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Flash G

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  1. Great posts and pics, Keith. My mother-in-law and father-in-law are on this same cruise. Very jealous. From what I've seen & heard, looks like the trip of a lifetime. Enjoy!
  2. Agree 100%. Some of the funnest, most entertaining nights we’ve had at sea were the formal nights. Just a different vibe and feeling when everyone is dressed up.
  3. I post this as a question. We've gone a year with many of us sitting at home in our sweats or pajamas doing endless Zoom meetings in T-shirts. I feel that there could be complete 180 on the desire to do away with (or scale down) formal nights. Now, I personally cannot wait to put on a tux, socialize with other people, and "class it up." Formal nights seem more special and timely now. Do you think passengers will be more receptive to formal nights now after the sea change we all just endured?
  4. We worked for the same company for many many years. Great guy. His daughter was my next door neighbor. RIP, Regis.
  5. You do realize that this isn't like refunding your cruise fare because a single cruise was canceled. This isn't "a mess." Crystal, and every other cruise line, is fighting for their existence right now. This is the biggest catastrophe to hit the cruise industry *ever*. They're trying to figure out how to keep their business alive and maybe save a fraction of their workforce from layoffs. If it takes 30, 60 or 90 days to get your full refund, be happy and stop complaining. It will be better than the 10%-20% you might get in a bankruptcy court a year from now. These are times like no other.
  6. I come at this with a different perspective. We did our first Crystal cruise in 2005, at an age that was probably less than half that of the average Crystal cruiser. And I can say honestly, we loved the sociability of the cruise. We didn't meet anyone at dinner who we really wanted to socialize with. The people we ended up socializing with were those who we met at the pool, on excursions, on formal nights, in the casino, during karaoke, at Avenue Saloon, at Pulse, at the Captain's party, in the buffet, walking the deck, at the shows, at the lectures, at the trivia games, at Trident, at the library, at the sailaway, etc... etc... (Active pursuits.) Those are the places where sociable people hang out. In all seven of my Crystal cruises, we met a tight-knit group of people (of all ages and backgrounds) who we just had fun with. We've still kept in touch with some of them. You can't sit down and wait for someone to come up and interact with you. Be proactive. There are like-minded people out there (especially on Crystal) who are interesting, fascinating and sociable. Your mileage may vary.
  7. Another report: https://abc7.com/2-injured-on-cruise-ship-at-port-of-la/5975177/
  8. Are these new? Sounds like they could be fun.
  9. This had to have cost more than the $1.1 million the article suggests. Incredible idea though. This Florida couple chartered a Boeing jet and cruise ship for a massive party — here’s how it went down Published Fri, Sep 20 2019 12:24 PM EDT When Florida restaurateur Damon DeSantis and his wife, Cindy, wanted to bring 56 friends on a week-long adventure in Europe, they chartered a Boeing 777 passenger jet and a 280-foot cruise ship. Here’s how it all went down: There’s flying commercial, and then there’s this... “Our trip started when we boarded the Crystal Skye, which is an over-the-top private charter plane with every amenity you can imagine,” Cindy DeSantis tells CNBC. Crystal Skye is not your average private plane. It’s a jumbo-jet operated by Crystal, the same company behind luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises. After purchasing the Boeing 777, the travel firm renovated it and made it available for private charter in 2017. While this size aircraft can typically seat up to 400 passengers, Crystal decided to go quality over quantity and configured the jetliner to just 88 “executive class” seats so there is more room to spread out. “Executive-class” seats Crystal Every seat is equipped with Bose headphones, an iPad and a 24-inch interactive TV with on-demand programming and a music library. The seats can also be converted into beds. Crystal Skye flat bed seats Crystal The DeSantises’ fancy flight kicked off with a glass of champagne handed to guests by a “sky butler.” In the jet’s social lounge, a mixologist was on staff to whip up cocktails at the bar. The plane also has a wine cellar that can store more than 150 bottles and there was even a sommelier on-hand to help pick the perfect vintage. Mixologist Damon and Cindy DeSantis Custom Michelin-inspired meals were prepared on board by an award-winning executive chef who curated a menu customized for each guest’s individual preferences. The DeSantises’ friends enjoy a meal in the Crystal Skye dining area Crystal Five thousand miles later, the group reached their final destination in the Mediterranean, where they met the Crystal Esprit cruise ship. When a mega-yacht just isn’t big enough... “We couldn’t find a mega-yacht big enough to accommodate everyone,” says Damon, who is co-owner of the Agave Modern Mexican Taqueria chain. “So we chartered this luxury cruise ship.” A few weeks after their party, CNBC met up with Damon and Cindy onboard the Crystal Esprit for a VIP tour, beginning with the ship’s main lounge known as the “Cove Bar.” “The first meeting place was here for all of our guests. Cocktails and champagne were served,” recalls Cindy. Next stop, the dining room. Crystal Esprit dining experience Crystal “When you have 56 guests, you have a lot of different tastes,” says Cindy. “The chef was able to accommodate everyone with over-the-top meals.” Every one of Damon and Cindy’s 56 guests had staterooms with their own butler. Crystal Esprit owner suite bedroom Crystal Inside the DeSantises’ stateroom – the owner’s master suite – there is a living room, dining area and bathroom with a full-size tub. “It’s like being in a floating apartment,” Cindy says. The DeSantises’ guests could take in the underwater sights, without getting wet, in the $2 million, three-person submarine that launches right off the boat. How much did it cost? While the DeSantises picked up the bill for the whole shindig, they didn’t want to talk numbers. But based on some information we obtained from the charter company on the cost to rent the ship and airplane, plus all the extras the couple added like the customized excursions and events, food and beverages, airport fees, docking costs, etc., CNBC estimates the mega-party cost around $1.1 million. Despite the hefty price tag, Damon DeSantis tells CNBC he saved “a few hundred thousand dollars” by going with the jumbo jet and cruise ship instead of chartering multiple private planes and yachts. Finding out that this over-the-top luxurious trip actually saved the DeSantises money, surprising. So CNBC decided to crunch the numbers. How CNBC crunched the numbers A company spokesperson for Crystal tells CNBC the average base cost of a transatlantic flight on Crystal Skye is $495,000 round trip. With 58 passengers (the DeSantises, plus their 56 guests), the total comes to $8,534.48 per passenger. Crystal Skye’s amenities package (the Bose headsets, food and beverages, etc.) at around $500, but the price could increase or decrease depending on the choices of the client. For 58 passengers, this would be an additional $29,000, for a grand total of $524,000, plus a few thousand dollars in airport fees. CNBC used a Google Flight search to compare those numbers to a transatlantic first-class flight from Miami, Florida to Venice, Italy for October. (Florida is where the DeSantis group departed from, and Venice is where they met the cruise ship.) The cheapest option CNBC found was a Lufthansa round trip fare of $12,727 per passenger, with a layover in Frankfurt. Multiply that fare by 58 passengers and the total cost comes to $738,166. In this hypothetical travel scenario, the luxury charter option turned out to be a lot more convenient and over $200,000 cheaper than flying first class with an airline. While the DeSantises might have scored some super-sized savings, the couple’s 56 guests got the best deal of all.
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