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Everything posted by jenidallas

  1. If this is true, it’s contrary to the policy Seabourn has been putting out to TAs about how these cases would be handled with refunds/allowances, passenger quarantine coordination, and travel changes. I hope that it’s just rumors because it would be disturbing to think that Seabourn would just dump positive passengers at the next port.
  2. We are also in Fort Worth and use a cruise-focused (but not cruise exclusive) Virtuoso agency that does a high volume of business with Seabourn (as designated by Seabourn’s own agency sales levels). I like having someone who is a neutral party who can go to bat for me should anything go sideways (it rarely does) and she’s also able to book for me on other lines, luxury or otherwise, as well. I like being able to use her to book excursions independently of the cruise line (I’ve had a couple amazing ones that the cruise line could not have arranged for the same value), hotels and transfers not directly related to the cruise (pre/post journeys), off us options on travel insurance, and generally be a good sounding board. We’ve had lunch to discuss future cruising plans so she can keep me on her radar for things she’ll think I’ll interested in (which at various time in my life has been solo cruising, cruising with girlfriends, cruising with my mother, and cruising with my husband) and I like having someone who knows all my travel experiences and dreams outside of just one cruise line.
  3. Seabourn’s hairdryers are better than those I’ve I’ve used on other lines. They are not wall-mounted so you can use them anywhere in the room and they are a high enough wattage not to overheat on long hair. They’ve always had a concentrator attachment available which can be removed.
  4. We had 912 on Odyssey on the 2018 westbound transatlantic crossing. It was very quiet. There were occasional comings and goings from the officers on the bridge and any family staying in those offices cabins, but they were incredibly quiet. We loved that location and would take it again in a heartbeat. I did not notice issues with the internet. The only warning I’d issue is that the bridge has a view of the edge of your veranda should someone be on the fisheye side of the bridge!
  5. I’ve been on for Halloween twice. Costumes don’t generally appear until the evening party after dinner, but if you wanted to wear a costume you would not be alone as a few passengers dress up as do many crew. But if you don’t dress up you’ll be fine too.
  6. When did they make that switch?
  7. I read a couple synopses from the recent RCCL shareholder call and they said something to the effect that most of their ships operate at a break even at 50%-ish capacity and that newer build ships have efficiencies that allow trek to be profitable well below that. I’d imagine it is similar for CCL/NCL brands. They had to keep these ships at least minimally staffed and running throughout the pandemic and still have vendor contracts to fulfill/maintain… so there is probably a surprisingly low passenger margin required. Add to that the liability of carrying all of these future passenger credits on the balance sheet - it makes sense to aloe passengers to redeem those on sailings that are priced higher than usual. It gets those off the books, it helps fulfill contracts, and it offers lots of controlled PR opportunities (lots of journalists, bloggers, social media influencers getting hosted not to mention the usual quiet TA and friends/family) to allow the public to see that everyone is “normal”. The short game is about getting back to a net neutral. My hot take… we will continue to see the lines subsidize these soft openings because they need the positive momentum going into Wave Season… that’s what will shore up the big comeback in 2022 and 2023. This is a long game at this point.
  8. Wow, today’s Herald seems awfully sleepy for a sea day… a cooking demo and team trivia - that’s it? Or, and some spa/shopping shill lectures plus the daily afternoon tea dressed up for the occasion.
