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Portolan

Popularity or web site glitch? - Explorer Japan 2022

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Having learned our lesson from how quickly the 2021 Japan R/T on the Explorer sold out, our TA got up early (west coast based) on was on with Regent as the bookings opened this past Wednesday and not only got the March 2022 cruise secured, but got our #1 choice of F2 Suite.

 

So, being inquisitive, I've been trying some dummy bookings to see how the cruise is filling up (at the moment it shows availability in all categories except H) and this is where it either suggests to me either the popularity of the F2 suites or a web site glitch: it will not show any availability on decks 8 or 9, just 7 where there are quite a few suites available.  While it is possible that there has been a run on deck 8 & 9 F2 suites, the "usual" case when I check other cruises adjacent to this one is a steadily decreasing availability on all decks, i.e, some comparable availability on 7 through 9.

 

So, maybe this cruise is rapidly filling up like 2021.  I've started a roll call for it if that's the case.

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It’s a website glitch.  I’ve checked numerous cruises, both new and old, and they all show availability on only one deck plus any accessible suites.

 

Dave

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Thanks, Dave.  I spot checked another cruise on Explorer in Feb 2022 and it had F2 suites on all decks though the few it displayed may have been accessible.  Or, almost worse, it may be inconsistent which could make it harder or less urgent for Regent to address.

 

I'll try reporting this to Regent.

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And this website glitch has been going on for many days; I wonder if anyone is interested in fixing it.

 

Marc

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Not implying that my vote actually "counts" for much, but just adding to other's observations.  On numerous occasions when putting in "dummy bookings" (online) for various cruises/ships that I was interested in, I too would find that only a specific deck might show "openings" for one of those cruises. I was unable to see or "choose" any open staterooms that might be on another deck or in a different area of the ship/s.  I found that "unavailability" to be very unlikely, given the fact that the cruises I was searching were still a long way off from embarkation date.  And then,  after "turning it over" to my TA for more research, and after she contacted Regent, she would find many more staterooms, on several different decks,  also available for booking.  So it would seem that perhaps Regent tries to fill up (or direct specific areas of the ship) with people doing their own bookings, while saving other areas of the ship for TA's and their clients.  I'm not alleging any nefarious activity here.  Perhaps it's just another good reason to use the services of a good/knowledgeable TA for final bookings. 

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9 hours ago, pingpong1 said:

Not implying that my vote actually "counts" for much, but just adding to other's observations.  On numerous occasions when putting in "dummy bookings" (online) for various cruises/ships that I was interested in, I too would find that only a specific deck might show "openings" for one of those cruises. I was unable to see or "choose" any open staterooms that might be on another deck or in a different area of the ship/s.  I found that "unavailability" to be very unlikely, given the fact that the cruises I was searching were still a long way off from embarkation date.  And then,  after "turning it over" to my TA for more research, and after she contacted Regent, she would find many more staterooms, on several different decks,  also available for booking.  So it would seem that perhaps Regent tries to fill up (or direct specific areas of the ship) with people doing their own bookings, while saving other areas of the ship for TA's and their clients.  I'm not alleging any nefarious activity here.  Perhaps it's just another good reason to use the services of a good/knowledgeable TA for final bookings. 

 

Could it be that Regent is trying to push certain suite(s) first?

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I was able to do early booking ( emailed brochure offer) and put our name down for 912 (F2) Explorer September Vancouver to Japan and then Tokyo to Tokyo. The next day we decided to change sides of the ship but couldn’t get one of the larger balconies people have posted about. 

Now in 909 but we are booked!!  Seems a long way off, but already excited. 

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Occam's Razor suggest that of the choices of whether the issue is poor web site maintenance or some crafty scheme ny Regent to push certain suites, the probability is poor IT.

 

In the case I cited, many would see the deck 7 F2 suites as more or equally desirable to those on 8 & 9 (except for the coveted flared balcony suites on 8 & 9, of course).

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21 hours ago, mrlevin said:

And this website glitch has been going on for many days; I wonder if anyone is interested in fixing it.

 

Marc

I reported it using their on-line Contact Us form.  We'll see.

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I suspect that Regent may want to finish loading the ton of information on the new itineraries, excursions, etc. before they go back and fix reported errors.  Trying to be patient!

 

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Still broken; in addition, air credit amounts no longer available on new cruises; they were there when cruises first posted.

 

Marc

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Find a cruise getting worse; now it is not even dropping off completed cruises.  I wonder if Regent changed IT outsourcing to a different vendor.

 

Marc

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On 8/11/2019 at 9:17 AM, Portolan said:

I reported it using their on-line Contact Us form.  We'll see.

 

Never received any acknowledgment of my submission.  It's been 10 days.  you'd at least expect a "we know and are working on it" reply.

