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About dockman

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Holland America and Crystal

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  1. Great idea to sell books. It's not rocket science. Stock the top best sellers in paperback in one of the sundry stores where no doubt a lot of guests would buy, read and then some would leave some behind for others to read. It's one of the few things i might actually buy as i don't want a tee shirt or refrigerator magnet or any of the same ole same ole stuff. But a good book? You bet.
  2. How about do a big sneeze in your hand and then stick it out to the shakers?
  3. Maybe if all of us paper book readers would leave behind a few books every cruise we could make our own libraries if that is what it takes. With thousands of pax every cruise it wouldn't take long to once again have a decent selection of books available...of course then HAL would prob say oh we can't allow that as some staff member might have to spend an hour a day cleaning the area up...or better yet we don't want u sitting around reading books when you are supposed to be in the casino, shops and bars spending $$/
  4. About the size of a moderate sized bathroom in many american homes. Not sure i would call it beautiful or a library but it does have a few puzzles and games and fewer books than i would have in the trunk of my car some days. All in all, PITIFUL EXCUSE for a library especially on a massive ship with thousands of passengers. Just my opinion.
  5. The coronavirus like others will come and go and then we will have a new one or ten. I really don't think it's paranoid to try and protect yourself from colds, flu, viruses etc. Some people have great immune systems and seem to never catch a bug..and i know several of these types who are not known for being all that great with hand washing..others tend to catch a lot of colds etc. Airplanes for me seem to be especially viral with people hacking and sneezing and crammed together for hours. Easy to say wash your hands often but not always practical. Example: You are on anytime dining and your new tablemates all want to shake hands. Then you pick up a dinner roll and eat it with your unwashed hand. Of course you could I suppose excuse yourself and head off to the bathroom to wash up again or you could whip out a bottle of hand sanitizer...OR you could avoid it all by just not shaking to begin with. As said I have no idea of the hygiene habits of strangers but I suspect some of them are questionable at best. I now give a simple wai and avoid the whole messy mess as much as possible.
  6. Shaking a person's hand has been around all my life. It is often done almost as a reflex when we see old friends or meet new strangers. It is often seen as a polite thing to do. But is it really a good idea? Most studies I have seen say shaking hands is a primary way that a variety of nasty bugs/viruses are passed from human to human. One generally has no idea of the hygiene habits or status of the proffered hand. Many cruise line party invites now contain a line that the staff asks no hand shaking. Of course it seems the fist bump is slowly evolving as a new way to "shake" hands with the idea that virus transmission is lessened (or maybe that you are cool/hip). I was lucky to live many years in Thailand where shaking a person's hand is not the norm. Instead the Thais typically give a "wai" as a means of respect when greeting old friends or meeting new ones. The Thai wai has been around for generations and there are a variety of wai "styles" as to how the wai is offered depending on the situation and/or class of who is being greeted. I always loved the gesture of a simple wai, the clasping together of your hands along with a slight bow of the head. No person to person physical contact at all. So the question is...Is it time for other cultures to perhaps copy the Thais, do away with handshakes and often awkward fist bumps etc? I really do not like shaking peoples hands and then wondering where that hand may have been. But when someone sticks their hand out it seems rude not to respond with something...and it just seems off to have to say sorry i don't shake hands. So is a simple "wai" ok or do people somehow find that offensive?
  7. What happened to the several thousand passengers who were likely waiting to board the ship? Haven't seen how Princess handled their cancelled travel plans? I would assume they had to put them in hotels, change flights, etc. Anybody seen any reports on them.? Obviously not as bad as the pax onboard but having made the long flights to asia what a bummer to deal with.
  8. Will Princess be properly staffed with bar and wait staff to handle the influx of drink orders that will likely expand greatly with all the people who have the Best Sale booze package? I can envision some very long lines as people who normally don't utilize some of these services drink more booze and coffee to "get their moneys worth". Will you be allowed to order more than one drink at a time to avoid having to wait for a second drink? Will there be additional staff circulating in the show room where it can already be a fairly long wait sometimes to get a drink. What about staffing in speciality coffee areas? Will they have extra staff taking and delivering drinks in the MDR or Lido restaurants where it can already be a wait to get served? With recent staff cutbacks where will they pull extra staff from to assist with increased drink demand? Let's hope that marketing is actually coordinating with onboard services that have to actually deliver the promised product.
