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BAHAMAS CRUISE QUESTIONS


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I found this on the Bahamas official website:

What if I have a positive result on my rapid antigen test?

        • All positive test results are reported to the Ministry of Health’s Surveillance Unit who will conduct additional clinical screening per their own mandates.
        • If an on-island rapid test returns positive, that person will be required to follow up with a COVID-19 RT-PCR swab test. They will be required to self-isolate until the result of the test is known.
        • With a positive result, the traveller may either:
          • Leave the destination via approved medical transportation (using either insurance or personal resources)
        • Quarantine at their booked place of stay
          • There is no mandatory government facility where visitors will be sent.
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10 hours ago, bitob said:

I am wondering if all these Bahamas cruise threads should be combined into one

 

I am tired of checking 6 threads for information!!

I think they should be too. I rarely  look at any of them.

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23 minutes ago, BWIVince said:


I’ve posed that question several times in the forum — I’m curious too.  It first appeared in a preliminary version of Crystal’s protocols that were very aspirational and filled with lots of buzz phrases of the era, and I think some of us expected it to be updated (well, removed) at some point and replaced with a substantive protocol, but even the detailed listing just says “contact-free dining service will be implemented in all onboard venues.”
 

Where I live, “contactless” usually means service at more than 6 feet or with a barrier (like stores bringing out purchases and placing them in your trunk), so I’m having trouble processing this one.

 

If the Waterside waiters are going to toss your plates from at least 6’ away, they are going to have to provide some really large plastic bibs for the passengers.  😮 ...Especially if they ever restart BTO nights!  

 

Vince

 

Great question, and "contactless" is marketing speak, and can't be literally true.

 

Just spitballing, but my guess based on how many local restaurants have reopened:  we order all courses at once(maybe not dessert) via scanning a QR code on the table or via Crystal app on our phones(maybe even the in-room interface.)  Delivered with no interaction other than dropping the plates(and clearing them.)  

 

Water delivered in a carafe, self serve.  Wine ordered same as food: if by glass ,somm brings half carafe.  If by bottle, presented to table opened, first glass poured by somm, self serve after that.

 

If I'm wrong, I'll bring a bib like Vince recommends.

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11 hours ago, bitob said:

I am wondering if all these Bahamas cruise threads should be combined into one

 

I am tired of checking 6 threads for information!!

Host Dan - please consider consolidation and let us know your reaction.

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43 minutes ago, JOPA28 said:

 

I found this on the Bahamas official website:

What if I have a positive result on my rapid antigen test?

        • All positive test results are reported to the Ministry of Health’s Surveillance Unit who will conduct additional clinical screening per their own mandates.
        • If an on-island rapid test returns positive, that person will be required to follow up with a COVID-19 RT-PCR swab test. They will be required to self-isolate until the result of the test is known.
        • With a positive result, the traveller may either:
          • Leave the destination via approved medical transportation (using either insurance or personal resources)
        • Quarantine at their booked place of stay
          • There is no mandatory government facility where visitors will be sent.

False positives from the Rapid test are extremely rare, but can happen (false negatives more common). Glad to see the F/U will the PCR test.   What this does not answer is where the person is supposed to self-isolate while awaiting results of the PCR test?  And then, assuming positive, they are having the person leave the Bahamas. But where can they go? Will the US allow someone in to the COuntry who tested positive, even if on a private medical transfer?  Is this person caught in limbo?  

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4 hours ago, gwesq said:

False positives from the Rapid test are extremely rare, but can happen (false negatives more common). Glad to see the F/U will the PCR test.   What this does not answer is where the person is supposed to self-isolate while awaiting results of the PCR test?  And then, assuming positive, they are having the person leave the Bahamas. But where can they go? Will the US allow someone in to the COuntry who tested positive, even if on a private medical transfer?  Is this person caught in limbo?  

From the Bahamas website the required insurance plan will be included in the required travel visa. Total cost will be $40 to $70 based on length of stay.

 

This kicks in if you test positive "in the Bahamas" so I will plan on other coverages to fill in where necessary.


What is included as part of the COVID Health Insurance?

Coverage includes:

Medical expenses incurred on island due to COVID-19, up to $50,000 (USD)

Trip interruption/delay for necessary quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19, up to $500 (USD) per day/$7,000 (USD) max

Medical evacuation due to COVID-19, and subject to medical necessity, up to $50,000 (USD)

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And greetings! I am posting to this thread but changing the subject somewhat. I am booked on the Bimini cruise for July 11 and so very excited to try my first crystal cruise! However, I'm concerned about the ferry transportation over to Bimini as I have read many not so great things about it. Also, it looks like it will not get into Fort Lauderdale until 9:30 PM on the Sunday post cruise. Does anybody know if Crystal will be providing any additional transportation back to Fort Lauderdale? There don't appear to be any commercial flights back either. Thank you for any suggestions!

