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Posts posted by SargassoPirate

  1. 8 hours ago, CabinC said:

    I'm working on it with my Travel Agent. I feel badly about turning down an "upgrade" because I understand that the BB category is considered an upgrade for some reason, but I enjoy looking down at the waves passing by and I don't much fancy looking down at the orange life rafts. 


    I feel your pain.  When we were younger and more naive cruisers, we were open to upgrades thinking we were getting a good deal.   You only have to find yourself in a higher category right above to boomety boomety nightclub to realize the cruise line's idea of an upgrade may not match yours.  Nowadays, I spend a lot of time picking which side of the ship so that She Who Must Be Obeyed will have a sunny balcony, and so that there are passenger cabins above, below, and across the hall.  Once I've locked in the room for us, I always have the booking marked "No Upgrades".


    Maybe Cunard can move you up another category or two and get a more desirable cabin.  Good Luck! 

  2. On 11/11/2019 at 3:19 PM, Aquadesiac said:

    I've always believed that whatever goal we set could be achieved if we worked hard enough. I started talking about taking a world cruise about ten years ago. Somehow, we found a way to retire my DH early in 2015 AND do the traveling we'd always dreamed of. We took our first World Cruise in 2018. We're booked for our 2nd in 2021. 


    If you set travel as a priority, and make a plan, you can make it work. 


    Setting a goal.  That is the key.  When I retired, I sat down and started my so-called "bucket list" of things to do and places to go with my gift of time. 15 years into retirement and I will be doing a world cruise in 2022, so I'm still working on the list.


    Friends and neighbors of our same socio-economic standard sometimes wonder out loud about how we are able to travel so much.  What they don't see is that for our entire working lives we lived below our means and saved, saved, saved, for retirement.  Something else they don't notice is our 15 year old truck that I have meticulously maintained so that it will last another 15.  And, we only eat out about once every two weeks.


    It's all about your goals and priorities.  We don't spend money to buy things we don't need to impress people we don't know - although the guys at the auto parts store are starting to notice my "classic" truck.



  3. I always say you've gotta be somewhere, so why not on a cruise?  My record single cruise so far was a 49 night cruise around the Horn of South America.  I now have a 99 night world cruise booked.  She Who Must Be Obeyed does not like to be on a cruise much more than 30 days or so, such as a transpacific back from Australia, so when I did the around the Horn cruise I went with a brother and some friends.  So far, it's just me on the world cruise.   


    We have a pact that we will not have regrets about things we wished we had done but didn't.  So far, it's working out.



  4. 4 hours ago, Thrak said:


    I used to take my very large Swiss Army Knife as well. I carried it in my Dopp Kit in order to use the cork screw. These days I simply carry a good cork screw instead. It weighs less and does a better job of opening our wine. I normally have a small Leatherman as well but I'm going to replace it with a larger Leatherman I have as it includes pliers whereas the small one doesn't. For the most part things of this nature pass through unscathed as long as they are in carry-on luggage and aren't brandished about the ship.

    Love that term - brandish.☠️


    And once you are on the ship, you can brandish a steak knife from the MDR! 😉


    I carry a small Swiss Army knife with scissors and a cork screw, plus a small leatherman, in my small tool kit that goes in my checked luggage.  It also contains a small tube of super glue, a small roll of duct tape, and a small tube of WD40.  If it moves and is not supposed to - duct tape.  If it doesn't move and is supposed to - WD40. 


    Just an old Boy Scout being prepared.

  5. 21 hours ago, c-boy said:

    SaggassoPirate not everything is about money.


    You are correct, except when it comes to cruise lines.  It's all about money.  If a space or activity is not producing revenue, it is eliminated. 


    Love your avatar, by the way.

  6. Perhaps if they would start using the Medallion to combat chair hogs, I would see a value. Require a medallion to check out a towel and then they could track where the chair hog built a nest (towel, flip flop, magazine/paperback) and compare that to the chair hog's location.


    Build a chair hog nest and go ashore? Bingo. It's gone.


    Build a chair hog nest and then go to the MDR for breakfast? Bingo. It's gone.


    Now that would enhance everyone's cruise except the chair hog - and they are inconsiderates anyway.

  7. 14 hours ago, ecs66 said:

    Your very own Faraday cage. I like it!!



    I'm thinking it'll work.  I'll check back in after I try it later this month.  It may be easier to just request a cruise card.


    The whole thing seems like whiz bang techno program for the sake of techno.  Now that Princess has invested millions in the Medallion, I'm wondering if anyone is doing a cost-benefit analysis from the cruise line's standpoint, or is it another case of "The Emporer's New Clothes"?


  8. On 1/6/2020 at 2:48 PM, pms4104 said:

    Anyone else believe these chairs-by-request soon will go the way of bar soap, plastjc straws, cocktail napkins  sugar packets, etc?




    Yep, the business model is to cut back as far as possible, price the cruise as low as possible, and then nickel and dime the passengers to bring the revenue back up to where was before the cutback/upsell program started.


