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commodoredave

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Everything posted by commodoredave

  1. Actually, one if the 2 companies (CBIT) recommended by Seabourn charges GBP 164 for the evisa, whereas the other recommended company (vfs global) charges US$65. I think the big price difference with CBIT is because Seabourn knows it is okay to charge Brits more than Americans for anything. 😃
  2. I’m sure they did. My point is that SB kept us up to date on Brazil but not Suriname, leaving us with a false sense of security.
  3. I’m so grateful to Seabourn that I just booked my next cruise with Silversea. 😊 When we originally booked our Seabourn expedition cruise about 18 months ago, both the cruise line and our TA told us that no visas were needed in advance for Canadians and Americans. Then, about 9 months later, Seabourn advised that Brazil now required a visa. Then, 4 months after that Seabourn advised that Brazil no longer required a visa. And then last night, that Suriname now requires a visa. Actually, it’s just a $25 visitor entry fee that should have been easy for the ship to organize, as so many other cruise lines do, including parent HAL. But no, we have to do it last minute. In defence of Seabourn, they do state in the fine print that it is up to passengers to check on the entry requirements as they may change. If we cruise with Seabourn again, i will make a point of regularly checking entry requirements right up to departure. As for the multiple changes (again) to the itinerary last night, I guess that comes with a new ship doing its inaugural cruise a new place. Either that, or someone shoreside has a drinking problem 🤪.
  4. The Seabourn Gong Show continues. Today, just 4 days before our cruise departs, we received notice that a visa for Suriname is required and must be applied for by end of tomorrow for it to be processed in time for our arrival in Parimaribo on October 14. In addition, a large number of itinerary changes were announced last night. We are already in Barbados and now using vaction time to sort the mess out. Another Gong for Seabourn shoreside.
  5. As long as you can still remember the cruise that you are on, you're doing just fine! ☺️
  6. Was "The Bar" still in the lounge at the stern on Deck 5?
  7. We sailed on the Shadow in December of 2019 in the Caribbean and enjoyed it very much. It had recently been refurbished and we liked the changes -- in particular, moving the casino from deck 5 and adding a cafe there. And we made some good friends having pre-dinner cocktails at The Bar each night. I am curious about what was done in the most recent dry dock in 2022. One thing I find confusing is that the current deck plan on SS shows no mention of The Bar which used to be near the stern of deck 5 near the Show Lounge. It is there on the deck plan in the review of the Shadow on CC, but not on the SS website. Is the Bar still on the ship?
  8. Well said. I put a premium value on advice from well-seasoned cruisers like Mr. Luxury and others like him, so I appreciate knowing how much actual experience they have with a cruise line and ship that I may be considering. I also love the manner in which some of the advice is delvered -- often good fun. So please keep it up!!
  9. I agree. All of our previous cruises with SB have been delightful, and I see no reason why this one will be any different. And one of the best parts will be that once we are on the ship, we won't have to deal with shoreside!
  10. Thanks for the tip. My TA called SB and straigthen it out. SB were embarrased that the "computer" assigned us different boarding times than our friends since our reserations are linked.
  11. I realize it's only 50% expedition, but that's the part that is on the Amazon River. It's basically a one week Caribbean cruise combined with a one week Amazon River cruise. And, that's one of the reasons why it was so well priced. My main point about boarding time was that when we book with and travel with another couple, we have always been boarded at the same time, no matter what the cruise line. I thought it was ironic that despite our higher loyalty status, we couldn't board at the same time as our friends travelling with less status -- it looked like we were being punished for our loyalty.
  12. I dunno. She might have saved my first two marriages!😝
  13. Think of it as a bit like marriage counselling- it takes more than one session to get things back on the right road.
  14. I don't let it bother me for long. That's why after 81 cruises, we've never cruised with any one cruise line that often. We keep switching to different lines, stay until they screw up, they move on to the next one. Strange thing is that they all willingly except our money.😉
  15. I'm pretty sure the cruise will be very good, just like all the other cruises we've taken with Seabourn. However, when onboard staff have to make up for the bad impression left by shoreside management, there is something not quite right about the organization. Perhaps adding 2 new expedition ships in close proximity has tested management's bench strength. But that should not be my problem. And yes, when two couples are travelling together, they should be boarding together. The good news is that SB's excuse was that the computer assigned the boarding times. I say good news because this shows that Artificial Inteligence still has a long way to go before it can replace good human common sense! 😄
  16. I just watched the Q&A with CEO Laura and found her to be completely charming, as well as her host, Andrea. While these types of canned discussions can be too scripted and promotional, this was not the case here -- I found the range of topics and candid responses to be refreshing. Was everything covered and to my complete satisfaction. No. Did I walk away feeling better about X and their future? Yes. I look forward to more Q&As with Laura in future. It's far more than many other lines are doing.
