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RetiredandTravel

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  1. Not sure. I bet they would put marijuana in your brownies if you asked nicely. 😎
  2. Many of the Caribbean islands require a RT-PCR test (3-4 days prior) which I believe requires a lab to perform.
  3. Same here. No issue getting early room service for breakfast
  4. I used to do a lot of business in Sweden and Sweden is very expensive, especially imported alcohol. I once bought a California Cab in a restaurant in Stockholm that sold in the US for $15 for $150. I don't think Stockholm is any more expensive than London or Paris tho. Great fun Stockholm, would recommend it to anyone.
  5. In its simplest form cruise (and airline) prices are just supply and demand. The companies are trying to get each cruise (plane) full (or near full) at the highest price possible. I'll spare you the more complex economics. I know airlines, and would guess cruise lines, have very complicated algorithms that analyze historic client behavior to produce the optimal price based on demand (they know the supply). Of course they also have to be cognizant of what their direct competitors are charging. I would guess Northern Europe cruises are more expensive than Mediterranean cruises because of demand, the season is much longer in the Med and there are more ships. Once you back out the airfare Asia is much cheaper than Australia, go compare future Asian and Australian cruises. Australia cruises are always in more demand. Other things impact cruise prices, new ships seem more expensive and of course popular cruises get more expensive as the cruise fills. We are retired and can travel anytime. When we go abroad we usually travel on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday because business class airline tickets are cheaper and its easier to book with miles. Why? Because business travelers prefer going Sun/Mon/Fri/Sat. This is somewhat oversimplifying it but ultimately its just supply & demand.
  6. Absolutely, the quality of senior management has a large impact on the overall quality of service. Having worked in the leisure travel industry in high school and college I can tell you unequivocally that good management leads to good service and poor management the opposite.
  7. I found the condescending elitest reference to Oceania to be completely out of line and was very surprised that that post was allowed to stand while others were deleted.
  8. Interesting, prices seem to be going up across the board for the luxury lines. I've looked at a lot of cruises and have found it to be very difficult to figure out what drives pricing between the different luxury cruise lines. They seem to vary geographically, time to cruise etc. One line will be cheaper (on a per day basis) in one region and more expensive in another. When you back out airfare the Regent Explorer (24k) is quite a bit more expensive than the SS Muse (21k) on basic 14 day Auckland <-> Sydney 2024 cruise. I priced mid level veranda rooms. Explorer and Muse seem to be fairly equivalent. Viking by the way for a similar 15 day (+1) is 17k. We intend to book a SS Med cruise which is considerably cheaper than the equivalent Seabourn. So its important to do your homework on the pricing unless you are set on one brand.
  9. Yes adding excursions to the cost raised prices at SS. When I compare SS to Regent and back out the airfare SS is actually cheaper in many cases. Apples to apples SS & Seabourn appear to be close in price, basic microeconomics. If you don't take the excursions the added cost is obviously a negative. It will be important to watch how SS actually handles the excursions. Its still a ways off but many seem to be just very basic. If this is the case then the other excursions at a cost price should be reduced because the person isn't taking the included excursion. I also noticed comparing two identical South American cruises (pre/post included excursions) that the 2023 stopped at less ports, hmm. We like the concept of SS smaller ships but will probably start with Muse & company because of the dining choices when we start. We looked at Viking several times, found the price to be more like 60-70%, just couldn't get there. They have an interesting expedition cruise to the US Great Lake region we have considered. Either way its great to get back to travelling. Hope you enjoy yours.
  10. You should re read the question and your initial response.
  11. From my experience the "Old Salts" here are always talking about "Ed" the Bartender, "Julie" the CD, "Bob" the waiter. Sounds like they are closely connected to many of the staff. Asking if they have seen the same people makes sense to me, but that's not the point is it.
  12. Sette Mari at La Veranda - "Italian" cuisine - part waiter service, part buffet Sette Mari is better described as full waiter service with a buffet available for some extra appetizers, salads & desserts. Its a very nice Italian venue for dinner. You can also order appetizers & dessert from the menu. There are no reservations, if your ship is full (or close) you'll need to get there when it opens to get a table. Its too late for us but I think there is a second seating around 8 when people leave. I've found the buffet (salad bar) at the pool grill lunch to be very disappointing. Burgers & hot dogs are excellent. If you have an excursion than runs past lunch there is always many things available at the coffee connection. They often serve soup & finger sandwiches when the excursion returns, nice touch.
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