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Everything posted by andiamo76

  1. Correct on both accounts. Good to see things improving. May it continue to do so. For passengers and Atlas's sake! I know of 2 couples on the current sailing booked for the February 2nd Antarctica sailing.
  2. Have been hearing from some of those aboard. They are now at sea for 8 days to cross to the Caribbean. Using wifi sparingly. Food and wine seem to have improved. Heard there have been some significant staffing and supplier changes. Wine I heard was "French and decent". As to picking up wine if in a bubble - what about airport duty free? Would that work? Be thankful your cruise will be short so many issues are easier to blow off if necessary. Just live and learn. Perhaps make different decisions in the future. Keeping people in a "bubble" is not totally unheard of in this environment. Sounds like that may also happen the last day or two on the current cruise. The advertised big hoopla plans for a 2-day Inaugural celebration ending in Barbados were scrapped and now the ship may spend 2 days anchored off St. Maarten. Last day may be a bubble - breakfast on ship, bus ride around island (37 square miles of beach and nice resorts , well those that have been repaired since the last hurricane not too long ago. then dropped at airport to wait for 3:40 pm. flight home. Everything is relative.
  3. well, it will be "interesting" I'm sure. Docs arrived almost 3 days to the hour before we are leaving. Typos, incorrect and outdated information, missing information that is key - like the pre-cruise hotel, airport transfer pick up, basic schedule of "events" such as they may be. We are flying in a day early due to the timing of our flights and coming from the west coast so won't arrive until about 6 pm. The package starts with morning flight arrivals and pick ups so we had to arrive the day before in order to meet up with the group at least for the initial lunch. We kept getting mixed signals as to which hotel would be used and if we also would have an airport pick up and transfer to the hotel. Flights were booked through Atlas. This has been going on for literally weeks and actually initially started months ago when 2 of us were given totally different information. So with nothing in the document packets, my husband called and was told something different than the last we had been told. I called my other passenger contact and she was told - by the same person no less! different information within an hour of my husband calling! I shake my head. Off to pack for our somewhere whatever cruise. I have a 6 bottle wine carrier set out for wine shopping in Portugal. Reds and a nice port or two!
  4. jwsfun: Thank you for posting and giving an honest and fair assessment of your experience and observations. Given the food seemed to start with very positive reviews, (albeit, very limited offerings as the ship is so small), I do wonder if the wiring issues may have impacted the kitchen food storage. Or perhaps food was thawed improperly which can significantly alter the texture and taste. Or where supplies were brought on board - they may have gotten poor quality from a supplier, in which case hopefully that one will be replaced. We shall see how they do after re-provisioning in Lisbon and hopefully continuing to fix the wiring issues. A/C will be needed for sure as the ship sails down to the Caribbean. Maybe they will stock up on Portuguese wines along with Vodka and whatever else they may be low on. As I am now setting out things to pack, I set out a 6 bottle wine bag so we can stock up a little "just in case".
  5. Hope your return home went smoothly. Thanks for responding. I did read your very well written recap of the cruise. Wow. I greatly appreciate your honesty and observations. While disappointing, sadly I am not surprised as it as we had begun to suspect when thinking things through. Seemingly "little things" like the laundry, internet, and room service not being as advertised and which have been so swiftly swept aside by Atlas and not dealt with in a professional manner nor consistent with how a true "luxury" line deals with things, often can be good indicators of other and bigger things. I just wish people would read and think before making a booking or getting into the refund penalty period. Unfortunately we ignored initial gut instincts and red flags when booking our upcoming cruise and the realities didn't start really hitting until shortly after we were in the 100% penalty phase. Oh well. We shall make the best of it and learn from this. One and done. Far worse things in life. Meanwhile I have done some quick research of Portuguese wines and wine shops in Lisbon to hopefully do a little stocking up before embarking. But not a full case worth!
