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Old October 18th, 2007, 11:41 PM
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Default Much to my dismay, my next cruise will be with RCCL

Unfortunately, the rumors are true. Carnival has decided to stick it to the solo cruisers by charging them 200% of not only most cabin fares but also the port charges, effective 09/29/07 for all cruises that begin after 12/01/07. Previously they only charged a solo for one port fee, using the theory that they charged port charges by the person and not the cabin occupancy. :evil:

I tried to book the John Heald Bloggers cruise today and was given a cost of $719. After not receiving my confirmation, I sent an email to the TA and was told over the phone about the new port charge policy at Carnival. I even called Carnival myself and was told the particulars. It seems as though they want to make a few extra dollars off of solo cruisers who are already paying more because they occupy a cabin alone.

Well it is not the money but the principal (part of it is the money). Therefore, I went looking for another cruise and found that, as it now stands, many of Carnivals cruises are now more costly for solos than RCCL and in a few cases, even Century.

Hence, I found a 4 nighter on RCCL Navigator for $425. I booked it. I will now look for a cheapie last minute 3, 4 or 5 nighter to join with this one and so a b2b (any cruiseline that ports near the Navigator). If now, this is a good short test run for RCCL.

Truth be told, I have been on so many of Carnival's ships that it is all starting to be the same ole thing. My last cruise on the Glory lacked some spark because the ship is a twin to my Liberty cruise right down to the same identical performancers, comedians, same jokes, tricks, songs, and show productions.

I figured that my cruise on the Freedom would be another identical twin but for the price of $719 on a brand new ship, what the heck.

In all honesty, I have been wanting to try RCCL, Century, NCL and Princess out for a while and this may be just the motivation to make me do it.

Also, RCCL does not charge 200% for their bottom category cabins for a solo. They were only charging 150% for this particular cruise and many of their others.

Carnival is gonna lost a few customers because of this new policy. Oh well.
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Old October 19th, 2007, 12:55 AM
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I think you'll enjoy Royal Caribbean. I loved the Explorer of the Seas.

Sometimes it's good to mix it up a little. Do a little RCI and maybe another cruise line. You can always come back to Carnival if you want...it's all up to you and how much you enjoy the others.

The Grass can be Greener or just as Green...you'll never know unless you jump the fence every once in a while.

Whichever one you decide to go with, I wish you the best of times!
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Old October 19th, 2007, 01:36 AM
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Surely this won't last. I can't believe they won't lose a lot over this especially on singles cruises.
The other problem in switching is losing the count on platinum status and the benefits after x amount of cruises. However, if one has to 'prepay' for those perks, probably won't be worth it. Sad.
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Old October 19th, 2007, 10:43 AM
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I want to try different cruise lines just because, and I am not a solo cruiser! I hope you enjoy RC and any of the other ones - a cruise is a cruise, right?
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Old October 19th, 2007, 12:06 PM
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wow, do you think they will change the cost of my June 2008 solo cruise? I haven't heard anything from them or my TA about this. That sucks!!! I don't think I'll cruise solo after I go on Fascination in June but if I do I'd certainly go to another line that offers a solo discount!
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Old October 19th, 2007, 12:34 PM
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There's a company in Hartford, CT that does solo cruises on all the big cruise lines. It's a travel company & they get some good decent low rates.

I don't remember their name, but if you search for them, they should pop up. I think they advertise someplace on here also.
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Old October 19th, 2007, 08:35 PM
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Whats next For your convienence Carnival will now charge Solo cruisers twice as much for gratuities?

I have never traveled solo but I too am giving RCCL a try. I just booked the monarch of the seas out of Los Angeles for $410 for two people including all taxes and fees. I figured for that type of price I would give them a try.
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Old October 19th, 2007, 09:18 PM
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I have checked how much it would cost for me to have a balcony cabin (Cat 8C or 8D) on the Liberty next September. I find that it is fair and reasonable price. It isn't double what it would be, but it is more like 150%. If they charge more in port fees, then so be it, I want to go, so I will go.

I'll bring less money to spend instead of more. I want to see the same ports I saw again and Liberty is going that way in September 08. I'll spend more on excursions and take more photos.

I find that if I try going solo through RCI, I would pay considerably more than on Carnival....

