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Belfast Taxman

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About Belfast Taxman

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Interests
    Food and wine
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  1. It is a rerun of last years programme and Mr.Barron’s panto performance
  2. I fear that April cruises out of Barcelona is a tad optimistic. If they do go, it seems likely that there would be no UK or US passengers. Following the departure of the Uk from the European Union at the end of December, movement of people for tourist purposes will be banned between the UK and most of Europe as there is little sign that the Covid outbreak is diminishing either here or Europe. US citizens are, of course, already banned from tourist travel to Europe. The latest debacle on Quantum of the Seas does not help
  3. According to the Regent Terms and Conditions the presence of dogs onboard is strictly limited to guide dogs or “service animals”. You would need to advise Regent of the dog’s presence at the time of booking, otherwise they reserve the right to withhold embarkation to you and the dog. You will also be liable for any damage caused by the dog, including a cleaning charge. I understand from a previous thread that they provide a litter tray for in-cabin use. Needless to say that the dog has to remain in the cabin unless escorting the guest. These rules only apply if the cruise embarks or disembarks
  4. Hi Carol i reckon this could be a great cruise especially if most of the destinations are new to you. Anything with Barcelona in it is off to a good start, even if you have been a few times before. One of our favourite cities (been there at least a dozen times and still finding something new or in case of the Sagrada Familia something that changes each visit). Valencia is another beautiful city and would certainly reward a full day tour. If you are looking for a non-urban day you could try a tour of the paella rice fields, very interesting. Alicante is a city that many British p
  5. And I should have mentioned I am beavering away on preparation of our Five Spice Duck with Asian salad in lieu of Pacific Rim for our 30th anniversary dinner, wifey said it was time she had a night off🙄
  6. Apologies to Neil Young fans but we should have been viewing the delights of the Stockholm archipelago this evening on the sail away of our Baltic cruise on Explorer. still at least we have some of this
  7. You really should have a look at the Baltic forum on Cruise Critic - lots of advice re STP there.
  8. If you want to consider private tours then a good place for info is the Baltic forum on CC. There are regular discussions on tour companies. we chose Red Sun Tours on the basis of competitiveness, flexibility (we listened to their advice but ultimately we chose the three day itinerary) and customer service including no upfront payments needed. All our correspondence with Elena suggested 100% professional competence being thorough, prompt and friendly. For the Hermitage in particular we had a six hour tour that had detailed itinerary including which specific rooms and palaces (there a
  9. Wendy, you are right that Regent are late in announcing this cruise. Last year the 2022 Pacific based trip was revealed on 10 July. The only major cruise line to reveal their 2023 WC so far are Crystal (fairly standard Miami to Barcelona over a whopping 140 nights). I am not sure if this is standard, but one aspect of the booking process with Crystal is quite substantial discounts for full up front payment, with a best price guarantee whereby you keep your discount percentage if prices fall. Maybe this is a way of getting cash flow now, but perhaps this is normal practice (I don’t know).
  10. Not immediately relevant to Regent, but the last few weeks have seen a number of European cruise companies go bust. Spanish company Pullmantour, Baltic cruise and ferry line Silja, and now British company CMV. These companies all predominantly cruised in Europe and to be honest not in the same part of the overall market as Regent but company analysts are quite openly predicting that this is just the start of a conveyor belt of bankruptcy and overall reduction of capacity. One commentator suggests a 30% reduction of ships being operated until 2022 with those ships that do operate only doin
  11. Well, effectively they have in two senses. The FCO (foreign and commonwealth office) have extended their travel advice to say that all cruise travel should be avoided. This will mean that travel insurance will be impossible to obtain for UK residents wishing to cruise and thus, for most people, end their plans for the time being ( there is no time limit). Secondly the announcement appears to say that no cruise ships will be allowed to embark/disembark in the UK for the time being. There may be a limit to the impact given that most UK cruises were already cancelled until October anyway.
  12. Hope you are right Jackie, possibly only the larger ships will be banned because there are many Venetians who benefit from the ships being there. I suspect there will be further limits as to the actual number of ships allowed in many ports in the Med. Santorini is a good example, Dubrovnik is another. This is, of course, happening “naturally” with Covid-19 at the moment, and I think the natives of these ports will not want to go back to the old days.
  13. Royal Carribean have announced that they are removing Venice as a cruise port for all relevant sailings until at least August 2021. They are replacing Venice with Ravenna, about 90 miles to the south, and actually a place very much worth visiting. This decision is not Covid-19 related and it is expected that other cruise lines will follow suit in the near future Cruising into Venice is a truly amazing experience but one that is guilt ridden. The damage being done is horrendous. If there has been a small silver lining to the pandemic, it has been the recovery of the eco system in
  14. pcardad i do apologise, I really did not mean to cause confusion, but yes it does appear that we have to take the future Baltic cruise with no additional cost to us (whereas even with a 125% FCC there would have been an extra £1,000 to pay including the pre-cruise package and flights) in order to get the original, now cancelled, cruise included on our Regent Seven Seas society account.
  15. Going back to my opening post. I think I may have to give credit where credit is due (pardon the pun) Regent today sent us an e-mail confirming cancellation of our August Baltic cruise. The expected choice of 100% refund or 125% FCC was made. In addition we were told that the cancelled cruise days would count on our Seven Seas Society record. But in addition to the above, the issue that I covered in my opening post was directly covered by Regent. They identified two very similar cruises, including the one I had noted in my opening post, to our cancelled cruise next year. They correc
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