The ALL NEW Love Boat thread

Old Nov 2nd, 2010, 01:41 PM
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The ALL NEW Love Boat thread

Remember the old Love Boat thread by Dogster in which we threaten to take an Asia river cruise together? For those with early onset dementia, see:

http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...t-175072-2.cfm

I now have more info on the debut of the new river boat from Heritage Lines, the Jahan. Dogster's trip report on the Mekong cruise aboad the same company's Jayarvarman was (mostly) highly positive. This boat goes to the same places. The cruises are all weeklong. Many of you expressed repulsion at having being trapped with fellow Fododderers longer than that.

I now have more info on the boat from the Thomas, the marketing director with a sense of humor. Below, see his e-mail to me. We have the opportunity to be the first to pick a date. Your thoughts?
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Old Nov 2nd, 2010, 01:43 PM
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Hi Leslie,

Yeah, it was a lot of fun for me and my colleagues to read dogster’s accounts from his cruise on the J’man – best ever.

Ok, lets talk business – the Jahan will be launched in October and the maiden voyage is set to happen on 29 Oct upstream from Saigon (My Tho). It would be an honor to win the battle on the Mekong and become the fodorites choice.

The Jahan departs every Saturday starting from SGN on October 29 in a 7-night rotation. The itinerary will follow the Jayavarman’s program but there will be a lot of changes implemented within the next 6 months. In addition, we will introduce the shore excursion menu (privatized shore excursion). Believe it or not – but it was thanks to a discussion with [Dogster] when I decided to work on this new concept for the Jahan.



Leslie, please let me know if you are further interested and I can send you the rates within the next few days. So far I haven’t started to promote the Jahan, so the choice of cruise dates is all yours.



Best regards



Thomas Peter

Managing Director
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Old Nov 2nd, 2010, 01:59 PM
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Here's the link:

www.heritage-line.com
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Old Nov 2nd, 2010, 02:54 PM
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We are certainly interested. I'd be glad to let others work out the kinks of the maiden voyage. We'd prefer a date in November.

I wonder if Thomas would be willing to give us special pricing if we fill up, say, half the boat.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2010, 03:45 PM
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I'll ask him Kathie. I wondered the same thing. I also think the maiden voyage is to be avoided, and I prefer Nov. myself.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2010, 04:53 PM
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would love to hear details, incl costs
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Old Nov 2nd, 2010, 06:37 PM
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rhk, you can see the ports on the Heritage link; same itinerary as they have now. Thomas sent me a rendering of the new boat, now under construction, but it's not on the site and no way to attach it here.
Expect it to be as nice--or nicer--than the Jayarvaman. Quite plush cabins by the looks of it and Dogsters report. As Dogster mentioned, they've added private shore excursions if you don't like the larger groups, but it'll cost more. Perhaps Dogster can say more about the food.

When Thomas passes along prices, I'll copy them here, and tell you whether we can get a group rate.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2010, 08:37 PM
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I can't fault the cabins. I can't fault the staff. I can't fault the food. My only issues were with the other tourists and shore excursions. Well, our Thomas has just started to fix the tours and, with the imprimata of Fodor's - why, all the other tourists will be attractive, refined people of elegance and taste...

Bravo LA for resurrecting this thread. I reckon we could get a boat-full.

I then suggest that those of us who have been to these places before conduct guided tours. For instance, lori's guided tour of Siem Reap, Kathie's guided tour of the temples, dogster's tour of the beauty parlors; rhk and the restaurants of Vietnam... there could be musical soirees, speeches and illustrated lectures - all provided by us.

I believe thursday does a neat belly dance and I know Kathie is president of her local line-dancing chapter. Pook sings very beautifully. He could give a recital before putting on his golden fish-tail for the performance of 'What really happened to Jim Thompson'.

Remember LA, this whole exercise is like herding blind cats. The only way is to just pick a date and stick with it - let people bend to the idea, not the idea to the people.

For anyone who doesn't understand anything about anything: go here
http://thedogster.wordpress.com/extr...r-jayarvarman/
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Old Nov 3rd, 2010, 01:10 AM
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will there be a pool? are hats and gloves required?
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Old Nov 3rd, 2010, 02:45 AM
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dogster - think you're confusing me with someone else - not my style of dance at all even assuming my feet are functioning.

