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SargassoPirate

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Everything posted by SargassoPirate

  1. I agree with the first time HAL cruiser's observations since they echo our impressions on our first HAL cruise years ago. We booked it quite by accident when looking for a transatlantic that would get us to Europe at a particular time. We loved it, and always consider HAL when looking to book cruises.
  2. 😄 Only once by my count. Since they pulled the barrel chairs we have booked four cruises on other lines. One of those is a world cruise. There were four cruise lines under consideration for the world cruise. Princess narrowed it to three. Thanks to CC we found out about the chair situation before booking further cruises with Princess.👌 There are lots of cruise lines and lots of ships on the seas.
  3. The OP mentioned HAL, and I gave HAL credit for offering a nice alternative to a drink package since a drink package must be purchased for both cruisers in a cabin. Useful information.
  4. Yep, suggested, just like the dress code suggestions. Arrive whenever you want and dress for dinner however you want.
  5. I did fetch it out and let it lay for a few days. Finally, I picked up the phone and called our "usual" agent at Viking. After expressing my interest in a particular cruise at the November sale price as well as my displeasure of the fine print requiring payment by the end of December in order to get the sale price, he went to work. Long story short, we were able to get a three category upgrade, a reduced deposit, and final payment closer to the actual sale date. It probably helped that we've sailed with Viking before and used the same Viking agent, but after all was said and done I was happy with the overall arrangements. We don't sail exclusively with any one cruise line, always looking for a good deal on somewhere we want to go. Fortunately, in today's cruise industry, there are lots of choices.
  6. Probably some over zealous fire inspector. If your building is fully sprinklered and equipped with sufficient exits, I would ask to see what section of the NFPA or local fire code they are citing. My only copy around here is over 20 years old, so I wouldn't trust it in a code argument.
  7. I can. Door decorations do little to add the the fuel load in the corridor, especially when the occupancy, in this forum the ship, is fully sprinklered and equipped with automatic fire doors. A bigger hazard is mobility devices parked in the corridor, thereby blocking free and open access to the path of exit travel. If only the cruise line would put a notice about that in their daily papers.
  8. While handwashing is indeed the best defense, how many common contact surfaces do you touch after you wash your hands and before you pop that roll into your mouth? Food ladles, beverage dispenser handles, the menu, the bottom of your chair as you pulled it in, the salt/pepper shakers, the table top itself? Was the table preset with drinking glasses/cups placed upside down on the table surface? If so, take a few moments to see how the tables have been cleaned in between diners. I've sat and watched the crew take a used cloth napkin and wipe the table with it and then reset the table with the drinkware upside down on the table. Sure, wash your hands, but carry a little container of sanitizer in your pocket or purse and use it just before you start your meal. 45 plus cruises, ranging from 7 to 49 nights, so far totaling almost a year and a half at sea and by following my own advice I've never, ever been sick on a cruise. All you need to do is break the chain of contamination.
  9. One can handle and touch all sorts of common-use surfaces, some of which are undoubtedly contaminated, including the door handle of the restroom on the way out, the handrails, serving ladles in the buffet, gambling chips in the casino, and so on. The key, as I stated before, is to break the chain of contamination, especially in a public environment. Washing your hands and then touching a host of contaminated surfaces does little unless you sanitize your hands just before you start to eat. Keep the little beasties out of your mouth.
  10. I suspect the demographics of the cruisers attracted by the various cruise lines is also a big factor in what one can expect to see as being dressed for dinner on formal nights. We expect a certain decorum when cruising on the QM2 and the vast majority of the cruisers respect it. When we cruise on Viking, every night is smart/resort casual and again, the vast majority of the cruisers respect it. It does seem, however, that some cruise lines attact a demographic who, for whatever the reason, treat the ship and their fellow PAX as if they are on a party barge. Fortunatly, there are plenty of ships on the seas.
  11. It's easy to tell who didn't wash their hands - they are the ones with noro. While handwashing is indeed the best defense, how many common contact surfaces do you touch after you wash your hands and before you pop that roll into your mouth? Food ladles, beverage dispenser handles, the menu, the bottom of your chair as you pulled it in, the salt/pepper shakers, the table top itself? Was the table preset with drinking glasses/cups placed upside down on the table surface? If so, take a few moments to see how the tables have been cleaned in between diners. I've sat and watched the crew take a used cloth napkin and wipe the table with it and then reset the table with the drinkware upside down on the table. Sure, wash your hands, but carry a little container of sanitizer in your pocket or purse and use it just before you start your meal. 45 plus cruises, ranging from 7 to 49 nights, so far totaling almost a year and a half at sea and by following my own advice I've never, ever been sick on a cruise. All you need to do is break the chain of contamination.
