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About sfvoyage

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    Cool Cruiser

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    San Francisco
  • Interests
    travels, music, theatre, hiking, swimming, blah blah blah
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  1. Hi James, I am happy to refer you please email me at sfvoyage @ gmail.com
  2. When SB cancelled your cruise with plenty of notice, they obviously owe you a full refund. They have also offered you an alternative - by moving you to the same cruise a year later, at the same cost (even though the new cruise has a higher price) and at the same category (even though OB is not offered to the public). Isn't that more than fair? We cannot expect SB to entertain and grant exceptions to their rule so that any and all of us can choose another itinerary of our choosing, can we? It'll then be a free-for-all - every guest asking for something uniquely suited to their wish and circumstance... Regarding pricing, yes, we all have noticed higher listed prices for future cruises. We also know, from years past, that pricing tends to fall over time for less popular cruises. However, who knows what will happen in the future under these unprecedented times? Prices may fall, or they may stay the same or even increase, especially if cruise lines (not just SB) will have to limit occupancy levels due to social distancing rules or guidelines. I think we all need to go with the flow and expect the unexpected in the coming months. The whole cruise - and travel - industry is facing major - and existential - challenges. I for one will be happy to still have as wonderful a cruise line as SB to sail on in the coming years.
  3. I had to read your post a couple of times but think I managed to understand the situation. First, your original Dec 11, 2020 booking is irrelevant, as you had voluntarily changed it to Feb 21, 2021. So let's drop that off the picture. As I understand, you had a confirmed OB booking and paid rate X on the Feb 21, 2021 sailing, which was involuntarily pushed out a year by SB. Alternately, you can cancel and get a full refund. (BTW, did SB rebook you on their Feb 3 or Feb 24, 2022 sailing? Was it a like-to-like change, i.e. you're getting the same duration of 21 or 24 days pre- and post-change?) So, SB honored your original OB booking and rate X for the new rebooked Feb 2022 sailing, even though OB is not available for that booking to the public. I'm also guessing the Feb 2022 sailing costs X or greater; otherwise, SB would owe you the difference. However, you now prefer the Dec 2021 sailing which has no OB inventory, and so SB is asking you to pay a price differential. Is my understanding correct? SB's policy is, if you prefer not to get a full cash refund, to protect your sailing by rebooking you to the same or similar sailing a year later. If you choose to make further changes, isn't it fair for you to have to pay the price difference, if any? It seems that SB has already opened up OB inventory for you for the protected change; why would you expect SB to do so for a further change of your choosing? In any case, good luck. OB inventory comes and goes. Who knows, OB may open up for the Dec 2021 booking, in which case SB may allow you to make the change without a surcharge, if the OB is the reason for the surcharge. I don't think SB's offer and policy is a carte blanche for you to change to any dates.
  4. I was in a spa penthouse suite and did not experience any soot residue. This was in the Mediterranean in the summer. Perhaps this depends on the time of year and ship location?
  5. I have the same concern as you do but don't know whether the rules have changed. I don't have a need to find out at the moment because I haven't made a new booking yet. Perhaps someone else can answer this question if they have recently applied their $400 referrer OBC?
  6. I still have $400 referral coupons. If you need a referral, feel free to email me at sfvoyage at gmail dot com
  7. Same here, I am not a morning person. On the days when I had the earlier time slots, I managed to get up and participate and enjoy fully, but then I was fairly wiped out the rest of the afternoon.
  8. Based on the best knowledge from medical and scientific experts, in the absence of an effective vaccine, the proper wearing of a proper mask (i.e. not just a bandana, and not just covering your mouth and not your nose, etc.) is an important and effective preventative measure in our fight against Covid-19 to-date. Also, it is a myth that young people are mostly immune or spared. In fact, the infection rate amongst younger people is rising, and, while they have a stronger immune system and fewer pre-existing conditions, they are also suffering from the ravages of this pandemic, including death. It is sad that there is much confusion and ignorance, fake news, science-deniers and selfishness out there. We need to continue to listen to the real experts - not politicians with their own nefarious agendas - and monitor the ever-evolving news and discoveries on this front to fight this together, as a global community. Nobody is immune.
