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  1. Yesterday Spirit of Discovery left the sea lock at Emden to start her sea trials.
  2. Hello Fellow Cruisers We have identified what look like good small group excursions from Haifa (on 27/10) to Nazareth and Galilee and from Ashdod (on 28/10) to Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The cost is US$99pp for a min of six participants. If you are interested in details and possibly joining us, let us know. We are a British couple who have done a lot of traveling and have always tried to book our own excursions on cruises. All the best. Richard & Lorraine
  3. NCL is doing exactly that, sending the Spirit and the Dawn on long Indian Ocean cruises going to South Africa. Very expensive and very old ships..
  4. So very, very sorry to read this. Thank you, Jim, for keeping us posted. Bob’s kind spirit has endeared him to those of us who have met him onboard and those who have followed his posts since January. He is truly blessed to have friends such as you and Betsy. We’re wishing the best for all three of you! Take care and tell Bob and Betsy hello from Frances and Rafael. We enjoyed a nice dinner in Polo with the two of them when we were onboard.
  5. We will be sailing on the Wind Spirit in October. We are taking the ferry from Moorea early Sunday morning arriving in Papeete. I believe we can not get on the ship until 1 pm. Does the ferry dock close to where the Wind Spirit is docked? Do you know if we can leave our luggage at the ship and wander for a few hours before we board? Is the pier close to the market and is it opened on Sunday? Any information on this sailing would be appreciated!
  6. From the Sidney Morning Herald and other Fairfax newspapers of Australia in mid June, they had this headline: “Which Portuguese City Is Best?” with these highlights: “Portugal’s two biggest cities have a rivalry to match Sydney versus Melbourne with passionate locals who glow with pride about their hometown. Is it better in the north? Or do they have it all in the south? Here’s your form guide.”. Personally from visiting both, we found lots to LOVE in Porto and Lisbon. Both wonderful!!! Here are more story highlights: "PORTO: Grittier, cloudier, and teeming with street art, Portugal’s second-largest city has long been overlooked but now it’s nipping at the heels of its more-famous southern sister as travellers discover its affordable, down-to-earth charms. Known as the holy grail for port wine aficionados, Porto might have roots as a sailing port but its modern-day vibe is an unpretentious blend of history, tile-cloaked beauty." However, there is more to consider: "LISBON: In comparison to Porto, Lisbon is a spring chicken. The city was completely rebuilt in a wide-boulevard, grid style after being flattened by the mother of all earthquakes in 1755. The historic Alfama district, which managed to escape serious damage in the quake, is experiencing the curse of its own historic beauty. Residents are being squeezed out as Airbnb moves in and throngs of tour groups pound its cobblestone streets. Lisbon’s status as one of Europe’s sunniest capitals may just seal the deal. Many fall for the city’s magical afternoon glow as light bounces off the pastel-facades, and sunsets paint the sky candy floss pink." Lots of added details, visuals, options, etc., to consider in this profile/article. Brings back lots of nice memories from being in both cities last June. More below on my live/blog. Full story at: https://www.escape.com.au/world/europe/porto-v-lisbon-which-portuguese-city-is-best/news-story/d1b813dc662655d5928a29e8a1368abb THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio Lisbon, NWSpain, Bordeaux/Brittany: Finished June 2017 sailing on the Silver Spirit from Portugal to France along the scenic Atlantic Coast, plus great pre- and post-cruise experiences. Now at 20,656 views. Many interesting pictures and details on history, food, culture, etc., from my live/blog at: www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2511358
  7. Starting this off again on our new Board. Walt , could you please lock the thread on the old board. Many thanks. David. Who is cruising ? A list for Australian and NZers who are cruising, both locally and overseas on any Cruise Line. and for overseas guests cruising down here to visit and cruise with us.. *This colour denotes International Guests and Destinations. This list is not intended to replace Roll Calls or Signatures, it is merely a summary of who has a cruise coming up. Your name will only be added , should you wish it to be, by you posting personally . You can join the list by using the Post Reply button and giving us the Departure Date ,the Ship and the Destination. Who is cruising in March 2011? 29 Mar davenmarcia Pacific Jewel Crystal Reflections 30 Mar flatron Pacific Pearl NZ 30 Mar Skyrules 30 Mar Kruzein 30 Mar silky*** Who is cruising in April 2011? 01 April terrydavidphoto MSC Magnifica Mediteterranean 04 April suey Rhapsody of the Seas South Pacific 08 April purpledragon Dawn Princess Hawaii 35day 08 April Babsjo 08 April Stevie39 09 April thied Pacific Dawn South Pacific , Fiji 09 April ambo25 09 April Palocruiser 14 April Debsta Sun Princess Brisbane to Sydney (2 Nts end of Cherry Blossom ) 14 April macca46 14 April luvToCruise13 14 April Gold Coast Cruisers 14 April Billy and Charlie's Mum 16 April bussletoncruisersSun PrincessNorthern Explorer Sydney to Perth 17 April tassie cruiser Pacific Pearl South Pacific 17 April barnsey1802 17 April Debsta1802 20 April lorry like a truck Pacific Jewel 21 April Sven51 Pacific Dawn Easter Cruise 24 April dougo in oz Pacific Pearl 3 B2B cruises 29 April luvToCruise13 Pacific Jewel Going Nowhere 30 April Rasa Sayang Pacific Dawn Brisbane return Noumea/Lifou/Vila Who is cruising in May 2011? 02 May didanz Pacific Pearl Bounty Discovery ex Auckland 02 May bizzygurl 02 May dougo in oz (3 B2B cruises ) 03 May killigrew Sun Princess India and South Africa 03 May windsor26 06 May Billy and Charlies Mum Diamond Princess Asia/Alaska/Canada 07 May evansy78 Pacific Dawn South Pacific 08 May Agelmar Pacific Sun Week Fantasique ex Brisbane Return. 