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About CharleMarg

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Brisbane Australia
  • Interests
    Family, friends, food, wine, travel
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  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:

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281 profile views
  1. juicyjuju, Transiting the Panama Canal is something Margaret & I promised each other we would do on a Crystal cruise ship. The fact the itinerary includes stops in Key West (where my grandmother first took me in the late 1960's when I would visit her in Coral Gables during the summer) and Charleston (close to where my youngest brother lives, in Myrtle Beach) made it a "no brainer" for Margaret & me!
  2. Hi Stickman1990. All prices I am quoting are in US$ (as per the invoice from my travel agent in September 2018 - when Margaret & I paid our initial deposit; and the current cruises prices as per Crystal's US website - which I access via a VPN). Yesterday, Margaret & I booked Los Angeles to New York City on Crystal Serenity in 2022 to take advantage of the US$2,100 per person Book Now Savings (which is supposed to end on January 8): https://www.crystalcruises.com/voyage/los-angeles-to-new-york-ocy220815-18#suites-and-fares It will be interesting to see how the cruise fares changes over the next 30+ months.
  3. Hi Jimmycruiser, In both instances, I was referring to "Brochure Fare", not the "2-For-1 Fare". In September 2018 the 2-For-1 Fare for an E1 Stateroom was $6,999 per person; today, the 2-For-1 Fare for E1 is $9,099. Book Now Savings in September was $2,100 per person, and today is only $1,000 per person. $4,899 for an E1 booked in September 2018 compared to $8,099 to book today is a massive saving (before any additional discounts such as Crystal Society are applied)!!
  4. When my wife & I booked the Crystal Symphony cruise from Athens to Barcelona (https://www.crystalcruises.com/voyage/athens-to-barcelona-ocs200920-21#suites-and-fares) in September 2018 (two years in advance), the Brochure Fare for an E1 Stateroom was $13,998 per person, and Book Now Savings was $2,100 per person. Today, the Brochure Fare is $18,198 per person, and the Book Now Savings is only $1,000 per person. It pays (saves) to book early!!
  5. ak1004, you've well and truly been "Crystalized"...!!
  6. Margaret & I take the time to speak with service personnel, and always treat them with courtesy, decency, and respect (not implying the OP and/or others don't) whether onboard a Crystal cruise ship, or on the land. Within a couple days during our first Crystal cruise, from Monte Carlo to Athens onboard Crystal Serenity in October 2010, numerous of the team members, especially those on the Lido Deck, were calling Margaret & me by our names, and this has been repeated during each of our other six cruises on Crystal (and once, when we weren't actually passengers - as I will detail below - cut and pasted from my post on Cruise Critic on July 6, 2011): Keith & Anne Marie hosted Margaret & me onboard Crystal Serenity for lunch when the ship was in port in Brisbane in March 2011 (approximately five months after we had disembarked from Crystal Serenity). After lunch, Margaret & I said goodbye to Keith & Anne-Marie, and went up to the Lido Deck to walk around and reminisce about our first Crystal cruise in October 2010. The first Lido steward to see us was Johnnie (who had served us so well on our cruise on Serenity); after a quick couple seconds (I could honestly tell that Johnnie recognised both of us), I shook his hand, said "hi Johnnie, I'm Charles", and in an instant Johnnie said "hello Miss Margaret, it's nice to see you again". Two other Lido stewards passed us while we were speaking with Johnnie (our collective memories aren't as good as theirs, so I can't definitely tell you "who" - but would guess Edwin and Reggie), and they both remembered us as Charles and Margaret, calling us by our names. Special, special, SPECIAL...and why Margaret & I can't wait to be able to sail on Crystal once again.
  7. Speaking of Avenue Saloon piano players: When Margaret & I were on Crystal Symphony for back to back cruises (Barcelona-Southampton-Hamburg) in May 2012 (before the ship went into dry dock) the piano player (I forget his name) who was performing in the Avenue Saloon failed to board the ship before we sailed out of Lisbon, and had to make his own way to Oporto, our next port of call. According to word on the ship, his contract was cancelled, and he was replaced by another piano player for the Southampton to Hamburg cruise
  8. WOW...!! https://www.9news.com.au/national/tiger-woods-1-million-private-jet-flight-inside-crystal-skye-luxury-charter/23fc076f-4981-435a-a32b-061a0ed21103
  9. Reflections for today, here in Victoria, British Columbia (one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited!). Reflections 190819.pdf
  10. August 18 - Cruising Queen Charlotte Sound Sunday, 18 August 2019 5:30 PM I've just finished doing two loads of laundry (it's 5:30PM as I begin composingthis update), and now Margaret is in the laundrette, ironing a few items of clothing, which will cover us until we depart LAX on Friday evening, and arrive home in Brisbane early on Sunday morning. Today is the last sea day of our cruise, and it's been a thoroughly relaxing and enjoyable day for Margaret & me (even though both of us were awake before 5:00AM, and couldn't get back to sleep). Being a sea day, there were numerous activities and enrichment options available, as you can see by reading the Reflections daily newsletter for today: <<Reflections 190818.pdf>> As much as I wanted to hear Governor Tom Ridge speak again, I decided to go to the gym instead, because (due to a shoulder injury) I hadn’t lifted weights in over six weeks, and I felt like I needed a workout…BADLY. Crystal provides TechnoGym equipment onboard, which is the same brand (though different types of weight machines) as Margaret & I train on at the gym we go close to our home in Bulimba (Brisbane) Queensland Australia. The ocean was the roughest it has been during the cruise (to be expected, as we're no longer cruising the Inside Passage), though was very far from being the worst we've ever experienced during a cruise. However, Margaret was feeling a little seasick, so we went to