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Everything posted by Joanandjoe

  1. Thanks. Fortunately, we'll be driving the 300+ miles to get to the ship; so we'll just have to pack heavily. Too bad: packing light is better.
  2. On most of our ACL cruises, we've washed our clothing mid-trip at the guest laundry. We'll be on the Independence for a Maine cruise in August, and the deck plans do not show a laundry. Does anyone know whether the ship has a place to wash one's clothing?
  3. Airfare for non-stops round trip, business class, is about $2,500 from JFK. The cost from Denver is about the same, and there are other cities with non-stops to Keflavik airport. Refundable Saga class tickets cost only slightly more than non-refundable ones. It might pay to book something DFW to DEN (or JFK or BOS or any of about 10 US cities) and then take the Icelandair flight.
  4. Yes, there's a 15% discount for booking onboard; but the OP is thinking of an initial cruise. If you have a travel agent you trust, use him or her. Our TA also gives a small rebate and/or shipboard credit; but some TA's do not. For good and bad, the TA runs interference for you if you need it. That's mostly good; but the downside is that, if you use a TA, ACL does most dealings with the TA, not with you. After we booked our shore excursions, for example, the confirmations were sent to the TA, who forwarded them to us. For trip insurance, get quotes for true insurance, including medical, evacuation, etc., before you book any cruise line's insurance. Most of the time, independently purchased insurance is better than cruise line insurance - but it pays to check both types. We've had a few dozen cruises since our first cruise in 1998, and have never used the cruise line's insurance.
  5. The Queen of the West, which we sailed on in 2015, was acquired from another cruise line, and had smaller cabins than on ships built for ACL. Set forth below is a partial review od our 2013 ccruise on what was then the Queen of the Mississippi, from Memphis to NOLA. Most of the cruise was wonderful, although there were sime service snags in the dining room due ti everyone arriving for meals at the same time. They;ve manged to smooth things out since then by lengthening the dining hours. Here is our 2013 review: We recently sailed with you on the Queen of the Mississippi, starting in Memphis on 4/13/2013 and ending in New Orleans on 4/20/2013. By and large, it was a delightful experience...as it should be, for $750 per person daily. We stayed in room 310. The captain could not have been more welcoming...even giving an impromptu tour on Monday on request, and arranging tours of the bridge later in the trip. The entertainment was superb...we enjoyed the banjo player, the Riverlorian and his lovely wife who sang, the New Orleans jazz group, and the Victory Belles were all standouts. The rooms were lovely, and we sat on our balcony several times just congratulating ourselves on being there in the sun with the river going by. The lounges delighted us, especially the second floor lounge with the paddle wheel in the window and the "rocking pig". The shore excursions were carefully chosen, and I will remember that wonderful concert at the Joe Stone House in Natchez for a long time to come. Oak Alley swarmed with visitors, but we were there first thing in the morning and got to see the mansion in all its solitary splendor with costumed guides walking toward us to unlock the gate...as if the host and hostess were inviting us into the house in 1859. Had we been on our own in Vicksburg, we would have spent more time at the Cairo and at the Visitors Center and less time riding around...but the guide was very interesting in her own way and certainly well-informed. Certainly, the drive conveyed the scope of Grant's encampment...All in all, a trip to remember.
  6. There are lots of reviews here on Cruise Critic: https://www.cruisecritic.com/cruise/american-cruise-lines/queen-of-the-mississippi I'll check later whether we've been on this ship. If you don't want to fly, why not take the storied train, City of New Orleans, one way and an ACL ship in the other direction. You can even listen to the song, or song it, as you travel. That way, you won't have to fly or drive, and you can see the area between the two cities in two different ways. The train takes about 9 hours.
  7. I had some questions regarding my own cruise; so I asked ACL your questions after I received my information, They do, indeed, use Pier 81, at the Hudson River and 41st Street, just south of the Intrepid museum and just north of the Lincoln Tunnel. (Look up the location on your favorite map site, such as Google Maps.) That means that both Newark and LaGuardia are better airport choices than JFK. ACL offfers free transportation to all three airports at the end of the cruise If you are flying in a day or two before the cruise, you might want a hotel in midtown, on the West Side. Yotel is quite close to the pier; but the tiny rooms are not everyone's cup of tea.
  8. Call them and ask. ACL used to sail from the Chelsea piers at 23rd St. & the Hudson River; but I believe they now use Pier 36 on the East River, between the Manhattan ans Williamsburg Bridges. That location puts all three airports - JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark - in play.
  9. We are in Istanbul waiting to board the ship tomorrow. Even that will be delayed because the route to the ship will be blocked until mid-afternoon by the finish of Turkey's equivalent of the Tour de France bike race. Five new ports, 4 of which we've been to. We've also been to 2 of the 4 unchanged ports. They're offering a 25% future cruise credit, which is only useful if we decide not to cancel our one booked Regent cruise for next April. Israel was the reason for the cruise, especially the pre-cruise. Thank heaven we were not in Israel when the terror started; but we wouldn't have taken this cruise without Israel, and we certainly wouldn't have paid 75% of the fare for this cruise for the cruise on which we will be sailing. 10 days on Regent may or may not give us a reason to sail with them again. One star minus rating for the Regent management people who wouldn't allow us to cancel and get a full refund; but five stars for the back office people who managed to get (almost) all of us to Istanbul and to come up with 5 ports, even "been there, done that" ports. We are upset, though, that there are now no sea days. We LOVE sea days, as long as there aren't too many of them.
  10. An interesting question is how they will provision the ship if their supply trucks can'tr get to the pier. I guess they will have deliveries earlier than usual.
