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About lynn-in-nc

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    history, art, food, archaeology
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Seabourn, Ponant
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. We have become kind of spoiled the past few years, cruising in suites on Seabourn and Ponant. Viking ships look amazing, and the itinerary in the Baltic is what we are looking for. I believe it’s on the Jupiter. Has anyone in this forum sailed on both Seabourn and Viking, and if so how would you compare the two? Seabourn ships have about 450, Ponant about 180 so the Viking ship at 930 is quite a bit bigger. thanks in advance.
  2. Thank you for these! You're an excellent writer and I'm really getting the feel of the trip. We will be on the Sojourn next August doing the same itinerary so this is very helpful.
  3. Wish we had known about the Hilton day room. We spent about six hours at the Barbados airport. Any choice is better than that, IMO!
  4. I saw lots of answers to this question online, but none specifically about Seabourn. We're booked into an aft Penthouse spa suite on Seabourn Sojourn (inside passage) in August 2020 and just watched a video suggesting that it's best to have a cabin on the side of the ship facing the land. We're going Juneau to Vancouver, so that means the port side. We do tend to spend quite a bit of time on the balcony so I'm wondering about switching to regular penthouse suite which is on the port or starboard side. Any thoughts on whether there is a good side or bad side? My TA says the ship will be turning around anyway but if I'm going to be sitting on the balcony I'd like to have the best chance of seeing wildlife if possible.
  5. We were on the Aegean sea and didn't feel anything, but the water was smooth as glass. I considered switching from Seabourn to Ponant to go to Alaska but decided against it - I'd like to try slightly rougher waters before going full Arctic with Ponant. That said, we met lots of people who have been on multiple Ponant cruises, including Antarctica, and there were no complaints. There are a few tables for two. We typically just eat by ourselves and are not that social, but I think I mentioned that we met some wonderful people that we ended up dining with much of the time. You can make reservations for a table for two every night if you want to.
  6. Ah, that must be how my TA didn't realize the error. You will enjoy it for sure!
  7. We were given 621 incorrectly, 535 was our correct cabin - the owner's suite. 621 I believe IS the Grande Deluxe. The only other difference from the owner's suite other than the hot tub is that the deck is bigger. But the deck is already so large, I don't really think that matters. The minibar had some small liquor bottles, not top shelf, and some sodas. No snacks. I don't know anything about a drinks package - sorry!
  8. We toured Greece for a week before the cruise and I didn't want to pack two suitcases! There were a few people who on the gala nights were in high heels (women) and a few tuxes (men). The French women wore lots of jewelry but since we were traveling I left mine at home (I did bring a few scarves!). My husband only wore a jacket one of the two "formal" nights - the next one he skipped the jacket but wore a tie and was easily dressed equally to the other men. I don't know anything about Tauck - some of the people we met on the cruise had done Ponant cruises through them, I believe mostly the Australians. The Australians we spent time with were determinedly (is that a word?) casual, and lots of fun. Seabourn seemed more like country club types. My husband and I are pretty liberal and we didn't really meet anyone we clicked with on the Seabourn cruise we did (although we LOVED the ship and all of the amenities), whereas on this Ponant cruise we had about 10 people that we palled around with.
