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Ken the cruiser

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About Ken the cruiser

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    Farming, bees and cruising
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Crystal and Princess
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Galapagos and Antarctica

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  1. We were on a Canary Island (10 day) and a 15 day TA b2b on the Eclipse in Oct 2017 and had 3 lectures every sea day. Then on the Reflection in Jan 2019 we were on a 10 day and 11 day b2b Caribbean cruise and had 2 lectures every sea day. We left HAL due to their continued decrease in entertainment options on sea days and have been more than happy with our move to X and Princess.
  2. We agree. We have moved on to Celebrity and Princess as both of these lines offer a much greater variety of fun things to do on sea days as well as every evening around the ship. We are, however, giving the Maasdam a try in a couple of months to check out their new In-depth EXC program. We’re hoping for the best as we do enjoy lectures and cruising to unique locations. From some of the reviews we’ve read, they seem to be doing a good job with it.
  3. Simply put, if you want to have a lot of fun with a variety of things to choose from on sea days, and access to quality internet service, then I would go with the new Enchanted Princess and continue to build those loyalty points. However, if you want a more relaxed atmosphere with great food and free specialty restaurants, then I would suggest trying an O cruise on one of their O class ships.
  4. From our past experience and that which had been explained to us is that HAL will only invite guest lecturers on “special” cruises which are 15 days or longer. For example we had guest lecturers on their Antarctica cruise in Jan 2018 and on the Panama Canal cruise Jan 2016. We also had lectures every sea day on our Hawaii cruise in Dec 2016. They of course also have plenty of lectures on their Maasdam in-depth EXC cruises. Never have done a TA, but I wouldn’t think it would be considered a “special” cruise. However, we have heard they usually have a Glacier Park NP ranger come onboard one of their 7 day Alaska cruises if that particular itinerary includes Glacier NP.
  5. Just a note to remember the Crown wasn’t supposed to go live yet with the MedallionNet until next cruise, so consider us in beta test mode.
  6. Just did a test where my DW was in our deck 9 cabin and I was in the deck 9 elevator area. The shipmate screen option said she was on deck 8 midship which was somewhat correct only the wrong floor. No mention of cabin number though.
  7. We like walking around their full promenade decks to burn off some of those extra calories.
  8. We’re on the Crown now and they have just implemented the Medallion program starting this leg. After reading this thread so far, here are a couple of observations. If the door is unlocked accidentally by one of our medallions (after it closes and subsequently relocks) as we are leaving, it will automatically relock within 5 seconds if we don’t touch the door handle. As far as information displayed to the public on screens around the ship via the medallion, the CD last night told us we can go to Customer Service and have any information we don’t want displayed by default, such as the cabin number, removed. However, I just used my medallion on one of the public screens and only saw my picture displayed along with my name and nothing else. So I’m not sure if it’s an issue anymore. We also tried unlocking the door from inside the cabin using our medallion, while the other one stood out in the hallway, and couldn’t do it. So from our point of view, it appears Princess is working hard to eliminate many of the issues encountered earlier on.
  9. I am so confused? So what you’re saying is pick just one cruise line, in your case O, that best fits your enjoyment requirements and then only book their itineraries? What happens if you cruise multiple times a year and that cruise line doesn’t have an itinerary you want to sail on in the time periods you have available, but some other quality lines do? Do you just not go until your chosen cruise line, in your case O, does offer the various itineraries you may want to go on?
  10. Hi Fredalyn, we really haven’t looked at small cruise lines that specifically target the UK market, but we just looked on the Princess site and they have 3 cruises in the summer of 2020 that stop at Lerwick Island. One leaves on July 23 that we’re on (Southampton to NYC). The second one leaves Aug 24 from Southampton to Southampton and the third one leaves Sep 7 from Southampton to Southampton. All are on the Island Princess that has about 2,000 passengers. But my guess is they only stop for one day there rather than multiple days like you’re talking about. But they might at least be worth looking at. From a google search we also noticed during July Viking (Sun, Star and Jupiter), HAL (Rotterdam and Zuiderdam), Oceania (Nautica), Silversea (Silver Spirit and Silver Wind) and Seabourn (Quest) go to Lerwick. Then in August Regent Seven Seas (Explorer and Navigator), Crystal (Symphony) and Azamara (Quest) go there and there are also ones in September. Hope this helps give you some alternatives that better fit your cruising schedule.
  11. We chose the Princess cruises over X because of specific itineraries. The food is fine in the Princess MDR, but granted their buffet is no Terrace Cafe. We’re going on the Crown around the British Isles on a family cruise and Princess had the better itinerary over X as well as a much better teen program for our granddaughter. We got a CC mini-suite for roughly $316 pp/day. Then in Jan 2020 we’re going on the Island Princess from FtL through the PC and onto Easter Island in a vista suite for roughly $335 pp/day. Then in July 2020 we’re going on the Island Princess again from the UK to Iceland and Greenland before winding up in NY in a mini-suite for roughly $278 pp/day. Finally we’re going on the Crown again in a mini-suite from the UK to the Med followed by a TA via the Iberian Coast back to FtL for roughly $183 pp/day. With regards to our X cruises, most of which are in sky suites except for Antarctica (aft-facing SV) on the Silhouette and Japan circumnavigation leg (midship C2) on the Millennium, they had the better itineraries over Princess with the average net pp/day sky suite rates running between $296 for the Apr 2020 b2b cruise and $259 for the TP leg of the Apr 2021 cruise. Don’t get me wrong we’ll cruise again on O if they offer a unique itinerary at a fair price, but they also have to improve their internet quality since giving every cabin an unlimited account back in May 2018 without upgrading the hardware on the ship. But we’re finding being in our mid 60s, we want to be wowed the entire cruise by things other than just food if we’re going to pay between $350-600+ pp/day for an Oceania A3 Cabin, which is pretty much what we’ve been paying over the past 2 years. O’s food is good, but not that good. For us X and Princess just offers a more high energy cruise with great shows with plenty of entertainment options, such as 2-3 lectures and 3-4 low stress trivia games on sea days, and an interactive game show practically every night. Now, we may not go to every one of them, but at least they offer a much larger variety than I does. BTW our 30 day SE Asia cruise this past spring in a B1 balcony on the Crystal Symphony worked out to be about $350 pp/day. Hopefully this answers your question.
  12. We have and are continually wowed with the high quality of food in the Luminae, the 3-4 trivias and 2-3 lectures on sea days, unlimited high quality internet for the both of us, and a very active assortment entertainment options has really pushed O down the list as reflected in our below booked future cruises. Crystal, as I mentioned earlier, is also another high quality all-inclusive option (except for excursions) to Oceania; although I do need to bring a dark jacket for formal nights.
  13. One question I may have missed the answer to in an earlier post. What happens to the FCD if you subsequently cancel the cruise? Does it go back onto your Princess account or do you just get the $100 x 2 back you paid for the FCD as a refund?
  14. IMHO if the bottom line cost is about the same between similar Crystal and Az itineraries, book the Crystal one. You will not regret it. Their food is great, their guest professional lecturers are top notch, they usually have a ton of things to do on sea days and their evening shows are well worth attending. Plus if you like walking around a full promenade deck, they have one of those too.
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