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Everything posted by cantgetin

  1. Exactly the reason for getting out of the EU....this means no taxes on stuff in the shops, drinks etc while in international waters. MUCH nicer for sailors.
  2. Yeah, we've made brunch reservations immediately after boarding. You CAN do walk up on a space available basis, but if you know when you want to do brunch at The Wake or Razzle Dazzle, you can book it as soon as you board. If you have a reservation, you will have a seat. We have never been turned away at RD, but once were turned away at The Wake when doing walk up; they did offer a reservation for the next day.
  3. The only time you would pay the Turkish tax is when the ship is in Turkey--either docked or within 12 miles of the land. You are right about the difference between the EU regs and Schengen regs--sorry. Right idea, wrong term. Since the cruise mentioned above visits Turkey, you will not be subject to tax any time your are outside territorial waters.
  4. Med cruises are tricky on taxes. IF the cruise has a port in a country that does not participate in the "Sch something", then there are no taxes once the ship is in international waters. If all stops are in participating countries, then the entire cruise sales are subject to tax, regardless of where the ship is. And even if you waited "a few minutes," you might be surprised at how long it would take to reach that 12 miles. Yes if you order while in port, you will pay the tax.
  5. Book on board means that there is a cost, and that this event cannot be booked until you are on board. First come, first serve means that there is no cost, but you line up to get in and hope for the best. Items that allow you to make a reservation on board means no cost, but you can reserve your spot after embarkation (mostly applies to smaller fitness classes). I think it stinks. I would ideally like to see a system where each person could make a reservation to attend each show ONCE during the cruise and then go to a standby line. On our first cruise, I couldn't get a reservation to Never Sleep Alone, and then learned that one of the repeat performances was largely empty as there were lots of no shows. Everyone should get a chance to see Dual Reality or whatever once during the cruise before other people can see it twice. But, I don't want to stand in line for 30 or 45 minutes in order to possibly get a seat. I'm particularly unhappy about the zumba and VHS going to "first come." I really don't want to put on my workout clothes only to find out after waiting for 30 minutes that there is no room for me.
  6. Priority boarding and the cocktail party are open to both people in the cabin. Premium wifi is limited to either 2 or 3 devices (I've been told both by Sailor Services.). THey don't know who owns the devices that are on premium, but if you exceed the number, you will be charged. You can flip between devices--just be sure you log off of one before logging onto another. Last cruise, we each had DBE and were told it was 2 devices per person with DBE--that was plenty for us. On our first cruise with DBE, they couldn't seem to find mine (even though I had the email to prove it), and they told us it was 3 devices total....so I would flip between my computer and my phone. If you tic the box that says you are sharing a credit card, you can both use the coffee credit, as well as any loot and bar tab (DBE gives you $100 bar tab per DBE qualified person). This applies to any purchased bar tab as well as bonus on the purchase. Same basically with laundry--it would go down to one bag per room, but they don't care or know who's stuff is in the bag.
  7. How things are handled thru Customs depends on the port...in our experience, it has varied. As to how the ship handles your stuff if you are changing rooms is that you pack it up and leave it in your cabin. Your room host will be aware and will move it to your new room as soon as it is cleaned and ready.
  8. Rockstars have a reserved seating area and are cared for by their rockstar agent....
  9. The bar tab will not roll over. It ends at the end of each leg. This includes purchased tab as well as any acquired thru loyalty or as a booking bonus.. Most cruises have at least some bar tab attached as a perk at the time of booking. But it purchasing, you will need to attach some to each leg of the trip. If you book thru a TA, they can often attach some loot or other discounts even on a first cruise that you won't get by booking directly thru VV,.
  10. No idea. My best guess is that they will go to the "third cruise" for "Blue Extras" and 5th cruise for "Deep Blue Extras." THey have already changed the goodies from "per cabin" to "per person" which means more goodies for most of us....2 specialty tea/coffee for each qualified person per day rather than $10, a bag of laundry for each person, etc. Most of the rest is the same. If you have 4 completed cruises, you should get the DBEs on the 5th cruise as of 2026...unless they change it again. But with VV, it is anyone's guess.
  11. If you qualified for DBE by 12/31/2023, you will keep the status until the end of 2025. If you ddin't get status before then, you will get Blue Extras on your 3rd cruise and DBE on your 5th cruise.
  12. 4th TA on VV, probably 12th total (can you tell we like them?). You will not lose an hour each day--there is a 6 hour time difference between Miami and Barcelona which will be spread across 14 days. As we cross, it really doesn't matter when the changes occur (no worry about "local" time) so the ship will change time about every other day. THey won't ever put 2 days of time change in a row. Admittedly, I like the other direction, with long days better.
  13. Celebrity had nicer rooms other than the hammock....which makes VV a winner in my book. Celebrity had the best buffet I've seen on a cruise ship, but I prefer The Galley to a buffet--would like to see more day to day change up there though. Soda package on Celebrity was a pain. Everything was in cans and they would not give you a whole can at dinner. THey poured it into a tiny glass which held about half the can and I'm convinced they were rationing by making you wait 45 minutes for a refill. We asked several times to have the can left--nope, no can do. Entertainment....there were parts of each that I liked. We tend to cruise while schools are in session, so few or no kids on Celebrity, even though they were allowed. But...great service on VV, great food, almost all inclusive structure, great DBE perks made them come out on top in my book. No announcements, no sales, etc. I'd go on Celebrity again for the right itinerary and price....ditto VV where I have another booked.
