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IT’S LIVE: RETURN TO CRUISING – JULY 3 - JULY 17 BAHAMA BACK-TO-BACK VOYAGES ON-BOARD CRYSTAL SERENITY


Keith1010
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Sorry Keith - I didn’t see your request to stop talking about COVID- it won’t happen again by me here.

 

Also, thanks for all of the food photos - I’m salivating and eagerly anticipating my first Cobb salad this Saturday!

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Keith has never made any request that we stop talking about COVID.  
 

I believe that he was referring to the fact that on June 21 the administrators of Cruise Critic published the following statement, in part—

 

“Effective immediately, COVID-related discussion should be limited to actual policy on board ships (and other forms of travel) and its practical application. Discussion should NOT veer into opinion or debate.”

 

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23 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

Excellent advice by njguy_south and also a nice summery with a lot of good information by Sthngary.

 

I am going to feedback to Crystal  what njguy_south said about signing up for the  shuttles.  Excellent information.

 

The cruise continues to be great other than the  Internet.    I know they are working on it.


If we could we would extend  but we have more plans.

 

I want to say  how many nice people I have met including many from here, the Crystal Society Face  Book board, so many nice first  time Crystal Cruisers  and those who  have sailed before.  People are truly  nice and for  those who thought it would beee a party  ship it is not at all.

 

We made the right decision to take these cruises  and trust me we were nervous whether or not we were doing right even a week before the cruise.

 

Oh a lot of Paddle Tennis today including playing with some members of CC, some friends, and people I know from past cruises and some I am meeting for the first time


Keith

 

 

Thank you again. Would you be kind to share if they offer services to press clothes for us that are not in suites . I am sure there will be a fee just curious if it is offered  

Thank you 

Justin 

 

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1 hour ago, Mrs. Claypool said:

Keith has never made any request that we stop talking about COVID.  
 

I believe that he was referring to the fact that on June 21 the administrators of Cruise Critic published the following statement, in part—

 

“Effective immediately, COVID-related discussion should be limited to actual policy on board ships (and other forms of travel) and its practical application. Discussion should NOT veer into opinion or debate.”

 

Thank you  so much.  You are right.  I'm happy to answer questions about the testing process on the ship or before one embarks but want to follow the CC rules on the other related items.

 

Thank you Mrs. Claypool.  Miss you both.

 

Keith

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25 minutes ago, Jdfireman said:

Thank you again. Would you be kind to share if they offer services to press clothes for us that are not in suites . I am sure there will be a fee just curious if it is offered  

Thank you 

Justin 

 

Justin, if you are not in a suite you can have pressing but there is a charge.  They do an excellent job as they do with dry cleaning.  Prices are very reasonable and unlike land you do not have to  drive to and from the dry cleaning store.

 

Keith

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27 minutes ago, Jdfireman said:

Thank you again. Would you be kind to share if they offer services to press clothes for us that are not in suites . I am sure there will be a fee just curious if it is offered  

Thank you 

Justin 

 

This is from 2018 but has likely not changed much.

 

https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/laundryprice.pdf

 

Roy

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48 minutes ago, krb1000 said:

Just to piggyback on Keith’s reply to Justin…there are irons and ironing boards available in the laundry rooms. 

Thank you very much thank you again are they located on every deck

I'm a male that wears a uniform everyday so my pressing skills are not that great. Luckily my dry cleaner is on the corner so I can walk up and down

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33 minutes ago, Jdfireman said:

Thank you very much thank you again are they located on every deck

I'm a male that wears a uniform everyday so my pressing skills are not that great. Luckily my dry cleaner is on the corner so I can walk up and down

 

Serenity is easy because they're (somewhere) on every deck with passenger cabins.  Symphony, not so much.

 

Vince

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I wanted to chime in here and address a couple of the issues I've been reading through on this thread. We are on this second voyage which is our first Crystal Cruise and having a fabulous time!  We continue to be impressed with the quality and choices in the various dining rooms as well as the warm and attentive staff.  We were even lucky enough to play a little paddle tennis with Keith, ;-)!

 

I did want to say that I thought the embarkation procedure at the convention center went very smoothly. As for our day, there was no specific line to sign up for the shuttles to transport you to the ship. They simply gave you a group Boarding number, and then announced it over a microphone. There were 26 boarding groups, I believe, and they started the boarding procedure  at 1:00 PM. It went far faster than they anticipated, so I would not wander off too far if you are in one of the later groups.  
 

