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Symphony Caribbean cruises 2021?


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As long as we're speculating about airlift to Antigua, doesn't Crystal have a lightly-used 777 parked somewhere these days? That would make a very comfortable charter flight for 88 guests. Just a thought...

 

Rob

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29 minutes ago, ryndam said:

As long as we're speculating about airlift to Antigua, doesn't Crystal have a lightly-used 777 parked somewhere these days? That would make a very comfortable charter flight for 88 guests. Just a thought...

 

Rob

 

😎

 

For their air bookings on tight dates I'm picturing them chartering a connecting flight from a major US carrier's hub similar to the ones I've had from them in the past, but I suppose that's always an option when it's free.  😉

 

Vince

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1 hour ago, Keith1010 said:

Excellent approach. I looked at flights and came up with the same conclusion. 
 

When we lived in Dallas I never had to do this but where we live now we are used to breaking up the flights to avoid tight connections. 
 

Once folks get to the ship they will forget about the challenge of flying. 
 

Keith 

Keith, thanks for posting this. Do you know if Crystal is allowing B2B cruises? We're thinking if we're going to have to get PCR tests to satisfy any Antigua requirements as well as drive to Miami to catch the 3 hr flight to Antigua, we're going to want to do 20 days at least!

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1 minute ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Keith, thanks for posting this. Do you know if Crystal is allowing B2B cruises? We're thinking if we're going to have to get PCR tests to satisfy any Antigua requirements as well as drive to Miami to catch the 3 hr flight to Antigua, we're going to want to do 20 days at least!

Ken, I would have your TA check for you but I can't see any reason you can't do back to back cruises similar to the ones on Serenity.  I am not aware of any restrictions.  What I would suggest is if you have a room or room category in mind ask your TA to book it right away when they open up the reservation system for these cruises.

 

Keith

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39 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Keith, thanks for posting this. Do you know if Crystal is allowing B2B cruises? We're thinking if we're going to have to get PCR tests to satisfy any Antigua requirements as well as drive to Miami to catch the 3 hr flight to Antigua, we're going to want to do 20 days at least!

 

Like the Bahamas cruises, they might not be giving a B2B discount, but if you've got the money, I'm sure they will be happy to take it!!

 

Patty

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5 minutes ago, Texas Tillie said:

but if you've got the money, I'm sure they will be happy to take it!!


Speaking of which have they paid you back yet Patty? - hope so as your wait has been totally unacceptable 

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35 minutes ago, Keith1010 said:

Ken, I would have your TA check for you but I can't see any reason you can't do back to back cruises similar to the ones on Serenity.  I am not aware of any restrictions.  What I would suggest is if you have a room or room category in mind ask your TA to book it right away when they open up the reservation system for these cruises.

 

Keith

 

16 minutes ago, Stickman1990 said:


Why wouldn’t they allow B2B? Or even longer groups of cruises?

When we tried to book a July 2021 B2B2B a couple of weeks ago on Celebrity's new startup Millennium cruise out of St Maarten, they would not allow B2Bs. Never heard a reason why, but since CDC wasn't involved, we're guessing is was a St Maarten stipulation. I can see why the Bahamas might not object since the Serenity was simply circling their own islands and they didn't object when RCCL was offering B2Bs on their new start-up cruises out of Nassau this summer. But in this case, the Symphony will be ported out of Antigua and stopping at quite a few Caribbean islands. 

 

On the bright side, Crystal only allows vaccinated passengers. Correct?

 

With Celebrity for unvaccinated children, a negative rt-PCR test within 72 hours of boarding was required, which may prove to be a little difficult to get for the second leg if their parents had booked a B2B. But, like I said, I have no confirmed idea why they didn't allow B2Bs, only guesses. 

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17 minutes ago, Stickman1990 said:


Speaking of which have they paid you back yet Patty? - hope so as your wait has been totally unacceptable 


Checked my credit card this morning and no!!

🤪😛🤔

 

Patty

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45 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

 

When we tried to book a July 2021 B2B2B a couple of weeks ago on Celebrity's new startup Millennium cruise out of St Maarten, they would not allow B2Bs. Never heard a reason why, but since CDC wasn't involved, we're guessing is was a St Maarten stipulation. I can see why the Bahamas might not object since the Serenity was simply circling their own islands and they didn't object when RCCL was offering B2Bs on their new start-up cruises out of Nassau this summer. But in this case, the Symphony will be ported out of Antigua and stopping at quite a few Caribbean islands. 

 

On the bright side, Crystal only allows vaccinated passengers. Correct?