LA - great that you started this up again, but I think you should count me out. I'm not really interested in the itinerary (did the boat trip to PP already) and I'm tentatively planning for South America next fall/winter.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2010, 06:54 AM
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Line dancing? nah. But I can do palm reading. I understand dogster dances so well he puts Fred Astaire to shame.

I agree with the choose a date approach. In the last chapter of this thread, we settled on November, as I remember. If we choose a November date this far ahead, most interested people can arrange to be in SE Asia for that date.

One logistical question, when is the boat supposed to be uh - river worthy? My experience with time lines on hotels being built in SE Asia is that they are generally complete within a year of their anticipated completion date.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2010, 06:59 AM
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I'm still hoping for India in 2012.

Dogster, glad to see you've re-emerged . . .
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Old Nov 3rd, 2010, 07:19 AM
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dogster and I can do our Vinni Manilli act. Not many people know this but our dogster was the real voice of the group.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2010, 08:26 AM
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Thomas did lose a cruise or two at the beginning of Jayarvarman, but having lived thru that horror, I'd guess he wouldn't be planning on doing it again. I always like to get to things early in their run, before they've become corrupted; there is an equally valid approach that says wait till they've ironed the glitches out.

Actually, I rather like the glitches, provided they don't happen with my food, my bed or my bathroom.

Somehow I think Thomas, faced with the prospect of a boat full of Foddoderers, easily the most litigious, revengeful and curmudgeonly passengers in the world, will be making sure that things go O.K.

Look in your palm Kathy. What does it say?
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Old Nov 3rd, 2010, 10:10 AM
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"I will take a long river voyage with interesting people."
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Old Nov 3rd, 2010, 11:30 AM
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Dear LAleslie,

If this is open to the peanut gallery – I’d love to join the pros for a week on the Mekong. Please let me know how the planning progresses.

Maiden voyage or November? Doesn’t matter to me. Although I’m partial to misadventures, I won’t complain if all goes smoothly.

PS - Kathie – just returned from Burma & had the pleasure to meet the wonderful Mr. Min Thu and his family in Bagan. Jay zu tin ba dare!
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Old Nov 3rd, 2010, 12:57 PM
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Here's the latest from Thomas on pricing:
Hi Leslie,
thanks and it would be a delight to have you guys on board - and I'll certainly make you an attractive offer, being one of the first potential passengers on the Jahan.
Of course t depends on the travel date and middle of december would be perfect as demand is lower during that period.
Can you give me some possible dates n order to get the best possible rates.

Cheers
Thomas
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Old Nov 3rd, 2010, 01:08 PM
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So, as Dogster so wisely suggests, it's better to simply pick a trip and let blind cats jump aboard or not. This is why I just decided to go ahead and choose the Mekong trip. I favored the long Irrawaddy/Chindwin trips, but only Marija seemed as enthusiastic.
Each Fodad leading his own excursion, I love it. I've only done one daylong Mekong trip, so I have nothing to offer, though I can point out dead fish floating in fish farms. Can't belly dance...though, wait, get a couple of glasses of wine in me and maybe...
Kathie, is December out of the question for you? Not for me.
M-bran: We would love to encourage lurkers and peanut gallerists! The more the merrier.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2010, 01:24 PM
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December is harder for us. But an early December date should be ok. As we get closer to the holidays it is difficult. Ask Thomas about dates in November (Saturdays, right?) Nov 12, 19, 26, December 3 and 10.

m_bran, so glad you enjoyed Min Thu - he's a gem!
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Old Nov 3rd, 2010, 04:37 PM
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Yes, departs on rotating Saturdays from Saigon and Pnom Penh. I neglected to paste the link to the Jahan's specs, separate from the Heritage line site:

http://heritage-line.com/download/Th...0Sanctuary.pdf

Only 36 cabins (so 72 people max.) So do the math. If we fill 20 cabins we've got more than half the boat. Unlike the J'man, there is a pool. And the cabins are bigger.

I will ask Thomas about those dates.
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