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Changing standards/cost reductions?


Gpilon
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11 minutes ago, Dolebludger said:

What is the “$75 fee to speak to the air desk”?  I hope I am misunderstanding post #23 above.

I just deviated so I am current on this.  When you first call to deviate your flights they will inform you that there is a $75 charge to speak to the agents.  Since I called for both my wife and I it was a single $75 charge, not per person.  When you accept your deviation the $75 is rolled into the $175 deviation charge for one person and the second person is charged the standard $175.  So the total charge hasn't changed.  This was done to reduce the number of calls they were getting.  So when you call to deviate you want to have as many. "ducks in a row" that you can.  I had 3 itinerary alternative when I called. And the agent gave me other options when I asked.  Also it's important to note... one of my flights was changed by the airlines that pushed the time between flights pretty tight. So I called to see about changing it.  Since I already had booked the deviation agreed to, it was not a new deviation request, so no further $75 charges. 

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6 hours ago, Gpilon said:

....For the prices Regent charges across the board for all cruises and level of suites,...

Just a comment on Regent pricing.  Unless you're happy with a balcony or lower cabin on another cruise line you may find that Regent pricing isn't that much more.  Example, we are doing 14 nights in Feb-Mar. 2024 from Hong Kong to Tokyo in an F-1 on Explorer.  For "grins" I priced a similar itinerary on Royal Caribbean, 12 nights (2 nights shorter) from Singapore to Tokyo.  Using a Junior Suite for comparison (smallest suite on RCCL), adding drink packages for 2,  gratuities for 2,  and Business Class air through RCCL both ways, but not specialty dining or shore excursions, the cost on RCCL was $2000 MORE than Regent!   Since then I have looked for an RCCL cruise to take my grandkids on.  On their biggest ships, the ones that have all the "bells and whistles" for kids, to get even into a Junior Suite, you are going to pay about what you'll pay for a Verandah Cabin on Regent.  So yes, the cost is very high, but it isn't particularly more than Royal Caribbean or Celebrity if you compare cabin class and included amenities.  

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Pappafamingo, it is offensive to me for Regent to charge a fee to speak with their airline desk. I guess that is the reason we have been advised to take the credit and book our own air. And to get travel insurance that covers missed cruises due to airline foul-ups which seem to be common. 
 

As for Regent’s fares across the suite levels, I guess we find them reasonable for what you get, because we cruised Alaska on the Explorer in June, and booked another cruise in the Splendor for March, 2024. The Alaska cruise was a great onboard experience. But unless the matter of air transportation to and from a cruise gets a bit more consumer friendly, the next cruise may be our last trip beyond driving distance we will take until (and unless) our airlines get their acts together. Regent was #1 with us before the pandemic, and still is, from experience, now. Getting to and from a cruise, I rate as 0. Not Regents’s fault, but it may prevent our cruising. And the fact that Regent is charging to simply talk to someone is not helping.

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7 minutes ago, Dolebludger said:

Pappafamingo, it is offensive to me for Regent to charge a fee to speak with their airline desk. I guess that is the reason we have been advised to take the credit and book our own air. And to get travel insurance that covers missed cruises due to airline foul-ups which seem to be common. 
 

As for Regent’s fares across the suite levels, I guess we find them reasonable for what you get, because we cruised Alaska on the Explorer in June, and booked another cruise in the Splendor for March, 2024. The Alaska cruise was a great onboard experience. But unless the matter of air transportation to and from a cruise gets a bit more consumer friendly, the next cruise may be our last trip beyond driving distance we will take until (and unless) our airlines get their acts together. Regent was #1 with us before the pandemic, and still is, from experience, now. Getting to and from a cruise, I rate as 0. Not Regents’s fault, but it may prevent our cruising. And the fact that Regent is charging to simply talk to someone is not helping.

Well, we all have our opinions.  I am fine with the $75 because when I call for deviation I have already made the decision that I will deviate my flights.  So it's zero additional cost to me and prevents long hold times.  

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13 hours ago, cwn said:

Guess you no longer own/drive a car. In 1973 gasoline was -$.30 a gallon, it is now hovering around $3 a gallon. 
Then they pumped your gas and cleaned the windows with a Smile, now it is all self serve or you do with out.

Things change……

We adapt and go on enjoying life or we don’t and spend time complaining even if there is really nothing to complain about…….yet.

Haha,  I live in NJ and this Jersey Girl does not pump gas!  Hopefully that doesn’t change until I die! 

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8 hours ago, Dolebludger said:

When we are calling Regent, we shouldn’t have long hold times. Period!  We like Regent because we have found the onboard experience to be a “class act”. Why shouldn’t shore side service be the same? It should! 

Reducing hold times was the point of the $75 fee.  If someone is serious about deviating then the fee is rolled into the deviation fee.  If they are just "window shopping" flights they pay the fee.  But there is also an option for a callback, just make that selection and you'll have no wait time.  I opted on my first call to hold rather than a call back and I was on hold less than 2 minutes.  The second time they had a recording saying hold times were "unusually long" so I left a call back number and had a call back in under 30 minutes.  

As for "shore side service," my experience, and I'm talking a week or two ago, has been exceptional.  So I would say, I've always experienced the same shore side service as I have on board. 

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My concern is that guests may have questions and need the answers BEFORE they know if they want deviation. Also, who do we call at Regent if the airline screws up our flights and strands us? Would that be $75 too? Now a hypothetical question. Airlines have fouled up the last three times we flew (not Regent). Indeed, as any cruise we take begins and ends with an airline, I didn’t want to book a cruise for 2024 at all. But my wife did it!

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9 hours ago, Dolebludger said:

My concern is that guests may have questions and need the answers BEFORE they know if they want deviation. Also, who do we call at Regent if the airline screws up our flights and strands us? Would that be $75 too? Now a hypothetical question. Airlines have fouled up the last three times we flew (not Regent). Indeed, as any cruise we take begins and ends with an airline, I didn’t want to book a cruise for 2024 at all. But my wife did it!

My understanding is the $75 charge is ONLY for deviating.  If you have a problem it's a different situation. In fact, I had a change in schedule on the flight I deviated on (fees paid).  UAL changed the turn time in SFO from 4 hours to 1:49 which is a bit too close.  So when I called Regent, the prompt I chose was for an "existing deviation" (don't remember what it was, but it was obvious).  So when the agent answered, we talked about my options and I chose to keep what I have.  There was NO additional fees.  So don't worry, you will only be charged on a NEW deviation request, not on a problem on an existing flight reservation. 

If you have questions BEFORE you decide to deviate, then you'll pay $75.  That's sort of the point, to reduce the number of calls and free up the agents to work with those who are actually deviating.  BUT if you are serious about deviation, then you call, pay the $75, ask all the questions you want, and if you deviate,..no charge.  My advice to everyone is to deviate so you can have your flights 210 days out and seats (generally) assigned.  I just think that is much better.  But if someone has a bunch of questions, ask your TA and if need be, then ask Regent and just pay the $75.  

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While we (as Platinum) no longer pay a deviation fee, we always let our (great) TA earn her commission and handle all the interaction with Regent regarding flights.  I provide her with our preferences and she'll either get back with those flights booked or with information about the upcharge to get what we want.  The only time I call Regent directly is to change shore excursions since the current system won't let you cancel and excursion if you want to replace it...though that feature is supposed to be coming to the web site.

 

Just one of the myriad reasons we use a TA.

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