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Everything posted by DavidTheWonderer

  1. Ah .. now I see that you have essentially asked the same question in another post on this board a few hours before the one I've been responding to.
  2. Sorry but I don't see anything in your post indicating what Regent told you. I can only see your comment. We'll be on that itinerary as part of the World Cruise, and I know that Easter Island is always a bit of a crap shoot as to whether we get to actually go there or not.
  3. There are folks who did their own travel arrangements to Singapore for a cruise on another line (Seabourn). The cruise was cancelled and these folks are stuck: Seabourn, reasonably, doesn't feel that taking care of them is a priority. The screaming on the CC board is loud and constant: Seabourn is instead scrambling to look after the people who used Seabourn's air and hotel arrangements. Similarly for the issue at hand: taking the Regent-supplied pre-cruise hotel vs. making your own arrangements. Be aware that making your own arrangements means you are much more on your own if something goes wrong. That said, we've always made our own arrangements. But there is a bit of an added risk in doing this. Another observation: the Regent-supplied hotel transports guests to the dock in a bus, which of course means a bit of a line-up to board. Again, not big deal but not as pleasant as taking a taxi from the hotel to the dock and waltzing on board with no fuss or muss.
  4. My godson is a musician on Carnival. Almost all the crew on that line, including him, use this.
  5. I think this is the wrong board for this question. The folks over on the Oceania board will be happy to advise you.
  6. I really enjoyed the "Off Road Adventure" code BRB-1609. The view from on top of the mountains is spectacular. However, the "road" is very minimal, so the Land Rover will be bouncing around a lot at steep angles. If you have back, neck, or mobility issues etc. you will want to pass on this one.
  7. In another post you mentioned you like preferred boarding, which I think you already have. You also said you like priority tendering and a specialty restaurant whenever you want. Are there any other perks that you think you should have? Would it be just as good if instead Regent took away some amenities from folks in the lesser cabins? Maybe they could be barred from the Observation Lounge, for example.
  8. The offer we received was because of a particular situation that was not going to be repeated, so we didn't see any point in sharing. But you bringing it up at this point is fairly outrageous on your part. To respond to your actual post, "devastating" to whom? You, who was working for the company in HR?
  9. First, here are some numbers to compare. The gross tonnage (GT) is a rough measure of how much space is available on the ship. Dividing by the number of passengers gives an indication of how uncrowded the ship is, so the higher the better. Regal Princess: 40 GT / passenger Regent Explorer: 72 GT / passenger The number of passengers per crew member will be correlated with the level of service the crew can provide. The lower the better. Regal Princess: 2.6 passengers / crew Regent Explorer: 1.4 passengers / crew Both space and staff are expensive, so Regent is similarly more expensive but gives you a lot more space and much more personalised service. Regarding a cost comparison, when you factor in the included air, excursions, gratuities, alcohol, etc. on Regent, the "all in" price difference between Princess and Regent is much less than you might think. Others have nicely summarised the comparisons for general ambience, etc. so I won't go much further, except for one observation. Because Regal has 3560 passengers compared to 750 on Explorer, the breadth of entertainment options on Regal will be broader than Explorer; the other side of the same coin is that the ambience on Regent will be more casual and relaxed. Some prefer the former, and others the latter. Personally, I have about 160 nights on Regent with another 117 booked for a 2021 world cruise, so my preference is pretty obvious.
  10. These comparisons threads are always interesting. But in my experience the variations between cruises on the same ship on the same line tend to be greater than the variations between different cruise lines. So the comparisons are always based on a limited sample. Put another way, within a category ("luxury" in this case) each line watches all the others very closely and try to make sure that they are at least competitive if not superior. Whether a particular cruise has some issues can not be predicted in advance: they happen but only rarely. As some say, on cruises "ship happens." Even in the worst case, it will be lovely provided your expectations are reasonable. So my advice is: don't angst about choosing between Regent and Seabourn and Crystal and .... They all deliver a wonderful product. If the price and itinerary work for you, go for it!
  11. The Cruise Critic boards for all lines are not necessarily indicative of the actual passengers on the ships. But in this case, the prime offender is no longer posting on the Regent board. Many are thrilled by this change.
  12. Although Explorer is Ross' favourite, I think Regent should demand that he join Mariner for the 2021 World Cruise, since I'll be on that one. (ahem) A wonderful pianist and a nice man.
