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About Gilly

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Location
    Gloucestershire UK
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Regent Seven Seas
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  1. Marcia, having shared some of your previous cruise days with you, you can guess that Mark and I will be following you and Harry, without doubt. I can sense your excitement and understand exactly how you feel - we have a bit longer to wait till we board Voyager and sail alongside you (it seems) but sharing your days on board, albeit vicariously, will whet our appetite nicely. Thank you!
  2. We had several mailshots/emails from Regent highlighting the showing of this programme (which we haven't yet seen). That suggests that Regent are pleased to promote the production to existing Regent clients and happy to be associated with the finished project. I might add that, if it's in any way similar to the previous short series of programmes shown in the Autumn, I'm in no hurry to watch. I'm of the same opinion as @gnomie1 and @Hambagahle on this one. Speaking of cruise ships on TV, we stumbled upon a series on the Quest channel (UK) which we preferred. In googling for the link, I see it's shown on the Smithsonian Channel in the USA https://www.smithsonianchannel.com/shows/mighty-cruise-ships/1003687 We saw the Viking Sea episode, which gave a good insight to life on board a Viking Ocean ship, we thought, but more interesting was the programme which followed, on board Oceania Marina on a cruise around the British Isles. What's strange is that on the website, that programme doesn't show up - there's one on board Europa2 in its place. When we have time, we'll see if we can catch other programmes in the series for a less flashy, more "real life" approach.
  3. We were also aware of staff training on our last cruise - perhaps @ronrick1943 or other CC contributors who were on board Mariner from Tokyo to Vancouver recall about half a dozen staff in Compass Rose wearing strange, non-standard Regent uniforms? These restaurant staff appeared to be shadowing experienced Regent staff members at that time. We had dining room issues throughout our cruise, mostly resolved following conversations with those in a position to address them, but one might take the view that the most basic skills - serving the correct food, hot and with timely delivery of any accompaniments to the correct person - should be routine for any restaurant staff employed by Regent? It's interesting to read that some avoided problems on the recent Voyager cruise by choosing their table carefully. We do as many here have recommended and find a team of servers we like and who can be relied upon to do a great job. I never single our preferred staff out here, because clearly, not everyone can sit in the same area of the restaurant! But I see several names pop up time and again and it's surely no coincidence that many of them feature on our list too. I agree @Hambagahle training a large number of new staff must be a challenge, but that should not impact on our experience. Of course, they must gather practice somewhere and I think most of us would be as understanding and tolerant of new staff as we are of, say, learner drivers. I think the problems occur when there are more than a handful of staff needing close supervision, challenging the workload of an already stretched management team. And I hadn't even thought about the accommodation issue!! (Who'd run a cruise ship, eh?)
  4. I can only speak for British Airways flights booked through Regent, where we have been able to select our seats as soon as flights have been confirmed. Whether this is as a result of our frequent flier status or simply because of Regent's arrangement, I don't know, but in order to make changes, what's needed is the booking reference - six alphanumeric characters to access the "manage my flight" screen. Perhaps it's worth asking for that specific information from your TA?
  5. Adding our seasonal greetings to the collection, wishing our Regent friends health and happiness!
  6. And @GrJ Berkshire I apologise for not reading your earlier message accurately. As I understand it, sailing from BA to Lima (rather than Lima to BA) reduces the likelihood of a Code Red situation, which I raised in the discussion about the itinerary change. It sounds as though you have reached a decision. Maybe in the coming months Regent's reasoning will become clearer?
  7. @GrJ Berkshire we have sailed the (original) itinerary twice and would support @cruiseluv's opinion that the sailing through the Chilean Fjords is spectacular - if the weather permits. Our cruise was scheduled to make several stops but a couple were cancelled because of the heavy swell that coast experiences. Several of the docks were damaged in an earthquake (?tidal wave?) a few years ago and since then, the ships are berthed in unprotected harbours and in some cases, they have to tender ashore. The Pacific swell creates difficulties with both of these (on one occasion, we tendered ashore only to jump straight on and return as the captain declared it too risky to stay). I am no meteorologist but I believe that in years where El Nino is particularly active, the likelihood of problems increases. Perhaps this is part of the reasoning behind the change of itinerary? We enjoyed visiting ports in that part of the world very much indeed, so I appreciate your dilemma. And just to throw another spanner in the works, I'll just raise the dreaded "code red" issue - see what I mean on my blog, if you like. Start here in Lima and continue down the coast with a hokey cokey in Iquique (?sp) and onwards for another dozen or so posts. Let me say, however, that I wouldn't have missed that cruise, even if it remains memorable for the wrong reasons!
