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About Travelcat2

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    Washington State
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    Travel, reading, hypnosis, internet research...
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  1. P.S. I’ve been wanting to respond to boblerm about the group playing in the Explorer Lounge but kept forgetting. They are really good. When they started playing it was just the man and the strange instrument that they designed (one of a kind). It is sort of like a big keyboard that is worn around the neck and is held a bit like a guitar. It was perfect before dinner music. The singer is excellent but a bit loud. We find the Explorer Lounge to small and too crowded so we returned to the Meridian Lounge after half an hour or so. Sorry that it took so long to respond.
  2. Greetings from LAX - our 5 over layover before we fly to Vancouver and then drive back across the border to our home (approx. 1 hour). We’ll arrive home around midnight which is 3:00 a.m. in Miami. Disembarkation was the easiest that we have had in the U.S. They began calling luggage colors at 7:30 a.m. We asked for a pick-up at 8:45 a.m. but could have gone earlier. It is just as well since MIA is a zoo (so many passengers flying home from their cruises ....... quite a few ships in port. It was nice to sit and relax on the ship. bebop bonnie - apparently there were severe weather issues when Explorer was in dry dock and they were surprised that they were able to do as much as they did. They had hoped to accomplish more. As mentioned, the carpeting in the suites and throughout the ship was changed. Not sure if they are trying to lighten up the palette of the ship but they put cream colored carpeting on the stairs going from deck 5 to deck 4. Wondering how that will work out in terms of keeping it clean. The outdoor portion of the Coffee Connection was added but we still sat inside due to weather (either too hot or too windy). A rather interesting change was the Business Center. They put in a glass wall - perhaps so that passengers could see in. The result is that it was very difficult to get one of the 4 computers — they are typically busy (especially with some people working from the ship for a few hours at a time). They apparently polished some (not all) of the marble/granite countertops in the bathrooms. If I think of anything else, I’ll post about it. The ship looks beautiful and refreshed. Yesterday, Canyon Ranch Spa packed up and will reopen on Monday as the new spa (only on Explorer) Canyon Ranch items were still on the menu as of yesterday - it will be interesting to see what is offered on the menu when the new spa becomes operational. ”Z” - thank you for your comments. I really did enjoy learning as much about Regent as possible and sharing it with others. It was a passion. I did hear a rumor but don’t want to spread rumors. Let’s just say that Regent’s next ship may be different (not a fraternal twin of Explorer or Splendor). I believe the ship will launch in 2022 (but it could be 2023 - not sure). Will still post photos and do a review within the next 2-3 days.
  3. Sorry about the blurry sushi. If I have time, I’ll try to post more a bit later.
  4. Not great photos but I do have some food photos (note: there is a man onboard with a large camera and told me that his iPhone 11 takes better photos. May try to take some photos with mine (I prefer the iPad because I have a keyboard/case.) These are photos from the wonderful Sunday brunch.
  5. That worked so fast that I have to post La Veranda (note: the kitty in the top photo is “Twiggy”, the second in my boy - “Whiskey” and the last is “Bella” and Whiskey. ) Just realized that my La Veranda photos are on the other iPad (and they are not communicating with each other). So, I’ll change iPads but in the meantime, below are the prayer wheels that will not be on Splendor due to their extreme weight. I find them beautiful and they give Pacific Rim a spiritual feeling (The humans are our Butler Ravi and Dennis).
  6. This is one of a few areas where we disagree (so nice to disagree respectfully and still like each other). Perhaps if/when Regent has a many “Code Red” days as Oceania, it may be something to think about (however, it will not work on Explorer’s or Splendor’s La Veranda as you will learn in 98 or so days). There are about 4 stations in the middle of the food area with no one to stand in the middle serving guests. My photos will show this. Speaking of photos, when someone asks about our kitties, I can’t resist trying to post their photos. I’ll give it a try and won’t mind if it takes an hour because I’m finishing up the packing.
