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Rally

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This may be my last post here, but I want to get this off my chest. The vast majority of Regent cruisers never post here, never read these posts, and have never heard of Cruise Critic. Yet there are posters here who feel they know all, have seen all, and spend a lot of time sharing it all.

 

I am just off the Mariner (disembarked in Vancouver July 1) and will share my thoughts and experiences in a moment. But I saw something at the reception desk that I thought deplorable and unfortunately representative of what I too often read here. A man approached the desk and asked how much onboard credit he had left. The young woman at the desk promptly accessed his account on the computer and told him he had $175.00 left. He then asked for it in cash. She said, "Certainly, sir" and opened her cash drawer. "What???" he said. "Aren't you at least going to give me an argument?"

 

"Sir?" she said. You have $175.00 available and I am happy to give it to you.

 

"But I read on Cruise Critic that you would not do that!" he said.

 

"Cruise Critic?" she said. "I don't know this cruise critic." And then gave him his money.

 

That evening, I overheard a couple next to us in Compass Rose. She told her husband her lamb was too rare. He announced loudly that "this is unacceptable!" and called to the waiter, "Oh BOY, please come here immediately!" Even my grandchildren recognized that this was not the way to do things.

 

"My wife's lamb is too rare," he said, "and you will have to replace it."

 

"Certainly, sir, and I apologize."

 

"Make sure you don't just microwave it, you hear? I want you to start over from scratch!"

 

Well, in due course, the lamb course was served again and, it seems , the wife was happy. Then the head-waiter approached and asked if everything was satisfactory. She said yes, thank you, and he asked her suite number. From previous experience, I would guess he was intending to send a note of apology to her suite later. However, the husband became furious and told him it was none of his business what their suite number was, and informed him that identify theft was rampant and he would not get that information out of his wife! (At this point our grandchildren started to giggle and we had to shush them.) We had a wonderful cruise, and sometimes I wonder if people don't just build up expectations beyond human achievement.

 

The train from Anchorage to Seward was overbooked and so we took the coach; it was delightful, the driver was very informative, and we arrived at the ship in due course. Security and boarding were quick, efficient, and uneventful, and we were soon in our suite, meeting Anne, our stewardess, and off to discover the ship. Regent put us up in the Hilton the night before because of airline scheduling difficulties, and all was well.

 

The ship was beautiful, well maintained, and within hours we were being greeted by name, including the children. Our first night we dined in Prime 7 and it was wonderful. Our waitress, Maria, was intrigued by Dylan's name (he is 8) and flirted with him the entire evening (which he grew to enjoy =)

 

Our other dinners were in Compass Rose, and Eduardo (our waiter) took to escorting Regan (she's 9) to the table each night (which she grew to enjoy =) Rommel the headwaiter always came by to see if all was well and had a kind word for each child, every night. Mathieu the wine steward was very attentive and always asked the children if they would prefer a Bordeaux; when they said no thank you he offered them milk, ginger ale, or Dr. Pepper (our grandson's favorite.)

 

The magnetic closure on Regan's purse erased her suite key a few times and reception never batted an eye when they created a new one for her, even assuring her that she was not the first, nor the youngest, to have the same problem.

 

When we met our room stewardess, Anne, we asked for a bottle of Belvedere vodka and a bottle of Dimple (called Pinch in the U.S.) scotch for the suite and it was delivered in about 15 minutes. We also asked her if she would arrange for canapés in the suite between 4 and 5 each afternoon, with fresh orange juice, and it arrived everyday thereafter.

 

Our transfer from the ship to Vancouver airport was handled by Regent (we used their air arrangements) and the driver delivered a charming tour of the city along the way.

 

Regent has had challenges lately with their front office and the back office, but once aboard all is well, indeed!

 

Just my opinions =)

 

Bon voyage!

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Sure am sorry we are not on the same cruise with you,you sound like the type of people we would get along with. Nice post so keep up the good work, This will be our first cruise on Regent (Mariner 1/10/2010 South America). So all that you have posted makes me look even more for this cruise and a wonderful time.:)

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Rally, I really appreciate the fact that you took the time to share your thoughts of CruiseCritic and your experience on the Mariner. What you said about building expectations beyond human achievement is really true.

 

In terms of the Regent board, sometimes people misread statements (such as when you saw the woman receiving the balance of her onboard credit). As Mark Conroy posted, you are able to cash out "some" OBC's. Most of us were confused by the new policy.

 

The couple you overheard in Compass Rose were downright rude. Unfortunately, you can find this anywhere. I've learned that it can be very frustrating to not tell your server that there is a problem. The key is to do it politely.

