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Old 07-05-2017, 09:45 AM   #21
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From what I have heard, once you have worked 1 year at United's call center, you can then work from home.
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:19 AM   #22
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Regarding Cruises and last-minute booking....

I see that Carnival has a 6-day from Charleston SC to Bermuda in September. This is of interest to us -- it would be our first Cruise and it would be to the Island of our Honeymoon those many years ago.
And it departs Chuck-town on our Anniversary, no less !!

We can "play chicken" with the Pricing. To summarize the strategy......

1-- best to go thru Carnival website directly ?? Not a Travel Agency ??
How close to sailing day should you wait to book it ??
Any Discounts for Carnival Shareholders ?? (DW has holdings -- I'll check into this.)

2-- Best Cabin Locations are exterior, near the center of the ship ?? Interior Cabins is not preferred on a 6 day cruise ?? Too far fore or aft is a no go ??

3-- Jacket for Dinner on the ship ?? Just one night or all Dinners ??

Never been on a Cruise before, these are my Novice questions.
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Old 07-05-2017, 11:50 AM   #23
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Not that familiar with Carnival but here are some general thoughts...

Generally going through a Travel Agency can get you more perks like free category upgrade, on-board credits, maybe a bottle of wine for a special occasion, etc. Larger, travel agencies that specialize in cruises may have more purchasing power.

I think most people suggest a cabin in the middle of the ship due to less motion than towards the stern or the bow. You might also want to consider how far you have to walk to an elevator or to public places on the ship. It can be a bit of a chore if you're constantly going from one end of the ship to the other.
We don't mind an interior cabin as we don't find it that difficult to get outside to a promenade deck or top of the ship. But the convenience of having a balcony or at least a window is nice. I liked having a balcony in port to watch the activities along the dock. It was also nice when sailing through a strait. While looking at open ocean generally doesn't interest me, it's kind of nice eating breakfast on the balcony.
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:03 PM   #24
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Wouldn't September to Bermuda also fall during hurricane season ?
Might be a partial reason for a discount.
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:13 PM   #25
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You might also want to consider how far you have to walk to an elevator
We use the elevator once per cruise, and that's when we haul our own bags off at final disembarkation.
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:33 PM   #26
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Regarding Cruises and last-minute booking....

I see that Carnival has a 6-day from Charleston SC to Bermuda in September. This is of interest to us -- it would be our first Cruise and it would be to the Island of our Honeymoon those many years ago.
And it departs Chuck-town on our Anniversary, no less !!

We can "play chicken" with the Pricing. To summarize the strategy......

1-- best to go thru Carnival website directly ?? Not a Travel Agency ??
How close to sailing day should you wait to book it ??
Any Discounts for Carnival Shareholders ?? (DW has holdings -- I'll check into this.)

2-- Best Cabin Locations are exterior, near the center of the ship ?? Interior Cabins is not preferred on a 6 day cruise ?? Too far fore or aft is a no go ??

3-- Jacket for Dinner on the ship ?? Just one night or all Dinners ??

Never been on a Cruise before, these are my Novice questions.
1) You will likely get a slightly better deal from an online travel agent that specializes in cruises. Some lines have rules that prevent agents from selling below the line's direct pricing, but the agent can kick back part of the commission in the form of shipboard credit or other perks. You may save a couple hundred dollars this way. There are pros and cons to using an agent. Either go with a large agency that seems well established or book directly.

2) If you want an exterior cabin near the center of the ship, you can't play chicken with the pricing. Book now if any of these cabins are even left at this late date. If you want the lowest price, and are willing to take whatever cabin is available, then you can wait and see, but if the ship is nearly full then prices will go up rather than down and it may sell out. FWIW, for this particular sailing, I personally would watch the price until the end of July, then book an inside guarantee. (No idea if that's the best strategy on this exact route, just my gut feel.) I think you should have a good chance of getting a cheap upsell offer to a balcony or ocean view, but even if you don't, there's just not that much to see between Charleston and Bermuda that can't be seen equally comfortably from a deck chair. I'd rather save the money and sleep in an inside cabin.

3) Carnival is not that formal. For dinners, you would be following the dress code if you wore long pants and something like a polo or Hawaiian shirt. There will be some men who show up in shorts and sandals anyway. They will probably have one formal night, but participation is optional. Specialty restaurants may enforce the dress code more.
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:52 PM   #27
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.

1-- best to go thru Carnival website directly ?? Not a Travel Agency ??
How close to sailing day should you wait to book it ??
Any Discounts for Carnival Shareholders ?? (DW has holdings -- I'll check into this.)

2-- Best Cabin Locations are exterior, near the center of the ship ?? Interior Cabins is not preferred on a 6 day cruise ?? Too far fore or aft is a no go ??

3-- Jacket for Dinner on the ship ?? Just one night or all Dinners ??

