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Posts posted by MJfromCA

  1. On 8/2/2019 at 8:38 AM, SLSD said:

    Well, that's good news.  I am not a fan of all the little short 7 day segments--but that appears to be what most are (with longer cruises being sold which include the 7 day itineraries. ) 


    SLSD, you're right, it turns out that is exactly what they did! Seabourn's recommended alternative leaving the same day from Barcelona as our cancelled 14-day cruise looks like two 7-day cruises of very different types stuck together, each starting in Barcelona. They dropped 4 of the best of our 12 original ports, cut Casablanca down to one day, and substituted in mostly resorts or beach towns and that crossover day needed in Barcelona. The first segment is now basically resorts and beaches. They kept some historically interesting cities in the second segment, but they cut Seville, Granada, Gibraltar, Porto, and the second day in Casablanca. This is absolutely not an equivalent itinerary.


    Did the other board you read say that Seabourn is only doing 7-day cruises now, with longer cruises being those segments stitched together? That would be very disappointing, and I believe would hurt them in the long run - the high quality and length of the itinerary for my cancelled cruise gave Seabourn a real competitive advantage in the Mediterranean, imho.

  2. On 7/31/2019 at 4:12 PM, Sunviking said:

    We also received notification today that our Ovation cruise in August has been canceled. An alternative cruise was suggested which is nearly the same with a different end port.  When I got in touch with our TA and he got in touch with Seabourn he was told that the new cruise was not "loaded into the system" for booking yet.  We are extraordinarily picky about the cabin we will sail in and I was told I could not be guaranteed of one of those when the cruise is finally "loaded in" to the system.  I personally find it irrational to send an e-mail announcing a cancellation, offering an alternative, and asking for a decision w/i 2 weeks if we want to rebook the alternative then being unprepared (Seabourn) to book it.  I might not be so upset were it not for the fact that the cruise we booked on the Ovation includes our actual 50th wedding anniversary, a major event in my simple mind.


    Sunviking, I'm sorry your cruise was affected also, and for your 50th anniversary too! Was this for August 2020? That makes at least 3 Ovation cruises they have cancelled. I wonder if there are others.


    Yes, they have handled this very poorly. I don't have any details for my "alternative cruise" either - just a map which shows the ports they substituted, and the same 2 week deadline as you to decide. This is so untenable, not at all what I expected from Seabourn.


  3. 1 hour ago, Laylam said:

    We are booked on the cruise leaving Barcelona on May 9th ending in Amsterdam June 6th, and, after reading your post I logged into My Seabourn, to find our cruise is still there with ports unchanged..................so ???????????


    Yes, MySeabourn still shows my original ports and itinerary too. I would call your TA tomorrow - the email came to her.


    I called Seabourn directly, who confirmed the cancellation and pointed me to my TA. They also transferred me to Guest Relations, where I got voicemail.



  4. SLSD,


    There are no Ovation cruises listed on the Seabourn website now from April 25th to May 23rd 2020, so all I can go by is the map they sent in the letter.

    • They dropped Gibraltar, Motril/Granada/Alhambra and Cadiz/Seville in Spain, and Porto in Portugal.
    • They substituted St Tropez (in addition to Le Lavandou 45 minutes away), Portovenare and Portofino in Italy, and Palamos and Valencia in Spain.

    It is also likely they cut one of the two days in Casablanca to accommodate the extra port, but until I can actually see the new itinerary, that is a guess. So 4-5 of our 12 ports changed, and we had specifically picked this itinerary for these ports in combination with Morocco.


    I've had a single port on a cruise change at the last minute due to terrorist incidents or weather, which is understandable, but never this many this far ahead purely by choice of the cruise line with an already-published full ship. What if I had already booked our flights? That is why I am hesitant to try Seabourn again, if this is what is normal for them.

    Thanks for any help anyone can give on what (if anything) I can do, and if this happens often.






  5. Our May 9, 2020 Ovation "Spanish and Moroccan Sunsets" cruise Barcelona to Lisbon just got cancelled. It was almost fully booked already, with a great set of ports! Has anyone else experienced this, i.e. is this normal for Seabourn to cancel a published full cruise nine months out?


    Here is what they said: We are writing to inform you, this sailing has been canceled. We have changed our European itineraries to enhance the guests experience and to allow for better allocation of guest capacity for our 2020 season. What does that mean?


    This would have been our first cruise with Seabourn, and we moved a Tauck trip we had already booked in that timeframe so we could go on this one because of the ports. They have now created a different Ovation cruise on May 9 between Barcelona and Lisbon, called "Idyllic Iberian and Riveria", omitting several key ports we wanted and substituting others we don't want. So frustrating!


    We had hoped Seabourn would be our cruise line for most of our future cruises if we enjoyed this first one (since so many of you rave about Seabourn), but this has definitely colored our feelings about the company. If this is their new normal under Carnival, I'm not sure we want to try them.


