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pingpong1

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Posts posted by pingpong1


  1. Sita - You'll get a lot of different opinions regarding which  various  airlines are "good" for overseas travel. People on this board like to always say, "food is subjective".  Well, I think the same can be said about airlines.  If you're on one airline for a particular trip and have a bad experience, even if it was only a rare , one-time occurrence, a lot of folks will say, "never again" to that airline.

     

    Having flown many thousands of miles on overseas flights, on many different foreign and domestic airlines, to many different countries in the world during my working career.....My thinking is that the "worst airline" is the one you're traveling/flying with at any given moment, and having a "problem" with at that moment.

     

    Any given flight can be weather or mechanically delayed. Any plane can have problems with the toilets, any plane can run out of the dinner entree or wine you wanted, and you can wind up on any flight sitting next to a person who hasn't had a shower in a couple of days or has a fussy child that simply won't stop crying.  I have experienced all those things on many different airlines.

     

    Having said all that, there are some airlines I prefer over others.  I won't mention the ones I don't like (it will bring on arguments), but I'll mention a few I do like...In the Asia/Pacific area, I like Singapore, Cathay Pacific, Virgin Australia, Delta, JAL, and Hawaiian Air. To the Middle East, I like Emirates (hands down). To Europe, I like Delta, American, Swiss Air, United (although they've dropped down a few rungs on myladder in the past few years), Lufthansa, and SAS.  I've never flown Aer Lingus before, but I'm going to give them a try next year for a land visit to Ireland and Scotland.

     

    One note...If you book Delta to Rome from the U.S., make sure it's a "real" Delta flight/airplane/flight crew...and NOT a code share flight that is really operated by Alitalia Airlines. I'll leave it at that. Others might have quite different and additional viewpoints.  Regards.


  2. 1 hour ago, Travelcat2 said:

    Isn't booking "Multi-City" easier and less expensive?  That is what we do.  The only time the one-way issue comes into play for us is when we are using Regent Air one way and book our own air when flying home from Miami (so we can book First Class which we find is less money when you book it yourself).  

    TC - Unfortunately (and inexplicably) not.  Doing a "mock multi-city booking" online on several different air sites (Travelocity, UA, DL, Expedia, etc.) for next October....For a multi-city itinerary of one-way B/C seat from Phoenix to Rome, and then returning F/C from Miami to Phoenix, 2 weeks later, (all on one itinerary/booking), results in fares ranging between $9K and $11K per person.  Yikes!

     

    Booking the R/T itinerary in B/C between Phoenix and Rome in Oct 2019 winds up around $4,200 and (and then just not flying the return leg on that booking).  A separate One-way booking in F/C from Miami to Phoenix is about $500.  For a total fare of around $4,700.  That's a price difference of at least $4,000+ per person.  Crazy, isn't it?!


  3. On 11/30/2018 at 6:02 AM, Portolan said:

    Pricing one-way international flights will always yield very high fares (except for a few airlines and regions).

    For reasons largely inexplicable, you can book international award flights with no penalty over R/T or Multi-City, but one-way paid international is ridiculously expensive,

    Hi Portolan - I'm also finding the same "crazy" fare pricing for international one-way vs. R/T fares that you talked about.

     

    Checking on a R/T flight (a year out from now) in B/C between Phoenix and Rome is around $4,200 (non-refundable) for the entire trip (on both DL and UA). But flying just one-way from Phoenix to Rome in B/C, during the same time period (and the same airlines) is around $8K!  That's nuts!

     

    One immediate idea that comes to mind is to just book/buy the "cheaper R/T" (non-refundable) ticket for $4K.... use it one-way for the flight from Phoenix over to Rome to catch my cruise (I'm on a T/A cruise from Rome back Miami).  Then,  just "throw away" the unused/return portion of the ticket - I know they're not really paper tickets anymore - (from Rome back to Phoenix).  For the flight from Miami back to Phoenix, I'll have a separately-purchased "cheap" (non-refundable) F/C ticket .  Cost-wise, I'm still way ahead of the game (by more than $3K).  I wonder if anyone has "moral scruples" about doing that?  It's got to drive the airlines absolutely bonkers, and I'm sure I'm not the first/only person to ever consider or actually do this!  Regards


  4. 3 hours ago, Portolan said:

    Pricing one-way international flights will always yield very high fares (except for a few airlines and regions).  For some randomly picked dates in mid-week for next October (closest to November which can be checked now) from YVR to Dubai and return Singapore to YVR, I find Business Class multi-city (since not a R/T) fares of $4-5k/pp.  These are 1 stop flights on combinations of Korean, Emirates and Singapore Airlines...all good experiences.  Just use the multi-city option on Google Flights.  These are regularly offered fares, not some form of bulk fare...Google Flights is not a booking engine.

