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About pstoker

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Signal Mountain, TN
  • Interests
    Reading, snorkeling,
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    So far my favorite ship was the old Statendaam, favorite port of call Hawaii

Recent Profile Visitors

88 profile views
  1. This is our first 30 day cruise and my first time to Australia. I have to say, so far I've been pretty impressed with the ship, the crew, and the activities. I've enjoyed several of the lectures so far and I like the fact that the ship doesn't "feel" as crowded. My wife and I are easy going travelers. I have noticed some things that are worth mentioning. Though, I've never been on the Maasdam before, it seems like the ship has undergone a remodel. It seems like some of he appliances and upholstery/furnishings are newer. I also like that when you walk near the casino, you don't smell smoke. The lifeboat drill was one of the fastest I think I've every been through on a cruise. The one drawback of the drill was the volume on the speaker was so loud that people had to cup their ears to tolerate it. So far I'm very happy with the trip. Tomorrow will be our first stop at Airlie Beach. Starting out with a couple of sea days is a nice way to recover from travel lag and get into the rhythm of things onboard. DSC_0DSC_0098.NEF098.NEF
  2. It's living in a "middle class" income bracket but both parents working multiple jobs to make ends meet. Once I was old enough I worked as well to help out.
  3. My wife and I love cruising. We've never really had a horrible cruising experience with HAL. We have taken some pleasure in the hobby of people watching. Many people forget the fact that they are on a cruise, which only a small portion of people ever get to do in the first place. Some people take pleasure in treating the cooking staff on the Lido with audible contempt. Some people enjoy complaining about everything they encounter with respect to the cruise ship. Some people complain about the fact that one conglomerate has taken over the line and that HAL is just a puppet of a larger company. Regardless of the veracity of their statements or perceived justifiability of their behavior, they seem to forget that not everyone gets to enjoy being on a cruise. I grew up in a very poor middle class family. Cruising was never an option I even dreamed about. Watching the Love Boat was about as close as I dreamed I would come to a cruise. Thanks to hard work and a bit of luck, I get to enjoy it now but I never forget where I came from. The people who serve you on these ships are far away from their homes and families for months at a time. The staff that cleans your rooms, cooks your food, and handles the ship, in most cases do it for a salary you and I would never consider as acceptable. They work enormously hard to please the guest and they absorb quite a bit of verbal abuse by people who frankly have it pretty good in life. Maybe it's my 21 years of military service, or maybe its the fact that I I still have calluses on my hands, I never overlook the hard work people do. The best thing you can do as a cruiser, whether you're a first time cruiser or an experienced cruiser, is to lighten up, take in the ocean air, and just enjoy the fact that you have the privilege to cruise. If your sheet isn't folded quite as perfectly as you would like, remember that you didn't have to make that bed. If you're treated rudely, by all means report that treatment, or don't tip as much. Before you decide to go an a rant ask yourself this question. Would you do what these people do for the pay they receive? I recognize that there are some truly bad things that may happen on a cruise. Back in January 2017, I was on the Nat Geo/Linbad cruise that threw a rod in the middle of the Drake passage and had to return under emergency power. But even then, the overall cruise was a great experience. I'm happy go lucky person. I love being on ships. Yes, I've noticed some changes in services, but I'm smart enough to realize that have a zero defect mindset is unrealistic. To keep myself grounded, though I'm retired, I work part time in an industry that is woefully under paid (EMS). Many of my colleagues work multiple jobs to make ends meet. So remember, if you have a stable deck beneath your feet, don't have to do the dishes after dinner, or make your bed, you've got it pretty good in life. Enjoy yourself. Leave the grump monster locked up at home where he/she belongs.
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