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About CharleMarg

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Brisbane Australia
  • Interests
    Travel; fine dining; wine; beaches;
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  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
  1. OCS190810-10 (R/T Vancouver) will be Margaret's & my seventh Crystal cruise, and as I have done during our previous cruises, I will occasionally post commentary and observations about our experiences while on this cruise here on Cruise Critic. Margaret & I are very much looking forward to once again spending time on board Crystal Symphony (which will be our fifth cruise on this beautiful ship), as this cruise is a belated celebration of our 25th wedding anniversary (which was on March 19, but due to work commitments I was unable to take Margaret away then). Cruise details: https://www.crystalcruises.com/voyage/round-trip-vancouver-ocs190810-10# According to Google Home, Embarkation Day is only 97 days away...but who's counting?!!
  2. HI everyone, For any non-USA Passport holders cruising on Crystal Symphony out of Vancouver to Alaska this coming summer who require a Tourist Visa to enter Canada, you may obtain the Visa directly from the Canadian Government via this website: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/eta/apply-passport-information.html Cost is only CA$7 per application. iVisa.com charges US$14 (AU$20) per application, and VisaCentral charges AU$55 (US$39).
  3. My best mate's sister, her husband, and some friends were on the stricken Viking Sky. I received the following in an email from my friiend: "My sister said the cruise people have been excellent….arranged everything, provided money for essentials and gave them another cruise in the future…the chairman came and addressed them to apologise. Will be a great story for years…I’m sure I will get sick of hearing it Imaging what it helicopter ride like that would have cost to arrange in other circumstances" It's interesting to me how well Viking apparently handled the situation. But, Margaret & I won't be giving them a try, as we're truly "Crystalized".
  4. Hi Keith, Please delete January 13, 2020 OCS200113-19 San Diego to Guam - CharleMarg (Charles & Margaret); and then please add the following three cruises: August 10, 2019 OCS190810-10 ALASKAN GRANDEUR CharleMarg (Charles & Margaret) September 20, 2020 OCS200920-21 GREEK ISLES, TUSCAN SUN & SPANISH SHORES CharleMarg (Charles & Margaret) September 5, 2021 OCY210905-12 ACROSS THE ATLANTIC CharleMarg (Charles & Margaret) Thanks and regards, Charles
  5. I received the Alaska email from Crystal earlier this week also, and on Friday had our travel agent book Margaret & me on the ten day cruise from Vancouver departing on August 10. This will be to belatedly celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary (which was on March 19), but work commitments precluded me from taking Margaret away for our anniversary. Life works out the way it is meant to!!
  6. Hi Keith, Please add the following cruises for Margaret & me: January 13 (OCS200113-19) San Diego to Guam - CharleMarg (Charles & Margaret) September 20 (OCS200920-21) Athens to Barcelona - CharleMarg (Charles & Margaret) Thanks and regards, Charles
  7. After reading this article in USA Today about what some of the non-inclusive cruise lines charge for drinks packages, it made me realise even more so what GREAT value Crystal offers (not that I needed any convincing!). https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2018/10/18/cruise-ship-drink-beverage-packages-ultimate-guide/1650184002/ Related to this, on a recent flight on Qantas from Melbourne to Perth, they were serving Jacquart Champagne (Crystal's House Champagne the last time we cruised) in business class. Unfortunately, I was seated "down the back", so was unable to enjoy a glass.
  8. Please add the following: Sep 20 (OCS200920-21) Athens to Barcelona – CharleMarg (Charles& Margaret) Thanks and regards, Charles
  9. Our travel agent got everything sorted with Crystal: "The cancellation is one and the same of the administrative fee, howeverplease note that the $1,000.00 per person penalty is incorrect and is a glitchin Crystal’s system. The penalty should only reflect $200.00 per person non-refundable onceconfirmed, and we have had Crystal update this accordingly (please seeattached)." The good news: Margaret & I paid our deposit for this cruise on Thursday. The bad: We have to wait approximately one year, eleven months, and twenty days to board Crystal Symphony for the cruise.
  10. Keith, thanks for including the photo of the Vittoro Monument...it's my favourite monument of all the very many I have ever seen, anywhere in the world. However, when I said this to our niece's in-laws (Romans born and bred) when Margaret & I were guests at their apartment near The Vatican a few years ago, they let me know they hated it, and informed me most Romans feel the same way.
  11. Thank you very much for the explanation and clarification Keith, I appreciate you having taken the time to provide this to me. I hope you & Anne Marie enjoy your cruise on Crystal Serenity.
  12. Keith and Rhonda, Thank you for the information and clarification. Margaret & I spent seventeen nights on the Amalfi Coast (Sorrento, Capri, Positano, and Ravello) in late May/early June 2014), and were there again for a week in July 2017. We never tire of Italy (we've visited the country seven times since our first holiday there in 2007), so with four ports of call in Italy, and with six ports (Rhodes/Lindos; Valletta; Taormina; Corsica/Ajaccio; and Marseille) being new for us, this cruise has particular appeal to Margaret & me. Our travel agent is holding a booking for us until this coming Friday, but I've just noticed the invoice includes a $1,000 per person "Non-refundable Administrative Fee prior to Apr 23, 2020", and, there is a separate line item (above the Cancellation Policy section of the invoice): "Penalty if cancelled $1,000.00". Finally, full payment is required by December 25, 2019 to secure the Early Full Payment Savings discount. Maybe I've missed something (I only very rarely visit this message board when Margaret & I don't have a cruise booked), but this is the first time we have had to pay nine months in advance to secure this discount; on all our previous Crystal cruises, we only had to pay six months in advance. Given the time difference, I'll have to wait until Tuesday here in Australia to speak with our travel agent (who is on Eastern Daylight Savings time) on Monday, but if anyone can provide any clarification on the $1,000 Administrative Fee and the $1,000 cancellation penalty (are they separate, or "one and the same"?) I would appreciate it. Thanks and regards, Charles
  13. Hi everyone, Margaret & I are considering this cruise for September 2020, as the itinerary includes several places where we have visited previously (and would like to return), as well as six ports of call that would be new for us. One thing about the itinerary (which we have never seen on previous itineraries - and isn't a "show-stopper"): the cruise makes two separate stops in Ajaccio, France, on October 2, and again on October 6. (The cruise also visits Sorrento twice, but the first time is during the seven day cruise from Athens to Rome, and the second during the fourteen day cruise from Rome to Barcelona.) I'm curious as to why the same port would be on the same cruise itinerary twice?
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