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SWFLAOK

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Everything posted by SWFLAOK

  1. A child could eat 2 chicken lobsters, and that's not what they should be serving at Prime 7. I don't want to encourage Regent to serve undersized Maine Lobster onboard the ship so I was once and done. And mine was not only undersized, but overcooked.
  2. Your itinerary shows that you arrive in Lautoka at 5:30 AM, so you should be able to disembark by 7 with no problem (and even at 6 AM if the ship docks on time). A few days prior to the end of our recent cruise, we received paperwork to fill out for disembarkation. That's when you tell PG when you want to leave the ship, and where you are going. They will tell you when they expect you to leave the ship, and where you will be taken.You will have enough time to make sure you agree. We just did the Papeete to Lautoka cruise in September. We enjoyed our 3rd cruise on Paul Gauguin. We'll be boarding on the day you disembark in April. We'll be doing the trip to Bali before the PG goes to drydock for it's refurbishment, and turnover to Ponant cruise line.
  3. It's cheaper, and available the whole day, so it sounds like Sofitel is the way to go for you. It's hard to find day rooms in Papeete unless you book them through PG. It's actually hard to find day rooms in places like Los Angeles as well. We often need a day room going to or coming from the South Pacific and Florida, and unfortunately we can't book rooms in LA through PG.
  4. I thought this discussion about boarding was referring to carry ons, and what you do with them on embarkation. We have always done transfers from the airport to the ship through Regent. Our luggage has already been put on board by Regent. We've never met any local port staff doing that so we haven't tipped them. We always carry our valuables and meds with us, and take them on the ship with us in our carry on bags. We keep those with us while going to the pool grill for lunch and drinks while we wait for our cabin to be ready.
  5. Here's what our cruise documents say: "The evening dress code is Elegant Casual, and Formal Optional. The number of Formal Optional nights per cruise is dependent upon the length of the cruise, as follows: Cruises of fourteen nights or less will be Elegant Casual for the duration Cruises of fifteen nights or more will have two Formal Optional nights Elegant Casual: Skirt, or slacks (no jeans) with a blouse or sweater, pant suit or dress for ladies; slacks (no jeans) and collared shirt for gentlemen. Sport jackets are optional. Formal Optional: While guests are welcome to dress each evening as per the Elegant Casual dress code, during Formal Optional evenings, guests may opt for a more formal choice of clothing including gowns and cocktail dresses for ladies; tuxedos, dinner jackets or dark suit with tie for gentlemen." And it's more likely that men will wear a jacket on Formal Optional nights, but it is optional. Would we feel out of place with casual attire in the evening (shorts, tank tops, ball caps, t-shirts, flip flops); yes, we would. Would we not be allowed entry to restaurants; it depends.We've seen some allowed, and some sent back to change. We don't want to be those sent back to change.
  6. We're booked on Splendor in 2021. From what I've read previously, she's very much into preventing illnesses from spreading onboard which is something I respect. We were on a cruise where the captain made it a point to shake hands with everyone onboard for a "block party" early in the cruise. I thought that was a very bad idea. A few days later, our cruise from Fort Lauderdale had plenty of people with the flu. We had immediately returned to our cabin and washed our hands, and luckily weren't among those who became ill. Captain Serena seems to discourage hand shaking to prevent cruisers who have just boarded from spreading anything to the rest of the passengers. I'm in total agreement with that. We're looking forward to meeting her, with no need to shake hands. I think she's a smart and competent Captain.
  7. We've found the same to be true. We had only one excursion that we had to pay for that disappointed us on Regent. They gave us an OBC for our next cruise. I compare prices for tours on Trip Advisor, and the Regent tours that are comparable are always cheaper, and often free.
  8. We upgraded to premium economy on Air Tahiti Nui on our September flight from the included price from LAX to PPT. We paid 800 per person to upgrade one way. We were allowed to check-in early at LAX in the short line, but didn't have access to the business lounge. We didn't have long to wait and have a nice place we have found to hang out for a drink in the past. We had early boarding (right after business), and had 2 roomy seats together, with no unwanted 3rd, and room for our carry-ons. It was worth the upgrade to us and we didn't need business class since it was an afternoon flight and we didn't sleep. We didn't do an upgrade on the way back since it was from Fiji, and we were able to get good seats at the front of economy with a 2-4-2 seating on Air Fiji.
  9. I've never noticed any bag drop-off on Regent. We normally only have one carry-on roller, and our personal items so we would not leave them anyway. I only remember having a place to drop bags before disembarking if you leave your cabin before breakfast. It was definitely not the casino on Mariner or Voyager. I'm sure it was the theater. I'll look for a drop-off next month when we embark on Voyager, but we'll still keep our hand luggage with us onboard until we have access to our cabin. It's just what we do.
