2020 Best Small Ship Cruise Line Windstar Cruises

Cruse (Canrival / Royal Caribbean)Stock Holder Cruise Discount/Credits

Questions:
Has anyone used the "stock" discount for the cruises?
Is this a good time to do this?
I can't find the thread I found someone mention to get credits on cruises as shareholders. I found a link below saying I need 100. One doesn't have a link to FAQs, the other shows a PDF but says its through July 31, 2010.
100 shares of Carnival Corporation @ 11 = $1100 100 shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. @ 34 = $3400
Found at https://www.cruisecompete.com/shareholderbenefits.php
Cruise Shareholder Benefits Instructions
Cruise travelers who own at least 100 shares of stock in Carnival Corporation (CCL) or Royal Caribbean (RCL) can receive up to $250 in onboard credits during their next vacation at sea. Just follow the instructions below to secure your shareholder benefit.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Royal Caribbean International Celebrity Cruises Azamara Cruises The onboard credit is offered exclusively to shareholders that directly own a minimum of 100 shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. at time of booking. To take advantage of this offer, the following items must be submitted:
A photocopy of your shareholder proxy card or a current brokerage statement showing proof of ownership of at least 100 shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Your name (the owner of the 100 shares will receive the onboard credit.) Your home address, telephone number and e-mail address Your ship and sailing date Your confirmation number Your Captain's Club or Crown & Anchor Society Number (if any) Please send the above to:
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Investor Benefit P.O. Box 02511 Miami, FL 33102-5511
Alternatively, you may fax all of the required documentation (in a single fax) to 305/539.4645, or mail .jpeg images of all required documentation to [email protected].
Note: RCL has imposed additional restrictions about how benefits can be used and combined with other offers. See RCL's FAQ for more details.
Carnival Corporation Carnival Cruise Lines Princess Cruises Holland America Costa Windstar Seabourn Cunard Line The onboard credit is available exclusively to shareholders holding a minimum of 100 shares of Carnival Corporation or Carnival Plc. Employees, travel agents cruising at travel agent rates, tour conductors or anyone cruising on a reduced-rate or complimentary pass are excluded from this offer.
This benefit is not transferable, no combinable with any other shipboard offer and cannot be used for casino credits/charges and gratuities charged to your onboard account. Only one onboard credit per shareholder-occupied stateroom.
Shareholders must provide the following information with the initial deposit to your travel agent:
Name Proof of ownership of Carnival Corporation or Carnival plc shares (i.e. photocopy of shareholder proxy card, shares certificate or a current brokerage or nominee statement). Reservation number Ship and sailing date See Carnival's official announcement here.
Extra: Reddit search is so bad
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Understanding the Different Types of Cruiseslines

