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About skybluewaters

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    Cruising (duh!)
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Crystal Cruises

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  1. Wow! I really admire your sense of adventure! Have a great time. I'm looking forward to following along.
  2. Thank you very much for your thoughtful and detailed impressions. As always, you have provided valuable information in an insightful manner.
  3. Thanks for the update! Have the seas on the trip back been very rough? How was the initial voyage from California to Hawaii? You were very lucky to have Marc Ginsburg on board at this time...he's the perfect lecturer given the recent events in the Middle East.
  4. To JOPA28, ilovhywd, and anyone else on board Symphony currently: How are things going? Please keep us informed. Hope you're able to enjoy some marvelous Crystal sea days despite the swells.
  5. Oh, I get it now, that's why they looked at me with such curious expressions in Amsterdam when I tried to pay for my stroopwafel with Somalian shillings. I should have used my credit card!
  6. Well done, the picture is outstanding!
  7. Hi, Rob! We're also on the SD - HK cruise, but I haven't seen any great deals on hotels. Can you tell me which hotels have had their rates plummet? We also have a few days in Hong Kong after the cruise and I have been putting off booking a hotel, but I'm going to do so in the next few days. Thanks!
  8. Nancy, this is different than my experiences in non-PH cabins, in that the luggage has always arrived by 2:30 or so.
  9. In response to pressure from the Chinese government, Apple just pulled the HKLive.map app, saying "it has been used to target and ambush police" and "threaten public safety." Heck, I just want to use it to see if it's safe to get off Symphony in February and to help me avoid disruptions during my two days in HK post-cruise. My two days there will be during a weekend, typically when the protests occur . First the NBA, now Apple.
  10. And therein lies the rub. Later this month United Airlines is adding a second flight between HKG and SFO daily. Is there enough demand for a second flight, given the current unrest in HK? What are the odds that United decides to cancel or not go through with plans for a second flight? I have reservations to fly back from HKG to SFO on United at the end of Symphony's cruise there this coming February. We will see.
  11. I don't agree with your comment that staterooms on Crystal river boats are small. We found the standard cabin on Crystal Mahler to be of nice size, including a walk-in closet and a spacious bathroom with a huge shower. There are a small handful of "petite" staterooms that are small, but those are basically intended for solo travelers. Our suitcases easily fit under the king bed in the standard stateroom. On the other hand, Crystal's ocean ships have small standard staterooms.
  12. I agree 100% with Keith's recommendation to go for the 1:30 reservation. Even though you will probably make it in time for a 1:00 lunch, you will save yourself the worry if you go for 1:30. This is similar to the thought that goes behind picking the time for an airline flight home after disembarking a cruise. A later time will save you the worry and will help you sleep better in the meantime.
  13. You certainly can do both a morning and an afternoon excursion on the same day, but be careful you don't overdo it. We usually did one excursion each day and used the rest of the time to go out on our own, which was especially enjoyable in the smaller towns we visited. The temptation to pack in as much as possible can leave you feeling exhausted. Relaxation was as important as sightseeing was for us, but that may not apply to you. Some of our best memories from the two Crystal river cruises we took were from wandering around and discovering things on our own. We may not have checked off as many boxes as we could have, but I believe we had a better time. YMMV.
  14. Thanks for helping make sense of this, Keith! Could you clarify what the phrase "Valid for first sailing after Milestone voyage" means? Does it mean that you can only use it on the first voyage after you have earned it, or can you hold onto it and use it on any subsequent voyage of your choosing? Thank you!
  15. And when edgee says that Gary Hunter is edgy, you can take that to the bank.
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