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Everything posted by twototravel

  1. We are booked to be on the B-K voyage with Havila Castor in Sept 2022 as part of a bigger Norway tour. The cabin layouts look much nicer than some of the older ships.
  2. Anyone going on the Grand Puget Sound cruises that are starting up in Sept? I'm wondering if the Constellation is having issues like the other ships/cruises. I'd also be interested in info about the pre cruise hotel package and any of the excursions that shouldn't be missed. We are scheduled to go in April 2022.
  3. On the Constitution we had a doctor. He did all the covid testing, dispensed OTC meds, bandaged up nicks and scraps from falls, etc. He did have a cabin full of medical stuff. I was having issues with my knee arthritis, and he even offered (on the ships dime) to order me a brace and have it delivered at the next port. Very happy with the medical service provided.
  4. @suzyluvs2cruise Here's their corporate number (203) 453-6800. I think everyone should call them if they are not satisfied with their customer reps responses to their concerns. Charles B. Robertson is the new CEO.
  5. We were just on the Constitution and vaccines were recommended but not mandatory. They recorded your status when we took the pre boarding rapid test. No other testing during the cruise for those of us vaccinated. Not sure for those without the shot. Both crew and passengers did wear masks in public areas except when eating and drinking. I didn’t see any special cleaning being done.
  6. We got off the Constitution a few weeks ago. Our ship is the same as the Constellation. In our cabin, the safe was in a cabinet drawer. The bathroom did have a nightlight. No fridges in the regular cabins, however I think the verandah ones do have fridges, as does the owner suites. Bar soap was scarce. Liquid bath gel and shampoo was provided.we did have hand sanitizer in the bathroom. The clock on one of the nightstands had USB ports and plug-ins.
  7. I’m sorry this happened to your husband and wish him a quick recovery. Suggest, if you haven’t already, calling ACL corporate HQ. You could probably find the number searching online. Did you by chance mention this in your post cruise survey?
  8. The new 22 day Complete Mississippi cruise on either the Melody or Symphony looks really nice, although very pricey.
  9. I completed a review for Cruise Critic and got confirmation that it was published but can't find it other than thru the link they sent. It was very generic without any real details. Wanted to share the comments that I intend to send to ACL either via direct email or on a post cruise survey: - We paid a premium price for this cruise, but generally didn't feel we had that level of service. I'm hoping this will change as time goes by as we did book another cruise for next year while onboard. Biggest problem is lack of training for dining and housekeeper crew and turnover, either from crew quitting and going out on vacation, or being transferred to another ship. - Pre cruise hotel stay was very, very nice. The Four Seasons is across the street from Boston Common. Be sure to go to the Happy Hour on Friday and Saturday nights. Wonderful snacks and free alcohol. The breakfast buffet for cruisers is amazing. It's a buffet with an omelet station. Covid testing and check of vaccination cards can be done either before or after. There were a couple buses departing the hotel and in your welcome packet it tells you what bus to get on. The city tour lasted about 2 hours arriving at the ship at 1230. Walk on passengers were already in their cabins. - Passenger accountability was hit or miss. The scanners mounted near the doors were not used (told they had been broken for weeks) so a crew member checked us off, sometimes. To not know the exact number of passengers and crew aboard at any given time seems very reckless to me. - Excursions and ports were great. We only had a couple changes...we had to skip Provincetown due to a covid outbreak so we visited Newport twice since the first time we had to dock in Fall River because of the Newport Jazz Festival. Second time we docked right in Newport. - On day of embarkation our room was not cleaned when we arrived, nor were there towels, soap, and shampoo. I had to do remedial cleaning in the bathroom and around the Keurig, and luckily we had brought own own bath toiletries. However, the remainder of our cruise our cabin was kept clean and stocked with necessary toiletries. - Cabin was a nice size and the bathroom larger than other small cruise ships we have been on. - Ship Wifi was essentially non existent. ACL needs to spend the money and buy equipment and/or service that works, or change their advertising. Since we hugged the shore most of the trip, Wifi should be available. - Open seating did not exist. Because we ate at the same time most days, we were asked to sit as a certain table with others that arrived at the same time. We were not able to sit where we wanted so we could meet other passengers. On the day of disembarkation, most passengers came to breakfast at the same time. We saw so many faces we didn't recognize which is a shame on this size ship. - Food was delicious, but at times arrived cold. Lots of seafood and fresh fish. Service was especially slow at breakfast. One day we waited almost an hour for our food. Other passengers missed their breakfast altogether before having to depart for an excursion. However, when at a port with an excursion that started at 8:30, they did open the dining room at 7am. Normal opening time was 7:30. We had an additional dining manager added the last few days of the cruise, but saw no difference. I tried to order an alternate entree one evening and was told no, they weren't available. The bread served at lunch and dinner was just okay. It was served cold, was dry and crumbly. They definitely need to upgrade their