  13. Previous posts have done a good job of answering your questions. I"ll only add that we are Gold on Regent and are booked for a further 120-day world cruise with them. So obviously I really like the Regent product. But I thoroughly enjoyed my one Azamara experience for many of the same reasons why I enjoy Regent, and would happily sail with them again, but it just hasn't worked out. And the Azamazing night is something that has no equivalent on Regent, which is a win for Azamara.
  14. We once were upgraded to first class on Air France from Paris to Cairo. It was just the luck of the draw, and didn't involve extra charges. Although I did tell the ticket agent that I now felt I should buy him a car.
  15. I agree about the Accademia. Everybody mentions the David statue, as well they should. But in the hall with that statue is a stunning collection of partially completed statues by Michelangelo, which are worth the trip all by themselves. Also seldom mentioned is that if you are on your own instead of in a group, and if you have an interest in the history of the invention of science, and if you want to get away from the crowds for a bit (that is three "if"s in a row) the Galileo museum right next door to the Uffizi is spectacular.
  16. Having had guests on board, it seems that the staff have been instructed to be especially nice to guests, presumably as a marketing opportunity. We're all used to spectacular service on Regent, but with guests in tow in my experience it gets even better. Incidentally, although Regent claimed they would bill us a nominal amount for guests, we never got the bill.
  17. Between Radisson/Regent selling and Pacific Beachcomber, the current operator, buying there was a truly dreadful interlude. Fortunately, after Pacific Beachcomber arrived the PG became at least as excellent as before.
  18. I've stayed away from posting on this thread since I have never been with Princess, but do have about 60 nights on the PG, which remains my favorite ship. So I read minabruuke's comments, of which I quote only one sentence, with interest. A great post. I will only add that if someone does an "all in" comparison of the PG with a mass-market line like Princess. more than one person has told me that the difference in cost is not nearly as great as you might think.
  19. Although I too have a fair number of days with Regent, with about 120 more booked, I've also tried Seabourn and Azamara and for the right itinerary would happily sail with them again. But my favorite remains the Paul Gauguin. Also tried Oceania, and never again. There are folks for whom the mega-ships and their huge variety of things to do (water slides, roller coasters, etc.) are a good match. I suspect that I'm not in that group, but have never actually sailed on one. The point is: what is important to you, and to what degree does a particular cruise check the boxes on your list? And everybody's list is different.
  20. If price is the main issue, I guess this makes sense. Personally I'm more in the camp with rl787 and value my continuing relationship with our TA. And, as I mentioned above, sometimes the relationship leads to lovely perks.
  21. Check-in time should be clear in your documents. A brief reminder: "turn around day" requires the ship staff to frog march the previous passengers off the ship, and then clean up the cabins etc. in preparation for the next guests. In addition, typically there is a lot of re-provisioning going on that day, which adds to the staff workload. So those wonderful folks are working really hard that day. So it is kind to not try to board earlier than the announced time.
  22. I don't have enough experience with Seabourn to comment. I have a lot of experience with Regent, and the rebate obviously depends on the price of the cruise. We're booked for a Regent World Cruise in 2021 with an amount from the TA far greater than for any other cruise we've done, but the cruise is also much more expensive than any other cruise we've done. And yes, after paying for this cruise we'll be far beyond bent, and much closer to broke. One other aside regarding my one 14-day Seabourn cruise, which I loved. We obviously have some history with our TA, and were traveling with good friends with a lot more experience with the same TA. The TA comped us a custom tour of Quebec City with a driver, knowledgeable guide, all in a lovely Mercedes mini-van for the four of us. As I and others have said, a good TA has many benefits and no downside for me. -- David
  23. Although this has been discussed repeatedly on this and other boards, it may be worth elaborating a bit for newcomers. A good TA will give back part of your fare as an on-board credit and/or a physical check. A TA who is knowledgeable about a particular line, Seabourn in this case, will know about any issues with specific cabins on particular ships. Such a TA will also have good contacts with the company, so will know about any special circumstances or deals before they are generally announced.
  24. A travel agent knowledgeable about Seabourn.
  25. We were lucky to spend a few days in Luxor as part of a Uniworld Nile river cruise: for me that whole trip was one of my peak experiences. We'll be in Safaga (Luxor) as part of a Mariner world cruise in April 2021 (unless something goes wrong) and are musing about spending the money on the Luxor excursion. So I will be especially looking forward to that part of your so-far excellent discussion of your cruise.
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