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Belfast Taxman

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About Belfast Taxman

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Belfast, Northern Ireland
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    Food and wine
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  1. Wendy, you are right that Regent are late in announcing this cruise. Last year the 2022 Pacific based trip was revealed on 10 July. The only major cruise line to reveal their 2023 WC so far are Crystal (fairly standard Miami to Barcelona over a whopping 140 nights). I am not sure if this is standard, but one aspect of the booking process with Crystal is quite substantial discounts for full up front payment, with a best price guarantee whereby you keep your discount percentage if prices fall. Maybe this is a way of getting cash flow now, but perhaps this is normal practice (I don’t know). Assuming 2023 is Mariner, and given the length of the WC, what cabin category would you suggest as a minimum? Penthouse?
  2. Not immediately relevant to Regent, but the last few weeks have seen a number of European cruise companies go bust. Spanish company Pullmantour, Baltic cruise and ferry line Silja, and now British company CMV. These companies all predominantly cruised in Europe and to be honest not in the same part of the overall market as Regent but company analysts are quite openly predicting that this is just the start of a conveyor belt of bankruptcy and overall reduction of capacity. One commentator suggests a 30% reduction of ships being operated until 2022 with those ships that do operate only doing so at less than 50% of passenger numbers. i imagine even some of the bigger lines could go soon
  3. Well, effectively they have in two senses. The FCO (foreign and commonwealth office) have extended their travel advice to say that all cruise travel should be avoided. This will mean that travel insurance will be impossible to obtain for UK residents wishing to cruise and thus, for most people, end their plans for the time being ( there is no time limit). Secondly the announcement appears to say that no cruise ships will be allowed to embark/disembark in the UK for the time being. There may be a limit to the impact given that most UK cruises were already cancelled until October anyway.
  4. Hope you are right Jackie, possibly only the larger ships will be banned because there are many Venetians who benefit from the ships being there. I suspect there will be further limits as to the actual number of ships allowed in many ports in the Med. Santorini is a good example, Dubrovnik is another. This is, of course, happening “naturally” with Covid-19 at the moment, and I think the natives of these ports will not want to go back to the old days.
  5. Royal Carribean have announced that they are removing Venice as a cruise port for all relevant sailings until at least August 2021. They are replacing Venice with Ravenna, about 90 miles to the south, and actually a place very much worth visiting. This decision is not Covid-19 related and it is expected that other cruise lines will follow suit in the near future Cruising into Venice is a truly amazing experience but one that is guilt ridden. The damage being done is horrendous. If there has been a small silver lining to the pandemic, it has been the recovery of the eco system in the Lagoon. The return of cruise ships would destroy that recovery.
  6. pcardad i do apologise, I really did not mean to cause confusion, but yes it does appear that we have to take the future Baltic cruise with no additional cost to us (whereas even with a 125% FCC there would have been an extra £1,000 to pay including the pre-cruise package and flights) in order to get the original, now cancelled, cruise included on our Regent Seven Seas society account.
  7. Going back to my opening post. I think I may have to give credit where credit is due (pardon the pun) Regent today sent us an e-mail confirming cancellation of our August Baltic cruise. The expected choice of 100% refund or 125% FCC was made. In addition we were told that the cancelled cruise days would count on our Seven Seas Society record. But in addition to the above, the issue that I covered in my opening post was directly covered by Regent. They identified two very similar cruises, including the one I had noted in my opening post, to our cancelled cruise next year. They correctly noted that even with 125% FCC we would lose out and thus offered us a no further payment due deal if we take either of these cruises. We will be considering carefully with our TA
  8. Is booking on Crystal a sign that Regent are being far too slow in confirming cancellation of cruises. We would be most interested in Barcelona to Dubai on Explorer in November, but it would have to be as a replacement for our August Baltic cruise. We still await confirmation that this is cancelled. there seems a much more realistic chance of cruising in November and certainly that fits in with previous quotes from FDR. Depends upon no second wave of infection of course, but it is the current uncertainty being caused by delaying cancellations that is another problem. Other cruise lines have cancelled well into the autumn for some time now and others such as Crystal have published rearranged cruise itineraries for October onwards. Why is Regent being comparatively slow?
  9. All of Explorer’s cruises in August are now waitlisted including ours on 28 August - the beginning of the end methinks
  10. Feels good to talk about the actual cruise experience for a change. Today, we booked our three speciality restaurants for our August cruise. Notwithstanding the probable futility, it was good to see the booking experience was a lot simpler than the excursions. We got the days and times we wanted😃 and we got email confirmation within a few minutes - now if only their refund process was as successful lol.
  11. I agree with GrJ Berkshire. The concept of cut price deals to lure back cruisers is a short term illusion with Regent and other luxury cruise lines. As I identified in my earlier thread “the value of FCC”, even with the extra 25% there is no guarantee that you will not be out of pocket when re-booking. As for a vaccine, we can hope but there is no guarantee here either
  12. So it is not just a question of when, but where? As I have said before, I do not expect any Regent European cruises this year and no transatlantic sailings either (sorry Susan). Rather it will US based cruises (Caribbean being the most likely) for US residents. perhaps the best indicator is the sort of cruises now available to book for August from the likes of Carnival and Disney - three or four night cruises from Miami stopping at their island resorts and Cozumel only. lets hope the hurricane season is quiet this year
  13. It is exactly the same, apart from the differences I have mentioned. I have approached my TA as we had included a 2 night pre - stay in Stockholm, expanding on the one night that was part of the Regent package. The additional £2,400 does not include that additional element.
  14. We expect our August Stockholm to Southampton cruise to be cancelled soon. Regent will then offer us a long wait on the 100% refund or 125% FCC. What could we do with the FCC? Well, perhaps the most obvious thing we could do is try and replicate the cruise we had already booked, and indeed we very nearly can. On 25 July 2021 there is almost exactly the same cruise. There are just two differences, firstly Splendor instead of Explorer, secondly the port in Latvia is not Riga (unfortunately). There is a third difference, the price. For the same cabin we had booked, a D Concierge, there would be an additional £2,400 each which equates to a rise of 130%. The wait for the refund is looking the more attractive especially given the practical consequences of whatever precise new regulations will be in force, none of which would appear to enhance the “luxury” of the overall experience. I would have expected Regent to ensure that passengers having to use FCC would not be financially disadvantaged as well. Perhaps they may discount the price accordingly. Would welcome any confirmation that this has happened
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