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Air credit still missing; I am coming to believe that these changes were intentional so that passengers couldn't compare prices without a TA or Regent representative.  So much for using the web for research and purchasing.  Could Regent soon follow Renaissance in cutting out TAs altogether and making customers work with Regent reps only?

 

Marc

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1 hour ago, mrlevin said:

Air credit still missing; I am coming to believe that these changes were intentional so that passengers couldn't compare prices without a TA or Regent representative.  So much for using the web for research and purchasing.  Could Regent soon follow Renaissance in cutting out TAs altogether and making customers work with Regent reps only?

 

Marc

Yes the air credit is missing but it is really easy to figure it out. Do a pretend booking with air and 1 without and the net difference is the air credit. I was looking at a cruise for 2021 and wanted to know the air credit without asking my TA so just went ahead and ran the booking twice. Voila - the air credit.  A bit more trouble but easy. 

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Sadly, I no longer think the changes on the Regent website are a glitch.  A major glitch would not take a month to fix.  So now the Plan Your Cruise section only shows you a maximum of seven available suites per category plus any accessible suites available in the category being searched.

 

I just remembered that a travel site I used to look at because it showed all available suites per category switched some time ago to only showing seven available suites per category.  Maybe the site had a choice of paying for a full feed or paying less for a restricted feed.  I switched to another travel site that still showed all available suites simultaneously.  However, since August 7, all public travel sites now show only the same seven available suites per category as the Regent website.  It appears there are now two feeds; a restricted public feed and a full availability feed for TA's and Regent agents.

 

All is not lost however.  By playing around with the website, I discovered that you can still check availability for any suite.  It is not as straightforward as it used to be but it is doable.

 

Use "PLAN MY CRUISE" on the website.  Get to the "SELECT YOUR LOCATION" screen and type a suite number in the search for a preferred suite dialog box:

first.thumb.PNG.29de7936240b8d2ecc9bfb93fd9f22fa.PNG

I'm checking Suite 816.  Under the previous system, you would click on "Refresh Suite List" to begin the availability check for 816.  That procedure no longer works.  Instead, you have to click on "CONTINUE" at either the top or bottom of the screen.  If the suite is unavailable, you will stay on the "SELECT YOUR LOCATION" screen and an unavailability message will appear:

816.thumb.PNG.295eef81de58f18a392cf2bdb0a9d569.PNG

To check another suite from the unavailability screen, just type in a new suite number and click on "CONTINUE" again. If the suite is available, you will be taken to Customization screen and the Cruise Summary in the pane on the right side of the screen will show the suite number you checked.

912.thumb.PNG.0fb654b6dda9dfe6bb298551fccbab41.PNG

If you want to check another suite number, click "PREVIOUS," type the new suite number in the dialog box on the "SELECT YOUR LOCATION" screen and click "CONTINUE."  If you originally declined to add the "free" airfare to you search, you can click "CONTINUE" from the Customization screen to go to the final Cruise Summary screen which will show you the air credit.

 

It's a cumbersome procedure but at least we can check more than seven suites.  Hope this helps.

 

Dave

P.S.:  The screen shots came out pretty light.  Sorry about that.

 

 

 

Edited by DaveFr

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Dave, thanks.  I am having the problem that only Deck 6 Cat E on Navigator are displayed.  I will try your method to see if I can get a Deck 7 Cat E to show up; if not, I am wondering about a wholesale recategorization of the cabins sometime next year (I am searching a 2021 cruise).

 

Marc

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44 minutes ago, mrlevin said:

Dave, thanks.  I am having the problem that only Deck 6 Cat E on Navigator are displayed.  I will try your method to see if I can get a Deck 7 Cat E to show up; if not, I am wondering about a wholesale recategorization of the cabins sometime next year (I am searching a 2021 cruise).

 

Marc

Assuming you're looking at the 94 night Navigator cruise in 2021, I just did a quick check.  717 showed as available (I didn't check any other E's on deck 7).  623 and 625 showed as available and I would take either of those suites over any E's on deck 7 which are all forward of 717.  Just MHO.

 

Dave

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Regarding the air credit savings, now missing from the Regent site, I found another source and updated my site. I don't know how accurate it is, though, so the feature where you can subtract out the air is still disabled. But if I get any feed-back that the air credits are reasonably accurate, I'll enable that again.

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Dave, I already have 629 booked; your work around is actually more accurate than the old system as you could only find out about six port and six starboard on each deck and that had a quirk that made you exit and reenter plan a cruise.  This new way will actually be more accurate and likely just as fast.

 

thanks,

 

Marc

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On 8/10/2019 at 8:27 PM, ronrick1943 said:

 

Could it be that Regent is trying to push certain suite(s) first?

 

This could be the case but there is a place on the page where you can search for a specific suite # to learn if it is available.  Regent generally only shows a maximum of 7 available suites.  There is a website that I go to (wish that I could link it but it is a TA website) where I can learn every suite # available in each category.  

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