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About Shep_Proudfoot

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  1. First time on Crystal, departing this weekend for Rome and 7 days on Serenity. It seemed like a good deal vs. other lines and the timing and itinerary were the best option for this year’s travel plans. I don’t usually sail luxury lines but the verandah GTY cabin pricing made it too attractive to pass up. Also, Celebrity is my preferred line to date but their prices are getting much higher lately. So far in my booking and research the only negative is the exorbitant pricing on shore excursions, but we’re comfortable getting around on our own via public transit so not that big of deal and really looking forward to it.
  2. Thanks for the info, happy they’re stocking something hoppy!
  3. On the same cruise out of Rome, also just got the GTY assigment for a VG category room. No upgrade but midship and staterooms above and below so just what I would have booked anyway for much less money-I’m happy.
  4. What’s absurd are the cheerleaders and fanboys on here who say they are done with this thread, yet return to tell others how to think.
  5. My choice on my latest cruise booking recently came down to Azamara or Crystal. After reading this thread from start to finish, and the Elliott article as well, I sure am glad I chose to give Crystal my business, and will be leery of transacting any business with Azamara in the future. As an IT quality assurance professional I understand how there are many, many ways issues like this can happen, but also realize there are a great many ways to prevent such mistakes, whether using additional software features, more frequently or rigorously testing existing systems, or utilizing more robust human-reviewed workflows or audits, and when they are not caught it is likely due to simply not spending enough money on the appropriate controls. If Azamara is to deem the kind of likely cost-cutting practices that led to this as adequate to control its operational and reputational risks, in my opinion it should be prepared to accept the occasional screw up as the cost of doing business to a greater extent than it apparently is.
  6. OP here. Just back from the Oosterdam last week. I just wanted to close the loop and give a brief report. The short answer is that I did enjoy the Oosterdam and we had a very nice cruise. However, HAL did disappoint in a few ways and there's definitely room for improvement. I do think I am rather picky about certain things, so my comments will definitely not apply to many cruisers. Full review here: https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=648487&et_cid=3167165&et_rid=17310569&et_referrer=NULL Thanks to all who provided insights, we were happy with our choice and would definitely consider HAL again.
  7. Thank you all for the additional comments, it's great to hear so many positives. Seems like it's forever until we cruise!
  8. A while back, I found the rarest of things, a Caribbean itinerary with four, yes four ports, I’ve never been to despite having cruised in that region eight times previously on Carnival, Celebrity, RC, Princess and Norwegian. This is on the Oosterdam for winter 2019. When initially researching the ship last winter, I found quite a few negative reviews, but also some hope for improvement with the scheduled dry dock that occurred several months back. I figured I’d wait and see how the reviews seemed post dry dock before pulling the trigger, and now that I’m revisiting this, the reviews are still decidedly mediocre post-dry dock. For example, the overall June sailing CC rating is only 3.4 stars with a number of harsh comments. So, before deciding anything, I thought I’d see if any very recent travelers on Oosterdam have any further info or opinions to share? My last cruise was a disappointment on the older Jewel of the Seas and I don’t want to repeat that experience.
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