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  1. Hi, I am cruising to Bermuda for my 4th visit and go, primarily, to take pictures and enjoy the nature experiences. Due to time constraints, I will not have time to get to both of the above mentioned beaches. In terms of good photography, which one should I choose? I am not into snorkeling or swimming, especially the end of October. Bdoeb
  2. OCS190810-10 (R/T Vancouver) will be Margaret's & my seventh Crystal cruise, and as I have done during our previous cruises, I will occasionally post commentary and observations about our experiences while on this cruise here on Cruise Critic. Margaret & I are very much looking forward to once again spending time on board Crystal Symphony (which will be our fifth cruise on this beautiful ship), as this cruise is a belated celebration of our 25th wedding anniversary (which was on March 19, but due to work commitments I was unable to take Margaret away then). Cruise details: https://www.crystalcruises.com/voyage/round-trip-vancouver-ocs190810-10# According to Google Home, Embarkation Day is only 97 days away...but who's counting?!!
  3. I've done the 4 person private van tours. We split the cost with one other couple which lowered the pricing. They are not inexpensive but we did have a driver and a tour guide. We do private tours with Crystal as well as private ones through a third party. We carefully look at all options and figure out which one we want to do based on several factors and one is how late we want to return to the ship and the distance from the port. With Crystal private tours although we pay more we know the tour will be monitored by Crystal. I will not take a private tour that gets us back to the ship close to sailing time. Keith
  4. The 2022 itineraries for Symphony and Serenity have been released and are on the Crystal Cruises website. This is a summary of them. Keith
  5. HOLLAND AMERICA BOARD'S FUTURE CRUISE LISTING Updated August 16th, 2019 We all love to hear what cruises you are booked on. I post the Bon Voyage threads 7 days before sailing so, to be included in this, you need to post your details here to allow sufficient time to be on the updated Future Cruise Listing. It’s better to post earlier than later but if it is later please post THREE weeks in advance to make sure it doesn’t get missed. We would also be interested to know if this is your first cruise, your first HAL cruise or if you are celebrating a birthday or anniversary. Details needed are in the 2nd post of this thread. Please use REPLY and not QUOTE when posting to this thread. Using 'Quote' makes a very long thread and difficult for others to read. While this list is a lot of fun, please don't mistake it for a Roll Call thread. You can go to the Roll Call Section here on Cruise Critic and find your cruise to sign up there too. That's where your Meet & Greet planning, tour sharing, and other activities specific to your cruise will be happening. This week’s additions and changes are in BOLD and highlighted in aqua (sea colours). AUGUST 2019 Eurodam - 17-Aug-19 - 7 day Alaska Cruizer Bill & Cruizer Diana Rotterdam – 18-Aug-19 – 20 day Icelandic Fjords & Greenland Explorer dfish N Statendam - 18-Aug-19 - 7 day Viking Sagas we're sailing away.... - B2B2B2B2B2B2B following Aug. 4th & with Aug. 25th, Sept. 8th, 15th, 27th & Oct. 7th Empress of the Seas (RCCL) - 18-Aug-19 - 6 night Western Caribbean rafinmd - 1st time as Diamond Plus N Statendam - 25-Aug-19 - 14 day Jewels of the Baltic asebastian we're sailing away.... - B2B2B2B2B2B2B following Aug. 4th & 25th & with Sept. 8th, 15th, 27th & Oct. 7th Cailey53 - 1st sailing as 4* Mariners N Statendam – 25-Aug-19 – 53 days - ? we’re sailing away…. Veendam - 26-Aug-19 – 12 day Voyage of the Explorers JR42 ksmaxey & DW Amsterdam – 26-Aug-19 – 14 day Great Alaskan Explorer StLouisCruisers – celebrating 50th wedding anniversary on board Av8rix N Amsterdam - 31-Aug-19 - 7 day Alaskan Inside Passage crunchii & Zarmengar SEPTEMBER 2019 Oosterdam - 01-Sep-19 - 7 day Alaskan Explorer/Hubbard operakatz Zuiderdam - 03-Sep-19- 12 day Colors of Canada & New England vms & majormomma- mother - daughter trip lynanken Eurodam - 07-Sep-19 - 7 day Alaska Explorer R/T Seattle Gonzowifey - 1st HAL cruise & 1st Alaska Oosterdam – 08-Sep-19 – 7 night Alaska Explorer razzinger – 1st time on HAL & to Alaska, 9th cruise overall N Statendam - 08-Sep-19 - 7 day Norse Legends we're sailing away.... - B2B2B2B2B2B2B following Aug. 4th, 18th, 25th & with Sept. 15th, 27th & Oct. 7th Amsterdam - 09-Sep-19 - 14 day Great