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About SandJCruiser

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Costa RIca

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  1. My only question is how do you shoot someone slowly? 😁
  2. Keith - Having been on only one Crystal Cruise, I have to bow to your vastly greater experience. I can only speak to what occurred on our trip. A couple of us were still following the roll call thread after boarding, and a question was asked a couple of days out if anyone knew the details about the M&M. I went to the front desk and the person there had to look it up in his book, and said it would be Sunday, but had no further details except invitations would be sent the day before. I passed this info on via CC, as well as the time and location after we got our invitation. We went to the Palm Court about 10 minutes early. There was no signage, or any indication of a gathering. I asked the bar staff, who had no idea what I was talking about. Moments later, I heard one staff member tell another that a guest was asking about "some party". About that time, another CC couple showed up, whom we happened to have run into earlier. Finally, we were directed to a seating area in one corner and a small sign was put up. Three more people showed up, making 7 individuals total although at least 12 parties had registered. The couple we had previously met had only come because of my notice on the roll call, having received no invitation, which made we wonder if the sparse attendance was due to other missed invitations. The Future Cruise Consultant came by, and eventually the Hotel Director, but we got the impression they had been hastily summoned. We got our drinks from the bar, and the regular canape waiter came by once. Nothing made it feel special. The sum total of this experience is why I characterized it as a seeming "afterthought". I'm sure in general, these affairs are handled well, just not in this case.
  3. You're right. I misunderstood the post. I apologize. So no blame to the Symphony crew. It does not change the fact, however, that the operators of the shore excursion, even if they are properly trained sloth care-givers (which I would imagine they are not), should not allow contact between the animals and other humans. And Crystal (IF it was a Crystal excursion), should be made aware of the fact that one of their contract operators is mis-handling animals.
  4. Living in Costa Rica, I am very familiar with sloths. There is an excellent sloth rescue and rehab facility here. I echo the other posters' comments that they should not be handled by humans. The crew members who brought that sloth on board should be disciplined or at least counseled against such behavior, and I would encourage all aboard to protest this incident on your feedback surveys.
  5. Can't speak for Serenity, but on our recent Symphony cruise, one of my (very few and very minor) complaints was that the M&M was very poorly handled. It was held somewhat late in the cruise (4th or 5th day out of 11), seemed like an afterthought to the staff, and some people who were registered never got invitations. When we book again, I plan to try to organize our own gathering the second day or so based off the role call.
  6. It appears Marq is correct. Being only about 3 months out, the cruise I was looking at probably needs filling, and they are "dumping" at a lower price point in non-US/Canada regions. I looked at a similar cruise in 2021, and the US price minus air credit and the foreign price (no air mentioned) are exactly the same. Question answered, but it brings up an interesting possible strategy for obtaining good pricing on near term sailings as Jymi-B was able to do. Thanks, everybody.
  7. Go! We recently tried Crystal for the first time and were blown away. As others have mentioned, the food and service are top notch, and the activities and entertainment can't be beat. An unusually short cruise at a great price point is a wonderful opportunity to try the line. And I wouldn't be put off by cabin size. We were in the lowest category on Symphony and what the room lacked in size, it made up for with intelligent design and loads of storage space, as well as a great bathroom. I'm sure you'll love the experience and appreciate the value.
  8. I was just randomly browsing around Regent's website and came up with what I find to be an interesting discrepancy. Maybe someone in the CC community can un-confuse me as to what I found. I'm a US citizen who happens to live in Costa Rica. When I was looking at the pricing for Regent cruises, I saw no mention of air being included. Then I figured out that the website was probably reading my IP address as being outside the US, and therefore was directing me to a cruise-only price page, since flights are only from US gateway cities. So, just for giggles, I fired up my VPN software and made it look like I was accessing the site from the US (Dallas, TX to be specific). I picked a cruise more or less at random, the Explorer from Santiago Chile to Los Angeles, 20 nights, February 17, 2019. Lowest category cabin, Veranda H. The price was $13,899 pp. At the bottom of the fare listings was a statement that without air, one could receive a credit of "up to $1800 per person". That would make the cruise only fare $12,099 pp. Here's the interesting part: When I turn my VPN off and once again access the site from Costa Rica, and get the no air mentioned page, the same cruise, same cabin, is listed at $8399 pp., a whopping $5500 less that the air included price and $3700 less than the price with the air credit. If I actually lived in Dallas, business air to Santiago and a coach return from LA would run about $2300, so even if I paid a $175 deviation, the Regent air looks pretty good. But if I could get the cruise only for $8399, I could do my own air, and fly First Class on the return leg for about $2600 and still be way ahead. So, what does this mean? Are US residents being gouged for $3700, even when taking the air credit? Is there a special price for non-US residents? I can't be the first one to have noticed this. Anyone know what the story is here?
  9. We were just in NYC in September, prior to boarding Symphony. Rainbow Room is alive and well, offering special events, parties, etc. The dining facility, however, is available by membership only.
  10. Thanks to all for your input. Might try O for the right itinerary. Think we'd like it for something port intensive as it sounds like O isn't as good for sea day activities. Sounds like the dining would be attractive.
  11. We are considering trying Oceania. I have seen in many posts off-hand comments about O including airfare or providing an air credit if you make your own air arrangements. Yet I can find no mention of this on their website. Is this no longer the case, is it an occasional special, or what? Can someone please un-confuse me?
  12. We have just come back from our first Crystal cruise and loved it. We are thinking about also trying Oceania as wel!. Our interests are in service, food, itinerary, and onboard entertainment/enrichment. Don't care about casino, are not picky about cabins, and don't usually do ship excursions any more. Would love to hear from those who have experience with both lines.
  13. We cruised with Tauck river 3 years ago and will second the opinion that their level of service and care is superb. They also have a reputation for handling problems in a very satisfy-the-customer way without worrying about cost. That is particularly important in river cruises, where water issues can frequently arise. Read some of the posts about how different lines, including Tauck, have handled these issues on past trips. Tauck is completely all inclusive, to the point where they give you cash for a scheduled lunch on your own in town, and pay for the restroom stops on tours. They are not cheap, comparable to Crystal, but I would recommend them without reservation. Just remember river cruises, and river ships, are a completely different animal from ocean cruising. Smaller, way more intimate, and, of course, port intensive. We liked that aspect, but some do not. You won't know until you try it.
  14. So, I recently met another CC member on a cruise and promised I'd send her contact info. I don't want to do that publically, and thought I could do it through CC messaging. Anyone have any ideas on how to do that? BTW, the "search members" functionality also appears to not work.
  15. Nickolas' real first name was either Chrystoph or Chrystos, but he said everyone calls him Nickolas. He is from Mallorca. So, probably not the same guy, but just really fun. Actually wrote out a list of all the best little towns to visit in Mallorca, if we ever get there. Came on board Symphony to be with his girlfriend, who works in Prego.
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