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Everything posted by brittany12

  1. Are you so sure your culture back home how you deal with local tipping should govern your conduct when abroad? In foreign lands? And people whose very livelihood is tip dependent?
  2. Hey Capt F. Nice to see you weighing in even if you are unintentionally misinformed. No - I have never listed my favorite cruise line as Oceania. And even if I had, is that a kind of put down? Does that make such an O person unqualified to ask questions about level of service now on SS? I think you assume far too much. I have said O's specialty restaurants in the past have had the best food at sea, and many times on land too. But I have sailed SS and SB mulltiples of times. O less. I like what RetiredandTravel said quoting Schweitzer on being nice. It applies here too. Informed, interested and interesting cruisers get off a SS, SB or yes, even an Oceania ship, knowing a heck of a lot about a great many of the crew that has just served them. For anyone who doesn't, you have a lot to learn about interfacing with the crew and the enjoyment of travel. A person who asks a very legitimate question on CC should not have to suffer the slings and arrows of some, haughty others. These ships and crews who work them have been in mothballs for 18 months. Information about current –not yesterday's– service and who provides it are just as important as glitziness, food, booze and whether or not masks are required. Hearsay and stories about the past are not helpful.
  3. There is at least one travel insurance company that offers an optional feature that provides some reimbursement for quarantining. It also offers CFAR and interruption for any reason components. Not cheap though, and both only at 75%. Depends if one wants maximum risk protection. Time sensitive to 14 days and 21 days after first payment for trip made. I'm not sure I can mention the company .
  4. My, my, my. Such over-sensitivities from a few on such a basic question. SS has been known in the past for its excellent service. Are future guests not entitled to a review of this by current sailors experiencing it?? Guess what you're paying for. Don't you talk to these crewpeople and find out these things? Are some, recognized from past service? I guess I will have to watch out not calling anyone "recycled" again - as if its a bad thing.Thanks for admonishing me.
  5. Can anyone on the Moon right now talk about the restaurant servers, administrative and cabin housekeeping crew? Do you know if they are new people hired by SS or were they SS crew people before COVID. Level of training, personality, attentiveness, competence, etc ? Also the same for the officers. New or recycled? Of course at 25% or 50% of sailing capacity it's not a true text of shipboard service when it will be full. I have not seen much comment about this service ingredient.
  6. In the pre-excursion days, these two ships were carbon copies. If any changes since one became an excursion ship, I have no idea. On several tens of cruises on these and other SS and mostly luxury lines, my spouse and I have not used the tub even once. We have always connisidered it yet wasted space.Correction - to keep Iced kegs of beer.😜
  7. Wev'e dined in some of the finest French restaurants all around the world including France. Jacques on about ten visits is among them. Each meal was divine. We'd dined in some of the finest Italian restaurants around the world including Italy. Tosaca is among them. Red Ginger excellent. So is Polo Grill. MDR is also a very fine dining establishment. We get so spoiled by the 4 others we often tend to forget that.
  8. lets get this thread back to where it started - a question about whether tipping ship-arranged excursion guides is appropriate. It's morphed into another discussion about tipping in general. What so many replies show is that Americans are generally very generous tippers to all who provide services and work for tips - including these excursion guides. Maybe too generous and upsetting local cultures. I still believe tipping these guides is the right thing to do - regardless of whether one comes from Australia or some other non-tipping culture. Unless they are really bad. I think a US $5er for two people on half day tour for a decent job is appropriate. $0 is not. More for extraordinary.
  9. Most of these tour guides are minimum wage people in their countries. It's the flip for us. We give small tips to the guide---unless the tour is especially bad. Dollar or two American per person in local currency. Drivers not. Its always amazing to us how many our fellow travelers slip away without any proper thank you.
  10. I'm not at all certain there is a typical Seabourn sailer as opposed to a typical SS one. It's not like comparing with a normal MSC sailer. I say this after 8 SS cruises and a dozen Seabourn since late '90s. Plus others of similar cost and luxury class. Another 8 Oceania. Personally, I like to stay away from generalizations regarding each cruise line although Im guilty of making some of my own. It all depends on the particular cruise one is on, the ship (age and size) and the itinerary. Also who are passengers on board that particular time. When the cruise happened is a factor - ten years ago, three years ago or yesterday. All cruise lines have ups and downs with service people and food. Even luxury lines attract loud mouths at times and those reflections seem to stick. If I had a Rodney Dangerfield, that would affect my evaluation of that cruise and cruise line. Crews always being changed. Fresh blood is not always the best blood. Personalities matter. More expensive cruises also attract a wealthier class - yes maybe some who own planes. Just one of those facts of life that doesn't bother me. We don't take cruises to meet other people. We do it for the experience of travel. But I'd say this - we've met nice people on all our cruises - when least expecting to.