  10. If you look at your cruise contract, you will find that you are responsible for knowing what you need for the cruise when it comes to passport requirements and visas. You will also read that you need to have all of the visas for the ports you're visiting. It doesn't matter if you plan to get off the ship or not. And it's your responsibility, not the cruise line. Immigration requirements are not a common thing that can be quickly resolved at the terminal. And those of us who have spoken to our TA, who checked with our cruise line, and have done some investigation on our own to determine what we need for our cruise do not appreciate being held up by someone who shows up without doing this, and expects to have their immigration problem resolved quickly when getting on the ship. This thread had nothing to do with visa requirements until you inserted it at post #11. It was about docking locations before that. So don't be blindsided. You are responsible for your immigration requirements. Between our TA and Silversea, they handled our Brazilian visa for our cruise last November. There was a fee, and we needed to work with the agency that they connected us with. The fee was more than 25 dollars, and it can't be paid for with OBC's since you need it before you board the ship.
  11. It was the Sound Wave Band. And we followed them around as well. What a great voice. We really enjoyed them. They asked us to put in a good word for them with PG before we left the ship since the Ponant rep who came aboard was not encouraging about them staying in the future. We mentioned them on our disembarkation survey. I hope they are still there for our Fiji to Bali cruise in April. I may have mentioned using Verizon on our last cruise. We paid for the PG internet access for the entire trip. It worked well in Papeete, Bora Bora, Moorea and Taha'a. But once we headed West, it didn't work as well when we reached Tonga and Fiji. We were able to use our Verizon service for 10 dollars, and we did this because the PG Internet service did not work. In the past, when it hasn't worked, we've let them know and they've credited us. We haven't been able to get a refund from PG when no internet service was available.
  12. We just finished a Paul Gauguin cruise from Papeete to Fiji. There were no ATMs in Aitutaki, Tonga or our first stop in Fiji, Savu Savu. There were supposed to be currency exchangers on board, but after standing in line waiting for them, they ended up only setting up near the dock, again with a long line, and weren't available to those of us heading out for excursions since our ship provided transportation wouldn't wait for us.
  13. We're not AAA members, so we would need to join, and it looks like you need to get their Mastercard as well. We're not interested in doing that.
  14. Since you're from SW Florida, as I am, I'm wondering which bank you use that has good foreign currency exchange. We had a hard time finding Euros earlier this year in Fort Myers. The exchange rate wasn't good at the only bank near us, and they mostly had large bills, which don't work when you need them to pay for a public toilet in Europe.
  15. No chance that we would ever book a World Cruise and not book insurance. We don't have a high risk of something bad happening in our mid 60's with very few relatives, no kids, and no serious illnesses. We rarely dive anymore, but we maintain our Diver's Alert Network membership since they will provide medical evacuation for any emergency away from home if you arrange transport through them. If the cost of your cruise would not cause you to have financial difficulty if you were to lose it, and you can afford medical and evacuation coverage on your own, then insurance may not be a problem.
  16. Thanks for that info. We have a 36 night cruise the next time we're on the Whisper, so we may want to try the Pool Grill for dinner again to have more variety. We'll definitely ask to have them cook the steak before bringing it to the table, and we'll try to get a table as far upwind as possible. On our last Silversea cruise in November of last year, I ordered something that I didn't need to cook. I guess it was pretty forgettable since I can't remember what it was, but my goal was to not cook it myself. My husband and brother both chose to cook, and it was not a pleasant experience for any of us. We had already made another reservation for the Pool Grill, and cancelled it the next morning.
  17. The Grill at night is Hot Rocks on the Silver Whisper. I would rather dress up than do that again. They put a large, very hot slab of rock on the table, and bring you raw food to cook on it. It's smokey and sizzling, and since the light isn't good, it's hard to tell when you're food is done. The cooking of your meat or seafood is your responsibility. I guess there are some people who like doing this, but we didn't. While we rarely dress up in Florida, I would rather do that than cook on a slab of rock. A dark jacket and pants with a tie worked fine for the Restaurant on formal night. La Terrazza and room service are both better alternatives to Hot Rocks on formal night if you don't feel like dressing up and your ship has Hot Rocks at the Grill in the evening.
  18. On our September cruise from Tahiti to Fiji, our cruise director was Carlos Ferreira. We, and our neighbors in the cabin next door, met Carlos at the block party. He was accompanied by the guest relations manager, Christelle Raoul, who we had met on our previous PG cruises. Later in the cruise, we were invited to dine with Carlos and Christelle, along with our cabin neighbors. Even though I normally dread eating with senior officers and staff, we had a great time. Carlos was quite charming, and Christelle seems to be his mentor since she's been on the PG for a quite a while, and he's relatively new to PG. We're hoping to see both of them again in April. The new owners are Ponant, not Penang. We spoke to the Ponant corporate rep who came aboard on the tender from Aitutaki in the Cook Islands (having flown into the airport there). He was grilled quite a bit my the rest of us who were waiting for the tender, returning from our excursions. He was quite adamant about wanting to keep the PG experience the same since Ponant customers would like it. He spoke to all of the employees onboard in a large private meeting. The room stewards, waitstaff, and their managers were expecting to stay. Those providing entertainment onboard were not optimistic. If the Captain's contract runs out at the end of April, when the PG goes from Bali to dry dock with out passengers onboard, then perhaps they're parting ways at that point. Ponant could be looking for a French speaking Captain, or Captain Ljutic might not want to deal with the new management, or a combination of both. I'm definitely hoping that the current Captain is there until we reach Bali since I trust him to get us there.
