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jan-n-john

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  1. Thanks Keith. Once again, something that happened nearly two decades ago. I also notice in reading the story that the so-called "black" water had been treated (hence my quotes around black, which once treated is no longer black, even back then let alone by today's standards) and the oily bilge water had been processed as well. The vast preponderance of the water in that incident was grey water, which of course can be discharged in the open ocean anyway since it has essentially no measurable environmental impact. While none of that should have happened in a sensitive area, and app
  2. I have been searching for a cite to that incident but have not been successful. If you have a link to a story about it I would be grateful. Since getting into this thread I have once again been looking around for articles and so forth about evil cruise ship dumping, photos, and so on. Just about everything around is dated from around 20 years ago. The arial photos one often sees of "poop dumping" turn out to be mud being churned up during maneuvers in shallow water. There's even a Snopes entry about it. Sigh!
  3. Yes the poster was talking about Crystal -- that's why I specifically mentioned Crystal's orders at the end of the para. And yes COVID has turned lots of things on their head but I'm not clear that should be a factor in this discussion about pollution. We'll just have to wait and see what develops; the OP was specifically criticizing Crystal based on the FOTE "ratings", but over half the lines in that "rating" received "F"s so why pick on Crystal particularly. FOTE is heavy on agenda and light on logic and knowledge; I'm not claiming the cruise industry is a bunch of boy scouts, but neither is
  4. Affect. If ever built? What? New ships are being built continuously, and the average age of existing ships, certainly on a berth weighted basis, is is probably less than 10 years. Oh and some of the new ones are LNG fueled. In addition, existing ships are being retrofitted for current MARPOL requirements. Crystal has four ships on order now, one large and three expedition sized. Oh, and by the way, cruise ships are a tiny fraction of the ships out there, all of which are subject to the same regulations but the point is if you think people should stop cruising then you
  5. Here's a little update to what I posted above: FOTE has a page on their website, dated a week ago, that they call "What would a clean cruise industry look like". Here's a link https://foe.org/blog/what-would-a-clean-cruising-industry-look-like/ Note the large impressive photo they selected to showcase how cruise ships are polluting the air -- the photo shows a cruise ship, apparently in Alaska or a similar environmentally fragile place, spewing out large quantities of dirty air. Well guess what. That particular ship is (was) the Russian sh
  6. My recollection is that FOTE gives an automatic F to any cruise line that chooses not to respond to them (which they call "transparency"). A kind of extortion. IMO they mostly do this "survey" as a promotion for themselves. If you look at the basis they use for assigning their "grades" overall I think you will see they are highly questionable -- their viewpoint is if any cruise line hasn't done everything they say should have been done then they are bad guys. For example, they blithely give nearly all lines failing grades grades for air pollution because according to them ships must use low
  7. Nothing new about that. We were on the Regent Splendor when things were breaking early March. It has some stations in the buffet, around the edge, with personnel behind, and others that are islands in the middle with no "backspace" (IIRC all the islands in Celebrity buffets have backspaces). For the last few days of the trip, they stationed servers by the islands and they simply got you whatever you asked for, as did the servers behind the serving areas that had backspaces. Nobody got to serve himself any more. You handed over or held out your plate, which may already have stuff on it, and
  8. Well, I'm not a big show person, and I've not sailed on HA ever, so can't be much help there (anyway based on my impression from research it's a step down from X). I'd say the shows on the higher level lines are good, but since the theaters are smaller and the staffing level for show types can't be as large as on the big ships (due to available crew space which is always a constraint) they can't be as big and spectacular as on larger ships. It just goes with the territory. On the other hand there is a greater feeling of intimacy I suppose. Suggest that might be a question to pose elsewhere
  9. I agree with you about celebrity being good value, although I can't say it's because I have experience on mass market lines (Jan does since she's the TA, although it's been many years), but given their ratings that I see and their comparative pricing it looks good to me. I view Celebrity as plain premium (5.3*), and Oceania, Azamara, and probably Viking as "upper premium," (say 5.5 to 5.7*) give or take)i.e. a cut above Celebrity. It will be interesting to see where Virgin ends up fitting in to that scale if at all. Then come the four 6* luxury lines. As to the reason
  10. Hah! Maybe so. Although I never saw cruise lines as enforcers of the "take from the rich and give to the poor" principle -- the first part certainly, but the second, not so much. One would think the premium lines have the same business incentive to monetize unsold cabins as the mass market lines, so one wonders why you don't see much of it, unless protecting the image is a really strong part of the business model, which I suppose for them it is. BTW we're hardly "rich", although I readily admit that is a concept that depends a lot on one's economic vantage point. Let'
  11. Yeah I've done that. But I guess I wasn't clear, or just assumed things. Sorry. Specifically, not to sound snooty, but Carnival isn't our cup of tea. Nor are inside cabins. For us "cheap" is relative. We're always looking for 5.5 or 6 star ships, and balconies. Celebrity is kind of our low end entry point (and not even the Millenium class but these days at least Solstice if not Edge), going up from there (Oceania, Azamara, then Regent, Crystal. etc.) . So I suppose what I really mean is how, if at all, does one get great, or even decent, last minute deals at that level? Deal defined as m
  12. Good information. Thank you. Re: #3, the ever interesting late booking: are the on-line agents the best way to search for these, or something else. I sometimes look at those 90 day deals, but really haven't ever seen much that got my heart pumping. I've also searched them out on that cruise fare site with the graphs of all the history for each fare that we can't mention. Same result. What am I doing wrong? Should I sign up for more e-mails to stuff my inbox? Are these deals all they're cracked up to be?
  13. I don't know either but especially with little carriers like that it wouldn't surprise me if they are playing games with exchange rates when they can. Screw the Yanqui's and so on. Maybe Expedia has found a way to put a stop to it.
  14. My hat goes off to you. I consider myself a price shopper, but you put my miserable efforts to shame! In the case of cruises, we haven't really looked at it hard up 'til now because my wife is a retired TA and still has privileges at a small agency she was once part of. The problem is she has to give them a big cut of the 10% and the part she gets becomes income to her so it's taxable, so when the dust settles the saving is minimal. So I've pretty much decided we have to take another route in the future, assuming of course there is a future. So from your response rel
  15. Question. Actually several questions. Is it your sense that mostly how they do lower fares is by rebating the customer part of their(10%?) commission? If so, the saving should probably be, what, 7% or so? Or due to their volume do they get bigger commissions, and/or do they actually get lower fares from the lines which they pass on? If the latter, is it special situations only like last minute or is it across the board? Put another way, what is your sense as to how much (percentage terms) are they actually typically able to save the client? Does it vary with the lev
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