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90 days ago: "OMG will we ever cruise again?"

 

Now: "which of these two ports I really don't care about will Crystal be stopping at?"

 

Nature is healing.  

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16 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

I think folks need to take a deep breath.

 

Crystal to blame?  Really?

 

If you want to blame something blame COVID-19.

 

Please keep in mind that unlike most itineraries this one was planned a few months ago.  It happened quickly and there was not much time to educate the locals as there was when Crystal did Northwest Passage and the planning too place over years not months.  And my guess is Crystal had to go through a big learning curve relying on the local authorities.

 

Did some mistakes happen?  Likely.

 

Is anyone to blame?  IMHO no.

 

And please, please, please keep in mind that there was a period of time where No (and I repeat No) money was coming in so there were not unlimited resources to send a cast of tens of people to the islands to educate.

 

Bottom line this was fast in the making.  There was not time to educate the local.  There was not a large team to throw at this and many have perceptions of cruise ships and cruise lines.

 

In the end, my guess is most people who are no tase cruises will adapt as most of us have done over the years.

 

Many will be happy to just cruise.  Ports substituted may turn out to be better than the original ones and people will make the best of things.

 

I am not sure about most people but the cruise industry has never faced anything like COVID which closed the cruise lines from sailing for 15+ months and forced many cruise lines to layoff or furlough 95%+ of their people.

 

So my view it to give Crystal some flack.

 

I don't blame Crystal.  I don't blame the Bahama authorities and I don't blame the locals.

 

JMHO.  Some will disagree.  Some wil agree.  Some don't care.

 

I am reminded of the folks who said I will be happy to take a cruise to nowhere or I will be happy to take a cruise not matter where it take me.


I know I am. 

 

Flexibility, Positivity and Understanding is key IMHO.

 

Keith

I totally agree with you, Keith. We are all in uncharted waters here in regards to Covid and cruising. When I booked this cruise there was an indefinite hold on cruising in North America and Crystal and The Bahamian government were innovative in finding a safe and responsible way to resume sailing. I commend them for their efforts in putting this together in such a short time frame. I can't imagine the difficulty in putting together a 5 stop cruise to islands that have never hosted cruise ships before, in such a short span of time. I'm sure the logistics involved in this endeavor have been very challenging. Like how did they even find enough air-conditioned busses to transport guests back and forth on these sparsely populated islands? As is common in life, blame for lack of communication usually falls on all parties involved. Crystal, The Bahamian government and the residents all have a skin in this game so I fully understand all of their points of view. At the very least, I respect the decision to not "ram this down the throats" of the vocal majority of residents who were against it. I do feel bad for the local small businesses who welcomed this and will now lose the desperately needed revenue. This was the motivation for the Bahamian government to welcome Crystal in the first place.

 

I am fully aware that this itinerary is not typical of Crystal, and that many of  Crystal's regular cruisers booked this cruise simply to experience the joy of "The Crystal Difference" that has been missing from their lives, due to the pandemic. Many may likely never leave the ship once it sets sail. However,  we absolutely love the beauty of the Bahamas and the hospitality of the residents of the "Out Islands" that we have encountered. Although we are disappointed we will not get to experience the beauty of Spanish Wells or the pink sand beaches of Harbour Island, we are still so excited to experience the other islands and being pampered onboard by Crystal's superior luxury experience. 

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First time Crystal Cruisers here.  So much to talk about. 

