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About freddie

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    Camano Island, WA

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  1. Thank you all for your very kind and helpful comments. On balance, it appears that it would be easier simply to bring my 2-in-1 laptop along, in order to have a familiar device. Further, I like Happy Cruiser's reminder that it is nice to be able to access the internet in one's cabin while dressed in a bathrobe and sitting on the sofa or at the dining table. With lots of sea days, easy internet access will be most pleasant (although not as pleasant or mandatory as easy bar access...).
  2. Yikes! Does that mean only Mac machines? What about us poor folks who only know how to use PC's? Hmm, looks like I'll have to bring the laptop along on the cruise, right?
  3. I enthusiastically agree with your first statement quoted above. The sort of thing with which I cannot agree (other than with a gun placed to my temple) is that a waiter should be expected to know which Hungarian dessert wine you might prefer with your French apple pie. That is simply pretentious. Although I haven't sailed on Oceania, I have cruised extensively on its "big sister" line, Regent. I predict that you will not find a lot of members of management on Oceania (many of whom come from Regent) who are eager to be "educated" by someone of your esteemed background in food service.
  4. I must admit that I agree with K12Guy that the OP seems to have spent most of the cruise finding things about which to complain. He has managed to comingle a few genuinely valid matters of concern with many extremely trivial kvetches. I am not by the remotest sense a cheerleader for X, as we will be taking our first cruise on X in September; but I am an experienced cruiser on small luxury ships. It is evident to me that the OP would have been as dissatisfied with the service on Seabourn or Regent as he was on X. Frankly, the notion that he expected the waitstaff in a huge dining room to remember his remarkably detailed preferences for dining is simply preposterous and unrealistic. It does appear that "poser" (or, more likely in this case, "poseur") does sadly apply. The whole post seems to be more of a boastful declaration of his own expertise than a reasonable critique of the service on the ship. Indeed, if I were in X management, I would send this poster a box of brochures regarding cruising on the competition, in the firm hope that he would take his little game of culinary one-upmanship to another line. With some pax, there really is a point of diminishing returns, no?
  5. On our Eclipse cruise from Vancouver to Tokyo in September, we will have "unlimited internet access" included as a benefit of our cabin fare. Is there a computer room or other space on the ship with computers for pax to use? I have looked closely at the deck plans and have not found a computer center; but perhaps I have missed it. I don't like typing on the screen keyboard on my tablet and will bring a laptop along on the cruise if there are no computers available to use on board. Thanks for any helpful suggestions from veteran X'ers.
  6. On the X website, the date shown for Solstice going into "Revolution" is Oct. 29, 2021. Does anyone have reliable info to the contrary? It is certainly pertinent to us, as we are booked from Vancouver to Tokyo for Sept. 10-26, 2021.
  7. One should bear in mind that even on Formal Optional evenings, that dress code is only applicable to the Restaurant. The other dining venues and the rest of the ship remain Elegant Casual, if one prefers that mode. Thus, one is not forced to choose between dining at a table or having popcorn in one's cabin (although the latter may well be more fun). Raphael - very cute bichon, by the way.
  8. Stickman (is it Terry??) - I will respectfully disagree with your statements regarding the theatres, at least the one on Symphony. Unless it was dramatically re-constructed during the last drydock, it is a remarkably poor venue for an otherwise lovely ship. First, the "sloping floors" are much closer to flat than sloping, meaning that it is quite difficult to see over the people between one's seat and the stage. Perhaps you are confusing the sloping floors in the movie theatre with those in the production theatre. Second, the capacity of the theatre is considerably less than half the pax capacity of the ship, resulting in "standing room only" being the rule rather than the exception on our cruise from Tokyo to Vancouver, whether at early or late shows. The theatres on the older Regent ships are magnificent for ships of that size, with remarkably high ceilings, two levels of excellent viewing seating, and genuinely sloped seating levels, all while allowing the full capacity of the ship to view any show. I have read that the theatres on the new Regent ships have sadly not followed that standard in some respects. I will enthusiastically agree with you regarding the boorish practice of holding up phones or (even worse) tablets to record parts of the performance. Perhaps the cruise lines could impose some protocols to deal with that practice (which is banned on all of the lines that we sail). Maybe it would be appropriate for ship staff to plug a recharging cable into the offending passenger, with the helpful intent of keeping his/her offending device charged, not to mention giving the passenger a little reminder of common courtesy to other passengers. Nothing like a bit of electricity to put one's moral compass back in line, no??
  9. Qld13 - There is no evening and no dining, drinking, or entertainment venue on a Regent ship on or in which you would have a "problem" entering without a jacket & tie. There are no restrictions anywhere on the ships regarding a jacket & tie or lack thereof. Whilst it is true that some posters may suggest that it is "appropriate" to wear jacket & tie in some restaurants or for some evenings, that is simply the personal bias of those posters, as that is clearly not the Regent policy. We take our dress code clues from the Regent policies, rather than from the personal opinions and biases of other passengers. Tommy Bahama Forever!!
