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About Grego

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    Port St. Lucie, FL
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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Port Everglades
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  1. Couple of situations going on presently. First of all, Princess has multiple operational "playbooks" pertaining to the Covid19 situation based upon different scenarios surrounding the results of discussions with CDC, shipboard filtering techniques available, techniques used by other cruise lines currently that have resulted in no new cases, availability of vaccines, quicker testing methods, etc. There is no reason to get "ahead of their skis" until they have all the information available to make a good discussion with CDC, etc. If they had positive proof that they could make a "release" that would stand up they would do it to start filling out the bookings.
  2. Don't know what source you are looking at that cites "40,000" new cases per day. The highest daily rate was 15,000 early July and that number has gone downhill to about 3,000 now and those numbers are all suspect. It should be up to the Caribbean ports to decide what the protocol should be and I'm sure they will use the proper judgement for all those concerned.
  3. The mandatory having to only taking a ship's tour to get off the ship is going to be a real concern for the Caribbean islands that need the shopping experience of the passengers to survive. I don't see how a ship's tour can marshal a tour group while conducting a shopping experience as part of a ship's tour. That restriction might have to be relaxed. I can't imagine arriving at Charlotte Amalie and not going into town to see our "friends" at Kay's. Just sayin'
  4. Right, just a lot of speculation based on no facts. The positive side of this is that MSC has had at least 4 voyages with no issues. What is relevant is that all the cruise lines are monitoring what MSC has done and what the results were. It is also important to know if the CDC is also monitoring this or are they going to continue to use their own 8 Ball to make decisions. I would expect that we will know something in terms of timetable and direction by the end of September.
  5. Still no real indication that the Enchanted Princess will not arrive in Port Everglades for a December itinerary. We are booked for her January 9th voyage in replacement for her November inaugural voyage that was cancelled. I guess we won't know for certain if she will do a winter season in the Caribbean by the end of October when she will be staffing up and charting a course for PE for December sailings. Until then, we are staying the course and keeping options open for alternate bookings in early January if necessary.
  6. Fun topic. It was always a process of doing the math comparing what we normally spend on drinks on the ship against what the increase in cruise fare was. Afterall, someone has to pay for the drinks and it isn't the cruise line. In the end it was always less expensive to buy our own drinks than purchasing the package.......until now. One of the reasons for not going with the package is that there was possibility of items of an alcoholic nature being brought aboard that reduced the bar tab further making the distance cost wise of buying the package even greater. With the advent of the beverage package, Princess was banking on most passengers never getting 15 drinks per day. With port days as a large number on most Caribbean and European itineraries, the drink opportunity time is reduced. The repositioning transatlantic and other areas provided the best opportunity to maximize the limit of the package. I believe that one of the reasons they decided to limit the number of drinks per day wasn't to keep people sober, it was to prevent the practice that some passengers were doing of getting drinks for those that didn't have the package. Think the "free laundry" for Elite that is abused. Doing the math again, a 7 day voyage offers the opportunity for 105 drinks total. At approximately $10 per drink, the total would be worth $1050. The increase in cruise fare to include the package isn't near that amount and includes other perks as well that are possibly more attractive to some passengers. For us, the Best Value is the better deal than the Best Price. The Best Value includes the drink package, WiFi, gratuities and soda package for minors for a minor upcharge. Look at a 3 day Caribbean voyage in a balcony cabin. The BP cost is $419 vs $539 for BV pricing. $120 difference that includes 45 drinks, gratuities and WiFi! The ratio is similar for 7 day voyages as well. ($250 difference in fare price that includes gratuities, WiFi and drinks). Seems to be a no-brainer. Finally, the initial argument was that Princess changed from "unlimited" to a "limited" amount per day and that should be challenged or they would never sail with Princess again. Might have been a good argument except for the clause that Princess has the right to make changes to any program of offering at their discretion which is what they did.
  7. I agree with having a sea day prior to disembarkation to finish packing and relaxing prior to arriving in PE. I'm sure the logistics of other Princess ships being in PC along with the departure time out of PE and run time to PC is better situated than a run to one of the eastern Caribbean islands and having a sea day in between.
  8. Another "glass half full" thread without any proof there is even a glass.
  9. I totally agree. Our CVP has been fantastic and we have used her exclusively over the last 10 years and 29 of our 45 Princess voyages. We are so involved with her that call us her "East Coast Parents" and share lots of personal information. The important thing is that she is on top of all of our upcoming bookings, checking fares and promotions, surprises us with a flower arrangement, letting us know of upcoming deals and takes care of any and all issues immediately. Lots of independent TA's do a fantastic job as well and if they do, don't change if it isn't broken. However, at the end of the day it is working with those that you trust that makes the difference. What is also important is that you continue working with someone and booking future voyages.
  10. It's a shame that it has come even more emphatically to chasing and protecting the dollars to keep the industry afloat. Sorry for the pun.
  11. The "R" class ship, while not a huge profit generator, does fill a market role. We loved being on the Tahitian Princess for Alaska where we were able to go into ports like Valdez, Kodiak, Sitka that bigger ships couldn't at the time. Same was true on the Pacific Princess getting into some of the smaller ports in the Caribbean. Hopefully, both the Pacific Princess and Jan Swartz will be around for a long time.
  12. You both missed the point. I was happy to support the site and person(s) who put the effort to produce it. It is a valuable site for me and others that want to receive the information. If we don't continue to support sites such as this one, they we go away and giving away this property will lead to that. So, take you check and send it to the site instead.
  13. Nice of you to post for free what the rest of us pay about $9 a year for the ability to view this site. Maybe the site should cancel your membership.
  14. Yes, the audio was awful except for Jan. They might want consider taping some of the offsite portions so the audio would be good. Additionally, they should consider having a different CD as a host. He is too hokey for my taste. Thirdly, they should also give more information that we all want to know about. I know Jan is planning on having more back to cruising information as part of videos to be produced late in September but there should be tidbits throughout the month. The positive about these "Connects" is that Jan is trying to connect with her customers by being positive and reaching out to them. I don't see other cruise lines doing this. Sure, the programming might be a little silly and poorly produced but at least we are being connected with.
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