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About Oakman58

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  1. Normally I give the porter a couple of bucks but a few years ago I was in a bad mood when I finally arrived at the New Orleans cruise port. When I failed to give the porter a tip he said something to the effect, I hope your bags make it onto the ship. This just ticked me off even more and put me in a worse mood and I replied, do want you want bud, I have travel insurance. My bags made it to my room. As bones774 mentioned. in the United States porters are members of the Longshoremen's Union and make a great wage. I don't know for sure but I'd bet the porter jobs are primo and go to those with the most union seniority. I don't mind tipping at all, but I do mind tipping someone who has the potential to make a six figure annual wage.
  2. I just returned from our cruise on the Breakaway and your assessment is spot on. I think NCL has quit giving a cruise experience and now offers a hotel experience. In other words, nothing special. Also a big turn off for me and my wife was the smell of stale smoke not only in the casino but also on deck 8 by Wasabi and Shakers Cocktail bar. I pray your broken bones heal quickly and completely. I shattered my ankle in January and I'm still having to deal with swelling and a pain that is aggravating.
  3. I loved your trip report and thanks for posting all those wonderful photos. Skipping meals because of the spectacular views is completely understandable. So much to see, so little time. Yes, I too think HAL still provides a proper and elegant cruise. I just returned from an Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Breakaway and I've come to realize it's time to give up on NCL. Your comment about the playing cards on the ceiling where Mass was held made me LOL. Too funny. I'm glad you posted the picture of the drop down shelves in the closet. That is a great tip. You could have as many or as few shelves as needed. Your attitude about the Kiwi incident is amazing. Zen or not, I would have been ticked off.
  4. Surely you realize that my post was tongue in cheek and not meant to be taken seriously.
  5. Absolutely correct. That why the lifeboats have those loops of rope along the side. The more loops there are, the more people can go at one time.
  6. Yes, that is exactly what I did. And to cover all bases I put out a towel and book to reserve my spot on the sundeck of two of those fancy lifeboats, one on the port side and one on the starboard. But wait, there was one other boat that I reserved a seat on. I also put out a towel and book to reserve my seat on the ship's fancy little speed boat with the spoiler on the back. That's right, in the event of an emergency I might be the one you see water skiing back to shore. By the way, the "regular" lifeboats on the Breakaway have a listed capacity of 305 persons. Here's the real question; is there a toilet on those lifeboats? I've been in the lifeboats that are used for tendering at some ports and I don't recall seeing a toilet anywhere. 305 people and no toilet...Uh, Houston, we've had a problem.
  7. Is this a tongue in cheek post or am I serious? I'll let you decide. Since Norwegian's official muster stations are located within the ship at various venues such as dining rooms, lounges, the theater, etc. I do my own lifeboat drill soon after muster or on the following day. Not all lifeboats are equal, some are better than others and I look for the best. In the event of a disaster like the Costa Concordia experienced I can't imagine going to an interior muster station to have a crew member take me to the appropriate lifeboat for evacuation. Would they hold passengers at the muster station until everyone shows up and then take everyone to a lifeboat? Just how is this supposed to work? Is there any guarantee that the crew members will even be at the muster station and not panic and abandon ship? Even the Captain of the Concordia panicked and "slipped and fell" into a lifeboat. This is why I do my own lifeboat drill. On my Breakaway cruise last week I discovered there were three lifeboats on each side of the ship that were much better than the others. These would be the lifeboats I would head to in case of an abandon ship event. These six lifeboats had windows on the sides, they were equipped with marine radar, and they even had a sundeck. My thinking is any lifeboat with a sundeck would probably have a lounge and nice toilets too. Here are a few pictures to give you an idea of what I'm talking about. Here's a typical lifeboat. It certainly looks good enough to save lives. Here are the lifeboats I will head to. Notice the designer windows on the side of the lifeboats. Hmmm, these lifeboats look a lot nicer than the others. Notice these lifeboats are equipped with a radar dome. And how fancy is this? A sundeck on a lifeboat, how sweet is that? So if I'm ever on the Breakaway and there is an abandon ship event, don't look for me at the muster station, I'll already be on the sundeck of one of those fancy lifeboats and probably sipping on a martini from the lifeboat's lounge. Cheers!
  8. The view from Paradise Point on St. Thomas U.S.V.I.
  9. Next time I cruise I think I will test out this facial recognition thing. I'm going to bring my disguise kit with me and wear something like this.
  10. My wife and I just returned from an Eastern Caribbean cruise yesterday. We had fabulous weather with the exception of Tropical Storm Humberto causing our port of call at Nassau, Bahamas to be cancelled. I'd rather have another day at sea anyway. We did have a couple of beautiful sunrises. The problem with taking photos of a sunrise is you have to be awake for it. 😁 Here are a couple of pictures of one of those sunrises.
  11. OMG, with all due respect to Rock of Ages and Burn the Floor, Howl at the Moon on the Breakaway was the best show on the ship. Those three musicians were not only talented and hilarious they were outstanding at engaging the audience. It was so much better than the dull and boring Howl at the Moon we saw on the Epic in 2016. I don't know how long those three guys will be on the Breakaway but if you have an upcoming cruise on her, you owe it to yourself to see Howl at the Moon at least once or twice. Each show is different because of the song requests and adlibs. HINT: Those wooden chairs in the Comedy Club/Headliners can play heck with your butt after sitting in them for a couple of hours. If you plan to attend and have room in your luggage, bring a stadium cushion so you can stay for the entire 4 hour show. We have a cruise on the Epic in January and I can only hope that the Howl at the Moon on her will be at least half as good as what we experienced on the Breakaway.
  12. Just off the Breakaway in Miami yesterday and they did the facial recognition thing for disembarkation. Other than standing in the long conga line to disembark, the facial recognition made customs quick and simple. After having your sea card swiped you walked 10 feet to the camera where your face was recognized or not and then off the ship.
  13. Are there USB ports in balcony cabins. If so where are they?
  14. I've never been impressed with the Latitudes Party although I did enjoy getting a free drink in the days before the UBP became a thing. On our Alaskan cruise on the Holland Westerdam we were invited to the Mariners Society lunch. Why I don't know because this was our first cruise with Holland. Not being one to look a gift horse in the mouth, we attended. Wow, I was blown away with the lunch and it included champagne and everyone received a free gift. The Latitudes party pales in comparison.
  15. No they didn't have music/dancing that I recall but we only made it to Tea Time once so possibly on other days.
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