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Everything posted by rl787

  1. No disrespect to previous comments...........our biggest regret that we had was that we didn't listen to advice about going on Seabourn from some friends 10 years earlier................ Have a great vacation
  2. I agree with Fletch.........2 minutes is far too long in Dover. This question has been asked a few times before over the years, the probably answer is that there is no ideal place for a pre cruise stay. If you fancy a lovely country cottage upmarket B&B which is a 30 minute Taxi ride, is Solley Farm House in Worth. The village is lovely and Sandy is a fabulous hostess..............typically British, when you arrived tea is served with her home made Lemon drizzle cake. We have stayed 3 times now and have never been disappointed. It is at least worth a look.............
  3. We were in 913 which is a oddly positioned veranda suite opposite 912.....we found it perfect. We loved being near the Observation bar for early morning coffee etc which was just one flight up and one flight down to the Patio Grill and bar. The only minor issue was we had to think a little when we wanted to get to the other end of the ship, if it is raining or windy it is best to go down to 7/6/5/4 and walk across inside the ship to where you want to be rather than walk outside along the deck, of course if you are on a warm weather cruise a short stroll along the deck is rather pleasant at any time. As for motion we found very little difference from any other deck we have stayed on.........remember Quest is basically a small ship. I would not give any further thought to the position...............spend any "concern" time looking forward to a fabulous vacation!
  4. I am quite surprised about Seabourn's approach to this, it is not difficult for them to ensure all crew are vaccinated with an approved vaccine and as the vast majority of passengers book well in advance there is no reason why the majority can easily be vaccinated. Of course some people don't want to get a vaccine and that is their choice but I find it hard to believe that they will loose revenue by insisting on a vaccinated only passenger policy. I also feel that I would prefer to wait and see how things progress with some of the early cruises, I am quite concerned that if passengers and crew pick up Covid when ashore somewhere that it could be an unpleasant experience going through the procedures that will be in place. Has anyone got any views on whether you feel comfortable with passengers who have been given the Russian Sputnik or the Chinese Sinovac Jab. These are more common with passengers from South America and the Far East I think.
  5. Until a few years ago we always fancied doing a Transatlantic on one of the Queens and docking in the old port, I just wondered what it must have been like when newly arriving immigrants saw and thought when they saw the skyline and the Statue of Liberty upon arrival in New York. Sadly we never did it and the port has now changed. The main reason was that on the Queens the accommodation and facilities in QG are supposed to be excellent but if you want to see a show or go the the "Pub" you are with so many other passengers, to us it did not appeal. Seabourn can be as busy or as quiet as you wish, you can strike up friendships with other passengers or just keep to yourselves and enjoy all the facilities, the choice is yours. One thing you can be sure of is that if you want looking after Seabourn will do that for you, the team will go the extra mile happily for any passenger. Try it and see what you think, worst way you may well enjoy it and come back again! Let us know what you decide...........
  6. The Retreat....I do think "more space" for us passengers would be a good idea but hey, wait a minute........I bet some bright young genius will suggest something like........."Market research says our customers want more large suites, let's just get rid of the Retreat and find a way to have a couple of extra up scale large suits in that area and that way we can please more customers and get more revenue" ...........oh I do love market research..........lets be honest, if the Retreat changes this is more likely if it can be reconfigured in some way to work.
  7. This is a constant issue between passengers as we all have different tastes. Mrs RL and I tend to enjoy New World wines, we normally find we are lucky and there is stock of the New Zealand Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc which we find acceptable as a White, sometimes however they have the Wingspan SB which we are not as keen on. Red's that we enjoy seem to be a little more difficult and normally, if the evening menu is very appealing to us I tend to go for something on the paid for list that we know and enjoy. On our last couple of voyages the list included Elderton Shiraz at about $35 which is a wine we both appreciate and quite frankly at this price isn't a deal breaker compared to the total price of the cruise. If we are on a 2-3 week voyage we are quite happy to spend a little extra on a wine we enjoy with dinner rather than drink something we would not drink at home.