    New cruisers don't miss the cutbacks and probably think the upsells and hard sells are just part of the cruise experience.  It ain't the Love Boat anymore.

  9. The travel website from my big box warehouse club has a small icon in the upper left corner whereby I can switch from US to Canada prices when searching for a cruise.  I am in the US, so I have never tried to switch currencies there, but it may be worth a try.  You can check prices even if you are not a member, but you have to be a member to book through them.


    Hope this helps.

  10. The best trip to Alaska was after we had cruised north one year and then done a roundtrip from Vancouver another year.  It took us a while, but we figured out we were only seeing a small part of Alaska.  On our most recent trip there, we flew to Anchorage, rented a car, and did a road trip to Fairbanks and drove just about every paved road we could.  We were on land and on our own for two weeks, traveling on our own clock, and able to really meet the locals and take advantage of their tips on things to see where the railroad and tour buses don't go.  It was delightful.  AND, we spent less than if we had signed up for the cruise line's land tour before the cruise.


    We eventually wound our way back to Anchorage, checked into a hotel, and then after a day or two of enjoying Anchorage, we made our way to the port and sailed south.


    Think about it.

  11. 20 hours ago, Doug R. said:

    I learned at the feet of the master.


    Love it, Doug, you got me started off with a chuckle this morning.  Sometimes reading these boards is like a soap opera that you can't quite give up on because something else is going to happen.


    In the meantime, my foldup camping chair is ready to go. 👌

  12. I just opened my Medallion box from China, with the medallion and the free case and lanyard.  I popped the medallion into the plastic case and noted that it would be easy to carry in my pocket like a cruise card. Then, I noted that it would also fit into a small Altoid tin if I don't want all of the extra tracking features and just want to use it to unlock my door and order a drink.




  13. On 1/4/2020 at 10:53 PM, DMRick said:

    They had computers at the podium on the Regal when you came into anytime dining. The idea was they would ck to make sure you had anytime. The gal got overwhelmed and stopped checking. Several people had missed their regular early dining (slow tenders) and overcrowded our anytime.  They should not have been allowed, but that night it was a free for all. I definitely missed having a room card that night with dining listed. They gave us a card with type and time of dining listed on it but it didn’t say to bring it with you, so people didn’t. Long waits that night. 


    Might have been a good night to try the buffet.

  14. 9 hours ago, fair-winds39 said:


    If people would abide by the rules, mobility devices wouldn't be parked outside of cabins. The cruise line needs to take responsibility too. If they have definite rules on dimensions of these devices they should insist that guests follow the rules, and if they don't they should be denied boarding.


    Some airlines have a template that your carry-on bag must fit into. Perhaps cruise lines should have a template the width of a cabin door for the scooter user to maneuver through on the way to check in.  If it doesn't fit, you must quit.


    Ain't gonna happen though.  The cruise line's goal is to get as many people and their credit cards on board and spending as possible.  That's why they turn a blind eye to the hazards presented by mobility devices parked in paths of exit travel.


  15. On 1/4/2020 at 12:21 PM, Colo Cruiser said:

    Alas the 13 people here on CC that won’t come back will not sway Princess to change their minds. 

    You are totally correct, but as one of the 13, I still get to choose where to spend my cruise dollars. There's really not much left on Princess to attract us to consider them.


    However, it's not just She Who Must Be Obeyed and me.  It has expanded to our circle of travel and cruise friends, many of whom are joining us on our non-Princess cruises in the next couple of years.


    Fortunately, there are many cruise lines and cruise ships to choose from.





  16. 3 hours ago, Algebralovr said:

    I had an issue last February on Celebrity Silhouette.  I was in a wheelchair, but unable to get an accessible room.  I could walk a small amount, but had been non-weight bearing on one of my legs for 8 weeks prior to the cruise, and was only allowed to start putting weight on it a few days before the cruise.


    Someone else in a regular room (non-accessible) had rented a scooter.  He loved parking it in the hallway, and it made it difficult for me to get past.


    One evening, his parking job was even worse.  There was no way for me to get through the hallway in my wheelchair, even the narrow one I was in.


    When I came off the elevator and found I could not get to my room, I turned around and we went back to guest services in person.  I was firm that the person with the scooter was violating the requirements of the ship, and now was actually preventing me from getting to my room.  His desire to use a scooter was interfering with my ABILITY to get through the hallway in a wheelchair.  I had on a Ortho boot, he didn’t.


    They said there was nothing they could do.  At which point, I requested security be called and the safety officer on board.  Why the safety officer?  My understanding was that he was ultimately responsible for ensuring the safety rules were followed.  That scooter violated international safety rules.  It prevented me from getting to my room, and if it was there in an emergency would prevent me from leaving the hallway, and at that point I’d be blocking the hallway, preventing OTHERS from evacuation.  

    Apparently someone finally spoke with him and from then on the scooter was parked in a corner of the elevator area, and not blocking the halls.  


