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About Billthekid

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Las Vegas

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  1. I am curious about several things. With all the data mining, surveys, research, has it concluded what cruisers want factually in a cruise? Did a friend, relative, neighbor tell them to take a cruise you will love it? What does Gen x, gen y, veterans want. I assume a great cruise for their money. Which is undefined and subject to personal taste. How many will return to the same cruise line or return to cruising at all. How many will get to be 4* or 5*? So what data points are the cruise lines looking to? And how long will the cruiser maintain that personal taste level. I am sure it changes over time and what their desires will be tomorrow. Cruise lines have to change with the times, make a profit, and provide what the cruiser wants.
  2. With apologies to LOVE HAL who started the Part 1 topic which was very interesting discussion which as always deteriorates into an off subject matters. I just want to add my 5 cents to the original discussion. Love HAL ended his initial discussion with this sentence: " My question is, if it is so bad, why complain so much? Why not just spend your travel dollars elsewhere? Or, is it just fun to complain?" The web site CRUISE CRITIC contains the word Critic which various dictionaries define as: Definition of critic: : one who expresses a reasoned opinion on any matter especially involving a judgment of its value, truth, righteousness, beauty, or technique :a person who expresses an unfavorable opinion of something. :A person who forms and expresses judgments of the merits, faults, value, or truth of a matter. So the members of Cruise Critic who presented various dislikes about what is happening to HAL are well in line with the what a critic is and may or may not spend their dollars elsewhere and/or comment/complain as they please.
  3. We live in Vegas and quit playing the tables years ago because the odds on BJ changed and minimums increased too much which busted our budget. We no longer visit downtown or the strip because the casinos charge for parking, which is unheard of in Vegas. Pay to play, out of the question. We only play the slots and consider our playing as "entertainment" expense. Our casinos are supervised and regulated. The ship casinos have no supervision what so ever.
  4. On our last cruise we noticed the Black Jack tables require a minimum $6 bet which is strange in the first place. The payout on getting a black jack is a poor 6-5 instead of 3-2. So I was thinking if I bet $6 and hit a black jack the pay out should be $13.20. Does the casino have $0.20 chips or do they pay in coins, or do they round down or (heaven forbid) round up? Does anyone know to satisfy my curiosity so I will be able to sleep tonight?
  5. My first cruise was in 1962. 10 days to Europe. There was no entertainment, no drinks, no dancing. Very crowded. No excursions, food was mediocre at best. Management would not listen and make improvements, but the price was right; zero. Did I mention it was a troop ship.
  6. For those who love to only unpack once and enjoy land tours, who enjoy complementary wine/beer with their meals, who enjoy reasonably pricing and small ships, river cruising just might be the answer. We have done the Normandy, Rhine, Danube, Eastern Europe, and Mekong Rivers. Want to do Africa some day. Loved every one of them and the experience we had. Always docked downtown and stepped off the boat. Bicycles were available and unlimited wine/beer served with meals. No formal nights, but County casual for dinner. Entertainment is from the local groups and changes with each town you are docked. Other nights crew humor shows, piano playing with dancing if desired. And there is a lot of competition to keep prices down low. Amenities are actually being added each trip. Something to think about.
  7. Two things. A) Holland could reinstate many of the things they took away, or B) Would the last person finding another venue, please shut off the lights.
  8. When I purchase something be it a cruise, hotel, airline ticket, goods, I expect the purchase price to include everything that was provided previosly to be included this time also. We are all aware what has happened to airlines and what is happening to hotels. On previosly HAL cruises we had great cold soups, live music in the ocean bar and throughout the ship, appartizes at the bar, dinner coffee, sea days with activities, chocolate night, etc. All gone. A la carte pricing has some value, but you can,t purchase something that is no longer available. By taking something away you are in effect raising prices. And if you take enough away you are no longer competitive.
  9. Earlier this year after a holiday cruise I submitted Part 1 which discussed the changes HAL has been making the last couple of years that has us pondering our relationship. They continue to eliminate things we enjoyed. And it goes on and on. Each cruise we have taken some small thing is gone and prices have increased. I decided to write to HAL about our dislike for what has been happening. Their reply: I see no benefit. HAL is trying to control the overall cost of their sailings and to remain competitive and in today's world that is important. When I select a cruise, first is itinerary, than ease of getting to the port and return, number of nights, amenities and activities including excursion, then price. So HAL is saying more profit for them make them more competitive and not the customer's enjoyment especially the Mariners. If HAL wants to be competitive, make the cruise line a desired cruise line. A cruise line I want to return to over and over. Not the cruise line it is becoming.
  10. Your comments are right on. Nothing to do during the day or night except attend sales pitches. Getting real boring. Maybe Hal will change but not holding breath. River cruises may be the answer.
  11. I appreciate your comment and thanks for the complement. I just love how a simple thought and subject becomes divergent into various other subject areas such Lincoln Center Music, lack of dancing lessons, the pricing of cruise lines, etc, etc. It happens all the time. I just feel that HAL' Symbol of Excellence has become tarnished and in need of attention.