Alaskan Explorer IrishSmileyM3 - 3rd HAL cruise, 1st Alaska, celebrating 12.5th anniversary N Statendam – 15-Sep-19 – 12 day Iberian Adventure travelqueen101 - celebrating 60th birthday we're sailing away.... - B2B2B2B2B2B2B following Aug. 4th, 18th, 25th, Sept. 8th and with Sept. 27th & Oct. 7th Zuiderdam – 15-Sep-19 – 12 day Quebec to NYC mamaofami – 60th anniversary trip Amsterdam - 23-Sep-19 - 35 day Incan Empires ArtsyCraftsy woodworker & knitter Veendam - 25-Sep-19 - 23 day Panama Canal Av8rix N Statendam - 27-Sep-19 - 10 day Mediterranean Mosaic we're sailing away.... - B2B2B2B2B2B2B following Aug. 4th, 18th, 25th, Sept. 8th, 15th & with Oct. 7th Eurodam - 29-Sep-19 - 16 day collector R/T Vancouver - Hawaii & Pacific, Mexico pizzadog -celebrating 54th wedding anniversary cemnm18 - celebrating DW's birthday gypsymama5996 Westerdam – 29-Sep-19 – 13 day North Pacific CrossingK rwams – with granddaughter OCTOBER 2019 Rotterdam – 05-Oct-19 – 14 day European River Explorer doncarlos & Fishbabe N Statendam - 07-Oct-19 - 10 day Mediterranean Dream I like vacation - celebrating an anniversary & achieving 3* status we're sailing away.... - B2B2B2B2B2B2B following Aug. 4th, 18th, 25th, Sept. 8th, 15th, 27th N Statendam - 07-Oct-19 - Best of the Mediterranean Dismomx5 - celebrating 35th anniversary on their 4th HAL cruise Koningsdam - 31-Oct-19 - 13 day Passage to America vinonme2 -with sister, DS's 1st cruise, pre-cruise stay in Lake Como & Tuscany for 2 weeks Eurodam - 15-Oct-19 - 4 night Pacific Coastal msmayor - B2B with 7 night Mexican Riviera Koningsdam – 18-Oct-19 – 13 day Mediterranean Legend we’re sailing away…..- B2B2B with Oct. 31st & Nov. 13th Koningsdam – 18-Oct-19 – 26 day Mediterranean Legend & Passage to America Sailingdutchy Vict0riann Cruizer Bill & Cruizer Diana Queen Mary 2 - 18-Oct-19 - 7-night Eastbound Transatlantic rafinmd - B2B2B with Crystal Bach Oct 25 and Crystal Serenity Nov 5 Eurodam - 19-Oct-19 - 7 night Mexican Riviera msmayor - B2B following 4 night Pacific coastal N Amsterdam - 19-Oct-19 - 7 day Eastern Caribbean DFD1 N Amsterdam – 19-Oct-19 – 14 day Eastern/Tropical Caribbean saturn93 Rotterdam – 19-Oct-19 – 32 day Holy Land and Passage to America aliaschief & DWaliaschief Cinder Again Oosterdam - 20-Oct-19 - 17 day Circle Hawaii cat shepard Zuiderdam - 20-Oct-19 - 10 day Panama Canal Sunfarer RetiredNow AMA Amacerto - 27-Oct-19 - 7 day Legendary Danube (Nuremburg - Budapest AZNATIVE2000 - visiting Prague Oct. 21st precruise Crystal Bach 25-Oct-19 - 10-night Enchanting Moselle rafinmd - B2B2B following QM2 Oct 18 & with Crystal Serenity Nov5 Amsterdam - 28-Oct-19 - 51 day Tales of the South Pacific Traveling Dot FlorenceItaly Veendam - 30-Oct-19 - 7 day Eastern Caribbean anderson1203 - first HAL cruise Koningsdam - 31-Oct-19 - 13 day Passage to America we're sailing away.....- B2B2B following Oct. 18th & with Nov. 13th NOVEMBER 2019 Eurodam - 02-Nov-19 - 7 night Mexican riviera dobiemom Crystal Serenity - 5-Nov-19 - 19-night Explorer Combination - Barcelona to FTL rafinmd - B2B2B following QM2 Oct 18, Crystal Bach Oct 25 and with Symphony Nov 24 N Statendam - 10-Nov-19 - 7 day Eastern Caribbean Crazy For Cats the2ofus- B2B with Nov. 17th Judyrem - first HAL cruise, 70th birthday celebration Himself DFWGUYZ - achieving 3* on this sailing Koningsdam - 13-Nov-19 - 11 day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer we're sailing away.... - B2B2B following Oct. 18th & Oct. 31st Celebrity Silhouette - 14-Nov-19 - 8 Day Southern Caribbean Cruisinetta N Statendam - 17-Nov-19 - 14 day Western/Tropical Caribbean taxmantoo the2ofus- B2B following Nov. 10th Volendam – 20-Nov-19 – 30 Night Amazon Explorer Loreto – celebrating 50th wedding anniversary Chergs N Amsterdam - 23-Nov-19 - 7 day Tropical Caribbean Cruise twin - with twin & a friend celebrating the twins' belated birthday grest - celebrating Thanksgiving birthday N Statendam - 24-Nov-19 - 7 day Tropical Caribbean HELENPSL - annual Thanksgiving cruise with Angelo N Statendam - 24-Nov-19 - 14 day Tropical/Eastern Caribbean oldpharmguy Koningsdam - 24-Nov-19 - 10 night Southern Caribbean Seafarer wdw 1972 Crystal Serenity -24-Nov-19 - 7-night Caribbean Cornucopia from Miami rafinmd - B2B2B following QM2 Oct 18, Crystal Bach Oct 25 & Crystal Serenity Nov 5 DECEMBER 2019 N. Statendam - 01-Dec-19 - 7 day Eastern Caribbean deliver42 Eurodam - 01-Dec-19 - 10 day Panama Canal partial transit DFD1 - celebrating birthday Maasdam - 03-Dec-19 - 20 day New Zealand & Pacific VK3DQ - first HAL cruise, with MIL, celebrating 95th (MIL) & 73rd (VK3) birthdays on board N Amsterdam - 07-Dec-19 - 7 day Tropical Caribbean 1ANGELCAT- celebrating with friends - 1 receiving their Platinum medallion sp2 - celebrating 23rd anniversary & sp2's birthday & their 25th cruise Rotterdam - 06-Dec-19 - 15 day Panama Canal sambamama - 1st time on Rotterdam & West to East Panama Amsterdam - 18-Dec-19 - 17 day Panama Canal Holiday Infi Veendam – 18-Dec-19 – 10 day Southern Caribbean Seafarer Holiday Crazy For Cats Zaandam - 18-Dec-19 - 22 day Holiday South America& Antarctica RetiredNow - B2B with 09-Jan-20 Volendam - 20-Dec-19 - 16 night Christmas & New Year hal lover - 1st time on Volendam Westerdam - 21-Dec-19 - 14 day Far East Discovery TN Fem Rotterdam - 21-Dec-19 - 17 day Panama Canal (FLL - SD) dbaudit & Doc Bear- 2nd Panama Canal Koningsdam - 22-Dec-19 - 11 day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer Holiday jagger16 - 1st extended holiday cruise Oosterdam - 28-Dec-19 - 7 day Mexican Riviera LynnObie - 50th wedding anniversary with 3 daughters, spouses & 2 grandchildren JANUARY 2020 Koningsdam - 02-Jan-20 - 10 day Southern Caribbean Seafarer RevNeal Amsterdam – 04-Jan-20 - Grand World Voyage we’re sailing away…. mame42 scluvsrain Scrapnana DeepWaterMariner – 2nd World Voyage N Amsterdam - 04-Jan-20 - 7 day Eastern Caribbean kcohleffel - 1st HAL cruise Volendam – 05-Jan-20 – 77 day Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage Oak Hill Cruisers travellersrest TBcruiserguy N Statendam - 05-Jan-20 - 14 day Tropical/Eastern Caribbean ger_77 - escape from the frozen tundra Zaandam - 09-Jan-20 - 22 day South America& Antarctica 0bnxshs & Missy's Mom – birthday celebration on board & achieving 5* RetiredNow - B2B with 18-Dec-19 bobalink - 1st time on Zaandam & South America N Statendam - 12-Jan-20 - Eastern Caribbean pjck71 - celebrating 25th anniversary & DH's 50th birthday, 2nd time on HAL Westerdam - 16-Jan-20 - 30 day Far East Discovery Collector pictonite Koningsdam - 22-Jan-20 - 12 day Caribbean aliaschief & DWAliaschief Crystal Serenity - 22-Jan-20 - 40-day World Cruise Segment Los Angeles to Sydney rafinmd - B2B with QM2 March 5 Silver Wind - 23-Jan-20 - 11 day Eastern Caribbean Randyk47 Regent Seven Seas Mariner - 24-Jan-20 - 131 day World Cruise ArtsyCraftsy - first World Cruise N Statendam - 26-Jan-20 - 14 day Tropical/Eastern Caribbean forwardho - celebrating birthday on board FEBRUARY 2020 Oosterdam - 05-Feb-20 - 17 day Panama Canal VintageGeo-1st time through the Canal Zuiderdam - 08-Feb-20 - 7 day Tropical Caribbean OVgirl - B2B with 11 day Panama Sunfarer cruise N Statendam - 9-Feb-20 - 14 day Tropical Caribbean Typhoon1 Zuiderdam - 15-Feb-20 - 11 day Panama Canal Sunfarer OVgirl - B2B following 7 day Tropical Caribbean Feb. 8th Eurodam - 16-Feb-20 - 14 day Panama Canal (FLL - SD) RetiredMustang summer slope N Statendam - 16-Feb-20 - 7 day Tropical Caribbean Brewgirl1 - 3rd HAL cruise, travelling with parents & adult children Koningsdam - 23-Feb-20 - 10 night Southern Caribbean Seafarer esimon - Robert, Ellen, Lynn and Will Ohio MARCH 2020 Queen Mary 2 - 06-Mar-20 - 50-day World Cruise Segment Sydney to New York rafinmd - B2B with Crystal Serenity January 22 Zaandam – 07-Mar-20 – 31 day South America, Inca & Panama Canal Discovery kazu Rotterdam – 11-Mar-20 – Panama Canal San D to FLL DeeniEncinitas - B2B with Oceania Riviera – March 30th summer slope Oosterdam - 14-Mar-20 - 7 day Mexican Riviera KroozNut Westerdam - 14-Mar-20 - 14 day China Explorer LTC_Motes - daughter's graduation cruise Koningsdam – 15-Mar-20 – 44 day Voyage of the Americas – (FLL – SD) Overhead Fred – longest cruise ever Maasdam - 15-Mar-20 - 19 day South Pacific madera1 Eurodam – 18-Mar-20 – 18 day Circle Hawaii lakeside42 jeda -celebrating 40th anniversary - B2B with Pacific Coastal Apr. 5th CaliforniaAC - with friends Bill & Di Cailey53 Oosterdam - 21-Mar-20 - 28 day Hawaii, Tahiti, Marquesas Tomndeena crystalspin & dr'spin - belated celebration of dr'spin's retirement at end of 2019 VacationingCharlene Oceania Riviera – 30- Mar-20 – TA Miami to Rome DeeniEncinitas – B2B following Rotterdam March 11th APRIL 2020 Eurodam - 05-Apr-20 - 6 day Pacific Coastal jeda - B2B following Mar. 18th Rotterdam - 06-Apr-20 - 16 day Azores & Normandy Explorer grest Oceania Riviera - 19-Apr-20 - 10 day Monte Carlo - BCN DeeniEncinitas - Christmas present from DH Zuiderdam - 19-Apr-20 - 14 day Passage to Rome kazu - followed by visit to Galicia, Spain N Statendam - 19-Apr-20 - 14 night TA to Amsterdam TriumphGuyAL - 1st HAL cruise, 4th overall - celebrating 43rd anniversary on