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Everything posted by Ride-The-Waves

  1. Chair Hogs, a breed, are a menace to humanity. But I don't care... I'm sun sensitive and don't use pool deck chairs.
  2. Nope. It's all "marketing." The activity of taking something from you with slight of hand costing more than you understand. Its the new Princess way of vacationing.
  3. So it's "stiff" the working staff if the policies are "wrong?"
  4. We all need to remember that MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company) operates at a different level than CCL and RCCL since it is privately, owned, and has the underpinnings of global commercial shipping as backbone. To place a hit on HAL for how it operates is unbecoming. HAL does a great job providing excellent cruise ships for its market. My first experience with HAL was as a youngster crossing the Atlantic in 1949. Today's mass market ships, and I include Princess in that category, cannot provide the same high level of experience we had in the 1950s on the Atlantic. I have sailed on many ships and many lines, to include Oceania and Azamara. Oceania was not up to their marketing. They do not have the "finest cuisine at sea" by any stretch of the imagination. Neither do any of the mega-ships and I include Princess' Royal class in that category. Have plans to return to "yesteryear" and cross the Pond this year on Zuiderdam, Adventure of the Seas, and Caribbean Princess. While not classic ships (with the exception of Zuiderdam) they are not part of the stomach-turning new breed of mega-ships. Oh, and I also have 30 years experience in the USN...
  5. Last time we parked at Park N Go we returned to a flooded car. It finally started and we limped home, but the vehicle was delayed a total loss by insurance. They were helpful in getting the car started, but after that we were on our own. Rain water reached over the door sills on the SUV. No follow up from Park N Go. We only used them since Park N Fly sold their lot.
  6. We should remember that crew gratuities make up a significant aspect of their compensation. If the rate is increased it really helps those who need the funds. To cruisers an increase of a dollar/day is trivial.
  7. This is the standard RCCL tactic: extremely high prices for cabin and food until the newness wears off. Edge was almost unaffordable, 2 to 3 times other Celebrity ships, first couple of years until same class follow-ons started sailing. Icon prices will come down similarly. Agree with poster regarding size. The new behemoths are not for us: too big, too crowded and too impersonal.
  8. Recently back to CONUS from a TA on Odyssey. Lost 10 pounds! Not trying to, but that was the result, Never ate in the MDR - have avoided MDRs for years. Too noisy with bad service. Ate two meals/day: a late breakfast in the buffet and early evening meal in a specialty restaurant Italian was great, Chops horrible with a very poor quality filet. Late in the cruise we discovered the Solarium Bistro and the ability to order a filet: excellent, as were the deserts. 😀
  9. My wallet is RFID protected. The Medallion is NOT!
  10. And we all need to remember that the "Medallion" system is a copy of what Disney uses at its theme parks and works well for land-based operations. Princess has tens of millions of dollars invested in its Medallion system fostered by Padgett and has yet shown any kind of positive return on investment. In addition to most passengers hating it, it has failed to sell more drinks or merchandise on board. Adding the ability to use it ashore for the horrendous premium of 18 percent only exacerbates its uselessness to passengers. Its past time to send the Medallion system into the dustbin of history of solutions seeking a problem and bring back the key card which so easy to use and carry, and also send Padgett to that dustbin.
  11. Dressing up in a tux was required for dinner on ocean liners in the 30s, late 40s and early 50s. First class only. Second class and 3rd classes had no dress requirements. I crossed the Atlantic several times, first on 1949 and again 5 times in the early 1950s. Didn't start flying until 1962
  12. It always amazes me that cruise lines (and others) believe the public to be just a bunch of dumb and stupid olafs. If you are raising prices, make it clear and explain the reasons. Don't try to obfuscate why. Cruisers are already frustrated over price increases and more frustrated over cruise line company incompetence. Be forthright. We, the cruising public, are not idiots!
  13. Once on a flight between TPA and JFK to connect with a trans-Atlantic for a European cruise... Flight attendant announced the need for four people to disembark due to aircraft (DC-9) being overweight. Four people eventually accept ed the compensation (flight plus $$). Flight attendant thanked them and then said the aircraft could fly with the tail wind down the runway!!! I immediately wanted to disembark... But we made it to JFK in time to board the trans-Atlantic flight.
  14. "Earned?" Hardly. It's just paying the monies out to get the points. Why denigrate this poster? Its RCI's fault they don't have the space for "pins" and those in suites.