  7. Papaflamingo - good to hear that you enjoy the crew as much as we do. Just while we have been having breakfast in LV, several crew members have stopped by to say hi - see how we are, etc. We also ask about how they slept, how their day is going, etc. Glad that my blog hasn’t been too boring. I also like posting photos but it became too difficult. My blog on Splendor in March will hopefully have photos and there should be quite a few posters. Regarding the Questionnaire...... it is so important in terms crew promotions, etc. to fill this out (just as it is important to let the GM know if something is not going right. Reading about it after the cruise does not allow them to fix the issue. IMHO, this is the least that we can do for the crew that takes care of us so well on all of our Regent cruises. Rick - I typically pack the last day as well. However, I thought that it would be nice to make a big “dent” in the packing so that I wasn’t thinking about all of the packing that I have to do “tomorrow”. Now it is tomorrow and I know that I have everything under control (1 large suitcase packed) and can just enjoy the day. Before I forget, Canyon Ranch Spa closes this afternoon (or, it could have been yesterday afternoon - the days are melting together). Tomorrow afternoon it probably will open as the new spa (whose name I cannot remember). As is typical for this time of year, quite a few passengers are coughing (colds - nothing terrible) so we continue to take our vitamins and are experimenting with taking zinc twice a day. Typically we don’t take it until we have a sore throat. I wondered if taking them before we became sick would prevent becoming sick. Will report back on that as we will be taking them until 3 days after we arrive home. Just a hint for those of you that tend to get sick onboard. Also, in La Veranda on Explorer, there are two sinks to wash hands and multiple hand sanitizing areas. We not only sanitize our hands upon entering the restaurant but after using utensils on the buffet. Hoping to have a relaxing day at sea and will put up with the horrendous flights home tomorrow.
  8. Agree that the on-line survey is a pain. However, for whatever reason, it loads and works faster than when you are on another website. It is important to me to name the crew members that were special - especially the "top" performers. Agree with Mudhen that we take this survey very seriously and wish that others did the same. Promotions, etc. are partly based on customer comments. This is similar to passengers that do not develop a relationship with the crew. So many times the crew ask you if you had a nice day and whether there is anything that they can do for you. However, how many of you ask how their day was - whether or not they went ashore, how they slept and about their families? Can you imagine working a job where no one ever asks about you? Something to think about. On this topic, I also agree with DeepFreeze63. IMO, it is a bit selfish to only think about your needs/requirements and not spend 2 minutes to ask about how the crew is doing. It makes a huge difference to them and your onboard experience For every cruise, we name a "Rising Star". For this cruise, it was difficult. The person that we wanted to give that title to already was employee of the month and receives many accolades from passengers (Anna is LV). So, I decided that the Rising Star of this cruise is Cecelia from Mexico (a bartender that works in the Meridian Lounge). She is delightful and a wonderful bartender.. Okay - enough preaching. Dinner in P7 was wonderful (only exceeded by the service of of Abraham and Vishnu. Interestingly, Vishnu has a twin in Chartreuse (Shambu). The service that they provide is extraordinary. I'm a about 60% packed. Some people think that I packed too early but I would rather pack early and not think about what I need to do tomorrow than to be over-thinking it, Can't wait to get home to our kitties but am also anxious to post things that I was unable to post on the ship. NOTE: The internet has been quite good today but I do not have the energy to try to post photos (when I know how quickly that I can do it at home). I really appreciate the number of CC'ers that have followed my blog. I'm not sure that I would have had the patience that some of you do. It felt to me that I was failing at most things that I tried. My love for this ship has not diminished at all. While we look forward to our March Splendor cruise, nothing can surpass our experiences on Explorer. BTW, i took photos of Explorer's La Veranda and will post them for those that have yet to sail on Explorer. Bye for now.
