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I just stumbled onto the 55+ Forum and my head is reeling after having read all the postings since sometime in 2005! You all may be interested in reading the letter I recently emailed to my many cyberfriends in Canada, the US and in Europe and if you have questions, don't hesitate!

 

Musicus

 

Dear friends,

 

come the middle of September, you’ll not get any more forwardings from me and I’ll ask you to take me off your mailing list, if I happen to be on it. From that time onwards and for at least one entire year, my internet access will be severely restricted, although I hope to stay in touch with many friends on a personal level.

 

But let me explain…

 

Having outlived my wife, many close friends and. with exception of my son, all my family, I’ve reached the age where assisted living with its amenities looms large. I visited several such facilities but despite comfortable lodgings, the often quite pleasant surroundings exude a depressing “Waiting for God” feeling for me when I see some of the residents. I think that I am not ready for this- yet.

 

After my thoroughly enjoyable 14-day Panama Canal cruise over Christmas/New Years (my second cruise experience), I began to think of cruise ships as a viable alternative.

A comfortable room with all amenities, from Satellite TV,

air conditioning to private bath (and no more making the bed each morning, cleaning room and bath, changing linen); a choice of restaurants with fabulous menus (goodbye TV Dinners or having to cook and then eat alone); nightly Broadway Class entertainment in a luxurious theater (beats lousy TV fare); swimming pools, jaccuzzis, well equipped gym and a medical facility complete with doctor and nurse - all a short walk away; a well stocked library and lectures, a casino, bars and interesting people to meet - and to top it all off, travel to places you would never have seen otherwise -- all in all, what more could you want?

 

For many months I have been working on a plan to spend one year on a cruise ship, which entailed arduous computer research covering cruise lines, their ships and itineraries (which often were hard to find for more than a few months) and finally, costs!

 

To my chagrin I discovered that I would be faced with a single supplement varying between 50% and 100% of the double occupancy rate, which is the industry’s standard and I knew then that I would have to stretch my budget limitation by at least $10,000 to get anywhere near to my goal.

 

I am happy to report that I finally succeeded in finding the right Line, ship, itinerary and price (which however will mean that I’ll spend more of my son’s inheritance …) and I will leave on MSC's "Poesia"

October 9 at Quebec City, returning to there October 15, 2011.

Oh yes, I forgot to tell you: I was born February 9, 1917.

 

Attached is my itinerary. It certainly would be nice if some of you would decide to take one or two of the cruise legs and we would see each other! And should you be alone, don’t forget that my stateroom has twin beds! Sharing the stateroom with me will save you a lot of money and if I am lucky and you are female, be assured that I will be on my best gentlemanly behavior!

 

Ahoy!

 

Egon

 

MY ITINERARY ON MSC “POESIA” 2010/2011

004 Saturday Oct. 9 – Sat. 16 - 7 Quebec, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Bar Harbor, Maine, Boston, MA, Newport, R.I., New York

P005 Saturday Oct. 16 – Sat.23, 2010 - 7 New York, Hallifax, Sydney, Charlottetown, Quebec

P006 Sat. Oct.23 - Nov 1, 2010 - 7 Quebec, Sydney, Boston, Newport, New York, Fort Everglades

PO07 Mon, Nov 01, Thu, Nov 11, 10 Port Everglades, Cozumel, Puerto Limon, Cristobal, Cartagena, Montego Bay, Port Everglades

PO08 Thu, Nov 11, 2010 Sun, Nov 14, 2010 3 Port Everglades, Coco Bay, Nassau, Port Everglades

PO09 Sun, Nov 14, 2010 Sun, Nov 21, 2010 7 Port Everglades, Charlotte Amalie, Philipsburg, Nassau, Port Everglades

PO10 Sun, Nov 21, 2010 Sun, Nov 28, 2010 7 Port Everglades, Key West, Ocho Rios, Georgetown, Cozumel, Port Everglades