  8. @maryogreen thank you for taking the time to review your cruise in such detail and whetting my appetite for our next Regent voyage sailing a similar itinerary in reverse (not sailing backwards, though!) We booked some time ago, wondering if repeating this, our very first Regent cruise also on Voyager some years ago, was a good idea, especially since we've travelled independently in the region since then too. But no...I cant wait to be back on board, to savour the good things and go appreciate all those little touches that we love. We've been fortunate to have Elvy take care of us on more than one occasion and have watched Darle blossom from a shy new staff member to the delightful professional she is today - I agree that it's these people and their many colleagues who make the difference. I really enjoyed reading about Barcelona today and look forward to subsequent posts as I count down the days to our cruise! (Though we have another little jolly to enjoy in the meantime 😉) I'm so glad I spotted Herb's post and joined the dots!
  9. I believe most (all?) our butlers have been trained within the Taj group of hotels and I agree, they are generally first class. We enjoy and appreciate their personal and very attentive service, especially in situations such as the one @daetchief describes above. There are many of the Cabin Stewards that are hard charging - possibly aiming for the Butler or Lead positions. If or when you have one of those, it feels like you are blessed with Butler level service even when in a Veranda Suite. @daetchiefWhilst the housekeeping staff are indeed excellent, we are always aware of their heavy workload - they are responsible for a large number of suites - and I would hesitate before making any specific requests of them. In fact, we do what we can to make their workload lighter wherever possible.
  10. We said the same to our friend, on the "location location" premise. Except that the rack rate is now 4 or 5x the price of other hotels in that area: Shangri La, Four Seasons, Sofitel et al ! (proving the value of an unbeatable location, I guess)
  11. @papaflamingo as is often the case, it depends. We had been to Tokyo several times previously, were familiar with the city and how to get about, so chose the hotel and district on the basis of access to public transport as well as the "old times"! We also enjoy the vibe of Shinjuku, but appreciate it's not to everyone's taste. We offset it with the peace and tranquillity of the beautiful Park Hyatt! We had already planned to buy a Japan Rail Pass and to travel further afield too, so the proximity of a large station was another key factor in our choice. Friends who are planning to end their cruise in Sydney next year have commented to us how expensive the hotels in the Rocks and on the Quay have become - the Park Hyatt especially so. Regent put us up in the Four Seasons a few years ago but I'd agree with a previous commenter that it was nothing special and their response to a serious water leak in our room was pitiful for any reputable hotel, never mind one with the Four Seasons brand.
  12. We did the same cruise as @DeepFreeze63 last year and chose to set up our own Tokyo pre-cruise adventure. We stayed in our favourite Shinjuku hotel (Park Hyatt) - our fourth visit - and organised our transfers with the hotel. We got a great deal through Amex Platinum and the whole thing cost us about the same as the Regent pre-cruise.
  13. @flossie009 glad you're home safe and sound after what seems like a long time! We've really enjoyed sailing alongside, albeit vicariously but look forward to joining you on your next adventure for real. Agree 100% re list of suggestions for the next refit, especially in P7. We enjoyed dining in the Mariner P7 so much more as a result of a lighter, brighter ambiance and had forgotten how dark the Voyager restaurant is.
  14. @Wendy The Wanderer I use the free Snapseed app on my Android tablet to edit those photos I want to use in my blog. It's quick and surprisingly feature-rich with many of the options I use regularly on my desktop PS program. I just did a sample edit and having set up my preferences, a single click reduced a photo of almost 4Mb to 473kb.
  15. @FlyerTalker in "the old days" of dial up we learned to manage such things, didn't we? But now, when with my camera set to "medium" the resultant image is 5mB and trying to do anything with a few of those is a pain in the neck, especially with restricted bandwidth. IMHO there is not enough discussion about how to manage these things - yes it's not exactly the most exciting subject, but a few simple steps using any one of several free apps makes all the difference. I believe we've talked before about the need to disable automatic uploading of photos to the cloud when on board - I wonder how many do, though?
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