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Everything posted by wristband

  1. The price differential on Nova is puzzling. Why a $100 p.p. cost difference from other SS ships?
  2. Good point Mysty re: cancellations for "included" tours with lunch included. Will we get a McDonald's Happy Meal instead? "Included" tour options seem to be shrinking in a number of ports. Q: I thought heard on the Zoom call of a special WC event in Ubud. No mention of an Ubud event on the SS site or in the 2024 WC special events area. Was I mistaken?
  3. Grand Duchess, what is that mess on the floor below the rattan chair? Is it bird seed, shattered plates, peanut shells or lunch leftovers? Curious to know. PS: I agree - don't order the overpriced overly sweet Singapore Sling despite the drink's name.
  4. Mahogany: we did complain and did so repeatedly in a civil and adult manner. Long, long waits at meals, persistent understaffing, poor state of our cabin etc. I believe this stemmed from management's apathetic and ineffective oversight. We did write letters & register our specific concerns in person. No response, no change, no follow up. The lack of a response was an answer itself. Our personalities and temperament are easy to please & happy to overlook shortcomings. As long time cruisers, we appreciate all cruise lines face major challenges cruise - both then & now. Yogi Berra said if you don't know where you're going, you'll wind up someplace else. Regent is in a place very different from their past. Premium prices charged for a product they no longer choose to deliver is an odd strategy, one that did not encourage this repeat customer to return. We look forward to our upcoming SS cruise in January.
  5. Mysty, how are you going to keep track of all these options for eating big meals off of Shadow? Won't Mr. Mysty worry about the waistline and wallet with so many possibilities of long liquid lunches in port?
  6. I totally agree with your assessment! We have been on Oceania many times and concur Jacques and Toscana are some of the best restaurants we have ever experienced at sea with service & food & ambiance. As I noted above, we do not plan booking again with Regent - after 15 years - due the problems you cited. After the 2023 World Cruise, we will not spend money or time with Regent until they can show us the line has significantly improved. We are not picky or demanding, we rarely if ever complain, happy to be left to ourselves. But Mariner convinced us to leave Regent in the past. Splendor is a nice ship -- we were on it summer 2022. But (under) staffing and management problems persist, its a big black mark affecting many areas of the Regent onboard experience.
  7. Not as many suggestions and insights as you have Mysty!🙂 May I ask what are your recommended favorite dinner dishes on Shadow? La Dame aside of course! I am trying to schedule my dining menus this month.
  8. Opinions vary. I would like to think my thoughts mirror those of others I knew (but not all) on the 2023 WC on Mariner. As they say, ideas are a dime a dozen! May I suggest you read Mariner reviews posted on CC by passengers who cruised POST pandemic (since 2022). That will offer you a richer sense of the ship and staff? Obviously, CC's Regent board has posts from those loyal to the brand and those recently on Mariner but for a week or two. A twelve day cruise on Mariner is a very different experience then spending 5 months on a tug boat. Best wishes to you for 2025. CEO Andrea told a "town meeting" on Mariner just days before the WC ended that the ship will not undergo an extensive overhaul prior to the 2025 WC. She was asked this question repeatedly by passengers who were then booked on that cruise and were concerned.
  9. Mysty, the two restaurants are quite upscale (prices to match!) fine dining experiences. My opinion is both do not offer us as passengers a distinct change from Shadow's upscale dining options. For those who don't know, Pernakan cuisine is unique to Singapore, an oddball mash of Indo, Chinese & Malay without much in common for any one of the three, at least for me. If you want to try an authentic Pernakan experience, True Blue downtown on Armenian Street is worth considering. Right next door is the Pernakan Heritage Museum (worth a visit IMHO). True Blue is set in an atmospheric old colonial shop house - the food is quite good when we ate there several years ago. Its not street food, the decor is upscale. TB is not as acclaimed as Odette or Violet Oon although all three offer interesting menus in very different settings. Candlenut received a Michelin star for its Pernakan menu (its up near the Botanic Gardens). That one might be worth investigating if you are interested in trying Pernakan food in a Michelin starred setting.
  10. Thank you so much - I appreciate your prompt & helpful confirmation!
  11. Thanks Mysty. Would you - or anyone here - know if the internet on Shadow is with Starlink? I want to confirm that as the Internet is often very slow onboard. Starlink has been added to many ships so better to know in advance rather than finding out otherwise onboard. Thanks again!
  12. I would appreciate a reply from any one regarding Shadow: is Starlink available onboard? I was told it will be. But I want to confirm the connection prior to our World Cruise in January. Thanks!
  13. Mysty & Others - do you know if Silversea offers an alternative rather than the Gala at SF City Hall? After a day of airports, unpacking... I am hopeful there will be a WC option for dinner at the Fairmont. Otherwise, its the McDonalds nearby for a Big Mac Attack. Thx.
  14. Newcastle has only one tour - a morning pub crawl. As Sam Goldwyn, the movie mogul, said "Count me OUT!"
  15. Hey Mysty, what will we once you board Shadow in Barbados in December? For those on the WC from in SF, you will be AWOL...unable to tell us of updates on brand new tours offered that somehow suddenly got loaded on to the web site? BTW Mysty, how do you find out so quickly of the new additions/deletions of tours? Its a slog to go through all the ports every few weeks without notification!