  6. So have one of you started a thread for any of those segments? We too held our nose at the price and booked the 46 day '23 cruise on Quest. I just wish I had known when those itineraries came out so I could have booked at those prices. Does anyone know when they came our for sale? I'm curious. I have had an around the horn cruise booked on Oceania - Miami-BA which we have rolled forward a few times now, starting in December 2019. It will sail in late February leaving BA heading to Miami. It does not stop in S. Georgia or Antarctica, so for that we were booked on the Quest 24 day sailing. We have not sailed on Seabourn but always heard good things so we very excited last year, then again this year.... So I will run the numbers to check my sanity of reserving on the 46 day Quest in January of '23. Of course by the time all this blew up we got the leftover last of the littler and have perhaps the dog cabin on 5 of the ship. Anyone with insight about those V1 cabins, please let me know. I have a hunch when I do a handy dandy spreadsheet of the Oceania cruise + the 24 day Quest we just "lost", that the total of the 2 may not be so heart stopping as seeing them in one number now on the Quest '23 sailing. Still, I wish I had known Quest would be back in '23 when the itineraries first came out. Life! And yes we are all very blessed and fortunate to even be doing any of these sailings.
  7. And look or start it under Rollcall. This is a "Board". More topic related whereas the other is for your specific cruise. I do suggest reading a number of the other boards and rollcalls as you can glean a wealth of general information. And for sure stay on top of everything, get information in writing and keep a vigilant eye on your airline accounts to see if your flights disappear as it can be a common occurrence but you will not necessarily be notified of any changes or simply no longer having a flight. Always remember this is an adventure! It is not for the faint of heart. Whee! What a rush!
  8. Ditto re all information you can provide would be most appreciated. Let us know how they handle wifi, laundry and room service also if you can. Maybe take pics of the wine bottles. On another thread someone posted the names of the included wines, 6 Hats being the bulk of the 6 varieties offered as I recall. I looked a couple up and indeed they retail for $8-20/bottle. Not really what I would picture as "Premium" Unlimited Pours. Maybe the unlimited is so that as we drink our taste buds diminish, so one won't notice how good or not it is. I also do not recall that any were Portguese. Of course they have a handy dandy wine menu for ones you can purchase. I also asked my TA to ask Atlas about bringing wine onboard. For now it is fine, and they do not charge a corkage fee. They wanted to know how many bottles or cases I would be bringing on board! Maybe they thought I would be touring wineries before boarding which had been part of our original plan but we nixed our pre-cruise land travels. Sad as we would have been there now. I hope to fit in some time in Lisbon before we board there on 10/4 to purchase a few bottles of wine and a port to have after dinner, enjoying the veranda at the end of the day, talking about what a wonderful day we had. I'm thinking positive here. I certainly am not a wine aficionado, but I for sure had anticipated they would have a wonderful fun selection to try show casing the wines from where we depart and yes, due to being a Portuguese company. It sort of, but not really, surprises me they missed this simple opportunity to make something like the wine a nice highlight to help differentiate themselves from the masses and seem more special. May you have a fun cruise jwsfun!
  9. Not ungrateful at all. I think other lines just pay attention to details more and of course have much more experience. As to special celebration days during a cruise, I think in general we as passengers do have to let them know, which obviously you did! Even so I know many really don't just naturally do something special. But when it is specially requested we certainly do anticipate something. And actually on most of the lines, you can request just about anything anytime and they bend over backwards to do it for you. All part of the pampering to entice us to come back. I have even heard repeated stories on Oceania of guests request a family favorite and they will make it, even the exact old family recipe if you give them that and a couple days advance notice! Shoot I'm just happy when I request truffles and they make a special batch they keep with our name and cabin so anytime I want some they can send them up. Not a good habit to get into but sure is nummy! I know I sound quite negative now which is not my usual self. We are just so fed up with them by this point. I spent hours the past 2 days reading through numerous Boards and Roll Calls and it was exhausting reading all the endless changing of their story, cheapening of what they deliver etc. This was supposed to be a fun special trip celebrating my husbands "special number" birthday. A starting number that most of us don't like to see but at this point only gets worse! But as we say, consider the alternative. Many don't get this opportunity. Atlas has been such an aggravation and disappointment to deal with it has put quite a damper on our usual enthusiasm. There were so many other very neat things we could have done instead so this has been a major factor in our irritation. Way too much needless time spent. On to better things! As the saying goes, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. I thought it must be an RCCL person. We have never used them but have heard and seen from friends that do. Always fun and it was indeed very thoughtful of him. Curious what his name is. Perhaps we can try to be in his section. It does sound like they have a good pleasant crew and some nice food. Guests always appreciate that. By now it is pretty much expected as it is so much the norm. I like the sound of their country theme dinners. We always enjoy those on other lines.
