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Travelcat2

LIVE – Explorer Transatlantic – 11/23 – 12/7/2019

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5 hours ago, Mudhen said:

 We always enjoy OSJ....a tiny hole in the wall shop has coins (John collects) and great antique jewelry (yea, me!) so we always make a stop.

 

Would be most appreciative if you are willing to share the name of the store with coins.

 

Thanks!

 

gnomie

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46 minutes ago, gnomie1 said:

 

Would be most appreciative if you are willing to share the name of the store with coins.

 

Thanks!

 

gnomie

Oh dear.....it's been quite awhile since we were there and although I could walk you there, I don't know street names, much less the name of the shopl

It's on the basicly main drag street. You'd go up the hill from the cruise terminal and make a left and head in the direction of El Convento. It's a very tiny, truely hole in the wall shop and it would be on your right side. I know that's pretty vague, Sorry I can't be more specific. They display coins and antique jewelry in the window....very small. I hope it's still there.

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The main streets in Old San Juan are parallel to each other and both end at the main plaza (Plaza del Ayuntamiento) where you find the Municipal Town Hall.  The parallel street nearer to the port is Calle La Fortaleza, and ends at the Governor's mansion.  This is probably the street you are referring to.  Hope this helps.

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First, I am in the Business Center and the "Digital Guest Survey" is now available.  HOWEVER, don't bother logging in unless you know your Seven Seas Society number.  Who on earth would have that information on a ship in the computer room?  Enough said.  

 

Had our first meal in CR on this cruise and the service and food was exemplary.  John was our server and Mark was Sommelier (he will be on Splendor in March).  Speaking of Splendor, my biggest question is who the G.M. wlll be.  So, I asked Andreas last night at dinner and he said that Franck Galzy would be G.M.   That made me happy until I learned that he would likely be off of the ship by March (a month after the ship is launched).  I will contact Franck when I get home as the internet remains crazy.  I cannot count the number of times this afternoon that the internet was fine - then it was dropped - then it was fine - then it was dropped (repeat that sentence about 20+ times).  Since I always contact Corporate after a cruise, if the survey gives me any issues whatsoever, I simply will not do it.

 

An update on Puerto Rico.  Destination Services is having a heck of a time finding tour companies that can accommodate Regent as there are 5 or so ships in port on Wednesday.  This is why we try to avoid the Caribbean - so many mega ships that make the ports over-crowded.  Not a pleasant situation.  While my DH wants to do an excursion, I'd be happy to go to one of the recommended places - have a bite to eat and a drink and just hang out.

 

If I did not mention this earlier, I heard from more than one crew member that wants me to report how wonderful it is to work for Regent ........ how good they are to employees and how much they care.  One crew member (wish that I could remember his name) could not say enough about Jason Montague.  He comes on the ships - goes into the crew quarters and restaurant where he spends time with the crew.  They appreciate this so much.

 

As I sit here at 9:00 p.m., there is a man dressed almost like a homeless person printing tons of things.  Truly wish that people that work onboard had their own server and would pay for the use of the computers.  Those of us that simply want to contact our home, etc., don't stand a chance with the hogs on board (not apologizing for this statement).  As I have commented before, these people can write off the cost of internet usage so it is not a big deal.  The man just ran out of paper and is rummaging through drawers to find more.  Give me a break.  One more part of the rant.......... although "streaming" is suppose to be for passengers that pay extra, there are passengers that are watching football games (they may not stream well but it works well enough for them to stream without paying extra).  I'm upset because these are the people that make it next to impossible to write an email or post on CC.  Rant over with!

 

Despite some of the quirks of this cruise, we are enjoying it very much.  If I were not trying to post on CC, it would have been fine.  

 

Anyway, looking forward to Puerto Rico....... 5 days at sea are fun but is enough.  We need to get off of the ship for a day (with or without an excursion).

 

I must apologize for the weakest blog that I have ever done from a ship.  I truly have tried to post photos but most of the time it doesn't work.  Hoping that Splendor will have better internet so that I can post from our March cruise.  For now, I'll continue to post when I can and thank you for your patience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jackie, I "discovered"  during our last cruise (when it was time to fill the online questionnaire) that your society number is printed in your key card! Not sure if its always been there!

