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Posts posted by Waltershipman

  1. 18 hours ago, shrkdive1 said:

    Alaska Airlines changed their policy in 2018 and now only gives you a credit if the price drop occurs within 24 hours of booking.






    Hotels such as Marriott will honor the lower price because your credit card has not been charged and there is usually free cancelation up to 24 hours before date of arrival.


    Yes but in practice I have found alaska airlines gives you a 1 year future flight credit for the difference deposited back into your account   when it go lower however they don't just give it to you one needs to call and ask


    I look at my flight prices all the time when sales are advertised

    • Like 1
  2. 24 minutes ago, shrkdive1 said:

    Not sure why anyone would expect the cruise line to give you the lower price if the fare drops after booking.  This is normal supply and demand as they try to fill cabins on a cruise line.  Just like booking an airline and trying to fill seats.  If the price drops after you booked your flight you would not get the lower fare.

    Actually I have many times contacted an airline or hotel after a price reduction and they do extend the reduced price. Examples are Alaska  airlines and Marriott 


    I find it's always worth a few phone calls. Just did it this week on two bookings

  3. 1 minute ago, Sthrngary said:

    @Dr. Cocktail I see your point.  For me, it showed some things different from my past cruising experiences.  I am taking my older sister on her first and last cruise on the Explora I. This should get a rise out of her for sure.


    A few examples of things that are a bit different then my past experiences: 


    • Really no main dining room.  The dining is smaller venues which makes it more pleasant for me. 
    • A buffet that is not a buffet and has nice quality and choices. For me, this approach is perfect.  No passengers touching food with their hands, a nice selection of made to order items.  And what looks to me to be decent sushi. 
    • Access to spa amenities without having a spa service done. This seems so little and petty.  However, I always thought is was cheap of cruise lines to charge for thermal spas. Nice to see Explora does not.  Also, lots of hot tub in lots of areas cutting down on them being only centrally located. 
    • Everyone on the same adult beverage program so no cabin card needed to gain a drink. It is kind of a pain, to have to pull out your card every time you wanted a drink on other cruise lines.  The reason was, many different types of drink programs.  I like everyone on the same plan much better. 
    • A lounge chair on every balcony even the entry level. This is kind of special.  You don't see that much.  My sister is going to love that. 
    • Double sinks in the bathrooms even the entry level. I have been in Penthouses and only had one sink so this is nice. 


    The look and feel seems luxuriously casual.  It helps that there is a 1:125 ratio of guest to crew.  Still, they are evolving so my hope is the future allows them to truly get their sea legs.


    Cruise well and enjoy every moment. 


    Dinner at Emporium 


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  4. 3 minutes ago, mike@sea said:

    I think you will quite enjoy a 7 night cruise on Explora, and given the fact that you have enjoyed hotel stays at Four Seasons and alike, I guess you also feel comfortable to drop the idea of flip flops and shorts around dinner time, unless you stay on your balcony of course or do not intend to enter the restaurants.

    People do dress up in a chic casual way for dinner and you do occasionally even see men in jackets and almost always many women in beautiful dresses at night. It just fits the situation you will find yourself in at dinner time. The ship is very elegant and so are most cruisers without being too formal or overdressed. So keep that in mind maybe. 

    As far as the suite goes, and your desire for a bigger balcony, you might want to look at any suite on deck 6 aft or front, where the balcony extends, or deck 7 front, where the balcony extends. Or any real aft suite, which would either be one deluxe PH on deck 7 or any of the aft residences decks 6, 7, 8, 9. 

    You might want to check the way the sun shines in November, just to be sure, you are not in the shade the whole time, unless that is what you prefer. 

    There are a few chair hogs. Hard to believe in that price category, but true. Manners do not come with money. 😉

    While evening dress leans  on the casual side I felt better dressed nicer at night more like an evening out on land in USA at a nice upscale restaurant 

    • Like 3
  5. 2 hours ago, kimlet said:

    Thanks for all your advice. I found reasonable hotel on the beach in Miami for good price, but haven't booked it yet. 

    I might fly into FLL and just go to Miami the day of or cruise day.

    We enjoy the Brickell area

  6. 2 hours ago, kej1 said:

    We have not done lots of cruises but have done a number of them with Seabourn which we have enjoyed.   We do enjoy cruising despite mostly doing independent  land trips, but are looking to branch out in the cruising arena.  We do love great food and find Seabourn’s fine but not great.  
    We are thinking of trying a cruise on Explorer Journeys as the food is reported to be great. ( please comment if not the case).

    Do they offer shuttles from port into town centers?  We are not tour types and prefer to do our own thing.  We often book private tours but often just want to go into town, look around and have a nice lunch.  So shuttles are important to us and I haven’t seen anything about that on their website.

    E J food is great

  7. 23 hours ago, PaulMCO said:

    Might I suggest you try the My Explora APP and do it on the phone to check in.   Never could get the Web version to work.   Do you have a B2B itinerary??  If so you need to wait until that one is also within the window.  The APP says the Window is 90 days - last year it said same and was actually 60 days.


