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Posts posted by PSULion

  1. You all have me a bit worried. We cruise in 10 days and I haven't booked any Land Discoveries because we have a large OBC (from Azamara for a promo)' date=' plus the Like package that I purchased. I can't book in advance if they will not let me cancel and rebook. Please tell me I'm going to have something to book onboard.[/quote']


    I would quickly try to book anything once you board. With all the ship credit and package cr@p being offered, I imagine the excursion desk will be rather busy. I'm still not sure what credit can be used for what (more importantly when).


    Best of luck,



  2. I totally agree! It's very deceiving of Azamara to offer these perks through the packages, but not be clear in their use of OBC. We too we're fooled and booked the package for land discoveries, wifi and upgraded liquor. I hope this gets resolved.


    These packages and their apparently numerous restrictions are driving me crazy. I was looking to book an Azamara trip (would be my 4th), and consider myself a reasonably savvy cruiser, but it is difficult to figure out what if any package to purchase. Can't these marking people ever make something easy to understand?!?!?!


    Just venting.



  3. I'm a girl😃😃😃. But, Iamthesea, for the longest time reading your posts I thought you were male. Don't know why! Then you mentioned DH.

    Judging from our cruises in the Caribbean, I'd guess the demographic to average 65 to 85.


    Mentioning "DH" these days doesn't necessarily mean you are a female!



  4. My head hurts after reading all these posts. The bean counters at Azamara need to step aside and let some marketing people develop reasonable packages that are easily understood. You need a flow chart to figure out what is and isn't included, and then what is and isn't included in each package.


    I recently was on Oceania and their run of the house drinks package basically included everything except super premium. Although a bit pricey, it was simple. I don't expect such largesse from Azamara on an "included" package, but this is out of control.


    I need a drink!



  5. Thanks for all your ideas. We do have AMEX platinum but indeed it sounds like a hassle for an arriving flyer; I certainly want my luggage with me.


    We have Marriott status so I will look into its airport hotels for possible breakfast.


    I received a lovely generous email this afternoon from a fellow cruiser from our Buckeye state inviting us to join her party at the Intercontinental that morning. (They are flying in the previous day.) I truly am grateful for this gracious offer.


    Good luck! Would not do lounge for an arrival, Marriot sounds great. Enjoy your cruise.



  6. Would be good if you can find it. Seems to be tucked away. You would need to claim your luggage and then go back thru the TSA lines to get there. A major problem.


    If you fly through Terminal D, you can go directly to the Centurion Lounge. Your bags will be collected by your airline and should be held till you pick them up (risky in Miami or any airport IMHO). If you leave the security area of Terminal D or fly to another terminal that does not have airside access to Terminal D, then you have to leave the secure area, collect your bags, you can check them at the bag check for about $10 a bag, and then you have to get a way to get back through Terminal D security. Flyertalk people mentioning buying a fully refundable ticket to get through security, then cancelling after you get into the lounge, but that is a lot of hassle.


    The only simple way to enjoy the Miami AMEX Centurion Lounge on arrivals is to 1) be sure you fly to Terminal D (although I think E has airside access by foot or tram), and do not fly with checked bags unless you feel comfortable leaving them on the carousel for a few hours.


    That being said, it worked great on a recent DEPARTURE where I had a later flight after an O cruise.


    Good luck, John

  7. I have traveled on both (Symphony twice and Regatta once). My opinion is as follows:


    1. Food comparable in MDR, buffet and pool grill. Prego (Italian on Crystal) far superior to Toscana. Silk Road sushi bar was good as any high end sushi bar on land. Polo Grill very good on O. I missed a steak house on Crystal. Overall, Crystal speciality dining seemed more "special" to me. Did like availability of Lobster and grilled meats in evening buffet on O, so perhaps a slight edge to O if you prefer evening buffet dining.


    2. Traveled pre- and post-all inclusive on Crystal. Purchased drinks package on O. Liquor is comparable, slight edge to Crystal--no card showing, etc. Much better included wines on Crystal. When beverages are included, more socializing later in the evenings.


    3. Entertainment far superior on Crystal (perhaps because Regatta is smaller). Piano bar on Crystal is very fun. Shows were better as well.


    4. Service comparable on both.


    5. I usually travel in steerage (no suites yet), but I understand the suites on O are apparently far superior to Crystal if you can afford them.


    6. Overall felt like Crystal was luxury (think Cadillac or Lexus) and O was close (think Buick or Lincoln).


    That being said, I would cruise either line again in a heartbeat and I am of the opinion these two lines provide some of the best value at sea. Anxious to try O's larger ships and Crystal's new offerings.



  8. Thanks for that hint!


    I did book a reservation at each one online. Do you know if it's ever possible to go twice during a cruise? Also would you say the quality is just as good in the main dining room or are the specialty restaurants a step up?


    I was on Regatta, and yes only Polo has a bar, but I told the Toscana host that I was at the Polo bar. It worked each time and I ate 3 times at Polo and 2 times at Toscana (only was able to reserve once as I was in steerage) on a 10 night cruise. A few times we filled in at a shared table where there were no shows.


