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Posts posted by loriva

  1. 14 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

    I'm not going to do a Live From – will post a full review and blog later.


    Boarded on Wed. Sep 20 for the 11 day Unforgettable Douro cruise on Scenic Azure.


    Early report:  everything is 100%, even better than our Scenic Gem cruise on the Seine last year [which was our best river cruise to date]


    Happy to answer any questions about this cruise, the itinerary, the ship, or  Scenic in general.


    First, have a wonderful trip!


    Second, could you ask when Scenic will release its itineraries for 2025, please?  And how did the pre-cruise experience (website, reaching Scenic, receiving information on your cruise) compare to the experience after the IT hack last year?


    Many thanks,

  2. 28 minutes ago, CDNPolar said:


    We were on Ullur.  Nice Ship.


    Great crew - if you get Andre and Vladimir in the dining room, Claudiu and Dawid in the lounge and have the Program Director Hana, you will be laughing.


    I attached a document that outlines what we originally signed up for in both optional and included.


    When we got on the ship, we had more included excursion tickets than we signed up for because if it could be fit in, the ship just signed us up.  (You did not have to go...but we did). We were gone most days all day long.  We would come back from a morning excursion have an hour to have lunch and be gone again.


    The excursions that Viking signed us up for are not on this list, but we loved everything that we did.  We would not eliminate any of them.


    One of the highlights was visiting a family home in Croatia where we were served cake in the woman's dining room, and she told us of her life.  This was outstanding.  Make sure you do that one.


    Viking Excursions Passage to Eastern Europe.docxViking Excursions Passage to Eastern Europe.docxViking Excursions Passage to Eastern Europe.docxViking Excursions Passage to Eastern Europe.docxUnavailable


    Thanks, @CDNPolar.  For some reason, your document is showing as "unavailable."


  3. On 7/21/2023 at 3:13 PM, Host Jazzbeau said:

    Cruise Critic has implemented a handy short-cut search feature to zero in on threads about individual river cruise lines.  At the top of the main River Cruising forum you'll see a drop-down menu labeled "See posts about: Select Ship..."  [it says 'ship' because that was the label set up for other forums by the external website developer]


    The drop-down menu lists many river cruise lines and will initiate a search for threads with the name of the line in the title.  [It doesn't search for posts mentioning the line in other threads, but that is an option visible after the search completes.]


    I spotted one problem: AmaWaterways required that exact wording although many people call it by a variation.  Initially I went back and edited all the recent threads that used a variation on the name, but I realized that I couldn't keep up with this.  So I asked to have AMA added as an OR term and it turned out that this is a simple change and has already been implemented – so now whether the thread says AMA, Ama Waterways, or AmaWaterways the search will find it.


    Please take a look at the drop-down menu and let me know if there are any other river cruise line name variations that should be added.


    Also please let me know if there are any other river cruise lines that should be added to the menu.  [I have already asked for the following additions:  Riverside, Saga, Travelmarvel, Tui, Uniworld.]


    Should we also add the German companies?  [A-ROSA, Lüftner, Nicko, VIVA]  I'm worried about making the menu too long for small screens.




    Thanks for the initiative on the new search function, @Host Jazzbeau.  I just tried it out on our two upcoming river cruises, Viking Passage to Eastern Europe and AMAWaterways Douro.


    It worked great for the AMA search--as there were only 5 pages of results, it was easy to scroll through and find only those that applied to our itinerary.  I love that the new function returns results as the whole thread, not individual posts.


    The Viking search was less successful as there are so many more threads.  I tried to do a follow-up search adding "Budapest" but those results only narrowed results from 345 threads to 329 and added in a bunch of other cruise lines.


    One possible refinement, if possible:  After reading a thread and returning to the search results, could it bring you back to the one you just read?  Currently it takes you to the top of the page of results and you need to scroll back down and try to remember where you left off.


    A very minor quibble!  Overall, I think it's a great idea and very helpful.


    Many thanks,



  4. On 8/28/2023 at 11:50 AM, CDNPolar said:

    Viking's Passage to Eastern Europe is a must do river cruise for anyone.


    The countries on the itinerary are amazing:  Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Hungary.


