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SWFLAOK

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  • Content Count

    405
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About SWFLAOK

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Florida
  • Interests
    Traveling, Cooking
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Paul Gauguin, Regent
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    South Pacific

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  1. I had looked at one of the printed brochures that I receive weekly from Regent, and it still contained the savings for booking your own airfares and transfers. Unfortunately, I was looking at Caribbean cruises from Miami stopping in Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba, and the air credit was only 300 dollars per person. Since we would be driving just over 2 hours to get to Miami, and would need to either rent a car, or do "park and fly" or airport parking for our car, and pay for gas, tolls, and tips, the credit doesn't go far. For cruises with business airfare included, you need to have a massive number of points, or be an airline employeed, retiree or relative, or prefer to sit in a cramped economy seat, to make taking the credit worthwhile.
  2. Our TA contacted us today to say that we should hear something from PG cruises in the next week or so. We were told which airlines we would most like be on, and that the usual pre and post hotels will be the same as expected. Then we'll need to make flight arrangements to the west coast. On Sunday, we cancelled our flights to SFO on Saturday and rebooked with points for Thursday to avoid TS Dorian in FLL, and added 2 extra days to our California roadtrip to LAX for our Sept 5 flight to Tahiti for our Sept 7 PG cruise. We now have some Jet Blue credits for our flights to California in April. We just need to know our Fiji and Bali flights so we can book our connections from Florida. At least we shouldn't have to worry about hurricanes in April.
  3. We first attempted to go to Moorea and Bora Bora for our honeymoon back in June of 1992. We had planned to stay at Club Med in both places and in March, they were both wiped out by a storm. So we ended up going to St. Barts and Anguilla instead, and it was much cheaper from the East coast of the US, and the places we stayed were much more upscale than any Club Med. We loved our honeymoon, but we still wanted to go to Tahiti. In 1995, we took our first trip to Tahiti. We stayed for a week at the Sofitel on Bora Bora, when the island was still an uninhabited, and the boat ride to it was free. We stayed for a second week at the Beachcomber Park Royal on Moorea. Both weeks were in very nice overwater bungalows, but back then, they did not have AC, just ceiling fans. We loved it, and considered it a once i a lifetime trip. Airfare from Newark, and hotel with MAP (just breakfast and dinner) was just under 10,000 dollars back in 1995. So, 3 years ago, after retiring and deciding to sell our own boat that we had traveled to often to the Bahamas, we checked out going back to Tahiti. From Florida, it was cheaper to take a cruise around Tahiti than it was to stay at hotels and eat there - and it was less than we had spent in 1995. While we looked at Windstar, Paul Gauguin cruises was owned by the same owners who had bought the Beachcomber hotels. So we decided to give it a try and we loved it. We made a reservation for our second cruise while onboard our first, and the third while onboard the second. As for weather, on our 1995 trip, we were there the first 2 weeks of March and had good weather, but that was when the hotels were wiped out in 1992. Our first 2017 trip was then end of January and the beginning of February. It was the 14 day trip from Tahiti to the Marquesas and back. The weather was great except for some large swells in the Marquesas on 2 days. We took a trip the first 10 days of December in 2017 from Tahiti to the Cook Islands and back, with 2 nights on Tahiti at the Intercontinental hotel each end. We had big swells at Aitutaki in the Cook Islands, but otherwise, we had only a few showers at sea. Our next cruise is September, which we have heard is a great time to go. It's Tahiti to Fiji, with 4 days at sea along the way. We were told by the crew that there should be humpback whales sighted along the way. We're also booked on the April cruise from Fiji to Bali. This is the repositioning cruise heading for the refurbishment that's done every 3 years. We aren't worried about things looking worn at that point, but are a little worried about how rough the seas will be in that area on a small ship.
  4. Getting ready for our third Paul Gauguin cruise, and looking at these pictures reminds us of why we love it. We have previously cruised in cabin 818 and 808, and will be in 808 on September 7th for the Tahiti to Fiji cruise, and in 818 in April for the Fiji to Bali cruise. Our 2 previous cruises were quiet on deck 8, but we're early risers. If you're not, look at the deck plan and find a cabin that isn't under a deck where they be moving chairs early in the morning.
  5. We always give a tip to our excursion guide if the excursion is free. Paying for an excursion raises the bar for the guide, and we only experienced 1 excursion where we paid more for the excursion than it was worth, and the guide was at fault. We thanked the guide, but didn't tip her, and she finished her job 2 hours early since everyone except us had gone elsewhere before the end of the excursion, and we were willing to take a walking tour back to the ship with her instead of the water taxi that was included. Regent gave us half of our excursion fee back as credit on our next cruise. For a transfer, our tipping depends on what we need to do with our luggage, and how many other people are with us. On our recent Med cruise, our flight to Barcelona from Miami was the only flight that arrived on time. Rather than getting a bus to the Fairmont for our overnight as our Silver status and concierge room would have normally gotten us, we were given the Titanium treatment with a large, beautiful Mercedes, and a private driver who handled all of our luggage at both ends. We gave him a very generous tip. And give credit to Regent for not making us wait for a bus when another flight arrived sometime later. That's why we have 2 more Regent cruises booked, one 32 nights and the other 25 nights.
