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About DavidTheWonderer

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Toronto/Dunedin Fl/Ottawa
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    French Polynesia

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  1. Many people, including me, are outraged at the new owner (Ponant) unilaterally trying to change the refund policy for cancelled cruises, in violation of the actual agreement they and their customers both signed. I haven't seen any of that negativity directed at the Paul Gauguin ship or the spectacular crew that makes sailing with her so special. So I hope you have a wonderful time in paradise.
  2. A sad aspect of this is that the previous group, before the Ponant bandits bought it, was one of the companies that I actually liked doing business with. They not only sold a superior product, but they had a deep commitment to the preservation and resurrection of the Polynesian culture. This included, but was not limited to, paying for Polynesian teenagers to go out on archaeological digs to learn first hand about the history of their culture. It also included a commitment to the environment, also backed up with real money, not just words. Richard, Diane, etc.: we really miss you as owners of this wonderful ship.
  3. Thank you so much for your wise advice. I will certainly try to consult you in future when issues of ethics and/or etiquette arise. Are there other areas of expertise which you will be willing to share with me, and perhaps the rest of this board?
  4. I have about 60 nights on the PG spread out over the last 20 years, and the ship and especially the crew have long been my favourite. However, the new owners, Ponant, refusal to honor their contract by refunding people's money for cancelled cruises means that I will never again sail on the PG unless Ponant sells her. I for one will not have any dealings with a company that acts like that. They can try to back down from their decision, which they seem to be doing, but that horse left the barn long long ago. However, every week or so I get a mass e-mailing from the PG. I have emailed them back asking to be removed from the list, which I've now escalated to demanding my removal. But I keep getting those emails. Does anybody on this board have any information on how to get off this list?
  5. So now the word "confederate" is cause for polarization and shouting at each other? As a Canadian I would find this hilarious if it weren't so sad: Canada is a confederation. The United States was also a confederation from 1781 to 1789, when it was replaced by the current republic.
  6. This doesn't really relate to Regent, but since we can't cruise or even realistically plan cruises, perhaps this will help pass the time. Singapore is experiencing a secondary COVID-19 outbreak, mostly from the dormitories where a large number of temporary workers are housed. These workers are largely from South Asia. So Singapore is casting about for places to house these folks without cramming them together in dormitories or similar conditions. Their harbour has a fair number of cruise ships just sitting there. So the government is trying to house some of these folks there. Each person will get their own cabin including the en-suite bathroom. I'm guessing some workers are thinking "Yipee!".
  7. Wendy and I go back almost exactly 20 years with the PG. Up until now, since the Radisson/Regent days, one of the things that made it easier to give them money for a cruise was that Diane, Richard, and the rest of the company were highly ethical, and were honestly trying to use their company to make the world in general and French Polynesia in particular a better place. They must be heartbroken; I am because I know that I'll never again be on what was my favourite ship on the planet. Here's a special message for Ponant: FOAD! (Hint: the first word is not suitable for this forum. The last word usually involves a funeral.)
  8. I remember an excursion in Barbados where no air would have been a blessing. 😉
  9. If you're cooped up at home and casting about for something to occupy a few hours, you may enjoy a fairly new comedy now streaming on HBO. It is called "Avenue 5" and stars Hugh Laurie (House). The comedy is mostly slapstick and involves a cruise gone wrong. Thankfully, the problem is mechanical involving the ship, not a disease breaking out on board. Oh, and the ship is a spaceship, not an ocean ship.
  10. Surely you are correct. But the graph of new cases in China looks a lot like the graph for South Korea except China is about a month ahead of South Korea. Japan also looks similar but there are disturbing signs of a "bounce" in this case. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/03/19/world/coronavirus-flatten-the-curve-countries.html?action=click&module=Top Stories&pgtype=Homepage
  11. Of course, we can enter Canada at any time: the Canadian border is not closed to Canadian citizens. We've been having a long talk every day about when to drive back to Toronto: there and pluses and minuses both ways. This (Thursday) morning we decided to pull out tomorrow morning. Some snowbirds' decision is driven by their health insurance, but for us that is not relevant.
  12. Assuming China is typical, which is a huge unverifiable assumption, then the worst of the COVID-19 will be over in about 6 weeks. So there is a reasonable chance that a May 22 sailing involving Canada will actually occur. That said, I certainly would not even consider booking such a cruise right now. But "deceiving advertising" seems pretty harsh.
  13. Yet another non-nuclear take on the tipping question:
  14. On the Cruise Critic boards for other cruise lines with similar tipping policies, tipping is also a perennial topic. On those boards, the discussion almost always immediately descends into a bunch of rabid name-calling. Good on you folks on this board for keeping the discussion reasonably civilised. A small anecdote about tipping and different cultures that is not directly relevant but perhaps amusing. Some years ago I was on a small out-island in French Polynesia (Manihi) staying at a lovely resort. Being me, on the first night I went to the bar for a refreshing beverage and, being a North American, I left a tip for the bartender. The next night I went back seeking another refreshment, and the bartender was really angry with me. I had to sweet talk her to get a beer! Finally I got her to admit that she was insulted that I had left a tip; this violated the norms of her culture. The only way I could make it up to her was to allow her to buy me and my wife a drink after she got off her shift. Then all was well for the rest of my stay. This cultural norm is not really true any more in the big city (Papeete) but echoes of it persist in the rest for French Polynesia.
  15. Voyager and Mariner are identical in size and number of passengers. The difference is that Voyager's cabins are larger and therefore there is less public space, while Mariner is just the opposite. Choosing between the two, then, is a matter of personal preference. Personally I prefer more public space. Navigator is smaller with fewer passengers. I expected that because of that I would prefer it to the larger Voyager and Mariner, and was therefore surprised to discover that it is my least favourite of the three. But I would happily sail with her again for the right itinerary. Overall it has less space per passenger than the other two (58 gross tons per passenger compared to 69 gross tons per passenger), but about the same ratio of passengers to crew.
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