  12. My apologies cowboy. Should've deleted the word not. The mobility devices are not to be stored in the corridor, but are to be stored in the cabin when not in use. I know better and am sorry for the error
  13. It took about three minutes tops to weigh the two jacket and ties combos. No waste of time at all. But isn't it humorous that the reason people throw out there for the reason they don't want to dress up is luggage restrictions? What's next? Bathrobe and flip flops in the MDR because they don't feel like dressing for dinner at all?
  14. I was curious enough the airline excessive luggage excuse, so I broke out my digital scale to see what dressing up for formal night would mean on anyone's luggage allowance. I didn't count trousers, shoes, or shirts since those can be worn on multiple evenings on the ship. The variable for a man to look dressed up for formal/gala/whatever the cruise line calls it is a dinner jacket and tie ( and I forgo the tie on my ensemble) With all of this being said, I weighed a sport coat and two ties and then weighed a suit jacket and two ties. The sport coat and ties weighed 2 lbs 2 oz. The suit coat and ties weighed 2 lbs even. I don't think two pounds is the real reason - it's just an excuse.
  15. I always like your thoughts here. One of the two seatings could be designated formal with a special benefit or two and the other as casual "my way" dress suggestion. That way the formals wouldn't be forced to eat with the Golden Corral folks. They class system is already at work with suite benefits, why not extend it to people who want a more refined dining experience? We cruise back and forth to Europe on the QM2. Their dress code is well known and we pack accordingly. I wouldn't expect to show up for dinner in shorts, a wife beater, my ballcap on backwards, and expect to be seated.
  16. Regarding the "luggage restrictions" excuse, has anyone actually weighed "formal" wear? As I've stated before, I can get dressed up enough to pass for "formal" nights nowadays with a pair of black slacks, a black ribbed T-shirt, and a black sport coat. They don't take up that much room, they don't weigh that much, and I look better than half of the men in there who can't be bothered to dress for dinner. What one wears in any social setting speaks volumes about the person and is the face that one presents to the world. Dress for Golden Corral one way, but in a more elegant setting the Golden Corral duds should be put aside.
  17. Me too, donaldsc. I keep after the the ship's management until they correct the situation. SOLAS and any fire code that one wishes to apply is clear - exit corridors must be kept clear and every cruise line has a policy that mobility devices must not be stored in the cabin when not in use. There are no exceptions for little out of the way corners and such. PLUS, more often than not, a scooter parked in the corridor often hinders other scooter users from getting past. That being said, there is a specialty thread here on Cruise Critic that is a wealth of information about cruising with scooters and other mobility devices.
  18. Good point, the MDR doesn't produce much in the way of revenue per square foot. That's why promenades are disappearing.
  19. Thanks, franski, that's encouraging. There is the old saying, "There's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing"
  20. She Who Must Be Obeyed and her cabin boy are D+, so we just cannot see the value of the key for anyone with any status on Royal. Put the pencil to it and see if it is worth it for what you get, especially if you are in a big rush to get on the ship, in a big rush to get off the ship, and don't mind paying extra to eat lunch in the MDR on boarding day, and want to use a lot of internet. As for us, we cruise to relax.
  21. The staff at the entrance are scared to call anyone out for inappropriate MDR dress for fear of upsetting the person and receiving less than a 10. The staff's careers live and die by the 10. Thus, enforcement of most anything - feral children running wild, chair hogs, card players claiming tables in the buffet, and appropriate attire in the MDR has fallen by the wayside. If people don't care to clean up for the MDR and follow the norms for dining attire in a more elegant setting, the buffet is always available. Clothes make the person and what one wears in different social settings speaks volumes.
  22. Saw this on the way into a restaurant recently:
  23. I quit packing "formal" wear when the maitre ds stopped enforcing any semblance of a dress code and it became "suggested". I do however pack a black sport coat and several black and white ribbed T-shirts. Those over a pair of black slacks (which weigh less than jeans BTW) and I'm good on whatever the cruise line chooses to call the suggested evening attire. The old saying "clothes make the man" still applies, especially when applied to the guy who shows up in shorts, a wife-beater, and his ballcap on backwards.
  24. Thanks. If there was a plastic bottle leftover, I might try to fly it home, but not glass.
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