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  1. You make an interesting point. To me it did seem like cheaper food options were sourced in addition to the choices made of how to cook items. Even my significant other commented on how much the food had changed from last year. Cost cutting was seen in the packed excursion buses. Cost cutting was also seen with the talent brought onboard which consisted of 2 performers rather than the 4 pictured in the daily newsletter. I also had problems getting the onboard credit until several days into the cruise. It took multiple visits to Reception to get them to reimburse us.
  2. I have taken 3 cruises post Covid on Azamara. Azamara used to be my favorite cruise line in spite of the pre-cruise internet difficulties and the dated/worn cabin furniture. Unfortunately, the cruise I just took on the Onward in February was not as good as before. Waiters and cabin attendants were attentive, and I enjoyed seeing crew members from my cruises last year. However, the main dining room and buffet food was average at best. Much of the food was bland including dishes from the Indian buffet. It looks like they are cost cutting in the food department. (The meals in Prime C and Aqualina were good to excellent.) Entertainment and lectures were similar to before - 2 destination lecturers and 2 special evening performers (a magician and a comedian), in addition to bringing on a local musical act. It seemed to me that they packed many more people on the expedition buses than before. I did a back to back on this cruise with a Crystal cruise. For about the same price I paid on the Azamara cruise, the Crystal cruise was dramatically better. The food was very good to outstanding, and the service was on another level. I have an Azamara cruise scheduled for this summer that has an interesting itinerary and I will determine whether to cruise Azamara in the future. Given the dramatic increases in prices, Crystal and other luxury lines will get more of my travel dollars.
  3. I think they are being too aggressive in the pricing, especially in their suites. On many itineraries, I can go on one of the luxury ships in a veranda which is similar in size to Azamara's Continental Suite and pay a similar amount. I do like the onboard service and the people I meet on Azamara but the luxury cruises have better food, drinks, and updated cabins. For a similar itinerary and price, I would choose a luxury line over Azamara.
  4. Post it

    New website.

    I just got off the phone with Azamara customer service to correct my loyalty account which has disappeared completely. I sent several emails regarding this matter starting in April. When I called 2 weeks ago, I was told that someone would send me an update by email which I never received. Today, I was told that my account information would appear only when the entire department has been fixed. The representative told me that it shows that I'm discover plus but doesn't show anything else. I have a cruise leaving next month and I'm beyond frustrated with Azamara. I was planning on booking another cruise while onboard but I'm seriously reconsidering.
  5. I'm thinking about booking a cruise in one of the Dawn class silver suites located under the pool deck: cabins # 932-937. If you've stayed in one of these cabins on the Dawn or Moon, did you hear any noise from the pool deck from above?
  6. I rarely took ship excursions because I also needed to sit in the front seat due to serious motion sickness and I would receive snide comments from fellow passengers. I take medication, use a electric pulse wrist band, and completed a series of acupuncture on the advise of my physician who also suffers from major motion sickness. Most of the time I would arrange private tours and pay for a large van just for myself and my spouse in order to avoid the unpleasant comments on bus excursions. Fortunately, my motion sickness seems to be less severe so I can start taking bus excursions without having to sit in the front seat.
  7. This is so helpful! Can we make this a sticky?
  8. My first reaction to papaflamingo's post is it's the classic "blame the victim" mentality when any criticism of Regent is raised (and why I have rarely posted in the past). However, it does raise an interesting point of how one person can change a problem that happened repeatedly.
  9. In order to attract the Gen X crowd, Crystal may need to look at the music offered on board. I was quite surprised that one night's entertainment in the main theater consisted of Doris Day songs.
  10. We've had 5 butlers on Crystal, 4 on Azamara, and 1 on Oceania - all good to outstanding. The major problem with Regent was following through with things like reservations.
  11. There are 3 reasons why I didn't complain about the service issues: 1. After having poor service with a 2nd and then a 3rd butler, I assumed the problem was endemic to Regent butlers (especially after having superior butlers on other lines). 2. My major problem with the 3rd butler was the follow through for a surprise early milestone birthday celebration for my spouse. I asked for dinner reservations, a cake at dinner, and the cabin decorated. The restaurant did not have reservations, we never received the cake (even though a neighboring table received one), and the butler and cabin attendant were in the middle of putting up a banner and balloons as we walked in. The night was already a disappointment and there was nothing to gain by complaining. 3. I'm hesitant about complaining about the service with someone who has access to your cabin and may be disgruntled. I did complain once to a hotel director on a different line about a cabin attendant and asked for a replacement.
  12. I prefer to commend people who have given superlative service.
  13. Can you get these benefits if you've never sailed on MSC?
  14. Depending on the butler assigned, one might need to lower their expectations. I typically only use the butler for breakfast room service and to make dinner reservations. We've had butlers on three Regent cruises. One butler's favorite word was "no", the next one promised to make dinner reservations for our group of 7 but never did, and the third one put in the minimum amount of work possible. When I was exposed to butlers on a few other lines, I realized the difference in attitude/follow through. I'm sure others will post about their wonderful butlers and I'm glad that they had a much better experience than I did.
  15. I have cruises booked on both Crystal and Explora. I booked both based on some of the hires made by the companies. For example, one of Azamara's top hotel directors made the move to Explora. I also booked trips leaving several months after the initial launches to allow initial startup glitches to be addressed. It also gives me the flexibility to cancel if I hear of problems.
  16. I do say it would have been nice to know which cabins will have entirely new furnishings on deck 8 and 9 on the Symphony. Thanks to Keith's deck plan, I believe I figured it out.
  17. I'm actually baffled at the intense interest in staffing ratios. In my 25+ cruises, I have never picked a cruise line because of the ratio. What is more important to me is the quality of the staff encounters. I do pick cruise lines where the service is more personable and the crew seem happy to be on board (Azamara and Crystal), while not returning to those lines where the crew seem to be going through the motions (Regent, Oceania).
  18. As someone who deals with serious motion sickness, I use both Dramamine (at night) and Meclizine (daytime). I can't use the transderm patch because of reactions. When the ride becomes very choppy, I also wear an electric band that is called Reliefband. You wear it on your wrist and it regularly sends electric pulses. You can change the intensity of the pulses if needed.
  19. For Alaska, I think Regent may be a better choice. We took our grade school daughter on RSSC during the summer when they offer children's activities for ages 5 and up. She enjoyed the crafts and meeting other children her age.
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