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About vswan

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    Boating, reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Princess
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Hawaii, Alaska, Caribbean

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  1. No one likes wearing a mask, but we have been doing it for a long time now. I have stayed healthier this year then most. No colds, no flu - yes I had vaccine- and no covid - to my knowledge. It really depends on what is important to you on a cruise. I don't cruise to meet lifelong friends, can do without the pool games and wouldn't care if the nightly entertainment was repeated on multiple nights to reduce capacity while getting a quality show. The shore excursion thing would bother me. Rarely use the ship excursions and love to plan my own. Which place to go to, how to get there,e
  2. I have FCC from a March 2020 cancellation which I used on a January cruise which was also cancelled. So have the FCC again to use. I keep going back and forth about whether to rebook now or wait until cruising starts again and see what restrictions are in place and what ports are open. Had a phone call the other night from a new salesperson from NCL. (Asked if my current one wasn't there anymore and he checked and had no idea why he was given my number when mine was still there.) After his big sales job about what a great time to book at the 30% off and my response that it wasn't r
  3. I am one who believes in mandatory vaccines to cruise. Another thought. Cruise lines are not US companies and would not be subject to US law other than the CDC guidelines for being able to cruise from US ports - or if they broke US laws while in port I guess. If they instituted a vaccine requirement what laws would they be subject to, those of the country that they are flagged in or all of the ports they stop in? What if some have mandatory vaccine requirements to enter and some say it's not legal.
  4. One other thing I factor in is how many port days versus sea days. When doing a 7 day caribbean cruise my goal is to get out of the cold, snowy MN weather and get my toes in the sand. Some lines offer very few 4 stop itineraries - mostly 3 stop. I like a sea day or 2, but will always book a 4 stop at the minimum - even if it costs more. Of course there are times when a port is missed, but then i get 3 stops, not 2. Others prefer sea days.
  5. I think this is going to be a slow go because of the destination locations not having the vaccine access we do. Think it might be time to think outside the box. US could cruise out of one of Florida ports and go to Mobile, NOLA, Galveston and make a stop in perhaps at a private island or Cozumel for the foreign stop. On the Pacific side there is San Diego, Catalina Island, LA, Santa Barbara, San Fran, Astoria, OR and Seattle. Would probably need to add in a Mexico stop. On the East there are the US stops on the usual Canada trips, and some go down to the coast to Florida. Know there would need
  6. This was our impression of Princess as well. There were many recent arrivals to the upper middle class with delusions of grandeur like they were celebrities " who want to be alone " for our comfort level. Love this comment. I have to say I have experienced this on multiple lines. Not always the income level, could be the status level with the cruise line or the cabin that they occupy. Funny thing is that I know many who could afford the best cabin on the ship, but choose not to spend the money. Just see no need. You run into this same attitude in many places on land and sea.
  7. We've done about 30 cruises on many different lines. For us celebrity is the top followed by a tie between HAL and princess. All of the others are lumped together after that. Keep in mind that some of these were taken a while ago and things may have changed. (There was a cruise on NCL where the food in the MDR was really bad. Have cruised with them since and it was fine. Not great, but fine.) For me, I am looking for an itinerary, time of year and value. If one of the top three can compete I book them, but will gladly book others if they meet my needs with a better itinerary or a much lower pr
  8. I was supposed to be on one in February which was cancelled. Had paid the non-refundable deposit and had gotten the cancel for any reason insurance through HAL. Called before final payment - had upgraded to a balcony - and was told it couldn't be moved, but if cancelled would refund at twice what I had into it. Would have doubled my deposit and insurance total as FCC. I opted for the refund. Have since gotten another offer and am trying again. Difference this time was they charged upfront for taxes and port fees rather than having those at final payment. Upgrade to balcony was also significant
  9. Not sure what Club 21 is, but think it must be a casino offer. I received an email last week with free inside rooms, $75 casino play and free drinks in the casino. Booked for a 10 day partial transit of the panama canal leaving the day before Thanksgiving. Asked about upgrading to balcony, but the additional pp was a lot - can't remember exactly, but think it was $700 pp or so. Since have no idea if things will be going by then and was not interested in loaning money to HAL, just booked the free room, figuring I can possibly upgrade later. The offers started late October and ended in early Dec
  10. We have cruised on HAL, Royal, NCL, Celebrity, Princess, MSC and more. For us it's not so much which line, but which itinerary on the dates we want to go at the best value. Our rating system is Celebrity, followed by HAL and Princess in a close tie for second. We put all the rest in the next tier. All have some good and some not. This really depends on when we went, what ship we were on, etc. Have been on the same line two years in a row and have had very different experiences. The last time we were on HAL the food was great. Have had some pretty bad MDR food on many lines. We generally do n
  11. One year we booked an NCL cruise very last minute and were assigned a handicap room. It was the largest room we have ever had but the room and bathroom were obviously set up for a wheelchair. Lot of wide open space. Since we didn't choose the cabin am sure if they needed it for someone we would have been moved. Just the luck of the draw with last minute booking.
  12. I am one of those who feel vaccines should be mandatory. Not interested in being quarentined to my cabin or the cruise returned to port because someone not vaccinated tests positive onboard. Of course vaccines aren't 100%, but better than 0%.
  13. Our first cruise was booked as an inside and we were given an upgrade to an OV. As a relatively young couple with two kids we booked several more inside cabins and kind of got used to them. When paying cruise and airfare for 4, not to mention taxis and shore expenses, inside was our budget. As we began cruising just the two of us we gravitated toward the OV, just wanted some light in the cabin. This became our norm for about 20 years, taking one or two cruises per year. Several years ago we were offered an upgrade to a balcony on a 10 day panama canal cruise for a ridiculously low
  14. When Biden said there was no plan to get the shots into arms, I rolled my eyes and thought that was being a little ridiculous. Now I'm seeing how the lack of a universal plan is a big problem. It's frustrating to hear about all of the vaccine sitting on shelves and not getting distributed. Think one of the big issues is that states are trying to follow the CDC guidelines of who gets the vaccines first instead of making sure they are getting out as much vaccine as possible in the shortest time frame. Know that the guidelines probably make sense on who is most in need, but the vaccin
  15. We did the 10 day version so missed Cartegena, but this cruise was fabulous. We entered the locks in one area and took a ship tour into Panama City which included a stop at the other locks to watch a ship pass through. If you wanted to leave the ship, needed to take a shore excursion. Those not taking an excursion exited the locks and went to the point where the excursions ended. If you want to see the canal but have time/cost limitations this is a good option.
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