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About snowglobe

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • Interests
    Archeology, history, snorkeling, marine life & wildlife, food & wine, independent & solo travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Azamara
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Pacific, Med

Recent Profile Visitors

129 profile views
  1. I purchased the Ultimate package for my b2b in Jan-Feb on Journey. I have exactly the same reservations re: the Chef’s Table set menus - I don’t find them outstanding in any way... why not let the Chef really shine?? If you want to highlight French or Italian wines, why not focus on one region’s cuisine, and alternate the menus - especially on the Grand Voyages. Have an innovative Asian fusion-inspired menu for the Californian wines... instead of what looks like to me to be a bland and boring set menu offering, overall for all three. The Chef’s Table could be great for one of our sea days from Tahiti to NZ, but there is no way to check the scheduling of these ahead of time either. For 30 days of cruising on our b2b, it could be a nice experience to try it at least a couple of times... but I’m not frankly that tempted by the menus. On the NZ Intensive b2b, it would have been an in-a-heartbeat decision if we were to see a NZ-centric menu featuring the region’s wonderful wines! Or an OZ-centric menu on the night that we leave Hobart... these would be great up-sell opportunities for Azamara. Bonnie, maybe these suggestions could make a ‘journey’ of their own?! 😉
  2. Six years ago, I saw a ridiculously low price for a luxury resort in Jamaica. This was for an all-inclusive Valentine’s winter vacation including flights, transfers, an ocean-front verandah suite, all meals and premium liquor. I called a friend, then called the supplier direct (not a third-party agent) to book two suites. The reservations agent took my booking, and our two payments. After we were done, I mentioned to her that the price was very, very low since it wasn’t a last-minute deal, and that she may want to bump a message up about it. The next day, I got a call letting me know that there had indeed been a pricing mistake. In the system, they had only loaded in the net price of the hotel - missing the flights, transfers, and their own profit percentage from the total gross. She also assured me that my booking was protected, and chuckled that, luckily, only my friend and I scored the mistaken price before they pulled the inventory pending correction. They definitely ate a loss on it, but consumer protection where I live covers this kind of situation. I would definitely look into what consumer protection or a media consumer watchdog would have to say about your situation.
  3. I wonder if they have a name for what I usually order: a double espresso with added water. I drink my coffee black, and like it strong - stronger than an americano. I just don’t like the small cups that an espresso usually is served in... I like to hug my mug. 😁
  4. Interesting discussion, I never thought that the total price for a single cabin would be higher than a cabin booked for two. Makes me wonder what happens when a travel partner can no longer go after the FP is made... is the remaining cruiser’s cabin re-priced?
  5. Thanks for detailed and very useful post. It sounds that cruising with a scooter is a relatively recent development for you. Can I ask which scooter you chose, and what motivated your choice? Are you still happy with it?
  6. Thank you everyone for posting photos and chiming into this discussion. It’s not only helped me, but also will be useful for others trying to choose the accessible cabin that best suit their needs. TA!
  7. Debbie, Where the table is, would that be the best place to park a scooter in your opinion? - we really wouldn’t need it, and could ask for it to be removed.
  8. Nordski, did you have any promotional OBC that you we’re able to keep?
  9. Thank you. That's what I'm hoping to do. I wonder if Azamara has even considered the actual logistics of this particular port of call day on our cruise, and its shorex offerings...
  10. As I mentioned before, for our cruise, Journey only docks at Port Napier at 2 pm (at the earliest). Cellar doors do their last pours by 4:30 pm, including the three featured in the "Wineries of Hawke's Bay" shore excursion on offer (with a start time of 2:50 pm, barring any delays.) The best that Azamara can realistically offer us that day are short excursions that focus on Napier itself. Unless the tour operators that Azamara sub-contracts make special arrangements to keep these businesses open longer, or they rush guests right through, I don't see how they can reasonable deliver the usual wine-themed shore excursion on offer for that port of call (with a 30 min. drive to the first stop.) I prefer being aware of this situation ahead of time and factor it in my plans (personally, I'd rather 'plan B' it ahead of time) - especially since shorex can be a weak cog in the Azamara product, according to many posts on this board.
  11. Odd, please let me know if you have an alternative. My e-mail address is in our roll call.
  12. It's why I'm currently communicating with a private wine tour guide to see if we can salvage at least a visit to a couple of wineries. I really doubt that Azamara can realistically offer anything more than Napier town itself...
  13. The presence itself of cruise ships in Venice is already regarded to be out of control, with its significant ecological, economic and social impacts - it’s a huge political “hot potato”. This incident will likely to add fuel to the debate. Good video Bobal and good map Phil - thanks for posting those.
  14. Thanks, this is all very helpful. In places like Port Napier, we only come in at 2pm - which really shortens our opportunity to do a wine tour on our own and see some of Napier’s Art Deco architecture by daylight. It may also account for the dearth of shore excursions on offer by Azamara for this port of call on our cruise. One of the things I check is who else is in port on the same day. Turns out that the Noordam is scheduled to leave at 2pm... which makes me think that it’s the need to be able to slide in behind it that makes the Journey get into port so late.
  15. Hello, I spent the day getting ready to finalize our choices of shore excursions for our b2b cruises next Jan. & Feb.. Can someone please explain what the standard "No cancellation fees on most tours with 48 hours notice*." means? (The asterisk says: "*Not valid on tours that involve flights, hotel stays, events or private arrangements.") When I read the detailed fine print, it was pretty clear that Azamara reserves the right to cancel shore excursions, but it was not at all clear about the conditions that permits us, the guests, to cancel a reserved shore excursion. So if it's an off-the-ship-no-flight-involved shore excursion, can we really cancel anytime up to 48 hrs before the date of the scheduled excursion and get our full OBC/cash back? Or is it 48 hours before the cruise sail date? It appears that although 'most' shore excursions are refundable, the language seems to imply that 'some others' may not. How can we tell if any given excursion is non-refundable, if all excursions use the standard disclaimer quoted above? There's an excursion that I'd like to book ahead of time, but since it's worth more than $1,000 CAD for the two of us, I'd rather know for sure before I pay for it. (Of course I'm working on this on a Saturday, and there's no way to phone Azamara about this until next week...) Also, when a shore excursion is not bookable online, and instead instructs you to check onboard, does this mean that it's sold out? I'm a bit disappointed that 3 of my top choices are no longer available to book 8 months out. One excursion became unavailable in my basket while I was still working on it this afternoon. Is there such a thing as a wait list for sold out shore excursions - especially this far in advance? One of the ones that seem sold out cannot be done independently, so that's why I really wanted to book it through Azamara. If a port of call is tendered, like the Bay of Islands, would a foldable, portable mobility scooter be accepted to be loaded onto the tender (I'd be walking on)? Finally, there really doesn't seem to be much on offer at all in some of the ports of call, especially in New Zealand and Rarotonga. Are we likely to see more shore excursions to become available? Since New Zealand is already well covered by Celebrity and RCCL, can we really hope for more, or is this their standard complete offering that I'm seeing now? Thanks!
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