Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

Everything posted by Heidi13

  1. The 100% capacity is normally based on double occupancy of the total number of pax cabins. This is not the ship's total compliment, which is based on the capacity of the Survival Craft and Assembly Stations. The ship can sail at over 100 % capacity (based on double occupancy), but the total number of pax, crew, contractors, etc cannot exceed the maximum compliment and the capacity of each Assembly Station cannot be exceeded. Ships sailing at over 100% capacity is achieved by filling the 3rd and 4th bunks in a number of cabins. In addition, many ships have additional cabins available in crew areas, which if pax cabins are full, can be assigned to the friends and family members, who don't have an assigned cabin before departure. These cabins are not counted when determining the ship's capacity. Sailing with our son, we have been assigned one of the cabins on a number of cruises, when no pax cabins were available. Any empty pax cabins upon departure are often filled by the friends/family members approved to sail.
  2. Having completed World Cruises on both Princess (mass market) and Viking Ocean (premium), we experienced more snobbery on Princess than on Viking. On Princess we experienced the Platinum Card crowd and the Suites crowd, with many in both groups believing they were special. Viking have no loyalty program, so once outside the cabin, everyone is treated equally. Yes, those booking more expensive cabins receive pre-cruise booking perks, but once onboard everyone is equal. Comparing the cost of both cruises, the Viking base fare was significantly higher, but after the cruise, when all costs were accounted for, the daily cost was virtually identical.
  3. Haven't used that product, but before every trip I research the requirements of the countries we are visiting, which includes visas, passports and medications. I use the UK & Canadian Govt sites, which are updated frequently, so I expect the US Govt has a similar website. These websites are the closest to a master list that I am aware of. When countries do have restrictions, you may need to know the actual drug name rather than the trade name.
  4. We have also travelled the World extensively and have never found an issue finding the correct medication. DW discusses the Canadian or British drug name (not trade name) with the Chemist and they have always managed to identify what it is called in that country. BTW - many countries have restrictions on OTC medications, not just prescription medications. Some that I recall are Indonesia, Singapore, Oman, Egypt, etc. This information is readily available on the UK Foreign & Commonwealth website and the Canadian equivalent, I expect the US provides a similar service.
  5. When you have the ability to advise the cruise line/ship in advance of your desire to remain ashore and re-join at a subsequent port, I see no need to intentionally missing the ship. Without knowing specific details of embarkation/disembarkation ports, the ship's Flag and itinerary, it is impossible to know all the potential issues with deliberately missing the ship. Depending on the ship's Flag, you could have potential Cabotage Law infractions, which can incur significant fines. The ship may also assess fees for making changes to the manifest, especially if it was determined you planned to miss the ship. Depending on the country, you also have potential immigration issues, as the ship requested clearance for pax to spend the day ashore and depart the same day. Deliberately staying longer contravenes the ship's clearance and may be subject to fines, or worse. Since most Masters will delay departure and the crew normally retrieve and land ashore passports, documents, etc it is a major inconvenience to the Master, ship's crew and all pax that followed the rules. This proposed plan would be "Bad Form"
  6. Since US currency is not legal tender in Canada, it is hardly stealing. By accepting foreign currency the business is doing your FIL a favour. If your FIL didn't take the time to exchange US for Canadian, the business is under no obligation to even offer you 1:1. By accepting US currency, which I believe is still old paper notes that are more easily forged, the business is incurring a higher risk. They also require more work to deposit foreign currency and complete the accounting process. Additional risk and extra work require extra fees, so requesting 1:1 is not unreasonable, when your FIL could have used a credit card or taken the time to exchange currencies.
  7. While it is possible, you would need to get prior approval from the cruise line. Although the ship is on a R/T sailing, both of your voyages would be classed as International Voyages, so US Cabotage Laws (PVSA) are not applicable. In most cases, no cruise line can prevent you from disembarking the cruise ship, but you may be liable for fees and/or fines. Therefore, best to get approval in advance and ensure you have the proper Visa or electronic visa for the length of your proposed stay, as opposed to only a day port visit. On the proposed return cruise, you would technically be a no-show at embarkation, so would be subject to the cruise line's terms & conditions. Generally, no-shows result in a automatic cancel and the cabin is re-allocated, often to one of the friends/family program pax. Therefore, to ensure a cabin remained available, you would require prior approval to be a no show at embarkation. It goes without saying that you would need to book both full cruises.
