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About clarky

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Perth Western Australia
  • Interests
    Travel, reading, history, wine, cooking
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  1. As many cruise passengers are in the senior age bracket (reported deaths have mainly been in the over 55 age group) I can understand their concern about contracting the corona virus. As mentioned this virus has a long incubation period which is why testing for signs of a temperature or visible signs of the flu on embarkation may be futile. It only takes one passenger to infect a ship full of passengers and crew. Australian scientist have managed to grow the virus in a lab and are working hard on a vaccine but as we know this takes time. I also understand that more people in the US and Australian have died in our normal flu season but most people in the vulnerable age group are offered a flu shot. This is not the case with the corona virus. I also acknowledge that the media can inflate/inflame but also inform the general public and I'm sure statistically the chances of contracting the virus as a cruise passenger maybe low but I'm not sure if I was in the vulnerable age group for not surviving the virus I would take the chance. We are cruising for 39 days on Seabourn from Cape Town, our flight is via Singapore and my husband has bought face masks and I have bought hand sanitizer and wipes and I intend to wipe down the tray table and seat as best I can on the plane. Singapore Airlines has many flights to China and Hong Kong and who knows where my connecting plane has flown from previous to my flight. I will be as vigilant as I can be.
  2. We just returned from our Voyager cruise Singapore to Singapore. I was told that 50 staff trainees were on board our cruise in guest cabins. We received excellent service and found the food to be very good. We had a couple of dishes that were not hot enough but certainly not cold. We had one of the best waiters we have ever had cruising (over 250 Seabourn, 150 Silversea 75 Regent) JoJo in Compass Rose. There was a bar staff member in the Observation lounge who never managed to get our drinks order right but Victor was fantastic. We have had great cruises on all of the cruise lines I have mentioned but also had a few misses on all the cruise lines. Our cruise on the Mariner in April was not good and I'm not sure I would cruise that ship again. I loved the two Voyager cruises we did this year. If you do have a Voyager cruise coming up do try and ask to be seated at JoJo's station in Compass Rose he is outstanding.
  3. It stated a new booking within 45 days of your last cruise and the booking was. I'm not a give up kind of person and I checked the minuscule terms and conditions before I applied. Just irritates me when offers are made and then they try to worm out of them.
  4. I'm at Platinum level so I have a few days on Regent and always found their communication and on board organization to be very good. I returned from my last cruise with them on the 8th of September. Weeks later I received a letter stating that if I booked another cruise within 45 days of my last cruise I was eligible for an on board credit. The letter arrived a few days before the expiry date. I had booked a last minute 14 day cruise leaving on the 6th of December (paid in full as it was last minute) I contact my travel agent and she contact them before the expiry date (by about a day). She received a reply saying as we had paid in full we were not eligible for the credit. Nowhere in the letter did it stipulate that if you had booked and paid for a cruise in full you were not eligible. I would understand if you booked a future cruise on board but I booked this cruise after September the 8th. My travel agent has tried hard to deal with them but keeps getting the same answer - no. First they said it was because we did not fall into the 45 day period. When she sent information to correct this they then said we had paid in full and would not get the credit. It is not a huge amount of money for them or me but why send me the offer if they had no intention of giving me the credit. Does anyone know who I should try to contact to air my grievance.
  5. I was on the Voyager Athens to Rome. I have gained so much knowledge from these boards that I thought that posting this review as a solo traveler may help others feel assured that as a solo Regent really does a great job.
