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Travelcat2

LIVE FROM EXPLORER - FEB. 17 - MARCH 9

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After sharing our “adventures” of how we got here, we are finally in Santiago and will be boarding Explorer in around 23 1/2 hours (but whose counting).

 

Regent is using the Ritz Carlton in Santiago but we are staying at the Mandarin Oriental (aka Hotel Santiago aka Hyatt Regency...... long story).  It is a lovely hotel that is almost finished with a major refurbishment.  The staff and rooms are excellent.  We are on the Club level and waited there for our room to be ready.  We were served tea and got some light food from a buffet.  When this hotel is finished and the new name (Mandarin Oriental) goes on the building, they feel it will be the best hotel in South America (and I do not doubt that - they are already rated higher than the W or Ritz Carlton on some sites.  I predict that the price to stay here will double when it is completed.

 

Flight from DFW was nice - good plane (DaveFR - loved the Bose Noise Cancelling headphones), and decent food. The seats were comfortable and the entertainment was good (they did have television screens on the flight). This is the 2nd time we have flown in a 787 aircraft and we find the interior better on American Airlines than on Air Canada.  

 

We met a couple in the Club Lounge that we have sailed with before - it was nice to catch up.  They are also impressed with the hotel.  So, assuming that the driver doeesn’t got lost like the one this morning did (there are two Hotel Santiago’s), we should be at the port before noon tomorrow.

 

A bit concerned about illnesses onboard and have not told my husband about it.  When I heard that Explorer was going to South America, I was concerned as Mariner passengers were frequently ill in this part of the world.  

 

Okay - I’m totally exhausted and will write more when we are onboard!

 

 

 

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Yipee-ei-ay!   You're there!!   Wishing great things for you and Dennis.

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31 minutes ago, Travelcat2 said:

After sharing our “adventures” of how we got here, we are finally in Santiago and will be boarding Explorer in around 23 1/2 hours (but whose counting).

 

Regent is using the Ritz Carlton in Santiago but we are staying at the Mandarin Oriental (aka Hotel Santiago aka Hyatt Regency...... long story).  It is a lovely hotel that is almost finished with a major refurbishment.  The staff and rooms are excellent.  We are on the Club level and waited there for our room to be ready.  We were served tea and got some light food from a buffet.  When this hotel is finished and the new name (Mandarin Oriental) goes on the building, they feel it will be the best hotel in South America (and I do not doubt that - they are already rated higher than the W or Ritz Carlton on some sites.  I predict that the price to stay here will double when it is completed.

 

Flight from DFW was nice - good plane (DaveFR - loved the Bose Noise Cancelling headphones), and decent food. The seats were comfortable and the entertainment was good (they did have television screens on the flight). This is the 2nd time we have flown in a 787 aircraft and we find the interior better on American Airlines than on Air Canada.  

 

We met a couple in the Club Lounge that we have sailed with before - it was nice to catch up.  They are also impressed with the hotel.  So, assuming that the driver doeesn’t got lost like the one this morning did (there are two Hotel Santiago’s), we should be at the port before noon tomorrow.

 

A bit concerned about illnesses onboard and have not told my husband about it.  When I heard that Explorer was going to South America, I was concerned as Mariner passengers were frequently ill in this part of the world.  

 

Okay - I’m totally exhausted and will write more when we are onboard!

 

 

 

Have a great cruise! 

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SO happy (and I have to say, relieved!) that you and Dennis have made is safely albeit slowly to Santiago Jackie.  Now all you have to do is relax and enjoy yourselves and (hopefully) tell us all how the cruise is!  You did an awful lot of waiting around yesterday.  Let's hope that now things run like clockwork.

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Congrats on making it to Santiago and looking forward to reading about your impressions of Explorer and of your cruise. AA has done a nice job in upgrading their business class for long haul flights especially on their 787s and 777ER airframes. 

Z and TB

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Here's thinking you will enjoy your cruise even more given the stressful time you experienced getting there. One big sigh of relief! So looking forward to reading along.

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Glad you're there and hopefully the pre arrival events will recede from memory, just like if it was a bad dream!

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So happy you made it on time and safe. I Agree that AA business class has good seats and is comfortable. 

Enjoy your cruise. Love to Dennis. 

Sheila

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Glad to hear you made it to Santiago ................ presumably with all your luggage. Had you stuck with the short connection  you might have made the flight but still a risk that one or more of your bags might have remained stuck in Dallas.

 

Looking forward to your cruise blog and hope the rest of your vacation is stress free. Happy birthday to Dennis on the due date for his special day 🍾 🎂

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Trying to stay awake until 5:00 p.m. so we can go to the Club Lounge for food and drinks.

