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About Tantsee

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    Cool Cruiser

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    El Mirage, AZ
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  1. Thank you all for your suggestions. I will probably end up taking the safest route and booking two nights.
  2. I have the same question! Anyone???
  3. We did a back-to-back Mexican Riviera cruise several years ago during a hurricane. The first week, one of the ports (Puerto Vallarta?) was cancelled in order to outrun the hurricane. It wasn't replaced with another port, so they refunded our port charges for that port (don't expect anything else -- just a small refund for the port charges, not any compensation for actually missing the port, as some people seem to feel entitled to). The second week, we had just started heading back south toward Mexico and the captain made an announcement that we were turning around and sailing northbound. Instead of the Mexican Riviera itinerary, we visited San Francisco, San Diego and Catalina (?). We actually enjoyed that week more than the first, but some passengers were extremely unhappy. Some passengers were from California and not interested in those ports, and some had flown clear across the world for a once-in-a-lifetime Mexican Riviera cruise. I could certainly empathize with them, but I'm not sure what they expected the captain to do. You just have to be prepared to enjoy the cruise, no matter where you end up. The captain will do his best to keep passengers safe in any weather. Last year, we sailed in the Caribbean during Hurricane Irma. That itinerary was COMPLETELY changed. They adjusted the port charges and credited our onboard account for the difference. Even though we were in the general vicinity of the hurricane that completely devastated many of the islands, we had smooth sailing the entire time. Enjoy your cruise!
  4. I'm really looking for personal experiences. Sometimes that says a lot more than what an agent might tell you over the phone. ;)
  5. We will be arriving at MIA around 8:00 a.m. the day prior to our cruise. This is obviously long before the standard check-in time, but we will be exhausted after flying all night. Just wondering if anyone has been successful with any of the Miami hotels allowing you to check in THAT early (if a room is available). Did you experience one that was especially accommodating, or conversely, unwavering in their 3 - 4 p.m. check-in time? Your experience will help me make a decision on where to book. I am considering all options -- maybe even booking 2 nights if absolutely necessary.
  6. Thank you again, everyone, for your replies. We had the DOS on another Star cruise and loved it! GeezerCouple, I believe it is exactly the same as the Dawn and you are right -- the view can't be beat! We really didn't even miss the balcony. Granted, a balcony would be nice for a Panama Canal cruise, but the wall-to-wall windows will make up for it. Sadly, after 30+ cruises, this will likely be our last. We decided to stick with what we know we like (the DOS) and use the money we save by not upgrading to do more fun things. Husband is relieved with this decision and I am OK with it. I truly appreciate everyone's input. It really helped us to come to a conclusion that makes us both happy.
  7. Thank you both for your replies. All of your comments are very compelling, unfortunately for both sides equally. lol My husband is almost 80 years old and just wants a quiet, peaceful view from the comfort of our room, which we clearly have with the DOS. He is certain now that he is right (that we should keep our DOS), based on the view being "blocked by the ship's structure", etc., whereas I am convinced that I am right (to bid on the GV) because of having the huge upper deck to ourselves, and not losing our spot when we want to go inside for a minute. Decisions, decisions...
  8. Thank you for the reply. From what you recall, would there be any kind of forward view of the locks from either the living room or the outside deck above? It is probably a moot point, because the odds of winning are pretty slim based on what I'm willing to bid. However, it is still a lot of money for us, so I want to make an informed decision.
  9. Have you ever cruised the Panama Canal in a Garden Villa on the Star (or Dawn)? We booked the Deluxe Owner's Suite specifically for the "front row seats". We now have the opportunity to bid on an upgrade to the 3-bedroom Garden Villa. While it looks amazing, it doesn't look like there would be much of a view going through the canal because of the suite's midship location. Am I right? Would the view be any better from the suite's upper deck, or is your whole view pretty much blocked by the pool area (i.e. the tiered sunning area)? I am so tempted to bid, but my husband thinks it would be a mistake if we ended up winning. I would love to hear opinions from anyone who has experienced this.
  10. "Grocery Store Joe" was a fan-favorite on both Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise this year. He is adorable and seems to have a pleasant personality, but I don't hold out a lot of hope for his dancing abilities. I am looking forward to watching him. Just hope it's not as cringe-worthy as most of the former Bachelor(ette) contestants! lol
  11. You can book your dining arrangements online with NCL at 120 days out (and I would recommend doing so as soon thereafter as possible, to get the time you want). I just did a mock dinner reservation on my own booking, and I was able to select up to 12 people in my party. When I selected 12, I saw a notation that they may have to put two tables together for parties of 10 or more. So it sounds like you won't have any problem having your entire party essentially at the same table.
  12. Isn't that the truth! Fortunately, my math skills are good, so I can compare all options. :D
  13. Apparently there is a strong undertow on a lot of the beaches and swimming is not allowed.
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