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commodoredave

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Posts posted by commodoredave

  1. 4 hours ago, rodndonna said:

     

    We just came off our first Princess cruise (Discovery) and it was the first cruise ship Casino I really had an issue with the smoke smell. I say "smoke smell" because even when we would go when there was almost no one in the Casino and could not even find see smoking (or see any ashtrays) ... it still had a heavy cigarette smell. I really didn't get it ... for a new ship I would have expected really good smoke eaters.

     

    I recommend hanging dirty socks in the Casino. They will make the room smell better.

    • Haha 4
  2. On the Muse, the original hand-made from ground beef, thick and juicy burgers are back at the Pool Grill in place of the pre-processed mass produced cardboard ones… and, they are good as ever!!

    Whoever made the terrific decision to dump the cardboard burgers mid-cruise should be the SS employee of the month!!!

     

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  3. Great news! I went up to the Pool Grill today to see if I could pre-order a freshly made hamburger for tomorrow lunch rather than the pathetic pre-processed, frozen and thin burger we received a few days ago (see below photo). To my complete surprise and delight, I was told that the Grill was no longer serving these burgers, and had returned to making their own fresh and plump burgers. They even took me behind the counter to show me the fresh burgers. Wow! What a fantastic mid-cruise course correction by SS.! Thank you!! Having one of these new burgers tomorrow and looking forward to it.

     

     

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  4. A good indicator of the quality delivered on SB’s expedition ships might be the ratio of repeat cruisers. On our Amazon voyage in October aboard the Pursuit, the cruise consultant was very busy selling future cruises, including to us. 

  5. 6 hours ago, ak1004 said:

     

    We found the service at breakfast in La Terrazza very inconsistent. It was consistently inconsistent on both our SS cruises, the Dawn and the Spirit. The idea of ordering some items like omelet from a waiter instead of standing in line is good, but the implementation is terrible. Sometimes we waited 15-20 minutes for some of those items. Also many times I had to wait a long time for Perrier (it was almost like they have to bring it from another ship), so at some point I gave up and just settled for their "in house" soda, which is pretty bad compared to Perrier. Around mid cruise they ran out of Perrier and Pellegrino anyway.. 

     

    I was very surprised to experience such basic service issues on an ultra luxury line.

    Agree 100%. Part of the reason for slow and inconsistent service is that the table staff are now responsible for things that were once done by the buffet waiters. This includes making toast, making soft boiled eggs, making non-crispy American bacon, etc. Now all these requests go into the kitchen which slows everything down. Maybe SS will figure this out in due course.

  6. 4 minutes ago, texanaust said:

     

    Have you taken your concerns to the F&B manager or the HD?  Also, can you not order a freshly made ground beef burger?  Surely they have the ingredients onboard to make a decent burger (which should be standard for any 6-star cruise line).

     

     

    I put my comments in the mid-cruise survey but have yet to hear anything. While the pool grill will not make fresh burgers, I will try your suggestion in La Terrazza and Atlantide and report back. But if I choke on another burger, you will be hearing from my attorney!

    • Haha 6
  7. I miss my toast in the morning on the Muse. On just about every cruise ship we’ve ever been on, we’ve been able to choose a slice of bread from the buffet and have it toasted in less than a minute right in front of us by the buffet waiter. And take it back to our table for buttering while still hot. Yum!

    But on the Muse, toast can only be ordered from a table waiter, which means a significant wait for it to arrive, lukewarm and if I wait for it after getting my breakfast it too is then cold. 

    But after several days of frustration, I am now ordering my toast before going to the buffet, waiting for it to arrive, and then getting my breakfast. The toast is still cold, but not my breakfast.

    It’s just great when a cruise ship takes something that has worked well for decades, changes it for the worse, and can’t deliver on the new process. Let’s hope this change doesn’t spread to other SS ships.

    • Like 2
  8. More fun this morning in the over-engineered La Terrazza for breakfast:

    1. DW asks table waiter if we order boiled eggs through him or get at the buffet 

    2. Waiter says at the buffet 

    3. We go to buffet and ask for 2 soft-boiled eggs each.

    4. Buffet waiter says they only serve hard boiled eggs and we have to order soft from table waiter

    5. Back to table and order 4 soft boiled eggs

    6. 10 minutes later waiter arrives to inform us that only 2 soft-boiled eggs were sent from kitchen so he has sent them back

    7. 2 minutes later 2 soft boiled eggs arrive from another waiter who is surprised we didn’t get the other two a few minutes ago

    8. Don’t worry, we say, just give us 1 egg each

    9. We both slice open the tops of our egg shells to discover they are completely raw and the yolk inside not even broken

    10. We notify waiter who expresses frustration with kitchen and kindly offers to restart the whole ordering process 

    11. Having now been at our table for half an hour without food, we decline and instead go to Atlantide for a lovely and stress-free breakfast served promptly and correctly
    12. If you are on the Muse and find 4 soft boiled eggs, they belong to us and are not part of last month’s Easter Egg hunt 

     

     

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  9. On 4/9/2024 at 3:46 AM, Dynacruiser said:

      I also tried to write these comments on your blog a couple of times in the past few months, but for some reason, my comments didn't get published on your site.  This further diminished the credibility of your site, at least in my opinion.

