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About Heidi13

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    British Columbia
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    Travel, Photography, Swimming, Walking Dogs, Football (Glasgow Rangers)
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Viking Ocean
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  1. All depends on your definition of cheaply, but you certainly have a number of options. In Sept/Oct and possibly Nov you will find a number of ships transiting across the Pacific from West Coast to Australia/New Zealand. Your second option is World Cruise segments. Some originate in N/America and have a segment to Auckland and/or Sydney. You will also find World Cruises originating in Europe that have N/America to Australia/NZ segments. Most World Cruises are Jan/Feb. A potential 3rd option would be looking for a cargo ship working that route. There are a multitude of websites that list cruise schedules, or you can visit a cruise specialist travel agent. Cruise Critic rules prevent us naming TA's.
  2. I certainly disagree that the terms "Port" & "Starboard" are irrelevant, as they are included in numerous regulations, including the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea 1972 (COLREGS). For landlubbers, these words and other nautical terminology may be irrelevant, but for those of us working, or have worked in international shipping, they are part of the daily vocabulary. These were terms you learned on day 1 and Captains had an effective means of ensuring you only got it wrong once. Disadvantages - I have worked with many crews with minimal to no English. As QM they knew Port & Starboard and how many times to turn the wheel, but left/right was a foreign language to them.
  3. For our upcoming WC, we didn't book pre or post excursons in L/A or London, as we know both cities and can find hotels cheaper. However, these were optional costs, over and above the WC cost, so no saving on the fare. For flights, which are included, the flight allowance is included on the invoice as a separate component of the WC fare. However, the allowance is less than the cost of a business class flight from LHR to YVR. To purchase our own flights would have cost an additional CAN $1,500 to $2,000 pp. I could have saved money by using BA points, but then I have to book as soon as the booking window opens to guarantee the dates. Viking also charge extra for deviations - arriving early or leaving later. We arrive L/A a couple of days early to ensure we make the cruise. We may not get much snow on the West Coast, but a couple inches can shut down the airport & city roads. We negotiated Viking waiving the deviation fee to eliminate this risk. Summary - other than airfare, I am not aware of any opting out ability. Frankly, this is why we chose Viking, over mainstream penny pinching cruise lines, so certainly wouldn't want this benefit removed. If it helps, I have compared the total cost of our previous WC and the per diem cost is virtually identical to the upcoming Viking WC, even though the Viking base fare was almost double.
  4. Just remember ships carry boats, but not vice versa
  5. Affirmative, WA ferries have minimal catering. On some of the BC ferries we have buffets with reasonable food.
  6. Issuing helm orders telling the QM which direction to turn the wheel - Stbd is clockwise & Port is anti-clockwise and has no relevance to the port or stbd side of the ship. On a single ended ship, whether the ship is moving ahead or astern will dictate which direction the bow turns. On double ended ships, which have a rudder at both ends, it depends which rudder the QM is controlling and how the controls are set up.
  7. Sorry, the Captain has officers that manage/order water & fuel, as required. No different than whoever submitted the order for victuals from Greggs. Spent almost 30 years in command and never once ordered PW or bunkers.
  8. I've heard of Petra tours from Ashdod, but due to the distances involved, surely it would have to be a 2-day tour. Having been to Petra, no way I would consider a 6 hour bus drive, a few hours at Petra, followed by 6 hour return. From Aqaba it was about 90 min drive each way, with about 6 or 7 hours at Petra. Would not want any less, especially if you venture passed the Treasury building.
  9. The TA monetary benefits depend on the cruise cost and also the cruise line. Our preferred cruise line is providing US $8,000 in OBC, but our TA can only provide an additional CAN $500 pp. Viking limit the rebates that TA's can provide based on length of cruise. For over 15 days it is $500 pp in the currency used to purchase the cruise. Most other cruise lines do not restrict TA perks.
  10. If you are only cruising the Caribbean they are reasonably accurate, but none of those websites are 100% correct, especially when the cruise includes crossing the dateline and 1 or more nights in port. Best research tool is to search for the port's cruise ship schedule.
  11. Avoiding any survival craft is definitely my preference, but if it is a choice between liferafts or lifeboats, my preference is always a large capacity raft that is part of a marine evacuation system (MES) - Marin-Ark, Viking or LSA. Wouldn't catch me in a 25-man davit launched, but the bigger rafts are more comfortable and more spacious than the lifeboats. Unfortunately, as passengers we generally get herded to the boats, but my preference is an MES.
  12. Have commanded many classes of double-ended Ro/Pax, they were all designated as #1 and # 2 end, rather than bow & stern respectively. Although the navigation lights change depending on direction of travel, we did not change the port/stbd designation, as it was based on # 1 end being the bow.
  13. If using Viator, you should be aware that they are a re-seller or booking agent, as I am not aware they operate any of their own tours. With some research you can determine which tour operator they use and often find the same tour for less money.
  14. I can provide a suggestion as to why Viking are unable to confirm dates at this time. From memory, I believe they have a cruise scheduled from Barcelona in early 2021. The dates for departure shipyard after the build/trials at this time is still a very much an objective, or informed guess. Remember reading that steel cutting for Tellus was 3 or 4 months ago, but don't recall reading about the Venus being started yet. If Venus goes into service in Jan 2021, I would expect the yard to start building the mega blocks shortly, with the keel laying possibly Oct - Dec 2019. Therefore, we could still be a few months until she actually starts construction. Float-out from drydock to the fitting out berth could be April to June of 2020. Therefore, I wouldn't expect confirmation of handover date to owners at least until she goes to the fitting out berth. So it could be late Spring/early summer before you receive confirmed dates. The other consideration is that while the build contract will have a delivery date, most of them also include bonuses for early delivery & penalties for late delivery. While the SY will aim for the delivery date, it can at times be more cost effective to pay delivery penalties than employee overtime to achieve the deadline. All a best guess, but hopefully explains why Viking most likely can't confirm exact dates at this time.
  15. This is standard practice when I plan any cruise and is completed when checking requirements for medications, Visas, etc. Our next cruise visits over 50 ports and I believe the entire spreadsheet took about 2 hours. I also check requirements for both Canadian & UK passports, so definitely not an arduous process.
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