 

Oh, that's too bad about all those ships in San Juan, that's unusual! Yes, OSJ will be a zoo, although "fun" to people watch! Hope you're able to find el Batey or Marilyns. Another nice place for a drink and a bite to eat is the Princesa Gastrobar, also very near the port (this one is not a "dive", but its casual). https://www.princesapr.com/

Edited by cruiseluv

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We also had dinner in Compass Rose tonight with John as our waiter. We requested his section specifically as we had sailed with him on the Circumnavigation Australia cruise earlier this year. As Jackie said, service was excellent as was the food.

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I'm pretty sure the directions for the online survey state that your seven seas society number is printed on your key card.

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Jackie, just curious why you always contact corporate after a cruise. 

Enjoy your cruise. 

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Re:  Society Number--Yes, it has been printed on key cards for some time.  Just looked at mine for Explorer 08-09/2019 BTB segments.  

 

As to San Juan:  Just walk off the ship to the "Fortress" area, which is a pleasant, short trek.  Lots of history; lots of restaurants and watering stations.  Keep it simple.  

 

GOARMY!

 

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I don’t want to do my cruise comments online.  Yes, I’m old school.  I feel we should have another option. 

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1 hour ago, cruiseluv said:

Jackie, I "discovered"  during our last cruise (when it was time to fill the online questionnaire) that your society number is printed in your key card! Not sure if its always been there!

 

Oh, that's too bad about all those ships in San Juan, that's unusual! Yes, OSJ will be a zoo, although "fun" to people watch! Hope you're able to find el Batey or Marilyns. Another nice place for a drink and a bite to eat is the Princesa Gastrobar, also very near the port (this one is not a "dive", but its casual). https://www.princesapr.com/

 

Maria - thank you so very much for your help.  We learned tonight that we will be docked right next to Old Town. Hope that this is a good thing in terms of finding one of your recommendations.

 

Briar14 - we were also in John’s section.  He is really a great server.  Mark was our Sommelier and he shared the fact that he will be moving to Splendor in January.

 

Apparently I am the only “dumb dumb” when it come to the online survey.  In the Business Center (aka computer room) there are signs with the site name (no instructions).  I went took the site and was asked for our Seven Seas Society number. When I returned to the suite, tomorrow’s Passages was in the suite with instructions.  Of course you are all correct - it is on our card.  My only comment is “duh”.........

 

PinkMEB - I have written to corporate for years after a cruise.  I enjoy sharing the “mostly positive” things that occur onboard.  However, if something really out of the ordinary is happening onboard, I write to them immediately.  in my opinion, it is important to share the positives and negatives with onboard officers as well as corporate.  Being on a Regent cruse and not saying anything when there is an issue does a disservice to both you and Regent.  

 

The most rewarding thing for us is seeing our “pick” for “rising star” doing really well.  The person that I was/am naming as a rising star on this cruise coincidentally received “employee of the month” recently.  So, although I will list her, I’ll also list the runner-ups.  As most of you know, the crew on Regent is the reason that we stay with Regent.  They are amazing, hard-working people that are trying to make a better life for their families.  I have the highest respect for all of them.  

 

Cannot tell you how frustrating it is to not be able to post photos or even use the internet at times.  Just called my daughter as it is so much easier than emailing.

 

Will see what tomorrow brings.  

 

P.S. rcandkc — agree with you 100%

Edited by Travelcat2

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I am always pleased to see that Regent employees are just like most of us....working hard to support their families with the occupation they have chosen in life.

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First night dining in Compass Rose after 10 days onboard?  
That’s a lot of specialty restaurant reservations.  
 

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I, too, was disappointed that the cruise comment card can only be completed online until I discussed it with GM Michael.  He explained that it was so much easier to get the results to the proper departments easily and decipherably.  I also found it good to do over a 24 hour period as I would add staff as I remembered and could edit comments, both negative and positive, multiple times before I sent it it.  

 

Although not perfect, it is still evolving (I wonder if it can be done on iPad finally) and hopefully can be done both on ship and at home in the future.

 

Marc

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32 minutes ago, pdaniel said:

First night dining in Compass Rose after 10 days onboard?  
That’s a lot of specialty restaurant reservations.  
 

With the noise in Compass Rose on Explorer I think I would relish the opportunity to eat elsewhere each night.

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1 hour ago, pdaniel said:

First night dining in Compass Rose after 10 days onboard?  
That’s a lot of specialty restaurant reservations.  
 

Great for her, hope I'm able to do anything close to that next time I'm on Explorer. I may be in the minority, but I find the venue of Compass Rose there a bit like a convention hall. Just cruised on the Navigator and it was so nice to go to a more cozy Compass Rose. 

