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Kate-AHF

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About Kate-AHF

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    Virginia

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  1. Of COURSE it's a first world problem. The entire cruise ship industry is built on first world privilege and wealth. Doesn't matter whether you are sailing on Regent or Carnival. It means that you are not living in poverty in a Rio favela or Bombay slum. You say you are always embarrassed to make this patently obvious statement. So why visit a cruise board to shame someone? Does it somehow make you feel better? I just don't get why anyone would come on here to suck the joy out of some else's travel planning.
  2. We were on Marina for a month Dec 2019, and found dining room service improved, and wine steward service much improved over the previous year's sailing on Marina. No deterioration in service/product noted here.
  3. But that's not privilege, that's just people. I know (and I'm sure you do too) people from all walks of life, and all income brackets, self-made and inherited, that you describe. And I've met one or more people like that on every cruise I've ever been on. Every vacation I've ever been on. Every business trip.... you get the idea.
  4. I had an interesting conversation with the owner of the Venice hotel I was staying at in 2019. We discussed daytrippers vs. cruise pax. It was his strongly held opinion that cruise ships should continue to use Venice as a turnaround port because, as he said "cruise ship passengers spend a lot of money in Venice, daytrippers just leave trash and make us miserable". It was hard to argue the point with him, as we were spending four nights at his hotel prior to a cruise.
  5. I've not sailed on Regent yet. I have on Oceania. I really don't view the structure of Oceania as a Class Structure, but far more of an "A la carte" structure. The cruise line adds perks as you go up in price to add value. This is standard operating procedure with mass market lines. You can hardly compare the ability to have a hot breakfast in your room, and possible access to some tiny lounge that serves only some of the same stuff anyone can get at Barristas or the Horizon lounge as a class system. It's a revenue grab, not class - otherwise Oceania will never fill their Concierge class stateroom, that are structurally identical to the standard verandah. Now, if you want to argue that the NCL Haven concept smacks of a class system like Cunard, I'll happily agree with that premise. I'm perfectly happy to sail on Regent or Oceania, I'm primarily itinerary-driven. (okay, cabin category does factor in - we don't like regular verandahs on O, but we like a regular verandahs on Silversea or Seabourn). There are a substantial amount of O pax that like the a la carte system, because they don't feel they are subsidizing amenities they don't use (like Pappy's excursion example above, or non-drinkers having alcohol included they will never drink.) Just my own thoughts on Regent vs. Oceania.
  6. I watched a travel agent update on youtube yesterday. According to him, there is an ongoing conversation with ports in Alaska/Canadian Govt to try to get some cruises on for the month of September, and in some way getting around the Jones act. According to this TA, the tourism industry for these Alaskan towns is a big part of their economy, and they are really feeling the absence of the ships in a big, big way. If a few ships can get get on a schedule, and not overwhelm the fact these towns will not be fully staffed with summer help, these ports are all for the idea. Take it FWIW.
  7. I thought I'd read all of your blogs, but didn't remember reading this one. Thanks very much!
  8. That is exactly what we wont to do while docked in Brest next year. Would you mind sharing what company/ guide you used for this excursion?
  9. Thanks for the correction. It is a very small price to pay... and we absolutely don't need the transfer on the front end. It's our 5 or 6th trip to Venice, I think I could find the port in my sleep. On the way home, Regent has an outstanding 5 day post-cruise in Istanbul we are signed up for, and homeward transfer will be covered through that.
  10. Ooo.... very good point. Certainly we can be flexible, particularly 240 days out. You know, I really can't describe my relief at not having to book my own air. That is my very least favorite part of travel. Just knowing it will be business for the long hop over the Atlantic takes the sting out of less-than-stellar connections to the port once over the pond.
  11. Wendy, we are very worried that the world cruise door will hit us in the rear end on the way out.
  12. Still putting off any reno's or cars... because we are still hoping against hope that a world cruise my be in our future. On the other hand, we were home enough this year to actually put in annual plantings, which hasn't happened the last few years - we were gone too much.
  13. I'm curious.... we are going to pay for deviation because we are flying in a week before sailing. Would that mean that perhaps I've got a better chance of the flights I want not being sold out? The dates don't seem to conflict with any other sailing from this port...
  14. Yes - I have noted that there are espresso machines in Concierge suites. We are not in a Concierge suite. I can't justify moving up from a Superior suite for 2k just to have an espresso machine. Well, thanks to those who answered the question. Depending on how things are when we sail, there might, or might not be machines available. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
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