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Everything posted by Dusko

  1. Well, I just received a promo email from Seabourn with details of two events. There’s the ‘Sail to remember’ promo offering a discount on certain voyages (not unusual) and the ‘More moments to remember’ promo with some OBC. In the latter there is a complete section detailing all the good things that Seabourn offers as standard. Nothing has been deleted or changed from the current (in my humble opinion) excellent Seabourn experience. It would seem that the results of the survey were “don’t change anything, we’re affluent and prepared to pay the price” and they listened. Oh we of little faith.😉
  2. No I didn’t. I did try and register/pay on the EASE site. I got to the payment section and got a message that my credit card provider may need additional confirmation. Shortly afterwards I get a blank screen. I contacted the support website 5 times and tried applying on 3 different browsers, 2 computers and 2 different credit cards. Same result. Finally the support line told me that I can pay on arrival. I have searched and this is a very common problem but it does seem that payment on arrival works fine, just takes longer. I don’t fault Seabourn in any way on this. Now when you do print your final paperwork you get details of a visa service that has a special section to handle Seabourn, for a fee I’m sure. If you’re really worried you could try them.
  3. I believe you are correct, you don’t need a visa but you do need to complete Ease. I am assuming in the instructions it means ‘at least’ 5 days ahead of arrival and not precisely 5 days. If you’re joining the cruise in Cap Verde I assume you will be flying in from Lisbon. You will need the flight number and you only get that when you complete your final documentation. I did that yesterday and will complete Ease over the weekend.
  4. I guess the next problem could be the problems in Dakar. Just have to wait and see. I wonder if there are more ports to add in the Canary Islands 🤔?
  5. Venture is our favorite ship after we went to the Arctic last year. She is stable and able to handle rough seas. She does not, however, have the pool area, entertainment, bars etc. that other ships have. Please don’t misunderstand, I expect we will get a fabulous cruise. There will be really wonderful lectures from some fascinating expedition team members. You will love it, as will we.
  6. Just been advised that two ports, St Louis in Senegal and Tan Tan in Morocco have been removed from the itinerary. We’ve now got an additional sea day and we’re off to Tenerife for the day, presumably on the beach. Not thrilled about it as the expedition ships are not the best for sea days and 5/14 is too many. Also wanted to do this trip because I am interested in Isle de Gore and Morocco. Nothing to be done I’m sure since Seabourn always have the right to alter the itinerary. Port Congestion is given as the reason. Hopefully we get free drinks to compensate 🫠.
  7. I also think the same and I think your Embassy will concur but that’s not the point. If I were to have a medical incident while in PNG I would not be covered by my health insurance simply because I was in a level 3 country. I checked with my insurers. Maybe worth a call?
  8. I’m just a little surprised that nobody is concerned that PNG is at level 3 interns of US and Canadian government warnings and that travel insurance may be nullified. I have looked at my Allianz policy and it is very specific. I would not be covered.
  9. I usually don’t bother with Seabourn or visa services until I have established the need for a visa or not. I begin with the official site of the country. Try https://www.papuanewguinea.travel/usa . If you still have doubts the contact information for your embassy in the country is listed. I drop them an email or give them a call. When contacting a Canadian embassy I have found them to be responsive and helpful, not only with visa information but also security concerns. With a level 3 designation I would definitely contact them.
  10. Take a look at Papua New Guinea International Travel Information (state.gov) You do need a visa. Papua New Guinea is listed as a Level 3 - Reconsider Travel Risk destination. Check the wording of your Travel Insurance. If you find a company that will provide coverage in a Level 3 country please post the link. I couldn't find one and so scrapped plans for a cruise.
  11. Exactly what I was looking for! Thanks 😊
  12. If you read the post it says, "On our last cruise before Venture......"
  13. I think others are right, you have to try it. It’s a bit like the TKG. We tried it the first cruise on one of the smaller ships and found it noisy, not great food and felt pushed to upgrade the wine. We did a later cruise on one of the larger ships and were urged to try it again. It was better but since we were a table of two it felt cramped. Nothing spectacular. On our last cruise before Venture we were again urged to give it a try. Our impression was “Not bad but nothing special “. Others love it. We are not champagne drinkers or spa users so the Retreat may well not be for us but we will give it a try if we sail on one of the larger ships again. Then we can judge.
  14. Just a reminder about my question please. If someone has been on one of the longer cruises could they elaborate as to how much of a French experience they had please?
