Anyone cruise on Renaissance? Cruises

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Dec 17th, 1999, 09:39 AM
  #1
Shelly Karpman
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Anyone cruise on Renaissance? Cruises

My husband and I enjoy cruise vacations. We have enjoyed visiting many places while on the Disney, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Line and the Royal Caribbean ships. We our getting many brochures on the Renaissance. They compare their prices and benefits with other cruises such as Radisson(Paul Gauguin) Princess and Royal Caribbean. What do you think about the Renaissance? Which ship have you cruised on with the Renaissance? How did it compare with other good lines.
 
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Dec 18th, 1999, 05:13 PM
  #2
Jeannette
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I cruised Renaissance to the Greek Islands last May. It's a terrific cruise and the best value around. You can see many detailed reviews on cruiseopinion.com.
 
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Dec 19th, 1999, 03:59 PM
  #3
cash
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We did the Western Med cruise (when it was longer) last March. Loved it - no kids, no smoking, small ship, lovely cabin with balcony (C Cat), good food , etc. Looking forward to doing the So. Pacific and the Ren VIII Athens to Seychelles in Oct 00. Would say more of a destination type of cruise - if you are looking for entertainment and gambling, choose one of the bigger ships and lines. Small ships cannot provide such amenities. That doesn't mean there isn't anything to do.
 
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Dec 27th, 1999, 12:15 AM
  #4
Paul Therault
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Dear Shelly,

I am a travel agent and have sailed on Ren. before they started bashing us.

The new ships are fine, the staterooms are large and the food is good.

Now I have to explain the negatives:
Their gateway is J.F.K. If you are traveling from another area you will have to purchase your own air. If you experience a delay, you will miss their charter and their ship. Also on the return home: If their charter is late you will miss your connection in NY and will have to find another flight home. Some passengers have to stay overnight at thier own expense. Ren. will not assist you or compensate you.

Additional expenses: Ren. makes money in other unique ways. For example, they charge $99 for the Turkish visa. This is almost twice the price of a visa.

The line is not a member of Cruise Lines International Assoc. (CLIA) and are not inspected by the U.S. Government for safety and health standards.

You must pay for the cruise in full when you book. Therefore the company is using your money well before you sail. You have no recourse if you cancel. You will lose quite a bit of money.

Insurance companies will not insure you for your trip because of Ren.'s cancellation penalties. You may find a company to insure you but the premium is extremely steep.

The best prices offered by Ren. are naturally during the off-season. Most cruisers do not realize most of the Greek islands are shuttered during the winter and the seas are rough. It can even snow in Athens and Istanbul. It's not like the Caribbean.

Smart travelers will add up all the negatives and spend a little more for a cruise with a line that is accredited.

Also, the entertainment is practically non-existent.

You see, you do get what you pay for.

O.K., so I'm a sorry sport, but I am only stating the facts. I know I am going to get bashed by many Ren. lovers but I don't care, it will not hurt my little business in my little town.

Try the new Mistral of First European Cruise Line or the new Voyager of Royal Olympic Cruise Line. You will not be disappointed.

Also, your travel agent should give you a substantial discount and may even cut his commission.

Happy planning, Paul
 
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Dec 27th, 1999, 12:16 PM
  #5
Jackie
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Hello Paul,
I must say I applaud your willingness to speak your mind, even in the face of sure disagreement. I am a firm believer in the right of each individual to express his/her opinion. But, as one of those loyal Renaissance passengers, I do think it would be fair of you to at least tell the truth while offering your opinion. While you make several valid points, you also "fudged" on some as well.
Number one, Renaissance is not the one "bashing" travel agents - it is quite the reverse. These message boards are filled with travel agents just like you making sure they get in some "Ren bashing"! I have not heard any negative comments from Ren - in fact, they do use some travel agents.
In addition, the comment you made about insurance companies is certainly not true. I had no problem purchasing travel insurance, and don't consider $ 136.00 an extraordinary price to pay.
I question your statement of fact about Ren ships not being inspected. This also rings untrue. I can honestly say I've never even heard of CLIA - is membership something that is necessary to prove yourself? I have a hard time believing the readers of Conde Nast Travel Magazine would rank Renaissance ships #4 if there were problems with sanitation or safety. You're really reaching here.
As for the rest of your comments, they are a matter of opinion, and while I understand your livelihood is threatened by Renaissance's direct booking practices, that doesn't mean Renaissance
doesn't offer a great deal for the cruise population as a whole. Ren does have harsh cancellation policies, but in no way do they attempt to hide these policies from you. At the time you book your cruise, they inform you of their exact cancellation policies and advise that you purchase insurance - they even give you several options so you have a basis for comparison. And it is very evident that the money they save by implementing these policies is passed on to the consumer in the form of lower fares.
My intention is not to harm "your little business in your little town" as you say, but surely you realized when you posted this message that you are attempting to influence many more people than you will ever see at "your little business in your little town", and I felt the need to set the record straight.
A Loyal Renaissance Passenger
 