  9. I wish Seabourn would make it easy for browsing future guests to see the details of available shore excursions without having to book a suite to do so. We cancelled our 21-night Barbados holiday RT when it was announced last month that only bubble shore excursions would be allowed in the Caribbean for the first phase of sailings. Knowing that we had little interest in most of the offered excursions, we cancelled proactively so we would still have time to find another reasonable option. The prices on some of these sailings are already up 25%+ over what we’ve paid on prior years and when we added on the cost of shore excursions for 2 in the ports (and not the 2 hour bus to the rum factory and back at 8:30 am ones), that was another 15-20%. On top of that, we have to think about testing plus extra nights in hotels to ensure we can depart smoothly, and the growing risk of being turned away due to asymptotic infection despite being vaccinated. I keep watching for ways for Seabourn to make this easier to plan for but they seem to come up short compared to their peers. We booked Silver Moon for 15 nights RT from Hong Kong to Singapore instead. Now do I reasonably think Asia will return for cruising by December? I do not! But if it does and it’s in a bubble, we were at least able to find something where we’d be willing to take the offered onboard excursions if required. Better yet, we were able to get enough of a sense of other options that we feel we could be very flexible with a change of region or a future rebooking when this one likely changes to a new region. I’ve generally been a Seabourn cheerleader over the years, but the lack of proactive communication has been frustrating. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for a wee bit of over-communication about things like available shore excursions and adjustment plans, not just for booked passengers. It’s not like any of the current scenario wasn’t something that could be planned for. I’m not willing to hand out free passes for being caught flat-footed at this point.
  10. We use a great agency out of Fort Worth that is almost exclusively cruises. A bit of etcetera. If only I could name them. 😉
  11. We typically get either a special shore excursion (which have often been nicer and more unique from anything Seabourn has on offer for that particular port) or a $150/pp extra onboard credit. My agent also usually gives us onboard credit on top of that. Sometimes Virtuoso will have an onboard host and they will then throw a cocktail party. We’ve loved some of the hosts and enjoyed meals or onboard activities with them. But we’ve also had hosts we despised who have Virtuoso a black eye with their attitude/behavior. I like my agent a lot - her being with Virtuoso (and a Seabourn preferred agency) is just a bonus.
  12. We’ve received these upsell offers onset of our Seabourn sailings, always passed onto us by our Virtuoso agent. Interestingly the only times I have not received one of these offers have been when I booked with someone other than her.
  13. These are great perspectives and I appreciate the experiences of so many of my trusted fellow Seabourn passengers. in addition to the S.A.L.T. Program, we are also interested in the longer post times and multiple overnights on the holiday sailing we are eyeing… if we do have to stay in a bubble, we liked that they had afternoon and evening tour options. As a lap swimming and track walker, Silversea seems to have better options for working off the extra calories from what looks to be intriguing cuisine. From what I can tell, the casino looks slightly larger and I recall past comparisons suggesting that there is more dancing onboard. We tend to not be very late night folks (despite being relative youngsters) but I like the concept of the later evening club/small plates concept. I’m curious how other activities compare… we usually play trivia and are often found in Seabourn Square working on the jigsaw puzzle, in the card room playing a game, or curled up somewhere on the ship reading a book or working the daily crossword. I tend to gravitate toward the afternoon tea and stitching, while my husband checks out the putting green. Does Silver Moon/Muse offer any of those activities.
  14. Reading about S.A.L.T. has gotten us interested enough to think we will probably sail on Silver Moon instead of a Seabourn ship this year. We are foodies who love to talk cooking classes, both at home and while traveling, and try to seek out epicurean tours abroad.
  15. Someone is onboard in the group I’m on so hopefully there will be more updates. But yeah, with 120 it’s going to be quieter! 120 passengers sounds like my idea of bliss, but I too worry about the timeline for a return to normal. I’m presently sitting in an ER in Fort Worth waiting on labs (not due to Covid… just my ongoing bacterial infections) and they are at overflow capacity because the hospital has no free beds. DFW hasn’t even seen the peak of Delta cases that other parts of the south are now getting, Arkansas and Missouri being hardest hit. We cancelled our 21-night for the holidays and I’m unlikely to recommit until we have a better line of sight to what this resurgence might mean. I’m not willing to end up somewhere only to test positive and be denied boarding - and I’m not okay with being limited to ship only tours on a sailing that long.
  16. Hopefully when that report is live, someone will share it. There are a number of us who were summarily banned from the one Facebook group for various reasons, hence the reason the other group exists.