Hello all,
I work with Expedia Cruiseshipcenters as a Cruise Consultant. I thought I'd make this list to help those thinking of booking a first cruise. Feel free to ask me any questions about individual lines.
Types of Cruiselines
Mainstream - Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Costa (Italian line), MSC (Italian line but has North American presence), Fred Olsen (British line), Pullmantur (Spanish line), AIDA (German line)
Mainstream lines cater to a wide variety of price conscious individuals, couples and families. These ships tend to run the gamut in terms of facilities that offer something for everyone. Water slides, silly pool games, Vegas style evening shows, huge casinos, sports activities ranging from bowling to miningolf. You name it they've got it. Perfect cruiselines for families with children but also great for couples just looking for a fun time.
Expect lots of extra fees ranging from alcohol to specialty restaurants, to specialty coffee. Most of these ships are literally designed to filter passengers into monetization areas such as the casino, shops, spa, bars etc. Complaints of "Nickle and diming" are frequent.
Different mainstream lines offer a different flavor of experience. Carnival offers a VERY price conscious product. Norwegian is famous for dining options and freestyle (i.e. Relaxed clothing) cruises. MSC let's kids under age 12 sail free and feels very European/Italian when on board. RCCL has some of the biggest ships at sea and is huge on sports activities. Costa sails mostly European itineraries.
The majority of new builds are HUGE. 4000 plus passengers or worse (or better depending on your perspective)
Service ratios operate at approx 3:1 - three passengers for every one crew member.
Typically cabins can be snagged at incredible rates. These cruiselines offer great value on the dollar. Mainstream cruise lines also offer some of the most lavish suites at sea if money is no object.
Premium - Celebrity, Princess, Holland America, P & O (British line)
Premium cruiselines tend to attract a slightly more older and affluent crowd. Relaxation is the name of the game, think country club casual but one targeting a still price conscious customer. You won't find water slides and rock climbing walls on these cruise lines but you will find upscale dining options (even in the complimentary dining areas), and activities that tend to be more sedate (wine tastings, trivia, bingo, high tea, bridge, lectures). While traditionally these cruises attracted an older crowd, the times are a changing. One may even argue that the line between premium and mainstream are blurring in the last few years. Children club offerings are expanding on these lines and it's common nowadays to see families on shorter 7 day Caribbean sailings. Pricing on these lines used to come at a premium but nowadays you can find comparable rates on some of the mainstream lines offerings. Premium cruise lines also suffer from the nickel and diming complaints heard on mainstream lines ... monetization is a big thing on these ships just like mainstream lines. Also like the mainstream lines these ships (the newest ones) are huge with upwards of 4000 passengers on the largest. The majority of these fleets do have decent mid sized options.
Service ratios run at around 2:1 - two passenger per every crew member
Premium Plus/Deluxe - Oceania, Azamara, Viking
These cruiselines offer a truly upscale experience. Smaller ships ranging from 100 - 700 passengers max with usually at least a 1:2 passenger to crew ratio -- one passenger for every two crew.
Gourmet food, all included, usually even the Specialty restaurants as well. Expect ships to feel practically empty ... the passenger space ratios are almost double mainstream and premium cruise lines. Cabins are nice but comparable to mainstream lines. Different premium plus cruise lines offer different inclusions. One might offer wine with dinner, another might offer free airfare, yet another might throw in a free excursion. Most of these ships offer long day in port far longer than mainstream lines.
Service levels on these lines are intense and expect itineraries that have ports massive mainstream cruise lines cannot get to.
Edit: Viking really is a category of its own somewhere between Premium Plus and Luxury.
Luxury - Seabourn, Silverseas, Regent Seven Seas, Crystal, Sea Dream, Ponant (French line), Hapag-Lloyd (German line)
$$$$$$$$. Big bucks. All inclusive (except for Hapag-Lloyd which you need to be rich to sail on). Offer the most inclusions of all cruiselines. All alcoholic beverages. Often all excursions. Transport to town from port. Butler service. Some include air. Gourmet food that is unbelievable. Most ships only offer suites (the class above balcony).
These ships offer an intimate experience where staff cater to whims and desires you didn't even realize you had. Most ships are small passenger wise 300 - 700 passengers but often are as large space wise as mid sized mainstream cruise ships that would have triple the passengers.
Service ratios as high as 1:2 - one passenger for every two crew.
Ship in a Ship - MSC The Yacht Club, Norwegian Cruise Line The Haven
These restricted enclaves offer a luxury cruise experience on mainstream cruise lines. Essentially parts of a mainstream cruise ship are restricted to passengers via key card access who have paid a (much) higher fare for access. Top of the line cabins with premium linens and toiletries, private restaurant with gourmet food offerings, private pool, private sundeck, butler service and other inclusions such as Thermal Suite access (MSC), free newspaper of choice, complimentary alcohol (MSC) etc. Much higher crew to passenger ratios, heightened service.
Why choose ship in a ship versus premium plus or luxury? Mainstream ships tend to offer far better facilities for families and activities for kids/teenagers. Going the ship in a ship route allows parents to get a luxury experience while still keeping their children happy. Even for those without kids, mainstream cruise ships are often huge with lots of action that premium plus and luxury lines cannot match. Ship in a ship offers the best of both worlds.
Specialty - Cunard (Transatlantic), Disney, Windstar, Club Med, Paul Gauginon, Voyages to Antiquity
Cunard is the only "dedicated" Transatlantic passenger line and the QM2 the only passenger "liner" (not a cruise ship in terms of ship design). Very formal culture. Expect to dress up (bring a few suits). Has class system on board .. but even the lowest class offers a spectacular cruise.
Disney - I feel Disney is a different experience from the other lines due to the character tie ins. If I was to rank service I'd say Disney is a blend between premium and premium plus. Still mega ships like mainstream and premium lines but service ratios are VERY VERY good. Lots of kids (obviously). Expect to pay a lot for the Disney name ... but a Disney cruise does offer a lot to families.
Windstar is all about small ship cruising. Ships carry 100 - 300 passengers on their motorized sailboat yachts and up to 200 on their yachts. Typically will spend a week hitting ports in one country (British Virgin Islands for example). Long port days (7 am - 11 pm for example). All food is made from local port ingredients. A very unique experience.
Paul Gauguin is a specialty line that focuses on Tahiti and South Pacific cruises. This cruise line's ship has been specially built to be able to get into places normal cruise ships can't reach. In terms of service, closer to the premium plus category.
Club Med offers that Club Med experience on the Club Med 2. Same type of motorized sailboat Yacht as Windstar.
Voyages to Antiquity offers a Mediterranean or Asian cruise that has a huge focus on cultural excursions. Premium plus level service.
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Home Poker game

I used to play quite a bit of poker when I lived closer to a casino, but I really don't like driving all the way down to Windstar or the Grand just to play. Does anybody know of any home poker games that would be welcoming to a newcomer? Cash or tounrey style, doesn't matter to me.
Thanks guys!
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