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smg4412

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  1. Thank you all for your helpful comments. The world cruise begins January 5th and ends May 5th. Our cruise begins in Singapore on March 15th. This puts us close to the middle of the world cruise. Would this make a difference to any of you? My wife and I are fairly independent, so if we’re on our own, then we’re on our own. This cruse is port intensive and hits a lot of “bucket list” places for us. I guess I’m looking to be reassured we won’t be treated as 2nd class cruisers.

     

    Also, this cruise is two years away, so I’m hopeful the fallout from COVID will have  resolved by then.. Thanks again for your input.. Steve

  2. Looking for opinions and suggestions here with two questions..

    First.. my wife and I are considering booking a SE Asia cruise on the Mariner, March 2021. I noticed it will be a segment of an ongoing world cruise. Anyone have any experience with this? Will this cruise feel different to us than our previous (nine) Regent cruises?  Would anyone consider this a “deal breaker”? We really like the itinerary, which is the primary attraction. 
     

    Second... We have been in Mariner Penthouse A suites in the past, but are considering moving up to a Seven Seas (Aft) Suite. Anybody have experience with this suite. As mentioned previously, we’re open to opinions and suggestions. 
    Thanks...Steve

  3. Thank you all for your helpful comments. I‘m thinking we’ll go with the “aft” suite. Our previous cruises have always been in suites toward the front of the ship. This will be a nice change. Appreciate the information on the “secret” stairway to the Horizon Lounge as well. Now just hoping we all stay safe and cruising is back to normal by then!!

  4. We are thinking of postponing a cruise originally sailing this fall to the following year (2021). If we do this, we’ll be sailing on the Voyager. We’ve had 9 previous cruises on Regent, but this will be our first on the Voyager. Anyone have experience or knowledge of the Seven Seas suites (either fore or aft). Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated... Thanks, Steve

  5. Glad to hear it all worked out Rich. We had a “camera” issue a number of years ago on arriving in Venice. Also embarking on the Mariner. Not fun!!! I understand the “feelings”!! 

     

    I’m at breakfast at the Ritz Carlton in Shanghai. Today we get a whirlwind tour of the Old City, the Bund and the Yu (something) Gardens. Can’t remember the name. Afterward...we board the Mariner. Must say...Deborah and I are ready. Shanghai is quite an amazing city. Most modern city I’ve ever been. Leaving LA and coming here is like being in Disneyland and traveling from Frontierland to Tomorrowland. Hoping for more to be revealed in the next few days.

     

    Just a short note about yesterday. We spent some time at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. While there, we ran into a group of schoolgirls (probably 8-10 y/o). Deborah, who is a semi-retired 3rd grade teacher, was in her glory interacting with these kids. Their English was quite good, as they are taught it from first grade. Our Chinese is the requisite...good morning, pleas, thank you and good-bye. A popular joke her in China goes some thing like this...

     

           “What do you call someone who speaks two languages...Bilingual.

            What do you call someone who speaks three languages...Trilingual.

            What do you call someone who only speaks one language... American”

     

    Enough for now. Need to go check out of the room....

     

     

    • Like 1
  6. Rich.. We are able to get FB and Google on our AT&T cellular plan, but not on Wi-Fi here. Of course, we’re paying $10 per day for the privilege. 

     

    I love your your description of yesterday’s tour. I’ll piggyback back on your insightful narrative and add some personal observations. The Forbidden City was much larger than we expected. With the crowds, it had a certain “Disneyland” flavor, eithout the smells. What impressed us was how respectful the crowd was. The history, as you described, is fascinating. Last night, I kept seeing concubines and eunuchs in my dreams. At my age, not a vision to which I look forward.

     

    Tiananmen Square, I must say, was a disappointment. There seemed to be “no there, there”. Just another large, sterile square in a one time Communist country.  Maybe it was because I kept seeing visions of 1989. Also, there was just  too much “Mao”!! Not one of my favorite guys. But that is an “outside issue” here.

     

    Deborah tells me I have to finish packing, in order to get ready for our flight to Shanghai. Also need to get down to breakfast and check out of the room. So... more on the Great Wall and dinner last night to follow... Steve

  7. Thanks Rachel... that was very kind.  I think it may be because you and I share the same profession. I’ve followed your blogs in the past with great interest. Deborah and I are doing a similar South America itinerary next February. 

