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About Tarwood3

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Sarasota, FL
  • Interests
    Aviation, cruises, gardening, cooking, dogs, history
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Seabourn,Silversea, Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    South Pacific/ Australia/NZ

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  1. We are on this cruise as well and its also our first Oceania cruise
  2. Exactly why we booked Azamara ....they have the best Black Sea itinerary....
  3. Can you use your onboard credit (the O Life $$) to pay for excursions when booking them 240 days before sailing??
  4. Interesting...well, our cruise is a 10 day Dec 11-21st...I think its been a tough cruise to sell since its right before Xmas...which is our fav time to cruise ..so I wouldn’t be surprised if we have a lot of newbies as well. On SS, Americans are always the minority...the Brits dominate , as does their rather more reserved social interaction... Thanks again for sharing while on board..having done it many times myself. , sometimes it can seem like a burden with internet speeds and lack of time...so , we all appreciate your efforts!
  5. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience! We have done Silversea many times, Seabourn and did our first Regent in January where I did a “live” post as well. We are doing our first Crystal later this year on the yacht , Esprit then a month later , in December, on Symphony. I will be interested to hear how the “social atmosphere” compares to your other experiences as well. Even though we have done Silversea the most of the luxury lines, I feel like they are the least friendly of the ones we have been on...Regent was so nice, so friendly , so fun...without the pretense of SS...so hopefully you find the same experience on Crystal...
  6. Oh really? Nice!! Nice meeting you!
  7. Thanks Keith....I’ve browsed the Sticky Threads, but thanks for the reminder, I will dive a bit deeper in it!
  8. We have done many Silversea in the past and are very much looking forward to our 2 first Crystal Cruises , October on Esprit and December on Symphony. I think we will like it and we are actually looking forward to a slightly bigger ship . The only thing that has held us back from trying Crystal is that there are only 2 ships...so not nearly as many itineraries and variations on itineraries as a Silversea or Seabourn for example. So even if they become our favorite cruise line later this year, Crystal wont be our sole go-to line
  9. Wow, that’s so disappointing to hear...we have sailed Silversea many times and me and my partner love them...we have even done the Silver Spirit twice...we have never had bad service from anyone...shocking to hear.
  10. We didnt have a problem with mosquitos......and we didnt use repellent. We have traveled so much around the world, that I’m up to date on all vaccinations anyway, so honestly I dont remember if we needed something for Vietnam. Usually if there are vaccinations required, it is listed on your invoice from Silversea at the bottom with all the info about the cruise...visas, vaccines, etc... otherwise, check with your doctor or go to the CDC’s website. Also, I’m sure there is a travelers vaccine clinic near you....just check their website or call...
  11. Yep, you can get SB or SS for $1000 a day...of course depends on when you book and where, but its not difficult to do. And thats the thing...we have always done a mix of luxury and premium lines...to balance out travel expenses. But lately, AZ has gotten so expensive and our Sky Suites on Celebrity are more than or equal to what we would pay on SS or SB...so for same price or lower, we will do SS or SB every time..
  12. You’re quite welcome....I hope you enjoy Vietnam as much as we did!! Xuan does some unique things that big tour groups cant...so that’s nice to have! Book as early as possible ...he’s quite popular. Like I said in an earlier post, if your cruise goes to Halong Bay in Northern Vietnam, please do the 12 hour Hanoi excursion . We were freaked out by the time at first. We only like half day excursions but we were assured by shore excursion staf that it is well worth it! There were only maybe 50 people who did Hanoi. We were split into groups of 6 and each group was in a comfortable mini van with private guide. And each group did its own thing. So we felt like it was a very private tour. Probably the best ship excursion we have ever done. The description of tour says its a 3 hour drive on uneven roads but this isn’t true. They built a new freeway and its great!
  13. One more thing...I just looked back at my texts to my guide...the actual port name that we docked at was called Hiep Phuoc Port in the Xa Long Thoi neighborhood. The shuttle went hourly to Union Square which is adjacent to the Hotel Continental Saigon that I sent a pic of. Obviously these things could change but for the mid size ships I think this is the norm. There was a Viking ship docked on the other side of the river from us. No ships were downtown. I think only the very small ships can make it downtown....
  14. Yes, I highly recommend our guide. I actually had found quite a reviews on him through Cruise Critic before our cruise and everyone raves about him and we were not disappointed. His name is Xuan Le....his English is excellent...and couldnt be a nicer guy. He customizes his tours to whatever you want to see, but will happily give you examples of itineraries. No need for advance deposit. Just pay him when finished with tour. His email is tourwithxuan@gmail.com and his name Xuan is pronounced like “Soon”. He is very used to dealing with luxury clientele . By the end of our 2 days together, we felt like old friends and still keep in constant contact with him. We have sent several friends to him and everyone has loved him! I will find a pic.... he will reply via email..but once you firm something up, he prefers to correspond via whatsapp. Tell him Gary and Ben recommended you....he loves us!
  15. You’re very welcome! Btw...the sail out was unlike anything I had ever seen. We went to the deck above Tors Observation Lounge for a good view forward...few people go up there btw. Anyway, I have never heard a ship blow its horn as much as we did...I lost count after about 40 times. The Saigon River is a very busy waterway with lots of barges and small boats that don’t yield to larger ships...they are pretty ballsy and arrogant. The captain was getting very impatient with slower vessels not getting out of our way....quite the sight.
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