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Everything posted by pingpong1

  1. Hey Jean - There's still room for you on our Oct 15 - 25, 2019 cruise! R/T out of New York. Visits New England (Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Canada (Halifax), Bermuda, and then returns to NYC. I think they're offering a free night's accomodation in NYC for new bookings. 10 - nights. All accommodations below Grand Suite are still open and available. Final payment isn't due until 17 July. This is one of Regent's most economical Per Diem cruises. Come on along and join us!! Best Regards.
  2. Absolutely correct, Paul. I can go into a nice lounge and/or restaurant most anywhere in the U.S. (with perhaps the exception of NYC), pay the total bill, add a 20% "tip" on top, and still walk away having spent less money (adjusted for exchange rates) than the equivalent meal/drinks would have cost me in Perth, Brisbane, or Sydney. If one has to "worry or fret" about the cost of a gratuity charge or port fees & taxes (whether it is added on as a separate line item or factored into an "included cost") perhaps the whole "cruising thing" is not the right activity to engage in. "Hoyaheel" has the right approach for comparing total costs among various cruise/itinerary choices. Add all final costs/expenses in for the trip (air fares, drinks, specialty dining surcharges, taxes/gratuities - if listed separately, excursions, pre/post hotels, etc.) to come up with a final/total trip cost. Divide that number by the number of days for the trip, and arrive at a standardized per diem rate. That will give you a number that you can be validly used to compare various cruise choices. But the items included in the comparisons have to all be the same. Looking for various "costs" that you can "subtract out or avoid" for one venue, but not for another, does not provide a "true cost comparison". And of course, there are additional subjective and intangible attributes (i.e., which cruise ship is "friendlier", or has the most "active night life") that are impossible (mathematically) to compare against each other, but which also may be important factors, in making the final choice. Regards.
  3. Thanks so much for all the great info regarding Navigator, Jason! We're very much looking forward to boarding her again this October. I don't personally care if it rattles, shakes, rocks 'n rolls, or just sits dead in the water. We always look forward to being on board Navigator. For those who may not like it, just don't sail on it! Simple solution for all of us. Regards.
  4. Jimmy - Your video was very nicely done! Looking forward to our first Oceania (and Riviera) cruise. The food and service looks every bit as nice (or better) as anything I've experienced on Regent (I'll probably get "flamed" by the "Regent Cheerleaders" for that comment). We're really looking forward to it! Best Regards.
  5. Wripro - You gave me a good laugh! Thanks for that! As the marshmallow said to the needle, "You know, you do have a point"!
  6. MDPA - All of your points are well taken and make sense. Thanks for the response and fresh perspective. Best Regards.
  7. Clo - I agree with you completely. In the case of U.S. restaurants (at least), where tips are closely tied to the final cost of the total bill, the more booze that's ordered/served (and booze always comes with a high/outrageous mark-up price) also upwardly propels the resultant/expected tip. The sooner that first bottle of wine is finished, the sooner the second one can be ordered and added to the bill. I know, we're getting dangerously close to launching yet another "hot button" topic - tipping.....or in the case of Oceania, 18% gratuities added to the price of each full bottle of wine ordered. Pinot, I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to serve myself at a buffet table and I applaud Oceania's policy of serving all the patrons in line (rather than letting them serve themselves). I wish every place did that. [By the way, I "caught" what you were implying.] But that has virtually nothing to do with me pouring myself another glass of wine from a bottle that has been placed on my table in front of me on Riviera (or any other place, for that matter). LHT said "....Maybe if you let them know you all have the drink package & will be drinking the same wine, they may make an exception & leave it on the table. I have not seen them collect the cards after each drink (it's) usually at the end of the meal or if in the bar, you ask for the bill..." LHT - That's very good info. Thanks for that! I'm still learning about the "Oceania way" of doing things. All my past cruises have been on Regent and the subject/issue of paying separately/individually for liquor rarely comes up. So that's why I'm asking these questions beforehand. I Certainly wouldn't want to commit a major faux pas on my first Oceania cruise! ๐Ÿ˜ง Best Regards to all.