  9. It is much nicer to have you two share it with us (we have another bottle - wish that you were here!
  10. Wish that we could have met onboard! There are a few places on Explorer that are quiet and relaxing. One area is deck 5 - across from Reception. You will likely find deck 5 a good place to be. It seems that everything is there (Reception, Destination Services, the Business Center - aka computer room, the Cruise Consultant, the Coffee Connection, the Meridian Lounge and it goes on an on. Interestingly, it does not get crowded. There are two seating areas - on in the and one by the windows (which I like best). Then there is the Observation Lounge that, during the day, tends to be almost empty. In terms of CR, if you arrive early and get a table either by the window or the tables next to those tables, it is no noisier than any other ship. The center of CR tends to be the noisiest. We personally do not are for the tables in the back of CR but we all have different preferences. May I suggest that if you dine in Prime 7 that you asks for Vishnu’s section? He is one of the best servers that we have had. Abraham runs the restaurant and will make sure that everything is great. It would be nice if you mentioned that Dennis and Jackie (or Mr. and Mrs. Ross) suggested that your sit in that section. I any case, have a wonderful cruise on our favorite ship! For those of you that were hoping to get photos that I have been unable to provide, I will post photos when I get home. Some photos go back to when we were in the Azores. These photos will post quickly from home, This morning we’ll go to a lecture and then I’ll try to accumulate the names of crew members for the digital questionnaire and will do some early packing. If I have not mentioned it previously, I want to share about our American Airlines experience (if I’ve already posted this, just ignore the paragraph). It is not easy to get from YVR to MIA. During this time of the year we like to fly the southern route as the weather is typically better. So, we generally fly to Dallas and then to YVR on our way home. American Airlines has changed our flights so many times that I would prefer not flying them but there are few other choices. A month ago they changed our flight home - to a departure time of 6:00 a.m.. Obviously this is impossible when the ship doesn’t arrive in Miami until that time. Dennis spent 4 hours on the phone trying to get a flight. We could have flown out the next day or take flights that depart at 1:30 p.m. to Los Angeles in seats that are not near each other. We have a 5 hour layover at LAX and then non-stop to YVR. That will be one heck of a long day. Our only solution to this issue is to not fly into or out of MIA. We have two cruises booked that leave or arrive from MIA. One is the March Splendor cruise and the other is a transatlantic in Splendor in 2021 that wee will likely cancel. While we understand that the Boeing 737 issue is causing problems with flights, one would think that it would be figured out by now. Obviously I have nothing of much interest to post. Love just sitting in LV - at a window table - blue skies with some puffy white clouds and slightly rippling seas. To me this is pure heaven. Guess I should get something done. Bye for now.
  11. Okay - I'm back. Judi - yes - it was better to take an excursion. During one stop I stayed on the bus because the heat was too much. However, we were able to see a lot of things that were of interest. What I forgot to post earlier (I told you that I would eventually remember) was that the Coast Guard came on the ship and decided to "see" a crew drill. This would have been fine except that they decided that it should happen during lunch and when excursions were returning to the ship. It is mandatory for all crew attend but that would have left people without anyone in the dining venues. Eventually, it was decided (in LV - not sure about P7 or Chartreuse) that 5 crew members. would remain to take care of passengers. Keep in mind that this includes the crew that are preparing food (think pasta, grilled foods, etc.) as well as serving guests drinks and food. Thankfully we left before the drill began (and it lasted around 45 minutes). Bob - you need to trust me on this ....... in our 34 cruises, we have not experienced such horrible connectivity. However, I am hopeful that it will be fixed. I rarely drink too much but Dennis and I shared a bottle of Veuvre Cliquot (misspelled) and I drank most of it so I'm spinning a bit. We decided to forego the show and play a game of Scrabble. We laugh when we play Scrabble because Dennis comes up with words that no one in the world would think of (and they are probably not acceptable words but we don't really care). Better not post more as I would likely embarrass myself. P.S. Rick - I believe that the ship was Splendor of the Seas. Royal Caribbean always has the largest ships. I did try to take photos but am not sure that they worked. The ship was enormous!
