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THE READER'S PAGE

2 Renaissance Views

September 03, 2000

Regarding "Renaissance Line Is Reborn With Bigger R Ships" (Cruise Views, Aug. 20): As owner of a cruise-oriented travel agency, I challenge the writers' implication that the only reason travel agents were "annoyed" with Renaissance was due to the line's "previous agent commission policy."

A commission cap was the last reason our agency did not handle this line. The real reasons were unreasonable cancellation penalties, inability to obtain travel insurance (due to these high penalties), the requirement to pay upfront for the cruise to get promotional discounts and the line's aggressive consumer-direct marketing strategy.

We welcome the line's positive steps and new management restructuring, and we are watching closely as we consider handling this line in the future.

SCOTT MARVEL

Lake Forest

*

In July we completed our third Renaissance cruise in a little over 12 months. We have been on the R2, the R3 and the R6. The ships are delightful. The food is good and plentiful.

You mentioned the library but did not give it its just due. It has current bestsellers and an assortment of nonfiction books. The entertainment is adequate, but don't expect the glitz you will find on the Princess or Celebrity lines. The line's no-smoking policy is terrific, and for those of us who have raised our families, the absence of children is delightful.

A couple of gripes: I am glad to see that they have finally decided to use travel agents. We booked all of our own cruises directly over the telephone and found that their agents were not very helpful and sometimes could be curt and even rude. Their recommended tipping policy is more than double that suggested by other cruise lines. Their tour prices were outrageous; we found we could get the same tours at better prices in each port.

But all in all, Renaissance gives you good value.

LEONARD SMALL

Oceanside

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