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Everything posted by pingpong1

  1. Hi Portolan - You've provided very useful information. We never pay the "full posted fare" for international B/C flights. Using an air-fare search engine can initially serve as a "filter" to find out which Airlines actually service your desired route, and then going to the individual airline's homepage can provide actual cost information. In almost every case, buying your tickets as early as possible will result in the cheapest fares (at least for international travel). I've never "saved money" by delaying the purchase of tickets. As soon as I know about a future trip, and as soon as the airline allows the booking/purchase (about 11 months out), I start shopping. On one trip from Phoenix to Rome, I purchased R/T Delta B/C tickets as soon as ticketing was available and paid around $4,000/ticket. I bought the tickets immediately. I checked the same itinerary/airline 3 months later and the price (on Delta) had risen to $8,000 each. Those were non-refundable tickets and (unlike BA) I was able to reserve the specific seats I wanted at the time of purchase. At the same time, and on the same airline website and as part of the same transaction, I bought the airline-offered "refund insurance" for the full purchase price of the tickets. The insurance premium was very reasonable (a percentage of the fare). Buying non-refundable fare tickets will always be significantly cheaper than the cost of refundable-fare tickets. Even if you don't buy the ticket insurance or refundable tickets, if health or family issues make it impossible for you to use those tickets, the money is not totally "lost". You won't get a "full cash refund" of the ticket price, but if you cancel the reservation before the flight, the airline will give you a credit (minus a moderate "change fee") that can be used towards future travel (if used within a set time limit - usually one year). All the above applies to ticket purchases in the U.S. Laws and rules might be different in other countries. Regards
  2. Thanks for weighing in Jason! It was nice to hear from you and to get the explanation, as well! Best Regards!
  3. I might have missed it, but I don't see anyone making a "big deal" out of anything on this discussion....at least not on the subject of Chargers. If someone doesn't feel like contributing or engaging in this particular topic - then don't! I Thought this was just a friendly and informative conversation about the use, history, and appropriateness of Chargers on the tables? No reason for anyone to feel that this is some sort of "attack" on Regent. Others quite often feel quite free to pick/choose/initiate discussions, of their choice, on a variety of topics on this board, as they see fit. So why would this discussion topic be a "problem", or anything different? And certainly, no one is committing the huge transgression of posting "off topic"! After all, "Chargers" is the topic of this thread.
  4. Perhaps Regent paid so much for them, they're afraid something untoward will happen to them if they're left on the table for any period longer than just making a good "first impression"? They might also be trying to minimize "wear and tear" from extended use (staying on tables too long) in order to make them last as long as possible before replacement?
  5. Generally, yes. The north Atlantic storms in the Maritimes tend to be the "played out" (ex Hurricanes) which have swung north up the U.S. coast. I'm not trying to minimize them. They can bring lousy weather with them, but it's generally not "Hurricane-force". As a matter of fact, this October 2018, New England and the Maritimes had pretty lousy weather for a week around October 20-25. An other Octobers......nothing.
  6. RJB - I hope you do, too! We just signed up for that Riviera TA in Nov. 2020 this past week. Hope to see you onboard. Regards.
  7. Perhaps the poster you responded to ("floridatraversforlife") was specifically referring to hurricanes, rather than just "storms and high seas". According to historical research that can be found on line...over the past 132 years, hurricanes in November occurred 6.8 times less often in the Atlantic basin than hurricanes occurring in September. Regards
  8. Hi Rich! I guess you're telling us that the drinks at "Two Dollar Beach" cost more than two dollars each?
  9. I'm sure I will be corrected on this, but I don't see how the addition/opening of the evening pool grill and poolside bar, in order to provide additional choices to passengers for evening venues on Regent, in any way would have a negative impact on any other passenger on the ship? If some passengers don't choose to avail themselves of those additional options for any number of various personal reasons, then they simply don''t have to use them. If the pool bar stays open into the evening hours, I might at times just decide to stay there, weather permitting, before retiring directly to my suite.
  10. Just like public and private swimming pools throughout the civilized world, properly maintained hot tubs will have the prescribed amount of chlorine added to the water each day to keep the water crystal clear and to eliminate the possibility of any biological contamination in the water. I wouldn't believe that the quality of ocean water at popular beaches around the world would be any cleaner, or even as clean, as properly maintained water in swimming pools and jacuzi's.
