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triptastic3

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Everything posted by triptastic3

  1. for those thinking that theft from luggage at airports or other port authority luggage collection/retrieval sites isn't a problem google it. It is a massive problem at LA, NYC, Miami etc. The number of firings and people caught on hidden sting cameras is large. There are actual dissertation and other such university papers discussing the problem. The sad part is that even after stings catch people every few years at NYC alone it keeps happening. It shows how bold people are. They keep thinking they won't be the one to be caught stealing. Even the TSA has a problem with agents stealing valuables. If you give people the chance to steal unfortunately too many will.
  2. CrewCenter.com, a website for cruise ship crew members, on Friday printed a letter from Richard Morse, senior vice president of hotel operations, announcing the increase and noting that guests’ bills also will have a line asking if they would like to add an additional amount. “From this 3 percent increase, 1.5 percent will go to server and remaining 1.5 percent will go into the ASP pool,” the letter says. “As you know, the ASP pool funds employee compensation and benefit programs that you receive; including bar level pay, itinerary stipend pay, as well as free uniform and return airline tickets.” The whole discussion would be settled if the cruiseline(s) just released a detailed account of where the money goes. On a 4000 pax large ship the DSC will total $60,000 US per day, $420,000 per week. It should be going to employees 100% not funding uniforms or flights home. The flight to and from the cruise contract was always a cruise line responsibility it should still be. They won't release the details because the DSC implies service charges AND gratuities. They can assign whatever portion they want as a service charge and use it how they want. There are several law firms in Florida dealing with complaints by crew members, especially room stewards and waiters. Who claim that since they went from a tipping individually policy, as in envelopes, to a pooled DSC split with many more people their weekly compensation has dropped significantly. The solution is simple. Charge a rate for the cruise that includes all service charges and gratuities. Display the prices for drinks and spa treatments that include all service charges and gratuities. Or go back to charging a lower price and letting the consumer decide on what service provided deserves to be rewarded with a gratuity and at what rate.
  3. The fuel surcharge has not been charged since around 2005. Not sure about NCL but RCCL definitely charged it on the last two cruises I took with them in late 2008 and spring 2009. I know Carnival were charging it then as well. I believe they all started dropping it in mid 2009 when oil finally settled around $60 a barrel
  4. Halifax NS and Charlottetown PEI port side would be better for the entry into port. Not sure about the final berthing position it will depend on whether you just slip in or do a 180 then dock. Quebec starboard side Sydney not much difference Bar Harbor been far too long since I was there to remember
  5. Baffled chutes, luxury. We had no lifeboats we used to practice jumping off the flight deck. In warmer waters of course, you will only do it once up north, the shock of that cold water will stick with you forever.
  6. so when a cruise ship has 4000 people onboard, how many lifeboats do they need? I don't see 30-40 of them. It isn't the number they need, it is the capacity they require. Some of the modern life boats hold hundreds. So in your 4000 scenario If they each held 250 people then 8 per side would be needed to get to 2000 capacity per side. The more they hold the fewer they need. The more pax and crew the greater the number. Each side of the ship must have the capacity for 50% of the total souls on board, pax and crew, to be accommodated in covered life boats. Then the ship must have a number of inflatable life rafts to cover an additional 25% of the total for a total capacity of 125% However with waivers this can be reduced to 37.5% covered lifeboat capacity each side for a total of 75%, they then need inflatable life rafts capable of taking 50% of the total. Still the same 125% total. In an example like the Costa Concordia there are not enough covered life boats for everyone on board, some will have to go in the inflatable life rafts. The reason for the required extra capacity is the expectation that not every life boat will be deployable. This could be due to damage, the listing of the ship, fire in the area etc. The inflatable life rafts can be deployed manually. However most are equipped with hydrostatic switches, this basically means when they are submerged, they automatically open and deploy, shooting to the surface. It is a sight to see when they start bursting inflated to the surface. It is interesting how a humourous take on the muster drill can lead a discussion going down a rabbit hole. 99.99% of the time the life boats and other equipment are never needed and so people don't think about them. But they are there for a reason that is rarely talked about.
  7. Of course he was joking around. I thought his post was hilarious. I assumed from my first paragraph that it was clear I understood that. Someone said the inflatables were for crew. I was just giving a little info as to the actual purpose of the inflatables. I can't walk past any life saving equipment without taking a quick look at the directions. Force of habit.