Today we went on a snorkeling excursion, which actually turned out to be several stops on the local Exuma islands to see various sites and an opportunity to swim with some green turtles! The tour lasted much longer than advertised, and although it was a little long with the 30 minute drive to the boat dock and the bumpy tender, it was well worth it. 

 

I have attended several of the speaker series, and especially loved listening to Dr. Hoffman's lectures on space… What a treat! The speakers seem very accessible and enthusiastic.

 

We have met some really wonderful people, and the general attitude is one of gratitude to be back on the seas. There are definitely a lot of first timer Crystal people, myself included, and they have quite an opportunity here to seize business from other lines.

 

 I am so excited for all of you yet to experience the Bahamas! As a native Floridian, I think the weather has been fantastic and even slightly cooler than in Florida right now given the island trade winds.  I am definitely thinking about where else I can go either on Serenity or Symphony and would like to try a 20-30 day voyage.   I would love to hear any suggestions!

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 Have not seen you VeroKaren but i will keep a look out for you.  Staying onboard when everyone else is off has been great.  Nice and quiet.

 

I would look at a South Pacific itinerary in the winter for 20-30 days though the big ? will be if NZ opens up.

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18 minutes ago, Verokaren said:

I wanted to chime in here and address a couple of the issues I've been reading through on this thread. We are on this second voyage which is our first Crystal Cruise and having a fabulous time!  We continue to be impressed with the quality and choices in the various dining rooms as well as the warm and attentive staff.  We were even lucky enough to play a little paddle tennis with Keith, ;-)!

 

I did want to say that I thought the embarkation procedure at the convention center went very smoothly. As for our day, there was no specific line to sign up for the shuttles to transport you to the ship. They simply gave you a group Boarding number, and then announced it over a microphone. There were 26 boarding groups, I believe, and they started the boarding procedure  at 1:00 PM. It went far faster than they anticipated, so I would not wander off too far if you are in one of the later groups.  
 

Today we went on a snorkeling excursion, which actually turned out to be several stops on the local Exuma islands to see various sites and an opportunity to swim with some green turtles! The tour lasted much longer than advertised, and although it was a little long with the 30 minute drive to the boat dock and the bumpy tender, it was well worth it. 

 

I have attended several of the speaker series, and especially loved listening to Dr. Hoffman's lectures on space… What a treat! The speakers seem very accessible and enthusiastic.

 

We have met some really wonderful people, and the general attitude is one of gratitude to be back on the seas. There are definitely a lot of first timer Crystal people, myself included, and they have quite an opportunity here to seize business from other lines.

 

 I am so excited for all of you yet to experience the Bahamas! As a native Floridian, I think the weather has been fantastic and even slightly cooler than in Florida right now given the island trade winds.  I am definitely thinking about where else I can go either on Serenity or Symphony and would like to try a 20-30 day voyage.   I would love to hear any suggestions!

Hi.

I'm VERY interested to hear about any snorkeling done anywhere on the cruise, whether from the beach or a trip. We are still trying to decide the best stop for snorkeling. How was it compared to other places in the Caribbean. We have snorkeled in St.Thomas,  St.John, Turks and Caicos, Grand Cayman. was hoping for some great snorkeling on this trip! Thanks

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On 7/12/2021 at 11:51 AM, Jdfireman said:

Thank you..  This is the biggest fear with the tests 

Indeed. It remains to be seen what will happen insurance-wise if a pax tests positive for Covid before boarding, and is denied boarding,  but then it is proven to be a false positive. If the test used is overly sensitive and not specific, or there are administrative mistakes, this is going to happen, though hopefully very rarely, odds are.

At a minimum, because pax already "enjoyed" their flight ( say a $7500 business class flight RT west coast to Iceland through Crystal), my guess is insurance would then deny reimbursement of the flight money even if pax could not enjoy the cruise, ( regardless of whether or not it is the only reason they did the flight in the first place).

 

There will likely be new frontiers of insurance law disputes, rigged against the pax who do not have tens  of thousands for lawyers to engage.

 

I'm not a gambler fond of Vegas ( the math makes no sense to me, as someone from a heavily rational and scientific background ) but fundamentally all of us  neo-cruisers are gamblers, (despite being vaccinated) , that we will win the hand or the spin and not be denied boarding due to what is later proven to be a false positive.  I stand sadly ready to lose tens of thousands of dollars on our upcoming Endeavor booking if we are mistakenly denied boarding and then insurance won't pay -- this is the nature of cruise addiction, we are taking risks (though very, very small, ans  they are not controllable by us) early in the restart of cruising. 

