– 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 last few days have been very frustrating and disappointing for a number of my clients who booked the Oceania Nautica’s December 11, 2010 cruise from Capetown, South Africa to Singapore. The reason is that the ports of Dar El Salaam and Zanzibar in Tanzania and Mombasa, Kenya were cancelled and replaced with port calls in more or less island/beach locales; clearly of an entirely different flavor.
Thus folks are now going to be taking a cruise that misses exactly why they were, in large part, taking this particular cruise. In fact, two of clients selected this cruise because The Yachts of Seabourn cancelled a similar cruise about a year ago over security issues. The difference is, of course, now these folks have paid in full and are in a significant penalty situation and, thus, have no real choice but to go.
I contacted Oceania about the situation and Senior Management was very quick to respond (always a very good thing) and offered that sharing the following information might be helpful. While it may not take away any of the sting of disappointment, I believe the explanation is excellent and really explains that decisions such as this one are very expensive and not lightly made:
If there’s anything that all cruise lines agree on, it’s that there is no greater priority than the safety of our guests and crew. Unfortunately, eleventh-hour itinerary changes become necessary now and then to avoid the path of a storm in the Caribbean, because of political turmoil in the Middle East or for other reasons. (And Murphy’s Law says that whatever ports are canceled are the ones that our guests were most looking forward to visiting).
With regard to this particular cruise, we received information from private security companies we work with in different parts of the world that certain potential risks existed if we went to these ports. (Not everything appears in newspapers, online or on TV). We checked with other sources and then after much discussion decided Sunday night to cancel these ports. We spent much of Monday finalizing a new itinerary and we began sending emails that night to advise our customers.
As disappointed as your clients are, we’re even more disappointed. A lot of planning goes into developing our itineraries and when a significant change is necessary, we know it can upset some of our guests, which in turn upsets our travel agent partners. It creates quite a lot of additional work for us as we have to arrange for substitute ports and try to create a new itinerary that minimizes the differences from the original. Then we have to cancel all of our shore excursion arrangements in the canceled ports and make brand new arrangements with relatively little time compared to the normal planning that takes place. Nobody wins, except perhaps for the ground operators in the substitute ports.
Yes, ship happens and it happened here. Hurricane. Broken pod. Strike in Marseilles. Whatever. Travel is a fantastic thing…sometimes, though, it isn’t perfect and there is nothing that can be done about it except to find a way to enjoy the change as best you can…and maybe, just maybe, there will be a pleasant surprise.
However, if you don’t look for it you may never find it.
Goldring Travel LLC
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Truckee, California 96161
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