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About blacksmith

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    Cool Cruiser

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    south pacific

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  1. We are on this cruise and received an up-sell offer just as mrlevin has described. After doing the math I called our TA and asked her if she and Regent were nuts. She said she needed to contact Regent to see what was going on. She called me the following day and let’s just say the explanation was weak. I told her to identify future up-sell offers as either bargains or just “opportunities “. We have taken advantage of many up-sells over the years (mostly with Oceania and some with Regent) and generally speaking they are significant discounts from their brochure prices. I would like to have been a fly on the wall when Regent was putting this offer together .
  2. I would probably be inclined to follow the cruise line advice, assuming that they have the most up to date info and they have my best interest in mind.
  3. How long ago were you on a VO cruise that included Italy? A few years ago we cruised with Oceania and they retained our passport even while in Italy.
  4. I had to listen again (probably been over 30 yrs) to the Dylan song you’re referencing. Conjures up a pretty similar profile.
  5. Parsley, I won’t be “wondering “ or “assuming” any more. It’s clear that you march to the beat of your own drummer. If your cruising methods work for you I wish you all the best.
  6. Guess what. VO already has a daily automatic tip. They also automatically add a tip to all drinks (those that are not included) and spa services. I assume that you go to customer service when you get on the ship and tell them not to add the daily tip charge. I also assume you don’t order drinks that have a charge, or use the spa services.
  7. Parsley, Again, which cruise lines are you using that you tip in envelopes at the end of the cruise?
  8. Broker- I think you may have hit the nail on the head. If the cruise line can dodge taxes by charging us while at sea, this may explain Vikings policy on tips. I’m not an international tax expert, but it would be interesting to hear from someone with expertise on this subject.
  9. Obviously the opinions on this subject are going to be all over the map. I live in the US but I think I’m in camp with the Brits and Aussies when it comes to cruise tipping. Parsley, what cruise line are you using that you have a butler, but they don’t include tips or auto tip? If you’re tipping at the end of the cruise you’re either double tipping or cruising on a line that I’m not familiar with. In a perfect world I think your method is ideal. Problem is, you may have someone in the cabin next door that received stellar service but walked off the ship without leaving a dime. Leads to tip sharing enforced by management. At the end of the day we are all going to pay X number of dollars for our cruise experience and should simply make informed decisions and be kind 🤗
  10. I believe that the reason cruise lines include or add tips automatically is because some of us will “stiff” the service staff given the chance. In the old days you were given envelopes for the tips on the second to last day of the cruise and it was a ritual to hand them out to the various staff. Unfortunately some passengers would become scarce on tip day. I believe that the service staff should be paid a wage that includes the automatic tip. This would eliminate cultural issues, “stiffing “, and any unevenness from the equation. You can always reward exceptional service at your own discretion. The problem for the cruise lines in doing this is that most of them are afraid they will appear more expensive than a competitor who chooses to disguise the tip charge. I’m aware that most cruise lines allow you to adjust automatic tips up or down while you’re on the ship. If you want to increase a tip just do it. If you feel a need to decrease a tip, you should probably be speaking to management about the problem.
  11. We have used a private car thru Viator for about $100, which I think is considerably less expensive and much nicer. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  12. We board Nov 13 and received our blue book today. 47 days Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  13. If the concierge manager is correct, it would suggest that Oceania has decreased service staff on their ships. Does anyone (Stan & Jim) have information regarding this? Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  14. Hard to say with certainty how much better the butler performed, but he was the best we have ever had (Raja). Can only compare Oceania and Regent from personal experience. Very proactive. With permission he brought the complimentary bottle of champagne to the MDR and did the initial pour. Seemed to learn our habits and likes, and respond accordingly. In general just seemed to be just a little more attentive. We have not experienced anything above Penthouse category. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
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