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About Michelle1234

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  1. Daniel, You won't be bummed if you get a great guide. It will be worth it. I think it is a definite do if you are in that part of the world. No regrets, even with our terrible guide.
  2. I've finally gotten around to trying the two brands of Chocolate I bought. I prefer the Chocolate Paulette (silver bag). It is smoother. The Choc'elena (brown paper bag) is good but the sugar is grainier. Did anyone buy the other brands? I sort of wish I'd bought a few more brands to see the differences. It was hard to tell when tasting them at the different stands. However if I'd got one of each flavor of the Chocolate Paulette I would be very happy! These are not the same as gourmet chocolate, more rustic but a good souvenir.
  3. Yep. Wonderful cruise! Still have some unwanted souvenirs (excess lbs and colds) but also still basking in after cruise glow that comes from a wonderful cruise.
  4. I loved the Coral so much that I'm kind of jealous! We spent 19 days with only 5 ports and the last couple of days trying to do the dining venues we hadn't done and making sure we had fully explored the ship. We felt the ship was very nice to spend extended time on-board.
  5. Thanks for this info! Honestly, I would consider sailing on that ship just to meet him. Such an impressive person.
  6. Thanks for the info on the captains! My husband and I were just on the Coral Princess for a 19 day cruise and the Captain's name seemed familiar so I thought maybe it was one from the World cruise but it isn't. You are right, we weren't cruising for about 10 years. After the world cruise I wanted a break from cruising. The Coral Princess was an experiment to see if we still like cruising. We had a fabulous time! Hope all is well with you!
  7. Hi Hillslife, I was also on the 2009 TP world cruise with you. Do you by any chance remember/know who our 2 captains were? I know we started off with one and then mid cruise another took over. Thanks!
  8. We did Uber at San Pedro a week ago. Very easy because we were in the later disembarkation group due to an afternoon flight and there were plenty of people arriving in Ubers to go on their cruise. $55 for a Toyota Sienna Uber XL to LAX. The quotes for the regular size vehicles were about $35 to LAX. We just had too many bags. 🙂 The guy was on the bridge with an incoming group when we booked it so we waited about 9 min. for him to get to us and deposit his passengers. Very easy and convenient.
  9. We took this tour through Princess. I enjoyed the agenda which was a fairly long drive to the ruins, tour of the ruins, trip to a town with a walk through a local market, church visit, very enjoyable dance show and chocolate making demonstration. Our guide was personable and loved to talk about the meaning of the chocolate bean to us. Even during the ruins tour, which he didn't seem to know anything about. Others said their guide did a great job during the ruins tour so it is luck of the draw. I sampled alot of the chocolate from about 5 or 6 different vendors. Their was a bit of a taste difference so I bought a number of different products from my two favorite vendors. This was my top gift buying stop for folks back home because they all like chocolate and the products were fairly unique. I got roasted chocolate beans covered in sugar, nut mixes with roasted chocolate beans (think gorp), bags of flavored chocolate, Mexican vanilla etc. I loved the itinerary and the only thing that would have made it a great tour would have been some historical info on the ruins. It was also hard to see the chocolate making demo unless you were standing in front because they had the whole 40 plus person bus stand in front of one person at a long table. Maybe in the future they will hold the demonstration in stations so as to allow more people to see.
  10. I forgot to mention how good the tourist goods were at the Puerto Quetzal port. Unfortunately you need to steel yourself in advance for aggressive vendors. Also the bargaining process. Know that you can expect to pay half of what they initially ask. I wish I hadn't been so hot and tired as I would have dearly loved to get more of the carved puzzle boxes and the embroidered items. I also bought a great belt for $10. But the Tikal excursion is about 9 hrs long and when I got back it was a bit overwhelming to look at all the goods. The shopping area was huge compared to some other ports we went to.
  11. The MTS Oceanos comes to mind. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MTS_Oceanos "Captain Avranas and many crew members were criticized for leaving hundreds of passengers behind with no one other than the ship's onboard entertainers to help them evacuate. " I remember the Concordia captain did the same thing, left the passengers behind. There is alot of video on the Oceanos helicopter rescues. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BFux2AAMso The guitar player entertainer took control and organized the whole thing. Nova did a special on him.
