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commodoredave

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Posts posted by commodoredave

  1. 1 hour ago, Wheelhouse said:

    On Oceania's newer ships (Vista and Allura) a veranda is as expensive or more so than an OT (the vast majority of cabins) is currently going for on Explora.  I just looked at a 14 day cruise on Regent's Grandeur (14 Aug 2025) and the entry level cabins were running 16.5K per person (ex air).  Price wise Explora is nowhere close to that class ship.

     

    Explora does have a number of double cabanas too, but they are not near the pools and I can't recall how many there are.  Speaking from my own experience it was not a problem getting a covered lounger.  

    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. 

    • Like 1
  2. 1 hour ago, Wheelhouse said:

    I will accept that challenge. We were recently on Oceania's new Vista which holds 1200 passengers and there was very little shaded area besides their one pool.  

    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.

    • Like 1
  3. 2 hours ago, Wheelhouse said:

    I am a pasty Irishman who can’t stay in the sun too long.  Even with as many as 800 passengers we had no trouble finding shady loungers even at the Conservatory pool.  There were plans the designers had for shade providers at one of the other pools, but they were impractical and couldn’t withstand any wind.  You can see them in some of the pre-construction videos. 

    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.

    • Like 2
  4. 5 hours ago, Rocchi said:

    Hi All.

    These cabins are very far forward and if you are sailing in heavy seas the ship will be pitching a lot giving a fair degree of up and down motion and maybe some slamming that can be pretty loud. Try sleeping in that. They are also near to the anchor chain chamber so if she is not docked the anchor chain release running out is very noisy and usually done on arrival on station early morning. I noticed in Silversea website image of The Shadow the anchor is photo shopped out. That leads me to think SS is try it on. These two cabin were never sold before RCCL took over probably because they are not good places to be while sailing.

    Screenshot 2024-03-05 at 10.45.18.png

    Screenshot 2024-03-05 at 10.46.29.png

    Those are the cabins reserved for livestock and magicians.

    • Like 1
  5. 12 hours ago, johng75370 said:

    In some areas/cultures that statement reeks of snob appeal, so not sure of your point.  Seabourn caters to your desire for wine and cheese as much as someone else might favor caviar and champagne.  Kudos to Seabourn.  Your w&c enjoyment in no way infringes on my c&c enjoyment.  

     

    My partner grew up in the former Soviet Union with black and red caviar as part his upbringing; I grew up mainly in the U.S., but exposed to it at “special events” and developed a taste for it. That we both can enjoy a decent quality black caviar in various forms while onboard is really something special that we appreciate about Seabourn. It’s not snob appeal; we enjoy it for special times at home.  It’s how Seabourn makes things available that make your journey special, whatever it might be.  Many people pass on the caviar, so it’s not like there’s a caviar-obsessed crowd onboard or that it comes up any more than what cheese someone prefers.

     

    That’s why the dialogue on CC that happens about the source, quality, or changes to suppliers of things like caviar, champagne, wines, or cheeses are fair game and matter. Having seen people get huffy about the lack of good red Bordeaux’s or how the cheese is not served at the right temperature, not seeing anything out of the norm here regarding caviar or champagne.  

     

    38E935E5-C1C2-4D76-897F-9DE28FCD97AC.thumb.jpeg.4d11c82706888262d88e36d27489c16e.jpeg

    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!!

    • Like 3
  6. 10 minutes ago, kelleherdl said:

    I found quite a few folks, like me, love the sun. With loungers on all sides of the ship it’s easy to find shade wherever the sun ISN’T. The great number of lounger locations for me is a strong design element. Now if you choose to stay in the same place all day long it can be an issue. The earth does rotate, so as we all know shade will move throughout the day. I’m willing to move with the sun and use the copious availability of towels to set up a fresh lounger.

    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!

    • Like 2
  7. 15 hours ago, Stickman1990 said:

    Michael Ungerer is leaving his role as CEO of Explora Journeys, with Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of the cruise division at MSC Group taking over his responsibilities for the time being.

    Ungerer is leaving for undisclosed "personal reasons." He will remain as an advisor for the brand through the end of August.

     

    https://www.travelmarketreport.com/Cruise/articles/Explora-Journeys-CEO-Michael-Ungerer-to-Leave

     

    I wonder what, if any, changes follow this change at the top?

    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. 36 minutes ago, Wheelhouse said:

    I used MJS transportation from POM to FLL at $20 per person plus tip.  Guest services actually called my room to see if I could add a lone elderly woman to my group.  Explora's price to Fort Lauderdale airport would have been 500 euros for her to take a private coach. 

    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?

    IMG_3954.jpeg

    IMG_3955.jpeg

  10. 4 hours ago, saminina said:

    14 days max is  my suggestion when booking Explora.  The max I can do on a ship is about 30 days and Crystal is the company where it can be done gracefully. 

