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About jimdee3636

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Tucson, AZ
  • Interests
    Good food and wine, interesting conversations, gym workouts, exploring places on foot.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    HAL, Silversea, Oceania, Princess, Cunard

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  1. This has an ominous sound to it. I wouldn't expect the Ryndam to be delivered until July, 2021 at the earliest. The other half of the equation is whether HAL/Carnival Corp. would actually prefer a later delivery date, in order to preserve as much cash as possible over the next 6 to 12 months.
  2. My wife and I have been on nearly thirty ocean cruises. No matter which line we sail on, the crew members who interact the most with the passengers---room stewards, dining room servers, bartenders, etc.---are from outside the U.S., primarily the Philippines, Indonesia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe, most of whom are dedicated and extremely hard-working people. My understanding is that American Cruise Lines hires only U.S. citizens. If that's true, are they as good as the foreign-born crew members on other lines? It's a very tough job, and I wonder how many Americans these days are up for working 10 or 11 hours a day, 7 days a week, for months at a time. Or do U.S. labor laws require that they can't work such demanding schedules? I want to be sure the service will be good before I book a cruise on ACL.
  3. For reasons unknown, it's been a hit-or-miss thing for several weeks. One day it's available, the next day it's not. It's frustrating to me because we're booked on the Ryndam's inaugural transatlantic in October of 2021 and am on the roll call for that sailing. Maybe someone from CC will see this thread and resolve the problem.
  4. What Tangoqueen says is correct. I'll add that it's not just the dining rooms (other than the buffet) that have a dress code after 6:00PM. Most of the bars and other public spaces do, too. But you might want to give it a try. Yes, you'll have to pack a few more items and, yes, it will take a little longer to get dressed for dinner. But once you're dressed up---and you look around and see that everyone else is, too---you'll probably feel it was all worth it.
  5. This subject has been on my mind lately. We're booked on a 28-night Sydney-to-Seattle transpacific on the Oosterdam beginning April 12, 2021. It's actually the second part of a 43-night cruise that begins in Aukland, NZ in late March. If NZ remains effectively closed to visitors, it's anyone's guess as to whether the "second leg" would happen---even assuming Australia opens up before NZ. Flights to Sydney are now open for booking, but I'm holding off on making air arrangements until at least the fall. We just had a 19-night Vancouver-to-Yokohama cruise for this coming September cancelled by Cunard. The thought of another "once in a lifetime" cruise being cancelled is depressing. Oh well.....
  6. With regard to traveling solo, Silversea frequently offers cabins for one person at 125% of the "regular" per-person rate. Unlike the Cunard solo cabins, you'd get much more space and at least an ocean view. If Cunard offers solo cruisers much of a discount, I'm not aware of it.
  7. I thought of one other difference to add to what I wrote previously. On Silversea, more than on Cunard or any other line I've been on, it's easy to socialize with entertainers and guest lecturers. On all three of our Silversea cruises, the guest lecturers and the entertainers (unless they were performing that night) always seemed to be hanging out in the bar before dinner and are more than happy to share drinks and conversation with any guests who feel like approaching them. On at least a half-dozen occasions we wound up having dinner with them. For a single traveler like the O.P., this might be something that tips the scale in Silversea's favor.
