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Posts posted by ARDXXX

  1. You think you have problems! we are flying to Cape Town tomorrow to board  Mariner on Saturday and one of the ports still has no excursions at all to offer in Mindelo (Sao Vicente) and three of the excursions that I wanted at other ports are all waitlisted even though I tried to book them the minute they became available. Whenever I contacted Regent about them they informed me that Miami office was to blame and they would be released soon.

  2. We disembarked on Sunday and this was by far the poorest Silversea Cruise we have ever experienced, we were only on for two weeks and if it had been our first Silversea Cruise we would have great reservations about booking another. Many issues about very limited and poor and repetitive menu in Main restaurant, only three main courses, a couple of starters and one dessert on the daily changing menu. I had a word with Oliver the manager and he said it was to prevent waste! And it was head office that devised the new menu.

    The service was intermittent in quality, we waited over two and a quarter hours one evening for two courses, which when they arrived were not even what we ordered, it took half an hour to even get the menu and as long for a glass of water.

    The ship seems a little tired and generally Silversea stating that they provide a six star experience is a bit of a joke. I agree that the communication was very poor and feel very sorry for the way the people on grand voyage have been treated. We were on a group of 23 and the general opinion of many of our group was that it was very poor and not a great experience.

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  3. We are booked on the Navigator for a Cruise from Abu Dhabi to Athens in April, Regent insists that it is going ahead despite everything that is happening around the area. I see that Silversea are cancelling their Cruises so I wonder if eventually Regent will follow. There have been many people cancel this Cruise and there seems to be lots and lots of empty suites. At least if it does go ahead there will be fantastic service!! Wonder if we will be issued with flak jackets!. I find that American Cruise lines usually tend to be overprotective if anything so I will wait and see.

  4. Must be the third cruise director in two months! we returned home from Auckland on 20th December after a six week Cruise, the first one we had was an American called JP or something like that, the second was an English lad from Leeds called Aaron I think, now another one!! not a lot of continuity going on.

  5. What a con this is, we have two booked cruises this year, one has had the price reduced by 30% and a two cat upgrade, the other has a two cat upgrade offer. I had my travel agent contact them -  the first one that we are going on in April and have to pay the balance soon they offered a one cat upgrade from G to F and I would save £13 but lose my £400 on board spend and the suites offered were in a very noisy position on the ship with several complaints about these suites. The other one was the two cat free upgrade and was informed that it would cost us an extra £2000 per person! as they say the priced have increased a little since we booked.

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  6. We are on the same Orion cruise and I would like to add a little amendment. There is a sum total of No Australian whites or reds on the SS package, there is one Austrian white, and at the moment (as of last night) No New Zealand wines, they had one white but ran out ages ago! No Chilean wines on the package and they ran out of the Italian red that I like days and days ago. Every time they reprint the list there are fewer to choose from, oh and one of the Californian whites was finished as well many days ago. We may be getting some fresh stocks soon they inform me as some arrived in Darwin apparently.

  7. Just received an email from Regent that our Cruise for next year will have several changes so Regent and a lot of other people do not think that things will settle down for a long time.

    Jordan and Israel cancelled and replaced with Sharm El Sheikh and Santorini, damn shame as these were the ports I really wanted to go to and never want to go to Sharm, but never mind at least the Cruise is still on and hope that Egypt does not join the conflict.

  8. Interesting reports, we will be joining the ship next Sunday, flying from Newcastle to Amsterdam and then Iclandair to Reykjavik, we will be staying at the Radisson Blu ( according to our paperwork ) which seems as if may be a better option even though it is just overnight. The reports about the ship are handy and looking forward to the experience. We will be on until Lisbon so some nice times ahead.

  9. I do not know why you folks like to pay your final balance so early, we always pay three months prior to the Cruise date. We are on a Cruise lasting over six weeks this November from Bangkok to Auckland and have only paid our deposit, I will be paying the balance sometime next month.

