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Posts posted by yyjguy

  1. I live in a port city that gets over 240 cruise ship stops each season. My work deals directly with the ships, and has nothing directly to do with passengers. Almost every day a ship sails missing a passenger or two. Not one of them has been on a ship's tour, and almost all of the missed passengers have been on private tours. When things go sideways with traffic issues and passengers are missing, the ship will wait for hours for organized ship tours, but will not wait 5 minutes for independent passengers. When borders, passports, and onward transportation are at stake I would strongly suggest sticking with the safe option.

  2. Cruise ships almost never sail with empty cabins. If you choose not to sail on a voyage, that cabin will be bought by someone else. Your not sailing will have absolutely no effect on the country, city or port. All you would have done is deny yourself a chance to see one of the great cities of the world. I do not see how not sailing would in any measureable way support our brothers and sisters in St Petersburg, and on the contrary, perhaps you going ashore there could give support to locals, either through contributing to their earnings or moral support in knowing things could be better.

  3. I hardly think that taking a $100 day tour in Russia is supporting a homophobic country; that kind of support is generated by corporations and governments not travelers. We too highly recommend you take the cruise and enjoy an incredible city. We found our tour guide very informative, understanding of our cultural differences, and reached out to help us all enjoy the tour. I think that it is important to remember that all the Russian people you will interact with on your visit are not the government that has extreme views, but rather they are just average working people trying to make ends meet. On our tour and on free time we were served by several gay workers in shops and bars and we left a little extra tips along with a wink. Just keep political views out of sight and no problems will be experienced.

  4. On Holland America you can call room service and order a full sized bottle, not the mini sized package at a horrid price. It will delivered to your cabin very quickly. The price is higher than the take home duty free price, but cheaper than ashore. Why can Princess not offer the same service, it would prevent the sneaking aboard that so many try?

  5. Danddm-yes you had lots of time! The distance to Canada Place East from the Constance Bank #1 anchorage is 83 miles. Crown "ran slow" at about 11 knots in order to be turned and backed in and then off the berth at 06:30 when the shore side lines crew was ordered. When she sailed later in the day, she knocked that trip off is 4hrs rather than the 7 hours you took!

  6. The minor fire had absolutely nothing to do with the vessel being stopped for several hours. Crown debarked her Puget Sound Pilot at Port Angeles at 8:45pm. The Canadian pilot was to board off Victoria at 11:15pm. The distance between the two pilot station is 14 miles. Vessel Traffic Control send Crown Princess to an anchorage off Victoria to await her pilot time, where she sat from 9:10 until 11:20. There was too much traffic in the area for her to drift or loiter between 8:45 and 11:15. The shudder was her port anchor being dropped.

  7. Today I read 2 different news stories in which Sapphire Princess was mentioned. In one the passenger load was referred to as "most Chinese" and in the other "catering almost exclusively to the Chinese market". I know that for a portion of her annual sailings while based in China this could well be true. However for the sailing this January when she is based in Singapore will this be the case?

    I once was in an embarkation line up in New York and shoreside staff keep going up and down the line asking if anyone wanted English forms to complete. Once aboard it became apparent why; only 54 non German speaking passengers were aboard, me included, while the rest were a large tour party from Munich! There were a few challenges during the next 12 days!!

  8. One only has to look at this site today, and see that they manner in which you have the ROLL CALLS set up, is just not working. I once again ask that you do what other boards on Cruise Critic have done, and organized the roll calls in such a fashion that you can quickly zero is on your 1-cruise line 2-cruise ship 3- then date of your sailing. Every person I know that is going on cruises have simply given up with this feature. Who wants to scroll through page after page looking for a random roll call for your ship and date.


    The Princess and Holland boards have this arrangement and it works fantastic. It is time to have it here!!

  9. Even though it is against Canadian law, there are 2 merchants that I know of in Victoria that not only will take your American currency, but will also give you American money as change (not coins, just bills). And both of these cater to cruise passengers. The are the Butchart Gardens, in the gift shops, food outlets and entry gates. The other is the family run gift shop right on the cruise ship pier, and it is here that you will find "trinkets" at prices far lower than in the town. Happy shopping!!

  10. I keep going back to Princess. The atmosphere aboard is relaxed, and yet there is always things going on if you are in need of being entertained. Food is good, service great, and all staff are welcoming to LGBT travelers, which there almost always are quite a few. Their vessels are also well maintained and get good public health and Coast Guard scores. If soaking up the rays are important to you, all the vessels have excellent outdoor deck spaces, and lots of it; double the square footage that is found on the Celebrity ships of the same size. No cruise line is perfect, some are just better than others. My next 2 sailings though are on Holland America!