bread. - We appreciated the early riser breakfast served in the 3rd and 4th deck lounges. Although we used our Keurig every morning for our first cup, we liked getting perked coffee before breakfast. The first few days the early riser only had pastries, but mid cruise, it switched to pastries, fruit, yoghurt, cereal, milk and juice. - Beer was available in the lounges throughout the day. However, when snacks were brought in, only one tray was set out and not replenished. No staff was visible at the lounges during the day to help maintain cleanliness and replenish snacks. - We enjoyed having the Back Porch, as an alternative eating location. It was open 11-5 and served hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, nachos, etc. They also had yummy ice cream - a variety of cones and sandwiches. - Excursions were fine, although they lacked organization at times. Bottled water was only sometimes available when exiting the ship. - Having the audio and camera in the third floor lounge was nice. We were able to watch the briefings and entertainment from our cabin. We had never seen this on our other small ship cruises. - Staff were okay about reminding passengers to wear masks when in, and traversing the ship's public areas. Crew always wore their masks. Most passengers wore their masks throughout the cruise. - The ship's doctor was great. I had trouble with my arthritic knees, and he gave me OTC tylenol and ibruprofen twice a day which helped. He was even willing to order a knew brace for me on their dime, but I declined as I knew I wouldn't wear it. - Disembarkation could have been handled more efficiently. Bags had to be outside room by 12 midnight regardless of how you were traveling home. Everyone off the ship by 8:30. Dining room opened at 6:30. Bags were tagged with A, B or C for the airport shuttles. C was for folks leaving the earliest, B next, then A. Only one bus was allowed to pull onto the dock at a time, so it was a big rush for everyone to get onboard the first bus. There were 4 more waiting to pull up after the first one departed. There was quite a bit of traffic, so expect a longer travel time than normal to the airport. ACL told us to not book flights until at least 12 noon.
  10. We are now in Martha’s Vineyard with only two nights left aboard. We had to miss Provincetown due to a Covid outbreak, so we will spend another day in Newport. Our first day we had to dock in Fall River due to the annual Jazz festival. Tomorrow we will dock in Newport across the street from Fort Adams. We have had a bigwig from ACL’s front office aboard for a couple days. I think many have taken advantage to express their issues with our cruise. Breakfast continues to be a weak link, sometimes taking up to an hour to get our food. However, all the food has been great once we were served. Crew continues to turnover frequently. ACL made a decision that ships as big as the Constitution need two Dining managers, so now have two; hoping dining service will improve. Mix ups in orders occur but no big deal. This is our excursion director’s last full cruise. She has been training her replacement. Those on the next sailing will have a nice fellow named David and that will be his first full sailing. Despite what others have said, everyone, passengers and crew on our ship, continues to wear their masks around the ship and on excursion buses. Very happy about this. All the crew has been great and except for embarkation day, the housekeepers are doing a great job. Cabins are cleaned every morning and turn down service during dinner. There was a shortage of bathroom amenities, but the following Monday after departure all missing supplies were received. This was our first cruise with ACL, and none of the issues we had were deal breakers. We booked Puget Sound for April 2022.
  11. Breakfast service continues to be a problem. If you don’t arrive as soon as the restaurant opens, you definitely won’t have time to eat your breakfast if you have a early excursion. This morning is our first at-anchor port…Boothbay. We will see how the tenders work. Several staff/managers aboard training who will then move on to other ACL ships. Wifi has not worked yet. Using phone as hotspot.
  12. @nybumpkin We are currently on Constitution right now. Booked yesterday for the Grand Puget cruise in April 2022. This sailing is on the Constellation, sister ship to the one we are on now. The savings you get booking while onboard is quite a lot.
  13. Was the show at the grand ole Oort included in the pre cruise package?
  14. Breakfast is served off the menu. Took about 30 mins to get our food. Cabin was much cleaner today. There is only a few hour turnover between cruises so the housekeepers don’t have much time on embarkation day.
  15. Hubby and I are aboard the Constitution now. We are at our first port in Portland this morning. Our cabin, 317, is nice. It definitely wasn’t sanitized before we checked in, nor was it cleaned very good. I had to do some cleaning around the toilet (yuck) and around the Keurig. Everything else was fine. We were told about an amenity issue, so we didn’t have soap, shampoo,etc. Staff left a note stating that supplies reaching the ship were delayed and hoped to be rectified on Monday. Staff is very friendly. Wifi is not great; using my iPhone as a hotspot. First lunch and dinner were excellent and alcohol flows freely at meals. Appears there are plenty of dining room staff. The manager in charge tries to complete tables so everyone is eating the same course at the same time. A nice bonus is that you don’t have to go to the lounge to see the talks, etc. They have a camera on the stage and you can watch on your cabin television. oh, BIG thrill was that we saw two pods of breaching whales at dinner. A pod on each side of the boat. The Captain notified us and then moved a little to get us closer. If you have any questions I’d be happy to answer.
