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2SailingNomads

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About 2SailingNomads

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    United States
  • Interests
    Surfing, travel, skiing, fine wine and spirits
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Seabourn
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    South Pacific

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  1. Might need to be 2022, depending on what one believes. Even if a viable vaccine CAN be developed - which is still an unknown (hello common cold) - and survive the mutations that have occurred so far of Sars-2 to be effective, there is the whole who gets it and distribution issue. We too hope by Fall 2021 we can cruise again but it is still all a big unknown. We've cancelled 5 trips so far, 2 cruises and 3 land-based vacations but given we are healthy in perspective so what. YMMV. Stay safe!
  2. Well possibly the fact that he knew you from before played into that, he might have engaged with you as opposed to ignoring us. And there were other occasions, like when we were having drinks with a couple who have 50+ (!!) Crystal cruises and he stopped by to chat with them and had his back to us the entire time and left with out acknowledging us. That was rude. Now his daily early interviews that we saw on the TV were good, but if you are not a known entity I guess you don't count for him engaging in conversation. Other 1st timers we spoke to had similar experiences or lack thereof so I don't think it was personal. The only officer who actually made any effort to speak to us was the Hotel Manager, and not because we had complained and the female bar manager (I think that was her title, never saw her name tag but she was always checking up on all the bars so that is my assumption) who inquired if the service had any issues, which it did not. Everyone will have a different experience with various crew, we were very close to David E. having sailed with him for over 150 days and enjoyed a different relationship with him when on the ship than most did, but I never saw David E. or Handre or Heather or... speak to someone and ignore others seated with them. Just MHO.
  3. We have done 18 Seabourn cruises and 2 on Crystal: one on their River ship which was a great experience, the second on the Symphony this past January which was a mixed bag. Crystal experience: Embarkation was not smooth, instead of getting in a queue when you arrive at the terminal you are assigned a "Group" and have have to wait until that group is called. Which mean that people who came later than you and are in the same group potentially are served ahead of you - not a big deal, but I did not care for that system. Boarding the ship there are photographers wanting to take your picture to subsequently sell it to you, I was quite disappointed in that and all the other attempts for a photographer to get you to buy a picture. I expect that from a mass market line not a luxury one. After getting on the ship there were a bunch of crew standing around but not a single one welcomed us on-board, which is a big contrast to getting on a Seabourn ship where typically the Cruise Director or assistant greets you along with one or more officers. On the Symphony you feel as if you stepping into a shopping mall when you first arrive as opposed to a cruise ship. One area Crystal does much better than Seabourn is the embarkation day lunch when their MDR, Waterside, is open for a nice relaxed sit-down lunch. As others have mentioned the size of a standard veranda suite on Crystal is just too small, between a closet with limited space, a very narrow bathroom - and a tub, and little room to maneuver in the suite if more than one person is in the room. I would only do another Crystal ocean if I wanted to pay a 50% premium for a Penthouse suite, which is still not that large. (We have never taken a Penthouse on Seabourn as we have always found the standard veranda suite to be spacious enough). For the most part the food in Waterside, Prego and Nobu was very good, although the timing of courses was inconsistent. Sometimes we'd have to wait 20 minutes, other times we would still be finishing apps when the next course arrived. We never ate at Silk and the buffet was not overly appealing. One aspect where Seabourn has Crystal beaten by a mile is the pizza served at lunch. I also don't like that one has to pay a fee to go to the specialty restaurants more than once, sure insure everyone has a chance to go one time but then make it a first come, first served list that you can signup for once on the ship. Complimentary wines are on a par with Seabourn, as were the choice of spirits except for a lack of Mescal. One area that Crystal did excel in was prompt service, especially from bar and pool wait staff. There were times when we arrived at a bar for a pre-dinner drink and a server would follow us to where we sat and take our order. One day at the pool 2 waiters decided my beer needed to be refreshed and both brought me one even though I had not asked for one. This is an area that has been sometimes not so great on Seabourn, as some of their servers tend to be able to only focus on one table at a time, and on more than one occasion we have sat there trying to get someone's attention at the Observation bar. For the most part the crew we interacted with were as friendly as what we are used to from Seabourn's crew. That said, we had an absolute lack of interaction with Officers on Crystal. And the CD Russ was totally unimpressive. On multiple occasions were were getting coffee and he came up and spoke to long time Crystal cruisers but despite us standing only a few feet away from him he never took the trouble to even say "Hello" - the exact opposite of the Seabourn CD's. The area where you interact with Guest Services on Seabourn, the Square, is much preferable and welcoming to the one on the Symphony which feels like a hotel front desk. We also did not find the Guest Service people on the Symphony to be: friendly (they have to stand all shift so maybe that partially explains it) nor particularly helpful. The pool area was never very crowded, but the layout of the pool seating was akin to picture you see of mass market lines, e.g., chairs on top of each other. While I never met the Captain, we passed by the Captain's reception where people were lined up to get their photograph taken with him and decided to keep moving, he did provide very informative noon briefings. Entertainment is a personal thing but other than the movie theater on Crystal, and the violinist who played every day at one of the bars, I can't say one is better than the other. Lecturer's (and in fact one lady was someone we had seen on a Seabourn cruise years ago) were comparable as were the couple of shows we went to. But the biggest negative, was as several other posters have mentioned, the passengers. It seemed like most knew each others from prior cruises and if not in their little clique they did not want too much to do with others. Several people we met who were 1st timers mentioned the same to us. Also a lot of Asian passengers, not sure it it was because that cruise was going to Hong Kong or just the clientele Crystal attracts. We always find people who sail with Seabourn to be friendly and we've met many people over the years that we keep in regular contact with, the social aspect of Seabourn is one of the reasons we keep returning to them.
