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BruceMuzz

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  1. Let's do the math with HAL's smaller ships (1200 passengers) 25% capacity would be 300 passengers Minimum safe manning on those ships would be over 300 crew. That puts the total souls at 600. Vancouver's limit is 500. No deal.
  2. First they have to find a ship built in the USA. (Spoiler alert; Good luck with that one) Then, after they change the ship's registration and start paying American taxes, they are required to hire American crew. They also have to pay American wages, overtime, and payroll taxes. (Second spoiler alert; Your cruise fares will double) The American Crew must be members of the US Merchant Marine to work on the ship. The US Merchant Marine currently has very few members with any cruise ship experience. To join the US Merchant Marine, your criminal background must be investigated by the FBI in all 50 states. This takes about 6-8 months and costs $1200 per crewmember. So if they start working on this right now, you can expect to book a high-priced Alaska cruise on an American ship in 4 or 5 years.
  3. My ship carries fewer than 500 souls. We will be cruising in Canada and Alaska this summer.
  4. Canadian ports are closed to most cruise ships until 01 July. If they cannot call at a Canadian port, most cruises to Alaska are not happening. Your only option would be an American Flag cruise ship that is not required to stop at a non-US port. These ships are small, expensive, and not very nice.
  5. There most likely will not be any Alaska cruises going before 01 July, as all Canadian ports are closed until then. PVSA Rules require a foreign port call on an Alaska cruise by a foreign flag ship. Unless your Alaska cruise is stopping in Japan or South America, it cannot happen. You could look at the few American Flag ships that cruise Alaska - although they are not very good and also terribly expensive.
  6. I manage smaller more upscale cruise ships. We offer tasting menus all the time. They are custom designed for whomever requests them. There is no extra charge.
  7. There are many thousands of cargo piers around the world where a cruise ship can tie up, receive necessary services (power, water bunkering, fuel bunkering, garbage removal, grey and black water removal, provision loading, port security) at reasonable prices. When cruise ships are laid up for whatever reason, this is what usually happens.
  8. For the most part, things in Asia are under control. Now everyone here is talking about avoiding travel to the USA - where the situation is not under control.
  9. Generally speaking, when the US economy dips, the cruise lines make more money. All those American travelers who would normally go abroad in a good economic year decide to still take a holiday in a poor year - but closer to home. The smart - or lucky - cruise lines take advantage of that. After 9/11, that’s exactly what happened. As luck would have it, I was working for NCL, who had introduced “Homeland Cruising”, just before the 9/11 attack. They had re-positioned many of their ships to North America as part of the promotion. As soon as the airlines got back on schedule after the 9/11 incident, NCL’s business was booming.
  10. Currently in the USA there are 5 reported cases of the new virus and zero deaths. Also currently in the USA 19 million Americans have contracted another serious virus. 180,000 have been hospitalized so far this year. Over 10,000 have died - including 60 children. What is this terrible disease? It is the flu - the same one that hits every year. Wash your hands. Everyone can go about their normal business.
  11. Hardly anyone ever goes to Daikoku Pier - except the employees who work there, handling containers. Your hotel is very close to the Meeting Point. There is a small park between the street and the meeting spot. You will approach a tall wrought iron fence with just one or two entrances. One of those entrances will get you access to a large open space with buses. That is the meeting spot. There are usually staff there at the entrance with direction signs.
  12. There are countless threads on this board that specifically answer your questions. Just do a search to get the answers.
  13. I have called there on 5 different ships with 5 different cruise lines. I have been a Senior Officer on all 5 ships.
  14. As incredibly friendly and welcoming that most Japanese ports are to cruise ship arrivals, Kanazawa is even more so. Every time my ship calls there, the entire town shows up to welcome us and then again to see us off. Typically they have gifts for all my guests, special Hapi Coats for anyone celebrating a birthday, free shuttle buses for guests and crew into the city. On our last call, they lined up automobiles along the coast in the evening, shining their headlights out to sea, and installed giant speakers playing Auld Lang Syne as we sailed away.
  15. It depends a bit on what sort of touring you are planning to do. Kita Shinagawa is nearly halfway between Central Tokyo and Yokohama. Tokyo is certainly exciting, but so is the Yokohama area. There are many subway lines, JR Trains, and Shinkansen passing through Shinagawa Station. The MESM Hotel appears to be very close to the Tokyo Monorail station, which is next door to a JR Station, which is next door to Daimon Subway station on the O-Edo Line. O-Edo line is one of the best for getting you around Tokyo and connecting to other subway lines. The Haneda Airport Monorail was designed to carry passengers and luggage back and forth from the airport. When I fly to my ship from Haneda, I often take 4 pieces of heavy luggage by myself on the Monorail. The MESM hotel may not be well located for nearby restaurants, but neither is the Shinagawa Marriott. Both locations will allow you to get to neighborhood restaurants on foot or via subway in just a few minutes. MESM does have the advantage of being a bit closer to central Tokyo.
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