Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

Everything posted by loriva

  1. We put it on our butler request form on Explorer and it was waiting in our fridge when we boarded in Sydney. If not in a Penthouse, I've also emailed Regent Guest Services (GuestRelations@rssc.com) 90 days before sailing with special requests.
  2. No, there is nothing--only the disclaimer statement from Viking I posted. Maybe the credits we receive from our TA are SBC only? (As I said, nothing on the invoice from our first Viking River cruise--but credits appeared when we boarded. Same thing on the invoice from the upcoming trip.)
  3. Our invoice from Viking, through our TA, includes the following statement "Shipboard credits on this booking, if applicable, are not included in the amount above." We've only been on one Viking River cruise previously, but credit from our TA showed up only when we boarded. We could spend that credit for anything we wanted on board--in our case it covered the vouchers we purchased for a future (the upcoming) Viking River cruise. (At least that is what our end-of-cruise statement showed. Gratuities and the SSBP ended up being covered by optional tours we had booked and paid for in advance that were cancelled and refunded.)
  4. The caveat first: Unfortunately, this is not available to Canadian passport holders. For U.S. passport holders, however, the German Federal Police offers a service whereby you can register to use the eGates to pass through border security as easily as Schengen passport holders. Details on the free service are available on the Frankfurt Airport website: https://www.easypass.de/EasyPass/EN/EasyPASS-RTP/rtp_node.html The only downside is you need to travel to the Federal Police office in FRA to register. The office is outside of security, so you'll have to do the arrival process and then pass through security again to board your connecting flight. We had a four-hour layover when we registered, so it was not an issue. It has worked great on our subsequent connections through FRA.
  5. We will be taking this itinerary in May. We have euros left over from previous travel. The question is some are larger bills. Does the guest services desk on Viking have change? If so, one and two euro-denominations are coins. As the tip suggested by Viking is two euros for the guide and one euro for the driver, will those in the countries not on the euro (everyone except Croatia, in other words) have difficulty exchanging the euro coins for local currency at a bank? On our recent travels, finding an ATM--especially on a shore excursion--has been challenging. Hungary will not be a problem as we're staying three nights before we board. Ditto for Romania at the end. But I don't know how viable this will be in Serbia and Bulgaria and doubt our local AAA or bank will have U.S. $20 of these currencies. Hence, thinking euros is the way to go but worry about the coin issue.
  6. Have not sailed with Ama Waterways, but on Viking there were three nights where we stayed in port late enough to return to the Christmas markets in the evening. Most lines follow similar patterns so you might find the same. Have you tried searching on the Roll Call board? If you can find a roll call from a previous year, you might find some details.
  7. @notamermaid -- Thank you for another year of following the Danube. We'll be setting off for our second sailing on the river--this time downstream from Budapest to Bucharest to complement our previous Budapest to Vilshofen sailing--in May. While I realize your report focuses on the German parts of the river, I always learn so much from your posts. Thanks again,
  8. That is how the Indonesian e-visa works. It is a fussy process. It seems like you can obtain it without setting up an account first, but we (including those who reported on the process on our Roll Call) found not. Set up your account first.
  9. And Concierge and above only allows you to fly in the day before the cruise if you take the included one-night pre-cruise hotel and then you need to depart the day the cruise ends. Those dates shift if you are doing Regent's pre- or post-cruise included tour, if there is one. But any travel dates except those directly tied to the cruise or Regent packages will include the deviation fee (and possibly upcharges if the contracted itineraries do not fit your desires.) Only those who have achieved Platinum status or above in the Seven Seas Society have the deviation fee waived. (Maybe those in Grand Suites and above also have a waiver, but never sailed in one of those so cannot tell you.)
  10. I'm surprised no one has mentioned the signature cocktails Regent has created for each ship. That is my boarding ritual--drink the ship's signature cocktail and get an order of lobster nachos (with extra lobster!) from the Pool Bar and Grill. The RSSC.com menu, https://www.rssc.com/experience/cuisine/pool-grill, doesn't show the cocktail for the Grandeur (presuming that's the one you're on) yet, but here's the EXPLORER cocktail's ingredients as an example: Aperol, Apple Pucker, Pomegranate Juice, Sweet & Sour, Mint. And almost any cocktail from the Meridian Bar will probably fit the parameters you cited. Also, we've found they have shifted to a lot of ice, little booze in the cocktails in that bar, which also makes them a lighter choice by default.
