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Everything posted by Tarwood3

  1. Hi there! We have toured with Xuan and he is excellent!! We cruised on Silversea Silver Muse Nov 2018. We also had 2 days in Saigon and so I did some research to find a good guide and Xuan’s name kept popping up...both on Cruise Critic and Trip Advisor. Some folks said he was the best guide they had ever had. Anyway, I booked him about 6 mos out since I knew he was pretty popular based on the reviews on CC. He was quick to respond , recommended a couple different itineraries and then we altered a couple things to tailor it more to what we were interested in. Once we were all booked with him, we got his whatsapp number and made it very easy to communicate prior to our cruise. Xuan is from the Mekong Delta originally, so his all day tour there was fascinating with a local’s perspective. Vietnam is such an amazing country and every minute of your trip will keep you engaged since it’s so unique. As you may know, many Vietnamese can be somewhat difficult to understand, their accent can be quite strong when speaking English but Xuan is very easy to understand and very well spoken. I think that’s really important with a tour guide ...they must have an excellent command of the language and he does indeed. Xuan loves to take pics and so no worrries, he will get lots of pics of you to remember your trip by. Our 2nd day we did Saigon and he took us to neighborhoods that few locals go to. Markets that few local go to. On that day, we told him taht really wanted to see “daily life” of Vietnamese ..... we told him we wanted to do a trishaw through the streets of SAigon and what a ride we had! It was about a half hour and utterly fascinating. He even road ahead on a motorcycle and would stop at intersections and stand in the street to get pics of us being chauffeured around ...love the action shots! He really is one of the best guides we have ever had...so personable, so kind ,....since our trip, we have recommended him to friends and colleagues that have traveled both for business and pleasure to Vietnam and they all have raved about him as well. Let me know if you have anymore questions. Happy to answer. We are looking at an Asian cruise again in 2022 and if we choose one that stops in Veitnam, we will definitely hire Xuan again.
  2. Great insight !! Thanks so much!!
  3. Yes, that was my point in the post...the others have the same thing as Crystal when it came to all that .... yes, the movie theatre is a very nice perk! Although we had seen every movie they showed while on board...but they were pretty recent movies which is great !
  4. This is from the Silversea SilverWind...as you can see , there are bars open besides the pool bar during the day...I couldnt remember myself to be honest, so I asked someone who is currently on a ship....
  5. Thanks for saying that...I agree....just because we point out a difference or a preference, certainly doesn’t mean we are bashing one line or the other...simple a preference and observation...Tha’ts why cruise critic is all about....sharing experiences...both good, bad and indifferent.
  6. Guess I didn’t type that very well. I was talking about the baileys coffee.....he said no so I just ordered a latte...the cursor was jumping around a bit when I had replied to that earlier comment...got a latte fine...no problem. Just chalk it up to a cruise critic glitch with my reply...sorry for confusion
  7. Maybe I was just unlucky with the barista I had that day....he wasn’t particularly friendly or smiling..... I suppose we all have those days. But I guess my point is that there’s not anything on the menu for these kind of drinks....I think there should be...I’m really not a lush folks...not a big drinker...but it sure sounds good some afternoons! Lol
  8. I dont remember what time the interior bars open on SB/SS etc ...but you’re probably right...sometime in the mid to late afternoon sounds about right. Of course at lunch time, all the restaurants serve them...and at any enrichment activities, there are always waiters who will get whatever you want ..and the hub of activity is around the pool area....... If Crystal didnt have Crystal Cove open during the day , there wouldn’t be anywhere to get a. Cocktail...so I guess they have no choice since there’s no pool bar.
  9. I actually had mentioned in an earlier post that I did ask and was told that I have to get an Irish Coffee from a bar... so I wasnt going to argue with the barista. I just said ok, I’l have a latte...He said no and didn’t offer any alternative. I try not to be a difficult guest, so I didnt want to bring it up to anyone as it’s not going to make or break my cruise. Hope that makes sense.
