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About Captain_Morgan

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  1. reports have suggested end of September as being the effective date from which the current ban takes effect meaning all ships larger than 1000 gross tons will be re routed with the majority ending up at the cargo pier mentioned in the following story https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49276730?fbclid=IwAR0S0Mfa4gTFj42HmpN7FzNwkt2sGHZHiDQ1EXNcYLyqpSqTB6WVjzsPtAM
  2. *Caveat - this is playing devil's advocate *How many small vessels transit the grand canal on a daily basis, every day, all day, all year? Now, how many 'large' cruise ships transit the same waterway, at a considerably slower speed, for a limited number of hours per day during a small window of time each year? Given that thought, which is likely to cause more of a continuous/long term issue, and which is easier to vilify as being the root of all the problems? As i say, playing devil's advocate but in my humble opinion its silly to say cruise ships are the cause of a deteriorating land mass built in a lagoon... I'm not a big fan of Venice as a cruise destination as its simply too small a place for so many people, much the same as many of the islands in the Caribbean which are overrun with tourists, especially on those days when there are multiple ships in port. I'm a definite believer though that Venice (and to a lesser extent the islands in the Caribbean) are wanting to have their cake and eat it as they're happy for the money to flow in via the industry (regardless of whether its a case of people buying pizza or coffee) but then complain about the same industry bringing in the revenue. I'm under no illusion that the lack of ships in the grand canal will have a negative impact on the bottom line for Venice (or the cruise industry) as if anything it will generate more revenues through the use of buses, taxis, tours, etc...
  3. Been a good while since I've been to those ports; however, I can offer the following: St John's, Newfoundland - ship should dock more or less 'in town' with a short walk to the city centre; can't comment on the presence of HOHO buses Cornerbrook, Newfoundland - very small town, not much to see/do apart from whatever is being offered onboard by way of tours although there might be some local options you could source on your own, but i'd imagine they're limited due to the size of the town Charlottetown, PEI - never been but its a provincial capital so i'd presume there should be plenty to see/do Halifax, Nova Scotia - ship should dock adjacent to or very near to a local indoor market which is nice to look around if that's of interest. There is a nice waterfront causeway which leads to the city centre; easy to get to the city for a look around, etc. You could also visit Citadel Hill either on your own or as part of a ship/local tour; google is likely a good option here St John, New Brunswick - been far too many years since i've been so can't offer much insight although i'm sure a visit to the Bay of Fundy is going to be the highlight for most Sydney, Nova Scotia - very small town on the island of Cape Breton, the highlight is the giant violin hope that helps even if just a little bit
  4. We're looking at taking Azura in the Med....what problems are you referring to and when is the refit planned?
  5. I remember this well....and if memory serves it was a powder-keg atmosphere from the beginning given that the pool deck below the big screen was clearly divided between the supporters of the respective teams. Then, a young lady on the side supporting Ghana ended up in the pool and it all kicked off. Although alcohol was no doubt flowing at the time, and could be considered a contributing factor it goes without saying that the stage was set for a possible disaster long before the opening kick off due to the clearly divided crowd and tense atmosphere. As they say, hindsight is 20/20 but i'm a firm believer that if companies (or cruise lines in this case) implement deterrents ahead of time there is a less likely chance of things getting out of hand, and this of course starts with responsible service and general awareness onboard/engagement beyond pouring and pandering...just my 2 cent
  6. Totally agree with your assessment on all fronts. Being NA based, we like to travel outside of our borders and wherever possible away from our brethren, not because we feel indifferent but because we know there's so much more to see and learn when visiting and socializing with a wide range of people/cultures, etc. That said, from what we've seen of the mainstream brands the concept of cruising has become so much a regular holiday choice in comparison to what it was 20 years ago. This of course is great for a multitude of reasons, especially given the wide range of choice available; however, there is unfortunately going to be issues of all kinds whenever you group thousands of strangers together in a confined space for a prolonged duration of time with a finite amount of space for all to share, and when you add booze, bad attitudes, and general social dysfunction its going to be a recipe for disaster.
  7. In our experience of taking cruises from Europe to NA with a stop in Canada, the Canadian process was seamless and very non intrusive which can't always be said for the US. During one of the more recent cruises we took, our first call was into a tiny port in Newfoundland and from what we understand, the Canadian Customs agents boarded and went through the process (paperwork) with only a couple people called into see them, but the process was nowhere near as bad as entering the US where every non-US passenger has to be seen.