  11. We just had one excursion cancelled (the Tiger Brewery in Singapore is no longer offering tours) and tours for a changed port on our itinerary departing from Sydney just opened up yesterday. I tried to book a replacement excursion for the first excursion when we were notified of the cancellation last week, but the RSSC system would not let me get past the "Confirm your Tours" page--it just kept returning me to that page and would not book the excursion. I asked our Regent agent to try to help and he said he had booked the tour for us, but it never showed up on our excursion summary. (He kept saying we had a conflict with another tour--but we did not.) When I tried to book tours for the port that opened yesterday (Cooktown, AU) I had the same problem. Not sure what the problem with the software was, but I finally figured out a fix. For some reason, the system kept trying to apply some of my OBC to the tours--even though both were included, not extra charge Choice excursions. I noticed an "edit" button on the payment area, clicked it, reset the amount to $0, and tried checkout and then confirm your tours again. And, voila, it worked. Booked the new excursions, received a confirmation email, and they are on my summary. Offering this up in case anyone else runs into this. And notifying @mikemoore of something his team might want to look into. Many thanks,
  12. Did you look at itineraries out of Tampa, Orlando, or Miami? We also have a smaller market airport in FL as our home airport, but find itineraries always involve two stops at a minimum. Also, if you find a non-stop from TPA, MCO, or MIA to a major airport in Europe (FRA, LHR, etc.) the connecting flight to Rome (from Monte Carlo) might be in business class. (Although that doesn't mean the same as first class in the United States.)
  13. I haven't had time to look for a photo, but I recall they did have some sort of seasonal decoration on each table. Nothing big, just a pick in the bud vase or maybe a floral ring around the base. And, yes, there was eggnog!
  14. You might also want to check tour destinations on Google Maps. Some ports are located a long way from the sites, so you'll face a long bus ride. And Regent is not always good on remembering its demographic and including rest room stops. Some buses will have a toilet, but not all. And even on those that do, you'll find it locked and the driver and guide will discourage use unless in an emergency. Destination Services won't know the details of the schedules, but you can always ask the guide when you board the bus--and maybe get them thinking of a stop if none is planned. And another reason to consider an upcharge "small group" tour. Regent does not always pay the local tour companies to include an QuietVox-type system for guides so it can be a struggle to hear what they are saying when in a large group. As others have said, guides are the luck of the draw. Some are great, some not so. Since all cruise lines use local companies, this is not any different from any others you may have experienced. Something that might be, however, is Regent's mid-cruise survey. If you experience any issues, take some quick notes and then put them on the survey sheet you receive in your cabin. Ship management does pay attention to these and respond, although Destination Services remains the department registering the largest number of negative comments on these boards.
  15. We booked our transfer from LHR and hotel for two nights in Southampton independently for our British Isles circumnavigation in 2022. We used Just Airports for the former and the Moxy for the latter. We've used Just Airports for many years when in London. The Moxy is a Marriott property--not fancy (and the new design where there is no closet) but serviceable and an excellent location. Southampton was a nice place to walk around with Roman ruins and Tutor buildings and a good gastropub and Indian restaurant nearby the hotel. We also took the ferry over to the Isle of Wight and spent a day circumnavigating it with a local guide.
  16. Not sure about the named suites, but in the Penthouse category last month on Splendor there was a Shout wipe, a glass wipe, and a packet of make-up remove wipes in the amenity box. No insect repellent. Personally, if I knew I needed or wanted it I would pack it.
  17. Overall, this was a very nice cruise for our third experience with Regent. It was the first, however, where we did not book another cruise. In part this is simply logistics--we are on Explorer in January 2024 and can book something then if we wish for 2026. But it also reflects that we have sailed with Regent's little sister Oceania and Viking Ocean between our second and third cruises with Regent. We liked both of the other lines just fine and not certain the premium paid for Regent is good value. We cruise primarily for itineraries--a sampler to determine where we'd like to return for a longer stay--so it's nice to have three solid options that fit our needs. Positives on this cruise include our butler Prakash (soon to be on the Grandeur--of course) and great experiences in the Compass Rose (even after losing Jorge to Grandeur--of course), Prime Seven, Pacific Rim, and Sette Mari. We also found the CD Dru Pavlov very engaged and personable as was his ACD Wyatt (promoted from the Production Cast where we'd met him on Explorer) and the Social Hostesses Tammy and Amelia. They sprang into action when two of the cast members came down sick on the final night of the cruise and they had to cancel Bohemian Soul, replacing it with a variety show including Amelia as vocalist and the guest performer a classical guitarist. They also ran fun trivia games--keeping it friendly--and other activities. We were disappointed with Chartreuse this time around; food and wine just didn't seem to be as good as we remembered and the service was uneven (sommelier Alvin was wonderful, however). We missed having a casual dining option in the evening like the buffets on Oceania and Viking Ocean (where you could get grilled to order seafood, fish, and steaks) and the pizza bar at Waves Grill in the evening on Oceania. It would be great if Regent had this as an option on days there are long tours or when tours end late as the ship came into port later in the day. Finally, as others have noted, the Destinations Team seems to be the weakest link on Regent. Even though we carefully selected shorex to minimize long bus rides they all seemed to have them--and then had dirty windows for the panoramic drives. Regent also really needs to consider the needs of its demographic--there should be no excursion that does not have a restroom stop on at least an hourly basis (and insist buses have a toilet--or provide a warning before the tour) and they really need to invest in headsets. The latter was a boon on our Viking Ocean cruise (and the groups seemed to be not much larger, if at all larger, than with Regent.) With only one exception, we had wonderful guides on our Regent tours--we just had a scrum with everyone trying to get close enough to hear. We had one guide tell us straight out that Regent had opted not to pay for headsets. Again, at this price point that should not be happening. Thanks for following along on our "not-so-live" thread and hope this helps others in planning a cruise on Splendor and/or the Med as we have been helped by so many others on CruiseCritic. Take care,
