January 31, 2011

 Hi Shipmates and First Mates,


 We wanted to let you know how our plans for the next A.J. Reunion are coming along.

 In 2010, Aurelia and I, on purpose, went on four cruises; one each on Carnival, Celebrity, Princess, and Holland America.  After having enjoyed all four cruises, we have chosen Princess Cruise Lines as the “winner” for our Andrew Jackson Reunion Cruise.  Princess Cruises is the cruise line that we felt the grand majority of you would be most pleased and comfortable with. Carnival normally offered the best prices, but the clientele left very much to be desired.  The other three cruise lines were slightly more in cost, but offered so much more in atmosphere and comfort.

 We originally had planned on a reunion date of October or November 2011.  We have changed the date to 22Jan2012.  The reasons are that the Caribbean had many hurricanes and tropical storms in 2010, and many ports had to be skipped due to rough seas.  In addition, January is one of the coldest months of the year in the U.S., and you probably would rather get away to the sunny Caribbean in January than in October.  Cruise fares are reasonably priced in January, the holidays are behind us, it is before the cruise lines up their rates for spring break, and most of our kids are usually back in school.

 We have decided to again use Vacations To Go as our travel agency for this cruise.  They worked with us on our previous reunion cruise, and we were very happy with their fares and professionalism.  We prefer that everyone use this particular travel agency.  There are many reasons for this, but particularly because it enables us to make the arrangements for dinner seating, special private events as well as group functions and meetings.

 We have chosen the Ruby Princess, the newest ship of the Princess Line, and a truly gorgeous ship she is!!  From the Captain on down, the crew treated us better than we have ever experienced before on the 24 cruises we have taken together.

 The Itinerary for the Ruby Princess is:

                                   Port                       Arrive             Depart

2012  Sun  Jan 22  Fort Lauderdale                                     5:00 P.M.

          Mon Jan 23 Princess Cays, Bahamas   9:00 A.M.       4:00 P.M.

          Tue  Jan 24   At Sea

          Wed Jan 25  St. Martin                        10:00 A.M.     6:00 P.M.

          Thur Jan 26  St. Thomas, USVI           7:00 A.M.       4:00 P.M.

           Fri   Jan 27  Gra.Turk,Turks & Caicos 1:00 P.M.      7:00 P.M.

          Sat.  Jan 28  At Sea

          Sun  Jan 29  Fort Lauderdale               7:00 A.M.

 We love the interior of the ship which is beautifully designed in an Italian Modern décor.  We will be requesting early dining, and would like to have all of us dine at the same time.  There are, of course, other options for dining other than the main dining rooms.  Many details like this will become available as we near sail away.

 For costs, as of this writing, Inside Cabins begin at $649 per person, Ocean view from $799 Per Person, Balcony from 1,099 per person, and Suites from 1299 per person.  There are better rates for past guests, and may be lower rates for citizens of certain states. 

 There is right now, an early booking bonus of a free On-Board Credit of $50.00 per cabin on select categories, AND MILITARY personnel qualify for an additional onboard credit of $100.00 per cabin on select categories  Onboard credit means that your onboard cruise account will be credited a certain amount when you embark the ship.  Aurelia likes to think that it’s free $$$ to shop with, while I like to consider it a few extra rum and cokes during happy hour!  When you book, be sure to ask for these credits.

 Aurelia and I will be arriving in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, Jan. 21, and spending the night at a hotel near the port.  We strongly advise anyone coming from an area that could be affected by snow and ice, to arrive in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, Jan 21. Like we did on our previous cruise reunion, it will be great to meet up early and enjoy an evening out and celebrate with a precruise dinner!

 We are here to answer any and all of your questions. I’m sure you all have questions about the ship and ports. Please call us and we’ll talk!

 Telephone # is 941-493-7488 and email address is patiopapa37@yahoo.com

 We would love to have a great turn-out for this reunion.  None of us is getting any younger, and we are losing more crewmates every year. 

Our agent is: 

Eulina Manuel
Travel Counselor
Vacations To Go
US and Canada: 800-338-4962 ext. 7662

Hours: Mon-Fri: 7am-3pm (CST)

 On the internet, please visit www.vacationstogo.com   for much more information.

For example, you can read all about the Ruby Princess by clicking at the top of the home page on Cruise Ships and Ratings, then scroll down to Princess, and click on Ruby Princess.  This takes you to a page with all kinds of data on the Ruby!  Also, you can look at their information about Princess Military Discounts, etc.  This is an excellent website, and has a very useful database of cruises.

 Please call us before you book your cruise so that we can keep track of all attendees, and can maintain an accurate set of details with Eulina and Princess.

 Our best regards,

Doc and Aurelia