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About molemaui

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  1. I noticed it was mentioned with Regent that the Port of Ashdod was eliminated and more time was spent in Haifa. Haifa is less than a hundred miles from Ashdod. Does this make that much difference from a safety standopoint? On an Oceania with a similar itinerary this July with 8 and many are quite concerned!
  2. One more thought-if you use Delta Vacations, (prices are great along with flexibility including open jaw travel) the hotel portion is considered a "third party" booking and you don't get night and point credit. I've been fortunate to have my status recognized (lifetime Titanium as well) and received nice upgrades but nooooo points!. Not chasing them anymore so the status recognition (upgrade, free breakfast, late checkout, etc) are more important. With Marriott Vacations, you DO get your points, etc. but are limited to round trip transportation.
  3. Miles are always an option for BC travel but I generally won't use them unless I can get close to $0.03/mile. Example-$3500 ticket costing 140,000 miles only yields $0.025/mile whereas a 115,000 mile round trip in BC (ex. American when available) can yield over $0.03/mile. That said, when miles are not an option, I use Delta or Marriott vacations and combine hotel and BC flights. With Delta you need a 3 night minimum hotel stay and with Marriott, you only need one night but I generally take more. Marriott only allows round trip travel where Delta will do open jaws. Also with Delta Vacations, the three night total can be used anyway you wish. (combined before and after cruise, different hotels, etc.) For example, this July, our cruise leaves Athens and ends up in Rome. I did a round trip Rome (get to Athens on my own approx. $135) Spending 2 nights in Rome (one before I go to Athens and one at end of cruise) in 5 star hotel plus BC for $2600@. Last July did RT Paris for plus 4 nights at Marriott Champs Elysees for 2800@. BC airfare alone was almost $4000@. Many ways to do this less expensively but this is what I've found to be the simplest.
  4. Taking our first Oceania cruise this July and looking forward to comparing with Viking Ocean. The VO ships are fantastic in my opinion. Just about everything about the cruise was excellent EXCEPT for the food (dining room) and dining room service. Having experienced outstanding food (Silversea) and excellent food (Regent), I felt the food on Viking was just short of Celebrity. Not a dig on Celebrity but I had higher expectations from VO. Service in another factor. Throughout the ship on Viking, there service was outstanding. In the dining room, we experienced the opposite for most of the cruise. Conclusion: Like the ambience/feel of VO. Will sail again if there are good prices for upper categories. I will just temper my expectations for food and service. Looking for Oceania to blow me away! We'll see.
  5. Thank you everyone for your input. While I prefer the smaller ships, I think its about time to give HAL a try.
  6. I thought the food on Celebrity was pretty good. I understand cooking for thousands is a daunting challenge compared to cooking for hundreds. Food is just one component albeit an important one in choosing a cruise. I guess I'm just trying to determine if HAL is a step above or two from Princess and Royal Caribbean. If it is somewhat equal to Celebrity, I'll book tomorrow! Thanks for all thew comments and suggestions. I keep checking back for more. Good cruising!
  7. Sailed Oceania once-that's why I booked them again for July. I've heard a lot of negative comments regarding Oceania and hope I just didn't get lucky!
  8. I will look into Cunard. Thanks!
  9. I agree. I don't expect better food-just don't want to go too far the other way. Thanks for your insight.
  10. We enjoy transatlantic cruising and are looking at HAL for our next cruise. Our last TA was on Viking Ocean (920 passengers) and we totally loved the ship. In our opinion however, the food was average at best. Can anybody on this thread who has sailed Viking Ocean, Regent, Silversea or Oceania make a comparison to HAL with regards to food, amenities and service? Although we prefer smaller ships (1000 or less passengers), I think we need a ship with at least two pools (one indoor) when doing a TA as the weather is often uncertain especially during repositioning season. The smaller ships only have one pool except Viking Ocean. Thanks in advance for any information.
  11. The ambience was similar but "different". I love casual and the Viking product certainly reflects a casual approach. I was surprised at how Silversea was not stuffy. Service was more formal but comfortable for us. There was a wide mix of passengers including a gentleman sailing his 75th Silversea cruise. Most were quite friendly. All in all, a similar "comfortable" ambience. The Viking ship in itself was far superior, however. Its all good!
  12. I'm about to take my first Regent cruise next week so the comparison to Viking Ocean was quite interesting. We did a Viking crossing last spring and I loved most everything about the ship itself but will say the food was average at best. While the service throughout the ship was also excellent, dining room service was poor. Lectures and entertainment were excellent. I would possibly consider Viking Ocean again especially for a crossing if the middle/upper categories were priced well. I would just go in not expecting a great dining experience. If dining is great as other people have experienced, all the better. We took a Silversea cruise two months prior and except dress requirements, that cruise was perfect in every way. Food was extraordinary, service was outstanding. As much as I hate to dress, I'd cruise Silversea again without hesitation. (Also trying Oceania in July but that's for another forum. We enjoy the smaller ship experience and hope our time on the Voyager brings us back to Regent again.
  13. I understand there are laundry facilities on each cabin level of the Voyager. Like Viking Ocean and Silverseas, are there also ironing facilities available either in the laundry area or elsewhere on the ship? Thank you!
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