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JC in CA

Mariner Los Angeles to Miami - live comments 9/30-10/15/19

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Jackie,

 

I remember  the Cordon Blu cooking classes - I took one on one of my first times on Regent/Radisson. Great fun. And I always enjoy the Galley tour - there is always something going on there - no matter what time you are.

 

I haven't done a bridge tour in a while - I'll have to schedule on on my next trip.

 

JC - you'll enjoy your dinner with Alex Hurley -  very nice person . . .  I've sailed with her on several cruises. Please say hi from me! And just to comment - I've always enjoyed dinner with the Staff - they are always interesting and it's fun to get to know them a bit better.

 

Peggy

 

 

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Just now catching up with your posts and enjoying very much.  We have had many dinners with everyone from engineer to hotel director, cruise director, to captain.  Most have been very enjoyable.  There have been a couple where the other guests were horrid, but not many.

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I loved the Cordon Bleu classes too - took on on our first Panama Canal cruise on the Mariner - we cooked in that "other" restaurant that was "destination focussed" but could not get its act together - I forget the name.  On the Voyager we were in what eventually became Prime 7 and it was very tight around the work surface in the kitchen - one of our class, a "portly gentleman" could not squeeze between the centre island and the side counters.  That was funny, all the more so because he was a "know it all" - and yet the only one whose soufflé failed to rise!!!   Those classes were excellent and the fact that there was a continuum between the 5 or 6 sessions was also good.  I wish they would bring them back...

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Time changes are quite something on this cruise. We have gone ahead one hour two times. Tonight we go BACK one hour! Which means we will have two more nights of going ahead before we reach Miami.  Tomorrow is El Salvador. 

 

We we had dinner with the General Manager and a couple who have completed 200 nights as of this cruise.  Our down the hall neighbors had dinner with the environmental officer and one other officer tonight. They are experienced Regent cruisers, and said the other couple at their table were first time on Regent. It looked like there were around 8 tables of officers and guests. We were honored to be asked.  It was a very enjoyable evening. 

 

Of note - tonight was the first time I’ve seen Miso Glazed Sea Bass on the menu.  My husband had it and said it was very good.  My scallops were wonderful. 

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The Miso Sea Bass is on the menu in Compass Rose on Seven Seas Society night - one of my favorites on board.

Peggy

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Disappointing excursion today in Acajutla, El Salvador. This was the first time a Regent ship has been in this port.  I don’t know if any / many other cruise ships have been here. The port is a shipping port - large container tanker next to us.

 

We were scheduled to depart the pier at 10:15; left 1 hour late. There was an issue with the gangway, first being set up on deck 5 then moved to deck 6 (which made it rather steep!).  The local folks were VERY welcoming, handing out flat card stock fans and little booklets with a necklace attached. 

 

The weather report was “chance of showers “ which turned into full blown thunderstorm while we were on our excursion. It is the beginning of winter here, but the locals we spoke with said it was a lot of rain today.

 

We went on the Buggies and Thermal water excursion. Were to drive 1 hr 30 min, ride 2 person buggies through the jungle, lunch and optional swim in thermal waters. There were 2 busses. These were mini busses holding around 20 people each. Seating was 2 on the left, 1 on the right and then a jump seat that folded down , making it 4 across.   It was VERY tight.  There was no restroom on the bus.  Unfortunately, the road was rough.  We were glad to arrive 1 hr and 40 minutes after departure.  We were first shown the thermal waters where they bubble up from the ground - pretty amazing- boiling out of the ground.  Then back in the bus for a few minutes and up to the lunch location. This was at a restaurant in the Santa Teresa “resort”.  People were very nice and the food was fine. They pointed out the thermal pools we could go in - nothing like the pictures on the Regent website or on the cabin tv where they show excursions.  These were swimming pools, rather than the pool in a jungle setting. Many folks were quite surprised and confused. 

 

Then it started to sprinkle, then rain.  Thunder off in the distance, then hard rain.  It was hitting the roof so hard it sounded like hail!  The other bus was out on the buggies at this time.  We were glad to be under cover!  Some of us decided at that point that we would not go on he buggies - with that much rain, the road / paths were no doubt going to be bad.  The guide told us there was a chance the buggy portion would be cancelled for safety. Most of us were just fine with this, but a bit worried what the trip back would be like in the downpour!  The guide looked at weather radar and said the storm should be passing in 15-20 min and that we would wait and head back then.  

 

As as the rain subsided some, the other bus arrived, those folks were very wet and some muddy.  They said the buggies had a speed governor, but you really couldn’t go very fast anyway.  Also said a couple of the buggies broke down.  They had lunch and we headed back to our ship.

