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Posts posted by Ride-The-Waves

  1. 14 hours ago, MacMadame said:

    Not an engineering degree. But maybe a PhD in Maths. 😉


    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.

  2. On 2/8/2024 at 11:13 AM, RICHARD@SEA said:

    As far as pricing goes, HAL / Carnivore can charge whatever the market will bear.  I've never done a drink package as I don't drink that much & always order premium brand liquor. And still have an 18% gratuity added.


    That being said, as far as costs - I was on a 9 day Rotterdam cruise recently  - the service at the bars  was horrendous. The bartenders would be talking & having fun among themselves or not in sight at all.

    I never ate in the main dining room.

    I had wonderful cabin stewards & the waitstaff in the lido were pretty good.

    Of course all along there was the daily & drink gratuity added to my bill.(the worst was in the specialty steak restaurant where the staff were non existent &  I ended up with food poising


    I also gave cash tips to my stewards & the staff in the lido that assisted me.


    So what I decided to do in the future is visit the "GUEST RELATIONS DESK " once & have the DAILY fee taken off my bill & tip the appropriate staff that assist me.


    When auto gratuity started I felt it was just a gimmick for the corporations to pad their pockets & aid them in paying the SALARIES of staff.

    So as cruising has changed - so will I.  When I  go out on land if service is good or better I tip appropriately.


    When service is lacking I adjust.


    It's like the inmates are running the at sea Asylum!!!!

    So it's "stiff" the working staff if the policies are "wrong?" 

    • Like 2
  3. On 2/11/2024 at 10:05 AM, Hlitner said:

    Sounds a bit defensive.  New Builds are huge capital expenditures and the ultimate decision rests with the CEO of Carnival Cruise Corp and their board of directors.  Like most business-orented folks who have a "fiduciary" responsibility to stockholders, the board ulitmately puts their dollars and future investments where they expect to get the best return on investment.  One can conclude, that at the current time, the board does not think that HAL can justify (financially) a new build.  


    When we look at the overall cruise industry (we cruise on many different lines) it does seem that HAL has now been positioned as a budget mass market line with a primary appeal to a small segment of the cruising public (older folks looking for good value without much interest in entertainment, activities, or onboard "bells and whistles."   Perhaps that will change in the future, but our recent cruise (Westerdam) showed us that HAL has little to offer (when compared to the other lines we cruise) other than decent itineraries and some decent pricing.  In many cases we see other lines constantly adding things while HAL continues to take things away (i.e. cost cutting).  There is a reason why we find many past HAL cruisers on lines like Oceania, Seabourn, etc.  Many of us are simply looking for something closer to the quality and entertainment we USED to find on HAL.  At one time we saw HAL as the "class act" and quality leader among all the mass market lines (Celebrity was close).  These days we just see HAL as a tired old company with an emphasis on penny pinching.  One has only to look at HAL's recently failed policy of charging extra money for folks who simply wanted to order soup and a salad in the PG!  or having a basic drink package which had a $1.18 extra fee for folks ordering a basic Cosmopolitan.  Small things, but symbolic of a penny pinching (nickel and dime) philosophy.



    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...

    • Like 3
  4. 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.


  5. 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.

  6. 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.  😀

    • Like 1
  7. On 1/6/2024 at 12:22 PM, BamaVol said:

    If I were a vendor, I would pass on this program.  I doubt it adds enough business to pay for the 18% fee.  

    I have a wallet full of credit cards that offer benefits for me using them.  I’ve reached a point in life where buying things doesn’t bring much pleasure.  I prefer to spend my money buying experiences.  That’s why I’m cruising.  My on-shore purchases are limited to food, drink and the odd t-shirt.

    My wallet is RFID protected.  The Medallion is NOT!


    • Like 1
  8. On 4/14/2022 at 2:09 PM, FlaMariner said:

    LOL at the business case for Medallion........


    "and we will offer a program that will charge the merchant 17% of the purchase price"

    "and with the medallion people will order more drinks"

    "and we can have less staff because guests can just text us their requests"

    "and we can offer gambling on it"

    "and we can sell jewelry and accessories to go with the medallion"

    "and we can be more efficient operating the MDR". LOL, my favorite. 

    "and we can sell pizza and other food items that are free if the guests fetches but we charge if we fetch"


    And on and on...what a disaster but this 17% is over the top!




    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.

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  9. 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!

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  10. 19 hours ago, S.A.M.J.R. said:

    Were they bumped BECAUSE they were flying on miles?  

    Were they bumped because they checked in late?

    Were they bumped because they booked the lowest class of cabin?

    Were they bumped because the airline could get them to their destination on a later flight?

    Were they bumped because the new aircraft simply didn't have "Seat 23F"? 

    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.

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  11. 12 minutes ago, Mikew0805 said:

    Wow.. this post wreaks of envy. 


    I am Pinnacle, and do not wear my pin... because that is simply my preference. Why would you laugh at someone that wears it? What joy is missing from your life that would lead you to look for people wearing a pin, to laugh at them for wearing what they earned or are proud of? Seems like you should focus on getting some happiness in your life so you can focus on you, instead of focusing on others. 

    "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.

  12. On 11/16/2023 at 4:27 PM, sjb317 said:

    I, too, was always a fan of the smaller ships but since we resumed cruising after the pandemic, the smaller ships just seem old and not very well maintained.  I was on Grandeur for a week this summer and it was the first time I have ever felt bored on a ship. Not much to do after 5pm.  I ended up spending more time than usual in the casino which is something I typically don’t do.


    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.  

  13. 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.

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  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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