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Posts posted by yyjguy

  1. On Fairsea and Fairwind one thing I remember was sitting in the movie theatre which down low in the hull of the ship. If you took a seat on the side wall, you could feel the temperature of the sea through the steel hull (very warm at Tahiti and numbing cold up the coast to Vancouver). When it was rough you could hear the waves churning along the steel plating and rivets right by your ear! Eerie until you got used to it. Their sea keeping was very good as well. On one voyage up the coast to Vancouver, Stardancer and the first Sun Princess left Los Angeles a head of us. Our Captain said we would beat them to Vancouver as very heavy seas were ahead. The next day while slicing through the head on swells at 18 knots, we passed both the other ships hammering and slamming into the waves. We arrived in Vancouver on time, and the other two were 8 hours late!

  2. On Princess if you have no luggage to claim pierside, and if you can handle your baggage on your own, you can "walk off" as soon as the vessel is cleared. I shall only have a small airline carry on sized bag. Does Holland offer the same opportunity?

    Koningsdam in Amsterdam, May 14.

  3. In September I sailed from Southampton to Sydney. I am a social guy and talk to many; along the railing, in the pools and saunas, at meals and in the bar. Not once did I hear anyone complain about the ship nor her condition. The same was true on a 14 night Baltic cruise the year before. Luck perhaps, but I sure could not complain about Emerald. Now thinking of her trans Pacific crossing.

  4. While the food offerings at the Blue Poppy are great, especially for special groups such as this tour, I think the added cost this option would not provide good value. The amount of time taken for this option would seriously shorten the time available to stroll the gardens on our own; remembering the time taken always stretches as the service is geared to the slowest in the group. Why not wander on own, and should you have time prior to the coach departure visit the coffee excellent coffee shop and perhaps enjoy the same items minus the leaves!!

  5. It does seem probable that Sapphire will make a west bound trip through the Suez in the spring of 2018. Her last cruise from Singapore returns on March 14; there are no other cruises showing for her. She does show up in the port of Gibraltar on April 30. That leaves a gap of 48 days. I would think that a dry docking in Singapore then the repostioning voyage. This year Emerald took 30 days for London to Singapore; perhaps a similar voyage will be undertaken by Sapphire.

  6. I am just back from 32 days aboard Emerald Princess. It was amazing to see that night after night there were either no tables occupied in Share or just one or two. From Adagio you could see right in and witness the staff just standing about. Word from some crew was that it was a total disaster, and that the steep price rather than menu was keeping passengers away. It was not much better at the Salty Dog portion of the Wheelhouse bar. I never saw more than two tables in use, and frequently those were occupied ship's officers. Those tables have ruined a large portion of the Wheelhouse bar. Again I suspect the price was the issue as the menu did look interesting. Happily though, the Crown Grill was very busy every night with many tables occupied, excellent service and very good food. I certainly enjoyed my 3 meals there.

  7. I find it very sad that those who object to the automatic tipping take it out on the very people that rely and depend on that money. As much as you may find that process distasteful, a system that all mainstream cruise lines follow, by not tipping you are not hurting the managers, executives or stock holders. Your behaviour is having a very serious affect on service staff from very poor countries of the world; staff that are trying to pay for a decent home life for their families, staff that are paid about $100 per month, from places in the world where even a few dollars a month has a huge affect on their standard of living. Rather than denying them just a few dollars a day, complain to the company, make a serious presentation at a stock holders annual meeting, or perhaps even to the press, but please help those serving you put food on the table at home, obtain an education their children, and perhaps even afford some medical or dental care.

  8. Those pictures sure bring back memories of a great pair of ships. Fair and Dawn were such wonderful vessels and there still was a bit of the old Sitmar feeling aboard. I had a sailing booked on Fair Majesty's fourth voyage, and by the time was finished building, she emerged as Star Princess which you captured under Lions Gate Bridge. Thanks for sharing.

  9. At present there are American CBP staff in Victoria year round. The pre clear the Coho ferry to Port Angeles, Washington State ferries to Anacortes, and Victoria Clipper/ Kenmore Air to Seattle. They do not clear any flights from the airport though. One huge issue in home porting vessels in Victoria is provisioning the ships; very expensive to get trucks on and off the Island. Perhaps smaller vessels, but I doubt the majors would be interested.

  10. All cruises from Vancouver go to the US. The American authorities insist that the passengers be "precleared" so that upon arrival in what ever American port the ship calls at first, immigration procedures are not required. There simply is not enough immigration staff in Alaskan ports to handle that process.


    This week, for what ever reason, the American authorities decided to send just 5 immigration officers to the pier, knowing that there were 3 very large vessels sailing. Normally there are that many for each ship, the case during the summer months. At sailing time for one of the ships there was still a line up out of the building for embarking passengers. One ship was so late leaving that the tide was missed at Seymour Narrows resulting in the entire Alaskan itinerary to be ruined, including a stop in Glacier Bay.


    No one in the industry can comprehend why only a small crew was sent to the dock on perhaps the busiest day of the season. I am sure the Port and certainly the 3 cruise lines have many questions for the American authorities.

  11. Most of the time Holland's ships are bow in and thus on sailing they must reverse out of dock into the turning zone, swing about to starboard and then proceed towards the bridge. 30 minutes is typical. Princess almost always is stern in, and they just sail out towards the bridge, 15-20 is typical. This ships will not leave the dock until there is a clear period of no inbound traffic in English Bay's approaches to the bridge. Inbound traffic has priority.

  12. Statistically perhaps the area around the St Regis is safe, I certainly can not argue against the police facts. However if I was looking for an interesting evening stroll it sure would not be on the streets around Dunsmuir and Seymour! Give me the happy crowds of tourists and locals that flock along Robson St, even late into the evening, over those found on the streets near the St Regis. Robson St is a well promoted pedestrian zone. I am on occasion lodged at Delta Suites just a block or two from the St Regis, and am very cautious when heading out in the evening. When at the Fairmont Vancouver, Sheraton Wall or Hyatt, all very near Robson St. I never give my security a second thought.

  13. I find the area around the St Regis is plagued with many street people making it uncomfortable during evening hours. The proximity to the Granville skytrain station also loads the area with the late night party crowds. The Blue Horizon is on a busy street too, but the crowds are all residents and tourists, making it a safer area.

  14. A word of caution. The poster mentioned a travelling companion with back issues, and other that was elderly. If you use the marine shuttle, there is no way to avoid a very steep climb up out of harbour to street level. The ramp is very steep and the staircases are rather long. Street level is up much higher than the floats. A shuttle or taxi totally avoids climbs of any kind. Just saying!!

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