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Travelcat2

New Shore Excursions!

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While I have yet to look into this, I just received an email regarding Shore Excursions.  At first glance, it sounds great - I've heard good things about Go Local Tours.

 

Dear Travel Partner and Guest, 

We are excited to share with you exciting new FREE and optional shore excursions to further enhance your destination immersion on your upcoming voyage. 

 

GO LOCAL TOURS - 
Our Go Local Tours in select ports of call provide a more direct way for you to experience the culture of a destination through the communities within. Experience the world through the eyes of those who actually live there and discover the best of what you didn’t know about your favorite destination with Go Local Tours. Many of these tours are offered for FREE while some, due to their unique content, require a highly-discounted supplemental charge. 

 

REGENT CHOICE SMALL GROUP TOURS -
Add a measure of intimacy to our most popular excursions by experiencing a destination with no more than 16 of your fellow guests. These small group tours provide a higher level of attention and will allow you more time to engage with your knowledgeable guide. 

 

To view all excursions available on your voyage and for a detailed description of each, visit RSSC.com. Shore Excursions may be reserved beginning 180 days before your cruise sails, or 240 days for guests eligible for our Concierge Amenities. 

 

Please visit RSSC.com and the My Account section. Access the Booked Cruises section and the Book Excursions link for your cruise. Regent Choice Shore Excursions reserved in advance must be paid for at time of confirmation using a major credit card. 

 

For voyages departing on or after May 1, 2019, any available Shipboard Credit may be applied toward the purchase of Regent Choice Shore Excursions. 

 

Please call your Travel Agent or Regent Seven Seas Cruises at 1.844.4REGENT (1.844.473.4368) for more information. 

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We received this today as well specifically regarding our British Isles cruise this fall. I had looked at the June 1 excursions to prepare for being able to book our excursions in January. Let me give a couple of examples where the small group tour is being offered. Panoramic Belfast-Regular tour "Retail" $99, Tour price $0. Small group-same tour "Retail" $199, Tour price $49. Caernarfon Castle-Regular tour "Retail" $149, Tour price $0. Small group-"Retail" $199, Tour price $49. In my quick review I didn't see any Go Local tours, I may have missed them. It will be interesting to see if some like TC that prefer private tours may book some of these instead. Interesting choices.

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36 minutes ago, taxare said:

We received this today as well specifically regarding our British Isles cruise this fall. I had looked at the June 1 excursions to prepare for being able to book our excursions in January. Let me give a couple of examples where the small group tour is being offered. Panoramic Belfast-Regular tour "Retail" $99, Tour price $0. Small group-same tour "Retail" $199, Tour price $49. Caernarfon Castle-Regular tour "Retail" $149, Tour price $0. Small group-"Retail" $199, Tour price $49. In my quick review I didn't see any Go Local tours, I may have missed them. It will be interesting to see if some like TC that prefer private tours may book some of these instead. Interesting choices.

 

I have only looked at a few but we definitely will book one of the new excursions (especially those that have limited capacity).  I did check a cruise that is 1 year out (Explorer) that includes some time in the Culinary Center and time in the port.

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4 hours ago, taxare said:

I had looked at the June 1 excursions to prepare for being able to book our excursions in January. 

 

Shore excursions can be booked on at 180 days, which is December 3. Better start preparing! 

 

And are you on the roll call?

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On our itinerary, in addition to having those small-group tours, there are a number of new tours listed that include time with families, e.g. home-cooked meals, hanging out, that sort of thing.   Also tours that visit with cheese-making farmers, walk through their fields, strolling with the goats and sheep, leaning how the cheese is made, tasting (of course).  Going to small fishing town, learning about how they build their boats, net-making, catching the fish, barbecuing and eating them (usually sardines).   Also, e.g., in Bordeaux,  instead of sight-seeing by tour bus, one joins public transportation with the small group and then meets a local in an area that's not usually visited by tourists, strolling unusual streets, meeting later at the person's home (I don't remember exact details).   Plenty more cool stuff.   And all these new excursions are inexpensive: many a mere $19 add-on, some $45, like that.

