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nho9504

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  1. First of all, I feel for you and all the passengers that have gone thru that horrifying experience - hanging on their dear lives. The point is, this should NOT have happened, because the ship should be able to handle that weather conditions - even the Norwegian officials said that. Even the avid retired seafarers said that. Then why would the situation turned into an almost life and death situation? Dont you feel there are a lot of questions need answers? Dont you feel the ship's management / company's management have some decision making process went wrong? I were you I would question this, instead of one-sided praising the captain for doing a great job. The great job that has never got done is, NOT to lead your passengers thru such horrifying journey! The lounge should be closed and off limit to the passengers with those glass walls. I understand you and other passengers had the false sense of being safe, because you would think the ship should be able to handle such, being a ship only 2 years old, and your captain decided to sail into the rough water that has been forecasted. However even the water did not break the glass walls, the flying furniture should be obvious to anyone that this was truly dangerous - it is so obvious that one can easily be hit and suffer a broken bone or have open wound... I seriously dont understand why passengers ignored the crew's plead to retreat to a safer location... About the sea conditions - on a few northern crossings when weather forecasts show there would be rough patches in front of the original planned course, our captains often change course to stay away from the forecasted conditions often taking a more southern routes that made us missed ports or delayed next port's arrival. Happened a couple times we missed 2 ports at Ponta Delgada on HAL's ships, once on a Princess ship. Captains often announced these changes well ahead of time when we were still at relatively calm sea, during their noon updates. By the way, on one Southern crossing, the Atlantic remained calm - it was after we entered Med the weather turned rough, with 30 ft sea for some stretch. We have seen 30 to 40ft water a few times but the important thing is, our ships did not lose power - both stabilizers were deployed - we saw the horizon going up and down dramatically but we could still walk albeit like a bit drunk. In fact during one of such occasions an elderly gentleman with walker refused my assistance to help him when we navigated the cabin corridor back to the stateroom. Not just in TATL, at the Caribbeans you could run into high sea during hurricane season. Happened. The things that the mass market lines operate differently, at least comparing to what Sky is operated, is that all precautions were taken LONG BEFORE really bad sea - from the warnings the captains gave during the noon updates and updates as needed thru out the bad weather. All the doors to the outside were secured, swimming pools drained with nets on them, we were advised not to use the pool deck to go across but use the cabin corridor to go to the restaurant at the stern because of the high wind and slippery decks. Captains updated the conditions relatively frequently... BTW, those captains of the mass market lines all are company's direct employees, most work for years with the line before moving up to the staff captain and captain positions, Only the service sides crews, like the room attendants and the wait staff, the bar tenders, the kitchen staff, the laundry staff and basic maintenance staff, are contracted employees supplied by contractors. But the people responsible the sailing of the ship, are all directly employed by the lines and worked their way up. I personally think this makes some difference. Of course the apologists here would not agree. Basically during all such bad weathers our ships sailed normally thanks to stay in full power and deployment of the stabilizers but everyone is told to take precaution, stayed away from doors to the promenade deck and use handrails whenever possible. Shops actually also took precautions by putting away the objects that would easily fly loose or crashing down. Plates normally on the counter of the outdoor grills were taken away. We heard they had some stuff broken in the kitchen / galley and dining rooms according to the captains but nothing anywhere near what were shown in those videos. The guy(s) want to know why a 2 years new ship would completely lose power got run off by the apologists on this thread. Personally I want to know that too - we are just passengers who care for our own safety, no need to understand how things work, just expect they should work, especially on such a new ship and such a "luxury line".