  12. You are correct in that I only spot read the thread. gretschwhtfalcon, I think were kind of in agreement that there wasn't a good reason to do this sort of storm with a luxury cruise ship. That is why I'm taking the position that this was a poor decision by the captain. If this failure is due to a reduced roll angle there is some engineer somewhere scratching their head saying, I warned them. It wasn't a good idea to reduce the rolling angle to save money or we should have sold the ship with a caveat it couldn't be sailed in the north sea during the winter despite selling them the ice protection hull package. Luckily it wasn't a titanic level disaster or you would have had someone in this situation: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/03/21/470870426/challenger-engineer-who-warned-of-shuttle-disaster-dies But you are asking really good questions. Is the rolling angle of the Viking ships different than other cruise ships? I have no idea. I guess people can praise the captain all they want for getting them out of the disaster he got them into. It was a bad judgement call to sail in known bad conditions. No amount of people excusing him will ever make that go away and if the captain is a true captain he will take ownership of that judgement call. It was a completely avoidable situation and somewhere someone's life is permanently altered due to a broken neck. I prefer to praise all the captains who never get themselves into this sort of situation in the first place by changing course, speeding up, slowing down, making the call to skip a port etc. gatour, Thanks for answering my question. We were at sea during the episode and only just got back so I am catching up on the incident. I agree, I would prefer to be on the ship as long as it wasn't sinking. I was just curious if there was a technical reason they could not deploy them. There are some articles saying they really aren't deployable in rough sea conditions due to the design and are only useful in calm waters. If so that is something to be looked at by the industry.
  13. Someone else may be able to address your questions better but what I can say is in every design you make design trade offs for cost. For instance it wouldn't make any sense to design a cruise ship engine that could operate upside down. It it were in that position the ship would be sinking and there would be no point. It would also be considered cost prohibitive. In the design specs. that Viking puts together they take into account the most extreme angle at which they expect the ships to operate at. The ship builder builds to those specs. Viking likely makes cost trade offs also. Designing everything for extreme angles costs more money. And given the nature of their business it doesn't make alot of sense. They know they are operating a luxury cruise ship with "soft" deadlines so no real need to go through extreme storms. They also know they have loose serious projectiles like chairs and pianos on board taking it through extreme storms threatens those assets as well as the windows, railings etc. on the ship. It isn't like a container ship where everything is tied down and there is an escape pod positioned at the back for the crew that is angled down so gravity can get it off the ship in an extreme storm. At certain angles those things go flying across the room and can kill people. They also know they have alot of expensive glassware and fragile people on board. So they make a call as to what angle the ship should operate at. The captains should be well aware they aren't sea cowboys and what the ship is capable of as well as where the edge of comfort (and the point at which dinnerware starts flying) is for the passengers. Added note: I did read that lifeboats could not be used in this instance due to the power outage. Can anyone confirm that? To me that is a very serious design flaw. If it was due to the high seas that also brings into question their design.
  14. Sorry, I used poor wording. Yes, I meant to roll the engine on it's side. Unless it is designed to be operated in any position there are angles that it will not operate at. In this instance it had oil sensors that shut it down as a fail safe to protect the engines from destroying themselves.
  15. No but I am an engineer. And at some point if you tilt an engine over on it's side it is going to fail (I corrected the wording based on a subsequent question) unless it is designed to be operated in that position. It is the captain's job to know this and the other technical limits of his equipment. It's the reason good captains so often announce "We're diverting because of a storm", "We're running ahead to stay ahead of a storm", "We're delaying because of a storm". You know, good judgment sort of announcements, the sort that don't put everyone's lives in jeopardy. The engines didn't just up and quit. They had oil to spec. They had sensors designed to turn them off if the oil wasn't in place to protect their operation. They just weren't designed to be operated at the extreme angles the Viking Sky was being pushed to. It is the captain's job to know what his ship can do and what it can't.
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