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maunakealady

considering 1st cruise on Residensea-advice?

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we're considering our first cruise on Residensea and would appreciate any advice that hasn't been previously covered by these threads. do people really live/stay on the ship for extended periods? what is a fairly typical day like on board? my husband is a gourmet cook so we might do some occaisional cooking - what's the quality/selection of groceries to buy at the onboard deli for cooking? or is it best to buy groceries in port? any advice/suggestions we should keep in mind to prepare for the trip? thanks!! :) :)

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There are a few residents who live onboard almost year-round. They must have another residence to be allowed to buy into the ship. They need to have a home base, I believe for tax purposes. Many owners will come and go for anywhere from a few weeks to months at a time. The owners that we met were for the most part friendly and happy to meet new passsengers.

 

A typical day is very quiet. We worked out in the morning, had a spa treatment or two and relaxed by the pool, weather permitting on the sea days. We ate at the various restaurants for dinner. During our English Channel crossing there was a guest concert pianist who performed in the evenings. There's a well stocked library, internet space, golf simulator and full-size tennis court.

 

The deli stocks very basic (and expensive) food items so we bought most of our groceries in port. It was more interesting anyway to buy local cheeses, breads, etc. The kitchen is extremely well equipped - we even had a cappucino maker - so you can prepare so excellent meals on board.

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Seabz- thanks for your comments. it sounds very relaxing, quiet, peaceful. just wondering what size/floorplan you were in? we have longterm access to a 2 bdrm/2 bath plan B apt (1300 sq ft) with a deck with its own spa on it.

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That's the exact floorplan we were in. It has 21/2 baths and a washer/dryer so it's great for an extended stay. The hot tub on the balcony is really just a jetted bathtub - the same as what's in the master bath. There's plenty of storage. We have unlimited access as well but we have only so much vacation time and other places we want to go. The ship is really so quiet we're looking out for very port-intensive itineraries and because we're traveling with our 10 year old we also look out for ports of call that are easy to fly to and from.

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I have spent 63 days onboard last year and echo everything seabreezer says. I adore this ship but keep in mind it is more like staying at a superb resort and a cruise. (No cruise director, organized onboard activities etc.) Then plan B apartment is wonderful. Shopping ashore is a better way to go that getting food in Fredy's Deli (other than milk and coffee etc.) Have fun!

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thanks for the input - it sounds really wonderful. and we love the 2005 itinerary to less traveled ports of call. we find the descriptions very appealing; it sounds like the ship offers a private, peaceful, quiet experience with a refreshing abscence of hoopla. it's really great that the ship has extended stays in port, so you can really explore and eat at local restaurants, shop for food for your own kitchen, go to opera/theatre/events etc., walk around..etc. we don't plan on doing that much cooking - but there are times when you feel like some comfort food or a snack on your own. and I love that the public areas are mostly uncrowded. we're seriously considering a 2 month cruise on Residensea in 2005, also looking at Seabourn but it's hard to beat the space & amenities on Residensea. I've read all the postings on Seabourn & Residensea, bought my 2005 edition of Berlitz Ocean Crusing and Cruise Ships - have done alot of homework. I think I'm getting a clear picture on what both lines have to offer, both sound great but we're leaning towards Residensea. are you planning a cruise on Residensea in 2005?

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MK Lady,

Yes, we've been ER members for about a year and love it. In one year we've been to Cabo, Big Island (Mauna Lani and Pauoa), The World Ship (Amsterdam, London, Rouen, France), Paris, Laguna Beach (Montage)and in February we go to Puerto Vallarta and Maui in March. Are you a member as well?

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Seab.- we are seriously considering joining ER. we have met with them, know their website and collateral materials by heart at this point..:) we are Very excited about this - good to know that you have had a great experience with them. has there been any downside for you that we should be aware of? have you been happy with the level of service from the concierges and the amenities in the homes? have you used Netjets?

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There's been no downside yet that we can see. The Concierge service has been outstanding in every location. The properties are gorgeous, spacious and easy to get to. That's one reason we haven't bothered with Netjets. We have so many frequent flyer miles there seems to be no need since Netjets is so expensive. Also, there are usually only 3 of us traveling so there's no value to it at all. We've been very pleasantly surprised that the management at ER is so responsive to membership feedback and really maintain the position that they are there to serve the members. Many changes have been implemented based on member feedback. We did a lot of research and think it's definitely the best of the vacation clubs. Do you know if there's still a waiting list to join now?

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wonderful to hear, thank you for the feedback. I think Netjets would work once in awhile for several small groups of members going to the same location, at the same time (as there are multiple residences in each location) who can share the same flight. there are only 2 of us, but if we could time the trip with 5 other people the fare gets more reasonable, particularly on short trips (london to paris, etc). anyway, that's to be researched later - and the logistics might not be practical. I'm not sure about the waiting list, I think it was mentioned, but living in Hawaii is like a zen koan in patience..we are patient! we researched A&K destination clubs also, liked the idea of unlimited travel until we discovered the "nominal daily fee" for each residence - although we were very taken with the twin hull boats in the carribean. my husband's loves to sail, kept a wooden sailboat at the marina green for many years and raced it when we lived in the city.