  8. I found our current TA the same way I hired/fired employees. Started off with making a list of what we wanted from a TA. Then wore out shoe leather by interviewing them. Not all TA's provide the same levels of service, so TA's recommended by friends/family may not always meet your needs.
  9. Without knowing your embarkation port, it is impossible to provide a definitive answer. If you are embarking in a different UK port then UK Cabotage Laws may be applicable. I haven't studied UK shipping acts since the 1970's, so am not aware of the current requirements. Any contravention of Cabotage Laws can result in a fine to the shipping line, which is then passed on to the pax. If you embark outside UK, it would then be classed as an International Voyage, so Cabotage Laws are not applicable. In general, cruise lines cannot restrict any passenger from disembarking; however, pax could be liable for a number of fees, if not approved in advance. The ship must make changes to the manifest, with many cruise lines charging a fee for completing this work. The shore authorities may also have to provide additional customs/immigration officials. You are also required to ensure any visas or e-visas are correct for disembarking, as opposed to only visiting for the day. As other have indicated, it is always best to submit a request in advance and receive approval, to mitigate the potential of being hit with significant fees.
  10. On our first WC we experienced segments even shorter - Sydney to Melbourne, which is 2 nights with 1 sea day. About 600 booked this segment. They also sold Sydney to Freemantle and Melbourne to Freemantle.
  11. Based on conversations with the Viking Sun Chief Engineer on the 20 WC, he mentioned the next class of vessels would be slightly larger to meet updated SOLAS requirements. Unfortunately, in retirement, I no longer monitor SOLAS amendments, so can't comment. When it comes to re-design, the additional length and beam could have been added anywhere, so I concur with you that the addition of hydrogen is the driving force behind the location of the SOLAS required additional space. The hydrogen fuel cell, associated equipment and hydrogen tanks all require additional space.
  12. Northbound from Vancouver, most of the time you have land on both sides or nothing, except possibly the very tops of mountains. Departing Vancouver, the port side has better views through the harbour, but the stbd side is probably better through English Bay. Once clear of Pt Atkinson, the port side has the setting sun, which at times, can be excellent. Sunset is before Seymour Narrows, so you steam through the Inside Passage at night, although you may catch the top end if cruising close to the solstice. At the top end of the Inside Passage, you have better views on the port side, until clearing Queen Charlotte Sound.
  13. Sorry, don't know the legal requirements, but when called, we have always received assistance.
  14. Although the authorities at the next port have no jurisdiction, the Master and/or the Flag State can request assistance. Unfortunately, I have never dealt with what happens after they are landed ashore and have not been required to research this area when drafting policies & procedures. An example of the Master requesting assistance would be when I completed the Aussie season on SS Oriana. Every 2-weeks we boarded a couple of local Police Officers, who received a complimentary cruise. On the Bridge, we had their cabin number/pagers and called them 24/7 to assist with the numerous incidents we had on board. Any pax arrested were offloaded at the next port.
  15. Having operated many rigid hull inflatables, most of which were manufactured by Zodiac, there are way too many variables to provide a definitive answer. Generally, RHIB's are not the most comfortable, and in any seaway at high speed they are constantly slamming into waves. If it is a smaller boat where you sit on the buoyancy chambers holding onto the becketed line, that would be extremely difficult with a damaged shoulder. If it is a bigger boat, such as a Zodiac 733, with bench seating, a careful Coxn, slow speed and calm waters, you should have no issue. However, the conditions are rarely like that throughout an entire tour. Wouldn't be my choice of tour, if I had a damaged shoulder.
