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About Coral

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  1. In the 80's I did a college trip and they told us not to bring electrical devices (they didn't want us to have to deal with conversions, etc...). I did buy the Conair butane curling iron. It broke on the trip. I did bring the replacement cartridges with me in my packed luggage which I think was allowed back then. I cringe now that I did that.
  2. I don't think it has to be a "best friend". I think once you use someone for a long time, you build a relationship. This is true in any profession. I do agree - one may not know how beneficial travel agents are until you do have an emergency or something go wrong. This is when they shine (and worth their weight in gold) vs dealing with things on your own.
  3. Even if the cabin holds 4, you may not be able to book 4 in the cabin once the ship starts to fill up. It deals with capacity of the ship and muster station capacity. So if there is a chance he will be going, I would keep them on the booking until final payment. Definitely confirm with who you book with. Things change.
  4. I am not defending the big box store as I would not book with them. The difference is probably due to when you book through Princess, you login and it knows your Captain's Circle number and will apply any discounts that you qualify for to it. If you just check the big box store with out them knowing your Captain Circle number, they can not quote you properly. I hope this makes sense. This applies to any website. If you notice if you call Princess, they ask for your phone number or Captain Circle number - this is why. Technically - the contract with Princess and agents is that they have access to the same pricing. Princess will not undercut agents.
  5. Me too - save travels home! Thanks for sharing your trip on the Mozart with the rest of us. Brings back great memories. I agree about the maps. They are amazing. I brought them home so if I return, I have them as they are better than most maps I have come across.
  6. It is interesting - when I speak with "very well traveled individuals", they all use travel agents. My guess is these individuals realize having a travel agent on their side is worth it and in almost all cases, they save you money and don't cost you more. When I mean "very well traveled individuals" - I mean it. These people impress me on their trips (not just cruises but amazing adventures).
  7. I do also. I want the discount up front and not extra OBC. I know some lines don't allow that. In those cases, I get a check later.
  8. I think the concept of "brick and mortar" is no longer the same. I use a real travel agent who lives across the country. She works from her house which allows her to work 7 days a week and even evenings. I call her or email her to book cruises. I have a personal relationship with her. She knows who I am when I call. I consider this the new brick and mortar. I don't use a website when I book. Don't be afraid of those who work from home. My agent would run laps around our local agencies in volume (run laps over a lot of the large agencies also). The amount of cruises she alone books amazes me. Even when I first started booking cruises many moons ago - I booked locally but never went there. I called and emailed her. Now I just use a specialist who works in another state. I would never book direct because I like her prices better, I like that she has actually been on all the ships out there and has traveled extensively. You can't say that about booking direct. Many of those people have never cruised or traveled extensively. I also like that if I say "I am interested in this" - she can even offer another line that may have much better savings. She also offers an amazing insurance policy that I can book at final payment and cover pre-existing conditions. That is difficult to come by with out paying an arm and a leg.
  9. We went October 22nd or so to Quebec City for a Quebec to FLL cruise. We had white out snow conditions in Quebec City. There are so many factors. I think the earlier you go, you may have better weather assuming you don't hit a hurricane...... Again, so many factors! Just pick a date and go. The ports are amazing even if you miss the colors.
  10. It is the opposite. Northern ports turn first. Land turns before coast also. I guess it is popular to hit peak at every port if you are driving and hit things at the right time.
  11. I think you can just remove him with out any ramifications except for not paying for the 4th person assuming this is before final payment date.
  12. I selected the Mozart on a mailing of discounted cruises. I zeroed in because it was a 10 night, happened over Thanksgiving (less vacation days) and fell love with the itinerary because it was all new to me. The shore excursions also intrigued me as I could get to Munich and Salzburg which many lines don't do and spent quite a bit of time in Vienna. I also thought it would be ok as many of my friends river boat trips had turned into bus trips. I knew the exterior looked older as it was an older ship but the inside looked amazing in the pictures. I did find myself explaining to my friends who had done river cruises on how all the new ships were so sleek and they were surprised "I" was going on this older ship. I did not regret it one bit. The ports impressed me and the ship was beyond what I expected. One of my favorite trips. When I first read the news - I thought maybe she wasn't popular because the ship is an older ship and wondered if that turned off some passengers looking at exterior photos. I now know that is not the case.
  13. Just refer to it as "the aquarium class"...... :) It does add a new dimension to having the ship rock you to sleep when you can hear the water slapping against the window as you sleep. Hopefully you will be too tired to care.
  14. I don't think this will be an issue as all employees on the ship are Crystal employees - I hope that no one loses their jobs due to this ship leaving the fleet. I hope they will be absorbed onto other Crystal ships. Each employee I met was exceptional on the Mozart.
  15. Have you been on any other river boat besides Mozart to compare? I am sad to hear your impressions. I think I would probably feel the same way. When I asked Crystal staff which ship they preferred - the answer was overwhelming Mozart due to the spacious feeling and extra public spaces. I thought they answered honestly and that they were not making me feel better that I choose an older ship.
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