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About doug52

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Laguna Hills and Big Bear, Ca.
  • Interests
    Cruising of course, Tennis, Pickleball
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Princess and Paul Gauguin
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    French Polynesia

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  1. Yes, the reviewer was on the Crown Princess. We are taking this trip next year on the Regal Princess and are looking to book International Friends as well after reading this review. Here is the link for the review: Good luck, Doug
  2. I hope you do the Journey to S. Africa in '20 and review it on the Azamara board. As I mentioned above, we are already booked for this cruise in '21 and we are going with at least 3 other couples. So, would love to get feedback on this new itinerary for Azamara. Doug
  3. We were on the March 31st cruise in a Sky Suite and had a different experience. First, Cali did a fantastic job of arranging a special Carrot Cake prepared and presented at Luminae. We were traveling with another couple and he was celebrating his 55 birthday and Cali organized getting a full carrot cake(his favorite) and having it for his birthday. I also had Carlos in Luminae present and serve a bottle of wine from my cellar that I brought on specifically for his birthday. We had excellent service from Carlos as well as the entire wait staff in Luminae. In the retreat lounge, we had Dominic supply us a bottle of Blanton's whiskey and I even had him deliver this bottle to the Sunset bar one night, so that we could enjoy it one evening with a Cigar. I did tip him of course for this service. And, we loved the quiet pool area and had excellent service from Dominic sometimes and a young lady(forget her name) that were almost always there to serve us drinks. And, it was nice to be able to enjoy lunch right in the pool area. If and when we return to the Edge or Apex, we will get,at least, a Sky Suite more forward than aft or even mid-ship to really enjoy the Retreat area. We were in a Sky Suite, a few cabins aft of the aft elevators and I would definitely move forward on a future cruise. Also, the aft elevators on the Edge are way busier than the forward ones. Doug
  4. We just returned from btb cruises on the Edge, first week in Aqua, second week in a Sky Suite. In general, we felt the food was a big step up from our last cruise on the Reflection. We did have a 3 night specialty dining package that we used for Fine Cut, Eden, and Petit Chef. We also had 3 lunches at Raw on 5. Overall, the dinners at Luminae were some of the best we have had on any cruise ship. Blu was not far behind. Of the specialties, our favorite experience was the bone in filet mignon at Fine Cut with the blue cheese crust. Excellent steak with some great sides including the stuffed tater tots, the mac and cheese and the sauteed mushrooms. A great addition to this meal was the fact that with our premium beverage package we were able to get a glass of Caymus for an additional $10 per glass. The other specialties were one and done from our standpoint. While the food was good(but not any better than Blu or Luminae), you are paying for the ambiance and entertainment in Eden and Petit Chef. We also really enjoyed Raw on 5 for a light lunch and very good sushi. They had a menu with some cooked selections like the crab cake and an excellent cooked beef dish stuffed with veggies (forget what it was called, started an N....). Crab cake was much better than the one we had in Blu, more crab and better flavor. As others point out, food is very subjective, but the four of us traveling together felt the Edge did a great job with the meals we experienced. Doug
  5. Somewhat similar to your history, we had a 38 foot express cruiser in Newport Harbor here in Southern California for several years before we got tired of the same old boating experiences(no Bahamas out here) and ended up selling our boat and buying a second home in Big Bear at 7,000 feet to enjoy the climate and the lake. And, then we started our cruise vacations first with Princess, then Celebrity, and last year PG. We really enjoyed the luxury, small ship experience on PG, so we are going to try the luxury Regent Splendor for Europe, and the luxury lite Azamara Journey for South Africa to stay with the smaller cruise ship experience. While we are doing some bucket list destinations for the next three years, we both agree that French Polynesia and PG are our ultimate destination. We will probably do one of their other itineraries next, the 10 or the 14 day, although we loved the 11 day Cook Islands itinerary. Doug