  16. I have been a Regent customer for many years. I do not plan to return to Regent - it lost this long time customer due to any number of problems experienced on the 2023 World Cruise on Mariner. That said, much depends on the ship. The two oldest ships, Mariner & Navigator, should be carefully considered before booking as updates & repairs are needed. The newer ships are nicer (Explorer & Voyager). The newest one, Grandeur, goes "live" this month and looks lovely. Prevalent concerns for Regent: understaffing, inexperienced crew lacking sufficient training for a supposed 5 star line, long waits in dining venues, inconsistent service and meals, unresponsive onboard management. Some attribute this to "Covid." Years later the pandemic can't be an excuse. My friendly advice is to carefully examine the value proposition: the price for your sailing & cabin versus the quality you expect to receive. There are Regent die-hards no matter what the shortfalls may be who enjoy the "included" features. However, those "included" items are offered by other upscale lines such a Silversea and Seabourne. Lots of options out there so caveat emptor. I am sad to say, again my opinion, Regent has lost its way since it reopened and their new CEO Andrea appears lost at sea about the decline and chorus of customer complaints. It boils down to your desired itinerary, budget and expectations. As pointed out above, no need to be a one-cruise line- patron...lots of choices to evaluate and to make an informed decision about where you can best spend your money and your time. Good luck!
  17. Mysty regarding the Doors 1, 2 or 3. I would take Doors 1 &2 but avoid 3. #3: Western Africa is dystopian, hell hole countries except for Namibia. Obvious why thousands are fleeing the Sahel on makeshift rafts to land on European soil. Those West African countries, including Mahe which just elected a pro-China President, offer no hope and no future. These are corrupt countries that offer unbelievable scenes of grinding poverty, enormous debt, the onset of jihadists and violent jihadism (Mali & Burkina Faso are next door fighting a losing battle), China gobbling up natural resources and their future patrimony - lithium, bauxite and tin mines sold off (Rio Tinto is controlled by the PRC), strategic ports and airports and construction companies are poof gone. Stay far away!
  18. A few more suggestions to Mysty's excellent list: Robert Hughes (Time's former art critic) "The Fatal Shore" on Australia is a classic. James Mincher on Hawaii is another classic, dated but fun. Somerset Maugham's short stories in the South Pacific are short reads about his travels in a world long ago (Singapore, Vietnam). Paul Theroux's travel books in Polynesia ("Happy Isles of Oceania") and China ("Riding The Red Rooster"). His short novels "Hotel Honolulu" and "Kowloon Tong" (Mafia HK) is set in HK before the British hand-over. Thor Heyerdahl's "Fatu Hiva" (he went native & lived in the bush during WWII) and "Aku-Aku." I realize we are not visiting those islands but both are short reads you may want to download Caution about Bourdain - he was a fantastist, unreliable due to his drug addiction. Read it as fiction. For a good sense of China today, Martin Jacques "When China Rules The World." The best book I have read on the Japanese character, its history and customs, is Ruth Benedict's "The Crysanthemum and the Sword." US intelligence tasked her (an anthropologist) to write a book to aid the American Occupation of Japan after the War. Lee Kuan Yew's "From 3rd World To First" is very long but wonderfully weaves his personal history and adept political leadership that made Singapore into the marvel it is today. If is too long, check out Kissinger's recent book "Leadership" where he focuses on 6 extraordinary world leaders. The chapter on Yew - he is one of the six (called "Strategy of Excellence") - is an excellent read to better understand how Singapore came to be.
  19. Excellent suggestion - thank you GG! May I say domo arigato?
  20. If you provide Free Drinks for everyone attending the Opening Gala I will be so there! Uh, wait a sec Mysty. Drinks are supposedly "included." But we can still celebrate with a Shadow-wide party!
  21. We had the initial Pfizer vaccination then all the follow up boosters. On Mariner this past spring, there were a good number of Covid cases with slim to none information provided by onboard management as to what was taking place. We, as passengers, could surmise there was an ongoing outbreak as passengers would disappear for a week then reappear wearing masks, crew members did the same (our cabin steward and butler were infected and replaced). We contracted Covid twice onboard...how and from where, who knows? As above, Covid is everywhere all over the world so take precautions. We cruise in close proximity with others all day long - elevators, bars, tour buses. As its an airborne virus, hand sanitizers offer no defense (for hygienic reasons its prudent to use Purell and wash your hands regularly). Part of our assumption of risk when taking a cruise. You hope for only the best...
  22. Hey Mysty, will you have a celebration onboard after you hit 10,000 CC posts? That will be quite an achievement!
  23. To add: we cannot affect the weather or local politics. We can only hope for the best and roll with the worst if it happens. Should sea conditions or the virus - or local unrest in Peru - mandate a change in our itinerary, so be it. We cannot control such "exogenous" factors. So we will muddle through for five months!🙂
  24. Strange to say this Mysty: the only country being over-the-top stringent was Chile when we visited Easter Island (thousands of miles from Chile). Chilean Immigration insisted on reviewing each Covid vax card AND all passengers were required to take an antigen swab test 24 hours before our visit. Going ashore in many countries and ports required temperatures to be taken just off the ship in arrival centers. But while on land we were never questioned or requested to produce proof of vaccination and boosters. Japan refused to allow the ship entrance to a number of ports so the itinerary was reshuffled. Japan was the only country that did so - its policy has changed so we should be welcome next spring. Of course, if there is major outbreak, circumstances will change. Friends in Paris and London report a considerable rise in Covid cases. What happens with the onset of cold weather in the Northern Hemisphere and Europe - where people stay inside - over the next six months is anyone's guess. We are getting the new Pfizer booster in two weeks.
  25. Gourmet Gal & Cruiselover - what private guide(s) do you suggest? PortPower - thank you for the photos & reports!
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