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Nunagoras

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    287
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About Nunagoras

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Lisbon, Portugal
  • Interests
    Cruising, reading, travelling other than cruising.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    MSC, RCI
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Europe

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  1. So: We have the Fantasia with 1300+ passengers to repatriate here from Lisbon right now due to the COVID-19. Portugal has declared state of Emergency last week. No news of infected or even suspected cases in the ship as far as I know. See a summary from our local news agency: https://www.lusa.pt/lusanews/article/vecEQkpqm36FR6zXU3FwtDMSZM5iuSI1/portugal-authorities-to-repatriate-1-300-cruise-passengers-that-arrived-today Have a nice day!
  2. Let us to have a break here: Whomever, in good standing, would remove any DSC from their account? Remember that those individuals to whom they are intended to be (whether the cruise lines are 100% honest on the way they distribute it with their workers is another subject not for today) are the very ones with a hard life on board to serve us!... It must to be an above the limits situation to take everyone of good standing to remove a DSC from their account!... Were I on one of those situations anywhere? Yes, I was. Let me to keep the details for myself, but even at that one I didn't remove the DSC, because the problem was between me and the involved cruise line. Not between me and those poor workers. Have a nice day!...
  3. On one or another way yo'll pay it all, that is for sure. But at least on this one this is a HUGE golden buzzer for what Virgin is actually doing. When you visit their website, it is obvious that what you'll pay is really what you see as your total bill. Here in Portugal tips are only seen as a means of rounding to facilitate small hand money transactions. Imagine an EUR 9.85 bill: You're expected to drop EUR 10.00 EUR and that is it. No more, no less. Things here are priced with that in mind and it is up to the business to pay adequately their employees. Virgin is just doing that. So now let me to return to the cruise experience: Today I was comparing those Virgin cruises quotes with what I would pay for example on MSC similar Mediterranean itinerary for an October 2021 sailing. Certainly baseline price for an MSC Inside for 3 guests with comparable service level was EUR 419.00 per guest. But now: Add EUR 200.00 for the port taxes, plus the EUR 70.00 gratuity charge; plus around EUR 150 for the non alcoholic drinks package, plus some EUR 150 for their three specialty dining package and their Cirque du Soleil show... And things will come pretty much similar to the USD 1325.00 Virgin is showing me to be as being the final per guest price! Unfortunately Virgin site doesn't show prices in EUR, but one can quite compare anyway. Viking is perhaps pricing themselves at just a little bit above the mainstream lines, at say Celebrity prices... But all of that is so relative these days!... Of course there are other things in consideration, general ship environment coming at mind right now (and at that front Virgin for me is a strong no at least for now), but if it was apples to apples considering the baseline account transparency, I would with no doubt to give them a try. While certainly little bit higher than what I am used to pay elsewhere, they don't seem to be "that" overly more expensive than the norm considering the inclusions they added to the cart and that this or the other way you'll pay wherever else... Have a nice day!
  4. So: Let us to see it from another perspective: All cruise classes of ships that were handed out from around 2005 to date (for reference one can have RCI Freedom class and newer) are fortunately modular. If Virgin (or any other owner) wants to change something, just await the next 5 to 5 years mandatory dry dock for deep revision and they can "easily" to change almost whatever else they want. That said I notice that big white oval structure around the pool... Maybe they have done a real pool and just filled most of it with a block so they can use that area for other purposes, namely such an open air disco? All of that is possible!... They might have that area done like a Lego!... Oh: Really, at certain extent all the ship is!... But indeed: Count me among those to whom cruise ship pools don't matter so much. But they are part of the tradition and kids usually love them. Oh, yeah!... VV doesn't accept kids aboard except the kid you own are!... Oh, well!... This ship is quite not functional by design... But this is not her largest malfunction, to say the least. Cabins and most of the furniture are. and the way passages are built from area to area are as well. And that entrance to the night club is simply asking for problems to say the least, unless they have any emergency doors for the case. Have a nice day!...
