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About freddie

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    Camano Island, WA

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  1. I certainly agree with wcsdkqh that this new program seems to be addressing a problem that does not exist (i.e. how to give cash or cash equivalent to a crew member as a special gratuity). It also seems rather odd that such a new program would be introduced at the request of "one" passenger, unless that particular passenger has a lot of clout on Regent. The final sentence of Jason M's post was indeed a bit (well, more than a bit) intemperate. Perhaps his account is being hacked and the post was indeed a spoof, with "MontyRSSC" being more a reference to "Monty Python" than a nickname for a gent with the last name of Montague.
  2. This is an astonishingly dreadful program, providing very little benefit to the hard-working crew but possibly some incremental benefit to the already overpriced shops on the ships. As we discussed on the WC thread regarding this whacky notion, it remains very much more to the advantage of the crew for us passengers to stick with donations to the Crew Welfare Fund or to individual members of the crew in cash than to use this preposterous method of bogus "reward" to crew members. As much as we love Regent, this is not the line's finest hour by any means.
  3. My concern with this new policy would be whether the only way for the crew member to use the gift certificate was in the over-priced but limited choice ships' boutiques. If that were to be the case, then cash to a crew member to spend as he/she wished in a port would be much more useful. In any event, the whole idea seems to diminish the much-debated notion of Regent not encouraging tipping.
  4. Hlitner posted: "On our upcoming Seabourn cruise we are paying less then half of what it would cost to get a comparable suite and perks on Celebrity." Hank - As longtime Regent and Seabourn cruisers, we are booked on the Vancouver to Tokyo cruise on X next year and very much looking forward to the adventure. The greater variety of dining and entertainment venues has encouraged us to try out this fairly radical switch in cruising mode, in order to test the alternative cruising waters. However, your statement that I have quoted above intrigues me greatly, as our fare on the TP for a Royal Suite (with its many included perks) is quite comparable to the per diem for a standard cabin on Seabourn, which although quite lovely, is less than half of the size of the RS on X. I would gratefully welcome your reflections on this issue. Cheers, Fred
  5. I was perhaps not clear in my previous post. The Jacobite Steam Train is reasonably interesting. It was the SB excursion that was not good, as on the return train trip from Mallaig the SB pax were stuffed into seats as six persons at tables that were advertised on the train site as tables for four. It was extremely uncomfortable since the seats were quite clearly designed for two people on each side of the table, not three. The experience underscored our preference for doing our own private tours, as we did on every other port stop of the otherwise wonderful cruise.
  6. In our experience (two years ago), it was not worth the time or price, as it was highly disorganized. Further, even though the SB pax were crammed into regular train cars, it turned out that there was a lovely and spacious First Class car that would have been much more comfortable. Had we known that was an option for the train, we would have booked that car on our own and simply used the SB transportation to get to the train.
  7. Jim - At some time during your blog, I would be most grateful if you would comment on how you handle going west to east on a TA. My partner (of 45 years) and I have only taken east to west TA's and are somewhat apprehensive about setting the clocks forward every night on west to east TA's. I agree with the previous posts that the enormous piece of furniture is woefully inappropriate. Maybe Ms. Hoppen fell in love with the design in some medical facility lobby in the U.K.??
  8. John - We enthusiastically agree with you that Daniela is a marvelous F&B Manager and a true rising star on Regent. We anticipate seeing her soon in the role of GM, which would be well-justified, as it was with Franck Galzy.
  9. Kjbacon - I heartily encourage you to learn more about sake, as it can be a marvelous libation. As Ronrick1943 pointed out, really good sakes are almost never served warm in Japan, as the complex flavors are not as evident when the sake is warm. If Pacific Rim offers any Junmai Daiginjo or Daiginjo sakes, those categories will be the most complex and interesting and will be remarkably different from the sake most of us are used to being served warm at sushi bars in the U.S. or Canada. Kampai!!
  10. Ken - Both my partner and I got the yellow fever shot several years ago when my partner was in his early 70's and I was in my late 60's, with no problems at all for either of us. If you are unsure about the matter, it is best to consult a travel doctor.
  11. Brittany12 - While I have been reluctant to enter this fray regarding the SB dress code, your somewhat offensive post has encouraged me to do so. Please understand that my partner & I assiduously adhere to the SB dress code, including dining at The Colonnade when we do not wish to wear blazers to the MDR. However, I will suggest that using such inflammatory terms as "others of your culture and values" or "everyone else of similar mind, experience and place" when discussing something as manifestly trivial as a cruise ship dress code can be regarded as elitist in the extreme and quite understandably offensive to many people. Frankly, your culture and values are not the relevant issues in this matter; only the dress code standards of SB are (and I agree that they should be enforced until changed). Cheers, Fred
  12. ChappChapp - We had great luck with the guides from Narawalk, both in Kyoto and in Nara: https://narawalk.com/ Friends of ours who were docked in Kobe used a private guide from Chris Rowthorn's agency: http://www.chrisrowthorn.com/ We have also used Rowthorn guides in Japan and can recommend them as well as those from Narawalk. Finally, we met several people on our ship (from Tokyo to Vancouver) who had used Tours by Locals in Kyoto and were happy with the service.
  13. The statement from the Regent website quoted by Juno56 is not a "policy" unless that word is synonymous with "a vague cop-out that does not provide adequate guidance for passengers". The phrase "should be encouraged" is ambiguous and conditional. I heartily agree with the posters who have suggested that Regent should make it clear whether the acceptance of tips by the crew is appropriate or is prohibited.
  14. ME - Could you be so kind as to expand a bit upon your observation quoted above? In many cruises on Regent, we have never witnessed such behavior and hope not to do so. Perhaps we are simply being somewhat clueless regarding the solicitation of tips.
  15. Just2guys - Thanks for starting this interesting thread. My partner & I like sea days and have done a couple of TA's from Europe to the U.S. and one TP from Japan to Vancouver, in addition to quite a few other port-intensive cruises, mostly on Regent and Seabourn. The question that I have for Juno, Hambagahle, Orvil and anyone else who has done TA's from West to East (North America to Europe) is whether you experienced "boat lag" due to the setting of clocks ahead so frequently and therefore losing sleep all along the way. This is particularly relevant today, considering that we lost an hour of sleep last night due to daylight savings time going into effect today. My partner suffers from serious jet lag, which more and more makes it better for us to begin cruises in the Americas. If he gets jet lag after the cruise from flying home from Europe or Asia, he can rest in the comfort of home and not be a wreck for the first few days of a cruise. Your reflections on the West to East trans-oceanic cruises are most welcome. (Our next trans-oceanic cruise is from Vancouver to Tokyo and will not have those issues.)
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