– 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)
While my conversations with cruise line executives are confidential I feel it is worthwhile to pass along my impressions from a very frank discussion I just had with Seabourn’s new president, Rick Meadows.
First of all, I – like many – have some concerns about what is happening at Seabourn and, to be sure, some of the things that had previously been happening at Seabourn. These are not issues with what happens on the ships, but issues that more affect operational and back-office issues that you probably will never know exist. (That, by the way, is as it should be.) Despite all of the things going on, Rick Meadows got back to me in a matter of a day…with an apology for the delay…and then we had a real conversation.
Second, I truly believe Rick Meadows cares about the Seabourn product…and maintaining it as an independent Seabourn product; not an offshoot of Holland America. Unfortunately, the transition from Miami to Seattle and the transition from a small, standalone, operation to one which can productively exploit the increased scale of Holland America’s infrastructure can seem like making sausage (it it ugly, but the end result tastes really good).
Third, Rick is emphatic…I mean really emphatic…that Seabourn is not going to change AND that it is going to be, from the guest-side of things, run separate and apart from Holland America. Am I repeating myself? Seabourn will continue to have the same officers and crew, the same intuitive service and outstanding cuisine with all six ships (YES, ALL SIX SHIPS) and, listen to this, there will be improvements.
Now, those that know me know that I am skeptical of…well, everything…so I do not say that there will not be some things happening that are not disappointing to some. (And I am not so sure I will not be blindsided by some announcements down the road.) But, I also believe that if half of what I have heard has been in the works comes to fruition in the next months, those disappointments will be overcome by the excitement over some of the improvements.
To be sure, I am certain…I mean really certain…that there are some at Holland America that think they can just jump in and do it better and, in reality, they don’t have a clue what Seabourn… and the Seabourn guest..are really all about. But, as you know, I will be making sure that they learn or get out of the way because I view each of my clients and “MY clients” first and Seabourn guests second. In other words, and said positively, I will work to make sure Seabourn is Seabourn.
Now, before you think I am full of myself, the important thing relative to the last statement is that there is someone (or more) at Seabourn that understands what Seabourn is about and is willing to take the steps necessary to make sure that those people that don’t get it, get it…once he knows about it. I believe Rick Meadows is that person…and that there are and will be others.
And you know that if I didn’t believe it I wouldn’t write it.
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