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About wishIweretravelling

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Triangle area, NC
  • Interests
    travel, reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Regent Seven Seas
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. In most circumstances, I'd agree. But this isn't a house party. There's a bar at the venue, and the snacks are usually easy to supplement. It's almost always in one corner of a larger venue. But truth is, I've never been to a M&M where everyone who signed up showed up, so there will undoubtedly be plenty of everything to spare.
  2. Ask on your roll call where and when it is, and just go.
  3. Thanks. That aspect hadn’t occurred to me, though it explains why small groups are not offered on any of the walking tours. Which is where I’d thought they’d be most useful. Yes, it says limited to 16. I just wondered if there was any other difference.
  4. Tomorrow starts sign-up for excursions for a cruise I’ve booked for August. This is the first one I’ve been on that offers small-group excursions for an upcharge. The upcharges range from $39 to $99. Two questions for those who have experienced excursions on a cruise offering these: 1. If you stick with the included version of the excursion that also has a small-group version, do they put more people than usual on the included version? My experience with Regent has been an average of 25-30 people on an excursion. Does this still hold? 2. Is there any difference with the small group, other than fewer people?
  5. As others have said, they try not to overcrowd the buses. 25-30 people seems to be about average for bus-based tours. Trouble hearing the guides is a mixed bag, but usually not a problem. Walking tours seem to have slightly smaller groups.
  6. Ah! I forgot the round trip aspect. Sorry. And it looks like the prices might have gone up on bags.
  7. Are you sure about those baggage fee amounts? American charges $25 for the first bag, $35 for the second, for a total of $60 per person or $120 overall for two people and four bags. Unless you expect the bags to exceed 50 lbs.
  8. Seven Seas Society night usually means miso-glazed sea bass on the menu. It depends on the itinerary, but that often coincides with a sea day. Alas, you won’t know what night it will be until you are onboard. Once onboard, you can try to get another reservation in the specialty restaurants. You stand a much better chance if you are willing to share, and will take an odd time—usually very early or very late.
  9. Is the 2022 on Crystal? If so, there's a roll call already underway. Come join in at
  10. As you know, I was on that cruise as well. Also no problems.
  11. And it works as such. A friend, whose only cruise experience was Carnival, visited me on the Navigator. She now has a booking on Splendor.
  12. No direct experience, but I did talk to someone who had the medical center store her meds. This was a lengthy "grand voyage" cruise, so there wasn't enough space in the room fridge for the full supply. She did retrieve a few days at a time and keep those in the room fridge, to keep from having to traipse down to the med center every day. I seem to recall her saying that her TA advised Regent ahead of time about the need for this, and I imagine that she let the stewardess know to leave it alone in the fridge.
  13. I just disembarked the Symphony yesterday in Miami. There was some delay in getting the baggage out, something Miami is known for, but once that was done, the movement from gangway to transportation was smooth as could be.
