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Everything posted by Joanandjoe

  1. We're signed up for "Tea at Reid's" for our NYC to Barcelona cruise next April on the Grandeur. If this was a disappointing tour, were there tours in Funchal that your fellow cruisers loved? Maybe we should pick something else. Thanks
  2. Whilst Got2Cruise is correct about 20% or so being correct in bars and restaurants, check your bill before you add a tip. Sometimes a tip has already been added. Also, be aware that in places that show bills on an iPad, you will be asked to tip, even for a cup of takeout coffee. In restaurants, that's OK, but be careful how much you tip. Tipping is not required for takeout; but it's nice to put some change and/or a dollar bill into the tip jar. Many travelers with large time zone changes (NZ to NYC) have room service the first night or order from a restaurant. Tip lavishly (but tips are often included in room service charges.) Beware if there is a mini-bar in your hotel room. If you even move the contents, you may incur an exorbitant charge. (Of course, once you are on the ship, everything in the mini-bar is included in the cruise cost.)
  3. We now have our flights and an extra night in St. Paul. Will anyone be joining us?
  4. We know where you are coming from. We mostly sail on Regent but have booked our first Viking cruise. The penthouse veranda staterooms, the closest in size to a minimal Regent room, are not much lower in cost per day. When you factor in airfare, extra cost excursions, tips, and a wider variety of included drinks on Regent, the costs are similar, and Viking may be more expensive than Regent. Our chosen Viking itinerary, however, is better for us than we could find on Regent (NYC to Iceland), since it includes a difficult to get to place, L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, where we have long wanted to go. Will Viking please us as much as Regent? Ask us after our 2025 cruise.
  5. We're signed up for a cruise (through a TA) for May 2025, but the final payment date shown on our invoice is for this December, 17 months in advance. That's a nonstarter. We're already paying for three cruises on other lines this year, and we would cancel rather than pay for a fourth. A pity: the ship is new, and the itinerary is wonderful. Is there any way to get the final payment date moved to closer to the 120 to 150 days we experience on other lines? (Actually, 90 days for our US river cruise.) We certainly would pay within those date ranges; but not 510 days in advance.
  6. Speak to the ACL office. They may have that information, and you might even have a chance to eat a meal on the ship.
  7. There have been a lot of posts on this subject, so we'll once again post our not very favorable review of our only Silversea cruise, in 2018, in the Gulf of Bothnia (between Sweden and Finland). One of our most interesting itineraries ever; Silversea has many itineraries that would be better for us than some of the "same old, same old" itineraries on Regent. Nonetheless, our experience was not a good one, and we are unlikely to sail Silversea again. Food - too many snafus and service problems, at multiple venues, none of our problems addressed. 7 pm meal times were a deal breaker, since there was no afternoon tea or decent snacks to tide us over. Entertainment. Shows were at 6:30 and/or 10 pm. 10 pm is too late for us, while 6:30 would have pushed our already-too-late dinner times to even later. Ports - generally interesting; but excursions were often disappointing. (Note: in reading the port and excursion reviews, the similar sounding Bornholm and Borgholm were different ports.) Service - generally on the same level as Regent. The butler didn't add much to the experience. Dress code. I didn't bring a tie with me. The one extra service from the butler was that he loaned me a tie. Ship - beautiful and newly "stretched"; but they failed to enlarge the public spaces to accommodate an greatly increased passenger load. Overall - Regent is a much better fit for us. Silver Spirit Review July 2018.docx
  8. We are Regent gold cruisers who are considering our first Viking cruise. No. wine lists will not be a determining factor; but we are curious. If something as basic as Chateau St. Michelle, which would be a below average wine on Regent, is an extra cost wine, what IS included? Viking looks fine to us in paper, but we haven't tried it yet. For the two people who say they'll stick to Regent (despite the outrageously high cost), why wouldn't you try Viking again?
  9. How was the cruise? Was it impacted by the low water levels of the river, or was it OK for the northern part where you sailed? How did you get between St. Louis and Alton, and between Red Wing and either the airport or one of the Twin Cities? Yes, we're aware that the cruise is actually Red Wing to St. Paul. We'll be staying at the ACL Hotel, the Hotel St. Paul, and ACL is supposed to get us to the ship. At the St. Louis end, our friend will pick us up in Alton. I'm hoping that ACL will alter its normal departure times so that we can see fireworks. We are, as you stated, going downstream.
  10. We are looking forward to our 4th ACL cruise on the American Symphony, 6/20/23 to 7/7/23, from St, Paul to Sr. Louis. We've booked our flights and hotels (including the "free" night pre-cruise in St. Paul before the cruise and 3 nights in St. Louis, where a good friend lives, after the cruise). We've even renewed our Global Entry cars, which include TSA pre-check, for what will be our first flights anywhere since August, 2019. All of our vacations since 8/19, including an ACL Chesapeake Bay cruise, have involved driving rather than flying. We suspect that Davenport, Iowa may be the highlight of the trip, since we hope to see the Field of Dreams during the day and a July 4th celebration sometime while we're in port. (This year, though, the fireworks and air show were on July 3rd, not the 4th.) Will anyone be sailing with us?
  11. Interesting. Regent used to use wireless headsets, which worked well on Regent and on my two recent trips with Road Scholar. "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!" Don't they know that many seniors, including the two of us, are not enamored of app-based technology? Regent cruisers include a lot of seniors.
  12. We're puzzled. We both have old LG (which doesn't make smartphones anymore) Android smart phones, which we only bought after our flip phones were no longer supported. We've never even tried to use headphones with them. We will soon replace the phones with 5G phones. Is Regent telling us that we need to buy headphones or wireless equivalents as well, even though we have absolutely no use for headphones under normal circumstances? No, we're not luddites; but we only buy technology that we need. If we're walking or driving, we don't want to have headphones to distract us. J & J
  13. Did you post your review on the SS board? Of so, I wouldn't be surprised to find people attacking ("flaming") you for your unfavorable review.
  14. Silversea has many itineraries that are more interesting than Regent itineraries, so we hoped to add Silversea to our favorites.. Therefore, in 2018 we took a Scandinavia cruise on the Silver Spirit that had one of the best itineraries we've ever sailed, to places on both the Swedish and Finnish sides of the seldom-visited Gulf of Bothnia, As shown in the attached review (the CC link had expired, so this is a Word Document), the ports were great, but Silversea was a huge disappointment. For cruises not wholly within the US (American Queen and American Cruise lines, with Viking an added starter), we'll stick to Regent. Silver Spirit Review July 2018.doc
  15. I'm glad you asked, and got the positive answer you wanted. As Joan likes to say: "not asking is an automatic no." Joe
  16. They might or might not be helpful; but it never hurts to call the ACL office. If they can't get you your excursions, maybe they can put you on a waitlist. Joe
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