    @Sthrngary  love it...  We have two English Bulldogs, one who is named appropriately Churchill..


    @Waltershipman logged on for our January cruise, it was missing on the weekend and appeared today LOL.  Was able to set the bedding and liquor preferences as well as update my passport. 

    Great info thank you. I noticed the mattress bedding  choice was firm or flexible.  I recall from our October cruise that the bed was on the firm side.  Have you or  anyone else experienced the flexible mattress. 


    I might be too micro managing my possible experiences  but that may be my way of expressing excitement for  a cruise that is 7 months away lol



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  8. 1 hour ago, Sthrngary said:

    @Waltershipman There is a section that shows, bedding, your choice for a bottle of wine & spirits, and a couple of other things.  The first time I had access, these options were not offered.  This time, the choice of twin beds are not offered so on that topic, I have to call to double check.  


    I hope that answer your questions. 


    Cruise well and enjoy every moment. 

    Yes thank you Gary 



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  9. 1 hour ago, Sthrngary said:

    @PaulMCO As with your bulldog reference from your earlier post, I do love Bulldogs, we have one French and one English.  My website access issue is resolved.  It seems, the emails and letters sent lit a fire.  Regardless, it is fixed.


    I now have access to my account online, I have selected my preferences, and double checked my balance.  Excursions and other items are not available as of yet.  


    As stated, I knew this would eventually be taken care of but the longer it took, the more concerns a guest would have.  The actual access looks very nice, professional and seems to be going in the right direction.  We all have to rejoiced in the little positives in life.  


    Cruise well and enjoy every moment. 

    Thanks Gary


    I am able to view my reservation but nothing else to do now for a late January cruise. It does list my account owed balance. I am curious how you are able to personalize at this time as I did not see preferences or the like



  10. 2 minutes ago, Dr. Cocktail said:

    Gary:  I hear you but …. (and this is directed at many on these boards!)


    …. post Covid, it’s a different world out there. We all know that I’m an Explora cheerleader as I simply love the onboard product.


    I’ve given up trying to do ANYTHING on the Seabourn website for my upcoming cruise as it’s basically nonfunctional.


    Our friends who are Regent Gold were treated ABONIBABLY by Regent this past week regarding their upcoming sailing. I’m hoping that they post their story on the Regent boards.


    All the cruise lines are feeling the same pressures and are having just bizarre customer service issues.


    My point?


    It’s messy out there!








    Yes I too am an Explora cheer leader having 1st sailed EJ  in October 2023 find the product post covid to be great on board and better than most. I have found back of the house still needs work such as dealing with Ambassadors but it has improved over time.


    We have been on 3 lines post covid and found O and Celebrity noticeably different with products that have deterioted a bit post covid.


    EJ has been excellent and we are booked again



    • Like 1
  11. 1 hour ago, Sthrngary said:

    @JTor In my pre-retirement life, I was blessed to be both trained and to train other on the mind-set of the luxury guest.  This included what exceeds the guest expectations and what upset the luxury guest.  It was a life time of interesting data.  


    Luxury guests are like deposits in banks.  If during their initial touch-points, they are treated well, a deposit is made. The more deposits, the more the guest will put up with a certain level of issues if and when the come up. It is very important that at every touch-point, they are treated professionally, with great listening skills, where action promised are actually done, and as you mentioned in a timely progress, reported back on your issue before the client contact the brand again.  


    Luxury client actually rate the brand higher if an issue happens, that issue is resolved in a timely matter, to the clients satisfaction.  The client rates them higher then if no issue had ever happened.  The reason is, most clients think, if an issue happens it may never be resolved.  When it does and it is a priority of the brand, the brand gets better scores.  Interesting stuff.  


    The other interesting issue is if an issue like both of our IT situations do EVENTUALLY get resolved, but it takes forever, we get NO feedback throughout the process or we fix it ourselves out of frustration; that same client could care less the issue is resolved.  They will harbor resentment with the way it was handled.  So fixing it is only part of the equation.  Fixing it fast, to the clients satisfaction it the key.  Most brands fail at issue resolution in a huge way. This is even worse when the brand marketing department make Value Statement like and I am Paraphrasing, "We will re-define the Luxury Cruise Market."


    To your point in showing appreciate to the client for their patience with some sort of perk.  That is ONLY needed, it the resolution take way to long and other issues happen that frustrate the client throughout the process.  If the issue is resolved quickly, the client is more then pleased. 


    As this relates to Explora Journey Cruises.  This learning curve is taking them way long.  For me, I can deal with it, because I have been on the other side of this issue.  I know, the actual cruise will be lovely. In addition, I have leveraged two sales that are working together.  So to coin a word, "The price is right".  If it was their normal pricing, depending on the penalty, I would have cancelled already.  


    Hope all that makes sense.


    Cruise well and enjoy every moment.

