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  #1  
Old February 5th, 2010, 11:59 PM
2serendip 2serendip is offline
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Default National Geographic Explorer -- a good choice?

I am concerned to learn on this forum that some travelers have been very disappointed with their tour with this line. Can anyone tell me whether we should travel with them? We reserved a cabin today, and now I'm worried.
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  #2  
Old February 6th, 2010, 10:04 PM
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cougfan cougfan is offline
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I have booked the Nov. 27th trip with NG Explorer. I had already booked this trip before this review. I even have my plane tickets to Santiago. I tend to take all reviews with a grain of salt. Since I am doing this trip solo, the price for this trip was cheaper, or the same price, as cheaper ones because of the higher single supplement fees on the other ships. I have also been reading all of the blogs from this years trips. People seem to be having a great time.

Also in the same review that is on Fodors, there is a rebuttal by the owner of Lindblad to some of the aspects of the trip described in the review. He even suggests that you call Lindblad if you have any questions.

Julie
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  #3  
Old February 7th, 2010, 01:54 AM
2serendip 2serendip is offline
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Thanks very much. I will follow your advice and check out the Lindblad rebuttal.
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  #4  
Old February 7th, 2010, 04:01 PM
diebroke diebroke is offline
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We sailed on the predecessor of the Explorer in Antarctica – the Endeavour, and our experience could not have been more different than the review cited that caused concern. The trip was outstanding in every way and for us, was the highlight of many years of exploring the world.
I would agree with the reviewer that the presentation materials did not seem to come from National Geographic and the National Geographic channel was not on the television in the room. I don’t see how use of National Geographic materials in the presentations would have made them any better. I thought everything on our cruise was well coordinated & the Expedition Leader (Tim Soper) seemed to be firmly in charge. For us, planned social activities or a television in our cabin were not things we cared about. Between landings, lectures, cocktail hour, dining, and the un-tolled hours we spent on the bridge watching our amazing Captain, we had little time even to sleep. I heard nothing but raves from all my fellow passengers.
The trip we were on was well chronicled by Ben Lyons in the sticky thread above titled Virtual Cruise: Antarctica Onboard Lindblad's National Geographic Endeavour.
I picked Lindblad because of their reputation for exploration tours and was not disappointed. Many of the passengers we spoke with had been on multiple Lindblad trips in other parts of the world. As a result of our extremely positive experience with them, we have signed up for another Lindblad trip this year.
I thought the food was good, but not gourmet. I didn’t come on the cruise expecting or wanting fine dining, but we enjoyed every meal & had fantastic service. I do think that the Prince Albert may offer a more luxurious experience from what I have read, but our priority was exploration, not luxury.
I also had a very different expert on Regent than the reviewer. We had mediocre to poor food, bad service, and minimal lectures. I do not plan to sail Regent again (at least until I have a disappointing experience on Seabourn which is my current luxury cruise line of choice.)
So, maybe the disappointing experience with Lindblad was the result of different tastes or expectations or maybe the reviewer caught them on a bad cruise or maybe Lindblad caught the reviewer at a bad time. From talking to the other 100 passengers on our cruise and reading the experiences of others, I think the odds are extremely low for a disappointing experience on Lindblad in Antarctica.
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  #5  
Old February 8th, 2010, 02:42 PM
hobse hobse is offline
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2serendip,

Go, definitely with Lindblad NG Explorer if you want a great expedition experience. This is an expedition, not a luxury cruise that apparently that poster was expecting. And do read the two latest posts on the other website you referred to. We were on the Jan. 7 trip and it was beyond our expectations. We had been to the Arctic last July on the NG Explorer and enjoyed it so much we reserved the Antarctic after returning. On the Antarctic trip we ended up with the same captain, chef, hotel manager, and many others that we had in the Arctic. The captain is fantastic, our chef prepared and presented wonderful meals (it was his first trip back from his time off), and the service was great. Our servers would get anything for us we requested. The team operate the landing and zodiac operations flawlessly. The ship is very nice, comfortable, with many open decks and social spaces. Do explore all of the ship, I couldn't believe on the last day I heard someone say they hadn't been in the Chart Room yet. Take advantage of the 24/7 open bridge. It is fun and incredible. All the officers are very friendly and love to talk and answer questions.

