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Marie-Claude

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About Marie-Claude

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Montreal
  • Interests
    Cruising, Photography, Coffee!!
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Azamara
  1. Marie-Claude

    One category upgrade question

    [quote name='Islander500']Yes, thank you. Do you know if it's only for new bookings, or can you upgrade an existing reservation?[/QUOTE] We just did it for an existing reservation - we kept the same cabin and they reduce our price to the category below. MC
  2. Marie-Claude

    Immersive cruise: No Anytime Dining!

    [quote name='Sailingpeace']There are immerse in wine cruises ? Where do I sign up ? ... Just kidding... Well... No seriously this information is very interesting. I had not heard about that before, called that anyway. It seems like OP did not know in advance that it would be such a cruise ( immersive). How can we find out if a Princess cruise is an " immersive" one? It sounds great to me too.[/QUOTE] Actually, I found out when I booked! Princess agent found out with me as he was wondering why Anytime Dining wasn't offered. He checked with his supervisor and came back with this info! I found this cruise the day I received the 2014-15 Cruise Atlas. It intrigued me as it was an all Japan cruise, during the Golden Week which is a special week in Japan with 4 national holidays in the same week. So the cruise is following this week of festivals. I asked if this was a cruise marketed to Japanese and the answer wasn't clear. But if I was Japanese, I probably would NOT go on a Japan immersive cruise... I'd try to get something more exotic. But we were told that the menu and entertainment would reflect local flavors! Also, announcements will be made in English and Japanese... should be interesting and certainly exotic! I'm surprised our Roll Call only has 2 people... this is a truly unique itinerary!! MC
  3. Marie-Claude

    Immersive cruise: No Anytime Dining!

    [quote name='melody hounddog']Sounds like fun! If you have the time, I would love to read a review on your trip.[/QUOTE] I promise I will!!! This is unique and there aren't much information on these ports so I will definitely report back... only 8 months to wait!! MC
  4. Marie-Claude

    Immersive cruise: No Anytime Dining!

    [quote name='Traveler808']I recently completed 2 Japan cruises on the Sun Princess and the dining was as you said...no anytime dining. How did I like it? I loved it and will be going on the Diamond Princess in 2014.[/QUOTE] Glad you liked it, and very comforting to know you're going back! Will you be on the April 26th cruise with us? Sounds like a really unique itinerary at a wonderful time of year... they told me once in a lifetime experience!!! MC
  5. Marie-Claude

    Immersive cruise: No Anytime Dining!

    [quote name='Dietemann']I believe you will have more regional food and that it may be too difficult for the kitchen to properly prepare it for serving at times other than fixed dining. Just my interpretation.[/QUOTE] It's probably very close to that... also, they said there would be a lot of local entertainment so I guess it'll be easier to attend one of the show with fixed seating! It sounds like fun, we're thrilled!! MC
  6. Marie-Claude

    Immersive cruise: No Anytime Dining!

    [quote name='The Big Booper']...Hopefully the ship will not follow Asian smoking customs which allow far more puffing away then we are used to. Of course the OP could be smokers.[/QUOTE] NO... not smokers at all! I sure hope they don't change the 'rules' on smokers to accommodate Asian... that would be a real downer...
  7. We recently the Golden Week cruise to Japan on Diamond Princess (april 2014). They do not offer Anytime Dining on the cruise as they say it's an immersive cruise... not sure what that has to do with the time you dine, but has anyone had similar experience? How was it? MC
  8. Marie-Claude

    Transportation from Yokohama to Tokyo

    I have a question regarding luggage delivery. Is that something that you do at the port/airport or should it be arranged/booked in advance? Thanks for the help! MC
  9. Marie-Claude

    Tokyo

    [quote name='joyous']I feel sure we will be able to do this one. Enjoyed your video ( and espcially the ending music "bids me her fond farewell/adieu) Thanks for posting. Will watch the rest of your videos as well. I think I have found a guide for our very short time, but waiting to hear the cost :-)) joyous[/QUOTE] Hello Joyous, I have just booked a cruise leaving from Tokyo where I'm hoping to spend a few days. Have you heard from your guide? Was his/her pricing agreeable? I would really appreciate if you could share your information with me! Thanks in advance, MC
  10. Marie-Claude

    La Rochelle

    Hi Judith, I just emailed the Tourism Agency to find out what was the deal when a ship is in port... hopefully I'll get some answers that I can share with everyone! We know it's a great city... we just need to find out how to get there!!!:p MC
  11. The name of the train station is Santa Lucia.
  12. Marie-Claude

    What if?

