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BAHAMAS CRUISE QUESTIONS


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11 hours ago, Roland4 said:

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.

My ta is giving me what he always has 

he owns the company

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4 hours 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. 

I found a door in Palm Court that leads outside.no tables just a place to take pictures. 
For some reason the outdoor space behind the buffet is never used at night. Not sure if lack of waiters or the wind or what

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Posted (edited)
5 hours 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. 

The Brazilian restaurant has places to sit outside on the Serenity. The same restaurant serves breakfast and lunch so you can sit outside also at those times.

Ivi

Edited by travelberlin
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7 hours 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. 

When the weather is nice they do have outside seating at night.  Otherwise it is inside.  

 

Keith

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I just noticed that the Bahamas cruises from Bimini and Nassau are the same cruises, with the option to board in Nassau on one day or to board the same cruise in Bimini a day later. For example, the cruise we booked begins on July 4 in Bimini and the same ship boards guests on July 3 in Nassau.  Then the Nassau guests disembark July 10 and the Bimini guests disembark July 11. Is that unusual? Second question is: The ferry and flight services to Bimini have horrible reviews and the ferry, in particular, is considered unreliable. I would prefer to leave from Bimini because it's so close to my home in Fort Lauderdale, but do you think a flight from Fort Lauderdale to Nassau is more of a sure thing? Do you think Crystal will have any contingency plans for making sure their Bimini guests make it to the island?

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9 minutes ago, MarkWiltonM said:

I just noticed that the Bahamas cruises from Bimini and Nassau are the same cruises, with the option to board in Nassau on one day or to board the same cruise in Bimini a day later. For example, the cruise we booked begins on July 4 in Bimini and the same ship boards guests on July 3 in Nassau.  Then the Nassau guests disembark July 10 and the Bimini guests disembark July 11. Is that unusual? Second question is: The ferry and flight services to Bimini have horrible reviews and the ferry, in particular, is considered unreliable. I would prefer to leave from Bimini because it's so close to my home in Fort Lauderdale, but do you think a flight from Fort Lauderdale to Nassau is more of a sure thing? Do you think Crystal will have any contingency plans for making sure their Bimini guests make it to the island?

Yes it is unusual.   But then again Crystal offering 16 cruises (or 32 because one boards in Nassau while the next day the next one boards in Bimini) is very unusual as well.  

 

I can't speak to the reliability of the ferry.  What I can say is I wouldn't travel to Nassau or Bimini the day of the cruise.  By doing so you take a risk of missing the ship should there be issues with your flight or Ferry. Crystal wouldn't make contingency plans as the responsibility to arrive on the day or embarkation and by the time frame required is each guests.

 

Keith

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Thanks for all the info on outdoor areas, hopefully we will have nice weather and can sit outside at the brazilian grill at night. So are there no bars with access to the outside other then the one near the pool?

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4 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

I can't speak to the reliability of the ferry.  What I can say is I wouldn't travel to Nassau or Bimini the day of the cruise.  By doing so you take a risk of missing the ship should there be issues with your flight or Ferry. Crystal wouldn't make contingency plans as the responsibility to arrive on the day or embarkation and by the time frame required is each guests.

 

Thanks Keith. The ferry (680 seats) and Silver Airways (34 seats) only travel to and from Bimini on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.

 

There's a seaplane that flies to Bimini from Fort Lauderdale every day except Wednesday.

 

Those are the only options unless you charter your own boat or plane.

 

We are coming in on Friday before the Sunday cruise and staying at the Genting-owned Hilton.

 

It's much easier to get into Nassau, which has commercial jet service daily with up to four flights a day. 

 

I suppose if the ferry to Bimini was canceled we could try to get a flight into Nassau Friday or Saturday and ask Crystal to let us on the ship there instead of Bimini. Because the Serenity leaves Nassau on July 3 for the inaugural cruise of the season and picks up its Bimini passengers on July 4, they'll have our stateroom available anyway.

 

The only reason I thought Crystal might have some arrangements or contingencies for Bimini is that it's not the easiest island to get to (perhaps especially in the summer off-season). I was also thinking there's safety in numbers and there will be 900 people who have to get on the ship in Bimini, but I now realize that many if not most of the guests may board in Nassau. 

 

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My travel agent spoke to Crystal about the issue of the ferry.  They have either chartered or have a relationship with the ferry company.  The ferry leaves Ft. Lauderdale at 9:30 am on Sunday and the return out of Bimini will be at 6:30 pm on Sunday.  Crystal will charge $200 pp RT.  We chose to take the Nassau cruise because leaving Bimini at 6:30 would mean that we would have to spend another night in Ft. Lauderdale.  I hope this helps.

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7 hours ago, MarkWiltonM said:

I just noticed that the Bahamas cruises from Bimini and Nassau are the same cruises, with the option to board in Nassau on one day or to board the same cruise in Bimini a day later. For example, the cruise we booked begins on July 4 in Bimini and the same ship boards guests on July 3 in Nassau.  Then the Nassau guests disembark July 10 and the Bimini guests disembark July 11. Is that unusual? Second question is: The ferry and flight services to Bimini have horrible reviews and the ferry, in particular, is considered unreliable. I would prefer to leave from Bimini because it's so close to my home in Fort Lauderdale, but do you think a flight from Fort Lauderdale to Nassau is more of a sure thing? Do you think Crystal will have any contingency plans for making sure their Bimini guests make it to the island?

