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About Heidi13

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    British Columbia
  • Interests
    Travel, Photography, Swimming, Walking Dogs, Football (Glasgow Rangers)
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Viking Ocean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:

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  1. It is only UK that drives on the left. We return to UK every few years and I have no problem switching back and forward, I just have to remember no left turns at red lights.🙂 However, DW who has only ever driven on the right, has no desire to try it.
  2. Old Seamen would wet cloths to prevent stuff from moving, until you hit really rough weather, at which point everything was stowed securely.
  3. Crystal was sold by original owners NYK Line to Genting HK about 5 yrs ago. However, Genting is experiencing financial difficulties, have ceased making payments to creditors, as of Aug 2020. They are attempting to restructure their debt. Genting also owns Star Cruises and another Asian Line. Unless Genting can restructure their debt, Crystal may not survive to accept the new tonnage.
  4. Don't know which World Cruises you have completed, but on our 2, that was not our experience. The laundry rooms are often some of the busiest places on the ship. Suspect it may vary with cruise line. With our first WC on Princess, about 1/2 pax were Elite, so had included laundry, but most of the non-Elites used the laundry rooms, as the ship's laundry service took about 3 days. On our recent Viking WC, only a few suite pax had included laundry, so best guess is about 80 to 90% of pax were using the laundry rooms. The laundry rooms were complimentary and available 24/7, with them used from about 05:00 to late evening every sea day.
  5. In my experience, most of the world's large port cities are not some of the best places to visit, although some have improved dramatically over the past 45 yrs. Back in the 70's, very few of the large port cities were overly safe places to visit, with two of the worst being London and Sydney. Having joined my first ship in London's docklands and docked in Pyrmont Docks in Sydney, I have many days of experience in these areas. Both were rather disreputable areas, but have experienced urban renewal. Both cities, including the docklands, are now amazing places to visit, although in London, I prefer Greenwich to Tilbury Docks. Another example was Southampton in the 70's, where the docks area wasn't the best, but a short drive to Hamble or the New Forest provided a significant contrast. For major cruise ports around N/America, that disappoint, I would include almost all of the major port cities - Vancouver, Seattle, San Pedro, Miami, NYC and Honolulu. However, once you get outside the city, each of those cities have many amazing places to visit. Even though we reside in Metro Vancouver, we avoid the downtown core where cruise ships dock, it is the same when we visit Seattle, L/A and Hawaii. When travelling outside N/America, we travel to see the differences and experience the sights and cultures. Therefore, we haven't really visited anywhere that hasn't met those criteria and been a significant disappointment. Especially when port calls are a single day, some visits are better than others, but that is mainly due to the tour and/or vendor we selected, not so much with the location.
  6. For land based holidays, without being on a cruise ship, we have returned to Halifax, Honolulu, L/A, London, Southampton, Liverpool, Dubai, Saigon, Ko Samui/Bangkok and Sydney. Have also planned an RV trip to Alaska, which should be in the next couple of years. Also considering a return to Fiji.
  7. It may also vary at a particular port based on the number of ships in port, size of ships and the number of longshoremen available.
  8. OMG!! that was a huge typo. 🙁Thanks for picking it up.
  9. Departing Seattle, the outbound lanes of the traffic separation scheme in Juan de Fuca transit Canadian waters, so yes Canada does have jurisdiction. Unlikely they would stop a ship, but it must transit Canadian waters to reach the Pacific Ocean. Inbound ships transit through US waters.
  10. The latest update from the Viking Chairman on Aug 12th advised all cruises were cancelled through to the end of 2021. He also promised an update on the new measures Viking will be taking when they resume. I anticipate receiving another update end of October to middle of November, as to the status of 2021. What will that announcement contain - only Viking and those with crystal balls know. Personally, with the situation throughout the world, I have no desire to speculate, especially when considering which countries, if any, will open ports to cruise ships. While predicting the future COVID world is challenging, I would consider the terms and conditions of Viking's refund policy that were in effect at the time of booking, with your personal risk tolerance. If you pay the final balance and Viking cancels, you will be offered a full refund or future cruise voucher at 125% of monies paid. When cruising resumes, you have a nice 25% bonus; however, if it doesn't, you could be an unsecured creditor. Personally, we have a PIF due next month for a May/June River & Ocean combo with pre and post excursions. While our FCV's will cover most of it, I will pay the balance with a credit card. At present, I figure the odds at 50/50 the cruise will go.
  11. AMH is similar to the BC Ferries system and I have no doubt WSF. We had to provide pax/freight service to numerous islands for anywhere between 12 to 20 hrs per day. One per week, we also provided a Dangerous Cargo sailing, which in accordance with regs we could only carry 1 or 2 vehicles and their drivers. Cost recovery through fares on some routes was probably < 10%. A couple of private outfits have tried pax only fast ferries between Vancouver & Victoria, but they never last more than a couple of years, as they must be Canadian Flag. Even with heavily subsidised fares, we still get complaints the fares are too high. Can't imagine the costs if local ferries were operated on a for profit basis, with international crews. AMH, BCF & WSF are all cabotage trades and are a very highly specialised area of the industry. I have had many very qualified and experienced deep sea mariners applying for work, but many of them couldn't handle doing 20 kts passing land at 480' on the beam, making 90 degree turns through a 3 cable gap in 6 kts of tide and docking in < 8 mins from first reduction at 1 mile out. I recall one very experience ULCC Master that every time he saw a boat he pulled the throttles back, just doesn't work when they are all around. He only survived 2 days. Just can't imagine introducing foreign crews into this environment.
  12. Affirmative, the Lion's Gate Bridge is a limiting factor in the size of cruise ship that can enter Vancouver. We did have one of the NCL ships in once last year, but if memory is correct, it was limited by the tide, needing LW to enter the harbour. With a lack of cruise berths, especially since they closed Ballantine, Vancouver has already handed Seattle most of the business. They are considering options for a cruise terminal outside Burrard Inlet, but I don't see anywhere that is feasible. They have mentioned both the Fraser River and Robert's Bank Coal/Container Terminal, but on shallow draft high freeboard vessels, these can be tricky approaches in high winds and tides. Roberts Bank has space, but it is also 30 miles from downtown. AMH did build some high speed craft about the same time we built them in BC, but I believe much of their tonnage is older. I recall racing the Columbia a few nights back in the 1980's and she wasn't a new ship, so she must be over 40 yrs old. The other ships we passed in BC waters were even older - Matanuska, which is probably about 60 yrs old by now.
  13. Affirmative, had we found a broker that would accept the risk that is how we would have purchased the insurance.
  14. Chief - you hit the nail on the head with PVSA not "Cruise Vessel" SA. Any changes to the PVSA for Alaska cruises could open up the Alaska ferry market, with BC Ferries Ro/PAX vessels then able to enter the Alaska market. Post COVID, especially in the non-summer months they certainly have tonnage available to compete with Alaska Marine Highways. You could also get other foreign flag high speed ferries operating in Alaska waters. Totally agree, there is no such thing as a simple amendment to complex Acts & Regulations.
  15. In our experience, how the credit card is charged depends on your country of residence. In North America, when paying the deposit or balance, our TA calls the cruise line and provides them with our credit card number. Therefore, the funds are directly deposited with the cruise line. When booking with a UK TA, our credit card was charged by the TA, who then transferred the funds to the cruise line/holiday provider. In UK, if the TA has financial difficulty they have ABTA protection for everything except flights.
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