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Everything posted by commodoredave

  1. Speaking from our experience this week, with only 650 on board with a capacity of 900, we have not been able to get shaded lounges on most days. Now, part of this may be chair hogs, but only a small part. Once again, please post if you have actual factual numbers that prove Explora has the same number of shaded chaise lounges as Regent and Silversea on similar sized ships. I can’t verify Oceania numbers as I have never sailed on hee ships.
  2. Glad you responded. First, Oceania is not in the same luxury class or price point as Explora, Regent or Silversea, which one expects more from. Putting that aside, there are just 24 chaise lounges in the shade in Explora’s Conservatory Pool, which is the ship’s largest pool area. In contrast, the main pools on similar sized Regent and Silversea have nearly twice that amount. Furthermore, Explora has no dedicated shaded loungers in its bow and stern pools. If one doesn’t want a shaded area to sit in, that’s not an issue. But for the many people who want shade, Explora is indeed deficient and a poor choice for hot weather cruises. It’s a consideration that is important in choosing a cruse line.
  3. Yes, there are a handful of shaded lounges in the Conservatory pool, but where many would normally have been are replaced by two very long hot tubs. As for the other 3 pools, they have been nicknamed Melanoma 1, 2 and 3 for their lack of shade. I challenge anyone reading this to point to any other ship with less shaded chairs per passenger than Explora. This is a well known fact and already an accepted issue by management, and I was told they are looking into possible fixes.
  4. Those are the cabins reserved for livestock and magicians.
  5. Personally, DW and I love the caviar and champagne on both Seabourn and Silversea. We also love people who don’t like it as it leaves more for us!!
  6. I think you will find you are in a very small minority with your opinion. Start a conversation with anyone on the ship, as we are doing this week, and the first comment about the ship is lack of shade. This is our 83rd cruise, and we have never been on any ship with so little shade as the Explora 1. Does it matter in Alaska? Heck no. Does it matter in the Caribbean? Absolutely!
  7. Maybe the new guy will do some listening. If he does, he will discover that the biggest issue with the ship is lack of shade. It’s a criticism that is universal.
  8. Thanks for the tip. I will need to transport 4 people from FLL to POM in January. I will try tvis company.
  9. Prices from Explora for disembarkation transfers in Miami are scandalous. As per their form below, transfers from pier to hotel/airport in a sedan start at Euro 275 ($300 US). In contrast, I just booked the same transfer with a local limo company for US $50 im an SUV. Why the rip off prices?
  10. They could always add some travel agents at the last minute. We have quite a few on our cruise.
  11. Just checked with guest services. 650 this week, 400 next week. You will have a half empty ship to enjoy!!
  12. Have seen one toddler and one infant so far. Both well behaved.
  13. Playing scrabble with the Captain right now. Will see you later at the bar.
  14. That’s a good description of Crystal- graceful. I will gladly try them again when their prices begin to reflect reality.
  15. A lot depends on itinerary. There is a severe paucity of shade in the pool areas, which makes Caribbean cruises a big challenge. On one now and would never do another with EJ. However, we love the crew, ship and food, so would return on itineraries where pool shade is not an issue
  16. Interesting idea! On Explora since Friday. First impressions are great. Boarded and sitting down for lunch in 35 minutes. Staff are delightful, friendly and eager to serve - I want to take some home! Food in Emporium, Fil Rouge and Marble and Co has been up there with the best cruise lines. It’s still early, but if the rest of the cruise is this good, we will be returning soon.
  17. I’ve seen no sweaters that say “interesting” on two gentlemen, or anyone being particularly witty at the bar. So Dr. Cocktail, if you are indeed on the Explora 1 from Barbados to Miami, where are you?
  18. Most kids have more fun on cruise lines with dedicated facilities and programs for them. However, some children may prefer a slower pace with more adult-oriented activities and atmosphere. If your kids are in the latter group, if they are well behaved, and if you are willing to supervise them, then Explora would be fine for them. Personally, when we've cruised with our kids and now our grandkids, we've always opted for the larger ships with RCL, Norwegian, Carnival, and Princess lines. But our kids/grandkids have lots of energy, and like socializing with other kids.
  19. I am enrolled in hotel loyalty programs with Hilton, Fairmont, Marriott and IHG.
  20. Not quite as reality can be better than expectations if they were low to start with. Perhaps a better definition is “Expectations minus experience equals reality.”
  21. This is only true to the extent of sourcing. Like onshore businesses, different cruse lines invest more or less in staff training, in quality of chefs, in daily spend per passenger on food, in onboard culture/style. etc. These are some of the things that make some cruise lines more suitable for some people, and not others. So no, cruise lines are not offering the same experience, even when charging a similar price.
  22. Well said. However, young people who take their first cruise now will not notice what is no longer provided. They may also have lower expectations. So the cruise lines cutting back may actually suffer little loss of business while boosting their profits.
  23. Not everyone is doing it, but most are. There are some new entries such as Scenic, Emerald, Ritz Carlton, etc. who are delivering more but charging a lot more for it.
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