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Posts posted by commodoredave

  1. On 3/8/2024 at 10:03 AM, Techno123 said:

    We are yet to sail with Silversea but do have 2 cruises in the pipeline. If it's anything like Regent and Seabourn, mentioning individual staff by name either on questionnaires or directly to their managers regarding excellent service can mean that they are seriously considered when a promotion becomes available. Tip (if you must) but also let management know just how delighted you are.


    Sadly that doesn't work with the back room staff as we don't know who they are so that is where a donation to the crew fund can come in 😁

    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. 

  2. 11 hours ago, lincslady said:

    I agree - I was going to post much the same comment.  Seabourn has gone a bit more 'casual', though it is still a good idea for men to wear a jacket and tie minimum on 'formal' nights in the dining room.   Not so many dark suits or dinner jackets (tuxedos) seen now.

    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. 

  3. 14 hours ago, cruiseerf said:

    Part of Travel is accepting changes.....After Covid, this happens more and more on many cruise lines.  The only thing certain these days is CHANGE.  You either have to move with it or move to another line I guess.  Safe Sails! 

    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. 

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  4. 2 hours ago, cruise_loverinlaval said:


    Hello, I am looking at a 12 nights cruise on Crystal Symphony, Dubai to Dubai, Dec 21, 2025 to Jan 2, 2026. If you use the promotion offered today - reserve 12 months in advance and get 20%, than the price per night is $380 USD per person per night.  Quite a deal to get the quality of Crystal.


    There is another factor which affects the Canadianpassengers is the exchange rate used by Crystal.  The cruise Dubai to Dubai is $5700 USD which is $ C7704 using today exchange rate. But on the Crystal Canadian website the price is showed as $ C7950.  Crystal does not use the daily current exchange rate to publicize on its website.  For me since I have a credit card that gives me 3% Boni Dollar on my travel transactions, My cost will be $ C7711, which is similar to pay in US dollar using a US$ Credit card.

    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.

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  5. 21 hours ago, Gourmet Gal said:

    If there is something in a port or two that you really do not want to miss then perhaps it is better to book it yourself. I have a Japan cruise booked for 2026 and am planning to hire some guides I’ve used before and book food tours on my own in some ports.  It’s also nice to have a little break from all the group touring.  The included tours on my last SS cruise were such a mixed bag I was left rather unimpressed.

    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. 

  6. 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.

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  7. 2 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

    We honestly never felt ripped-off on EJ (we spent 18 days on the ship) and I would assume that most EJ cruisers are intelligent enough to make their own decisions about rip-offs.  Suffice it to say we did not book any ridiculous EJ excursions (we did take one reasonably priced culinary dinner/tour with some onboard chefs).  Anyone who pays the EJ price for an airport transfer to MIA apparently has no interest in money or value.


    Our issues with EJ are about their lack of communications, their attitude towards itineraries (seem to change at a whim), and some other attitude problems onboard.  We are not considering any future bookings until they have some time to get their act together.



    I’m not fond of price gouging in any situation as it shows a disregard for passengers. Where might it occur next? Be careful!


    • Like 2
  8. 1 minute ago, Hlitner said:

    I would draw a comparison to Seabourn where we paid about $150 (US) for a private car/driver from Monte Carlo to our hotel in Nice.  We thought that was a pretty good deal (the car was very nice) and since we had some OBC left over, it made a lot of sense.  I imagine that EJ would probably charge at least $500 for that transfer :).



    They would. But why? It may alienate people if they feel ripped off and make them less likely to sail with Explora again.

  9. On 3/10/2024 at 12:18 PM, Hlitner said:

    The thread does make me smile.  Look folks, getting from the POM to MIA is easily done by simply grabbing a taxi (there is a taxi queue outside the cruise ship terminal).  I believe they have eliminated the flat rate airport fare and now run the meter.  But the fare should be no more then $35 (for the entire taxi).  Uber rates vary but at this very moment it is less than $20 (for an entire car).


    If you need to get to FLL we generally prefer Uber or Lyft.  Although prices vary (surge pricing) the cost is usually in the $40-$45 range.


    Not surprised that EJ would offer outrageous prices.  I think some luxury lines make the assumption that their clientele could care less about pricing.  



    Good information. I can think of no valid reason to pay the outrageous prices as offered by Explora.

  10. 6 hours ago, PutnamNY said:

    I have been reading this thread and other ones and here seems to be the issue for Explora Journeys. It's called "Consistency". The young lady at future journeys almost scoffed when we mentioned that folks are getting 800 Euros OBC and she claimed that it's impossible and out of policy. 

