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About Stateroom_Sailor

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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    HAL, Viking
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. I've bookmarked your blog, and will definitely keep an eye out. We'll be embarking right about the time that the shorter of the two main Christmas market opens in Budapest, so won't miss much heading towards Passau. We were happy with X from 2014 - 2018, but the food cuts and ingredient shortages, were embarrassing in April 2019. Should they run out of pineapple while anchored in Maui, but were able to round up frozen mixed veggies? I realize that may have been a temporary supply or cash flow problem, but at this point, I would only consider Galapagos or Antarctica. We are hopefully sailing on Koningsdam from April 24th - May 8th, and October 20th - 31st. The Riveria portion starts October 24th. We're looking forward to trying Pinnacle Class, and being in forward wraparound suites (especially in Alaska!) 21 consecutive port days, that sounds like a trip of a lifetime! But one that you may need a couple days post-cruise to rest up from. We'll have to lean towards the restful transatlantic or transpacific. I even bought a future cruise credit for Azamara, onboard our last X cruise, after seeing a 2019 veranda for $2,200, Tokyo to Seward. The foreseeable future, no such luck...
  2. I just saw your post on X regarding switching to Viking Ocean. They'll have the pitchforks ready if I reply there. While we've switched mainly to HAL, I completely agree with your move to VO if you're moving into the premium/luxury market. If I could afford it, I would probably do the same. TA pricing is extremely reasonable when you consider all that is included, definitely worth sticking our foot into the water. For now, we have a Christmas Market river cruise booked for 2022 (at pre-Christmas prices), and will hopefully book VO onboard.
  3. Glad the situation was solved. We've recently switched from the BB store to an online TA to use our American Express Platinum benefits. We still use the original company's credit card for tours and hotel expenses, but I much prefer OBC, the Amex partnership, and occasional discounts.
  4. Passengers that want cheap cabins, combined with soaring operational expenses (interest on debt), means a significant reduction in bookings if those cabin prices start to spike. RCCL's Oasis of the Seas can allegedly break even / turn a profit at a 40% occupancy. The larger efficient ships can move forward with less sticker shock. Each smaller ship that is let go, strengthens the demand of the remaining ships, while losing a percentage of frugal and destination travelers. It will be interesting to see where the cruise line goes from here.
  5. Costa seems to have lost 4/15 ships too, but Carnival has a much larger fleet. It has been a couple years since I've seen the numbers, but I'm almost certain that HAL passengers are more profitable than Carnival. Maybe Pinnacle Class is the future, in that we'll see more growth in this direction.
  6. Princess is losing 2 /19 ships, or 10.5% HAL is losing 4 / 15 ships, or 26.7% They must see Princess' future as more robust to the bottom line..
  7. We got at least 1 flyer per week from HAL, for a good 4 years. Once we sailed our first cruise, they significantly laid off. Not sure if it was a marketing change coincidence, or if they figured we'd bitten the hook.
  8. Oh that's right, sister ship to Nieuw Amsterdam. The choice is obvious then.
  9. I would pick Eurodam for the itinerary, Icy Straight and Sitka are less common ports. Icy Straight is a more authentic port to experience nature, Alaskan Native culture, or zip line down the mountain. Those who disembark for shopping, for chains such as Diamonds International, may be visibly and vocally disappointed. We added Alaska onto our coastal for a B2B, even considered flying to Seattle the same day to switch ships, but it didn't seem worth it. I would lean towards the amenities on Koningsdam, but many would prefer the smaller ship experience of Euroadam. Itinerary always leads the decision.
  10. I doubt they're all going away, not without efficient replacements. Too big of a niche to hand it all to the luxury market. And if HAL did gave up on exotic itineraries, a vacuum will always be filled.
  11. The foresight outshines the competition, IMO. A new supply and demand are coming, the sooner they prepare for it the better. A cruise line does not want to get caught in 2023, sailing 2/3 full ships, trying to figure out which ships to drop during active sailings. Still, I hope the Zaandam and Volendam are spared as well.
  12. For the most part, no, though it is a disappointment to have missed Japan this year. It would have been nice to at least fly somewhere, such as Hawaii, Cayman, or Aruba. I think half of what I enjoy most about cruising is the anticipation, fingers are crossed for 2021.
  13. I view it as an attempt to add a little Royal Caribbean "WOW factor", such as the Rising Tide Bar on Oasis of the Seas. Unless they got the early tender issues solved, it is a flawed design. At least it can be used as a bar and lounge while docked.
  14. From my loose memory reading, I thought that the restaurant got cancelled due to high winds, everything flying, such as pillows, napkins, food. Initially at least, they had trouble using it as a tender with the onboard operators. It became a bar/lounge while stationary in port, pending wind conditions.
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