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Everything posted by freddie

  1. Thank you, Rosepark, for pointing out that serving bouillabaisse with garlic mayo (although rouille with saffron is not always offered in the south of France, in my experience) is entirely appropriate and very much in line with the traditions of Marseilles. It appears that our friends from Seattle, despite living in one of the most "foodie" cities in the U.S., are at bit at odds with the rest of us Puget Sound foodies who would prefer a proper bouillabaisse with a good garlic mayo rather than spend our time on a cruise munching on Ruffles.
  2. Wow, Wendy!! The Ontario cops are killing people who refuse to wear masks?! Sounds a bit draconian; but if it works with some of those covidiots who eschew masks, that might be the way to go, especially in Wal-Marts. 😜
  3. Wendy - One sort of "Covid Festival" or "Covid Party" that has occurred in our state is an assembly of people who deliberately practice no social distancing or other precautions whatever, in the belief that group exposure will lead more quickly to "herd immunity". In such gatherings, there is a focused emphasis upon (and, unbelievably enough, desire for) contagion. Of course, it appears that these parties are attended primarily by people who cannot read any message on social media that contains words of more than two syllables. Clearly, these people are not likely to among those whom we meet on Regent cruises; but they might infect us or our fellow cruise passengers with their reckless and insane contagion during our regular social and commercial interactions. Lordie, I just recognized that I have posted on a sticky of which I had protested the creation. Oh well, live goes on and on and on.
  4. As topics regarding any and all aspects of cruising are already included amongst the allowed topics on this board, there is no need for a Watercooler thread to address them. As anyone who has read the thread on SS can easily see, it is a rather peculiar exercise in self-indulgence and boasting about such things as "what's for dinner" or "which expensive auto does one drive". Further, as has been pointed out earlier, the thread is dominated by one poster and his acolytes. Considering the fact that this board often teeters on the brink of similar domination (including by a poster who has apparently been manifestly unsuccessful in his/her repeatedly and grandly announced retirement from participation on this board), it is clear that any sort of Watercooler thread would quickly become a thread that many people on this board would have to block in order to avoid the tsouris of reading it. Sure, sure, we can simply skip that thread or any other thread; but why create a thread that is an instant annoyance to most of the participants on this board?
  5. I would emphatically vote against the creation of a "Watercooler" thread on this forum, if it is destined to resemble the one on the Silversea board. Although in its very early days, the thread on the SS board was sometimes amusing and interesting, it quickly degenerated into little more than a private forum for one particularly self-involved poster and his "posse". And it has remained so, sadly. Considering the current domination of this Regent board by certain posters, I would suggest that a similarly unfortunate situation would very likely arise here, thereby rendering the Watercooler thread as simply a private screed for those posters. All things considered, friends, perhaps it might be more prudent to keep topics retained within their proper threads.
  6. Luckyinpa - While you are correct that multiple points of possible contamination exist, one might suggest that this is also a game of reducing the points of exposure to possible contamination. One point is not equal to a dozen points, after all. Similarly, one possible exposure is not equivalent to unlimited exposures. Therefore, the best that we can do on ships (or any other environment that we don't control) is to make our best effort to minimize the points of exposure. If I am misunderstanding the math here, I welcome your kind elucidation.
  7. While I certainly agree with Corony's indication that the Seabourn-TK deal was an expensive mistake, I will point out that after the initial season of the Napa Burger being offered at the Patio (pool grill) in an inflexible manner, one can now order the Napa Burger as one prefers it, both in terms of which toppings are included and in terms of the degree of doneness. On our last three SB cruises, we have enjoyed the Napa Burger on our terms, which is, of course, as it should be. The absurd arrogance of a celebrity chef dictating to the consumer of his products that a dish may be presented solely as determined by said celebrity chef runs entirely contrarily to the ethos of a luxury line such as SB.
  8. Maria - Like you, we hate included excursions and almost never use them, although, like so many of us who are similarly inclined, it is highly annoying to "pay twice" when we arrange our own private excursions. However, I would be enormously surprised if Regent were to abandon this selling strategy, since it very much differentiates Regent from its luxury competition. Those of us who have traveled on Regent for years recognize that the increased fares demanded by Regent include the charges for those excursions that we don't wish to take; but new passengers, particularly those moving from mainstream or premium lines, might consider those "free" excursions as a very tempting element of trying out Regent.
