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SWFLAOK

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    305
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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. We have a Regent cruise from Barcelona to Venice next week. We booked Regent airfare as part of our cruise. We have business class American Airlines from Miami to Barcelona on Sunday, with free transfers to the Fairmont (not what I would have picked, but it's included with a concierge cabin). On our way back from Venice, we have business class on Iberia around noon from Venice to Madrid, and then back to Miami in business class with an arrival time just before 9 PM in Miami. I would never fly through Newark or JFK if I didn't have to. Been there and done that, and avoid it at all costs. We decided to stay overnight in the Miami Airport Hotel (125 for the night), and take the ride back to Park 'N Fly at 9 in the morning to pick up our car and drive back to Fort Myers. It was cheaper than 2 rentals, and more convenient than finding a parking spot at MIA, so we're trying the Park 'N Fly. Our next Regent cruise is FLL to Dubai, and it's business class on Emirates. MIA, FLL, PBI and TPA are all just over 2 hours from where we live. We wish we could take flights from RSW, but that normally doesn't work out well with Regent.
  2. We pay for insurance on every cruise since we're old enough to have something happen to one of us that could cause us to cancel (we're both mid 60's). If you can afford to forfeit the cruise cost if you are unable to take the cruise under one of the circumstances covered by the insurance, then you should be fine without insurance. If it's the cruise line that needs to cancel for some reason, then they should make amends whether or not you have travel insurance.
  3. I'll definitely post back on our Papeete to Fiji cruise this September. I'm hoping for calm seas, and whale sightings.
  4. No chance of doing that excursion again. Our day in Brunei was cancelled due to the sultan's lack of acceptance of gay and lesbian people (was this a surprise for Regent?) so we have a day at sea instead.
  5. On our first Paul Gauguin cruise, which was our first cruise ever, but our second trip to Tahiti/Bora Bora/Moorea, we chose the airfare provided on Air Tahiti Nui by PG, without a pre or post included. We flew on our own from Orlando to LAX the day before our PG flight. We stayed at a Marriott Courtyard just North of the airport, and they let us check out late for our evening flight, and gave us a free shuttle to the airport. If you don't book a night pre-cruise, you will most likely be on the flight that arrives after 11:00 PM, and will be brought directly to the pier for embarkation. The ship won't leave until you're onboard, even if your flight is delayed. There will be a lot of PG cruisers on this flight, and the next port is really close. After our cruise, the flight PG provided was between 11 pm and 12 am (when most flights leave Papeete for the US). A day room was provided at the IC hotel, with a 5 minute transfer to the airport about 5 hours prior to our flight. The Papeete airport is not air conditioned, and doesn't have enough seating for the passengers on the 11 to 12 flights at night. Based on our first experience, we booked 1 night pre and 2 nights post at the IC Tahiti, along with our flights through PG, on our second cruise. This was much better. They booked us on a flight from LAX that arrived at 5 AM rather than 11 PM later that day. We arrived at the IC at 6:30 AM, and our room was ready. That night was Friday, with a free Marquessa show that can be seen from the bar, as well as the restaurant. The next morning, we had full breakfast included (buffet, with a menu selection if wanted), and lunch from the menu was also included. We had to check out before lunch, but they kept watch on our luggage. We were taken to the pier just in time for the 3PM embarkation time. We were quickly onboard and in our cabin, with drinks and dinner onboard. On return from our second cruise, where we had booked 2 nights post with PG at IC, we couldn't check in until after lunch, so we took the included bus tour of a number of sights south of Papeete. We were upgraded to a room that was already renovated since they were getting ready to renovate the rooms normally used as day rooms, and we were staying 2 nights. We had breakfast included both mornings, but were on our own otherwise. We rented a car from the hotel concierge and drove the whole island of Tahiti, and as much of Tahiti Iti as we could drive, seeing many beautiful spots. We stopped at a grocery store in Papeete, and found a great bottle of French wine for 11 dollars, and some reasonably priced prepared food for a light dinner on our balcony. The next day, we enjoyed our included breakfast, and the hotel pools. Late in the day, we paid for cocktails and snacks at the bar, then packed our bags for transport to the airport. We have found that the pre's and post's provided by PG are well worth it in French Polynesia. They go above and beyond to make your trip as convenient as possible, with transfers provided along the way. Less stress is what we want on vacation. Our next cruise is Papeete to Fiji, and we have 1 night pre at the IC Papeete, with the same afternoon flight from LAX. We have 3 nights post at the Fiji IC, with a convenient flight back to LAX on Air Fiji, for an evening flight back to Florida. I'm sure you can find ways to save money by making your own arrangements, but taxis and rental cars in French Polynesia are expensive, and it's hard to find hotels that allow day rooms without paying for 2 nights if you want a morning check-in and an evening check-out.
  6. We have never cruised on Oceania, nor have I ever looked at their website or asked for a price on one of their cruises. But we do receive 2 brochures from them every week. I looked at a few, and found them to not meet our cruising needs since they have many extra charges, even after paying for the "O Life" price. I hate extra charges. Now I just toss their brochures in the trash without looking at them. Paul Gauguin is the only way I will ever cruise French Polynesia.
