Jump to content

I'm ready to talk cruise planning!


 Share

Recommended Posts

This week we should be sailing the last leg of our 34 night transatlantic/ Baltic/ Norway cruise. We retired (unexpectedly) early a few years ago and resumed our love of cruising. After a couple of Caribbean cruises we realized we were a bit bored and decided it was time to venture out further. I love reading trip reports (thank you to all who have shared their experiences!) so became inspired to start visiting some of these beautiful places I was reading about. Our first cruise across the Atlantic was a big deal to us because it was also our first trip to Europe! Yup we are traveling newbies, feeling like mere infants compared to many of you. In 2018 we were thrilled to land in Copenhagen 5 days before our westbound TA and remained spell bound at each port stop along the way. Needless to say we were hooked! Since then we made a goal to take 2 long trips/ year, combining land travel with our cruise. We still have a 21 yo daughter at home to watch the house and dogs so wanted to take advantage of her presence. So me, being a cruise critic addicted planner, relished my time on this site. Then of course this damn coronavirus threw all our lives off course. 

 

I spent 30+ years in healthcare so have been soaking up all the news I can learn about this horrible virus. Being human, I've gone back and forth through all the stages of loss from denial, bargaining to anger as I adjust to our new reality. Finally I think I'm transitioning into acceptance. In my head I'm starting to let go the dreams I had for each one of my trips. The world has changed and will be changed for some time to come. We all hold various opinions regarding timing and each have to work through our own reasoning and emotions. For me, personally, I can't see myself realistically planning an international cruise sooner than 2022.

 

It has actually been freeing to reach this point of acceptance. Before, I felt stuck and frustrated with so much up in the air. Now I have a clearer idea how I want to proceed. This, finally lol, brings me closer to why I'm posting. My husband and I are not tied to any one cruise line, instead being more focused on itinerary and value. Recent past cruises have been on NCL and MSC. We do though have a Regent cruise booked for this Sept on the Navigator from Barcelona to Montreal. Happened upon it just as the ship's schedule was adjusted to accommodate a 2nd dry dock and the price reflected its late change. We booked ASAP and since then I have been a frequent reader of this board. In my mind this would be a once and done Regent cruise because while Regent sounds lovely, the cost exceeds our budget.   

 

Now of course our Sept cruise is up in the air and I'm doubtful it will sail as scheduled. We've already paid in full so will look at options when the time comes. 

 

The cruise following this one is in March of next year on NCL, from Dubai to Rome. Great price, great itinerary and I am perfectly happy sailing NCL. The timing though stinks because there is no way I can seriously plan for a cruise I don't believe will happen. I just wouldn't be able to get excited, holding my breath from now till then. So I looked ahead and don't see NCL offering a similar itinerary for 2022. Then, for some unknown reason, I checked Regent and lo and behold found a cruise from Dubai to Istanbul. It's on the Explorer in April 2022. When I saw the price though I choked on my coffee, spraying it all over my computer screen. We are talking magnitudes of $$ higher than I was planning on spending. Also magnitudes of $$ higher than I can justify spending for ONE trip. But then all your voices started talking in my head. Some of you were telling me about the benefits of Regent, others the value it offered, and some the justification for the cost adding everything up. Seriously. I could quote a few of you, but of course my mind has assigned a voice that is probably far different than reality. Once I quieted you all down, not an easy task lol, I started to think. Gradually I began justifying the cost with the savings from the cruise we should currently be on (MSC- I need my refund!), combined with the NCL one we are canceling. Add in a big dash of feeling sorry for myself for how Corona has squashed my plans and voila- I'm 99% sure we're going to book this cruise!! 

 

And now, after what feels like forever, but has in reality been a mere few months, I am excited once again to think about cruising, the anticipation, and the fun of planning. Once I sprung the idea on my husband he saw the light and that cruise glow is gradually coming back into his cheeks. This is a great itinerary that I want to make the most out of so am ready to go all in, including an overland tour to Luxor and even a post cruise tour in Istanbul. I like to maximize what I get for each dollar so usually arrange my own tours and such but given the port stops on this trip I'm eager to give Regent a go and let them do the planning, even if it costs more than I'm usually comfortable spending.