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Our British Isles cruise suddenly has loads more tours listed too. Besides the small group alternatives, there's pub crawls, farm visits, bagpipe lessons and more. And that's just in Scotland. Much better than the more generic tours that were offered before.

 

We can book Sunday night, so I've got some homework to do this weekend.

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Allow me to add further details to this new enhancement, as the TS posted an email that was received from a specific future booked voyage.  Not all guests received the notice as these updates were only sent to guests booked on voyages where these actually exist or are available.

 

Currently, Go Local Tours have been announced for 2019 Mediterranean, 2019 Northern Europe and early 2019 South America voyages calling in Montevideo & Buenos Aires. 

 

The new Regent Choice Small Group Tours apply only to 2019 Mediterranean and 2019 Northern Europe at this time. 

 

We will continue to expand these options to additional destinations in the future and where available. 

 

 

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Jason, et al. — It's fun even to read through the new kinds of treats.

(But for some reason I'm having more trouble than EVER before deciding on excursions for our May 20-June 1 Explorer itinerary.)

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Oops - did not realize that everyone did not receive this.  Still, this is good information to know.  

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1 hour ago, Travelcat2 said:

Oops - did not realize that everyone did not receive this.  Still, this is good information to know.  

 

No harm done, plus, you gave me the opportunity to explain the details further.  Thank you for sharing the good news!

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1 hour ago, poss said:

Jason, et al. — It's fun even to read through the new kinds of treats.

(But for some reason I'm having more trouble than EVER before deciding on excursions for our May 20-June 1 Explorer itinerary.)

 

Poss,  I can appreciate this comment... sometimes too many choices makes it more challenging determining which one's to pick.  But still wish you luck as you review your preferred favorites.  Enjoy your journey aboard Seven Seas Explorer!

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Thanks, Jason.  Btw, choosing this time was quite difficult well before the fine new additions.   So many of the excursions sound more or less alike to me.   I read through them again and again,  and can't find significant differentiation that I can grab hold of. I don't remember having this quandary (some quandry!) for any other cruise.

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We did not get this email.  Checked and see we do have these options on Artic cruise June 15 2019.

 

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21 hours ago, cAPS lOCK oN said:

 

Shore excursions can be booked on at 180 days, which is December 3. Better start preparing! 

 

And are you on the roll call?

No sorry, we go in the fall. I just used the June excursions to start looking as mine haven’t been posted yet. 

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13 hours ago, taxare said:

No sorry, we go in the fall. I just used the June excursions to start looking as mine haven’t been posted yet. 

 

I get it now. We've got identical itineraries, so it makes sense.

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One thing that I wish weren't the case (though probably not a big deal) is that the regular group and the small group for the same tour leave at the same time.   I'm not sure how that works.   I.e., if two groups go to the same place pretty much at the same time, wouldn't things be more crowded rather than less?   I don't know — maybe the order of visits is reversed in each group?   In addition, though, I wonder if it'd set up some "Oh, look at those people, the hoi polloi" kind of thing.   We shall see.  

But for sure, the "go local" aspect looks great.

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26 minutes ago, poss said:

One thing that I wish weren't the case (though probably not a big deal) is that the regular group and the small group for the same tour leave at the same time.   I'm not sure how that works.   I.e., if two groups go to the same place pretty much at the same time, wouldn't things be more crowded rather than less?   I don't know — maybe the order of visits is reversed in each group?   In addition, though, I wonder if it'd set up some "Oh, look at those people, the hoi polloi" kind of thing.   We shall see.  

But for sure, the "go local" aspect looks great.

 

I'm hoping that the regular (unlimited) excursions are not going to the same places as the small group tours.  It doesn't to make sense to have both groups together.  There is only one excursion on our November 2019 cruise that is food oriented and limited in the number of passengers that can sign up.  This is the one that we want and will book the moment our excursions open.  The excursion begins in the Culinary Center so that can only happen on Explorer (and eventually Splendor).  

 

I'm pretty excited at the thought of small group tours and are certainly willing to pay for them (especially for the prices that you posted above).