  8. We never gave a thought to the sofa, as other people have said we tend to use it for laying odd jackets on and other bits........normally if we watch any TV we tend to lie on the bed or use the single chair which I find quite comfy!!
  9. I had the same concerns when doing a trip to Spain last year, the only cover that I could find that gave me some Covid cover was Staysure, they do have a specialist cruise policy. Staysure would not normally be my choice for cruise cover but under the current circumstances they may be worth a look. The policy info I got seemed to be honest from the advisor and everything that was promised verbally was confirmed in the policy documents. I would not normally mention a company name in a post but the OP was after some specialist help.
  10. Over the past few weeks there have been rumblings about the efficacy of certain vaccines. There seems to be some concern that the 4 Chinese vaccines generally including Sinovac may only have an efficacy of about 50% and also the reliability of Russia’s Sputnik 5 is still basically unknown. Do you think this may become an issue for travel and also how do you feel if fellow passengers and crew have not had one of the more widely recognised vaccines that are thought to have an efficacy at around the 90% mark?
  11. I don't think Seabourn consider if a Passenger is high cost or not, I genuinely believe they want you to have a great time, and enjoy your food on board. A happy customer will recommend Seabourn to your family and friends. One extra point with the OP, if Seabourn can poach Mcshane from Crystal that is a result.
  12. Everyone has made some good points, the problem that comes to my mind is that we all travel to the departure port from all over the world, this means being with strangers at Airport check in, lounges, cabin crew, fellow passengers, arrivals halls, customs, taxis, pre cruise hotels and the list goes on. This increases the chance of catching Covid. Of course the same goes for the crew who also come from around the world. I am just nervous that even if we are all vaccinated, an then the question may be which vaccine, as hundreds of new people board any cruise ship there is a chance that someone if not more takes ill. By definition there are large numbers on board so this is likely to spread. I do know that the procedures for Norovirus mean that if a certain percentage of people have it, and I think the percentage is well below 10%, then we are all isolated in our cabins, I would think for Covid there will have to be some similar procedure. I just can't see how in the short term cruising even on smaller ships will be possible without quite a few scares on board. I may be being a bit pessimistic but as much as I would like to cruise and I fall in the category of "I will go and take my chance" I just think it will be quite a while till cruising resumes. Sadly I think we will be lucky if we can cruise Internationally by early 2022. I really do hope I am wrong.............
  13. We have done this cruise twice now as it was so special, we must have been on the same cruise as Highplanesdrifter. This is a truly special trip.. breath taking scenery and so unspoilt. The two itineraries were slightly different but never in my life have I even been somewhere as spectacular as Skjoldungen Fjord.........Quest just drifted for a few hours.............you could hear the ice cracking.........I do believe they allowed zodiacs out that day..............we stayed on board, the silence was spectacular............it felt like we were somewhere no one had ever visited before. I have attached a Google Pic. If the 2022 trip visits Skjoldungen Fjord I am sure it will be a highlight for you.
  14. I am replying to this old post because I wondered if Fernando was still about so I did a search here. We did our first Cruise on Silver Shadow over 13 years ago. Fernando was the Cruise Director. Of course the man was a superstar, we felt so welcome and relaxed in his company. We have done quite a few more cruises mostly with Seabourn who have some great CD's also but Fernando is no CD........ to us and I am sure to many of you he is in a unique up to now un named category, which is all his own. Never in my whole career both in business or on vacation have I ever met anyone with his natural empathy and understanding of people, he simply has the ability to spend 10 seconds with you as you pass in the corridor and you feel so well acknowledged. My wife and I would love to book another cruise with him and yes after 13 years I know he will just walk up to us with his radiant smile and say "Lynne, Robin.....it has been too long, how are you both...."
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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"
  18. 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!
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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!!
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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