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About AllisonJames

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Highland Village, Texas
  • Interests
    Golf, travel, wine, reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Azamara, Seabourn, Princess
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Northern Europe

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  1. We're on the POA sailing 12/28 and don't leave until 10:30 p.m when we disembark on 1/4. I couldn't find a hotel with day room rates (since it's a holiday week many hotels seem to be at capacity) -- Marriott gave me a few hotels to check out but they didn't have them. We decided to just book a hotel room even though we aren't staying over, it's not cheap but the cruise is so expensive for five of us (and for five nights at Turtle Bay resort before the trip) that at this point it seems like Monopoly money and worth it so we can store our luggage, relax and shower after a day at the beach. We're at Courtyard Waikiki, not as pricey as some of the others and no resort fee.
  2. Beachiekeen -- How long did it take you to get from the ship to Kaanapali? We'd like our second day in Maui to be a beach day and trying to figure out logistics. Our kids have fond memories of that area during their first trip to Maui 15 years ago and want to return, since there's so much to do right there.
  3. Finally! I’ve been looking for these since April. Sure wish Seabourn would post itineraries earlier for those of us who really have to plan ahead...but I see some very nice choices for Summer 2021 so thank you Seabourn!
  4. Thank you for this review -- I'll be on POA with my family of five 12/28/19 so it is very helpful! I do have a question about Kauai -- can you walk to the Marriott complex and the beach from the ship? We were in Kauai last Christmas and had dinner at Duke's there on our way to the airport and since it's a very short day in port I thought that would be a good place to go, I wasn't sure how close it was but you mentioned walking to Kalapaki Beach . . .
  5. To each his/her own. We find the wine selection really lacking at the AZ price point and it’s one of the reasons we are looking at other lines. On our cruise on Journey in July, we were challenged to find whites especially that we liked. Even the ones we purchased were not very good and the overall selection for purchase onboard extremely limited, so in our opinion even getting any of the beverage packages doesn’t address the issue. One of the included chardonnays, Dark Horse, retails in our area for 6.99 a bottle. Surely AZ can do better than that! Our biggest disappointment as we love AZ for other reasons.
  6. We have never had an issue getting a Chef’s Table, we always book specialties as soon as we board. My other piece of advice is to consider a Chef’s Table early in the cruise...we cruise on our own and find it is a great way to meet other guests! We love Discoveries and like to schedule our dinners so we strategically intersperse the specialties with our Discoveries dinners so we don’t get bored with one location. We don’t get a suite and find the Chef’s Table plus two gives us enough variety on a 12 night cruise, especially when including the White Night, and maybe one dinner at the Patio (we never eat at the buffet for dinner).
  7. Can’t wait! We’re on Crystal Bach Amsterdam to Basel next June — our first river cruise — and are considering sailing Crystal Ocean for the first time so really looking forward to your posts!
  8. We sailed Viking Star out of Barcelona in December 2017 and for several weeks before there was a lot of media coverage on riots. When we got to Barcelona there weren’t any issues at all. We passed by one minor demonstration when we were walking around but that was it. We felt very safe and loved Barcelona! The food was awesome and the people were lovely.
  9. So impressed with how early Crystal gets itineraries released, really appreciated by those of us who plan way in advance. In comparison, Seabourn still doesn’t have Summer 2021 out for all its ships...
  10. Marmaduke -- my experience was just the same. I was actually glad to get the call since there was a shore excursion where the length of time was clearly incorrect and didn't match with the description and I was interested in the excursion but couldn't figure out why 12 hours were scheduled when we were going somewhere that was located only a little way outside the city. But they could not answer any of my questions or even direct me to someone who could. Just useless. And they had called and said "we were checking to see why you hadn't signed up for any excursions" and when they couldn't answer any of my questions I said "well, now you know why I haven't signed up for any!"
  11. Heartfelttraveler, we are also doing the Rhine Amsterdam to Basel in June 2020 — what boat are you on? We’ll be on Crystal Bach, our first-ever river cruise.
  12. Thanks for the link to the video. I’ve been following all the posts with great interest but after seeing the video, I am not excited about the interior design and ambiance. I’m sure they were going for very sleek and modern, but to me it is stark, lacks color and warmth and much of the furniture looks uncomfortable. So much black, white and gray. I’m sure it’s an amazing ship, just not for me.
  13. Regarding young adults on AZ -- only you know your kids and how well they do entertaining themselves. Ours are 22 and 27, have cruised quite a bit on the larger ships which they love and would be bored out of their minds on AZ so we'd never choose AZ for a family trip. Our last cruise with them was the Mediterranean on Viking Star, which is a larger ship with slightly more facilities (incredible, complimentary indoor spa area with snow room, hot tubs, steam room, resistance pool, etc. which they enjoyed). It was a holiday week so we thought they'd end up meeting lots of others their age but there weren't that many and we ended up spending a lot of time playing games as a family at night. Amazingly, we actually found Viking a bit quieter at night than AZ. It was nice to spend time together but they were looking for more dancing, music and fun activities at night with others in their age group. But it was a port-intensive cruise so we did a lot during the day. Some AZ cruises are so port-intensive and they can go out in the port at night so that would make a difference, too. And at the AZ price point, it's not a good value for us as a family, we choose Princess and NCL for our family trips, much more for everyone to do.
  14. Kudos to RCL for the quick response in sending ships to the area to provide disaster relief and how nice all the guests are pitching in to help feed everyone during this terrible time. May God Bless everyone impacted in the Bahamas and the situation in North Carolina is looking terrible as well. I am a property owner on Hilton Head, SC and we were lucky HH escaped major damage but others are suffering terribly. My heart goes out to everyone and Thank you RCL!
  15. I have been vocal on this board about the AZ "sales" due to the price manipulations so you really have to track your prices, know what you are willing to pay and know what you have previously committed to pay if you want to rebook. At this time, our May 2020 13 night Wine & Romance Perry Golf voyage we booked onboard last year appears to be at least $2,500 less than what we've already booked for, even taking into account onboard/LCV discounts. I say "appears to be" because the booking engine keeps skipping over the actual payment summary page and taking me to the page where you provide a credit card and make a deposit so I'm not 100% sure. So that would be a good deal for us to rebook. Unfortunately, as Murphy's Law would have it, it's a cruise we decided to cancel anyway. Just confirms my decision not to book onboard anymore and wait for lower prices. And tracking prices on a spreadsheet is really smart to save money! Also, for the poster who asked about cycles of sales, I have consistently seen the double upgrade promotion offered around September since 2015. It can be a good promotion for those of us who want the balcony category. I've just only had one instance up until now (our very first cruise) where the price was lower during the sale and we rebooked. So that's 2 out of 5 total cruises booked which is not a bad percentage. Worth taking a look if you have current bookings.
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