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GrJ Berks

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About GrJ Berks

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  1. Unless we get the current issues sorted over the virus (deliberately not named) the ships will be sailing with reduced load as the whole travel industry is in a real meltdown............ Perhaps we could name the ship ' Emptor' (JOKE !! )
  2. No contest in my opinion, the Mariner wins hands down. Why? Great public spaces, excellent observation lounge with outside front facing areas, well designed restaurants, prime 7 and chartreuse a reasonable size, PH suites brilliant on size, space , balcony although the closet is smaller. Bathrooms with a great shower and not space lost on a tub,(will not book a tub suite ).700pax a great size, very stable. Lots of seating areas Io open deck by la veranda, along by the puzzle (where they used to put the art for sale ! Ugh) Explorer more pax, more restaurants, but wasted space down by spa &pacific rim, wasted area of the infinity pool at back, no outside front observation area, very poorly designed theatre with useless upstairs area, main part of compass rose very noisy, harsh lighting in here. In fact Explorer is my 4th favourite ship after Mariner/ Voyager then Navigator. Not yet been on the Splendour. But if the itinerary is right will sail any
  3. Sorry to put a damper on your superb Splendour blog, but from the land and outside the ships the world is being affected totally by conversations re the coronavirus issue. What is the situation on the ship re measures introduced to prevent etc Are people concerned , worried on this? We are both next on Regent on April 7th in Tahiti; now getting informed that all people to reach French Polynesia must have a less than 5 day old clean health certificate, will the ship be able to dock? Are ports being changed re this cruise? In view of the Princess ship off California, and now Italian measures not sure how things are going to go Are people on board just keeping calm and carry on cruising?
  4. Exactly this is the way to do this, I have posted on this topic on many occasions. Phone in and talk to a human do not rely on online methods, it always works well.
  5. Worryingly when the Geography is imprecisely applied. Also today in the UK, there is a serious shortage of wipes, hand sanitizers, liquid soap in most shops. Some cleaning fluids are also running out. Panic buying is also happening with supplies of pasta very low (Italian link? ) I know we have had challenging weather with flooding also but I think there has been an over-reaction so far, with fewer deaths than road accidents in the past month! Nobody suggests do not use the roads !!
  6. Local cruise line is best. We went on the Santa Isabella and in 8 days covered most of the sights. This is small enough to get ashore in all locations by zodiac craft and gives you a real feel of the Galapagos. Not cheap, but then the best things never are!!
  7. Totally agree no need to tip in Europe or Italy :Proper wages are paid, not the US slave rates which rely on tipping, the whole process of this is not required in 21st century Europe.
  8. In view of the coronavirus issues, what % of the full ship is on the 4 Regent ships currently operating as Voyager has had Asia cancelled and is to relocate in Abu Dhabi in a few weeks time. Mariner is re-routed on it's world cruise. What about Navigator , Splendour and Explorer are they cruising full or well down on passengers? We next sail from Tahiti on April 7th and any passenger to board must have a medical certificate of good health if they have been through mostly East Asian ports or airports since January 1st this year - A French Polynesian Government requirement. This must mean that some passengers will drop out. Equally our UK travel agents tell me that people are currently reluctant to book anything in Asia and Italian bookings are also now being affected.
  9. Tips should be for above and beyond normal. This is not a tip but a mandatory payment, why not pay this upfront? How can you have tip envelopes sorted out in advance, if the service is weak the tip should not exist, or at best be a simple rounding up. This is what is so wrong with the tipping culture
  10. Tipping is not expected in Europe and is only rounding up, not the exorbitant levels of the US. The only expectations are when they hear an American accent, as this gives the impression of a potential tip.The US reputation now precedes the local custom. In Italy it has always been from lira days not giving small change. All Italian restaurants include service and pay proper wages, not the top up slave wages in the States. Enjoy and don't worry about tipping, act as a European and try to drop the accent !!
  11. One issue Ponte Delgado in the Azores is part of Portugal, so its in the wrong category.
  12. Yes everybody will attend the muster on each segment. No exemptions to this are made. After what happened to Viking sky the importance of the muster can't be played down:
  13. Not sure with currency question, it turns to tipping. There is no need for the currency in these countries as tipping is not usual. In the UK tipping is now minimal, just rounding up, in both Denmark and Norway tipping is not usual, prices are high here, good wages- no need to top up below par levels. Also both Denmark and Norway are increasingly cashless economies with card payment normal, which again takes out cash tipping.
  14. Does not open till 6-30pm, usually very quiet in first 25 mins, busy after 7 till 8 , then might have to wait for tables to clear, but might then be a rush to get to 9-30 show if desired, if having all courses at dinner.
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