  19. We used to have 2 55 gallon fresh water tanks when we lived in Pleasant Valley NY. One was mixed tropicals, and the other African cichlids. Then we started thinking about retirement and traveling, and large fish tanks could not be part of that plan since there was no one we would trust to care for our fish while we were gone. No fish were harmed during our retirement plans since it took quite a few years to get there. Now we go to restaurants with large fish tanks in Florida, and we take cruises where we snorkel. Between now and retirement we spent 8 winters living on our boat in the Bahamas looking at fish and coral that we didn't need to take care of. It's all good.
  20. Being from the US, we're not exempt and need at least forms and photos for Vietnam. The person from Canada may also need the form and photo for Vietnam, providing it to the ship on boarding. I would definitely not expect a visa to be included as part of an excursion. If you need a visa, you need it to enter the port. That's when immigration papers are checked, and the cruise line won't let you onboard without the ability to enter every port on your cruise. We took a Silversea cruise to Brazil last November, and we needed to show our visas for Brazil before we boarded the ship in Barbados. Silversea let us know this before our cruise, and offered a service to obtain it, and there was a fee. I can't imagine why anyone sailing on Silversea is worried about whether they will need to pay 25 dollars, or 6 dollars; or whether they can find an excursion that will include a visa. That's nothing compared to the cost of your cruise. Personally, I would never trust an excursion vendor to provide a valid visa in any country.
  21. Over the past few years, I have valued TBK's opinions on what to do and see in French Polynesia, with detailed information and photos to back it up. And it's been backed up by our own experiences. I have never gotten the impression that he was a TA. I have not read anything of value about visiting French Polynesia posted by alwaysonaship. This just seemed like an unprovoked attack on someone who has been a contributor to the PG forum.
  22. The first time we inquired about a PG cruise (a company based in Seattle and sailing exclusively out of Tahiti) we were contacted by a cruise travel agent who was referred to us by PG. When we booked the cruise, my credit card was charged through a company in Ireland, causing me to incur a large foreign transaction fee. If it had been through Tahiti, I wouldn't have complained, but doing it through Ireland did not reflect well on PG in Seattle. Our travel agent was able to resolve that with PG, eliminating the FTF. Until this thread, I didn't know about the big Canadian currency discount. We're obviously paying way more in US dollars if Canadian currency is being considered the same in value. And we have never received an 8 to 10 percent payment back to us after our PG cruises. We do receive OBCs, but no where near 8 tp 10 percent. We've always stayed on deck 8. As Americans, I guess PG has taken advantage of us. Hopefully Ponant will level the prices in the future so that everyone pays the same number of Euros no matter where they're from.
  23. Mikenbob, I'll be trying this as well. On our last cruise on Voyager, MGSB was on the menu one night and I ordered it. It tasted great, but it didn't agree with me, and I was glad we had our one day at sea the next day. We have used all of those ingredients before, but not in that combination. Living in Florida, I'm thinking grouper instead of Sea Bass. Thank you.
  24. I'm not staying in a Grand Suite or higher so I may no longer have an espresso machine on Splendor since the Regent website doesn't mention it for any Splendor cabins. It seems odd that a choice of machines are available in the upper level cabins. I wouldn't expect them to carry a supply of each type, and let people choose which one they want for their cruise. If my TA said it was either Nespresso or Illy, I would assume that information wasn't available yet, rather than assuming I had a choice. I would rather have Nespresso, but I'm going to assume that at best, an espresso machine is provided in my Penthouse cabin, and at worst, I'll need to wait until the Coffee Connection opens. I will also better appreciate my Illy on our upcoming Voyager cruise since I expect they haven't been removed since July.
  25. Wow! We're booked on a Splendor cruise in 2021, and I could no longer find any mention of an Espresso machine being provided in any cabin. Will your TA be giving you a special gift onboard, or will the Splendor be replacing Illy with Nespresso on that ship? If so, will the other ships roll this out as well as they upgrade in drydock? Hopefully this will be the case, and they just haven't mentioned it yet in their cruise information. The espresso machine on Voyager doesn't make a decent cup of espresso. It makes less than a mouthful of espresso. You can put a second shot of watered down coffee into the cup, but that tastes like water. Using a second espresso container gives you what I would expect for a cup of espresso. It you need a little more, you'll have used up your daily ration, and you might need to ask for more to have anything other than decaf the next day.
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