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Dec 29th, 1999, 11:55 AM
  #6
Greg
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Greetings Shelly, and Thank You Jackie,
Jackie's post saved me a lot of time and words. Paul is obviously suffering some dismay because Renaissance mostly sells directly to the public, eliminating the middle person, i.e. your friendly travel agent. When a travel agent does book a Renaissance cruise, their commission is far below other cruise lines offer. It is natural to expect them to be a little testy.
My bride and I just returned (yesterday) from a 10 day cruise on Renaissance in French Polynesia and agree with Jackie 100%. It was just as much an outstanding experience as it was reasonably priced. If you would like any additional information, please e-mail.

Rgds. Greg
 
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Dec 29th, 1999, 01:18 PM
  #7
Beth
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I'm also curious Paul, in general are cruise lines inspected by the US Government for health and safety? It was my understanding that nearly all cruise ships fly under some other flag than the US so that they need not follow US regulations for health and safety, or US labor regulations (like paying their staff minimum wage). Is Renaissance significantly different from other cruise lines in this respect?
 
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Dec 29th, 1999, 10:53 PM
  #8
Paul Therault
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Message to Jaackie,

I am just stating facts as I know them. I do not care if you or anyone else loves Ren., travel agents do not BECAUSE Ren. is telling vacationers not to use travel agents. Simple.

If you read my second paragraph, I state the ships are fine.

I am simply trying to push cruisers to other lines. I am a travel agent, understand. Ren. is scraping against the grain.

You, or anyone else, can sail Ren. it will not send me to the poor- house.

You found an insurance company, good. I presumed there are a few out there if you search.

If you never heard of CLIA you better do some research. 22,000 travel agents belong. It is our cruise association. You might say, before you have your house repaired, you better make sure to check with the builder/remodeling association in your state. Just to be safe.

I'm not upset at all with you Jackie, even though you did call me a liar. I was called a lot worse when I tried to go to bat for Carnival. How about "nitwit" & "jerk" & "idiot." Also a few that I should not repeat on this family site.

Have a nice day. Paul
 
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Dec 29th, 1999, 11:03 PM
  #9
Paul Therault
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Dear Beth,

Any ship that sails into a U.S. Port must be inspected by U.S. Government Agencies for health and safety. Each ship is rated and if it fails inspection it is not allowed to sail. If the problem is not that serious the ship can sail with another inspection due soon to make sure the problem is repaired.

The Labor Department does not get involved. There are no pay-scale guidelines.

I am not trying to say that all ships that do not sail into U.S. territories are unsafe.

Paul
 
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Dec 30th, 1999, 11:13 AM
  #10
JP
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Ships that fail health inspections aren't prevented from sailing.
 
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Jan 1st, 2000, 05:37 AM
  #11
Beryl Morris
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Dear Paul

Snow in Athens?? You've got to be joking. It may well fall in the highlands but not on the coast in Athens. Even if it did, you'd probably try to blame Ren Cruises for that as well.
 
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Jan 2nd, 2000, 12:46 PM
  #12
Paul Therault
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If there is even a slight hint of a bacterial outbreak the ship will not sail.

I reasearch all info printed about cities and towns throughout the world (I shouldn't say all...I have to be real careful what I say here). I was TOLD it does snow in Athens. I was never there when it snowed and I would never visit there in the early spring, late fall or winter.

O.K. Who's next?? Jeez, I hope my spelling is correct.

Paul


 
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Jan 3rd, 2000, 01:45 PM
  #13
Carolyn Brown
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Interesting reading the debate between a travel agent and cruisers. Weighing in, I've cruised on Renaissance twice since June (R1 & R2) and have had fantastic trips both times. I'd go back in a heartbeat. Great ships, excellent service, interesting ports. And clean!

Funnily, when Renaissance compares itself to lines like Princess, I think it gives itself less credit. I've cruised on Princess, Holland America, Celebrity and Carnival and Renaissance was head and shoulders above all of them.



 
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Jan 3rd, 2000, 02:07 PM
  #14
lisa
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FYI, Conde Nast Traveler now has its "gold list" of best hotels, cruises, etc. in its January 2000 issue. You can access the 1999 reader's choice results on its website at www.concierge.com. It shows that Renaissance received an overall rating of 76.5 out of 100, below Crystal, Celebrity, and Holland America but higher than Cunard, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian.