     

    And Rich... can’t believe I saw you a few hours ago and forgot it was yours and Ginny’s Birthday 😩. I’ve been known at times to be up in the “Space Shuttle” (just ask Deborah). Today was one of those days. Please forgive me. I lost track that we crossed the International Date Line getting here (like Phinneas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days). So.... I kept thinking it was Monday. Of course, Deborah set me straight at dinner... As for our day in Beijing... that will come later..

    • Like 1
  8. Morning of the first day... So, as Rich so eloquently described...AA Flight 181 started off with a “bang”. There was an unscheduled “Meet and Mingle”, before the “Meet and Mingle”. As we all were boarding and filling up the Business Class, one person said “Regent?”. That was followed by approx 10 other people saying “Yes, Regent”. Before we knew it, there were at least 14 people chatting as if we were old friends. It really was quite remarkable. The attendants actually thought we all knew each other. Great way to start the trip!!

     

    As for our first night... There’s a saying that goes... “We make plans and God laughs”. My plan was to go out to a fancy restaurant for dinner once we arrived. I should have known better. After a 13 hour flight and going through Chinese customs, I should have realized I may be a bit tired, not to mention restless and irritable. My wife, Deborah (who is a lot wiser than I), actually suggested that to me before leaving. But I, in my usual impulsive way, told her.. “Don’t worry, we’ll be fine”!!. Well..as usual, she was right.  Fortunately, we had upgraded to a room in the Horizon Club, which meant we had a place to go right away and eat plenty of dim sum. They even had hamburgers sliders there (go figure). 

     

    It’s 6:00AM on Tuesday, here in Beijing. Some initial impressions on awakening and looking out our window from the 15th floor. One, a lot of skyscrapers!! Everything seems new and very modern. I would have liked to have seen this city the way Nixon did in 1972. Must have been quite different. I’m sure, to anyone who had been there then, it must be unrecognizable today. I’m told (and I may be wrong), that the Chinese don’t have the same reverence for their old buildings, that one finds in Europe. Either way, what they have accomplished here in the past 45 years is quite remarkable!! Secondly... a lot of smog. But, that may be a conversation for another time..

     

     

     

    Today... The Forbidden City,  Tienneman Square and the Great Wall. A huge day for our “Bucket List”. We will be on a different bus (#5)  than “MrRumor”, but will be together in spirit. To anyone considering a Regent Cruise...IMO, the greatest attraction is the people you will meet as your fellow passengers!! Later... Steve

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  9. Good Morning from LAX. I’m in the Oneworld Lounge getting ready to board AA flight 181 to Beijing. My name is Steve, and my wife’s name is Deborah. This will be our 7th Regent cruise, but the first time i’ve Ever blogged. A special thanks to Rich for starting this thread. I don’t think I can match his eloquence or clarity of thought, but my “neurotic skepticism” may add a different perspective.

     

    Like  many of you, we planned this trip two years ago, when the spring 2019 sailings were first announced. As Rich previously mentioned, the itinerary has changed (not always to our liking), but I learned a long time ago to be comfortable with “Plan B”

     

    Because of work schedules, Deborah and I are often two ships passing in the night. Being on Regent in the past has always been therapeutic for us. We get to “sit on our hands”, meet some great people, see some bucket list places and eat fabulous food. Plus... we get reacquainted with each other!!. What more could one ask for?

     

    We live in LA (Sherman Oaks), so getting to LAX on a Sunday morning was easy. Took 20 minutes. After going through a fast security check we find ourselves in the Oneworld Lounge. From here, Deborah and I partake of our favorite pastimes. She... walking the terminal, and I...eating a lot of lousy food (cold eggs and rubbery pancakes). Why.... because it’s there!!

     

    That’s enough for now... as mentioned earlier... thank you for indulging me, and I hope to ride along periodically on Rich’s coattails... Best Wishes to you all.. Steve

    • Like 2
  10. Rachel... I want to take this opportunity to thank you for this engaging and informative blog. We’ve never met, but your experiences kept me enthralled these past few weeks. Next February my wife and I (with friends) will be sailing almost the same itinerary, Buenas Aires to Lima. Having never been to South America, your thread has become a travel guide for us. Again...many thanks, and travel safely!!

     

    BTW... I’m also a physician, so I especially enjoyed your medical references...