  10. We have been on the Sky twice in the last nine months, the most recent one was this cruise Venice to Istanbul 23/6 to 10/7 - we did the Cappodocia extension as well. It will be interesting to see your feedback as we saw a marked deterioration in many areas in this recent Cruise - the service was very poor or non existant at times eg waiting over 20 minutes to get drinks ordered in upstairs lounge or someone taking order then being moved to another part of the ship and no drinks appearing, we ended up going to the bar several times for our order.

    The entertainment on four evenings was a film!! and I believe there was only one other entertainer apart from the crew team during the first week and not much improvement the second.

    The food has really deteriorated in quality, only one quality steak the first week a Chateaubriand which was not a lovely piece of fillet but a couple of slices of steak, no fillet mignon, no tournedos rossini, plenty of flank steak and cheap cuts though.

    They have even removed the table tennis table from the top deck.

    We did not recognise a single member of the crew from our previous cruise and most had been moved to other ships.

    We had the drinks package  and some of the wines were unavailable at times. And when we ordered a specific wine when we in the theatre they just brought a glass of the first one they found not what we ordered. When having wine in the World Cafe they did not bring the bottle just a glass of wine to the table.

    We will be on another Viking Cruise in November and December for over six weeks from Bangkok to Auckland so hopefully this was just a blip and not an indication of general cutting back or we will be looking elsewhere.

  11. We  returned from the extension just over a week ago, interesting to see the price for the balloon ride was $290 last october, it is now $499! you can pre-book it or when you arrive in Cappadocia. We did not do it as when you fly out from the ship you have to get up at two in the morning for a four am departure and repeating the very early balloon departure the next morning did not appeal, we have done previous balloon trips as well. People who did it really enjoyed it, you are in the air up to an hour. We did not like the cave hotel at all, it is a death trap with lots and lots of unmarked marble type very steep stairs, lots of cobbles to get to hotel and very poor lighting, I bet there are lots of accidents occur there, it can be described as very quaint! but we were pleased to leave and it would never pass our healh and safety standards. The UNESCO sights are very interesting and we enjoyed the two full days out although another carpet factory visit could have been left out after Kusadasi. Pleased we did the extension though.

  12. Thank you for your comments, yes we were booked on a Freedom Fare basis which I felt would have given us more benefits, as in this example, and yes I agree that without FO informing us in writing of their upgrade tempter that it does not carry as much weight but after being informed four times that we were on the list for an upgrade then being refused it does not lie well and it would have to be an extremely good deal for us to reconsider FO. I believe that the only reason that they continue in business if the fact that they sail from local ports.Anyone living anywhere south of the midlands should try SAGA and they probably would never return to FO

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  13. Not sure about UK based Cruise lines but we have sailed with much better companies than FO such as Regent and Silversea and have always been able to receive the lower price if it changed. Anyway I am more annoyed about the so called  free upgrade that we were offered as a way to retain our booking,which failed to materialise even though these were available.

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  14. I would like to comment on our recent experience, we returned from our Baltic Cruise las Saturday we were on the Bolette in the Baltic.

    We booked the Cruise when it was first published and a few months later I noticed that the price had been reduced by between 4 and 5 hundred pounds per person ( is this a familiar story!! ) I contacted Fred Olsen and requested that they honoured our booking and reduce our booking price, they refused but said that they would give us an upgrade instead if one became available, I reluctantly accepted this even though I was tempted to cancel our booking and rebook at the reduced price and would still have saved a considerable amount even if we lost our initial deposit.

    I phoned FO nearer our sailing date as I had heard nothing regarding the upgrade and was informed that I was on the list if one became available - a week prior to the Cruise my travel agent phoned me to say that a balcony upgrade was available for £1100, I reminded them that I had been informed that I would get a free upgrade if one became available which it obviously had!, they contacted FO who admitted that this was correct.

    We boarded the ship and went to guest services but they did not know anything about this so contacted head office, but was informed that I would not be getting one.

    On return I emailed FO and received a phone call to say that unfortunately there would be no redress even though this spoilt the Cruise and this makes me very reluctant to go with this company in the future. They are fantastic at taking your money but will give nothing in return.

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  15. We did this Cruise about a month ago as well, Recife is a bit of a dump but the last time we were there we went to Olinda which is quite interesting.

