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Everything posted by Gilly

  1. Me too - I'm all for sharing someone else's adventures right now, especially when they are going somewhere that's beyond possibility for me at the moment! I'm ready for the off too 😎
  2. According to the BBC it's confirmed that fully vaccinated travellers from the EU and the US will not need to quarantine from 4am Monday. (Applies to England only) @flossie009 perhaps you had a point about Regent's timing.
  3. The last time we flew to Bilbao, four or five years ago, we flew BA from Heathrow @charltonkerry (As we're not on this cruise, I should add that really, I have no idea!) Fingers crossed that by December, things will be a little more settled, @flossie009 Coincidentally, in todays Times newspaper, there's a report about allowing fully vaccinated US citizens into the Uk without quarantine. No quarantine for Americans who enter the UK with a vaccine card | News | The Times - sorry, there's a paywall to access the full article.
  4. I agree. Flossie, were you booked on this cruise? If so, are you going to go with the revised itinerary and put up with the quarantine? We came so close to booking the Sept 9th departure, since we have friends who'd be on board and right now, didn't want all the parlarver of an international cruise. Only when checking our diaries did we realise we couldn't make it...perhaps it was just as well. Oh dear. Just when we thought we could see the light at the end of the tunnel 😥
  5. Please see @flossie009 's reply above. So much easier to have an email pdf of all excursions sent instantly to your inbox.
  6. We usually make the advance reservations as permitted and then "go with the flow" once on board. Perhaps we'll meet someone for dinner and stop by one of the speciality restaurants to see if there's a table? Or call the reservations on a whim that morning and see what's what? The first few cruises we took on a Regent ship, we were quite careful to plan and to organise. Nowadays, less so! We know that whatever happens, whether we dine in a speciality restaurant or in Compass Rose, dinner will be fabulous!
  7. I like your approach! We have a few cruises in the bag as well - a North Cape one on Explorer, a round trip Tokyo and a western Med. But we have to be patient for now and wait till things are more settled. We just cancelled a week with family in Sicily for early July - too many tests and uncertainties to go ahead with that - but plan a week and a bit heading north to Scotland in August on a UK road trip, which I'm telling myself will be just like the Oregon Trail! Checking off North Dakota will have to wait another year...
  8. Jennifer, oh my word, I'd have thought you'd have had enough of my wittering!! I'm sorry, I didn't spot that you were the OP asking the question... How much are we all looking forward to having some new adventures to blog about, eh?!
  9. I blogged both of our Panama Canal trips too, Miami to Lima starts here Life on the ocean wave — An Elegant Sufficiency and LA to Miami begins here Adventure Part Two — An Elegant Sufficiency click through the following posts to get to the canal bit 🙂
  10. We've tried. We are UK citizens, living in England and do not have a US$ bank account. The terms and conditions under which we book a cruise are completely different from those offered in the USA. For that reason alone, bookings have to be made with Regent UK, either through a travel agent or directly with the office in Southampton. Yes, we can make other travel arrangements directly, but a Regent cruise and all the associated flights and transfers are classed and sold as a "package" and this has to be bought in the UK. I'm no expert here and this is my understanding - @flossie009 please correct me if I'm mistaken.
  11. We also book directly with Regent UK, having experienced consistently first class service from day one.
  12. I'll just put my hand up here and say that the process is very different for non-Americans. For example, travel agents operate in a completely different way in the UK, where most are owned/affiliated to the large travel companies and there are very few independents remaining.
  13. @SWFLAOK strangely, the Landmark hotel used to be the Regent Hotel some years ago! (That same script font, too and one of several Regent Hotels worldwide that might or might not have had a connection with the Regent we know and love - I never did quite get the answer to that puzzle) It's a nice hotel on Marylebone Road, not too far from the action. We've stayed there a few times and though that's not been in recent years, I can't imagine it's changed a great deal.
  14. If you don't particularly wish to spend time in London, then there are some beautiful hotels in the New Forest and nearby, from where it's a short drive to Southampton and the ship. Take a look at the Four Seasons Hampshire, at Limewood and The Pig in the Forest, for example, for comfortable places to enjoy a little green space before you embark on the big blue. All are within easy reach of Windsor, Highclere (Downton Abbey) and Stonehenge too.
  15. The lack of hyperbole and all round understatement was, I think, what painted an accurate picture of the service we know and love. No flashiness, just a solid, professional all round approach from everyone involved. It really made both of us long for the happy times on board to resume. Who knows when? It will be worth waiting for, though.
  16. Oh, you and me both @flossie009! Hope you can catch the programme. I think it's the sort of thing which will keep popping up here and there for quite some time, though probably under the radar mostly. I was grateful to the person who highlighted it so we could record it, because it's not a channel we would usually scan.
