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Mrs. Claypool

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  1. I started to make up a chart today and then gave up in despair. It appears that the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico will not require testing, but that every other island will want to see a PCR test from 5 to 3 days before arrival. The itinerary that I am taking in January/February shows that the "non-U.S." ports are scheduled on 3 consecutive days. I am presuming (hoping) that means that one initial PCR test will take care of all three ports. But I am confident that Crystal will provide us with the guidance that we will need, as the time for departure gets closer. Emily
  2. As has often been mentioned here before, it would be nice to have more lecturers who are women. Yes, Crystal has had some excellent and knowledgeable women lecturers on board in years past, but they seem to be few and far between. Emily
  3. Several years ago on the Symphony we were going down the stairs to dinner, behind a graceful young woman beautifully dressed and groomed. (A friend of ours.) I was surreptitiously admiring the bright red soles of her Louboutin spiked heels, when suddenly the ship moved, she took a misstep, and down the stairs she fell! Fortunately she was not hurt, but -- "An Object Lesson For Us All", as my grandmother would say. Emily
  4. There is interesting information on the River Cruises forum about the present cruising situation within Europe. Particularly since the Netherlands has just tightened restrictions on U.S. travelers, so that even vaccinated passengers have only 12 hours to leave Amsterdam upon arrival. Now the cruise lines which offer Rhine River cruises that embark or in some cases disembark in Amsterdam, are rushing to change their itineraries to comply with the new 12-hour limit. This evidently includes the Crystal Debussy. Hungary has the same restrictions, except that one is given 24 hours to "get out of Dodge" and be on your way. Last month Crystal told us that they were studying the Grand Voyage options of "Pacific Rim" or "Great European Capitols". Considering the present situation in the EU countries, I am inclined to think that the Serenity will be cruising around the Pacific rather than through Europe. Although what that voyage would actually look like, I can't begin to imagine. Emily
  5. My TA called the head office last week and got the same information— the announcement will come at the middle of this month. In theory, that would be next week; but as Vince said, I wouldn’t be surprised to be waiting for another week after that. Emily
  6. An old Texas attorney that I was working with on a negotiation once told me-- "Pigs get fat but hogs get slaughtered."
  7. Isn't the Serenity already down in the Bahamas, at a fare that is considerably less than this?
  8. And if it does leave from Miami, does that mean that the Grand Voyage will be open to unvaccinated guests, as well? Yes, I realize that this speculation is casting pretty far ahead into the future. Emily
  9. Will the Grand Voyage (whether to the east or west) embark from Miami, as was the case for the now-cancelled World Cruise? Emily
  10. According to Crystal’s letter in post #1 announcing the inclusion of unvaccinated guests, this has been done because “For cruising in particular, recent positive developments now allow ships to sail into and out of U.S. ports.” I am not aware of any recent positive developments that give me any confidence that it would now be safe to sail under these revised health and safety conditions. Quite the contrary.
  11. The progression of my impressions, ever since Sthrngary started to post here— 1. Hmmm … a new guy. 2.. He’s got opinions. 3. His opinions are interesting. 4. I like this guy! 5. What does Gary have to say today? 6. I can’t wait until Gary and his wife go on their cruise. They will love it! 7. July 22 - No, nonononono NO!!! 😫😫😫 But keep the faith, Gary. You and your dear wife WILL be on the deck of a Crystal ship sooner than you can imagine and you will have a great time there together with your new Crystal friends. Emily
  12. Keith has never made any request that we stop talking about COVID. I believe that he was referring to the fact that on June 21 the administrators of Cruise Critic published the following statement, in part— “Effective immediately, COVID-related discussion should be limited to actual policy on board ships (and other forms of travel) and its practical application. Discussion should NOT veer into opinion or debate.”
  13. I read the Global Entry posts above with much envy. Considering that it was in the middle of the Covid shutdown, I had assumed that all Dick and I would have to do was pay our renewal fee, fill in the forms and maybe have an on-line interview. But no! We were instructed to drive an hour down to the border for a face-to-face with an agent. And as soon as she saw "Cartagena, Columbia" on our list of countries visited in the last 7 years, the grilling began. We did our best to explain that-- "It was on a Crystal cruise through the Panama Canal... It was only a 8-hour port stop... We stayed on the shore excursion bus the whole time." But I could see from the steely glint in her eye that she considered us to be a very desperate and despicable duo. Finally, she reluctantly approved our renewal application, and we grabbed our papers and dashed out the door before she could change her mind! Emily
  14. I can't answer for the Tulip, but my husband and I took a Uniworld Nile cruise in 2019 and here are my thoughts ... After touring all day, you're going to end up sweaty and dusty; so you'll want to clean up and change out of your daytime clothes before having dinner. But that doesn't mean that you'd have to "dress up" for dinner. I usually wore a clean and presentable outfit of whatever I was going to go out touring in the next day. Slacks or a skirt and a shirt or blouse should be entirely appropriate for any emergency dressy occasion that might pop up. Our particular cruise included teatime at the Old Cataract Hotel, where most of the women wore a light summer frock. But if your cruise doesn't have a similar activity on the itinerary, I don't think that you would need to pack a dress or jacket. Most Nile cruises have a djellaba night where you have the option to dress in native garb. But by a surprising coincidence, the ship's souvenir shop usually sells exactly what you might need to participate!
  15. Certainly you should take an anti-diarrheal medicine with you, just in case. But to give you some comfort, we travelled through Egypt on a 2-week cruise and never had any stomach problems. Of course, we ate either at our hotel, on board the ship, or at places that were included in the ship's excursion ... and bought some plain baked goods at the local markets a few times.
  16. My travel agent called Crystal yesterday and asked whether they were selling their 5 river ships. She was told "That's not true". But she sounded a little skeptical when she was reporting the conversation back to me.
  17. On our first Crystal cruise, as we went down to dinner on the first night, we heard a cry of joy and looked across the dining room to see a guest and one of the wait staff jumping up and down and greeting each other with happy hugs. "What a strange ship!" I said to myself. Fast forward another fifteen years and I blush to think how many times I have also performed "the happy dance" on being reunited with a dear crew member each time I got back on the ship. Crystalized Emily
  18. I am following on from Vince's comment (above) that -- "I don't find Crystal's passengers judge you for your background or style, as much as they read you for your respect of the onboard culture." An important part of the Crystal onboard culture is giving the skilled and considerate crew members the respect that they so richly deserve. In my experience, those who are rude to any of the crew are quickly judged to be "not our sort of people", as my dear Grandmother would remark with a sniff. 😊 Emily
  19. Next year we're having a big family wedding for our niece on Dick's (Chinese) side of the family. I have been hinting to the mother-of-the bride that she should book Genting RW Las Vegas for the reception because there will be plenty of opportunities for Asian dining there. Emily
  20. Or go to the library and make a reservation for the Magic Show, if they're still going to have it.
  21. We are booked on this same cruise (August 15-September 2, 2022). I would be very surprised if we see any children at all onboard, even though this is a summer holiday for many schools. The reason is the length of the cruise-- 18 days. With exceptions of course, my experience is that most parents would not be comfortable taking their children on such a long cruise and most children would not enjoy being on board a ship for so long. Emily
  22. Vince, "Yikes!" was my first comment, as well. Dick had a few other choice words. In the end, it was too big a pill to swallow and so we just asked for a refund. Emily
  23. Our cancelled 2021 Endeavor voyage went up by $10,000 per person if we wanted to roll our booking over to the same voyage in 2023. Emily
  24. Now Crystal’s website shows a big empty gap between Serenity’s Bimini Roundtrip on October 17 and the Miami Roundtrip on November 19. Emily
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