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XtaSea

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  1. Things go missing? One cruise a number of years ago we searched like crazy for a script of muscle relaxers (methocarbamol) and a pair of DW's sandals. Asked the room steward and he also searched while sweating and obviously very concerned. Glad we didn't report to security because we got home and found the muscle relaxers in the pantry and the sandals in the outside pocket of our large suitcase. They were with us all along. We're often sure about so many things, including our diligent searches, when in fact we're always so fallible. As far as butler's we've usually had excellent ones (although we really don't avail ourselves of their services) but once we had a major a-h...and it was a full-pay CS, not a move-up bid, so I doubt that matters. We ignored him for the cruise and somehow neglected to tip him anything additional at the end.
  2. We always ask for the fridge to be emptied, for extra pillows and mattress topper, and for red wine in exchange for the sparkling wine/champagne they put in the room. Probably a couple of other things that don't come to mind at the moment.. I like the idea of menus in the suite and might consider that on our next cruise. We tend to peruse all the menus (Luminae, MDR, specialty restaurants, etc.) on our first visit to Michael's Club/Retreat Lounge, and usually with a good pour of bourbon in hand.
  3. We've cruised Celebrity many times on both M and S class ships, and Summit is by far our favorite. Got another one planned for Feb. Never had an issue with either burgers or dogs, but thought the high marks given by others for the Luminae burger were a bit off base. Still, had them twice on our last cruise and I promise I tasted beef, not lamb. Can't do lamb. If it's lamb in Feb (I'll ask) I'll try a different Luminae lunch selection.
  4. Wordy? Not at all, at least not in my book. Here's the thing...I've been on other boards, sometimes asking questions but much more often responding to the questions of others. I find the dialogue usually is short and hopefully to the point, but often drifts off course, sometimes wildly diverging from the original question. In depth information can be hard to come by. This is my first Regent thread involvement, but I've found responses to be highly informative, to the point and given with entertaining and insightful back stories...plus I also learned how to post a photo! We started cruising in the late '80s with the launch of Royal Caribbean's Sovereign of the Seas...the largest cruise ship in the world at the time. We had grown tired of Gulf Coast beaches, road tripping through the U.S. and all-inclusives in Cancun. We decided to try something different, and like you, I was hesitant and envisioned seven days on a floating prison. My feelings softened when our bus transfer from Miami International pulled up to the ship. I was absolutely in awe of that gorgeous vessel, and by day three I was in love with cruising. We've cruised many times in the three-plus decades since, our choices improving as disposable income allowed. Obviously, some choices have been better than others, but even the worst cruises were loads of fun...it's always what you make of it. And while the awe may be gone the excitement remains, and oddly, not just in the cruising, but in the planning as well. So as I look to the future to plan another Mediterranean cruise, the responses I've received on this thread have me excited about Regent. Be as wordy as you want...I've enjoyed the dialogue...and whether your last day on the job is marking a new career adventure or, better yet, the absolute joy of an active retirement (congrats either way), we all may just meet up in the future on a Regent ship. Alcohol's included, so the whiskey's on me.
  5. We always cruise in suites and we always, when given a choice, use the shortest line. Red carpet with gold stanchions seems embarrassing at first, but when you're returning to the ship exhausted and can only envision a couple of shots of good bourbon and a comfortable place to sit, the embarrassment quickly subsides. Now going to the front of a tender waiting line will certainly get you some hard looks and maybe snide comments (God knows there are enough of those on the Celebrity "suite" threads) but last year in Juneau, the cold and wind and rain had me wishing for a priority, "move to the front" option. We would have jumped on it and cheerfully ignored any backlash.
  6. Suites can be a problem! We've cruised a good bit and while we've never done an inside, we started with ocean views, moved to balconies, and then to suites. The problem is once you've moved up it's hard to move back. We did a luxury cruise 10 years ago. Great ship, service, staff and accommodations, but we were totally bored onboard. We sought out more luxurious accommodations on bigger ships to gain a more active onboard experience and found Celebrity provides it. A suite gives us a great suites-only restaurant and club with drinks, and on the Revolutionized X ships, a suites-only private sundeck. Plus, we get all four perks--premium drink package, gratuities, wi-fi and OBC. We get the luxury ship amenities and the fun of everything a large cruise ship offers. We book early because we feel that's when we get the best price, but we don't price non-suite accommodations because, like I said, the problem is reversing course. We loved Sky Suites...until we tried a Celebrity Suite. Now that's the new norm. I refuse to look at a Royal or Penthouse.