  17. I'm not sure - I'm in the UK and it was shown on one of our Freeview channels. Perhaps an internet search would offer the answer - a quick search here suggests maybe the Smithsonian channel? I hope you find it and can enjoy reliving your cruise - we enjoyed it very much!
  18. Thanks to a kind tip off on FB yesterday, we managed to record programme 1 in Series 4 of Mighty Cruise Ships on Quest/Discovery+ channel last evening. Having just watched it, both dh and I are having serious cruise withdrawal symptoms and really really wish we had a cruise to look forward to in the New Year. I recognised few of the staff on board and think it was filmed on board Explorer last year, between San Antonio, Chile and Punta Arenas, Costa Rica. Worth watching if you can get it on catch up here in the UK or if you happen to be able to track it down elsewhere in the world. Unlike other programmes in similar vein, this was a well balanced insight to the workings of the ship and though there was reference to the Regent Suite, it did not focus on the "luxury" aspects and the price of everything. For me, that alone made it a winner 👍
  19. Indeed, which makes me even more inclined to simply accept what has been added and not give it any more thought!
  20. That was my initial guess, @Pcardad but the extra nights added to our account seem to tally more closely with the 34 night WC segment than with the 19 night North Atlantic cruise that was cancelled in July. I hadn't made a note of the exact number of nights we had before we noticed that the extras had been added, which only adds to the confusion, though as we moved into the next tier during our last cruise, I have a pretty good idea. I was under the impression that we were more likely to be rewarded with extra nights for the July cruise than for the January one too. Why does something that seems so clear and straightforward turn out to be so vague and confusing!? (no answer expected!) I also understood that our accounts were not credited until the dates we would have sailed - ie. the WC cruise segment wouldn't appear until the date when we disembarked. Maybe the answer is to simply say "thank you" for the generous addition to our SSS account and not to think too much about it.
  21. It would be remarkably helpful if there was some kind of statement issued along with the credit, to clarify their calculations. Our SSS credits have increased in the last week, but it's unclear which cancelled cruise the credit refers to. At this point, I believe it's for Lima-Auckland 2021, a leg of the WC, which was cancelled recently. However, we also had a cruise cancelled in July 2020 for which we accepted FCC and those nights don't seem to have been added - yet? A bit like calculating a cruise fare, there seems to be some smoke and mirrors involved in the process.
  22. We book direct with Regent and facing a similar situation recently, we spoke to the UK office in Southampton who were most helpful and advised that, at that time Regent were not chasing payments and that we should hold off making that final payment until they got back to us, which they did, some 48 hours later. Sadly, that was with news of the cancellation, but the impression we had was one of flexibility and of understanding our situation. II see no reason whatsoever to work through a third party - the more so having read your story @swansong. I hope you are able to resolve your situation sooner rather than later.
  23. Or in the New Forest, Hampshire, where there are a couple of lovely country hotels from where you could easily explore a charming and rather historic part of the country. Just a thought... 😉
  24. We've chosen and booked excursions on three cancelled cruises now with another "in the balance". It's a flight of fancy but there is a grain of fun to be had imagining what we *might* do, given the chance! The first cancellation had been booked for a l-o-n-g time and we'd put a great deal of thought and effort into researching our choices. So much so that, I forget that we didn't actually go to those places 😉 We can all dream. 😎
  25. It was experiences such as these which prompted us to add St Petersburg to our list of places to return - admittedly rather easier for those of us who live in Europe, of course. Having plenty of time in the Hermitage (just one example) makes all the difference, as does visiting out of cruise-ship season. We also enjoyed the Faberge museum, though only visited on one occasion, as part of a Regent tour. That experience revealed the effect of a three-day, full-on excursion itinerary on both ourselves and our fellow shipmates. As the late afternoon tour of the third day, it was the one which proved to be the test of patience and good humour for many - stamina was at a low ebb and a sub-optimal guide was the final straw for some. My reason for noting that observation is that it's easy to cram in as many tours and sightseeing opportunities as possible - why not?! Very understandable, because after all, we might not pass this way again. But it comes at a cost - early starts and late returns, port-intensive schedules (those Baltic cruises pack in so much with very few sea days to recover) took their toll on everyone, ourselves included (and we're a good deal younger than many). Perhaps a side-benefit of private tour with a guide is the ability to pace things at a comfortable level, to avoid the need to "keep up at the back" and to be able to say "enough" when the time is right? We love our Regent cruises, we take as many Regent tours as we can to make the most of the time in the ports we've looked forward to visiting. Best of all, we promise ourselves to return to our favourites - like St Petersburg - sometime. Covid permitting!! 🤞
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