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About jimdee3636

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Tucson, AZ
  • Interests
    Good food and wine, interesting conversations, gym workouts, exploring places on foot.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    HAL, Silversea, Oceania, Princess, Cunard

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  1. Quick correction on my original post: the cancelled cruise was scheduled for Feb. 2021 (not 2020). cruzsnooze: In general, you're right about it being unfair to compare cruises when the months and ships are different. But in my case, the sailing dates are Feb. 6 and March 1---same season, less than a month apart (different year, of course). As for the ships, the Discovery, albeit newer, is basically the same ship as the Royal.
  2. Our 5-night "Cabo Getaway" cruise on the Royal for February, 2020 was cancelled by Princess. We were booked in a "full" suite. The per person cost was $1,449.00, including the premium beverage package, prepaid gratuities, and a few other extras. Looking at the same cruise in March of 2022 (except the ship will be the Discovery), the price for the same cabin, same packages, is $1,798 per person. I haven't looked at different 2022 cruises, but if they're all like this one you can expect pretty big price increases. Not surprising, given that passenger capacity will probably be reduced, but still
  3. Unless things have changed, you can always upgrade once onboard from a "Signature" beverage package to a "Premier" package (I hope I'm using the right terms) for something like $10 per day, per person. We did it several times and felt it was well worth it, given the greater selection it offered. However, we reached four-star Mariner status just before our last cruise, which allowed us to purchase wine-by-the-bottle packages at 50% off. The package we had gave us an even better choice of wines at a very good price.
  4. Not only that, but the (alleged) value of the NCL drink package is $99 per day, and the mandatory gratuity is 20%, i.e., nearly $20 per day, per person. NCL does something similar with the "free" specialty dining option. Don't get me wrong: I was on two short NCL cruises last year and made good use of the "free"' drink and dining packages. But I had read the fine print beforehand and knew what I was getting into.
  5. We're on the same Ryndam (actually, Rotterdam---it's been re-named) transatlantic, and experienced the same emotional swing. The new sail dates work for us, and I'll gladly accept the additional $100 pp in OBC we're getting for the (presumed) inconvenience. The only thing that still makes me concerned is the possibility (likelihood?) that we won't be able to get off the ship in ports unless we're on an "official" shore excursion. That would be a deal-breaker for us. Fortunately, the final payment isn't due until (I think) mid-July, so the situation should be clearer by then.
  6. These may or may not be ports Cunard goes to, but I vote for: 1. Tangier 2. Cabo San Lucas 3. Cozumel 4. Key West (reluctantly added because it was fun the first time, but the second and third times were dismal)
  7. My wife and I just booked a 5-night Cabo Getaway out of L.A., Feb. 6-11, 2021. Normally, we would have preferred a 7-night Mexican Riviera sailing, with additional stops in Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta. But if there's a requirement that the only way to get off the ship in a port is to take an "official" tour, we won't be sailing. We never get off the ship---any ship---in Cabo anyway, so a shore excursion requirement there would be irrelevant to us. But in just about any other port, anywhere in the world, we want to get off the ship and explore on our own. We may be limiting ourselves severely
  8. I'm sure Cunard is working on a "Plan B," but I wouldn't expect any official cancellations until or unless the Australian government makes it official. In my own case, I had a booking with HAL for a 28-night Sydney to Seattle sailing in April of 2021. With all the dismal cruise-related news coming from Down Under, I cancelled it a month ago rather than sweat it out till the final payment date. It would have been our first time ever in Australia or the South Pacific. Oh well.....
  9. One more thought: You're doing yourself a favor by sailing to and from Barbados and thus avoiding the Bridgetown airport. It's the worst one in the Caribbean, maybe in the Western Hemisphere, in terms of organization and efficiency. We had to use it both before and after a Silversea cruise. Never again! The island itself is great, though. We loved our three pre-cruise nights at the Hilton, and wished it could have been longer.
  10. I wore a tuxedo on formal nights on all three of my warm-weather Silversea cruises, but I was in the minority. (Maybe 30-35% of the men wore them or wore white dinner jackets, the rest mainly suits or sport coats with dress slacks, usually with a tie). Our 21-night Cunard QM2 sailing a year ago was much dressier---on formal nights, probably 80% wore a tuxedo, although that was a cold-weather cruise. My wife and I have done about thirty cruises, mostly on HAL and other mass-market lines, but occasionally we've splurged. The nicest difference for us about Silversea was the much-more-
  11. Thanks! I like ships in the 300-600 passenger range (Silversea, Seabourn, etc.), but have never done a "luxury yacht" cruise. I'm intrigued by Atlas but I think I'll wait until I see if they really go forward in 2021.
  12. I recently received an e-mail from Atlas Ocean Voyages (www.atlasoceanvoyages.com), which I had never heard of before. It purports to be a "leader in small ship cruising." Has anyone sailed with them, or even just booked a cruise with them for 2021 or 2022. If so, any impressions you can share---good or bad?
  13. She's that Bulgarian woman, right? Yes, she is great, and she evidently did a fine job of training the bartenders she supervised because we never had anything less than stellar service at the bar there last summer---every night before dinner on a 21-night sailing. My only disappointment was that we didn't get a gold star for attendance.
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