 

Two years is a long ways away but according to the experienced cruisers here I think it will be worth the wait. I hoping you'll all share your wisdom, advice and suggestions, even a differing opinion or two. 

 

This is a tough time all around and sadly the halt to cruising has changed the tenor of cruise critic, which is understandable. Personally I'm realizing that an eye toward a more distant horizon is giving me hope that cruising will eventually return to a closer version of its former self. Booking this cruise is a huge step in restoring my faith that I'll get through the next two years and come out good on the other side. We still have a long way to go but getting back to conversations about cruise specifics with questions and answers will help. Of course there are unknowns and yes there will be changes, but some things will fall back into place and that's where I hope we can spend some time together. I'm so excited thinking about this cruise; a trip that would normally be beyond my means. Thanks for reading and I look forward to being a more active participant on this board!

 

Carrie

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Phew....that was a long one! (giggle!). Yes, that's a long time to wait however if it's something that you'd like to do (thinking itinerary) then you should absolutely go for it! We're awaiting a cruise in November with a dream itinerary but of course, that's VERY up in the air at the moment. All that being said, I think you'll like Regent. We too thought that Regent was  A LOT of money, but now after many cruises with them and adding up all of the things that we would pay for on other lines, Regent is completely comparable. One thing that we found onboard R was that we were much more sociable. You could actually sit with folks and have a second drink in the bar without dividing up the tab, add on the service charge and sign. None of that on Regent. There is no charge for almost all of the shore excursions, many lovely choices for wine with dinner, all included. You can actually get off the ship with no tab at all, or depending on if you have OBC, sometimes that's refundable. We got off once with a credit balance. 

We have done lots of cruising on MANY different lines, from the sublime ( Regent and Crystal) to the ridiculous (MSC, for us).

Oh, and almost forgot.....business air. WOW! We don't have loads of points from various cards to use for upgrades, etc. We had never flown business until a few years ago, when Regent threw it in.....well, there was no going back. Some of the fares for business air were almost as much as the cruise fare in some cases. And lastly, I think all grades of cabins are wonderful....I think the only thing that separates many catagories  is location.

I hope that you will give Regent a try....it would be a great and wonderful thing to look forward to! Good luck in whatever or wherever you plan to go!!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had a cruise booked for Aug 28 this year and had to cancel due to DH's health with nothing to do with Covid 19. We took the reduced deposit from that one (was booked using onboard rules so can make one switch) and put it on Jan 31, 2022 cruise around South America with a few days sailing around some of the Antarctica Islands.  I felt we would never actually get to take a cruise that lands on Antarctica so this was the next best thing for us. Regent was fantastic dealing with the cancelation and re-booking.  They honored moving the deposit inspite of the fact the canceled one was in USD and we wanted the new booking in CAD. Normally we would have had to book the new cruise in USD because of the USD deposit. They refunded our USD deposit and charged us the same amount in CAD (so didn't charge us for the foreign exchange).  Our refund of the deposit and paid shore excursions was received pretty quickly. Vey happy with our treatment by Regent. 

 

We already have a cruise booked for Sept 2021 and are really hoping that one will be okay and things will be back to near normal.  It will be the only cruise  we have taken that requires only a return International flight.  A relaly nice change for us. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, 1982CruzStart said:

We had a cruise booked for Aug 28 this year and had to cancel due to DH's health with nothing to do with Covid 19. We took the reduced deposit from that one (was booked using onboard rules so can make one switch) and put it on Jan 31, 2022 cruise around South America with a few days sailing around some of the Antarctica Islands.  I felt we would never actually get to take a cruise that lands on Antarctica so this was the next best thing for us. Regent was fantastic dealing with the cancelation and re-booking.  They honored moving the deposit inspite of the fact the canceled one was in USD and we wanted the new booking in CAD. Normally we would have had to book the new cruise in USD because of the USD deposit. They refunded our USD deposit and charged us the same amount in CAD (so didn't charge us for the foreign exchange).  Our refund of the deposit and paid shore excursions was received pretty quickly. Vey happy with our treatment by Regent. 

 

We already have a cruise booked for Sept 2021 and are really hoping that one will be okay and things will be back to near normal.  It will be the only cruise  we have taken that requires only a return International flight.  A relaly nice change for us. 

