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About markham

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    cunard, seabourn
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    eastern med

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  1. Saminia, Is that how you see the difficult state of international relations now? If so, then maybe it’s best to leave the difficult issues and nuanced policy decisions to those who are skillful. Everyone wins. See? Happy and healthy sailing!
  2. ... which is why it's never a good idea to generalize about a people, nation, race or whatever. Who needs to create misunderstandngs among those groups? The US, if you don't mind me saying, is an extremely diverse group of people, in every way, demographically. Some are vociferous and make make the most sense to their own cohort of listeners. That is the "why" as to how there happens to be so much division and even rancor there when certain politicians and pundits make their provocative points. Childish, embarrassing, exclusionary or whatever. Which means that what they do may well not travel well to other countries and peoples at all. This America first stuff will pass with all its ridiculousness, and I am sure of that, and start waning in the lead up to the November elections there, in only several short weeks. Unless, of course, those that think otherwise refuse to concede that we live in a global world where people demand to be treated respectfully, fairly and tolerantly. Their loss- as America and Americans move on. Happy and healthy sailing!
  3. How odd. We were to be on the same cruise to Southampton that was cancelled in Fremantle. We claimed our refund a week before you, on 23 March. That was 87 days ago, nothing like 2 months. What difference does it make? To me, it does! No acknowledgment of our online claim - ever - by Cunard. How could we know we were even in the queue? And then there were those gratuitous videos on Cunard.com by its President Simon Palethorpe. Who obviously is not “engaged”, as he would like you to believe, or we would not be left guessing as to what was what. Ridiculous. Anyway, and after much angst directed needlessly all over the place, our TA confirmed today that Cunard paid our credit cards today. So, and if that is true, we will see the credits for the deposit and final payments on those ccs‘ online statements in a few days. This is all very poorly managed by Cunard. Communications and candour are everything in times of distress. And I hasten to add that this is not an insignificant sum. Palethorpe can hold back his videos going forward for all I care. I won’t be booking an expensive long cruise with Cunard again. Sad, and I have over 410 days on Cunard. There are smarter and better value brands, we know what they are, and I have considerably more days on them. Maybe that Fremantle to Southampton itinerary did hit the spot as it was unique. But the management is, sadly, tone deaf. Happy and healthy sailing!
  4. Hypercafe is mistaken about wraparound decks on Silversea ships. I have enjoyed them on Whisper, Cloud and Muse (my favorite). These are first class luxury cruisers of an understated character whereas Cunard’s quality varies with its 3 class system in terms of “you get what you pay for”. You really cannot compare the experience of a 200-600 passenger Silversea all-inclusive ship to a 2000-2500 pay as you go Cunard ship which is essentially a mass market event with the superior grade Princess and top class Queens class, totalling around 400 together. As another poster said aptly, chalk and cheese. Haply and healthy sailing!
  5. I will chime in since I have sailed on Cloud in the Arctic and Quest in Antarctica. The Cloud is beat up, virtually all interior public areas very cold (landing doors on lower levels cause all heat to escape on deck 8 when the pool doors open), many cabins and corridors flooded, the interiors are very tired, pool temperature under regulated so can be way too hot, Terrazza tatty, too noisy and crowded. Maybe my first and enduring impression were the MDR chairs- very uncomfortable since any cushioning went flat years ago. And since this is an “expedition” ship it is very casual eg jeans and tee shirts in the MDR which contrasts strangely to its best point, IMO, the food and service. The best aspects were the lectures in the (freezing) theater and easy in/out zodiac procedure which allowed in some places 2 excursions per day on this 200 person ship. Not worth the considerable (check out those prices!) money unless you accept/fit in despite these objective and subjective weaknesses. I would never go back. And I kinda like the brand... not the boring Whisper class but yes to the elegant Muse! (See my review of the Cloud from last August.) In contrast Quest is an elegant classic ship, modern, comfortable, and predictable, which allows an excursion per day and the choice to enjoy the good life in all its aspects for its pampered 450 guests. And no line delivers the friendliness and resourcefulness of Seabourn officers and crew. Chalk and cheese, Prosecco vs Champagne. Happy and healthy sailing!
  6. About Seabourn schedules in 2021, I have to think the next few/several months will see many changes from what we used to know. For example, they might furlough one or more of their ships to simplify planning and staffing relative to demand, and the politics and economics of it all. Interesting times ahead... just imagine what cutbacks etc HAL and Princess will experience. Happy and healthy sailing!
  7. Is Cunard running itself into the ground? Looking to ship off customers and deter prospects to rival lines? Who is in charge there anyway and for how long? Something is obviously wrong at Cunard. Only 3 ships and no clue as to how to conduct its marketing. Of course, if there are any defenders of this approach to managing customer expectations with a line on Cunard’s website offering, well, I am all ears... Happy and healthy sailing!
  8. Encore and Ovation are reached by elevators. The spiral staircase point applies to the Odyssey class ships only. Also, they seems narrower than those on the O ships: 5 are in place versus 4 on ships marginally wider than the O ships. But I do not have the specs. Happy and healthy sailing!
  9. Silversea marketing literature is sloppy? What about those ridiculously lengthy and intrusive surveys they send out via email periodically? Not acceptable for a luxury line. Happy and healthy sailing!
  10. You’re right. Sorry! I was thinking Grills Bar. Happy and healthy sailing!
  11. Conveniently right beside the entrance to the QG restaurant. Happy and healthy sailing!
  12. Here's something about Seabourn you won't find on HAL: maple syrup. Mass market lines offer corn syrup in little packets. Yech! "You get what you pay for" is the saying, but it doesn't apply on HAL whose larger cabins are often more expensive than those on Seabourn and, of course, HAL in not all inclusive re alcohol and tips. Enjoy your first Seabourn cruise - even more than you may recognize already. Happy and healthy sailing!
  13. I am not worried about Greta because she gets it. We all have to move with the times- and that includes what’s good for the brand and what works. Seabourn and its suppliers know that. Maybe they’re negotiating another gig right now. If these gentlemen were smarter they would have sharpened up their acts. If they’re late in the game now they might recognize that they should have done more when they were riding the wave and their appeal was untarnished. Anyway, they’ve got contracts with exit provisions, for sure. And about The Retreat, well, it’s tough for Seabourn to admit it’s mistake I guess, but if the place is empty and a running joke, one day it might just disappear during the ships’ refits. Time will tell. Happy and healthy sailing!
  14. The big guy Spa promoter and the extremely/overly chatty and loud guy who mixes drinks? These are marketing types with something to offer for a while. Until they don’t. Remember Charlie Palmer? The cycle has a life and will come to an end, and all that was considered when their contracts were prepared. ”When something begins, it begins to end”, so the saying goes. Of course, that will apply, sooner or later, to TK and (hopefully sooner, in my view) to The Retreat, which occupies sorely needed deck space and offends my idea of what Seabourn already represents as a luxury cruise brand. No big deal. That’s business. Happy and healthy sailing!
  15. So the big guy with the beard eats and drinks too much? And on Seabourn which touts his brand of healthy living? What a hoot! It would appear that another overhyped entertainer of sorts has been revealed for who he really is and without his makeup and props. Not the first and won’t be the last. But if you’re interested, do read the Wellness brochure. It’s well written. Over to you. Happy and healthy sailing!
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