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amusea

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    Tucson AZ
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    http://exotic-sojourn.blogspot.com/ http://exotic-sojourn2.blogspot.com/

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  1. Thank you TravelCat2. You are the only one who specifically answered my question about submitting the same flight from DXB to the West Coast on different days in an attempt to obtain the non-stop flight without cost. I realize that everything is dependent on Regent and their contracts so nothing is set in stone. You may remember that I also was put off by FlyerTalker answering my questions as if I have never flown extensively and I think that 1982CruzStart has a valid point. While we don't want to discourage anyone such as FlyerTalker with knowledge about a subject from contributing on this board, we also don't want to discourage anyone from asking questions and making comments for fear of being lectured to which is what I perceived also. Just taking a little care in how responses are worded can make a big difference.
  2. Thanks to everyone for their input. Of course there is some amount of conjecture about what will be available with Regent at 270 so all discussions have some IF quality about them. I also am looking at the flights on TK from Istanbul which Regent might have available with deviation. I only know I want to avoid Heathrow and Frankfurt if at all possible. My partner and I are in no rush to return home after the cruise. Right now we are also looking into returning to Egypt or flying back to Berlin with friends who will also be on the cruise. Or perhaps finding another cruise from a European port. Therefore, the flexibility of using FF miles which I have in abundance in all three alliances is tempting, especially since those miles are in a continual process of devaluation. However, my question is about deviation with the non-stop Emirates flight from Dubai to LAX which probably is my first choice. It would assure me of jetway access to the plane from the Dubai terminal and it would avoid the possibiity of having to bus from the terminal onto the tarmac and then the climbing up those stairs to the plane since I don't check luggage. (I had to do that last month from FRA even though it was a Lufthansa flight). So I was wondering if I could just start by submitting at 270 to Regent the option of that non-stop flight from DXB and listing it for several different days after the cruise has ended? Perhaps it will be available without cost if I am flexible with the date. Just a thought. If that doesn't work then I could submit other alternatives. How many dates do you think I could submit in my first try?? I do have a good refund promised from my TA (it's in my contract with the agency) and she is knowledgeable about how everything works but I am thinking that I might rather handle the submission of flights to Regent on my own. I have read the differing opinions about whether or not this is a good idea and still have not made a final decision in that regard. But thanks to everyone for contributing to this discussion. All opinions are very helpful.
  3. It is true that the flight with transfer could be longer but Cathay Pacific has well-priced options from Dubai (under $3000. business class to LAX) that offer several transfer options and one is with a 39 hour layover in Hong Kong which would give you time to go to a hotel and get a good sleep before continuing onward. That "breaking up the flights" option appeals to me as do some of the Doha options that avoid Heathrow IF they are in the Regent repertoire. However, the Hong Kong airport has been completely closed as of today because of the riots so this is one factor that always has to be considered when flying to the Middle or Far East or even Europe for that matter.
  4. 1982CruzStart Since I am on the 2020 Barcelona to Dubai sailing, and since I am deviating and staying in UAE and Doha after the cruise, I was wondering if Regent offered you any alternate departure airports other than Dubai. I could arrange to leave from either Abu Dhabi or Doha if it opened up other possibilites other than Dubai for using Regent Air. Did you also consider flying east through the Orient which has good connections with China Southern and Cathay Pacific to the West Coast of the USA? Jay in Tucson
  5. I have been on ships that traversed the fjords even in wet and windy weather because they are deep but also wide. The Trollfjord has much stricter parameters similar to those for ships attempting to enter the port of Bermuda in bad weather. Perhaps because the two new Seabourn ships are bigger there was more concern than there had been with the older ships with smaller dimensions. It is still hard to fathom the change from one month to the next.
  6. To answer the question about Trollfjord, it has the narrowest opening for entrance and exit of any fjord in Norway as can be seen in the photo. I first cruised into the fjord on a hurtigruten ship named Trollfjord about 8 years ago and when going through that narrow opening you could just about touch each side of the fjord from the ship. You can't go 'through' the fjord. After entering the ship must turn around a go out the same way it came in. The photo shows the Ovation leaving the fjord. The height of the cliffs is exaggerated by the narrowness of the fjord and it is a very dramatic sail-in and sail out. The entry to the fjord is never a guarantee regardless of itinerary. Weather and other factors can cause a cancellation of sailing into the fjord.