  8. My wife and I have sailed with Silversea three times (all between 2014 and 2016---twice on the Spirit, once on the "old" Cloud---i.e. before it was turned into an expedition ship), and once on the QM2 (21 nights in the summer of 2019, in a Britannia balcony). Without knowing more about what's important to you, I can only make some general observations: _Both lines are among the most formal in the cruise world in terms of dress---I'd say Cunard a little more so. _Both lines have very good enrichment/lecture programs. _Cunard has a much wider choice of evening musical and dancing options. _Cunard has, by far, bigger and better libraries. _Both lines have a high quality of dining, but---as Solent Richard said, above---only the "Grills" on Cunard (and possibly the Britannia Club) are truly comparable to Silversea (i.e., no fixed dining times, service not as rushed, etc.). _Both lines seem to have, proportionately, about the same percentage of single guests. _If you enjoy pre- or post-dinner cocktails and/or wine with your meals, Silversea has the edge. With Cunard, you either pay by the drink or you have a drinks package. The package, while not inexpensive, still has all sorts of exclusions and dollar limits. (For example, martinis made with some brands of gin are included in the package, but not all brands. With Silversea, if they have it at the bar it's yours for no extra cost---and you don't have to keep reaching into your pocket for your room card). I like both lines, maybe Cunard a bit more but I'd consider sailing with Silversea again if the itinerary was interesting and the price reasonable (by Silversea standards).
  9. If you read the fine print in what AlanF65 posted, above, it excludes summer and fall 2020 sailings.
  10. Thanks for responding. I guess the only real answer is that all will be revealed in time. I'm probably overly anxious about these kinds of things because Cunard has just cancelled a September cruise we were looking forward to (Vancouver to Yokohama on the Queen Elizabeth), and we've got an HAL cruise next April (Sydney to Seattle on the Oosterdam) that includes a number of ports in Fiji and Samoa that not long ago refused to allow ships to dock because of concerns about measles. I'm tired of waiting and wondering, but waiting and wondering is the name of the game today, it seems.
  11. RKAcruiser and AtlantaCruiser72: You both seem more knowledgeable about these matters than I do. So I'll ask you: where is the new Ryndam in this process? I'm booked on its initial transatlantic in early October, 2021 (nearly five months after its announced maiden cruise), but I'm becoming concerned about whether the ship will be completed by then (if at all). Jim
  12. buffyone: You ask some good questions. But read your posting again. Would you pay good money---more than you paid in the past, maybe a LOT more---to go on a cruise that was structured the way you suggest (splitting up the ship into separate groups with little or no interaction; vending machines in the buffet; etc.)? I don't think so. I agree that some changes are inevitable---and probably overdue---but if the cruising model is changed too radically no one will put up their hard-earned money to sail in an upscale concentration camp. (OK, I exaggerate, but the prospect is dismal). Unless something close to what we're used to is implemented, at a price close to what we're used to paying, you may as well kiss the cruise industry good-bye. Jim
  13. Although I'm a Four Star Mariner with HAL, I regularly sail on other lines and was booked on a Vancouver-to-Tokyo sailing for this September on the Cunard Queen Elizabeth, a slightly longer version of the Noordam cruise. Cunard cancelled it two days ago, along with every other cruise this summer that was to begin or end in Vancouver. I'm sure HAL---a sister company to Cunard (they're both part of Carnival Corp.)---will do the same.
  14. Thanks to bluemarble and the others who offered comments and insights. Although I'd love to see the FCC based on the higher amount (the full price of the cruise), I have to admit that it's more logical to base it on the amount I actually paid. (Final payment wasn't due until early July). But if I learn something different I'll let you all know. Jim
  15. For some reason, I can't quite grasp the 125% FCC concept. My wife and I just had our September QE Vancouver-to-Yokohama cruise cancelled. Not including taxes and port charges, the price we booked it for was about $4,000 per person (actually a little less, but it's easier to do the math using this figure). Because we had booked it while on the QM2 this past summer, we only had to put down a $300 pp deposit. Does this mean that if, say, we find a future cruise we like that costs $5,000 per person we would have to pay only $4,000 pp? How about a cruise that costs LESS than what the cancelled one cost? Would we get the FCC benefit in the form of an even lower price (for example, by knocking $1,000 pp off the cost of a $3,000 pp cruise)? Or would there be no advantage to booking a less expensive cruise? Finally, in all cases would we still be able to "move over" our $300 pp deposit to that future cruise without having to pay anything more until 120 days prior to sailing? We're experienced cruisers but have never had to deal with these issues before. Thanks in advance for clarifying these issues. Jim
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