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Everything posted by milepig

  1. Interesting. My icon shows CruiseMapper (one word).
  2. The agent is making it up. Yes, the tours get priority - when they're actually getting a group off board, but that isn't continuous. In my experience, there's always a few people waiting for the disembarkation to begin, and if there isn't a group also queued up the independent people are allowed to go. There is is almost always a short gap between groups and again, anyone is free to get off then. This is certainly true wen you're docked. I guess when you're being tendered there would be periods where they need entire tenders for the group. But in either case we've never waited long for an opportunity to get off.
  3. When we were at Messina there was a line of cabs waiting just outside the port. Four of us hired one for I think a half day and we paid around EU100, maybe less (this was a few years ago). He drove us up to Taormina, waited for us and then on the way back drove through Messina showing us stuff. It was a good time and after lunch we went back out by foot to explore a couple of the places that looked moderately interesting.
  4. That’s one option we’re looking at. The big issue is all those days on board in a row in sight of land with no way to get off.
  5. Covered on this thread, including a cabin by cabin analysis. 231 gets a great rating:
  6. Really sorry to have touched a nerve. I posted it mainly since the Grand Classica was listed in this thread as a possible ship for this company (if there even is a company), and then it popped up in the Times. The line you object to was a throwaway and I apologize. I still think it does illustrate the issues in the industry, that new ships are coming online right and left, and that there's a surplus of ships that aren't the latest and greatest and that have a limited life-span remaining. In this case they found a home for the ship by doing 2-3 day itins out of Palm Beach and, according to the reviewer, are seemingly making their money on booze. Good for them! In the case of the NARRATIVE, where they're talking about a 21 year maximum lifespan of the purchase, if it's all real a couple investors think they're found a way to keep another afloat for a couple decades.
  7. We very much enjoyed the Blue Lagoon excursion. Very relaxing, a nice easy walk from the boat to the lagoon, nice area for snorkeling or just hanging out. This would be a good trip for a couple where one isn't a snorkler as there was a nice beach with some shade to just hang out. The also enjoyed the tour that includes a stop by the Blue Eyed Eels - sorry, the Islands all blur together. That one included a stop at a Pearl farm that was a short trip out to by boat. We actually bought most of our pearls there, and the tropical fish were swarming around so you could watch them right off their deck. On a different note, in Papeete, there's a sandwich shop of the upper level of the marke that has great chow - I don't know the name, but there is just one so you can't miss it. Odd tip of the day. If you stay at the Sofitel, in the shopping center that's walking distance there's a Boulangerie/Patisserie where you'll swear you're in Paris when you walk in the door.
  8. Westchestermom, thanks very much for your post. It will be useful as we sit down with week to decide to buy the plane tickets or pull the plug.
  9. If I'm thinking of the right review, there was one by someone who just was out to hate everything and that included pictures where you couldn't even see what they were complaining about. Always a bad apple, we have no complaints about any of the triplets. Some of the very early reviews reflected the large amount of work that needed to be done to bring them to WS standard, what that was years ago now. Same great crew and chow, some clientele. Great experience.
  10. And we always check out a couple and return them I watched a few days later. To much to do, and normal DVD time turns into nap time.
  11. By coincidence this article featuring the Grand Classica popped up in the Times this morning. It shows what cruise lines do to squeeze a bit more money out of their ships before they retire them. I don’t think this link is paywalled. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/26/travel/bahamas-budget-cruise.html?searchResultPosition=2
  12. Yep. No two sites have the same prices or amenities or pretty much anything that’s the same.
  13. Welcome to the WS forum. First the yachts aren’t “little” in compassion to the rest of the fleet. They each hold 212 pax before the expansion. The Surf is larger at 310, but the Star and Spirit are just 148. So the triplets are sort of in the middle. You’ll get the full WS experience without the sails, but by comparison the cabins are HUGE. Same great crew, same service, same food. More or less the same public areas but in a different configuration. Iceland will be chilly so not as much deck time and all/most meals will be in Amphora. Same great guests, interesting people who love to travel. Embarkation and disembarkation are a dream right smack in the middle of town and walking distance from lost central hotels. If if you pop over to the roll calls there are lots of threads about the Iceland itins.