  16. Responsibility for any activity aboard a ship is clearly laid out in UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on Laws of the Sea). It clearly states that no nation can exercise jurisdiction upon a vessel on the High Seas, unless that vessel is registered with that Flag State. All 160+ nations signatory to this convention must enact these requirements in their local shipping regulations. If any crime is committed in International Waters, it falls under the jurisdiction of the Flag State. If a crime is committed in Territorial Waters, it is normally still the jurisdiction of the Flag State unless, for example, said crime impacts the coastal state, or the Master requests assistance. For crimes in International Waters, the Master would request the assistance of Police at the next port to arrest the culprit and remove from the vessel. The USA is one of only a few Nations that are not signatory to UNCLOS, hence the reason they can enact legislation giving the FBI jurisdiction on a foreign flagged vessel. This would not be possible if the USA was signatory to UNCLOS.
  17. Jim - all going well. Although not quite as hot as Phoenix, as we will hit 99 or 100F today, so just perfect. My only time on single screw, single basic rudder and no thruster was driving the lifeboats/tenders on Uganda/Oriana/Canberra. Even these days the tenders are twin screw and have thrusters. All our ships were either azimuthing, double enders or twin screw + thrusters, as on Ro/Pax we didn't have time in the schedule for docking a single screw ship. However, it was still part of the Master's Oral Exam and was one of the questions I was asked. Turn a single RH screw with single rudder short around in a river. Use of anchor optional. One benefit of basic rudders is the ability to steer going astern. With the older ships, backing out the berth, we could use 10 degrees of rudder and the stern would follow. With high lift rudders, was never able to get the stern to react. Had to get the ship swinging in the berth and then pour on the stern power. I also have minimal experience with tugs, as we only used them entering and leaving Esquimalt Drydock and the ferries own refit complex in the Fraser River.
  18. Theoretically, Azipod ships could be handled similar to water jet propulsion, where the entire ship can be moved sideways with only stern propulsion and no side thrusters. However, to achieve this you require 1 pod ahead, 1 pod astern, with both pods angled out. The angle out requires each pod's vector to act through the ship's centre of rotation (CoR). The resultant parallelogram of forces provides a single vector at 90 degrees to the centre line. Changing the pod angle to have the resultant ahead of the CoR will cause the ship to still move sideways, leading by the head. Conversely, changing the pod angle do the resultant is aft of the CoR, mean the ship moves sideways, leading by the stern. Therefore, to move the ship sideways without trusters, both azipods must be pointing out, not both facing dockwards. The thrust from 1 pod is astern and the other ahead. All my azimuthing thruster commands had 4 pods, 2 fwd and 2 aft, so I haven't commanded a stern only Azipod vessel. I have many months with a 38,000 HP High Speed Craft with multiple water jets. Azipods provide similar azimuthing capabilities as water jets, so my assumption is an Azipod vessel could be handled in a similar manner with minimal wind. We did have a small 300HP thruster, but it was basically useless. Therefore, all ship handling was from jets at the stern. It was both very manoeuvrable and fun to handle. My understanding, in most cases, Azipod vessels also use thrusters, as the pods do not provide sufficient thrust to counter decent winds and/or tides. I also have many years commanding conventional propulsion vessels with controllable pitch props, high lift rudders and thrusters. All of these vessels were equally as manoeuvrable as an Azipod vessel, with my docking times a fraction of the time required on an Azipod cruise ship. I concur, no conventional propulsion vessel can move sideways using only stern propulsion, as can water jets and Azipods, but cruise ships can only attain this in almost flat calm. Since most Azipod vessels also require side thrusters, conventional vessels with CP props and high lift rudders are equally manoevrable as Azipods.