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Hi Tc:  If you're interested, take a look at the excursions for "our" itinerary:  May 20 -June 1 on Explorer.    There are lots of tours which have both the "regular" tour and the small group tour — where the details are identical.    I'm mystified by that.   

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2 hours ago, poss said:

Hi Tc:  If you're interested, take a look at the excursions for "our" itinerary:  May 20 -June 1 on Explorer.    There are lots of tours which have both the "regular" tour and the small group tour — where the details are identical.    I'm mystified by that.   

 

Wow - at first glance that is mind boggling (especially in the ports where there are four pages of excursions).  I found Cartagena particularly interesting because we were just there a couple of weeks ago.  I did see two "almost" identical excursions (one was an hour longer than the other).  I suppose that one question would be whether it is worth paying extra in order to be in a small group.  For us, IF we found the excursion of particular interest, we would pay to be in a small group.

 

In terms of running into larger groups in the same places, it would not be an issue for me as we are used to seeing other groups on our excursions ...... some doing the same thing and others not.  We don't pay much attention to them other than to wave if we see someone that we know.  I don't give a thought as to whether or not they are a Regent Choice excursion or a "free" excursion. You have given me great food for thought and I will be looking at more itineraries.  

 

As you likely know, I am not a big fan of included excursions and know that I'm likely in the minority.  Having the option for small group tours is very appealing to us but may not be for others.  We tend to book tours and then cancel them because we do not want to be part of a "caravan" of buses going to the same places - even though they do not always arrive at the same place at the same time.

 

An example of this is our cruise that ended on Monday.  Three days of port stops were cancelled due to severe storms and one and one half day of port stops were added (as were excursions).  Despite having so many sea days we would rather just walk around the city than be on a bus (there were about 4 excursions offered in our first unscheduled port stop and it was a likely bet that most passenger would sign up for those excursions so we did not take an excursion.)

 

This is a very interesting topic and I'm anxious to learn how well Regent cruisers will take to it.  I am likely one of the most anti-free excursion posters on CC and I find this a positive move.

 

Thank you for suggesting that I check out your itinerary - it was very enlightening.

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I have just checked out our cruise to Norway next summer and sure enough these new tour options have been added. 

 

Sample pricing:

SG (small group) tours vary from $29pp to $79pp for tours of 2 to 4 hours in length. Tour descriptions indicate that the itineraries are identical to the “free” (included) excursions.

There is one 7 hour Regent Choice (i.e. paid) excursion where there is now an SG option at an additional cost of $30pp.

A “Home Visit” of 2.5 hour duration is offered for $89pp.

 

For us the “jury is out” regarding these new offerings from Regent.

We certainly will not be rushing to change our already booked included tours to those with a price tag attached, but for the moment we are keeping an open mind regarding the concept.

Is this the slippery slope to more paid excursions?

If we had a large amount of OBC burning a hole in our pocket I suppose we might consider trying a SG tour on an itinerary that looked very special and that would be enhanced with a small group.

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Here is a question for Jason:

 

Seven Seas Society members, platinum and above, have the benefit of discounts on Regent Choice shore excursions. Do the new Go Local or Regent Choice Small Group tours qualify for those same discounts?  

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As with everything, prices will increase - that is life.  There are still plenty of included excursions for those that enjoy them.  It is always nice to have more choices.  

 

I think that acceptance by customers for this will be mostly postive.  People that are drawn to Regent for included excursions will still have them.  Those of us who prefer to pay for smaller group tours or for more expensive excursions will have that choice as well.    On the other hand, there are still some former Regent customers that are sailing with other luxury cruise lines that will not return to Regent as long as included excursions are included in the cruise fare.

 

With changes in general, I try to look for the positive and am doing so in this case as well.

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I checked the excursion on our April Barcelona to Venice cruise and found several Small Group excursions. I was a little mystified to see that the SG excursions usually show a three walking man difficulty while the standard excursions with the same description have no walking men. 

 

Are the SG tours much more physically demanding than the normal tours, or are the normal tours actually tougher than the descriptions would indicate?  Or is it just a typo?

 

hoping for a reply from Jason here. 🙏

Edited by jeb_bud

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