  10. Thank goodness they allow wine brought onboard. Do they charge a corkage fee? As for the other issues, laundry WIFI etc., it astounds me how they continue to state one thing then renege over and over. They are exhausting to deal with, untrustworthy and banking on people being travel deprived and willing to put up with whatever they choose to dish out. Clearly passengers are simply a money stream to them. BTW I just googled 6 Hats wine. It retails for $8-20/bottle. Woo hoo! Joven Temprano listed on the web as Tempranillo rated 3.6/5 retails for under $15. I see some wine shoppin gin our future. We'll be looking for some interesting Portuguese wines.
  11. This is a key statement. If you are truly interested in checking out their delivery to date, read a number of these Boards as well as some of the roll calls for what cruises have taken place as well as a few of those upcoming. There is a wealth of information and naturally opinions, but still many inconsistences between what was/is advertised and represented and the realities of what is being delivered. Even little clues/red flags can be found in small less noticed details like check the ads and see how often there are spelling and basic grammatical errors. If ad campaigns are not being proofed then what else is falling through the cracks? At least they have a standard line "marketing error". I guess Marketing runs the operation. But that still doesn't excuse saying something is included then finding it is not and being blown off for thinking and expecting it should be given as it was alleged. Our personal experience has been abysmal. We have expended countless pointless hours dealing with endless hassles and chaos, while also trying to stay abreast of what the latest discovery of what is not included or being done as alleged. When a business cuts special deals with individual passengers, it erodes trust even more. We have zero trust in this company at this point and will be glad to have the trip over with. Buyer beware. If it sounds to good to be true it probably is. Some businesses survive in spite of themselves. Just as some passengers are enthralled with catchy terms designed to suck people in and make them feel better than others. Something for everyone.
  12. I completely understand. I predict though that these prices are merely the teaser introductory prices to hook people in before they raise prices considerably. They have quite a ways to go to hopefully improve their customer service and basic organizational issues, which is also a large part of marketing oneself as part of the "luxury" crowd. But then again as my husband has often said, "there are businesses that survive in spite of themselves".
  13. I am finally catching up on my CC reading. While somewhat irritating as it is yet one more Atlas cutback, in all fairness it makes more sense to me to not have the in room bar. While a nice sounding touch, it is ultimately pretty wasteful. At least I would think so. We had that once on an Oceania cruise, (they gave us 4 bottles and replenished or added anything else when requested), and found that we ended up with leftovers in various bottles even though we had done some entertaining in our room with other passengers and didn't get carried away ordering more. So we were giving out our partially used bottles since they should toss whatever is left. At least I sure hope they do that. I do however think for a company to advertise themselves so highly this has become a very limited selection. I agree - what about a champagne or prosecco? Again given the Portuguese connection what about a port? The port makes sense to me not just because I like port, but it would be a nice special something to enjoy after dinner in our room, perhaps sitting on the veranda and reminiscing about what a wonderful day we had. I can see it already! Hopefully they at least offer one from the bar which we can have brought to our room. We will know in just over 3 weeks.