PO11 Sun, Nov 28, Sun, Dec 05, 7 Port Everglades, Charlotte Amalie, Philipsburg, Nassau, Port Everglades Cozumel, Port Everglade

P012 Sun. Dec 5, 2010 - Sun. Dec 12, 2010 7 Port Everglades, Key West, Ocho Rios, Georgetown,,Cosumel, Port Everglades

PO13 Sun, Dec 12, 2010 Sun, Dec 19, 2010 7 Port Everglades, Philipsburg, Charlotte Amalie, Nassau, Port Everglades

PO14 Sun, Dec 19, 2010 Sun, Dec 26, 2010 7 Port Everglades, Key West, Ocho Rios, Georgetown, Cozumel, Port Everglades

PO15 Sun, Dec 26, 2010 Sun, Jan 02, 2011 7 Port Everglades, Charlotte Amalie, Philipsburg, Nassau, Port Everglades

PO16 Sunday, Jan. 2nd – Tuesday Jan. 4th, 2010 – Fort Lauderdale, Nassau, Fort Lauderdale

JAN 4 - 9 CHARTER

PO18 Sun, Jan 09, 2011 Sun, Jan 16, 2011 7 Port Everglades, Charlotte Amalie, Philipsburg, Nassau, Port Everglades

PO19 Sun, Jan 16, 2011 Sun, Jan 23, 2011 7 Port Everglades, Key West, Ocho Rios, Georgetown, Sunday,

PO20 Sun, Jan 23, 2011 Sun, Jan 30, 2011 7 Port Everglades, Charlotte Amalie, Philipsburg, Nassau, Port Everglades

PO21 Sun, Jan 30, 2011 Sun, Feb 06, 2011 7 Port Everglades, Key West, Ocho Rios, Georgetown, Cozumel, Port Everglades

PO22 Sun, Feb 06, 2011 Sun, Feb 13, 2011 7 Port Everglades, Charlotte Amalie, Philipsburg, Nassau, Port Everglades

PO23 Sun, Feb 13, 2011 Sun, Feb 20, 2011 7 Port Everglades, Key West, Ocho Rios, Georgetown, Cozumel, Port Everglades

PO24 Sun, Feb 20, 2011 Sun, Feb 27, 2011 7 Port Everglades, Charlotte Amalie, Philipsburg, Nassau, Port Everglades

PO25 Sun, Feb 27, 2011 Sun, Mar 06, 2011 7 Port Everglades, Key West, Ocho Rios, Georgetown, Cozumel, Port Everglades

PO26 Sun, Mar 06, Wed, Mar 23, 17 Port Everglades, San Juan, St. John's, Castries, Funchal, Malaga , Alicante, Barcelona, Genoa

PO27 Wed, Mar 23, 2011 Thu, Mar 31, 2011 8 Genoa, Malaga, Cadiz, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Alicante, Barcelona, Genoa

PO28 Thu, Mar 31, 2011 Fri, Apr 08, 2011 8 Genoa, Malaga, Cadiz, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Alicante, Barcelona, Genoa

PO29 Fri, Apr 08, 2011 Sat, Apr 16, 2011 8 Genoa, Malaga, Cadiz, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Alicante, Barcelona, Genoa

PO30 Sat, Apr 16, 2011 Sun, Apr 24, 2011 8 Genoa, Malaga, Cadiz, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Alicante, Barcelona, Genoa

PO31 Sun, Apr 24, 2011 Mon, May 02, 2011 8 Genoa, Malaga, Cadiz, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Alicante, Barcelona, Genoa

PO32 Mon, May 02, 2011 Tue, May 10, 2011 8 Genoa, Malaga, Cadiz, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Alicante, Barcelona, Genoa

PO33 Tue, May 10, 2011 Fri, May 20, 2011 10 Genoa, Malaga, Cadiz, Lisbon, Vigo, Southampton, Zeebrugge, Kiel

