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Everything posted by commodoredave

  1. That’s a good description of Crystal- graceful. I will gladly try them again when their prices begin to reflect reality.
  2. A lot depends on itinerary. There is a severe paucity of shade in the pool areas, which makes Caribbean cruises a big challenge. On one now and would never do another with EJ. However, we love the crew, ship and food, so would return on itineraries where pool shade is not an issue
  3. Interesting idea! On Explora since Friday. First impressions are great. Boarded and sitting down for lunch in 35 minutes. Staff are delightful, friendly and eager to serve - I want to take some home! Food in Emporium, Fil Rouge and Marble and Co has been up there with the best cruise lines. It’s still early, but if the rest of the cruise is this good, we will be returning soon.
  4. I’ve seen no sweaters that say “interesting” on two gentlemen, or anyone being particularly witty at the bar. So Dr. Cocktail, if you are indeed on the Explora 1 from Barbados to Miami, where are you?
  5. Most kids have more fun on cruise lines with dedicated facilities and programs for them. However, some children may prefer a slower pace with more adult-oriented activities and atmosphere. If your kids are in the latter group, if they are well behaved, and if you are willing to supervise them, then Explora would be fine for them. Personally, when we've cruised with our kids and now our grandkids, we've always opted for the larger ships with RCL, Norwegian, Carnival, and Princess lines. But our kids/grandkids have lots of energy, and like socializing with other kids.
  6. I am enrolled in hotel loyalty programs with Hilton, Fairmont, Marriott and IHG.
  7. Not quite as reality can be better than expectations if they were low to start with. Perhaps a better definition is “Expectations minus experience equals reality.”
  8. This is only true to the extent of sourcing. Like onshore businesses, different cruse lines invest more or less in staff training, in quality of chefs, in daily spend per passenger on food, in onboard culture/style. etc. These are some of the things that make some cruise lines more suitable for some people, and not others. So no, cruise lines are not offering the same experience, even when charging a similar price.
  9. Well said. However, young people who take their first cruise now will not notice what is no longer provided. They may also have lower expectations. So the cruise lines cutting back may actually suffer little loss of business while boosting their profits.
  10. Not everyone is doing it, but most are. There are some new entries such as Scenic, Emerald, Ritz Carlton, etc. who are delivering more but charging a lot more for it.
  11. Please send me all the Crystal bargains you find. I’ve been looking for over a year to find a nicely priced cruise with them but no success so far. I’m willing to book far in advance or short notice. Thanks.
  12. I like having choice, which is why we have 9 cruises booked with a variety of cruise lines. I am not loyal to any one cruise line, and in fact will go for the best deal to the best place at the best time. I was hoping NC would be part of what I could include, but I have not been able to find an itinerary or price point that appeals to me. Maybe next year or 2026.
  13. I agree. If I can find a Crystal itinerary I like at the right price, I’m on it. Just haven’t found it yet, despite the massive appeal of a librarian and / magician.
  14. While one can nitpick any set of facts, the bottom line here is that Crystal is more expensive than Explora at this point in time. Rather than arguing this fact, it would be more productive for Crystal fans to explain why they believe the higher price is worth it, as has been done on another thread. For me, the fact that Crystal has a librarian and a magician is certainly enough to justify the higher fares!
  15. I find it very disappointing that some ports have few if any shore excursions left to select when these excursions are part of the cruise fare. Almost fraud.
  16. Well said. I too loved the old Crystal, but not interested in NC at current pricing and value points.
  17. I would definitely pay much more for a librarian and a magician.
  18. Yup. Do you know if the ship’s GPS plotter is maintained by the same tech people?!🧑‍💻
  19. See below the notice on the Explora app for our cruise departing two days from now March 1. I hope the Captain and crew are better at their jobs!!
  20. Yes, that is true. But if you go on the Crystal forum you will discover that the lip stick is the best in the world despite it being overpriced and coming in an inferior container.
  21. As a previous Crystal passenger, I was offered open booking discounts before itineraries were released. Maybe this is what is being referred to.
  22. But someone has to pay for the lipstick!
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