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About Fletcher

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    Cool Cruiser

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    travel to far-flung places
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  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    South Pacific

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  1. Small rooms in Scandinavian hotels is pretty much the norm. Even Copenhagen's best hotel, the Angleterre, has cupboard-like rooms until you hit the junior suite level and upwards.
  2. To answer a few questions . . . The Navigator has serious vibration issues to the back of the ship. We specifically booked a suite forward of the main elevators and had no issues and our suite was very similar to those on Silversea and Seabourn. However, the ship rattled lack crazy in the theatre and the restaurants. I also checked out a couple of suites at the back and they suffered badly. I don't believe any other ship on Regent has these problems. Another thing about Regent's ships which bothers me a lot - many (including Navigator) lack a forward-facing observation lounge and observation deck. This is a major drawback for me as I like to see where I'm going. I prefer Seabourn to both Regent and Silversea for a few reasons. The ambience on a Seabourn ship suits me rather better. It's just my personal style, I suppose, though Regent's lack of a dress code is even more to my taste. I'm 'smart casual' at all times but I dislike the idea of dressing up in formal clobber, probably because my background is in the arts and journalism and not business. I love Seabourn Square which the other lines don't have in quite the same way. I think the food is much the same across all three lines but Silversea comes third for me as I hate the 'hot rocks' concept and I refuse to pay extra for the 'fine dining' venue. While service standards are much the same (ie, brilliant), I also dislike Silversea's butler policy and I'm glad that Regent and Seabourn haven't followed that idea. In some destinations Regent's policy of including excursions works fine but in others, such as the Caribbean or the Med, it's best to do your own thing. I might also add that all three lines are starting to look a little stale in their unchanging itineraries. Noble Caledonia is now offering a stop in Cap Haitien to visit La Citadelle and Sans Souci, Ponant has started to re-open the Bijagos Islands in Guinea-Bissau and Hapag-Lloyd now visit Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands. I am wholly itinerary motivated so I'm unlikely to hop aboard any of these three lines in the near future. And that's a pity as barely a morning goes by when I don't wake up and yearn for an early morning coffee in Seabourn Square.
  3. I agree with all of this. We sailed on the Navigator - I called it the Vibrator - from Montreal to Iceland last year. I dislike the butler thing on Silversea and also the dress code so Regent was far better for us in these respects. It's a personal thing but I thought the food and all the restaurants on Regent were better than the Silversea ships. PS: Seabourn is better than both!
  4. Sint Maarten is an absolute dump - full of fast food chains, casinos, just awful. However, there is one seriously great hotel on the French side, La Samanna. We've stayed there before and after cruises. Seabourn often puts people up at the Westin Dawn Beach and I would urge people not to stay there. One of the worst hotels we've ever seen. As far as Dubai is concerned, my choice would be the Ritz-Carlton or the newish Four Seasons, both fairly low-key for this neck of the woods.
  5. All of which proves that Egypt - like India - is not a cruise destination. Stay in Cairo, cruise up the Nile, stay in Aswan. This might be a good time to go because of the security concerns. We did that trip several years ago, shortly after a massacre at one of the temples near Luxor. There were six passengers on our A&K boat plus a soldier with a machine gun mounted on a tripod. Karnak was deserted, so was Abu Simbel. There was a downside - the frenzy for tips, guides and general tourist tat made me vow never to return.
  6. I do appreciate the honesty of this report . . . so many CC people only want to hear that it's the greatest cruise in human history when usually it isn't. Stuff happens. Bears spend June in Las Vegas. Everyone knows that.
  7. One of the big Brexit debates is the difference between European and US food standards. I forget the number of times a chlorinated chicken rears its ugly head. I think this debate about cream is relevant. Our cream isn't the same as your cream. And Catlover, the biggest concern about polar regions is surely the weather . . . !
  8. SLSD - You need to check the Cruise Timetables website to check how many ships are in these ports. For instance, on the Odyssey itinerary, there are two other ships at Santorini on 21 May with a potential of 5000 passengers plus the Odyssey's passengers. https://www.cruisetimetables.com
  9. The problem is, the Navigator usually has the most interesting itineraries . . .
  10. There are much more significant stretches of Hadrian's Wall, close to Housestead's Fort, but I guess that would have been too far from the port.
  11. Just think about the logistics - the numbers of people, the vast amount of food and sometimes two weeks between ports on, say, polar cruises - and you know what you say just cannot be right. All those desserts, for example. Do you think they make each one from scratch? And keep cream fresh for weeks on end? I'm not saying the food on the ships is inedible, it's sometimes surprisingly good but mostly average and nothing like a high-end restaurant ashore. It's mass catering of an admittedly fairly high order.
  12. I don't think the executive chef makes much difference - let's face it, most of the food comes in frozen from containers that serve the entire fleet. Much of it is pre-prepared. It's really a form of mass-catering to a relatively high level. Personally I think the catering is the weakest aspect of Silversea compared to its rivals, Regent and Seabourn, and that's because I seriously dislike that stupid 'hot rocks' grill thing and I also deeply resent having to pay extra for the 'smart' restaurant.
  13. You should get some great drone footage of cruise ships, Daveywavey. In Juneau you will have four other ships for company and in Ketchikan there will be six ships in port, including Queen Elizabeth.
  14. The Adriatic has fallen victim to over-tourism. I've been reading about the horror show of Dubrovnik, Kotor and, further afield, Santorini. The problems at Venice are well known. There are simply too many people, too many ships etc. Three or four years ago I did a lovely cruise on a 100-passenger expedition ship (Corinthian) to this area and had a great time and only twice ran into tourist hordes - at Dubrovnik and Kotor. The sail-ins and sail-outs were the highlights in those places. I'd say the best months are November and January but it's probably hard to find a ship at that time. I've done hotel-based trips to this area in the winter - Venice especially - and had a fabulous time. But if you insist on a cruise find one that goes in May-June or late Sept-Oct. Try also to find an itinerary that includes Albania and Montenegro. Thanks for all your work on the Kobe-Canada trip. I've enjoyed following you.
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