PO34 Fri, May 20, 2011 Mon, May 23, 2011 3 Kiel, Oslo, Copenhagen, Kiel

PO35 Mon, May 23, 2011 Fri, Jun 03, 2011 11 Kiel, Bergen, Tórshavn, Akureyri, Isafjordur, Reykjavík, Lerwick, Kiel

PO36 Fri, Jun 03, 2011 Tue, Jun 14, 11 Kiel, Copenhagen, Trondeim, Honningsvag, Tromso, Hellesylt & Geiranger, Bergen, Kiel

PO37 Tue, Jun 14, 2011 Sat, Jun 25, 11 Kiel, Copenhagen, Trondeim, Honningsvag, Tromso, Hellesylt & Geiranger, Bergen, Kiel

PO38 Sat, Jun 25, 2011 Sat, Jul 02, 2011 7 Kiel, Copenhagen, Olden, Bergen, Kristiansand, Oslo, Kiel

PO39 Sat, Jul 02, 2011 Sat, Jul 09, 2011 7 Kiel, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallin, St. Petersburg, Kiel

PO40 Sat, Jul 09, 2011 Sat, Jul 16, 2011 7 Kiel, Copenhagen, Olden, Bergen, Kristiansand, Oslo, Kiel

PO41 Sat, Jul 16, 2011 Sat, Jul 23, 2011 7 Kiel, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallin, St. Petersburg, Kiel

PO42 Sat, Jul 23, 2011 Sat, Jul 30, 2011 7 Kiel, Copenhagen, Olden, Bergen, Kristiansand, Oslo, Kiel

PO43 Sat, Jul 30, 2011 Sat, Aug 06, 2011 7 Kiel, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallin, St. Petersburg, Kiel

PO44 Sat, Aug 06, 2011 Sat, Aug 13, 2011 7 Kiel, Copenhagen, Olden, Bergen, Kristiansand, Oslo, Kiel

PO45 Sat, Aug 13, 2011 Sat, Aug 20, 2011 7 Kiel, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallin, St. Petersburg, Kiel

PO46 Sat, Aug 20, 2011 Sat, Aug 27, 2011 7 Kiel, Copenhagen, Olden, Bergen, Kristiansand, Oslo, Kiel

PO47 Sat, Aug 27, 2011 Sat, Sep 03, 2011 7 Kiel, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallin, St. Petersburg, Kiel

PO48 Sat, Sep 03, 2011 Sat, Sep 10, 2011 7 Kiel, Copenhagen, Olden, Bergen, Kristiansand, Oslo, Kiel

PO01 Sat, Sep 10, 2011 Wed, Sep 28, 2011 18 Kiel, Copenhagen, Zeebrugge, Southampton, Vigo, Lisbon, Ponta Delgada, King's Wharf, New York City

PO02 Wed, Sep 28, 2011 Sat, Oct 08, 2011 10 New York City, Sydney, Charlottetown, Quebec, Halifax, Newport, New York City PO03 Sat, Oct 08, 2011 Sat, Oct 15, 2011 7 New York City, Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown, Quebec

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M, Glad to see you are back to forums. Never heard from you last time I posted . I have done 5 weeks at a time. really would like to do several months at a time. So what worked best for you in the booking process? MSC direct? BIg discount agency? Did you negoiate pricing? Did you select line because it left/ returned close to your home ; select completely on price? Book with agent, supervisor, group desk? How are payments handled? When you are in mood, love to head DETAILS. To most of us this is a learning experience. Any tips will be appreciated. Thank you.

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M, Glad to see you are back to forums. Never heard from you last time I posted . I have done 5 weeks at a time. really would like to do several months at a time. So what worked best for you in the booking process? MSC direct? BIg discount agency? Did you negoiate pricing? Did you select line because it left/ returned close to your home ; select completely on price? Book with agent, supervisor, group desk? How are payments handled? When you are in mood, love to head DETAILS. To most of us this is a learning experience. Any tips will be appreciated. Thank you.