  6. This was a cruise for my mother's 80th Birthday. I left my husband at home so it was just the two of us. I'm in my 50's and cruise with my husband having many nights on Seabourn and Silverseas and have done 6 previous Regent cruises (Navigator and Mariner). We usually take longer cruises not less than 14 days and more often B2Bs. This cruise was an 11 day cruise. I give you his information so that you can interpret my views with an understanding of where I'm coming from. After our last Regent cruise Shanghai to Singapore on the Mariner in April I was not sure I had made the right choice in selecting the Voyager for this special celebration. We had several problems on our last Mariner cruise (the weather was not warm and the dinning venues were crowded. There were lines of people waiting for food to be replenished at the buffet and the food was mediocre). There were many more problems on that cruise and this was acknowledged by the HD. So it was with this last experience foremost in my mind that I boarded the Explorer. On arrival in our suite we had an invitation to the singles get together which we attended. It was a lovely surprise to see Marla (social hostess) as we last sailed with her on the Mariner. I sailed with Marla on Seabourn in 2004 and for many years before she moved to Regent. It was like meeting an old friend again. I have never sailed solo before so I can't comment on the other lines I have sailed and how they treat their single passengers but I can say that Regent did an outstanding job on this cruise. I would not hesitate to sail Regent as a solo cruiser and can only give a glowing review of how they embrace solo passengers. Marla hosted a table in the lounge every evening and for those singles that did not have a dinner reservation or a date with new friends Marla always hosted a table for dinner. On this cruise I found the other guests to be very friendly and we opted to share tables in the Compass Rose and the two specialty restaurants. We had delightful dinning experiences in all those venues. Unlike the last Mariner cruise the food was wonderful, the wine was excellent and the entertainment was good. This was an intensive port itinerary and we were appreciative of the morning excursions and being able to rest in the afternoon. I never found the pool deck to be overly crowded and the drink service on the pool deck was good. I have previously done comparisons of Seabourn, Silverseas and Regent and each of these cruise lines has elements they excel in. What I love about Regents are the excellent wines they offer, the casual atmosphere on board and the all inclusive experience. They also do the best fish of any line I have been on and I love seafood. They do the best hamburgers I have had at sea and their shore excursions and how they handle them from the ship are excellent. I now also love the way they cater for and value their solo travelers. I know that Silverseas and Seabourn do offer services for solo passengers but I can't comment on that as I have no experience with them being a solo traveler. Being a larger ship the shows done by the Regents singers and dancers was much better than on the other two Regent ships I have cruised on. I will sail Seabourn again in February for 39 days and have just done Silverseas in June and Regent Mariner in April. I really liked the Voyager. We had a standard balcony suite on deck 7 and it was well thought out design and roomy. We have sailed the Mariner in a Seven Seas suite twice and I loved that suite. The balcony suites on Silverseas and Seabourn are also excellent. I will say that Regent is priced far more reasonably than Seabourn if you would like to sail in a Penthouse or any of the other suites. Silverseas is a little better than Seabourn in that regard but Regent wins hands down for me in the pricing of the upper suites. All in all the explorer won me back to Regent although I would be hesitant to sail on the Mariner again. We look for an itinerary we like and depending on which cruise line offers the itinerary we like we are happy to sail on Seabourn, Silverseas and Regent. I have not sailed Crystal because until recently the had set setting times for dinner. I know this has changed but I do like smaller ships in fact the Voyager is the largest ship I have sailed on. I know a regular regents cc poster has just sailed Crystal and really enjoyed the experience. Maybe in the future we will try crystal.
  7. I have also booked a cruise on the wind to Antarctica and South Georgia so will look forward to your posts.
  8. I find this topic an interesting one. It is very difficult for staff to enforce the rule of not reserving sunbeds as passenger numbers have increased on Seabourn. When we first sailed on the little ships I was wandering around looking for a sunbed when a staff member approached me to offer assistance in obtaining a sunbed. He removed a towel and book from a sunbed and mentioned that the guest had been away from the sunbed for a lengthy period of time. Not 15 minutes later the lady came out shocked to find someone on her sunbed. I could see her making a bee line for me but the staff member intercepted her and had a conversation with her and returned her book. Fast forward to the Odyssey when she was very new. I had wanted to try one of the Balinese sun beds on deck 5 but they were never available. Staff in this area are not often seen so after the bed had been vacant for over an hour I removed the book and towel and took up my position. About 30 minutes later a gentleman came back and stated that this was his sunbed and he had just gone to the bathroom and I had no right to remove his things. I gently corrected him saying I waited an hour before removing his things and that perhaps he should aquatint himself with the rules posted by seabourn regarding sunbeds. He was not happy and I did not like have to confront someone whilst I was trying to enjoy my holiday. I like the suggestion of going to the HD if I saw a serial offender and there were a shortage of sunbeds. I probably would not remove someones belonging again as it was an awkward situation to confront another guest. I would probably try and find a staff member to help me out. I thought the time you could leave a sunbed unattended was 20-30 minutes. I find this topic interesting as what one person considers within the rules and acceptable another guest would not. I can only say that if the deck was busy and sunbeds were at a premium I would not go to lunch and leave my belonging on the sunbed. Just because other guests do does not make this acceptable. Having said that if you can lunch with 30 minutes then of course that would be acceptable (or within the time posted on the signs). We all have our own moral compass and just because we are on holiday does not mean we should leave it at home. I find most guests on Seabourn to be considerate and the few that are not in the minority.