  19. Azipod is the trademarked name for the original azimuthing pods containing an electric motor and propellor (s) that rotate, providing thrust 360 degrees. The original azimuthing propulsion systems (that I know of) were known as Z-drives, which had propellers hanging below the hull that could rotate 360 degrees. These were mechanical systems with the prop connected to the engine by a shaft. The prop rotated 360 degrees and thrust was either achieved by controllable pitch or increasing the prop RPM. All my ships with this type of system had controllable pitch props and were very manoeuvrable. Cruise ships are generally diesel electric, rendering the mechanical z-drive systems unusable, so the Fins developed an azimuthing thruster with an integrated electric motor, which is known as the "Azipod". Although trademarked, all similar systems from other manufacturers are often referred to as Azipods. The pods include the electric motor which is directly connected to the propeller. The entire pod rotates through 360 degrees, which directs the thrust. They are normally controlled by a single control on the Bridge, with the pod rotating to follow rotation of the controller and a lever to increase/decrease the thrust. These systems do not require separate rudders and azipod ships are very manoeuvrable. Definitely superior to fixed prop and basic semi-balanced rudder systems. However, ships with CP props and high lift rudders or water jets are equally as manoeuvrable. Azimuthing relates to direction. Aboard ships, the most common being the ship's heading or course steered. When referencing a ship's true course, it is the angle from true north going to the right (clockwise) to the ship's current heading. When a ship is steaming East the course is 090 or in terms of azimuth, 90 degrees. With azimuthing thrusters, the azimuth is the horizontal angle from a base line to the direction of thrust. In this case, rather than true north, all ships I commanded, used the ships head as the base line, so the azimuth was to either port or stbd from 0 to 180 degrees.
  20. As with many airports around the World, it depends on the number of International flights that have arrived recently and the size of the aircraft. Have flown into Vancouver many times and experienced everything from virtually no delay to an hour.
  21. I know the TA's are licensed Provincially, which in BC is the Consumer Protection Branch. Unfortunately, I don't know enough of the process to know if they would take action against an unlicensed TA, or a person selling 3rd party tours.
  22. Affirmative, we do have reasonable consumer protection laws, but ones specific to travel agencies vary by Province. Unfortunately, in this case, I don't believe the vendor was a registered travel agent, so if consumer protection is available in that Province, it would not cover the bookings made with an unlicensed agent.
  23. Can't comment on mainland Europe, but in UK you have a number of factors that cause increased prices - tips are included, prices are inclusive of taxes and fees, unless departure is from a UK port, flights to/from are often included and the superior consumer protection laws cost money. As with all cruises, pricing varies based on supply and demand. When we booked a Baltic Cruise a few years ago, booking through a UK travel agency was cheaper than a Canadian or US TA, so the UK ones aren't always more expensive.
  24. That's similar to what we did on the cargo ships, but cruise ships had to advise pax of the Noon position, days run, average speed, etc right at Noon. When Mer/Alt was close to Noon or after, we couldn't wait to determine the Noon position, as once 8-bells sounded, the Noon position was broadcast. We worked up a Noon DR, then additional DR's for 08:30, 09:00, 09:30, 10:00 & 10:30. If Mer Alt was after Noon, we might start sights at 09:00 and add another at 11:00. We then did most of the calculations in the template, usually before the 2nd sight at 09:00. Sights were taken to the second, with a spotter counting down the time. Within minutes of getting the altitude, we had a bearing and intercept to plot. By 10:30, the position lines generally gave a reasonable cocked hat that we could select a Noon position. We then completed the day's run calculations and got the Noon speech ready. Also took Mer/Alt, but it was really only to confirm our informed guess of the Noon position. Rarely received a Sat Nav fix right at Noon, and while it did provide a position between fixes, it was a DR position. Comparing the Sat Nav position to our sights, we often got within a mile or two of the Sat Nav position. With multiple GPS, today's navigators have it so much easier. They even get a comfortable seat on the Bridge, no more standing. Only ever used Long by Chron at college, always used Marc St Hilaire at sea.
  25. When I did my Masters, I still remember the coastal guys arguing over the best way to calculate sights, while I used the tried and true Nories Tables and the Almanac. Generally my sights template was faster than any of them. Mind you that was probably due to having completed 4 or 5 sun sights a morning on the 8-12 watch on cruise ships, where we took a sight every 1/2 hr from 08:30. When in higher Latitudes we also got stars on the 8-12, while most days the 4-8 got AM & PM stars, when we took 5 or 6 stars.
  • Create New...