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  1. Whether it is a gala night or not might not make a difference. I was on the Oosterdam Western Caribbean three years ago over Thanksgiving. The previous night was the listed gala night and Thursday night I believe was the last night of the cruise and not listed as a gala night. I donned a sweater to go to dinner only to find as we were about to enter the dining room that almost all the men were dressed in suits. I quickly retreated back to my cabin and put on a jacket and tie. (My wife did not have to retreat with me as she always dresses appropriately and looks beautiful.) Was it required? Was it suggested? Would I have been refused a seat if I did not wear the coat? Would anybody have said anything if I just wore the sweater? No NO No NO. But I sure would have felt self conscious. While this is a Thanksgiving day thread, many threads that relate to dress code are questions of this sort. The thread starter is not asking what the limit is before getting a YES to to one of the above questions but rather is seeking to understand the norm so that he or she will not fall into the self-conscious moment. It is not enough to tell the thread starter what he can do or wear but rather he should be provided with a sense of the norm.
  2. I apologize. Since the thread was about dining / Sharing a table, I assumed. I missed where the thread was hijacked to cover muster drills. I must read more carefully and never assume. My Mistake.
  3. A classic case of behaving poorly is always in the mind of the beholder. The problem was with the Maitre D who directed the second couple to the table that was already taken. (perhaps the Maitre D mistakenly thought that they were the other couple for that table) The first couple obtained a table for four because they intended dining with a specific other couple. When the second couple showed up, the first couple properly indicated that the seats were saved for another couple that would show up in a few minutes. The second couple should have returned to the Maitre D pointed out his mistake and request to be reseated. Instead the second couple proceeds to take seats at the table where they obviously were not wanted and against the protest of the first couple. And in the process ruining the dinner for them and the other couple. The ball was in the second couple's court in that having been informed that they were not wanted at that table (and in this case for a very good reason) they could choose to start over with the Maitre D or create a confrontational situation. The second couple choose the confrontational route. That the first couple handled the confrontation with just a roll of the eyes shows tremendous restraint on their part.
  4. All these me too replies. Ugh. When I am on holiday, I should be able to do whatever makes ME happy. I pay a fortune for the cruise and I should be able to do, say and wear whatever I want. When I am not on vacation or holiday I have restrictions on what I wear so I should be able to wear whatever I want, wherever I want, whenever I want. Its my vacation and If you do not like it then you are just being judgmental. Further I have to be pleasant and nice to everybody at work so when I am on Holiday I should be free to be as grumpy or nasty or demanding as I want to be without being judged by my fellow cruisers. I paid for the cruise and if you do not like it then you should pay my fare. There are just too many judgmental people on this board, that is people with opinions of their own..
  5. One thing these cruise lines have in common is that none of them are owned by Carnival. CCL owns Seabourn whose ships range from 400 to 600 or so passengers. I could see them possibly getting slightly larger but not much as they would soon lose their luxury status. The remaining CCL brands are all into large builds in excess of 2,500 passengers. CCL, as they slowly sell off their aging fleet of mid size ships, is abandoning a market of the 800 to 1,500 passenger ship. This is pretty much the area of the premium class lines such as Azamara under Royal Carribean or Oceania under Norwegian. Perhaps CCL knows better than these other large corporations but it does seem that they are abandoning a large market. Instead CCL has two upscale mass market brands in competition with each other, as Princess and HAL seem to be competing in the same size builds and in the same customer price range. I would think it would be in CCL's corporate interest to keep an operating business in this midsize market . CCL could create an entirely new subsidiary or acquire one of the independent premium brand. But if they wanted to convert one of their current brands into the premium brand, I would think HAL would be the best fit. The conversion for HAL would involve any new builds to be in the 1,000 to 1,500 passenger range. Probably an increase in price of the cruises and a decrease in number of interior cabins. The wide wrap around promenade decks, the consistent quality of the Indonesian and Filipino crew, and the general old time classic cruise experience would be the selling points to distinguish the line from the other premium lines. Because of the need to raise the prices to meet the added costs to match the standards needed to compete in this market, ie food and entertainment upgrades, the line would probably alienate a large portion of its customer base over time but at least the CCL corporation would not be competing with itself and abandoning a large market share to its competitors.
  6. If you do attempt to sleep overnight in the cabana, can you request room service if you get hungry in the middle of the night?
  7. Why would you not be surprised that someone was asked to pay for a second entree on some HAL ship in the last two months? Any evidence ? Any anecdotes? Just a personal negative attitude? I agree that there are too many self proclaimed experts who believe their's is the only version of the truth. But I would hope that before any conjectures on the truth are made that they at least have some scintilla of fact backing it up. "This must be rooted out" And as a practical matter, once HAL had eliminated the policy of a charge for a second entree, how would the passenger be charged for the second entree. The billing system would have no way of processing the unrecognizable transaction. It would likely require the collusion of the server, the maitre de and the HAL data processing department to get the charge on the passenger's bill. Possible yes but unlikely.