10 May ausielil Sea Princess San Francisco/Alaska 12 May dougo in oz Pacific PearlFood and Wine Cruise ex Auckland (3 B2B cruises) 13 May johndon Dawn Princess South Pacific 13 May mezza 13 May Zanny 14 May macca46 Pacific Dawn Pacific Islands 15 May stki Sapphire Princess Alaska 15 May Kruzein 15 May Youngjude Pacific Pearl Auckland Norfolk Queensland 21 May shaddow101 Pacific Jewel South Pacific 21 May robinph 30 May kiwipete Pacific Pearl Pacific Discovery Who is cruising in June 2011? 03 June musicorn Norwegian Pearl Alaska 18 June Motynl Sun Princess Treasures of Asia, from Fremantle 18 June Annabelle100l Pacific Dawn Noumea,Lifou,Vila. 27 June luvToCruise13 Pacific Pearl Auckland to Sydney 29 June stevedonna Sun Princess SE Asia Who is cruising in July 2011? 01 July Kiwi cruiser Pacific Pearl South Pacific 28 night 25 July Lizard© Pacific Jewel Crystal Reflections 25 July NS. Who is cruising in August 2011? 04 Aug Palocruiser Crown PrincessBritish Isles 06 Aug terrydavidphoto Pacific Dawn Queensland Coast 06 Aug bundygirl 19 Aug am1984 Pacific Pearl Tropical Dreams 10 night 21 Aug AuzzieCruiser Carnival Valor Western Caribbean 28 Aug mezza MSC OrchestraB2B Baltic/ Norwegian Fiords then Western Med. 30 Aug oysterfiend Pacific Sun Indonesia 31 Aug Palocruiser Emerald PrincessB2BScandanavia/Russia..Copenhagen to Ft Lauderdale 29 nights Who is cruising in September 2011? 07 Sep paul929207Dawn Princess Circumnavigation of Australia 07 Sep TAN066 07 Sep kiwipete 13 Sep nenasmum Carnival Spirit Alaska Glacier Bay 14 Sep Jodez Pacific Sun Flowers of Asia 14 Sep killigrew 14 Sep cookie at home 17 Sep stki Pride of America Hawaii 24 Sep nenasmum Oasis of the Sea Caribbean 24 Sep bussletoncruisers Norwegian Star Coastal Pacific.Vancover to LA. B2B with Panama Cruise 1 Oct 23 Sep Grove family Pacific Dawn South Pacific 27 Sep Mothballs Radiance of the Seas Hawaii to Sydney Who is cruising in October 2011? 01 Oct nenasmum Disney Magic Caribbean 01 Oct Billy and Charlies MumPacific Dawn Brisbane to Christchurch NZ 01 Oct bussletoncruisers Norwegian Star Panama Canal . LA to Tampa. 02 Oct cotton93 Freedom of the Seas Western Caribbean 05 Oct Johhno Dawn Princess South Pacific 05 Oct paul929207 05 Oct Dizziedi Rhapsody of the Seas NZ B2B World Rugby Cup Cruise 09 Oct nenasmum Disney Dream Bahamas 13 Oct Seadreams27 Pacific Jewel 20 Oct luvToCruise13 Pacific Pearl South Pacific 20 Oct leggyliz 30 Oct Sailaway John Sea Princess NZ Who is cruising in November 2011? 15 Nov pippin10 Dawn Princess NZ 18 Nov stki Radiance of the Seas 2 day Cruise to Nowhere 18 Nov Molly Doble 18 Nov mezza 18 Nov rugbypopsie 18 Nov yamcrzrand friends Radiance of the Seas 18 Nov Raison 19 Nov lear Pacific Dawn NZ 19 Nov horrie33 20 Nov Billy and Charlies Mum Radiance of the Seas NZ 25 Nov callmewhatever Sea Princess NZ 27 Nov lorry like a truck Rhapsody of the Seas 27 Nov Debsta Diamond PrincessSingapore to Sydney 27 Nov silverwillow 27 Nov resordanis 30 Nov CarmicCelebrity CenturySydney to Auckland Who is cruising in December 2011? 03 Dec Topaz-M Oasis of The Seas Eastern Caribbean 11 Dec Topaz-M Celebrity Solstice Western Caribbean 17 Dec Sven51 Pacific Dawn Christmas Cruise 18 Dec musicorn Radiance of the SeasNZ Christmas / NYE 18 Dec traveller4fun Pacific JewelNZ Christmas Cruise with 20 family & friends 27 Dec simmo67 Rhapsody of the Seas South Pacific , NYE 28 Dec Flipper133 Sun PrincessNZ ex Brisbane return , NYE 29 Dec barnsey1802 Diamond Princess Auckland to Sydney , NYE. 29 Dec tassie cruiser Who is cruising in January 2012? 15 Jan yamcrzr Radiance of the Seas NZ 22 Jan Jamar 72 Rhapsody of the Seas South Pacific and Fiji 23 Jan luvToCruise13 Diamond Princess Auckland to Sydney Who is cruising in February 2012? 12 Feb bundygirl Radiance of the Seas Tasmania 12 Feb coastidee 12 Feb wildweston 16 Feb Itachi Pacific Pearl Fiji Adventure 19 Feb The Fox Radiance of the Seas Sydney to Fremantle. 19 Feb robinph Radiance of the Seas Sydney to Perth/B2B Perth to Sydney 34 days 21 May shaddow101 Pacific Jewel South Pacific Who is cruising in March 2012? 06 March coastidee Radiance of the Seas Fremantle to Sydney 06 March robinph 2nd half of B2B Who is cruising inApril 2012? 05 April Dizziedi Radiance of the Seas Honolulu 05 April terrydavidphoto Radiance of the Seas Sydney, NZ, French Polynesia, Tahiti & Hawaii 15 April Billy and Charlies Mum Ruby Princess Eastern Caribbean 28 April Billy and Charlies Mum Star Princess San Francisco to Hawaii Who is cruising in May 2012? 01 May thied Pacific Dawn South Pacific 01 May ambo25 16 May killigrew Sun Princess World Cruise 16 May stevedonna updated to post no 308 on old thread and post No 1 over here.:)
  8. We've sailed on at least 10 cruises over the years, but only one Cunard cruise, a westbound TA on QM2 last year. It was outstanding, so much so that we're inclined toward Cunard for our planned Norway fjords cruise next year. Most of Cunard's Norway itineraries are on QV., though there is one on QM2 we are considering. Would we be disappointed with QV by comparison? I realize everyone's mileage varies on this sort of thing, but would appreciate any informed speculation. Other, non-Cunard possibilities we are considering are Silver Spirit, Silver Wind, and Oceania's Marina. Comparative comments from anyone who's sailed on those ships as well as Cunard's would be most welcome. For the record, our non-Cunard cruises have been on Royal Clipper, Star Flyer, Windstar, Wind Surf, Regent Seven Seas Explorer, and Silversea's Silver Whisper.
  9. Sorry guys, bad news. Bob Brown will not be returning to the ship today. He had a stroke this morning and he will be in ICU for 3 more days and then in a regular room 4 more days, unless something else changes. Betsy and I are leaving the ship here soon and will be staying close by to get Bob through this. We may be getting back on Insignia somewhere down the road, maybe not. It's up in the air as we throwing everything together. I will try to keep you up to date as I know the whole ship is concerned. Bob has made a lot of friends on Insignia. I'm sure he will be alright physically but his spirit is a little tarnished just now. Please keep him in mind and maybe he will return towards the end of the cruise. -Jim.
