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joat

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About joat

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Arizona
  • Interests
    Travel, cooking, photography, reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland American Line
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    all

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  1. joat

    LGBT Cruisers

    Just booked the last of the flights we will need for next summer. Already had Norwegian Air from home to LAX and LAX > CPN to join HAL Zuiderdam on 06JUL for the 24-day cruise ending in Boston. Today I booked a nonstop from Boston to Phoenix. We will shuttle from there to home. All coming together nicely. WooHoo!
  2. joat

    LGBT Cruisers

    We did meet a number of great people on the cruise, straight and gay. There was a contingent of 45 guys from Palm Springs, CA, a few from Canada. All were great.
  3. joat

    LGBT Cruisers

    Very disappointed with Princess. Cabin was great. Cabin Steward was great. Nice itinerary--all familiar places and a chance for a quick visit with friends in each of the 4 ports. Most of the rest of the staff with whom we were in contact were under trained or had had no training before being put on the job. I feel sorry for the crew for being put in such situations. Quality of food is very important. EP had none. Mediocre at best. Often cold after a long delay in arriving to the tables in MD and in specialty restaurants. Always overcooked. Bland. My hubby ordered eggs Benedict one time. The dish arrived with crusty hollandaise sauce on it and hard cooked eggs. When asked of the waiter we were told that they always put it under the salamander to warm it. Warm it? Not cook fresh? No. I tried for an omelet in the buffet for breakfast. After 25 minutes it arrived swimming in grease and cold and far overcooked. Inedible. The ship design is not good. The kitchen and dining rooms are on decks 5 and 6 in the middle of the ship. If you want to get from one side to the other it is necessary to go up at least one deck, walk through, come back down to the deck you want. Just a terrible design. Deck 4, 15, 16 have obstructed flow also. The panoramic view from the lounge is nice. That bar also has the dance floor, which is miniscule. There is no service until sometime after 10PM and it is difficult to get to. Elevators are very slow and separated from each other making it difficult to RUN to an elevator when it does arrive. Older folks had much difficulty. One lady said she just used whatever one arrived and she would eventually get to the deck she wanted. Entertainment==of 7 night, two nights in the main theater were movies. But one could always go shopping, buy bad art and/or jewelry. Entertainment in the lounges was mediocre or less. One duo should look into a career change because the could never carry a song on key. This was an experiment to see if we wanted to sail with Princess sometimes. The line offers some itineraries our favorite line does not. Since Princess is a part of the same corporate family, we expected nearly the same quality. Not there. Other cruisers with whom we discussed the issues told us they had found similar situations of other ships of the line over the past two years. Such a shame. Will not repeat sail with Princess. Too bad. We had such hopes of it being a good alternative for cruising.
  4. Thanks to everyone. I appreciate your information.
  5. One of the highly advertised river lines leads one to believe that their river cruises are 'all inclusive'. But gratuities is one of the biggies that is not part of 'inclusive'. I presume if it is not one of the things listed as included it likely is not. That has proven true for the one with all those huge ad campaigns. It was a challenge to find an answer. Finally, I emailed two friends who had cruised with the line. Gratuities were very, very high for them, as compared to an ocean cruise, where one knows in advance that there will be a gratuities fee added to onboard spending. What river cruise lines are really all inclusive? Joseph
  6. Leaving 17FEB for a short 7-night cruise on Emerald Princess from LAX--Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and back. First time on this line. Anyone else in this group on the cruise?
  7. joat

    LGBT Cruisers

    Leaving for a short 7-night cruise on Emerald Princess from LAX on 17FEB--Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and back. First time on this line. Anyone else in this group on the cruise?
  8. joat

    FOD Meetings On Holland America

    My husband and I are from Arizona. We are retired and try to cruise at least once each year. HAL is our first choice in cruise lines. We have tried others but return to HAL every time. (Have not tried any of the Brit lines, such as Fred.Olsen--yet.) This year we have a 24-day cruise on HAL Zeiderdaam from Copenhagen (06JUL) to Boston via the northern route. We would love to meet up with other LGBT cruisers on this cruise. There is a roll call for our cruise and so far we are the only gay couple participating in it. If there is a gay cruisers roll call for this cruise, I have not found it. If any of you should happen to be on this cruise, please, let us know.
  9. joat

    underwhelmed by Princess (Emerald)

