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Host Jazzbeau

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About Host Jazzbeau

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    Cruise Critic Host & 10,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    New York
  • Interests
    Jazz, food, wine
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    the next one
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
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  1. New article on Cruise Critic: TUI River Cruises Postpones Launch Until November 2020
  2. The almond is my favorite – a generous amount of smooth almond paste filling. The pecan has bits of nuts rather than paste. Apple is just ok. [Note: research like this is a tough job, but that's what (retired) librarians are for!]
  3. Thanks @Coral – I decided to 'find a store' and there are some Aldi's near us [just not in our county, which is why we don't get their ads]. We'll have to check them out once the travel bans are relaxed a bit.
  4. The ships that are docked or anchored have at least skeleton engineering crews to keep everything in working order. I don't know if that crew level is sufficient to sail. If so, any of these ships could deadhead quickly to the next embarkation point and the rest of the crew could meet them there. [Assuming that if passengers can get there, so can crew.]
  5. @JohninAult - I don't have an answer to your question, but it reminded me that I and another Host have asked Cruise Critic management to add a new article on the News page that would detail every cruise line's current policy regarding reimbursements of cruises cancelled by the cruise line [there is already an article tracking policies when customers choose to cancel], but it hasn't happened. I suspect that it is more complicated than the other policies because [I'm guessing here] different people are getting different results. Different people are also focused on different aspects of the policies. Some cruise lines are particularly generous in one area [e.g. FCC at 125%, length of time to use the credit], others in another [cash back], and there are other related issues [final payment as short as 60 days, cancel for any reason (with or without a small fee) – and whether these policies apply to existing bookings or only new ones]. My head is spinning and I've given up trying to figure out which are the most and least generous cruise lines overall...
  6. Trader Joe's is an amazing success story around here. They have a little store with a littler parking lot – before the virus hit they had a security guard managing the parking lot because the line of cars wrapped around the block! DW doesn't find many bargains there, but they sell Saint-André triple creme cheese for $10 a pound while everybody else charges double that. And they carry Kringle pastries that are to die for [for much less than buying direct from the bakery]: https://www.ohdanishbakery.com Unfortunately the Trader Joe's near us is closed right now because one of their employees died of corona virus.
  7. So if @NavyCruiser books direct with Viking, they get to keep all his money, but they won't budge on the final payment. But if he books through a TA, Viking has to pay the TA a nice commission AND they will be flexible on final payment? So at the very least everyone should go through a TA when dealing with Viking. But even then, the 'flexible' final payment dates I've seen here are still earlier than other river cruise lines offer to everybody...
  8. I hope that this cruise goes off on schedule and that you have a great time. [Not only for your sake, but it will mean that my rescheduled Ponant cruise of New Zealand in January should also happen!] Be sure to check out the 'Blue Eye Lounge' and report back. [We skipped it in Iceland last year because the seas there didn't offer much to look at/through.]
  9. A word about Cruise Critic guidelines, as their application seems to cause confusion. (1) It is not permitted to attack other posters, which includes questioning their bona fides or suggesting hidden guideline violations. The remedy is the "Report post" button at the top of each post. (2) It is not permitted to discuss or question Board Management. This is strictly enforced in all forums. The remedy is to write to the Community Manager at: community@cruisecritic.com We all agreed to these Guidelines when we joined Cruise Critic, but I realize that few of us read them at the time. They are available here: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/guidelines/#guides_disruption These are very difficult times, each of us faces a different situation, cruise line policies and practices are a moving target, and emotions are running high. Please keep in mind that every member of Cruise Critic has the same right to post their opinions and none of us has definitive facts about cruise line financial conditions or any real ability to predict the future. For my part, I will take this to heart and try to be more sympathetic to the positions of those (like @Jandl) who face a really difficult decision with no good choices.
  10. @notamermaid posted this link in another thread, which I thought would be relevant here too as it explains AMA's policies about refunds, taking care of crew and employees, and hopes for resumption of sailing: https://www.seatrade-cruise.com/news/europe-could-be-cruising-july-us-big-unknown-amawaterways-schreiner
  11. @notamermaid posted this link in another thread, which I thought would be relevant here too as it explains AMA's policies about refunds, taking care of crew and employees, and hopes for resumption of sailing: https://www.seatrade-cruise.com/news/europe-could-be-cruising-july-us-big-unknown-amawaterways-schreiner
  12. My situation was sort of similar [ocean cruise, no options from the cruise line, but something that we still want to do]. Despite their prior T&C terms offering money back, Ponant only allowed us a 120% FCC with a fairly short time limit. Luckily, the same cruise that we had cancelled is offered again next year and the price increase is less than 20% so we were happy to rebook. [Actually decided to use the overage to upgrade our cabin. We will have to pay more at final payment, but with no cruising this year our Travel Budget is in the black!] As long as you expect to be able to cruise next year, 115% FCC is a good deal. [And in my 'age in place' scenario applied to cruising, river cruises are the category I think will stay possible the longest ...]
  13. If you look at an up-to-date list of travel providers' refund policies, you will find that Ponant is not the outlier you claim. When people take one bad experience and vow 'never again on X cruise line' they rapidly run out of ships to sail on. Frankly, my bet is that Ponant will be one of the few left standing when the seaspray settles.
  14. Well, that will pump some money into the economy [the lawyer's pockets, anyway]. But with the entire travel industry doing this, it is extremely unlikely that anyone is going to get relief through the legal system.
  15. Posts in outrageously large type sizes will be hidden.
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