  14. Totally easy. First are the solo meet ups starting on the first day. Then there are activities where you will meet others. Dinner tables are close enough to engage with the people next to you if you wish, or stay private at your table if you prefer. You'll meet people if you hang out in any of the public areas.
  15. You can try thru your TA or by calling VV. Or you can deal with getting what you want after boarding. Yeah, the app does odd things sometimes. Do you have anyone other than your cabin linked on your reservation? This could even be someone who is a FB friend? There are supposedly 2 settings for the way people link. What we have experienced on all our previous cruises is that linked people can mess with your reservations--the idea is that you are setting thing up to eat or go to shows together or whatever. There is supposedly a new setting where you can see them but they can't fool with your stuff; but I haven't worked with that yet.
  16. I've had good experiences making dinner reservations and terrible experiences. For my upcoming trip, I caught the whole system failure. The app crashed after I'd gotten 2 or 3 nights reserved, and at the same time the TA portal and the set up for the guys you call at Sailor Services failed. It was a day or two before anything was working again. No big deal--we can adjust dining on board, and I've never starved on a ship....no matter what line....
  17. Well said. No, VV isn't perfect, and some things are personal taste. I think they are most comparable to Celebrity (of the lines we've cruised), but Celebrity today is not as good as Celebrity 10 years ago IMHO. VV gets a lot of things right and does a lot of things the way I like them. But they get some things wrong too--again, my opinion. Example--Crown Grill on Princess is better than The Wake. But I'm also not paying an extra $50 for that meal. And we did once have a bad meal at Crown Grill. I like the VV "almost all included" plan more than the "pay extra for everything" plan or the "here's a collection of things you can buy extra as a group" because VV includes the things I'd be buying anyhow and not a drink package that I wouldn't get value out of....but again, that's me. Someone else may think "free at sea" is the best thing going. to each his own......
  18. Not a clue what was happening on the phone call, but there is a decent chance that you'll get an upgrade by bidding. There is also often an upgrade station in the terminal where you can inquire as to the cost and purchase an upgrade at that time.
  19. Sometimes it is impossible to book anything at 45 days, but that is an app problem, not an availability problem, If the app is not working, your TA can go to their portal and make reservations for you. And if all else fails, you can call VV the next morning and book on the phone. Finally, somewhere around half the reservations are held back for booking after boarding. You may not get each restaurant on the night you want or exactly the time you want, but you will not be "shut out" from the various restaurants.
  20. VV tech is probably their second biggest problem, but since the first involves relatively few cruisers, we won't go there. TV goes out mid-movie and no one can get it working again, App goes down and servers put on their polite "grin and bear it " faces. My favorite was our ghost. At random intervals, with no one near a tablet or other device, our curtains would open or close. On our second cruise, we had a high level supervisor in our room to deal with an issue that others hadn't been able to figure out. He was leaving as the ghost struck. He asked if I did "that," and I explained that it was "our ghost." We explained and he asked if he could send the repair person the next day...with many comments about how "It is NOT supposed to be that way."
  21. Yeah, my best advice is to take VV for what it is and not to compare it to other lines. Don't play "VV does this better than Disney" or Celebrity does that better than VV." Each line is different, and if you are totally loyal to another line, you may not like something new. But if you are open to seeing what this line is all about, there is a lot of good. There is also room for improvement. My sis is getting off in the morning, and emailed me tonight. Her verdict was that, while there were some things she didn't like, she was glad she'd done it and had done a rebooking while on board for another cruise. (she's 64, husband is 63)
  22. And most of the time, the difference between the great service price and the absolute lowest price is minimal or nothing. 20 years ago, I saw an ad in an AAA magazine for what looked like a great cruise price. I called my full service TA and asked if they had anything similar. She replied that they had exactly the same deal except that it could be booked then rather than waiting for the dates in the ad. That was my lesson in not jumping at what appears to be a "special" deal; it is very rarely exclusive.
  23. Exactly, the above is the kind of service I'm used to from my TA....and especially the part about knowing and cruising multiple lines and giving personal advice.
  24. If you aren't getting service from your TA or just don't mesh well with that person, find another. The TA I use has been in the top 10 agents on VV for 2022 and 2023....and didn't get there by ignoring customers. Sometimes I get enough reminders that it could be a pain....but how hard is it to delete an email? She also computer tracks all her bookings, and if there is a price drop will contact her clients with the details (change in perks? whatever else.) and see whether you want the new deal. On one cruise, I saved $400 and picked up some bar tab. I also get basic reminders like booking dinners, etc. Some are silly, but rather too many than too few. And then there are those nice notices like "I've achieved 10 cabin booking on your (date) cruise, which means we now constitute a circle. Each cabin will be seeing a bottle of bubbly to recognize this. Thank you for trusting me with your booking." Hey, every little bit helps. And no, we aren't allowed to name agents here.
  25. Technically they can charge the corkage fee if you bring an unopened bottle. Whether they do or not depends on who, where, how lucky you are, etc. You can open it in your cabin and each bring a glass to any location on the ship with no charge.
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