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CGTNORMANDIE

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Everything posted by CGTNORMANDIE

  1. Thanks for the nice cruise blog Bea. Always a pleasure to follow you along. I am living vicariously thru your adventures as I am currently in dry-dock...dialysis. Here’s hoping for a better 2020. When is your next cruise?
  2. Writing a nice note to go along with your additional gratuity is a tribute to your good manners. I, too, like to write a note of appreciation and place it in an envelope addressed to the proper person along with my monetary form of appreciation. I have been told many times by those same recipients just how much it meant to them to receive a personal note with the gratuity.
  3. Most of us knew exactly what you meant. You too have a conscience. 🙂
  4. Well said FanOfDis. You are correct...tipping is a personal decision. My conscience would never allow me to not pay the DSC. That is never an option for me.
  5. Tipping above and beyond the DSC is a personal choice. It is not a cultural thing. European Shipping companies have been depending on passenger tips to supplement the crew salary for well over 150 years. It is the way it has always been done worldwide. It is fine the way it is...a personal choice.
  6. Certainly no bartender is going to refuse a tip no matter when it is offered. Long ago, in the transatlantic era, you would pay cash for each round and leave a small amount for the steward. Nowadays you can establish a rapport with your bartender and tip accordingly...upfront or during the cruise or at the end. If I have a very good bartender where I know I’m going to be frequently then I usually give him/her a tip upfront and then one at the end. You don’t have to tip with each round.
  7. Don’t you mean the Daily Service Charge was included? Tipping above and beyond the DSC is a personal choice. If you feel that the service you received in the YC was adequate and not beyond the norm then it is your decision to pay the minimum.
  8. I’m still here Ian. Best of luck with your book. It might take some time but I hope some or all of the previous posters will check in. CGT
  9. PLEASE...do not stick anything down the toilet unless you’ve already eaten it or it is just toilet paper. You would not believe what ignorant passengers try to flush down the onboard toilets. And what a horror show it is when the entire system goes down because some idiot tried to flush something down that should never go into a ship’s toilet.
  10. Darn auto spell...meant to say tweeking!
  11. Hi Bea, I hope you liked that one. I have been following your excellent adventure constantly. Now get some rest...two Tylenol before bed and you will sleep through the night. My friend Jake is aboard. You can’t miss him...6’4”. If you run into Cruisingmaterial at the M&M please say hello to him.
  12. Well...mmmmmm...yes she is. I've seen her take three steps on water before she fell in!
  13. It’s been a while since I have started a new post. As an ocean liner historian I have followed the incredible rise of MSC over the past 12 years. I think their ships are gorgeous and that they have a great formula that offers a good product at reasonable prices. MSC started a new-build program over 12 years ago but the real game changers started with the Fantasia Class ships and have now gone on to the Meraviglia Class and beyond. I believe that the Fantasia Class ships will be due for refurbishment in the near future. My question is...What improvements would you like to see on the Fantasia Class ships?
  14. Thank you Ratt. It was no mistake that the owners of MSC brought one of their best people onboard more than 12 years ago when they made their American passenger headquarters in Ft. Lauderdale. Rick Sasso was the former president of Celebrity when it was owned by the Chandris family before they sold it to RCL formerly RCCL. Rick was the perfect choice for the MSC passenger division. I knew then that MSC was headed in the right direction. I started to avidly follow MSC progress at that time and I am still amazed how far they have come in the past 12 or more years. I am hoping that MSC will keep tweeting their ships and their product.
  15. Isn’t this amazing! Let’s scroll back to when Seaside first appeared in Miami. The comments then were MSC will never make it in the USA...the food was bad...the service was cold...there was a smell on the upper decks, etc. etc. At that time I said that MSC/Seaside etc. was “a work in progress”. Virtually every item of complaint was addressed and great progress has been made. MSC has steadily improved and will continue to strive for excellence. MSC has a formula that, if adhered to, will make them the number one mass market cruise company in the USA. This will take time but, given the perseverance of the entire MSC management and crew, will make MSC a great cruise company with a high demand and popularity. The key to this success is a privately owned company with a close family management team unhampered by stock holders and corporate bean counters. Certainly a refreshing change from the other mass market corporately owned companies that keep squeezing every penny out for the benefit of the stockholders and overpaid upper management.
  16. I agree. Tipping at the end of a cruise is a compliment to those who provided the service. You are saying that you trusted them to go above and beyond the norm. The only exception is a longer cruise. Sometimes it becomes necessary to tip at one or two week intervals if the cruise is longer than two weeks.
  17. This question appears weekly. You can go to the ship early. I recommend an 11:30 check in time because there are often problems that create crowds before that time. I like to wait until the initial crowd of early arrivals has gone ahead.
  18. Ahh bonjour mon ami. The solution is quite clear...”a chaque personne a son gout”. For our non-francophiles...”to each person according to his/her own taste”. The solution rests with each individual.
  19. It all depends on you. If you are a solitary type then you might want to catch up on your reading. If you are a social type you might want to attend some of the functions each day and night and make new friends. You will do well to set up a schedule by trying to get up each morning at a set time and spend your day doing the things you enjoy. You can always take a nap and stay up later than normal. Personally, I enjoy sea days. I love taking pictures of the sun rising at sea. I love walking throughout the entire ship for exercise. I love taking a nap in the afternoon. I enjoy the dining experience and do not mind sitting at a dinner table for two hours over good wine and good conversation with new and old friends. I enjoy listening to the various musical offerings in my evening tours around the ship. I love playing the slot machines late at night after most of the players have gone to bed. I particularly enjoy a nightcap at a quiet bar and getting to know the crew whenever possible. There is no better feeling in this world than standing on the deck of a moving ship at sea. I love sea days.
  20. At this point I would like to remind everyone that tipping is a personal choice. While it is traditional to tip at the end of a cruise or mid cruise and end of cruise when on a longer cruise there is nothing that says you cannot tip up front and at various times throughout the cruise. How much and when are personal choices. The reason the crew is there is to make money and they are fully aware of the risk of working hard and receiving nothing. They are willing to work in a system that has gone on for more than 150 years and there is no shortage of willing workers whose numbers have swelled by the tens of thousands over the past ten years. The lure of having their salary supplanted by extra gratuities is still a very powerful attraction. Evidently it is a very successful policy as more and more mega ships are launched and crewed each year.
  21. According to your signature you are a young pup...lol. I suppose even the X Zenith was still doing Midnight buffets in 1999. The buffets on Zenith were excellent in that era.
  22. February has school vacation around President’s Day. Some schools go a week before and some a week after. In April there is Easter vacation. Between February and April we also have the dreaded Spring Break for all the college kids (aka party animals). These months also provide the highest incidents of colds, flu and Noro virus. Longer cruises are the solution. Parents tend to stick to the 7 day or shorter cruises.
  23. The European school vacation period pretty much imitates the American schedule. Our rule of thumb is no cruising from second week in June until mid September. We also stopped cruising in February and April unless it is 12 days or longer.
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