  11. I love a beautiful oven-roasted turkey with all the typical "fixings" (stuffing, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, cranberry jelly, etc.) accompanied by a nice pinot noir, champagne, or presecco, and finished off with a piece of warm pecan pie (and topped with vanilla ice cream)..........ONCE A YEAR! 😜
  12. Sworksjr - Thanks for joining the discussion! It's nice to get fresh points of view and impressions from folks who are new to the Regent brand. Which line/s have you cruised on before? It's helpful to know what you'll be comparing your observations to. Thanks Again!
  13. April 29, 2020 - Mariner has a TA crossing (that is westbound - i.e., days get "longer") from Rome to Miami.
  14. Hi Forgap! Thanks for the research! Maybe Germain is no longer available for sale at Total Beverage because Regent has bought up all available worldwide stocks of the stuff!
  15. Hi Malbec - I completely agree with you. Merriam-Webster's 1st definition of the term "Earn" is: "to receive as return for effort and especially for work done or services rendered". Unless we're coming onboard to scrub floors or wash dishes in the galley, or make beds in the suites, we're not "earning" anything from Regent! We're giving them bucket-loads of money and in turn, they're providing us a list of services and benefits in exchange for that payment. Taking us for a ride to a destination on their ships, offering complimentary drinks, including excursions, requiring no additional tipping/gratuities, and providing Wi-Fi are not "benefits" that have been "earned" by anyone. The cruise benefits offered by Regent are given in exchange to customers in return for Regent receiving the considerable amounts of money that we are giving them. Those list of benefits (along with fares being charged) are under constant review by the company and will be adjusted over time (by them) in order to continue to meet their profit objectives. Regent's deciding what "extra benefits" to give customers who have handed over the most money to them is not anything which has been "earned" on the part of the clients. The clients have paid for it. The more money we give Regent, the more "benefits" they will provide us. Regards.
  16. Hi Freddie - Perhaps you missed it, but in the context of my posts on this thread, I was only suggesting that bottles of the VC could be used to pour the SINGLE GLASS SERVINGS to multiple passengers (there are 6 individual servings/flutes in a 750ml bottle) who were first boarding the ship as their first "welcome aboard" champagne. No where was I suggesting that full complimentary bottles of VC be put in every single suite to substitute/replace the current full bottles of "complimentary" champagne (not VC) that are currently being selected by Regent and used. I also wasn't suggesting that VC be used as the standard complimentary champagne for folks walking up to a bar or asking for a bottle with dinner. The beginning of the thread was discussing the first taste or impression of "luxury" that folks were getting by/when Regent serves each person a single glass of what has been described by many as "inferior tasting" champagne when they board. I would also imagine that many passengers first boarding the ship might not even like champagne and routinely take a "pass" on the offering, no matter which champagne was/is being offered. My only reason for pointing out all the other bottles of higher-end liquor (not champagne) that are provided to everyone in their staterooms was to demonstrate that a one-time (only) first offering of a better quality of champagne, when folks first board, would not "break the bank" for Regent, in comparison to all the other "free stuff" (which we all know isn't really"free") that's being provided, and it would/might send a very nice "first impression" to first boarding passengers. In fact, giving passengers a complimentary "taste" of VC, might actually encourage more actual sales (profit for Regent) of it, once the cruise gots underway. Regards.