  1. Cancellation of Cruises:  I am on my third (3rd) cancellation with another brand.  Every time, I get my FCC, have already scoped the next cruise to transfer it too if not put a refundable deposit on it to save the rate and cruise.  Then comes airfare and hotel.  A huge hassle for sure. I am getting very good at it thought.  I blame, "Covid-19"
  2. Change In Itineraries: Again, my itinerates with now two cruises booked both different brands has happened. I think this makes the brand and the guests very frustrated.  It adds time and cost to all involved.  I blame, "Covid-19"
  3. Changes in Excursions Offered: One day a Beach Cabana is $125.00 the next day it is $750.00 with a bottle of spirts as an amenity.  One day later, it is $125.00 again.  Sure, a little frustrating but it got fixed quickly, for now.  I blame "Covid-19".
  4. Cost of a Covid-19 Test 72 Hours Prior to the end of the Cruise:  Will everyone who has to travel back on an airline need a "Negative Covid Test", YES.  Will I as a guest have to pay for this test, YES. Does Crystal know the cost as of yet, NO. Is it a Crystal requirement or an air requirement, Air.   I blame "Covid-19"
  5. Confusion with the Bahamas Health Visa: This Bahamas website needs some serious improvement.  Not going to happen any time soon and the fact is we all need a Health Visa to enjoy our cruise.  I blame "Covid-19".
  6. My Mental and Physical Health:  Mentally, I spend my mornings looking at CruiseCritic.com, Reddit Cruise Sub-Directory, and CruiseIndustryNews.com.  At night, I fall asleep thinking of the walk from the port to the ship for the first time in 17 months, I walk two miles a day just so I can be in good shape to enjoy my vacation and I eat Keto to lose weight which is very frustrating because I keep watching YouTube Videos of the food served on Crystal Cruises.  That fact we are not cruising RIGHT NOW.  I blame on"Covid-19". 
  7. My Excitement in Cruising Again: When you really enjoy something you sometimes take it for granted.  When on a long-term diet, you may miss pizza.  When you break up with someone you love, you miss them dearly.  When your child goes to college or gets married, you miss their personality. All those are items that we have happen and usually they are because of decisions we make for good reason.  When you don't leave your home, eat in a restaurant, or go on a cruise because of a global pandemic.  You had no control of it.  I blame on Covid-19"

In life as in business, you have to look at the "Root Cause" of a situation.  It helps you get through it to a better day.  "The Root Cause is Covid-19"

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5 hours ago, KarimaJ said:

Bummer, was looking forward to getting ferried over to Harbour Island.

I am sure we can find a boat somewhere. All those islands are near each other,

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This is from a cruisecritic editor on board the RCI ship in the Bahamas. I think it contains useful information for those of you embarking in Nassau in three weeks. It’s a bit long but the first half deals with general Covid and arrival issues and the second half is much less relevant as it is about what’s going on on the ship. 

 

https://www.cruisecritic.com/ab/agents/variation-a/articles.cfm?ID=6186&preview=1&source=99360&fbclid=IwAR0WFaET9gBfGhkfXSPhbilHc9Bq4xc7n4qUAmAP1uNPaF0RIv8lsZzrCKw

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Does anyone know where Crystal plans to do the check in? It seems like the terminal won't be completed for my cruise on July 17th. My guess would be the SLS Baha Mar where the pre cruise hotel is. I'm staying at the Colonial Hilton. I wouldn't like to have to take a taxi to that hotel when I'm a short walk to the ship. It would be nice if the Hilton had room for both ships to check in or have the people staying in the Baha Mar area check in there and have a different check in for those staying closer to the port. 

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We’re a smaller group…maybe rent a few adjacent stalls in the straw market… there are enough of us staying at the Colonial Hilton that we can share taxis if need be.  EM

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Posted (edited)

bonnieg ...

 

Yesterday was quite a day at the Nassau Cruise Port.   First ship to call with passengers in forever and first ever to home port here.  If you're a FaceBook person, search for the Nassau Cruise Port page - there are lots of videos including interviews with folks getting on the boat.  https://www.facebook.com/nassaucruiseport

 

Claudia's link is also helpful.

 

I'd be floored if they transport everyone to Baha Mar or have locals like us go out there to check in.  It's seriously distant for us.  (Most of us who live east or on Paradise Island consider the west of the island to be the other side of the world given the vagaries of crossing downtown Nassau in traffic.)

 

I have a contact who works with the Cruise Port and have asked if they can give me any info as getting it from Crystal is a major pain.  I have hope that will yield some reliable information.

 

If not I will also contact the local company that does their logistics here to see if they have any information.

 

Nyloc in Nassau

Edited by Nyloc
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7 hours ago, bonnieg said:

Does anyone know where Crystal plans to do the check in? It seems like the terminal won't be completed for my cruise on July 17th. My guess would be the SLS Baha Mar where the pre cruise hotel is. I'm staying at the Colonial Hilton. I wouldn't like to have to take a taxi to that hotel when I'm a short walk to the ship. It would be nice if the Hilton had room for both ships to check in or have the people staying in the Baha Mar area check in there and have a different check in for those staying closer to the port. 

I believe if the facility is not ready there will be a tent used for checkin.  Not ideal but we've done something like this before including in Los Angeles believe it or not.