Everyone I know who has been on Renaissance cruises (to South Pacific and Greek Isles) has enjoyed them. My impression is that they're a great value for the money. The Washington Post had a very fair and balanced article about them a few months back and it was generally favorable, although it was pointed out that their reputation within the industry may not be so great because they do not market themselves through travel agents.
 
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Jan 3rd, 2000, 02:58 PM
  #15
Marti
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I've not sailed on Renaissance, but I certainly would love to! Friends of ours have sailed on them twice and are booked for Tahiti in April.

Unfortunately, their cruises to Greek Isles and Med are only 5 days each, plus land tours and we truly enjoy cruising for more than 5 days at a time! We would have taken their Med cruise if they would have kept it at 10 or 12 days (can't remember which).

I get several messages a week from Renaissance and at this time their specials are great and extend into June, July, and August. Plus you do not have to pay in full at the time of booking. By doing so, you can save money (approx $500) but it certainly is not necessary.

I'm sure there are pro's and con's of ALL cruise lines. I'd suggest just calling or E-Mailing Renaissance and ask them your questions! That's what I did! The agent I talked with was very helpful and knowledgeable. I also talked with 3 insurance companies and would have had no problem getting insurance and decent rates.

I can't comment on the cost or charge of Visa's, nor the safety/cleanliness ratings of the ships. But to date I've not read too many negatives from cruisers - the negatives seem to be coming from the TA's. When I book a cruise, I'm paying someone for their service. I'm sorry for the "disharmony" between TA's and Renaissance, but that will need to be settled by them.
 
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Jan 4th, 2000, 04:13 AM
  #16
Mary
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We were on the R1 in May of 1999 and had a perfectly wonderful time. Our only other cruise experience was 2 with RCCL. I would cruise with Renaissance again in a minute but with a teenager it will be out of the question unless we can get away for some adult time. Don't hesitate to go and don't let any TA talk you out of it. We booked through an agent and if yours tells you not to go, change agents fast! They have their well-being ahead of your good time. Also, don't get the idea that this is some bargain basement cruise -- it's 1st class in every respect. I also agree with one of the earlier posters, 5 days on the ship is not nearly enough.
 
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Jan 4th, 2000, 06:19 AM
  #17
Gary T
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I have not sailed Ren and at this time do not plan to for no particular reason. The note that I wanted to make was about insurance. I am currently looking into insurance for a cruise that we are booking and the written booklet states that they will not insure a Ren. Cruise. I thought it funny at the time, like the were going under or something but, now I see why some will not insure. Too many questions about cancelling the cruise.
 
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Jan 5th, 2000, 07:08 AM
  #18
Beth
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Just for the record, I have family in Athens, my father lived there for the first 29 years of his life. Yes, it CAN snow in Athens. It doesn't happen very often, and they don't get much accumulation. January and February do tend to be rainy and a little chilly. It would not be a good time to cruise the islands.
 
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Jan 5th, 2000, 09:36 AM
  #19
Tom M.
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Message to Paul:
You are transparent when you admit you are trying to push clients to other lines for your self interest. This is typical "commission first" sales behavior, rather than really trying to qualify your client. I don't doubt that you are a "successful" sales person. Overrides are great aren't they Paul?? Give this line a chance people. As with all businesses, they are trying to cut distribution costs and pass a portion back to their customers in the form of good value.
 
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Jan 6th, 2000, 07:39 AM
  #20
GPG
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My wife and I took the Renaissance 10 day Cruise from Athens to Istanbul in September of 1998. The ship, accomodations, and food were great.

Some of the things I didn't like,as Paul mentioned, was trying to charge my wife and I $198 for a visa that cost $98. (They are available on the spot when you arrive at your first Turkish Port @$49 ea.or by mail.)

The port charges tacked onto the ticket prices seem inflated as was the visa charge.

Their suggested tipping guide from their brochure is not what they expect when on board. You are then given a tipping guide more than double that listed in the brochure. (Which is by far, the largest tipping suggestion that we have encountered on any other cruise ship)

Many of the ports for this particular cruise, Haifa for example, are in industrial ports far removed from the town. Little opportunity to walk around the various cities on foot. You are more or less trapped into taking their very expensive tours, or watch grain being unloaded from other ships for two days.

The onboard entertainment is very sub par in comparison to all our other cruises.

The ship, food, and accomodations were very good. However, the advertised price is not always what it seems to be.



 
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