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Flatbush Flyer

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About Flatbush Flyer

About Me

  • Location
    Point Richmond CA
  • Interests
    Travel, Food, Wine, Sailing.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Oceania
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    The Pacific Ocean

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  1. Flatbush Flyer

    Live from Riviera - Missed Port

    If I remember correctly, ships calling at the Yangon Port are generally dependent on flood tides. and daily maintenance dredging is carried out to reach sufficient water depth. Pretty easy for a whole boatload of things to go wrong on any given day- and those are just in the maritime realm. I'm not defending the port skipping. But, I'd need more than angry passengers to contest the captain's decision.
  2. Flatbush Flyer

    Live from Riviera - Missed Port

    Spent much time on the ocean or in countries with a host of non-maritime related issues? If I were entrusted with your well being and was convinced that skipping a port was in your best interest, I'd be concerned about your upset BUT, still do the right thing. Are you mixing up "we don't care" with "we do care" (even if our actions piss you off)? just out of curiosity: why we're the ports skipped? ,
  3. Flatbush Flyer

    Early Departure - New Cruiser

    You may want to revisit your research. The Jones Act refers to the movement of merchandise. The Passenger Vessel Services Act refers to the movement of people. As for cruise lines not wanting to accommodate you, recognize that any single person buying a two week Caribbean cruise on a mass market line isn't even a rounding error in their daily bottom line. That said, what are the requirements/consequences/et al. of early departure depends both on the cruise line and the desired port (and country) of disembarkation as well as your purpose for being there. Perhaps if you provide additional information (e.g., which Central American country), someone on CC may have some advice (though I'd take that with a grain of salt).
  4. Without actual data, your claims of "many" and "most" would be more accurately characterized as "some"' (Americans or otherwise). From your response, it appears that you may be missing the point (unless you are the uncommon exception who incurs no added expenses once onboard). And, BTW, it's safe to assume that relatively few folks drive to an Alaska cruise. That said, the occurrence of equal bottom line costs between premium and "upper" mass market will, of course, only be "now and then." But, if one wants a measurably better experience, s/he should do the "complete" math rather than assume premium always means more expensive. I had to chuckle about your "off-putting clientele" comment! If you ever try a premium line, I trust that the most common trait you'll find among a truly varied demographic population is that they all worked hard for their money and are Informed consumers who did their due diligence in comparison shopping.
  5. Perhaps true for the "luxury" lines but, not necessarily for the "premiums." A common misconception of "price point" is focusing solely on the cabin cost. A better cost comparison is "net daily rate" of your cruise vacation, particularly if international airfare is in the mix. Several such comparisons have been done by CC posters including one several months ago in which the poster found a particular fly-in itinerary where all expenses for HIS preferred experience were less than a hundred dollars apart between RCI and Oceania! Just by itself, an included (vs extra cost) $1.5 to 2k/person international airfare is a "great equalizer." Likewise, if specialty restaurants, internet, beverages, excursions, alcohol and or OBC are your preferences, cabin cost alone is somewhat irrelevant on a mass market line. Of course, it's always "different strokes for different folks."' But the "bottom line" of all expected expenses (required and optional) must be taken into consideration in any comparison (and we haven't even begun to look at the quality issues). Fortunately, many former HAL, Princess and Celebrity customers, who do incur significant travel and cabin add-on costs, have figured this out and, once they calculate the "net daily rate" (i.e., ALL your trip costs divided by days away from home), no longer immediately eliminate the premiums.
  6. Flatbush Flyer

    Transportation in London

    For the London hotel to Southampton ship transfer, check out Silver Fleet, which is the private service favored by most upscale London hotels. But, you may find it's a touch late in the game for booking the best transfer services less than a month away from arrival.
  7. KroozNut: Partly opinion and partly fact. Examine past industry studies (you can search for some of them here on CC) looking at dollars/passenger spent on food, crew and space to passenger ratios and the consistency of professional ratings from trusted sources like Condé Nast Traveler and The New York Times. In doing so, I think you'll find that, as I said previously, HAL has a "decent" product. But, by its own admission (or lack of any self rating to the contrary, it is neither a premium nor luxury line.
  8. While using a trusted, top selling TA for your preferred cruise line (in order to share commissions and have a weighty voice if problems arise) is always the best way to go, arranging air, hotels and ground transfers should most often be DIY. And, while, you may use third party search engines to identify choices (e.g., ITA Matrix for air), you should always book items directly with the provider (e.g., actual hotel site vs. hotels.com et al.) who will usually price match what you may find elsewhere and provide other benefits. When we cruise with Oceania (who includes air tix) we always take a credit instead and DIY.
  9. Flatbush Flyer

    RCI "Brilliance" vs Celebrity "Infinity"?

    Auto correct disaster. Meant to be "move into"
  10. Flatbush Flyer

    RCI "Brilliance" vs Celebrity "Infinity"?

    Of course "gourmet" is possible. But, you'll have to change cruise lines andvakao nice into the premium/luxury industry segments.
  11. OP: HAL is okay in some respects, as is Celebrity. But, cruising is one arena where "you get what you pay for." Those lines are among the best of the "mass market" cruise segment. However, for truly outstanding service, food, ship size, etc., you need to look at the luxury or premium industry segments. Our preferred line is the "ultra-premium" Oceania, which lives up to its reputation for "the best food at sea," has stellar service and limits its passenger load to 700 on its four smaller ships and 1100 on the two larger. The passenger demographic is generally well educated, professionally accomplished and cosmopolitan. Except for summer Med/Alaska when families with kids are present, it is primarily adults only (age 50+ though a younger average when college alumni associations are aboard their "favorite" cruise line). On Oceania, there are no long lines, thundering herds, prom nights, art auctions, incessant announcements, nickel-diming, annoying photographers....... Note that, while the cabin cost for similar itineraries will be higher on Oceania than on HAL or Celebrity, the bottom line total cost for ALL associated required and optional costs will be surprisingly close, particularly if you are flying in overseas (e.g., Oceania's fare includes air tix or an air credit). Also, O has no charge for internet, specialty restaurants, beverages, et al. AND provides you a choice of complimentary alcohol, excursions or OBC. In addition, if you use a top selling Oceania TA, you'll find that they will share their commissions with you and occasionally have "private O partner" unpublished discount fares. If for any reason Oceania doesn't meet your needs, you could look at Azamara, which is also a premium line, and Viking Ocean, which aspires to "premium" status.
  12. Flatbush Flyer

    Roll Call Question

    If you're using an iPhone (or probably any other smart phone) the "mobile friendly" web page that has the click bar for a "new topic" (I.e., "start a new roll call") is right at the top of the page. Here's a pic of the click bar for Regal Princess:
  13. Flatbush Flyer

    booking on board

    If your TA is an Oceania Connoisseurs Club member, s/he should have known that you can get rebooked on the same future cruise for any better "book onboard" deal as long as there is availability in your cabin category.
  14. Flatbush Flyer

    Live from Riviera - Missed Port

    Copy of published itinerary (e.g., on your original invoice), letter from Guest Services stating what port(s) was/were missed and reason(s) why, and any claim form(s) required by Nationwide.
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