B2B PROS AND CONS

There have been a few items noted on this site regarding Back to Back cruises. I have been on one only, although at the time of booking I was unaware it was a B2B.

I discovered the following,

Internet packages, When you buy a package it is only good for each portion, not the whole trip. Unless you specify the whole trip and make sure it is valid the whole time. There was much discussion on the cruise I was on about this matter.

Spa packages, We learned this the hard way. I was my fault as an inexperienced cruiser, I did not read the fine print. Spas are operated out of a private company on board. They are under no obligation to extend the package you buy for a 10 day cruise, to the other days tagged on to a combined itinerary. AND they don't tell you this at the time of purchase.

Transition day.

This has happened to friends. They have to leave the ship and go through customs on land and re-board. On our cruise, we were able to go to the MDR and get all this done, then have breakfast. This is not always the case. Verify with the cruise line before booking and re check once on board.

Cabin changes.

We had the same cabin for the whole cruise. I have heard that this may not always be true. I would like to hear from those who had to change cabins.

Billing.

Princess only billed me once for the whole cruise. Our friends had to pay up at the end of the first leg of the cruise on MCL. I do not know what other lines do. Comments?

Pictures

You have to buy out your packages if desired and restart at the next leg.

Now with the advent of drink packages and other packages and parcels that the cruise lines are now offering" usually the nickel and dime stuff" How will those be monitored and charged on combined itineraries? Any thoughts.

I am seriously looking at the NCL Pearl through Panama to Vancouver B.C. for April 2016. They have a warning regarding combined cruises that was not available when I looked last year. So they may be pro acting to concerns that have come up. This itinerary is different than Princess with more Mexico west side than the Caribbean  east side. What can I expect on the Mexico side?

Thanks

Tags: B2B thoughts and ideas.

4 Answers

B2Bs count as two separate cruises. All packages must be purchased for each week separately.

There are no cons. It's a two week cruise 😎

We have been on several B2B cruises. It was handled seamlessly by the staff. We were led as a group to the front of the line for immigration. We didn't go through customs until the final cruise. We did have to go off the ship. We always kept our same staterooms.

We have B2B'd on Royal Carib and Celebrity and have plans to do a couple B2B on Princess in 2016.  So far, we see that B2B experience depends on the line itself.

Internet packages. Neither RC nor CC allowed Internet packages to cross over from one cruise to the next.

Spa packages. We had a couple complimentary spa treatments included in our cruises but they had to be taken on the specific cruise they were awarded for and could not be transferred forward or backward.

Transition day. For CC, we gathered in a lounge area near guest services. When the passenger count was zero'd out, we were escorted off the ship and back on. It was rather silly because we literally marched around the customs desks and got back on.  For RC, we gathered in one of the larger lounges, turned in our sea pass cards so they could zero out their count right in the lounge. Once the ship cleared, we all got our new sea pass cards and stayed on board.  I believe that the difference in process was due to our being in the U.S.A. for the CC turnaround versus being in Denmark for the RC one.

Cabin changes.  We did not book our previous B2B cruises far enough ahead of time to get the same cabin for each leg. Lesson learned. We have a number of upcoming trips that are B2Bs.  Because we booked far enough ahead, we got the same staterooms for every trip.  A tip for individuals requiring an accessible cabin for B2B trips, look waaaay into the future.  We booked 2017 B2Bs on Celebrity Eclipse and were able to get the same accessible Sky Suite for all four legs.

Billing. RC and CC close out their books at the end of each leg.  This sounds like it is a very line-specific issue so do your research if this is an important issue.

Laundry service.  CC provided us with two free laundry vouchers for each of our B2B legs. RC did nothing... nada... zippo.  This was rather disappointing actually.

Assistance with changing cabins.  Both lines provided us with help to move from one cabin to the next. On this point, RC did a better job with both communicating the assistance and the level of assistance. 

Another perk for B2B was a special recognition gift. This is line specific as well. Celebrity sent a bottle of champagne.  When we returned it (because we do not drink alcohol), they sent chocolates and fruit and cheese.  RC did nothing... nada... zippo. Again, disappointing.

Thank a for the post, I have done one and it was no trouble. Cons I am on ship not sure there can be a con.

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