     

    Easy to buy idea MSC  altering  plans with Explora and selling two ships to Crystal would be a nice fit.  It's not like the owner of one is a stranger to the other.

    That’s a good description of Crystal- graceful. I will gladly try them again when their prices begin to reflect reality.

    • Like 2
  11. 3 hours ago, artbcpa said:

    As I have recently done both Explora and New Crystal, my comparison would be quite simple. MSC should sell their ships to A&K, Explora has by far the more beautiful newer ships. Unfortunately they have No Idea how to run a luxury cruise line, something that Crystal and A&K are masters of. Crystal badly needs newer ships. Explora badly needs better service, training and systems. When you board Crystal it is like a family welcoming you aboard. Plus their entertainment is better; their activities are better. Food on both is inconsistent; some outstanding; some good and some not up the standards of a luxury line. At the moment I would still choose Crystal, but hoping they somehow find a way to merge the two.

    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.

    • Like 6
  12. 13 hours ago, saratogamomof3 said:

    Any updates on bringing kids on this cruise line? We have never cruised before. Our kids are 13, 11 and 8. They really wouldn't want a kids club, just a nice pool and maybe some lowkey things to do on sea days. Everyone is recommending RCL or Norwegian, but these seem too big and chaotic to me and the itineraries aren't as appealing. I welcome everyone's input. They wouldn't care if other kids were on board and they are very adventurous eaters.

    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. 

  13. On 1/29/2024 at 12:07 PM, saminina said:

    They will have a loyalty program someday.  More interesting to see if they will post retroactive stays.

     

    Also, please list three luxury hotel companies offering a loyalty program.

    I am enrolled in hotel loyalty programs with Hilton, Fairmont, Marriott and IHG.

    • Like 1
  14. 40 minutes ago, pappy1022 said:

    “The definition of disappointment in life is expectations minus reality equals disappointment. The only two solutions you have to get over disappointment is to either alter your reality or alter your expectations.” Maybe you are correct Commodore.

    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.”

  15. 7 hours ago, Eric from San Diego said:

    No cruise line can ever be a better deal than any other.  A thousand lobster tails loaded on in Athens costs the same for seabourne, exploration, crystal or princess.  This is true for 1000 gallons of bunker fuel or 100 Indonesian wait staff.   If the food is better on explora then crystal, then they have to skimp on entertainment.  If the alcohol is better quality on seabourne then explora, they will have to charge more for the cruise or skimp on something else. All cruise lines from carnival on up get their fuel, food, alcohol, staff and entertainment from the same vendors.  None of them has a secret source for filet mignon or Moet Chandon that is any cheaper than the others.  If they did, the other lines would soon find out and copy them.  Different cruise lines emphasize different features, but they are all playing the same game with one set of costs.  

    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.

    • Like 1
  16. 11 hours ago, SWFLAOK said:

     

    We tried booking Scenic a few times in the past, but our first booking was what we thought would  be a trip was a Myanmar River cruise, and we were able to book a wonderful cabin at the front of the ship. After making a substantial down payment, the president of Myanmar was arrested. I then read that China was sending mining companies to Myanmar to mine minerals and that they were polluting the rivers that we would be traveling on.

    We rebooked our Scenic cruise to Europe, starting with 3 nights in Paris, and an included fast train ride to Bordeaux to board a river cruise boat north and south from there, followed by a train back to Paris for our return home. As we came closer to our travel date, Scenic notified us that our cruise would only include the River cruise, and not 3 nights in Paris, and transportation there and back. And there was almost no decrease in cost. We cancelled and actually got our deposit back. We would not trust them again.

    I've never looked at Emerald, and Ritz Carlton is too new to trust.

    While everyone is charging more, that doesn't mean that everyone accepts that. We used to eat at our local restaurants once or twice a week, with most being upscale with good food and great service. We stopped doing that during Covid, and we don't miss it. We enjoy cooking, and it's much cheaper. We won't return to restaurants we used to frequent because of poor service, and food that is no longer up to what we expect.

    For us, cruising in the future might end if we have to pay more for poor service and food. We really haven't missed eating at local restaurants at all. There are alternatives in travel, just as we have found alternatives to local restaurants.

    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.

  17. On 2/27/2024 at 4:25 PM, Whinenowine said:

    Same for every travel business (hotels, airlines, etc)....and actually all non-travel businesses too.  All my local restaurants are charging more while simultaneously offering smaller portions and lower quality food/ingredients.  And while food and energy are cyclical and prices will actually drop (not just increase at a slower rate), I wouldn't expect the Fed beating back inflation to change any of these recent trends.  All these businesses will continue to charge more and offer less until something breaks--i.e. until people en masse just stop consuming that product.  And since all businesses are doing it...what are our options?  Grin and bear it....or be miserable....

     

    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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