  9. I used the Pan Pacific bell desk several times..very easy...ground /street level at front of hotel...yep $5 CDN per piece a year ago was the rate. No line to speak of..nice people, no hassles.
  10. If they can do medallions one might think they could use technology to secure the library...IF IF they really wanted to do it. Seems a self service checkout system would/could identify who has checked out a book and their account would be charged if not returned? I am highly dubious that theft is the primary reason for the decline of libraries...and yes i know a lot of people like kindles but i also know that a lot of people like real books and the peace and quiet a library normally provides. Libraries make extensive use of RF and RFID: RF tags to secure their stock and RFID tags to make it possible for people to use self-service checkout machines. When you check books in or out of a library using one of those machines, you've probably wondered how it knows which book you're borrowing without you having to scan a barcode. The answer is that there is an RFID chip stuck inside the book's cover. When you place your book on the glass plate, the machine reads the book's details instantly and automatically by sending a radio signal to the chip. Since radio waves pass straight through cardboard and paper, you don't even have to open up the book!
  11. Yes one can sometimes find a quiet place to read but it seems that they are getting harder to find with the cut backs on libraries, prom deck chairs etc... I have sat down many times in a lounge that started out quiet but then either was near some kind of activity with lots of talking or a gang of folks come sit down to have long loud chats which of course is their prerogative. It also can happen in a library but it does seem that many people (perhaps a memory of a strict librarian during younger days) still hold a library as a "quiet" place. Out by the pools there always seems to be some kind of music playing and more and more of the big new ships (princess especially) now play movies all day and half the night with the sound blasting everyone whether you want it or not. Silence is an endangered state on many cruise ships. I have often wandered around ships from lounge to lounge in search of the elusive well lite quiet place to simply read a book, finally give up and go back to my room for some peace and quiet.
  12. Seems many don't seem to appreciate that libraries were often more than just a place to display books...they are/were often a relatively quiet oasis with nice lighting and comfy chairs where one could sit in relative peace and quiet and read a paper book or kindle or even a newspaper or magazine without blaring music or sales pitches etc. I miss the libraries almost as much as proper promenade decks where you could actually walk real laps and sit in a nice teak deck chair close to the ocean in the shade and not have to try to look at the water from 15 or so decks through often dirty plexiglass/
  13. Big volume agencies get 15% commission plus additional overrides. They also do big group bookings at lower rates and then sell individuals into those group bookings. They then rebate a big chunk of the commissions in the form of cash back, OBC, gift cards, etc. This has been going on for several years in spite of many cruise lines half hearted attempts to control it. It is very similar to what happened 20 years ago when big agencies were making 15%++ on airline ticket sales. Then of course some agencies started rebating half or more of the commission direct to big corporate accounts. Eventually the airlines concluded that if we are paying you so much money that you can give half or more of it away as rebates then we are paying you TOO much money. After several attempts to control the out of control rebating agencies the airlines started to cut travel agents commissions first to 5% and ultimately the commission rate went to zero. Of course the evolution of the internet made many suppliers and agencies services less of a mystery and less valuable as more people could finally find fares, seats, routes, etc and book their flights direct with the airlines. As a result thousands of travel agencies went out of business. Now as a result of the massive cruise rebates offered by the massive agencies more and more ma and pa travel agencies simply cannot give away half or more of their cruise commissions to compete and must either continue to cut staff and service or go out of business. It is a matter of time until the cruise lines will also act more forcefully to quit allowing the big agencies to undercut the cruise lines own selling prices. All it will take is for one or two of the major lines to figure out that by cutting big commission payments and offering additional perks for those who book direct with the cruise lines that their bottom line will improve. That and the rapidly improving web sites that remove much of the mystery of picking a ship, a room etc. For those who don't think this will happen ask a few thousand travel agencies who were told for decades by airlines that they were their "partners in travel". All of the boasting and bragging on sites like this about what massive rebates you got/get from big box stores will hasten the day. And no I don't begrudge anyone for taking the rebates.
  14. I also used this company from anc to seward....could not have been better service, driver, guide. Oh that every travel company performed this well at least on my one time to use them.
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