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AllisonJames

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  • Content Count

    673
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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, Viking
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Northern Europe

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  1. Hi Keith, thanks from all of us who can only dream of a World Cruise and for providing future inspiration for our retirement! Belated comment about your beautiful ad for Crystal — in the last year I have really noticed the difference in Crystal’s ads (which show actual guests we can relate to) in contrast to other lines (Oceania springs to mind) which seem to show models in ridiculously posed formal and glitzy aspects that. Are me think, gee, we won’t fit in on THAT line, we are just regular people! So thanks to you both for helping with a great marketing campaign and by the way, you probably know this by now—you have the entire back cover of Porthole Magazine — well done!
  2. Just off POA 1/4/20 -- our port-side balcony stateroom was worth the cost for the balcony on two days: we missed Kona due to high seas and being unable to tender and had an unexpected sea day cruising the Molokai Sea Cliffs and the last day cruising of the Napali Coast. The decks were packed and it was much nicer viewing from our balcony. The rest of the time (as others have posted) not much of a view when we were docked....
  3. Thanks for your insight and enabling me to dream . . . can't wait to read more!
  4. Roland4, thank you for this thread and as a working professional who currently cannot take a cruise longer than two weeks, I will happily follow along and dream! #retirementgoals 😊 !!! You implemented the same strategy we’d like to try: cruising on the shorter segments first before making the leap to a full world itinerary, so I am particularly interested in your thoughts on how the full world experience might seem or feel different to you than 28-35 days. One challenge we have is my husband doesn’t love many consecutive sea days which tend to be prevalent on a World Cruise. If someone could figure out how to put a golf course on a ship that would solve the problem! Happy sailing from this very envious worker bee!
  5. From this board I know a drydock is planned and one renovation is removing the aft staterooms, however, I couldn’t find any other specifics and there’s no mention of it on the website. Anyone have more info?
  6. Thank you that is very helpful! Much better than payment in full 18 month out!
  7. Couldn’t find the terms of this on the website. I’ve been very vocal about disliking Viking’s very early payment in full requirement, twice I looked into booking but refuse to pay them in full 18 months in advance when other lines are payment four months out. But, I really liked our Viking Ocean cruise and the design/ambience of the ships — also, their shorter itineraries are appealing to us as working professionals with limited vacation time. Anyone have specifics about the “reduced deposit, pay later” promotion?
  8. Notamermaid — Happy New Year and thank you so much for all your reports! Sailing on our very first river cruise - Crystal Bach - Amsterdam to Basel, June 21 - and happy to report on conditions at that time! Also any advice you have on destinations much appreciated as it’s our first time in the region.
  9. Thank you everyone. This cruise was booked in August 2018 and we did not receive those handouts. And yes, we can’t go on this one and wanted to change to another in 2021.
  10. Beverage package value -- I guess it all depends on how much and what you drink but we've run every different scenario on them and it has never been worth it. Part depends on how many sea days since AZ is port-intensive so we tend to be off the ship a lot. Also, we totally dislike the included wines (especially the whites) but the available wines to purchase (either in the package or by the bottle) are no better. We ended up buying some bottles we liked off the ship and bringing them on. Maybe if you drink a lot of higher end whiskeys or mixed drinks beverage package works out...FYI, we just took our family on NCL Pride of America in Hawaii (last time on AZ was July) and the drink prices were quite a bit higher on NCL than AZ -- example: Grand Marnier on NCL was $16, Grey Goose & tonic $17, on AZ I think GM is $8 or $9. For us, it's always been better just to use onboard credit to purchase a few selected bottles (if we can find something we like), drink the included red wines (slightly better than the whites) and use credit to purchase some cocktails here and there. But everyone is different.
  11. Bonnie and Hiccups -- thanks for your response. Yes, it was an actual booking that we were not 100% sure we would be able to do but were advised we could rebook, avoid the cancellation fee and keep all the onboard benefits. Unfortunately, my travel agent is often told things by Miami that are not the same as we were told onboard. This is just one more reason we will not book onboard ever again (if we even take another AZ cruise). Between all the misinformation and the fact that usually there are better prices by waiting a while (as is the case for this booking) it's just not worth it. At this point, if we still intended to go on the cruise we booked we'd eat the $150 cancellation fee (we are still a few weeks away from the 4-month cancellation penalty timeframe) and could rebook right now at a much lower cost. And the prices will probably be dropped again inside of 4 months anyway.
  12. Sigh. Anyone have success keeping their onboard booking benefits when rebooking an existing reservation? I specifically inquired about this onboard and was told I could rebook once and keep the benefits. But, shocker, my travel agent has been told no, can't keep them if I rebook. Curious if anyone has had a different outcome? Was thinking of moving on from AZ and I guess this seals that deal on that.
  13. We've sailed on AZ and Viking and Silversea, although it's been quite some time since SS. We are now looking to move on from AZ because we are especially disappointed in the quality of the wines and we are seeking food and wine a step above AZ. We feel AZ's value is slipping and the quality is not matching the price point. We definitely had a higher level experience on SS, better food and wine, larger standard stateroom, slightly higher level of service. Maybe a little too much service. I don't need someone to carry my plate from the buffet and we don't really need butler-type attention. SS was perhaps a bit too formal (not a fan of formal nights) in ambience and service. I thought Viking was very comparable to AZ except the new ships are so much nicer (but also bigger with 950 people). If I could combine AZ's ambience and low-key approach with SS or Seabourn food and wine it would be a win-win for me! If I did a world-cruise, I'd probably choose Viking for all the amenities and because I loved the ship (more indoor amenities -- pools, hot tubs, extensive spa, solarium, etc.) and much better for a long cruise.
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