  10. We are sailing out of Charleston for the first time next month. This is new territory for us as we usually just drive to Galveston or New Orleans, but we are trying some new ports this cruise. We will fly in the day before our cruise and are looking at one of the hotels downtown. Right now, we are considering Hampton Inn or Embassy Suites, both of which are on Meeting Street. Are these good options? We really just want to see a few of the sights downtown and have a nice seafood dinner to get us in the cruising spirit! Also, would we be able to just walk from the hotel to the terminal? According to Google Maps, these are about .5 miles from the cruise terminal. We have children, so ubering and taxis are difficult without bringing our own car seats. However, our kids just walked all over Disney World for 8 days, so I have no doubt that they would handle a 1/2 mile walk like a champ! Just wasn't sure if they actually allowed you to just walk up to the check-in building.
  11. I see it has just been announced that the Duchess of Cornwall is to be the Godmother for Spirit of Discovery.
  12. Excellent, I will no longer have to write Johnny Walker Black in my crabby hand for my spirit choice. Well done Cunard.
  13. Hello, I was using iCruise to browse some cruises for January 2020, and I found a really nice 11 night Norwegian Spirit cruise that caught my attention. But, when I went to NCL.com to look at the prices there, it says that no Spirit cruises are available for that month. Was the cruise I found a charter or something? Does NCL have any European offerings in Janaury? Thanks in advance to anyone that can help me!
  14. Some Thoughts For FirstTime Crystal Cruisers This will serve as the new“Sticky” Thread for this topic. The former thread will no longer be a “Sticky” Thread, but can be found here: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2272970 This thread has beenwritten with first time Crystal Cruisers in mind. I believe it can also behelpful to those who have not cruised Crystal in sometime as well and hopefullyto others who may have cruised Crystal a few times or less. While the information ismainly related to the Ocean Vessels, I have incorporated some information onthe River Cruises and Yacht. The information isprimarily focused on cruise preparation, the first day of embarkation with afew additional thoughts as well. In addition to thisinformation I would like to highlight the following. Cruise Critic CrystalCruises Threads =========================== MEET AND MINGLE PARTIES After you have booked yourcruise you can go over to the Meet and Mingle Board to register to attend aparty. If 10 or more people sign hope Crystal Cruises will host a complimentarycocktail party for that voyage which will provide a nice opportunity for you tomeet your fellow Cruise Critic Cruisers. A few days before the party, you willreceive an invitation noting the date/time/location of the party. Here is the link to signup for the Meet and Mingle (M&M) Parties: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=995584 After you have signed upfor a party if you need to make a revision/deletion you can update yourreservation by using this link. http://www.cruisecritic.com/rollcall/partylist.cfm FUTURE BOOKINGS After you have booked yourcruise you can go over to the Future Booking Thread, which shows all of thosefrom Cruise Critic who are booked on a particular voyage. You can post on thisthread asking that you be added to the cruise you have booked. It also willprovide a nice opportunity for you to see who will be on the cruise with youfrom cruise critic: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...935081&page=42 ROLL CALL THREAD Be sure to see if a rollcall has been established for your cruise. There is a roll call thread thatlists all of the roll calls. This link will take you to the first page of thethread and from there click on the last page to see the most current rollcalls. http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1236633 Pre-Cruise Items ============ -Visit the Crystal CruisesWeb Site at www.crystalcruises.com as it provides lots of useful information to assist you inpreparing for the cruise. -Obtain a copy of CrystalCruise Hard Copy Brochures as they do provide a wealth of information. Thislink will take you to the brochure section on the Crystal Cruises Web Site. http://www.crystalcruises.com/order-a-brochure I would recommend orderingthe Worldwide Atlas. It provides a wealth of information. -For the best availabilityof cabins, book early. Booking early also has other advantages includinggetting your request in for either early or late dining or dining byreservation. -Utilize the shipboarddiagram found in the Hard Copy Brochures or on-line to determine category ofstateroom desired and to develop a prioritized list of stateroom numbers. -At the time of yourbooking be sure to request your evening dining seating preference (main or latedining and table size). If you prefer dining by reservation do not request atraditional dining time. NOTE: You cannot make your dining by reservationchoices until you have made your final payment. Please note that all of this isbased on availability so it is best to book early and to request your diningpreference at the time of your booking. -Dining time for maindining will begin either at 6:00 PM or 6:15 PM depending on the voyage. Latedining begins at 8:30 PM. -Tables available in themain dining room are typically configured for 2, 4, 6, and 8 guests andsometimes there are a few slightly larger tables. If you have any other specialdining requirements have your Travel Agent note them on your bookingreservation at the time of booking. For example, if you have allergies tocertain foods, have that noted on the reservation or for foods such as lowsodium foods or for kosher foods indicate that as well. If you are travelingsolo and prefer to dine with others traveling solo even though the RestaurantMaitre d’ normally takes that into consideration, be sure to have that noted onyour reservation. The same goes for any other preferences for tablemates. YourTravel Agent can also send a note to the on board guest services group at email address obgs@crystalcruises.com about any other special needs. -If you have any specialdietary needs such as kosher, gluten free or low sodium items, be sure thatyour TA notes this information on your reservation at the time of your booking.Also either write to on board guest services or have your TA do this and dothis a minimum of 90 or more before your cruise. They will then send you oryour TA a form to fill out. E Mail for on board guest services is: obgs@crystalcruises.com -Before booking air,compare prices that you can obtain by making your own independent airlinearrangements vs. those offered by Crystal. To obtain specific flights throughthe cruise line, ask for Air Deviation. There is an additional free for customair. Be aware that if you want to purchase economy seats and upgrade them tobusiness or first class that usually cannot be done when you purchase ticketsthrough the cruise line. Keep in mind that the Crystal air program includestransfers, which can save considerable money in certain areas of the world. Iwant to highlight that if you want to get the specific flights to your likingselect custom air -For long flights such asoversea flights, flights within the Continental USA involving long flightsdurations, consider flying in a day or more before. With most flights runningat full capacity, this will help to ensure that should your flight be canceledor significantly delayed that you will not miss the cruise ship and that youwill start the cruise with little to no jet lag. Personally no matter where thecruise begins, we always fly one or more days in advance. As they say, ifsomething can go wrong, it will go wrong. Also, if you have to change planeslook very closely at the connection times. Even those connections that areconsidered legal connections leave very little room for error and if yourflight is delayed and/or you have a long way to get to the next flight you caneasily miss your plane. -Likewise, when you makeflights to return home if you are departing the day that the ship arrives inport give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport. Be sure to factor inany delays