 

I don't believe that posters on CC intentionally mislead members who are asking questions. Sometimes things change (as has happened a lot lately). People do have different experiences and expectations. Most of us try to give balanced reviews -- with the good and the not so good.

 

I can't speak for other posters -- only for myself. Yes -- I do have extra time on my hands -- spending much of it researching every port and excursion for our upcoming three cruises (there always seems to be three upcoming cruises -- as soon as we take one, another gets booked:-) Once we are done with the cruising phase of our life, I'll drop out of CC as my information will no longer be current or relevant.

 

When I first joined CC, I was the one with questions. There were many posters here to answer them and give me suggestions. In our case, it made our cruises much easier since we knew what to expect. If you feel that CC was not helpful to you, the intention was still to help.

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Rally, very funny and so glad your experience was generally positive. There is always one or two like that guy in the dining room--the staff will have all known who he was, and have treated him with icy, very correct, politeness. As for "cruise critic power", well, there you go. Why would you think it's your last post?

 

I know a whole group of R cruisers who abandoned CC years ago because it got too rancorous--even I did not like it in those days, but for me it was the elitism. I remember discussions about how one just *didn't* fly coach, it had to be Business or First. Oh my. I remember avoiding mentioning that my cruise on Diamond was a 2-fer (rare then), because they would think I was not suitable for *their* cruise line!

 

CC has gotten much more democratic and friendly, at least the Regent board, and pretty tolerant too. But I think we're all aware of what a tiny minority we are.

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Rally, glad you posted your thoughts. That is what a message board is for, the good the bad the ugly. I think you have the wrong take on frequent posters. The folks I know who post regularly do so for one primary reason: they are very interested in cruising. Cruising for them has become more than a delightful vacation experience, it is a hobby. Some folks tinker with cars or golf every day or take up photography. Frequent posters have made cruising a similar pursuit. We have had the pleasure of cruising with lots of people who frequent this board and several other boards. Almost all of them would be appauled by the kind of behavior you reported. I have met only two who sort of fit the mold. In fact those who are really involved in cruising tend to be MORE empathetic with crew members than the average passenger. At least that is my take on the subject. Pat

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Rally, glad you posted your thoughts. That is what a message board is for, the good the bad the ugly. I think you have the wrong take on frequent posters. The folks I know who post regularly do so for one primary reason: they are very interested in cruising. Pat

 

Pat, I think I misspoke abut frequent posters. I did not mean in any way to disparage them; quite the contrary: the frequent posters I have encountered on Cruise Critic offer helpful advice, thoughtful comments and opinions, and are often quite funny (my favorite part =) What I have noticed and was alluding to are the folks who tend to pop in (like me?) with an opinion, often stated as absolute fact, about one thing or another, maybe more negative than positive. Then, new people looking for information read something, take it as gospel, and run with it. Like the man at the reception desk who was just looking for an argument based on something he read on these boards. If I offended anyone I apologize as that was not my intent. Thank you all for the informaiton, suggestions, and the laughs (and yes, I did get away with a golf shirt, a Polo, AND a gold shirt in Compass Rose =)

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Was it that chilly or were you going for the layered look?

 

It's an old joke from our Roll Call. But for the record, no, it was not chilly at all --- in the dining room! (Of course, where I live it is now 112 degrees =)

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Rally: Please don't leave CC.....your posts re: your cruise were very well thought out and well written.

 

and.......

 

Ka Honu: love your humor!

 

It appears to me that the people who cruise to Alaska on Regent are possibly not the typical Regent cruisers? ( Probably opened a can of worms there!) We'll see as we're on the 9/09 Vancouver - Seward.

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Rally: Please don't leave CC.....your posts re: your cruise were very well thought out and well written.

 

and.......

 

Ka Honu: love your humor!

 

It appears to me that the people who cruise to Alaska on Regent are possibly not the typical Regent cruisers? ( Probably opened a can of worms there!) We'll see as we're on the 9/09 Vancouver - Seward.

 

You are apparently correct about those who are cruising to Alaska on Regent this year (with all the discounts). On another Regent thread there is a story about a boy who broke two arms (playing swords with shuffleboard equipment) and a man who was so drunk he was put in the "brig" until the end of the cruise. Wonder what Regent is thinking:confused:

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It appears to me that the people who cruise to Alaska on Regent are possibly not the typical Regent cruisers? ( Probably opened a can of worms there!) We'll see as we're on the 9/09 Vancouver - Seward.