  9. I will admit that I don't know the terms under which crew members join the ships; but I thought that the cruise line took the responsibility for getting the crew members to the ships and then back home at the end of their contracts. Perhaps I am entirely mistaken in that assumption. If indeed it is the cruise line's responsibility to get the crew member home, it is not a serious stretch to suggest that when there are delays in doing so, the cruise line should continue to step up and pay for the crew members' time during the delay in repatriation. Frankly, it is somewhat colonial to suggest that the crew members should be grateful to receive a bed and meals during that period of delay in getting home. These wonderful people whom we all know and appreciate are not serfs or indentured servants (I will hesitate to use the word, slaves), who should be grateful to be given food and a place to sleep whilst they await transportation back to their homes and families. Good grief, are people suggesting that the bottom line of NCLH is more important than the welfare of these employees??!!
  10. HappyFeet & Dusko - Even though I will admit that I was among those who have judged SB harshly for its clear emphasis upon delaying refunds and playing with FCC's in order to deal with cash flow, I very much appreciate your having pointed out that we should also look at priorities in a larger sense. We live an hour north of Seattle and about 45 minutes north of the epicenter of the Covid-19 outbreak in this area. These are indeed not normal times by any measure. I think that HappyFeet's analogy to waiting one's reasonable turn in an ER is quite apt in this matter, particularly in view of Dusko's accurate depiction of the dilemma faced by SB employees in Seattle trying to work from home and handle thousands of account adjustments. I entirely agree that while at the end of the day SB must step up and handle all of these adjustments correctly, the suggestion that we should all immediately hold SB's feet to the fire in that regard is rather extreme, considering that we in this part of the country are facing a far more potent fire.
  11. Interesting that you keep on hand more than 30 days worth of brass. Wow, do you construct bugles when you're stuck at home? 😛
  12. As I described in my post #12 on the attached thread, sometimes getting flowers via Gifts by Celebrity can be a bit of a challenge. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2718425-suite-flowers-fruit/ Thus, go forward with courage and do not be deterred by what may be a remarkable lack of skill on the part of the X land-based team.
  13. I certainly agree that the offer of a 25% FCC that must be taken on a cruise "that sails in 2020" is an offer of remarkably low value, considering that most of us plan our cruises anywhere from 12-24 months in advance. Further, with all of the cancellations of Asian cruises occurring, the remaining attractive cruises will be much more difficult to book on short notice. Perhaps, upon reflection Regent will recognize that its offer of the FCC is not a worthy offer and will amend it to allow for something like booking in 2020 and sailing in 2020 or 2021. We remain concerned regarding our cruise to Japan this coming fall and will have to determine our own risk tolerance as payments become due in spring and summer. Of course, this whole situation is extremely dynamic, forcing the cruise lines to react on the fly, with a view both to protecting their booked passengers and their bottom lines. Finally, in this whole discussion, it would be useful if certain posters who have repeatedly declared that they are bowing out of these discussions would have the grace to do so.
  14. TC2 - Welcome back! Your absence from this board has been quite evident and noted. Please give our sincere best wishes to Dennis. I agree heartily with you that the number of casualties involved in this new illness as compared to the enormous numbers of people who die every year from the flu are quite small. I further agree with you that it is quite incomprehensible that so many people refuse to get the flu shot. However, I am confused regarding your reference to a "fly that is likely more deadly", as sleeping sickness from the bite of the tsetse fly is fairly rare outside of Africa. Neither the flu nor coronavirus is transmitted by flies. In any event, mask on!!!
  15. Further, Norm, despite the lamentations of certain posters who wish the old dress code on SB was still in effect, which it most emphatically is not (as pointed out above by Wripro), on Formal Optional evenings the new "jacket with or w/out tie rule" only applies in The Restaurant. The rest of the ship remains Elegant Casual, including The Colonnade and TK Grill. In fact, on our recent 20-day cruise on Sojourn, The Colonnade was quite busy on Formal Optional evenings with pax who did not wish to dress up. On the Formal Optional evening when we had dinner at TK Grill, less than half of the men were wearing jackets of any sort. Even though it was Alaska and the West Coast, rather than Hawaii, it was sort of a "Tommy Bahama Rules!!" sort of sartorial choice.