I'm interested too. I hope he replies and fills us all in. This is amazing!

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  • 2 weeks later...
M, Glad to see you are back to forums. Never heard from you last time I posted . I have done 5 weeks at a time. really would like to do several months at a time. So what worked best for you in the booking process? MSC direct? BIg discount agency? Did you negoiate pricing? Did you select line because it left/ returned close to your home ; select completely on price? Book with agent, supervisor, group desk? How are payments handled? When you are in mood, love to head DETAILS. To most of us this is a learning experience. Any tips will be appreciated. Thank you.

 

Well my friends, I had written quite an epistle already but then lost it all by pressing the wrong button (it never happened to you, I am sure!) Sorry for the long delay in replying to your queries, but many things were still unsettled and some of them still are. But here goes: After dealing through agents or direct with several of the big Cruise lines, I essentially got nowhere because quotes, if I could get them at all, were too far out. I always had asked for an all inclusive quote (i.e Fare, Port charges and fees and gratuities). I went farther afield and MSC came up with what seemed to me a "reasonable" quote, since I was able to total all the published fares for double occupancy and knew that their normal single supplement was about 80%. The quote ($60K) did not include gratuities ($12 x 366 days)

so that the total will be close to $65 (plus the exchange penalty of several thousand for being Canadian!) No, it ain't cheap and for those who thought

life aboard a cruise ship would be cheaper than assited living, forget it!

I'll have an inside cabin which I requested midships and got it - for the first 7 months or so that is, after that they want me to change to another cabin in the aft secion for some 4-1/2 months and again for the last 3 legs of my itinerary. I protested vigorously and they are seeing "what can be done".

Because I have bought 47 individual cruises, I am also aiming to become a

MSC Black Card Member, which has a few perks, such as a 30% reduction on laundry. But this too is still to be decided. They haven't exactly bent over backwards on my account, but then it looks as if MSC, at least in Europe, is not only well known but also pretty heavily booked at prices there which are considerably higher than what they can charge on this side of the Atlantic.

Hope I have satisfied all the questions that were asked, but if there are more, I'll stand by! You can also contact me at 44egon44@gmail.com.

Best regards to you all from Egon aka. Musicus (which I am!)

PS: One question I forgot to answer: The almost one week when the ship has been chartered I'll have to spend on land in Fort Lauderdale.

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More despicable is what they are charging him. Doesnt sound like any discount from the individual cruise pricing. I have seen 20% MSC singles supplement addon on online discount agencies.

I agree. What about excursions or sightseeing? I love cruising, but I also love to get off the boat and explore in each port. What about medical care, insurance? If I had that kind of money, I would definitely take around the world cruise instead. To each their own I guess.

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Yellow, I agree. I am not a HAL fan but they have a 110 day leaving in Jan.2011 listed for 17K. Beautiful itinerary. I know he would be well treated on this.(my only problem w. HAL was food was not to my taste. Ships beautiful.).

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Yellow, I agree. I am not a HAL fan but they have a 110 day leaving in Jan.2011 listed for 17K. Beautiful itinerary. I know he would be well treated on this.(my only problem w. HAL was food was not to my taste. Ships beautiful.).

But wouldn't it be glorious zoncom?

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Egan,

How great to read about your not just dreaming about your 'grand voyage'

but planning it out and booking it! Congratulations!

Have a wonderful trip, and I hope you will post now and then

about how it is going for you. You are an inspiration!:)

Now lets see, If I left from San Diego, ................

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Good for you. Your idea is mine also. However, I too think you should check out Hollland America. They have quite a few cruises of 60 days or more. I bet they could come up with something to suit your taste.

You've probably made down payments on all the cruises but the first one is still probably not due in full yet. Not too late to change. I cruise on MSC this past spring and was very disappointed - I've been on quite a lot of cruises but don't think MSC is my cup of tea.