that could occur including the ship arriving to port late, delays inclearing the ship for disembarkation, delays in claiming your luggage, thelength of time to get from the pier over to the airport and the times requiredto check in for flights. My view is there is no sense in spending half thecruise worrying whether or not you will make your flight so think verycarefully about the flight times. -Look carefully at thecruise pre-hotel and post-hotel program. Remember, that while the hotel staythrough the program is likely to be more costly than if you booked the stay onyour own, the hotel program also includes transfers between the airport and thehotel and then on embarkation day from the hotel to the ship. In some citiesaround the world transportation can be quite costly. We have used the hotelprogram several times. - Be sure to determinewhether or not you need travel/health insurance and what your needs are. If youwant insurance to cover say the impact of a catastrophic event (sometimescalled an act of god) be sure you read the policy carefully so you know what isand what is not covered so there are no surprises. -At the time of yourbooking, determine if your cruise requires any visas that have to be arrangedprior to your cruise and if any vaccinations are required. This information canbe obtained from Crystal. The availability of this information may varydepending on how far in advance you book the cruise. Crystal does anoutstanding job letting its guests know whether or not visas are required andif any vaccinations are required. Usually by around August the information isavailable for the following calendar year. Crystal Cruises will also let youknow if a Yellow Fever Vaccination is required for your cruise. This link willtake you to 2104/12015 Visa Requirements. Always remember this information canbe subject to change so be sure to have your TA verify this for you. http://www.pinnacletds.com/Crystal The information on thatlink is oriented to United States passport holders and there is an e-mailaddress so that those from other countries can check on their requirements. PCPC - Priority Check-in& Planning Center -Sign in to the PriorityCheck-in & Planning Center (PCPC), by clicking on the following link. https://checkin.crystalcruises.com/ You will need to enteryour first and last names and your booking number, which your travelagent/specialist should provide to you. You will complete four sections relatedto immigration such as passport information for each traveler, credit card, onboard profile and a transportation section. Make sure your credit carddoesn't expire during or before the cruise ends. The check in system will NOTlet you put in a Credit Card that expires before the cruise. If you use a debitcard to make your initial entries because your CC expires before the cruise,make sure you go back and put in your new Credit Card information. -The PCPC will alsoprovide you with other information about your cruise including a calendar thatshows the itinerary, along with other information such as whether you aredocked or anchored in port, and what the dress attire is for each evening. Besure to print out a copy of this calendar and bring it with you for check infor your cruise on embarkation day. -As you get closer to thecruise if you look for the section above the calendar marked “events” it will showyou the times of the evening shows which may help you with your planning.Please note that the actual times for the shows might be different on yourvoyage and once on board they will be duly noted in the daily ReflectionsProgram -After you make your finalpayment you can use the system to pre book one specialty restaurant reservationper specialty restaurant, a reservation at the Vintage Room, reservations foropen dining by reservation if you did not selected classic (fixed) dining, spaand salon reservations, signups for classes including those taught at thecomputer university and the ability to arrange for transfers from the airportto the ship if you are flying in the day of embarkation and not using theCrystal Cruises airline program or for the day of disembarkation if you areflying home that day and not using the Crystal Cruises air program. From PCPCyou can also go to other web sites such as one to ship luggage from your hometo the ship and/or from the ship to your home. You can also request anotherservice, which provided for a fee additional assistance at the airport. Pleaseremember that reservations are based on availability. -Approximately six monthsbefore your cruise starts you can make shore excursion reservations in PCPCeven if you have not yet made your final payment. -If this is your firstCrystal Cruise I do recommend making one reservation at each SpecialtyRestaurant (Silk Road which serves Japanese Cuisine and Prego which servesItalian Cuisine). If you are sailing Crystal Serenity you can make one dinnerreservation via PCPC for Tastes, which is a casual dining alternative. There is also an iMovieClass being offered on each voyage and you can sign up for that by using PCPC.If you do sign up for the class be sure to purchase and load the iMovie Appthat is listed on the PCPC at the signup screen for this program. Crystal provides variousnewspapers on line, and the ability to watch on demand lectures and movies onvarious devices such as the iPhone, Android and the iPad. Be sure to make sureyou have downloaded the Press Reader App to read newspapers and the dailyprogram Reflections, the movies on demand swank player app to watch movies onyour iPad, and the iMovie by Apple app to make iMovies should you sign upf orthe class while still at home. This link takes you to the Crystal Cruises Appcenter where you can download the apps you require. http://www.crystalcruises.com/app-center -After making your finalpayment if you didn’t choose classic (fixed) evening dining then you will usethis system for the open choice dining by reservation for the Crystal (main)Dining Room. For each evening you specify the time you would like to dine alongwith the table size and the reservation system will confirm this for you inreal-time as you make each reservation. Please note that if you book a tablethat is larger than the size of your party (for example if you are two peopleand book a table for six) then you are responsible for inviting that number ofpeople to join you as the Maître d’ does not seat others with you. Do not waitto board the ship to first make reservations. The times and overallavailability are capacity controlled so it’s best to make all of thereservations at the time or shortly after you make final payment. -Approximately two weeksbefore the start of your voyage you will receive an e-mail from Crystal Cruiseswhich will list all of the reservations you have made and will advise that nonew reservations or revised reservations can be made within seven days of yoursailing. -About six months beforethe cruise begins, under your voyage, the Crystal Web Site will list all of theshore excursions and provide the opportunity for you to sign up for theseexcursions. Most shore excursions can be canceled with no penalty. On the nightthat you embark the ship, your shore excursion tickets will be delivered toyour stateroom, and each ticket will note the last day in which the tickets canbe canceled to avoid penalties. Ordering the tickets ahead of time, saves youtime early in the cruise and also helps to ensure that you get the excursionsthat you want as some of the more popular excursions with limited availabilitycan be sold out prior to the commencement of the cruise. -Be sure that yourpassport will not expire less than six months after your cruise ends. If itdoes expire be sure to get a new passport. Also, check to see if you havesufficient available visa pages in the back. You can have pages added to your existingpassport for a charge. The key is to do this sooner rather than later to ensurethat your passport is back in plenty of time. Notify all of your creditcard and atm card banks of the dates of your vacation and your itinerary sothey do not think transactions from your vacation are fraud related. Make alist of your card numbers and phone numbers in case you need to reach the cardcompany should your cards become lost or should your card not be returned froman ATM machine. Attire ==== Often, there