    We had been to BA previously so we did the Gauchos and Pampas trip which  was very good indeed, an excellent show, great food and drink, well worth it.

    We had also been to Rio previously so just did the included trip which was ok but nothing special.

    In Cape Verde we did the included trip which was basicly a bit of an island tour and journey up to the top of a smallish mountain, I would not hurry back, we did not go to Dakar as we were informed there was a lot of civil unrest and it might not be safe.

     Weather and seas were good throughout the Cruise and we really enjoyed it.

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  16. We returned home three days ago from this Cruise. Immediately took a lateral flow test and two red bars popped up straight away, this is no surprise as people in next room had covid and were isolating for much of the crossing, our room girl was also going into their room without any PPE and there were many many people in the theatre for entertainment and lectures coughing, snorting, sneezing and some in obvious respiratory distress, very little supervision at hand washing stations despite what Viking say as their policy.

    The Cruise and ship and it's crew were very good and we had a generally very enjoyable time , weather was excellent, T shirts and shorts for the whole trip. Temps were 34 degrees in BA down to 19 in Barcelona with low to mid 20s during voyage.

    Cape Verde stop instead of Dakar was ok but there is not much there, a bit arid, we did the included trip as had not been there previously and wanted to see a bit of the island, went up to the top of a small mountain and a bus tour around, would not hurry back though. A couple of friends went on a private tour to swim with turtles and they enjoyed that very much. We did the pampas and gauchos trip in BA which was very good.


  17. We will be in this room on a forthcoming Cruise and I have been looking for any reviews but the most recent is eight years old.

    We could have had an upgrade to a verandah suite but my Wife likes the look of the position and the large size of the suite.

    I would appreciate any more recent reviews and how impressed - or not any of the members feel, thanks.

  18. Very interesting reading. I will be very surprised if this Cruise line is still operating in a years time. We were on the Balmoral last May and it was dreadful, so bad they flew the senior management on board the ship, there were lots and lots of issues from appalingly poorly trained staff, the pool that was closed for most of the sixteen night cruise as it was leaking, running out of lots of the drinks, the first night they were still serving the second sitting after eleven PM and many more issues. Everyone on the Cruise received an apology and 25% of the money they had paid towards a future Cruise. We are taking ours on a short ten night cruise in May, hope they are still in business, I am even very annoyed at this next ( and probably last with FO ) as they reduced the price of the Cruise by £400 pp after we booked and they refuse to apply this to our booking, so much for early booking and customer loyalty, they did offer an "upgrade" but this has not been forthcoming as yet - I do not have much faith in them honouring this either. We went on a SAGA Cruise over Christmas and New Year and I urge all the Fred Olsen regulars to jump ship. What a difference, light years better all round, food, quality of drinks, entertainment, all balcony staterooms, free wi fi, included excursions, and tipping and of course brand new ships not old rusty honks and included travel to the ships from many parts of the country.

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  19. I think that the initial post is a little odd, in the UK you only need to pay the final balance three months prior to the Cruise departing, how close to departure do you want to pay?

    the other option is that our local travel agent has an option of making regular payments towards the final balance in what they call a piggy bank, we live in the NE of England so you could ask about this.

  20. It may state that it is only for new bookings but it isn't. They had this offer on previously and I asked them then as well - we have suite 600 on the Navigator and would have been charged a few hundred pounds for a two cat ( free) upgrade to a verandah but my Wife wants the extra space in our existing  suite booking so I declined that one as well. The Cruise on Splendour has been booked since day one when it first came out and obviously the price must have gone up big style since then.

  21. I would not believe all this hype anyway, we are booked in a nice Superior room on Splendor in a forthcoming cruise and just out of curiosity I phoned Regent to see if we might be interested. I was informed that the free upgrade would cost us £2500 each! We would have to rebook at a now much higher cost.I declined the offer.

  22. Re the final payment, we are on a transatlantic Cruise from Buenos Aires in March and our final payment was done in December. Our next Viking Cruise is in June and our payment date is 20th March so no need to pay until three monthe prior to departure date.


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