  14. Well, so did you ever get your cake? Or did they blow through it again on the second night and figured fun napkins ala RCL & Carnival covered it? Here's our experience on an Oceania cruise over my husband's birthday. We hadn't said anything but obviously it is in our profile. We went to a nice dinner, in one of the specialty restaurants, returned to our room and found it decorated with balloons, a fun towel heart and nice heart on the bed made from the turndown chocolates! Right up our alley being chocoholics. It really surprised us and touched our hearts. It turns out our cabin attendants had seen the date in our profile and took it upon themselves to do some decorating. They explained the ship provides balloons and it is up to the cabin attendants as to whether or not they wish to do something for the guest. Another year we were on a Crystal cruise. For those having a birthday to celebrate on the cruise, they had a special cocktail party in the Captains suite, with him, some of the officers and of course all of us with a birthday that cruise. For breakfast they make a special breakfast which had a beautiful array of specially made breakfast items sort of like a bruschetta or cheese board kind of idea for the presentation of things not on any of the breakfast menus. Dinner was a specially made dinner for however many were in "my" travel party finished with a gorgeously decorated special chocolate torte. They were doing a special birthday promotion gimmick that year so if your birthday fell during the cruise which mine did, we received a gift certificate for 50% off my cruise fare on a future cruise. And yes, that is 50% off whatever the already discounted published fare, not the faux "original" price. Quite amazing. Talk about an all around special day and top class way to handle the birthday! I don't recall for sure whether or not there was also champagne so I will have to look back though my photos. But yes there was also a card from Crystal.
  15. Oops. I meant to mention that. Even more the reason to showcase wines on the Lisbon to wherever cruise. They "are working on where to go" given Barbados appears to have a mandatory 7 day quarantine for those coming from - a list of countries, Portugal being one of them. Hmmm. Now I am generally pretty optimistic but I am also a realistic and believe in planning and organization. So personally, I think I would have had some alternate plans formulated months ago given the current environment. But perhaps while they have known of this for several weeks (perhaps due to the numerous posts about it), they too are being optimistic that surely somehow it will resolve itself in the 5 weeks until the ship docks there. Alas, I have digressed from the topic. Well, whatever happens we shall just hope it is something people find drinkable and a notch or two above 2 Buck Chuck.
  16. Might be best to do some wine shopping before embarking if they let people bring their own onboard and drink it. One would think for the cruises ending and for sure departing from Lisbon that they would have some good Portuguese wines and ports. Hope springs eternal. Well usually, but not with Atlas's track record thus far.
  17. I agree with pretty much everything above. Too many things simply don't add up. Sure seems like a money decision to us, which is understandable in this environment (why get less for something when you realize there are people out there who will pay more). But sure doesn't feel good to feel somewhat used. Whatever. We too will likely use someone else. The Venture is lovely I am sure but I don't need to pay for the extra toys which I would think if they charge for kayaking they would charge for the Submarine etc. At least I think the Venture has a little submersible. The "luxury expedition ship" is quite the new game in town. Guess that would be on the sea. I have to say for all who look into using another line just DON'T pick Atlas!! If you want to feel totally suckered and hassled then go for it. They will certainly do that. There are plenty of posts on rollcall and boards if you need reading material. And that is just tip of the iceberg. Oh. Not good term to use.
  18. VERY disappointing, but not altogether surprised. I had truly hoped they would be able to do a rerouting but it does sound like that would entail too many significant changes. Everyone has their limits, companies included. Not to ponder what to do when we get our own official notice.