are questionsabout the evening attire. The following information about attire comes directlyfrom the Crystal Cruises Web Site. The web site also notesthe appropriate daytime attire for the Crystal Dining Room. Crystal Casual For women, Crystal Casualincludes a dress, or a blouse or sweater and skirt or dressy slacks. Men’sCrystal Casual attire includes a sports jacket (optional), dress shirt,buttoned down shirt, open collar or collared polo shirt and dress plants. (Notie required.) Black Tie Optional For men, this includes adark suit with tie or tuxedo. For women, this includes a formal cocktail dress,evening gown, or dressy evening separates. On Black Tie Optional evenings,Crystal requests at least a Jacket to be worn by men and dress, skirts ordressy slacks and blouse or sweater be worn by women. Jeans may NOT be worn inany dining venues or lounges, including the Casino on Black Tie Optionalevenings. Guests can expect thefollowing Black Tie Optional Nights: 7 days or less cruises:All Crystal Casual evenings 8 to 10 day cruises: Up to1 Black Tie Optional evening 11 to 13 day cruises: 2Black Tie Optional evenings World Cruise, HolidayCruises and Crossings may be scheduled differently. Your booking on PCPC willconfirm the number of Black Tie Optional Evenings for your specific cruise aswill your final cruise documents. Visitors ===== Crystal is one of the fewcruise lines, which permit having visitors on board the ship. This link willtake you to the Visitors Authorization Form. Please be sure to fill out theform in its entirety. Visitors are permitted on embarkation day and other daysof the cruise with the exception of the day you disembark the ship. The formnotes the costs to have visitors on board including meals. The visitor requestform is available on line and you can access it via PCPC. Always good to get itapproved sooner rather than later as the number of visitors who can board iscapacity controlled. Final Documents, and otherPreparations ========================= -Your final documentsshould arrive approximately 30 to 40 days prior to the start of your cruise. Itincludes the cruise passenger ticket, your luggage tags, and other importantinformation to read through including a book titled before you cruise. Be sureto read that book from cover to cover as it includes a lot of usefulinformation which will address many questions that first time cruisers toCrystal undoubtedly have. NOTE: Your final documents will not be sent outunless you have filled out the information on the on line PCPC system. Finaldocuments also include a shore excursion booklet. -You may want to type up alist of any special requests for your stewardess, which you can hand to her theday you first meet her. This could be the type of non-alcoholic beverages thatyou prefer be stocked in your refrigerator, or the type of fruit that you likein your fruit bowl or any other special requests that you have. If you arestaying in a PH or above category your butler will take care of your refrigeratorso you could make a similar list for your butler. -Think through what itemsyou will take with you on the cruise and think through what you will wear thefirst day of embarkation and take into account what you will wear to dinner thefirst evening should your luggage arrive later than expected. - You will receive luggagetags, which you will want to fill out and attach to your luggage right beforeyou go to the pier. Be sure to print out acopy your PCPC document and place it with your final documents. Getting Ready For TheCruise ================== In addition to the eveningattire, think through carefully what you will want to wear on the ship on seadays and what you want to wear while in port. Consider the weather that isexpected based on the time of year and the itinerary you are sailing. If you are on an extendedcruise we bring wire hangers with us, which take up less room in the closet andallow for more clothes to be hung. Complimentary laundryfacilities are available on most passenger decks. They include washer, dryersand an iron and ironing board and complimentary laundry detergent and fabricsofteners are provided. Pressing and Dry CleaningServices are also available on the ship for a charge. Complimentary pressing isavailable for those passengers booked in any of the three penthouse (PH, PS, orCP) categories and complementary dry cleaning and laundry services are alsoavailable for those in the CP Category. Free Internet service isavailable to those in the CP as is 2 hours of free in-suite phone service.Those in the PS received 2 hours of free internet service. Please note that thoseguests sailing in a standard stateroom or Penthouse PH category receive onehour of complimentary internet per day/per guest and you get all of the minutesup front on the first day you board. For those sailing in a Penthouse Suite (PSCategory) you will receive ninety minutes per guest of complimentary internetservice per day. The following providesinformation on internet pricing for those wanting to purchase additionalminutes of internet beyond what is provided comlimentary. You can use the planseither on the computers in the Computer University or on your own devices or ona combination of both. Pay as You Go” access for$0.74/minute 2 hours of access for $55($0.46/minute) 5 hours of access for $127($0.43/minute) 10 hours of access for$220 ($0.37/minute) Free Crystal (note onlyCrystal e mail) is available to those in the PH, PS and CP. This involves aspecial Crystal e-mail address that is assigned to you. We also bring some magnetswith us and they can be hung on some of the walls in the cabin, which we use tohang up reminders and various invitations and the cruise ship summary andpictures of the family. Be sure to bring yourcruise ticket with you. Embarkation is done on board the ship. We bring extra passportpictures with us and we also bring a copy of each of our passports. We do thisjust in case we lost our passport either before the start of the cruise orafter the cruise before we fly home. This will facilitate getting a newpassport. There are various apps youcan put on devices such as iPads and selected smart phones. This link will takeyou to the list of apps. http://www.crystalcruises.com/app-center Embarkation Day ============= -On most embarkation days,boarding of the ship begins at around 12:00 Noon. However, there are someexceptions to this. Usually they are duly noted in your cruise documents. -Your final documentsinclude a document that will be scanned when you arrive to the ship forembarkation. The embarkation process is now handled on the ship including thephoto of you being taken for your shipboard card. -If you embark at thathour, your stateroom will likely not be ready until approximately 2:00 PM to3:00 PM. -Before you board the shipthe ships photographers will be taking photos. This is optional and for thosewho do not want a photo of taken they can just pass on this. -After you embark, stop bythe front desk to get a copy of the Reflections daily program. This program isa keeper and I encourage you to read it thoroughly. While there will be one inyour room, often we read the one we pick up the desk during lunch. The embarkationReflections program not only provides lots of information about the first day’sactivities, but some additional information regarding the overall cruise. Readit cover to cover. You will learn a great deal about the cruise. There will be a one-pagesummary that will list each day, whether it is a sea day or a port day, whatthe attire is for dinner each evening, any theme meals in the Crystal DiningRoom and the type of entertainment for each evening. We keep this page handythroughout the cruise. -Go enjoy lunch. A niceplace for lunch is the Crystal Dining Room where a nice sit-down lunch isavailable along with complimentary flutes of champagne. While you are waitingfor lunch, this might be a good time to read through reflections. You can enterand still be seated in the dining room up until 1:30 PM. A more casualluncheon-dining venue will also be open on the Lido Deck. -If you want to makereservations at the Specialty Restaurants and/or also see where your diningroom table is located for the evening dinner in the main dining room the MaîtreD’s will have hours available in the afternoon when you can meet with