  6. Wow, 10 trips, we can only hope. We do have a few bucket list destinations that are planned: Med- so the Wife can see Venice this trip on the new Regent Splendor South Africa- for the animals on the Azamara Journey with land safaris before and after Australia and New Zealand on Celebrity And then, like you we may just plan repeated trips on the PG and enjoy the beauty, remoteness, service, and friendly locals over and over again. Doug
  7. Yes, even more of a reason for us to fly 8 hours to Tahiti versus 5 to 6 hours to Miami or San Juan. Just two hours more for a much more scenic and remote destination. And, Vahine is great! I am happy to answer any questions on this small, luxurious remote resort. Doug
  8. My Wife and I just completed two back to back cruises in the Caribbean this year after cruising on the PG last year on the 11 night Cook Island and Society Island cruise. We had booked the Caribbean cruise mainly to experience a brand new ship(Celebrity Edge) two years ago while on a TA cruise on Celebrity. Well after experiencing these two destinations in consecutive years, there is no comparison. French Polynesia will be our warm weather cruise destination from now on. While the Celebrity ship was fun, so is the intimacy and service on the PG. And, the beauty and water activities in French Polynesia just totally blew away the Caribbean. We can't wait to plan another trip on the PG. If you are undecided based on cost, just go for it. The PG experience is definitely worth it. And, if you really want a romantic extension, look into the Vahine Private Island Resort extension offered by PG. The best land resort we have ever experienced. Doug
  9. The liquor store in St. Martin had a full set of Pappy for sale. They wouldn't take OBC. Doug
  10. Yes, I also bought a bottle of Springbank 18 year Scotch that would cost me $200 here, but was only $120 in St. Martin with no tax. My favorite Scotch. Doug
  11. You're welcome and good luck! Hope they have it for you. Doug
  12. Just back from two weeks on the Edge. We were traveling with another couple and the two guys enjoyed evenings at the Sunset bar with a cigar and a bourbon. Well, we recognized and he knew us, the bar manager Imade from the Reflection TA we did in '17. We spent many hours with him at the Martini bar on the crossing. He was able to provide Blanton's bourbon for us to enjoy throughout the cruise. I think he only had two bottles available on the ship and we went through most of it. He also had,one night, a bottle of Lagavulin Scotch(one of my favorites) that we enjoyed. We both gave Imade a nice tip at the end of our two weeks for his great service. Blanton's is hard to find for me in California, so we really enjoyed having it most nights at the Sunset bar. Btw, I was able to get and take home a bottle of Blanton's Gold(not available in the US) from a liquor store in St. Martin. So, for any Bourbon drinkers, hopefully they have re-supplied Blanton's for your cruise. A great drink! Doug
  13. Just back from two weeks on the Edge. We had Caymus in several venues for the $10 upcharge over the Premium package. They also offered Freemark Abbey for an upcharge($8 I think), although we always got the Caymus. Obviously, a much better wine for a small additional cost that helped to use up OBC a little. Also btw, there are several Wagner family wines available in the premium package- Conundrum(red and white), Emolo for instance. Doug
  14. To add to this discussion, last May we did the same two day package as alwaysonaship. I looked into doing a red eye from LAX and then a one night stay at the IC before boarding. My understanding was they would give us a day room upon arrival and stay that one night. All transfers and a breakfast and lunch were included in that package. Well, we ended up doing a two day package with an evening arrival versus the red eye. This got us in at around midnight, but allowed us to sleep in a bed that night versus on the red eye flight. So, the charge for two nights at the IC versus one with a day room was not much more. It was worth it to us as we got to sleep in a bed and then enjoy the fabulous IC all day the next day versus the red eye where we would have probably slept most of that day. Included were the transfers and two breakfasts and one lunch. I have a hard time sleeping on a red eye flight, so for us this was very relaxing and we really enjoyed our stay at the IC. We also got to use the IC dayroom on our last day, after a resort stay at Vahine private island, and this was an excellent end to our trip. Leaving everything to PG for us was worth the extra cost, we consider this our favorite vacation and we can't wait to return. Doug
  15. We completed our PG cruise last spring, and received $1,350 rebate from our TA and $300 OBC also from our TA for our 11 night Cooks Island cruise on a deck 7 balcony cabin. And, we also had a $200 OBC from PG for when we booked. So, to me this is worth it, for this expensive yet fantastic vacation. Good luck, you will love this cruise! Doug
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