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Dolebludger

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About Dolebludger

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Durango, CO, USA
  • Interests
    sports cars and cruising
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Paul Gauguin, Regent, Silversea
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    South Pacifid

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  1. rcandkc, Hope that remains true. From here in SW Colorado, we can fly to Dallas or Denver on regional jets that don't take too long with their "business/first" seating that is just like coach was in the good old days, which I know we must pay for. It isn't lux, but at least it isn't painful! From such a flight, we want to get REAL business first to the embarkation port. If we can't do that, we just stay home. And we don't want the arrival airport to be too far from the port either. We recently booked, then cancelled a cruise out of the UK because it was an expensive hassle to get from the arrival airport to the ship's port. And then there is the matter of cruises with both beginning and ending ports in North America (for example, a Panama Canal cruise). To do such a cruise, we'd be stuck with a rather long domestic flight in that dreaded economy class, or would have to accept a skimpy credit for booking our own air. That is why our last Regent cruise was over two years ago. We liked the cruise, but we can't get "there from here" under reasonable conditions and pricing. One solution might be for Regent to give a decent credit for not using their "free air".
  2. TC2, You suggestion about ensuring that the flights don't have a stop in the US is a good one. I have two Regent gateway airports I can use without long domestic flights-- Denver and Dallas. There are many international flights from there with no US stop. Can one "deviate" and use Regent's "free air" and use those?
  3. Starmon, Interesting that you counted the tub/shower rooms and the number went up. I was told somewhere that Regent was gradually getting rid of them. Sounds like I was told wrong. Not all tub/shower setups on ships or in hotel rooms are bad. Some are spacious and easy to use. But (as I have posted before for 17 years) those combos on the Mariner have three problems for me. For some unknown reason the tubs in the Mariner "basic" suite levels is set on a floor area that is raised about 6" with no step-up so that the tub floor is maybe 8" higher than the bathroom floor. Some find it difficult to enter the tub with that setup. Also, due to the raised tub bottom, there is only 6'2" headroom while standing for a shower. I'm a short little guy (5'8") but I keep hitting my hands on the ceiling while washing hair. (I measured all these dimensions onboard.) And while I didn't measure it, the tub seems shorter and more narrow than standard tubs in homes in the US. obviously, there are those who prefer the combo to shower only in the lower level rooms. But I think most will agree that the combo could have been designed better.
  4. TC2, I’ve learned a lot on this thread, actually. US airlines are just making up their own rules as they go along on upgrades of “cruise line” tickets. Sometimes they will upgrade for points or cash, and sometimes they say “no upgrades possible on restricted tickets”. How many times have you heard it announced on a plane “Federal regulations prohibit”. Sometimes this is correct, but many times there is no such regulation. I should have known this, but Regent isn’t at fault here, but our US airlines are! And, on a plane, it is never mentioned what Federal regulations actually say about airline’s treatment of passengers. The only way Regent (and other cruise lines) enter the picture is that if airlines get any worse, people that have to fly to get to a cruise will just stop flying — and thus will have to stop cruising. We are betting close to that point now.
  5. Booking your own domestic air legs and taking a credit from Regent always works, except for one thing. We find that the credit is less than the cost of basic economy. And if one loses ground transfers for just booking one domestic leg, it really becomes a bad thing for the guest. Much worse than if the guest could simply pay the airline an upgrade charge (if the upgrade is available).
  6. Airlines have various classes of "economy" these days, including some that have more space. Some of these would be acceptable to us for short domestic flight legs. But our experience has been that with the basic economy Regent provides on these flights, we can't even upgrade to these. Airlines have "dug their own grave" by making some classes of economy seating cramped and unbearable. This has increased the demand for more space, So like many travelers to Regent, I need my "basic economy " to be upgradable to something (anything) better. It is true that airlines don't have sufficient first/business seating and need to add more to respond to the market. But even now, if I am booking my own flights far enough in advance, I have little problem getting business/first.
  7. Well, yes, when we used Regent air from Lima, Peru there was a direct TRUE FIRST CLASS Delta from Lima to Denver, and we were on it with no problem and it was great.As I understand it, if a flight goes to or comes from another continent, but still goes far into N America, it will be first class. What I’m talking about here are flights to cruises that have ports totally in N America. Like a New England cruise, or an Alaska cruise. For these, non-upgradable economy class is all that is “free”, and it is worthless to us. We are old and have just about stopped cruising. At first I thought it was the prices on good cruises these days. Wrong! It is that air travel is actually making us sick and hurting. So we need the best class of seating that can be had for our routing.. For cruises with N American departure and return ports, this makes Regent’s advertised “free”air totally worthless to us. You see, Denver is one of our “gateway” airports here in Durango, Co — as is Dallas. For us, we understand that air from the Gateway airport to home is on us, but is a very short class in what they call first class, but isn’t really. Now, I read elsewhere on this board that the average age of Regent guests is 70. If true, very few of that age or above can stand basic economy air for very long. I am a few years older, so if Regent advertises “free” air that I cannot use or reasonably upgrade for some rather long US flight legs, it makes me feel like staying home.