  2. I can see this board is full of Vikings apologists. You can bet 95% of more passengers on the Vikings Sky would NOT have ANY of the technical knowledge here posted by several old masters. From an ordinary passenger's stand point, A Lot of the Operational Procedures are quite questionable in this incident / accident. As the Sea is NOT that rough even the officials said that - the ship is fully capable to handle the weather conditions, even the experts posted here seem to agree with that. Then the inevitable questions are - WHY a 2 years old ship fared so poorly under such medium type of rough sea (for lacking the knowledge to use the correct terminology to describe it) ? Sure it is good to have several ex-masters, marine experts to post on this thread, but the majority of passengers do NOT need to know this in depth knowledge in order to go cruising and feel being safe. Life jackets are stored outside on all ships for exactly when during a true emergency passengers cannot return to their cabins to bring the life jackets in their cabins and must get to muster stations asap. But that is not the case on Sky from all we have known so far. It is not in danger of being capsized. Before things get really rough, i.e. doors broken, water gushing in, ship listing, there were time to give warnings for people to get prepared for the worse to come. I do not read about any such actions being taken. It almost feels that they were like sitting ducks and then let the waves to pound them left and right when the ship lost all its engines. It strikes me that the safety of the passengers is not of the utmost importance in the operation procedure of the Sky or Viking Oceans the company. That is a shocker to me. Those Viking Apologists can continue to defend the company however they want, but I suspect a good percentage of the passengers who have gone thru this ordeal would think otherwise. And I do not blame them. For parting, I feel those said if you dont accept the danger and risk, then you should stay home - are very wrong and very irresponsible. Most who set out to a cruise vacation want to have a fun and safe trip, not a potential life-threatening adventure. There are other adventurous sports fit the bill. Ocean cruising on a cruise ship is not one of such.
  3. They should have been moved to INSIDE far away from the big floor to ceiling glass walls long before the situation getting very precarious. As I said, this incident / accident has exposed a lot operational issues on how Viking Oceans are operated. Lots of the procedures that are standard on the mass market lines dont seem to be followed here. Vikings strikes me as a welcome addition to the existing luxury lines to choose from - but this incident /accident completely change my mind after seeing how things were handled - it is not like the crews not done a super job, they did. It is how things can get off hand, so out of control in such fashion that scares me.
  4. Agree the list would not be 45 degree (the ship would have tipped over already!) However the need to retrieve lifejacket from outside deck bothers me a lot. Of all the cruises we took, although none of them small ships, the lifejackets are in your cabin with your muster station number clearly marked - this is the case for RCL, HAL, Princess, Celebrity and Carnival. The crew interviewed via phone on this article said they had to form a human chain to open the door to the open deck to retrieve the lifejackets for the passengers... I know each ship has big boxes on the outside decks to store EXTRA lifejacket in case in an emergency passengers have no time to return to their staterooms to retrieve the lifejackets then go to Muster stations. But isn't the Sky has notified the passengers the danger of the situation long enough before the ship had to send out Mayday signals? I cannot get over the video showing those passengers sitting at the lounge WITHOUT any barriers between them and the glass floor to ceiling wall, waves pounding and furniture sliding - they just sat there watching as if it is some kind of big show the sea was putting on - nobody thought about this was a VERY DANGEROUS PLACE to be at during that moment?! ' If I were in such environment, I would gather my important personal belongs - all stuff in the safe and medications, with my lifejacket nearby and be ready for the worst. Of our many cruises, there were many occasions the ships had lost powers, in one occasion, for over 3 hours. Captains came on PA after the first hour to inform us what was going on... Granted, all of such incidents we were at calm seas. The last time such happened we were leaving Naples on Crown Princess after its major dry dock in Apr 2018. Our dinner table was by the window - we noticed halfway thru our dinner, the ship had turned, now with its bow towards the Naples harbour! In other words, during the past hour the ship was not going anywhere but turning circles not too far from the harbour. By the time we finished our dinner the ship was still not moving... It took another 30 min then the Captain came on PA and briefly informed us what had happened - we lost one engine and the other engine was also having issues, but they finally fixed it - however it required time to slowly bring the engines to full running power. Captain explained he did not want to make the PA while most of us were enjoying our final dining room dinner on board - we would disembark at Rome the next morning. I am curious to know how Sky handled its communication of the graveness of the situation to her passengers - why people were still allowed to sit at such dangerous place when things were sliding back and forth? Why the crew had to risk their lives to retrieve lifejackets from outside deck? Personally I think this incident / accident EXPOSE A Lot of Operation Issues the Viking Oceans have - the Master is a hired gun, not a direct employee by the cruise lines like the mass market lines, for example. While the crew is very admirable in handling the situations - the procedures in handling such seem to be quite different from other major cruise lines which ships had gone thru WORSE storms when things were crashing down everywhere... Passengers were gathered in the INSIDE venues AWAY from windows based on what we have seen in past similar situations and the sea was MUCH worse. The sea the Sky was facing was nothing comparing what we had encountered in our multiple TATL crossings (we have done 12 or 13 or 14 of such, lost count). The only difference is, the sea was much much deeper when we facing the extremely high sea, versus the coastal area of the Norway west coast.