  11. They built the Ovation and Encore with basically the same footprint as the Quest, Sojourn, and Odyssey. Sandwiched in one more deck, added a few feet to width and length. Nearly 150 additional passengers and not much more space inside and out for the 1/3 more. MDR overflowing. So they added tiny sushi place and expanded TKG. Retreat a total waste of space and a bust at nose bleed prices very few want to pay. The Pool and deck basically the same and with 150 more people on Ov and En looking for chairs, uncomfortable as they are on all the ships with no chair pads, not surprisingly crowded. When all ships sail again at full capacity, you'll notice the difference.
  12. Yes they did keep that not so subtle price escalation quiet. Those 530 suites used to be great. Who cares about the partial glass and steel balcony railings.
  13. unless its late October, I'd avoid the hurricane season.
  14. This can be considered good news. For me, the more Greek ports the better. The islands are so interesting.
  15. Saw one entry that the same old Tim Rice show is featured again as the entertainment. Woe, this is soooooo old and boring by now. Even if updated. Seabourn must have a really long term contract with him to keep rolling out this tired format. Along with lousy website, why can't this be improved?
  16. Thanks M&P Germany for keeping us alert to the failings of the Seabourn product. It has mind-boggled me for a decade why they are light years behind their luxury competition when it comes to creativity in all the areas you cite. Website just one. A website for any business is just smart marketing and a window to the consuming world of what that business offers. And surely they monitor cruise critic. It would be criminally negligent to the Carnival shareholders if they didn't. They hear but apparently they don't listen.
  17. For a couple that has been Seabourn bound on a dozen cruises over last ten years once we left SS behind because its quality had dropped so much, this is all refreshing news. We decided to try SS again based on what we read, have a SS booking on the Moon and so looking forward. The casual trend on Seabourn, begun by Oceania, was driving us mad. I would be one of the few men wearing a jacket in the DR, let alone a tie. It's good to see some cruise lines know how to maintain the standards in proper dress at dinner that so many of us prefer. It makes it all even more special for us to see so many others feel as we do. My mother always said, look smart, feel smart, be smart.
  18. Long time coming and in my judgment long overdue. It may be too late to save Venice as a viable city. The behemoth cruise ships and 50,000 visitors a day have left a toll on the lagoon and the livability of the city. Venice is best in December and March before the cruise ships reappear.
  19. The former sole owners were a very high end Italian family of good breeding and very refined. Quiet people, very sedate. We once sailed with them too and some board members we met by accident one day and became friendly with. One a contessa. Another the former president of the Banco de Roma They invited us to sit with them at the table and it was most enjoyable. Sure they got special treatment but never at the expense of others on board. In fact, the opposite, the crew was especially on their toes to be extra vigilant to all. Some say the early days of the SS operations in the mid 1990's on the first two small ships Wind and Cloud were its golden years.
  20. I and I think so many others prefer the serious questions and and not the idle chit chat or personal messages these forums have become. So much to learn. For Markham or anyone on the ship in Greece right not, what are the island and port conditions like with all the other ships present? Overwhelming or manageable?
  21. SB management is surely reading these and getting the idea we all so strongly feel about vaccinations. I want to live and respect your desire to do the same. Allowing on those not vaccinated threatens us from contact with them or when they go ashore and catch it from locals and spread it to us. It will ultimately destroy their resailing efforts, too. I won't go on any ship without such a policy that they strictly enforce.
  22. Is anyone really saying in 2021 there are any cruises Iines today that do not provide hair dryers? Like there are hotels that still do not? Thats been the case since I have started sailing in 1993.
  23. a lot has to do with the local port charges each ship has to pay at the various stops. Anchoring off shore or at the few docks where they exist, location. Arrival time, how long in port, etc. If the ship can even be allowed there with so many others.These decisions are made many months in advance and probably cannot be changed. Money again intervenes in cruise line decisions and SB's. But yes --- an appeal to SB to get more modern in what it offers and how its all done. So many good ideas here waiting to be acted upon.
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