    All the ship's crew were from these countries, and of course also the same for our local guides.  We were encouraged to ask any of the crew about their experience with communism during and post, and many did.  The information and learning that we got on this cruise was amazing.


    Not sure if I am allowed to name names on a review like this so I will do this instead:


    Our Program Director was outstandingly good.  She never read from notes at a port talk, she knows every country, port, and excursion by heart.  Her enthusiasm and passion in her job was undeniable.


    The serving crew - restaurant and bar - were outstanding as well.


    The food was to Viking standard, and we loved everything served.


    @CDNPolar Which ship were you on, please?  We are booked on the Ullur next May on the reverse itinerary to yours.  Would welcome any comments on your excursions--included as well as any optional ones you chose.


    Many thanks,


  5. 5 minutes ago, kittyanne said:

    I own NCL stock and I was turned down for the on board credit on our upcoming cruise. The reason given was that I had bought the cruise through a discount travel agent. I've booked Seabourn though them in the past and gotten my Carnival benefits.  They stated that they had an obligation to their shareholders. But I am a shareholder, so I really think this is bad public relations.


    We had the same thing happen to us on NCLH sister line Oceania when we took advantage of a Florida residents' special offer.  The terms and conditions of the shareholder benefit do note it cannot be combined with other offers and some fare categories.  So, need to weigh the discount versus the OBC value--in our case the $1,000 fare discount well outweighed the $100 OBC we would have received.  

  6. On 9/14/2023 at 8:30 AM, douginct said:

    May I ask please? - how far in advance of your cruise did you submit the shareholder form? Thanks.


    We always submit ours about 13 months in advance of sailing.  We do that so it is applied before the window to book excursions opens up.  As others have noted, we usually use our shareholder (and other OBC) to book either Regent Choice shore excursions or the Culinary Arts Classes.  We prefer experiences to things from the on-board shops we don't need.  In the past we've also used it for SPA services but found them mixed in quality--and now the prices have really skyrocketed, so value has declined.  As others have noted, however, you can submit it as soon as you book it appears.

    • Like 2
  7. 7 hours ago, princeton123211 said:

    That pricing is from the airport to Venice (and is a little high even for that). It wouldn't be that much from the Hilton-- more like 65 Euro, which is still a lot, but not nearly what you think it is. 


    Those are the prices I'm finding online.  I did find a provider yesterday that was quoting €129 from the airport and €99 from the Hilton to the cruise terminal.  Still a lot for a 10-minute ride.  And reportedly it is a longish walk whether you use a water taxi or the water bus.


    Greatly appreciate everyone's experience and comments.


    Many thanks,


  8. 3 hours ago, Cruzin1616 said:

    Our trip is next year. We were told April 2024 and the gap I found was April 24-29th We are awaiting more details to be sure of our dates.  Just found out a week ago about trip. Getting a head start on trying to plan so we are prepared to jump when things open up to us. And where to use what money we get saved from now till then.  So if Monte Carlo, Portofino and Sorrento are easy to walk and explore on our own than would it be better to do a paid excursion for Livorno? Since Pisa and Florence are further away! 


    The ship does look beautiful!  Can’t wait to go! 
    I will for sure look at the “live from” threads. 


    Sorry, for some reason I thought you had said October, without a year.  My mistake.


    I have no experience with corporate cruises with Regent but with cruises offered to the public, a variety of shore excursions are part of the cruise fare--"free," if you will.  So, no need to spend any money on shorex if you find included shorex to your liking--well, except for anything you want to buy on the excursion, any food or drink if not mentioned as part of the shorex, and tips for driver and guides.


    If your corporate cruise does not include no-additional-charge shorex, then, yes, Livorno would be the port to spring for a tour.  Look at the destination boards--there is one for Italy--for lots of recommendations of tour companies to use.


  9. 1 hour ago, steamboats said:

    @loriva many of the vaporetti lines do end/start at Piazzale Roma like line 2 which also serves Tronchetto. Line 1 is the major line going through the Canal Grande and stops at every stop. Line 2 is the fast line through Canal Grande which doesn´t stop at each stop.