board Veendam - 22-Apr-20 - 17 day Azores & Normandy Explorer lizzies_mom Westerdam - 25-Apr-20 - 16 day North Pacific Crossing Taters Oosterdam - 25-Apr-20 - 7 day Pacific Coastal lazey1 - 1st time cruising as 5* & in a Neptune wrap around suite MAY 2020 N Statendam - 10-May-20 - 14 day Jewels of the Baltic rwams Zuiderdam - 15-May-20 - Mediterranean Empires gwilli Maasdam - 18-May-20 - 14 day Great Alaska Explorer TomAndJane woodworker & knitter Zaandam - 23-May-20 - 7-Day Canada & New England Discovery BRWolf - (Bruce and Karen) JUNE 2020 N Amsterdam - 03-Jun-20 - 24 day Mediterranean Empires/Adriatic Dream taxmantoo JULY 2020 Zuiderdam - 02-Jul-20 - 24 day Northern Isles & Jewels of the Baltic Lucie73821 N. Statendam- 19-Jul-20 - 7 day Norwegian fjord Bramcruiser AUGUST 2020 Viking Orion - 04-Aug-20 - 68 day Grand Cape Horn Adventure ArtsyCraftsy Zuiderdam - 09-Aug-20 - 10 day Jewels of the Baltic shudie- B2B with Aug. 19th Caribbean Princess - 16 day Greenland & Canada StartrainDD Zuiderdam - 19-Aug-20 - 19 day Viking Passage I like vacation Vict0riann - big birthday on board shudie- B2B with Aug. 9th Queen Mary 2 - 21-Aug-20 - 7-night Eastbound Transatlantic rafinmd - B2B2B with Crystal Serenity 30 Aug and Zuiderdam Sept 17th Crystal Serenity - 30-Aug-20 - 13 day TA Discovery (BCN - Que) rafinmd - B2B2B following QM2 Aug 21st and with Zuiderdam Sept. 17th SEPTEMBER 2020 N Statendam - 13-Sep-20 - 12 night Iberian Peninsula Poulsbo Cruisers - 30th anniversary cruise Zuiderdam - 17-Sep-20 - 10 day Newfoundland & New England Discovery (Quebec to Boston) rafinmd - B2B2B following QM2 Aug 21st and Crystal Serenity Aug. 30th Viking Sea - 21-Sep-20 - 10 days Empire of the Mediterranean (Venice to Athens) terrydtx - 1st Viking Ocean cruise, celebrating50th anniversary Koningsdam - 26-Sep-20 - 7 day Wine and Country & Pacific Northwest crunchii & Zarmengar OCTOBER 2020 Viking Tir – 01-Oct-20 – 14 day Grand European River Cruise (Budapest to Amsterdam) aliaschief & DWaliaschief - 1st Grand river cruise Westerdam - 07-Oct-20 - 37 day Inca & South America Discovery GeorgeCharlie N Amsterdam - 13-Oct-20 - 12 day Mediterranean Romance canadianbear - 1st time in Europe Rotterdam - 15-Oct-20 - 15 day Transatlantic (BCN - FLL) sambamama- 1st time to Africa Zaandam – 31-Oct-20 – 14 day Southern Caribbean Overhead Fred NOVEMBER 2020 Westerdam - 13-Nov-20 - 14 day South America Passage (BA - Santiago) Taters N Statendam - 22-Nov-20 - 10 day Southern Caribbean Seafarer cruiseguy56 Westerdam - 27-Nov-20 - 22 day South America, Antarctica & Solar Eclipse Loreto Zuiderdam - 29-Nov-20 - Southern Caribbean Cruisinetta DECEMBER 2020 N Statendam - 02-12-20 - 11 night Southern Caribbean Wayfarer wdw1972 N Statendam - 02-12-20 - 21 day Caribbean (B2B Dec. 2-23) cate54 - mother & daughter cruise Zuiderdam - 09-Dec-20 - 11 day Panama Canal Sunfarer Mr and Mrs CIQ -retirement cruise grest Westerdam - 19-Dec-20 - 22 day South America & Antarctica Holiday StartrainDD - pre-cruise trip Dec. 13th to Igazu Falls Noordam - 20-Dec-20 - 15-day Far East Discovery LTC Motes - party of 7 NCL Escape - 27-Dec-20 - 7 night Eastern Caribbean msmayor - holiday cruise to celebrate with adult children JANUARY 2021 Koningsdam - 02-Jan-21 - 7 day Mexican Riviera mab4285 - first solo cruise & HAL cruise as an adult Amsterdam - 04-Jan-21 - 128 day Grand World Voyage vinonme2 Maasdam - 04-Jan-21 - 40 day Australia, Indonesia & Indian Collector aliaschief & DWAliaschief - B2B2B with Feb 13th & Mar 4th N Statendam - 06-Jan-21 - 21 day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer/Seafarer crystalspin - with dr'spin, mom & DBr0 & SIL, celebrating 30th anniversary & DB's 60th birthday Koningsdam - 09-Jan-20 - 24 day Collectors' Cruise - Hawaii & Mexico DeeniEncinitas FEBRUARY 2021 Maasdam - 13-Feb-21 - 19 day Papua, New Guinea & Phillipine Adventurer aliaschief & DWAliaschief - B2B2B following Jan. 4th & with Mar. 4th Rotterdam - 21-Feb-21 - 32 day Hawaii, Tahiti, & Marquesas Overhead Fred josumello - first HAL cruise samsonmo MARCH 2021 Maasdam - 04-Mar-21 - 25 day South Pacific Crossing aliaschief & DWAliaschief - B2B2B following Jan. 4th & Feb. 13th N Statendam - 21-Mar-21 - 10 day cruise doone - Friends & Family cruise AUGUST 2021 Oosterdam - 22-Aug-21 - 7 day Alaskan Explorer crunchii & Zarmengar HAPPY CRUISING EVERYONE! Jacqui