    I shared your experience with the publisher of GP, and here is his response: “I've looked at every comment since Aug 28, 2020! Every single one approved, and no sign of one from him either approved or not, so not at all sure what the problem is.”

    So, if you would still like to leave a comment, please try again and let me know how it goes. Thanks.

    • Like 2
  10. 1 hour ago, drron29 said:

    Well it is mid cruise survey time again and once more we have missed out on getting it. The butler has a vested interest in our receiving it and once notified it appeared quickly.

    Agree with the Grill at lunch. Went twice on first segment and will not go again. The food is not even second class.

     

    But Indochine has become our favourite restaurant. Not only do they have a few more non spicy dishes they will take the heat out of some dishes but they will also 

    add it for me. 
     

    On top of that there has been an increase in the number of obnoxious passengers on this segment. The Maitre’D of Indochine copped a blast from a fellow on the first formal night who didn’t want to wear a tie or jacket. Initially accepted the provided jacket and tie that was offered but then threw them at the Maitre’D with an outburst that was borderline racist but certainly offensive.

     

    So tonight on a casual night I arrived at Indochine on a casual night with a bow tie. I explained that if it was fine for those who don’t like formal nights to complain it was right for me to demonstrate that I indeed like those nights by dressing up on casual nights. I have made a new best friend in Indochine.

    IMG_8537.thumb.jpeg.50732262f97d400293d4f2239b94dbb9.jpeg

    Glad to see you are demonstrating the class that a fellow passenger does not have. There is no excuse for treating any crew member in the manner you described and if I were Captain they would have received an official warning. 
    I no longer travel long distances with tuxedos, but I do bring a navy blue suit that I can also mix and match with other items for the informal nights. 

    • Like 10
  11. Currently on the Silver Muse in Japan. Today we decided to have lunch at the Pool Grill as we have always enjoyed their hamburgers as an occasional treat. Well, our burgers were a dissaster -- thin, over-cooked, and tastless. No, they weren't tastless -- they tasted of cardboard, cereal and ground paper towels mixed in with a smidgen of beef. Our waiter sent over a more senior person to opine on our complaint. Yes, he acknowledged that the current burgers were not even up to a McDonald's standard, but this was an outcome of the current provider of pre-formed, frozen burgers in Asia that the ship was buying from. "What happened to those nice plumb and juicy burgers formed  right on the ship," I asked. "Oh, we have been buying frozen, pre-formed burgers for a long time," he said. Well, if I wanted frozen, thin, tasteless and pre-formed burgers I would get them from Publix or Loblaws, and not pay USD$25,000 for a two-week cruise. But not to worry. Our waiter substituted the burger with a dry, tasteless piece of lamb. Why was it dry and tasteless? The senior person explained that it wasn't at noon when first brought out, but since we were there at 1:30 that's the way it is. I'm thinking maybe it's time for McDonald's to start a cruise line as some people on Silversea have a McDonald's mindset already. Photos below of our burger and lamb for you to enjoy.

     

    IMG_4060.jpg

    IMG_4062.jpg

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  12. 3 hours ago, Dynacruiser said:

     

     

    Dear @commodoredave

     

    I appreciate your desire to help us Azamara customers,

     

    I read the thread you started back in September, and had the same thought that @laurieb and others expressed here.

     

    Your article is based on third party experiences.  In addition to the experience of a Toronto couple, you refer to mostly anonymous posters here on Cruisecritic.  But you have never cruised with Azamara.

     

    This felt like someone writing a strong critique about a restaurant based solely on online reviews, but not having eaten there.   In my personal opinion, this greatly reduced the seriousness of your article.   I also tried to write these comments on your blog a couple of times in the past few months, but for some reason, my comments didn't get published on your site.  This further diminished the credibility of your site, at least in my opinion.

