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Everything posted by commodoredave

  1. Photo opportunity anyone?!
  2. Some people tip more regardless of the fact that gratuities are included in the fare. Over time, this creates a culture of tip entitlement, where crew and ship management expect pax to tip more and more. I am guilty of this syndrome, and need to reevaluate my own tipping history. It is not necessary, nor should it be expected.
  3. Absolutely stupid if true. Now, if they removed free excursions it would be an improvement!
  4. Unfortunately, SS seems to be far more interested in marketing wonderful cruises than delivering them. I have 3 more booked in the next 12 months. After that, I may go elsewhere, including back to Regent.
  5. The fairest approach would be to offer passengers who want to pay more the option to do so. That way you could pay the higher fare you wish for, but I could continue to pay the lower fare that I wish to pay. Everyone would be happy!😃
  6. The story tells it all. But it’s not just the 700 pax on the Nova who now feel a photo opp is more important than the comfort of passengers, it’s everyone who reads the story, including me. Frankly, whoever made this cavalier decision should be fired.
  7. I’m pleased that some pax give to the crew welfare fund and do not wish to discourage them from doing so. It’s possible that the lounge furniture, crew parties, picnics, etc. that it pays for may help to create a happier atmosphere on the ship. As for me, I will continue to tip only those crew who provide me with extra service, and by doing so create a happier situation for them. This way, together, we can achieve both of our objectives.
  8. What’s the purpose of gratuities being included if pax feel they also should give money to a crew welfare fund? Any extra tips should be for extra service.
  9. Completely agree. I also question the value of giving to a crew party.
  10. What type of crew-wide benefit? Crew parties, nights out, etc?
  11. Yes please do as we will be following you a month later on February 1 and your tips/insights will be helpful. Agree with your rationale. I'm not expecting the warmth that SeaDream staff bring to the table, but a ship that isn't 40 years old can make a big difference. I may have been unlucky, but on my one SD cruise we were down to one engine, and had toilet and water issues during the cruise.
  12. Originally, the crew fund was meant to primarily benefit crew members in need, so it's really a toss up as to which crew members -- front or back of house -- receive the benefit.
  13. commodoredave


    My only caveat to your response is that dress is sometimes dependent on cruise region. I have seen far fewer jackets and ties, and sometimes no formal wear at all, in the Caribbean with SB and SS.
  14. I don't mind accepting changes, especially free upgrades to a penthouse cabin or to business class air! But if a cruise line is making a negative change to my travel plans that will cause me inconvenience and money, I expect to be generously compensated for it.
  15. It was kind of you to advise me of this cruise - thank you. It is a good price, and I do want to sail again with Crystal, even if just once. However, we no longer cruise over Christmas as we have young grandchildren who believe in Santa as much as I do! Watching them open their gifts is pure joy. Thanks again.
  16. Booking my own in a port or two may well be necessary -- if you have any preferred tour guides in Shimizu, Hiroshima and Kanazawa, please let me know. We had our booked excursions cancelled in each of these three ports. While I don't mind paying for the odd excursion when it's supposed to be included in the fare I paid, I do find it annoying, especially when it happens more than once per cruise. I really wish Silversea and Regent would take excurions off the fare, and let us choose and pay for our own. This is even more relevant to people like us who have been to most cruise destinations at least 2 times, and now prefer to go ashore on our own to out of the way places without having to pay twice for it. I do have to say this is one of the things I liked about Explora.
  17. Two of our excursions on our upcoming cruise in Japan were cancelled 5 weeks before departure. Then, it was difficult to find a replacement as the best options were already full or waitlisted. I am at the point where I would rather not have excursions included with my cruise if I can’t rely on them.
  18. I’m not fond of price gouging in any situation as it shows a disregard for passengers. Where might it occur next? Be careful!
  19. They would. But why? It may alienate people if they feel ripped off and make them less likely to sail with Explora again.
  20. Good information. I can think of no valid reason to pay the outrageous prices as offered by Explora.
  21. Yes, next day at the Astern bar outside. Always great to meet people from CC at sea.
  22. I agree with your point. However, we are in much different mindsets about not caring about price, and leaving $40-$50 dinner tips. I care about price and will usually wait for a sale or incentives to book a cruise. In addition, when gratuities are included as with Explora, I may on occasion leave a small extra tip of $10-$15 per dinner meal for exceptional service. But not most times. I have no issue with you leaving much more as tipping is a personal choice. I also don’t have an issue with you paying more for your cruises than me. You have earned your money, and should spend whatever way makes you happy. The same for the rest of us.
  23. Exactly my point. Good cruise lines know that the best time to sell a passenger another cruise is when they are on the ship.
  24. No. We book on board because there are usually good deals offered to do so. For example, on our Amazon cruise with Seabourn in October, they promoted several great deals including some to the Antarctic. We bought one. As Explora offered us no incentives, we might as well wait until they do one day.
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