  19. Very well said Vince. We are foolish to think any of them are that much different. We also need to bare in mind the ownership and country within which of them are held. I shake my head that a person will base their decision on old posts especially after having just taken a cruise on this same line. A good lesson in where we place our focus. While admittedly last year handling refunds was pretty pathetic, our take away was to not delay requesting and following up on the refund, and if need be pursue it through the credit card company. Another big lesson to us from having read these posts and been part of all of this, was to be careful booking so far in advance ie those enticing cruises more than a year or so out when it seemed people had the most difficulty getting refunds. Make your deposit and keep a close eye on things. It seemed far easier getting refunds closer to the date it was charged to the credit card. Crystal is not the only company with challenges to deal with. We are booked on one of the new Atlas cruises and it has been terrible to deal with in all aspects. We leave in 3 weeks and are still awaiting documents, flights over to Europe, the name of the hotel to be used in the pre-cruise package, ever changing what is actually included not just what is advertised.... We took one of the Crystal Bahamas cruises in late July. While there was a significant snafu with how something was handled up front by the land operation of Crystal, the onboard experience was as promised and the usual wonderful service and experience we have loved on Crystal. I will go with that over the disorganization, chaos, and over promise but under deliver of another of another. Nothing is perfect. Especially in these times.
  20. Many good points shared above. I for one want to be advised of changes as they roll along. It gives me time to adjust our thoughts and plans. It is preferable for us to find out as we go rather than learn through the grapevine or some time down the road, even though admittedly in this wacky time we are living in plans may and do change repeatedly. We have come to learn through the grapevine that unlike more experienced lines which generally make several back up plans, there are some large and significant missing gaps in our Lisbon to Barbados cruise which seemingly currently have no plans. Our attitude for now is that theoretically we should end up sailing somewhere in between somewhere and somewhere. But then again, maybe others will, but not us as we just checked for our flight reservations over to Lisbon to catch the ship, and see that we no longer have any flights. When we last checked about 8 days ago, they were showing under the airline, but with a large red notice that if not paid for by the date shown (within the next 8 days), they would be cancelled. Lovely. So it appears Atlas took our money for the upgraded flights when final payment was made, but oops, didn’t pay the airline. So now we seem to be back to trying to get flight arrangements made. Along with wondering what happened to our money that Atlas was very prompt to take.
  21. Joyce: I am also glad your wonderful photography skills were put to extra good use sharing your photos with all of us. I am a quasi travel writer of sorts which started some years ago when a few friends asked me to send photos and comments as I travel. The list has grown considerably over time, but it has proven to be a good way for me to keep a diary of sorts and go through my endless photos to delete many and scale down to the better ones. So there is a benefit to me. The trade off is that I well know about the enormous time it takes to put together and then send it out. Not an easy feat with the challenges of internet while traveling. And yes the internet in places like the fjords of Iceland and Greenland, is non existent at times. So to you I say an extra big thank you for spending so much of your time doing this for all of us, along with researching and answering our questions. It has meant to much to many of us as well as clearly prompting lots of interesting discussion and posts! I am pleased to hear how well Atlas stepped up to the plate with handling the change in plans, even though in reality they didn’t have much of a choice given the circumstances. It is also good to hear they did appear to have somewhat addressed the far more minor issues of laundry and wifi. It will be interesting from here to see what they do going forward for those booked and paid under the original “all inclusive claims”. Customer service big or small is all part of what influences choices in who a person books with over the long run.. There are a number of excellent options already out there.
  22. Quite an adventure indeed. I can’t thank you enough Joyce for all of your posts and pictures, answering questions and giving your honest thoughts and impressions. Glad the infamous backpacks actually showed up! I have to admit the Atlas did step up with the chartered flights and original plans for post and now pre cruise guests in Cairo. Not sure they had much choice as this is quite a pickle so to speak, From what I am hearing and reading it does seem the disembarking of anyone who tests positive in wherever they are, does seem to be the trend for handling that situation. It makes one think about the itinerary one books on in a different light. We have been thinking of a few places we have stopped at that could be challenging to say the least should one have to suddenly get off, hang out awhile and get home from there. I am curious how the Atlas evacuation insurance will handle all this .... or not. I do have to ask if there was ever anything done about the “free” laundry misinformation and the wifi screw up, wiring issue or not, it needed to be dealt with and not just by happily charging people to use wifi. While it is great to deal with the bigger issues like the ship turnaround and change of port for the cruise changeover, the devil is also in the details and small stuff as the saying goes. Thank you again Joyce! You are an inspiration to the rest of us to continue posting likewise and helping future passengers,
  23. RSSC is just one of many that honestly offer far more than Atlas claimed they would. Meanwhile the silence is deafening and speaks volumes. So sad. Saddledowndani be thankful you didn't waste any more money than you did. Great pictures Joyce! I am into doors also.