  7. Got that right brother...thought I get in on this before it becomes a multi-page rant!
  8. We've not done the Norway cruise, but on our most recent X cruises (7 nights x 2, 12 nights x 1), we saw only a small number of men in formal dress, as well as their companions ("formal" includes tuxedos, full dress kilts, etc.). We tend toward much less formal--DW in a nice long comfortable dress, me in a suit sans tie and socks--and we're still more dressed up than the crowd. I've never seen ragged jeans and a tee shirt (might be barred from the MDR), but like Orator said, wear what you want...it's your vacation.
  9. Mark...thanks so much for the additional detailed "life aboard" information. You and the others--this entire thread--exemplifies to me the value of Cruise Critic and its many boards. We've been cruising on and off since the debut of RC's Sovereign of the Seas (1987 or '88?) and I think our upcoming cruise in Feb is number 20 or 21. Over the years we've definitely dialed back the wild and crazy party atmosphere (a major reason I can't remember if it's 20 or 21), and with the exception of an occasional 3-day run to New Orleans (Royal Sonesta, French Quarter, the Treme, etc.), we've trended toward a more relaxed travel experience. Your description of your days and nights on Regent sounds pretty inviting. And while we've usually planned our own excursions--everything we're doing in Feb we've planned privately--having them included in the cruise package makes them more attractive. I've actually run some cost comparisons based on a 10-night Med cruise in Fall '2020. I looked at Celebrity, Azamara, Silversea, Oceania, Viking and Regent (may take a look at Crystal, too). I'll note that I don't think Azamara is in the "luxury" category, but our Celebrity loyalty level transfers, and with RCL/Celebrity apparently now bringing Silversea under it's umbrella, it's just a matter of time before their loyalty program gets involved. Still, after adding in certain perks (tips, top-shelf drinks, excursions, business class air) there's really not much difference in overall cost among the group. Given the significant investment of cruising the Med, as well as our past experiences and those of friends who have cruised luxury lines, we'll now take a very close and serious look at Regent. I'll start with my trusted online TA and try to find a rep who has cruised Regent and other luxury lines (I sometimes communicate with their VP of Client Services and I'll bet she can put with the person I need). Then I'll return to this Regent board for actual suite/itinerary/excursion advice. Again...great info...thanks much!
  10. And thank you for the kind compliment. The only thing more gorgeous than his looks is his personality. We live in a private, very pet-friendly neighborhood of 69 homes, and he's the neighborhood mascot. More people know his name than know mine.
  11. Want to thank TravelCat and UUNetBill for the input and advice. We're not really "club scene" folks anymore, although with enough bourbon I can convince myself that my freestyle dance moves are almost legendary (not necessarily in a good way). We do enjoy most of the big production shows, but also smaller venues with a pianist, a classical music trio, a comedian, etc. We've booked many excursions, both ship provided and private, but have usually avoided those that started too early (like 8 a.m.). Still, from the information provided, it does seem that Regent is more active than Silversea, our lone luxury line experience (note to UUNetBill...on that cruise we did enjoy the company of some outgoing Australians; also, with the exception of Ephesus, in our experience the only thing you missed in Kusadasi was rug salesmen). I agree with TravelCat about a good TA. The one I usually use--a large online agency that provides major add-on perks--didn't seem to have much to offer when queried about moving to luxury lines. Also receive a magazine called Virtuoso Traveler but after an initial contact and response with the TA who sends it (based on some purchased mailing list, I'm sure), I never heard from her again. Maybe I'll contact Regent directly knowing I can move a reservation to a TA for added perks later. And I'll also look at Crystal, thanks to the suggestion by Camillus112. Oh, and I think I figured out how to post a photo. Here's my best bud, taken during a freak snowstorm in Alabama. Used this shot for our Christmas card. When we travel he's with our house sitter, but we still can't stand more than 12 days away.
