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About Pepicou

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    On a HAL Bridge
  • Interests
    Too many to mention
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Why HAL of course ;)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Hiya @Sundiego if your chap struggles standing for a while, then please first report to your lifeboat to get checked off then inform your lifeboat crew or one of the Officers on deck that you need somewhere to sit. You will get escorted to the Atrium area located midships inside where there will be seating available (and a crew member assigned to demonstrate how to don a lifejacket to everyone sat there with you)
  2. It was during a Comic-Con type charter earlier this year. They built it as a community project and had it set on a big lego base with buckets of lego all around it for people to build what they fancied during the charter, was really impressive! They were very kind to give it to the ship at the end of their trip
  3. As was mentioned by CruiserBruce, it depends on the capability of the port. I gather its a surprisingly expensive upgrade to a ports infrastructure to be able to supply that much electrical power. For the most part those ports are limited to 'turnaround' ports which can expect a very regular port visit from cruise ships, so ports like Seattle, San Diego, New York, San Francisco, Vancouver and LA (off the top of my head). Modifications also need to be made to older ships to have a suitable interface onboard. HAL (along with Princess) were the first to really go all in with this and now most of our fleet have the capability. As more awareness grows about potential air pollution from ships in port, more cities are planning to invest in this technology. California has really taken the lead, and have passed laws making it an actual requirement for ships to 'plug in' when in ports that have the facility
  4. Hiya LMaxwell On another post you asked if Kids Club / High Score was ongoing on the Oosterdam. Yes it is. Here are the hours they are open: High Score: Embarkation: “Open House” 12:00pm – 4:00pm and 6:00pm – 10:00pm (all ages/families welcomed during the day. As of 6:00pm we only permit kids, tweens, teens and their parents/guardians) All other days: Daily 10:00am – 6:00pm (ages 7-17 only) and 6:00pm – 10:00pm (all ages/families) (in the other post you called it a 'pay arcade' - just to be clear, whilst there are pinball machines, arcade games etc, they are all free to play) Kids’ Club: Embarkation: “Open House and Registration” 1:00pm – 3:00pm All other days: Daily 9:00am – 12:00pm, (7:00pm – 10:00pm on gala evenings only). During the upcoming, Christmas and New Year’s sailings, evening hours will be offered throughout the cruise. (We have been completing upgrades to the Loft area in the Youth Center and that is why Kids Club was temporarily relocated to another room. As of next cruise the Kids Club will be held in the Loft, next to High Score)
  5. Hahaha, no it didnt, but I'll struggle to keep mum when someone compares the levels of entertainment onboard to the levels of maintenance being done 🙂 Also, I really hope that wasn't one of those threatening types of promises, because our Youth Staff are genuinely some of the nicest, sincerest and committed crew members we have. They are passionate about the Club Hal program, and doing all they can for the kids in the boundaries they have been given, so I really hope it was a good promise....
  6. Whilst I'm not going to get into the High Score / Club Hal discussion (My dear Mother always taught me that if you cant speak well about someone its best to not just speak at all) I can, and emphatically WILL, say that appropriate training and safety maintenance does get done onboard (just ask the numerous guests currently seeking refunds for the regrettable disturbance they have had due to the cosmetic maintenance we have been doing on some balconies lifeboat davits this cruise). Of all the cutbacks, both real and perceived, I can categorically say that safety - in all forms such as crew training, maintenance and culture - has not been impacted. In fact it is steadily going in the other direction, with more drills, more training, more periodical servicing and overhaul of equipment, more inspections, regulations and audits etc to ensure we are at the level we want and need to be. On a side note to that, I'd ask you to bear one thing in mind if you happen to see a little rust here and there. It takes a cycle of constant maintenance to keep ships looking rust free. The struggle from the ships crew side in keeping that rust at bay is the frustrating trend of more and more ports forbidding us to do any chipping and painting in their ports (unless we are down to the last resort, we do our very best to restrict that noisy maintenance to port days where most of the guests are ashore). My ship recently did a couple of 17 day Hawaii cruises, where we were not allowed to paint in a single port, now followed by 1 week cruises where we can only paint in 2 ports... pretty quickly that backlog starts to build up. I'm just mentioning this as its important to differentiate between painting and maintenance, which we can do pretty much anywhere and everywhere. So if you see a ship that is not as freshly painted as she could be, please don't assume that that is symptomatic of the state of all the maintenance being done onboard
  7. I'm a sailor so 'bluntness' does not faze me in the slightest; but if it comes down to choosing to believe a really concerted effort and brain trust between the manufacturers of azipods, shafts, shaft seals and highly experienced specialized divers and engineers that have spend years dealing with these problems across all maritime industries, or the opinions expressed by someone with no knowledge of the issues and a dose of unfounded cynicism I'm gonna have to just put it out there that my money is going to go on the former. Thank you for your thoughts though.
