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About Observer

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  1. Yours is an interesting and clearly informed post. (You could add Crystal’s new ship to your inventory of expedition ships.)Is it not possible, however, that this sector is being developed at a frenetic pace and that there may very soon be more capacity than demand in this specialized sector. In retrospect, Silversea prove wise not to have invested heavily in new build expedition ships. On the other hand, they could well be left behind if demand in this sector grows beyond capacity. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  2. For the record, I do not believe there has been any announcement that Wind will become an expedition ship or fitted with Zodiacs. As far as I know, this is mere speculation with no basis in fact.
  3. Observer

    Silver Whisper drydock

    There is much more and more current information here: https://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=8520
  4. Observer

    Disappointment on Whisper in Venice

    Your post is filled with a good deal of speculation about the effect of the RCL purchase of a majority share of Silversea. But I was struck by your assertion that Shadow failed a CDC inspection this summer. This was (alarming) news to me. So I checked the CDC webpage and can find only that Shadow was inspected on May 26, 2018 and earned a quite respectable -- and certainly not failing -- score of 93. Were you on a later cruise that was inspected and failed? Would you kindly share the source of your information that Shadow failed a post-RCL purchase inspection by CDC. An assertion like your needs to be factual.
  5. Observer

    Disappointment on Whisper in Venice

    I agree that going to Maitre d' or Head of Butlers, etc.,makes more sense in the first instance and makes fewer waves for hard-working staff. It's not that I am "afraid" to order room service breakfast on port days when lots of tours are departing early. I go to La Terrazza to relieve a bit the load on the butler who may be stretched trying to serve lots of hot, customized breakfasts (white tablecloth and all) within a small window shortly before tour departures.
  6. Observer

    Is discounting possible?

    I do not know the distinction you are drawing between rebate and discount. If the published fare (excluding taxes/fees) is $1000, I will pay -- and my credit card will be charged by Crystal -- only $900. It may be that the TA initially pays the additional $100 to Crystal, knowing that the agency will receive much more than $100 in commission.
  7. Observer

    Is discounting possible?

    I have used for a number of years an online TA who gives a flat 10% discount on the advertised fare (not including port fees and taxes). I don't need that much service/handholding, but the TA has been available when I have special issues and has been effective in dealing with Crystal. The TA is clear that s/he is rebating some of the Crystal commission. I have been very pleased.
  8. Observer

    Disappointment on Whisper in Venice

    I think you should raise these issue with HD if they continue. I am no fan of the butler system. But they are very busy and generally well-meaning and hard working. They service multiple suites, and it is especially trying to deal with all guests promptly on embarkation day. Some guests may even ask the butler to unpack their bags, thus taking up lots of precious time. It's important for guests to understand that the butler is not dedicated to one's suite -- like the household butler most guests employ on land. :) Breakfast is particularly challenging for butlers -- esp. when on port days when many guests want their customized breakfasts at the same time (90-60 minutes before tours depart?) On such days, I always go to La Terrazza for breakfast and don't rely on a harried butler.
  9. Observer

    some thoughts on Symphony after the refit

    I hear you. However the rich streaming options most of us enjoy on land are not generally available at sea. I always brought a few of my own DVDs (they are very portable if put in a carrying case) and borrowed DVDs from the library. With the removal of DVD players from the Symphony library and cabins (and presumably Serenity as well), I will greatly regret the much more limited variety of in-cabin entertainment. Even several dozen films on demand is not like the rich collection I enjoyed from the Crystal library.
  10. Observer

    some thoughts on Symphony after the refit

    I understand your good point. However, if I recall correctly, DVDs are no longer available in the Symphony library after the refit. Will books follow? Perhaps they could/will rent loaded Kindles for a modest fee or simply lend them with a deposit.
  11. Observer

    Any news about mama lee?

    Very sad report. May this wonderful woman heal quickly and completely.
  12. Observer

    Multiple embarkation/disembarkation days

    If these are separate cruises with separate numbers (so that you will be doing back to back) there will be potentially disruptive safety drills, possibly limited lunch offerings on embarkation day, luggage in hallways, etc. If, however, Crystal is simply offering, say, an advertised 12 day cruise as two 6 day options (presumably because the cruise is not selling well) it will be much less disruptive. Not that many people will board to take the second 6 day option. There will be registration tables in the lobby. The drill for embarking guests will be low key with no ship-wide announcements. They may be some luggage being moved, but not nearly as much as on a typical embarkation day. If you see separate cruises as far out as 2020 I assume there will be significant boarding/disembarkation/etc at each port where one cruise ends and the next begins. Update: I just looked at the webpage. I should have done so earlier. It appears that in 2020 Crystal is offering longer (20+) day cruises in the Med that are in fact combinations of cruises that are also available in shorter doses. So one needs to study the schedule carefully. As you say, it is like the World Cruise which is a collection of a number of separate cruises. At each juncture in the world cruise one does have drills with announcements, luggage movement, possible closing of Lido buffet, forward elevators close to passengers and restricted to luggage, etc.
  13. Observer

    March 2019 cruise

    This is one of the reasons I hardly ever buy airfare from a cruise line -- any cruise line. They use negotiated fares and those are generally not the last seat on the plane. Thus, one can see lots of availability on AA.com or Expert Flyer or wherever, but often it's not available in the negotiated fare inventory from which the cruise line must draw its reservations.
  14. Is this the case? I thought I had read that the fuel was unexpectedly depleted because of a medical emergency and the near to steam back to an area served by the US Coast Guard. Or was this a different expedition cruise?
  15. I understand your frustration and would doubtless have felt likewise had I been on this expedition cruise. But the proposed solution (above) may be less practical/possible than it seems. It could well be that the Ranger union requires that a different Ranger from the particular park be onboard (and be paid!) and having one Ranger pocket all of the earnings for the various park visits would not be acceptable. I recall a cruise on another luxury line where we were informed several days in advance that a remote port would be missed because the one pilot was convalescing. Guests insisted that we keep the pilot from the previous port. At his daily announcement the Captain explained why this was not possible, that pilots are port-specific, etc.