  6. We have never seen a Regent "cruise only" price, but we only look at the RSSC web site, and book through our cruise TA who works well with Regent. If someone is booking elsewhere, then who knows what they're getting. The included business airfare on intercontinental flights through Regent is something we recently enjoyed for the first time, and we are spoiled forever.
  7. We almost booked the Explorer next year, but the cruise we wanted to take had a conflict with our PG cruise in April, and a conflict with our Nova Scotia RV trip in September. So our 4th Regent Cruise won't be until 2021 (unless we find something else sooner). We've booked a back to back 25 night cruise, London to London, then London to Barcelona in September of 2021 on Splendor. From what I've read, Explorer is exceptional, and I hope Splendor will be as well. I'm definitely looking forward to eating at the Pacific Rim. I've tried a few Pacific Rim inspired dishes on the Main Dining Room menu on Mariner and Voyager, and I want more.
  8. Wow, did you have to share a table with other people or were you in the Owner's Suite? We have cruised twice on Regent, once on Mariner, and once on Voyager, and have 2 more cruises booked. We were able to get a second dinner at Chartreuse on Mariner through the Maitre' D at Chartreuse. We had already been turned down for a second reservation at the restaurant reservation desk, and by the Prime 7 Maitre D'. We were unable to get a second reservation at either restaurant on our recent Med cruise. We were offered a second reservation at Chartreuse, but only if we didn't mind sharing a table with whoever else wanted another reservation. We turned that down. Sometimes you have an enjoyable experience with people you don't know, and other times, it's not worth it. We are in a Penthouse Suite for 32 nights on our next Regent Cruise on Voyager. We aren't sure how many reservations we get to make ahead of time. It's a back to back cruise so we think we get one at each restaurant for each segment, but we won't bother trying for anymore. It's not worth it. If we get bored with the main restaurant for dinner (which we didn't on the previous 2 cruises), we'll just eat in our cabin.
  9. We enjoyed our block party on Mariner last year in August on our Alaska cruise. But on our recent Med cruise, we were on a long excursion during the day with temps in the 90's, and only wanted to shower and change during the block party so we skipped it. We've had a block party on Paul Gauguin cruises as well and we enjoy them. We have met people that we ate, drank and toured with on the rest of the cruise, and it's a good chance to meet the crew that we interacted with on the rest cruise as well.
  10. Or perhaps the reviews are from people traveling together that all agree to post a bad review. That's often the case with a family group, or a group of friends traveling together. It's more believable when a number of cruisers all give the same bad review.
  11. Our TA was calling PG cruises quite a few times per week, and they recently asked her to stop, and promised her that there were blocks of airline ticket booked, as well as pre and post hotel rooms. Not all airline seats are the same, so I really don't want to wait until the last minute Okay, it's still over 7 months off, but I'm a worrier. I'll try to be patient, but I might still see what I can find out onboard in a few weeks.
  12. If you only want to go to Lima, you have a choice of 9 cabins left, but SilverSea just told me that Lima to Auckland it all waitlisted, and we're already on that list.
  13. I just got off the phone with SS. The Lima to Auckland segment is completely sold out. We had already put down money to waitlist it, but it seems unlikely, as the world tour is There are 9 cabins onboard available from Fort Lauderdale to Lima. So apparently, the 2021 world tour is extremely popular.
  14. Back in April we were able to get a cabin on this cruise which is something only done every 3 years. It's a birthday cruise for me, and I was really looking forward to it. While we had to pay a deposit at that time, we have not been able to get any other information since then. We need to book airfare to get to the West Coast, and we have been unable to get PG to give us any information about the pre and post cruise hotels, nor any information about airfare or flights booked through PG cruisesI. Air Fiji has a great sale going on right now, and they're booking through May 31, 2020. Is there anyone else on this cruise? Do you have airfare, and is it through PG cruises or on your own. I'm thinking this delay has something to do with the change of ownership since we've never had this problem before on 3 other cruises. We'll be on a PG cruise in September, and we're thinking of cancelling our April cruise while we're onboard if they can't confirm our flights and hotels at that time. We want to make other plans if we can't count on our April cruise on Paul Gauguin.
  15. Thanks for the info. Our cruise travel agent has been great for our other cruises, and we have come to trust her. We have booked with her before on SilverSea. But I sent a request for a quote to SilverSea on their website, and we'll see what happens.
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