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About Donald

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Viking Ocean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Tokyo, Japan

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  1. Everyone wants local cuisine on a cruise. Very few get it. The US Public Health Service (USPH) claims jurisdiction over just about every cruise ship in the world. They do not approve of protein items purchased locally. Many North American passengers have a variety of food allergies / phobias / problems. Local spices, sauces, condiments are rarely labeled in English - if at all - and pose a health threat to all those who have food issues. In many countries, authentic local food is not very appealing to North Americans. They prefer the "Americanized" version. On every ship I have managed over the past 38 years, everyone wanted local food - until they tasted it onboard. The common complaints were: 1) It tasted better on shore; 2) It was far better at the restaurant in our home town in Florida / North Carolina / Montana.
  2. There are telephones in Turkey. You can call Princess to verify. Any information you get on this website will be anecdotal stories or guesses.
  3. I'm not defending them either. I couldn't be bothered to look it up. When Orlando first joined HAL, he visited all the HAL ships to meet the employees. One day he had lunch with the Senior Officers on my ship. At that lunch he confided that he had been Arnold Donald's room-mate in college. Maybe he was lying??
  4. Arnold Donald is currently the head of the Carnival Corp Board of Directors. Orlando Ashford was his room-mate in college. That's all you need to know.
  5. Would you be surprised to learn that individual cruise lines know exactly how profitable they are and discuss it internally all the time?
  6. You are missing the basic problem. On Carnival's other brands, the guests do generally spend an average of $60 per person per day onboard the ships. The numbers vary by ship, itinerary, season, weather, and many other factors. But the fleet average is $60 per person per day. HAL has the same $60 hold, but HAL passengers rarely reach that $60 limit. You and a few others may well exceed that number, but the average HAL passenger does not. That is why you have never seen HAL increase their credit hold. There is little reason for it. I worked on HAL ships for years, trying to reach that magic $60 average daily spend on a cruise. My yearly bonus was tied to that number. I almost never made it. Neither did my colleagues.
  7. Between Whittier and Vancouver, the seas are roughest on alternate Tuesdays, and on Thursdays of the weeks that begin on an even number.
  8. The Carnival Corp Group, which owns about half of all the mass market cruise ships on earth, targets an average daily onboard spend of $60 per person on their ships. That is where they get the $60 credit hold number. This doesn't seem to be much of a problem on most of the Carnival-owned lines. But HAL has a particularly "frugal" demographic that finds the number excessive. This also explains why HAL is the least profitable of the nine Carnival Corp companies: AIDA Carnival Cruise Line Costa Cruises Cunard Line Holland America Line P&O Cruises P&O Cruises Australia Princess Cruises Seabourn Cruise Line
  9. Vancouver Port Authority has informed other cruise lines that Island Princess will remain at Canada Place at least through tomorrow (Thursday).
  10. Jim, You may be surprised to learn that fires occur on ships quite regularly - from all sorts of sources and devices. You might also be surprised to learn that cruise lines are not very fond of publicizing those fires. In most cases, when we experience a fire onboard, most passengers are not even aware of it. But the most surprising thing for most cruisers is who is responsible to pay for the damage when a cruiser starts a fire in their cabin. The cruise contract makes it very clear that the passenger who causes damage to the ship is fully responsible for the payment. In my 37 years at sea, I have seen only a dozen or so fires caused by heat producing devices in guest cabins. Nearly every time, the guests who caused the fires were as surprised as anyone. The typical response was, "Gosh we have never done this before". Next, when I inform them that they owe the cruise line $200,000 for repairs to the cabin, their responses are priceless - but cannot be repeated here.
  11. You probably meant to type Wind Spirit? A great pun, in any case. Tahiti is a French colony that is a very, very long way from France. They are very proud to offer a wide array of French products - including wines - that have been shipped at high cost from France. On top of that the Tahiti government adds a high import tax on alcohol. Prices for French wines in Tahiti can be shockingly high. You might want to think about a "Plan B" for wine.
  12. Donald

    Glacier Temps

    Am I understanding this correctly? You are visiting this place for the first time and are speculating on the temperature. You contacted the company that goes there every day and received an answer that does not match your guess. Now you are asking total strangers - many of whom have never been there (or visited once a long time ago) - to further speculate on what the temperature might be this week.
  13. The OUTside of the ship always gives you the best view.
  14. The Centers for Disease Control experts disagree with you. Although the easiest means of viral infection is direct person to person touch, there are many viruses that survive for many hours, days, and even weeks on a completely sterile surface. The stories about aerosolized contamination of viral spores are mostly just stories. Unless someone sneezes in your face or vomits right in front of you, the spores quickly drop to the floor and do not infect you - unless you happen to be on the floor. The CDC experts claim that the most risky places to go on a cruise ship - especially during the first 48 hours of your cruise - are the self-service buffet and the public toilets. With dozens to hundreds to thousands of people touching the same serving utensils in the buffet, the odds are seriously stacked against you. Then you add those people raised by wolves who are putting their fingers/hands into the food, eating things while in the buffet line, tasting things and putting them back on the buffet, dropping things onto the floor and putting them back on the buffet. It is a miracle that more people do not get ill on a ship. Passengers who are experiencing stomach / intestinal problems will often opt to use a public toilet: 1) Because there is not enough time to get safely back to their cabin. 2) Because they prefer to make a mess in a public toilet rather than the one in their cabin. If you can avoid the buffet and public toilets for the first 48 hours of your cruise, those who have a virus and refuse to do anything about it are now either recovering (and less contagious) or are too sick to go to the buffet and public toilet. On any large cruise ship, there are people with viruses - particularly noro-viruses - reporting every day. But the Epi-Curve (the graph that logs the frequency and percentage of reporting people) is normally lowest on Day 3 of the voyage. That is when those who brought the virus with them are either recovering or confined to cabins; and those who caught the virus from them have not yet started to display symptoms. From that point forward, controlling the transmission factors becomes easier, more organized, and safer for you.
  15. Larousse Gastronomique is one of the top printed food books on the planet - but it is not pocket sized. Who knows, they may have an electronic version by now. How can you find out? Google is your friend - and it's free. Google (and Larousse Gastronomique) can also help with spelling those perky terms, like "Bon Apetit"
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