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freddie

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About freddie

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    Camano Island, WA

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  1. Jim - At some time during your blog, I would be most grateful if you would comment on how you handle going west to east on a TA. My partner (of 45 years) and I have only taken east to west TA's and are somewhat apprehensive about setting the clocks forward every night on west to east TA's. I agree with the previous posts that the enormous piece of furniture is woefully inappropriate. Maybe Ms. Hoppen fell in love with the design in some medical facility lobby in the U.K.??
  2. John - We enthusiastically agree with you that Daniela is a marvelous F&B Manager and a true rising star on Regent. We anticipate seeing her soon in the role of GM, which would be well-justified, as it was with Franck Galzy.
  3. Kjbacon - I heartily encourage you to learn more about sake, as it can be a marvelous libation. As Ronrick1943 pointed out, really good sakes are almost never served warm in Japan, as the complex flavors are not as evident when the sake is warm. If Pacific Rim offers any Junmai Daiginjo or Daiginjo sakes, those categories will be the most complex and interesting and will be remarkably different from the sake most of us are used to being served warm at sushi bars in the U.S. or Canada. Kampai!!
  4. Ken - Both my partner and I got the yellow fever shot several years ago when my partner was in his early 70's and I was in my late 60's, with no problems at all for either of us. If you are unsure about the matter, it is best to consult a travel doctor.
  5. Brittany12 - While I have been reluctant to enter this fray regarding the SB dress code, your somewhat offensive post has encouraged me to do so. Please understand that my partner & I assiduously adhere to the SB dress code, including dining at The Colonnade when we do not wish to wear blazers to the MDR. However, I will suggest that using such inflammatory terms as "others of your culture and values" or "everyone else of similar mind, experience and place" when discussing something as manifestly trivial as a cruise ship dress code can be regarded as elitist in the extreme and quite understandably offensive to many people. Frankly, your culture and values are not the relevant issues in this matter; only the dress code standards of SB are (and I agree that they should be enforced until changed). Cheers, Fred
  6. ChappChapp - We had great luck with the guides from Narawalk, both in Kyoto and in Nara: https://narawalk.com/ Friends of ours who were docked in Kobe used a private guide from Chris Rowthorn's agency: http://www.chrisrowthorn.com/ We have also used Rowthorn guides in Japan and can recommend them as well as those from Narawalk. Finally, we met several people on our ship (from Tokyo to Vancouver) who had used Tours by Locals in Kyoto and were happy with the service.
  7. The statement from the Regent website quoted by Juno56 is not a "policy" unless that word is synonymous with "a vague cop-out that does not provide adequate guidance for passengers". The phrase "should be encouraged" is ambiguous and conditional. I heartily agree with the posters who have suggested that Regent should make it clear whether the acceptance of tips by the crew is appropriate or is prohibited.
  8. ME - Could you be so kind as to expand a bit upon your observation quoted above? In many cruises on Regent, we have never witnessed such behavior and hope not to do so. Perhaps we are simply being somewhat clueless regarding the solicitation of tips.
  9. Just2guys - Thanks for starting this interesting thread. My partner & I like sea days and have done a couple of TA's from Europe to the U.S. and one TP from Japan to Vancouver, in addition to quite a few other port-intensive cruises, mostly on Regent and Seabourn. The question that I have for Juno, Hambagahle, Orvil and anyone else who has done TA's from West to East (North America to Europe) is whether you experienced "boat lag" due to the setting of clocks ahead so frequently and therefore losing sleep all along the way. This is particularly relevant today, considering that we lost an hour of sleep last night due to daylight savings time going into effect today. My partner suffers from serious jet lag, which more and more makes it better for us to begin cruises in the Americas. If he gets jet lag after the cruise from flying home from Europe or Asia, he can rest in the comfort of home and not be a wreck for the first few days of a cruise. Your reflections on the West to East trans-oceanic cruises are most welcome. (Our next trans-oceanic cruise is from Vancouver to Tokyo and will not have those issues.)
  10. Maria - I totally understand your confusion, as it matches mine with respect to speaking French in Chartreuse. We have not been in Chartreuse on Explorer but have been in that venue on Voyager and did not experience anyone on the staff initiating any interactions in French. Perhaps ME would be so kind as to clarify the language situation that he encountered there. Even though we regret the loss of Signatures on the Regent ships, we certainly don't regret the loss of that very silly "un, deux, trois" nonsense with the silver plate domes.
  11. I agree with ME that it is not kind to put any member of the staff in the uncomfortable position of trying to respond in a language in which he/she may not be strong. Therefore, might we reliably assume that it was not ME or his wife who attempted to chat with the Indian sommelier in French?
  12. Chemmo - Your comments seem to be quite reasonable. If X creates a pattern that suggests that waiting to book until one is aboard will give the opportunity for a better price for specialty dining, then, of course, people will wait until they are aboard to book such. That results in the unpleasant dynamic described in this thread of touts dashing about the ship trying to convince, cajole, or coerce pax into signing up for restaurant Y or Z. Hmm, perhaps the same "suit" who hired a designer who has never been on a ship to determine what will work in the "Revolutionized" cabins is the same person who has determined that it would be preferable for people for be harassed for specialty dining than simply be offered the same price in advance of boarding??
  13. It is indeed refreshing to read that the serious sales pressure seems to be diminishing a bit on your cruise, lisiamc. I remain curious whether this is a cruiseline-wide policy or something that varies from ship to ship and cruise to cruise, depending upon who is the hotel manager (or whoever would be the principal driver of onboard revenue-generation). Further, as we will be cruising on X in an RS, would it be of any use to show the eager salespeople our keycard to let them know that we already have the specialty restaurant benefit and that they are therefore pretty much wasting their time with us? Do the keycards even have any indication of cabin or suite type? Frankly, I would prefer that they did not; but for this particular purpose it might be handy. Sorry to be asking so many questions; but X is new to us. Despite the rather off-putting aspect of this aggressive sales activity, we remain excited about our cruise on X to Japan and will make the best of it.
  14. Thanks for starting this thread, lisiamc. It is of particular interest to us because we have good friends on your cruise who have had the same extremely negative reaction to the relentless sales activity. They are especially offended by that activity when it occurs while they are trying to have a pleasant meal. These friends are experienced X cruisers. However, they are sufficiently disturbed by this level of sales pressure that they intend to cancel a cruise next year which we had intended to share with them and to which we had all looked forward eagerly. My partner & I will be new cruisers on X, having done all of our cruising on smaller ships, but wishing to try X for the greater variety of restaurants, activities, and entertainment. Thus, I pose this question to all of you veteran X sailors: Is this perhaps a one-off situation with a remarkably ambitious hotel manager pushing the staff to do such high-pressure sales and revenue generation; or, rather, is this something that is occurring across the board on X?
  15. Those gigantic cocoon chairs in the MDR are unbelievable. Imagine how difficult it will be for the servers to manage around them. It seems to be another example of design by someone who has never been on a ship (or, in this case, in a restaurant) and certainly has never had to work on/in either. However, lest we be deluded into thinking that this sort of absurd "form over function" psyche (psycho??!!) is exclusive to Celebrity, let me sincerely assure you that another cruise line, Regent Seven Seas, is also suffering through a similarly bizarre "upgrade", with such perplexing changes as a third of the cabin drawer storage being removed in order to allow for a "more minimalist" look to the cabins or the comfortable full-length sofas being replaced by love-seats flanked by two small useless end tables. If it looks good on a mock-up, let's go with it, quite regardless of whether it makes any sense from the standpoint of passenger comfort or the ease of service on the part of the hard-working staff.
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