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About ArtsyCraftsy

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Bellingham, WA
  • Interests
    lace crochet, paper crafts, music composition, PEO, cooking, collecting cookbooks (~ 4100 so far)
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Regent Seven Seas
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Everywhere 😊

Recent Profile Visitors

1,182 profile views
  1. I’ve used Trip Insurance Store for several cruises including the aborted 2020 Regent Seven Seas 131-day World Cruise. Steve is excellent at putting together the perfect combo of policies to cover your trip. I’m working with him right now on a 94-day Arctic cruise in 2021. No relation to his company other than a very satisfied customer. Lana in Bellingham, WA
  2. I’m posting this in response to Sheila’s post but it’s really in response to everyone who encouraged me to at least try using a TA. You were right. With some help, I found a TA and transferred my booking to her today. I’m getting a very generous rebate and I can still contact my guy at Regent as long as it isn’t related to $$$ or changes to the schedule (as Sheila mentioned above). My Regent guy still gets credit for the initial booking, and everyone seems happy, including me. so thanks again for your encouragement. I think this will be the ”new way” I’ll be dealing with cruises in the future. Lana in Bellingham, WA
  3. Honestly, the feeling I had was that I was being "brushed off" -- by both of them. Didn't give a good impression for sure. I'll try again -- we'll see what happens. Thanks -- Lana
  4. I appreciate the sentiment, but no, actually, I don't know that. When I booked the 2020 World Cruise, on the urging of more experienced folks both here and on the FB group, I spoke to two different luxury cruise specialty TAs that came highly recommended about this, and the best they could offer was a savings of maybe $1,000 on the cruise (one said $750) and some OBC. For a six-figure cruise, the hassle of having to go through a TA for every question or issue just wasn't worth the minimal savings offered. Both of them explained that it was due to the fact that I travel solo, so they have less flexibility due to the "single supplement" situation. I guess after 10 cruises, the savings might add up to "tens of thousands" but for a one or two cruises? doesn't seem likely. And after going through the end of the 2020 WC and the quick/early disembarkation in Fremantle, Australis, after seeing how many of the TA-serviced fellow guests were treated vs how those of us who had booked directly with Regent, I'll take Regent any day in such a situation. In many cases, it seemed to be a dumpster fire of confusion and missed connections. Unless things have changed a lot since 2018 (when I booked the 2020 WC), I don't see much of an advantage using a TA as a solo cruiser, and frankly I'd rather have the option of calling Regent directly to get issues/answers resolved, rather than having to explain it to a TA, waiting for the TA to contact Regent, hoping that the TA understood my issue/question and can explain it to Regent, waiting for an answer, and if I have to followup, going through the entire process again ad nauseam. Plus I've gotten serious discounts/rebates/OBC on every cruise I've booked directly with Regent by taking advantage of current promotions. My bottom line is this: Is the expected experience worth the $$$ I have to invest to get it? and part of that expected experience is having someone I can contact who can supply official/accurate answers quickly. So far, I haven't found the benefit of using a TA worth the cost. Others' mileage will likely vary. Lana in Bellingham, WA
  5. I'm booking directly through Regent -- and Michael said he could start the process prior to the 23rd. Right now, I'm just waiting to see which of my 3 "preferred" cabins are available, so I think they're actually taking deposits now. Lana
  6. My email said it would be open for bookings on September 23. When I called my cruise planner guy at Regent, he said it was open for booking for prior guests with priority given to prior World Cruise guests. So they may be delaying a more general announcement until the 23rd. Just a guess ... Lana in Bellingham, WA
  7. I'm definitely booking this one. For me, it's a "dream" itinerary. I'll be on the 2022 WC so there's some overlap (some overlap with the 2020 WC, too), but there are enough "new" (to me, anyway) ports to make it worthwhile. I'm going to check to see if there's a way to get from Barcelona back to the US via a ship, -- or perhaps see what the Mariner is up to after the WCers disembark. If it's doing a Mediterranean cruise, I might just be interested in staying onboard for that. Lots of time to figure that out. Lana in Bellingham, WA
  8. If they have good fresh oysters and/or know ahead of time that you want them and they have a local source for them, it shouldn't be a problem. If you use a travel agent, go through them to get your preferences to Regent. If you don't use a travel agent, go through your Regent cruise planning specialist. If there's a particular wine or beverage she would like you'll be able to get that as well. Regent will do everything they can to fulfill your wishes. I'll be celebrating my 70th birthday in July 2021 on the Grand Arctic Adventure (May 31 - Sep 2) and the Navigator be in Helsinki that day. I'm trying to think of the kinds of things I'd like (I travel solo). My Regent planning guy has told me "ask for whatever you want -- if it exists, we should be able to get it." It'll be a fun day, for sure. 😄 Lana in Bellingham, WA
  9. I'm with you on this. I'm holding out hope for May 31 on the Navigator out of NYC, but I'm not holding my breath. If it sails and they'll let me board, I'll be on it. I cruise for the shipboard experience. Actually going ashore in ports is a secondary consideration for me.
