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Old 11-12-2014, 07:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
Your friends need a new travel agent. There certainly are cruises where you are not nickle and dined, and are built on a more all inclusive model. Typically, you prepay for a package that gives you all alcohol, fancy coffees, etc in advance. Some cruise lines give this away as a promo for certain cruises during a sale. Celebrity calls it their 123go sale, for example. Other cruise lines specialize in having different restaurants on board - most NCL ships have 8 or more different dining venues. You can pay in advance to use any of those as much as you want, and again that package is sometimes offered as a free promo for booking. On NCL, it's called the UDP (Ultimate Dining Package).

Yes, you'll pay extra for meals and tours if you get off the ship, but that's YOUR decision. We often stay on the ship during port days and enjoy all the space and amenities.

I'm not trying to talk the OP into a cruise; in fact, I sense they have already decided they would hate it. I feel that way about all inclusives, and what the OP describes makes me feel even more strongly that they are not for us. But this thread is full of misinformation about cruising, and I just wanted to point that out.

Cruising may be the last type of travel where a knowledgeable, experienced travel agent who specializes in cruises can make a huge difference in the ultimate satisfaction for the passenger.

Do travel agents even still make a living these days?

I would not like a cruise. No way. I want to vacation on MY schedule. The stops at ports are to scheduled, to time constrained. Even those that I know who love to cruise admit that they wish they could stay at this port or that port longer. In Puerto Vallarta we witnessed the crowds getting off the ship. The idea that I need to watch my watch or "miss the boat" doesn't sound like fun, nor does arriving at a place the same time a thousand other people do. I'd rather be on my on schedule and go my own way. Big on a ship, also, would be a nightmare. I would feel STUCK there.

One specific instance I can recall regarding a friend who went on a cruise...she had this nice big Coca Cola cup at work. I commented on it and she said "It better be nice, I paid $60 for it!' She got in on her cruise, paid one price so she could refill it the whole trip rather than pay for each drink.

Another said she was offered what she thought were complimentary drinks only to find them added to their room to be paid at the end of the trip.

Little stuff like that is how some are nickled and dimed. All inclusive? Everything is included. No special packages to buy. Just paid in full, whatever you want whenever you want it
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Old 11-12-2014, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA/Lk Hopatcong NJ
13,108 posts, read 24,920,196 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElleTea View Post
Do travel agents even still make a living these days?

I would not like a cruise. No way. I want to vacation on MY schedule. The stops at ports are to scheduled, to time constrained. Even those that I know who love to cruise admit that they wish they could stay at this port or that port longer. In Puerto Vallarta we witnessed the crowds getting off the ship. The idea that I need to watch my watch or "miss the boat" doesn't sound like fun, nor does arriving at a place the same time a thousand other people do. I'd rather be on my on schedule and go my own way. Big on a ship, also, would be a nightmare. I would feel STUCK there.

One specific instance I can recall regarding a friend who went on a cruise...she had this nice big Coca Cola cup at work. I commented on it and she said "It better be nice, I paid $60 for it!' She got in on her cruise, paid one price so she could refill it the whole trip rather than pay for each drink.

Another said she was offered what she thought were complimentary drinks only to find them added to their room to be paid at the end of the trip.

Little stuff like that is how some are nickled and dimed. All inclusive? Everything is included. No special packages to buy. Just paid in full, whatever you want whenever you want it
This is true but please tell me you do carry a certain amount of cash to tip??
Even though they say no tipping some staff go above and beyond and we always tip them.
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Old 11-12-2014, 08:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by njkate View Post
This is true but please tell me you do carry a certain amount of cash to tip??
Even though they say no tipping some staff go above and beyond and we always tip them.

Yes I did do some tipping when appropriate.
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA/Lk Hopatcong NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElleTea View Post
Yes I did do some tipping when appropriate.
Good Girl as the help makes peanuts. Maybe better than the other locals but peanuts none the less.
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:08 AM
 
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I would love all the games and stuff. I like to have some fun when I'm on vacation.
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA/Lk Hopatcong NJ
13,108 posts, read 24,920,196 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by convextech View Post
I would love all the games and stuff. I like to have some fun when I'm on vacation.
They can be quite entertaining too watch and you don't have to participate if you don't want too.
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by njkate View Post
They can be quite entertaining too watch and you don't have to participate if you don't want too.

