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adoctor

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  1. You know the one,the fat cream and brown booklet containing top line cruise info,facts about ports and the available excursions. Apparently from now on everything will be on line. This is a shame as in my view it was part of the Seabourn experience. I am sure a few cents per passenger will be saved and a it probably ticks the "green" box but short sighted IMHO.
  2. Seabourn usually dock in the centre of Saigon(as the locals call it).About two blocks from the city centre.Bigger ships have to use the Container port.A shuttle bus is provided. Be sure to be up early for the sail in up the Saigon River. There is so much going on.In my view this is one of the top sail ins /out on any Seabourn itinerary. In Danang its the container port. Bus available but here you should do a trip to Hoi An. In Halong Bay the views are spectacular and if the fog clears it should be stunning. We have never done the bus trip to Hanoi as its a very long way with more time on the bus than in the city. Its a great trip overall and you will enjoy. Only down side is that the South China Sea can be a rough.
  3. Re discussion on the Catamaran. Please be aware that this vessel is not a sailing vessel as the name might imply.(In English English anyway).It is a twin hulled motor vessel designed to accommodate up to about 60 people and has an open top deck with an enclosed lower level. Initially I was dismayed as I had been anticipating a more select craft rather than a tourist boat. Nevertheless our trip in Misty Fjords was good with sightings or Orca,bears and many eagles. In Endicott arm we took the Zodiacs. Amazing experience!
  4. Cruise #2 1 May is a better time of year.Everything will be fresh and green, weather should be good. Not too busy ashore. 2 October is too risky on the weather front.Of course you could be lucky but the region is prone to wind and rain at this time of the year. 3 The ports are more interesting.Dubrovnik,Rhodes, Santorini are world class and will not be too busy in May. 4 On itinerary #1 Kotor is stunning but Cittavecchia is a fair distance from Rome.In my view the city of Naples is best avoided! Happy sailing.
  5. We have to remember that in this global digital age there is far greater transparency in pricing and terms and conditions. The onus is on Seabourn to manage this.If they are dumping inventory their loyal customers will come to know.If prices are significantly lower in the USA than other markets their customers will come to know.If customers in the USA can cancel a booking without penalty and those in the UK lose their deposits then this will become known. It is also worth remembering that sellers "train" their buyers.If you know that a product is regularly on special offer or sale in the store then you will come to know this and wait for the deal.(see the thread on this board about the right time to buy) It is for these reasons that Seabourn need to be very careful. This a luxury brand. The mass market pricing models have no place when marketing a luxury product. I have no quarrel with the agent who can turn a buck on these cabins or with a consumer who gets a great deal.My beef is with Seabourn and the risk of lower standards to compensate for lower revenue per suite. My simple rules for Seabourn: 1 Luxury brands need a scarcity value.Capacity planning is a vital skill. 2 Occupancy measurements have no place here. 3 Customer satisfaction and repeat bookings are your key measures. 4 Avoid short term discounting. It will just upset your loyalist who will find out.If you want to lower prices to attract a new demographic then fine but do it for all your customers. 5 If you deliver high standard you will create loyalty and delight your customers.They will be more than happy to pay the premium price and Seabourn will make higher returns as a result.Joining the downward spiral of discounting will have the opposite result. Alaska here I come.Hope standards meet expectations!
  6. In answer to the original question; are you worried etc my answer is an emphatic YES. If the revenue per suite is reduced due to discounting this will inevitably lead to lower standards and reduced quality.Seabourn are under pressure from Holland America and ultimate parent Carnival to deliver their short term profits and this tactic may work but it will damage the Brand positioning. There is already some evidence of lower standards since Seabourn became part of the HAL division of Carnival. Marketing a luxury brand requires a different set of strategies than this rather simplistic t and ,in my view, dangerous approach. There is real value in the Seabourn brand but this short term thinking runs the risk of turning it into a commodity.
  7. Yes I also abandoned Silversea after two really bad experiences .Apart from the ageing ships (Silver Shadow was in a dreadful state about 5 years ago) it was the management style(arrogant and lacking customer focus) that really hacked me off. If the new ownership have actually started to listen to their customers and pruned some of the dead wood I would consider them again.
  8. I am amazed that Seabourn would serve up this stuff.I hope this posting is brought to the attention of the folk in Seattle who should be embarrassed and ashamed. I am usually pretty happy with the food on board but increasingly they are using software to source and menu plan leaving little flexibility for the chef's on board. Shopping with the chef whilst fun is now just a market tour rather than being part of the ship's sourcing regime. After sailing on a Montreal Boston cruise I enquired why Lobster had not been served given its low cost and abundance in the region. I was told that they had frozen Lobster tails on board but decided not to serve it during the cruise as it compared so unfavourably with the local product. Next up we are in Alaska.Will there be locally sourced Salmon and Spider crab? I think I have already answered my own question!
  9. $$$$ plus all the other services.
  10. Chef on Odyssey is Lindsay. A South African guy! A good chef who will always chat if you are interested. Apart from a truly awful Thai night in the Colonade("if you cant do it well don't do it") the food on our recent Athens-Athens was splendid.TK roast chicken top notch.
  11. Valley wing at Shangri-La. Will get you in the mood for Ovation.The inclusive drinks package(including champagne) is very good.
  12. Three years ago Seabourn also offered a coach transfer to a hotel/resort with beach facilities. If you go ashore on your own there is little or no infrastructure and not much to see if you go for a walk. The trip to the remains was not offered when we visited. I also avoid Zoo's. Not really sure why Seabourn continue with this port.
  13. We always opt for shared tables on Seabourn and have met great, interesting people.It doesn't always gel but you can usually find some stimulating topics. Some that stay in the mind (as they didn't go so well) 1 Shared a table with two American couples two lawyers from Oregon and a business owner and his wife from Texas.They wanted to debate Trump.After 20 minutes I needed to change the subject (As a Brit I even tried Brexit!).No success, when it looked like it was going to move onto personal abuse I used stern words.(My wife would not leave the table as she wanted the soufflé).That worked briefly but then the conversation died but not the acrid glances. 2 Dined with an Aussie couple and a couple from Switzerland.Started well, Aussies good fun but then the Swiss started to express extreme views(IMHO) on immigration,low cost airlines(had allowed poor folk to overcrowd airports) and even sexual preferences. On this occasion we adjourned with the Aussies to the Observation bar and my wife had to miss the obligatory soufflé!
  14. Stay in Nice- Agreed. Consider one way car rental from Nice airport to Monte Carlo.We used Avis. Cab from Avis drop off in MC to ship
  15. I have not sailed Silversea for a while after two bad cruises. The Silver Shadow was in poor condition and no longer offered a luxury experience and the management ethos was not to my liking.(The first response to my issue was that it was my problem so tough and when evidence showed it was a Silversea mistake not even an apology was forthcoming.) So I moved to Seabourn and have had a very positive experience to date. So I think this change of ownership will be a good thing and overtime I will consider retrying the line. This global consolidation is happening in many markets and should free up Capex to allow the Silversea fleet to match the new standards being set by Seabourn and Regent.
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