  10. I haven't been cruising that long (my first cruise was in September, 2017), but I've taken 6 1/3 cruises so far. I travel solo so additional cost (single supplement) is a major factor in my planning. Most of my cruises have been longer -- 21+ days -- including part of a World Cruise. I was on the ill-fated Regent Seven Seas 2020 World Cruise that ended early on March 17 in Fremantle (Perth), Australia after only 51 days. And I currently have six more Regent cruises booked -- it would have been more, but two scheduled for this year have already been canceled (a 15-day Alaska trip scheduled for last month, and a 68-day South America trip scheduled for this fall/winter, both on Regent). One of those six future cruises is the 2022 World Cruise (Elements of the Pacific -- 120 days, covering ports in Polynesia, New Zealand, Australia, Southeast Asia, China, Russia, and Alaska). Another is a 94-day Arctic Adventure through the North Atlantic next summer (May 31 - Sep 2). I haven't used a travel agent yet, preferring to book directly with the cruise line. For me, it's more a matter of the level of control I want/need in handling questions/issues that might arise. I prefer to deal directly with the cruise company rather than having to explain my issue or question to a travel agent and hope that they understood what I was asking when they then talk to the cruise line. Then there's a delay for the agent to get a response from the cruise company, and then relate it to me. The risk is that the travel agent may have misunderstood either me or the cruise line's response. I think I had a few too many negative experiences when I as traveling fairly frequently internationally on business some years ago. I have to say that Regent was wonderful to work with as the World Cruise ended earlier this year. I really think dealing directly with them helped with the relatively smooth operation to disembark, transfers to hotel in Perth, and business/first-class flights all the way home to Washington state in the US. If I'm dropping 6 figures on a world cruise, I really need to be able to get answers quickly and accurately. I've talked to a few agents recommended by friends but I don't see the "value added" other than (perhaps) some additional OBC. I already get OBC from the various promotions as well as stockholder benefits, and on Regent, it's difficult to spend it as everything is included in the fare. For me, the stress level just isn't worth it. Lana in Bellingham, WA
  11. I really do feel that the answer to this depends on your individual reasons for and expectations of cruise travel. I'm single, no kids/grandkids, no pets, no houseplants, so my situation is probably a little different than most Regent travelers. For me, the onboard experience is more important than excursions and port calls. I have some physical challenges that make walking even moderate distances tricky so a lot of excursions are just not possible. I'm also in a "highly vulnerable" population (over 65, overweight, COPD & asthma). So I tend to spend more time onboard than off. COPD is progressive and fatal -- it will eventually kill me if I don't die of something else first. So I know my time for travel of any kind is limited. I want to maximize that time as much as I can and cruise travel allows me to do just that. And Regent provides the best experience I've found so far under the circumstances. At this point, I've lost 3 Regent cruises this year: the truncated World Cruise in March, a 15-day Alaska cruise last month, and the upcoming 68-day Grand Cape Horn Adventure scheduled to leave on Oct 29 that was just canceled last week. I still have 6 Regent cruises on the books. The next up is the Grand Arctic Adventure that leaves NYC on May 31, 2021 for 94 days -- almost 10 months from now. I have every intention of taking that cruise unless it's canceled. I figure that by that time, protocols will have been worked out to minimize risk. I