  17. Of course you are correct, and that we will have far more fun on the ship than preparing for it. However, for us, the anticipation of a great vacation is almost worth as much as taking it. In this case, Seabourn has robbed us of that pleasure.
  18. My experience with the Seabourn Expedition cruise people to date has been disappointing to the point where I have to say the expedition offering is not quite ready for prime time. Our story begins a year ago when we booked an expedition cruise on the soon-to-be launched Seabourn Pursuit for October of this year. At the time, we had been on 7 regular Seabourn cruises, and decided to give their new Expedition cruises a try. The launch date for the Pursuit kept getting pushed back to the point we thought our cruise would be cancelled. Troubling and worrying, but we stuck with and six months later the launch date was finally confirmed and we could relax. Next, we started to get emails from Seabourn every 2 to 3 weeks telling us that we could submit our passenger information and preferences for our cruise on the “Seabourn Venture.” I wrote to our TA and Seabourn several times telling them we were on the Pursuit and not the Venture, but the emails telling us we were on the Venture continued to come. Next, we were advised by Seabourn for several months that we could now book our shore excursions, but there were no excursions on the Seabourn website to book. A few months later, pre and post cruise excursions were listed, but nothing else. The emails telling us that we could book our shore excursions continued weekly, and eventually one excursion was added for one of the ports. Several more weeks of prompting to book excursions brought one more port with excursion choices. The drip-feeding continued for months, but we now have 4 ports with excursion options with several still missing. Then the confusion started about what the health requirements were for the cruise. Two weeks ago Seabourn sent out different and more detailed information about the requirement for a Yellow Fever vaccine or doctor’s certificate for a counter-indication. If one was off-side with these requirements, not much time to prepare. Then, yesterday, Seabourn sent out health information that advised a Covid-19 booster received within 270 days of departure was required to board the ship. My DW and I both had Covid in May, so skipped the booster we would have normally had shortly after that. Now, apparently, we were off-side with that requirement. However, an email sent to our TA a day later who checked with Seabourn determined that the Covid advisory was sent in error and is not required on our cruise. Now we could cancel the appointment we had made at the last minute to get a booster. To ensure we fully realized that management of Seabourn Expeditions was not quite ready for prime time, we received an email today telling us that our boarding time was at 2:00 pm, 20 minutes after the boarding time provided to the couple we booked with and are travelling with. Oh yes, we are gold members in a Panorama Veranda Suite, while our friend are first-time Seabourn cruisers in a V2 Suite. Apparently, the more time and money one spends with Seabourn, the less value they place on you. We told our TA about this, and she immediately called Seabourn and had them change our boarding time to be the same as our friends with no status and in a lower category cabin. Is a complaint from a TA really necessary for Seabourn to do the right thing? Fortunately, there are plenty of other cruise options out there clamoring for our business. So, after sailing on a SilverSea expedition cruise, and participating in a Ponant webinar with our travel agency yesterday, you may understand why this will likely be our last Expedition cruise with Seabourn. If you have had any negative experinces with Seabourn Expeditions, feel free to weigh in with your comments.
  19. Good question. There may be a difference below Manaus as the river is much wider, making it more difficult for bugs to reach the ship. Another factor might be seasonal - the wet season runs from December to June, and may have more bugs than the dry season.
  20. Have you tried the Galapagos? Lots of hiking, getting close up to wild life, snorkeling, kayaking, etc. We had a great time.
  21. I agree with you. But some folks may be messier and dirtier than us! 😆
  22. Got the same message. However, for people who cannot have a Yellow Fever vaccine, it also says: "If you have a medical contraindication to the vaccine, you must bring an original, signed and dated vaccine exemption certificate issued by a licensed medical doctor. Please note photocopies are not acceptable." So if you can't have a Yellow Fever Vaccine, it's important you bring the correct documentation.
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