  15. We spent Christmas in Lisbon last year. For Belem we took the hop-on hop-off bus. It was a really great day out and the bus was perfect. We caught it right by the hotel downtown near the railway station . We had heard about the train option to go to Sintra but then realized that an Uber from the hotel direct to the place was $40 for three of us. No brainer. Uber then took us down into town for a great meal and look around. The Uber back to the hotel was $35. Honestly, Uber pricing was so low it became almost embarrassing. Just a thought
  16. I'd like to follow up on this one if I may. We've done three PG cruises and loved every one of them. They were all pre-Ponant. We moved over to Seabourn for a change of venue and because we wanted to avoid being on a 'French first' ship. The comments about the shorter vs longer cruises are interesting. We would tend toward longer ones since we have covered the shorter cruise venues, including Cook Islands. If someone has been on one of the longer cruises could they elaborate as to how much of a French experience they had please?
  17. A 2000GBP credit, not even a discount, means the US deal is better. Looks like Seabourn is being pretty fair and consistent with their pricing. Good to know. It has been interesting anyway 😊.
  18. Don't know if they will allow you to book without the included air. A quick look at BA's website came up with an economy fare around 4500GBP. That would leave about 7000GBP or $9,000 US. That's a possible 10% saving but my flight cost may be out and I haven't accounted for the transfer so the real number may be much smaller.
  19. Has anyone done any comparison between $US, $CAN and UK pricing recently? As an example: 15-Day New Zealand & Australia Odyssey Seabourn Odyssey JAN 22 - FEB 6, 2024 DEPARTS : Auckland, New Zealand ARRIVES : Sydney, Australia Veranda suite from $11,999 USD or 14,998 Canadian. An exchange rate of 1.25 is totally reasonable. Anyone care to share the UK or AUS price?
  20. How about no more comments on other people’s attire?
  21. On our recent cruise in the Arctic I found the Venture had absolutely no issues with stability.
  22. I’ve decided that when I am in hell the experience will be based on a continuous discussion of dress code on Seabourn with breaks only for eating kale and listening to opera.
  23. Dave, I agree with your thoughts on Brian, even allowing for his role as ED rather than CD. Do you have the CEO on board? If so, is there any recognition?
  24. We also disembarked from Venture on Sunday after what was truly a trip of a lifetime. @markham did a fantastic job of describing the ship, the crew and the voyage and I didn't think I could add anything useful. I unequivocally second all the points he made. Since I got home I wondered whether there was anything I could add that would be helpful to anyone considering such an expedition. Maybe it's worth mentioning a couple of points: Such a voyage would suit people who are interested in new experiences and broadening their knowledge horizons. I learned that 40% of the passengers were new to Seabourn. That's fantastic since it means the company has a future once the "Boomer bubble" has burst. They, and all the guests that I met, were well educated and flexible. Flexibility is essential on such a voyage and is stressed right at the beginning. Conditions such as ice or inclement weather mean changes in itinerary on short notice. When this happened the expedition team and Captain were exceptional in their ability to change direction and provide us with alternate and equal experiences. They were magnificent! As Markham mentioned, I didn't meet anyone bemoaning the lack of a TK grill, formal evenings or an elaborate entertainment program. Yes, I did see jeans in the MDR but I didn't see anyone who was "scruffy" or less than elegant. The food and the service were first rate, particularly given what must have been a challenge provisioning a ship so far from major ports. This voyage would not have suited some of the people that Markham mentioned including the bullies or the deck chair hoggers. If you're looking for a strict schedule so that you can arrange your own private excursions, that's not going to happen on such a voyage. [Most of the excursions here were included]. If you measure satisfaction in terms of whether you were at the captain's hosted table or the Cruise Director remembered you and admired your evening outfit then this is possibly not the trip for you. @SLSD asked earlier in this thread about preferring a cruise or an expedition. A good question. The answer is that they are different experiences but age should not prevent you from trying something completely different. The youngest person on board was close to 12 years old and there were certainly several aboard well into their 80s. All had a wonderful time. Once we had done the zodiac boarding once or twice there was nothing to it and this kind of transport opened a whole new horizon. Watching the humpback whales or getting close to massive icebergs intricately carved by nature is just not the same from a tender. I would say "go for it!". You will not pass this way again. If you don't like it you can always come on Cruise Critic and tell us about your success at trivia while crossing the Atlantic or finding the perfect Prada bag at a stop in the Mediterranean. BTW there was an excellent videographer on board. If you want to see what the voyage was really like I can't do better than this https://player.vimeo.com/progressive_redirect/playback/837407543/rendition/1080p/file.mp4?loc=external&signature=179cd6f35ab6ff830938992871671bf69cbf3c73f323e204c3ec37e49e992260
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