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joat

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Posts posted by joat


  1. Congratulations!

    It took Australia far too long to do what the populace had supported for years.  At last!

     

    My hubby and I gave up on the US and were married in Canada, after 23 years together.  Two years later the US supreme court made same sex marriage legal.  Fortunately for us, the state in which we live had laws on the books that already accepted legal marriage from other states and other countries.  We did not have to be re-married.


  2. This has nothing to do with sailing/cruising, but a request for directions.

    Larry and I are wanting to spend one to two months in Europe during Tucson's hot summer months.  Any suggestions for forums, etc. to find others who spend extended time on land trips?

    Thanks.


  3. 1 hour ago, DrGaellon said:

    My husband and I just booked a 7-night cruise on Oasis of the Seas for Dec 8-15 2019, to celebrate my 50th birthday.

    FANTASTIC!  Have a fantastic cruise!

    What is the itinerary?

    We have a long time friend who is a steward on this ship.


  4. Rhapsody of the Seas is a nice ship.  It has been some years since we sailed on it.  Met a lovely steward on that cruise.  He is no longer on that ship.  We are still friends and stay in touch.  This itinerary is good.  One day we would like to spend a longer time in Kotor.  Very nice city.


  5. Something nice to know bout singles and LGBT gatherings.

     

    Since no one in this group is sailing on our cruise, I wondered about an LGBT M&G (Meet and Greet) for our Zuiderdam cruise.  I emailed a chap in Ship Services of HAL about this.  He informs me that there is always an LGBT unofficial gathering and a singles gathering.  These are scheduled by the onboard entertainment staff and are listed in the daily program.  Just another nice touch from HAL. 

     


  6. On 4/13/2019 at 5:53 AM, Roofire said:

     

     

    Thanks, your insight is really useful.  Trying our first “small” ship in June, looking forward to experiencing the difference.

     We did 2 twelve day cruises b2b in 2016 in the Med.  Loved the whole experience.  This also gave us 2 days in major ports (Naples, Venice, Athens, Santorini) so that we had the chance to visit part of our site choices one day and others the next.  Great.

    We were on HAL Oosterdam. Loved the ship.  In fact we have sailed on three of the compass ships of HAL.  Zuiderdam, in July will be the 4th.   As some HAL cruisers say, 'Love those dam ship!'

    What line and ship are you sailing for your 'small' ship?


  7. 2 hours ago, balkor2 said:

    Nice Photo!
    and I am sure there are other Gay people ... just not "out" ... they might be ~trapped LOL

    I feel confident there are other gays on the cruise.  I guess they are just not on Cruise Critic.

    There has been a HAL hosted M&G for LGBT on the first evening of every cruise we have sailed. 

    Hmmm.  Wonder who to ask at HAL?  I'll email our rep.


  8. Seems we are still the only gay couple on the roll call for our July 6 cruise out of CPN (July 6, 2019 - 7 Day Viking Sagas).

     

    Seems a great group of cruisers.  I think our M&G is now up to 46!  So looking forward to this cruise. 

    Oh, and this morning I finally managed to get a photo of us on CC profile!

    Have a great day!  Joseph

     


  9. 'Nov 2 with Symphony of the Seas'

    Have you sailed these super cruise ships before?  My husband and I were on a short cruise of a ship with 3200.  That was the largest we had sailed.  We found that to be too large for us.  2500 is about the largest we are likely to consider.   Most of the HAL ships are still under the 2000 passenger size.  We find them comfortable.

    We have friends who cruise 2-3 times a year.  They always choose the 5K+ size ships and never leave the ship.  It is the destination for them.

    I am just wondering your perspective.

     

    Have a great day.


  10. Holland America Zuiderdam 06JUL-30JUL2019

     

    My husband and I are booked for the full 24 day cruise from Copenhagen to Boston.

    This is a 2 segment cruise. Copenhagen to Rotterdam is a 7-day segment.  Then the ship sails from Rotterdam for the 17-day segment to the Shetland Islands, Iceland, Greenland, the Maritimes and to Boston.

    Any others on this cruise? 

    There is another roll call for this cruise of over 16+ couples who are planning 2 M&G's.  We are the only gay couple in this group.

    Hope to connect with other gays as well.

    Have a great day.

    Joseph and Larry.


  11. My husband and I are booked for the full 24 day cruise from Copenhagen to Boston.

    This is a 2 segment cruise. Copenhagen to Rotterdam is a 7-day segment.  Then the ship sails from Rotterdam for the 17-day segment to the Shetland Islands, Iceland, Greenland, the Maritimes and to Boston.

    Any others on this cruise? 

    There is another roll call for this cruise of over 16+ couples who are planning 2 M&G's.  We are the only gay couple in this group.

    Hope to connect with other gays as well.

    Have a great day.

    Joseph and Larry.

     


  12. 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!


  13. 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.

     

     


  14. 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


  15. 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.


  16. 1 minute ago, Wishing on a star said:

    joat,  while I appreciate and respect your posts,  I just wanted to point out that there simply was NO romaine, anywhere at that time, not even on our Princess cruise in December, because of the recall and fear of contamination.   Our Ceaser salads were not made with romaine.  I actually had several of them, and they weren't bad!  (Except for one that just didn't seem to have more than few drops of dressing.)

     

    People always say,  "well, food is subjective".  And, I will agree, this could not be more true.

    And there are MANY people. (in the U.S.) who happily eat low quality, fake, processed, overly salted/MSG food, every single day.

    I will just say that I am not that person...  I am aware of what I put in my body, and how it makes me feel, and if it is so loaded with sodium and fake/toxic ingredients that it makes me feel ill.

     

    I know when quality and healthy items are just simply absent....  They were there before... but now, gone.

     

    Others may not have this awareness.

    I do.

     

     

    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.


  17. 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.


  18. On 12/26/2018 at 8:53 PM, cruisingourmet said:

    Just got back from a 15 day Hawaii cruise out of Los Angeles and found it lacking in what a 4 Star

    cruise line should be.

     

    The ship itself is very disjointed with bad flow from bow to stern and many dead ends.

    The daily activities are movies on the deck BIG WHOOP ! or activities where they want to sell jewelry.

    Considering what a unique place Hawaii is they could have had many many lectures on

    what to see and learn on this island state.

     

    The food was HOSPITAL QUALITY bland and poorly prepared.

    Having cruised over 20 times in last 6 years, I have had many experiences, I know food, as a writer

    for a food magazine, and some of the culinary disasters were unforgivable. Below is Main Dining Room or Crown Grill

    • pineapple salsa was catsup, horseradish and a small chunk of pineapple
    • plain white rice as a side dish
    • Steak Tartare served cooked (that is a crime) Crown Grill
    • vegetables either served mushy or almost raw
    • a mashed potato ball that was dry and crusty inedible
    •  

    This was the 1st time I ever wrote a letter to a ship's Exec Chef about the awful food in MDR (No Reply either)

    Our Cabin creaked LOUDLY when ship was at sea constantly and  a letter to Hotel Director led to being shown adjacent

    cabins that creaked too.

     

    It seems that Princess is a shadow of the "Love Boat" which they re-run 24x7 and all the cost cutting and profit maximizing

    have ruined a once nice cruise brand !

     

    PRINCESS IS A 3 STAR CRUISE LINE .....MAKE NO MISTAKE

     

    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.


  19. 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.


  20. 3 hours ago, paul929207 said:

    We have had the wine package on every Princess cruise for years. It is available at most cruises that are longer than a week. Because it is not offered on all cruises, it is not on the Cruise Personalizer. You have to ask for it.

    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.

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