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Posts posted by yyjguy

  1. Last year I did two almost back to back trips on the two cruise lines. On Holland America there were many people enjoying the swimming pools all day; often 10-15 in at one time. On Princess it was very very rare to see anyone in any of the pools, although many did get as far as dipping their toes in the water. The same corporation and yet two very different approaches to swimming pool temperatures and usage! I sure know which I prefer.

  2. I have read conflicting information, so I decided to ask the experts!! Does Rhapsody have a steam room? How about a sauna? If so, are they free or part of a Spa package? Unisex or coed? Many thanks for you help in this matter. Almost ready to book Singapore to Istanbul and was wondering about the ship facilities.

  3. The new law in Venice for 2015 which limits ship sizes to less than 100,000 tons is going to result in major changes for many cruise lines. No Grand or Royal class ships can sail into Venice. Watch for a major realignment of vessels assigned to Med routes in 2015. Gossip within Princess has Coral/Island or Sun class ships taking over those routes. I see Royal Caribbean has decided to sent Rhapsody to the Med from Australia, rather than sailing across the Pacific for Alaskan service as she has done for years. Watch for Princess's solution; it will be interesting!

  4. It will be some time before the 2015 schedule is released to the public. I do know that owing to the changes that prohibit Grand and Royal class ships from entering Venice in 2015, that major changes to deployments can be expected. Inside word has it that one of those changes might be Princess sending Coral and Island to the Med as they are permitted into Venice. Two replacement vessels for Alaska would be either Sun, Grand or Royal class ships. We will have to wait and see what Princess will do. Royal Caribbean International as already decided to not send Rhapsody of the Seas and Celebrity Century to Alaska in 2015 and instead of crossing the Pacific from Australia they are headed to the Med via the Suez. No word on what is heading up to Alaska yet, but they will be 100,000+ tonners for sure.

  5. Good morning Runnerrod-There are no PASSENGERS aboard, but there are 800-900 workers that need to be debarked upon arrival. They sailed up on the ship and are returning as well to complete the refit.

    David-the ship left the confines of the harbour and went to the anchorage to reset all the navigation equipment. Within the ship yards, there are many magnetic fields that can throw equipment out of whack. By law, all ships leaving a refit, must have the magnetic compass re calibrated before sailing to sea. This compass is rarely used, but is a legal necessity for a back up should all elecrtonics fail. This final phase of a refit is often referred to as "swinging the compass" and does show as such on AIS systems from time to time.

  6. I can see her out my windows, and at 4:25 she is still reversing out of the dry dock. On the marine radio, she has given her time at San Francisco's pilot boarding station as 12:15 and at the dock at 1:15 PM. She has over 800 workers to debark, and huge amount of supplies to load, so I would imagine boarading will be 4-5 hours late.

  7. Grand was to sail south to San Francisco from Victoria just before noon today. At 4 PM she was just exiting the dry dock and will get underway about 5 PM This will cause a late arrival in San Francisco I would imagine. All summer she sailed from Victoria at 2 PM for San Francisco and often arrived a little late, so the chances of her picking up the lost 5 hours is slight. She will have a very large provisioning is SFO after this length of time in a refit.

  8. The reason for the cancelled BVE is simple, the ship will not be there!!! The Grand was to sail from the dry dock at noon today up in Victoria. Even with that, it was a tight schedule down to San Francisco for Friday morning. At present she is still at the drydock, so now 5 hours late getting underway.

  9. Word from the dry dock is that all work is on time, with no problems encountered. Grand Princess will sail south to San Francisco on Wednesday at 12:00 noon. Expected in San Fran on the morning of Dec 20. A US Coast Guard inspection will occur on docking.

  10. Holland's Amsterdam was scheduled at the San Francisco dry dock at the same time. Princess has a history of using the facility in Victoria many times, the original Sun Princess becoming a Princess ship at the same dry dock way back when. The run up and down the coast while costly for fuel, does save Princess a great deal of money, Canada allows "foreign" workers to live on the ship while in Canada, and to perform all sorts of work on the vessel. America does not permit non US citizens to work while in the USA. Princess has workers from many different European nations working on various aspects of the refit. Press reports put 900 technical and trade workers living on the ship while here, and other 600 local trades people also hired.

  11. Venice is banning all ships over 100,000 tons in 2015, which rules out all of Princess's Grand/Royal class vessels. Princess has had 2 ships in the Med for the last few seasons, but will no longer be able to include Venice with these ships. I have heard from internal sources, that Princess is looking at several options. Being studied: Send the Ruby and Emerald to Alaska in 2015 an place the Coral and Island in the Med, with Royal/Regal in the Baltic. Another is to swap 2 Grand class with 2 Sun class for Med deployments. Or, use a different nearby port and transfer by coach all Venice bound passengers using Athens for turn a rounds. It will interesting to see how it all boils down!

  12. Keithm you could be correct in that attitude is often a two way street! There is do doubt that price has been a factor is selecting cruise lines for us. While there have been some shorter 7-10 day fun in the sun cruises, we tend to do longer voyages, thus the step up in price is more pronounced! Off an a 39 night voyage in a few days, and yes on another mainsteam ship!

  13. I have not sailed with Oceania as I do not like their vessels, but several friends have. While one partnered pair of friends in their late 50's love the line and are frequent repeat cruisers with them, two other couples have had very uncomfortable experiences. A couple in their early 40's debarked before the end of the voyage owing to near hostile treatment by fellow passengers, the other couple in their 60's experienced attitude from passengers as well. Neither couples are abrasive or stereotypical, but can be outspoken! For my partner and myself, if they just got rid of all the glass on outdoor decks I would give them a try, but the "greenhouse" effect of glass walls separating me from the sea air and scenery continue to put me off!

  14. I too really enjoyed the Fairsea/Fair Princess and her sister. In my mind, those 4 tiered stern decks with 3 full sized pools have never been equalled in newer vessels. Sitmar was such a huge step above Princess, and with their 3 newbuildings ordered, the purchase by Princess was a very good move. I do miss the older vessels!!

  15. For several years this vesel saild out of Miami as Norwegian Cruise Line's Leeward. A very sleek looking smallish vessel, that started out as a Baltic ferry and with a very checkered past. She suffered a very major grounding and also a near total loss in a bad fire as Sally Albatross, prior to her Nowegian career. Since then she has done a stint as a casino gambling vessel out of Hong Kong. While aboard Star Princess last fall, we passed at very close quarters in the Greek islands. She looked fantastic, and word is that Louis is spending large amounts of money and giving her tender loving care. Might be a good choice.

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