 

Out of interest, I looked up the cost to stay at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok.  The lowest category room is $718/night (U.S.). I fully expect this hotel to be similarly priced so we are glad that we had the opportunity to stay here for $199/night (less than we paid for our 4* hotel in Vancouver).

 

Want to share another interesting thing that happened.  On everyone’s final documents, there is a phone number for Regent’s “local agent”.  Due to the possibility of our Regent provided driver getting lost due to hotel’s name changes, we went to the concierge for assistance in calling.  No one answered the phone nor was there a message machine.   The concierge said that would try again and let us know (nothing yet).  So, although this is a Saturday, one would think that a Mesa could be left.  Very disappointing.

 

poss, Maria, Carol, Gerry, “Z”, vegasdriven, Sheila and flossie, thank you for your well wishes.  Will try to keep the blog interesting.  (12 1/2 hours before boarding).

 

 

 

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Very pleased and relieved for you that you have arrived at the destination. I am also a big fan of the 787 we have flown it many time to Toronto to visit family and find it the quietest and most comfortable flight .

Have a wonderful cruise and warmest birthday wishes to your husband for his special day.    Jean.

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Me again with a quickie.  Concierge just called. He has been in contact with the transportation people and they will be here on time tomorrow.  Only slight glitch is that the reservation was for one person (now fixed).

 

P.S.  liptastic - thank you o for the well wishes for our cruise and I told Dennis that you wish him birthday wishes:—).    

Edited by Travelcat2

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TC2 posted: "Want to share another interesting thing that happened.  On everyone’s final documents, there is a phone number for Regent’s “local agent”.  Due to the possibility of our Regent provided driver getting lost due to hotel’s name changes, we went to the concierge for assistance in calling.  No one answered the phone nor was there a message machine.   The concierge said that would try again and let us know (nothing yet).  So, although this is a Saturday, one would think that a Mesa could be left.  Very disappointing."

 

Last month, we were in the AA Lounge at JFK during our return from a Regent cruise that disembarked in Rio. We met a Texas couple who had tried to join the Regent cruise in Rio but had been denied entry to Brazil because of a Visa discrepancy (they were dispatched back to U.S. via JFK). They reported that they (and their TA) had  been unable to contact Regent either at the emergency #  on the travel documents or the ship's # - it was a Sunday. As my DW just stated: "Regent has to do something about this inability to be reached on a weekend".

 

Ps: They said that they had been told by Brazilian Immigration that they would have been admitted to Brazil to join the ship if the Captain of the ship would take custody of them; therefore they were trying to reach Regent.

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Happy to hear you got to this point in your adventure as things can only get better.  Enjoy your cruise, I look forward to reading more about your trip.

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Glad you arrived in Santiago safe and sound.  We are off the ship now, waiting on our AA flight back to DFW on your plane.  Have a wonderful cruise!   Be warned—the ride to the port takes a long time.

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19 hours ago, DeepFreeze63 said:

...

Last month, we were in the AA Lounge at JFK during our return from a Regent cruise that disembarked in Rio. We met a Texas couple who had tried to join the Regent cruise in Rio but had been denied entry to Brazil because of a Visa discrepancy (they were dispatched back to U.S. via JFK). They reported that they (and their TA) had  been unable to contact Regent either at the emergency #  on the travel documents or the ship's # - it was a Sunday. As my DW just stated: "Regent has to do something about this inability to be reached on a weekend".

 

Ps: They said that they had been told by Brazilian Immigration that they would have been admitted to Brazil to join the ship if the Captain of the ship would take custody of them; therefore they were trying to reach Regent.

 

That's terrible, and very disappointing.  I can imagine how devastating it must have been for those people!

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 On a lighter note, I see on Facebook that today is Captain Saro's birthday - lots of posts by the crew.

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Woo Hoo!

 Even tho it's Eastern time here...3:18pm, I'm guessing you've made it to the ship and are probably on board sipping some

champers (just what is it? real stuff or some "other"..giggle!). I think the worst is over now and there's nothing but smooth, enjoyable sailing from now on in! Take a breath and enjoy all that Regent and the Explorer offer! More in an email later.

Hugs to you both,

L&J

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Jackie, Jeannie and I are on the Silver Spirit now, and lost track of your "almost live" thread for a while, but are delighted that you and Dennis have arrived and will soon be on board your favorite ship.

