It was a disaster. It rained the whole time.
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I thought cruise ships were supposed to avoid bad weather and go somewhere else if there was a storm. Ours just kept sailing in a rainstorm for four days. Am I entitled to a refund or credit? — Crushed Cruiser
Dear Crushed: The sad truth is that while a hurricane may cause a cruise ship to change course, plain rain does not.
"It's the same as if you book a hotel and it rains the whole time — cruise lines aren't responsible for bad weather. If there was something dangerous, like a hurricane, then they might change the itinerary, but they don't do anything for rain and don't owe anyone for it," says Erica Silverstein, features editor at CruiseCritic.com.
While cruise brochures look pretty, just realize that reality does not always match the pictures. This fall in particular, the weather has been very volatile in the Caribbean.
It still is worth writing to Royal Caribbean with your sad story, just to see if they will take pity on a long-time credit card holder who saved up six long years to take a cruise.
Dear Travel Diva: I booked a round-trip ticket to Germany through United Airlines. I fly there on United but back on United's code-share partner Lufthansa. On United's website, I was able to choose a seat only for the United flight. How can I get a seat on the Lufthansa leg? — Left Behind
Dear Behind: Look closely at the United reservation. It should display a confirmation code not only for United but also for Lufthansa. Go to the Lufthansa website, type in the code, and call up your reservation on the Lufthansa site. It should let you book a seat on the Lufthansa flight. Your selection will soon show up on the United reservation.
Alternatively, call Lufthansa and tell them you are having problems reserving a seat and ask for help. Don't arrive at the airport without a seat if at all possible.
Dear Travel Diva: Is it ever cheaper or a good idea to book two one-way flights for a round-trip journey? — Coming and Going
Dear Coming: Yes. Although round-trips are usually cheaper, sometimes it pays to look at two one-way tickets instead. Check it out especially when you want to combine flights on airlines you can't book together on a search site (like Southwest and Spirit).
Business travelers often book two one-ways when booking an overnight business trip. Airlines don't like it, but if they had saner pricing on quick-turnaround flights, business travelers wouldn't feel the need to do it.
Ellen Creager: firstname.lastname@example.org