    I can confirm - bring what you may need, nothing on board to help! My mom broke her denture on day 2 of a transatlantic on Navigator OTS (huge ship). No can do... not even glue! We only had one stop in Bermuda before 7 days at sea. Ended up buying crazy glue as none of the 4 pharmacies we went to had a repair kit... That was a cruise to remember... :mad: MC
  13. Marie-Claude

    South Excursions Tour Comany

    Thanks Janice! I know it's hard to book tours on the Internet when you have little information... The unfortunate thing is that I wrote to all operators I have used in South America, and he was the only one to not respond... he missed a great opportunity to rectify some of the missed hits... It's also unfortunate for the guides who were great! Hope you find a good one!! MC
  14. Marie-Claude

    South Excursions Tour Comany

    We also used South Excursions for 4 tours on our very recent cruise on Infinity from Santiago to FLL. Overall, the tours we OK, but we had some glitches along the way, which I communicated to Al, the manager by email as we went along... that did not help... Here is the letter I sent him upon my return: Hello Alvarro, We have returned from our cruise and I wanted to give you some feedback on the various tours we have taken with your company. Since I write on several cruise and travel forum, it's only fair that I give you my feedback first before sharing it with other future travelers. I have written to you during the trip, but I think you did not read the email properly and confirmed our booking rather than reading the comments and confirming the request. March 16 - Santiago pick-up and tour with Pablo Pablo speaks great French and he is professional, knowledgeable and very friendly. We had a great day. Only comment was that neither him nor the driver could propose a restaurant for a quick bite to eat before getting to the hotel. After a 12 hour flight and a 4 hour tour, it was to be expected that we would need food!! We lost over 30 minutes just looking around for a place to eat, which I ended up finding in my Lonely Planet! March 17 - Santiago transfer to Valparaiso with stop at vineyard with Pablo Once again, driver Barnabe and guide Pablo were at the hotel in time for the pick-up. I had made arrangement with you for a tour at a vineyard, asking if we could visit Emiliana. You confirmed it to me, even stating that the wine tasting was included in the price of the tour. When we got there, there was no reservation in our names, and we could not participate in the tasting nor the visit as it was sold out. This was a huge disappointment for me as I was looking forward to this visit for months. Pablo was nice enough to arrange for us to taste some of the wine, but it was not the same, we did not have anyone explaining things for us, and did not do the visit. Arrived in Valparaiso, again there was no suggestion for a restaurant where we could eat. I had to ask to stop at a bakery to buy empenadas. A tour that ends a 3pm must include food at some point even if we pay for it!! March 18 - La Serena with Christopher and Rene Christopher was kind, and very courteous, and it was nice surprise that he spoke French. We had a few problems that day. First, the itinerary was not what we had agreed upon not what is on your website. We went through the Elqui Valley, had lunch at the Solar restaurant then visited the Copal Pisco distillery and not Pisquera Aba which was on our note, and we totally skipped the Gabriel Mistral Museum. Second, Rene the driver and operator was odd - he kept taking pictures of us. We had to ask him to stop. Third, Rene did not have the credit card machine as we had asked for. He offered to take us to bank machine but we had no time to do that. Finally I had told Christopher that the ship was departing at 4:30 pm. The tour was supposed to take us back at 3 pm but I specified we had to be back at the latest at 4:00 pm to leave enough time to walk back to ship. Rene was taking his time, taking photos etc. When we left the Pisco vineyard it was 3 pm. We were afraid that we would be late, and Rene had to drive like a crazy to get us to port for 4 pm… that was not fun. Everyone in the car was scared. We did not like the drive back and we were very nervous to miss the ship. We were the last one to board the ship. So not such a great day... March 22 - Lima with Braxso and Milton This was our best tour!! Our guide was excellent, spoke very good English. He was knowledgeable, friendly, considerate and kind to my elderly mother. He picked us up on time, gave us an excellent tour of the Monastery and the Museum. It was great. He also had water available for us which was a nice touch considering the heat. But again, I had asked YOU to confirm we could pay with a credit card which you confirmed to me by email the day before, and again, we could not pay with credit card. We had to scramble to find enough cash to pay for the tour. This is unfortunate as it is something that all travelers are keen on. No one wants to leave on a trip with loads of cash to carry around. I hope you will take these comments and put them to good use. Best Regards, Hope these comments will help future cruisers and South Excursions improve on their services! MC
  15. Marie-Claude

    Valparaiso Tours

    [quote name='Cauzneffct'] Another company I've been looking at is [url]http://www.southexcursions.com/chileshoreexcursions[/url], but I dont have any info (quality, price, etc) besides the website.[/QUOTE] I do!! I booked 4 excursions with them on our recent cruise on Infinity from Santiago to FLL. Most tours booked through them were good and the guides were all great. But the one tour which I had a problem with was the Wine tour... During our transfer from Santiago to Valparaiso, we had arranged for a visit and wine tasting of Emiliana vineyard - a biodynamic vineyard in the Casablanca Valley. We did go, but South Excursions had not made the reservation for the visit nor the wine tasting and it was sold out for the day... so we had to improvise our own wine tasting and missed the visit... I was not happy. Other than that the tour went well with a great visit of Valparaiso, including riding the funicular, and a quick tour of Vina del Mar before leaving us at the pier. For a private tour for 4 people it was $95 each.
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