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About sailingskyward

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  1. Echoing the sentiments of other posters, I enjoy cruising but I'm confused why it would be the American government bailing the cruise lines out, when the cruise lines have done everything possible to make sure their business income and business practices fall outside of US jurisdiction. In essence, it would be like Canada bailing out a Peruvian cruise line. Just ludicrous. There are actual American companies who pay taxes in the United States, that I would rather see get a bailout before the cruise lines who make their income here but don't want to pay their fair share of taxes here.
  2. FINALLY someone posts this question, which I've been wondering all weekend! Thank you! Perhaps impacted guests could ask Princess in a few months, after the dust has settled.
  3. First and foremost, praying those aboard the Grand Princess are healthy and no coronavirus is found. It sure seems like the disinfection and cleaning measures in place onboard Princess ships is failing to keep the ship free of these pathogens. I would like to see some executive leadership accept responsibility for these failures once all of this is behind us. The crew and frontline employees are bearing the brunt of these debacles, and it is ultimately the execs who are responsible for ensuring the health and safety of all those working and vacationing onboard Princess ships. If the cruise industry is failing to fill the ships, they should look within for the answers. This isn't the first communicable illness situation involving cruise ships, and they should have had better prevention measures in place at the first sign of trouble. Princess and the other lines claim they sanitize and disinfect the ships multiple times a day. Evidently not!
  4. While it may seem silly, one thing I miss is the free movies on stateroom TVs. Once Celebrity made this change a few months ago, I realized their tagline about being "modern luxury" is a joke. What was luxurious about my experience? Old inner-spring mattress with threadbare sheets? Sorry, Celebrity, but this relationship isn't working out. It's not me, it's you!
  5. Princess sent a notice to Australian travel agencies that Sapphire would be repositioning to Australia 6 months earlier than planned, and would begin operating Aussie itineraries of varying lengths. I saw the itineraries this morning on a doc, but don't recall the itineraries. I do recall there were 44 new itineraries added, and available for purchase from February 26 2020 (US guests) and February 27 2020 (AUS/NZ guests).
  6. While challenging, it would not be impossible to reposition the ships and make money elsewhere on short notice. Royal Caribbean and Celebrity ships have both cancelled their Asian cruise seasons and are being moved to Australia (RC) and Los Angeles/Seattle (Celebrity). Each ship will offer free 3/4/5-night cruises in the month of March to first responders (Fire, Police, EMT, etc). Then, Celebrity Millennium will operate two 5-day Pacific Northwest cruises out of Seattle, followed by two 11-day Alaska cruises out of Seattle. These itineraries were freshly published and made available for purchase on Saturday. The fares are actually very attractive, as the ship sails in 2 months!
  7. Yes, there were two 5-day sailings and two 11-day Alaska sailings added for April and May out of Seattle. This is due to the ship being relocated from Asia. The ship is reportedly enroute to LA where it will homeport for short cruises for ~6 weeks before being relocated to Seattle to begin those earlier mentioned cruises. The real question on my mind is... when will we see the LA itineraries be released? One of the cruise vloggers on youtube mentioned Celebrity Millennium will offer free 3/4/5-day cruises out of LA during March to first responders (Police, Fire Dept, Paramedics, etc). Will be interesting to see the itineraries. Perhaps some Catalina Island & Santa Barbara port stops followed by Ensenada before returning to LA.
  8. Thank you for your review. Terrific photos! It's a shame you didn't have the new Princess bed, it is a dream!
  9. From an employee in the Oceanview Cafe onboard a Celebrity ship last week. I thought they were pulling my leg, so I asked another employee the following day and they confirmed that Celebrity does not provide toilet paper for crew cabins, and that they had to go ashore to buy it.
  10. I am surprised by the posts suggesting guests should not bring their own brands of toilet paper, supposedly because you can only flush "marine grade" toilet paper. Well, I've debunked that theory with one crucial data point - Did you know that Celebrity Cruises does not provide toilet paper for crew cabins? All crewmembers are advised to buy toilet paper while ashore, as the Celebrity-purchased toilet paper is strictly for guest usage. When I asked the employee in Oceanview Cafe about this policy, they said there are no restrictions on what brands to buy. First of all, I find this type of policy really disappointing on Celebrity's part. Crewmembers make paltry wages and now they're also asked to bring their own toilet paper onto the ship. Second, I guess in addition to a cash tip for my room steward on Celebrity, I will also bring a 4-pack of Charmin Ultra so they don't have to buy it for their own crew cabin!
  11. Thank you so much, OP!! Best news I've had all month! It showed up for both our Platinum card and also Amex Everyday card, but once added to the Platinum card, it disappeared from the Everyday card's available offers. However, suddenly a Celebrity offer for $150 off a $500+ purchase showed up.
  12. Have seen on the news some stories of fires in/around Santa Clarita, California (as well as elsewhere in California, sadly) and wondering if anyone knows if Princess HQ in Santa Clarita is safe from the fires. I'm sure they have a need to run their operation 24/7 but the fires look so scary. Hoping everyone at Princess HQ and elsewhere is safe. Kindly contribute to this thread if you know anything further. Thanks
  13. Oh, poor Orlando Ashford. With all the superlatives he used in the announcement, I'm afraid he won't have any new phrases to use when HAL actually introduces something impressive/exciting. This announcement was a real "nothing burger" and if this is what he thinks is "revolutionary" (his words, not mine) then he might be out of his depth in his current role. When HAL promoted the culinary announcement, I thought it would be something useful like more culinary demonstrations. Unfortunately, they wasted my time to announce a new consultant. Wow.
  14. Thank you for your post. It is refreshing to hear from additional people who were onboard the ship. Yes, I think NCL did the right thing by cancelling those ports due to weather. However, it sounds like they really failed in having backup ports. Additionally, you aren't the first person to note that they felt NCL was just scheduling activities onboard to get more of passengers' dollars during the additional sea days. There are many ways to keep passengers happy, but from all accounts it sounds like NCL was primarily looking out for safety, followed by their own bottom line. Hopefully they learn from this situation, and recognize the need to put customer service 2nd in line after safety. Now they have unnecessarily damaged brand reputation.
  15. As has been stated above, everyone onboard a cruise ship agreed to the Terms & Conditions and Contract of Carriage when they booked their cruise. Most any cruise line will put safety before all else. Passengers seem to forget, the cruise line wants to dock/tender at the port more than the passengers do. Arriving into a port means they will earn revenue from shore excursions, which brings in a sizeable percentage of operating profits. When a port is skipped, they lose the opportunity to make that revenue. The key issues, however, are more likely how NCL handled things once it was apparent there would need to be alterations to the itinerary. As I understand it from both the news reports and the comments of individuals who were on this particular cruise, the passengers were upset because NCL should have disclosed to embarking guests at the cruise terminal that the voyage would be altered and that Iceland would be skipped, thus allowing guests to choose whether they wanted to even go on the voyage at all. NCL, like many major cruise lines, has advanced meteorological forecasting capabilities and could have predicted there would be an itinerary change. That doesn't mean people would have been due a refund for refusing to sail. It just means they could have made that decision whether to sail or abandon the cruise altogether. I recall a Holland America cruise itinerary out of San Diego (7-day Mexican Riviera) was altered to become a Pacific Coastal (LA, Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Francisco) and passengers embarking in San Diego were notified prior to checkin that this change would occur as a result of an impending hurricane approaching Mexico. Those passengers were given the choice to sail or not, but no refunds were due or expected. Some passengers chose to abandon the cruise, which I can understand if all they wanted was a sun-drenched Mexican Riviera cruise.
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