  12. So much to share due to the miserable connectivity on the ship and my inability to keep a connection. Still laughing about Bill thinking that we were happy to be disembarking today. I did say that but, as most of you know, we were excited to be getting off of the ship after 5 sea days. We will not be excited to be disembarking in Miami. Puerto Rico has way too many ships in port. The largest ship in the world (currently) is docked next to us. It holds between 5800 and 6800 passengers (5800 is double occupancy and the higher number if the maximum passengers allowed on the ship). It is so enormous that I can't really get a photo of the whole ship. Do any of you know what the largest passenger ship in the world is (no checking the internet:-)? On the other side of us is the Carnival Breeze that holds between around 3700 and 4,700 passengers. Having been on NCL's Bliss, the Carnival ship doesn't seem that big but the other ship is overwhelming. I did take photos of the tiny balcony but cannot post photos until we get home. I had such good plans for San Juan - having a drink and lunch, etc. We did taking the 2 1/2 hour city tour (that ran over to 3 hours - something to consider for those of you that think you can do two excursions a day - many excursions run overtime for various reasons. It is also close to 90 degrees which is above my melting point. So, between thousands and thousands of people milling around Old Town and the extreme heat and humidity, most passengers wanted to get back to the ship. We are very happy that we took the tour. We wanted to learn the history of Puerto Rico as well as how they are recovering from the hurricane two years ago. We saw many beautiful hotels, condos, beaches, etc. but we also saw some damage. The Ritz Carlton has not re-opened (not sure if it ever will). Unfortunately, the drinks and lunch will have to wait until our next visit. Dinner last night was in Pacific Rim (not a surprise to anyone). I have mentioned that we feel that the service in Pacific Rim is the best on the ship. Last night we learned that two servers were new to Regent and had been onboard a short time. I would not have guessed that in a million years. One of them does have 15 years on Holland America but it shows that Regent is trying to get the best crew members possible in a very tight market. Across from me in the Business Center is a gentlemen on his first Regent cruise. He and his wife have done many Crystal cruises (including world cruises). I was not the first person to tell him that this cruise is not "typical". Between the internet and "some" (not all) new crew members, it is just a bit different. I know that I had more to say but will likely remember what it was and will post after dinner.
  13. Thank you for that information! I will use the gaffer tape next time. The only areas that the duct tape is touching is metal (not sure if that matters). There are some unusual rattling issues and being able to secure the doors helps. We were in this suite in Feb/March (22 nights) and this cruise for about 11 and finally heard a “door whistle”. It wasn’t a big deal and only went on for a short time. The wind was hitting us pretty hard sideways - not sure what causes this. mj_holiday - think that I am the wrong person to ask about excursions as we do not take many and when we do, it is typically a Regent Choice excursion. The description that I posted about our excursion in Funchal was accurate and it is a great excursion (IMHO). We visited a place that makes Port and had samples. This was followed by visit to a large market (larger than Boqueria Market in Barcelona). This is where the Black Scabbard fish is sold (only available in Portugal and Japan). Then we had lunch (meat on skewers and chicken) with wine (this was after a drink before lunch that was quite high in alcohol content. Another excursion that we have done in Funchal takes you to the other side of the island (beautiful scenery) and you get to have the “beautiful” Black Scabbard fish for lunch . It is a delicious lunch. I have photos of our excursion in a 4 x 4 in Horta, Azores. It is a beautiful island - very enjoyable ride. Will post photos when I get home (this weekend). Will share about tomorrow’s excursion in San Juan. Looking forward to it fizzy - could not disagree with you more. I could easily debate your view of the crew and management on Regent ships but truly feel that it is better to stay on topic. I have discussed the extraordinary crew and officers on this particular cruise as well as the mostly great passengers and a couple of rude passengers. I do not have anything to add that I have not posted already on this topic. Today’s themed lunch in LV was Caribbean. It was good but needed a bit more spice. Speaking of LV, I plan on taking photos of that dining venue as well as PR (Pacific Rim) since those of you that have not been on Explorer may find photos interesting (especially LV as it is laid out so much better than on the other ships). Dinner tonight is PR - just cannot resist that food and it is not really fattening. Plan to have Miso Black Cod again (along with sake). Excited to be getting off of the ship tomorrow!
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