     

     

     

     

  11. Our excursion included a full day tour of the places I previously mentioned. It was the same train that transported those who signed up for the “Classic Railway Car” as a means to get to Rome and then do it on their own.

     

    The only thing “Classic” about it is if you consider “old” and “uncomfortable” euphemisms for classic. They were bench seats with couples facing each other (no headrest), sharing the same leg space. AC not very cool.. Better to arrange your own transportation. We’re experienced Regent cruisers (eight previous trips) and generally love the Regent experience. This, however, did not come up to our expectations.

     

     

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  12. We did that tour three years ago. Besides the “Private Railway Car” it took us to see The Church of St John in Chains, the Coliseum, the Forum and St. Peter’s Basilica. Did not feel it was worth the cost. We had to wait approx 90 minutes in line outside (100 degree heat) to get into St. Peter’s. The “Private Railway Car” is more like a crowded New York subway car at rush hour. Seating very tight and quite uncomfortable. Fortunately, we’d been to Rome before. Would advise different tour or doing it on your own. Best Wishes...

     

     

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  13. Thank you both for your input. DaveFr, it looks like we went ahead and accepted the upsell prior to seeing your reply. This was done with the encouragement of our TA (who is pretty knowledgeable when it comes to regent). I guess more will be revealed!! Hopefully the sewage and noise problems were "one time" occurances. Also, I'm 5'8" tall. I'm hoping the reviewer is 6'6" [emoji4]. As I tell myself, which cabin we're in is strictly a "quality problem"!! At the end of the day.. one is still sailing on the Explorer!! Thanks again..

     

     

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  14. We're scheduled to embark this Wednesday on a Baltic cruise on the Explorer. We were just offered an "upsell" to a Seven Seas Suite (702). We currently have a Penthouse A Suite (1405) reserved. The price to upgrade is reasonable, so we're considering it. Anyone knowledgeable about the Seven Seas Suite and this location? I know it has only one bathroom, but that is not a big deal to us. Any opinions (pro and con) would be appreciated... Thanks, Steve

     

     

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  15. Lambert.studio.. I think we're on the same cruise, embarking June 14th from London. Originally we were planning on using the inclusive Regent tours in St. Petersburg. In fact we have already signed up for three days and one night (ballet) of Regent tours.

     

    Following this thread, I'm beginning to have serious second thoughts about that decision. After doing some research, we will probably be switching to a three day grand tour (including Jewish Heritage) with Alla. We'll keep the Regent ballet excursion at night. Using the Regent tours exclusively seemed to leave too much "down time" on the ship.

     

    Thanks to all who have offered their experience on this thread. It's very much appreciated. Lambert... hopefully we'll cross paths on our cruise... Steve

     

     

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  16. Rachel, Wes and Rich...just want to tell you how much I've enjoyed reading your informative and entertaining blogs. I feel I've really gotten a "sense" of the places you've visited as well as the daily life on board the Voyager.

     

    My wife and I have been on six previous Regent cruises, primarily in the Mediterranean, South Pacific, Alaska and the Panama Canal. This June we'll be on the Explorer in the Baltic. Asia had not been on our radar, however after following you guys the last two weeks, we booked the "Shanghai to Tokyo cruise in March 2019.

     

    Just a suggestion... but rather than Regent continue to mail out their daily flyers and solicitations we all seem to get (and throw away), they may want to consider utilizing your services, as you are all much better at closing the deal!! Anyone reading this blog can't help but feel excited and grateful to have the opportunity to sail with Regent!!

     

    Again...much appreciated. Best Wishes and Safe Travels home..

     

    Steve and Deborah

     

     

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  17. Malily...I think I can answer your question. My wife and I have been cruising on Regent since 2010. We both have been "Friends of Bill" for a long time (34 years for her and 18 years for me). On all the six Regent cruises we've taken, the daily flyer has listed FOB meetings (usually at 5:00PM or 6:00PM) in the Library or Card Room. That's the good news. The bad news is that it's been our experience that we are usually the only ones who show up. I am not really sure why that is. Perhaps it's because Regent is all-inclusive and some folks who are choosing not to imbibe, may choose a different cruise line where they are not being charged up front for the alcohol.

     

    We find that Regent works for us (considering we have two more cruises scheduled with them in the next 18 months). What we have done at times is attend AA meetings on land when it fits with our schedule.

     

    Hope this helps... Steve

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