  7. I don't know about the explanation given to you but I sailed on the Seabourn Ovation this month and just returned a week ago. We had a beautiful sailing into the Trollfjord which was a highlight of the cruise. Here is a photo:
  8. TravelCat2 Unfortunately many European airports including the big ones like FRA still use bus/tarmac/stairs rather than jetways for some of their flights which is a problem for me because I don't check bags - just a rollaboard and a backpack. Those stairs can be intimidating. And I agree that if the Middle East situation worsens as it continually threatens to do, booking with Regent would be the sensible thing to do in Feb. - at least the return flight from Dubai. I think flying Eastbound to BCN or another airport in Europe might still worth considering doing on our own since we have convinced good friends from Berlin to book our cruise and we will be meeting them in Europe several days in advance of the sailing date. Jay
  9. Ah yes. Taking the bus and then the long hike. Good luck.
  10. That's great that BA has upgraded the equipment to a 787 and it is the newer 900 series. I will have to store that info away in my memory bank in case my other requests are not available. May I ask you if the flight from LHR to BCN is also BA? Transferring terminals in LHR is always a mess. Jay
  11. Az2sea, Thanks for that information. It is strange that there is only one non-stop flight from LAX to BCN and that is on Norwegian Air Shuttle. We have used that airline once in their premium class and it was OK for a flight from Stockholm to Los Angeles but that was a daytime flight. I really do not want to use them for an overnight going eastbound because it is not a flatbed. Your Regent routing confirms my suspicions which is that the most obvious choice of routes is using the PHX-LHR route on BA and probably in an old 747. We have done that several times in Business but BA business class is so outdated and uncomfortable and if I have one airport I try to avoid in Europe it is Heathrow. Standing in line for the XRay machine and the complete searching of luggage was not a happy experience, nor was their lounge. Perhaps you will have a better experience than we have had in our few times using that route. I understand that BA's cuisine has been drastically improved. Although I will say that one time returning to PHX from LHR we had booked upstairs on the 747 to PHX and for some reason they wanted our seats so they bumped us to first class and that was a whole different kettle of fish. Did you deviate/customize and choose that route or was it the itinerary that Regent gave to you without the deviation? I am assuming that because the cruise is still five months away that you gave Regent that routing as a deviation. Since the flight to LAX is only an hour we will probably request SWISS via Zurich to BCN or AIR FRANCE via CDG (as long as it is on the 777 since the A380 does not have flat beds). I have always wondered why AA doesn't open up ORD/MAD/BCN or ORD/BCN which is a much nicer route. Anyhow, the return is what it is so the MIA/DFW/TUS is as good as it gets. It's a little nicer if the MIA to DFW is operated by one of two 767s from South America that is being shuttled back from MIA to DFW. They have about two 767s per day that have international flat bed business class in the front of the plane which makes the first leg to DFW actually pleasant. Enjoy your trans-Atlantic cruise. We love the sea days and that is always such a wonderful experience and of course Regent makes the whole affair fantastic. Jay in NW Tucson (near Ina and LaCholla)
  12. Thanks Rally Dave. I think I've got it! We would be submitting our list for flights starting and ending in LAX even though we live in Tucson since any flight from Tucson requires a transfer within the USA which I will try to avoid. Flights from Tucson to LAX are of short duration and not expensive so I would book those separately. The only hitch is that the return ticket would not be on a single PNR from Dubai to Tucson via LAX and we would have to wait until we reached LAX to book our flight back to Tucson since one cannot depend on a specific arrival time in LAX. I was almost sure that the cruise consultant on the Voyager told me that you had to deviate both ways and that you could not split and just use Regent one way. I think you are correct about that not being the case. I will certainly pose the question again before I submit a list. Jay
  13. Travel Cat, Thanks so much. Your post was very much appreciated. In my original post I had quoted excerpts about the FAA ruling regarding the new restriction of air space which I read online and which was also in this Weekend's Wall Street Journal. These were not my words but the response here seemed to indicate that I was expressing my opinion and that it was not correct, even though. according to the articles, Emirates was changing some of their flight planning because of the FAA ruling. Obviously the media is not always accurate but I felt this information was important to consider. When the 270 day mark arrives I have to decide if I want to accept the $3500 offer for making my own air arrangements. Since I want to spend time in the UAE after debarkation it will involve "customizing" if I decide to use Regent. I have done quite a few dummy bookings and I know, as of this date there is availability for Nov and Dec 2019 but of course that does not give any real indication of what will be available next year. I will not pay the high extra fee for the Emirates non-stop. I would really like to try Qatar which is so highly rated but I am not sure if Regent ever uses that airline. Am I correct that flights on the return almost always start from Dubai? . Yes, we are booked on the November 2020 Dubai cruise which I booked when on the Voyager last December. The fact that the 2019 Dubai cruise was sold out told me that it was not prudent to wait and I am glad that I booked when I did. Since you have used Regent customization before, may I ask you two questions? First, can you book customization one way and get a $1750. refund for the other way? And, there seems to be a continual conflict of information about the cost. Is it $175. pp round trip or $350. round trip? Again, thanks for your kind response. Jay