I guess you can blame the fact that Canadian dollar is now 1.0355 vs the US dollar--amlost 4 cents over par. They should be lowering the price and advertising more to Canadians to get them to cruise!
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Old October 19th, 2007, 11:07 PM
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I have thought about it andI believe that as babyboomers (the core cruising market) age, more and more are emptynesting, becoming single again and are not waiting around to find someone to vacation with. Solo travel is hot and getting hotter by the day. After a lifetime of doing for everyone else, many empty-nesters are finally saying, "it is now my turn", and are surfing the web looking to far off places to visit, with or without companions.

Therefore, what used to be a few passengers that were handy to fill the lower category cabins may have now become more and more people looking to cruise either solo or just not share a cabin. It may simply be too many requests to the point where it has started to affect their delicate balance of base cost vs. revenue. The revenue generated from the basic cost of each cabin must cover the operating expenses of the ship. Carnival has very little wiggle room to raise their fares and still hold onto their share of the market. Therefore, they hit areas that are not noticed by many. I am sure there are other things that these cruiselines have done recently to balance off the higher cost of operating these megaships.

Also, even when I cruise with a group, family or friend -- I have become so accustomed to my own cabin that I am not inclined to bunk up with anyone who I am not intimately involved with. That may be the thinking that Carnival wants to deter.

However, if Carnival sees a dip in their solo reservations, they may back down and reverse this decision so as not to lose faithful customers (such as myself). The 10 or so Cat. 1A cabins on each ship are not really conductive for use by anyone other than children, teens and solos.

I am now very excited about my little 4 dayer on RCCL since I have only done one RCCL cruise and that was several years ago. If I find that I enjoy RCCL more or like the newness of the difference between the two cruise companies, I will probably bit the bullet and cruise with RCCL for a while even at a higher cost.

Even with the higher port charge, the Blogger's cruise was still a great price. The higher cost was just the trigger that made me say to myself, "why am I even going on this cruise? I have already done Liberty and Glory. Freedom is just the same old same old." Also, it was the principal involved that stopped me.

I am now thinking about doing Imperial Regal 2 day cruise to Bahamas as an add-on to my 4 dayer. This little ship can be enjoyed for less than $200 solo. For me it would be a cute change from the sleek megaships of the mass market cruiselines.

Oh well, what can you do. The price of Orange Juice has also gone up and now I only drink Apple Juice.

Oh but the things I must suffer to survive in this world.

Oh yeah,

Happy cruzin'
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Old October 20th, 2007, 06:46 AM
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I too think you'll enjoy Royal Caribbean and notice the minor differences between them and Carnival. Its really a shame that they choose to charge double port charges, just not fair.

Enjoy your cruise.
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Old October 20th, 2007, 09:03 PM
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My wife and I love Celebrity cruises, but sometimes there are reasons to go on another cruise line. That is why we are going on the Carnival Liberty in Dec and RCCL Liberty of the Seas in May. Maybe on your next cruise you may meet someone so you won't have to sail solo again.

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Old October 20th, 2007, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuel
My wife and I love Celebrity cruises, but sometimes there are reasons to go on another cruise line. That is why we are going on the Carnival Liberty in Dec and RCCL Liberty of the Seas in May. Maybe on your next cruise you may meet someone so you won't have to sail solo again.

Manuel
I cruise solo by choice. It is the ultimate in self-indulgence. The last thing I want onboard is a romance or to make a "go on vacations with" friend. Too much work. I have cruised with hubby, with a group, with a girlfriend and solo. To date, solo beats all of the above.

When I found out about the price increase, I was able to sit at my computer that same evening and research until I found a cruise that worked for me and my personal obligations. Since I didn't have to confer with anyone, I was able to book the cruise right then and there and not have to worry about the price going up overnight while I waited for the go ahead from someone else. There is no price to pay for that type of vacation freedom. It is worth the cost of a single supplement.

I did meet one lady on my last cruise and we are going back and forth on email trying to help each other plan our 2008 cruises. If we end up on the same ship, good. We can sit next to each other at the penny slots. If we don't end up on any of the same ships, oh well. We are just giving each other helpful hints and sharing know-how.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 01:22 AM
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"Unfortunately, the rumors are true. Carnival has decided to stick it to the solo cruisers by charging them 200% of not only most cabin fares "
Say it ain't so !! If Carnival hits singles up for 200% on cabins the darn fools risk losing my business. I'm not paying 200% for a frumpy Spartan cabin. 8)
Some cruise-lines ( including RCCL & Celebrity) have offered 200% rates, while Carnival and HAL have worked with me. Take a look at the cruises that I have booked.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 01:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IBCRUZIN'
I am now thinking about doing Imperial Regal 2 day cruise to Bahamas as an add-on to my 4 dayer. This little ship can be enjoyed for less than $200 solo. For me it would be a cute change from the sleek megaships of the mass market cruiselines.
We pulled up next to the Imperial. They had a whole deck worth of stairs you had to climb to get on or off the ship. Not for someone even a little handicapped!!!! The ship sure didnt look like much to me.