.
Go to cruise critic site and register. They have a link to cruise deals. Lots of good info for first time cruisers. Even after you find a cruise, go there and register for your cruise reception they have a forum for literally thousands of cruises and its a good way to get basic questions answered about the ship and also a good way to meet people on the cruise.
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:30 PM   #28
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RC sends us deals about 40 days before sailing if they have not filled their rooms. Last year we got 8 days for 400 each. RC age group is between 30-80. There were many people in 50 & 60's. WE have heard that Holland is really old people so avoid them. WE booked our airfare through them too and still got a decent price. WE took one cruise on Princess to alaska because it was round from San Fran so we would not need to fly. It was horrible. Food was bad, service not good, wait staff could be rude, ship leaking in places, buckets in hallways, by the middle of cruise many bathrooms were not working, tether boats leaking from the roof when it rained, someone's room was flooded and they did not get a different room-just fans to dry it. You could not get me to take a free cruise with them.
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:49 PM   #29
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We use the elevator once per cruise, and that's when we haul our own bags off at final disembarkation.
I had that "rule" fairly strictly too but ended up loosening it for certain situations to prevent angry wife syndrome. One time we had dinner resos on the top deck during sunset. I forgot that I took out the memory card from the camera and had to haul down to the cabin to get it and back up before the sun completely set. And the missus isn't too keen on going from the production show in the theatre on deck 3 to another show in the lounge on deck 13/14 in heels with me telling her to hurry up so we can get good seats.
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:57 PM   #30
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I had that "rule" fairly strictly too but ended up loosening it for certain situations to prevent angry wife syndrome. One time we had dinner resos on the top deck during sunset. I forgot that I took out the memory card from the camera and had to haul down to the cabin to get it and back up before the sun completely set. And the missus isn't too keen on going from the production show in the theatre on deck 3 to another show in the lounge on deck 13/14 in heels with me telling her to hurry up so we can get good seats.
Don't think I've ever seen DW in heels...Teva sandals are 'putting on the dog' as far as she's concerned.
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:18 PM   #31
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Some lines, Royal Caribbean is apparently one, seem to rise as the sail date nears, but RC require a larger down payment in advance....others drop off drastically.

As OS says, it's a crap shoot...ya pays yer money (or not) and ya takes yer chances.
Don't tell Princess, but we'll be on that dang boat! But if I keep going on their web site and keep seeing availability, I figure the worst that can happen is the el-cheapo rooms get sold and I have to suffer with a bigger/nicer room (at a higher price, of course).

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If you wait, won't you eat up any savings on the cruise fare by having to pay for higher air fares to and from the embark/debark ports?
No, because I've already booked the air.

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Regarding Cruises and last-minute booking....
I'll contribute answers to your meta question...
1. Try VacationsToGo
2. Interior is good for sleeping. Not much to see in the Caribbean anyway. Turn on the TV, bow camera to see if you're in port or if it's light outside, lol! And IMHO, it doesn't make that much difference where on the ship the cabin is located. Flexibility allows "playing chicken".
3. Don't need a jacket...just go to the buffet on that night.
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:45 PM   #32
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I read that Princess was a good line until they were bought by Carnival and then they did not keep the ships up, etc.
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:07 PM   #33
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We've had hit's and misses on every cruise line we've tried. I only picked Princess because it was sailing at the right time from a place where we could get a cheap trans-Atlantic air flight. We're not horribly picky people. Of course I wouldn't like to be adrift in the Gulf of Mexico with no plumbing, or have to abandon ship off the coast of Italy, but I figure if I live to talk about it, it's a success
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:19 PM   #34
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....but I figure if I live to talk about it, it's a success
Not just a success...it's a story.
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Old 07-06-2017, 08:42 AM   #35
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We typically buy inside the final payment window. Usually six weeks out but we have done as little as three days out a few times. Prices are based on supply and demand. They can go up/down in a matter or hours so if you see the 'right' price you should grab it.

If we are interested in a Med cruise we determine the prices. Then we set a target price. We watch the pricing. When our price hits we buy. Usually from a US based on line TA who rebates anywhere from 8-12 percent of the commissionable fare back to us in the form of on board credits.

We have done Crystal, RCI, Celebrity, Princess, Carnival, HAL, NCL. With the exception of Crystal, they are much the same. The big difference is the ship itself-size, age, amenities, etc.All heading down to the lowest common denominator in terms of service, food, etc and trying to increase on board revenues.

We have not done much cruising over the past two years. Most are priced in USD. Our exchange rate has been terrible, we have used up the cash in our USD bank account, so we vacation elsewhere until our dollar picks up!

There are bargains to be had and pricing is sometimes based on country. While in Australia two years ago we booked an RCI cruise directly with RCI Australia. The price was 30 percent less that what our US based on line TA quoted. Sister booked a Baltic cruise in the UK.....fifteen percent less than booking in Canada or the US. Does not happen very often but it pays to shop.
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:02 AM   #36
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Today the price is $1299

Of course for a TA, where there is nothing but water to see, is a balcony all that nice ?

I've never had a balcony.
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:26 AM   #37
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have to abandon ship off the coast of Italy
One of the most incredible mishaps I've ever seen.

The Costa Concordia went aground in 2012, killing 32 people.
Captain Schettino began serving his 16-year prison sentence in May of this year.
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:30 AM   #38
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the price has gone from $1731, to $1634, to $1562
Just checked and on the vtg site it's $1271!

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Today the price is $1299

Of course for a TA, where there is nothing but water to see, is a balcony all that nice ?

I've never had a balcony.
This ship is all balconies.
The windows below the lifeboats are the dining rooms and staff cabins.

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We typically buy inside the final payment window. Usually six weeks out but we have done as little as three days out a few times.
Three days! That's "playing chicken" for sure! Good info.
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:32 AM   #39
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On our recent 'threefer' we had two inside cabins and one porthole, (for the Norwegian sector where there was something to see).

The price differential wasn't that huge, and the porthole cabin was a tad larger, but since we're just sleeping in the cabin(s) it wasn't a major factor.
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:48 AM   #40
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Today the price is $1299

Of course for a TA, where there is nothing but water to see, is a balcony all that nice ?

I've never had a balcony.
I guess it depends.

When we did an Atlantic Crossing this spring on the Viking Star we had a room with a balcony (the Viking Star doesn't have any rooms w/o balconies) looking out over the stern. This meant we saw beautiful sunsets every evening. It was actually one of the high points of the cruise for us.
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