  6. I have not sailed on Crystal for about 4 years now, due to the usual reasons... but have found that Crystal appears to have broken up into segments and or adjusted some of the fares on the lower end(?) ..for those of us of limited means it is great news! I am talking about the Hong Kong roundtrip March 16-31 on Crystal.The one week HK to Tokyo turns out to only be about $200 less than the entire 114v night cruises due to the OG category not offered it looks like on the 7 day segment. I was going to go on my now annual trip to Japan anyway, and this one gets back to Hong Kong just in time so that I can fly back to Japan and enjoy the Sakura and Hanami I highly recommend this cruise for anyone who ,like me, planned to go to Japan anyway during cherry blossom season. I don't think I should state the fare here, but if interested I think you ought to book sooner rather than later.. One catch though:payment in full is due early-within a week of booking it apears
  7. Good Morning, At this point in my life (50 yrs old single) its time for me to upgrade my cruising experience. Since I don't cruise that often when I do cruise its in suites on Celebrity and Princess. What are the main differences between Crystal and Regent? I am looking for a "down to earth Texas home feel" if that's possible. Luxurious but not pretentious. If it helps, when taking vacations, Four Seasons Resorts and JW are my preferred hotel brands. I have never had a bad stay in either and they have always made me welcomed.
  8. I've sailed both lines, including lengthy "world" or "grand voyage" cruises on both Regent and Crystal. I'd happily hop on either for the right itinerary. A couple of years ago, I did a side-by-side comparison of the two on here, but that was before the site redesign. Anyway, I find that each has its strengths and not-so-strongs, so much depends on what matters most to you. As to vibe, it seems that that changes with each cruise. Even on the lengthy, multi-segment cruises, the personality of the cruise varies with each segment. After all, the vibe is to some extent set by the people on the cruise. I'll try to keep this brief (not my strong suit), but here's a few areas of comparison: 1. Cabins. I can only speak to the lowest-level balcony cabins (though I've done non-balcony on Regent Navigator), because that's where I stay absent a free upgrade. Regent wins this one hands down. The cabins are larger, the beds more comfortable, the closets larger. Crystal has only bath/shower combos at this level, so if you want or need a step-in shower you have to go to a higher level cabin (or use the showers in the gym locker room). On the other hand, Crystal has double sinks at this level and Regent does not (except on Explorer). Crystal has more storage space in the bathroom. Regent has walk-in closets. Crystal has a reach-in closet alongside the bed, which is awkward for the person sleeping on that side of the bed. 2. Food. I realize this one is subjective, but I find Regent's main dining room better than Crystal's by a significant margin. On the other hand, I find Crystal's alternative restaurants better. However, only one evening per cruise in each alternative restaurant is included. After that, a surcharge is imposed unless you are on a full world cruise or are in a higher-end suite. Regent's is always included, but you can only make one reservation per cruise in advance. But I've never had a problem getting more once on board. As for dining, Crystal only recently went to open seating. I haven't been on since the change, but from what I'm hearing, they don't really have the flow of building a table nailed yet, but are coming along. 3. Excursions. Some of Regent's are included, some have an extra charge, though generally less than on Crystal. Crystal charges for them. However, it often provides generous OBCs that you can use for excursions. But the excursions are a bit higher-priced. As to quality, they are much the same--they use pretty much the same on-shore vendors. However, Regent seems to take greater ownership and have better understanding of its offerings. Crystal does great for the passenger on board (see discussions below), but their service has a way of deteriorating when the passenger is off the ship. 4. Entertainment. The edge goes to Crystal on this one. While the kinds of offerings in the main theater are pretty much the same between the two lines (in fact, I've seen many of the same headliners on both), Crystal offers much more variety elsewhere on the ship. Their lobby lounge and piano bar are particular stand-outs. 5. Sea days. Crystal wins this one by a mile. They have more venues and considerably more offerings. Crystal has a strong reputation for its on-ship enrichment activities that is much deserved. 6. Crew. Both are beyond fabulous.
