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Ken the cruiser

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About Ken the cruiser

  • Rank
    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Alabama
  • Interests
    Farming, bees and cruising
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess, Celebrity and Crystal
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Anywhere there are animals

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  1. Thought I'd post an update. So as of today, the Azamara Quest (Feb 2, 2022), Celebrity Silhouette (Jan 30, 2022) and now the Oceania Marina (Jan 8, 2022) are all offering Antarctica "drive by" itineraries. With two cruise lines, RCI and NCL, breaking the Polar Code ranks and scheduling Antarctica cruises after Jan 1, 2022, it will be interesting to see what Princess and HAL offer once they release their early 2022 itineraries.
  2. Which cruise and time frame is this one? I can't seem to find it on the 2021-2022 itineraries just posted. Update: I found it. It's an Antarctica cruise starting Jan 8, 2022.
  3. Those sound pretty interesting. Unfortunately, when it comes to Cunard and their requirement for men to wear a sports coat (as a minimum) every evening after 6 pm in most parts of the ship, we have no desire to cruise with them.
  4. That's right. You mentioned that earlier. Did you enjoy them? The reason I ask is because HAL's entertainment offerings having been sliding for the past few years, but we were really impressed by our recent main theater experience on the Maasdam going around Australia. So it will be nice to hear the quality main theater entertainment experience we encountered on that 40 day cruise, both in the evening and on sea days, is expanding rather than continuing to decline across the fleet. BTW those prices I mentioned above were for upcoming Oct 2021 cruises.
  5. I guess that's what worries us the most when in comes to booking a HAL transoceanic cruise, especially when Celebrity offers 2-3 "guest" lectures on each sea day and we can get either a sky suite or aqua class cabin (depending on the TO cruise) with all the perks for around $200 pp/day. On a HAL transatlantic cruise, with only promotional perks included (if any), a vista suite usually runs $300+ pp/day and a signature suite runs $425+ pp/day.
  6. Is it fair to assume the refundable deposit on your existing booking became nonrefundable (or at least $100 pp of it) once you got the fare reduced to the nonrefundable rate?
  7. We just got off the Island and were in one of their aft-facing suites for 25 days! Besides the free laundry, breakfast in Sabatini's was one of the best suite perks they offer! They had unique breakfast dishes as well as quality pastries and rolls. They also give you a pot of coffee, if you like coffee like I do, rather than you having to continually ask for refills. Definitely one of the suite perks you do not want to overlook!
  8. Good to hear this. Hope you're right. Based on what you're saying, it will be interesting to see what itineraries both above and below the 60 degree parallel HAL and Princess will be posting post once they release their Jan - Apr 2022 itineraries. We've been to Greenland a few times, but the Polar Ice Cap is still on our bucket list.
  9. In the past we have initially booked different Celebrity Antarctica cruises twice and each time we have subsequently cancelled them to go on a HAL Antarctica cruise in Jan 2018 and then for an upcoming Princess cruise in Jan 2021. We have also booked another HAL one in Nov 2020 to go to Antarctica as well as see the solar eclipse on the same cruise in early December off the coast of Argentina. The only reason we cancelled the two Celebrity Antarctica cruises we initially booked was because when we looked closer, they only actually spend 2 days cruising around the Antarctica peninsula rather than 4 days like both Princess and HAL do. If you look at the X itineraries it looks like you spend time at 4 different stops. You do, but when you look at the actual dates of those stops, the time period covers just 2 days. We really enjoy X cruises, but, hey, it's Antarctica and we want to spend as much time cruising around there as possible. The wildlife and scenery is just too awesome!!
  10. We also enjoyed our Maasdam In Depth EXC cruise just before yours around Australia. We're hoping the positive feedback from the new Maasdam in-depth program, especially with regards to the lectures, would spill over onto their other cruises as the Maasdam only sails in the Pacific from what we can tell. You would think they would be able to entice some lecturers with a free cruise in one of their empty ocean view cabins.
  11. We have and they were GREAT!! We've also consistently had some very good ones on Celebrity, Oceania and Princess cruises. But, you are correct, Crystal by far has the best ones we've heard.
  12. We're in our mid 60s and find ourselves as of late enjoying cruises with a lot more sea days with 2-3 professional lectures provided on most of those days. For example we were really spoiled on a recent 40 day Maasdam In-depth EXC cruise around Australia and some New Caledonia Islands with 5-6 lectures every sea day. Also in Jan 2018 we took a 22 day Antarctica cruise and were treated to 2-3 professional lectures on most of the sea days. However, on all of our other 7-15 day HAL cruises we've been on, the only thing we would experience in this area were port talks which we're fine with if we wanted to know where to shop or find out about things to do at an upcoming port. Were these exceptions to the rule, as these were quite unique cruises, or is it common practice now for HAL to provide professionally given lectures on all of their 15+ day non-B2B cruises? BTW we do not consider a port talk or any talk for that matter given by the EXC staff as a professionally given lecture. We're really interested to hear if HAL provides professional lectures on their transoceanic cruises. Any thoughts will be appreciated.
  13. The reason the fares are now more expensive is probably because they added 2 more days (Lofoten Islands and another day at sea) to the cruise whereas the Oct 2020 one is only 12 days. And @Thrak is right, it's always best if you can to book as early as possible and make sure it's with a refundable deposit just in case something happens before final payment is due.
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