  9. I just returned from our first cruise on Ponant and wanted to jot down my thoughts before they are gone forever. 😎 Our travel agent suggested Ponant last year and I wasn't able to find much information about it - the reviews were mostly negative but they were old and our TA said they had hired new management to help them better interface with the US market. I want to say first off that we found the crew and all personnel to be exceptionally kind and friendly and very helpful and didn't see any of the problems mentioned in previous reviews. Most of the restaurant and other service staff are Filipinos and their English is better than their French - we found the French speaking staff to be just as helpful to us as the French passengers. At the beginning of the cruise the French passengers seemed a bit standoffish - I know that Europeans tend to find Americans overly friendly but by the end of the week I had made quite a few French friends simply by attempting to converse with them en francaise. We splurged for the Suite d'Armateur (Owner's Suite) to mark my retirement and our 20th anniversary. We love aft cabins and choose them whenever possible for the privacy These suites (there are two) have a larger deck than the Grand Deluxe Suites and a hot tub but are otherwise identical. They erroneously put us first in the Grand Deluxe Suite so I had a chance first hand to see the difference which in my opinion isn't worth the extra $$. The decks are already huge in the Grand Deluxe suites and the hot tub is small and not very deep. By the time DH and I got in the tub most of the water had splashed out. I had some other minor complaints - fruit was delivered the first day but not replenished, the bathroom was minimally supplied with toiletries but no Qtips and other amenities that we normally see in higher end suites. All cabins have nice amenities like Bose bluetooth speakers and US/Europe electric plugs. I don't know about the other cabins but we had a Nespresso coffee maker and a mini bar which wasn't that well stocked, unlike Seabourn which gives you a choice of full bottles of liquor and all kinds of snacks. The Owner's and Grand Deluxe suites both have jetted tubs with TV mirrors in the wall (we never used it) and a huge window which is also visible from the shower making a shower a premium experience. Unfortunately there was something discoloring the water so I didn't use the tub even though I was told the water was perfectly safe -it looked yucky. The bed was super comfortable with deluxe linens. WiFi is free but spotty except in the main parts of the ship. Breakfast is served either in the restaurant (main dining) or the lounge area - buffet service in both places with the restaurant having a complete selection of anything you could possibly want including French specialties like croissants and crepes. Lunch offers a buffet/salad bar. For both breakfast and lunch you can also order from a menu for hot specialties. Dinners were five course extravaganzas with wines and champagne that were fine but not fantastic (you can order better wines at a pretty high price). There were two gala evenings but otherwise everyone dressed pretty casually. Even on the gala evenings it was quite a bit more casual than Seabourn which surprised me because the French are usually more dressy than Americans. We were quite comfortable. Where Ponant really shines is the itineraries and excursions with a focus on culture and history. I had planned to set up some private guides for the some of the sites but was concerned that we might end up docking at a site other than what was advertised (we didn't). It turned out not to be needed because the guides provided by Ponant were really excellent. DH and I are not that social, but we made quite a few friends on this trip. Passengers were about 60% French as described elsewhere, with about equal numbers of Australians and Americans, a few Brits and Italians. Reviews of the ship's entertainment were mixed - if you're very discriminating you might not enjoy it. There is a not so great selection of movies, but we found a great movie on French Tv the one night we watched. I would recommend avoiding a cabin on Deck 3 - that's where the theater is and people line up for excursions, shows and other events and it gets pretty busy. I hope that helps anyone wondering about Ponant. I can't wait to get on another one.
  10. Sorry I didn't see this before we met, but it was great to meet you. We didn't get to chat much but hopefully we'll run into each other sometime soon.
  11. It's supposed to be in the Med right now, we leave from Athens on the 23rd along with cburger.
  12. We waited til the last minute to book our pre-cruise hotel in Barbados and the pickings were very limited. We wanted to be able to walk to restaurants and chose the St. Lawrence Gap area. We ended up at the Yellow Bird hotel which was clean and perfectly fine but not very luxurious, but the location was perfect. Driving around the island we noticed that most of the hotels were pretty isolated even though they were on the main road, with nothing around them, so it was nice to have this location where you could walk to dinner and afterwards.
  13. cburger, we too are on Le Bougainvillea departing April 22, it's only the second week so I hope they get the bugs out! The package with the documents is very nice, but bulky. I'm thinking I'll leave the package at home and just bring the documents. We had to fire our TA that booked us on this trip as she completely dropped the ball. Our new travel agent is fantastic. I'd be glad to recommend her if anyone is looking for a great TA.
  14. These small ships don't always dock where they are supposed to. The itinerary says Rythmno but there is also Chania. The only other small ship cruise we did was on Seabourn and it was a larger ship than the Ponant, and we had to skip one island entirely because of being unable to dock. We decided to take a taxi on the day we arrive in Crete.
  15. We'll be on a small ship tour with Ponant that stops in Crete. I'd like to do a private tour rather than a ship excursion but I'm concerned that we may not know where we will dock until the day we arrive. Has anyone had an experience like this?
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