  24. Dear Mr. Aliberti, I have read your recent post regarding the laundry service and Wi-fi issues that have become a source of irritation to some of your current passengers as well as others of us who will be boarding the World Navigator in the weeks and months ahead. I have also read the responses to your post by other members of the Cruise Critic community and agree with most of their comments. At this point, explaining the cause of the miscommunication regarding laundry and Wi-fi services is not your biggest problem. Your challenge is to take immediate steps to control the damage the miscommunications and misrepresentations are causing your new brand. Telling your customers that their travel documents do not include the erroneous promises and representations made by your sales team and previously presented on your website, in my opinion, makes matters worse. You seem to imply that it’s acceptable to make false promises in your marketing materials as long as the final travel documents reflect reality. I think most of your customers, potential customers and the Cruise Critic community would disagree. You have an opportunity to lead Atlas Ocean Voyages out of this brand damaging fiasco by taking immediate action to address the problem. Regarding laundry services, offer to provide a reasonable amount of laundry services free of charge to those currently on board and to future customers who are within the cancellation penalty period, or give them the opportunity to cancel their cruises without penalty. Contact others who have booked future cruises based on the erroneous representations and inform them of what amenities are actually provided to give them a chance to re-evaluate the value proposition of their future Atlas cruise and to cancel without penalty if they so choose. As to Wi-fi, the basic internet service should be offered free of charge without time limitations. It may be slow, but that is much better than being charged for a service that was represented to be included in the cruise fare. You still have time to fix this, but time is running out. I urge you to seize the opportunity.
  25. I couldn't agree more with all of this. Unreal. Meanwhile as I was doing laundry today naturally I kept thinking about all this and what I would pack given the bait and switch false advertising about laundry service. It struck me how smelly the ship will get with people on longer journeys and no laundry. We now plan to pack our Columbia hiking clothes as they are great for easy wash and dry. Also the washable exoficio underwear is perfect for this and very comfortable. No need to worry about a nice upscale attire for such a luxury cruise line with no laundry. The balcony should work just fine or draping it across furniture in the room in the event the weather isn't great for drying, especially as we spend 8 days crossing the Atlantic to Barbados. Hopefully Atlas planned ahead for this so the furniture in the staterooms is luxurious formica suitable for wet clothes. I am however adding to my shopping list to pick up some good clothes pins. I saw really fun large ones recently that should fit nicely even over the balcony. Then it struck me that we are all being far too concerned about the laundry or lack there of issue. Looking on the bright side, we don't need to pack nice clothes so we can always also do the throw away clothing where you wear it once, then toss it. Usually I save those for my yard projects but what the heck, this will be a good use of those older worn or stained garments. I had a few loads of laundry to do so my creative mind kicked in and I thought I needed to think out of the laundry box. So I came up with a few more ideas, Why we could have some games like a bean bag toss where the drying laundry becomes the receptacle for catching the bean bag. I thought of a few good articles of clothing for this but I will leave that to some of you to come up with. Or perhaps we could have fun pool parties whereby we all wear our dirty clothes, lather up and jump in the pool. The rooms sinks will be far too small so the pool should work quite nicely. I began wondering if Atlas will provide bathrobes. If they do then that really helps the entire issue as we can just hang out in their bathrobes. Surely Atlas has a plan for washing those along with sheets. Aha! Another idea popped into my head - toga parties. Again no need for clothes. Then it struck me that perhaps we could really spark advertising for Atlas - the first luxury nudist cruise. Now that really solves the issue. At this point words of a song began popping into my head, "what kind of fool am I....." And with that the dryer buzzed.
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