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9 minutes ago, Verokaren said:

And greetings! I am posting to this thread but changing the subject somewhat. I am booked on the Bimini cruise for July 11 and so very excited to try my first crystal cruise! However, I'm concerned about the ferry transportation over to Bimini as I have read many not so great things about it. Also, it looks like it will not get into Fort Lauderdale until 9:30 PM on the Sunday post cruise. Does anybody know if Crystal will be providing any additional transportation back to Fort Lauderdale? There don't appear to be any commercial flights back either. Thank you for any suggestions!

The ferry website shows additional trips Wednesday and Friday:

 

https://gobahamasplus.com/bimini-fast-ferry-service-from-fort-lauderdale-to-bimini-bahamas/

 

I think there's also daily air service but it's commuter flights

 

https://www.silverairways.com/

 

Roy

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Thank you, Roy!  I did see those additional ferry routes, but nothing on Sunday, the day we return.  I'm not thrilled about hanging out in Bimini all day after we get off the ship and returning to Ft. Lauderdale at 9:30pm.  From there, we have a two hour drive home :0!  Not my idea of decompressing from a lovely cruise, but maybe we need to stay a night in FLL. 

 

Also, on an unrelated subject, we booked directly through Crystal, but I'm wondering is we should switch to a TA.  I'm not sure if they added value or not during Covid.  We had several cruises booked and cancelled through Oceania, and we were able to deal pretty cleanly directly through them. 

Thoughts??

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@Verokaren, I wonder how many passengers the ferry holds, and how many ferries are available.  If they have an extra one available, they could conceivably add an extra run on Sundays due to the increase in passengers going to and from the Serenity.  If so the additional return to FLL might be earlier in the afternoon for the cruise passengers who just want to get back to Florida.  You could ask the ferry company about it, and maybe they would start considering this.

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Oops.  I was thinking it was Sunday Nassau and Monday Bimini, definitely wrong on that.  It looks like there's a 2:15PM flight back to Ft. Lauderdale.

 

Roy

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1 hour ago, Verokaren said:

Thank you, Roy!  I did see those additional ferry routes, but nothing on Sunday, the day we return.  I'm not thrilled about hanging out in Bimini all day after we get off the ship and returning to Ft. Lauderdale at 9:30pm.  From there, we have a two hour drive home :0!  Not my idea of decompressing from a lovely cruise, but maybe we need to stay a night in FLL. 

 

Also, on an unrelated subject, we booked directly through Crystal, but I'm wondering is we should switch to a TA.  I'm not sure if they added value or not during Covid.  We had several cruises booked and cancelled through Oceania, and we were able to deal pretty cleanly directly through them. 

Thoughts??

 

50 minutes ago, rafinmd said:

Oops.  I was thinking it was Sunday Nassau and Monday Bimini, definitely wrong on that.  It looks like there's a 2:15PM flight back to Ft. Lauderdale.

 

Roy

Yes -- transfer your booking over to a TA -- you should get considerable perks from a good TA including on board credit

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1 hour ago, Verokaren said:

Also, on an unrelated subject, we booked directly through Crystal, but I'm wondering is we should switch to a TA.  I'm not sure if they added value or not during Covid.

We decided to book directly with Crystal, and have the same question.  I'm thinking to keep it directly with Crystal; we've had some issues with TA's recently around cancellations with other lines, and frankly would choose to avoid them if it wasn't for the extra perks they can sometimes offer.  Also had a positive experience with our "personal consultant" who reached out soon after we booked.  Given this is a fingers-crossed-hope-it-goes situation, happy to have it be a two-ring circus and not three.  

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1 hour ago, johng75370 said:

We decided to book directly with Crystal, and have the same question.  I'm thinking to keep it directly with Crystal; we've had some issues with TA's recently around cancellations with other lines, and frankly would choose to avoid them if it wasn't for the extra perks they can sometimes offer.  Also had a positive experience with our "personal consultant" who reached out soon after we booked.  Given this is a fingers-crossed-hope-it-goes situation, happy to have it be a two-ring circus and not three.  

A good TA is never a problem.  You lose quite a bit when you do not book through a TA.

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3 minutes ago, bitob said:

A good TA is never a problem.