  11. I live in Victoria, and work in an industry closely tied to the cruise ship operations, and I have never heard anything but positive comments about the operations of CVS. Very importantly, they have never left anyone behind nor got passengers back to the cruise ships late. On the other hand, there are on occasions problems with transit operations and using them has a degree of risk and a waste of valuable time, as the service is geared to the needs of locals, not visitors.

  12. It is just too early for the cruise lines to have pricing all figured out. Every cruise ship has tours to the Butchart Gardens. Keep in mind that at that time of the year the Gardens will be closing about 5 or 6 pm. For that many people, I would contact one of the tour companies and ask for a quote. CVC Tours has new mini units that seat about 20-24. Wilson's also has similar units, but they are older. Both these operators also have "group" admission prices available, while few others, if any, have those kind of volume discounts available.

  13. The roll calls for this board are a real mess and it is very time consuming and frustrating to scroll through pages and pages looking for your ship and date. However, if you go to Princess or Holland boards it is so simple. Select your ship, and the roll calls for that vessel come in chronological order. It takes seconds to find your sailing. Time to get our roll calls set up in a similar manner!

  14. The situation aboard Royal and Regal is a pain! After a work out, many folks like to unwind and relax in a sauna or steam room, and almost every gym and health club have such facilities. So do all the Princess ships except these two. I know of 3 couples that will not cruise these ships for that very reason. A friend works out twice a day, cardio in the morning and weights in the afternoon and always hits the steam and sauna on completion. He is definite, if we cruise again, not on those ships. His poor wife is so deflated, but he will not budge. Too bad Princess was so short sighted on this issue

  15. So far this season, all southbound vessels board Pilots at the north end of Vancouver Island between 12:00 and 14:00; thus transiting the very scenic waters between Vancouver Island and the mainland during day light hours. Darkness usually falls just south of Campbell River. The ships then run slow for Vancouver harbor with first lines ashore ordered for 07:00. The order through First Narrows is determined by the berth the vessel is bound for. Those that reverse into their assigned dock usually go last so as to not hold the other 1 or 2 up while they complete their turn.

  16. Too bad about the lack of steam or sauna facilities! The Sun and Grand class of ships have wonderful facilities to unwind and relax in after work outs. I use them after each of my two daily work outs. In almost every gym or health club ashore you will find similar facilities. Too bad Princess ignored the likes and desires of the very demographic they market to, and without these facilities I will not cruise of the two R ships. In this I am not alone as I know of several others who will not go back onto these 2 ships for that very reason.

  17. Kamloops50: Our information is supplied to us directly by vessel operations at all shipping lines ( or their appointed agents ) entering Canadian waters. Our information is highly restricted and thus not publicly accessible. This information is used by other Government agencies, both Canadian and American, and by the marine industry on the coast. Some of the information may be publically available, I do not know where that would be, but not from our systems.

  18. Kamloops 50 your information is not current. These vessels (Crown, Ruby and Emerald) have had the top portion of the forward mast reconfigured and hinged. The top portion now can fold down, thus lowering the air draft of the vessel. The highest portion is still the main mast, not the exhaust stacks within the funnel. Trust me, the correct air draft is exactly 56.24 M with the mast down. I work with deep sea ships every work day, and can assure you the information on vessel profiles is very accurate (used by Pilot, Ports and industry) and also very current.

  19. Kamloops 50: The Crown will fit under the lowest bridge which has 57.9 M of room and the ship is only 56.28 M; she has 1.62 M of clearance. However, the ship will not fit through the current locks. The locks have a working clearance of 32.6 M and the ship is 36.2 M wide; thus she is 3.6 M too wide for the current locks. Thus, it is the locks and ship's beam that limit the passage of this class of vessel.

  20. The air draft is not an issue for the Crown. On Ruby, Emerald and Crown it is 56.28 M, significantly lower than any overhead obstruction in the present or new canal route which is 57.9M. The issue is vessel beam, with that class of vessel being 36.2M and the locks are 32.6M. They are only 290M in length and the locks are 294.1M. I do not know the air draft of the Royal class but will look it up when at work next.

  21. During a recent chat with bridge officers aboard one of the west coast based ships, I was told that internal chatter is that Crown Princess will probably be the first of the ships too large for the current canal to utilized the new larger locks. Apparently between December 2016 and March 2017 the ship will reposition back to the Caribbean, and as well as going around the bottom of South America the company is looking at a series of trans canals over that time period. Something to keep an eye out for!

  22. Once upon a time: This information might be what you were looking for. Crown is coming out of the dry dock between 11:30 and 12:30. Once all the life boats are lifted back aboard she will move to out to Royal Road Anchorage F ( about 1 mile outside the harbour ) where she will remain until the Lloyds of London surveyors have finished with her classification certificate inspection, expect to be about 18:00. She then will sail out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca for Princess's own trials. I believe she is picking up the Puget Sound Pilot at 23:59 for the voyage down into Seattle.

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