 

You are apparently correct about those who are cruising to Alaska on Regent this year (with all the discounts). On another Regent thread there is a story about a boy who broke two arms (playing swords with shuffleboard equipment) and a man who was so drunk he was put in the "brig" until the end of the cruise. Wonder what Regent is thinking:confused:

Please everyone, let's not take the acts of a couple of idiots and extrapolate them into general derogatory comments about the people taking Alaska cruises this year on Regent. Upwards of 3,000 people have taken Regent Alaska cruises so far this year and we've only had a handful of reports of bad behavior. That hardly translates into the comments I've seen in the last few days.

 

Dave

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Please everyone, let's not take the acts of a couple of idiots and extrapolate them into general derogatory comments about the people taking Alaska cruises this year on Regent. Upwards of 3,000 people have taken Regent Alaska cruises so far this year and we've only had a handful of reports of bad behavior. That hardly translates into the comments I've seen in the last few days.

 

Dave

 

Correct! The vast majority of people we met or encountered on our cruise were delightful. It is the old story of "Man bites dog" that gets the attention. Regent is wonderful. Now, if they could just bring back steerage =)

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Rally: I enjoyed your report and great sense of humour! I'm looking forward to lots of laughter on our 09/09/09 cruise to Alaska with AnnaB and others. Have you started counting how many 'sleeps' to go Kathy? Of course, I must admit I've been guilty of wondering if I would 'fit in' with Regent cruisers but I've been lucky so far as no-one's asked me to leave the ship (or this board)!

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Please everyone, let's not take the acts of a couple of idiots and extrapolate them into general derogatory comments about the people taking Alaska cruises this year on Regent. Upwards of 3,000 people have taken Regent Alaska cruises so far this year and we've only had a handful of reports of bad behavior. That hardly translates into the comments I've seen in the last few days.

 

Dave

 

The comments you are seeing come directly from the reports we've been reading about the Alaska cruises. In the almost 4 years that I've been reading CC posts, this is the first time passengers are making these type of comments. This is also the first time I've read (from the people booking the cruises) that they booked Regent because they are less money than other cruise lines.

 

Rally, you seem have returned from your cruise with a new "funny gene". . . . really enjoying your posts:)

 

 

P.S. Down Under, if I could, I would personally kick you (and AnnaB) off the Mariner and put you on our Voyager cruise (we miss you!):D

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TC, I think you've missed the point of my post. No one is disputing that the obnoxious incidents reported on one Alaskan cruise this year occurred. What bothers me is making general comments about the caliber of cruisers on this year's Alaska cruises based upon a small number of incidents on one cruise.

 

Although very rare, incidents with drunken passengers, for example, have occurred in the past. From 2004, here is a report of a drunken "Tablemate from Hell." (http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=2473341&highlight=drunk#post2473341) In 2007, Wendy the Wanderer wrote: "I've also seen a man quietly relegated to the far corner of Compass Rose because he not only refused to wear a jacket on informal night, but was wearing jeans and some kind of knit shirt. But he was treated with aplomb, and I cling to the notion that it was mostly because he was quite drunk at the time." (Emphasis added.) In 2008, RachelG noted that on her PG cruise: "There was a group of 4 very unruly, loud, and ill-mannered adult women on our PG cruise. They were drunk most of the time (not blaming Regent's all-inclusive drink policy here--I suspect they would have been the same even without it). Even my teenaged son asked why those women were acting so badly.

But I didn't let it ruin my vacation. I just tried to avoid them."

 

You and others are certainly entitled to air your opinions on this matter but IMHO you are making a mountain out of a molehill. Since somewhat similar incidents have occurred in the past, emphasizing a couple of incidents of bad behavior on one cruise this year to conclude that there is a lower caliber of passenger on this year's Alaska cruises than in previous years makes no sense to me. I'm not trying to minimize the incidents reported on the 6/24/09 cruise but they were not unique to this year's cruises.

 

As to pricing, I may have missed them but I don't remember seeing posts saying that people booked on Regent this summer because it was less expensive than other (presumably mainstream) cruise lines. On the Mariner this summer, the cheapest fare for two, including taxes and fees, was about $7300. That is significantly more than booking a suite on lines like Carnival or Norwegian. If you would point me to the posts to which you referred, I'd appreciate it.

 

We may have to agree to disagree on this issue but, in any event, I hope you enjoy your cruise this September. I know that hundreds of regular Regent cruisers, including me, Anna B. and a group of longtime Regent cruisers from another cruise board have enjoyed and will enjoy our Regent Alaska cruises this year.

 

Dave

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TC, I think you've missed the point of my post. No one is disputing that the obnoxious incidents reported on one Alaskan cruise this year occurred. What bothers me is making general comments about the caliber of cruisers on this year's Alaska cruises based upon a small number of incidents on one cruise.