    Lines 3, 4.1 and 5 also go to Piazzale Roma. This is the main stop in Venice as it connects to the road leading to Venice.




    Ah, a different water bus company!  ACTVs routes do not stop at the dock by our hotel, however.  So, we will need to figure out which walk is easier--from Tronchetto to Marittima with Alilaguna Linea Blu or Sacca Fisola or La Palanca on ACTV Line 4.2.


    Thanks again,

  10. @steamboats Thank you for the very detailed response.  Exactly the kind of information needed to be ready.


    Yes, I saw Linea Blu used to have seasonal service directly to the cruise port, but it is not on their timetables for this year.  Unfortunately, none of the vaporetto lines appear to service the Piazzalle Roma that I can see from the Alilaguna website.  Maybe the concierge at our hotel will have other information.  


    The walk from the Tronchetto stop for the Linea Blu to Terminal 117 appears to be 1.3km.  That should be doable with our luggage.  It is difficult to justify a price of €145 for a water taxi for such a short distance from our hotel, the Hilton Molino Stucky. 



  11. 16 hours ago, Cruzin1616 said:

    We are going on a corporate cruise on Regent Splendor in Italy. Never been on Regent before.

    Can you guys tell me how the free excursions are? Would like to save our money to buy stuff and enjoy the food. We are not one to use taxis so prefer to walk or be part of an excursion to help us get places.
    So far we have been told our stops are Sorrento, Livorno, Portofino, and Monte Carlo. 
    Also any tips on the ship would be helpful. 


    Looks like your cruise is 19-24 October 2024, when the Splendor shows a gap in its public offerings, going from Barcelona to Rome (Civitavecchia).  Monte Carlo, Portofino, and Sorrento are all easy ports to walk around and explore on your own.  Regent will likely offer a number of tours that include walking around these cities.  Livorno is for Florence, so you'll likely be on a bus there (maybe including Pisa).  Will be a combination of walking and riding around Florence for some vistas.


    For tips on the ship, make your way over to the "Reviews" section or read any of the "Live from" threads.  It is a beautiful ship.  All of the food--including specialty restaurants--are built into the fare, so you won't have to spend money there.

  12. We're planning on taking a water taxi from the airport to the hotel for our stay in Venice prior to our cruise.  According to the map, it is one stop (9 minutes) from our hotel to the cruise port area on the vaporetto -- and €16 versus €145.  We took the vaporetto from our hotel to the airport on our previous visit to Venice (with luggage) and it worked out fine.


    What we're trying to find out is the exact terminal Regent is using at Marittima as there are multiple ones.  If you have had experience boarding there this year, please let us know which terminal was used.


    Many thanks, 

  13. 5 hours ago, steamboats said:

    I´ve been to Venice in August. We were bussed from the airport to the Venice Passenger Terminal at Stazione Marittima. The check-in was there. Then we boarded another bus to Fusina where the ship (Silver Nova in our case) was docked. For disembarkation the people were directly bussed to the airport or in our case to the cruise terminal at Stazione Marittima.


    When we returned there were 3 ships "in port" - Silver Nova and Nautica in Fusina and MSC Sinfonia in Marghera. All people boarding had to go via the Venice Cruise Terminal. MSC had even boats going over to Marghera.


    There is no check-in facility at Fusina and there is no parking lot for cruisers. Same for Marghera.


    The World Navigator was docked at Basilio (which is directly in Venice) but that´s a 200 passenger ship. The Crystal ships are too big to go into Venice. So they pretty likely dock in Fusina. The bigger ships go to Marghera.






    @steamboats -- There are multiple terminals at the Stazione Marittima according to this map on the port operator's website:  https://www.vtp.it/en/info-operatori/crociere/.  Do you recall which terminal (103, 107, 117, etc.?) you used? 


    It's still six weeks until our cruise so hope we'll receive more information from our cruise line (Regent) in the final documents.  On our preliminary docs, they give the check-in location as Fabbricato 248, which seems to correspond to Terminal 103.  We're thinking of arriving by vaporetto from our hotel, so trying to nail down the building we need go to after disembarking the water bus at the Tronchetto stop.  We're not certain if Regent will have local staff at the Tronchetto stop, so want to be prepared to go it alone.  (We know this is in the hands of the local operator, so have little hope that Regent sales agents in the United States would have accurate information.  So, no point in calling to ask--better answers here from those who have experienced boarding in Venice.) 