  10. Hey Karen...Thanks for your question. Let’s see ...well, I have also heard that Crystal has better/more enrichment activities particularly on sea days than the other lines. I’ve never kept a tally from one cruise line to another but I did look through the Reflections in particular to compare from things that I remember on the other lines. There were things like golf lessons, paddleball etc that were offered on our Crystal cruise and SS doesnt have this as they dont have paddle ball , tennis courts, golf putting.driving area that the Crystal ship does. I noticed Crystal had knitting and needlepoint that I dont recall seeing on the other 3. But the other lines always have different lecturers as well. The others have mahjong, bridge, trivia and of course all the different activities offered by the fitness dept. So there are a few things Crystal has the other do not, but let’s just say that it didnt seem like Crystal was far and above the others in this dept. Crystal had a few more but nothing that wow’d me. I dont do trivia, I dont like golf or paddle ball. I do lectures and enjoy those. I dont knit, needlepoint , do bridge etc...I mean, I’m a 52 yr old guy...so these things dont really interest me. I dont do trivia either. We are very physically fit, so we do fitness activities , some lectures, Relax, read, watch movies,... So I suppose I didnt mention anything because I dont really participate in those things on any line ...but I did at least take notice since I had seen it brought up in other threads before.
  11. Yes please let me know. I know someone on the cruise right after ours and she encountered the same thing ..
  12. Yep that’s the same menu on Symphony. It’s not very extensive. And no fun coffees. Oh well. We survived. No big deal
  13. Lol. Good to hear ! Yep we are pretty easy going. ! Happy New Year !
  14. Well I was told no when i asked ... i was told to go to one of the bars. But if it’s the middle of the afternoon and I want a snack and a specialty coffee in the Bistro , it should be available. I think my original post has been taken out of context somewhere along the line
  15. When I brought it up , i was talking about not being able to get boozy coffee drinks in the Bistro like other cruise lines. Not that the drink couldn’t be had somewhere else in ship
  16. Well, I was worried about being trapped with people I didnt care for too...but it was fine.. never felt that way. I’m a bit of an introvert and often times , just want some peace and quiet out on deck without always having to chat to randoms...but it was a non issue... although ..it is interesting way you phrased it “.. pax who live life differently and who might be difficult to keep a distance from...” ....hmm...perhaps I’m that kind of person you are looking to keep a distance from....!...lol
  17. Now that you mention it, someone did say something about things being removed after the re fit...interesting.. Anyway, yes I noticed one of our fav sommeliers being the barista on a couple afternoons. Hopefully it will change and the Bistro will expand their offerings....even if they dont get boozy drinks, they need a better variety of coffee drinks.
  18. The music on SB and SS is softly playing and it’s pleasant ...it’s not a Carnival cruise after all...and the average age is about the same as Crystal and everyone seems to enjoy it...anyway, to each his/her own.....not a debate, just an observation I had..
  19. Good morning! Yes, in your case.....this would be an advantage , having a smaller suite and price point to choose from on Crystal! I totally get it..... I see some very good deals on Seabourn for cruises within a year...definitely at the price point you are talking but again, if you are planners like us, that wouldn’t really matter...lol..but they do exist. Anyway, glad you enjoy Crystal...we do like them...we just missed a few things ... I wasnt trying to be mean...but just comparing to what other ships have. There are always so many people like us that like to sample...so it can be helpful to some or completely immaterial to others which is fine. Our internet has always been included on Celebrity (suite class) and SS... It seems every line is trying to figure out what the magic combination of things is and I dont think they will ever find it since everyone has different priorities. We LOVE Regent but we like to do a mix of our own excursions and ships excursions..so they are too inclusive for our tastes...I dont want to pay for excursions I’m not going to use...so we rarely do them.
  20. Yep,Esprit was hard to beat and definitely set the bar high for Crystal. It was also the best food (consistently every night) of any cruise we have ever done. But for the comparison I did on here, it was really more about our experiences with SS, SB , Regent and even Celebrity Suite Class. We WILL try Crystal again, just havent been able to find an itinerary. We might just do another Esprit in the Adriatic....funny thing though...I was VERY skeptical about the Esprit before boarding..I wasnt sure how I would feel about no veranda, being so small...no entertainment etc...but those fears were quickly put to rest ....
  21. Oh and regarding internet....I think Crystal has to give it for free because it was so terrible. It went down A LOT and for long periods. So many were complaining. I thought maybe because it was an older ship and they just cant provide the most modern technology?? I was told later by an avid Crystal cruiser that is currently on Symphony that Crystal changed providers and now it is more problematic. I also have a friend who is a crewmember and he said it’s really bad....even worse for the crew. If they charged for it, I’m sure it would create a lot of complaints..so best to give it for free....which is why I didnt say anything about it in my review, since it was free and I was happy about that.
  22. Thanks Keith! Always appreciate your kindness and information on here! If you havent tried Esprit, you must!! Sensational!
  23. Yes, we dont care, but part of making observations is saying what is different from another brand...some people care about these things that might be looking at trying Crystal from xyz cruise line and want to know how they compare...so there you go...
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