 

Although very rare, incidents with drunken passengers, for example, have occurred in the past. From 2004, here is a report of a drunken "Tablemate from Hell." (http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=2473341&highlight=drunk#post2473341) In 2007, Wendy the Wanderer wrote: "I've also seen a man quietly relegated to the far corner of Compass Rose because he not only refused to wear a jacket on informal night, but was wearing jeans and some kind of knit shirt. But he was treated with aplomb, and I cling to the notion that it was mostly because he was quite drunk at the time." (Emphasis added.) In 2008, RachelG noted that on her PG cruise: "There was a group of 4 very unruly, loud, and ill-mannered adult women on our PG cruise. They were drunk most of the time (not blaming Regent's all-inclusive drink policy here--I suspect they would have been the same even without it). Even my teenaged son asked why those women were acting so badly.

But I didn't let it ruin my vacation. I just tried to avoid them."

 

You and others are certainly entitled to air your opinions on this matter but IMHO you are making a mountain out of a molehill. Since somewhat similar incidents have occurred in the past, emphasizing a couple of incidents of bad behavior on one cruise this year to conclude that there is a lower caliber of passenger on this year's Alaska cruises than in previous years makes no sense to me. I'm not trying to minimize the incidents reported on the 6/24/09 cruise but they were not unique to this year's cruises.

 

As to pricing, I may have missed them but I don't remember seeing posts saying that people booked on Regent this summer because it was less expensive than other (presumably mainstream) cruise lines. On the Mariner this summer, the cheapest fare for two, including taxes and fees, was about $7300. That is significantly more than booking a suite on lines like Carnival or Norwegian. If you would point me to the posts to which you referred, I'd appreciate it.

 

We may have to agree to disagree on this issue but, in any event, I hope you enjoy your cruise this September. I know that hundreds of regular Regent cruisers, including me, Anna B. and a group of longtime Regent cruisers from another cruise board have enjoyed and will enjoy our Regent Alaska cruises this year.

 

Dave

 

I am more than a little nervous that my comment about typical Regent passengers was misconstrued. I never mentioned behavior, nor did I infer that it was a "lower caliber" of cruiser. By atypical I meant that there are many first time cruisers who choose Alaska for their initial cruise. I am traveling with four such people in September. Ever since we booked our cruise I have been bombarded with questions about dress codes, reservations for dinner, how and where to use shipboard credits, etc...... It all seems to be very confusing and overwhelming to a newcomer. I think many people are confused by the "no jeans after 6 rule" although I personally don't see why.

 

On another note, I don't believe the typical regent cruiser, and I have been on quite a few, as have you, travels with children and/or grandchildren. This makes Alaska a unique destination as far as cruises go.

 

The bad behavior, I am quite sure, can happen anywhere at anytime and has nothing to do with Alaska.

 

Hopefully I have not offended anyone - it was not my intent.

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As to pricing, I may have missed them but I don't remember seeing posts saying that people booked on Regent this summer because it was less expensive than other (presumably mainstream) cruise lines. On the Mariner this summer, the cheapest fare for two, including taxes and fees, was about $7300. That is significantly more than booking a suite on lines like Carnival or Norwegian. If you would point me to the posts to which you referred, I'd appreciate it.

 

Dave

 

As the one who made the original observation I think a clarification is in order. We talked to several people who commented they were on Regent for the first time because the promotional pricing brought it into their affordability range. (I'm paraphrasing, but you get my drift.) Some also commented that while the pricing was still a bit of a stretch, the free excursions offset the higher pricing. I was not in any way suggesting that Regent's prices were comparable to Carnival or RCI.

 

We have done a fair bit of "luxury market" crusing and know that the clientele are different from the mass market lines. Not "better", just different. As I stated in my review, it sometimes felt like we were on a mass market cruise, which is not something we had anticipated from reading this board prior to the cruise. In commenting about this I was wondering if Regent's fairly "aggressive" pricing of Alaska this year was a contributing factor to the different "vibe". Being our first cruise on Regent, we had nothing to compare it to. Hadn't really intended to set off such a "firestorm" when I made the comment.:D

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Anna,

 

Absolutely no offense taken by me. :D I must admit I took your remarks to have a more negative connotation than you intended. Thanks for clearing up any ambiguities in your remarks.

 

Dave

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Thanks, Dave.

 

And on a lighter note.....to Down Under: just counted and we have 67 more sleeps 'til we're on the Mariner!

 

And to Travelcat: We're gonna miss you too - maybe you two should jump ship and join us.:D

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