 

With Celebrity for unvaccinated children, a negative rt-PCR test within 72 hours of boarding was required, which may prove to be a little difficult to get for the second leg if their parents had booked a B2B. But, like I said, I have no confirmed idea why they didn't allow B2Bs, only guesses. 

Hopefully just like Nassau the port Crystal is using will be fine.

 

Keith

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Noggins said:

Very odd.

I distinctly remember saying that Barbados was the place to homeport these cruises...

Just goes to show that the guys at Crystal don't check out these boards as carefully as we supposed!

😎

 

Yes it is....  Silversea has done that regularly for many of their Caribbean cruises.

 

Now of course instead of COVID we may have to worry about this on St Vincent.  The Volcano in Martinique is also rumbling....  Another Mask mandate...

 

91d3776f098de323f73940a2e005a1cc

Edited by PaulMCO
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On 4/8/2021 at 1:32 PM, FlyerTalker said:

 

Ummmm....they do have airplanes that fly from TPA to both FLL and MIA.


Antigua! We cruised out of there in 1994!
 

I don’t even know what its three letter code is.

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13 minutes ago, May B said:


Antigua! We cruised out of there in 1994!
 

I don’t even know what its three letter code is.

Now I do, after reading the rest of the thread. 😉

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11 hours ago, TER777 said:

You beat me to it. I was just about to point this out! Question is, will they do Pacific Crossing to pick up say in Asia or stay in Caribbean until early Spring, do Atlantic (yuck eastbound) Crossing to start with 2022 Europe season?

If I was a betting person I would put my money down on staying in the Caribbean but offering a greater range of itineraries and finding more accessible embarkation/disembarkation ports.  The other factor is where does Serenity go.  We shall see.  

 

Keith

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11 hours ago, Noggins said:

Very odd.

I distinctly remember saying that Barbados was the place to homeport these cruises...

Just goes to show that the guys at Crystal don't check out these boards as carefully as we supposed!

😎

 

LOL.

 

Oh they read the boards.

 

But could you imagine if they followed each and every suggestion.

 

As they say:

 

Oy Vey.

 

😂

 

Keith

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1 hour ago, Keith1010 said:

But could you imagine if they followed each and every suggestion.

Suggestion?

 

Not really, Keith - it was a 'top tip' and not lightly given. Barbados has the infrastructure - including air capacity (even though Crystal might have needed some help from a US airline to add a route or two - they're not short of aircraft) and the track record of supporting significant cruise ship capacity.

 

Now Crystal are going to have a run on Parisians (their poshest gin and tonic - you know, the one with Champagne as mixer 🥂) following my promise of one to anyone who thought I was wrong. That could prove expensive.

 

Oh dear.

 

Adrian

🙃

 

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5 hours ago, happy cruising said:

I started to do some research on the cruise port in St Johns, Antigua ... look at the photo that I came upon!  None other than the Crystal Symphony docked there!  Beautiful!

Cruises To St Johns, Antigua | St Johns Shore Excursions (cruisetimetables.com)


I’ve sailed to Antigua on Symphony!  It’s one of the most beautiful Caribbean islands I’ve been to.  I’d go back in a heartbeat.

 

1 hour ago, Keith1010 said:

LOL.

 

Oh they read the boards.

 

But could you imagine if they followed each and every suggestion.

 

As they say:

 

Oy Vey.

 

😂

 

Keith


I’m picturing the episode of the Simpsons where Homer designed a car.  I can almost see the banner on the corner of the brochure...   “First Modern All-Day All-Formal Cruise Line — Now With Trash Can Doilies!”

 

(I’m just being funny, not saying feedback isn’t important.  Crystal: Seriously, bring back turndown chocolates.  🤣)

 

Vince

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12 minutes ago, Noggins said:

Suggestion?

 

Not really, Keith - it was a 'top tip' and not lightly given. Barbados has the infrastructure - including air capacity (even though Crystal might have needed some help from a US airline to add a route or two - they're not short of aircraft) and the track record of supporting significant cruise ship capacity.

 

Now Crystal are going to have a run on Parisians (their poshest gin and tonic - you know, the one with Champagne as mixer 🥂) following my promise of one to anyone who thought I was wrong. That could prove expensive.

 

Oh dear.

 

Adrian

🙃

 

I hear you Adrian.  In all seriousness I am sure Crystal looked at each area and considered many factors including support for provisioning/turn around  and flights and so forth.  There could be a number of reasons they didn't go with Barbados. 