  4. I use a VPN all the time. No problem accessing Seabourn's web site. As to the question about "why" well if you need to ask... If you like your data being read by ISP provider, sold, etc. no reason. And if you use one only get one that does not log requests and unreasonably slow down your traffic.
  5. So Long and Thanks for all the Fish I've read all 5 of the Douglas Adams trilogy, along with the "And Another Thing" tribute but that is nowhere as good. Have to agree w/ you. Classics - my Favorite being "So Long and Thanks for All the Fish".. For those of us in the know who played in the kernel of the VMS operating system back in the '80's the "Hitch Hiker" meant knowing how things really worked. (And Bruce Ellis) An appropriate reference BasandSyb.
  6. Damn my friend, I wish we could come and drink some good scotch w/ you but not to be given at the moment both our no travel situations. No going to Hawaii for a couple of months and now we are locked down, including leaving our wonderful place effective tomorrow. I happen to agree with Ka Honu that these are extenuating times - and that the policies have morphed over time. We were supposed to be on the Odyssey as I write this and were going to go despite the dire warnings - time will tell if they are valid or hysteria - and waited until the cruise was cancelled before we unpacked. Since the cruise was cancelled we had the choice of a 125% FCC or 100% refund. As I suspect many more cruises will be cancelled my advice is to wait until the last minute, if possible and it might not be for everyone, to cancel to get the refund if that is what you want. That said I think ALL travel companies from airlines to cruise lines should allow for the rest of the year, at least given what we know and don't know, today the ability to cancel and get a 100% refund. The airlines might pretend they are being nice by waiving cancel fees but none that I have seen are refunding your money, unlike Seabourn does of they cancel the cruise. And all my flights have been cancelled. The cruise industry is in uncharted waters (pun intended) and Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald said that "the company is prepared for a cruising pause to last for the rest of the year, but he thinks the industry will come back stronger."
  7. I suspect cruises will be stopped for much more than 30 days. While statistically the number of infected people in China vs. total population - even if you triple the number of people they claim were infected, I'll leave it to you to do the calculations 240000 / 1.4+ billion (# reported was just over 80,000) - was low. They did a good job of isolation to prevent a majority of the population from being infected. On the other hand other countries have either been late to react (US in particular) or have not been as aggressive, and it took more than 30 days for China to contain it. And that assumes it really is contained. Too many countries will want to be more careful and keep their restrictions in place for more than 30 days. I doubt very much there will be any cruises in the Med until late summer at best. But who knows.
  8. Agree 100% while easy to complain the logistics are a challenge most people can't begin to fathom.
  9. I'm sorry for your predicament, we were planning on leaving for St. Martin Monday to join the Odyssey on the 21st but Seabourn or any other cruise line can't be held responsible for these changes as it is governments making the rules. Could Seabourn have had a much better, i.e., flexible cancellation policy for cruises in March, absolutely. That is one area that they fell on their faces on and annoyed me and many others who had cruises that embarked in March, We were still going until the imposed restrictions on travel from the EU to the US came into play. Had considered doing the Caribbean segment but that is no longer an option. Enjoy Barbados, we have been there several times and like it. Safe travels.
  10. Yep - finally Seabourn has come into the reality of the situation. However, there are many people who now will be stuck in transit somewhere. Luckily we were not to leave for a few days.
  11. I agree Ann, but since it falls under the "Now, you can book your cruise with confidence: cancel for any reason and receive a Future Cruise Credit in the amount of your cancellation fees. Some restrictions apply." title it is not, IMO, explicit in stating if not only for new bookings. I think and hope you are correct, as a suggestion maybe Seabourn should look at other travel sites, e.g., Delta's site is pretty clear as to existing and new bookings. That said, reading the new Terms & Conditions there is no longer the requirement to book the cruise using the FCC within 90 days of the cancellation date, you will now have until December 31, 2020 to re-book and the FCC can be used for multiple cruises.
  12. Very interesting however it is listed under the Book w/ Confidence section implying it is applicable to new bookings, and is not - at least from my reading - concise in stating that existing reservations qualify, or am I hopefully missing something? Given the last 26 hours here in the US of nebulous policy decisions related to re-entry I am glad to see Seabourn finally be more flexible as regards cancellations for something no one could have predicted.
  13. Have to agree with you. Sad that Seabourn risks losing many first timers as the product is excellent. Management needs to wake up re: cancellation. Make it effective tomorrow, 24 hours full refund. Show leadership.
  14. Agree Seabourn's policy re: cancellation is poor. And we are long-time Seabourn cruisers.
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