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Posts posted by Shorex

  1. We were on a transatlantic cruise on the 100th anniversary of the sinking. Our captain deviated a bit from the course to sail over the wreckage and a brief ceremony of remembrance was held. No, none of the movies about the Titanic were shown.

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  2. Combine jazz and gourmet food on Crystal by booking a Jazzdagen cruise. Or compromise on food, keep the jazz and go on Holland America. A typical Crystal cruise will have one or two classical musicians. In October on a cruise we're looking at, the entertainment lineup includes Gary Arbuthnot (trained by James Galway) and classical pianist Rogerio Tutti. Both are on youtube. When Gary plays Bolero onboard, the screen behind him and the orchestra shows Torvill and Dean skating their famous routine. Magical.



  3. The book previously mentioned is probably Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2020 (Berlitz Cruise Guide).

    For anyone wanting a relatively comprehensive guide to cruising that is much more informative and objective than anecdotal experiences it's worth the investment or trip to the library, plus it's a pleasant browse for cruise enthusiasts. You can probably get a bargain for last year's edition in a used book store.


    The thumbnail pages on Amazon list the author's "7 questions to ask a travel agent." Actually, I have more than seven. Like any guide that claims to be "comprehensive", It's not the "be all and end all", but it's as close as it gets.

  4. Mine would. But then I would document everything that happened - from police reporting, photos of the ravaged hotel room, copies of the hotel reservation and cruise ticket, attempt to solicit passport replacement from the Canadian embassy, and everything else that would possibly support a claim. Of course they would not be allowed to board without passports. Duh. Of course RC would not give them refunds. Duh. That's the purpose of travel insurance that includes trip disruption.

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  5. Sealed adoption records and amended birth certificates cannot come as a surprise to the passport agency. Oh, wait, it's the government. Left hand, right hand. If the information on the passport is correct and somehow the picture was accepted,  personally I would treat the document as a valid passport. It certainly was issued by the Department of State.

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  6. One thing to keep in mind is MedJetAssist (and likely Global Rescue as well) is NOT an insurance company. "Insurance" reimburses for expenses incurred under the terms and conditions of the policy.  MedJetAssist provides a service. That service is to fly to wherever in the world their member is hospitalized (at least 150 miles from their home) and bring them home to the hospital of their choice.


    We are members of MedJetAssist and in addition we always have travel insurance policies in place to reimburse us for expenses incurred under the terms and conditions of the policy - which we actually read and understand. Travel insurance and MedJetAssist are two totally different forms of protection, they do not overlap.

  7. If tipping is "confusing", then just pay the "suggested" gratuities and be done with it. The best thing to do if you have bad service is to advise management and explain without exaggeration the details in your evaluation. But remember anyone can have a bad day and you are unaware of the total picture happening behind the scenes. Only once in 80+ cruises has a situation been grievous enough to rise to the level of consulting the hotel director.


    I really do not comprehend the obsessing on cruise critic over crew compensation. They are working very hard for a living, so just go with the flow and pay the gratuities. You are not the inspector general of cruise employee compensation.



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  8. Apologies to Longfellow:


    When a consolidator fare was good,

    It was very good indeed,

    But when it was bad it was horrid.


    OP,  make yourself aware of the risks and potential downsides of consolidator fares. If you decide to save a few bucks that way, don't complain if everything goes sour. And if everything goes great, you got lucky.

  9. Your options will increase if you are open to trans-Pacific cruises that also depart from Seward (Silversea from Seward to Tokyo to Hong Kong next year), Los Angeles/San Pedro, and San Diego. Crystal has a San Diego-Guam-Hong Kong-Singapore cruise in starting in January. You would probable need a back-to-back to get all the way from the west coast to either Singapore or Bangkok.

  10. Crystal posts and updates the detailed information on enrichment and entertainment on its website well before the cruise. Crystal regulars appreciate knowing, for example, who will playing piano in the various evening venues, and who the guest entertainers will be. Here's a sample from an upcoming cruise in October:\



    Very happy to see Jim Brochu again - he's a favorite.

  11. Well, welcome to Cruise Critic. But I must say what an odd first post. You managed to dredge up an old thread about microwave oven access and heating accessories. Okay. My question is: what ship (with thousands of passengers) on what line did not have an MD on board? My impression is that the presence of an MD on passenger ships (of a certain capacity) is required by law. But I've been wrong before. Please advise.

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  12. If I were researching this, I'd google "bar harbor rental cars" which would lead me to the rental car companies in town. Then I'd map the office locations, make a dummy booking to get a sense of price on the day I'll be there, actually call the local rental offices to check on whether they would pick me up at the dock, etc. It's actually kind of fun to learn how to do this myself.

  13. There is a discussion board here dedicated to travel insurance https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/499-cruisetravel-insurance/


    The are also two recommended travel insurance brokers who will answer questions and help you find the right insurance with the right coverage for you. The one that we use is https://tripinsurancestore.com/

    and I don't offhand recall the other.


    With these resources you can find the best policy with the best coverage for you.


    And we never, ever buy insurance from a cruise line.

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  14. The questions are very reasonable considering that OP claimed :  "I'm now out airfare, excursions, travel insurance, etc."

    If OP can prove non-refundable cruise expenditures incurred during the interim between booking and the call from RCI, and that she used due diligence to attempt to cancel such expenditures immediately after the call, then she has a legitimate claim for reimbursement for those expenses. If not, then not.

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  15. First, forget the terms "duped", "bait and switch", and "false advertising."  This situation is known as a "mistake fare." Mistake fares happen when a business, not infrequently a cruise line or an airline, posts publicly an erroneous fare, also known as "fat-finger" error. Experienced cruisers, such as the OP, should have recognized this as a pricing mistake.


    The first consideration: is the cruise line legally obligated to honor what is obviously a mistake fare? No. Sometimes a cruise line will honor a mistake fare for the sake of customer goodwill, other times, not.


    I suggest everyone posting here have a look at a similar situation where a cruiser thought he was being ripped off when Azamara would not honor a mistake fare and he sought help from consumer advocate Chris Elliott:




    Bottom line, cruisers are not entitled to take advantage of advertised pricing errors.











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  16. When I first read the OP's post, my only surprise was that an offered price of $794 for SFO-MEL and AKL-SFO was so low. I would have snapped that up and not looked back. Playing the waiting is game is always a gamble, now OP's options are to cut the losses at $1349 or risk paying even more. IMO, $1349 is still a decent price for a round trip trans-pac journey of over 14,000 total air miles.


    Not that it matters at this point, but November is the start of tourist season in Australia and New Zealand. OP has likely missed the sweet spot for the lowest fare buckets.

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