    I have not traveled on the other ships where there is aparently no bar in the resturants so YMMV.


    I enjoyed the food in the speciality resturants, and I felt as thought the food was a step up, and the service several steps up from the MDR. MDR is also very good, but just not as good IMHO.



  9. I've sailed on 18 cruise lines over the course of 45 years, and never came across a Line that would not deliver cocktails to my cabin, as long as I was willing to pay for it.

    What am I missing?


    I think you are missing the question regarding the drinks package and cabin delivery. I purchased the premium package and I am still not sure if they would deliver a drink to my cabin. I never got a consistent answer from either room service or from a bar on a recent Regatta cruise where I DID ask for an after dinner drink to be delivered to my cabin (one yes) from casino bar), two said no (room service phone and bar by MDR). YMMV.



  10. I clearly recall that Genting will be establishing an entirely new brand for the Chinese/Asian market, to be called the Dream Cruise Line. So the Crystal image will not have much more impact on the Asian market than the Marriott Courtyard brand has impact on Ritz Carlton.


    Genting is likely preparing an overall branding for their investment in a cruise line, river crusing, a Las Vegas resort, airline travel tours, etc. I imagine they will all be tied into a global network of luxury experiences and brands with (relatively) seamless cross culture marketing. Crystal might be the next step up from the smoke filled gambling driven Dream Cruise Line junkets.



  11. I do a number of fitness classes at home, but at sea I just do my own thing. The classes, while "ok" are usually extremely entry level, and as it sounds, you have a good fitness level, so I would try to develop a routine at home before you leave for the cruise and just follow through. There are very good cardio and weight machines on ship as well to keep you fit.


    Good luck.



  12. I guess I have always wondered why you get a B2B kick back in the first place. Obvious it is related to brand loyaltly, no need to market to a new guest, etc., but I think OBC is very generous, and while cash is king, it doesn't seem sustainable in today's competitive cruise environment. The cabin on the subsequent cruise would likely be sold to a full paying passenger (especially the suites and upscale cabins I guess) anyway.



  13. In December there were loads of shared shuttles (and cabs I think) taking people to MIA and dropping them off at the appropriate terminal for $15 each. The guy loaded the luggage and you just hopped on the shuttle and let him know what airline you were flying. A $59 PP transfer is absurd IMHO.



  14. I just got off O in December after three A cruises. Regarding nightlife, there is really no comparison, at least on this Regatta Caribbean cruise. I think it largely has to do with the included drinks on A, because the few people that were up late on this O cruise were mostly drinkers that had the drinks package and were enjoying cocktails in the bar areas. The average age on A versus O probably lends to a more active nightlife as well.


    Unless you really enjoy an active nightlife on ship, I would not let this issue dissuade you from trying O.



  15. Thank you all for being helpful and taking the time to reply. I appreciate your kindness.


    On our previous and only cruise, we were subject to security procedures similar to airports. Those passengers that tried to bring duty-free liquor aboard, had it confiscated and it was held for them till time of disembarking.


    The gift shops onboard had duty free liquor available for purchase. (At exorbitant prices of course)


    We enjoy a beverage in the evening on the privacy of our balcony. I think we will have it preordered and put in our stateroom. Even though I resent paying $100 bottle.


    Thanks again.


    I think you missed the point of a few posts. O does NOT limit how much liquor you bring on-board (within reasonable limits). You can either 1) pack a bottle in your checked luggage so it makes it through the airport experience (there are plenty of packing devices to ensure the bottle doesn't break or leas) or 2) stop at a liquor store at your port and then just carry it on board (it will NOT be confiscated like many other cruise lines).


    On my last cruise, I packed two bottles of red wine and had not trouble at all, and the room stewart was most helpful in securing wine glasses. There are cork screws in the room. There are plenty of mixers in the room fridge.


    There is no need to pay O's inflated (IMHO) liquor prices (what are you getting for $100 a bottle?).


    Good luck!



  16. I like being served in the buffet for a number of reasons, especially the "ick" factor. On my recent Regatta cruise, I couldn't believe how many people were eating off their own plates in the buffet line, including licking their fingers! I appreciate the fact that the O staff serves the food. The only challenge is the salad making, specifcally the amount of dressing (just have to be firm, "a little please" as well as the size of the portions (again, just be firm with your request because of the language issues) and if you don't eat everything, its not really a big deal in the grand scheme of things considering the Noro factor.


    Lucking the number of children on O are minimal, as they exponetially increase the buffet "ick" factor.



  17. Yes, the amount does not matter, the refund matters. Just wanted to share how crystal, a luxury line, deals with this issue and their passengers... contrary to what someone else has stated!!! Full disclosure...I have sailed crystal exclusively since 2004, quite a few cruises!! :D




    I traveled on Crystal twice, and one time we were late getting into port (I can't recall the port). Since we had to leave at the previously indicted time (i.e. they could not make up for the shorter time in port on the back end), Crystal refunded the port fees, and I didn't even realize until I got home and had a credit on my credit card and had to call Crystal to get an explanation as to why I had a credit on my account.



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