Could that be the Vancouver to Tokyo trip in Sept? We're considering that one as well.......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Mudhen said:

Could that be the Vancouver to Tokyo trip in Sept? We're considering that one as well.......

Yes it is.  We have booked the free post cruise Tokyo trip as well.  Really looking forward to it.  Hope you join us. There is a roll call started. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, 1982CruzStart said:

Yes it is.  We have booked the free post cruise Tokyo trip as well.  Really looking forward to it.  Hope you join us. There is a roll call started. 

We'll see what we can do! Would be delighted to join you.....will keep you posted!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Carrie...... what a delightful post. We are long time Regent cruisers, traveling all over the world with them. We, like you, thought initially about the $$$$ cost. We then justified it as a one time spend. And, we were hooked. 
These days, we are happy to just sail on a Caribbean cruise. No flying. For us it’s all about the ship and time spend enjoying meeting new people and old friends, dining in fabulous restaurants and lovely entertainment.  
Let’s hope that we can all sail in the near future to places that make us happy. 
Enjoy!
Sheila

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, Bellaggio Cruisers said:

Carrie...... what a delightful post. We are long time Regent cruisers, traveling all over the world with them. We, like you, thought initially about the $$$$ cost. We then justified it as a one time spend. And, we were hooked. 
These days, we are happy to just sail on a Caribbean cruise. No flying. For us it’s all about the ship and time spend enjoying meeting new people and old friends, dining in fabulous restaurants and lovely entertainment.  
Let’s hope that we can all sail in the near future to places that make us happy. 
Enjoy!
Sheila

 

We're with you, Sheila ! Hope it will happen sooner rather than later!

Linda and John

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Carrie, I'm sure you'll love Regent.  And bravo for booking something for 2022!  We have waited two years for a cruise at times, and planning and dreaming is a wonderful part of it.

 

We were going to be doing Dubai - Istanbul next spring, as part of our World Cruise, which we had in fact been planning for a year and a half.  Sadly, we cancelled it, and haven't anything planned for the future.  We  have been to Istanbul, Greece and Egypt, but were so looking forward to going back, and also seeing parts of the Middle East we haven't seen including Israel, plus some Greek Islands we hadn't visited.    My advice--do the overnight to Luxor (we did a Nile cruise, but take in what you can while you're there!)

 

So you, and 1982CruzStart are inspirations for us.  We will start planning, hopefully for 2022.  I, in fact, have been looking at those Voyager cruises in S.A.  We've done Miami to Lima, and Rio to Miami, so would love to do the rest of the loop, and Voyager is a lovely ship.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Carrie...thank you for your beautiful words about thinking about cruising in the age of Covid and your cruising history.  We too did many mass-market cruises before we took the plunge to cruise on Regent.  It took a lot of convincing on my part and doing side by side calculations to get my DH to agree to the large front-end outlay of cash for a Regent cruise.  We have never regretted that decision.  We have loved every Regent cruise we have been on.  Whether it is the senior staff, the crew, the food, or the shore excursions, we have found everything, with a few glitches, to be top notch.  We were so happy with our Regent experience that we booked the 2021 World Cruise.  This took a real leap of faith on our part with the help of Wendy, Sandy, and others.  We had real trouble making the final decision to cancel the 2021 because of the possibility of Covid and move to the 2022.  We hope by then there will be a vaccine or an effective treatment that can be employed, if necessary, when we are away for 120 days.

 

With that said, we have observed all the safe distancing rules and wear our masks religiously, but we are determined that Covid will not rule our lives.  We are both in our very early70's and in good health.  We are now looking at taking a shorter cruise in early 2021 to places that have been less impacted by the disease.  We will wear our masks all the time and use had sanitizers and frequent hand washing all the time.  We do not have a "death wish'.  We just want to enjoy our life while we can.  In fact, we will try to drive to ports, where we can, because I fear airplanes more that I fear a small cruise ship.

 

This is all just my opinion.  Take from it what you will.  Good luck and stay safe.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

CarrieAP, great post! I love the planning for a cruise and I’m looking forward to cruising again.

 

We would’ve been on the Splendor last month, but alas, that was canceled. We’ve never been on Regent but in general, once you’ve been on an all-inclusive cruise it’ll be tough to go back! 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: PONANT Cruises & Expeditions
      • Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Q&A with American Queen Voyages
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...