  9. Hi Can you remind me when you get the crystal blocks? I think it is at 140 points and every 70 points after. Is that correct? Thank you Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  10. Clearwater, not Crystal, yes! Sorry that I misspoke also! We did Clearwater on our last two trips to Bermuda. It takes a bit of knowledge on the bus system, but is not really too difficult. As mentioned, we took a bus from St George. There are buses that go directly to the beach, but they are infrequent. But, there are frequent buses that will drop you off at an intersection that require you to walk about 10 to 15 minutes to the beach. Always you can catch a bus back to St George if you are willing to wait. The beach is well worth any inconvenience, but you must allow the entire day for the excursion. Taxis are available but since never having used them, I do not know the cost.
  11. Thats ok - we’re on the “even poorer mans second/third leg” from LA to Auckland 🙂 You will enjoy the WC leg - the atmosphere and activities are very good on the WC and we’ve found no “us and them” issues with full WCers and Segmenters which apparently used to be the case On Shorex I can’t comment on the private van offering but in our experience Crystal do Shorex well (99% of the time and if there are issues they’ll generally respond well and reimburse costs relative to the disruption) Their tours are generally not run at full buses level so there is room to spread out on the buses - they also have a Crystal person on the tour as well to take care of any issues as the local guide who conducts the tour
  12. We felt the same way, we switched from the mainstream cruises in 2012 to Oceania, because we can do our own excursions, and do not drink. However, we have also sailed recently on Regent and Crystal. The reason is because if you or your TA keeps your eyes open, you can actually sail on a luxury line for sometimes cheaper than a premium plus line! We told our TA two years ago that we would like to try a luxury line, and had her look for special deals. Well she found a Regent cruise for less than what we could get on Oceania! We also have sailed recently on Crystal, and thought it was quite good. We love the onboard experience, and yes, deals can be found. Your question should be, is it worth it TO YOU. It was to us, and now we are going on our 3rd Crystal Cruise this winter.
  13. Celestyal is a new one for us, we've sailed loads with Royal Caribbean, a few on NCL, a few on Fred Olsen, and we love Cunard, but we're looking for a specific date and the only one that looks remotely okay is a nice suite on a five day Greek cruise on the Celestyal Crystal. Has anyone been on this one? What did you think of it? The service? Dining? Entertainment? Hoping you're all going to say it's brilliant because the dates work perfectly! Many thanks to anyone who can recommend, or otherwise.