  8. Maybe or Maybe not. One of the principal justifications for the OP being it the spot she was in was that she was a long time cruiser with RCI and that previously she had always had refundable deposits, apparently no questions asked. Therefore under this logic anybody who has previously made deposits or traveled on RCI prior to the new policy of all deposits being nonrefundable would need to be grandfathered into an exception to the rule and their deposits would still be refundable. Remember she was a very savvy cruiser and fell into the trap. Think of the many less savvy former RCI cruisers and grandfathering them in will be the only public relations and very possibly, if I have read many of the responses on this board correctly, legal recourse for RCI.
  9. I was considering a first cruise on Crystal and getting a room on the promenade deck. I was looking at the pictures of the deck and what is apparent is that their are no deck chairs on the promenade deck. It seems to be an ideal place to have at least some section of the deck with the traditional teak wood deck chairs. Perhaps this has been discussed in a previous thread and being this is cruise critic it probably has. Nevertheless I am too lazy and lacking in computer savvy to look it up. Does anyone know why the promenade deck in many of the pictures looks almost sterile being uninhabited by even a lone deck chair or two?
  10. So the negative posters on this topic are that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. And that the original poster should have known it was a mistake and not banked too much on it actually being legitimate. But substantial discounts do happen and they are not necessarily mistakes. I was able to purchase two round trip tickets direct from United Air Line from anywhere the east coast to anywhere on the west coast in the next four months for $100 each when the going price at the time being well over $500 a piece. I booked to SFO and return from Seattle. A mistake you and I might say but no. It was a sale that lasted from 10:00 AM to 12:00 noon one day and I was only made aware of it by an independent travel agent who happened to work in the same building as the local United Air Lines office. I had used the agent only once a few years before but mentioned I would consider a trip to California if the price was right. He called that morning and I made the decision by 11:00 AM.. Companies do sometimes make offers that are too good to be true. Should the original poster presume that there was a mistake in the offer and not respond to the offer? Should the original poster believe it more likely than not that it was a mistake but on the off chance that she was just lucky make the reservation and wait for the result? With the acceptance of her payment and the confirmation of her reservations can she now presume that she was lucky and it was not a mistake? At what point was she being unreasonable in her assumptions? At what point would her actions be considered unreasonable?
  11. That sounds great. You can still feel good about yourself. Like having your cake and eating it too. An analogy would be the rich people during the American Civil war could avoid being drafted by hiring someone else to serve in their place.
  12. Possible, but as it was still six days prior to final payment date I have to believe that would be unlikely. Sure it could be just coincidence. In fact there are a number of other possibilities. Such as HAL had pulled the room from inventory for that cruise for some reason but changed their minds on that particular day. In any case I doubt very much that I would have obtained the room without the help of the PCC.
  13. Vince, Your arguments may have some merit. But then again, if they really did, then why do other cruise lines still refund OBC at the end of the cruise? They are just deliberately breaking the law if I follow your reasoning. The refunding of OBC appears to be more a matter of corporate policy rather than legality. Both Seaborne and HAL have both refundable and non-refundable OBC. If it is a gift then it is refundable. If it is from the Cruiseline ie a sales promotion inducement it is probably nonrefundable. However as I discovered on my last cruise with HAL even OBC issued by the cruiseline may be refunded. I had a small issue on the voyage and though not requested the line issued me OBC as a gift for the inconvenience. I did not spend it all on the Cruise and the balance was surprisingly refunded on my credit card.
  14. I have not cruised much but the PCC I was assigned could do what I could not do personally and my guess is that most travel agents would find extremely difficult to do. That is based on my experience with the few TAs with whom I have dealt. About week before final payment date but well before sailing, I finally committed to take a particular cruise but only if I could get a Lanai Cabin. I did not want a private balcony and I did not want an inside or oceanview. I would only be satisfied with a Lanai. The problem was that I had been checking the online reservation for this cruise for at least the four previous months and the Lanais were sold out . I took the chance and called the PC Consultant assigned to me as listed on the brochures mailed every other day by HAL. I indicated that I would commit to the cruise but only if there was a Lanai cabin. He looked a the list and told me there were no Lanai cabins available. I said I knew that but if one came available I would take it. Two days later he calls and tells me one came available and he indicates the cabin number. It was not a guarantee but a specific room. The price was the current price and the perks, onboard credits, prepaid gratuities and the like were based on the current offers. I accepted. As the payment date was only 5 days away, I paid immediately. Later he was able to get some additional onboard credit for me even though I had not requested it. Subsequent to the reservation I continued to check the online information and no Lanais ever came available. Verandah suites continued to be available up to about a two weeks before the cruise, as I received offers to upgrade for a price, up until then. I am presuming that the PCC contacted HAL reservations and HAL made a generous upgrade offer to some of the people with Lanai reservations and one jumped. Perhaps a TA could have had that kind of pull with HAL and would also be as helpful for me. But I believe the PCC relationship with HAL is what got me the room so quickly.
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