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Posts posted by PSULion

  1. Any idea why the November 5, 2019, BCN to MIA transatlantic cruise disappeared off the Azamara as well as all other online cruise booking websites? I booked this a few weeks ago, and I have never seen a trip disappear, even if it is sold out.


    Thanks, John R.

  2. Travel agent decided to include the "Premium" drinks package for two as shipboard credit, due to the confusion with Azamara. Thanks for helping me out with the information, I would have been a bit annoyed if I boarded and was unable to upgrade the drinks package.


    John R.

  3. Well, that is interesting. I have a call into my agent to see if Azamara will honor this is in some fashion. I would not have booked this promotion without the ability to upgrade. I would have gone with a different agent with a different amenity package (i.e more ship credit and I would have just bought the package with the ship credit).


    Anyone have experience when  Azamara's travel agent reps (don't really know who they are) tells your agent something in error?


    I will let you know how this ends up!


    John R.

  4. Hi all,


    Returning to Azamara after a cruise break, and had a quick question. I booked the November westbound transatlantic, and the booking included the "premium" beverage package. Travel agent indicated that upgrade to the "ultimate" for the $6 is possible, including using ship board credit. Note this is a free-standing premium beverage package, not an "Experience More" package. Has anyone done this? Lately, the Azamara phone line seems to be telling different things to different travel agents (at least in regards to this booking and some of the promotions), so I thought I ask if anyone has experienced this situation.


    Also, do you think Azamara would credit the "premium" beverage package cost ($15.95/day per person) to one of the "Experience Moree" packages? I doubt it, but was curious if anyone was able to do that.


    Thanks all, 


    John R. 

  5. I don't want to resurrect a dead horse here, but I was looking at returning to Crystal, and received the 2017 President's Cruise brochure yesterday. I thought, wow, that is a decent fare for such an interesting itinerary. When I read the Terms & Conditions fine print, the fares does NOT include "taxes, fees and port charges starting at $1,335 PER GUEST (emphasis added)." I imagine the Suez Canal is expensive to travel through, but nearly $3,000 in extra fees sure seems a lot.



  6. I have never purchased insurance. I am in my early 40s and never needed it for personal health reasons, but as my parents get older, I have considered purchasing the insurance in case something happens to them.


    Like all insurance, it is a risk assessment. I feel lucky I have never had an insurance issue in seven or so cruises, but your personal situation should dictate whether you purchase insurance (as well as your own risk tolerance).


    I know people that maintain a very high deductible on their homeowners and auto policy, essentially covering only a total loss. Some people are willing to "self-insure" their travel arrangements, again, depending on their risk tolerance.


    Good luck, John

  7. Does anyone know if both parties need to upgrade?


    In a similar vein, if the cabin has the O choice option, does EACh passenger have to select the same O choice option (i.e. Drink package versus OBC versus excursions)?


    EDIT: I saw the answer in another thread. Do both passengers must select the same O choice option, but apparently ONE passenger can upgrade. Thanks.


    Thanks, J

  8. I have arrived early and have flown in the same "day". If I fly in the same day (usually because of work restrictions), I usually try to take the earliest red eye (flying west coast to Miami usually) flight and arrive early in the morning. Usually there is a later red eye flight leaving, so if there is a cancellation of the earlier red eye, then I can buy a ticket on the later flight. So far it has worked well. If I have to take a red eye, I will only schedule a direct flight to Miami and will not fly through a cold weather climate in the winter time (i.e. Chicago or Denver, etc.).




  9. This is what frustrates me at times with cruise lines. They have "rules" in place, but if you have a high performing TA, an Owner's Suite, or if you know "someone" then the rules don't apply. It seems to be pervasive in the industry. I fully understand taking care of your high volume sales agents and VIP/preferred customers, but it creates some ill will for people that for whatever reason don't know if an agent is an O high performer (I have never asked!) or can't afford an Owner's Suite.


    I do appreciate the information and it was very helpful.



  10. For a number of reasons, it's almost always MUCH easier to cancel an existing reservation and re-book than it is to change a name on an existing reservation. It is even tough to do when the party in question is deceased.


    More pertinent to your question, when one is able to get a change accomplished, it very often changes the parameters of the original contract, making the entire process an exercise in futility.


    If you tell us what advantage you are trying to preserve by booking and then changing, we might be able to help you go about it, or at least tell you if this avenue is worth pursuing.


    I wanted to book a fare on offer by June 30, but I am not sure the passenger that I will be traveling with will be able to go, for reasons that would not be covered by insurance.


    Thanks, John

  11. Hi all,


    I was wondering if anyone has the current information on changing the name of a passenger?


    In the alternative, a travel agent that is new to me suggested booking a room, paying the 200% fare as a single, then adding a person later, and they said their would be no or minimal charge.


    I'll try to confirm with Oceania in the AM, but I think I trust the information here more than from Oceania directly. :)


    Thanks, John

  12. Does anyone know why Crystal seems to charge exhorbitant taxes, fees, and port charges? Many of the cruises I was looking at have those charges that are significantly higher than any other cruise I have taken (about 7 or so, including 2 previous Crystal cruises).


