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About rl787

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Location
    The Cotswolds
  • Interests
    Food and Wine
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  1. Venice to Trieste is normally done by Train, I do not think there is a commercial boat trip available. the train time is just over 2 hours and trains run regularly, it is a popular route. For some odd reason the fares are very low on Italian trains.
  2. I don't actually think people really mean it when they make statements like "I am never dealing with them again" What they really mean is that they are unhappy. When I was a young buck just starting out in life I remember being with an unhappy customer who told me that he was never going to buy from the company again if he didnt get what he wanted.....I was so frightened I went to my boss very worried about loosing a customer......my boss explained that sadly on this occasion he was unable to do what the customer wanted............I retorted with the information that they won't ever buy from us again to which he replied..........."Oh yes they will............we just have to be cheaper!!" The second thing he told me was that "The customer is NOT always right............but they are ALWAYS the customer" I have found this early lesson in life quite useful in my 40 odd years in retail.
  3. The Gritti is stunning, the refurb was done beautifully. I also found the Concierge service was so friendly and attentive....a great team on the desk. I think you know what I am saying about the "broom cupboard"
  4. I must say that the Gritti is special, one of the finest hotels in the world. It is not normally 3 times the price of the Danieli. I have also stayed at The Londre Palace and I must say what a delight that was as it was small and personal. The position is fabulous and the hotel has a lovely feel, I would certainly stay here again without question. May I second what has already been said, don't kid yourself about thinking you will be happy in a standard room, I have been to Venice numerous times and in quite a few of the above mentioned hotels and they all pull the same stroke. You arrive, all will be perfect........they take you to your room.........they open the door and you see a charming little broom cupboard overlooking the bins...........they show great empathy as they recognise your disappointment...........they explain in a charming way that this is a "standard" room...............you will then be told that luckily tonight they have some availability and can do you an upgrade for a very special price as you seem unhappy....... remarkably you will then be shown a delightful room that ..........can you believe it Vivaldi just happened to reside in while he wrote the Four Seasons! This is a standard routine at all the hotels, that Vivaldi got around a bit. I must say I do find their patter delightful, I think the word they use is Sympatico. Have a great time it is a world class destination, not to be ruined by staying in a broom cupboard!
  5. Rome, our favourite city, reading this post has made me realise how much I miss going to Rome, we were last there in January and hope to visit again in November. We have been many times and know all the hotels mentioned so far. We find in Rome everything is down to budget. If you want ultra deluxe the 3 we find stunning, but there are more, are the Hassler, De Russie and the up to now the not mentioned Eden, which has the most gorgeous rooftop bar and restaurant. Of course these have a price tag to match. The Albergo Sonato and Artemide are also lovely but much smaller and far more casual, what we call lovely service orientated 4 star properties and are less than half the price of the deluxe options. Rome visitors tend to have a favourite part that they stay in, for us we love the Piazza Navona and Piazza del Popolo area, 2 more quality privately owned and small personal 5 star hotels offering excellent service but not deluxe worth looking at are The Raphael, which is just off Piazza Navona and also the stylishly charming Hotel Locarno which is at Piazza del Popolo. If I can offer any further advice about wine bars, hotels, restaurants or transfers please just ask, if it is your first time I am sure you will adore Rome and want to return.
  6. This is something that is a constant problem especially for new entrants to Seabourn after more mainstream lines where tipping is the norm. I remember on my first Seabourn cruise years ago I was one of the people who did tip, and I must say discreatly some of the team who I felt went the extra mile for me. I would also add that some of the team did try to refuse. However I then found out about the crew fund, I really do feel that this is by far the best way for me to show my appreciation, I feel also that everyone benefits from all the hard work that is done on our behalf. I realised that the tender assistants who help us on and off the boats, the deck hands who smile and say Good Morning along with a myriad of people that we never get to know are just as important to ensuring that our holiday goes well. I do however feel that our room steward/ess does deserve something more personal, we tend to try to buy them a little gift when we go ashore mid cruise and I do confess that if we are well looked after, which has been on every cruise I do actually like to do a special financial thank you. This is such a personal and difficult topic and is so hard to talk about even on these boards. I know it has been discussed many times before but even though I have now done about 150 days aboard I would like to hear from a few of the really regular guests and see what they feel is the best policy.