    Many thanks, 

  14. 1 hour ago, Vineyard View said:

    We used a private water taxi from our hotel to the Marittima port. It was just easiest to do that. Once we arrived , there was a Seabourn group waiting to take our checked bags, along with a representative who walked us to the correct building. It was a lengthy walk as an FYI. If you have mobility issues, I would recommend checking with Regent on how that might work. It’s a strange environment being in an empty port complex that was once so busy. Word or caution though, our experience as well as others that we spoke with - land operations truly didn’t have a clear idea of what the situation and process was at this port so not sure they can be overly helpful. It may have improved since as that was fairly early in the process. 
    I hope this is helpful and that you have a great time. We sure did! 


    Thanks.  Do you remember where exactly the water taxi dropped you and the building to which the Seabourn reps walked you?

  15. On 5/21/2023 at 10:55 PM, Vineyard View said:

    I will do that. We board Seabourn on Saturday. It has been confirmed multiple times by them that this is the case. Exactly as Azamara has stated to you.  I know that when Viking used the industrial port last year this was the case then as well. You cannot just walk around an industrial port for safety reasons, so it is a controlled entry and exit. 


    @Vineyard View Could you elaborate a bit on your experience of getting to Marittima, please?  When you look at the map of the port area in Venice, there are a number of terminals listed around the two channels making up the port.  The information from our cruise line (Regent) lists the Cruise Terminal at Fabbricato 248.  On Google Maps, this brings up a building on the west side of the eastern channel.  Does that accord with where you remember going to check in?  Making things more confusing, the ferry terminal called "Marittima" is on the eastern side of that channel.


    I understand that once we check in at the cruise terminal Regent will bus us to Fusina to board the ship, but we do not have transfers from the cruise line from our hotel to Marittima.  So, we're trying to figure out the easiest way to get there but need to pinpoint where "there" is first.  Also, I can figure out where the vaporettos dock from the map--at the Tronchetto stop on the western channel--but not where a water taxi would (or should) let us off.  If you arrived privately at the cruise terminal, what means did you use and where did it drop you?


    Many thanks,

  16. Somewhat answering my own question above, I had my TA contact Regent about adding their transfer from the hotel to the Venice Cruise Terminal (aka Marittima).  By way of background, we booked our flights through Regent, arriving early, and are staying at the cruise hotel but we did not book the hotel through Regent.  So, we're on our own for transfers from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the cruise terminal.  Regent did, however, offer to allow us to buy it from them (some on CC.com have said you could not if you didn't buy the hotel through Regent).  The charge would be $349 for two. 


    In comparison, a private water taxi would be less than half that price.  The official site of Venice's water taxi consortium, https://www.motoscafivenezia.com/en, quotes a price of €145 for up to 10 pax and 10 bags; each additional bag is €5.  It also appears we could take the water bus (vaporetto).  Linea Blu stops at the Hilton Molino Stucky and then it is one-stop, 9 minutes to the Tronchetto stop and then the moving walkway to the cruise terminal.  That fare would be €8 each plus €3 additional if we have more than one suitcase and one carry-on each.  This is, of course, showing what the map and the internet says, not yet an experienced reality.  (We did take a vaporetto from our hotel to the airport on our last visit to Venice and it was fine, but neither of us have any mobility challenges so that could make a difference to one's planning.)

  17. 21 hours ago, Lenbro1944 said:

    We recently checked our flight schedule made with Regent Custom Air, via the website, to find out that one of our connecting flights was not listed. It was the weekend so we called the airline directly and they told us that our connecting fight in Europe to our final destination had been cancelled and no replacement had been reserved. They also told us they had contacted Regent almost 2 weeks prior to inform them. Neither we our our TA were ever notified by Regent, Regent Custom Air or the airline about the cancellation.