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40 minutes ago, mrlevin said:

I, too, was disappointed that the cruise comment card can only be completed online until I discussed it with GM Michael.  He explained that it was so much easier to get the results to the proper departments easily and decipherably.  I also found it good to do over a 24 hour period as I would add staff as I remembered and could edit comments, both negative and positive, multiple times before I sent it it.  

 

Although not perfect, it is still evolving (I wonder if it can be done on iPad finally) and hopefully can be done both on ship and at home in the future.

 

Marc

Marc, I also had a conversation about it a couple of weeks ago with CD Jamie, and he explained the same advantages, plus that it was definitively "evolving to version 2.0". Dont know when you did it, but I was able to complete it on my iPad.  

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5 hours ago, pdaniel said:

First night dining in Compass Rose after 10 days onboard?  
That’s a lot of specialty restaurant reservations.  
 

Jackie and Dennis are in a Master Suite - she said that earlier on this thread.  People staying in the "name" suites which are, I think, the Regent, Master and Grand Suites, can ask their Butler to get them a dinner reservation in any of the speciality restaurants on any night they choose.   It is one of the perks that comes along with those suites - like free laundry.  Those dinner reservations, according to the Regent website, are guaranteed.

So why not?   We are going to be in a Grand Suite and we will be doing just about the same on our March cruise.

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Marc, the questionnaires have to be completed by the end of the cruise (cannot be done at home).  Considering that the internet issue is so severe on this particular cruise, it will be a challenge to get online to complete the questionnaire but I'll give it a try.  Apparently, IT people will board Explorer when we get to Miami and will fix the current problem that will require replacing the "boxes" (for lack of a better word) that sits next to the monitor.  Hoping that it will work as it is more than frustrating.

 

Gerry explained why we are dining in specialty restaurants so often.  We rarely are a suite that is high enough for this perk (even though we've been in one twice this year).  To be honest, with the exception of Pacific Rim, we do not need to dine in P7 or Chartreuse more than once or twice (especially on Explorer when we are able have lunch at these dining venues).  We do love CR (and know where to sit so that it isn't noisy).  The food and service was exemplary last night (which helped my less than good mood yesterday due to the internet).

 

In terms of the crew being like most of us - working, etc.,  How many people leave their families for months at a time, have to work extremely long hours 7 days a week?  On top of that, they can not respond to the verbal abuse that some passengers hand out.  Dennis was telling me this morning that is at the Coffee Connection every morning early (Dennis goes there around 7:00 a.m.) the same man complains about absolutely everything that the "crew" members are doing wrong.  I don't tend to speak much but would have said something if I saw this man repeatedly badgering crew members.  

 

Today is a good lecture and a 3:00 p.m. show that I hear is fabulous.  Since it is highly unlikely that I can post photos of the daily Passages, I will do a summary of the events that typically take place on sea days.  

 

Excursions are now available for Puerto Rico.  Two excursions to the Bacardi Factory -- so glad that we made that mistake last time.  We will do a 2 1/2 hour city tour after which we'll check out the recommended places for a bite to eat and to try Mojitos (I thought that they were a Cuban drink but they are likely just as good in Puerto Rico).  Dennis was hesitant to have a meal off of the ship after he got sick from the food in Cabo.  I reminded him that we'll be in the U.S. which calmed his fears.  It is suppose to be close to 90 degrees there and I'm starting to melt already (very hot and humid outside).  As Marc posted a few years ago when we were about to do a November crossing, the weather is much warmer than expected.  The only thing that has changed is that the seas have been considerably rougher last year and this year.  

 

Before I forget, my top suggestion of what to pack (besides clothes, etc.) is "Duct" tape.  It works well for keeping doors from slamming (including shower door, closet doors, etc.)  The tape comes off easily and does not leave a mark.  I purchased a small roll for only 99 cents and it was worth it.

 

Since the system is currently working, I'll go try the Digital Guest Survey. 

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1 hour ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

 

In terms of the crew being like most of us - working, etc.,  How many people leave their families for months at a time, have to work extremely long hours 7 days a week?  On top of that, they can not respond to the verbal abuse that some passengers hand out.  

As long as we aren't talking about forced labor, I believe that enlisted service members do just that...by choice. I do think that it becomes a weak management position if superiors allow customers to speak to any workers in a rude or condescending way without stepping in when appropriate...and that goes for all professions. I would like to think that the crew are just like us and are hardworking for whatever reason.