  12. The line was not too bad and moved quickly. Maybe 10 minutes total line time. Taxi are lined up and fill up fast. We had 4 persons with luggage and the taxi starter got up a bigger taxi to hold us and the luggage. The immigration line was much longer and more time consuming. The USD rate ($27) is very reasonable for the extra 10 minutes in line.
  13. Just back from 7-day Alaska cruise on the Noordam 7-21/7-28. Previous cruise was December in Caribbean. The latest changes (read things taken away) include little simple things. Our major exception noted is the lack of opportunity to dance. This has been discussed in this forum, but new to us. First night no combo in the Ocean Bar before late dinner seating. Was told it has been a month or two without any music by bartender. Told could go to B.B.King lounge at 9:15 show, but band member was sick so no show. That was the only music available the first night which was none. So had a drink and asked for hot appetizers. No go that has been eliminated also, but was available during happy hour only. Talked to Beverage and Food Manager and asked why and his response was "things change" Cute! Next night was Gala(formerly Formal night) No music available before dinner so went to 10:15 B.B.King show. Four rock and roll songs were performed and band left after 25 minutes. Then piped in rock and roll music. Most of the people left the room. Other exceptions noted: Cheap plastic excursion bag instead of cloth for excursion. Guess plastic is good for seven seas. No pen, paper, notepad for cabin. Explorer lounge uses paper napkins for food instead of plates. Espresso coffee now $3.50 for after dinner. Started at free, then $1.75. Guess better quality coffee beans are being used although regular coffee comes out of the same machine. No flowers on the dinning table or Pinnacle. No fresh squeeze Orange Juice just water down concentrate. Nuts and liquor flavor for ice cream topping gone. Just crushed cookies (day old?). We have two future cruises scheduled, but must seriously consider an alternate before all is gone.
  14. Just back from Alaska Cruise 7-21-2019 and the flat rate for a taxi from Vancouver Airport to Cruise Pier has increased $1 to $36 Canadian or $27 USD. Four of us shared a taxi with all our luggage with no problem. About a 30 minute ride. However, immigration at airport was about an hour with long lines at noon time Saturday arrival.
  15. I contacted the City of Juneau and they provided the taxi regulations from the police department. The $12 fee is not authorized per the following Rules and Regulations. The driver must also provide in plain sight the official rate card that must be followed. The regulations: 20 CBJAC 40.520 - Class A endorsement. (a) A Class A endorsement shall authorize the holder to provide taxi services subject to the following conditions: (1) A certificate endorsed for Class A service may not be endorsed for any other type of service. (2) The certificate shall require the service to operate and maintain no fewer than six vehicles. At least three of the vehicles shall be in service at all times. (3) Taxicab passengers shall be charged only at the rates specified in this section. (A) Flag drop. $3.40 shall be the initial starting fare to be charged for all taxicab services except for charter or battery jump services. No mileage, waiting time, or other charges are included in the charge for flag drop. (B) Mileage rate. The rate of $0.22 for each one-tenth mile shall be charged and measured by taximeter. (C) Waiting time. The rate of $0.75 for each minute of waiting time shall be measured by the taximeter and charged to the customer. Waiting time shall be charged when stopped and during traffic delays. Time and mileage shall be charged alternately and not concurrently. (D) Taxi tour rate. The rate of $70.00 per hour shall be charged to a passenger for the reservation of the services of the vehicle. The minimum charge for a taxi tour is $35.00 for up to one half-hour of service. For taxi tour service in excess of the minimum half-hour charge, the time may be calculated in ten minute increments for which the charge is $12.00. No other units of time or charges are allowed. (E) Extra adult passenger. A charge of $0.50 shall be added to the fare for each passenger over the age of 12 years and each bag in excess of two per passenger. This charge does not apply if there is only one passenger over the age of 12 years. This charge does not apply to the taxi tour rate. (F) Delivery charge. A charge of $3.00 shall be added to the mileage rate for transport and delivery of items without a passenger. This does not apply to the taxi tour rate. (G) Battery jump. The rate for providing an electrical boost to the battery of another vehicle shall be a charge of ..... $20.00 (H) Airport to and from destination fee ..... $1.00 (I) Cruise Ship Dock to and from destination fee ..... $1.00 (J) Customer soilage of taxi fee ..... $100.00 Note: Licensee recovery of this fee shall be by civil process only. (K) Mendenhall Glacier fee ..... $1.50 (4) Every taxicab operated under the provisions of this chapter shall be equipped with a rate card provided by the city, setting forth the schedule of fares and charges. The rate card shall be posted inside the vehicle in a location visible to passengers. (5) Taxis shall be limited to vehicles designed to carry no more than eleven passengers including the driver. (6) The holder of a certificate endorsed for Class A service shall maintain one central place of business owned or leased by the holder and operated by the holder at which all business records shall be available for inspection, and from which all of the holder's taxis and no other taxis shall be dispatched. The central place of business is not required by these regulations to be available for walk-in service to the public.
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