Friday, June 30, 2006

Quick Update

It's been a little quiet up here for the last few days, so I just wanted to make a quick post to let you all know that things are progressing behind the scenes...

Patricia may be out of town right now, but that doesn't mean she isn't working! She spent Wednesday scouting out Victoria BC and talking with some folks up there about some special activities for you. The discussions have been promising and as soon as the details are worked out we'll get them posted here... Let me just say that she's very excited about what is being worked on for Victoria....

Unfortunately with her side trip to Canada she was out of touch for about 24 hours... If you tried calling or e-mailing on either Wednesday or Thursday she did get your message and is working her way through them. You should get a phone call or e-mail response by this evening... If by this evening nobody's gotten back to you, send me an e-mail at michael@REMOVETHISmycruiseplanner.info and I'll help you out...

Monday, June 26, 2006

More News...

Do you know how many times a day I've been saying, I can't wait until April. While I only have a few thousand things to do between now and then, I want a time machine to get it here faster!!

So, I have a few small bits of news:
Cabins: inventory has been updated on the registration site. Sorry it was flaky this weekend, but it is back. Thank you for understanding.

Documentation: In case you were wondering, this cruise does go into Canada and you will be expected to hold a Passport before boarding the ship. This is a new rule from the State Department that goes into effect on 12/31/2006. Also, when double checking that your passport is still valid, make sure that in April you will have at least 6 months before it expires. You will be denied boarding without proper documentation, so please go on and start the process to get a passport.

Confirmations on your cabins: If you have not gotten a confirmation from me and you believe that you registered online, though e-mail and or in the mail, please e-mail me at seasocks@REMOVETHISgmail.com to make sure. With the site issues this weekend, I am highly concerned. This will be a personal e-mail with an attachment of a confirmation. I don't want anything to fall through the technology cracks.

Finally, I am going on a bit of a scouting trip for the rest of this week for our cruise. I will have access to e-mail and will be checking in a lot. Please don't hesitate to e-mail me if you need anything. I just wanted to let you know that I'm not going to be right by the phone, but leave me a message or an e-mail and I'll get back to you quickly.

Hi all

I'm Beth, Teresa's best friend, or one of 'em. Can't wait to meet everyone!

Beth

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Introductions...

Hi,
I'm Teresa from Texas, better known as "Luv2Ndl". One of my best friends, Beth and I will be going on the cruise. Neither of us have been on a cruise, so this should be lots of fun and we will also be doing what we like to do most...knit. Now Beth is a sock goddess and is truly obsessed with it. Me on the other hand, my obsession is lace knitting and I'm currently working on an Orenburg Lace stole. I do knit socks occassionally and I really love hand dyed fibers of all kinds.

Looking forward to the cruise and making lots of new friends...

Happy Knitting!
Teresa

Friday, June 23, 2006

Cabin Updates...

Good Evening all.
This cruise is getting more popular by the day. I have spoken to Royal Caribbean and they just doubled our original cabin allotment. However, timing being what it was, I could not get the inventory into the online system this evening. So, if you are looking for an inside cabin, e-mail me at seasocks@REMOVETHISgmail.com.
There is ONE Category I - Outside cabin left as of this writing. There are category G's for the outside coming available.

Please understand that we are pushing through our held inventory faster than Royal Caribbean or I expected, so we are getting more cabins every single day. If you want something specific, please let me know and I will handle it for you.

This is outstanding news and makes this cruise more and more exciting. Truly, I can't wait to know with each and every one of you.

Port Information

Hello Everybody!

I just wanted to provide you with some additional information about the embarkation and disembarkation port to assist you with your travel planning.

The ship will be departing from The Port of Los Angeles - San Pedro, which is approximately 25 miles from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Royal Caribbean estimates it to be about a 1 hour transit time from LAX to the port. LAX is served by most major domestic and itnernational airlines.

Currently the cruise line only offers transfers to the port from LAX.

There are two other alternate airports to consider as well.

Long Beach Airport (LGB) is aproximately 15 miles away from the port,
currenlty only JetBlue, Alaska Airlines, AmericaWest/USAir, and Delta offer service to LGB. Royal Caribbean does not offer transfers from LGB!