  12. Mark, enjoyed your enthusiastic review and wondering what other cruise lines you've used? We've never tried Regent but are considering it. We've been on most major lines (not Carnival) and some that no longer exist. The closest we've come to Regent is a Silversea med cruise 10 years ago and we had conflicting feelings about it. Great accommodations, staff and service; good (not great) food; our biggest issue was being bored onboard. Enjoyed the ports and excursions, but on the ship the choices of bars, entertainment and activities were limited to say the least. For us that made for some less than stellar evenings while cruising to the next port of call. We're older now, retired, but active. In recent years we've cruised with Celebrity in suites, which gives us the activity choices of a big ship and a certain level of "luxury" with great accommodations, and a bar, gourmet restaurant and full-service sundeck only available to suite guests. But Celebrity's pricing continues to climb and when we look at another med cruise, and add the cost of Business Class air, we're now on an even par with Regent (as well as other luxury lines). As UUNetBill noted, at this level of investment one tends to go with what they know. Can you, or anyone else on this thread, give us an idea of the onboard life that Regent offers? I've searched for dailies (a great way to view onboard activities) but haven't found them. Thanks, and if I knew how to post pictures here I'd post one of our Golden Retriever who ensures we never stray from home for too long.
  13. The "retreat" areas of X ships are just the latest wrinkle in amenities for suite guests. The provision of those amenities has, indeed, been an ongoing topic of CC debate, led only by "dress code" and "smokers". Of course, Celebrity is not the only major cruise line to provide some additional level of service to those willing to pay for it: RCL and Princess offer special dining options; NCL and MSC have the "ship-within-a-ship" concept allowing for total separation. IMO it's about attracting cruisers who find the smaller ship luxury lines (Silversea, Regent, Oceania, etc.) lacking in onboard entertainment and activities. We enjoy X suites and the amenities they offer, namely more space, dining in Luminae, and Michael's Club...now renamed the Retreat Lounge. And we'll soon try the Retreat Deck on Summit. Celebrity's pricing of suites continues to climb as amenities are added and in any number of instances, we could switch to a luxury line with little if any impact on cost. But reading the "dailies" of those lines shows an absence of onboard activities, and for us that's part of the fun of cruising. We enjoy multiple bar options, large production shows and other venues not available on smaller luxury ships. If you do peruse the many threads about suite amenities and guests, you'll find references to "second-class passengers", "steerage" and such, from those who feel Celebrity is creating a tiered passenger system. But suite amenities do not diminish the quality of the non-suite passenger experience and are available to anyone who is willing to pay for them. We know couples who cruise several times a year and occasionally splurge on a veranda. We tend to cruise once a year and splurge on a suite. Our annual cruise budgets are probably about equal. It's all about personal preference and perceived value.
  14. Yes, you were lucky in the past. We, too, were same-day fliers for years, always arriving to the cruise ship with hours to spare. Then a thunderstorm in Dallas while enroute to Vancouver for an Alaska cruise left us grounded with no way to reach the ship before it sailed. In all fairness, ChoiceAir tried to make arrangements for us to board the ship in Juneau, but there are maritime laws preventing that (Jones Act? Passenger Vessel Services Act?). We found a hotel room in Dallas and flew home the next day while our packed luggage enjoyed a week-long international tour...but that's another story. Luckily our travel insurance (not through the cruise line) covered everything and we learned the two valuable lessons: always have good insurance, and always arrive at least a day early.
  15. We think Luminae is outstanding...so much so that we've given up specialty restaurants in order to enjoy it. I'm not sure I would classify our pallets as epicurean, but our meals in Luminae have always been very good and, at times, almost memorable. In our experience we've found the service on Summit to be better and a bit more personalized than on Solstice or Equinox (S Class). The size of the restaurant is scaled to the number of suites on the ship and we've never waited more than a few minutes for a table. We're hoping that remains true for our Summit cruise in February, when we'll have the new Retreat Deck to enjoy as well.
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