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Everything posted by commodoredave

  1. While we enjoyed our SeaDream cruise, it did not knock our socks off, mainly because of the design of the ship. However, the crew made up for some of that with their terrific service and attitude. I always thought if I could take the crew and put them on a newer vessel, it would be perfect. I'll report back next January on my experience.
  2. I've decided to take the easy path and do Emerald first to do my own evaluation.
  3. Frankly, can’t tolerate these types of reviews. All hyperbole and takes ages to provide any information, some of which is useless. Are there any serious reviews out there?
  4. MiszterCruizer, I would be interested in your view of SeaDream after your upcoming voyage . I have not been back on SD since they renovated their two ships. I found SD1 a bit tired looking before the renovation,
  5. I am always curious about new ships. Tried the new Seabourn Pursuit in October and signed up for another one while on board. Trying the new Explorer 1 in March based on strong recommendation from my TA. She also recommended Emerald, which is why I’m leaning towards it unless I see negative reports.
  6. It's time for us to sail on a luxury small ship again. Our last two were on the Hebridean Princess, thanks to Knothead, and before that on SeaDream I. We will be sailing on the Explora I in March, but at 650 pax, I don't consider that a small ship. And we are sailing on the Silver Shadow in July, but at 382 pax it's still a bit larger than we want. We enjoyed our last SeaDream cruise, but our TA has recommended the new Emerald Cruise line ship, the Emerald Sakura for a Carribean cruise next winter. It's a new ship, carries just 100 passengers, and is a subsidiary of Scenic, which has a good reputation. I'm tempted to try it. Any opinions out there that might be helpful?
  7. Taking our first EJ cruise on March 1. Been on most of the upscale luxury lines and found only slight differences among them. We are now looking to try a small ship experience. Been on SeaDream but found the ship a bit tired and the outdoor space limited. My TA has suggested we try Emerald Cruises which has twin ships that carry just 100 passengers. Anyone out there ever been on the Emerald ocean yachts (as opposed to their river ships)?
  8. Thanks. Some posters mentioned that they called EJ office before the cruise to book dinnig venues. Is this for just Residence class, or all classes of cabins?
  9. We are staying in a balcony cabin. Does one have to be in a residence to call ahead of the cruise for dining reservations, or is it also available to the proletariat class?
  10. We are looking at sailing on the Sakara in February of 2025 from St. Martin to Barbados. As we have never sailed with Emerald, I would appreciate any insight that people may have who have sailed on one or both of Emerald's two ocean-going yachts. Thanks.
  11. Oceania is one of the few cruise lines we have yet to try. I look forward to hearing about your experience.
  12. Thanks. I suspect we will have a great time. But not sure I have enough confidence in EJ to book another cruise with them until they clear up their shoreside issues, particularly with itinerary changes. However, once things start running more smoothly, EJ will come back on my cruise radar.
  13. I have yet to begin my first EJ cruise on March 1, but I am already in the "don't trust" category based on what I have heard from others. My attitude may change after sailing with EJ for a week, but some of the issues raised by Hank and others cannot be fixed on board a ship -- they are shoreside management issues. As I book cruises well in advance, that means our next 6 cruises after March will not be with EJ, but with cruise lines I already have experience with and trust.
  14. Agree. I also bring a tie so that on formal nights I can wear my chinos and my blazer with a tie.
  15. During our cruise, the main dining room was open for lunch on most days. We ate there once.
  16. 22 kids is fine, especially if well behaved. But a kids luxury cruise line is not something we see ourselves doing on a regular basis. I don’t think the other luxury lines have anything to worry about!
  17. Our policy is that he who pays the piper calls the tune. If our kids are paying their own way, they can choose whatever cruise line they want. If we are paying for them, it’s a mass market line. You must have very wealthy or persuasive children!
  18. Kid-friendly luxury was not what I had in mind when booking our Explora cruise, but as long as the kids are well-behaved, I'm okay with it. Having said that, it's not where I would take our grandchildren. I prefer NCL, RCL and Princess for multi-generational cruises. As for my wife and I, it's usually Regent, Silversea or Seabourn. And I'm not sure a kid-friendly Explora will make it into that group in future.
  19. The quality of food is a very personal issue and is based on a wide variety of factors. The quality of food can also vary from cruise to cruise depending on rotation of staff. Having said that, we were on board the Pursuit from October 10 to 24 and the food we had was very good -- not a single complaint. And we are foodies. Born in Montreal and grew up with French food. Taken 82 cruises, including all the luxury lines. Taken many land trips in Europe, including long stays in small French towns. And in comparison to all that, we were impressed with the food and service on our 2-week Amazon cruise.
  20. Spent 1 night in Manaus and 3 in Sao Paulo. Enjoyed the latter more. The fact it was much cooler in SP also helped.
  21. No1 - Pool on Deck 5, while Deck 7 is two decks up - not ideal when I need to go No1 never mind No2! No head shown on the deck plan for 7 -- is it in the spa? Ship desigger still a masochist in my view. No2 - I loved my Panorama Veranda but our friends in the veranda cabin had to take treatment for claustrophobia upon return home. No3 - Even two doorstops were not sufficient on a particular rough night. Bring nails and hammer. No4 - It wasn't the alcohol, it was the dancing in the hot tub that did it.
  22. Last time I left my socks over the back of a chair they left a hole in it!
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