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Everything posted by iancal

  1. Agree. Many seem to continually moan, groan, and complain with the adder that they would be willing to pay more in order to go back to what they consider to be good old days. Thing is, I do not see many of them doing that. Is perhaps that they have an understanding that paying 10-25 percent more will return them to the good old days. It won't. My guess is that many of them are stuck in a rut, familiar with the crew, the ships, and some fellow regular passengers to the point where they will never consider another cruise line. No doubt HAL is aware of this acts accordingly. Or unwilling to give up their precious free laundry or the occasional free nosh at an alternative restaurant. Besides, who reads or pays attention to cruise cruise critic?
  2. What is so good about 111 days? Or possibly longer? Seems to me 30 days and the credit card dispute route would be a far better alternative. As we used to say in business, there is only so many times you can polish a turd. No prize in being among the best of the worst so to speak.
  3. We were on a cruise about 12 years ago. One of our table mates was a naval engineer. He had been consulting for a number of years. Very interesting guy. He mentioned that he had done some pre build consulting work on the ship that we were sailing and from time to time consulted with a number of cruise lines in the pre build stage and on dry dock work/reconfig work I asked him about cruising. Was it not a busman's holiday for him. What cruise line did he like, etc etc. I took away two things from our conversation. The first thing he advised was never judge a book by the inside, ie never judge a ships condition by the customer areas. The important things are behind the walls, below the decks where cruisers cannot see. The second was that he said was that he avoided cruises on older cruise ships because of the above....what he could not see.
  4. HAL has several different markets. There are the 7 day Caribbean and Alaskan cruises, the 14 day Med cruises, longer 30 plus day cruises, and the world cruises. Surely these different cruises have different target markets-some may include proportional segments from all of those cruise types. Not to mention the diverse ship offerings in their fleet. We are not very interested in 7 day, 30 plus day, or world cruises. We would, and do look at any competitive offerings under the 20 day mark. Difficult for HAL to come up with a one size fits all marketing strategy. Especially when their product for the most part, from our perspective, is one of the 'bunch' and not very distinguishable (other than by individual ship) from any other mass market cruise line offering. Perhaps HAL's market offerings, their ships, and their target markets will align more closely post covid.
  5. How the EU arrived at what countries would be allowed to enter: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/e-u-coronavirus-safe-list-why-u-s-was-nowhere-n1232741
  6. It is academic. I doubt very much that Australian or NZ will be open to Americans (if anyone) by March. Australia's very recent experience with the veracity of pre arrival information that cruise lines provide has led them to be err on the side caution. With very good reason.
  7. It also sound very much to me like shoddy mtce at HAL. They owned and operated the ship AND they were aware of the issue. Deferred mtce at it's best....where the customers will not see it so it is a dandy way to cut costs and carry on until something untoward occurs. It is one of the reasons why we have avoided older ships....on all cruise lines.
  8. It is all about personal preferences. We like cruising. We like sea days. But only two at a time. We travel frequently. I cannot think of a trip that has not been focused on the being beside the ocean or had time beside the seaside or on a cruise ship.. Winters on or beside the beaches in Thailand and Australia, spring or fall trips are typically to Italy, Greece,Turkey, Malta, Cyprus, Spain, etc. This past fall it was a week plus on each of three Ionian Islands in condos or hotels beside the sea then on to Cyprus for more of the same. We were fortunate enough to live on the west coast for 20 years during which time I could not count how many vacations we spent on the BC, Washington, Oregon, and California coasts or islands. Came back early this past March from seven weeks in Mexico-most of which was spent traveling independently up the Pacific coast. Not a day went by that we were not in or beside the ocean. We only did one TA. Great cruise but never again for us. After three days at sea, and at least two more on the horizon we were ready to jump ship. It simply comes down to our personal preference. Our good friends buy a return ticket to Europe every year. They alternate between eastbound and westbound TA's. Sea days are special for them. They have failed to convince us to try another one with them!
  9. It is strictly itinerary, ship, and price for us. We feel as much pull to HAL as we do to Princess, Celebrity, etc. We see very little difference between them other than the logo on the funnel and the design and decor of the ships. I realize many wax poetic about the food and the service and swear that every HAL cruise is the most wonderful cruise in all respects. We don't see any difference but perhaps it is because we do not take longer cruises. We have an alternative impression of the quiet elegance attribute. Our impression is that many of the mass market cruise lines, including HAL, are on a quick march to the lowest common denominator. We are in our late sixties. Is HAL marketing to us? Well if they are then they have certainly missed the boat. Does not matter. I suspect post covid will be an entirely new ball game for the cruise lines that survive or are allowed to survive by the corporate owners.
  10. We did two cruises from Australia. Not quite back to back-two weeks in between. First was 14 day Fijii on Princess. Second was RCI 21 day OZ/NZ. We enjoyed both. One difference was that the onboard currency on Princess was AUD. The onboard currency on RCI (and probably Celebrity) was USD. Plus the drinks were more expensive on RCI. Overall, each drink, wine etc, that we had cost us about 50 percent more on Royal Caribbean. Same for the tips. One plus was that we booked the RC cruise on short notice and we booked direct by calling RCI in Sydney. The fare that we paid by booking with their Sydney call center was 30 pecent less that the best price that our US on line TA or the RCI North America web site could provide. We got some good information, including info on our last minute RC cruise pricing from the OZ/NZ group on cruise critic below: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/564-australia-new-zealand-cruisers/
  11. The only surprise is that some people are actually surprised about this. Leadership and the numbers tell the story. And it continues to go the wrong way at an exponential pace. So very unfortunate.
  12. iancal


