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About sfvoyage

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  1. Regarding sea view, that has been fixed on the Ovation for over a year - most of the cabanas have shutters opening out to sea view, with the exception of the 3 center cabanas. However, sometimes it may get too windy to have the shutters open. If you like upgraded wines and champagne and can drink enough of them, it may be worth a day to see if the experience and value is good for you. The pricing seems to be dynamic, so if you are curious and offered a good deal, why not check it out and decide for yourself?
  2. Sure, glad to help! We like to have a printout in order to mark things up and write notes everywhere. SB basically outsourced this exercise to its guests as our DIY project! It would have been nice to allow us to choose a printout to be mailed to us or a download on our own. At least the process is not onerous, and the one advantage is that excursions do change over time (new ones can be added, and some could be deleted or modified), so the website info is usually the latest.
  3. The button says "download personalized ebrochure."
  4. We've been downloading and printing the list of shore excursions for a while from the website. Once you have your booking number, you can go to the shore excursions section; at the top there is a button that says download brochure.
  5. I've been messaging with my HK friends daily for the past few weeks. They told me it's best to avoid flying in and out of HKG on weekends - even though the protesters haven't targeted the airport itself in a while, there may be interruptions with public transport to/from the airport. Normally, weekdays and weeknights are relatively calm, except for holidays. On weekends, the protesters have been consistently causing trouble. Last Saturday, all was calm, and then on Sunday they targeted Kowloon (Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok, etc.). In general, I'd avoid Kowloon. I'll be staying on HK Island, a few days in Central area, and a few days in Tin Hau area. There have been troubles in those areas as well, but you can ask your hotel concierge for a daily update. Usually there is some advance notice ( a day or a few hours prior) about where and when the protesters will congregate; apparently they use an app to coalesce. They don't target tourists, except for mainland Chinese ones (who live in HK or are visiting the city) - many of them refrain from speaking Putonghua in public and try to keep a low profile. The protesters tend to target government offices and businesses with ties to mainland China and to business owners and leaders who have spoken out against the protests, e.g. the Maxim chain of cake shops and restaurants, whose founder's daughter had criticized the protesters a while back. Again, your hotel concierge can help point those out to you. I have family friends who live in Happy Valley, a calm residential district near Causeway Bay that is not on the radar of protesters. However, there are not any tourist hotels in that neighborhood. I wouldn't be too concerned about visiting Hong Kong, although it wouldn't be a normal experience. Shops and restaurants may close earlier than usual if business is slow, for instance, even if they are not affected by the riots.
  6. It's hard to predict what will transpire in January, but I am not optimistic for the protesters. I'm heading there next week and will have a busy schedule visiting and dining with friends for a week. The riots mostly happen on weekends, and it is possible to avoid the impacted areas.
  7. Interline rates are offered to current and retired employees of airlines and cruise lines (and travel agents, I believe), and is a widely used sales practice to fill unused inventory at opaque rates to which retail customers are not privy or entitled. These can be booked months in advance. Even lower rates (or free sailings) are offered to family and friends, often at the very last minute. In addition, there are also consolidators - travel agencies who get a block of inventory and package the sailing with air and a pre-cruise hotel night - as well as non-revenues, i.e. corporates and contractors on duty who occupy guest suites. That's why most voyages end up full even though they may not be selling well in advance. I have met many airline pilots and flight attendants, both retired and active, over the years on Seabourn, and they do get a good deal. The consolidators offer a decent deal, which usually isn't as good as interline rates, though. (I got myself on the mailing list of an interline agency and a consolidator, even though I do not qualify to book under the former and am not interested to book under the latter, just to gauge in advance the passenger mix on my upcoming voyages.) I, too, find that SB pricing has remained flat over the years, and so the cost cuttings do not surprise me. While brochure prices are higher in recent years, in reality they get adjusted downward as the sail dates approach.
  8. SB no doubt gets their alcohol and other beverages at wholesale and duty-free cost. Non-alcoholic cocktails are not necessarily a cost savings for SB. Seedlip, for instance, retails for $37.50 a bottle in the US. Fresh fruit and veggie juices are not cheap, especially factoring in the labour cost, should SB choose to incorporate fresh juices in their non-alcoholic beverage selection in the future...
  9. Out of curiosity I googled Seedlip. Well, I read a lot of mixed to negative reviews. In any case, I am curious to try it. At the same time, regardless if and when Seabourn will roll out their products, it would be great if Seabourn would implement interesting mocktail recipes. As others have noted, alcohol consumption is on a downward trend, especially among younger consumers who will become the new generation of Seabourn customers in the future.
  10. The fact that SB Herald has a prominent article on this topic is encouraging; it is very strange that the feature story is not linked to the rollout of the featured products - talk about lack of synergy and cause of confusion and bewilderment for us! I agree it is high time; hopefully it's just a matter of time. (We can certainly help speed things along by voicing our opinion to SB HQ as well as on the ships.)
  11. I hope my contact is wrong about this, but he is an executive of Restaurant & Bar Operations for Seabourn.
  12. After reading that article, I assumed that Seabourn would have started to stock those non-alcoholic products. However, I asked my contact at headquarters and was told that was not the case.
  13. Just to confirm: your email domain is mail dot com, not gmail dot com, right?
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