  15. Royal Caribbean has moved itself to the bottom of the cesspool of cruising by these types of actions and its overpricing. Here's hoping that it comes back to RCI in mountains. We are former Royal cruisers - but never again!
  16. Interesting. Do you think that is intentional on the part of RCI? Trying to "encourage" you to move to the larger ships which are likely less costly to operate per person per mile. We love the "smaller" ships. Have cruised extensively on Azamara, our favorite line pre-pandemic. Have also cruised on Hurtigruten to the Antarctic and the "smaller" celebrity ships. It seems that RCI is focusing on its behemoths and letting the rest of the line disintegrate. It also appears that RCI is charging small ship prices for sailing on the behemoths, especially the "nickel and diming" on board.
  17. Just off a TA on RCI's Odyssey of the seas. And LOST ten pounds over 16 days. Terrible food and overpriced specialty restaurants. Never again in RCI.
  18. Just back from a TA Civi to Fort Lauderdale on Odyssey and actual lost ten pounds. Not intentionally. We did limit eating to twice/day with a late breakfast an early dinner. Ate dinner in four special restaurants on the 5 restaurant plan. The best of those was Giovanni's. Chops was horrible: service spotty and the filet was the worst we have had on the high seas. Had better filets in the Solarium Bistro, twice. Best "free" restaurant was the Solarium Bistro. The ship was less than acceptable. Maybe we are getting along in years and superficial glitz doesn't impress anymore. Flow riders and the other "attractions" are useless to us. The theater comes close to being useless in that seating does not permit placing feet under the seat in front so you end up uncomfortable with knees in your chest. The ship is way too big (long) for "guests" over 25 years old and obviously designed for playtime. Takes a long time to get to a venue from just about anywhere. Our cabin was on the hump of the forward.midship elevators and the last 5 days we did not go aft of the after elevators except once to eat at Giovannis. Terrible layout designed only to accommodate the play yards. First 2/3rds of the transit we did attend enrichment lectures in 270. A crazy place where the large windows let the sun in right in your face. Uncomfortable seating, as well. Medical? Hah. My wife bumped her shoulder into a bulkhead enough to cause continuing discomfort. So, off to Medical (you cant get there from here) and was seen quickly when we finally found it. Released with in 3 minutes with an admonishment to not come back. It hurts... So what? The "prescription" was to go back to the cabin and rest. My spouse will be 82 in three weeks, but no one in Medical cared. No Motrin or other pain meds offered. They did provide a chemical cold pack that did not work. Overall food quality was Blah, at best. Best meal was Carbonara in Giovannis. Best restaurant was the Solarium Bistro which we enjoyed almost exclusively the last half of the transit (see the loss of 10 pounds). Prices on board were/are crazy. The on board restaurants don't come close to those ashore in quality or service, yet their prices are at least double of similar fares ashore. This was our last/final time on an RCI ship. We are Diamond-Plus, but is not an incentive to spend time on a horrible ship and suffer terrible overpriced service. Next cruise is on HAL in the Spring. We enjoyed a Panama Canal transit on HAL before this return to RCI. Mistake to leave HAL even at the bequest of friends.
  19. One thing to remember - the heat can be terrific. Petra in the early AM is best. We had several people leave the ship to overnight ar Petra just to avoid the heat, Wadi Rum is fascinating and not to be missed.
  20. Flight Ease (HAL) provides better and less expensive options than booking direct with a specific airline. Best way to understand is to use a flight matrix, such as google.com/flights, then check Flight Ease for their routing. Works best on long haul overwater flights (Europe/Asia/South America). US Domestic does not provide similar savings or options.
  21. Cruise fares have more than doubled since the end of the "official" COVID pandemic (COVID remains a serious threat to health on board and ashore). The "real" issue is taxation. Foreign flagged ships, specifically cruise ships in this discussion, pay little to no US federal tax. This despite the vast majority of passengers sailing from US ports are AMCITS and several cruise line corporations have equities traded on US stock exchanges. The issue surfaced during COVID as cruise lines begged to be included in special Congressional fundings to mitigate COVID loses and were denied since they were not US entities. The doubling or more of cruise fares and associated incidentals is effort by cruise lines to recapture losses experienced the past three-plus years.
  22. Agree. Can't send email at the moment thanks to Spectrum.
  23. Time to stop. Just an added comment relative to the difference between the authorities of a USN captain and a commercial master... Please do not denigrate the responsibilities of a USN captain...
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