It is a great trip and we highly recommend it.
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Old February 8th, 2010, 03:01 PM
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dileep dileep is offline
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Default Expedition Indeed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobse View Post
2serendip,

Go, definitely with Lindblad NG Explorer if you want a great expedition experience. This is an expedition, not a luxury cruise that apparently that poster was expecting. And do read the two latest posts on the other website you referred to. We were on the Jan. 7 trip and it was beyond our expectations.

Well said. It is an expedition indeed. We ran into 2 people in Ushuaia on Jan 20 after we debarked the Minerva and they had similar positive comments.

We saw your ship sail past us near the Lemaire Channel.
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  #7  
Old February 9th, 2010, 07:37 PM
2serendip 2serendip is offline
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I really appreciate all of your comments, and I thank all of you for replying to my posting. I think you're right about the negative review I read -- the poster may have been uninformed about an expedition experience versus a regular cruise. Everything else I've read and heard from others has helped us make the choice for the National Geographic Explorer, and we paid our deposit today for a trip next December. It's very exciting! and I'm really looking forward to it.
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  #8  
Old February 18th, 2010, 09:47 AM
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Wandalust725 Wandalust725 is offline
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Default Can you tell us more?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobse View Post
2serendip,

Go, definitely with Lindblad NG Explorer if you want a great expedition experience. This is an expedition, not a luxury cruise that apparently that poster was expecting. And do read the two latest posts on the other website you referred to. We were on the Jan. 7 trip and it was beyond our expectations. We had been to the Arctic last July on the NG Explorer and enjoyed it so much we reserved the Antarctic after returning. On the Antarctic trip we ended up with the same captain, chef, hotel manager, and many others that we had in the Arctic. The captain is fantastic, our chef prepared and presented wonderful meals (it was his first trip back from his time off), and the service was great. Our servers would get anything for us we requested. The team operate the landing and zodiac operations flawlessly. The ship is very nice, comfortable, with many open decks and social spaces. Do explore all of the ship, I couldn't believe on the last day I heard someone say they hadn't been in the Chart Room yet. Take advantage of the 24/7 open bridge. It is fun and incredible. All the officers are very friendly and love to talk and answer questions.

It is a great trip and we highly recommend it.
DH and I are scheduled for this expedition departing January 6, 2011. I would love to hear more about your experiences. We traveled to Galapagos with Lindblad in February, 2009 and had a fantastic trip.

Thanks,
Linda
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  #9  
Old April 7th, 2010, 11:50 AM
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Aplmac Aplmac is offline
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Here's the ship...




and here's a recent cruise-card acquisition of mine I thought you might like to see..




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  #10  
Old September 19th, 2011, 12:08 AM
luvlindbladnatgeo luvlindbladnatgeo is offline
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I am a world traveler and now that I have been on two Lindblad/National Geographic expeditions I will travel with none other. By all means have no fears with your decision to book a trip with them. You will not be sorry....
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  #11  
Old February 28th, 2012, 10:52 PM
kalimera kalimera is offline
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On verge of securing cabin on NG Explorer for Arctic voyage this summer. Very concerned about bed quality. Soft, firm? If any of you veterans have an opinion we would benefit from your experience. Backs aren't what they used to be! thank you
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  #12  
Old February 29th, 2012, 05:50 PM
pke-atlanta pke-atlanta is offline
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We recently returned from a Silversea sailing in Asia. On our trip were a couple who had been on the NG Explorer. Having sailed to Antarctica with Silversea on the Silver Explorer (formerly the Prince Albert II), we were able to compare our experiences. From what I gather, the NG Explorer is much more rustic than the Silver Explorer and doesn't really cater as much in terms of dining service, cuisine and wines. In terms of quality of expedition staff and expedition experiences (like zodiac rides, landings, on-board educational lectures, etc), the two sounded very similar. But the Silver Explorer was actually cheaper than the NG Explorer when we went. So for me, the same quality of expedition and staff with the "luxury" service experience for less money made my choice of the Silver Explorer a no-brainer. Just because you get the luxury food, wine and service experience on Silver Explorer, you should not jump to the conclusion that you aren't getting the full "expedition" experience. You definitely do with Silver Explorer.

I'm not trying to knock the NG Explorer experience - I'm just saying I was quite happy with my luxury expedition choice - and saved money!
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