     

    However, I believe you can help consumers and that appears to be one of your motives.  I believe you can guide folks on how to resolve an issue (or at least try).  Or you can continue to share valuable info.  For example, I learned from you that Apollo, a private equity group, had taken over Regent and Oceania years ago.  I don't follow the industry closely, so this made me search for more info.  I became less apprehensive when I learned that Apollo apparently made a good profit selling those lines and didn't have to bankrupt them.    

     

    I hope Sycamore Partners makes Azamara a successful company, as I have enjoyed every one of my many cruises  and I have reserved several future ones.  Unfortunately, Private Equity companies are not as transparent as public companies, so it is hard to know what Sycamore is up to.

     

    Finally, I do not think Azamara can be described as mediocre, and I have sailed with them around 200 days over the past years.  The title of your article felt like clickbait.  I hope I am not proven wrong in the future.

    I’m sorry your attempt to post a comment on my GP story was not successful. I am not the publisher, and therefore do not control the comment section. However, I will email the publisher today and ask him to pay greater attention to people attempting to post comments, and to advise me of any issues. Please try again.

    • Like 1
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  13. 1 minute ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

    When you post a link to this "Gentleman's Portion" blog, it comes across as you are citing a third party for verification of your already-posted opinions.  You saying it twice doesn't make it any more credible, but the apparent attempt to clothe it in more credibility than your own opinion actually destroys your credibility.  [This is my personal opinion, neither official nor humble...]

    Thank you for your opinion. I disclose in my CC profile a link to the GP website. As a retired professional travel writer, I occasionally write stories for travel websites including GP. I also occasionally provide a link to a particular story if relevant to a CC thread. These stories sometimes contain the opinions of people who have contacted me, as this story did. It was their opinion, not mine. Anyone who disagrees with this or any other story is welcome to do so, either here or on the GP website. 

  14. 2 minutes ago, laurieb said:

    But you wrote it and published it, correct?

    I’m assuming you are asking because you are interested in me and my scribbles. Please click on the “about David” icon on the GP website to learn more. Thank you.

  15. 5 minutes ago, Woodrowst said:

    One of the long standing rules of conventional wisdom has been that if there is a place that you must absolutely visit then a cruise is not the way to do it.  Go by land, not by sea.

    Perhaps a less convenient and more intensive way to do it, but your point is valid. Unfortunately may not work as well in some parts of the world such as the South Pacific, Arctic, Antarctic, et.

    • Like 1
  16. 9 hours ago, laurieb said:

    This is a story you wrote, correct?  You have a lot to say for someone who hasn't ever sailed with the line either, according to your signature

    The story is based on the experience of an unhappy Azamara client, not my experience. By your measure, a journalist covering a fire would have to be in the burning house to report on it.

    By the way, despite the troubles and incompetence at Azamara shoreside, I might still consider sailing with them one day because the onboard experience appears to be good.

     

  17. 8 hours ago, ak1004 said:

     

    True.

     

    My issue is not with a pair of trousers and collared shirt for dinner. I think it is very reasonable. What is not reasonable is to ask men to put a jacket most of the nights. This has been removed, and it's a positive development. Too bad that at the same time they priced themselves out of the market.

    Fortunately, there are plenty of options out there for cruising. And given the growing number of lines and ships, I suspect there will continue to be plenty of sales and special discounts off the inflated new prices. All the big price increase at SS delivers is a less loyal client base that is now more likely to shop around.

    • Like 2
  18. On 3/21/2024 at 7:09 AM, ak1004 said:

     

    Completely agree. I could never understand why some people are so obsessed with what other people wear..

    I’ve never been concerned with what other people wear to the main dining room at night - only what they don’t wear. Frankly, if I want to dine with people who can’t put on a pair of trousers and collared shirt for dinner, I’ll go to McDonalds. 

    • Like 4
  19. The facts are well established that Azamara had a terrible run of bad IT, poor communication and uncaring response to customers. The important thing going forward is to ask whether Azamara management recognizes these failures, and is working to improve outcomes for customers in future.

    Only Azamara management can answer this question, and to date the silence has been deafening. 

    • Like 1
  20. 3 hours ago, skybluewaters said:

     

    If an excursion is canceled, it's canceled, and knowing why doesn't help me or, in fact, even interest me. My only concern would be if there is an ongoing issue that may be due to a problem with the cruise line itself (and not the vendor) or if there is an issue with health or security that may recur. 

     

    Otoh, if cancellations become frequent, my attitude would change.

    We didn’t care about the reason for cancellation of our excursions either. But if one of our primary reasons for taking a cruise was to visit a specific destination or two (e.g. Easter Island, Casablanca for Marrakech, Sete for Carcasonne, etc), I would be disappointed enough to ask why it was canceled.

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