Second Mate

Hometown: Los Angeles
Joined: 08/02/2011
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About stufalk

Strategic Marketing Consultant focusing on digital media, travel & international commerce currently living in Los Angeles (Hollywood), I have lived in worked in (my hometown) New York City (New York Times), Paris (International Chamber of Commerce, the Principality of Monaco (V. Ships / Vlasov Group) and San Francisco ( Graduated from the Fieldston School, Tufts University (B.A.) and the University of Virginia School of Law (J.D.). Enjoy traveling (have been on over 55 cruises), meeting interesting people from different cultures and backgrounds, reading, and theater.



stufalk's Upcoming Cruises

stufalk's Past Cruises

Tere Moana

April 2015 - Tere Moana to Transatlantic

Exceptionally Fine & Caring Service on Ideal Small Luxury Ship

Let me start with what I think distinguishes the M/S Tere Moana of Paul Gauguin Cruises from other small, deluxe category cruise ships: An outstanding on board staff, professional and truly dedicated to guest satisfaction, who enjoy working together as a well coordinated team. This is reflected in an exceptionally fine passenger experience.

The food is outstanding, both in regard to the quality of the ingredients and preparation. The included alcoholic beverages are top shelf and the complimentary wine of high quality.

While I had a stateroom with a nice balcony, holding both a lounge chair and small table with 2 chairs for drinks or dining (there is a large and varied free room service menu) on deck 5, I have seen the other stateroom configurations on decks 3 & 4, all of which are of generous size (there are no inside staterooms). The bathrooms are fine & functional, with showers that have curved sliding doors, rather than the clingy shower curtains found on other ships, and the toiletries are L'Occitane.

The bed (king size or twin configurations) is extremely comfortable with bed linens of the highest quality.

The officers, including the Captain, enjoy mingling & sharing meals with the guests (on this voyage both the Captain & Staff Captain were from Sweden).

The shore excursion options were well planned.

to summarize, on the Tere Moana, Paul Gauguin cruises provides an outstanding cruise experience, which can be recommended with enthusiasm.

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Azamara Journey

November 2012 - Azamara Journey to Other (Asia/Africa/Middle East)

Exceptionally Warm Hospitality and Great Itinerary

I booked a back-to-back itinerary which took me from Mumbai, India to Singapore, with ports (many overnights) in India, Sri Lanka, The Maldives, Myanmar and Thailand. This was a fascinating itinerary and the many overnights al;lowed for in-depth touring. In most ports I booked one of the ship's excursions (the excursion staff was the most knowledge and helpful I've experienced on over 50 cruises) while going on my own or booking a private tour (there is an onboard concierge to help with this) when we were in a port for 2 days (actual;ly 2 nights & 3 days in Myanmar). However, while I was attracted by the ports of call, what also stands out in my memory is the warm hospitality of the onboard service staff coupled with food that overall equalled or surpassed that that I've enjoyed on luxury lines, including Seabourn. Fellow passengers were, as one might expect, well traveled and a joy to meet for good conversation and congeniality. The Azamara Journey's officers were also very visible, including the Captain, and mingled socially with the guests. While my luded fine boutique wines at lunch and dinner, these are now complimentary in all bars as well. One of my favorite hang-outs was the coffee bar, where (again complimentary) specialty coffees and snacks are available throughout the day. Bottom Line: Azamara Club Cruises offers one of the best values in the business for guests who are seeking a combination of interesting itineraries, overnights in ports and the warmest service and some of the finest cuisine at sea. Bravo Azamara: Well done.

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stufalk's Tips

Madeira, Portugal - Madeira is a scenic island with some great views. (If possible take High Tea at Reeds Hotel).
Lisbon, Portugal - Fascinating city, nice people: reminds me of a combination of Barcelona & San Francisco
Tere Moana Tere Moana - After a few days on board the Tere Moana you will feel like family, with all the staff members remembering your name as well as your preferences.
Azamara Journey Azamara Journey - Dine under the stars for dinner, at the rear of the ship, behind the buffet restaurant.

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