  14. Leaving on the Serenity in 20 days. We have a GTY C3 booked. Still no room assignment. Anyone had luck with upgrades on Crystal? First time onboard end of month Rome (Roundtrip)
  15. Its not tacky to ask that at all - keep amy questions coming One of the things I like about Crystal is you aren’t asked to prepay for things like Shore Excursions, Vintage Rooms, Spa Appointments or anything else except the actual cruise fare. If you don’t end up using the bookings (and cancel with any required notice) you don’t end up paying anything To contrast that when we cruised Seabourn they wanted payment upfront for Shorex and we couldn’t get the OBC we had from them applied to the Shorex bookings until we were onboard so they wanted payment by credit card in advance. Needless to say I didn’t bother booking any Shorex in advance. Here’s hoping Crystal don’t change their current policy
  16. I fly to Miami Saturday evening and will board the Empress for a 6 night getaway to Key West, Costa Maya, and Cozumel. This was (for me) something of a last minute booking, just a couple of months ago. My style is a bit different than many, I will normally post just once a day unless something unusual, and my style tends to be narrative more than pictorial. This thread will be a companion to my blog (http://getawaysfrom21044,wordpress.com) which will also be the hosting site for my photos, and at the top of the page are tabs to pages with Compass and menus. A bit about me. I’m pretty much an out of control, sailing on several lines, but mostly Crystal, Cunard, Holland America, and to a lesser extent Royal. My totals for this year will be 94 days HAL, 33 Crystal, 26 Cunard, and 6 Royal. My Royal activity has been mostly out of Baltimore (Enchantment and then Grandeur), but I’ve also sailed Allure, Anthem, Monarch, Jewel, and Radiance (not yet on the mid-size ships). I tend to prefer smaller ships although amenities and service are also important. I’m a bit unsure of the Empress as although my 3 favorite ships (Crystal Serenity, Crystal Symphony, and Prinsendam) are roughly the same size the Empress carries more people than any 2 of them combined. I hear she isn’t crowded and hope that will be true; I really like her Bermuda itineraries next year. This will be my first cruise as D+. I welcome questions although it may take me a little while to respond. I also invite any of my roll call members to add their perspectives to the thread. Roy
  17. This was our 5th time on the Pride. Boarding in Baltimore is so easy, we were on Lido within 15 -20 minutes of parking the car! Rooms were ready at 2. Will share my thoughts on this cruise and then post some Bermuda pictures. Muster Drill was around 30-40 minutes by the time you wait for everyone. Way to long to be standing together in the heat. Dive-In Movies: Some movies were shown as early as 6pm. Lido is not dark enough and is too noisy to enjoy the movies later but 6 was way too early. It was Dumbo for kids but still, would be nice to have them in one of the closed areas. Lido: I have some pics of the wonderful, delicious cakes they put out at lunch time. As much as we usually love eating in the Dining Room, we found service a little slower and meals taking over an hour. So we ate more times on Lido. Same choices as dining room but also much more! We enjoyed it better, more relaxing. Cereal was still in the little boxes. Fun Shops: They increased the tables of jewelry in the Diamond store and put the $10 table in the fun shops. The watch sale was in the hallway where they do the Gold by the Inch. Last day the 2 for 20 tees were set up in the Atrium lobby. People were 5 deep at this table! lol Pictures: Previous cruises had the photographers set up for elegant nights only. On this cruise, they were set up to take "Casual Pics" every night of the cruise. They were really pushing the large canvas prints at 59.99 but included a free 8/10. 8x10's were 21.99 and 5x7's were 2 for 9.99. Wallets 4 for 9.99. When pictures are taken, ask for the card for free wallets. You will receive 4 wallet size pics for free. Got this for each pose we purchased. Rooms: Our room steward, Salman, offered both morning and evening service. We chose morning only and ice but if you would like both, it is still available. Someone asked about notepads in room. There was a small note pad about 3"x3" with maybe 10 sheets and a small "mini-golf" pencil. Announcement (mostly annoying) cannot be heard in the rooms. Shower was nice with good water pressure. I think they could use a grab bar for seniors. Bathroom is equipped with bar soap, shampoo and conditioner. We bring our own. Beds and pillow very comfortable as always. Decks: We like sitting out on Deck 10. Heading to Bermuda there were so many chairs being held with bags and towels that somedays it was impossible to get a chair. We like to sit out after dinner also. Carnival must prefer you go the shows and the bars because at 5:30 they start stacking the lounge chairs on Deck 10. If you are already in a chair they will allow you to stay. Sitting on the Serenity Deck in the evening is impossible because people would sit in the chairs, seating areas, after getting out of the pool or hot tub. Chairs were always wet so you couldn't sit out in the evening. Comedy Club: They have expanded the seating area in Butterflies so it is easier to get a seat now for the comedy shows. Pier Runners: The Pride carriers around 2500 passengers. Why is there always 15-25 people who can just not be back on board in the stated time? It is rude and inconsiderate when more than 2400 people can follow the rules and be on board when told. The boarding time in Bermuda was 11:30 but there they were running at 12:45! IMO these people who arrive after the requested time should be fined when there S&S is swiped after the allotted time. It would teach them to be on time! Maybe $20 added to each person's card for being late. Just my opinion. Posts: I will be posting pictures after I give some info on the port of Bermuda. Included are pics of Bar Menu, Kids Club itinerary, Sample Menu and TV Channels. Bermuda: This was the most beautiful port we have ever been to. When the boat docks at Kings Wharf at the Royal Dockyard the Starboard side is facing the dockyard. There is a free shuttle that you can take to go to the buildings around the dockyard. Clocktower Mall, Glass blowing factory, Craft Market, etc. Bermuda is expensive because they have to import everything - they have no natural resources. We were told cost of living is 50% higher than NYC and 75% higher than most of the US. A loaf of bread was $7.00, gallon of gas on this day was over %=$8.50. We did the Carnival Excursion of Hidden Hideaways and Famous Homes. This was great! Guide was informative, funny, friendly. Boat ride was nice with a great breeze. Left side of top deck was best for picture taking. The other tour we did was with Bermuda Byways with Heidi. Our 6 hour tour took 7.5 hours and we saw most of the Island. Again, great tour with lots of history of the Island. Questions: If you have any questions, please ask. I will now try to post pictures, wish me luck!