Bob Hope Airport also known as the Burbank Pasadena Airport (BUR) is approximately 40 miles away from the pier. Currently Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, America West, Delta, JetBlue, SouthWest, and United offer service to BUR. As with LGB, Royal Caribbean does not offer transfers from BUR!

No matter which airport you choose to fly into, we recommend that you arrive in LA the day before departure if at all possible. This allows you to unwind and relax a little before you get on to the ship. It also gives you a nice cushion should you encounter flight delays enroute, and should the airline misplace your bag in transit, arriving the day before gives your bag plenty of time to catch up to you prior to embarkation.

If you can't arrive the day before embarkation we recommend you schedule your arrival in LA as early as possible but no later than 12 noon for LAX or LGB arrivals, and 10 AM for arrivals into BUR. We do not recommend flying into Ontario, Orange County or any other airport in the greater Los Angeles area unless you can arrive the day before embarkation and are willing to arrainge your own transfers to the port.

As of this moment, if you choose to fly into either Long Beach (LGB) or Bob Hope (BUR) you would be responsible for finding your own way to the pier... However, if there at at least 15 people considering flying in to either of these two airports and they coordinate their schedules with each other and us, we will arrange a transfer for you. Just as if you were purchasing the bus transfer from LAX to the port, there would still be an added charge.

By rail, The Port of Los Angeles - San Pedro has Amtrak California Bus service from the San Pedro Thruway Bus Stop at the Catalina Terminal located at Berth 95. There is a free shuttle bus from World Cruise Center. This station is unstaffed and there is no ticket, baggage or package express services. This bus service can be used to connect with nationwide Amtrak service at the Los Angeles Union Station.

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is the only option for flights out of Vancouver. YVR is served by most major US domestic and international airlines, however no US low cost airline (JetBlue, Southwest, AirTran etc...) offer service from YVR.

Bus transfers are available from the cruise line to Vancouver International, and Royal Caribbean also offers their Onboard Check-In and Luggage Valet service. The service which will run $10 to $20 per passenger will allow you to check in for your flight and check your bags for your flight... before you disembark the ship! This means you won't have to haul your luggage from the ship to the airport and then have to wait at the airport to check in... All of this will be handled for you by the cruise line. That means that you'll disembark with your carry-on luggage, head to the airport and go directly to security. You don't even have to go directly to the airport, instead you spend a few hours shopping in the city before you go to the airport.

In order to allow for enough time for the ship to clear immigration and customs and for you to make it to the airport, we recommend that you schedule your departure from Vancouver no earlier than 12 noon.

By rail... Amtrak offers service from the Pacific Central Station in Vancouver. From there you can take Amtrak's Cascades down to Seattle WA or Portland OR where you can connect to Amtrak's services to the rest of the United States. While this trip is incredibly scenic and a fantastic way to end your cruise, transfers are not available from the cruise line to Pacific Central station.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

AHEM: I have an announcement

I would have loved to have said, you see it here first, but as is her right, Miss Amie broke the new on her very own blog. You see we now have yet another fabulous person announcing their joining our little cruise. But Amie isn't just any fabulous knitter, oh, no. Amie is THE designer behind the sock patterns that will be in your goody bags with YARN!!! I happen to have it on VERY good authority that there isn't just one pattern for Mama E's delicious yarn either --- BONUS patterns, I tell you the goodness doesn't end.
Also, Amie is kind enough to teach a few of the workshops too. I have to say, I'm beyond thrilled to have the woman behind 2000 socks in 2006 (which I believe she already met her goal) on board. But you know what makes her a little bit MORE special. Yup, you saw it on her blog too didn't you --- a TICKER!! Counting down the days til the cruise. I best get packing. Teehee. Actually I think I'm going to make a goal for myself to wear socks I knit between now and the cruise ---- so if you see me with one sock or mis-matched socks, you'll know why!
Thanks Amie -- I can't wait to learn!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Want to Save a few Pennies??