the reception desk on Deck 5, where Margaret got some medication (which Crystal provides at no charge). Thankfully, within an hour, Margaret was feeling much better (thankfully, I've never suffered seasickness). Today was "Stateroom Open House" day, where Crystal has a few selected staterooms and suites open for inspection (a great marketing and "upsell" initiative!!), so Margaret & I went and viewed all of them. During our first four cruises on Crystal (two on Serenity, and two on Symphony), we had a Verandah stateroom, but on out last three cruises (including this one), we have chosen to book a Deluxe Stateroom with Large Picture Window, limited view (E1). This works for us, as we are only rarely in our stateroom during the day, and when we had a Verandah, we didn't take advantage of it all that often. Lunch was with our friend Penny (who has well and truly been "Crystallized"), and we are having dinner with Penny in Umi Um this evening. In relation to Penny having been Crystallized, this occurred early on the first day of the cruise, and if anything, Penny is now (exactly like Margaret & me) more than just a satisfied passenger, but a "raving fan" of Crystal Cruises. Example: On the second or third day of the cruise, Penny said to me over the phone from her stateroom "I've been trying to find something to criticise or complain about, and I finally did; they don’t provide shower caps". When I repeated this to Margaret, she took me by the arm, led me into the bathroom, and pointed to the two boxes od shower caps next to the soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc., in the rack on the wall above the toilet. I then let Penny know this, and she replied "faultless thus far". Margaret & I like being part of the "Crystal Family", and we both agree that we feel extremely appreciative, fortunate, and thankful that we are able to experience and enjoy a Crystal cruise every eighteen months or so, and we are already very much looking forward to boarding Crystal Symphony in Athens on September 20, 2020 for a twenty one day cruise (consisting of three separate seven day cruises) from Athens to Barcelona: https://www.crystalcruises.com/voyage/athens-to-barcelona-ocs200920-21#overview It's a Wonderful World!!
  11. With Microsoft OneNote, I have no way (that I am aware of) to see how many people are viewing my notebook for this Alaskan Grandeur cruise. If you don't mind doing so, I would appreciate you posting a reply here on Cruise Critic to let me know if you are (or have been) reading the notebook. Regards and many thanks, Charles
  12. I have now updated my Trip Report notebook for our day in Ketchikan yesterday (August 17): August 17 - Ketchikan, Alaska Sunday, 18 August 2019 4:30 PM Ketchikan, the "Salmon Capital of the World". Ketchikan is how I envisioned Alaska, and it certainly didn't disappoint in any way whatsoever. If you're interested in reading a little about Ketchikan, here is the Reflections daily newsletter for August 17: <<Reflections 190817.pdf>> There were three cruise ships (including Crystal Symphony) in port in Ketchikan: Disney Wonder (2,713 passengers; 950 crew) Grand Princess (2,100 passengers; 1,150 crew) And Crystal Symphony (848 passengers; 545 crew) Following are some photos and videos of our day exploring Ketchikan: Ketchikan Welcome Sign The History of Arctic Bar We Didn't See Any Bears in Ketchikan (other than the ones above) Before Margaret & I Were Married, Her Surname was Hopkins Salmon Capital of the World Immediately upstream from where the Salmon above is facing, Margaret & I stood above the running creek, and enjoyed watching the following: <<Salmon in Ketchikan.MOV>> About thirty metres/thirty two yards below where we were standing when I took the above video, we could see salmon in the water, waiting their turn to head upstream. Nature at its BEST!! Interesting Historical Sign in Ketchikan Chief Johnson Totem Pole in Ketchikan Chief Johnson Totem Pole Facts Margaret in Ketchikan Margaret & I had a truly wonderful time in Ketchikan, and were in agreement we were so pleased this port was part of our cruise itinerary. Photos and Videos don't copy and paste from my OneNote notebook to Cruise Critic, so you may access them here: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AmbYMPurTz3jhsd3KKKnjJhVQo2BSQ
  13. Thank you for the feedback Keith, as it makes me more motivated to include information on "local" activities and things to do in each unique port. The longer this cruise goes, the more Margaret & I are loving Alaska! We have friends who went on an Alaskan cruise (not Crystal) last year, and they've proposed we go together in four or five years; if Crystal is here in one of those years, we just might do so.
  14. Reflections newsletter for our day at sea today, August 18, en Route to Victoria, British Columbia. I have updated my OneNote notebook for our day in Sitka (Friday, August 16), and it has so many photos which won't copy and paste here on Cruise Critic, so please click the URL below if you'd like to read the notebook (no password required): https://1drv.ms/u/s!AmbYMPurTz3jhsd3KKKnjJhVQo2BSQ I will update the notebook later today to cover our day in Ketchikan yesterday. Reflections 190818.pdf
  15. August 15 - Hoonah, Alaska Saturday, 17 August 2019 6:30 AM From the Reflections daily newsletter for Thursday, August 15: After so many late nights, Margaret & I enjoyed sleeping in until around 9:00AM (we're usually early risers when home, often waking around 6:00AM), and then we watched a rebroadcast of "Symphony Today with Weather Updates" hosted by cruise director Russ Thomas Grieve and bandmaster David Price. The guest launderettes were reopened a day earlier than we had initially been told, so I went and put a load of whites in the washer around 11:30AM. Margaret & I met Penny at 12:15PM for lunch in Waterside, then we headed out to explore around Icy Strait Point: The View from Icy Strait Point/Hoonah Information on the Fire Which Destroyed Most of Hoonah in 1944 Bear Facts Alaska Facts I Didn't Eat the Reindeer Chili Dinner was again with Penny and Mike, this time in Waterside. Photos and Videos don't copy and paste from my OneNote notebook to Cruise Critic, so you may access them here: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AmbYMPurTz3jhsd3KKKnjJhVQo2BSQ
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