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Yes, I agree, the A&K sailboats sounded good but then it's easy enough to book a Moorings charter at many more locations worldwide. ER was talking about having some charter type boats available at one time so it could still happen if enough people are interested. We do have the World Ship though and according to the Ship's captain, they will not be selling to any other vacation clubs - ER is really exclusive with them. Good to know. There was also an element of "too good to be true" with the A&K availability model - we were a little leary. Were you thinking of sailing on the World Ship through ER or on your own? Did you know that you can only book 2 consecutive weeks in advance (more than 90 days) through ER? Beyond 2 weeks it must be booked on a space available basis - less than 90 days. That could be considered a bit of a downside.

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all good points, and that's great about ER being the only club on the World. fantastic. yes, we'd be booking thru ER and are aware we could reserve a max of 2 weeks in advance, but *hopefully* we could arrange a last minute longer stay without advance reservations, either before, or after, the 2 weeks. and maybe 2 weeks would be enough on the world..? we can re-adjust timetables and itineraries easily, so that wouldn't be a major problem. am also becoming interested in other properties in Europe, particulary tuscany & bovey castle. (wish they would consider something in the future in bordeaux, provence, french riviera, amalfi coast, italian lake district, lake geneva! we can always dream! and it's great to hear that ER is responsive to its members' requests and interests.) actually the residences they have now look Really Wonderful, and the ones being planned in Fiji look awesome. thanks again for all your comments!!

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If you had a less popular (and more challenging to get to) port of call in mind you may be able to swing more consecutive time. Or, let's say, the ship is in Europe, then you could tour on land for a while and meet up with the ship elsewhere. Keep in mind though, that it books up very fast for the popular ports of call. Christmas '05 in the Caribbean has been booked up since last summer. I don't think more than 2 weeks is too long on the ship as long as it's going to some interesting places.

 

On the upside, many new ER destinations have been added based on member feedback so once you're a member, just speak up and your opinion will be heard. I like your suggestions already!

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thanks Seab - very informative. we're interested in Europe 05 - anything from Crete through Lisbon - and that covers about 2 months. any part of that would be Great, so hopefully we'll be able to work something out. we're not particularly interested in the carribean or mexico, but we'd be interested in future World of Residensea itineraries in Europe, Asia, India, Japan, China, South Pacific, etc... very excited about the prospect of joining.

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Hi MK Lady, I just checked availability for ER on the World Ship - I don't know if you're able to get that info on your own. During the timeframe you're interested in there are just a few days available: 6/13-18 and 7/3-9. Unfortunately everything else is booked and space isn't guaranteed to be available on the World by ER. The schedules for '06 won't be out until mid-05. I'll keep my fingers crossed that the waitlist isn't too long. Also, sometimes there are cancellations.

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yipes. thanks very much for checking out their availability and for letting me know! guess we'll have to go to "plan B" (as soon as we figure out just what plan B consists of!! :) ).

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Hi MK Lady,

I checked the ER availability again and here are some more dates still available - you can check the itinerary with Residensea: 7/3-9, 7/18-28, 8/18-10/13. Those dates still cover some nice European and Baltic destinations. Hope that helps with plan B!

I guess you could say that another ER downside would be that members really plan ahead and certain locations aren't completely guaranteed to be available. They can guarantee within a region only. If you're very flexible and don't have to travel during school breaks then you'll have an easier time but it still pays to plan ahead. Good Luck!

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aloha vacamama! eek - another ER member!! wonderful!! thanks very much for your reply and for checking into possible availability on the Residensea thru ER. :) :) luckily we have no kids (except our 3 cats) so we are pretty flexible on dates of travel, and like to stay put here at home during peak travel holidays. how long have you been an ER member - and what residences have you visited? just curious..we're pretty jazzed about ER - and especially travelling on the World. it's great to be connecting with other ER members who have positiive feedback and know the ropes.

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My wife and I are newly retired, so I'm searching the various boards on Cruise Critic to get ideas of various destinations and travel options......could you guys help me out and give me some information on the "ER" that you have been referring to.

 

thanks.

 

jeff

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I too, was enviously viewing the ER references, what could ER be? The Freemasons....a highly exclusive fraternity....Opus Dei....Cosa Nostra?

 

Then I saw the reference to Netjets... and now I realise it's all a time-share scam! ;)

 

If any ER members have any time to share with an urbane English couple, please let us know!!

 

John & Liz

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Bollinge, ER isn't a time share "scam". it's a bona fide and very successful organization with highly respected and well known founders. check out their website - take a look at the founders' bios and who is on their board of directors. it reads like a who'se who listing of successful business execs. :mad:

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MK Lady,

 

Have you joined yet? I noticed quite a few new properties were just released so at least some people on the waitlist should have been able to join.

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Bollinge,

 

ER is definitely a legitimate operation and very successful. In fact, they have several hotel suites in London as well as, upcoming this year, several cottages at Bovey Castle. BTW, I'm wondering, have you heard any good feedback regarding Bovey Castle? It looks fabulous.

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