  18. Here are the final notes for this cruise that ended in Athens on 30 October. --Kusadasi -- As noted, we turned in our shorex tickets for this port (which we had visited twice before) and opted for a quasi-sea day. We did get off the ship and walked over to the old fortress on Pigeon Island. Then down into and around the old town. Stopped and had a leisurely lunch of meze, kebab, and an Efes beer. Then back to the ship. Easy, peaceful, and quiet (well, except for all the merchants trying to get you to buy something--but a simple "no" suffices to end the spiel). --Syros -- Did the "Highlights of Syros" tour. It was as described in the Regent materials but omitted that you will be circumnavigating the entire island--without a restroom stop nor a restroom on the bus. Also, another tour where the very good guide (an archaeologist) was sabotaged by lack of headsets. We ended up breaking away from the tour due to frustration of not being able to hear her unless you were less than five feet away. And, it was a Sunday so most stores closed. The churches we saw and the small museum were very nice, however. Stopped at one of the cafes along the harbor for a local beer and boarded the ship to pack up, do our cruise surveys, hit our final trivia of the cruise, and cash in those Regent Rewards points. Disembarkation was very smooth. We had booked a private transfer (George's Taxi) from the ship to our hotel in Athens and selected an 0800 hours departure. We had departed the ship, picked up our bags, and were meeting the driver by 0815 hours (no Immigration nor Customs to clear). (As an aside, we loved the NEW Hotel in Athens--a bit quirky in design, but so helpful and accommodating. And we had a view of the Acropolis from our room! It is affiliated with Marriott.)
  19. Suite Review for Splendor -- Penthouse B cabin 930. Many thanks, CC Rating Template -- Splendor 930.xlsx
  20. For the first trivia on Splendor's sailing departing on 20 October, the CD (Dru Pavlov) called it but the Social Hostess (now Amelia) was also there helping people find teammates. There is a limit of six players. Dru also had a thing I hadn't seen before where the CD staff (he (when not calling, of course), the Assistant, the Social Hostess, and whichever of the Production Cast were there helping pass out papers, pencils, etc.) would form a team. The questions were all supposed to be new to them. If you beat the cruise staff--regardless of whether you placed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd) everyone on your team received a Regent Reward point. The first-place team received three points for the win, second two, and third one point. You also got a point if you did the daily Mensa quiz and got all five questions correct--the Social Hostess announces the answers immediately after trivia concludes and hands out the next day's quiz--or you can pick them up in the library. Redemptions started at 5 points--a waterproof deck of cards or a hat--and went up to 55 points for a backpack (a real one, not the cinch kind). There was at least one morning and one afternoon opportunity to collect RR points--bocce, shuffleboard, corn hole, ring toss, golf putting, etc.. Sometimes you could get a point just for participating.
  21. On the same cruise. The only interest of anyone ashore in Bodrum or Kusadasi we noted is trying to get you to spend money in their shop or restaurant. The areas cruise passengers frequent are well used to tourists and see us as their livelihood. As others have said, I wouldn't advertise my nationality or religion nor engage in political dialogue (none of which I'd ever do while traveling overseas) but those you will encounter in the ports also have an interest in keeping politics out of economics.
  22. Not on Splendor on the 20-30 October 2023 cruise. (Although the CD, Dru Pavlov, was lovely in all other ways and provided a fun experience on board--including our first Block Party.) The Pool Grill would be slammed with excursions arriving between 1400-1600 hours. Luckily a few of our longer excursions included lunch off ship.
  23. Some notes on our ports since the last report: --Rhodes: We did the 7-hour Lindos and Rhodes Old City. The guide was extremely knowledgeable--daughter of two archeologists and an archeologist herself and had lived in the palace in the Old City in the dorms for archeologists. But just too much information. The tour also spent too much time in the palace--which is a reconstruction done for Mussolini--and did not leave enough time for the other museum. But the Acropolis in Lindros was fantastic, with the donkeys and some fresh-squeezed orange juice at the little cafe on top. --Bodrum: Turns out this was Splendor's first call in this port. We did the highlights tour--a photo stop at the amplitheater, walking tour of St. Peter's (built by the same Knight of St. John as in Rhodes), and then some free time in the Old Town there. The tour was four hours and the guide set just the right pace. --Kusadasi: After the long bus rides in Rhodes, we turned in our tour tickets for the 7-hour tour to three villages. Will take a walk around the town by the port and maybe get lunch. Making it into a quasi-sea day as we near the end of our cruise.
  24. Other small changes: --The Coffee Connection now closes at 1700 hours -- no more aperitifs and canapes in the early evening. --No folder with stationery or postcards of the ship in the cabin. That had partially gone away post-COVID but is now completely gone. You can still ask for both at Reception and they will still mail out the postcards.
  • Create New...