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About echoshipmate

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  1. I am not fond of being referred to as "stayed". Would rather hit BB King's and have a dance and a cocktail or 2. With a financial and guest services background, he can just compare revenues from BB King's to the classical music sets. I'm 68 years old, 4 star, and am not ready for "stayed". Maybe next year I will be, then I can join the complainers that the music is too loud!
  2. Regal / Royal are our favorite ships. Did 49 days around South America on Royal last year, was one of our best cruises ever. You might just love those ships as we do. So many great dining options and if there is a buffet, it is the best, great choices and a wonderful layout. I bet they will figure something out up there that will work. Just another perspective.
  3. Princess has such wonderful special dinner opportunities, the wine makers dinner, a reservation only, 4 course filet mignon dinner with course accompanied wines included, the Chef's dinner, again a by reservation only dinner, including appetizers and champagne in the galley with the Chef and maitre d, followed by a food extravaganza in a private room with each course introduced and explained by the chef, with appropriate wine served. In the Piazza, the world orchestra, a program of the ship's musicians and the lead singer s and dancers from the production/ stage side. Live music can be found in various venues every night. The international cafe, again in the Piazza, has a far more robust selection of pastries in the morning, soup and salads in the mid day, and desserts from mid day onwards. On some ships, Princess has Alfredo's, again in the Piazza, featuring freshly made pizza and a few other Italian dishes. All of the activities in the Piazza make for a center of activity, great for coffees and teas, and people watching. More live music, more entertainment staff. HAL service, from cabin staff, to MDR staff to bartending staff are just unbeatable. Generally, HAL itineraries are more to our liking, although our 49 day fll to la around south America on Princess was anazing. In my opinion, HAL is more personal in their approach to customer service. The Pinnacle Grill can be wonderful, as all onboard restaurants can be a little hit or miss, but mostly hits. The Sel de Mer pop up night is beyond belief, great food, great service, great wine. Both lines go out if their way to accommodate food preferences and the variety and quality is quite good we have going. HAL has improved the evening and night time activities recently, but we believe Princess still holds an advantage here. The BB King blues club is way fun and is doing a great job in adding energy and fun to the HAL night time line up. These are just a few observations that apply to us, others will have a very different and varied opinion depending on their likes and dislikes and what is important to them. For us atmosphere, food and general ambiance is what we look for and to us, both HAL and Princess fit that but in very different ways. I like both ice cream flavors and don't see any reason to dissparage one or the other. I guess you could say we are cheerleaders for both brands.
  4. We are 4* on HAL and Elite on Princess and both are our go to lines. It amazes me that people don't seem to appreciate the differences between the two. Both are wonderful, providing great but different experiences, isn't it ok to love 2 different flavors of ice cream without looking down your nose at one? Princess way out does HAL is some ways and HAL way out does Princess in others. Just enjoy and appreciate the differences instead of arguing about which is better, these times call for more open-mindedness not less.
  5. Even if they changed the mats at 9 pm, very few if us would see them changed!
  6. Oh yeah, I forgot free gambling money too.
  7. Surprised to hear that some folks wouldn't wait a couple of hours for a free cruise, a premium beverage package, free gratuities and free WiFi. I have the time to sit on hold, lol.
  8. Lots of pompous people who are so certain of their own class. HAL needs to replace the most senior members as they will not be sailing with anyone much longer. We have always been, and still are, huge HAL fans, 4 star, so we have earned our Stars. Main problem to me is, I don't think HAL knows what they want to be when they grow up! With luck, we will be still sailing with them when they figure it out.
  9. I just don't get the aversion to buffets. We are elite status, so we cruise a lot. On the royal class ships the food in the buffet is amazing, wonderful choices, fresh, hot and tasty. As far as sanitation is concerned, we have always worn latex gloves while serving ourselves and always wash our hands when entering. We don't even leave our used gloves on the table, we take them with us and immediately throw them away. To my perspective, I can control the circumstances better myself than the menus,waiters, asst waiters and all the others who touch things I use in the MDR. Just another perspective for the " never buffet" people.
  10. This entire refund issue seems a little "Ponzi scheme" ish. Relying on new monies in, to pay old obligations out. Must be patterned after our government's social security system. Only difference is our government owns the money printing presses and HAL doesn't. Good luck to all of us.
  11. John, you exemplify all that is good in this world. In such trying times, you set a beautiful example. Thank you.
  12. Exactly. The person before who licked their fingers or picked their nose before touching the tongs or serving spoons, the spit or boogers will stay on my disposable gloves, not my hands. I consider that a HUGE win for me.
  13. And some people still wonder why I wear a plastic surgical latex glove while serving myself in the buffet. Folks can be so gross.
  14. And we have been ridiculed for wearing a glove in the buffet. Even though we are being served by staff, mostly.
  15. Same experience on the 49 day Royal around south America. Booked as 3 segments, got 3 mini bar setups and best of all 3 stock holder obc credits!
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