    I would think that the absolute last thing that Carnival Corp or HAL wants is to undergo the discovery process and for the details of that discovery to reach the general public.
  13. Read an article today about tourism where we live. According to the tourism council foreign visitors make up five percent of the total numbers. But...they account for 24 percent of the revenue.
  14. Cannot say I blame them. Makes a lot of sense to me. Besides, it is their respective countries so they get to decide. Think of the converse of this. I have no doubt that the US is also feeling the decline in tourism. We won't even consider a trip to the US at the moment. We are hoping to book an international flight in the fall and we will take care to ensure that the routing does not involve a change of planes in any US airport.
  15. Don't really care. The longer this goes on the more indifferent to cruising we are becoming.
  16. I believe HAL's plan, and others, could best be described as the drip, drip, drip plan..... Time for a new rubber washer.
  17. No cruises. Looking a Greece in the fall, but more likely in spring. Also Morocco but not too sure about their numbers. We can fly direct to both. Don't want any stops in the UK or in the US.
  18. Very nice customer service. NOT.
  19. Are you certain that is not just more fake news??
  20. You can only judge them by their past performance.
  21. That would be my uneducated guess as well. I really believe that the cruise lines have the same problem as we do. They cannot open early for fear of opening too early. There needs to be a solution not just a flattening of the curve. Masks and social distancing won't cut it with the cruise line management or with CDC despite the ramblings on this forum about it. Ditto for closed loop cruises. I do not think that that any cruise line wants to be in a similar situation like Florida, Texas, or Arizona find themselves in. Opening early, gangbusters, then the big oh my gosh it is still here....we screwed up big time. Maybe we should have listened to our public health professions after all. Cruise lines cannot afford any more bad publicity or litigation than they already have or are about to have. I believe that the cruise industry is much smarter than our political leaders (that would not be terribly difficult). This time they will hopefully make decisions for the long term health and survival of their business and the health and well being of their customers. I certainly want them to succeed and come back strong. At the end of the day who really knows. Could be that in December they announce a March startup or another delay. You need a good Ouiji board to figure this one out. We certainly would not be booking a November or December cruise any time soon. Come to think of, probably not until mid 2021 at the very earliest. We are members of the trust but verify society.
  22. Our bags are 10 years old. Some faded obscure travel agency freebe from a friend. They have been around the world criuses-beachs-African safaris. One broken zipper. They fold up into a pouch but we just squish them up and shove then in our carry on bag. Looking for a replace but they all seem to have more weight and logos. Going to look in a low end bargain store where we will be certain to find a replacement that lasts for the next ten year. We figure $5 or less will do the trick.
  23. Our experience is that while passenger space ratios are important, design, layout, and decor of a ship is just as important. We have been on a few ships that were very dark, others where hallways ended up with blank walls and staircases, others with not enough elevators or elevators that emptied out smack in front of what were often crowded areas such as an MDR thus creating a big smozzle of people. It is not just the actual space ratio that counts. It is very much dependent on how that space is used/designed.
  24. iancal


    I hardly think that one should assume that just because there is a clause in a contract that the clause will stand up to examination in a court of law. In my business life I have seen clauses in numerous commercial contracts which we were advised not to worry about because they would never stand up to a court challenge.
  25. It will be interesting to see if HAL and others stop accepting bookings on these cruises or whether they will wait until after the final payment windows to make a public announcement. Perhaps some musical group could do a remake of the Byrds hit Turn! Turn!Turn! They could rename it Churn! Churn! Churn!
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