     

    For reasons largely inexplicable, you can book international award flights with no penalty over R/T or Multi-City, but one-way paid international is ridiculously expensive,

    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


  5. 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.


  6. 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?


  7. 1 hour ago, Tranquility Base said:

    Thanks everyone.

    It's a Northern crossing from UK to Canada I was considering.

    After Ireland there are 11 port stops in Canada, which is why I am interested about the historical itinerary disruptions due to having to take a more Southerly route out of UK.

     

    In early October are the storms which would affect a Northern crossing more likely to be ex Hurricanes, or one of the 'nor'easters' which often head out into the North Atlantic from around the New York / Canadian Maritimes area ?

    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.


  8. 51 minutes ago, JimandStan said:

    Calmer in November?  Are you kidding?  

    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


  9. 5 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

     

    While I sort of “get it”, if you want to go to the, a lounge or anywhere inside the ship (except for your suite) you need to follow the dress code. So, unless you are foregoing nighttime actiities, you still have to dress according to the dress code.  Glad to hear that some people enjoy it occasionally.  I suppose it is just not our thing.  

     

    P.S. We love rack of lamb in Chartreuse but find the lamb chops from the pool grill just “okay” but acknowledge that taste is subjective. 

    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. 1 hour ago, Hambagahle said:

    Enjoy your thanksgiving.   Ken and I at dinner tonight noted that it was Thanksgiving tomorrow and that we were giving thanks (lots of thanks!) NOT to have to eat turkey!!  To each his own...

     

    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. 1 hour ago, sworksjr said:

    Joined this cruse in Pateete and will go thru to Sydney. As a first time Regent cruiser I am most impressed by the lack of lines and how uncrowded the ship feels

    We met several of the fellow Cruse Critic people at the Meet and Greet.

     

    The block party is an interesting concept, as many times I have never met our neighbors on the cruse.

     

    Papaflamingo and Rich48100 are doing a great job with pictures and descriptions, so I will only remark on my observations as a new Regent cruiser.

    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. 1 hour ago, MalbecWine said:

    Maybe I was looking at the Regent Suite on the Explorer at those prices laundry should be free in that suite.

    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.


  14. 28 minutes ago, freddie said:

    While I, like the other posters on this interesting thread, fervently hope that Regent will have run out of Germain before our next cruise and will have restocked with something else, I would suggest that it is a bit difficult to make the comparison noted in the quote above.   It is quite likely that Regent can stretch a bottle of Glenfiddich or Grey Goose over many more servings than can be done with a bottle of wine or champagne.  After all, lots of us can polish off a bottle of champagne over the course of a long cocktail hour; but not all of us can knock back a bottle of Bombay Sapphire in that period of time. :classic_wacko:  Of course, YMMV. :classic_rolleyes:

    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.


  15. 15 hours ago, Kwaj girl said:

    pingpong1 - that first glass of VC would be quite nice, of course, but those of us that wish to enjoy Champagne throughout the voyage still have to put up with that substandard Germain or figure out some other beverage to substitute. Not my idea of a luxury cruise line.  A similar discussion is taking place on FB in the "RSSC Social Club" group.

    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


  16. 3 hours ago, JPR said:

    There are plenty of very good champagnes and sparkling wines for under $30 wholesale. 

     

    Complimentary Veuve Cliquot isn’t going to happen, except in your dreams....

    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.


  17. 30 minutes ago, Kwaj girl said:

    I'm with you on that, Mudhen.  Can't STAND Germain - had it on Nav this past August.  So...to whom, specifically, can we make our comments known?  Would love to know who their 'taste testers' were that preferred that slop.

    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.


  18. 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.  :classic_smile:

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