  8. Nothing wrong with planning ahead. If everyone did that people would find themselves in less trouble when danger arises. Plus I like that you are thinking of making the most of a difficult situation and thinking of the trip in the life boat more as a mini cruise, is the DSC reduced for time on the lifeboats? As for the life boats they fall under SOLAS and no the inflatables are not just for crew Most ships don't sink in a nice flat and level manner , usually they list to one side heavily or go down by the bow or stern. So you can't plan on the life boats on both sides of the ship being equally capable of deploying it all depends on the speed and the severity of the accident. At a certain degree of listing the life boat deployments will not work safely. We used to train endlessly for ship and aircraft evacuation in the daylight, the dark, eyes blindfolded. Even so it was shocking how easy it was to become disoriented and lose your bearings. If you dig a little into SOLAS and google it you will find: Per the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS); ships must have lifeboats for 50% of the total capacity of people aboard on each side (totaling 100%). There is an exception if the ship is only engaged in a “short international voyage”, where it is only required that you have enough for 30% of the total capacity of people aboard on each side (totaling 60%). But, please note: this is before “life rafts” are counted. So, after all is said and done, all ships will have Life Saving Appliances (LSAs) with the capacity of at least 25% over the total soul on board. At the discretion of the flag state the lifeboat capacity on each side can be reduced to 37.5% of the total number on board with the shortfall being made up with liferafts. For passenger vessels on short international voyages, it is permissible for the lifeboat capacity to be reduced and replaced with liferafts. In all cases there must also be additional liferaft capacity to cover 25% of the total on board. I highlighted that one paragraph because rules are rules but many states use whatever waivers they can. Cost etc. The Costa Concordia only had enough for 37.5% in covered life boats on each side. The rest was made up by inflatable life rafts. She was listing heavily with hundreds still left on board. The report on her makes for some interesting reading. So yes by all means plan ahead. But don't limit those plans to one side of the ship, especially in a chaotic situation. You always need to plan on having two exits. Primary and secondary. So pick an area on both the port and starboard side of the ship to head to depending on the situation. Of course follow the directions of the crew first, they are trained and know the ship best but yes by all means keep the wheels turning in your head and have a backup plan if stuff hits the fan and you find the crew have all slipped into the life boats. Decades in the military leave a person with some interesting memories and some habits that will last forever. this is the best example in modern times of stuff hitting the fan and the crew leaving the passengers to fend for themselves https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MTS_Oceanos
  9. Surely you can change the airline tickets to something you can use and pass the change fee up to $300 per person on to NCL. Even if you don't cruise with them. At least the $2000 is not totally lost.
  10. not sure if you are looking at the same date and ship. I just tested all balcony categories for Bliss Dec 13th sailing and I see a total of a minimum of 91 balcony cabins. Given that cat BD, BA, BC, B8, B1 and B9 each show 15 then I assume more than 91 As for the Gem Dec 13th sailing I show a minimum of 75 Balcony cabins with cat BB, B2 and BA all showing a minimum of 15 So I would definitely wait a week. Now there always is the chance that an Indian Tobacco company could come and book up all the available cabins over the weekend, but that is a whole other problem.
  11. Both of those cruises are 93 or 94 days away. Given the number of balcony categories that display 15 cabins when you do a mock booking on either cruise I would say you are safe to wait another week and get well under 90 days. The next price drop if there is one should be then.
  12. If you are using ATMs in Europe for currency then make sure they are major bank ones. Santander, HSBC, Credit Suisse, etc. You will still pay a fee, usually the equivalent of 1 or 2 euro's but they are much better than the currency exchange booths you will see in airports, train stations or street corners. Avoid the independent ATM's like, Travelex, Euronet, Moneybox, Cashpoint. These have terrible hidden fees. They usually take a 3-5% fee before they apply their terrible exchange rates. Pretty much every ATM has an English language option so they are easy to use. A good tip is don't just keep taking 20 or 30 Euros at a time. You will lose a lot in fees, even from the big banks. I would take at least 100 Euro's with you. It should be easy to get from your local bank in the USA. That way you are not desperately searching for an ATM when you get there. Also don't ask the locals for an ATM, they don't call it that. Most will recognize the term bancomat especially in Italy and Greece. Also look for the Cirrus logo or Plus logo, usually most North American banks are part of those networks.
