– Avalon Myanmar – Myanmar River Cruise – April 2017
*Azamara Club Cruises – Azamara Journey – Singapore to Dubai (April 8, 2018)
* Azamara Quest – Southeast Asia and Japan (February 2015)
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Part I
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part II
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part III
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part IV
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Some Final Observations and Thoughts
– The Prologue to the Travelogue
– The Adventure Begins…With a Bump or Two
– Settling In Made Easy
– Luxury Touches Here, There and OK, Not, Everywhere…But There Are Lots of Them!
– Asian Flair Onboard and On Shore
– Private Tours, Israel and Conflicts in Perceptions and Perspective
Celebrity Equinox 2009 – Egypt…Impressive and Depressing
– Dining With the Captain and the Reidel Wine Seminar
– The Last Dinner (Tuscan Grille) and Disembarkation
– What Happens When A Class Act Meets Highly Discounted Cruise Fare
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part I
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part II
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part III
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part IV (Food & Wine!)
– Princess Cruises Doesn’t Treat You Like Royalty; Celebrity Cruises Does! Which is a Better Value for the Upscale Cruise Guest? Part I
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. -Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part II: The Standard Veranda Staterooms
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part III: Treating You Right From The Start
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part IV: The Wine Lists Speak Volumes (As Do The Beverage Packages)
Regent Seven Seas Voyager – August 2017
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part I
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part II (Getting There, The Stateroom and First Impressions)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part III (“You Can’t Teach Five Star Service” and Bonafacio, Corsica)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part IV (Calvi, Monaco, Portofino, Porto Azzurro…and Stale Bread)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part V (My Last Day…and How The Chef’s Team Makes It Happen)
The other day I wrote about Mark Conroy, President of Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ open letter and Regent’s new efforts to provide what it has promised it would be providing all along. I am hopeful, but not enthusiastic.
Well, I am a member of the Tahoe Mountain Club – a sort of country club for skiers and golfers belonging to Northstar-at-Tahoe or Old Greenwood – here in Lake Tahoe, California. It has, to be kind, been a monument to ripping off those of us shelling out tens and tens of thousands of dollars under the guise of providing the ultimate in luxury ski and gold experiences. It has actually been nothing more than a vehicle to sell faux luxury to those interested in being nothing more than fractional owners (read “timeshare”) or renters.
The result has been really good looking facilities overrun with children, people who don’t give a damn about the facilities or other “members”, and the “real members” (those who actually paid up to $100,000 for a membership…I am a member, but not in that league!) being unable to find real luxury anywhere in the very facilities they have paid for. (The General Manager actually sent out a letter last Spring claiming TMC was striving to reach an 8 out of 10…a B-…in all areas!)
This year I have found things to be just as bad…almost. Just when I was about to give up, Schaffer’s Camp, a private TMC restaurant on the top of Northstar-at-Tahoe, gave me some hope. After my screaming for two years about the faux luxury, a pretentious but dishonest and inept manager, horrid overpriced food and lousy service, Tahoe Mountain Club finally listened. I walked in the door and was greeted by, “Hello Mr. Goldring. Nice to see you.” The new manager, Brad Kohler, happened to be there and started to speak to me with enthusiasm. They found me a table in the dining room (I was going to eat in the bar) and was greeted by a very nice and competent waiter, trained and smiling bus-staff, a menu and wine list with reasonable food and wine at reasonable prices (and a true wine expert on staff)…and all of a sudden that Million Dollar View looked a whole lot better and the food was excellent.
Being the skeptic I am, I went back the next day and found things…get this…exactly the same! Consistency has possibly found another home. While I remain skeptical, the present situation in one small portion of the Tahoe Mountain Club has – after years – finally seems to deliver what was promised…at least at Schaffer’s Camp. (Last night at 6PM in the Alpine Club kids still were allowed to run amuck, classless and loud renters and filth – from the thin and marginally trained staff being unable to properly cleanup due to overwhelmed and chaotic situation.)
If Tahoe Mountain Club can make things work -even one facility at a time – Regent should be able to do it to. Regent has an advantage, as well: It has never been in as bad a shape as TMC.
That said, I kept thinking those that haven’t tried Seabourn need to. For me it sets the standard. It is better at an excellent level of service…in all areas of its ships, with truly fine dining and, while not perfect, always striving for consistency.