 

Most of these places are not easy to get to (even Barbados) for those in the USA. If not for all of the uncertainty of when USA locations could be viable certainly MIA, Fort Lauderdale, New York City, San Juan would have been far better options as well as some Caribbean ports not currently open.

 

Even in good times I often say one of the biggest challenges of cruising can be getting to the place of embarkation or getting home from the place of disembarkation even in normal times (depending where you live) and that is in good times.

 

My favorite was in 2011 returning from Singapore and taking four flights to get home.  Never, never, never and I mean never again.  Maybe when i was in my 20's, 30's, and 40's, but not after that. 

 

Keith

 

 

 

 

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Text from just received Regent email

 

Fly direct to Barbados to begin your relaxing sojourn into the lesser-known islands of the Caribbean with a three or four-night pre-cruise break at a luxury beachfront hotel from only an additional £299 per person. Enjoy every moment knowing Regent Seven Seas Cruises® has arranged every little touch, from your flights and transfers to refreshing welcome cocktails and delicious dining programmes. You’ll arrive aboard Seven Seas Navigator® refreshed, reinvigorated and ready to sail on to the Windward and Leeward Islands.

 

Now, before anyone accuses me of passing my best tips to Regent too then let me say 'I'm innocent', my lud'.

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1 hour ago, Noggins said:

Text from just received Regent email

 

Fly direct to Barbados to begin your relaxing sojourn into the lesser-known islands of the Caribbean with a three or four-night pre-cruise break at a luxury beachfront hotel from only an additional £299 per person. Enjoy every moment knowing Regent Seven Seas Cruises® has arranged every little touch, from your flights and transfers to refreshing welcome cocktails and delicious dining programmes. You’ll arrive aboard Seven Seas Navigator® refreshed, reinvigorated and ready to sail on to the Windward and Leeward Islands.

 

Now, before anyone accuses me of passing my best tips to Regent too then let me say 'I'm innocent', my lud'.

Adrian:

 

Maybe it's me being "dumb" but when I  go to the Regent site I don't see recurring cruises sailing from/to Barbados.  Am I missing the boat???  No pun intended. Well .....Maybe.

 

Keith

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3 minutes ago, Noggins said:

Actually, Keith, you're in plenty of time to still 'catch the boat' - closer examination shows they don't start until February...

 

https://www.rssc.com/cruises/NAV220205/summary?s=EM_RSS_PT_PRO_EMI_CTB_EML_NEWVOYCOL_APR2110116_NA_UK_DESTCAR

Got it  I was looking November and December, Adrian.  I hope to be on a different boat then and hopefully sailing a different area.

 

Keith

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As someone who threw out multiple ideas for home ports, I took absolutely no offense to Keith’s comment.  Crystal DOES listen to our feedback here, as we’ve seen many times over the years, but there’s just more to it than that.

 

Home porting a ship in a particular port for a season isn’t like planning a one-time stop on an itinerary like Crystal usually does.

 

This kind of thing normally involves local authorities putting together a bid package, either by a formal RFP process or a de facto one.  Local authorities assess the needs of the ship (chandlers, bunkering, logistics, destination management, air lift, etc.), and where they know the cruise line is going to find deficiencies or difficulties, they get ahead of those and work with those companies to address those issues in the bid.  
 

In addition, also calculate financial benefit based on the cruise line’s data, and to @Texas Tillie’s point, usually put together an incentive package to help make their port more competitive.  This can come in just about any form imaginable combination, from preferential berths, fee rebates, tax incentives, etc..  The point isn’t to give away the farm, it’s to offset the negatives of the bid they can’t correct or overcome otherwise.

 

The piece of this I haven’t experienced in my segment yet (but will soon) is COVID.  I assume from what Crystal said about Antigua and what the Bahamas said about Crystal, the local authorities also have to present and consider how they will support the cruise line with COVID regulations, how they will be applied, and where else the cruise line will call within that itinerary bubble.

 

We frankly don’t know which ports bid and which ones didn’t.  I could easily see islands like St. Maarten wanting to focus on bigger ships for turnarounds right now and declining the smaller opportunities.  Who knows if Barbados was interested in this case — they may have bid and it didn’t score as well, there may have been something they couldn’t address, or there may just have already been too much compression on the dates that Crystal needed to call there.  
 

I think we all have it in our heads that ports are dying to book ships at all costs,  the now that the floodgates are starting to open, they are still being strategic.  
 

Crystal homeporting a couple of ships for a season is a nice piece of business for a port, but for a major port it’s the kind of booking you work into your schedule.  If Crystal had more/bigger ships, or were willing to commit longer than the 2021/2022 season, they’d have more pull in the bid.

 

Vince

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