 

Keith

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I visited Spanish Wells about 40 years ago as a "port" stop on a Windjammer barefoot cruise.  Total number of passengers was well under 100.  That was a long time ago and my memory may not be great, so with that caveat, here is what I remember.  Even with the relatively shallow draft of the Windjammer we had to anchor a long way out from the island, several miles I think.  The port talk which the captain gave said the island was fairly isolated because of the surrounding shallow waters.  It was settled largely by Tory (loyalist) refugees from the American Revolution.  In the 1970's it was the only Bahamian island of any size that was almost entirely inhabited by people of European ancestry.  We were also told that there was a large degree of inbreeding of the local population and to expect to see some people with genetic problems and mentally challenged.  What I remember is a small, friendly village with people who were very happy to have visitors.  I did indeed see several people who appeared to have genetic abnormalities.  I imagine that 40+ years later much has changed.  I believe the population has more than doubled and I think the island may be connected to Eleuthra by a bridge.  I also wonder how accurate the information which the captain of the Windjammer gave us back then was.  I was really hoping to see the island again over 40 years later.

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Posted (edited)

Oh dear.  So much I could say, but won't.  And not sure what it matters since SpW won't be on the itinerary.  Too bad you won't be able to stop back, indeed.  Spanish Wells has changed, while it simultaneously hasn't!  

 

One quick point ... Spanish Wells was not a Loyalist settlement and virtually all the old families actually descend from the original European Settlers, the Eleutheran Adventurers. Abaco is the home of most of the European Loyalists.  I am descended from both those communities.


Nyloc, in Spanish Wells

Edited by Nyloc
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On 6/13/2021 at 3:24 AM, ellbon said:

I am sure we can find a boat somewhere. All those islands are near each other,

I wonder if that will be possible. Another poster informed us that when you login to excursions there is a disclaimer that you must take a Crystal excursion only. I did see that next time I logged in.

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This is interesting, as I checked my PCPC a couple of days ago for our July 24 cruise, and Spanish Wells is still listed for the 28th.  Also had understood from the beginning that we could go ashore independently, has this changed?

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1 hour ago, ridolphi said:

This is interesting, as I checked my PCPC a couple of days ago for our July 24 cruise, and Spanish Wells is still listed for the 28th.  Also had understood from the beginning that we could go ashore independently, has this changed?

 

It is rather unfortunately that Crystal have not removed Spanish Wells as the Monday stop. It is creating further friction locally.  It will not happen per the Bahamas Minister of Tourism.

 

I wish I had news on what will take its place, but all that's out there is rumour and speculation.

 

Nyloc, in Spanish Wells

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5 minutes ago, Nyloc said:

 

It is rather unfortunately that Crystal have not removed Spanish Wells as the Monday stop. It is creating further friction locally.  It will not happen per the Bahamas Minister of Tourism.

 

I wish I had news on what will take its place, but all that's out there is rumour and speculation.

 

Nyloc, in Spanish Wells

 

I'm not sure the delay is all on Crystal -- they shouldn't update it until they have something to replace it, and even if it just becomes a sea day their "partnership" requires some level of participation or approval by the government.  Given their incentives, I can imagine the government is going to take a final pass at other options before they give in on a sea day, too.

 

Vince

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53 minutes ago, BWIVince said:

"I'm not sure the delay is all on Crystal"

 

I'm absolutely sure certain it's not all on Crystal.  But it would helpful if something was there indicating to passengers that a change is in the works.  

 

Right now nothing has gone out to passengers about the change, and folks who are no Cruise Critic denizens are, I feel certain, blithely continuing to book excursions that will not take place.

 

Nyloc, in Spanish Wells

 

 

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4 hours ago, ridolphi said:

This is interesting, as I checked my PCPC a couple of days ago for our July 24 cruise, and Spanish Wells is still listed for the 28th.  Also had understood from the beginning that we could go ashore independently, has this changed?

Somewhere I read we could go off on our own.it was on cruise critic.at the moment I booked beach time  etc knowing I can drop it for just walking around.

 

I personally was looking forward to  either HI or SW as I never seen them.

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For those wondering about going ashore independently, I suggest you look at the Crystal Clean page on Crystal’s website for the latest word on this subject. 

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2 hours ago, TER777 said:

For those wondering about going ashore independently, I suggest you look at the Crystal Clean page on Crystal’s website for the latest word on this subject. 

I can't find any changes to going ashore independently in the Bahamas and I have looked at the Crystal website three times.


Maybe I am missing the "boat" but  what are the changes because as best I know in the Bahamas you can go ashore on your own.

 

This is a Bahamas thread so that is what I am focusing on.

 

Keith

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