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Able Seaman H

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About Able Seaman H

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Near London & South Coast Solent area
  • Interests
    Commercially endorsed Yachtmaster, enjoy travel particularly to Asia.

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  1. Saw her coming into Portsmouth yesterday. Only had my phone on me so please forgive the poor images. I didn’t recognise her so had to let Google be my friend, turns out she was finished early so they are doing a few short cruises based around the UK. looks like 400 PAX for Antarctic expeditions, around 440 PAX for regular cruises. Anyway, something a bit different coming into the harbour.
  2. It's as though you've been inside my mind as I plan our trips 😁 I pretty much ignore cruises which start or finish in more obscure ports not served by a choice of airlines. If you travel economy and are happy to book through Seabourn then all is well, but I find their business class fares very expensive. We probably have an upper limit of £3,000 per person and like to be around £2,500 for the air element. As people are discovering places like Barbados come in at closer to £6,000 per person. When you're booking 3 seats that makes a big dent. Somewhere like Miami is easy. On a good day we can get Vigin upper class on miles but that needs military prescision. I've actually got the end of this year covered in and out of Hong Kong returning early Jan. Connecting flights to both Singapore and Thailand are easy and sensible so we have options but the Seabourn fare is a bit punchy so Thailand looks favourite but lets see how the next few months pan out...... I suspect we may see some flexibility as ships strive to re-establish the market !
  3. When all’s said and done it’s Carnival’s toy and not for me to tell them how to use it. If they’ve got any sense they would keep an eye out on here. It’s not the most active forum on the web so doesn’t require a massive amount of resource. I’m afraid I don’t have huge faith in the shore side team. We’ve had a few heated words over third person fare implementation and whilst eventually they see sense it’s like drawing teeth. Ship side, a totally different story and you can have really constructive time with senior officers and crew who are for the most really switched on particularly when you praise as well as discuss less optimal experiences. Industry wide non alcoholic drinks are a huge growth as is avoiding waste, environmental considerations and healthy eating. The days of swimming in champagne whilst feasting on the midnight buffet are numbered. Remember when people used to smoke cigars whilst relaxing in a bar or lounge...... Henry
  4. I find it interesting reading people's thoughts on Seedlip. I have their Grove 42, Spice 94 and Garden 108 at home which I pair with different Fever Tree tonic waters, usually Aromatic and Cucumber. They each have a unique flavour, it's subtle as with different Gins rather than a cordial type mixer which is sickly and powerful. The result is a delicate and refreshing drink served on ice which happens to be low calorie and of course alcohol free. I'm convinced much of the resistance to Seedlip stems from the lack of alcohol. We live in a society which revolves around booze and normally balanced adults have an almost childlike obsession with the stuff. Ultimately you guys do what you want and I'll gladly join you in the bars for sparkling conversation but I don't drink alcohol. So with that in mind I seek out something other than Diet Coke or acidic fruit juices and Seedlip fits the bill perfectly. Why is it a rip off any more than a bottle of gin is? It's produced on a far smaller scale than your favourite gin, still distilled, and removing alcohol without impairing subtle flavours is quite a difficult process to master with several patents and very expensive hardware to invest in. imagine you don't drink booze. A vast swathe of Seabourn's reason d'etre has just been stripped away. No bottles of champagne, no deciding which spirit to have in the mini bar, no drinks in the Sky Bar or Observation pre-dinner cocktails. No wine pairing at dinner and no relaxing with a nice Brandy or Cognac. if Seabourn have been swayed by alcohol drinking experts commenting on a product designed for tee totallers then that's a shame. I wonder if they do the same with their vegetarian or specialist foods, "nah, not as good as pork chops and some crackling". Well some people don't eat pork my friend..... i pay between £20 and just under £30 for a bottle of Seedlip and I pay a premium for the Fever Tree tonics. So the added value to me of having them on board would be quantifiable. One hopes that the mighty Carnival buying team will be able to negotiate hard but I will value each drink as I would do in a venue on land and yes, ever more forward thinking venues are choosing to get on board. I could ask head office to get it on board when we next cruise but I'm afraid I don't have a lot of faith in head office. The ship's crew work miracles, head office don't. Our next cruise isn't with Seabourn. We've decided to spread our wings a little. The price tag for 3 passengers just tipped over the line when balanced against that lack of opportunity in the bars. A bit like the the people posting on here asking if their favourite brand is carried. Would Seedlip and some Fever Tree really make a difference when pulling a £20k trigger? Yes, I think it just might..... Henry