  8. Hi Jay - Remember, many of us here in the U.S. are just the "uncouth county bumpkins", but I can assure you that we've eaten at many very fine restaurants in Scottsdale, San Diego, Washington, DC, and San Francisco over the past 30 years...and have never gotten "the frown" from anyone - if we chose to recharge a table mate's glass with a bottle of wine that was sitting on or next to our table. The "last generation", or perhaps two generations ago.... well, maybe. But I think today, that custom of "waiting for the waiter to do it" might be a bit faux pretentious and has outlived it's usefulness - if there ever actually was one. In many restaurants today, if you waited for the waiter to come over and pour, you could easily die of thirst! By the way, I also put (and prefer to put) my own napkin in my own lap (Oh! The Horror! Yikes!). Best Regards. ๐Ÿ˜Š
  9. Hi Folks - As I've mentioned before, my first Oceania cruise is still months off but I'm really grateful for all the good info I'm picking up on these boards. We've already convinced a second couple to come with us and are presently working/cajoling on couple/s #3 & #4 to join us, as well. At the risk of "reviving the poor old horse, just so I can beat him back to death once again"..... Our group of 4 will have have already pre-purchased the Prestige Beverage Packages in advance of the cruise. So at dinner (for the 4 of us) we can all order multiple individual glasses of wine without incurring any additional cost/gratuity. But if we want the waiter to simply bring us the full bottle (of wine) and leave it on the table for us to serve ourselves throughout the meal....we have to "pay extra" (plus gratuity) for that full bottle to be left with us, vice still drinking that whole bottle's worth of wine, but having it served to us - one glass at a time? Do I have that right? If the answer is indeed, "Yes", then that is nonsensical from an economic standpoint and creates extra workload (on the waiter's part), and wastes time, while waiting for the waiter's attention (plus repeatedly swiping the same cards over and over again without Oceania actually collecting any extra money from the endeavor). Between the 4 of us, Oceania will have already collected a substantial amount of money in liquor charges from our group (4 X $959.20 each in Bev Pkg costs = $3,837 in extra revenue). So does Oceania really need to ration us to one glass of wine served at a time, and/or collect "additional money" for full bottles that they'd be serving to us anyway (and have already been paid for in advance)? If someone says, "well how will the restaurant know that all 4 of you at that table have purchased Prestige Beverage Packages", then my answer would be, "why couldn't the restaurant just collect and scan all 4 cards when we are first seated for dinner", and should therefore also "know" that all liquor served (like bottles of "non-premium" wines/liquor) brought to our table that evening should not have an additional charge/gratuity applied? In this hi-tech age, I'm sure a premium cruise line (like O) could easily add a function like that to their onboard dining/accounting system. Any thoughts? Is my suggestion just too outrageous or simply "unworkable" for some reason/s that I haven't accounted for?
  10. Dang... That's too bad! Some of us are really going to miss it. That's one of those things I always looked forward to on Navigator. Perhaps they could stock a couple of bottles of the vintage "old stuff" in the mini-bar, just to remind us of the "good ol' day's".... I hope they don't really screw up and eliminate the aft vibration, too! That will ruin the whole experience.
  11. My own experience in SE Asia, including the Philippines (from 25 years in the Navy), is that the Filipino people are some of the happiest, friendliest and most dedicated professionals in the service and entertainment industry that I have ever met.
  12. I think most of you (including "the chief") correctly hit on the answer. When we book our cruises through our TA, we receive 2 different invoices at the time of the booking and when actual deposits have been paid.....One, from the travel agent and a second one from the cruise line. Various charges are broken out differently on the 2 invoices, but the "bottom line" total cost of the cruise (excluding separately provided "discounts") is the same on both invoices. The travel agency invoice shows the taxes/port fees as a separate line item/cost, whereas it's all included as a single "cruise fare" on the cruise line's invoice (not show as a separate charge). But on the TA's invoice, it also (additionally) lists the OBC's, refunds, pre-paid grats, etc. that the TA is providing. Those "credits" are not shown on the cruise line's invoice (other than separate OBC's that may be provided directly by the cruise line). The costs/fares might be itemized or depicted differently to customers on invoices generated in different countries Regards.
  13. Mura/RZ - I've pretty much come to the same conclusion. I don't think Oceania has very many options/alternatives for redesigning or "opening up" the O-class PH's, as long as the walk-in closet and the bathroom/s remain the way they are. They're really not getting much "bang" for that extra square footage. DW just walked by and suggested (jokingly, of course), "How about taking out the big bed and putting in bunk beds, instead"? ๐Ÿ˜Š
  14. Hi Mura, 1985rz1, and Dan..... (along with others who have experienced the O PH's) - We'll be doing our first Riviera PH next year on a TA; actually, it will be our first Oceania cruise ever. Assuming that Oceania's Managment/Designers are reading this, does anyone have any suggestions or ideas as to how, practically & specifically, Oceania could take the existing 420 sq ft (in a Riviera PH), along with the existing furniture, and simply rearrange the layout differently, so as to create more in-suite eating area without "screwing up something else" in the process? Just a brief comparison between the two PH floor plans ("R" ship vs the "O"), it looks like the designers used the extra square footage (in the newer O ships) and devoted it to a "new" walk-in closet and a larger bathroom (with separate tub and shower). Because of those changes, it looks like their options (for change) are now very limited/non-existent. Sometimes, bigger isn't always better! Even tho the "R" PH is smaller than the "O's", it actually looks like the available space (and resulting "livability" and "moving around") in the R PH's is actually better than in the "O's". Is that the general consensus here? Regards.