The thing that annoyed me was the volume. They use a microphone and PA system and often did a little chant thing over and over. Games are fine for those that want them, but when they are so loud UGH.
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njkate View Post
Good Girl as the help makes peanuts. Maybe better than the other locals but peanuts none the less.

Yes, those receiving a tip were very appreciative. I was happy to tip for great service
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Canada
9,079 posts, read 8,363,903 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElleTea View Post
Do travel agents even still make a living these days?

I would not like a cruise. No way. I want to vacation on MY schedule. The stops at ports are to scheduled, to time constrained. Even those that I know who love to cruise admit that they wish they could stay at this port or that port longer. In Puerto Vallarta we witnessed the crowds getting off the ship. The idea that I need to watch my watch or "miss the boat" doesn't sound like fun, nor does arriving at a place the same time a thousand other people do. I'd rather be on my on schedule and go my own way. Big on a ship, also, would be a nightmare. I would feel STUCK there.

One specific instance I can recall regarding a friend who went on a cruise...she had this nice big Coca Cola cup at work. I commented on it and she said "It better be nice, I paid $60 for it!' She got in on her cruise, paid one price so she could refill it the whole trip rather than pay for each drink.

Another said she was offered what she thought were complimentary drinks only to find them added to their room to be paid at the end of the trip.

Little stuff like that is how some are nickled and dimed. All inclusive? Everything is included. No special packages to buy. Just paid in full, whatever you want whenever you want it
I feel more comfortable with a travel agent making big trip arrangements. And mine is a friend so I also like to support her business.

I felt similarly to you before we did our first cruise. We did a Mediterranean cruise and enjoyed it immensely. Got the free drink package promo when we booked, opted not to pay extra for the premium drink package, didn't buy a specialty restaurant package, and the only purchases that cost anything were stuff from the gift shop.

Yes, you only got a day in each port, but at least from that, if it was somewhere you loved, you could plan a trip to that specific destination For us, the cruise took us to many places that we simply couldn't afford to make full trips out of. Europe isn't cheap. We learned that a day in Athens was enough, and a day in Rhodes and Santorini wasn't enough.

I do like all-inclusives but my husband isn't the type to lay on a beach for a week because he says he could just lay around at home for free. He also fries in the sun. While I love all-inclusives and doing nothing, I do see his point too that he'd rather feel like he was getting something more for his money than he could get for almost the same by staying home. Sure our house doesn't have the Caribbean Sea next to it, but for the limited vacation time we get each year, I get that he wants to experience and see more of the world and not just lounge around. we had two full days at sea on the cruise so it was a good balance of sightseeing and relaxing.
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberty2011 View Post
I feel more comfortable with a travel agent making big trip arrangements. And mine is a friend so I also like to support her business.

I felt similarly to you before we did our first cruise. We did a Mediterranean cruise and enjoyed it immensely. Got the free drink package promo when we booked, opted not to pay extra for the premium drink package, didn't buy a specialty restaurant package, and the only purchases that cost anything were stuff from the gift shop.

Yes, you only got a day in each port, but at least from that, if it was somewhere you loved, you could plan a trip to that specific destination For us, the cruise took us to many places that we simply couldn't afford to make full trips out of. Europe isn't cheap. We learned that a day in Athens was enough, and a day in Rhodes and Santorini wasn't enough.

I do like all-inclusives but my husband isn't the type to lay on a beach for a week because he says he could just lay around at home for free. He also fries in the sun. While I love all-inclusives and doing nothing, I do see his point too that he'd rather feel like he was getting something more for his money than he could get for almost the same by staying home. Sure our house doesn't have the Caribbean Sea next to it, but for the limited vacation time we get each year, I get that he wants to experience and see more of the world and not just lounge around. we had two full days at sea on the cruise so it was a good balance of sightseeing and relaxing.
My boyfriend doesn't like to lay in the sun and I do, so we always have to find a spot that offers shade and sun side by side

As I said in the other thread, I was certain I would be bored just laying by the ocean for days, but I got over that quickly and can't wait to do it again.

I can see the appeal of being able to visit multiple places on one trip, but it's all on THEIR schedule so I am not interested.
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