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About MADflyer

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    Madrid/Marbella, Spain / Naples, FL
  • Interests
    Travel / Cruise Industry memorabilia collector
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    Crystal Cruises / Royal Caribbean / NCL / MSC
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  1. Spectrum of the Seas just paid a quick visit to Marbella, Spain while moving from Gibraltar to Malaga. It was a nice surprise.
  2. RCI have started very early with port bookings for the summer 2020 European season. Port bookings at Gibraltar confirm that Anthem of the Seas will be based out of Southampton for the summer season in 2020 along with Indy. Jewel appears on May 5th and it is unclear if this is maybe a post dry dock re-entry to the MED or if the ship is heading out from the MED to another home port for summer of 2020. As Brilliance is booked at both Grand Cayman in 2021 and has a September 2020 at Gibraltar it looks like she will stay on the same pattern with Amsterdam and then later a Barcelona mini-season. Even with this early start it would seem that they are still booking Celebrity and some remaining Azamara before they really get serious with Royal port bookings.
  3. While I do understand cruise passengers desire to see one of the top 10 attractions in the world, the Alhambra, this makes for an awfully stressful visit. The main benefit of going on a cruise tour their is that these groups do have line jump passes as they are with official registered guides. With the transfer time and getting herded quickly through the Alhambra, while better than never visiting, a land visit to Granada at some point offers a much better experience. My choices for Malaga would be the Picasso Museum and the connected underground excavation of Phoenician, Roman and Moorish remains. The Carmen Thyssen Museum offers a glimpse at other Andalusian Spanish artists. Just strolling the marble walkways through the city center and enjoying the architecture and stopping to enjoy tapas or another specialty along the way is also recommended. Marbella in coastal Malaga region does provide a good day trip for those that are extremely well traveled and like mingling with the International 'jet/yacht set'. Ronda is a bit too far for a cruise passenger, but is also a great destination for the well-traveled if time allows. As Spain is one of the most advanced tourist destinations in the world they have excellent travel resources for planning a personal visit. One would be: https://www.spain.info/en_US/que-quieres/ciudades-pueblos/grandes-ciudades/malaga.html
  4. While RCI moved up Royal Caribbean releases for this season, they always have followed a pattern of first booking Azamara and then Celebrity sailings. Many times Azamara and Celebrity port bookings can give leads to regions and ports RCI are considering for Royal. As these threads should be heavily based on actual port bookings and not just on pure speculation, it is best for this thread to start when actual port bookings have started. This is usually September or October. For instance, right now Brilliance is booked for Grand Cayman in February of 2021. Royal had booked Liberty for 2 years at Galveston and have not yet booked 2020-21 sailings.
  5. This sit lists 288 vegetarian options in Barcelona https://www.happycow.net/europe/spain/barcelona/ This was an interesting take from the New York Times frugal traveler a few years ago. https://frugaltraveler.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/21/going-vegetarian-in-tapas-happy-barcelona/
  6. It seems the 19th to 9th would be perfect timing for a 3 week Cadiz dry dock. They have done most the major work on this ship and a full refresh in 2 to 3 weeks would be common. They do have ports booked for a Venice to Barcelona sailing on the 19th with 2 week dry dock, but it seems they did not release that last sailing.
  7. Is that Rhapsody you are thinking about? I would see no reason they could not do a Cadiz dry dock and refresh on the fully refurbished ship in that amount of time. The ship already received the major upgrades with all the additions back in 2012 in Singapore. This should be just a full refresh and maybe some added features. I sailed on Serenade in 2012 and Vision in 2013, both after their Cadiz dry docks, and they were right at 3 weeks as well. The only issues were with entertainment related additions which postponed and delayed Centrum shows.
  8. They just have not designated passenger numbers or designated the ship at British or International as they do for all other RCI port bookings. The ship will have sea trials with deck and engine crews after leaving Germany. A Gibraltar stop would allow them to disembark all European workers doing the final touches on the ship and take on the Asian crew that are trained at Royal's new training center in the Philippines. The ship could also take on fuel and provisions for the crew training period prior to the ship's arrival in early June to China.