  16. Our flight from Jacksonville, Florida to Boston was an uneventful 2 hours. We caught a cab at the airport to the Four Seasons. Cost was about $25 plus tip. Room was ready so we checked in, dropped off our bags, then took off to explore by foot the Freedom Trail. Stopped at Quincy Market for some lobster rolls. Hotel is beautiful and across the street from Boston Common. On Friday and Saturday’s the hotel has a happy hour from 4-6 pm that includes appetizers, popcorn, candy, a speciality cocktail, beer and wine. We could very easily tell that many of our cruise mates were present. We were given a packet at checkin that included baggage tags, name tags on lanyards, embarkation number (we are in the third group), a medical form to fill out, and a schedule of what will happen tomorrow. Breakfast, checking vaccine cards, and covid testing will fill the morning until our scheduled time to depart. Lunch will be served beginning at 12 noon. Is the hotel worth $400 per person, not sure, however we are enjoying the luxury and ease of getting to the ship tomorrow after a city driving tour.
  17. Glad you enjoyed your cruise. We are thinking about booking one of the Puget sound tours depending on how are New England one goes. Did you see much wildlife on your trip?
  18. @tango223We went ahead and purchased at home rapid covid test from Walgreens. Both were negative so we feel much more confident. Does the welcome packet you receive at the hotel have the time that the medical team begins checking cards and doing rapid tests, or did you just find out when you went down to breakfast? Do you disembark on Friday or early Saturday? We embark on Saturday, at around 1130 I think. Hopefully the airport transfer will go more smoothly than previously reported. Thanks for the info on the Wifi. We have pay as you go phones so we will add more data to be on the safe side. Safe travels for the rest of your cruise.
  19. @jagoffee I think they are encouraging passengers to be vaccinated, but not mandated. They said if you are not vaccinated, you must submit negative PCR test results beforehand and then take the rapid test again with all those vaccinated.
  20. @tango223 Thanks for the update. Is the ship at max passengers? How is the Wifi onboard, better when in port? Although we are vaccinated, worried about getting a positive test morning of embarkation. Assume if that happens, we just go back to the airport. I wonder if ACL would then compensate us for being unable to cruise?
  21. Glad you enjoyed your cruise. I agree, minor things occur on any type of trip, but not getting your food served before an excursion, arriving on day 1 to a dirty room, unable to get soap and linens in a timely minor, receiving cold food, excessive serving time at meals, missed excursions due to poor planning, no buses scheduled to take people back to the airport, etc, etc. are not minor in my opinion. For the money paid for this cruises, expectations should be high.
  22. Reviews are even more scathing on Yelp. You would think after a couple of sailings, the crew and service would improve. We embark next week and excited about finally traveling to see New England, but not so much with this company. This will be our first ACL cruise and probably the last. If they don't have enough trained staff for these cruises they should cancel them until the staff is ready. This doesn't happen on cruises overseas where workers are happy to be employed.
  23. @tango223 Wow! I bet when we hear from @tipsygirl they will have had the same bad experience. Are you going to complain to ACL upon disembarkation? Has the crew/Captain/Purser said anything about all the issues to the passengers? We are on the next one leaving on the 24th. Doesn't look like any improvements are happening. This will be our first ACL cruise and were also thinking of booking another with the discounts they give you while aboard since we still have money on a voucher but if our cruise is as bad as the ones before us, I think we may just sacrifice the remaining money. We had to cancel our Pearl Seas cruise to Canada so we transferred to ACL. I'm thinking we will just stick with the cruises from Viking or Grand Circle overseas. Is the entire crew vaccinated? We are vaccinated and have been wearing masks, but concerned we could be a "break thru" case with the pre boarding testing. Did everyone come up negative on your sailing? How was the first morning at breakfast? That seems to be the first test of the kitchen crew since most passengers all arrive at the same time. Read previously that some weren't even served before they had to leave for an excursion. Since you are only a few days in to your cruise, maybe things will improve. Disappointed about your food comment. I had read it was pretty good with lots of lobster options. Please continue to post observations so we can tamper our expectations for next week 🙂
  24. Sorry to hear this. I was hoping this crew would get their act together after a couple of sailings. There is probably one more sailing before ours. Keeping my fingers crossed for no major glitches.
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