RCI ships I find to be really pretty, but on the older ships the cabins are itzy bitzy. I wouldnt do another inside on a ship like Sovereign/Majesty. I know some say its fine. Even the Carnival Ecstasy the cabins are tons larger than Sovereign, 185 s.f. vs. 119 s.f. I think Monarch cabins are like 122 s.f., a tad larger. The inside cabin on Sovereign only had 4 little desk drawers to unpack in??!! No shelves in the closet. Nothing other than those 4 thin shelves.

Personally, I didnt find RCI cruises a step up. I liked Princess the best and Carnival is convenient to us Texans so Carnival it will be, except maybe Voyager from now on. I think RCI is no better or worse than Carnival. What RCI does better is the perks for repeat cruisers. Once you hit 10 cruises the perks are much much better than on Carnival.

I also think a lot more twosomes are booking those 1A guarantees than singles. Maybe not couples, but others man and son I meet, sisters, friends, anyone who doesnt need to sleep in the same bed.

We are travelling with a solo cruiser and I just told her what Carnival is doing. I dont want to share a room with her so she might not be going with us again. I am sorry to hear so many singles are upset about the higher prices though. Carnival must be trying to book less singles.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thoth
"Unfortunately, the rumors are true. Carnival has decided to stick it to the solo cruisers by charging them 200% of not only most cabin fares "
Say it ain't so !! If Carnival hits singles up for 200% on cabins the darn fools risk losing my business. I'm not paying 200% for a frumpy Spartan cabin. 8)
Some cruise-lines ( including RCCL & Celebrity) have offered 200% rates, while Carnival and HAL have worked with me. Take a look at the cruises that I have booked.
What is your date for the Destiny? I am thinking about June 1 for the Destiny. I didn't care for the ship but the port stops are to die for if you like port intensive cruises which I do. Are you soloing on the Destiny?

I have found that RCCL will cut their single supple down to 150% for the bottom categories cabins on slow selling cruises. I think they may be testing the waters a bit.

Carnival IS NOT charging double for the Cat 1A's what they are now doing is charging double the port charges for people cruising alone. They used to charge on a single port charges.

However, to be honest, Carnival is charging $893 for the Destiny on June 1 solo Cat 1A while RCCL is charging $2,145 for the AOS on June 8 bottom category and $1,800 for May 25. Both ships have very similar itineraries leaving out of San Juan. No matter how much I like the Navigator of the Seas in February, I cannot pay an extra $1,300 when I know both ships have very similar service, reviews, complaints, etc.

If I am thrifty and patient, that $2,145 will easily pay for all three of my 2008 cruises. I am spending $425 for my winter cruise, $900 for my summer cruise and approximately $700 or so for my fall cruise for a total of $2,000, less than the cost of that one RCCL AOS cruise.

I am still a Carnival devotee but I am not open to investigating other options when the price is so close.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flowers
Quote:
Originally Posted by IBCRUZIN'
I am now thinking about doing Imperial Regal 2 day cruise to Bahamas as an add-on to my 4 dayer. This little ship can be enjoyed for less than $200 solo. For me it would be a cute change from the sleek megaships of the mass market cruiselines.
We pulled up next to the Imperial. They had a whole deck worth of stairs you had to climb to get on or off the ship. Not for someone even a little handicapped!!!! The ship sure didnt look like much to me.

RCI ships I find to be really pretty, but on the older ships the cabins are itzy bitzy. I wouldnt do another inside on a ship like Sovereign/Majesty. I know some say its fine. Even the Carnival Ecstasy the cabins are tons larger than Sovereign, 185 s.f. vs. 119 s.f. I think Monarch cabins are like 122 s.f., a tad larger. The inside cabin on Sovereign only had 4 little desk drawers to unpack in??!! No shelves in the closet. Nothing other than those 4 thin shelves.

