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Crystal Cruises 3228-3229, New York-Miami-Miami


rafinmd
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Well, it's getting really close now. I leave home pretty early Friday for 3 weeks on the Crystal Symphony. As I seem to rarely do things the easy way, this is the start of a longer trip, continuing on the Prinsendam up the Amazon to Manaus and back. I'll report on the Crystal portion of the trip here, and also will cover the whole trip on the "Friends of the Prinsendam" forum here:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1932362&page=99

 

Pictures and other extras will go on this site:

 

http://amazonextended.wordpress.com/

 

Luggage Concierge has already taken care of my first bag, and I'm nearly packed with the other.

 

Roy

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Roy,

 

I am fluffing the pillows in my travel arm chair and ready to cruise with you. Since we are a full year + until our big world cruise your blog is the closest thing I have to Crystal right now. Spare not details in your reports.

 

Looking forward to virtually traveling with you,

 

Ilene

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Roy,

 

I am fluffing the pillows in my travel arm chair and ready to cruise with you. Since we are a full year + until our big world cruise your blog is the closest thing I have to Crystal right now. Spare no details in your reports.

 

Looking forward to virtually traveling with you,

 

Ilene

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Short, safe trip tomorow. We'll see you Sat. If you haven't done the Amazon you are going to find it very interesting. We were on the Prinsendam when it was Seabourn Sun. It is a nice ship, even tho it is old. Envy you your trip. You take such wonderful ones. Joyous

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Bon voyage, Roy.

 

As always, I look forward to traveling vicariously with you throughout your adventures. And I'm glad this year's trek to rendezvous with Symphony will have much better results than last years!

 

Wishing you wonderful and safe travels.

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Bon Voyage Roy.

 

Please be sure to mention in review the issue of Bugs on the Amazon. That is the biggest thing keeping me from considering it.

 

I'm not Roy but we sailed the Amazon on board the Crystal Serenity earlier this year and bugs were not a problem, while we were on the river or in the major port cities. If you went on an excursion that involved a forest in certain ports you certainly would want to protect yourself but other than that it was not a problem at all.

 

I am one of those that bugs seem to like, and it was not a problem at all for me. If you take 25 people and 24 don't get bitten and one does it is always me, but no problems on this trip.

 

Our stops included: Rio de Janeiro, Bahia de Salvador,Alter do Chão, Parintins, Manaus, Boca de Valeria, and Santarém, Brazil and at one point we were 1,000 miles up the river from the Pacific Ocean.

 

It was our first time sailing the Amazon and I highly recommend it.

 

Keith

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Keith, I was following your travels pretty closely on that segment. In fact I would probably have booked it if it was't so close to my Symphony transpacific. IIRC, we started with exactly the same Amazon ports, but didn't you have one or 2 of them cancelled?

 

Joyous, the Prinsendam is hands down my favorite non-Crystal ship. I have the advantage that I never sailed her with Royal Viking or Seabourn. If I had, I suspect it might bring some feelings of comparison and loss.

 

Roy

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Thanks Keith! Maybe what I should do is coordinate with your next Amazon cruise - then you can attract whatever bugs are there and I won't have to worry!

 

It would be my pleasure. :)

 

In all seriousness, they are attracted to me.

 

Thankfully, we had no problems.

 

My next test will be when we visit the West Coast of Africa this spring and do the safari. But we are very prepared, with clothing which will hopefully keep the bugs away along with an insect repellent that was recommended by a fellow CC member and we will have our malaria pills for a specific area we will go to.

 

The Amazon was a terrific experience. Ports are of varying sizes; some large cities and one port with somewhere around less than 100 inhabitants. For us it was very special.

 

Keith

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Keith,

Would you mind recommending the brand of insect repellent that you use? The one that I utilized in the Amazon was effective, but I was practically soaked in oil. I am still waitlisted for the Safari adventure, I doubt that I will be able to participate.

Thanks.

Sheila

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Sheila, for the safari and a few areas in Africa we plan to use the following:

 

3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent Lotion, 2-Ounce

 

3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent Hands-Free Lotion, 1.5-Ounce (SRL-12HF)

 

The second one comes with a sponge applicator making it easier to put on.

 

We also purchased shirts, pants and socks made by Exofficio which are the bugs away clothing. I've used Exofficio before but not their bugs away clothing but this was recommended by a cruising friend of ours and the reviews were quite good.

 

All of these items were available on Amazon. For the clothing I also called Exofficio customer service directly just to verify the sizing of them before we ordered them and thankfully the sizing worked out perfectly for Anne Marie and myself.

 

Sheila, I hope that your wait list clears. The good news is time is still on your side.

 

Keith

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The Symphony is in Boston, the Prinsendam is approaching Ashdod, Israel

 

For the second consecutive year, I spent Halloween at home and prepared to leave the next day for the Crystal Symphony. The difference is this year it was my choice, last year it was not.

 

It was a very busy day with rushed financial plans taking place both personally and with my Fire Department "job". I am hopeful that all is in place on both fronts. The evening was also very busy with I would guess somewhere between 100 and 200 Halloween visitors.

 

While travel preparations went well for me, with nothing like Superstorm Sandy, the weather still was not fully cooperative. I know of at least one Cruise Critic member whose flight was cancelled; a replacement was found but at a very inconvenient time. My initial parting shot will be best wishes for safe travel for all my fellow travelers embarking November 2 on the Symphony, Serenity, as well as the Ryndam and Westerdam.

 

Roy

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