  17. We’ve got five weeks until penalty kicks in, but also have to think about the logistics of the alternate plans… getting airfare (especially hunting for scare awards around the holidays), blocking time off on work calendars (if we don’t do this sailing, I’ll spread the 3.5 weeks away for this one across multiple future trips instead), and just the peace of mind of having clarity for future plans (as much as anyone can during the next phase of a global pandemic). Seabourn policies and changing island rules are also admittedly not my only factors. I want to cruise badly but also weighing alternatives with other types of trips.
  18. I’m firmly in your camp and we’ve been actively discussing this topic in our house this week. We booked the 21-night holiday sailing (which is a a 10-night and 11-night Barbados RT back-to-back) and I’m not thrilled with the possibility of being stuck with only ship excursions for 21 nights. We are seriously contemplating pulling the plug now and instead doing something less risky with the time and funds. As much as I miss cruising and Seabourn, I don’t miss it *that* much! 🤪
  19. Thank goodness… otherwise we would have been cancelling our 21 nights at the holiday. We are still watching the situation closely and I’m concerned about another post I just read that only ship excursions are allowed, which is hopefully not accurate as we don’t generally do excursions in the Caribbean.
  20. I was going to say “that’s easy… there is no Retreat on the Odyssey class ships” because that was always the Sun Terrace or something like that and it was free. But then I looked at the deck plans and see that it’s now labeled The Retreat on the Odyssey deck plans online, so it makes me wonder if someone at corporate has decided to monetize that space on the older ships. 😳
  21. Hopefully one of our sailors onboard for Greece can confirm whether it’s still the same service or if it was upgraded over the past 16 months. I had understood that Seabourn had already planned to upgrade onboard internet capabilities prior to the pandemic so my hope is that this is something they took the time to do while the ships were passenger-free. Certainly if they are rolling out and encouraging mobile app use plus offering everyone free internet then they’ve done this, but I’ve leaned never to assume!
  22. Yes for the 7 day Caribbean itineraries. I’ve looked at these and St Kitts will be that day each week. It’s generally one per itinerary, not per week so if you are doing a back-to-back then you’d have one for each segment.
  23. On the smaller Odyssey class ships the venue hours were typically 7-9 (with TK opening a bit earlier). On the larger Encore ships, a couple of the restaurants opened slightly earlier but you should still expect to dine between 6:30-9. They have a long rotation of menus… I’ve been on for 16 nights with no repeating menus in the dining room although a popular dish might be sprinkled in more than once. There is lord repetition on the Patio Grill lunch menus and the TK menu doesn’t change with the exception of daily specials.
  24. I agree with all of that. And as the virus lingers into future years, we will see more reasonable policies around how we deal with individuals who test positive. For now though, if testing positive (vaccinated or not) means getting offloaded from a ship mid-journey, being unable to fly home and this bearing the burden of extra time/expense to quarantine in another country until negative, and being stuck in isolation protocol if contact traced, then I’m going to want every extra step possible to ensure that mitigation is in place to decrease my chances of that happening. And I am still of the belief that the same people who refuse to get vaccinated are also the ones that play fast and loose with other precautions, or at least that’s what my direct sample here in Texas has consistently shown (anti-vax = anti-mask = anti social distancing). As I said earlier, we are watching the next few weeks to see how these things are handled knowing they could be an indicator of what to expect in the coming months. I have my own health battles to fight in the meantime and my doctors may say “heck no” for me to cruising or traveling to countries without robust infrastructure this year even at 100% vaccination rates. And if that’s the case then we may be rolling our deposits forward and planning for something spectacular once more of the uncertainties are smoothed out.
  25. But I can choose what I want to do in a port, whether I want to be around others, and if I want to wear a mask. I don’t feel like I should have to have as high of a degree of risk surveillance onboard. You seem intent on trying to convince me I’m wrong to want to sail on a less than 100% vaccinated ship. And the bottom line is I just don’t want to have extra unnecessary things to fret about on vacation. We all get to pick our personal level of risk tolerance and what experience we want to invest in. Mine doesn’t involve worrying about unvaccinated people being in continuous close proximity to me for 21 days. This is why we didn’t book a summer or fall cruise where we’d be part of the experimental group.
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