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princeton123211

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About princeton123211

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Philadelphia
  • Interests
    Travelling, fine dining
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Seabourn, Cunard
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Bermuda

Recent Profile Visitors

857 profile views
  1. Early in her career QM2 actually did a cruise from the west coast of the United States called "Royal Hawaiian Liner". It was back in 2006 and was round trip from Los Angeles with stops in Maui, Honolulu, and the Big Island. I don't believe anything has been repeated like that since. If Queen Elizabeth ever goes back to Alaska its certainly possible that there could be some repo cruises that would stop in Hawaii.
  2. And that really is the essence and main selling point of a winter crossing-- "Look how comfortable I am and how much fun I'm having in literally one of the most inhospitable places on Earth!" I'm totally with you there-- nothing is better than a nice cold martini, sitting in your tux, as QM2 plows through 35 ft swells at the same speed a normal cruise ship tops out at. Ok, maybe one thing better-- doing the exact same thing on the old QE2...
  3. The daily menus are pretty close for both-- where Princess Grill is different is that there is an additional a la carte menu. This includes a lot of tableside preparation items like dover sole, chateaubriand, beef wellington, etc. You can also request special tableside desserts such as crepes suzette, bananas foster, etc.
  4. I feel like, outside of the cabins themselves, there is a bigger jump in experience from BC to PG than from PG to QG. If there isn't much of a price difference from BC to PG than I think its sort of a no brainer with the additional facilities that you have with the lounge, terrace, etc. Additionally, Cunard is giving away drinks packages left and right currently for Grills bookings so that could be a huge value getting that gratis vs having to pay for it in BC if its available on the sailing you are looking at. Obviously the cabins are going to be the major draw in QG, along with some enhanced off menu ordering and caviar if thats your thing.
  5. It's covered specifically by the Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886 and more broadly by the Jones Act, otherwise known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920-- specifically cabotage. The only vessels that can sail directly between Seattle and Alaska without making a stop in a foreign port would be those that are registered and built in the US. Virtually all cruise ships are registered under foreign flags of convenience and foreign built, so need to make a quick stop in Victoria or Vancouver on these types of itineraries to comply with the law. Since those are not available, it makes Alaska cruising, leaving from Seattle, not viable until Canada opens up its borders to cruise ships which most likely won't be any time soon. Failure to do so results in a fine of about $700 per passenger. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passenger_Vessel_Services_Act_of_1886 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchant_Marine_Act_of_1920#Cabotage
  6. You are making some very broad conclusions about me based on very little information. I'm actually in the aviation space and we have been navigating our way through this just like everyone else both at the government level as well as how we deal with the traveling public. I actually have quite a bit of experience on it helping to stand back up a business that took a significant hit in the beginning of the pandemic. The argument you are making is very academic: "is it lawful?" and "is this under the CDC's purview?". I would argue that it doesn't matter-- the CDC guidance is correct in that it is most likely not safe to travel in the close quarters of cruise ships right now. Cruise ships are petri dishes in good times (norovirus anyone?) and we do not have nearly the understanding we need to create a clean, safe environment aboard these vessels at the moment. On top of all that-- cruising is not necessary. It's a pleasure holiday. We were forced to quickly create protocols in the aviation industry because it is necessary-- you cant apply the same test to a cruise ship. It doesn't serve the same purpose. No one needs to cruise. You also have to consider the long term effects of being the first one back-- what happens if there is a major breakout onboard one of your ships? What long term damage have you done to your brand? Disney waited a whole month after Universal reopened in Florida-- a lot of the reason being to let them be the guinea pig in case it went south. The NCL CEO can be as hot to trot as he wants-- but does he really want to be the one with his face plastered all over the news cycle as the one who got everyone sick? Going back to your original post about border controls around the US State of Hawaii, NCL and Pride of America face incredible hurdles to return to cruising that even other ships in other places don't-- you cant even travel to Hawaii until Oct 15th without 2 weeks of enforced quarantine and who knows if that will be extended like it has been by the Governor. Even when thats over, people still have to fly at least 6 hours from the mainland to join the ship-- something that there won't be a ton of appetite for right away. You're sooner going to be cruising out of Florida than out of Hawaii and I don't think either will be back soon.
  7. Thats an absolutely ridiculous thing to say-- you contend that cruising during the pandemic was safe the whole time and the CDC just arbitrarily decided to curtail it with their no sail order?
  8. I would say it looks like cruise lines have really good lobbyists more than states have eager Senators...