them. Thehours and the location will be posted in Reflections. -If you have brought yourown computer with you this is also a good day to go by the Computer Universitywhere they will configure your computer for use in your stateroom. You can alsosign up for an Internet plan whether or not you have your own computer or usethe computers located in the Computer University. If you would like to sign upfor computer classes, stop by the Computer University to do so and to pick up acopy of the computer class schedule. -If you have spa and otherbeauty salon appointments that you need to make, be sure to visit the spa.Also, pick up a schedule of all of the fitness classes that will be offeredduring the voyage at the Fitness Center. -While you are waiting foryour cabin this is a good day to get learn about the layout of the public areason the ship. Take a walk to see what is on each deck. -When your room is ready,go by your room. Some or your entire luggage may already be in the room andthose pieces that are not yet there will be delivered throughout the afternoon.Your room should be ready sometime between 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM. -Stop by the library tocheckout books, music CD’s, and DVD’s. -Your stewardess will comeby to see you sometime that afternoon. This is a good time to ask her anyquestions you have. If you like particular types of non-alcoholic beverages lether know. You can order up to two bottles of wines/spirit for your room. A listof what can be ordered is in the back of a Crystal Stateroom Book that can befound in your room. The same goes for the fruit bowl that she will fill eachday. And, if there is any other requests you have you can let her know. If youhave a list that you prepared mentioned earlier then this is a good time togive it to her. -If you are staying in aPH or above category in addition to the stewardess who is also assisted by astewardess in training you will also have a butler. The butler will stock yourrefrigerator with non-alcoholic drinks, will also provide selectedcomplimentary wine, spirit sand beer should you want any. -This is a good time tounpack and later in the day you will also attend the lifeboat drill. The timewill be noted in the Reflections Program and an announcement will be made aboutthe drill well before the start time. On your door there will be a sign notingwhere your muster station is. If in doubt, any of the assigned personnel in thehallways and near the stairways will be able to direct you to the appropriatemuster station. On Board Credits (OBC) All on board credits haveto be used as any unused credits cannot be taken as a credit to your creditcard when the cruise ends. If you are on for more than one consecutive cruisethe credit from the first cruise will continue to rollover to subsequentcruises until you disembark the ship at the final port of call. There are a variety ofways to use your on board credit. This list reflects examples of many ways youcan use your on board credit. I may have omitted some examples but this listshould give you some good ideas as to how you can use your credits. Shore Excursions includingPrivate Crystal Excursions Private Transfers PostCruise Booked On Board or Shared Transfers booked via PCPC or on board. Post Card Stamps Connoisseur Wine &Beer List Crystal Spa & Salon Personal Training Other Paid Services in theFitness Center Vintage Room Casino with the followingcaveats: http://legacy.crystalcruises.com/Sup...px?stb=2&fc=15 Tips Crew Fund Cigars Private Parties Flowers Specialty Restaurant Reservationsthat exceed the allotment based on the length of the cruise and the number ofcruises you completed. Special Silk RoadConnoisseur Menu Caviar Dry Cleaning, Pressing andWashing of Garments Medical Expenses On Board Stores includingSundries Hosting Guests On Board Private Dance Lessons On Board Visas if there isa requirement for them and the ship arranges them Internet beyond theComplimentary 1 hour per day per person that is included Long Distance TelephoneCalls Photos Photo items sold on board Photo Book The Cruise ======== -Each time the ship leavesport, if you go outside (on your own verandah, or on any of the outside decksyou will hear what has become a tradition for Crystal Cruises and it’s guestand crew which is a recording of Louis Armstrong singing "What a WonderfulWorld" -The wait staff in theMain Dining Room will include the Maitre d’ who has several responsibilitiesincluding assigning passengers to their respective tables, the Head Waiter whois responsible for an area of the dining room which includes several tables andwho you can see if you would like to order any special items, the senior waiterwho takes your order and ensures that all of the items you ordered are servedto you, and the waiter who assists the senior waiter in serving you your meal.There is also a sommelier that serves mixed drinks and wine and hasresponsibility for a specific section of tables. - Gratuities are includedwith your cruise fare. However, should you wish to you can give gratuities to thosefrom the cruise who you will to thank for the excellent service they haveprovided. You can either do this by giving them cash of if you would like youcan obtain a form at the reception desk so that you can charge the tips to yourshipboard account. -Wine. Complimentary wineis available throughout the day/evening. For those who might want to havesomething other than the complimentary wine you can order it at the time youdine or you can pre-order it. If you would like you can pre-order wine earlierin the day at the Bistro which is staffed with several of the sommeliers. Thatway if you are ordering a red wine it can be opened up ahead of time andregardless of whether you order a red or a white wine or both the table will beset accordingly. If you have a bottle of wine in your room that you would liketo send to any of the restaurants just let your stewardess know or in the PHand above categories just let your butler know. There is no charge for havingwine opened in any of the dining venues. Each night the CrystalDining Room will offer a couple of different wines. In general, there are about19 wines that are offered during the cruise in the dining room so if the twowines are not to your liking ask about these other wines. In the Specialty restaurantsPrego and Silk Road there are a few complimentary wines offered each evening.There are also a few others so ask about those if the ones are offered are notappealing to you. You can also have complimentary sake in Silk Road. On Crystal Serenityanother dining option is Tastes and they also have an inclusive wine list ofseveral wines. -Spirits. The inclusivelist includes a wide range of spirits and also includes other items such asliquors for after dinner drinks or to enjoy other times of the day. -Beer. For those who enjoybeer there are some offerings of beer on each voyage. - Most importantly, startenjoying your cruise knowing that the superb personnel on board the CrystalShip will take care of your every need. Enjoy the ambience of the ship and thefive-star+ services that awaits you from the outstanding cuisine to theoutstanding service. -Enjoy each and everyminute of the cruise knowing that you are in the professional hands of thesuperb Crystal Staff. For those who like to keep busy there is so much to doand to learn. For those who just want to sit back, read a book, enjoy the sea,there are many special places around the ship in which to relax. -In the unlikely eventthere is a concern with some item, be sure that it is addressed. If you are notsure who to speak with, just ask the reception desk for assistance. - At the end of the cruiseyou will be a member of the Crystal Society. As a Crystal Society member youreceive discounts on future cruises and you can achieve additional benefitsbased on the number of cruises taken. Also, this is the time to considerbooking a future cruise, as you will receive an on board-booking discount. Thediscount is on top of the Crystal Society discount and is the same percentage.So, if the Crystal Society discount was 4 percent then you would receive anadditional 4% for the on board booking discount for a total savings of 8%. -Assuming you enjoy yourexperience with Crystal Cruises, you can book another Crystal Cruise with theon-board booking