I am still waiting to hear of a documented case of a fully vaxed person anywhere transmitting confirmed Covid to anyone, but it is just a matter of time.   I have five ( or six, depending on how you count) risk factors for not doing well if I get Covid, statistically, but also statistically, less than .00037 overall  risk of getting disease in the first place with the current low Covid prevalence, vaxed, and way less than that of having symptoms, much leas getting hospitalized ( e.g., in May, CDC reported 3800 of 77,000,000 people who were fully vaxed by then had gotten Covid, if you believe the data).

 

I cannot control the caprices of false positives, and the risks of unknown risks, or risk of changes in risks ( e.g., with variants) but to me it is still hands down worth the risk I understand so far to cruise, after 16 months not on a ship ( and I am one who spends over two hours a day reading various scientific articles about Covid due to vested interest) .  🙂

I am more worries about slippin and falling and breaking a hip on a cruise, than of Covid.


Cruise lines are thankfully behaving with an abundance, (overabundance?) of caution in their safety behaviors.  I was happy to read that at least on Serenity, ( perhaps also on Endeavor where I will be), Crystal has arranged that crew are also finally vaxed courtesy Crystal. So, despite the testing inconvenience, and wearing a bracelet mandates, I cannot wait to test negative pre-boarding, board, and enjoy.

 

 

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47 minutes ago, KarimaJ said:

Hi.

I'm VERY interested to hear about any snorkeling done anywhere on the cruise, whether from the beach or a trip. We are still trying to decide the best stop for snorkeling. How was it compared to other places in the Caribbean. We have snorkeled in St.Thomas,  St.John, Turks and Caicos, Grand Cayman. was hoping for some great snorkeling on this trip! Thanks

Well, I have snorkeled my entire life, and the best snorkeling I have ever experienced was in the South Pacific, specifically Moorea. Today on Exuma islands, The water was very clear and the snorkeling was pretty good, although not lush with fish and coral. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give it a six. Frankly, given the die off of the great coral reef system in the Atlantic ocean, I was pleasantly surprised.  Bear  in mind that we only had about 45 minutes to an hour at this particular location, and then we moved on to other sites. The turtle interaction was fantastic and fun.

 

We are going out again tomorrow on the San Salvador island, so I will keep you posted!

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26 minutes ago, Catlover54 said:

Indeed. It remains to be seen what will happen insurance-wise if a pax tests positive for Covid before boarding, and is denied boarding,  but then it is proven to be a false positive. If the test used is overly sensitive and not specific, or there are administrative mistakes, this is going to happen, though hopefully very rarely, odds are.

At a minimum, because pax already "enjoyed" their flight ( say a $7500 business class flight RT west coast to Iceland through Crystal), my guess is insurance would then deny reimbursement of the flight money even if pax could not enjoy the cruise, ( regardless of whether or not it is the only reason they did the flight in the first place).

 

There will likely be new frontiers of insurance law disputes, rigged against the pax who do not have tens  of thousands for lawyers to engage.

 

I'm not a gambler fond of Vegas ( the math makes no sense to me, as someone from a heavily rational and scientific background ) but fundamentally all of us  neo-cruisers are gamblers, (despite being vaccinated) , that we will win the hand or the spin and not be denied boarding due to what is later proven to be a false positive.  I stand sadly ready to lose tens of thousands of dollars on our upcoming Endeavor booking if we are mistakenly denied boarding and then insurance won't pay -- this is the nature of cruise addiction, we are taking risks (though very, very small, ans  they are not controllable by us) early in the restart of cruising. 

I am still waiting to hear of a documented case of a fully vaxed person anywhere transmitting confirmed Covid to anyone, but it is just a matter of time.   I have five ( or six, depending on how you count) risk factors for not doing well if I get Covid, statistically, but also statistically, less than .00037 overall  risk of getting disease in the first place with the current low Covid prevalence, vaxed, and way less than that of having symptoms, much leas getting hospitalized ( e.g., in May, CDC reported 3800 of 77,000,000 people who were fully vaxed by then had gotten Covid, if you believe the data).

