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About JES4845

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  1. Thanks much ... look forward to meeting you as well. See you are in Orlando. We just relocated this week full time to South Florida where we’ve had a condo for several years. Of course our first week full time here and a hurricane or tropical storm is headed this way! Safe travels to all.
  2. While we have had the good fortune to sail on SeaDream many times the past 11 years, our first crossing will be this fall from Malaga to San Juan. Would welcome any advice from those crossing veterans here as to what to expect in terms of weather and packing generally. We depart Malaga Oct 27 and arrive San Juan Nov 9. No doubt it will get warmer as we go, but sea conditions permitting, we hope to be out on deck somewhere as much as possible even if bundled up. Trying to think through warm versus less warm weather clothing to cover all the possible scenarios without too much luggage! Any and all good advice, tips, etc. most welcome. Thanks in advance.
  3. No doubt everyone has heard or read that SD like other cruise companies has cancelled all future voyages to Cuba. Very sad on multiple levels. Over half a century of trying to isolate Cuba has not worked and this stunt won’t help either, but we are powerless to do anything, at least at the moment.
  4. Second the motion about the onboard crews! An interesting HR question is how to staff Innovation. Do they have all new crew, but then how do you make sure the new ship delivers the expected SD service experience? Do they break up the crew and have some known crew from SD1 and SD2 on Innovation for continuity and guest relationships? I assume the latter, but the details will matter in terms of who, how many current staff and in which key positions.
  5. Totally agree - the ban is for domestic politics in Florida and makes no sense. We engage, rightly so, on people to people basis and government to government across the globe and such engagement is the bridge to the future we should all support, in my humble opinion.
  6. Jim thanks for the update. I tried to do some quick research on the Commerce Dept. and Treasury Dept. websites. It sure sounds like those who purchase before the ban takes effect tomorrow - June 5 - will be protected, but I’d want to see the fine print from the government. Certainly those cruises leaving as soon as this week are protected, but it is not entirely clear to me that both the travel to Cuba and the travel in Cuba are fully protected if purchased today because the group people to people licenses are being revoked. A related technical question is whether the customary trip deposit for SD is sufficient to be protected, or whether the full trip fare must be paid for today so the trip is fully paid for prior to the ban taking effect June 5. An open question is whether or not - and I don’t know either way - one must apply for an individual license to permit travel within Cuba once there even if the ticket is purchased today. Presumably yes, but again we lawyers like to see the source documents! A related but different question is how the ban impacts Havana port calls during the inaugural voyage of SeaDream Innovation planned for Fall 2021. Certainly a U.S. citizen cannot go from the U.S. to Cuba after tomorrow as a tourist or people-to-people, but I don’t think the U.S. Government can stop SeaDream or any other non-U.S. registered ship from going to Cuba. So SD can go to Cuba in 2021 just as she can in 2020. The issue will be what happens to U.S. citizens who board the inaugural trip in London then stop in Miami, then go to Havana (the scheduled stop after Miami). It may be - again may be the case - that such a U.S. citizen could not disembark SD while in Cuba and would need to remain onboard. Again, I don’t know for sure, but these are the tricky questions that SD and others may not have firm answers for now.
  7. Cool Cruiser - we are in the same position. Since we like you are based in Florida we’d welcome boarding the inaugural in Miami.
  8. We are still looking at options, but since we will be on board SD1 in July and again on SD2 this fall, we are curious if any of the regulars here has booked the new ship SD Innovation?
  9. All very interesting and bringing back so many wonderful memories of Venice. We will be there next year on SeaDream on a back to back in July - first Rome to Venice and then continue on to Athens. Several times over the years I’ve woken up before or at dawn the first day or so having not yet adjusted to the new time zone. Each time, from different hotels, I’ve walked the canals and St. Mark’s Square with hardly anyone around as the sun slowly rises. Once I was the only human in St. Mark’s (me and the pigeons). It is breathtaking and truly memorable to see the light and sounds gradually unfold like a work of art in the making as Venice magically comes to life each day! On the hotels, I actually worked for ITT Corp. when it owned Sheraton before the merger with Starwood, which as noted was recently purchased by Marriott. ITT, through Sheraton, started the Luxury Collection with the purchase of a series of assets including those in Venice. All or some of them were bought from the Aga Khan at the time, if memory serves. While we haven’t stayed at the Danieli, we have stayed at the Europa & Regina several times. Two years ago we stayed in a top floor suite with a rooftop patio overlooking the Grand Canal. The views were amazing. Great place to call room service to bring up some wine and bites - heaven.
  10. Sounds about right on the price there Princeton. I should have mentioned that there are at least two ways to arrange the private water taxi: (1) you can wait until arrival and just make your way from the baggage claim area over to the water taxi docks through the relatively new enclosed structure with moving walkways or (2) you can pay a bit more and reserve through a service that will meet you at baggage claim and help get you to the assigned pre-arranged taxi. Option #2 is not as important now that the way to the water taxi dock has been vastly improved. In the “old” days, one had to walk outside with luggage about a quarter mile or longer and the private service would drive you over after meeting you at baggage claim (now they walk you over there as I recall, so you walk either way). The only advantage to the pre-arranged one is you won’t have to wait in line for one if there is a line at a busy time.
  11. I highly, highly recommend taking your own private water taxi from the Venice airport to Venice proper, especially if this is your first time to Venice or you are trying to impress your travel companion. Yes it is pricey - several hundred dollars perhaps, as I recall, at least $150. But it is so much more convenient, enjoyable and immersive in the Venice experience. And, let’s be frank folks, if we can afford SeaDream and wonderful hotels such as the Danieli, we can afford to splurge on a private Venice water taxi! You won’t regret it. On the other hand, a Bellini at Harry’s is another story altogether, IMHO ... Safe travels to all regardless of your mode of transportation!
  12. Athens port can be quite busy depending on time of year, day of the week, etc. Yes - SeaDream offers a transfer service you can book while on board. We have used it many times. While pricier than other options, we’ve found the convenience worth the extra cost. If memory serves, it takes about 45 minutes. Last summer those who made their own arrangements had some problems.
  13. Anybody here actually book a voyage on the new ship already?
  14. Yes indeed on the two-plus years ... seems like some details (such as sales terms, discounts or no discounts, etc.) should have been “ironed out” before they went “public” with all of us Club Members that together form their most loyal customer base. Hopefully they will do so quickly in coming days as we all want them to succeed.
  15. Yes - you are correct about the “all or nothing” inaugural cruise of 70 days - per friends to whom we introduced SeaDream. They were keenly interested in segments (such as Miami to South America) but were told no go. If I’m not mistaken the inaugural voyage includes 3 days in Miami - in hurricane season as noted above. We have a place about an hour or so north of Miami (depending on traffic!) so if we happen to be in town, perhaps SD will allow those of us who can make it a chance to visit the new vessel while in Miami.
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