Personally, I didnt find RCI cruises a step up. I liked Princess the best and Carnival is convenient to us Texans so Carnival it will be, except maybe Voyager from now on. I think RCI is no better or worse than Carnival. What RCI does better is the perks for repeat cruisers. Once you hit 10 cruises the perks are much much better than on Carnival.

I also think a lot more twosomes are booking those 1A guarantees than singles. Maybe not couples, but others man and son I meet, sisters, friends, anyone who doesnt need to sleep in the same bed.

We are travelling with a solo cruiser and I just told her what Carnival is doing. I dont want to share a room with her so she might not be going with us again. I am sorry to hear so many singles are upset about the higher prices though. Carnival must be trying to book less singles.
What perks does RCCL offer than "over ten cruises" customers?

I am sure Carnival is trying to nudge people into booking two in a cabin.

I am over the shock of the higher prices but it was just enough for me to cancel the cruise on the Freedom. I need a bit of a change. However, RCCL's prices for anything but their fire sales are still a bit out of my reach. One of their 7 days cruises cost as much as I spend on all three of my annual cruises on Carnival.

Like someone else said, it will just mean that I have less money for me to lose in the casino.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 08:40 PM
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If I were you, I would really check into that Imperial Ship..I believe this is the "cruise ship" they send time share looky loos on, that won a free trip AND a cruise, if they buy..I have seen it in Fll, and I don't think I could be happy on this ship, after I have sailed the real deal! JMHO~~~~~
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Old October 21st, 2007, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip
If I were you, I would really check into that Imperial Ship..I believe this is the "cruise ship" they send time share looky loos on, that won a free trip AND a cruise, if they buy..I have seen it in Fll, and I don't think I could be happy on this ship, after I have sailed the real deal! JMHO~~~~~
I saw the Imperial when I was in Nassau in October. It is just an idea. I am having second thoughts about that also because it will eat up too much of my vacation so early in the year.

The only thing set for far is the cruise on the Navigator. Anything else is still just open ideas.

Thanks for the heads up.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IBCRUZIN'
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip
If I were you, I would really check into that Imperial Ship..I believe this is the "cruise ship" they send time share looky loos on, that won a free trip AND a cruise, if they buy..I have seen it in Fll, and I don't think I could be happy on this ship, after I have sailed the real deal! JMHO~~~~~
I saw the Imperial when I was in Nassau in October. It is just an idea. I am having second thoughts about that also because it will eat up too much of my vacation so early in the year.

The only thing set for far is the cruise on the Navigator. Anything else is still just open ideas.

Thanks for the heads up.
Yes, thats why I noticed it in port. I, too, won a "free cruise" and thats the ship it turned out to be. Im sure you have to pay port taxes or something. They said I could even give away my free cruise if someone else wanted it....sounds pretty desperate to me and the ship was less than impressive. I got all kinds of calls after I won that free cruise...everyone wanting to know why I didnt want it. I frankly thought it was not worth going to Ft. Lauderdale from Texas for a 2 day cruise.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
"IBCRUZIN'.

What perks does RCCL offer than "over ten cruises" customers?

After one cruise (gold) you get a coupon book in your stateroom with 2 for 1 drinks, free Johnny Rockets entry, 5% off merchandise with RCI logo (forgot to use mine), stuff like that. You, also, can get into the C&A coupons which are from about $65 to $125 off inside to Balcony rates. You, also, get a free gift which currently is a RCI logo canvas bag.

After 5 cruises (platinum) you get $100 off a balcony or higher.

After 10 cruises (diamond) you start getting VIP boarding and the good stuff. $200 off balcony rates. You can also get into the consierge lounge I think at Diamond which has free mixed drinks and snacks at night.

Diamond or diamond plus (25 cruises) you get the bathroom thingee with bottled shampoo and stuff.

I know a guy at platinum who is on Voyager in a aft covented balcony for $750 pp, plus he got $200 OBC by sliding his 12 day booking he made onboard into a 7 day.

You can also combine OBCs which Carnival doesnt allow, so many are getting as much as $600 OBC on RCI. Thats why I think the cheerleaders defend RCI so much, they love the perks. By diamond plus some say they get gifts daily in their cabins. One couple told me they have so many RCI bath robes at home they dont know what to do with them all.

.....now on Carnival they are having a sale and you can call in for a 2008 cruise, even if already booked and get OBC added....but not if you already have OBC. I have OBC from owning Carnival stock so they wouldnt give me the OBC from the current sale that is running until next Friday.

