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About californiacruiseluvrs

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  1. Italian guy. Sailed with him three times before. Done with replying. I gave my honest opinion and experience with the hotel director. My review and comments were made for cruisecritic members and voyeurs wanting information about Sirena.
  2. Just an update...recently off of Seabourn Encore. Internet was better than Odyssey class ships. Not sure if this is because Encore is newer with better satellite or geographically related. Definitely not fast enough to stream, but was able to utilize voice over WiFi most of the time with no problem which was very helpful as I have no choice, but to keep in touch with my business. We are leaving next week on Ovation and the staff I know on board says WiFi is rather good. I'm sure as a Carnival product they will roll out some form of MedallionNet throughout their brands. We were on Ruby Princess in late November (fresh out of drydock) and initial stages of MedallionNet were installed. Impressive system overall including keyless cabin entry, enhanced in cabin entertainment options, a phone app (with texting) and high speed WiFi. I thought this was very well done. At the end of the day I wish we could truly get away and not have expectations of being available 24/7. Being connected 24/7 is unfortunate, but for many the anxiety of not being is worse - especially if you own your own business. How nice it would be to truly be able to unwind and disconnect except for emergencies. Perhaps one day when I retire...ahhhh.
  3. We are Seabourn loyalists, but do try other lines as well. Last December we took Viking to the Caribbean. Observations: gorgeous ship!, outstanding service, amazing cabins and bathrooms, strange crowd (on our sailing), food was awful, WiFi amazing, best spa at sea. Despite the food - we would go again. Outstanding overall experience. Cannot really compare with Seabourn. Seabourn is uber luxury and I'm not sure where Viking sits, but very good.
  4. Thanks for replies everyone! I have been in contact with a few of the officers on Ovation and they confirmed WiFi speed is much faster than other Seabourn ships. However, no word as to whether and when other ships in the fleet will get the upgrade. Seabourn still remains my favorite! A very special experience indeed.
  5. We just returned from a 7-night Alaska sailing on RSSC Mariner after her dry dock. I won't be posting a formal review. We were very disappointed for the most part. Let me preface my comments by the following. Brand loyalty is usually built on brand consistency, experience and quality. For example, if you are in a Starbucks in Seattle or a Starbucks in New York you know you are in a Starbucks and there is brand consistency and quality which leads to the experience. This was my fifth Regent cruise. Having been on Explorer and wowed AND read about refurbishments of other ships in the fleet it was insinuated by Regent that they would be "Explorerizing" their other ships. Wrong!!!! I was on Mariner pre dry dock as well. The public areas are beautiful and redone quite nicely. However, epic failure with the staterooms. We chose one of the most expensive suites on the ship and were extremely underwhelmed and disappointed. The torn wallpaper and rusted door hinges were shocking. Sure there was the new bed and furniture, but certainly not well done. Lighting remained old, dark, uninviting and uninspiring. The biggest disappointment - bathrooms were untouched! Bathrooms should have been ripped and replaced. Instead they were left moldy and untouched - almost 20 years old! Unconscionable given the press release and claims made by Regent. Very much a bait and switch. We paid over $18k for one week and in addition to itinerary chose this cruise because of (1) our experience on Explorer and (2) the understanding that the Mariner would be (2) "Explorerized". Getting back to Starbucks. With any brand, but especially cruise lines and hotels there SHOULD be brand consistency. Regent has NO brand consistency when it comes to accommodations. So if you are going on any ship other than Explorer or Splendor and are familiar with Explorer - buyer beware! If you don't care about old moldy bathrooms and redone, but dated cabins go for it. If you expect consistency on par with Explorer you will be very disappointed. Food was outstanding. Internet speed impressive. Entertainment the worst I've seen. No vibe on the ship. Senior crew members were over the top wonderful! However, the rest of the crew was for the most part extremely disappointing, not well trained and frankly unfriendly if not flippant and rude. On all five Regent cruises I've found the crew members to be indifferent and often getting a return "hello" or a smile to be painful for these robotic and unhappy employees. A big issue - sorry if you need a safe space after I say this - is that Regent and Oceania have been hiring gobs of crew members not proficient in the English language and on these lines where English is the primary language this creates a huge service issue. Nonetheless, we had a fabulous time with great friends and seeing wonderful sites. Always make the most of any trip. My take away - in the true luxury cruise market Seabourn and Crystal win hands down. As a last aside, for fascinating reasons I can't figure out certain brands attract certain personality types. I find Regent passengers to be reserved, unfriendly, stuffy and not the fun loving type. By comparison Seabourn and Crystal seem to attract a crowd that is fun, young at heart and vibrant - regardless of age. In summary, Regent is not true luxury - more like true all-inclusive.
  6. YES!!!! Do it! Been spending a bit of time on Seabourn recently. If the teens are mature and enjoy company of others, but not requiring tons of other teens (if any) it is a FANTASTIC option! Seabourn is an amazing line for all. Old school. Just returned last month from 14 days on Odyssey and there was single mom (widow) with two teenage daughters and they all LOVED it! We became very friendly. Seabourn is really special and I'm certain that the teenagers will have memories for a lifetime that will be so rich. Much more so than other lines.
  7. SEABOURN - PLEASE LISTEN TO YOUR LOYAL GUESTS - WE WANT HI SPEED WIFI AND INCLUDED! So the Carnival Corporation (Seabourn parent) is rolling out high speed WiFi on Princess ships. They will have a band width that can accommodate 6,000 guests at once with ability to stream video, have Face Time calls etc. I really hope at least with the launch of Ovation that Seabourn uses this technology to ensure high speed WiFi is available on Ovation - soon to be newest ship - and launches on all other ships. Seems crazy to me that a mass market product like Princess should have hi speed WiFi before a ship of only 500-600 passengers with it's luxury relative Seabourn. Perhaps akin to Chevrolet offering a high tech feature before it becomes available with Cadillac. Makes no sense. Here's a link: http://www.travelmarketreport.com/articles/Carnival-Corp-Tests-New-High-Speed-MedallionNet-WiFi-on-Princess-Cruises
  8. I'm sailing May 23rd. Does anybody know if bathrooms are going to be ripped and replaced in the suites?
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