 

The ride to the location was very long and uncomfortable, the venue was not as described.  Food options were fine,  but it would have been nice to have a more local flavor.  Our guide had very limited English, so little information was given about the area.  The weather couldn’t be helped, I was glad to be under cover. 

 

Would I take this excursion again, even with good weather, no.  I very much appreciated the warm, welcome from the people of Acajutla, El Salvador .

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If and when El Salvador establishes itself as a major tourist destination you will look back on this and say "I remember when" ...  in a very real sense I think you were guinea pigs, testing what could be offered.  And I found your comments fascinating.  A day like that - I don't think I would have been so generous!!

 

Boiling mud pots sound fascinating.  Bit like places in NZ I suppose.

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12 hours ago, JC in CA said:

Would I take this excursion again, even with good weather, no.  I very much appreciated the warm, welcome from the people of Acajutla, El Salvador .

 

I like your positive attitude despite everything.

 

This reminds me of an excursion we took in Santa Marta Colombia a couple of years back.  Lovely destination, strictly amateur, of well-meaning, tour organization.  Passengers ended up rebelling and demanding to be returned to the ship.  It was still interesting, and hey, live and learn!

Edited by Wendy The Wanderer

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Yes, we were definitely the test group!  Only talked with one couple that were really pleased with their day.  The area really isn’t ready for tourism of this kind - but they sure want to be!  Had local folks asking us about our day as we got off the bus.  

 

Yesterday was supposed to be Nicaragua- but sea / wind conditions were not favorable for tendering, so sea day it was!  No internet all day!  Headed directly to our next port, IT help was on the ship early this morning, all back up and running.

 

Today we are off to the rain forest in Costa Rica!

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I admire the way you take the "rough with the smooth" - and love your posts.  Hope Puntarenas was a good port and look forward to hearing what you did!!

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Aerial tram and river cruise for the win in Puntarenas today!   Full size bus for the hour and 15 min ride to the Tarcoles River.  Great guide - Andrea- told us what to expect, order of activities. 

 

We saw lots of different birds, a number of crocodiles - some very close up, and iguanas on the boat portion. 

 

Then off to the tram tram where we saw a few birds, including toucans!, and other creatures. Unfortunately, no monkeys or sloths. 

 

Nice lunch then what she referred to as a hike, really just a walk (with some up / downhill) on paved ground. All sorts of aquariums with snakes and frogs. Also some bats zooming around us!  The guide for this portion was great - giving us pieces of leaves to smell and identify- all spice, oregano, Clove, cinnamon bark.  Also went into the butterfly exhibit. The guide said he’d be right back, stepped out and came back with a little green frog!  

 

Ships internet has been having issues. I’m not going to try to post pictures- will try to remember to when we get home. 

 

Nice “bbq” tonight.  Was supposed to be all out around the pool deck - till they had some rain and lightning this afternoon. Still many tables by the pool - but food and later the entertainment had to be moved inside.  Of course just a few sprinkles during dinner - no doubt would have been a downpour if they’d set everything up outside!  Since the weather was good - additional tables were set up outside.  There was also seating in la Veranda.  

 

The reason I put bbq in quotes is because there was a lady who told me how smart they were to set up the grills on a port night - that they couldn’t do it while we were at sea.  I think she thought they would actually be bbq ing over charcoal- bet she was surprised!   No open flames on a cruise ship - even in port!

 

Clocks set ahead again tonight. 

 

Looking forward to our beginner bridge class tomorrow. We have never played before and are learning lots from the instructor as well as our wonderful next door neighbors!

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Laughing about thinking that there would be a "real" barbecue onboard.  Hope that you enjoyed the food!

 

The excursion sounds delightful.  We love Costa Rica and have been there are land trips a few times.

 

Really enjoying your blog!

 

 

 

 

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It seems that Corinto Nicaragua gets cancelled by Regent and Oceania with alarming frequency.  Has me wondering if it is really a question of wind etc or is it a question of not wanting to take passengers to this port for some reason ??

 

We are due to stop there in March...  I am not counting on it at least for now.

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Our nextdoor neighbor is a sailor - he explained that with the wind direction (perpendicular to the swells) the captain would need to keep the ship in that direction since we would be anchored.  Which would mean the swells coming across the ship and making getting onto and off the tenders quite dangerous. Since they expected the swells to increase, it really wouldn’t be safe. Our neighbor felt it was a wise decision. 

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Seems to happen a lot though.   Happened to us when we should have been in St Tropez and also in Roatan Honduras (latter was not a tender port but apparently getting to the dock was a problem with the swell and the winds.)  But Corinto ?  I haven't read a thread on the Regent or Oceania forums lately where the ship has been able to anchor there.  To me, this is maybe strange...  I think (but not sure) that TravelCat 2's Chile to LA cruise last year had the same problem.