    Thanks for your input. However, the chef did not say the recall was the reason. I asked. The line just stocked poorly. We were almost late in sailing because the line did not handle provisioning well. Provisioning was the issue in wine stocks and liquors in the bars and in the quantity/quality of beef as well. I am a retired private chef and do know a couple of things about food and how to handle it. Purification of food is a simple thing to do and is supposed to be standard procedure aboard ship. Thus, if provisioning had been handled properly there would have been enough romaine for the two week length of the cruise. Our friends, who had cautiously recommended this cruise, said the ship ran out of several things on their cruise as well (exact itinerary 8 months earlier). It seems to be an RCCL practice. It seems rather like a 'bait and switch' process. We just will not sail on any of the RCCL lines. The experiences have been consistent.
  10. joat

    LGBT Cruisers

    My husband and I are from Arizona. We are retired and try to cruise at least once each year. HAL is our first choice in cruise lines. We have tried others but return to HAL every time. (Have not tried any of the Brit lines, such as Fred.Olsen--yet.) This year we have a 24-day cruise on Holland America Line (HAL) from Copenhagen (06JUL) to Boston via the northern route. We would love to meet up with other LGBT cruisers on this cruise. There is a roll call for our cruise and so far we are the only gay couple participating in it. If there is a gay cruisers roll call for this cruise, I have not found it. If any of you should happen to be on this cruise, please, let us know.
  11. joat

    underwhelmed by Princess (Emerald)

    I just discovered your post. We are booked for a short cruise on Emerald Princess down the Mexican coast and back to LAX, 17FEB - 24FEB. We are normally Holland America Line cruisers but wanted to try another in the Carnival Corporation family of lines. We are hoping Princess is near to HAL so that we can have more choices in routing. If the food on our cruise is a lacking as you and others state, it will be our only cruise on Princess. Last fall we tried Celebrity (knowing it is a part of the RCCL cruise line family) on the cautious recommendation from friends. The itinerary was fine. In the MD food was mediocre and before we were through the Panama Canal they were running out of items (romaine lettuce for Caesar salad, ditto anchovies, serving strip steak and calling it Steak Diane, several wine selections--Oh, but we have xxxxx for double the price in our wine package). Excursions through the ship were very, very rushed so the group could be taken t the next shopping op. Service was very poor. It seemed there was little or no training of the staff. These things are what we had encountered on Royal Caribbean cruises years before and stopped using them. We have now eliminated all RCCL lines from consideration. Food quality in MD is very important to us. I shall post the food impressions from our cruise which starts in ten days.
  12. joat

    Wine package on Regal Princess??

    How can the ship plan on wines to stock using that system? That is just weird, and not used on an of the other Carnival family of cruise line on which we have sailed. I have a call in now, awaiting a call back from Princess rep. No answer for 2 days, however, and repeated attempts. This is really becoming so unlike Carnival Corp.
  13. joat

    Wine package on Regal Princess??

    Our cruise is longer than a week. I have queried Princess about wine packages for our cruise. So far, no reply either to my email or my query on their Facebook page. Just strange.
  14. joat

    Wine package on Regal Princess??

    Yes, the 'drinks' packages are listed and ridiculous. But wine seemed to be by the bottle only. Just strange.
  15. Booked on May 10, 2019 Regal Princess--Copenhagen >Copenhagen. I find only individual bottles listed so far on the Princess site. On CC the most recent discussion I have found so far about wine packages on Princes is from 2008 and 2006. We have sailed on HAL several times, thrice on RC, once on Celebrity. We have always bought wine packages prior to sailing. HAL and Cunard have wine package. I am finding only individual bottles of wine. Am I missing something on their site?
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