True, but in my case a formerly "good TA" became a "bad TA", and ended up costing us because they outright lied about certain conditions that came back to bite us, then got into a multi-month finger pointing back and forth to try to show the cruise line was at fault.  Sheesh!  Always thought one of the reasons to go with a TA is they would stand behind their word on things.  I still don't have an answer (other than legal) for what you do when a travel agent provides you bad information - it was the first time for me, but given how recent it is I would rather forego a little extra OBC on this one with Crystal.  

 

Given the strained TA relations with Crystal, I'm not sure who anymore is a "good Crystal TA".  

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I do not know what you mean by "strained" relations with Crystal -- I have not seen any of that with my TA and he and I chat all the time.

We are not permitted to recommend TAs on CC but I encourage you to ask fellow cruisers for recommendations when you are on board.

You are leaving a good deal of money on the table by not using a TA.  More than "a little extra."

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On 3/23/2021 at 12:50 PM, MarkWiltonM said:

 

Thanks for this information. It's super helpful. It says that in the Bahamas we will be able to explore ports of call independently (not forced to take shore excursions) and Crystal will have shuttles into towns. Good news.

I do hope this us true, I like beaches but prefer to go later than ship tours and l love stopping in and eating local food,

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, bitob said:

You are leaving a good deal of money on the table by not using a TA.  More than "a little extra."

We've compared notes with other friends who've booked; seems like we're leaving $300-600 on the table. We're working with a TA on other bookings in 2022, who came well recommended and for those longer voyages provides good value.  Clearly worth it for many people to work with a TA.  I just am liking the direct connection right now, and am willing to pay for that.  

Edited by johng75370
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4 hours ago, johng75370 said:

We've compared notes with other friends who've booked; seems like we're leaving $300-600 on the table. We're working with a TA on other bookings in 2022, who came well recommended and for those longer voyages provides good value.  Clearly worth it for many people to work with a TA.  I just am liking the direct connection right now, and am willing to pay for that.  

Just one piece of advice.  Ask Crystal since you are working directly with them if they might provide any amenities such as on board credit.  Can't hurt to ask.

 

I fully understand why on this one you want to work directly with Crystal.

 

Keith

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4 hours ago, ellbon said:

I do hope this us true, I like beaches but prefer to go later than ship tours and l love stopping in and eating local food,

Robin,  yes, this is correct.  You can explore on your own.

 

Keith

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12 hours ago, johng75370 said:

We've compared notes with other friends who've booked; seems like we're leaving $300-600 on the table. We're working with a TA on other bookings in 2022, who came well recommended and for those longer voyages provides good value.  Clearly worth it for many people to work with a TA.  I just am liking the direct connection right now, and am willing to pay for that.  

On top suites it could be thousands left on the table.  The choice is yours.  And among TAs there are VAST differences.  In the past we used to compare with friends what benefits they were receiving from their TAs.  That 3-600 you mention could be on the low end of what TAs are giving -- depending on the TA.  

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9 minutes ago, bitob said:

On top suites it could be thousands left on the table.  The choice is yours.  And among TAs there are VAST differences.  In the past we used to compare with friends what benefits they were receiving from their TAs.  That 3-600 you mention could be on the low end of what TAs are giving -- depending on the TA.  

You are assuming, after a year of zero revenue, that the TA is in a position to give what they used to. While a lot of the OBC is provided by the cruise lines, the rest comes out of the Agency/TA's pocket. Just something to keep in mind.

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My experience with TA's is then when things go bad good ones can be a great help.  We got stuck in Europe on 9/11 after a cruise and our TA arranged hotel for a few days - flight back to Canada, ferry to US, car rental etc.  Not all are great but if you find one use it and hope you never need the extras.

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For experienced Crystal cruisers, Are there any bars that have access to the outdoors at night? Does the Brazilian grill have outdoor seating at night? We really love to eat and have drinks outside and the Serenity doesn't seem to have any of this. I'm sure we will still have a great time but really not used to everything being inside. 

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30 minutes ago, islandchick said:

For experienced Crystal cruisers, Are there any bars that have access to the outdoors at night? Does the Brazilian grill have outdoor seating at night? We really love to eat and have drinks outside and the Serenity doesn't seem to have any of this. I'm sure we will still have a great time but really not used to everything being inside. 

 

Silk restaurant has a bar area that is just off the pool area.  You could grab a round and then be a few steps to sitting under the night sky.  Pretty sure the last rezzie they take is 9:30ish, so the bar must be open until then, if not a little later.  Not quite what you're looking for, but you'll probably have the whole deck to yourselves.

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