  16. In fact, by the grace of dog (and certainly not by the grace of Billy), both of the "Seasonal Large Arrangements" (as opposed to Large Seasonal Arrangements) somehow found their way to the cabin of our friends, who enjoyed them very much. We continue to have no solid information regarding whether the Macarthur's speak Chinese or reside in Hong Kong, Mexico, or Canada. (If this exchange seems incomprehensible, even by CC standards, please refer to Post # 12 in this thread.) Have a Happy Christmas (whether or not you speak Chinese or live in Mexico).
  17. We will be new to X on a cruise next year and will be sailing in an RS on a Solstice class ship. That large dining table looks like an ideal spot for a long lunch with friends on the same cruise who are not in a suite. We will have lots of sea days; so using the suite for a lunch ( or three) seems to be quite appealing. However, we don't know how the process works, in terms of menu and/or extra cost for the lunch service. All of us will have premium beverage packages, in addition to the included bottles in our cabin. Any suggestions regarding how to make the most of an in-suite lunch would be most welcome. I do realize that we will organize the whole affair with our butler but wish to have a notion of what is included and what will be an extra charge, which we will happily pay. Thanks in advance for your kind observations. All of our previous cruises have been on small ships that offer the same in-room dining options to all passengers, irrespective of class of accommodation.
  18. Celebrity Amenity.docx We often order flowers for our cabin or buy them in ports. Several years ago, I went through the rather peculiar saga of ordering flowers for friends who were on an X sailing from Hong Kong. I drafted a little script of the encounter, which is attached. Sadly, it is only slightly exaggerated.
  19. Thank you all for your very kind and helpful comments. On balance, it appears that it would be easier simply to bring my 2-in-1 laptop along, in order to have a familiar device. Further, I like Happy Cruiser's reminder that it is nice to be able to access the internet in one's cabin while dressed in a bathrobe and sitting on the sofa or at the dining table. With lots of sea days, easy internet access will be most pleasant (although not as pleasant or mandatory as easy bar access...).
  20. Yikes! Does that mean only Mac machines? What about us poor folks who only know how to use PC's? Hmm, looks like I'll have to bring the laptop along on the cruise, right?
  21. I enthusiastically agree with your first statement quoted above. The sort of thing with which I cannot agree (other than with a gun placed to my temple) is that a waiter should be expected to know which Hungarian dessert wine you might prefer with your French apple pie. That is simply pretentious. Although I haven't sailed on Oceania, I have cruised extensively on its "big sister" line, Regent. I predict that you will not find a lot of members of management on Oceania (many of whom come from Regent) who are eager to be "educated" by someone of your esteemed background in food service.
  22. I must admit that I agree with K12Guy that the OP seems to have spent most of the cruise finding things about which to complain. He has managed to comingle a few genuinely valid matters of concern with many extremely trivial kvetches. I am not by the remotest sense a cheerleader for X, as we will be taking our first cruise on X in September; but I am an experienced cruiser on small luxury ships. It is evident to me that the OP would have been as dissatisfied with the service on Seabourn or Regent as he was on X. Frankly, the notion that he expected the waitstaff in a huge dining room to remember his remarkably detailed preferences for dining is simply preposterous and unrealistic. It does appear that "poser" (or, more likely in this case, "poseur") does sadly apply. The whole post seems to be more of a boastful declaration of his own expertise than a reasonable critique of the service on the ship. Indeed, if I were in X management, I would send this poster a box of brochures regarding cruising on the competition, in the firm hope that he would take his little game of culinary one-upmanship to another line. With some pax, there really is a point of diminishing returns, no?
  23. On our Eclipse cruise from Vancouver to Tokyo in September, we will have "unlimited internet access" included as a benefit of our cabin fare. Is there a computer room or other space on the ship with computers for pax to use? I have looked closely at the deck plans and have not found a computer center; but perhaps I have missed it. I don't like typing on the screen keyboard on my tablet and will bring a laptop along on the cruise if there are no computers available to use on board. Thanks for any helpful suggestions from veteran X'ers.
  24. On the X website, the date shown for Solstice going into "Revolution" is Oct. 29, 2021. Does anyone have reliable info to the contrary? It is certainly pertinent to us, as we are booked from Vancouver to Tokyo for Sept. 10-26, 2021.
  25. One should bear in mind that even on Formal Optional evenings, that dress code is only applicable to the Restaurant. The other dining venues and the rest of the ship remain Elegant Casual, if one prefers that mode. Thus, one is not forced to choose between dining at a table or having popcorn in one's cabin (although the latter may well be more fun). Raphael - very cute bichon, by the way.
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