  11. Or even Rhodes or malta, since we are already going to Crete.
  12. We asked our TA about why Brits were getting their money back and we weren't, She said that the refunds were a matter of British law, and the US has no similar protective law. BTW, we still haven't gotten flights for the revised trip. We don't even know what day we are supposed to leave. It's still possible that we will cancel.
  13. I wish there was a way to sell my reservation to Pcardad, but the ID/TSA/Passport requirements make this impossible.
  14. If they were doing all they can do, they would allow cancellations with future cruise credits or refunds. That would leave them with fewer people to rebook, and would create a financial loss for them in the short term, but lots of goodwill in the long term.
  15. The point is that some of us do not feel safe right now in Egypt or Turkey. That's why we were planning to stay on the ship in Port Said rather than go to the pyramids. Regent changed our original, magnificent 16 day cruise onto a much less desirable 10 day cruise. Now this. If Regent doesn't change its mind, and allow cancelations, we will cancel planned future cruises and avoid Regent.
  16. As I posted on the roll call for the 10/15 cruise, I hope that Michael Moore or someone else from Regent management is reading this thread. Regent will have a lot of unhappy customers, and will lose some of them, if they give us a choice of taking an unsafe itinerary (and an undesirable one even if it were safe) or forfeiting large sums of money. I wouldn't have signed up for Turkey to Egypt at any price, much less Regent prices.
  17. "Hang in there" email just received: IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING UPCOMING CALLS TO ISRAEL ON SEVEN SEAS VOYAGER® Dear Valued Guest and Travel Partner, We have been closely following the tragic events in Israel and with utmost concern for the safety and security of our guests and crew we are reviewing Seven Seas Voyager’s scheduled visits to Haifa on Oct 14 and 15, and Ashdod on October 16 and 17. Our operational teams are currently working hard to assess the situation and potential alternative ports of call if required. Any impacts to the cruise itinerary, flights as well as any pre-cruise land programs will be advised to guests as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience in this fluid situation. Regent Seven Seas Cruises Regent Seven Seas Cruises Reservations Phone Numbers: • United States / Canada: 1.844.4REGENT (1.844.473.4368) or (954) 776-6123 • United Kingdom: 023 8082 1390 • Rest of Europe: +44 23 8082 1350 • Australia / New Zealand / Asia Pacific: 1.300.455.200 • Latin America / Brazil: 0800 400-3132 or +1 (954) 940-7486 Please note that this email address does not accept replies.
  18. Lonedaddy, we look forward to seeing you in Israel next week, either in Jerusalem if you are on the pre-cruise trip, or on the ship. Is the certificate program still in effect? We did this once, and it was quite useful. However, the onbourd booking rules mentioned in the link in post # 7 does not mention the future cruise certificates.
  19. It's true that comparing Regent and ACL is an apple and orange comparison, but here's my two bits, with some discussion of our only European river cruise (Dutch tulips on the Avalon Poetry) Cabin size. Cabins on ACL are around 300 square feet. That's the size of most of our suites on Regent, although the balconies on ACL are smaller than on Regent. Most rooms on the Avalon Poetry 2 are 172 square feet, and we may have been on the Avalon 1 with even smaller rooms. Service. No service on ACL isn't as good as on Regent; but the 100% American crew is friendly and helpful When Joan found she hadn't packed sufficient socks, the assistant manager gave her three pair at no charge. Wow! On Avalon, 3/4 of the passengers were from one group, and the rest of us were largely ignored. Ugh! Food. Again, not as elegant as on Regent, but tasty and good. Dining room service was oftem faster than on Regent; and if one were really hungry at breakfast or lunch, the grill had lox, fruit and great pastries at breakfast, terrific burgers and other things at lunch. Again, we liked the food better than the Austrian-themed food on Avalon. Excursions. Either free or inexpensive on ACL, and mostly quite good, especially on the Columbia River. It's hard to draw a fair comparison between Davenport, Iowa and Barcelona, but both were interesting on both lines. Overall - Yes, more pampering on Regent, but we certainly didn't think there was a lack of luxury on our four ACL cruises.
  20. If you trust your TA, why would you book yourself? We have been using a Texas-based TA for years, after finding out that she is a Regent specialist. We book all of our cruises through her, including ACL. Very personal service, and much better than an online agency. Sadly, CC rules mean that we can't give any information about the agency she represents on this forum. There is one benefit of booking yourself: ACL will talk to you after you book. If you use a TA, everything goes through the TA. BTW, ACL is a very different experience than Regent, but we love both lines.
  21. I guess we'll be the only CC people on this cruise, which sails on Friday.
  22. American Jazz is doing Columbia and Snake River Cruises. It is currently (5:10 pm Pacific time) enroute to Richland, WA.
  23. Probably not allowed; but "not asking is an automatic NO." Have your TA ask Regent whether this is possible. Our next cruise is an US river cruise, and our cruise line, American Cruise Lines, is once again allowing guests who are vetted well in advance. We will have a dinner guest one night. Maybe Regent will allow a guest.
  24. We wouldn't let the possibility of chair hogs spoil your plans. They exist on every cruise line, from the monster ships to the tiny Windstar ships. Changing to Silversea or Explora wouldn't change this possible problem. At least Regent, which we love (about 125 days, with another 25 scheduled) , has a policy against chair hogging. I am a redheaded shade lover, and the worst deck chair problem I've ever had on Regent was dragging a chair from in the sun into the shade. If you love being in the sun, you're unlikely to have a problem.
  25. Interesting. Ours became available for viewing on the same day they were bookable. This was one day early: 61 days instead of 60. I believe that the extra day of availability was because it was 60 days before the "free: hotel room provided by ACL before our June 30 Upper Mississippi cruise.
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