  13. Tipping on the ship above the DSC is a personal choice. If you don't get exceptional personal service the DSC should be plenty. As for when you are ashore if you eat in a restaurant for lunch or snacks etc, be aware most places include the tip. I spend a lot of time in Europe on land trips and it is common for the service charge to be already in the total bill in most places Tipping overseas isn't like tip crazy America. Read this for a better idea of what is normal in Europe https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/money/tipping-in-europe
  14. I have seen whales in the Bay and off the south coast ( Yarmouth) a lot. You are in a good time of year to see them. It is much easier on a calmer day as you see the whales break the surface and blow much further away so they are easier to track. They can dive down for a long time. On rough sea days it is harder to see them until they are closer. This is a good page that shows the types of whales found there https://www.bayoffundy.com/about/whales/ The large Whales sometimes approach ships but they usually keep a little ways away. Dolphins on the other hand love to play around moving ships. It is common to see them playing in the bow waves. I used to go to sea a lot around the coast of Nova Scotia, to me there is nothing more majestic than whales. We could be hundreds of miles off the coast and sometimes there would be 30+ dolphins riding the bow waves. They do it everywhere. The bigger the ship the more they seem to love it. This is what I mean about playing in the bow waves.
  15. I think it is safe to assume the Jewel is undersold for November. The Jewel only has two sailings in November, Nov 1-14, Honolulu to Papeete and Nov 17 - Dec 1 Papeete to Sydney. All cabin types show available and if you try a mock booking in every category there are many that display 15 cabins, many. At 63 days and 76 days to sail they are well past the 120 day cut off. I have been monitoring both cruises. The total cost for both has come down more than $3000 Cdn since July 1st. Unless they get a last minute rush and book a few hundred cabins in the next 8 weeks I think both will sail with quite a few empty cabins. I suppose there is a chance of a mad rush on cabin bookings but the airfare to or from Papeete isn't cheap and unless someone is doing the B2B going from Hawaii to Sydney the cost of flights will be a factor.
  16. and by OP I meant the poster of the comment about paying $9000 for a cruise Niki-Dee
  17. "if you’re paying $9k for your cruise for a family of 5, you better be sailing in a large Haven Suite." Just looking at the OP avatar they are from Ottawa, Canada. That means 5 airfares to Florida or some southern city. That is easily $3000, if they are going on school breaks then it is even more $750 or more per person for a flight, plus the cruises are more expensive those weeks. Given where they are flying from, $9000 is just about right. They are probably using Canadian dollars, so $9000 is definitely right. That is about $6700 US at todays rate
  18. The cruise lines, all of them, could alleviate a lot of these discussions with some simple transparency. Years ago with the envelopes you knew what the recommended amount was for each person, cabin steward, waiter, assistant waiter, head waiter etc. There weren't very many people. You also knew that they were getting it. I think a big problem many have with it now is that nobody knows where the $15 a day goes. A simple breakdown by the cruise line would be easy to publish, how much of that goes to the Waiter, cabin steward etc, and how much to laundry and other behind the scenes people. The cruise lines don't publish this because it is all at THEIR DISCRETION how they distribute it. Who knows how they hold this over the staffs heads when it comes to working extra shifts, covering for sick co workers etc. I for one hope it is 100% distributed to staff and fairly but we are talking about big business and given the desire for profits, who knows. Will it affect my enjoyment of the cruise, no. Am I a little curious about how NCL and others distribute what amounts to a few hundred thousand a week in gratuities, Yes a little.
  19. Good to hear. I had not been tracking that Van - Hon cruise but I will now. I see there are still a ton of cabins left on that sailing in all categories. I do notice it is down from when I first looked in late June but I don't remember if there was a noticeable solo discount back then. A 50% solo surcharge would be great for both of the ones I am looking at. Right now it is a 100% surcharge. I had planned on waiting until early August and less than 90 days. I will definitely do that now.
  20. New to NCL but did a bunch of cruises years ago on RCL, haven't cruised in 12 years. Looking to do something different. I plan on traveling around Australia and New Zealand but thought why not cruise to Australia to see a different part of the globe that I normally wouldn't see. So. I am looking at doing a back to back on the NCL Jewel From Honolulu to Papeete sailing Nov 1st. Followed by the Papeete to Sydney sailing Nov 14. I will be cruising solo. I have two questions. 1st. Both cruises show a solo discount but the price for a sail away inside is just twice the double occupancy rate. Is this common that it says a discount but there isn't one? 2nd. The price has dropped on each cruise since early July, a total so far of $1200 cdn between the two. Given the time out from sailing and the fact there are still tons of cabins available I assume it will drop further. When should I wait until to book? I understand there is no definitive answer on when to book but for those who have looked at similar cruises or re-positioning sailings in the past I figure someone may have some insight.
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