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Posts posted by BasandSyb

  1. Fletcher - yes involves B2Bs. The difficulties in having the time and wanting to do a regional exploration are (a) itinerary - looking for something a bit more than the same old and (b) coverage - being able to link a few cruises B2B (too much seasonal yo-yoing) or at least link within a reasonable time period and include indepth land content between.

    Unfortunately the year we wanted to do Svalbard on Seabourn Pride they discontinued it.

    Have found an Azamara Norway for 18 days July 2021. It only does a brief Svalbard cruise around, but will give us a taste to decide if a re-visit is desired. It also does a reasonable coastal Norway without having to do 2x Seabourn with crossovers. So we have then added an extended Baltic.

    In all likelihood it will be cancelled...but something to look forward to for a while!

  2. Totally agree. We are booked for July 2021 (yes, very optimistic!) and needed to find another cruise line to do a longer cruise (we are Australian) and include all the places in the Baltic (and still haven’t got them all) and do Norway and Svalbard. The 7 days Baltic on Seabourn just didn’t cut it, and you can’t combine the cruises to cover the region in any satisfactory way as there’s too much yo-yoing . They’ve forced us to look elsewhere although we would prefer the Seabourn product. They operate smaller ships, so why not include more regional towns than dropping off passengers where the massive liners disgorge for the day and we all fight for a “local experience”. Why have smaller ships and not capitalise on them?

  3. Couldn’t agree more Fletcher. Down under we are in a bit of a bubble and waiting for the cruise season to open up again. It seems the Seabourn marketing branch has gone into hibernation - or perhaps they are too busy trying to accommodate FCCs?Everything we are seeing is dated or “sold out”.

    One thing we have been remarking on in recent years (pre Covid) is that the itineraries are really starting to stall. Perhaps they are expecting the new Expedition ships to to pick up the itinerary slack. But they really need an injection of imagination. - even a few overnight stays to break it up. We are champing at the bit here and have given up waiting for the Seabourn releases. Have booked Svalbard for next July and if that doesn’t work out have booked SNG to MEL with NY in Sydney Harbour on Azamara.

    They are coming down the west coast of Australia - shock horror - yes Australia has a west coast Seabourn. After 10+ years of doing the east coast you may want to do a refresh and take some feedback from those constant surveys we receive. Mix it up a bit.


    Actually...the marketing people have been in hibernation, as we haven’t received any surveys for over 12 months - surely this would have been the best time for a re-frame? We’ve all had to do it in our businesses!


    Maybe the stuff for a separate topic starter.


  4. Thanks all. They are apparently off the ship 30 March at 10am (just over 3 hours time) and to the airport. Miami - San Fran - Sydney.

    By all accounts Azamara has outdone themselves in organisation. Let’s hope it goes smoothly for everyone on board. By all accounts the Europeans might have more of a challenge.

    For the Australians - mandatory hotel quarantining for 14 days. Very fortunate!

  5. Thanks very much for the information. Much appreciated. The approach seems to differ around the world, and of course dependent upon infection which thankfully Pursuit is clear.


    Tonight Australia goes into enforced 14 day hotel stay upon arrival enforced by defence forces. Unfortunately too many people haven't been self quarantining. They will be happy enough to be closer to home.



  6. Has anyone recent information about potential port restrictions the Pursuit will experience in docking at Miami around 30 March. (Assuming the rules don’t change in the next few days). Usual official and consulate websites have been useless.


    Given there is no virus on the ship is the government allowing disembarkation generally for ships in Miami?


    Appreciate any information as we have family on board and it’s going to be a long journey home to Australia ONCE they are released AND are able to get a flight. Is there any mandatory quarantining requirement (Aust. is 14 days)


    Appreciate local intel.

  7. Sadly what this whole sorry business has demonstrated to us how most of the population gets its news and information - facebook, twitter, instagram and sensationalist news channels. If anyone has read Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, hopefully those who are senselessly putting others at risk will receive vital information about the departure of the New Arks from the planet and create a new world somewhere else. 


    Stay safe.

  8. Thanks again Fletcher. We read this live and thoroughly enjoyed it. We are doing South Georgia next year with Seabourn so the recent refresh of this blog was very welcome.


    Noting your South Pacific sojourn we can highly recommend the Paul Gauguin. We have done the 14 day Marquesas trip 5 times, their Cooks run twice and back from Australia twice. Perhaps we are biased.



  9. Lovely photos. Looks like you had a smashing day. Love the faces. We heard about this quirky shrine but didn’t get there.


