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Explora Journeys Booking - First Impression


kelleherdl
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Well I just confirmed a reservation (paid deposit) for the Iceland to New York Inaugural, Sep 9 to Sep 23 2023.  I think I was reservation number 738. 😀 The reservation was made through my agent.  I have no idea whether one can book on one’s own.  The reservation documents and payment tool are miles beyond the normal MSC communication; simple/clear documents and easy to use payment tool. The information brochure on the ship and the experience details sent to me by my agent were extensive and really slickly presented.  
 

First impression:   The Explora Journeys team really took the effort to launch on a high note.  They clearly studied the competition’s systems.

 

Dennis

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On 11/16/2021 at 4:43 PM, kelleherdl said:

Well I just confirmed a reservation (paid deposit) for the Iceland to New York Inaugural, Sep 9 to Sep 23 2023.  I think I was reservation number 738. 😀 The reservation was made through my agent.  I have no idea whether one can book on one’s own.  The reservation documents and payment tool are miles beyond the normal MSC communication; simple/clear documents and easy to use payment tool. The information brochure on the ship and the experience details sent to me by my agent were extensive and really slickly presented.  
 

First impression:   The Explora Journeys team really took the effort to launch on a high note.  They clearly studied the competition’s systems.

 

Dennis

 

See you on board!

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My agent reported that they had meetings with the new management and told them the single supplement was too high if they planned to compete in the luxury market.  And the management actually listened to them and lowered the single supplement.  Works for me!  I probably wasn't going to book at the price originally quoted to me, but a single supplement of less than $1,000 works for me.  He's been impressed with how well their new systems work and, since he does a lot of bookings with MSC, he has a good point of reference.  My former travel agent who has since retired threatened to fire me if I ever asked her to book an MSC cruise again!  She said it was the worst experience of her long career.

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5 hours ago, kelleherdl said:

 We heard from our agent that Explora Journeys hired some outstanding Business Development Managers (BDMs) who are committed to working with their top agents to optimize the launch.

 

Dennis

 

Obviously a smart decision on their part.  There is no way Explora would have succeeded with MSC's abysmal customer service.  People who are accustomed to sailing on premium lines would jump ship in droves.

 

It will be interesting to compare with sailing in Yacht Club.  The cabins appear to be similar.  It remains to be seen if Explora will be able to provide YC-level service to an entire ship of 800 or so people vs. around 300 in a normal YC.  I noticed that only high-end suites have their own butlers as opposed to all suites having a butler on YC.

Edited by Happy Cruiser 6143
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8 minutes ago, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

It will be interesting to compare with sailing in Yacht Club.  The cabins appear to be similar.  It remains to be seen if Explora will be able to provide YC-level service to an entire ship of 800 or so people vs. around 300 in a normal YC.  I noticed that only high-end suites have their own butlers as opposed to all suites having a butler on YC.

If the overall dining experience is kicked up several notches, and entertainment is modified to reflect a more sedate/refined approach, I can forego a butler. Not having to worry about a drinks menu is a plus.  While our first cruise will be the North Atlantic I do like long hours of sun by the pool.  I trust we will get the same access to pool lounging ( no need for cabanas for me). I booked an OV-1, so no dedicated butler for us.

 

Dennis

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4 hours ago, kelleherdl said:

If the overall dining experience is kicked up several notches, and entertainment is modified to reflect a more sedate/refined approach, I can forego a butler. Not having to worry about a drinks menu is a plus.  While our first cruise will be the North Atlantic I do like long hours of sun by the pool.  I trust we will get the same access to pool lounging ( no need for cabanas for me). I booked an OV-1, so no dedicated butler for us.

 

Dennis

 

To me, that was always Yacht Club's weakness--the dining room.  Both food and service.  The last waiter I had was so bad, I didn't even go to the dining room the last two nights.  Couldn't stand it.  And that butler was pretty much useless as well, but fortunately I had an awesome assistant butler.

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  • 2 weeks later...
4 hours ago, dolls123 said:

I'm on the 11/3 14 day cruise. Really looking forward to exploring the ship and seeing how the service will be. I'm in a penthouse so no butler. 

 

Being so new, this forum doesn't have much info but I'll be looking forward to your review and reviews from others. 

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While on the Seashore last week my agent booked me on the 09/09/23 Iceland to New York.  I had originally pre-booked it but was going let it go because I thought the single supplement was too high.  Once I saw they had reduced the supplement, I couldn't pass it up.  Very excited for this itinerary.

 

I'm also booked on 4/18/2024 Vancouver to Hawaii sailing.  

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On 12/8/2021 at 12:42 PM, hencoll said:

While on the Seashore last week my agent booked me on the 09/09/23 Iceland to New York.  I had originally pre-booked it but was going let it go because I thought the single supplement was too high.  Once I saw they had reduced the supplement, I couldn't pass it up.  Very excited for this itinerary.

 

I'm also booked on 4/18/2024 Vancouver to Hawaii sailing.  

 

I'm also booked on that sailing.  At the originally announced price, I would have cancelled.  Explora needs to understand that the luxury lines with whom they plan to compete do not charge 200% single supplements.

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