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Everything posted by Homerody

  1. @uktog I am glad you made it home... finally! To answer your question about perfection - it is a utopian drean. However, I the cruise experience using this equation: Reality - Expectations = Satisfaction/Happiness Sorry for the maths. So interms of reality the cruise ticked all the boxes - killer price, I finally got to Antartica, met some fine people and had a good time - and no serious 50 foot waves on the Drake. And overall a very good cruise experience. Expectations - formed on the basis of AZ efforts/information and stuff I found on CC and the interwebs. Based on the foregoing, my expectations were admitedly set high. Especially when suites are involved. And Reality is the small things that chip away at expectations. I do not expect a major fail on a luxurious cruise line. And I did not really experience one. But were there numerous small things that erroded some of my satisfaction with the cruise. However, not to the point of saying it was not a very good experience. Yet, part of the experience - our first with Azamara - was comapring it to how we felt after we disembarked from 2 other cruises - also first time cruises. We felt that these expereinces will inform our future cruising choices and more closely reflect what we are looking for. And part of the less than ideal experiences are woefully inadequate customer service and some website issues I encountered and - in my opinion - are hard to talk away. As a cruiseline agnostic, I will not catagorical say no AZ. But if all other things are equal (never are) AZ will lose out to other lines we've cruised on. But as I observed from you posts, you are always seeking common ground and a positive message - I relate to and appreciate that. So I will sign off with this: I am glad we tried AZ, elated we got to Antartica and wish all happy cruising on your line of choice. Bon voyage
  2. @uktog hope your journey home has started without any additional drama from airline. Safe travels
  3. You may also want to try checking the roll call (on cc) for your particular sailing.
  4. Cruise director actually answered the question and said that it was her call to make the change. adding that an airline strike caused delay in comedian's arrival yadda yadda yadda......
  5. x2 for @uktog comment on halibut. It bordered on inedible. way overcooked. so obviously a kitchen thing - not a one off bad serving.
  6. @uktog was it you who asked Captain during Q&A about the ill fated scheduling choice?
  7. Agree with @uktog on comments - especially about lunch. We bit on the Shackleton seafood bait. Unfortunately, nothing special with a couple of wine pairing misses included... The couple next to us agreed. And the group dynamics just were not conducive to a special evening. Oh well...
  8. I respectfully disagree. You note that it is all out of the hands of Azamara. Yet you say Azamara gave wrong details on where to go. Azamara could have done better no doubt in my mind about that.
  9. but it really should not be this difficult and this many hoops. Hearing about fellow cruiser problem (on board recent Feb Quest sailing) with future booking pricing and related problems (noted in Roll Call post) - decided to wait for terra firma sales to minimize hassle factor and protracted back and forth to resolve any potential issues.
  10. We were on Quest 18 Feb sailing. Liked Prime C. Aqualina was meh. Completely underwhelmed by MDR for any meal we tried. Overcooked fish, beef on par with buffet offering and omlettes with unmelted cheese. Would be terribly disappointed if I ponnied up 100$ for specialty dinning nonetheless.
  11. we booked a suite guarantee in Sept 23 for Feb 24 sailing. Cabin was assigned a couple of days after deposit.
  12. Update - from Quest - current prices Feb 2024 are: $125 for chef's table (each for Italian, French or Arabian ) and $50 each for Prime C and Aqualina. All prices are pp.
  13. Not receiving email notification for about 2 weeks. In app notifications are working fine.
  14. I chacked earlier this week for an upcoimng cruise and the price is still USD 35 pp as @Grandma Cruisingnoted in post 2380. Chef's Table is USD 95 pp.
  15. H/T to you @Mercruiser for keeping us informed and in real time basis. Much appreciated. Open and frequent informative communications are key to dealing with unexpected situations. Based on your posts the Captain indeed merits kudos.
  16. Many of us are .... wait for it....unfortunate pun... are in the same boat. I for one will be obessively watching the events unfold. and many thanks to @Mercruiser for the reports. safe travels
  17. You keep flogging a dead horse. The commitment you value - sadly - is not one of monetary value per the T&C you agreed to when you made the booking. It is a subjective value that you are assigning to the transaction. May be I am oversimplifying - but what you are seeking is downward price protection without the upward price risk. I have not found such an arrangement with other cruise companies. Cancel and rebook is the mantra. I have been on both side of the price fence. Sometimes the price goes down and I feel like a chump who's been had. At other times, price goes up and I smugly feel I got a "deal". All in all, a quick search on CC will yield many posts decrying this or that cruise company's payment adjustment policies. In the scheme of things the needle does not move much. I hope you have a great cruise and sailing experience despite this unpleasant, yet familiar, situation you are in.
