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Old May 2nd, 2011, 11:52 AM
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Paul Motter Paul Motter is offline
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I know what you mean, Kuki. I was on a Crystal cruise where we had a disappointing shore excursion. But Crystal made up for it.

To be exact - it was in Costa Rica and I went to the Shorex desk a few days in advance and specifically asked "which tour will have the most wildlife? I was at this port before and we we saw capuchin monkeys, sloths, tree frogs, four-foot tall parrots and crocodiles." They made a "rainforest canopy tour" reservation.

The only wildlife we saw on that tour was ants - and crocodiles. I kid you not. So, I asked the tour guide about this and he said "you should have gone to the animal preserve to see those animals" - which I recognized. we passed it on our tour.

Now - to Crystal's credit - when I went back after the tour and explained my disappointment they fully refunded the cost of our tour. That is a very good thing. But the downside is this - how many times do you get to Costa Rica? To go all that way in hopes of seeing something I had promised my wife we would see, and to miss it is more than disappointing, its a major letdown.

This is a symptom of smaller capacity cruise lines that cover the world. They may have some spectacular shore excursions, but some of them can be duds solely because they only visit that port once every three years and they don't have the clout of a cruise line that goes there weekly.

My first tour referenced was on Princess, and they knew exactly where to take people in Costa Rica because they sailed the same itinerary weekly all year. We did the canopy and the animal preserve. The preserve was the highlight by far.

But as you said - the upside is that Crystal has the best onboard pros. I am sure you will have plenty more opportunities to discuss and work on golf game even on your days at sea.
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