  17. Wow! And hostility again rears it's ugly head! And we were all doing so well......
  18. Kwaj Girl - I completely agree with you. If Regent can supply good/complimentary single-malt scotch, Vodka, and Gin throughout the cruise, it seems logical they could do the same, as well, for champagne. I also heartily agree with "FORGAP's" earlier observation regarding the quality and drinkability of the many offerings from California (and New York) for various "Bubblies". It's a matter of taste - not price or origin. I do not mind admitting to all that I keep a supply of "Korbel Extra Dry" and various moderately-priced prosecco's stocked in my garage refrigerator that I can pull out anytime the mood strikes! None of those are expensive (and probably even cheaper than some of Regent's current complimentary offerings). Sometimes, we see (and noted on these boards) inconsistencies in Regent's pursuit of the total "luxury experience" from "end to end". We finally achieved "free internet". I now hold out hope for eventual "free laundry", regardless of cruise, suite, or SSS status. "Hope springs eternal"! Regards
  19. JPR - I agree with you, but.... I don't think there is necessarily an unavoidable economic reason/constraint for it. I'm only talking about a one-time single-glass serving here. After all, they have no problem delivering "complimentary" full bottles of higher-end Glenlivet, Macallan, Amaretto Disaronna, and Drambuie, etc. to peoples' suites throughout the cruise. And this would only be a single glass of champagne offered to each passenger upon embarkation. Is there really that big of a difference in the wholesale price between all those full bottles of complimentary spirits they're distributing to everyone's suites throughout the cruise, vice the cost of single-glass servings of VC that would be offered to each passenger on "set-sail" day? Most likely not. Remember, Costco and Total Beverage are selling (retail) full bottles of VC for $45/bottle in AZ stores (naturally, it's marked up to around $80/bottle in our grocery stores - Yes, we can buy liquor in grocery stores in AZ). And yes, I also know it's probably double that retail price in states (like NY) and other countries (Europe) because of huge taxes that are added to all retail liquor purchases. But Regent is probably now buying the VC in bulk (pallet loads) for less than $35/bottle (and they're already giving full bottles of VC away to Titanium's in their suites and charging the rest of us $80+ per bottle for it around the ship). It just seems to me that with all the other "free" (tongue in cheek) stuff that they have decided to include for everyone on the cruises, I don't know why they are appearing to "cheapen down" that complimentary first "welcome aboard" glass of champagne (that apparently a lot of folks aren't even fully drinking due to the quality/taste)? Their current "welcome aboard" choice is certainly getting considerable (negative) attention of many, on this board at least. Regards.
  20. Hi Kwaj - I'm guessing the selection decision may have come down to more about price than taste. John182 said that there's not too much difference (retail) between the Germain and some Montaudon's. That may undoubtedly be true, but we have no way of knowing what kind of wholesale/discount price Regent was able to negotiate with the supplier for the purchase of thousands of cases of the "stuff" for the entire fleet. I can reasonably assume that the Germain was not selected because it cost "more"! Since Regent's first visible act towards it's passengers upon them boarding the ship is to hand them a glass of champagne, wouldn't you think they'd pick a "signature" champagne that would leave a most favorable first impression (to match the marble on the floors and the artwork on the walls)? Based upon the comments here, they're not accomplishing that at the moment. As has been discussed in the past, Costco sells Veuve Clicquot in my local store for $45/bottle - and Costco is obviously making a profit on it at that price point. At the fares Regent is charging, I'm sure they could "spring" for a similar/better quality of champagne to hand out (as a single glass) to each boarding passenger. They can continue to provide the bottles of " VC" gratis to their top customers in their suites and continue to sell it as a "premium choice" during the cruise for all others. I seriously doubt that Regent would "lose money" by serving an initial glass of higher end champagne (like VC) to all of their guests upon first boarding. Isn't that exactly the type of "first impression" that Regent is trying to instill in everyone? In fact, they might actually wind up selling more bottles of VC (as "premium") during the course of the cruise if they gave everyone a taste of it upon first boarding. It would also carry forward Regent's desired first impression of being a "luxury" cruise line.
  21. Based upon all the wise and knowledgeable tips I've received over the years on this board....we did specifically book a PH on the Mariner, and we're really looking forward to the extra square footage it will provide! Also made sure that we'd have one of the suites with the standalone shower vice the shower/tub combo. Regards to all.
  22. Hi Z - As always, I enjoyed your posts. By any chance did you "hit the slots" (in the casino) at any time while you were onboard? I was just wondering if that's a complete waste of time (and money) or did you know of (or hear about) any occasional "pay outs? Regards.
  23. Having choices and options is a very good thing. We're looking forward to our (next) Navigator cruise in 2019 and our first Mariner cruise in 2020. 😊
  24. Papaflamingo - Thanks for bringing us along on your trip! I have followed your past posts on RCI, as well. I'm sure you're noticing more than a few (positive) "differences" between RCI and Regent (other than the price, of course)! The pics of the kitchen/galley showed a place that was virtually spotless. It could probably serve as an operating room, if the need ever arose! Best Regards.
  25. Hi, Z. As always, I'm really enjoying your commentary. Could you tell me which NZ Sauvignon Blanc that you found so enjoyable? I like SV's myself, and I'm always on the look out for a new one to try. The prime rib also looked fantastic. Many Thanks.
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