  5. Exactly, that's it!... Actually that Ibis Styles do seem sort of better for what it is than that Scarlet Lady ship!... It is worth to note that not all Ibis are the same. A few years ago, I was on the Ibis Amsterdam Airport that at the time was a really dirty and quite disgusting place far opposite to that clean and relatively nice space shown on your photos. What saved the experience was the hotel's staff that was above what I would expect from them to be. Services and venues may vary by the 3 labels they have and even within same label. Some are relatively nice, some quite bad, but in occasion if I need just a cheap "refuge" to rest a little bit between late arrival in town to my 8 o'clock business conference, I'm OK with booking with them... But really the look, feel and general environment of every Ibis I have seen is the same pictured on your photos!... Surprisingly the Scarlet Lady is not so far away from that, adding that strong Amsterdam's Red Light District appeal to the cart that is by the most part absent from Ibis!... Have a nice day!...
  6. TBHH; It is difficult to rate a business that hasn't even served it's very first paying costumer, right? Right! But here we have some evidence of what the real product will look like from the people invited by the company for the first few promotional cruises. And so what? Well: Personal tastes is something I won't touch here. Obviously at that front, ship decoration is relative. To each their own really!... But; general sense of quality is objective, and is so objective that one can see at a distance what is great or not so great at all. And here from the videos posted it is quite obvious that the general sense of quality is really absent from them all. And no; it is not the fact that it is always the same Virgin doing what it ever did. For the ones that don't know Virgin had a big Classics label as part of their empire (now part of Universal)!... Times evolve. Simply this ship doesn't seem to be ready for the prime time... When I first saw the idea more or less some 2 years ago, I thought that in paper the idea would to be quite nice. Something for everyone especially out of those ones whom were never cruise individuals. Then there was a big time when I stopped to listen about them. Now there is this ship ready to sail... And to say the least, honestly it doesn't transmit a very good image... I know, many on these boards come from the USA; but let me to compare things with our reality here in continental Europe: Unfortunately this ship seems such a glorified, 5 star priced, Ibis hotel, when in reality Ibis is the lowest rank entry level 2 and 3 star hotel brand here... Not what I would think about when I think on a cruise ship, but if someone has told me this was for Ibis trademark, I would with no doubt to believe!... But that is not what concerns me the most. Unfortunately, all this ship seems somewhat linked to that Amsterdam's Red Light District environment... Hum... Not exactly my idea of what a good cruise should be like, really... Is there such a niche market for that kind of cruising? Surely! But, does it suffix for a full 2800 guests per week year round? I seriously doubt. Good luck VV!!!... For me, I'm out!... 🙂 Meanwhile, in a more positive note, there are things where Virgin is being, sometimes quite surprisingly, good these days: - A set price that includes all what you'll pay available from the beginning. - Half inclusive: You have the basic beverages included on your baseline price. - No gratuities: They are included on your baseline price (TBHH; here in Lisbon, gratuities are only meant as a way of rounding to facilitate small to medium hand money transactions, not anything above that; ex: On a bill of EUR 9.75, we expect you leave EUR 10.00). - An easy way to purchase a bar bill to a certain value with an incentive (that way you'll have a set limit to consume whatever else you want from the bar with less opportunity to abuse the system... And curiously trying to avoid a drunken crowd!). - Specialty dining included on your baseline price, even though their restaurant model remains quite undisclosed yet. Time will tell what the real product is about... Arguably no buffets. Arguably all the eateries seem to be part of those big food halls you have now on the big department stores. We have one here in Lisbon where you have a few celebrity chefs with their corners, you order from a server whom is receiving orders at each stand, and you receive a card from where they can locate you at the facility and serve you accordingly where you are. If in occasion that line succeeds, I would like to see those ideas put in practice elsewhere on the cruise industry!... But I'm quite skeptical... Have a nice day!... 🙂
  7. That depends on the terms and conditions of the individual contract. Surely they will pay one way or the other... But there are many kinds of charters. If they have agreed on a full charter, then they became the "owners" of the ship for that time with both all the wonderful things that go along... And with all the responsibilities that go alongside also!... Insurance came at mind to me in the first place, but it is not the unique one. To have a full ship fully booked from a totally full charter is the best of 2 worlds for any cruise line. They ensure maximum profit with barely no risk at all and they cut several costs in the mean time!... So, they have no problems on doing it here and there!... Have a nice day!... 🙂
  8. Understandably, of course!... I have a severe crustaceans allergy at that point as that, if I eat the smallest portion of any crustacean I end up at the Hospital a few hours later... No doubt I do the same you do wherever else I go... You're not alone!... Fortunately, by reading those Viking menus, it seems that they are somewhat less crustacean based than what I would suppose!... And surely, if I wanted to splurge on such a Viking cruise, the waiters/waitresses would be quite knowledgeable about their menus and no problems at that front. Oh: And just out the curiosity: Is the World Cafe buffet more or less crustacean based than the Restaurant? And; if it is not asking too much: On another subject: Given the fact that I'm not a drinker for medical reasons: Do they have any non alcoholic cocktails at the bars? And at what prices? Have a nice day!
