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  1. Just to add to the mix and confusion.... There is a tier of agents below the Connoisseur designation that are called "preferred." We have found that our agent is among this tier and she has provided either the same or better pricing as the Connoisseur agents we have contacted. She may not have quite the pull but we generally book knowing our wants and needs and she has never failed us. It can take forever to find a good fit. We've tried more than a few in the almost 40 years of cruise travel. I wish you luck in finding an agent who provides the best service.
  2. Welcome to Cruise Critic! I cannot speak to lengthy cruises. The longest we have done is 20 days. I could have stayed on forever but my DH was ready to jump ship in the middle of the Atlantic after 4 straight sea days and he's the kind who goes to the lectures but doesn't play games, cards or bingo. What I would like to comment on is St. Petersburg and Paris. I have spent extended time in both cities and a two night stop in St. Petersburg is not enough time to see what is probably on your short list. A one night stop on the coast of France to see Paris is also not much more than a dr
  3. Rollie, As a Celebrity cruiser you are probably familiar with Azamara. The R class ships are the sister ships to the 3 Azamara ships. The regular cabins are comfortably tight. The bathrooms are the biggest drawbacks because they are small but if you are itinerary driven then you make do on a comfortable ship with a good layout and the Oceania experience. With the new pricing structure on Celebrity Oceania is looking better and better.
  4. Our May 28th sailing from SFO to YVR also has a 90 day payment date. We're still up in the air and are awaiting notification from O because we don't think 7+ day cruises will sail by then. Our February '22 Sirena cruise has the 120 day payment date so far but we are hopeful that we can board the ship and hit the high seas. We need it!!!!!
  5. I noticed a few mentioned opera and ballet. Both, if available, and if you have the strength, are generally add ons and are easily arranged. Two days is a challenge but on your tour I'd imagine you will also do drive bys and at least see the Peter and Paul Fortress and the bridges and canals of the inner city. If you can get away to Peterhoff spend your time in the gardens. The palace is just another palace and not as beautiful as Catherine's Palace. The fountains are quite elaborate and fanciful. I hope you can cruise and enjoy every minute.
  6. Having spent ten days in St. Petersburg (and still have much to see) I totally understand wanting to pack everything possible into your brief visit. If you check out the Ports of Call boards for tour operator recommendations. TJ's and SPB are two of the top operators. If you google some of the tour operators you see here on Cruise Critic you will find itineraries that meet your criteria. You do want a small group tour. You will find skip the line options and even some offering pre-opening tours at sites like The Hermitage and Catherine's Palace. Just as a FYI, all of the sites you m
  7. I am fairly sure our May 28th cruise from San Francisco to Alaska disembarking in Vancouver on the Regatta will not happen. If July is the starting date then more than likely Oceania and Alaska will be a no go entirely. I do think that our February 22 cruise on Sirena will happen and it gives us something to look forward to. Right now the future is bleak for our cruising passion. Stay safe and if the majority of cruisers want to sail they will follow the health protocols and at the same time make life better for those around them. And yes it is the PVSA which, unfortunately, ma
  8. We got an e-mail from Celebrity either today or yesterday showing 2022-2023 cruises to Europe. Perhaps your TA has not updated their website over the holiday. There was a coming soon notice for the Caribbean and I think Asia but the rest of their destinations were listed.
  9. Jan, Your cruising friends wish only the best for your family. May 2021 indeed prove to b a healthier and better year. Thinking only good thoughts for your children................
  10. mchell810, In the past we, Delta regulars, have been able to pick our seats once we have the air through the cruise air program. We can also monitor for time and equipment changes which could affect our booking on Delta online or via the app. During normal times Delta adjusts schedules over the weekends so periodically I would check reservations on Sunday night or Monday. Once air travel expands more flights to more destinations will begin to show up but booking via Celebrity is a good option if you can find flights.
  11. There will be shuttle vans from the pier to the airport BUT in the past they stopped at a few central locations and not all terminals. A cab or Uber/Lyft is the most convenient transportation from door to door if you have luggage and don't want to cross the arrival traffic. Join the Roll Call for your cruise and you might just find others sailing on your journey at the same hotel who will arrange a shuttle that is more convenient.
  12. Hopefully by the time you two sail you can book independent tours. If so make sure you book Jameson or Guinness early. When you go to Trinity College to see The Book of Kells go upstairs to explore the library. Study geology before you step foot on Iceland. It's amazing and if you have a chance, and are interested, go to the power plant. It's a short drive from the center (port) of Reykjavik. Stay on deck unless you have an aft suite as you sail the fjords. I don't know how active the Seven Sisters will be in the middle of summer but my oh my what a sailing experience. Another great
  13. If you don't get a reservation at one of the specialty restaurants on the first evening you may want to check early with the MDR. Sometimes they have such a large crowd that they will try to find a table for you in one of the specialty restaurants. As for a return to what the X used to be we are also E+ but think Oceania is becoming a better fit. If you have sailed Azamara you will recognize your ship as a sister and a more than agreeable ambiance that you recall. Enjoy!
  14. Lonedaddy, Compare itineraries. We've sailed on Celebrity, Azamara, and Oceania amongst other lines. The Azamara fleet are sister ships to a number of Oceania ships so which ships are you specifically looking at? It's easier to compare cuisine, crew and ambiance if we can look at the ships in question.
  15. Welcome to Cruise Critic. The main focus should be itinerary. That being said if cuisine and ambiance are important then Celebrity will be a better fit for you and your daughter. As far as the land portion you will have long bus or train rides from Fairbanks to Denali to Anchorage no matter which cruise line. Please check out the Ports of Call/Destinations boards for all things Alaska. You can ask about the ground routes there. If you can swing an Aqua class cabin or a suite then the cuisine will be more enjoyable. Both classes have dedicated dining rooms and for me, provides a
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