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Posts posted by Shorex

  1. Have a look at Windstar -- https://www.windstarcruises.com/

    and here:

    and https://www.windstarcruises.com/beyond-ordinary/

    Sample their shore excursions here:



    They combine adventure and luxury - and each ship has a water sports platform. We have a couple of "go-to" cruise lines and Windstar will always be part of our sailing life.


    And they have the best sailaway music ever:


  2. To put the condition of the SXM airport in perspective, it was named "Caribbean Airport of the Year" in 2016. 



    More photos of SXM (posted by Winair) in 2016, focusing on the departure hall, shops, and the executive lounge.



    Then, in September 2017, the island was devastated by hurricane Irma. The airport was heavily damaged.  https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/todayinthesky/2017/09/07/hurricane-irma-may-have-destroyed-one-worlds-most-famous-airports/640943001/




    Rebuilding and restoring the airport is taking years, but a recent $50 million loan to the airport authority means restoration should be finished by the end of 2022. So don't give up entirely on flying to St Maarten.


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  3. If oral arguments are today, then the judge's decision will definitely not be revealed today. However, astute observers can get clues from the questions framed by the judge. For the curious here's the  complaint (a legal term) filed by Florida:



    Here's the motion for a preliminary injunction:



    Very interesting reading - of course the feds have filed counter arguments. That's the way it goes.



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  4. 32 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

    free  self serve laundry rooms  if that is important to you

    Free printing in the computer room

    More  smoking areas  for those that like to smoke


    To clarify the smoking policy: (edited to ocean vessels only)
    Connoisseur Club Crystal Serenity, Crystal Symphony
    VIP Casino on Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony (during play, upon request)
    Decks 10, 9 and 8 Aft on Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity
    Deck 11, aft Crystal Serenity
    Seahorse pool area, port side only
    Promenade Deck, port side only 


    Basically, it's a few areas outside, the Connoisseur Club and the VIP casino. Personally I've never been bothered by the smoke and neither have our friends who are particularly smoke sensitive. If that's a deal breaker, c'est la vie.

  5. 1 hour ago, LHT28 said:

     I saw a post that said Crystal was offering bargain prices for the Caribbean  maybe check them out  if you find a good deal

    Most drinks included


    Absolutely! We are thinking of booking one for November. On the "Find a Voyage" tab search for cruises in October, November or December of this year and choose the Serenity. Crystal is "all-inclusive." Before the quibble begins, no cruise line includes literally everything. However, you will not pay gratuities, for most alcoholic beverages (yes, you will pay for JW Blue or Opus One, etc.,  but you won't pay for Talisker or Botanist for example), specialty dining in the Nobu restaurant and the Italian restaurant, specialty coffees, unlimited wifi, 24 hour room service and there's probably more.


    If you've ever thought of trying a luxury line, this is the time to do it.


    One more thought: every cruise line has its proponents and its detractors. Filter through the noise and find what's right for you.

    Bon voyage!






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  6. In addition to previous suggestions, I'd recommend adding Windstar to the mix.



    Explore the website and get a feel for the personality of the cruise line. Actually that's good advice for every line that you are considering.


    Some highlights:

    Voted 2019 best small ship cruise line

    Partners with James Beard foundation for cuisine

    Ships have a sports platform that lowers in back for water sports in safe harbors

    In some ports you can accompany the chef to local markets for dinner shopping

    The bridge is open -- stop in to chat with the Captain and bridge officers about the charts and technology

    and more...


    We have sailed on multiple lines -- and Windstar is one of our top favorites.



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  7. Cruises are wonderful. However, you do only get to visit the coast (and as far inland as a day trip on bus excursion can get you.) Tauck is the best of available land tours of the British Isles to see what you'll never see from a traditional cruise ship. For more independent travel, trains and ferries. Have a look at The Man in Seat Sixty-One to get a sense of the extensive train service in the U.K.  (and the rest of the world)  (And yes, ferries from Northern Ireland to Scotland. Google is your friend.) Or combine trains with a tour here and there, like Rabbie's Tours of UK and Europe. Which reminds me, doing a Rabbie's Whisky tour of Scotland is still on the bucket list.

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  8. Delta long haul flights from Asia to the US  (and vice versa) in a 777 are pretty much fungible. You are a metal tube, in your designated class of service with the accompanying amenities. The major difference between originating in Japan or originating in Hong Kong (as we will soon) is that one will have some Japanese speaking flight attendants and meal options and the other will have Chinese speaking flight attendants and meal options.


    Go to youtube and search for "Delta business class 777" and get exacting detail about  your upcoming flight in business class.  Start here:


  9. Sure. No problem. Viking. No kids allowed. Itineraries around the world. Awards for best this and that.



    And I select for you the itinerary of Ancient Adriatic Treasures.



    Call your favorite travel agent and book'em. You're welcome.

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  10. There are several examples of cruise lines offering an excursion that involves leaving the ship in one port and rejoining the ship in another, albeit in the same country. An overnight safari in South Africa is one example, a flight to Agra for the Taj Mahal is another. Who knows and understands the intricacies of cabotage laws in Japan? Doubt anyone here would qualify. Ferries in the US (Alaska), Norway and other countries let you leave the ferry and pick it up again in a different port. Personally, I wouldn't be concerned, but it's not my cruise.

  11. Well, ships that cruise the world instead of repeating the same old, same old itineraries have the more uncommon port stops. Next summer Regent is doing the North Cape, but going over the top of the cape onward to Russia for stops in Murmansk, Archangel, and the Solovetsky Islands. That's pretty cool. Thinking about it. In 2020 we'll be stopping in Manila (doing a Corregidor excursion), and Saipan (hopping a brief flight over to Tinian, 5 miles away). In 2021 our stops include St Helena (Napoleon's last port), Ascension Island, and Namibia and Senegal. Mostly expedition ships port at South Georgia/South Sandwich Islands. Definitely on the wish list. The more remote ports are mostly visited by smaller ships. To send 2,000+ tourists tramping over St Helena would be a travesty. Check out Crystal and Silversea also, they have some great itineraries. Ocean-wide Expeditions is our go-to for penguins and polar bears (obviously, not on the same trip.)

  12. If you know the CDC suggests it, then you have probably visited their Hepatitis A vaccination website page here. That information is more valuable and reliable than opinions (even mine!) on a public cruise forum. Basically, it's a risk analysis decision. Given your age and health, are you willing to tolerate the risk of contracting Hep A? Does your personal physician have any reservations about you being immunized?


    Hep A is about $60 pp per administration at our Costco (no consultation fee). Whether one dose is valuable as a "booster" is a question for your physician or pharmacist.


    What other random people on the internet do should have no influence on your decision making process about your health. Timely immunizations for Hep A, Tdap, flu, and a couple others are part of our health maintenance routine. That's us - do what's right for you.



  13. On 9/15/2019 at 10:00 AM, Luckybee said:

     I realize we have to pay the agency instead of the cruiseline (and they dont take Amex...grrrrrrrr which means we lose out a little on points) but other than that what differences might we expect?


    This point was intriguing. Our agency receives our Amex information and uses it immediately to directly pay the cruise line. Thus it is the cruise line that pays the merchant fee to Amex, not the agency. Does your agency hold onto your funds and delay paying the cruise line? It's a question worth asking, IMO.

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