  8. So, about our 'propeller problem', here are the facts: Soon after the end of our Alaska season we discovered some seawater getting past the 5 seals that go around the port azipod prop shaft. Not great, but alot better than the other possibility of oil leaking out past the seals. After inspections by divers, head scratching by people alot smarter than me, and having exhausted all other options, the decision was made to replace all 5 seals, which is a BIG job to do outside of dry dock. On our 2nd Hawaii cruise we flew across the pacific and stayed an extra day in Honolulu to give the divers enough time to replace the seals (an impressively complex job all done underwater by building a 'habitat' around the work area then pumping in air/pumping out water so the divers are working in a dry space underwater). That job seemed to go well, but during our last cruise it was confirmed that water was again coming in past the seals on the port azipod. Considering they were all brand new, and are expected to last for many many years, our first thought was perhaps a rope/net had got entangled around the shaft (we have rope guards and net cutters around the shaft to protect against this, but they are not infallible) Last San Diego we had divers down for another inspection. After verifying there was no ropes/nets/obstructions, they took apart the shaft casing and inspected the first 2 seals, which appear to be perfectly fine. That was why we were a little late leaving in San Diego (well, to be honest, the Divers were done well ahead of schedule, but as we had extended the all aboard time in anticipation of our late sail, we then had to sit and twiddle our thumbs until everyone got back onboard) As we cannot just let the water continue to seep into the azipod (Highly complex mechanical/electrical equipment dont like sea water as a general rule) the decision was reluctantly made to once again replace all 5 seals, and that is why we will be spending the extra day in San Diego As it stands, both azipods are at 100% functionality/maneuverability, we just need to fix a leak.....
  9. I'm afraid not - as I mentioned, I'm on a ship over on the Pacific side. Typically ships do not get updates on issues with ports we do not stop at (As we sail globally as a company that would mean our inbox needlessly exploding daily with information that does not concern us)
  10. As has already been mentioned, HAL ships do not have ramps onto their own tenders. This is because of their smaller size (compared to the large tenders in HMC) that means they are more affected by the swell so rise and fall quicker and easier and as mentioned, have much more limited space for a ramp. There are however a number of crew directly involved in assisting all guests into a tender. There will be 2 specifically trained 'Mobility Assist Team' members each side of you on the platform to help you into the tender, and once on board the tender there is a crew member there to help you to a seat if required. All ships should inform any guest with known limited mobility of any anticipated difficulties before any tender days. As has been mentioned, most often the larger problem is not getting guests from the ship to the tender, but getting them safely from the tender to shore, where there is often a dock or pier that is not easy to traverse with limited mobility, and its something the ship is not able to control. It is a difficult balance for ships crew, to not be perceived as being discriminatory towards guests with limited mobility by saying it will not be safe for them to try to board a tender when in reality all we are concerned about is their safety. We will do everything we can to get everyone ashore, but there will be instances were we deem it too big a risk to allow some to board or disembark the tender safely. If you do have limited mobility and are concerned about going on a tender, talk to guest services for a frank assessment of how difficult it will be for you and they will gladly give you an honest appraisal of what to expect Typically there is about a 1 to 1 1/2 foot gap between the ships platform and tender. You can expect the tender to rise and fall with the swell slightly, even with the best of weather The crew assisting you onto the tender will tell you to wait if the swell is too large or the tender is not fully alongside the platform. PLEASE listen to their instructions, and accept their help to get you safely into the tender - there have been a number of unnecessary accidents where people have pushed past the crew telling them to wait, or have refused/been offended by the offer of a steadying arm and tried to make that step on their own. Guests in wheelchairs are wherever possible carried by additional crew over the short gap onto the tender. Due to the additional weight, guests with scooters are typically asked if they can walk the short step on board with crews assistance, and their scooter will be loaded after them. if the combined weight of the guest and scooter is a few hundred lbs, it will of course be unreasonable and unsafe for the crew to try to attempt to carry them into the tender. If you are still not sure, you can of course always go down to the gangway and ask to just watch the tender loading for a while (or look down from the promenade deck)to decide yourself if you feel its something you can safely manage
  11. Full disclosure, I'm a HAL Officer working onboard, so i have some insight to 'operational reasons'. Whilst I cant speak for the cancellations to HMC (I'm not in the Caribbean so it does not effect my ship), I can tell you that overwhelmingly 'operational reasons' refers to unforseen/new restrictions in the port. As has been mentioned, our cruises are typically planned years in advance, but in the intervening time factors such as berth damage/repairs/upgrades, unplanned/unexpected over capacity, new port/local/national regulations or similar might mean that we can no longer go there on that day, as determined by the port. If you are informed of a change weeks or months in advance, than this is even more likely to be the case. If it was because of a technical issue with the ship or weather (The other most likely causes of itinerary changes) this could only be communicated a week or two at most before the cruise starts. In the case of my ship we have had an itinerary change in some Mexican ports recently and that was due to new port restrictions. Whilst one of the ports has had 3 ships berthed there for years, with the advent of ever larger ships, the port determined that it would be problematic to have these larger ships docked at the same time. In this instance, whilst we are still going to the same ports for the same amount of hours, we were required to adjust in which order/days we do the ports to spread out the maximum capacity of those ports It's much like cancellations and delays at an airport where the airline itself is at the mercy of the scheduling of the airport authority
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