    Perfectly logical and well stated.  I have always held the belief based on my travel experience that the beginning and end matter the most as far as how I feel about my travel experience as the middle usually takes care of itself.  This applies to my hotel experiences and travel  in general JMHO which may not matter to anyone but me


    Thank you for your thoughts

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  12. 2 hours ago, Sthrngary said:

    I might be wrong however, I thought the topic of this thread was "potential changes to Oceania Cruises due to cost cutting measures".  The whys, pros and cons of those cuts.  Funny how a thread goes down it own path and personalities tend to often clash if opinions are challenged.  


    Social media is designed for engagement, lively debate and sharing of ideas.  Cruises by nature are in many ways designed for engagement.  Some sites draw a group of people that anonymously want to always be negative.  Other draw folks that want to ONLY be positive to a point of losing sight of the fact that NO cruise or cruise brand is ever 100% perfect. 


    Tying back to the topic that @MEFIowa authored.  We as a group of like minded cruisers (We like Oceania), need to help each other set expectations.  If something is added, deleted or changed; share the item with the group.  This allows many cruisers that are new, current and long-time guests, to manage what they can expect on their next voyage.  If you don't like what a contributor says, or they always come across as negative, as well as, always saying the same thing. Simply block them, or ignore them.  I am quite sure I have been personally ignored more times then I would every want to know.  "I tend to be a very sensitive person and love to be part of a group that would have me. Or would never want to be part of a group that would have me.  Not sure which one."


    All we can do is be open to reality, change never stops.  If the change effects our choose of a product of service, we take our money elsewhere.  Just nice to have a professional place to gain that information that focuses on the fact and reality instead of criticizing the contributors. Rare opportunity to keep our sanity. 


    Cruise well and enjoy every moment. 

    We were overall happy with our February cruise on the Vista. Some cost cutting was evident while entertainment was excellent.  Our issue was mainly that the ship sailing full was crowded and felt crowded in many parts of ship including Terrace in the evening show room and even GDR while pretty was noisy and  crowded 



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  13. 15 hours ago, Hlitner said:

    Interesting points of view.  Those of us who have a lot of travel and cruise experience (in my case it is more than 50 years) always suggest that flying-in at least 1 day early (for domestic ports) and more than 1 day for foreign ports, is wise.  We would only consider gambling on a same day flight if we were comfortable with a Plan B, in how to catch-up with the trip.  For an embarkation in Copenhagen, where the ship is in nearby Arhus the following day, is a good example of where one might take a chance.  On a closed loop Caribbean cruise, we would not gamble.


    While we understand the arguments for flying in the day of....those folks should consider "what if they are wrong" and miss their ship.  Can they catch up without spending a lot of extra money?  Is it even possible?  For those cruising without a valid Passport, it can be a problem.   Also be careful with trip insurance, because most policies have a clause requiring a flight be scheduled to arrive X number of hours before the scheduled embarkation.  So, if your policy requires a 6 hour window, and your is scheduled to get you to the port 5 hours before your cruise, you will collect zero insurance if you miss that cruise.


    The other reason for arriving days early is for folks with checked luggage.  Luggage seldom gets lost, but more commonly misses a flight, or gets mis directed, and will usually catch-up the following day.  That is not good if you are already out to sea.



    On a 14 night SB cruise some years ago we flew from PDX to Alaska on the earliest flight of the day of departure of our 14 night cruise. My luggage however did not make the flight. With some stress and strain and fantastic customer as well.as good luck  service my luggage made the next flight in time for departure and was delivered to the ship some almost 2 hours from the airport. I did book the earliest flight knowing there was a flight soon to follow in case of a problem


    I have not made that mistake again


    All the best

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  14. On 6/26/2024 at 11:21 AM, Sthrngary said:

    @Host Jazzbeau Jazz, great to hear from you.  Thank you for taking the time to reply to my post.  My approach has provided much fruit in the past, with many other brands.  So when I am working with a new cruise brand, I simply use the same strategy.  Where it is true, I may be put into the Norman Thomas file, love that term, which is always a possibility, usually it only takes two cycles of the letter to gain the needed action or response.  


    EJ being a new brand and also associated with a European company may cause a less then acceptable outcome, however worth my effort at least.  I assure you, after my retirement, when I approach things like this, it is strictly for hobby and or sport. My excessive blood pressure meds, keep me safe on that front. The great news is most folks that get on the EJ ships seem to really enjoy the experience.  For me, that is no downside.  


    As I have said before, we are lucky to have you here as our voice of reason.  


    Cruise well and enjoy every moment.




    I have used an online information portal that lists the names phone numbers and emails addresses of many major businesses including AM Ex and Alaska Airlines. I have been able to resolve major issues because I had the right contact info that may not be generally available. I once reached the administrative assistant of a major corporation CEO  whose office was just outside the door of the CEO. My problem was resolved in a matter of hours.



    Does one have to wait until after payment to reserve excursions? Dining reservations are available  60 out? I think


    Thanks for your  posts

    It would have been fun to have been on same ship in January


    All my best


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