  7. While having a stable horizon to look at does tend to lessen seasickness for me, I've awakened with sea sickness during the night. This happened a number of times on our own boat over the years before we ever started taking cruises, and once on a small ship cruise to the Caribbean. That makes me think that glasses would not totally prevent my sea sickness. And once it starts, it's hard to recover from. I started relying on Bonine on our own boat when I expected rough seas, and I do that now on our cruises. I bring a supply of 2 per day for the length of the cruise. If the Captain indicates that the seas are expected to be 6 to 10 feet or higher, I take a Bonine. I take 2 per day unless the seas get higher than that, and I take an extra one. I try to never have the sea sickness come on, and I've endured seas that I've never expected to make it through without seasickness, and have even been able to eat. If you have only experienced seasickness during the day when out of sight of land, the glasses might work, and would be worth a try to prevent taking a medication. Bonine has the least side effects for me.
  8. Thank you so much for the reply Mysty. I really want to see everything we can while we still can take full advantage of excursions off the ship. I plan to do as much as possible in the next few years. I just need to convince my other half that we're permitted to do it.
  9. Our first cruise to the Marquesas was in February. The water was very rough in the Marquesas for 3 days, but that was the only 3 rough days of our 14 day cruise. Our second cruise was the Society islands and Cook Islands in December. The Cook Islands were very rough. The tender crew and the person at the helm of the Paul Gauguin did a wonderful job of getting us on and off the ship. We had large swells on both times, rather than large wind blown waves. In the Cook Islands we had some wind chop, but it would have been pretty easy to handle without the swells. We are headed to the Cook Islands again in September on our way from the Society Islands to Fiji, so we'll see how Aitutaki is at a different time of year.
  10. We're also on the December 6th Singapore to Singapore cruise, as well as the next cruise, Singapore to Sydney on Voyager. We already have booked all of our excursions. We decided to splurge and do the overnight in Bangkok since it included what we wanted to see in Bangkok and didn't require a very long bus ride each way on the same day.
  11. Mysty, Thank you so much for your detailed trip report, and these photos that you've added. We were on the Silver Whisper last November, roundtrip from Barbados to Manaus, and loved the ship. We were in a Silver Suite, with my brother in a Veranda Suite, and we all loved our time on board. The crew was wonderful. Our butler was the best we've ever had on any cruise. We would love to do a World Cruise at some point, but as we get older, it's hard to deal with siblings and their kids and their grandkids, as well as close friends, that expect us to be available for in person support and funeral attendance, even if we are half a world away. I'm sure others have encountered this problem. Our parents are already gone, and we were close enough to be able to be there for their funerals. We always buy insurance, but that only covers some things, and not others. We hope to never have to use our insurance. Going forward, we may not be able to afford a World Cruise if we feel pressured to attend a family or friend's funeral that aren't covered by trip insurance. We have a daughter and a young grand daughter that we would need to respond to, but it's the wider range of family and friends that we would wonder what to do. Sorry that this isn't a pleasant topic, but how do others on the World Cruise's deal with this?
  12. I was just amazed that Regent gave a $7500 pp for Florida to PPT, leaving so little to pay for their cruise. But, having done 2 PG cruises to French Polynesia, and 1 Regent cruise to Alaska, I am much happier being on the PG than the small (750 passenger), older Regent ships. The newer Regent ships are too big for us. I just got a Jet Blue Visa with 50000 bonus points so our flights to LAX next April should be covered. I'm sure you'll love the Paul Gauguin. It's our favorite.
  13. We haven't stopped there on a PG Cruise, but we did drive there while staying at the IC Tahiti for 2 nights after a PG Cruise. We rented a car and drove every coastal road on both Tahiti and Tahiti Iti. On Tahiti Iti, you can drive a car along the shore past Vairao until the road heads inland and ends. There was nothing of interest along the shore other than some small beaches and one beachfront restaurant (but it was too early for lunch so it was closed). There are offshore islands, but no way to access them. This is a big surfing area, but we don't surf. After that, we drove back toward Tahiti, and took the road to the other shore. We drove out as far as we could find a road that continued near the shore. We ended up in a small town with a tiny park on the shore. And then headed back toward Tahiti looking for the road into the mountains. We eventually found it and drove up to the lookout, passing the cows. It's a nice view, but hard to find. We continued driving hoping to find a way to the far end of Tahiti Iti, but ended up coming back down on the same road we had been on earlier. We found more things to see on Tahiti than Tahiti Iti, but if I was on that cruise, I would do the excursion "Bonjouir's Garden of Eden" since I have no idea how to drive there, and it sounds interesting.
  14. We didn't receive an e-mail. It was a brochure. We receive at least 2 of those every week from Regent, along with other cruise lines, some of which we've never traveled on, and probably won't (Oceania). So anyone that received an e-mail may have been targeted. The offer did nothing for us based on the cabins we had already reserved.
  15. Having been to all of those stops without being on a cruise, I would choose the Sea Dream 1 cruise. There's nothing wrong with the other ports, but Nevis, Anguilla and Jost are 3 of the spots we've ever visited in the Caribbean. Nothing wrong with the other itinerary, but we just liked them less. I think we need to look at a Sea Dream cruise for 2021.
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