  18. So let's take a look around... The shower station coming from the beach to the pool area There were plenty of seats everywhere...plenty...even if the entire ship got off there would be plenty of seats. Zip lining across the water... You'd never know if there were any jelly fish or stingrays in the water until it was too late. The water is murky and not the crystal clear water you usually find in ports. I'm not sure if this is because it's a new port and things haven't settled or what or if it's just the area.
  19. I booked 2021 Mozart Danube cruise two years in advance only to have Crystal sell the boat (still two years in advance); no big deal, they moved me to Mahler. Now, I notice that 2020 bookings on Mahler for same Danube itinerary have been discounted; in fact S1 - S5 all the same price; is this a sign that they aren't selling well? Crystal has issues with low water (or high water) as they don't have duplicate boats doing reverse itineraries that can swap; so they are at a big disadvantage compared to the other companies that have multiple boats on same itineraries. So, my question, what are thoughts regarding Crystal still being in the European River Cruise business come 2021? thanks, Marc
  20. I can’t comment on the private van tour, but we have used OBC to take a couple of private Crystal tours in a car. Both were outstanding. You would probably have a guide and a driver. If you don’t have four traveling together, you’d need to find others to join you and split the fare. If you don’t have an itinerary in mind, the guide will be prepared to give you a good tour. In one case, we requested a city tour. In another, we made a very specific request based on personal interests. A terrific guide with expertise in our interests was provided. The request was made through the shore excursion desk. Have a wonderful time.
  21. That is great information. I wasn’t sure about the shore excursions. I know we have a SB next month and I was looking at excursions and didn’t book because I really don’t like to have to,pay in advance. We are on the “poor mans first leg” on the Serenity world cruise , Miami to LA . That is very helpful. Has anyone done the 4 person mini van private tours? We like the small group but they are reasonable?
  22. Hi. We recently did a 7 night Danube cruise on Crystal Mozart and had a great time. We are contemplating to do an another Crystal river cruise, perhaps in 2021. We think we would like to cruise on the Rhine next, probably in the fall (before the Christmas Market prices kick in). We are thinking about the 7 night Amsterdam to Basel, or the reverse. It appears the ports of calls are identical whether it is southbound or northbound. Has any of you done one or both of these cruises on the Rhine? Is there a not-so-obvious pros/cons of the southbound vs. northbound? Our initial thought is that we would prefer northbound because then we can spend a few days in Basel (where we have never been) before the cruise, and am hoping that there are more convenient flights out of Amsterdam (where we have done most of the typical sights before) if we want to fly home at the end of the cruise.
  23. are there any boards for crystal river cruises?
  24. With two ships it's not so easy and particularly when only one is doing the Mediterranean. With that said I have found the each year they are varying many of the Mediterranean destinations. For example, we were on Serenity last fall with a lot of emphasis on Spain, France, and even ports in Italy we have not been to before. Many of the ones in Spain were also new to us as were some of the ports in France. This was three seven day cruises and given how much we have sailed the Mediterranean that says a lot. In short, we experienced many ports for the very first time and we are not newbies to the Mediterranean. Fast forward to this past April and early May. we had an entire cruise of all different ports in Greece which followed another cruise that has a mix of ports in Greece, and some other places such a Kotor and a return to Croatia as Serenity had not been there for several years. Because of the emphasis in some places in 2019 (Greece for example) I wouldn't be surprised if there was less emphasis the following year so that they mix it up. At the same time there are some ports that are just good for starting and ending cruises. I guess like most things we all have different views. For you they are boring. For me they are of great interest . I never tire of revisiting ports in the Mediterranean while also visiting new ports. Keith
  25. Hi Everyone! I have been debating this for about a week now and keep going back and forth on my options. My family of 8 are planning a cruise for summer 2020. That being said, we are currently looking at two options and I need some honest feedback in order to make a good decision. Option 1: Sail on the Carnival Sunrise out of NYC June 15, 2020 on a 9-day Bermuda (docked for 2 days), Grand Turk, and Half Moon Cay cruise. We are looking at booking two connecting ocean view rooms in the hopes of getting upgraded for a minimal cost to a balcony like we usually do since we have platinum status with Carnival. Option 2: Sail on the new Norwegian Encore out of NYC May 31, 2020 on a 7-day Bermuda (docked for 3 days). We would be booking two balcony rooms since NCL's rooms tend to be smaller and we will have 4 people in each room, plus the balconies are cheaper than ocean view for this specific sailing! We have cruised NCL only once before on the Escape and liked it a lot, but did find some things that we preferred Carnival better. I have read some horrible things about the new Carnival Sunrise that makes me weary, plus we have been on the sister ship, Sunshine, when it was new and did not have a good experience. The Sunshine problems were mainly due to other rude passengers, not necessarily the boat itself although it was pretty crowded AND the Sunshine had an adults only pool in serenity which the Sunrise does not. The dilemma comes that the Carnival cruise is a fair amount cheaper for a cruise that is two days longer and goes to two more ports compared to the NCL cruise. Anyone that has sailed on the Sunrise, feel free to leave opinions on the decision you would make! Obviously, no one has sailed on the Encore yet, but maybe if you have sailed on the NCL Bliss, that would be most comparable. Thanks!
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