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About Heidi13

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    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    British Columbia
  • Interests
    Travel, Photography, Swimming, Walking Dogs, Football (Glasgow Rangers)
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Viking Ocean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
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  1. Your on-board spend budget is very similar in total to our actual spend on the 2015 WC R/T Sydney. However, once everything was included, our total spend for both of us when adding Bus Flights, hotels for a couple of nights pre-cruise, Visas, etc was about $100K when using US$. Our cabins alone were about US $35,000 pp, even with all discounts applied for booking on a previous cruise. Being Elite we had no internet or laundry costs and the bar fridge was refilled 4 times (each segment).
  2. The ship's AIS currently shows her in Haifa (alongside) and the track shows she entered Ashdod, circled off the berth and sailed North to Haifa.
  3. Loose crowns can be re-attached using some toothpaste. Works well as a temporary solution until you can visit a dentist.
  4. Totally agree that style of cruising is one of our primary factors in deciding a cruise line and is why we switched from Princess to Viking. With respect to cruise costs, Viking & Oceania may cost more when making the booking, but by the end of the cruise, in our experience, the difference is minimal. Just looked at the 2021 Princess prices, noting that when extrapolated for 119 nights, our Viking cruise is CAN $15,000 more pp for a similar cabin location. However we have $4,500 OBC pp and included Bus Class flights costing about $7K pp. Our on-board spend from our 2015 Princess WC cruise (with almost similar benefits as you have) would easily make up the difference in cost.
  5. Been to many of the World's ports, so it is challenging to find cruises with all new ports. Look for ports that I may not have visited since the 70's, seeing out how they have changed. For more recent repeats we either take a different tour, or just wander around using local transit.
  6. Boxed lunches were common back in the 70's & 80's, but most Cruise Lines stopped providing them due to liability from lack of refrigerated storage. I am pleasantly surprised to here that Viking still offers them. They were excellent on a full day tour where no restaurants were available.
  7. Responded on that thread with my best guess. Nothing that I have seen before in a pax space.
  8. Must admit that it is not a situation I have seen, or had installed on any of my ships. The only vertical drop fire screens I have seen are fire curtains installed in pass-through between the galley & servery. For obvious reasons they have to be a slow controlled drop. I have never seen vertical drop doors in pax spaces. Best guess is the shutter is a security device to isolate the gangway from the remainder of the vessel. The ships security plan would outline procedures for use. They may have seen something on x-ray that initiated a response. I can only hope the door descended in a controlled manner and a warning bells sounded during the descent. Hopefully the Chief will see this one, as he has more recent cruise ship experience.
  9. This is incorrect. On completing their contract, MLC 2006 requires all crew to be repatriated to their home airport. Flights are arranged and paid by the company and the crew are delivered from the ship to the airport, normally by the ship's agent. When crew quit, or are terminated with cause they may be responsible for own repatriation costs. Apologies for duplication, just noted the Chief already responded.
  10. Budget - Early & late season (May & Sept/Oct) are generally the cheapest. Based on personal experience, I always suggest May over Sept/Oct. May is generally has reasonable weather & low rainfall. May also has longer periods of daylight and some remnants of snow on the mountains. Sept/Oct has decreasing daylight and a higher risk of storms. I worked Alaska cruises for 2 consecutive seasons and we experienced a significant Sept storm each year. With respect to cabin, we normally book a balcony, but in Alaska, always opt of an inside cabin due to the longer daylight hours. Departure Port - Seattle is 100 miles further from Alaska and due to PVSA must only offer R/T cruises, so in addition to potential rough seas, you only see the commercial SE Alaska. Vancouver has R/T & 1-way options to/from Whittier/Seward, which includes Prince William Sound. If considering a Seattle departure, I suggest comparing in-port times, as the Seattle ships must travel further and must also visit Victoria to comply with PVSA. The previous reply pertaining to PVSA is not accurate. On R/T cruises, the ship is required to visit a foreign port, which includes Canadian ports. Most Seattle cruises make a short stop in Victoria. If the cruise is not R/T, then you must visit a "Distant Foreign Port", of which none are available, within reason.
  11. After 6 months on Oceania, it must be a challenge going back to Princess. Worked & cruised with them for 35+ years, but after Viking Ocean🙂, we won't be returning to Princess.
  12. Jim - Thanks for the explanation. I noted on AIS that the speed had dropped to 17kts on the last day, which with the freshet seemed low. Never been in the Amazon, so what is your best guess for the current?
  13. Jim - Hope you received additional OBC for securing the boats. Affirmative, we will be in 4058, which if memory if correct is 4 aft of you. Without subscribing to Sat service, AIS still shows you clearing the Amazon, assuming you are already in Blue Water and have already crossed the Line, so how did the ceremony go.
  14. Crew hours of work are highly regulated by the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) of 2006 and the various subsequent amendments. The requirements of this Convention must be implemented by Flag States that are signatory to the convention. With respect to the linked article, I didn't read it, as I find that most of them are inaccurate and the quoted crew members are not normally representative of the thousands of crew happily working on cruise ships and other vessels. The definition of a day off for a mariner is also significantly different than for those working ashore. When I worked cruise ships my work/rest ratio was 4 months on/ 2 months off. How many landlubbers get 2 continuous 2 month breaks every year on full pay? During my 4 months aboard I had no landlubber type days off, as I worked a continuous 4 hr on, 8 hr off shift, with additional hours, as required. I note some contracts are now 10-12 wks on/ 10-12 wks off. When in port, when not on watch we could go ashore. The ratings & hotel crew may not have enjoyed the same ratio, but they still received at least a full month off between contracts. Some Lines now offer ratings 6 month contracts. In addition to hours of work, all non-watchkeeping crew have In Port Manning (IPM) duties. Even alongside, the Master is required to maintain an adequate shipboard response. Therefore, each department has a number of IPM cards, which are distributed every time in port. The frequency depends on number of staff in any given department, but will be 1 day aboard about every 3 - 6 ports. The Premium/Luxury crews should have a better IMP ratio than mega ships. During time aboard, my commute to/from work was 10 to 15 seconds, while the ratings may require a few minutes. No 1 or 2 hour drives to/from work. All meals are also prepared, so no meal preparation or clean up time. Cruise Lines are no different to shore side employers in that some are no doubt better than others. Some meet the minimum requirements of MLC 2006, while others provide better terms & conditions, to enhance employee retention and levels of service. While I am no longer privy to remuneration levels and contracts, I do believe that the Premium/Luxury brands, such as Azamara probably have better terms & conditions of employment than some mega ships. However, even with the continuous increase in the number of operational cruise ships and their ever increasing size, there is no shortage of crew members, many of whom return year after year. Why do they keep returning - in my experience of working and latterly cruising, many crew maintain an excellent standard of living in their home countries, well above what they could expect from local employment.
  15. I do all the research including making a provisional booking, then hand it over to our T/A to confirm, so we get the OBC.
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