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pingpong1

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Posts posted by pingpong1


  1. 42 minutes ago, liptastic said:

    Navigator looks great. We are big fans of Navigator and this refurb certainly makes me wish we had a cruise booked on her..  Thanks for posting,    Jean.

    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. 33 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

    Generally speaking - yes. However, that may not be the case for Australians as the gratuities are included in your fare -AFAIK.

    In such a case, removing the gratuities would essentially be getting a reduction in your fare “after the fact” (not to mention how unfair it would be to the wonderful staff on Oceania who count on this additional income). I am not certain about this point - only speculating.

    In Australia the basic income by law is such that gratuities are not needed to supplement the income of service staff. That is not the case universally.

    When in Rome, .......

    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. 50 minutes ago, wripro said:

    Why would anyone care what others are drinking? For the same reasons they seem to care what others are wearing. Control issues, I assume!!!!

    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. 2 hours ago, mdpa said:

     

    I think the main reason this is done is for standardization and sanitation. If you buy a bottle at a land based restaurant it is assumed you will drink (or pay for the whole thing). On a cruise with a drink package, if your group requests 2 bottles of a certain type they can readily change their mind for the next course. Once the bottle hits your table it can't be re-served to someone else and they don't want to tell you no. Kind of like when a bread basket hits your table.....it's not going back to be re-gifted to another customer.

    MDPA - All of your points are well taken and make sense.  Thanks for the response and fresh perspective.  Best Regards.


  7. 2 hours ago, clo said:

    I've also found that if the server pours s/he may pour more than I would have.  Hoping we'll order another bottle?

    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!  😧 

    Best Regards to all.


  8. 1 hour ago, Jay23 said:

    "... It is certainly frowned upon if you try to pour your own wine in a restaurant on a ship or on land.     J"

    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.  😊


  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. 42 minutes ago, hypercafe said:

    "..... I was told by Regent that this drydock has fixed the brown water issue...."

    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. 2 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

    I believe the OP is a victim of the "port charges" by TA's.  Is the amount listed as "port taxes and fees" or "port taxes, fees, and charges"?  Many times a TA will take the "non-commissionable" portion of the cruise fare out of their advertised fare, and lump it into "port charges".  The best way to check is to try booking the same cruise with the cruise line.  If the cruise line's fare and "port taxes and fees" come out to nearly the same as the TA's reduced "fare" and increased "port taxes, fees, and charges", then this is generally what has happened.

    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.


  12. 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"? 😊


  13. 1 hour ago, 1985rz1 said:

    Mura...I actually started this thread to see if there was general dissatisfaction with the O ship arrangement and if there was hoping the folks at O would take notice and change it during any "upgrade." We'll see.  Thanks for your input.

    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.


  14. 1 hour ago, UUNetBill said:

    I'm confused - where are the grumpy people?  If you're talking about photos on Cruise Critic, well, Regent doesn't have any say on those photos, and frankly, most photos I've seen posted here are full of pretty happy people.  The Regent brochures and website show the paid models who do NOT accurately represent the normal Regent passengers.  But I don't see any of them looking grumpy, either.

     

    :classic_unsure:

    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


  15. 12 minutes ago, rallydave said:

    That will be really simple as there are no US Ocean Cruise Lines.  Yes there are many cruise lines based in the US however they are registered foreign companies much like all of the Ocean Cruise Lines are flagged outside the US.  While they appear to be US companies, they are not.

    I think most of us "knew" exactly what was meant.


  16. 6 minutes ago, forgap said:

    I don’t think anyone agrees with all governmental policies all the time.  The point of travel is connection and exposure to other points of view and lifestyles - even if you fundamentally disagree with with those points of view and lifestyles.  Travel has enriched my life by opening my eyes to gut wrenching poverty, opulent privilege, and the humanity that connects the two.  

     

    I hope on this forum we can at least respect each other’s opinions without resorting to inflammatory verbiage.

    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.


  17. 6 minutes ago, fizzy said:

    My suggestion for anyone who finds the policies of the United States or Canada or Switzerland or wherever so repugnant, for whatever reason, that they cannot support that government's views should avoid these destinations and be more careful when making travel plans so as not to appear hypocritical .....this would also negate the need to put forth gentle lectures.

    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.


  18. 46 minutes ago, mrlevin said:

    If you have booked a hotel or flight prior to tomorrow; you are grandfathered.  Unfortunately, can't tell if that is same for cruises.  Norwegian has issued a statement but nothing from Regent (unless Norwegian statement is only statement for the three lines).  Statement just says we are researching and we will get back to you later.  It will be interesting if same "grandfather" rules apply; i.e., that you have paid for cruise.  I called Regent again about needing to make full payment today in order to get grandfathered; but they had no idea.  Of course, that would be a nightmare for cruise lines if some guests are allowed whilst others are not.  Oh well, I will wait until Regent finds out the rules and figures out what they are doing; hopefully before 16 June.

     

    Marc

    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

     


  19. 22 minutes ago, hypercafe said:

    I just saw this on CNN also. They also said Trump waved a suspension on a law that allows a company to be suied for using property taken by the Cuban government during the revolution so a lawsuit has already been filed against Carnival for using the pier and cruise terminal. So there goes my October 2020 trip, at least I can cancel and just forfeit the admin fee.

    Was the sole purpose/intent of your cruise booking to go to Cuba?


  20. 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.


  21. 15 hours ago, Hawaiidan said:

    Just came back from europe/ france and switzerland... and its  crowed  even inland  unless you get out of the cities and attractions... which I did with  some success.

    I  was blown away by the rampant development that has happens across Europe... The  rural car park for Zermatt in 2007  is now a 3 story high rise car park... ( Zurich airport now has 15 story car parks....4 of them)     Chinese tourists are everywhere by the tens of thousands. Huge traffic jams everywhere, unless you  get to rural places.    May is  not a big tourist month  either....   Summer will be beyond comprehension to me at this rate

         

    My take is that in the future I will use the ship for the ship and not the ports... Like a hotel or resort that you stay at.  I wont expect to get off and enjoy the ship..... thats it.

     

    I will use  off the grid  remote places to visit on land, and not be subjected to the cruise ship port ghettos. when i want to see the land....

     

    Thats my plan.....    

    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.


  22. 1 hour ago, SWFLAOK said:

    Thank you for the info. I guess I'll be drinking out of the faucet unless our room steward can reassure me about where the water bottles come from each day, and how they're cleaned and refilled. I've never been told on a cruise ship that I can't drink the water from the faucet, and I've always used it to brush my teeth, and haven't had a problem. Of course, if it's brown from the faucet, that's another problem.

    Just think of it as a bit of added "iron supplement" in your diet.  Another "Regent Benefit"!  😊

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