    Parking the scooter is still in violation of SOLAS since the elevator/stairway lobby is a crossover between port and starboard.  Take notice of the exit signage the next time you are on board.


    The cruise line should provide "valet parking" when the scooter will not fit into the cabin and park it elsewhere.


    At least they moved it out of the corridor. Close, but no cigar.

  17. 2 hours ago, Tom O. said:

    If you run into a situation where eating in the MDR is unpleasant, HAL has a service that few other cruise lines have. You can order a complete dinner off the MDR menu for that night, and have it delivered to your room. There is no extra charge for this.

    You first check out that nights menu, then call the MDR in the afternoon and place your order. You can order anything off the menu including hors d'oeuvres and deserts. You tell them when you want it, and it always shows up on time.

    We do this all the time, because we find it very pleasant to have dinner in our room, or if the weather is good, on our veranda.

    Since we always have anytime dinning, this eliminates waiting around the MDR for a table for 2, and we can eat at any hour we feel like.



    TomO, thanks.  That's one of the finer tips I've learned here on CC.  I dislike eating in the MDR in the evenings  because of the noise levels. I wear hearing aids and even as high tech as they are, they amplify everything - including the background noise.  She Who Must Be Obeyed insists on eating in the MDR for dinner and we always get a table for two so that we can converse.  When I cruise solo, I'm happy in the buffet in the evenings, but your tip will give me another option on my next HAL cruise.

  18. 55 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

    And, as I posted in that thread, unless you are willing to go to the following lengths, your complaint to the USCG will do just about nothing:


    Just know that the USCG will only investigate a report of a safety concern, if one of two things happen;  one, if the condition exists at the time of the USCG inspection (i.e. in a US port), or two, if there is documentary evidence of the issue while the ship is in international waters.  So, you would require several time/date stamped photos of the offending scooter, showing long term parking in the passageway, documented evidence of having reported this to the ship's management, and documentary evidence that the reporting did nothing, and the vessel's itinerary to show that the photos were taken either in US waters or international waters.  Without documentation, one call to the MSO will possibly generate a visit to the ship at the next port call, and a friendly chat with the Captain regarding the complaint, but that would be about it.


    Good info chenkp75.  Thanks. Time stamped photos of the hazard would be no problem and I can also take a photo of my written complaint to the ship's officers.  My goal is always to get the officers to take responsibility for correcting the hazards.



  19. 32 minutes ago, jeanlyon said:

    I always lose weight on a cruise.  I get far more exercise, walking about in port, climbing stairs, just generally being active.  I usually lose about 2 pounds.  My husband doesn't gain any.  I find 2 courses plenty for dinner, I love salads for lunch, and I don't do cooked breakfasts, cos I don't like them.   I don't do desserts, don't have a sweet tooth.




    Me too.  I take the stairs whenever possible, walk the promenade at least twice a day for a mile or two, AND figured out a long time ago that cruising is not an eating contest.  I usually come home 3-5 pounds lighter, depending on the length of the cruise. 

  20. 19 hours ago, DaveOKC said:


    I was thinking about the crew using them - might be tough at times/places.  I guess they can exchange at the front desk, but I know that when I was in the supermarket business we really did not like having to handle them (cash drawers not setup for them and extra time/effort to account for them).




    My father and father-in-law both served in the Navy in WWII.  They were paid in two-dollar bills and told me that people and businesses in any port where the US Navy had a presence would recognize the two-dollar bill.  My father-in-law always carried two-dollar bills for tips when traveling and got me started on it.  


    I'm guessing the crew know where to exchange them when they are in port.

  21. If you ever find corridors blocked on a HAL ship and the staff seem reluctant to take action , you can quote from their very own policy which states:


    "Scooters and other mobility equipment need to be securely stored and charged in the guest's stateroom; not in hallways or elevator lobbies. Scooters left in hallways and elevator lobbies could restrict people needing to travel through these areas in an emergency, particularly other guests using mobility aids, since they would have no way of getting by a scooter left in a hallway."

  22. 6 minutes ago, DaveOKC said:

    Very interesting idea!  Sure makes you standout.


    I have heard that two dollar bills can be difficult to cash as many people not familiar to them think they are fake.  Ever have this issue?




    Never had an issue with them, but about the only place I use them is on cruise ships.  

  23. 8 minutes ago, Colo Cruiser said:

    Apparently all on their way out.

    We won’t spend valuable cruise  time trying to obtain one.

    Nor will we spend valuable cruise dollars for a balcony cabin without adequate seating.  We already had two cruises booked with Princess when we learned about the disappearing barrel chairs here on CC.  Since then, we have booked four more cruises over the next two years, none of them with Princess.  Fortunately, there are many cruise lines and ships to choose from.  In the meantime, on our two remaining Princess cruises I'm taking a folding camp chair.  It comes with a nice carrying bag and I can use it elsewhere on the ship - such as the Melanoma Deck - and not have to contend with chair hogs.


    Where's Doug in this discussion?




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