    Is this analogous to airlines add-on fees rather than pass through port charges and taxes (the "fees" portion of the charges would lend itself to a wide inclusion of Crystal pass through costs).


    Thanks, John

  13. Jim, this is precisely why we changed our eating habits when we cruise. When we would take say one cruise a year of seven to twelve days we might gain five pounds. Before we took our first world cruise we said if we would gain that amount of weight we are talking about potentially 25 or more pounds.


    In fact, we were so disciplined on that first World Cruise that my wife and I each lost weight. Now my goal is to simply leave at the same weight that we began the cruise at.


    One other item about eating.


    Many people, particularly those from the United States are accustomed to eating fast. That includes at home because they are often on the run to when the dine because restaurants want to turn tables over quickly to bring in more revenue. In some other countries when you dine out you pretty much have the table for all or a large portion of the evening.


    I do try to remind myself when we are eating food that food should be like wine where you eat slowly and enjoy each and every mouthful taking in the aroma and taste of the food and not wolfing it down. Aside from truly enjoying the meal it allows you brain to catch up with what you are eating so you know better when to stop.


    For us when we sail we try to think of much of what we eat like going to a health spa. So we eat plenty of salads, vegetables, fruit and fish. The good news is I actually like all of this so for me it's enjoyable.


    In the end though life is short and when one cruises they should enjoy and not deprive themselves. I think the key is to have a game plan if one is concerned about weight whether that is to take some weight off prior to the cruise, or after the cruise or like us to consume more on the ship but exercise at the same time to offset the additional intake of food.


    A lot of good ideas have been posted and in the end each person needs to figure out how to make this work for them.




    Great points Keith. I find myself woofing down my food particularly at breakfast and lunch because I am always in a hurry as it relates to work. I really enjoy long leisurely dinners on a cruise (2+ hours) where I can savor the food and the wines. I see many people looking all agitated when the next course is a few minutes late and they don't have a constant supply of food to consume.


    I also like the option of smaller portions (half plates) of different items because often times one or two bites is all I really wanted in order to try the appetizer or entree, rather than consuming a large plate of whatever.


    Good advice on skipping the breads too. That being said, for some reason, I usually only eat butter on a cruise, it just seems to taste better for some reason.



  14. FWIW, drinking juices is probably not the way to go if you want to have a healthy diet. Ounce for ounce, orange juice has more calories and nearly as much sugar as Coca Cola. Apple juice has the same amount of sugar as Coca Cola while having more calories.


    Sure, juices have some Vitamin C, but no one on a Crystal cruise is in much danger of getting scurvy anyway. Fruit juices cause an unhealthy spike in blood sugar which results in wide swings in serum insulin levels, possibly setting the stage for insulin-resistance and diabetes. Better to eat an occasional orange, which is more filling and less prone to result in these metabolic disturbances.


    On the other hand, vegetable juices, in general, are significantly lower in sugar and calories, and have many micro-nutrients, including Vitamin C. They tend to have quite a bit of sodium, but that isn't a problem for most people unless they have uncontrolled hypertension, congestive heart failure, kidney disease or liver disease. Vegetable juices, particularly in the form of a bloody Mary, can be the cornerstone for a healthy Crystal breakfast.


    There is a significant difference between commercial juices and juices from whole fruits (the apple juice comment above). I wouldn't compare a good juiced apple with commercial apple juice. It would be even better to mix a tart green apple with some celery juice and a pinch of ginger for a nice morning (or afternoon) beverage (with vodka, even better!).


    Either way, diabetics (and everyone else really) should watch how much fruit juice in general is consumed, either the juiced or commercial variety as they can be sugar bombs for sure. I am shocked when you see so called "healthy" fruit smoothie type things at Whole Paycheck...err Foods...that has nearly 75 grams of sugar, even if no sugar is "added".


    Happy juicing.



  15. Why would anybody put a LV bag into a piece of checked luggage? We are talking at least 1k for a starting point. I have bought many LV bags in Europe and never ever do I put them in a bag I am checking, I always carry them on to the plane. I never put any Hermes scarves or jewelry in my checked bags either and if I can't carry on the really good clothes stay at home,


    I am sorry for your loss but it is not Crystal's fault.


    I also commend you on your computer skills. I wish my 85 year old FIL was as adept.


    While I agree that putting high end (read expensive) items in "checked" luggage, how can you say is not Crystal's fault? They lost the bag, although $3000 seems like a lot of compensation (except when you pack high end items I guess--do purses actually cost $1,000???).



  16. Interesting that I also agree that on my last Azamara cruise the evening buffet was "meh" at best. I like the casual dining, but the selection was just not there. The quality of the dishes served was fine, just nothing special and waaaaay to many pasta dishes.


    I cruised on Oceania in December of last year and oddly the evening buffet was one of the highlights of the cruise with the grilled lobster, shrimp and lamb chops as well as excellent sushi and cheese options. It would be nice if Azamara kicked up the evening buffet a notch or three.



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