    You are correct about Fushimi Inari, it’s nuts with tourists for the first little walk, but then they all fall away. We have so many shots of avenues of gates with no one around and stopped at many of the shrines on the way up the mountain. Agree with you it’s all about peace and contemplation.


    Hope your Kobe transfer goes smoothly. Did you decide to transfer your luggage? Off for some Kobe beef tonight. Safe travels.

  10. Hi SLSD


    Enjoy Kyoto we were there again yesterday (25mins on the train from Osaka) and did a few more temples and the Nishiki Markets (a must!) - try the seafood skewers and the very large fresh oysters - we have never seen them that size and at first thought they were conch shells. If you like oysters the massive ones are about $13AU each and Jumbos about $10 each.


    The Fushimi Inari temple is also a must see with the thousands of orange Tori gates.You can gently climb the hill, Mt Inari though the gates (mainly steps, but all paved) it’s 233 metres to the shrine on the top, an hour up and an hour back or just walk through the bottom section - a bit more crowded lower down for obvious reasons. Hopefully the attached pic will work.


    Have today changed hotels to Kobe - luggage transfer worked perfectly it was waiting for us to check in at 1:15.


    We have had a terrific several days and have covered a lot of territory with our train pass, walked our feet off and had fantastic food washed down with ice cold beer.


    its overcast here with 60% chance of showers for the next few days. Hopefully it’s fine for sail away. 


    Enjoy Kyoto.


  11. Our experience is it depends on the itinerary and the nationalities on board. Generalisations to follow, but also our observations...


    Talking about dress standards in posts against guidelines can be quite different to reality - depending on where you are cruising and the duration. A 7/14 in the Med can be quite different to a 36 day exploration. 


    Longer cruises with more sea days are more casual all round. Colder weather explorer trips like Iceland and SA/Antarctic are the same. Cruises in the heat and humidity/ everyone is just over dressing up for any reason.


    The ship will sort itself out within its general guidelines.


    Sometimes a cruise will turn out to be extreme dressing with a large group of like minded pulling out akin to the Crown Jewels and regimental colours. Some nationalities, particularly cooler climate residents are used to full dressing for evening wear. Those from warmer climes seem to enjoy a dress up but then revert to elegant casual - the norm for home.


    It’s curious to watch the dynamics - people either try and “compete” and don’t feel they are comfortably on holiday or just retreat to the the Club/Colonnade/patio grill on non formal nights. They don’t want the hassle of dressing up but feel elegant casual is down market if they go anywhere near the Observation Bar/ MDR or TKG. We have a chuckle at how the schoolyard peer pressure works itself through.


    We have tended to dress for TKG because of the norm. For us the food is casual and basic fare and so too should be the dress. It’s only the wait staff floor song and dance routine that tries to upmarket it to a fine dining experience which is unwarranted in our view.


    But, each to their own. Dress as you will and feel appropriate to the experience of what you see occurring on board and feel comfortable with.




  12. Indeed Koalapanda, Manuel is top of mind.


    Have sent our cases today - 2 Extra large about 28-30kg each + 1 x 3/4 size under 20kg (yup travelling really light this trip and worried given the heat here - nothing like the av temps quoted)


    Cost from Osaka to Kobe hotel was $67AU


    Really takes the thinking out of it.

  13. At topic that interests us aussies also Koalapanda. We too have checked it out previously and for $1500 US + I could pay someone to travel with us to handle the luggage.


    The Japan experience is so much more sensible.we are currently in Japan pre boarding the Kobe to Vancouver next week. Sending a bag or two home prior to a US driving trip would have been preferable but too ridiculously priced.


    Will continue to monitor this thread with interest. 

  14. We are on the same trip and have received the barrage of emails which appears standard these days. However, not one was about a jacket. 


    Seems a a bit hit and miss, but I’m sure it’s collateral we could well do without - will probably be overpacked as usual 😀


    Hope the poor weather has exhausted itself.

  15. Looking forward to your comments. We had our first Encore trip at Christmas. We have not been interested in trying the larger ships (we are tragics for the 3 little ships - heavy sigh), but the chance to getaway came up. We did have a lovely time and must do a review. I note the cruise reviews prior to ours had a lot of poor comments.


    Overall, the decision to cruise on her again would be influenced by the itinerary (hot weather O class more deck space) and whether we were travelling with friends (O class). It was very nice and we loved the sushi addition. Some of the layouts were plus (Colonnade stations and second deck, TK Grill and bar, observation bar), some minus (MDR; the retreat; club bar - soon to be rectified). Was very surprised no USBs in the rooms (just a little thing) - thought they had been installed and crawled around for 15 mins doing a search on arrival.

    Enjoy and please share your views.


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