  9. We just disembarked the wind on the 6th of July. Collin was actually on the wind for one week of our two week cruise. He was not happy to have his vacation delayed. We found the wind to be in excellent condition. We were in the Medallion Suite 741 and loved this suite. The bathroom was massive with an amazing walk in wet area. A week before we boarded we were offered an upgrade to the owners suite for a very reasonable price. After looking at the size of the owners suite compared to the Medallion suite we declined the upgrade as the Medallion suite had more square footage. It does not have a balcony and this could be a show stopper for a lot of guests but for us we find we hardly use our balcony and would only really want a balcony on a warm weather cruise. Our cruise was not kissed by the weather gods and it rained or was overcast for most of the cruise. So we would not have used the balcony anyway. The staff were amazing and the food was good, not outstanding but very good. The chef had changed for this cruise and apparently was not as good as the chef on the previous cruise. The guitarist was outstanding and we danced most nights when he played with the band later in the evening. We loved this ship and I have booked a 31 day cruise on her in January 2021 to Antarctica. I'm also told that they will take out the bath tubs in the suites and just have a shower which I think will be appreciated by many guests.
  10. Having just sailed Regent in April on the Mariner and now on the Wind I can say I much prefer the Wind to the Mariner. We have sailed on the Mariner twice and on our December cruise the ship was not full whilst the April cruise was to capacity and you really felt it. Hard to get a table at any restaurant and so crowded at times they needed to bring extra tables out. I would not cruise on the Mariner again. We find the food on Regent and Silverseas about the same. The entertainment is slightly better on Silversea and the service is about the same. The wines are good on both lines. The Wind is at capacity and you don't feel that it is crowded. You can get a table at any venue whenever you want. I think you need to understand what is important to you on a cruise. Food, Wine, Entertainment, Itinerary or Service. Put those in order of preference and be guided by reviews and make the best informed decision you can. Important to me is not to feel crowded (the buffet on Regent Mariner was unacceptable) and not being able to be seated in the main dinning room when we wanted to eat another unacceptable thing. So space to passenger ratio is important to me. Food, service and then entertainment. I still favour Seabourn for food and entertainment but itinerary is probably second on my list so I would sail Silversea over Regent if the itinerary was the same. I also don't like to have my excursions included as I like to do my own thing sometimes. This is my personal opinion and others have a different view but we are lucky to be able to cruise on any of the three lines I have mentioned.
  11. Jolly Jones and Chrism23 we are also on this cruise (4 Australians) and are looking to form a team for trivia. We would love to join you. I will look for you both on the first trivia day. We are not great with sport questions but okay with music, geography and science. So hopefully we will be a good team. Looking forward to this cruise. Karen, Robert, Anthony, and Robyn.
  12. We had the Montaudon on a Regent cruise and it was more to my liking than NF. Next Regent cruise was Germain and it was just awful. Had one glass and would not have another. Last Regent cruise we had Piper Heidsieck. Hope they have the Montaudon on our cruise with Seabourn in September.
  13. The decor might be over the top but in our suite we had a balcony that had not only glass that came down automatically but a fly screen that came up automatically as well. Fantastic for evenings as bugs can be a problem in the evenings on the river. Also had a drop down TV (from the ceiling)in the bedroom, a large mirror above the couch that turned into a huge tv screen. The light switches were electronic and you just held your finger over to activate. Plenty of usb ports. The pool on board had clear glass surrounding it but when you entered to swim the glass went opaque. While I could not live with this kind of decor in my own home we ended up really enjoying the decor.
  14. We have sailed Uniworld- Amsterdam to Budapest. We had a Royal Suite. Amazing experience. New boat, excellent staff. Wine and Food were also very good. We also did the Nile in Egypt with Uniworld and it reinforced their care and service towards it's guests. We sailed the Rivers of France with Scenic (we chose Scenic because the itinerary was longer than the uniworld offering). We also had a Royal Suite. Scenic was good but not as good as Uniworld in my opinion. The suite on Uniworld was far superior. The food and wine were about the same but the service on Uniworld was much better. I did like that on Scenic they had a special event that was not an extra charge where on Uniworld the special event was for a fee. We have friends who we cruise Seabourn with and they did a river cruise with Tauck and highly recommended them. Sounds like Crystal would also be a good option. All the river cruise companies I mentioned are all inclusive if I'm not mistaken. Most other companies are not. I would look at the options for these four companies and decide which itinerary suites you better along with timing and the boat they are using on the itinerary you like. Great to have so many options nowadays with river cruising. I agree you can not compare River cruising against a sea cruise but you can compare River cruise companies. So far Uniworld would be my preference but I would not rule out Tauck or Crystal.
  15. We are sailing on the wind and want to make a special request. I would like to ask if they can get pink gin on board. I have tried through my bookings but there is no where to ask for a special request. Pink Gin is no more expensive than regular gin but has a lovely flavour. Can anyone help me with this?
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