  9. Yes-- stayed 2 nights on her towards the beginning of when she opened a few years ago. Not sure if you had sailed her in the past. If you have a long history with her, like me, you'll be pleased that she's still with us but slightly disappointed that a lot of her passenger accommodation has been heavily modified and updated. All of the gorgeous One Deck Queens Grill cabins have been ripped out and replaced with bland white walls. Don't expect the faded originality you find on the Queen Mary in Long Beach or the sympathetic refurbishment you find on the SS Rotterdam. The former passenger cabins have been gutted and rebuilt, except for the bathrooms in some cases. The original Queens Grill was still intact when we were there but has since been remodeled to be much more modern. A lot of other public spaces are roped off (but if you know where you are going you can usually still get into them for a look). Caronia Restaurant has been ripped out and a WeWork type coworking space was going in there. Mauretania Restaurant is just sitting empty. Princess and Britannia Grills were still intact when we were there-- really hope they don't do anything drastic to Princess Grill. Overall it was nice to see an old friend again-- albeit one who had some unfortunate plastic surgery since the last time you spent meaningful time with her. If you sailed on her you will remember her fondly as there is enough left and she still has a sense of occasion (but not the magic she had in her sailing days). If you don't have that sense of nostalgia for her there are vastly nicer hotels to stay in Dubai. Not to say that her rooms aren't nice (she is a solid 4 star experience, not 5)-- they are just a bit bland and smaller and Dubai has one of the most over the top hotel markets in the world.
  10. First off, as a US state Hawaii is 100% within the jurisdiction of the CDC's no sail order. Even if there was some sort of weird loophole (which there is not), its not like Hawaii has been on the forefront of allowing travel and open to visitors. There was a long time you couldn't even travel inter-island. Only in the next 15 days do they think they will allow visitors without the 14 day quarantine (and thats been extended last minute several times so far). Again, Hawaii is a US state. If you are traveling from the continental US, or inter island, you wouldn't go through any border controls because you haven't crossed any international borders. Hawaii does have an agriculture check which looks like an additional airport screening when departing the islands.
  11. Which I don't doubt, but its the same issue they are having with cities that are now opening up for indoor dining-- far fewer paying customers actually want to go eat inside than they had thought. Even if they approve it tomorrow, it will still take at least a month to ramp up operations on a handful of ships and then you actually have to sell a 3-5 day cruise to a public wary of travel which takes a few months to reach a passenger load that makes it financially viable to undertake the sailing. Thats what Disney's CFO put out in their latest brief-- they saw their cruising division as the last time come back because the cruise sales cycle was dramatically longer than those for a similarly priced theme park vacation.
  12. The bathrooms are a big selling point for me, especially on longer trips, and Seabourn wins here hands down. Large bathrooms with separate glass shower and soaking tub as well as two sinks. Have you tried climbing in and out of those large tub/shower combos on QM2? I agree with you that the balcony in QG is a bit longer and nicer. But overall, while larger, I don't think the Queens Suites have as much usable space. I think the Seabourn suites are just better laid out with a comfortable sitting/dining area etc where Queens Suites devote space to silly things like that wet bar with the glassware in it, large vanity, writing desk (that you have to pull the other chair from the vanity and reposition the desk to eat at, which is all its good for) etc.
  13. No, not necessarily. In fact there are times that Seabourn is much less than Cunard Queens Grill. Take the QM2's April 26th departure, 7 day transat from New York-- lowest category Queens Grill suite is $5400 per person. Seabourn Odyssey's similarly timed 7 day Caribbean is $3400 per person in their lowest grade verandah suite. And thats not a fluke-- Seabourn, with the exception of holiday sailings is at least very competitive, if not sometimes below, Cunard QG pricing. Which is why we have such a hard time choosing Cunard except for things they do uniquely like transatlantics.
  14. It hasn't stopped them before. Our family on Maui said the hotels and restaurants there were getting ready for previous times it was supposed to be lifted and then was rescinded. Some of the restaurants have told them that they basically have one shot at this-- they cant afford to ramp up again only to be told that its being extended-- the costs in doing so would put them permanently out of business. Theres no way the CDC is going to lift the no sail order this year.
  15. It actually will be fairly predictable for that time of year-- predictably very cold, usually (although not uniformly) gray/overcast, correspondingly wet, and usually a bit rougher crossing than summer. I've done three of these now, 2 on QE2 and one on QM2. Two were smooth but overcast and spitting the entire time, one of them was truly a rough crossing with 40-50 ft waves for a few days which slowed us down. It's cold and a lot of the time the outside decks, especially forward, are roped off. Occasionally it will snow and that will cause most decks to be off limits due to slipping concerns. They will also rope off the decks because of high winds. QM2 is a very indoor ship on crossings this time of year. Any outside time is a bonus, but don't count on it and you won't be disappointed. They do keep the hot tubs going outside though, and these can be fun in the winter. You always have the option QM2s indoor pool up top and forward. I would say this time of year the average is a bit higher than 60, especially if a lot of the ships passengers will be part of the larger round trip cruise. But there will be a handful of younger folks like yourselves-- just not in abundance. And who knows- with the way that the pandemic has changed things you might very well have a ship that skews a lot younger than usual for this trip.
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