Posted December 29th, 2016, 08:52 PM
Thank you all for your input on "E2" (I do have difficulty with the acronyms on both Europa and Oceania - many people are as clueless as I am
Catlover54, you are probably right that "E2" would not be for us. Although we have been doing luxury cruising since 2004, prior to that we went to several Club Med's around the world and did tire of having to repeat things in more than one language. Like your DH, our preference is to be around English speakers (the country they are from doesn't really matter). The biggest issue, as you noted, is the children and smoking issue. It amazes me that smoking is allowed anywhere other than an enclosed area.
BTW, we did the "Dinner in the Desert" with Regent a few years ago. It was one of the best times that we ever had on a cruise ship. Regent no longer does this excursion so I Googled it to see if we could arrange something on our own when we returned to Namibia last year and could not find anything.
English Voyager: I'm very impressed with how your injury on an excursion was handled. Bravo for them!
vistaman: On a cruise ship - even "E2", it is difficult to have fresh lobsters (unless they catch them during the cruise). So, are they fishing while in port? Really curious.
We have not tried Seabourn (due to their smoking policy which has now changed) or Crystal (because of their convoluted "open seating"). While I'm sure that they have great food and service, these items have been something that we cannot ignore.
In terms of Regent (our favorite cruise line - followed by Silversea), there has been a surprising improvement on their newest ship (also on two of their three older ships but not quite to the same extent as the Explorer). Their "everyday menu" includes lobster tail (served poached, steamed, broiled, etc. - yes - they were frozen but taste amazingly good), Filet Mignon and several other extremely good items. IMO, food quality on the Explorer is excellent (in the past I considered it good very good and sometimes excellent). Also, on the Explorer, two specialty restaurants are available for lunch (Prime 7 - a steakhouse rotates being open with Chartreuse - a French restaurant. On sea days, they are both open except for Sunday when a lavish brunch buffet is put on in their main dining room - with everything from caviar, shrimp, crab, a multitude of appetizers, a crepe station, egg station and it goes on and on.
I'm going on quite a bit about the Explorer because it has really blown us away. Better food - better everything (except the lowest category suites). Regular suites are a good size, have large bathrooms with two sinks, a good size shower and a bathtub along with a larger balcony and lovely walk-in shower - better than on most Regent ships.
Okay - better stop now as it might seem like I'm advertising Regent which is not my intention. I truly was curious about "E2" and what they offer. However, some of the things I've mentioned (and Catlover54 picked up immediately) are deal breakers for us.
Tolerance and Patience are two things we all need..........
Total nights: Regent = 375 / Silversea = 36 / Oceania = 26 (Upcoming 104 nights: 3 Explorer, 2 Voyager and 1 Mariner)
Sailings per ship: Explorer (4), Voyager (11), Mariner (10), Navigator (3), PG (1), Silver Spirit (1), Silver Whisper (1), Silver Shadow (1), Oceania Riviera (2)
Itineraries Sailed: Alaska (3 sailings) / Baltics / Barcelona – Dubai / Barcelona - Miami / Cape Town – Rio (2 sailings) / Cape Town - Cape Town / E. & W. Caribbean (4 sailings) / CHRISTENING CRUISE - Explorer - Monte Carlo-Monte Carlo / Ft. Lauderdale – Lima / Istanbul-Istanbul / Istanbul-Venice / London-Monte Carlo / Miami – Barcelona 2 sailings) / Miami-Miami (Amazon) / Mumbai – Bali / New York-Southampton / Rome to Lisbon / Singapore to Sydney / Stockholm - Copenhagen / Tahiti / Venice-Rome / Vancouver-Tokyo