  10. Boblerm - I, for one, enjoy your writing style very much and have devoured your blog. As a fellow victim of readers not understanding irony or jokes, I empathize with you in that regard. I have found (not to encourage stereotyping, but to recognize that sometimes stereotypes are based on reality) that Brits appreciate irony and dry (even cynical) humor more than many Americans seem to be able to do. CC readers and posters can become a bit (or more than a bit) too literal and sincere with respect to comments made, with the result that disputes arise and feelings are hurt. In any event, thanks for taking us along for the splash.
  11. We absolutely agree that on SB, as on the other lines that we cruise (Regent, SS, & Crystal), the best options if one wishes to show appreciation for good service are the crew welfare fund and a positive comment on the mid-cruise and end-of-cruise forms. However, and not with the intention of throwing this thread wildly off-topic, I would like to respectfully make an observation with regard to "small, non-cash gifts" instead of cash. The crew members have compact, shared quarters with little room for such things as souvenirs from our various hometowns, about which they have quite understandably little interest. Therefore, I will be so brazen as to propose that if one does wish to tip in some fashion to show appreciation for a particular crew member having gone above and beyond the expected norm, then that tip is most useful in the form of simple cash, which takes very little space, is not fattening or in violation of a crew member's religion or health, and is something that the crew member can use on his/her next visit home to the family. Just a notion to consider...
  12. We had a glorious experience a few years ago on Xpedition, followed by a wonderful tour to MP. It was all in late April/early May, with perfect weather both in the islands and in Peru. As for the tour to MP, I would sincerely suggest that you consider booking a private excursion, rather than going with whatever Celebrity offers. That is what we did, to our great satisfaction. If you do a private excursion, which surprisingly might be well within the same price range (or even less) than that offered by Celebrity, you will have a great deal more flexibility. In our case, we flew from Quito to Lima at the end of our Galapagos adventure on Xpedition, and then on to Cuzco. We spent a night in the Sacred Valley to get a bit accommodated to the altitude and then took the train to MP, where we spent two nights at the wonderful Sanctuary Lodge at the ruins at MP. Finally, the train back to Cuzco for a couple of nights at the lovely Monasterio in Cuzco before flying back to Lima and on to the U.S. All of this, with private guides, was less $$ than a tour half as long (and not with the same luxe hotels) as the Celebrity offering. It's a bit of an effort to organize; but it you enjoy travel planning, you can make a marvelous trip of it.
  13. Perhaps, Wripro, you could be so kind as to simply skip this thread if it offends you, unless, of course, it gives you the occasion to add to your total post count by complaining about something that you can so easily avoid. Heaven forbid that any of your posts would be positive or non-snarky. Frankly, I have found it handy on a number of different cruise line CC sites to find an ongoing dress code thread running so that pax do not have to "do a search", which is not always terrifically effective on the CC format. Further, dress codes are in a constant state of change, even on our beloved luxury lines, which means that the statements of older threads may have been rendered entirely irrelevant by recent (and, thankfully, nearly always more casual) changes in a particular line's dress code. In any event, I am grateful to the kind posters who have confirmed my hazy (even though recent ) recollection that elegant casual is indeed the dress code du soir on the whole ship except for The Restaurant on Formal Optional evenings. Our friends who are joining us in a few weeks on Sojourn will be pleased to have my rather dotty advice verified by more reliable sources.
  14. I have noted that the venerable thread regarding Dress Code was locked for some reason several months ago. One of the waiters on our last cruise suggested that the lock may have been due to someone describing on the thread my last visit to the TK Grill, wearing a see-through singlet, ragged Levi cut-offs, flip-flops, and a Seattle Mariners baseball cap worn backwards. I do recall that the ensemble caused one of the waiters to faint into the tableside Caesar salad that he was creating, while another waiter was so appalled that he dropped the tray with that lovely roasted chicken splayed so dramatically across. I will humbly ask all of those offended to forgive me and have even tossed out my Mariners cap as an act of atonement. However, I am firm in my belief that a regular thread needs to exist to answer reasonable (or semi-reasonable) enquiries regarding what is required (not what would be required if a particular poster ran the world) by the cruise line for the various venues on the SB ships with respect to attire. Pillory me and my singlet if you must; but please be kind to people who make genuine requests for info. As a start, the friends who are joining us next month for 20 days on Sojourn are first-time SB pax and are concerned about the alternative dining venues on formal-optional evenings. I have suggested to them that on those evenings, The Colonnade remains elegant casual (i.e. no jacket required), whether or not it is an evening with a special TK menu. Further, the rest of the ship, except for The Restaurant, also remains elegant casual. Please be so kind as to advise me whether the accuracy of my recollection has gone the way of my Mariners cap and should be tossed.
  15. I firmly agree with Wripro that these sorts of policies and enforcement thereof should be consistent throughout the fleet and not subject to the whims of a particular HD. Similarly, the decision of whether to open The Restaurant for lunch on port days should be based on a company policy and clearly communicated to prospective pax.
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