  5. Seedlip and a good tonic like Fever tree would be be a very welcome addition. I have a bottle of Spice 94 on the go at present. A "grown up" alcohol free drink. Henry 🙂
  6. The TK Rib Eye is, for me one of the finest steaks in the world. It presents more like a fillet than a traditional Rib Eye due to the butchering process which is somewhat luxurious, they keep the good bit and discard the less premium elements. You almost have to view the TK Rib Eye as a separate cut all on its own. Henry
  7. On mainstream lines like Royal Caribbean a cruise critic gathering is almost always organised. Play your cards right and you come away with a key ring !!! But I've never come across such a gathering on Seabourn unless organised via the Roll Call. To publish it in the Herald is a great idea. The number of times people on here have retrospectively said they were on the same cruise as us. Henry 🙂
  8. How interesting. A $40 checked shirt with a $30 polo shirt sewn on the back in such a way that you can pretend to be superman with your own cape as you walk around. I don't think people would make fun of you at all either on the ship or elsewhere. Crack on and get that money spent. You're going to make a shop keeper somewhere very happy. 😂 Just before you press the buy button take advice from an English gentleman and Google "Thomas Pink" of Jermyn Street, London. A great starting point when developing an adult wardrobe.....
  9. To this day they still talk about it. Like meeting royalty they say..... H. 😂
  10. By that time it will be too late and the price will have gone up. just be careful. I'm always a bit sceptical when people discuss suite availability on here. The only people who really know are Seabourn themselves. Unallocated OB bookings (of which there are lots) could well muddy the waters. I'm also not sure Seabourn reduce fares until the ship sails full. They need to maintain a base price and encourage people to book early. They would rather sail with fewer people paying more money. Ultimately there comes a point you don't see per day prices drop below and that cruise you're looking at is pretty much there. Book through a good travel agent and you'll get some discount on Seabourn's web pricing. If you have a future cruise voucher you also enjoy a bit of discount as well. Henry
  11. We were looking at the Dec 2nd cruise on Ovation. It was £3,600 (GBP) then went up to £4,300 on the SB website when I called to book so we didn't. The longer cruise which incorporates Christmas and the New Year has remained at £9,995. Basically they've removed OB and you have to book a V1 now at £700 more per person. The cruise being discussed is still listed at £3,800 with the longer cruise that incorporates Christmas / New Year £10,495. Per day the pre-Christmas cruises are good value for a number of reasons. Lots of sea days, time of year etc. The Christmas cruise on Ovation last year went crazy, it was more expensive than Antarctica !!! What will happen with the OP's cruise is the fare will go up to £4,495 as a V1 booking but you will get an upgrade to V4 and $250 on board credit. In my humble opinion. Either way if I was looking at it I would press the button at £3,800 and take a punt on the OB allocation. Worst ways use the £700 extra you'll have to pay if you leave it too long before booking to upgrade your OB allocation - but I suspect you'll get a decent enough cabin anyway. Henry
  12. We did this in the Caribbean when some friends were unexpectedly in the same port on another (far inferior 🙂 ) ship. The square and the bridge were fantastic in sorting things out, our friends emailed over passport details and we greeted them at the gang plank. I will say it is totally at the discretion of the bridge and the security team so please don't get upset if you find it impossible to arrange. Different ports pose different security risks and have different regulations. For us it was more than whether lobster was available in the restaurant or not. We enjoyed meeting up in a relaxed environment and showing them round a Seabourn ship. They were equally curious. As it happens when we were enjoying lunch in the Colonnade a small gathering of staff suddenly appeared and champagne was served unexpectedly. One of those little Seabourn moments. It did feel like we were hosting them on our private yacht ! We spent a pleasant time together before wandering round the port on foot. Henry
  13. I would suggest you get that cruise booked now. It's excellent value and traditionally a cheap cruise with people gearing up to Christmas and the new year. We had been looking at the equivalent cruise on Ovation and went to book it yesterday only to find the price had gone up from £3,600 to £4,300. It is no longer showing in the "suite deals" heading and I suspect is pricing as a V1 rather than an OB. The reality is it means you get a guaranteed V4 rather than an OB for the extra £700 / pax but I would rather have just gone OB and paid £1,400 less ! Your cruise is still listing as £3,800 but I can see it going up to around £4,500 at some point following the sister cruise on Ovation. Once increased it is unlikely to fall again. Our experience of the Christmas / New Year cruises last year was that they went mental the closer we got to sailing, hence we didn't cruise on Seabourn. In your case I would get it booked. If there's is significant price drop (which there won't be) then haggle for a bit of OBC or a cabin upgrade. You have been warned...... Henry :)
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