  9. As the others said the ship should be fine for you. If she was launched in 2015 she will be out of service for such a month this year for a mandatory dry dock for deep check and renovations. In those occasions companies do find an opportunity to do some renovations in the hotel part, and on the luxury market that Viking serves it is not uncommon to see them doing a total revamp on just everything, making them feel like real new ships!... Have a nice day and enjoy your sailings!...
  10. I was able to see the Viking website, and me think those ships don't feel like they are expedition ships!... Their inside could have been designed to be just smaller regular high luxury cruise ships!... While I haven't been inside any Viking cruise ships, those expedition ships cabins do feel more beautiful than the ones on their larger sisters!... Perhaps because they seem more simple?... Or more modern?... Or just more colorful and with more light!... They feel like they are great!... TBHH; the Italian restaurant seems redundant for me on those ships. On expedition ships you'll have such a little bit heavier schedule to follow... Perhaps no need for such a specialty day, alongside the availability from the booking system, etc. Let the MDR to be larger, with perhaps a larger menu to chose from and all would be good for the small number of passengers sailing by!... Apart from that I wouldn't mind travelling on such a ship wherever they sent them out!... 🙂
  11. All what you said is absolutely true. I'm not by far the most qualified individual to say this, someone else in better conditions to do so will hopefully come up to clarify that; but expedition ships are also more expensive to build and run than regular ships with same size. Expedition ships going to Arctic or the Antarctic do need a heavier hull and several other protections that are not cheap. They also spend more fuel per passenger when compared to similar sized regular ships... Now combine that with what you described and you'll get the figure!... Have a nice day!... 🙂
  12. ...True for the Caribbean sailings... Not so much here for the European market on the med sailings anymore these days!... And TBHH, I wouldn't pay equal EUR for MSC or the likes of RCI or NCL... At least for now I can find such a "specialty" Travel Agent (such a non profit organization whom works to facilitate travelling arrangements mostly to the very elderly and the disabled individuals) whom is a long time partner with them and whom indeed have some quite nice options at nearly the "good ole days" MSC prices!... And as long as I can snag such a good deal like those ones I will continue to cruise with them. They have a quite nice non pretentious service... But nothing more on top of it, apart perhaps the YC!... Have a nice day!...
  13. I think you'll may be doing a good deal!... Sort of a unique product for the particular region!... 🙂
  14. ...No!... They won't go after the likes of Regent or the Hapag-Lloyd!... They have no say on that market level (and I think they'll never have)!... They will go after the likes of Azamara, Oceania or especially Viking Oceans. That is their target. And they can very well to fill those 4 or more ships they are building. Plenty of Italian, French, Spanish or Portuguese folks with money enough to go and whom while speaking some English as their 2nd language, do prefer to have the comfort of some basic Latin languages support from the beginning!... Have a nice day!... 🙂
  15. ...To not talk about that there is an extremely large community of Italian, French, Spanish or Portuguese expats (from countries where MSC is pretty much well known and for whom they cater the most) living in the whole New England area (including Boston)!... It would to be a plus for them when sailing from there!...
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