3000. I would be out $3000 and have no cruise. Insurance does not cover fear of getting sick. Insurance will pay for insolvency if you bought From a third party or if you paid in full using a credit card. Willing to wait and see. Really hope that things will improve. Looking forward to celebrating our 51st anniversary on Viking Jupiter. Have faith that everything will be ok.
  7. Yes! Free WiFi? WiFi has become a way of keeping the world connected. Some countries are completely free WiFi. Loved it in a Portugal. Most businesses, hotels, airports, museums, restaurants, etc. have free WiFi. On Azamara, I get 120 free minutes as discoverer plus. Drinks? You pay for those drinks in your fare. I seldom drink. On my last Azamara cruise, the included wines were bad. Had a couple of drinks. Drank mostly Sprite Zero. Paying per drink is okay. Not sure how much of the fare is allocated toward the beverages. You are paying for it. Gratuities?Prepaid tips are ok as long as those tips are going to the excellent crew. Every cruise should include the tips in the basic fare. I don’t mind paying tips. Charging tips daily or in advance is a wash. When service is outstanding or somebody does something special for me, I tip extra. I appreciate their services.
  8. Nobody wants to put themselves in a dangerous situation. I am hoping for the best. I had been excited about my March cruise. Now I am still planning on going. Not as excited.
  9. I am discoverer plus with 1100+ points. No way am I ever going to get to Platinum. It is too far to get to 3000 points. I don’t even look at platinum benefits. Pointing out changes to a Platinum doesn’t interest me.
  10. Too little too late. Azamara doesn’t get it. Why offer discounts on WiFi? Your closest competition, Oceania and Viking, offer free WiFi. I have future cruises booked with both Oceania and Viking. Also, Azamara still charges extra for specialty restaurants and does not let guests make reservations before embarkation. Wake up, Azamara, it is time to look at why people book on other cruise lines.
  11. I have a Caribbean cruise booked in March. Was not too concerned. News today about the MSC ship being denied docking in Jamaica and Cayman Because a crew member has flu is quite unsettling. I could understand if it was corona. Really hate to see people get scared.
  12. Loyalty? New benefits only add if you book veranda plus or higher. That is not loyalty. As discoverer plus, I cannot see any benefit for me. It just seems like an added internet if you book veranda plus or suite. When I first sailed on Azamara, I got same benefits as Celebrity..240 internet minutes and 2 free bags of laundry pp. veranda plus is a new category with a few adders. Looks like a way to charge more for verandas. Not feeling any value in loyalty for people who book less than veranda plus. The announcement of new benefits for loyalty doesn’t offer me any incentive to rebook. I have no future Azamara cruises booked. I had hoped the announcement of new loyalty might be good. This loyalty change sends a clear message. Loyalty is not important unless you book up. Why be loyal?
  13. Added to that some cruise lines have change fees. It does take time to make changes. While I do not want to pay extra fees, I understand them. On my most recent cruise, not on Celebrity, cruise charged me $50 pp to adjust fare. My TA also took $100 off my OBC. I did save $2000. Worked for me. They probably are trying to stop minor changes.
  14. It was odd that Azamara decreased the laundry loyalty benefit. On Celebrity, as elite plus, I get 2 bags of laundry per cruise. My spouse also gets 2 bags per cruise. That gives us 4 bags on every cruise. On Azamara, we got one bag to share. This makes Azamara a more upscale brand? Azamara has self service laundry rooms that you can use. Doing my own laundry on vacation as opposed to sending it out is a true step in the wrong direction. I certainly hope that Azamara will match or exceed Celebrity benefits.
  15. Just separate the cleaners from the people who reset the tables. Another option is change the placemats after each use.
  16. I use a TA too. He always includes some OBC. Some of that is often a hidden promo from Windstar. There is also the a OBC that is considered a gift from the TA. When you board ask how much OBC you have and what part of that is refundable. The refundable portion can be used toward the gratuities. Refundable a OBC that you do not spend is refunded as a credit on your posted credit card. Just got a credit today from a January cruise. That was 5 weeks ago.
  17. In limbo. To go or not. Have a Caribbean cruise in a March. Insurance will not cover cancellations for the threat of an illness. We have friends who already cancelled. We have a few weeks to decide. There is no advantage to backing out now. We would still lose what we paid. We will make our choice closer to embarkation. We have emails that are trying for future bookings at extremely low fares. Even if they give it away, I would be hesitant to book. After the diamond Princess quarantine, if I go I would take extra meds. At least I am booked into a veranda cabin. Would definitely cancel if I had booked an Oceanview or Inside.
  18. Love Ice cream. Gelato is extra special. It needs to be freshly made. If there is any leftover, get rid of it.
  19. On seadays in warm weather, my spouse finds a shady spot on the pool deck, reads a book, gets a sandwich at waves, and continues to veg out. Reading without interruptions is a favorite cruise activity. No kids, no phones, no shopping, etc. It makes it easy among our friends, everyone knows where to find him. He's curled up with a book. He does take a break now and then. He naps. Noise from the pool deck doesn't bother him. He turns his hearing aide off and smiles. Got to love him.
  20. Sad if it has changed. I will be on Sirena soon. First time on that ship. Will post a review after sailing. I hope that Sirena is as good as my previous Oceania Cruises.
  21. If Azamara cares, send each person a survey and let them reply whenever they can. People are busy. After vacations, traveling home can often wear you out. Take a long plane ride with connections, cancellations, and often other distractions, responding to an email survey is not high on my to do list roght after I get home. Let it age. Give guests time to reflect. By the time I get around to replying it may be more than a week. If the email survey has expired, it sends a message that my respomse isn't important. These days,surveys fill my in box daily. Every place you go, you get a survey. Every doctor sends a survey. Every phone contact sends an email. There are many that I delete. There are some that I would like to respond to when I have the time. My thought is if an survey expires, it wasn't that important. I am sire that you are sincere. The survey is not.
  22. Oceania has a nice pool deck. They will move items left on chairs if nobody returns. Never had. Problem finding someplace to sit. Unless I plan to go into the pool, I prefer a quieter location. Give Oceania a try and you will not go back to Princess. I did a princess cruise years ago. It was one and done. It was not for me.
  23. I understand your frustration. Not all cruises are the same. With changes in staff, entertainment, weather, and ports. One cruise can be better or worse than another. However, any survey that is sent by email with a short time frame to rely isn’t worth completing. Reflecting about a cruise should accept a response to its survey at any time. Many people do b2bs or continue traveling on land after the cruise. By the time you get home, the survey email has died. Nobody cares?
  24. I miss being treated as a valued guest. I miss the great service. I miss the original Celebrity cruise before it was sold to RCL. . Reading the posts on this thread, it makes me wonder why so many people keep sailing on Celebrity. In trying to keep prices low with increasing costs, Celebrity has changed. Cutbacks have reached new lows. Fighting to get a plastic shower cap on my last Celebrity cruise was the end.
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