  8. I've just finished reading all of the comments here and the one thing that I've not noticed (stand to be corrected) is a single comment referencing RSA (responsible service of alcohol). Admittedly there is an assumption that alcohol was involved, which in the absence of firsthand information is probably a safe guess given most issues I've seen or been made aware of in my 20 years of cruising all had alcohol as the common denominator. That said, i can agree that since Carnival Corp. took over there has been a steady degradation in the quality of the passengers as we've seen on Princess both sailing from North America and the UK. Yes this is a blanket statement, but in our experiences the cost of the trip and the length/time of year were always determining factors in what demographic we'd encounter. Sadly though, as can be seen with Carnival Cruises in the US, the 7 day or less cruises are the money makers because they sell loads of booze, casinos are busy, and a larger number of people can afford to take 7 days or less off work, etc and when you've got ships which hold 3000+ passengers what's the easiest way to fill them?? sell them cheap and keep them turning around quickly which doesn't always mean well behaved passengers. As for the comments made about going the route of Viking or Oceania with smaller ships and a perception of higher class, the reality is that those lines don't make the same kinds of money as P&O because they don't have all the 'extras' which when multiplied by several thousand = massive revenue generation whereas the lines mentioned rely on a higher price point with smaller passenger count.
  9. At the risk of being labeled a troll because i don't gush over all things Viking, i'd say their silence on the issue is conspicuous to say the least!! Many will no doubt claim that they're working hard to provide a bespoke itinerary but i'd say the reality is they're scrambling to find room in ports already being overrun by the aforementioned mega ships all the while shifting focus to the next new ship. As someone who's sailed with Viking in the Caribbean in years past I can say its not the best option for itineraries and with Cuba off the table the remaining options aren't very promising...but at this rate it doesn't look like Viking are too concerned
  10. If you read my post correctly you'd see i clearly stated 2/3 of the ships have had a mechanical issue, not the same issue on every one. That said, these issues are less about my risk aversion and more about a trend which should be concerning given the relative newness of the ships in question. Furthermore, the fact that the ships are built in the same yard as those from Princess, HAL, Carnival, etc and none of them seem to have the same frequency of issues should also raise questions.
  11. We were on the cruise as well, and clearly remember sitting in the World Cafe shortly after departing Barcelona with the city lights in the distance when we felt a 'lurch' and saw the lights flicker followed by the announcement over the speakers which sent a few crew scurrying. Not to split hairs, but by definition if a propulsion system is driven by an electric motor and said electrics have a failure does that not equate to a propulsion issue? Not trying to put too fine a point on it, but the ship was literally limping along due to not being under full power as a result of the issue... We too stayed onboard as it made no sense to queue up at guest services and try to arrange flights back home, over Xmas/New Years when we had full use of a hotel in close proximity to the city, all meals were covered, we could come and go as we pleased, AND we got fully reimbursed. All of that being said, it still doesn't take away from the fact that 66% of the ships in service have suffered some form of mechanical issue inside the first year of being launched which has had an adverse effect on the itineraries...
  12. Although nobody ever wants to miss a port or ports on ANY itinerary, safety of the vessel should always be the primary concern. I'm not going to make a bold statement and say Viking ships are unsafe, but it can't go without mention that out of the 6 ships in service, 4 have now had technical issues resulting in either long delays (cancelled cruises) or altered itineraries, which for a still new vessel is not a good sign. For those unaware, below is the rundown mentioned: Viking Star - 2015 - transformer issue during first Baltic season resulting in a cancelled cruise after 5 days in Viking Sea - 2016 - propulsion issue departing Malta 2016 - propulsion issue departing Barcelona; ship returned to port and Xmas cruise cancelled Viking Sky - 2019 - 'low oil pressure' resulting in issues with propulsion; well documented so no need for further details Viking Jupiter - 2019 - 'electrical issue' as mentioned in this thread resulting in missed ports Speculation as to the root cause of the issues will no doubt occur on a public forum, but referring to someone as a troll because they have a critical view of the company in question and their operation, or suggesting that moderators should ban someone because they've got a strong opinion is ridiculous. If you want a like-minded environment where everyone agrees with your love of Viking than why not start a fan club instead of labeling anonymous strangers on a forum?
  13. I think you'll find there is nothing discounted about Air Canada Rouge apart from their onboard product as the price paid is the same as their mainline product. I agree though when it comes to flying to Europe that there are better options such as Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, etc.
  14. AC to Athens is likely on their 'Rouge' carrier which is to say its going to be an older plane with younger crew. No frills, no gimmicks but of course full price....got to love how that works?!? In order to confirm you can check sites like seat guru dot com to confirm which plane you're likely to be on but i'm sure its an older B767
  15. They're no doubt being inundated with calls of concern, which is to be expected and understandable as even a year out people want to know what's going on so they can make the appropriate choices. To have someone supposedly in customer service be snippy in response is never acceptable, but even less so in this case where its the company who've been forced to make changes and as such have the burden to inform the paying customer....seems another failing grade for the way their corporate offices handle difficult issues so far
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