    A very disappointed MJfromCA

  6. I'm new to Princess and will be going on several ship excursions in a few weeks. If I can go on a bit of a tangent on this thread, I had a few questions about Princess excursion tips and currency:


    • In the FAQs, Princess suggests a tip to the tour guide of $1 for a half-day tour and $3.50 for a full day per person. Is that the amount most of you follow, no matter what the cost of the excursion?


    • Do you tip anything to the driver also?


    • Do you use US dollars, or the currency of the country you are in?

    Thanks for any help on this!


    -- MJ

  7. How bumpy is the road to the penguins at Volunteer Point in the Falklands? The tour sounds wonderful for penguin viewing, but we'd like to get an idea of how much lurching will be required to get there.


    The ship's descriptions of Falklands penguin excursions say the 4x4 portion may cause issues for pregnant women and those with neck or back problems. Sometimes they say that for legal reasons, and unless you've recently had back or neck surgery you'd be fine, but at other times they really mean it.


    My DH and I are adventurous, but have had some neck/shoulder muscle strains in the past which required physical therapy (fully healed from them now).

    • Do they really mean it, so we'd need to worry about bouncing severe enough to potentially wrench something on the trip to Volunteer Point?
    • If so, would we see almost as many penguins in Punta Tombo in Puerto Madryn and/or on Isla Magdalena in Puenta Arenas instead in February? (I know they won't be kings). Are those smoother trips?

    Thanks for help with any firsthand comparisons of Falklands vs. Punta Tombo/Isla Magdalena!

  8. For those who choose TD, many times the notion of 5:30 and 6:00 is simply Princess' way of keeping the two MDRs separate, and TD will be at 5:30 regardless of which seating time you think you have.


    We are first-time Princess cruisers and chose TD at 6, but were wondering why those two times were so close. Thank you for this answer.


    On Grand class, do all ships use the same restaurant for "5:30" vs. "6:00" TD? If so, is it Botticelli at 6:00 or Michelangelo?


    If the decision is instead made by the ships individually for each cruise, is there a way to request (and confirm) Botticelli now? We are booked near the aft elevators on Crown, so Botticelli would be much more convenient for us.

  9. I really appreciate all these quick, helpful responses! Booked near the aft elevators yesterday. Good to know that means we need to use the central or forward elevators on our deck (or get off on Deck 7 to go forward) if we need to get to the Piazza or lower theater level. And to potentially go down a level to catch elevators going up at busy times.


    Thank you all! Can't wait to try Princess.

  10. Hi, I'm a long-time cruiser (Celebrity, HAL, Regent, some others now defunct) but considering Princess (Crown) for the first time. I'm trying to understand which elevators are best to be near, and how near is too near.


    Which set of elevators (stern, central, aft) do you prefer to be near and why? And how many cabins away from them do you need to be to not hear the "bings" or too much "people noise"?


    Looking forward to experiencing Princess! I know it is not this forum per se, but you have any other clues about cabin location on Dolphin deck of Crown Princess, I'd appreciate the help. Thanks!

  11. We are considering a South American cruise around the Horn in early 2017, either Valparaiso to BA or BA to Val. Is it better to have a Port or Starboard cabin for a given direction, and if so, why? (I know, I know, pick a stern balcony and I won't have to worry!)


    Also, I've seen a lot of happy Celebrity reviews on this BB. Do they have advantages over HAL or Princess, or should we pick primarily by port/time?


    Thanks for any help. After reading so many of your posts, this looks like an amazing trip!

  12. Two of the areas being worked on during this Dry Dock are new laundry equipment and redo of the cabin interiors on the two lowest passenger decks. I am sure there will be more done, but these were being started as we disembarked in Long Beach on 12/4. Our dinner table was told by an officer about these two projects and he said many more things were going to be done. Being dry dock I would expect that the hull, particularly below the water line, will be worked on as well. The dark red area (waterline and below) needs cleaning.


    As we got off in Long Beach many, many contract workers were getting onboard to sail on the ship to San Francisco and start their work at sea. On our cruise contract workers were rewiring in the ceilings of many passenger decks. We were told it was in part in preparation for "improvements" in the internet capabilities and updated hardware and software. I will be interested to see if any change is noticed on the World Cruise by the many folks who were on the Asia/Pacific cruise this fall and are going on the World as well.


    We'll be stepping into our Main deck cabin next Wednesday, so I'm delighted to know it may be refurbished! Thanks for the info. I'll report on it in January when we get back.

  13. Thanks for the help on our Embassy Suites vs. Marriott Waterside decision, Salt, Jim and Bev, and Jessemon. We are going at the height of high season (between Christmas and New Year's) so the Embassy and Marriott are almost the same price, and the S4B Marriott price is a lot higher. I think we are going to opt for the Marriott, like Jim and Bev.

  14. Does anyone know if the new Embassy Suites actually opened this month? If so, does the inside seem finished? We booked both it and the Waterside Marriott for the end of December and are trying to decide between the two. The Embassy Suites breakfast is a plus, but a new paint smell or missing facilities would be a minus. Thanks!

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