  5. Exactly how I felt when I watched that video - a woman got up and walked to a chair near by - a big chair just flew across the floor right behind her, barely missed her legs. Just 5 to 10 seconds later, the panels on the ceilings gave in and hit some people sitting right below. All the while these passengers just sat there, WITHOUT any barriers in front of their seats while the heavy furniture were flying back and forth, plus the planter... I was like, What were these idiots thinking? You can get hurt in any moment! There was a crew (in white shirt and black plants) walked around obviously trying to keep order - what he should have done was to ORDER these idiots to move far away from the potential dangers - the glass panels could give way to the crashing waves and water gushing in (that happened in the restaurant, right?) the sliding furniture could easily hit somebody's feet or legs... Yeah, these are supposed seasoned cruisers who paid 6000 sterling pound each for the cruise - yet they are SO MUCH LACK OF COMMON SENSE!
  6. Hi I dont know where the search button for the thread is at - trying to find out if Millenium after dry dock now has the basic internet package offered now reportedly on Reflection and Edge. Has anybody known the internet pricing on the Millie for a 14 days cruise?
  7. Does anyone know packages available on Millenium which just went thru an extensive renovation to S-classed it in January? $99 for a 2 weeks duration unlimited wifi access sounds very reasonable pricing. We will be on the 14 days TYO-YVR crossing and our status is Select.
  8. I wonder if the shuttle would operate if there is only one ship that day? Will be on Crown Princess calling on Apr 18, and is the only ship in board that day.
  9. Well, our 10 days holiday sailing on Royal last December worked the EXACT OPPOSITE. We booked the cruise as inside guarantee, payment was due in full the next day as usual. We had not even made payment yet, Princess assigned us cabin to a balcony. I had no clue because I normally did not check cabin assignment until a few days before sailing. My cruise agent called and asked me, "Did you read the email?" I said, "what email?" as we just came home when she called. It was the Princess upgrade email she forwarded. Fast forward to 3 months later, now on our 25 days to Europe and continue, on Crown Princess, sails Apr 3rd - we finally got our cabin assigned - and it was from an ID to an IA... meh. I actually prefer at ID Aft, much easier to get up to Lido and come down to MDR then at the Midship!
  10. I am not sure why such a big deal when one can easily take a 3 days St. Petersburg "cruise" from Stockholm via Helsinki and enter St. Petersburg Visa Free, as the sailing itself is considered a "tour". My friend and his family did exactly that last year, spend full 72 hours at St. Petersburg touring the city independently, using Uber extensively because he said subways were too expensive (since it was per person and they were a family of 4 or 5). He bought a SIM card with $5 and happily went everywhere using Uber, only took metro two times "for the experiences". Sure, the recent escalation of tension between the 2 countries is worrisome but I am sure the ordinary folks in St. Petersburg or Russia as whole, would NOT want their tourism dollars dwindled and therefore would try harder to make the tourists feel safe and welcome. It is big money big income supplement that the locals needed,. Most would not do bad things to jeopardize that income,
  11. Each card has its own offer. You have to create online log in for your additional user card, and see if the offer shows up on your card. ONLY if it shows up AND then you add the offer to your card, then you would get the $100 statement credit if you use your additional user card to make the transaction. This offer shows up twice a year, 2 or 3 years in a row. We had taken advantage in Mar and again in Dec last year - split the cruise fare into multiple $500 payments, each with a UNIQUE card that had the offer added to THAT card. Unfortunately for our upcoming 25 days Crown Princess, the offer came in a few days late. I had been waiting for the offer to show up and let the cruise went into Sold Out 3 times when Princess was juggling its inventory on this 14 days Transatlantic + 11 days Med sold as one package. When it finally came back to become available, I went ahead to book it (it went to Sold Out the next day and never returned available again). The AMEX offer came out like 3 or 4 days after that. :mad: We could have saved 6x $100 and still have offers left unused (out of 13 AMEX cards, 9 have the offer.) I added them anyway but most likely they will go to waste because they expire in late April IIRC. We never book cruises so far in advance - usually about 2 months to sail, sometimes less, even just 2 to 3 weeks. Works for us as we are retired for many years hence the flexibility.
  12. I hope you guys know Gate No.4 is still about 20 to 25 min walk from the ship's dock and that is IF they allow you to walk. Marseilles is an industrial port, We have been there twice and do not remember we were allowed to walk thru the dock areas.
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