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About markham

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    cunard, seabourn
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    eastern med

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  1. The last time we docked at Port Klang there was only a shuttle to a local shopping center. So if you want to visit KL you will probably want to book a tour with Seabourn or independently. (I have no idea about taxi service.) Happy and healthy sailing!
  2. As Mr Luxury says there is indeed less deck space and that includes for walking and deck sports- by far- on Encore and Ovation. Add on an additional 150 passengers and a warm weather sea day and you get a different vibe and, as you have seen, more deck chair hogs. So the Retreat is getting more use? That's good for Seabourn, I guess, and not so good for the punters who pay for it. Not my idea of luxury relative to the Odyssey, Sojourn and Quest. Simple as that. Oh, well... each to his own. Happy and healthy sailing!
  3. Given the realities it’s smart to plan a delicious lunch during your day of touring. No cruise ship can compare to the real thing. Happy and healthy sailing!
  4. Yes, Barbados is badly served by the airline industry. And with American Airlines the dominant carrier things are pretty awful since they had been using many 737 Max jets, withdrew them, changed schedules and disrupted lots of travelers’ carefully planned routings. American has a strangle-hold throughout much of the Caribbean but I am guessing that San Juan, Puerto Rico would be far better for starting and ending cruises. That said, there are worse airports. We added a week to our upcoming Ody cruise in order to disembark in Barbados rather than St Martin, our original disembarkation port. Anyway, have a great time during those 2 days. We concur about the “2 day rule” given the risk of delayed luggage. Grrrrr. Happy and healthy sailing!
  5. Just because someone says the Retreat is booked does not mean that it is fully booked. Call me skeptical. I remain unconvinced that many people will pay $350/couple for this waste of space. Unless something has changed- it's at a fire sale price or free, a full spa day with hair salon services is delivered there, it's now tax-deductible for those whom the minimum deduction is not relevant, and/or it's become a "member's club" of some nefarious sort temporarily. If it really is popular I hope that a group of anthropologists and naturalists will be hoisted down to do a documentary. Should be interesting fun to see. Happy and healthy sailing!
  6. The deck area you are referring to is my pet peeve: the Retreat. It is only on the Encore and Ovation. Not on the Odyssey, Quest or Sojourn, irrespective of what the erroneous deck plans of those ships show. (Apparently Seabourn marketing people have never been on the ships...) The Retreat is a poor, money-grabber of an idea, in my opinion. But if someone wants to spend $350 per day for a top deck airless cabana with TV, lounge chairs and champagne but no views in order to retreat from hoi polloi then go for it! As for me I will save the dosh and head for my suite. Too bad though for Encore and Ovation passengers that the deck sports area found on Ody, Soj and Quest was sacrificed for this nonsense. Happy and healthy sailing!
  7. I would have stopped taking the review seriously when I read 1:2 went to 1:3. Seabourn is very close to 1:1 and always has been with the Ody class ships slightly “more so” than the Encore class ships. Happy and healthy sailing!
  8. So some have noticed that at embarkation Diamond Elite passengers board first? Diamond Elite passengers are Seabourn's most loyal and valuable customers. They have earned the status that the loyalty club- that everyone is enrolled in - delivers to them. That is why Seabourn should and does board them first. What's wrong with that? How many DE and D customers are there on any cruise? 10-50 people? How long does this group require to get through the check-in? 10-20 minutes? Seabourn remains egalitarian in that there are no off-limits lounges, priority tour signup or restrictive restaurant reservation standards. I see no reason for anyone to complain. Who hasn't seen airlines board do this for their top mileage customers? Happy and healthy sailing!