RCI combines most promotions. You can combine the $200 balcony credit with C&A coupons for money off cabins if the cruise you select is on the C&A coupons. Frankly, I couldnt wait to get into the C&A coupons lol. But none right now for Voyager.

Most folks once they have a lot of cruises under their belt with RCI can cruise as cheap or cheaper on RCI if they plan ahead. Iv probably forgotten a lot of the perks, just know the ones I am interested in. RCI allowed me to keep my stock OBC and combine it with their onboard booking OBC which Carnival doesnt let you do.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flowers
Quote:
"IBCRUZIN'.

What perks does RCCL offer than "over ten cruises" customers?

After one cruise (gold) you get a coupon book in your stateroom with 2 for 1 drinks, free Johnny Rockets entry, 5% off merchandise with RCI logo (forgot to use mine), stuff like that. You, also, can get into the C&A coupons which are from about $65 to $125 off inside to Balcony rates. You, also, get a free gift which currently is a RCI logo canvas bag.

After 5 cruises (platinum) you get $100 off a balcony or higher.

After 10 cruises (diamond) you start getting VIP boarding and the good stuff. $200 off balcony rates. You can also get into the consierge lounge I think at Diamond which has free mixed drinks and snacks at night.

Diamond or diamond plus (25 cruises) you get the bathroom thingee with bottled shampoo and stuff.

I know a guy at platinum who is on Voyager in a aft covented balcony for $750 pp, plus he got $200 OBC by sliding his 12 day booking he made onboard into a 7 day.

You can also combine OBCs which Carnival doesnt allow, so many are getting as much as $600 OBC on RCI. Thats why I think the cheerleaders defend RCI so much, they love the perks. By diamond plus some say they get gifts daily in their cabins. One couple told me they have so many RCI bath robes at home they dont know what to do with them all.

.....now on Carnival they are having a sale and you can call in for a 2008 cruise, even if already booked and get OBC added....but not if you already have OBC. I have OBC from owning Carnival stock so they wouldnt give me the OBC from the current sale that is running until next Friday.

RCI combines most promotions. You can combine the $200 balcony credit with C&A coupons for money off cabins if the cruise you select is on the C&A coupons. Frankly, I couldnt wait to get into the C&A coupons lol. But none right now for Voyager.

Most folks once they have a lot of cruises under their belt with RCI can cruise as cheap or cheaper on RCI if they plan ahead. Iv probably forgotten a lot of the perks, just know the ones I am interested in. RCI allowed me to keep my stock OBC and combine it with their onboard booking OBC which Carnival doesnt let you do.
Good to know. I am Gold because I have cruised before and am a member of the Crown club. I had RCCL add my Crown number to my current reservation.

Their perks are much better than Carnival.

Oh well, I want to see them fighting over me at the Miami pier terminal. Fist will flight for the privilege of booking my bottom category inside cabin!!
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old October 23rd, 2007, 05:08 AM
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"What is your date for the Destiny? I am thinking about June 1 for the Destiny. I didn't care for the ship but the port stops are to die for if you like port intensive cruises which I do. Are you soloing on the Destiny? "
13 April ...as a solo ! When I said $495 , hopefully I didn't mislead anyone. the actual breakdown...
cruise fare 495
non-commission fair 159
air add on 679
vac prot 129
prepaid tips 70
airport fees 56
taxes 54
--------------------
total is 1643 They get their money !

"Carnival IS NOT charging double for the Cat 1A's what they are now doing is charging double the port charges for people cruising alone. They used to charge on a single port charges. "
OK...that's good to know !
The Destiny does a port a day, which will be new to me. These ports seem outstanding. I'm not into beaches, bars, or t-shirt shops. What I enjoy is forts, ruins, rain-forest, and wildlife. These ports seem right down my alley...for example on St Kitts I must choose between a hike into a volcanic crater, a train-ride across the countryside, or a 300 year old fort...
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old October 23rd, 2007, 11:10 PM
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Please wait! It is a shame what Carnival is doing, but if you cruise for the food then RCCL is not your cup of tea.

Their ships are beautiful and well-maintained and their service is excellent, however, their food leaves a great deal to be desired by any stretch of the imagination.

I do not cruise for the food, however, everything tastes the same and is served luke-warm at best.

Just wanted you to know.

Test drive Century or Princess before RCCL. IMO

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