  9. There has been a lot of activity for RCI and their model for China. RCI has scrapped the joint venture with Chinese CTRIP and are closing down SkySea cruises and sending that ship to TUI to now join the 2 other former Celebrity sister ships at Marella. The ship will be the first marketed as an 'adult only' ship by Marella. CTRIP will continue to charter most of RCL's Chinese sailings. Michael Bayley was speaking on the Asian market with the focus on changing distribution channels for cruises just this past week. The recent Korean travel ban by China has added a bit of complexity to itinerary planning. The notations in the Gibraltar, April 19th booking for Spectrum of the Seas would seem to indicate it is a fuel stop and may be traveling without passengers. The ship is scheduled for June arrival in China though and will have one dining room with grand staircase according to SeaTrade. http://www.seatrade-cruise.com/news/news-headlines/dining-will-be-different-on-first-quantum-ultra-ship-china-s-spectrum-of-the-seas.html http://www.seatrade-cruise.com/news/news-headlines/michael-bayley-on-china-issues-asia-distribution-and-if-region-s-ripe-for-an-oasis-ship.html
  10. Jewel Of The Seas Depart: 05:00 PM 10/30/2019 Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy 10/31/2019 Messina (Sicily), Italy 11/01/2019At Sea 11/02/2019 At Sea 11/03/2019 Ashdod (Jerusalem), Israel 11/04/2019 Haifa, Israel 11/05/2019 Limassol, Cyprus 11/06/2019 Rhodes/Lindos, Greece 11/07/2019 Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey 11/08/2019 Athens (Piraeus), Greece 11/09/2019 At Sea 11/10/2019 Naples/Capri, Italy 11/11/2019 Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
  11. Voyager's, July 2019 to October 2019, Hong Kong season will most likely be released with the first China sailings.
  12. They may be waiting on security contracts for Holy Land and Suez Canal sailings prior to releasing 'exotic' Dubai sailings. 10/30/2019 12 NightsCivitavecchia (Rome), Italy | Messina (Sicily), Italy | Ashdod (Jerusalem), Israel | Haifa, Israel | Limassol, Cyprus | Rhodes/Lindos, Greece | Kusa... 11/11/2019 12 NightsCivitavecchia (Rome), Italy | Messina (Sicily), Italy | Ashdod (Jerusalem), Israel | Haifa, Israel | Limassol, Cyprus | Rhodes/Lindos, Greece | Kusa.. 11/23/2019 7 NightsCivitavecchia (Rome), Italy | Naples/Capri, Italy | Valencia, Spain | Barcelona, Spain | Toulon, France | Florence, Livorno, Pisa Italy | Civitavecc... 11/30/2019 16 NightsCivitavecchia (Rome), Italy | Messina (Sicily), Italy | Athens (Piraeus), Greece | Santorini, Thira, Greece | Suez Canal, Egypt | Suez Canal, Egypt ...
  13. Jewel will sail 11 and 12 day Eastern Med/ Holy Land sailings in November prior to a 7 night MED sailing prior to the re-positioning sailing through the Suez canal to Dubai in December 2019.
  14. Jewel Dubai season confirmed. I am not sure if this was posted yet. Jewel will transfer to Dubai for a December to March season. The ship will overnight in Dubai and call weekly on Abu Dhabi and at MSC's new private island, Sir Bani Yas, weekly. The ship will alternate with various itineraries on Tuesday, Wednesdays or Thursdays weekly with calls at ports like Khusab and Muscat, OMAN or Bahrain and Doha, Qatar. https://www.msccruises.com/en-gl/Cruise-Destinations/Dubai/Emirates/Sir-Bani-Yas-Island.aspx
  15. Port bookings do not show Rhapsody going anywhere. Always subject to change, but unlikely..... Rhapsody and Virgin's new ship will be on the same schedule for Key West in April of 2020 offering quite a contrast between traditional and next generation ship.
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