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TV Dad

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About Me

  • Location
    Tampa, FL
  • Interests
    Volunteering, Philanthropy, Travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Seabourn, Cunard
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Greek Isles

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  1. Does anyone know when Voyager is scheduled to go into dry dock? What improvements/changes are planned?
  2. I am a 3-star Mariner cruiser, about to take my 9th HAL cruise in May. I got the Elite drinks package "included" as part of my cruise purchase. My wife will still find a way to crave a drink (usually champagne) that is not included. First world problems. However, my biggest gripe is the upcharges in specialty restaurants. Pinnacle Grill, is already an upcharge restaurant. Then they upcharge again for many of the menu items! Canaletto also upcharges for lobster.
  3. On our honeymoon cruise 35 years ago, we befriended the couple in the owner's suite. After a night of much eating and drinking the gentleman decided he wanted to play the piano at midnight. So. . . . . . He called the butler and asked him to bring a piano to his suite. He was quite upset when the request was turned down. Next port of call, my wife and I found a toy store and bought our new friend a toy piano. Yes, he played it for us that night.
  4. First step is grab a champagne and explore the ship. We search out all the bars and restaurants. Then we head to the gym and spa. Check out the equipment, book a massage (if we haven't already pre-booked) Finally we check out all the other public areas before heading to lunch.
  5. I don't really like pina coladas. However, I find every time I board a tropical cruise, I crave a pina colada with a Myers rum floater. Only one and I am satisfied. But for some reason my tropical cruise isn't complete until I have had one pina colada with a dark rum floater.
  6. In the Queen's Grill of any Cunard ship, everything is off the menu. The head water greets you at lunch and asks you what you want. If they have the ingredients, they will make it for you. On smaller upscale lines, like Regent, Seabourn and Silversea, you can order off the menu by asking the head waiter a day ahead of time.
  7. Most suites on Holland America have spa tubs in the bathrooms. I have used them frequently.
  8. We always bring a foldable hanging shoe rack. It takes up very little space in the suitcase, but gives us lots of extra storage space in the tiny,cramped closets. It holds shoes, belts, underwear, sun glasses, socks, binoculars, etc..
  9. Wash your hands often! Hand sanitize every time you think of it. We also do a wipe-down of the cabin with sanitizing wipes when we get into the cabin. My wife refuses to touch any railing. I have no problem with railings.
  10. You can always call HAL's toll-free number. The agent will let you know when dining reservations open.
  11. I have stayed in the angle room on another ship. I found the angled balcony was wasted space. It added nothing to the cruise experience.
  12. That is correct. Elite limit is $15, which covers all but a few drinks on board.
  13. Just off the Regent Voyager 12-night cruise Lisbon to London. It was overall spectacular! However, the ship has a few issues. I have been on 30+ cruises including many ultra luxury cruises like Silversea and Seabourn. Compass Rose is, by far, the best main dining room of them all. The only one l found better is the Cunard Queens Grill, but that restaurant is limited to people paying for the best suites. Compass Rose has a large menu with plenty of every day choices on the left side of the menu. On the right side is an inventive menu that changes daily. We liked it so much we canceled one of our reservations at Prime 7 to eat at Compass Rose. Breakfast there is quick and easy. The dining room was always empty. Speaking of specialty restaurants, you may prebook each restaurant before you sail and add reservations once on board. I suggest you book early in the cruise. Prime 7 is a wonderful steakhouse and I had my best service there. Don’t be afraid to double up on main courses. They don’t mind. Definitely double up on side dishes if you plan to share. The portions are quite small, especially the vegetables. Sette Mari was a surprisingly delicious Italian restaurant. No reservations allowed. First come first served. Plan on dining before 7:00 if you want to ensure you get a table. Here’s a hack to get around that. Special order your meal early in the cruise. Tell the maitre d you would love veal Parmesan or chicken cacciatore on a specific night. He will have it made for you and that guarantees you a table. Chartreuse was my least favorite specialty restaurant even though I love French cuisine. It’s personal taste. You may love it. The singers and dancers in the production shows were marvelous. Not a weak voice in the group. Try to catch at least one show. There was never a problem finding deck chairs by the pool. And drink service there was excellent The casino had a good array of table games, except no poker. Decent slots as well. All three lounges had both pre dinner and after dinner entertainment. I thought they were all great. The second night block party is a unique and fun way to meet your neighbors and make new friends. Definitely take part in it. If you have the opportunity to take part on the Deck 11 pool party dinner, do it! Lots of fun and lots of crew interaction! My only two gripes on board were wine service and destination services (shore excursions). While on board we ordered several nice bottles of wine. But no-one checked back after the initial pour. On most shops rhe Somellier or waiter will refill your glass. Not on our cruise until I asked why! That was corrected, So it’s possible the Somellier was having a bad night or two. Also, we booked a wine pairing luncheon that featured a very expensive champagne. Five days After we booked, they told us they were out of the expensive champagne and had substituted a much cheaper champagne. It was a bit of a bait and switch, so we canceled. My advice: stick to the free wine included with the meals. That service was spectacular! Destination Services was a hot mess! Three of our shore excursions were canceled and we were assigned random replacements without anyone contacting us. What’s worse, two of the excursions were ones we paid for! We were re-booked on free tours and not offered a refund until we asked for them. On several group tours there was strenuous walking up and down hills on cobblestones. Many elderly, frail passengers had trouble keeping up and we fellow passengers had to make sure they did not fall too far behind. Regent should do a better job of making sure the tours match the physical abilities of passengers. Perhaps, Another way of putting this is too many passengers are young at heart and frail of body. They think they can keep up and they cannot! I’m not sure what to do about that! Advice: check your shore excursion tickets closely as soon as you get on board! If you find discrepancies, join the long line at the shore excursions desk! We were not alone. Overall, this was a fabulous cruise. We took advantage of the future cruise booking credit on board and will definitely cruise Regent again. However, we may opt for private tours.
  14. There is no obligation to tip. Few passengers do it. However, I did tip my favorite bartender, drink waiter and server $20 each about four days into our 12 day trip. They were very grateful and seemed to up their game around me for the rest of the cruise. The best free way to thank your favorite staffer is to mention them in cruise reviews and surveys. That helps them get promoted or re-hired for a new contract. Another way to say thanks may be to learn how to say “Thank You” in their native tongue. When I did that, it surprised and pleased them
  15. Just got off Regent Voyager 12 night cruise in Europe. Definitely no formal might, Every night was elegant casual. Gentlemen: I saw very few suits, jackets or ties. I wore sport coats and ties occasionally and looked overdressed (except according to my wife). You are more likely to see jackets or ties in the specialty restaurants. Ladies: it’s okay to dress up if you want to. Some of the woman on my cruise looked stunning, my fife included. But there were plenty of pantsuits. That much said, the no shorts or jeans after 6:00 is enforced. We overpacked for me with two sport coats and four ties. Don’t forget: FREE LAUNDRY SERVICE. Take advantage of it and pack less.
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