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All That Jazz

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  1. Personally, I believe that the variety of activities has always been a strength of Crystal. On cruises with plentiful sea days, the choice of activities is abundant. It really doesn't matter how many guests take bridge lessons or golf lessons or enjoy the lectures. The guests are dispersed around the ship rather than crowding all together. I can't even imagine what would appeal to the "multitude", however, maybe on your next cruise you can suggest something to management.
  2. If that policy is enforced, and especially if the shore excursions continue to include "private car and English speaking guide", then that policy is exposed to be merely a combination of theater and cash grab. In a practical sense, it is impossible to put people in a sterilized bubble and take a worthwhile "tour." Imagine asking people who book these tours not to interact in any meaningful way with either the locals or the environs. Not happening.
  3. The comments from Crystal management are actually encouraging when considering the big picture. The "big picture" is whether Crystal resumes cruising in a form that is recognizable as "Crystal" while adjusting to the new world order. K. Cox indicates that the ambassador host program is postponed, not cancelled. He also said that the late night Avenue piano bar may move to a different venue. These are clues that concrete plans are being made for resuming operations. Clues are not dispositive, but they are positive indicators for Crystal cruising in the future.
  4. The answer is that corporations target multiple segments of the market by offering different products. How many different cars/trucks does Ford make? Lots - with each model tailored to a distinct market segment. Same with cruise corporations - their products (a combination of price sensitivity, ship design, and deployment stratagems) cover virtually all actual and potential customer choices. Want out and back from Florida every week? Gotcha covered. Want to cruise around the Cape Horn? Gotcha covered. Want a ship with 5,000 new friends? Covered. Want a luxury cruise with 300 new friends? Cover
  5. Anyone who does a modicum of research and, if new to cruising, consults some knowledgeable TA's, will develop a feel for what each cruise line offers. There is a tendency, well, more than a tendency, for some to recruit for their own personal favorite line while disparaging other lines. My favorite example is about two couples we know who have different favorite lines. One couple (call them A) always books a suite on Princess, the other couple (call them B) favors one of the luxury lines. A persuaded B to try the luxury line. B came along with A on the luxury line, but was determin
  6. We were on Crystal, I believe Regent does as well. The concert was arranged just for our group. Glad to hear about Windstar, they are one of our favorites.
  7. Other cruise lines offer the evening concert at Ephesus. The noisy crowds are gone, the evening breeze and bird song are delightful. The attendants serve hors d'oeuvres and wine dressed in ancient Greek costume. The string quartet performed in front of the facade of the library and the full moon was visible through the library "window". It is one of our top five shore excursions ever.
  8. Yes. Absolutely and totally correct. That is what the "pre" prefix indicates. Pre-clearance of both immigration and customs. If possible, I recommend Tim Horton.
  9. Yes, it is government policy in the US that everyone must clear immigration at the first point of entry.* This is true whether travel terminates in the US, or you connect domestically or internationally. This website explains the process very well: https://onemileatatime.com/us-airport-immigration-procedure/ *Just acknowledging the exception of pre-clearance in some airports in Canada and Ireland before someone jumps in.
  10. When you call Delta customer service, most likely you will get a recording asking for your phone number. They do call you back. It's better than waiting on hold. Have your locators ready. Personally, I would not cancel online and expect to get a refund later.
  11. The general term for itinerary planning is deployment. Fleet deployment is a complex process and is described thus in Cruise Industry News: (pre virus) What Drives Deployment? The complex matrix of cost and revenue analysis that is itinerary planning really comes down to where passengers want to go. As the fleet grows, the planet generally continues to deliver the same options in terms of viable markets and sailing regions.Traditional sailing regions dominate the story heading into 2020. Capacity is up in Alaska, the Caribbean, and Europe is encouraging as well. Further east, the b
  12. Passports prove citizenship but not residence. An ordinary drivers license or state ID proves residence. A "real ID" is accepted by the federal government for "official purposes." You can google for a list of what qualifies as "real ID" and is defined as "official purposes." If your cruise is other than a closed loop cruise, you will need passport (and perhaps visas.) If you fly internationally you will need a passport (and perhaps visas.) If you fly domestically......everyone should have this figured out by now.
  13. Our "yellow book", the International Certificate of Vaccination, is still required for proof of yellow fever vaccination for some cruises. We've been on a cruise that denied boarding to a couple that did not have that proof (or a letter of exemption.)
  14. For those curious about scheduled new cruise ship construction, here is a link to the Cruise Ship Orderbook: https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/cruise-ship-orderbook.html It's likely this listing has not been updated to account for current delays and/or cancellations.
  15. Jon is headline news in Britain: https://metro.co.uk/2020/04/20/britains-got-talent-golden-buzzer-jon-courtenays-performance-tribute-late-father-12583656/ Hope his career takes off big time!
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