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About rkacruiser

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    10,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Centerville, Ohio, USA
  • Interests
    Travel by rail and cruising, reading, watching sports, and exercising
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America Line, Princess Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Singapore, Hong Kong, Rome, St. Lucia, St. Thomas, Fort Lauderdale

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  1. Am I permitted to disagree with your thought? I think the question has been why Grand Classica sailed such a long distance to serve as a vessel for another purpose other than cruising. Essiesmom has information that I didn't know which helps to explain why NCL chose to charter Grand Classica for such a purpose. Oasis of the Seas is not a NCL vessel, but a Royal Caribbean ship. If that Company also charters ships for the same purpose as NCL, this must not be an uncommon practice in the shipping industry. That's news for me as well. Given the destruction experienced on the island where Freeport is located and the determination by the major drydock company there to resume normal operations, we may well see other chartered cruise vessels being docked at Freeport very soon to accommodate dockyard workers whose homes on that island were destroyed.
  2. Thanks for your response. Good to know what you have experienced. I hope my fellow YC guests and me on my sailing will have the same experience. I have been on cruises where King Neptune was very upset due to being near the tail end of a typhoon, crossing the Tasman Sea when he was not having a good day, etc. The old but very true cliche applied on those sailings: "The more you pay, the more you sway."
  3. Absolutely correct in your thinking. MSC has now had enough experience in the North American market that staff and procedures will be tuned to what North American guests expect. It's my understanding that there is a "Manager of YC" that overseas the experiences of YC guests. The Concierge or whomever, or am I misunderstanding what I have read. If this is so, an unsatisfactory response from the Maitre d' or whomever is responsible for a particular venue of a ship's YC ought to be brought to their attention. Or, if that is not possible, the ship's Hotel Manager/Director whatever his/her title might be. In my experience on ships of various lines, whomever is the ship's Executive Chef makes a major difference in my satisfaction of the food I consume. Even in the ships' specialty restaurants, the Chef in charge of that restaurant influences what is served to the guest. Two specific examples of this: My MDR dinners on Royal Princess this past December/January were mostly disappointing. Service was lacking as well. My most recent cruise was aboard Coral Princess. My MDR dinners--in fact all of them, including breakfast and lunch when the dining room was open--were excellent. Service was excellent as well including breakfast that last morning in Vancouver. Nieuw Statendam in January on b2b cruises: MDR dinners and menus were nothing better than "OK". Service was good. On Westerdam in July, MDR dinners and menus were very good to excellent as was the service. HAL's Pinnacle Grill has disappointed me on all of the ships except for Prinsendam. Sel de Mer on Nieuw Statendam and the pop-up on Westerdam were nothing less than superb! As customers of the cruise industry, "we pay our money and we take our chances" with the expectation that the staff that will take care of us and our needs will be "at the top of their game". I have learned from Behind the Scenes Tours that a ship's Executive Chef may "tweak" the corporate recipes that he/she receives. I have concluded that some are better "tweakers" than others.
  4. MSC Meraviglia will be the largest vessel on which I have sailed with the most guests. Having a Butler to assist me dealing with the ship's size and the number of guests will be very appreciated by me, I am sure.
  5. This is a good question and one that I have thought about. Not only is YC far forward but "way up" as well. If King Neptune is having a bad day and "the ocean is in motion", by the laws of physics, some in YC may not be having such a great day as well.
  6. Lots of good wishes for you, BJs mom!
  7. I am curious about your experience on this tour. I did that same tour at Halong Bay and found the tour to be very interesting and the visit to the caves interesting. But, getting back on the boat was one of the more harrowing experiences of my life. We had to walk down a steep set of concrete steps to get to a landing where the boats were. Then, we had to walk across a rather narrow wood gangplank to get on the boat. A boat's crew member was at both ends of the gangplank to assist, but one was on one's own during the middle part of the transit. Did you find this type of a situation?
  8. That's what I do. My visits to the ship's medical center has had nothing to do with any "germs" than I contracted.
  9. No disagreement with your thinking. Market share and $$ surely is involved. It's disappointing to me, but I realize it's realistic, that an Alaskan cruise guest might prefer to patronize a Diamonds International, etc. rather than engage in a really Alaskan experience. What about the environmental concerns that should NOW be addressed by an excess of cruise visitors to our 49th State? Thankfully for the NPS, cruise ships visiting Glacier Bay National Park are regulated. I have a Nephew, now raising a family and happily and successfully employed there, who moved to Alaska from metropolitan Washington, D. C. Why did he do so after he graduated from the University of Georgia? He wanted to get out of the chaos of urban life in which he was raised. (Maybe his experience in Athens, Georgia might have encouraged that thought. Athens is a lovely city and lacks the chaos that I regularly experience when I am in the Washington, D. C. area.)
  10. And with even more guests in the Alaska ports, at what cost to the quality of the Alaskan experience for those guests?
  11. You need to decide what is the most important itinerary for you. A round trip from Seattle or Vancouver will probably provide you with the most Inside Passage cruising. Even with a Vancouver/Whittier-Seward itinerary, there will be a segment of Inside Passage cruising. Remember, some of the Inside Passage cruising will be when you are "tucked in bed". You really need to do more research and thinking of what you want to experience.
  12. My first experience this August on Coral Princess as an Elite guest: I really enjoyed this. Why? #1. It was held in the Library which was closed except for qualified guests. The staff, with the exception of one evening, were the same. While some safety equipment blocked the view, there was some good views depending upon where one sat. #2: None of the specially priced drinks appealed. I could order what I wanted--at the usual price of course--and the Steward(ess) would go to Crooner's Bar to get whatever I wanted. I had a bottle of a wine "saved at that Bar" and she was able to serve me from "my bottle" with no issues. #3: With the staff being regular, it was interesting to engage in conversation with them. #4: Rarely the "food item of the day" appealed to me, but there were always other items from which to choose along with a differing selection of cheese slices/cubes and veggie items and dips. Being a late sitting diner, this amenity well worked for me and I did appreciate it very much!
  13. My such experience was disembarking at Chennai, India and re-embarking at Mumbai. No issue. I showed my cruise card when I needed to do, probably also my passport as well. "Welcome Home" is what I heard. (And, I was not part of a HAL Shore Excursion.)
  14. Agree. The demographics are wide ranging on every ship on which I have sailed. I sailed on a Carnival Freedom cruise during Spring Break thinking that I would be the "Grand-Father" of the ship. Well, that was a joke! I needed to watch out for scooters.
  15. Some of these changes have resulted in employing well intentioned individuals whom I sure tried to do their best in their jobs. Some of their efforts worked; some didn't. The tendency for cruse lines to seek "celebrity chefs, wine experts, etc." has not been much of an improvement for this guest's cruise experience other than Chef Rudy's Sel de Mer. Pop-up or a permanent venue: the concept and execution is sound. The Todd English bally-hood venue on QM2 some time ago missed the mark. Anyone try the Signature Curtis Strange Pork Belly entree during a Princess Cruise? If you enjoyed that dish, your digestive system is in better condition than mine!
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