 

I cannot control the caprices of false positives, and the risks of unknown risks, or risk of changes in risks ( e.g., with variants) but to me it is still hands down worth the risk I understand so far to cruise, after 16 months not on a ship ( and I am one who spends over two hours a day reading various scientific articles about Covid due to vested interest) .  🙂

I am more worries about slippin and falling and breaking a hip on a cruise, than of Covid.


Cruise lines are thankfully behaving with an abundance, (overabundance?) of caution in their safety behaviors.  I was happy to read that at least on Serenity, ( perhaps also on Endeavor where I will be), Crystal has arranged that crew are also finally vaxed courtesy Crystal. So, despite the testing inconvenience, and wearing a bracelet mandates, I cannot wait to test negative pre-boarding, board, and enjoy.

 

 

 

YMMV, but my insurance covers denied boarding for fitness (including Covid), so it doesn't matter if the test is a false positive or not.  

 

You do need to understand your policy in terms of trip interruption coverage through -- to your point.  Being sent home or put into quarantine in the middle of your trip doesn't mean you get all of your money back by default the same way as having to cancel for a covered reason before the trip.

 

Vince

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1 hour ago, Verokaren said:

  I would love to hear any suggestions!

 

So happy to hear the cruise is going well for you! We have sailed with Dr.Hoffman and would suggest you try to meet up with him and have a one on one chat, he is charming and fascinating and will have you in line to buy a ticket to space!

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Keith, 

Re the guest with a medical emergency, so sorry to hear this and hope all will end well.

We were on board last year when we left LA and had to take someone to safety. You and Anne Marie may have disembarked by the time we got to Cairns - we were headed to Cooktown and couldn't get into port due to the wind 😰. We had another medical emergency and had to turn around and head back to Cairns but we were also lucky to have a helicopter heading our way. We did in fact meet up with the helicopter which evacuated the guest and spouse (and luggage) and the next day we learned all was well. What a sight though to watch the helicopter evac over the open sea!

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2 hours ago, BWIVince said:

 

Serenity is easy because they're (somewhere) on every deck with passenger cabins.  Symphony, not so much.

 

Vince

Thank you Vince do they also have paid laundry service in case we get  off track

 

Thank you

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1 minute ago, Jdfireman said:

Thank you Vince do they also have paid laundry service in case we get  off track

 

Thank you

 

That's been my biggest indulgence in recent years.  I don't think I set foot in the laundry room even for pressing on the last cruise.  Full service laundry, dry cleaning and pressing are all available for a fee if you wish to just let someone else mess with it.  

 

I spend so much time doing laundry in my every day life that being on vacation means getting a break from that as much if not more than anything.

 

Vince

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28 minutes ago, suzeluvscruz said:

Yes - pressing, dry cleaning and laundry for a charge. They do a good job.

 

Such a good job that for my BTO attire (and other dry-cleaned items such as blazers), I don't get them cleaned before sailing, but have them done as soon as I board the ship.  Prices are in line with my home cleaners, and I get a suit without a wrinkle - which I wouldn't be able to say if it was cleaned before putting into my suitcase.  No matter how carefully it is wrapped and packed.

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48 minutes ago, FlyerTalker said:

 

Such a good job that for my BTO attire (and other dry-cleaned items such as blazers), I don't get them cleaned before sailing, but have them done as soon as I board the ship.  Prices are in line with my home cleaners, and I get a suit without a wrinkle - which I wouldn't be able to say if it was cleaned before putting into my suitcase.  No matter how carefully it is wrapped and packed.

Interesting approach--I like it. What is the turn around once boarded? Can you hand off to butler or steward on embarkation day and get returned to you next day

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1 hour ago, suzeluvscruz said:

Yes - pressing, dry cleaning and laundry for a charge. They do a good job.

 

How do they do on things like silk blouses? I found Viking dry cleaning was a little harsh and sort of faded some of my silks.

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23 minutes ago, broker1217 said:

How do they do on things like silk blouses? I found Viking dry cleaning was a little harsh and sort of faded some of my silks.

Perfect. The irons in the laundries sometimes "spit" and that ruins the finish and I send them out and they come back like new! The trick in the laundry rooms is the irons "spit" if they aren't hot enough to start with but then silk likes it a little cooler. Take a linen napkin from your room and use that as a cloth so the spitting doesn't cause a problem or just send out. The laundry and dry cleaning is superb on both ships.

 

We usually unpack and immediately send out a ton of pressing and it is back the next day before dinner. Better than I do myself and way less effort. And I am an excellent ironer! 😎

 

Edited by suzeluvscruz
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