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Laughing about thinking that there would be a "real" barbecue onboard.

 

We had more than once a real BBQ on board during our cruises. Couldn't found a Regent one so quick so one of our Azamara cruises.

Bbq.JPG.99fa756e04c0866601e0fe5f39447a66.JPG

Edited by Henk123

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7 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

Laughing about thinking that there would be a "real" barbecue onboard.  Hope that you enjoyed the food!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We always enjoy the BBQ deck parties which were always held when we were in port. I guess it depends on what you consider a "real"  BBQ.  Regent boards...4/15/18,,,WesW posts a bunch of photos of a deck party with a gas grill as we remember it. Not charcoal briquets but most certainly a valid BBQ grill.

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3 hours ago, JC in CA said:

Our nextdoor neighbor is a sailor - he explained that with the wind direction (perpendicular to the swells) the captain would need to keep the ship in that direction since we would be anchored.  Which would mean the swells coming across the ship and making getting onto and off the tenders quite dangerous. Since they expected the swells to increase, it really wouldn’t be safe. Our neighbor felt it was a wise decision. 

Yes, Pacific swells can be nasty in that area. On the Voyager a few years ago while leaving the bay of  Huatulco, Mexico, the  Captain stopped the ship just outside the harbor to debark the Pilot. The ship stopped  was at 90 degrees to the swells.  A big Pacific "roller" came in and tipped the ship from side to side. It wasn't so much as how far the ship heeled over, it was probably only 5 degrees, but how fast is went from side to side. It was a very quick snap. Everything in the bathroom fell over as did most of the items on our desk. There was a lot of broken china and glass ware in the dining rooms as the has just finished lunch and set up for dinner.

 

Good thing your Captain played it safe. I have seen a life boat (tender) get drawn under the ships tender dock  by a rogue swell and have the life boat heavily damaged. That too was in the Pacific.

 

J

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10 hours ago, Hambagahle said:

It seems that Corinto Nicaragua gets cancelled by Regent and Oceania with alarming frequency.  Has me wondering if it is really a question of wind etc or is it a question of not wanting to take passengers to this port for some reason ??

 

We are due to stop there in March...  I am not counting on it at least for now.

More later (bottom line, awesome cruise!) but we were scheduled to anchor in San Juan del Sur Nicaragua, not Coritino. In Costa Rica yesterday I spoke to a woman on a Holland ship that did dock in Coritino the day our San Juan del Sur anchor was cancelled.

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10 hours ago, Hambagahle said:

But Corinto ?  I haven't read a thread on the Regent or Oceania forums lately where the ship has been able to anchor there.  

 

We were on the Explorer in March, and the ship docked in Corinto.

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For those wondering if it’s possible to get an additional reservation in the specialty restaurants- it is.  We stopped at the reservation desk this afternoon and there were 2 seats at a shared table for 4 tonight.  It was the only reservation at either restaurant through the end of the cruise. Apparently someone had canceled and we asked at the right time. I’d definitely recommend checking in to see what’s available!

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9 hours ago, fizzy said:

We always enjoy the BBQ deck parties which were always held when we were in port. I guess it depends on what you consider a "real"  BBQ.  Regent boards...4/15/18,,,WesW posts a bunch of photos of a deck party with a gas grill as we remember it. Not charcoal briquets but most certainly a valid BBQ grill.

 

Was not my post - I was simply laughing about it.  Generally, as has been said, fires of any kind are not permitted on cruise ships.  in my opinion, what Azamara is doing is a bit dangerous!  Are you 100% certain that Wes posted from Regent and not Silversea?  Even Wes tends to get the two mixed up at times.

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38 minutes ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

Was not my post - I was simply laughing about it.  Generally, as has been said, fires of any kind are not permitted on cruise ships.  in my opinion, what Azamara is doing is a bit dangerous!  Are you 100% certain that Wes posted from Regent and not Silversea?  Even Wes tends to get the two mixed up at times.

I have never found posts from Wes to be confusing. I am 100% sure. A picture is worth a thousand words...hopefully. The deck parties are great laughing or otherwise and you had many posts on the thread. I am not familiar with how Azamara does things.

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in my opinion, what Azamara is doing is a bit dangerous

 

I know for sure there are a lot more cruise lines (see pictures from  Disney and Celebrity)

Disney.JPG.46eb66a5d36149d0e563dcf000500dc4.JPGCelebrity.JPG.f4f4be8e632146f7c8cfe558e7ba718b.JPG

or to finsish with a smile. They are doing it the same way as hodghogs having sex.

Hodgehogs.JPG.40f464667004f5118c32cf28dab40d4f.JPG

 

VERY VERY CAREFULLY

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Henk123

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