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About AL3XCruise

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    Cool Cruiser

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    NCL, RCI, X
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean, Alaska

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  1. That makes sense. Rivers are still their core business and they already have the expertise and infrastructure in place so that scaling isn't extremely expensive and likely makes sense even if the profit potential isn't as great. That doesn't apply to CCL. Viking is being smart by supporting the existing product while working to diversify. Also, keep in mind Ocean Cruising isn't a single segment. Viking is not going head to head with Royal or Carnival, but they are competing with brands in the parent organization's portfolios. Azamara, for instance. Semi-related, I wonder if MSC would consider a River Cruise subsidiary. While they are certainly a profit making company, being privately held gives them the ability to consider factors beyond maximizing ROI.
  2. Viking's move makes me think that Ocean Cruising has higher margins and more potential, otherwise they would have invested in further growing their river fleet instead of securing funds for ocean going vessels. In order for a line like CCL to want to go into river cruising, they'd need to either expect a higher ROI on investment in the river cruise (either through a more lucrative product or a saturated ocean market) or find some kind of synergy (every MBA's favorite word) where other corporate lines will see a benefit. Short of that, pouring money into giant ships with massive on-board spending is probably the preferred option. I agree, if CCL (or RCCL or NCL for that matter) decided to go the river route, that would be easier. Many countries have cabotage laws, and they can vary widely. Local registrations, creative ownership arrangements, and other tools are used to get around these in some cases, but it would still be an extra hurdle.
  3. The above responses are not really complete. The main outdoor pool on Escape CAN be heated. I was surprised to see steam wafting off of it after boarding in sub-freezing temperatures, and when I put my hand in it was warm enough to swim. It was windy and 25 degrees on deck so no one was taking advantage of that! Despite the fact that they can heat the pool, it appears that they rarely do, so I wouldn't plan on it actually being heated. In the case I observed it may have been to prevent damage from freezing rather than improve passenger comfort. For that reason, the other pools may be heatable to but the main pool is the only one I checked out. Escape definitely has the ability to heat the main outdoor pool.
  4. That was a smart decision! You researched, found an area of concern, and came up with a way to avoid a possible problem becoming a big negative. I think the harsh response to the OP is largely because they talked about seeking compensation rather than solutions. If they had discussed what they had seen in reviews that concerned them, others here would have been able to offer suggestions or reassurances. While it may not have been the OP's intention, jumping straight to a refund gave a lot of people the impression they are going into this cruise looking at how to get their money back, not at how to make the best of it!
  5. More testing the new Sigma. These guys were nice enough to do the same pose.
  6. I too agree. Cuba doesn't help, but the reality is the financial impact is limited. The ships will now call sail other routes with slightly less premium pricing. I saw one analyst peg the earnings per share impact 13 to 15 cents. By comparison, the Bahama shipyard incident involving Oasis reduced earnings by 25 cents per share per RCCL. The collective negative news (Cuba, CCL's fines, MSC's accident, etc.) likely does contribute to increased uncertainty and raises operational and market perception concerns. That is never good, and coupled with the volatile market some investors may be pulling out, especially if they think they've already gotten near the top (NCL and RCCL have done very well recently).
  7. Just got a new Sigma 150-600C. First time out and spotted some comorants. Curious to hear what you all think!
  8. Welcome to Cruise Critic. You might find a better/faster answer over at the Royal Caribbean forum. This section of the site deals primarily with people taking their own photos on cruises: equipment, techniques, and then sharing said photos. While it is possible someone here may have a good answer for you, its likely someone over there will have advice on how to escalate your issue. Good luck!
  9. The forward elevators are noticeably further from the bow than on many other ships. I would still consider them forward though. Keep in mind the entire Haven is located forward of the elevators. While I never measured it out, I can say the deck plan is definitely closer to reality than the side view. This is a quick edit that shows about where the elevators are, give or take a few pixels... The forward lines up with the start of the waterfront and the rear of the Haven, so it is easier to see; the aft is a bit more approximate.
  10. I have a feeling that is how this was received. I'm not familiar with the all inclusive ships, so I'm not going to comment on the specific issue, but I agree this letter seemed destined for the circular file. It starts off with an abrasive and accusatory opening, provides a vague narrative, and lacks and specific requests. Had I only seen the letter I probably would have concluded exactly what you suggested: someone is throwing complaints against the wall to see what sticks and leads to compensation. The OP has subsequently provided some details about the reaction from on-board management that is concerning, but that was not included in the letter. Again, I'm not trying to make a judgement on the specific issue as I've never done a cruise that short nor an NCL all-inclusive, so I don't know the policies and how well they are presented to customers. But I don't find the response surprising given the content of the letter.
  11. I've been on X, RCI, and NCL. The best and worst MDR experiences I've had have been on NCL. It seems to me that they lack the level of consistency other brands offer. While that might be because they are more focused on providing revenue generating food options, those options tend to get mixed reviews as well. I haven't cruised enough to offer a statistically significant sample, but I'm not sure if it a conscious effort to move people towards specialty venues or a broader issue with quality control. Everyone needs to do the math for themselves. But you are right, that in general, when services are bundled together the average consumer ends up paying more. After all, bundling is a very successful strategy used in many industries. If you don't plan to use non-included services and don't mind watching your expenses carefully when on vacation, there are opportunities to save. Some folks either use everything or value certain intangible benefits. For example, some folks might be willing to pay a premium for a beverage package or all inclusive line to avoid thinking about what they are spending on drinks, even if it is a slightly more expensive option. Hence why it is nice to have a choice!
  12. I'm curious what type of photography this is being targeted at? Other than the ability to enlarge to truly enormous sizes, I'm having trouble thinking of non-technical applications that would benefit versus a really good quality 20 or 30mp sensor and the appropriate lens. But then again I'm no expert!
  13. What is the benefit to this arrangement? My understanding was most modern large vessels, with the exception of those freighters running very large slow turning diesels, were generally using integrated electric propulsion. Even the new Columbia class submarine is apparently using a turbo-electric drive. Were suitable electric motors not available or relatively new when Coral entered service? I read an interview with Stephen Payne where he mentioned that one of the benefits of the integrated electric propulsion was that the QM2's gas turbines could be mounted on the upper decks; a shaft-driven arrangement would have required them to be placed lower in the ship where intake and exhaust issues would have been more complicated. I'd be curious how Coral (or comparable ships) ran a shaft like that. As always, thanks to both of you for your input!
  14. Keep in mind there is a lot of difference between the sensor in an entry level go-pro and the top of the line model. Likewise you have tons of point and shoots to choose from with all different price points and capabilities. I think most people would argue there is room for both (personally I used a GoPro clone, my phone, and a full frame DSLR on my last cruise). Of course, how much you want to invest (and carry with you, for that matter) is a personal decision. If you decide to explore a point and shoot (or even a bridge camera or entry level DSLR, for that matter) there are lots of knowledgeable folks on here who can look at your goals and help you maximize bang for your buck.
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