  15. Hi Bill! My thoughts exactly. I have no idea where the OP is seeing pictures of "these grumpy, distracted, spaced-out people"? I've certainly not seen any "grumpy people pictures" on these Regent threads. Are we just not looking in the right place/s? Regards
  16. Absolutely Right! +1 ๐Ÿ‘
  17. I think most of us "knew" exactly what was meant.
  18. My mother used to tell me (and I'm sure others were told the same thing) that "one does not discuss Money, Politics, and Religion in polite company". And there are good reason for that, which we can see playing out here. If anyone thinks that some of us are going to "silently standby and remain quiet", while people from other countries (and even our own) attempt to draw a "moral equivalency" between the U.S. government (whoever our president happens to be at the moment) and the oppressively cruel communist regime in Cuba - that isn't going to happen! Unless/until our posts are deleted by CC. I actually can't believe that his thread has not already been "locked". You heard "inflammatory verbiage" coming from one quarter, whereas others of us, heard it coming from another.
  19. Fizzy - Thank You! Your succinct response was far more civilized, polite, and "on point" than the 4 drafts that I subsequently deleted before posting. Since I was admonished earlier for stupidly thinking that "political discussions" were not suitable for posting on CC, it now seems that the "hounds have been unleashed" to spew any and all things that comes to their mind regarding our country and our form of government. Best Regards.
  20. Mr. Levin & Hyper - Thanks for the quick replies. I was jut wondering if Cuba was your main focus for the cruise/s you booked. And both of you answered in the affirmative. In my former line of work, I was in Gitmo quite often, but that of course is not really "the Cuba" that we're talking about here. Regards
  21. Was the sole purpose/intent of your cruise booking to go to Cuba?
  22. Hi JVilleGal - Will/could you be giving us some more thoughts regarding your current Navigator cruise? Yes, we know it's smaller than the other ships. Yes, we know that sometimes some people experience brown water. Yes, we know that some people (but certainly not all) are bothered/troubled by some random aft vibrations or "stability" issues. And yes, we know that some posters will never/ever cruise on Navigator (again). But other than that, and for the rest of us who actually like the ship and have upcoming cruises booked on her, some general thoughts and observations regarding how your current cruise is going overall, would be most appreciated. There are some folks on our small but active roll call who are completely new to cruising, new to Regent (and so of course, new to Navigator), and would like to feel a bit reassured and "excited" about their cruise investment/decision and their upcoming "adventure". They have noted and mentioned some of the "negative comments" they've seen, primarily from just a few people, that have been posted on these threads Certainly don't need any "candy coating" - just some "fair and balanced" comments/thoughts please. i.e., what is your itinerary, how many days, what class of stateroom are you in/location, how are the meals, service, pool grill, evening entertainment, etc., if you could? Best Regards.
  23. Hi Dan - I think I'm going to start trending more in that direction as well, in the future. As I get older, I'm liking crowds less and less. Never really did "like them", but found it easier to "put up with" when I was younger. For now at least, the population concentration in the U.S. (people per square mile) is still less than most places in the world (as long as we stay out of the big cities - that certainly presents no problem for me). There's still plenty of places/things for me to see in the U.S. or Canada, without it seeming to be as crowded, as it is elsewhere. And I don't have to "slug my way" through airport terminal crowds/lounges, and customs/baggage "holding pens", or sit on planes for 8-10 hours to get there (even as "relatively" more pleasant as B/C is, it's still not as nice as back in the "good old days"). Have you found, or do you think, that this feeling by us, along with that of other "seasoned citizens" will possibly make Transatlantic Cruises more popular for our demographic in the future - where the "shipboard experience" becomes more of the attraction/destination rather than any incidental ports along the ways? Regards.
  24. Just think of it as a bit of added "iron supplement" in your diet. Another "Regent Benefit"! ๐Ÿ˜Š
  25. Tripperva - I would guess that for the same cost of you (and your significant other) reaching Regent Platinum, you could probably have matching Porsche's sitting in your garage. ๐Ÿ˜‰
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