  14. And with all of the above, said, here's a couple more subjects to address: Excursions. I took only one of the ship's excursions: the Chichen Itza by motor coach tour. Well, actually by taxi, ferry, and then motor coach. It was billed as a 9-hour tour, but was actually 11 hours. More on that in a second. It was a long day of traveling, but the description had made that clear. But it was well worth it. The guide was superb and the site fascinating, even if it was filled was hawkers selling souvenirs. Everyone needs to make a living. There were 17 of us on the tour, including the escort from the ship (Sara, the cashier from the casino), so it was a nice-sized group. Whispers were handed out, so we could always hear the guide clearly. They also provided a tablet pre-programmed with an interactive map about the site. Alas, the battery died before the first hour was up, so that turned out to be just another thing to have to carry around. But it was helpful while it lived. Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication between the ship and the tour company as to the timing. Crystal had indicated we'd be back by 5:30. Our guide kept saying we were running on time, but it soon became clear that the travel time math wasn't adding up. Indeed, we only just made all aboard at 7:30. This is where having the escort from the ship helped. She arranged with the ferry for us to use the crew exit to get us off without going through the long line to exit, then had a couple of the guys from Destinations Services waiting to help us get back. I have to say that this disconnect between the ship and the tour operator was consistent with some past experiences on Crystal. No one does the shipboard experience better, but things do have a way of deteriorating off-ship. Not disastrously, just things like this. And almost always communication-related. One other point about excursions. This is something I've noticed on both Crystal and Regent. The excursion descriptions and labels tend to overstate the level of strenuousness. The written description for this excursion emphasized a lot of walking, but there really wasn't that much--I didn't even make my 10,000 steps for the day, and that was with walking the mile back to the ship from the ferry pier (taxis weren't getting through the traffic at that hour). But I think I understand why they do this. The usual demographic for both lines is somewhat older, and while this and many other excursions I've seen labelled strenuous are not at all challenging for most, they involve things like climbing steps and require keeping up with a group that needs to be on the move at times, so want to discourage those with challenges and those who move slowly. So, bottom line is, read the actual descriptions rather than just relying on the "walking man" icons, and ask questions. Enrichment/Lectures. This has always been a Crystal strong point. They had two lecturers on this cruise: one on foreign affairs and one on wellness (who doubled up as a destinations lecturer). I didn't attend either live, because there was always something else to do and I knew I could catch them on the TV. Which, of course, I rarely managed to do. I did catch part of one of the wellness lectures, and found it informative. And I watched the destination lecture on Key West. I'd just suggest that they use someone with actual knowledge of the place, rather than having someone doing double duty who had just done a bit of basic reading on the place. And, please, if you're going to quote Hemingway, get the quotes right. What I particularly like about Crystal are the computer/device talks. I always pick up a few new pointers, and they are nothing if not entertaining. The handouts are now electronic--you can either download them, or get them handed off to you on Air Drop for Apple devices. Bars. So we've already established that there is no pool bar. But this ship does not lack for drinking venues. And, though all but the Starlite (which is quite large and centrally located on Deck 6) are smaller than on Serenity, they never felt crowded. Except the Avenue Saloon at prime hour, which probably was violating some fire code or another. Service at every one, including the Avenue at prime time, was efficient and friendly. Eye contact and a gesture toward your glass was all that was needed for a refill. I'm not much for mixed drinks, but oh my, the key lime martini broke me. Or, perhaps more accurately, broke my diet. I'm giving my liver a rest until Thanksgiving. Coffee. I love my coffee, and am a bit picky about it. So imagine my surprise the first morning when I discovered that the coffee being poured at breakfast in Marketplace was actually good. Not just drinkable, which is the best I ask for of the basic cruise ship pour, but good! I did note that it was not as good in Waterside, mainly because they make it weaker there, but the basic bean used is decent, so it was never vile. I still prefer an Americano or to get a french press at the Bistro, but still I was fine with the basic pour, and that virtually never happens. And did not happen in my past experiences on Crystal. Speaking of the Bistro, it was not a favorite hangout for me this time. For reasons I can't put my finger on, and could be due to the differences in ships or to the re-do, I did not find it as inviting as on the Serenity. It wasn't bad, it just didn't have that homey feel to it. Disembarkation. Crystal does this well. Rather than make everyone vacate their cabins at a set time, they assign times to disembark based on your arrangements. It saves the situation that I hate, where everyone leaves their cabins at 8:00, and all the passengers are sitting around the ship waiting for their color/number to be called. So, if you're disembarking at 9:00, you don't have to leave your cabin until a couple minutes before then. Unfortunately, Miami being Miami, the stevedores were slow to unload the baggage, so even though I had an 8:30 disembarkation, and went to the Starlite to wait at 8:15, I had to wait a good bit longer until the bags were off. But, once that was done, I was out the door and on the shuttle to the airport in a matter of minutes. We'd already cleared immigration in Key West, and the customs desks were empty.
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