Have a blast!🍹🥂

Bob

 

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Hi Jackie - don't know if you found my little comment yesterday - have no idea where I put it!  Just in case, I'm glad your dramas are over and you are safely on board.  I forgot to wish Dennis a very happy birthday - please feel free to have a glass (or four) of champagne to celebrate!  Michael and I will be on Explorer in August - can you squeeze that in somewhere?  Lee

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52 minutes ago, Down Under said:

Hi Jackie - don't know if you found my little comment yesterday - have no idea where I put it!  Just in case, I'm glad your dramas are over and you are safely on board.  I fongergot to wish Dennis a very happy birthday - please feel free to have a glass (or four) of champagne to celebrate!  Michael and I will be on Explorer in August - can you squeeze that in somewhere?  Lee

 

Hi Lee - yes I did find your post on the other "Almost Live......." thread: and responded.  It was so good to see your post on CC.  Definitely have missed you and Michael and hope that you are both well.

 

Bob - hope that you are enjoying your Silversea cruise on the Spirit.  The Spirit was our first Silversea cruise.

 

Linda and John - reporting on champagne.  They still have the stuff that is on it's way out of the door I March but was able to get Monopole Blue Top in the Explorer Lounge.

 

To catch up on things, the local Regent representative did call back and picked us up at 10:00 a.m. on the dot.  Time to San Antonio was about 1 1/2 hours.  Kind of a mess at the terminal - no pre-boarding and passengers had to be shuttled to the ship.  We were early so we got on the first shuttle and was on the ship in no time.  

 

We are so excited to be back on Explorer.  For those that do know our history on Explorer, we (along with many others) waited 3 years for the ship to be built and we were on the christening cruise and then proceeded to do 3 mail sailings in a short period of time.  In 2017 we sailed on Mariner twice and did two savings on Voyager in 2018.  At that point, we decided to stick with Explorer in the future (note:  our bucket list was completed quite some time ago and we are now cruising for the ship experience.

 

We booked Explorer for March, 2019 and it suddenly became a Splendor sailing (we were happy with that) so we do have one cruise on Splendor.

 

It was great to see G.M. Massimo and learned that former Restaurant Manager Vladimir has been promoted to F&B Director.  He looks quite handsome in his new uniform.  Have not seen C.D. Lorraine yet but I hear that she looks great.  We are also fans of Stephan (apologize if that was misspelled) who is the maitre 'd of Chartreuse.

 

In addition to PBS being onboard, I just learned that the Discovery Channel is also onboard - taking videos of everything for their series Mighty Cruise Ships (hope that I have the name right - we watched this show when it spotlighted Mariner.).  So, from a passenger standpoint, this is a different cruise with groups that are not typical Regent cruisers and we are fine with that since we are fans of both PBS and Discovery.

 

Had dinner in Pacific Rim and it was quite good.  A bit too tired to go to the show but look forward to a good night's sleep in this magnificent suite.  So glad that we took advantage of the upset to a Master Suite.  The balcony is enormous which will be great for Dennis as he loves to sit outside and watch the sea go by.  After our last cruise on Voyager (formerly our favorite ship) in a Seven Seas Suite that had a balcony that was tiny, it is a pleasure to be on a ship with great balconies (even in lower category suites)

 

Another "new" (to us) thing was muster.  We were on Voyager only 3 months ago so this is quite new.  No life vests are required at muster.  And, on Explorer only, you do not have to go to the lifeboats.  I may not get this accurate but I believe that they said that the way the lifeboats are on Explorer, in case of emergency, the life rafts are in a position that you simply walk onto them.  Our muster was in Pacific Rim so it wasn't crowded and it went quickly.  

 

I asked Massimo who was replacing him when he leaves in a couple of months and it is Michael Coghlin (again, horribly misspelled).  He is another delightful G.M.

 

We cancelled our excursion for the next port (not unusual) as we want to relax on the ship.  As I have mentioned before, this cruise is all about my DH.  Whatever he wants or does not want to do on this cruise is fine.  While we always get along well, for the next 19 nights I will be the perfect wife (for those of you that remember Stepford Wives - that will be me):classic_unsure:

 

The ship shows no signs of wear after 2 1/2 years.  I will try to learn what will change during the refurbishment later this year.

 

Too tired to continue.  More tomorrow!

 

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Jackie, I just did a catch-up dive into your "Almost" Live thread--phew!  Now with all that stuff in your wake, hope you and the milestone birthday boy have a great cruise!

 

Rich

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So glad to know you are onboard at last!   Please post photos when you can and enjoy your Suite...you "earned it".  Best to you both and Happy Birthday to Dennis.

Gerry

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After your rough start it sounds as if this will be a wonderful birthday cruise!

drink champagne and avoid the sick people, have a great cruise!

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Hi TC, hope you have a great cruise. Be very interested to learn more about the refurbishment as well. Look forward to hearing more.

 

Alan 

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