I just wanted to give everyone a heads up, as of the writting of this post, there are exactly 6 oceanview cabins left at the current price of $550. I want you to be aware that once these 6 are gone, the price will probably go up by about $50 per person. So, if you wanted to go, I'd suggest that booking now will save you some money over waiting.
Keep in mind the deposit per cabin is only $200. You don't have to pay anything else until February 1st!!!

Monday, June 19, 2006

FAQ - Read THIS Post!!!

I've already had a few questions and I thought we needed a FAQ. I am going to put this post's link on the side bar shortly, so we can add to it as needed. This far, though I have answers to the various questions:


  1. Will you find me a roommate?
    1. Yes and No. Yes, I will be thrilled to maintain a list of folks seeking roommates with a few of the basics (gender and age range -- no exact ages, promise, and cabin preference). However, I'd prefer that you e-mail or reach out to these people and see who might work the best for you. If you want a room to yourself, that is possible and there is a single supplement for it -- but there will be a roommate list to work through. If you need any special help with this, please call or e-mail me.
  2. Should I bring the family?
    1. Oh yes, if you wish. I should tell you that as of this writing Mama E is bringing hers. If you need a triple or quad cabin (or even require two cabins that a join), please call me for pricing. These type of cabins go the quickest, so it is important to talk to me now so I can hold you the right space. There is a DISCOUNT for the 3rd and 4th people in a cabin; just in case you want to.
  3. What about airfare? Do I have to do that on my own?
    1. No. If you call me 888-286-9827 or e-mail me where you are flying in from I will help you out. First, we will check with the cruise line. Often they have bought bulk air and will offer a great deal (this is of particular note with the start in LA end in Vancouver thing) including getting you from airport to pier. Then I will help you check the major airlines to see what is the best price. Then it is your choice. However, I do strongly suggest that you get the optional transfers from the airport to piers, so that you won't have to do all of that on your own.
  4. I love Vancouver and want to stay some extra days, how?
    1. Call me. I will help you. If we do air through the cruise lines, I can delay your flight out and book your hotel. If you want to use the Amtrak train to go from Vancouver to Seattle or Portland, I will help you with that too. You let me know what you want and I'll help. :)
  5. Is there a limit to how many can join us?
    1. No, there really isn't a limit; but there are limited cabins available by price -- so to get the best price, book early. It is only $200 to hold your cabin and that is refundable. However, if you wait, the price may go up or there may not be cabins available in what you would prefer. Let me repeat, there is plenty of space on the ship, but if you want the best price per cabin and get the best choice in cabin types, booking earlier is better than waiting.
  6. What documents will I need to go on this trip?
    1. Assuming you are a US citizen, you will need a passport. As of 12/31/2006, the State Department is requiring US citizens to carry passports for travel between Canada, the Caribbean, and Mexico. You can get more information on what you need and how to get a passport here. Also, I'd like to suggest that you apply early as I think there might be a bit of a rush at the end of the year. If you are not a US citizen, then you will have to know the rules that apply to you.


Please ask more questions!!!

We're Going on a Sea Sock Cruise

Hello and Welcome to the first sock knitting cruise. This spring we are going up the West Coast from LA to Vancouver onboard Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas.

We are thrilled to have as a yarn guru Mama E of C*EYE*BER Fibers. Let me tell you, this woman is amazing! In addition to making, what I keep calling "edible yarns" (so yummy looking I want to eat them); she is an accomplished knitter, spinner, and wife and mother. I sort of have a little crush on her, which is a good thing, because I think she likes me too. :)

What I'm trying to do with this blog is really about four fold, so feel free to jump in and help out.
  1. I want a place where we can make announcements and keep the information flowing. There are so many of you who are coming that I want to make sure that everyone has great information.
  2. I want to put a human face and voice to this event. This is not a corporate powerhouse here. We are professional folks, but we are knitters (sock knitters even) and have the knitter's best interest at heart.
  3. I want to have YOU the people joining Mama E and me on this cruise to join us, ask questions, post your excitement.
  4. I want to hear from you what you are looking for out of this cruise. I want to try to meet as many needs as humanly possible and I know everyone will have an outstanding time. However, this is YOUR cruise and I want you to help us make it the best afloat.
Finally, if you want to post here, just shoot me an e-mail here. If you want to register for the cruise, please go to this site and sign up.