    For us, every $$ we received in OBC we pretty much gave it back in cash to the waiters and other staff at the lounges as cash tips. For example any dinner at the restaurants, we left behind a $40-$50 cash tip on the table when we left.

    It is short sighted for Explora Journeys to not apply equally programs and benefits across the board. Folks like us don't bargain or care about the pricing. However we want to pay the same as others. This doesn't seem to be the case as of now. 

    In the interest of transparency, our experience with Pre-Cruise sales was nothing but exceptional. Its the bad taste lingering after wandering into the Future Journeys, that's making us realize all of this.

    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.

    • Like 1
  11. 6 hours ago, saminina said:

    Why would you post about leaving behind a $40-50 cash tip?


    You would have to be very foolish to book on board without incentive.  It was so easy to do that on the last Explora cruise.  People do it....I did it on my first with incentive, did not on second.

    One of the many marketing failures by the company.  The list is so long that it should be a case study at Phoenix University.

    Well said. 

  12. 5 hours ago, Wheelhouse said:

    I received an additional 5% discount and 800 euros OBC for booking onboard.  I did have to ask the future cruise consultant if there was any advantage to doing so as there was no messaging to indicate the benefit. 

    Exactly my point. Good cruise lines know that the best time to sell a passenger another cruise is when they are on the ship. 

    • Like 1
  13. 8 minutes ago, Beamafar said:

    It seemed like you enjoyed your time onboard.  Is it due to lack of shade or uninteresting itineraries that influenced your decision?

    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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  14. 6 hours ago, Whipsnade said:

    If you can only fill half a brand new ship in March in the Caribbean it is surely not a good sign for the future. 

    Agree. They have some issues to deal with on the operational side. For example, just got off a 7-day Caribbean cruise with Explora, and didn’t receive a single flyer about booking future cruises or meeting with the cruise consultant. This is our first cruise in years where we haven’t booked a future cruise on board.

  15. 1 hour ago, nigelc said:

    No - more annoyed at the parents and EJ staff who allow the poor behaviour of of the children- in the case of the main pool, totally unacceptable behaviour- I was surprised no one was injured.

    Exactly. Well behaved children who are properly supervised by their parents are not the issue. It is the unsupervised ones that behave badly and ruin the experience of adults. It is up to ship staff to step in when parents won’t so that all have a safe and enjoyable experience. 

    • Like 3
  16. 15 hours ago, frantic36 said:


    Don't worry. I think the post was more in relation to a Wizard of Oz reference. Well I think so?


    The whole twist and turns of this conversation is both fascinating and repellant from a psychological point of view.

    Of course you are right. In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy wants to go home because there is no place like home. When people get annoyed about anything that is different from home - like having champagne and caviar — they are sometimes called Dorothy and/or advised to remain in Kansas. It’s an Oz metaphor.

  17. Tipping is a personal issue and everyone should feel comfortable doing what they wish to. Personally, I will on occasion tip individual crew for outstanding service- this can include our room steward, maître d’s, waiters and bar tenders. I rarely give money to the crew fund.

  18. 2 hours ago, SDuckers said:

    As a proud Native Kansan, I think I'm glad I missed the post.

    My apologies to all those wonderful people from Kansas, some of whom I have sailed with, for insinuating that someone on this thread was kicked in the head by a horse there. Metaphorically speaking.

  19. 1 hour ago, Astride said:

    You just proved my point with this post. And it appears that CC removed your post about Kansas.


    I’d like to chat with you more, but I’m running late to meet some friends for champagne and caviar, over which we shall choose our next cruise. 😀

    • Haha 4
  20. 9 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

    I could not help but note that you posted this same kind of anti-caviar troll a year ago,  So, if this is March it must be your time to troll :).  Always fun to read this stuff on CC.  I will add that on the new Explora Journeys you will only find caviar in one of their 4 restaurants (Marble and Co) so you might prefer that line :).   Whatever floats your boat :).

    Better yet, there is no caviar on Carnival. But they do have bologna sandwiches and Kraft dinner.

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  21. I get so annoyed by people who like champagne and caviar that it drives me mad. My knickers get in a knot, I get all hot and bothered, and steam comes out of my ears. What annoys me the most is the thought of that golden hued magic sparkling elixir being consumed with those tiny delicious balls of caviar. The only thing I can say is “Where and when can I get some!”

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