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TC are you going to do summaries of the excursions that you have taken?  This would be interesting for people on other cruises that go to these ports.

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2 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

Before I forget, my top suggestion of what to pack (besides clothes, etc.) is "Duct" tape.  It works well for keeping doors from slamming (including shower door, closet doors, etc.)  The tape comes off easily and does not leave a mark.  I purchased a small roll for only 99 cents and it was worth it.

 

Careful with using "duct tape".  The "doesn't leave a mark" is highly dependent on the tape, the surface involved, the pressure on the tape, the temperature and the length of time it's attached.  Duct tape is primarily intended for permanent type installations.  If there are concerns about residue being left behind, a better solution may be "gaffer tape".

 

Gaffer tape uses a higher grade of adhesive (especially compared with the dollar tapes), and is a fabric tape rather than plastic/vinyl.  It's designed so that it can be easily ripped off the roll (fabric) and have better hold/release properties (adhesive).

 

It does cost more than duct tape, but is significantly cheaper than aviation "speed tape".

Edited by FlyerTalker

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2 hours ago, FlyerTalker said:

 

Careful with using "duct tape".  The "doesn't leave a mark" is highly dependent on the tape, the surface involved, the pressure on the tape, the temperature and the length of time it's attached.  Duct tape is primarily intended for permanent type installations.  If there are concerns about residue being left behind, a better solution may be "gaffer tape".

 

Gaffer tape uses a higher grade of adhesive (especially compared with the dollar tapes), and is a fabric tape rather than plastic/vinyl.  It's designed so that it can be easily ripped off the roll (fabric) and have better hold/release properties (adhesive).

 

It does cost more than duct tape, but is significantly cheaper than aviation "speed tape".

 

Thank you for that information!  I will use the gaffer tape next time.  The only areas that the duct tape is touching is metal (not sure if that matters).  There are some unusual rattling issues and being able to secure the doors helps.  We were in this suite in Feb/March (22 nights) and this cruise for about 11 and finally heard a “door whistle”.  It wasn’t a big deal and only went on for a short time.  The wind was hitting us pretty hard sideways - not sure what causes this.

 

mj_holiday - think that I am the wrong person to ask about excursions as we do not take many and when we do, it is typically a Regent Choice excursion.  The description that I posted about our excursion in Funchal was accurate and it is a great excursion (IMHO).  We visited a place that makes Port and had samples.  This was followed by visit to a large market (larger than Boqueria Market in Barcelona).  This is where the Black Scabbard fish is sold (only available in Portugal and Japan).  Then we had lunch (meat on skewers and chicken) with wine (this was after a drink before lunch that was quite high in alcohol content.  

 

Another excursion that we have done in Funchal takes you to the other side of the island (beautiful scenery) and you get to have the “beautiful” Black Scabbard fish for lunch .  It is a delicious lunch.

 

I have photos of our excursion in a 4 x 4 in Horta, Azores.  It is a beautiful island - very enjoyable ride.  Will post photos when I get home (this weekend).

 

Will share about tomorrow’s excursion in San Juan.  Looking forward to it

 

fizzy - could not disagree with you more.  I could easily debate your view of the crew and management on Regent ships but truly feel that it is better to stay on topic.  I have discussed the extraordinary crew and officers on this particular cruise as well as the mostly great passengers and a couple of rude passengers.  I do not have anything to add that I have not posted already on this topic.

 

Today’s themed lunch in LV was Caribbean.  It was good but needed a bit more spice.  Speaking of LV, I plan on taking photos of that dining venue as well as PR (Pacific Rim) since those of you that have not been on Explorer may find photos interesting (especially LV as it is laid out so much better than on the other ships).

 

Dinner tonight is PR - just cannot resist that food and it is not really fattening.  Plan to have Miso Black Cod again (along with sake).

 

Excited to be getting off of the ship tomorrow!

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Travelcat2 said:

Excited to be getting off of the ship tomorrow!

Wow, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anyone post THAT phrase before!  LOL!!

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We are boarding the Explorer on Saturday for a Caribbean cruise. Looking forward to the relaxation, great food and pampering. 
Hope the ship is in good condition after the crossing. 
I know some of you are staying onboard. Looking forward to meeting you. 
Sheila and Herb

Edited by Bellaggio Cruisers

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