  7. This is a very difficult question to answer. It depends on how you look at life. Firstly we did a similar cruise during the Pirate crisis and Seabourn arranged for shall we say extra security to board which was likely to more than deter Pirates, however the chaps would unlikely to be able to deter a miltary gun boat. This is so so unlikely as taking a large passenger vessel by force would be a definite act of war and world condemnation coupled with the fact that there is now plenty of International Navies policing the area. I think it is uncomfortable to think about but will be safe. Mrs RL and I are also a great believer that we must not let these people make us with western values change our way of life and submit to their vile doctrine, I can 100% say that we would definitely be going as I feel we must support and stand up for what our forebearers fought for. I also feel that we also need to support each other and that includes all the Seabourn crew and other people who have to keep working in these areas. My opinion is............get on that ship, meet some fabulous new friends, have a great time and don't let these people ruin our hard worked for free way of life.
  8. My opinion for what it's worth is that the quality is generally good in both venues, but I do think it is the ambiance that is different. TK is intimate and more personal with more of a tableside service style compared to a larger elegant open plan restaurant. You may prefer the beef in one over the other but I do find that a steak can be superb one day and a disappointment the next day in the same restaurant. If you are a steak fan I sometimes ask for a special request Chateaubriand, I really do enjoy how they do it in the MDR.
  9. SLSD. Everyone has their own fave split with a Brandy Alexander, if making 2 Cocktails we love ours 3xBrandy + 2xCreme de Cocao + 2 Double cream, all shaken with Ice!!! We prefer the sprinkling of Cinnamon rather than grated chocolate. Last night we had a couple at home after dinner and they were fabulous!!
  10. About bartenders, I must say we were on Quest a few months ago, we must have been lucky, Nelson was in the upstairs Patio Bar, need I say anymore, and the bartender in the Club was marvellous, I am having a senior moment with his name, he has been with Seabourn about 15 years, he is Eastern European, good head of hair starting to go grey, about 50 now.......can anyone remind me of his name!!! He looked after us beautifully and made a perfect Brandy Alexander, which we were surprised about as no one ever drinks them nowadays. I do agree that if you are lucky enough to strike up a good rapport with a bartender it does make going for a drink before dinner or having a night cap a real pleasure.
  11. It is nice to hear that Sophie is popular, we first met her years ago when she was an ACD. We got on really well as we are both Mancunians and I think we did 3 trips with her so we got to know her quite well. I then heard that she had been made a CD but never sailed with her. I was told that she had "retired" in March this year which was a shame, however a few months later Seabourn asked her if she would help out and fill in for a 6 week stint, unbelieveable we had booked the Dover to Reykjavic trip she was on and as we boarded there she was. It was lovely to see her as she is a genuine girl. We have never sailed with Handre but I would like to mention another really genuine guy who was a CD with Seabourn, John Howell, sadly he has passed away but sailing with him we really felt he tried so hard to please guests.
  12. Hi saminina.......... i am not sure when you last tasted the Ice Cream or Gelato on board but I believe Seabourn have upgraded the ice cream by purchasing Carpigiani Ice Cream/Gelato makers. This is a top of the range manufacturer and many experts do rate their equipment. Of course it is each guests individual taste that counts but I do not feel we can accuse Seabourn of trying to get in some low grade product. If you have not tried it maybe next time you cruise with Seabourn you can see what you think.
  13. This thread has reminded me of something. In March 2016, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) announced that members of the public were being asked to suggest names for the new Polar research vessel that the UK Government was building. BBC's Radio Jersey presenter James Hand jokingly suggested the name RRS "Boaty McBoatface"........and yes you guessed it that was the name that won by a landslide. Luckily the choice of name was not guaranteed and the ship was eventually named "Sir David Attenborough"
  14. Hi Mr M, I cant directly help you but if we stop at any large city in the world, for about £6 or $10 I always buy a DK top 10 guide, it is basically as stated, a top 10 of virtually anything you are likely to want to see or need. It is not a substitute for a professional tour but we find it is a great starting point for an overview. It may be worth buying one on line.
  15. Gitmo, sounds like you have done well....... I hope you have a Hawker's licence!!
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