  9. On my Antarctica & South Georgia cruise on SB Quest in 2014/15, I had extensive discussions with several of the expedition team leaders - who had worked on true expedition ships - about exactly the topic of 1 vs. 2 landings per day, as I, too, was concerned about the opportunity of only 1 landing per day on a bigger ship such as the Quest. They assured me that I wasn't missing much, if anything. Often, the ship would maneuver to a different, but nearby, spot for the 2nd landing on the same day, but the scenery - and perhaps even the wildlife - could be similar: some of the penguins may have swum over from the morning spot. (Not sure if they were joking or telling me what they thought I'd like to hear.) In any case, they all seemed to have been very pleased to be on the Quest, having worked mainly or only on the smaller and older expedition ships previously. They loved the elegance, service, great food and pampering offered on the Quest and seemed as happy and pleased as the passengers on the journey. Another thing to consider is that there is quite a bit of setup time and efforts involved with each landing. We had to dress in layers and get our gears in order, then go to the assembly point where the staff would help us put on the heavy-duty safety vest, get to the boot lockers to put on our boots, then walk down to queue up for the zodiac. Upon landing, we had to rinse off our boots, in order not to carry contaminants onto land. The whole process then would take place in reverse for the return trip, with the additional effort of extra rinsing (by us) and cleaning (by the crew) of the rubber boots from the penguin guano. For some passengers, the incremental time and effort in the 2nd landing per day (for six consecutive days) may not commensurate with the additional - and perhaps repetitive - sensory and experiential rewards. Especially for some of the more elderly guests, one landing was tiring enough. Regarding spending 45 days at sea, my record is 38 days so far. I've also done 35 and 36 days, and to be honest, I would get restless and listless towards the last few days. It took some mental endurance and attitude readjustment to carry me through the finish line. But then, everyone is different, so obviously you will have to see for yourself. There are, after all, guests who stay on for months, or even year-round.
  10. Yes, that is true. If it's a matter of a simple base fare reduction, you can refare with the 10% discount before any relevant deadline. However, SB can play games - and protect its revenue - by packaging the lower base fare into a special "promotional package" which includes other items such as free air, suite upgrade, internet minutes, etc., in which case this is no longer a base fare repricing but a brand new promotion, and that's when a restriction such as "this promotion is not combinable with any other promotion" may kick in.
  11. The PIF contains the following wordings: Offer is not valid on World Cruises or segments thereof and sailings on Seabourn Venture. Other restrictions apply. The last 3 words are key. Good luck, with let us know what transpires...
  12. One would expect that SB would inform us once they themselves know about the new protocols and procedures. Meanwhile, you can always read about the new protocols on the few cruises which have restarted, as a point of reference. In any case, there are still so many unknowns and variables, things will continue to evolve. Unless and until there will be a super effective - and cost effective - vaccine, along with wide distribution and high adoption, you can expect things to change from your time to booking to embarkation and perhaps even during your voyage. If you cannot tolerate changes or having to adapt to new measures, cruising may not be the best option.
  13. It depends: is the new promotion stackable with the PIF promotion? If so, you should be able to take advantage of both the PIF and the new promotions. Since you are within the 30Sep deadline of the PIF promotion, you can always cancel and rebook. Otherwise, you'll have to decide which promotion works best for you at this point. (I've come across this type of confusion before and ended up having had to choose, even though the marketing materials & wordings did not explicitly state that the old and new promotions are not stackable.)
  14. Just to set expectations, historically, roll calls are not that active for Seabourn and are used mostly and occasionally for the few passengers interested in arranging private group excursions at a particular port. So don't be surprised in case your roll call threads do not get much traction. On Seabourn (and other smaller, all-inclusive luxury ships, I suppose), passengers organically meet one another on board and do not tend to pre-arrange meetings via roll calls, unlike mega mass market liners. (Nothing wrong about that, just pointing out the reality and historical context.) Also, another point to note: most SB passengers would not have even heard of cruise critic, so this board is not at all representative of the passengers on board, in general. This is especially true as of late: most of the old-timers and heavy contributors have been MIA for months. (As we all know, there would always be a few vocal posters who tend to contribute to - or at times dominate on - any board.) Since earlier this year, when cancellations started happening, normal threads were replaced with angry and urgent ones complaining bitterly about SB's tardiness in processing refunds (and advocating premature credit card chargebacks). Now that most refunds have been done, those folks & threads have dropped off, and we seem to have a few newer contributors (as well as a nice & happier atmosphere). This board is now much less active, naturally, and I haven't been seeing old-timers actively posting on here for a while now. Hope everyone is OK. (Some are apparently posting on SB-related groups on Facebook, but they are also lacking in content and have resorted to posting old photos of previous cruises and struggling to find something to talk and reminisce about.)
  15. Sure. You'll have a great cruise; the Antarctica and South Georgia one is by far the most memorable cruise I've ever done. BTW, whatever you do, just don't wear a baseball cap to dinner, which apparently would elicit complaints from various guests. 😉
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