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About cruisemom42

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  1. To be fair, the title of the other thread is pretty vague. I don't necessarily read every thread on the forum and I almost passed that one by initially until I saw it was getting a lot of traffic. Would not have guessed from the title of "one main course" that the thread was about charging for a second entree; I rather assumed someone was trying to get the name of a particular entree they had enjoyed or maybe a recommendation for something to try.
  2. You are quite correct, the article was vague and it does make sense that they would airlift the injured, although the process as described sounded fairly brutal. And I am with you 100% that they know what they are doing. It just seems Mother Nature is not making it easy at all...
  3. Noooooo....now everyone will know about the joys of going to Rome in winter!
  4. Just read that the ship is slowly underway and being aided by a tug. They are still trying to take off passengers by helicopter, which sounds absolutely terrifying and has led to some injuries: https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/20572-viking-sky-under-own-power-and-sailing-for-molde.html The following cruise is cancelled.
  5. My parents were also on that cruise. They were amazingly calm about it, and very complimentary about how it was all handled by HAL officers and crew.
  6. I remember it fondly too. I would just go park myself on a bench in front of the Senate building and marvel at it all.... I think it changed somewhere around 10-12 years ago.
  7. No, there is only a single ticket for general admission and it covers three sites: the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Still, as I recall the price isn't unreasonable. And the ticket is good for two days, which may not be helpful if you are only going to be there on a port day. Here's some useful info on the Forum (and Palatine Hill): https://www.rometoolkit.com/whattodo/roman_forum.html
  8. I'm not sure you could plan to have dinner in Sorrento, even with a 9:00 pm departure. It takes even the fast ferries about 45 minutes from Sorrento to Naples, and your all-aboard will be at 8:30. Most restaurants will not open for dinner until 7:00 pm minimum. Also, if you plan on shopping, many stores will be closed in the early afternoon (1-3pm) to observe the daily pause for lunch. Sorrento still takes this seriously as we found out a few years ago when staying there for a week.
  9. I heartily second the Archaeological Museum in Naples -- it's one of the best museums in the world for looking at Roman frescoes, sculpture and mosaics from all the nearby sites. Another church in Naples that I can recommend is San Lorenzo Maggiore because it has underneath it the excavated ruins of an ancient Roman street and market. https://www.ancientworldmagazine.com/articles/roman-market-naples-site-underneath-san-lorenzo-maggiore/ It's not far from the museum or several of the other sites already recommended (including the Capella San Severino.
  10. The catacombs on the Via Appia (the ones most people think of) are a distance from the Colosseum/Forum area and not walkable (or at least not unless you have a long chunk of time...) You'd need to take a local bus or a taxi to get there. What is your plan for the day? If you are doing to be doing things in and around the ancient Rome area, there are a number of other very interesting things to do, including the Museum of the Imperial Forums, which gives you a chance to walk around part of Trajan's forum and the markets that were carved out of the hillside. It gives you a very good feeling of being in ancient Rome. Or there is always the possibility of a visit to the nearby Basilica of San Clemente: http://www.reidsitaly.com/destinations/lazio/rome/sights/sclemente.html has been recommended many times by me and others.
  11. I fully agree with you regarding Celebrity -- they have dropped in my rankings! I'm just pointing out that there are innovative ways out there for cruise lines to increase their fares, by offering something more/new/different.
  12. While that is certainly true, I still see other cruise lines raising their rates in innovative ways. I see Celebrity as one of HAL's most direct competitors, and they seem (on the whole) to be raising their fares, if not purely via the base fare then by the number of fares that they sell at a higher price point which include their chief perk, the beverage package. Also, when Celebrity introduced Edge, the inaugural prices were sky-high. While Celebrity's initial enthusiasm for their new ship may have backfired to an extent, in the market it is often the case that when you raise rates to a very high level, and then drop them, the final resting place is still somewhat higher than the initial point.... There was not a similar effort at HAL to promote their new class when Koningsdam was launched.
  13. The comparison isn't valid. The standard land-based restaurant charges you for every course you order and does not charge if you do not order. If I don't order a dessert, I don't pay for a dessert. Cruise ships operate differently. They charge me a fixed amount for food every day, regardless of whether or not I eat all my meals on board ship. (Plus I have never yet had a land-based restaurant charge me for a phantom table-mate's food costs if I am dining solo...) Cruise ship MDRs have made some "assumptions" regarding how much each individual will order. Whether that be three courses or four per person, we don't know. But such an assumption has to be in place in order to allow them to operate efficiently and manage food costs and prep. By instituting this charge for a second entree, they are opening up a can of worms, in my opinion. Just a few questions that one might ask: -- If someone comes in and orders a single entree but does not order any appetizer, soup or dessert, does HAL then owe them a rebate for NOT ordering the assumed amount? -- If someone orders a salad and two entrees, does that necessarily exceed the assumed amount? They may actually be SAVING the line money, as it seems that appetizers generally contain some of the higher quality ingredients used (albeit in small portions). -- If someone eats one or several meals shoreside, are they eligible for some rebate? (After all, they are reducing waste onboard!) -- If someone comes in and orders multiples of every course except the entree, will HAL just pat them on the back and say "Have a nice evening!"? As you can see, it can very quickly get out of hand -- but by instituting this charge, HAL is opening up the door for consideration of what is fair. And there can be many different interpretations on that score....
  14. Have a read through the entire thread. I recall some pretty good reasons have been given.
  15. It's a highly individual thing, and it's good that you enjoyed Mestre. But I think for first-time visitors to Venice it's only fair to let them know that staying in Mestre has nothing of the feel of staying in Venice. I look at Venice as a very unique place, with all the challenges posed by living, literally, on top of water. As Hank says below, Venice in the evenings and in the early mornings also tends to be much more magical, after the tourists leave and before they return. Venice is Venice. Mestre is just another Italian town.
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