consultant while still on the cruise and this will provide youwith an on board booking discount. If you are unsure what cruise to book youcan do an open booking which you can then apply to a specific cruise within thepublished time frame while back on land. -Once you are home, youwill have the opportunity to complete an on-line questionnaire. Take the timeto fill it out. This used to be a hard copy questionnaire that you had to fillout on the ship. Now you can complete it at home within the established timeframe, which allows Crystal Cruises to capture information on yourdisembarkation process and also allows you to take time to reflect on thecruise. There is lots of room for comments and also to recognize members of thecrew for a job well done. The comments are read by many people includingpersonnel in Los Angeles and on the ship and the results of the questionnaireare taken every seriously. Before you leave the shipyou will receive a letter in your cabin discussing the on-line questionnaireand noting the e-mail address they have on file for each passenger where theinformation will be sent. Sometime the day you disembark the ship you willreceive an e-mail about the survey and there will be an area that you click onthe e mail which will take you to the survey. My wife and I feel so veryfortunate to be able to cruise on a cruise line as special to us as Crystal.Through our many cruises with Crystal we have had the opportunity to learn sovery much about the world we live in. In our humble opinion there is no betterway to see so many places in a relatively short time as on a cruise. And, forus, each and every time we board the Crystal Serenity or the Crystal Symphony,and familiar faces, crew and passengers greet us alike, we know we are back home. Finally, as soon as youboard the ship, just start enjoying the cruise and I hope each of you will makememories that will last a lifetime. YACHT In late 2015 CrystalCruises launched their first Yacht known as Crystal Esprit. This link will take you tothe Crystal Cruises Web Site providing some very useful summary informationabout the Esprit Yacht. http://www.crystalcruises.com/yacht/yacht-guidebook RIVER CRUISING Crystal Cruises commencesriver cruising starting in 2016 with the deployment of Crystal Mozart. In 2017,Crystal Cruises will deploy two new River Cruise Vessels; Bach, & Mahler. For information aboutRiver Cruises: http://www.crystalcruises.com/river/river-guidebook I hope that each of youhas found this document to be of help. Bon Voyage! Keith
  15. I praise it because we love the cultural aspect of it ( and the dance aspect is like a giant tapestry of song and dance). You have to look at the historical significance of the event. The american indian (First Nation) have their Pow-wow, the Maori of New-Zealand have theirs, etc. It celebrate what they are and the respect they have for what they were and what they will be. Same goes for the Hawaiian who have their own version - the LUAU. See the 2017 or 2017 event on youtube and decide if you wish to attend. The cost is minimal (about 25$ per night - 3 hour show). Event is held from the first week of july to the third (final dates are set around the month of February but they will not vary much) . Wish Windstar would make a Special Event. We saw the local one in Reatea with Wind Spirit (it overnight there). We were the only WS passenger to attend - And we missed the deck BBQ 😉 We're going this July. :-) (and report back with photos) if you have question just send them Cheers Daniel See the FB version on Tahiti TV - Great routine at 1:48:00
  16. I just got off of the Wind Spirit. If you do not know the boat lost power (complete black out) losing all propulsion while docking in Raiatea. After drifting the rear of the boat came to rest on the public dock next to the "Shell Gas Station". Power was restored quickly (15 mins). We docked normally, about 15-20 mins late. I believe the damage was very light. A scratch is all I saw on the MSY Wind Spirit. The concrete of the dock was damaged, but no rebar was showing. It seems that its current cruise is NOT happening (so far). The ship is still in Papeete https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:-149.568/centery:-17.536/zoom:18 When I left all seemed normal. They were taking on fuel (done once every three weeks or so). Supplies were being loaded. I saw several sprinter vans get unloaded onto the ship. They were slightly delayed in getting luggage off, and a tug boat helped us dock. I am not sure if it normal, or if it was requested. We left port without a tug, I did not expect one on the way back. ADDED NEWS LINKS: https://www.radio1.pf/le-wind-spirit-endommage-le-quai-de-uturoa-video/ https://la1ere.francetvinfo.fr/polynesie/tahiti/polynesie-francaise/paquebot-wind-spirit-percute-quai-uturoa-716865.html https://www.tahiti-infos.com/A-Raiatea-le-Wind-Spirit-percute-le-quai-de-Uturoa_a181870.html Anyone know what is going on?
  17. Thanks, Jim, for keeping us posted on Bob. I’ve been enjoying reading your blog too. You take some good pictures and I love your adventuresome spirit!!!!! When we met Bob on the segment from Sydney to Tokyo, he was so down-to-earth, kind and welcoming. He always gave freely of his time when we had a question. Our cabin was down the hall from his. Bob seemed to be fit so he should have a quick recovery. Our friend had 4 stints put in and life has gone back to normal for him, as if nothing happened, and we’re wishing that kind of recovery for Bob too!!!! Take care, Bob, after all—your mission isn’t completed... Thinking positive thoughts for you Bob. And thinking of Betsy as well. Frances and Rafael
  18. We are cruising Feb 1st, cruising out of FLL. We will be flying into West Palm from Detroit on the Friday. Found flights on Spirit for $66 pp. Flying home on the Monday following the cruise from FLL $79 pp. With seats and luggage it came to $401 total. Happy with the price. Wont come even close to that with any other airline.
  19. Hiya Jim ! Late to this thread, if only owing to the fact that (apparently) all aft corner excel suites for Pt Canaveral sailings seem to be sold out (I checked a dozen or so, and finally got the message)! It would appear that the forward excel suites are still widely available - as they don't offer up all that the aft corners do. So... any insight yet as to what aft corner deck appears to be preferred for the excel suite?... and.... any inkling as to when bookings will open of for 5/21 and beyond? I think it's going to be along wait !! That's OK though... I can see that at least Carnival has started to turn the corner w/regard to their suite offerings. It's been downhill since the Spirit class - but times are apparently a changin' 🙂 Tom
  20. B cabins were sold out when I made my reservation for a November cruise, so I went for BX #129. Final payment is due shortly and I'm thinking that if there is any a time when cabins might free up it would be at final payment. As in people who are thinking about a cruise and hold a place, may cancel more frequently then. Asked TA to take a look at that time. I've read that aft B cabins are noisy. Any thing forward to avoid just in case there's something available? Nancy
  21. In the spirit of moving forward, I would like to offer to help with some information on this board and maybe if it works, Andy would be happy to make a sticky out of the thread On the Celebrity board, there is a very useful spreadsheet kept up to date by one of the cruisers where others can search for information on a cabin. Here on Azamara, we have to try and search and trawl for information and I am offering to create and maintain with say forthnightly updates a similar spreadsheet. For it to work, everyone has to post information in a consistent way and also only use the thread to post information, not to engage in debate (pop over to the Celebrity board if you want to see more on how it works) For Azamara, I would suggest the information should be Cabin Number Ship Month/Year sailed Would you choose this room again Y/N Is noise an issue Y/N Balcony size Normal/Larger/Smaller Any other comments (keeping these succinct so the spreadsheet does not grow too much) How do others feel about this - if you think we do not need it here, please say, I will not be offended!!!!