  9. Eating nightly at TK? How could anyone do that? The food - all the main courses especially - is so rich and some such as the chicken and sole so salty and bathed in butter, not to mention how rich the steaks are, makes TK an occasional treat. I could not digest such food more often than that. I imagine that these perennials made a fuss about something and, rather than allow the MDR maître d’ manage the situation going forward, made up their own terms as a solution. If so, then these characters are hardly worth the effort. Sooner or later their cholesterol levels will respond as to how clever they were with the tactic. Good luck to them. About the lady who commandeered a table of 4 for herself, it’s sorta sad she can’t find someone with whom to share a meal. Probably gets through the course quickly. That’s make for a sad experience in my book. I knew a couple on another line that reserved one of the 2 top suites for years on the world cruise and they ate dinners with their stuffed toy animals. At least they had company of a sort and no one seemed to mind given that these were fixed table assignments. But on Seabourn- with its egalitarian product? Seems a bit pretentious and lonely. Anyway, the MDR on the Ody class ships is large enough to accommodate most passengers at the same time, including those with their own personal quirks. Now that I think of it, I have not heard of such behaviors at the Colonnade or Patio Earth and Ocean restaurants. Happy and healthy sailing!
  10. I’ve just decided that the word “perks” is off-putting. Is it a 1980s term that sharp marketers of credit introduced and then somehow leached into the vernacular? Yes, yes... “when the going gets tough the tough go shopping” during the 1980 US recession may well have gotten them on track with “perks”. If you have to mention “perks” on Seabourn my message is everyone gets them relative to Regent, Crystal and Q1 Cunard. To the extent there are lines everyone stands in them. You want reservations and tours? Sign up like everyone else. If you want to talk about airlines, Seabourn has a loyalty program where you earn benefits including free cruises after lots of cruises. PH and above earn more points faster. So that is customary; just keep sailing. Seabourn started with 200 passenger ships and an egalitarian Scandinavian style which was very appealing. Now two of their ships have deviated a bit with this nonsense $350/couple per day Retreat where you can retreat from hoi polloi. Maybe WG passengers can demand free entry as a perk? That would be consistent in the world of perks. Happy and healthy sailing!
  11. Why eat with “staff”? These individuals have lots to say and discuss about their experience as professionals on board, their travels, and their personal lives- for starters. As a result, they make excellent dinner companions. That’s partly why they participate in the program. The other obvious reason is that everyone who accepts the invitations are bound to enjoy themselves provided that they recognize the special nature of such hosted tables. That means lots of listening, banter and contributing constructively with interesting information and insights, less about themselves, and no talk about politics and money. Seabourn is renown for this easy mixing at hosted dinner table by self-selected and fortunate guests, officers and other personnel. Oh, and by the way, there is no tradeoff on Seabourn ships between social engagements such as these and safety. Happy and healthy sailing!
  12. Sojourn is a relatively small ship. The information above is accurate. You will find your way around quickly and hopefully find or create the crowd you seek. But this is not a “party line” at all. I hope you will not be disappointed and that you will be prepared to adjust your current expectations. Happy and healthy sailing!
  13. SLSD, I appreciate your position re TK and pretentious behavior! You and your husband make a strong team. Further, I look forward to our next Seabourn cruise together. Happy and healthy sailing!
  14. Different strokes. Yes, code is casual. Fine. But the ship delivers a 5 star service. FS, Aman? That matters not at all to me here. You have Gilbert orchestrating a sophisticated restaurant service and smart butlers in corridors wearing tails. The substance is not lost on me: these people are proud to serve. It’s a matter of respect, something my parents taught me. My take is that tee shirts and blue jeans are out of place. Anyone can pack some collared shirts and trousers. And a sports jacket. There are no children here but if there were maybe they would be given a pass... As for these adults? That up to them, obviously. Happy and healthy sailing!
  15. Just to be clear, the “slippage” now on Cloud is related to its role as an expedition ship. It is incongruous to me that the MDR with its professional ie competent and comprehensive flow of service with its authentic, top quality and generous choice menu is delivered to passengers who are so informally dressed. They did not lose their luggage; they are in their zone - as they might be at home. Few sport jackets, of course no ties, too many on jeans and sports shoes, following drinks at Dolce Vita in their tee shirts. That said, it could be worse. The overall experience and calm are a credit to its mature and affable maitre d’hotel, Gilbert. So nothing to do with us... Happy and healthy sailing!
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