had a conversation with my cruise planner guy at Regent who said they're looking at a lot of things including reduced onboard population for both guests and crew as well as revamping the air circulation systems. I would like to think that they'll take a hard look at crew quarters as that seems to be a fairly common denominator in recent outbreaks including the recent Hurtigruten situation. I have no problem at all wearing a mask while out and about onboard if it means the difference between cruising and not cruising. I'm fine with social distancing, too. I'm almost a textbook introvert so small groups work well for me while large groups do not, and staying in my cabin is fine. I don't expect any cruises to sail before January -- i just don't think they'll have protocols that all cruise lines can buy into before then. I hope I'm wrong for those who are booked on November and December cruises. But I'll be ready for May. Lana in Bellingham, WA
  12. My first cruise on Regent was in 2018: a 28-day trip starting in Vancouver to Alaska, then down the west coast, Central America, through the Panama Canal, and ended in Miami. I had sailed twice before that on Holland America including a 38-day North Atlantic cruise, both times in a Neptune Suite (I mention that only because the "amenities" and perks are similar to what is offered on Regent's Concierge suite although here's a size/square-footage difference). I was so impressed by Regent that on day 10 of the cruise, I booked the 2020 World Cruise. I couldn't tell if it was a function of the smaller ship size (HAL's Amsterdam was 1378 passengers; Mariner is 700) or just the general "vibe," but it fit and I knew I would be fine traveling alone on a much longer cruise. I know that not every cruise line will appeal to every traveler, but Regent ticks all the boxes for me. I'm hoping that you'll enjoy your time with them. They'll certainly do their best to make it happen. Lana in Bellingham, WA
  13. Yeah -- my 68-day Oct 29 -- Jan 5 Cape Horn cruise was canceled this morning. I'm still jockeying my FCCs from the truncated 2020 world cruise plus the canceled 15-day Alaska cruise a few weeks ago, but so far, it looks like my next cruise (94-day Arctic Adventure NYC-NYC starting May 31, 2021) and the three cruises I just booked last week for late 2021 are mostly covered except for the airline upgrade on the Nov 14, 2021 cruise. Keeping my fingers crossed for summer 2021. Lana in Bellingham, WA
  14. I saw that, too -- I'm tempted to book that SF to Vancouver cruise for after the 2022 World, since I live about an hour from Vancouver. That way I wouldn't have to fly from SF to Seattle and then shuttle to Bellingham, Something to think about, anyway. 🙂
  15. Absolutely! I'll be on the Navigator for the Arctic cruise next year. And I keep checking itineraries/schedules for the other ships to see if I can find something that fits. I much prefer cruises that either start or end (preferably both) somewhere in the US as I tend to avoid long international flights as much as possible. It just seems that, for now, the Mariner offers more cruises that work with my schedule and preferences. This particular group of cruises immediately preceding the 2022 World Cruise was a happy coincidence: I get to see the Amazon which I'll have to miss when my October 2020 South America cruise is (most likely) canceled in a couple of weeks, I'll get a shorter 10-day Caribbean cruise to some of the less-visited islands/ports (I've been avoiding them because I don't like short cruises), and I'll get to see the Panama Canal again from the "other" direction on the same ship in the same cabin as my first transit in 2018. My goal is to sail on all of the RSSC ships at some point. I'd like to do Alaska again in the summer of 2022, but it looks like that will still be the Mariner's summer home, so we'll see. Lana in Bellingham, WA
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