  14. Perhaps I have not made clear the premise of my post which was that it could become more difficult to find flights with FF miles to Barcelona and returning from UAE using LAX as a base because of the unsettled situation in the Middle East. I use LAX as my frame of reference because it is the closest international airport to TUS and it is by far the airport with which I have the most experience. I was basically trying to keep readers informed of what could become a major problem by the time November 2020 arrives. Since I travel for much of the year I realize how many other options are available as transfer points in Europe but when searching for flights using miles many of the ones you mention are rarely if ever available using One World or Star Alliance which have the most reasonable mileage awards as opposed to the Delta alliance. And flights using miles are becoming harder to book simply because the miles seem to be continually devalued. But my experience has been that the airports in Europe that I mentioned have turned out to be the most likely candidates from LAX. The one exception that I failed to mention might be Zurich which I used to fly on SWISS from LAX to South Africa using miles in Business through Zurich outbound and through Heathrow returning in First Class a few years ago. I was hoping to return from Doha using AA miles in Business on Qatar/BA which has been available with miles for many months as long as you are not exact about the date of departure. But what I was saying was that if the political situation in UAE continues to worsen, Dubai has a much safer and better selection of flights than Doha or Abu Dhabi and thus I would not risk using the other two airports - especially Abu Dhabi since Etihad has such a precarious financial condition at present and the choice of flights is minimal. Remember that we are talking about flights that are still a year and a half away. Of course I had investigated the flights to Doha from Dubai through either Oman or Kuwait which has been brought on by the feud with Qatar. It is an inconvenience but I think it is worth the cost and trouble once you have traveled that far. If you do not use the non-stop option from Dubai to LAX on Emirates which takes about 16 hours the other airlines that require a transfer tend to take 20 hours or more total flight time. Then I still like the CX option since I have found that airline to be quite dependable as well as very comfortable and the choice of layover times in HKG is a plus. The reason for this post was first and foremost to mention the situation in the Middle East that could create continual changes in the flight schedules. If there are no good flights available using FF miles next February when the decision will be made about using the Regent air or making my own flight arrangements, I will opt for the Regent deviated formula. I would not purchase non-refundable tickets from the UAE because there is always the possibility that the itinerary for the cruise in November 2020 would have to be changed if sailing to that area of the world becomes more dangerous. In conclusion, I would ask that you please do not use large bold print in your responses because it is interpreted as shouting and I find that very disrepectful. Perhaps my age (81) has made me less tolerant of other opinions but I hope not. I respect your opinions and I hope that you will respect mine. Thank you.
  15. It may be time to rethink my flights for the Barcelona to Dubai cruise in November 2020. Yesterday the FAA put new restrictions on airspace in the Gulf of Oman and other areas around the UAE which will affect the three major UAE airlines, Qatar, Etihad and Emirates. Here are a few excerpts from the article: United Airlines has suspended one of its flights and other airlines are re-routing planes to avoid the Gulf of Oman after Iran downed an American drone operating in the area. The skies above the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf are frequently traversed by commercial aircraft, and use of the airspace is especially heavy among aircraft bound for Doha, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Airlines that operate flights in the region said Friday that they would adjust their operations. Emirates, which operates out of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, said in a statement that it had "taken precautionary measures including rerouting all flights away from areas of possible conflict." It remains to be seen how much the schedules and cost of flights from the UAE will be affected. I had decided to use FF miles for my flight to Barcelona and back from Dubai in November 2020 but now I am wondering if it would be more sensible to let Regent do the booking. I live in Tucson and flights from the western part of the USA to Barcelona require a change of planes except for one airline - Norwegian Air Shuttle which flies non-stop LAX to BCN. Otherwise you must choose from flights that require a change in Heathrow, Charles de Gaulle, Madrid, Frankfurt or Amsterdam. I was hoping to fly back from Doha on Qatar or from Abu Dhabi on Etihad but now I think it might be safer to stick with Dubai. Except for the non-stop Emirates flight to LAX or SEA the best choice seems to be the one-stop options on Cathay Pacific which can be flown with a quick transfer in Hong Kong or you can opt for the longer layover which allows you to go to a hotel near the airport for a good night's sleep before continuing on to LAX. This year the cost for Business Class on this Cathay route was just under $2000 which was a true bargain. For anyone thinking of using Phoenix as a base for Europe the small bit of good news is that Condor now flies a couple of times a week non-stop to Frankfurt and onward. We were able to get flights using AA FF miles flying to Amsterdam/Copenhagen next week for our Seabourn Norwegian Fjord cruise but there was nothing available on the return using FF miles so we have opted for Condor from Copenhagen to Frankfurt to Phoenix. The Business Class seats are not quite fully flat for this daytime flight but there is plenty of leg room and the service and food are comparable with US airlines for a much smaller cash outlay - Configuration is 2 + 2 + 2 on a refurbished 767. Condor is affiliated somehow with Luthansa so we can access the Lufthansa Business lounge in FRA and we will fly CPH to FRA in economy and then FRA to PHX in Business for a total of $1600. This new service may be of some help to folks who live in or near the Phoenix area. Since the similar Regent cruise this year on October 26 from Barcelona to Dubai might be affected by UAE flights I am monitoring that Roll Call to see what information becomes available. Jay
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