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About Robisan

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  1. Just to be clear because several people have rebutted my quote with pricing, my Crystal comment was about the quality and "capability" of their Internet, not about it being included in the price.
  2. Yes, I just factor it into the cruise fare. That said, the limitation of one device at a time per paid access is annoying, so the overall convenience of included Internet for all wins out if the adjusted pricing is comparable. However, overarching all of that is paying extra for very low bandwidth, limited utility, dodgy Internet. IMO the overall SB Internet offering is falling behind its competitors and the expectations of next generation, well-heeled travelers heading into the 2020s. Bottom line is I'll pay extra (factor into cruise fare) for Internet but it needs to be reliable*, usable quality for a reasonable number of devices per suite. * Good wifi connectivity throughout the ship, but also understanding that satellite Internet can be problematic in some sea locations.
  3. That is good to hear and much needed.
  4. I've spent some time lurking over on the Crystal board, particularly reading 'Live from' threads and there don't seem to be any complaints about the included Internet capability on their ships. The other thing Seabourn ought to consider is each successive generation that reaches SB age is going to have greater connectivity expectations.
  5. This is the wrong question and the wrong answer. The far more important question than cost included or not is whether the Internet capability on the new ship will be markedly better (and corollary, when will current ships be retrofitted with better capability). I'm not nearly as concerned with paying an additional $400 than I am about the very limited utility of the Internet service itself. It doesn't have to be streaming quality, but there needs be enough reliable bandwidth for VOIP and photo uploading/backup. If it can be done for 5,000 people on a megaship, it can be done for 500 people on a Seabourn ship. As to the answer, the better reply question is 'are you more likely to look at or favor cruises/lines where it's included (or in answer to my question, cruises/lines with better quality Internet)'. Certainly on the latter it's something I would factor, particularly on longer cruises with many consecutive sea days. A world cruise itinerary ship like Sojourn really needs better capability - I couldn't imagine 100+ days with Sojourn's limited capabilities.
  6. Bear in mind the tour operators are likely discounting their tour fees since the cruise carriers are delivering customers at no marketing cost to the operators. Don't know the industry, but I'd guess tour ops spend at least +/-25% of self-generated revenue on marketing, so they can offer a like amount discount to cruise lines hand-delivering customers to them. On the other side of the transaction, pax are paying a premium (also usually +/-25%) for the convenience of having the cruise line vet and warrant the tour ops, and make all the arrangements, including door-to-door handling with a guarantee the ship will not sail without them. I personally have no problem paying a reasonable premium for that service. However, the nearly 100% cruise line premium on the tour mentioned in the OP is grossly excessive IMO.
  7. There can be tidal issues in the narrow passage. Last summer on Sojourn they had to adjust passage time to account for tides, resulting in a dash to make arrival time in Vancouver.
  8. A number of days back I noted this in the June 2 Reflections from this cruise: World Affairs Lecturer Dr. Glenn Robinson Glenn E. Robinson is an award-winning teacher and expert on Middle East security and political issues. A professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and affiliated faculty member at the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, Robinson has published and lectured widely on Islamic fundamentalism, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and related challenges facing the Middle East. On three occasions he has been recognized for his outstanding teaching, twice by the Naval Postgraduate School and once by Berkeley. Dr. Robinson has an impressive CV and most likely gave an interesting presentation, however I wondered about the wisdom of offering a lecture presumably touching on hot-button topics like "Islamic fundamentalism, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and related challenges facing the Middle East" where, no matter what is said, some PAX are bound to strongly held beliefs that could be disturbed and/or offended by the lecture content. There is a time and place to hear from distinguished lecturers like Dr. Robinson on these topics. I'm not sure a cruise for people on holiday from daily life and stress is the place. Also, too, multiple lectures touching on Islamic fundamentalism on a Tokyo to SF via Alaska cruise? Why?
  9. Thanks Keith and others for responding. I've been through a number of immigration inspections where pax have been required to appear and show passports, but have never been asked or required to surrender my passport. Perhaps I'm overly cautious about privacy and other concerns, but I'd be reluctant to do so. A passport contains unique personal identification data and, importantly, is a document conveying the negotiated international rights, privileges and interests etc. of the issuing country unto the citizen holder. In short, a passport is every bit a vital document for the holder's needs and protection as it is one for other countries to identify the holder. I understand the need for the carrier to attest or affirm they've inspected all pax passports as part of port clearance and/or the desire/need of the port country to implement a customary and usual passport inspection before allowing exit from the ship. However, I'd be wary of any country that affirmatively required me to surrender and/or prohibited me from having my passport on my person while visiting and there are certainly places where I'd be reluctant to leave the ship without my passport on my person, regardless of whether the country requires I carry it. (Also worth noting that a passport may be the only state issued identification some people carry while abroad.) Sorry for the interruption - I enjoy these travelog threads and they help identify itineraries of interest. Please carry on, as I look forward to dispatches from the rest of this journey.
  10. Hmm, is this customary and usual? I've never heard of a private entity effectively seizing people's passports (I assume at the direction of, and as agent for, the Japanese government?) and I'm not sure I'd happily yield mine.
  11. Perhaps removal and detention in the Symphony brig would be remedial? [Quietly enjoying yet another Stickman travelog.]
  12. This would appear to prohibit PAX photos and videos showing "any part ... whatsoever" of the ship being publicly posted to Instagram, Youtube, Internet blogs etc. Or even posted here on CC!
  13. The converse insinuation clear, evidently you misspelled 'be snotty.'
  14. Ah, ok, this may be so. I said I "assumed" (not confirmed) this, figuring the 'no third party' prohibition was for Crystal to avoid losing TA commissions and this discount on fares using this offer. Still, a good offer as far as it goes, though somewhat less than the implied come-on of 10% off a Crystal cruise.
  15. I believe you can access Chase Offers through the Chase mobile app after logging in to the app. The Crystal offer is 10% off up to a $6,350 max purchase = $635 back. Purchase must be direct with Crystal, so I assume no TA involvement. Reality is there are few if any Crystal itineraries for $6,350 for 2 pax, so there's almost no way to realize a full 10% off a complete DO cruise purchase.
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