We did a similar cruise a few years ago - you could start & end either in FLL or is Charleston, SC.   I think that makes it a little tougher on the housekeeping staff as they have tp prepare new rooms twice, but on the other hand, less rooms to prep in a day.  

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14 hours ago, ellbon said:

I found a door in Palm Court that leads outside.no tables just a place to take pictures. 
For some reason the outdoor space behind the buffet is never used at night. Not sure if lack of waiters or the wind or what

I'm trying to picture that door and I can't.  I know there is a door that goes into a hallway but can't visualize a door to outside.  Can you describe where?

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14 minutes ago, gwesq said:

I'm trying to picture that door and I can't.  I know there is a door that goes into a hallway but can't visualize a door to outside.  Can you describe where?

 

There are outdoor decks forward on each side, over the bridge wings.  There is a door on each side right where the "tall" windows end, after you go down to the lower/sunken seating area forward.

 

Harmony had a similar deck, but everyone complained that the people outside blocked the view so the space was eliminated when Symphony was designed (she has only emergency egress forward).  When everyone complained about the elimination, a variation reappeared with Serenity that pushed people more to the side eliminating the obstruction forward.

 

Vince

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Regarding flights to Nassau from Florida -- you have several choices.  AA from MIA, JetBlue from FLL, also Bahamas Airways daily from FLL.

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1 hour ago, BWIVince said:

 

There are outdoor decks forward on each side, over the bridge wings.  There is a door on each side right where the "tall" windows end, after you go down to the lower/sunken seating area forward.

 

Harmony had a similar deck, but everyone complained that the people outside blocked the view so the space was eliminated when Symphony was designed (she has only emergency egress forward).  When everyone complained about the elimination, a variation reappeared with Serenity that pushed people more to the side eliminating the obstruction forward.

 

Vince

Thanks - I just can't picture that. I'll have to check it out July 3!!   

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3 hours ago, Kwaj girl said:

@Ladys Mom - are you okay after yesterday's terrible weather?  Huntsville only had long periods of heavy rain.  No wind damage or major flooding in our area.

We are doing just fine.  We live in the hills so all we got was wind and rain.  Areas near us that are flatter sustained a great deal of damage.

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26 minutes ago, gwesq said:

Thanks - I just can't picture that. I'll have to check it out July 3!!   

 

My pleasure!  It's hard to catch the interior door in pictures of the lounge (the ones I saw on the web were kind of hard to make the doors out), but if you look at an exterior pic that shows Serenity from the front you can get a good idea of where these areas are.  If you look for the bridge wings and look immediately above them, you'll see areas on their "roofs" with railings around them.  The door is in the aft corner against the windows.

 

Have a great cruise -- I'm jealous!  🙂  I haven't been in Serenity's Palm Court since the refit and it looks beautiful.

 

Vince

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15 minutes ago, BWIVince said:

 

My pleasure!  It's hard to catch the interior door in pictures of the lounge (the ones I saw on the web were kind of hard to make the doors out), but if you look at an exterior pic that shows Serenity from the front you can get a good idea of where these areas are.  If you look for the bridge wings and look immediately above them, you'll see areas on their "roofs" with railings around them.  The door is in the aft corner against the windows.

 

Have a great cruise -- I'm jealous!  🙂  I haven't been in Serenity's Palm Court since the refit and it looks beautiful.

 

Vince

DUH - I take it all back! OF COURSE I know where the doors to outside are. I use them frequently.  It's been too long not being on Crystal - I was thinking of the Cove.   

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1 hour ago, PaulMCO said:

Regarding flights to Nassau from Florida -- you have several choices.  AA from MIA, JetBlue from FLL, also Bahamas Airways daily from FLL.

There is also a Bahamas Airways flight from Orlando.

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6 hours ago, BWIVince said:

 

There are outdoor decks forward on each side, over the bridge wings.  There is a door on each side right where the "tall" windows end, after you go down to the lower/sunken seating area forward.

 

Harmony had a similar deck, but everyone complained that the people outside blocked the view so the space was eliminated when Symphony was designed (she has only emergency egress forward).  When everyone complained about the elimination, a variation reappeared with Serenity that pushed people more to the side eliminating the obstruction forward.

 

Vince

What a great way to explain it. I remember a white and green sign saying exit. I went out once to take pictures of the Sydney Bridge at night. Really just a place to take pictures.

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4 hours ago, ellbon said:

What a great way to explain it. I remember a white and green sign saying exit. I went out once to take pictures of the Sydney Bridge at night. Really just a place to take pictures.


I feel the same way...  My favorite thing about taking pictures out there is that it’s the only passenger space on Crystal’s ocean ships that ever meaningfully extended over the side of the ship.  That definitely gives some unique photo ops.

 

Vince

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Posted (edited)

I just read an article from cruise critic that says children will be allowed on board with a negative test. Is this true? If so it's not as safe as I was hoping for.

 

Edited by islandchick
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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, islandchick said:

I just read an article from cruise critic that says children will be allowed on board with a negative test. Is this true? If so it's not as safe as I was hoping for.

 

That’s not what it explicitly says on the Crystal website. (There are other cruise lines that say they will allow children on with only negative tests.) 

Edited by TER777
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