  22. Many thanks to above posters for their best wishes. Calm seas and fair skies to Wes & Ida. You will certainly be well travelled in that part of the world, taking into account your Norwegian cruise a couple of years ago. Thank you for your suggestion RachelG. This will, however be Sir and Madame's first visit to Slovenia and they have opted for a walking tour of Ljubljana, as the best option in the circumstances. I will endeavour to do some sleuthing whilst on board but this will depend on the cooperation of the, as yet unidentified HD, CD and GRM. I have also not forgotten the query from a different board about whether the Captain who was in charge of the Spirit when the accident occurred last December in Key West, is still with SS, as I believe I know his identity. Kindest regards Master Echo
  23. I wrote a post in March about Carnival vs NCL but that was before I sailed on what’s I would consider a more equivalent ship to the Glory on NCL. I am currently in the NCL Spirit, this is the oldest ship in NCL’s fleet and has been in commission since 1999 and holds a little less than 2000 passengers. The Glory has been in service since 2003 and holds about 2900 passengers. Yes the Spirit is a little smaller but both my cruises were sold out and at Max a capacity. I am also not going to compare passengers and crowdedness since my Glory cruise was to the caribbean during spring break which had a lot more children than my current which is a 14 day to Ireland, Iceland, and Norway. I believe there are about 20 kids on the ship and since it is cold no one is using the pool and only one or two people are in the hot tubs at a time. Which was quite different from the Glory. Also the average age on this cruise is probably 60 something, so a completely different population. Both cruises had really nice people and I never saw crazy drunk people on my Carnival cruise not to say that they did not exist, I just never saw them. Most likely since I am not a late night party person. The NCL Spirit is in way better condition the the Glory. The Glory was clean for the most part. But the Spirit does not show its age, not even close to the Glory. I think NCL just does a better job maintaining the interior of their ships. The Glory has many lose tiles, was more worn in places, and carpet coming up in our room just to note a few. Nothing that would deter me enough if the price is right from sailing carnival but the difference is noticeable. I am am not a foodie at all but NCL has better food with the exception of Guys and the pizza on Carnival. The buffet on the Glory is a extremely limited and not very good. Even with a smaller ship the buffet on the Spirt is about 2-3 times the size of the Glory’s buffet and has many more options that rotate more. Also they offer a NY strip every night plus one other steak cut in the MDR one NCL and Carinval did offer a prime rib once but most nights the steak choice was a flat iron steak. If I am going to spend over an hour eating I want something better than a flat iron steak. I also like the causal dress code of NCL. I do not want to dress up for dinner I am extremely causal and wear jeans and t-shirts to work. I had a balcony on both ships the room on the Glory was much bigger than our room on the Spirit. Even though we do have plenty of space on the Spirit (it is only my daughter which is 12 and myself). I do like the shower on the Spirit better it is a little larger and has a sliding glass door. I also hated the non-sliding balancing door on the Glory. I like to sit in my room with the door open but on the Glory this is not possible. Also every time someone closed there balancing door in an adjacent room you hear the door slam and the wall rattle (I guess a lot of people just let them slam instead of closing the door). This was also true of the hallway doors on the Glory. Every time someone near by left their room or entered their room they would let the door slam and we could hear it. On the Spirit either everyone is closing there doors or you just do not hear them slam. Also you could hear the hallway announcements in the Glory clearly in our room without opening the door. We had many announcements. On all my NCL cruises you can hear that there is an announcement but you have to open your door to hear it clearly which I prefer. I not if this would be the case on a newer Carnival ship. The internet on the Glory is a joke and they should not be able to charge people for it. I did pay for the premium internet service and could barely use it. I mean even with email, sending a text, or reading Facebook. I know I probably could of gotten a refund but I read reviews before I went did I kind of knew what to expect. The internet on the Spirit is awesome as awesome as ships WiFi can get. I have to work while on this cruise (for all those that do not think I should be working while on vacation, I spend 1-2 hours a day working while on most vacations and get to go on 3-4 cruises a year with over a month at sea, which I would not be able to do if I did not work while on my vacation) so it is imperative I have good internet. I even played a multiplayer game the other day and it had not issues connecting to the server. I also uploaded a 10 minute YouTube video I recorded for my class. So Carnival is only an option for me during spring break when I do not have to work. My my daughter was in Circle C on Carnival and is in the kids club on NCL. Once kids turn 13 they go to the Entourage on NCL instead of the kids club. She can check her self in and out the NCL kids club but if she checked herself in she could not check out for two hours. She really liked Circle C because of the more freedom. The kids go in and out as they please. She would meet her friends there and they would go about the ship, she actually spent very little time in Circle C. She did say that they never ran any of the planned events in Circle C which she was disappointed about. As a parent I think she actually likes the NCL kids club more because she spends every waking moment in there (even in this sailing with 3-4 kids her age on the ship) whereas in Circle C 12 year olds are not that great at organizing meet ups and do not always know there parents plans, so sometimes she would go and come back after a little bit because none of her friends showed up. She would also be back by 9 pm while on NCL she stays until they close at 10:30 pm and would stay later if I would pay for the late night care. The casino on the Glory is 100x better than on the Spirit for slots. I do spend a lot of time there and the Glory has much better and newer slots. Also on Carnival you can use your on board account to take money out on a slot machine without the 3% cash advance penalty so you do not necessarily need to carry the cash with you. The spa is way better on the Spirit. The whole experience you feel like you are at a spa. On the Glory that feeling was lacking and for the prices you pay on ship that feeling should be there. We did get asked when we wanted our room cleaned on Carnival. This did not bother me and I like that he gave us a card with his photo and number. I have never had a bad room steward on any cruise line. Staff on both ships are super friendly but a I have seen way more officers on the Spirit. During busy times I have also seen officers helping out in the buffet and cleaning off tables. I did not not go to any of the shows on Carnival and I do not plan to go to any shows on this NCL cruise but on the larger NCL ships were you reserve your seats I always go to the main theater shows and have always enjoyed them. I will sail Carnival again and have a cruise booked for next March on the Valor so I expect it to be similar to the Glory but for the price and the OBC the casino gave me I cannot beat it. I am actually paying less for the same cruise I took this March and then I am getting a $500 OBC. I will also probably sail a newer Carnival ship in the future because I am not a brand loyalist but the price will have to be right (besides Carnival and NCL I have sailed Royal Caribbean and Holland America).
  24. Just curious if anyone has recent experience with the internet speed on the NCL spirit? I had purchased the social media package in past on the Getaway and had a good experience, however NCL spirit is the oldest ship so not sure if it will be the same in terms of internet speed. Any experiences would be greatly appreciated!
  25. This thread is exclusively for those wishing to post questions and updates on when rate windows will open only. Information posted elsewhere will be dropped here. Likewise - posts that are not specifically on this topic will be deleted from this thread. Thanks Mike ***Note - There were posts for Jet Blue and South West on this board - however in setting this up I lost them. Please feel free to re-post your information here. I will stick this thread to the top once it gets started. *** This thread will drop posts over 90 days old.
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