  14. We prebooked a taxi out or Piraeus once. The deal was a few hours around Athens before taking us to the airport. We packed our luggage with stuff we didn’t really care about - mostly dirty laundry - and kept are valuables with us, but all turned out fine. The driver would take us to a spot around town and agree to be there at a certain time, then on to the next one until it was time to go to the airport. Everything turned out fine but we choose a well reviewed service. It was much cheaper that the WS transfer, although they usually have a tour/airport option you may wish to look into. An Athens tip for those staying over. Have your hotel book the taxi to the airport. They will give you a taxi number to look for and negotiate the cost. When we did this at the IC the staff got us to the right taxi and repeated the charge to the driver in front of us so we all had the same understanding. Apparently ripping off people going to the airport is standard in Athens.
  15. Piraeus is wild crazy busy and we once waiting in line for well over an hour before we got our clearance to come in to dock. Best to have departure plans that are flexible.
  16. Are the 2021 itins even out yet?
  17. We did have a cruise where the Natura tasted funky, but just the once. Otherwise all has been OK.
  18. This is probably as close as you're going to come to a business plan: Note the use of terms like "distressed and retired vessels". The first couple are described as "proof of concept" I love this page, that does have more detail, and promised everything include on onboard brewery: https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/19555-storylines-start-up-cruise-program-moves-forward.html I'm changing my reveiw of "total scam" to "unrealistic expectations leading to promising everything" when you're buying into a ship that has been declared "retired." Finally, this page contains bio information an the two lead people. Neither lists a scrap of experience in the cruise industry: https://cruise-bruise.com/blog/2018/03/16/storylines-senior-cruise-ship-condos-coming-2020/ Really finally - I just also noticed that 20yearcruiser - the poster who claims to have made their deposit and done the 2 day sail (on a ship that doesn't exist) has 5 postings, all on this thread.
  19. I just noticed that when you dig deeply enough into their webpages you'll find that the lowest priced cabins (now $300K) are INSIDE. You're going to spend 21 years in an inside cabin? I do love the irony that all the levels are named after "fictional houses." The assessments run from $70 to $285 pp per day.
  20. No clue who the guy on the first one is, but the fact that "Christy" an Aussie bought after chatting up "two Australian guys" just made me laugh out loud. Then, the second one was clearly nothing more than a glossy promotional piece, no blogger would have put that together. Especially when Christy, is apparently a "personal trainer" if you google the name, and she presently nothing to indicate her extensive cruise experience, either on her web presence or in images. Who are all these people that have already purchased, so many apparently, that the "early purchaser" allotment is sold out. You'd think this would have been in the news! The price is cheap, but it looks like you're getting pretty much a cruise ship cabin? Who would actually want to live in a cruise ship cabin for the rest of their lives. And the marketing is all over the place, some mention of a range of ages, but it's then presented as a "senior residence." Which is it? I'm calling total scam. To the earlier proof that the name was on the bow - you do realize that was photo shopped, right? And, the added decks make the thing look like a whale. And, six months to do all that work, especially when they're still "looking for a ship year in Europe". another big no. Oh "newlifestyle" has exactly 8 postings to date - all on this thread.
  21. I don't think there's any difference between the sailing ships and the yachts. They'll all equally low key - which is what we want, so the match it perfect.
  22. Yes. Some combination of the above. Likely trivia. One cruise we got the “liars club” with the officers. The shop manager - a wickedly hilarious Scot - one by a mile”. There may be an expert on board giving lectures - but not always. On a long stretch of sea days we had a cook off on deck, the best was a multi day Bollywood festival with popcorn. We’ve had photography classes. You will see much fewer on itins that are focused on the ports with long days in shore I don’t remember much of anything in Iceland. Ditto on water sports focused trips. The food themes cruises will have tastings, regional food lectures, etc. The lecturers vary widely. In Tahiti we had an actual expert on the history of the region. Another time we had one who was more or less reading from Wikipedia. Entertainment, per se, is low key. Mostly some sort of combo by the bar in the afternoon and after dinner music with dancing. But, after a long day on shore followed by drinks and dinner many have their alarms set for six the next morning and are either off to bed or enjoying a night cap on deck enjoying the breeze and stars.
  23. Ive tried to get the better incentive. No dice. I was told “incentives are tied to promotions and have time limitations, the incentives you received were what was on offer when you booked and you accepted them”. And yes, that $1,000 will be for about 4 cabins. I’d guess that for most it would be maybe $200. I’ve been down that road as well.
  24. Thanks, Petoonya. I'm in Europe this week on Business and not really thinking about next June, but will be wanting to book our air travel soon, but we have a bit of time to sort out what we're going to do. The four days cruising with no chance to get off ship (unless WS adds more those days) give us pause - 2 sea days in a row do us in - but others have said that you still have a good time, so we will talk when I'm back home and I will likely have more questions then, so I may take you up on your offer in a bit. -- Milepig
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