    We called Regent first thing Monday and they directed us to Custom Air. On speaking to Custom Air we asked why we were never notified. Their inexcusable answer was “ they are under staffed”. We fortunately were able to book alternative flights with no deviation charge but it wouldn’t have been our first choice. So I recommend you constantly check your flight schedule, or you like ourselves, could end up not having one of you connecting flights when you arrive at that airport and maybe miss your cruise.

    . We have since contacted Guest Relations at Regent who told us they will forward our concerns to management. We have yet to hear back from them. The whole incident is unacceptable and hopefully Regent will look into this so it doesn’t continue to happen.




    We had a similar issue this week.  I found a change on our outbound United flights.  When I called the Air Concierge, the agent informed me that our inbound Alaska flight had been cancelled.  I had researched the replacement United flight I wanted (and we eventually received) but had missed the return change.  (And, yes, I should have checked on that leg as well.)  It took multiple calls to Regent and research to find a new connection we liked (and then it came with an upcharge.)


    The airlines are still constantly changing things as they continue to staff up since the pandemic and I'm sure Regent is facing the same issue.  But there has to be a technical fix for this--a computer program that sends out changes as soon as they are received by Regent.  Maybe our friend Mike Moore can comment?

  18. Can anyone explain this mystery, please?  Actually, two.


    When the Custom Air booking window opened in June for our cruise in January 2024 from Sydney to Singapore, Regent booked us on an itinerary using United on the outbound and EVA Air and Alaska on the return.  Our domestic flights on United changed and when I called the Air Concierge to rebook those, the agent also informed me that Alaska had cancelled our final leg.  The agent changed our port of entry in the United States from Seattle to LAX.  There were three flights (all red-eyes) available to MCO--one each on United, American, and jetBlue.  EVA Air is a United partner, but for some reason Regent could only book us on jetBlue--on an aircraft that only has economy seats.  The agent said the EVA Air and United flight "did not fare together"--direct quote.  Any idea what that means?  Why would flights on partner airlines not be bookable together?


    So, back to the drawing board and I found a fare in "P" class on ANA and United.  The ANA flights are codeshared with United.  The flights are also less expensive--at least the prices I can see--than the EVA/jetBlue connection.  Yet, Regent wants to change us an $800/pp surcharge.  Regent's explanation was it was the change from economy to first on the domestic leg.  I thought the upgrade to first was usually included when staying with the same airline/alliance.  Could it be because the flights were booked as ANA rather than United codeshare?  Thanks in advance for any ideas.

  19. There is lots of information in the sticky on Regent flights--you might find someone who has had your routing there.


    To see if the United non-stop is an option--when flights open up (and you'll need both outbound and return dates)--do a search on the United website.  Use the "advanced search" option and look for a "P" fare.  That is the deepest discount fare and the one Regent books.  It will show up in the second column of prices--look for the header "fare searched." 


    Even if the fare is available, however, you might have to pay a surcharge over the air allowance from Regent.  We just faced that with a return flight from Singapore after an airline cancelled its flight that was part of our original itinerary.  I found a "P" fare on United and partner ANA, but still had to pay an upcharge as we were changing from the originally booked EVA Air.

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 2
  20. 14 hours ago, ernieb said:

    My TA is telling me that Regent is not contracting with Delta and its partners. Does anyone know if that is true?


    When I booked air with Regent in June, the agent told me they contracted with ALL major airlines.  They might, of course, have a preferred contractor for certain routes or have sold out of the restricted fare seats for which they contract.  Regarding the latter, as others have posted, if you cannot find a discounted/restricted business class fare on the airline's website, Regent will have no seats on that itinerary to offer.

    • Like 3
  21. 20 hours ago, WNcruiser said:

    Penthouse “A”:

    I already spoke about our suite so won’t say too much more. It definitely needs an update as the bathroom shows it’s 20+ years. There are also several cosmetic issues that look poor on a six star cruise line.


    Any idea if Voyager is scheduled for a dry dock and renovation in the next year or so?  Regent's little sister Oceania did a major renovation on a number of its ships last year and the bathrooms on those are now excellent.


    And thank you very much for your excellent live report!  We'll be on a different itinerary but sailing Voyager for the first time in February 2025 so eagerly following your comments on the ship and life onboard.

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