Happy cruising,

Nancy

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Good for you. Your idea is mine also. However, I too think you should check out Hollland America. They have quite a few cruises of 60 days or more. I bet they could come up with something to suit your taste.

You've probably made down payments on all the cruises but the first one is still probably not due in full yet. Not too late to change. I cruise on MSC this past spring and was very disappointed - I've been on quite a lot of cruises but don't think MSC is my cup of tea.

Happy cruising,

Nancy

Can you imagine standing in 52 muster lines??? lol More power to you. Check out the 110 day on HAL Amsterdam for $30,000 with a view leaving in January. Maybe it's not your cup of tea, but I would love to experience drinking my cup of tea in Hong Kong.

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Only site I have seen listing solo pricing shows 40% SS for all the HAL longer cruises. So Jan.11 110 day World is $23,798. Inside. Know a guy who booked 69/70 dayer for $8,999 a few months ago. Think its the one Karen Kween is on. She does the most amazing long cruise blogs.(kweenkaren.com) Hope she does one of her latest upcoming cruise. Karen?

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Took my first cruise on HAL (PC over the Christmas/New Years holidays) right before the World cruise. I spoke to a few cruisers (west coasters--from LA or BC) who were continuing on for the world cruise or a part of the world cruise. The itinerary sounded wonderful. Most people I spoke to were very well travelled and had done a WC before.

I really liked HAL as a solo--nice lounges to wander around to in the evenings (loved the piano bar) and, for me, the food was fine. Next time around I'll do the anytime type dining so I'm not locked in to a specific dining time.

I've looked at MSC for cruises out a NY--some good itineraries and the ss is 20%. Lucy would like to know what you didn't like about MSC.

Faith

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I've been on Italian ships before and I found them to be warm and friendly. However, the MSC Poesia crew were very impersonal. Plus I did get the Norwalk virus while on board. I've been on too many cruises to remember, stopped counting a long time ago, and this was the first time for the illness. Maybe the ship was too large for me.

My favorite lines are Princess, Costa and Holland America.

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YellowBird23,

I was on the Vancouver to Japan last fall and wish I had known in advance that they were going on to HK. I may do the cruise all over again next year and do the RT from the US. Happy hour was great - met lots of great fellow passengers who were "well cruised" - the appetizers were great. Several nights before end of cruise, all of us happy hourers arranged to go to the private dining room (can't remember the name, $20.00 a head) and dined together. Was great fun and I'd do the cruise again in a flash.

I'm booked on the HAL October from Montreal the Ft Laudersale (24 days) including a week in the Caribbean.

Nancy

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YellowBird23,

I was on the Vancouver to Japan last fall and wish I had known in advance that they were going on to HK. I may do the cruise all over again next year and do the RT from the US. Happy hour was great - met lots of great fellow passengers who were "well cruised" - the appetizers were great. Several nights before end of cruise, all of us happy hourers arranged to go to the private dining room (can't remember the name, $20.00 a head) and dined together. Was great fun and I'd do the cruise again in a flash.

I'm booked on the HAL October from Montreal the Ft Laudersale (24 days) including a week in the Caribbean.

Nancy

Sounds wonderful Lucy!

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  • 2 weeks later...

What an adventurous person! I look forward to reading Musicus's future postings, and hearing his stories about favorite ports. He has a great writing style. A cruise for a year, sounds like a dream-come-true. My first cruise was a 3-day stint to Nassau, Bahamas, and the second was a 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise, both with Carnival (Fascination and Legend). The next one is a 14-day Southern Caribbean cruise on the Celebrity Constellation. Have to wait until April 9, 2011 for that one though! Guess I'll keep building up the cruise lengths, in prep for the year-long venture!:)

 

Oh, if any of you happen to be going on the same cruise, here's a link to the Roll Call for it: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1242694;)

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  • 1 month later...

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