  18. @DS thanks for the informative post and speed test data. That ping/latency is a killer.
  19. This has been a very instructive thread. Perhaps, someone will come across this post/request in the near future while on a cruise and can upload a screen grab of network upload/download mbs data. Thanks!
  20. I see you are from New Hampshire. So I'll assume (will all the associated risks) that you are well acclimated to the New England cold and winters. So we have a common basis for comparison. For our trip (which was in March/April) we had medium weight jackets (not heavy winter parkas) and light wind/water proof summer jackets. We used both. Hats and gloves came in handy too. But we were there at a slightly different time, and we did spend a lot of time on deck in all types of weather (we even had a bit of light snow one day. and enjoyed the sun and 50ies (F) temps on deck chairs on another day. and we "braved" windy upper 20ies (F) to catch the northern lights from deck.) On shore - the worst weather day was in the North Cape where we had temps in the 40ies with a very strong winds (30mph +) and periods of wind swept rain. I think the key is to have water proof shoes, and wind and water proof outer gear along with layers and mutiple weight sweaters/sweatshirts that can be used with whatever outer layer is needed. YMMV. But hopefully my long winded post gives you a starting point.
  21. Would agree on North Cape. When we visited it vas very wet and extremely windy. But it was fun to see the "northern most" (don't believe everything I write) point of Europe. And then head to the comfort of the building for the exhibits and a hot coffee and cafe snack. Saltstaumen illicits a loved it or hated it response. We thought it was good. Would I recommend it to every one? No. But I have an interest in natural phenomena - so it was relevent for me. But is water eddys are not your thing, that I'd recommend skipping. For cities - such as Trondheim and Alesund a self guided tour (with pre-prepared maps and research) fit the bill for us.
  22. We did the Lofoten Havila excursion. For our trip, I briefly researched independent shore excursions - but gave up due to 1) limited availabilty of alternatives at the time, 2) little cost advantage. On the tour (Havila separated passengers based on language preference) we had about 20 people -Europeans that spoke Engllsh - except for us 2 Septics. So the bus was not crowded, The group was inqusitive (in a good way) and naturally curious with lots of good questions and discussions with the super informative tour guide. We had the opportunity to visit a gallery and a chat with the fols there and then a walking tour where we saw and learned about cod drying racks and importance of fishing in the area. Also, I liked the fact that the tour had some free time for us to walk around. The tour was later in the day, so we saw great dusk scenery. Always a bonus.
  23. Hi @Nlights2025, We took the Havila roundtrip in early spring of 2023. So random thoughts and musings on your questions: 1. We had trip insurance for the trip. At the risk of repeating something you already know, trip insurance options are best when purchased within 14 days (generally) of first trip deposit. There are a couple companies that offer policies with purchase deadlines after that. There are intricacies with this stuf, pre existing condition coverage among other things. Some rely on coverage provided by premium credit cards. In any event, I think it is prudent to insure travel. 2. Experience Lofoton - more of a life/culture trip, not adventure like dog sledding. We had an excellent guide that made the region come alive with their insightful commentary and details. As for northern lights - seeing the northern lights while dog sledding would be a magical experience, I think February would provide good opportunites to see the light for a good portion of the trip - from the ship. We saw the lights twice north of Tromso. 3. We had a port cabin. Honestly, even on cooler days we bundled up and were deck-side to watch and photograph port approach and departure. I do not specifically recall any advantage to port side cabin for sight seeing. Traveling north, I would suspect you probably catch some sunsets from your port side cabin, though. (If that is a "thing" in February for most Northern Norway. 😀) 4. You are right - limited options from US to Bergen. We flew into Oslo for a few days then took train to Bergen. In Bergen, we enjoyed walking around the area of old Bryggen. A visit to Mount Floyen (funicular is availble. not sure about Feb - but a hike could be an option?). Bregenhus fortress, shopping and a Norwegian sausage at Trekroneren. Have a great trip!
  24. And if one books a junior suite, havila gold is included. This gives extra menu items at breakfast and dinner. As well as having breakfast in the much smaller and serene Hildring restaurant. Pizza in the Cafe was pretty good (and a popular item) along with the 2 or three bakery items they had. These made a tasty snack. And while they offered room service from Cafe, thru the app, I was not able to order using app due to PIN issues that no Havila staff on board could address. But the staff at Cafe told me that it is far easier to order by phone or in person and they would bring up the order.
  25. Hip hip hooray for streaky bacon rashers! 😀
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