  8. Yes, most US airlines have tiny business/first seating, and it is usually no more spacious than “coach” was in the 80s. I feel that Regent should at least book us US flights that can be upgraded for less than starting from scratch. Such “economy” ticket categories do exist, as I have upgraded on them before. At least to economy plus, hopefully with enough leg room to not kill you! If Regent alone can’t make a decent deal with US airlines, maybe they could team up with other lux lines and negotiate as a group. More bargaining power that way. And US airlines certainly deserve to have a group come up against them with heightened bargaining power.
  9. Those of us who live in the middle of N. America have a problem with those “free” flight legs that are not intercontinental. They can’t be upgraded for points or cash. And the credit we get for not taking them is “beer money” and that is about what they are worth as they are basic ecinomy. Now what person who pays for Regent wants to fly basic economy? Not for even 10 miles! For many of us basic economy is just not doable. Passenger space is getting really cramped, shrinking every month. And in the “main cabin” restrooms have been reduced to one for 100 to 200 passengers. Not upgradable in any way. I think intracontinental “free” flights provided by Regent mood at least to be in an upgradable ticket class. What do you think?
  10. I don’t think anybody here said they couldn’t afford Regent. I think what some are trying to say (including me) is that we are concerned that it is no longer worth the price.,
  11. Malbec and all. Our Alaska Celebrity cruise last summer to Alaska in a Royal suite was every bit as as luxurious and service oriented as any cruise we have ever taken (including Regent/Radisson) We never ate at a buffet. Suite guests had their own restaurants that were open three meals per day, and we had free entry to specialty restaurants. We had open bar on the whole ship, as well as the included suite bar. We had included laundry. We had a private room bar. We had a 1000 square foot suite + balcony with a real bedroom, living room, and dining room. The balcony was huge with a hot tub. The butler waited on us hand and foot. And the price was a little LESS than a comparable cruise on the Mariner in cat. H with a suite (and balcony) about 1/4 the size of what we had. Of course, this gave me a good attitude toward Celebrity. But not all who have cruised "X" have had an experience this good, so I understand. In fact, we would not cruise X again unless in a senior suite. And, on that note, I have read that X has raised it prices a great deal, making a future cruise like this one not a great deal! Cruise and air fares are approaching the point of ridiculous, I have discovered. So my future plans on ANY cruise are very much in doubt.
  12. Charline, Thank you for remembering me from the "old days". To be clear, I still enjoy going on Regent the times when I feel it makes some degree of financial sense for us. But many things have changed since then, and there is more to it than Regent's fares. For one thing, I'm no longer a "kid" in my 50s -- I am 75. As the airlines have shrunk seating in economy, I must buy my own business/first air for non-intercontinental legs for which Regent does not provide such -- or else suffer. And business/first air fares have risen greatly in recent years. Due to age and increasing lack of airline reliability we are no longer able to fly directly from home to the ship but have a pre and post night in a hotel -- usually at or near the port. All these factors combine with Regent's higher fares to deter us from cruising Regent often, as we used to do when the economics were different. The combination of these factors has caused us to seek alternatives that suit us (which might not suit everybody). We recently booked a 7 nighter in the MSC Yacht Club for a European cruise out of Southhampton, but we cancelled. The cruise would have been in a separate upscale area of the ship and all inclusive onboard at a cost of only $4200 for both. We cancelled when we learned that business/first air for us would cost $5000 for both and that ground transport to Southhampton from the nearest airport would total $600. Then, there would be hotel expense. So there are many factors involved, in addition to Regent's fares. We are now looking to visit interesting parts of the USA we haven't visited. And we now even live in such a place (Durango CO). So, beyond your statement that your Regent days have passed, I fear that our cruising days may have passed.
  13. Yes I did mean,a little over $2K pp for a 7 nighter. My bad. I haven't seen any Regent cruises for $500 per diem pp for a 7 nigher (a total of $3500 pp for the cruise) in a long time.
  14. We've been on more Regent and Radisson cruises than I can count. This includes some back early in the century when the per diem for a 7 nighter was a little over $2K pp. Because of the geometrically higher prices for Regent today, we do a lot of staying home! Don't feel like shelling out for a Regent cruise, and certainly don't want to take a cruise where nickel and dimming is the rule. We have tried some alternatives, like Royal Suite Celebrity cruises. Yes, there were places on the ships with crowds and lines, but as suite guests, we didn't have to go to those parts of the ship. And yes, all was included onboard. The price was more reasonable and suites were MUCH larger than on Regent. Another alternative is the MSC Yacht Club, which is a separate part of the ship with entry by card only. Separate everything -- including uncrowded pool -- and inclusive. Yes we will consider these alternatives in the future,
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