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About sailingfinn

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Houston Texas United States
  • Interests
    travel,sailing,history buff, theater
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    holland america, seaborne,msc,costa,celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    any but alaska
  1. Hi Bobby As you know there is no real modern equivalent to the great liners, but I've heard reports that besides the large current luxury lines there are 2 that should be considered. Ponant , French, 12 ships including one with sails, 200-300 passengers. elegant and fine cuisine and very interesting itineraries.Also Vikings recent move into the ocean cruising market. I have not personally sailed on either, but have friends who have with rave reviews. Worth looking into. Jack
  2. Yes and No. The Yacht Club is handled differently than the remainder ( a sort of 2nd class distinction) . In 2nd a number of items that are customarily included are charged for. IMO nothing whose exclusion would ruin the experience or break the bank. However, MSC's pricing for 2nd class is very attractive in comparison to other lines while still offering superior service, food and amenities. I understand MSC has adjusted their optional pricing for cruises starting in North America. Incidentally, trips I have taken originating from Miami have all had 50% +foreign nationals passengers which I rather enjoy.
  3. Dear Old Salts, This forum has inspired me to do some internet research. Some of you probably already know this ,but the organization Italian Liners Historical Society has an informative web site italianliners.com. The society is dedicated to the collection, preservation and archiving of materials related to all Italian liners and companies 1890's to 1970's. Membership gives you access to digitized archives containing blue prints, deck plans, photos, passenger lists, menus,schedules, advertising etc. Well worth checking out. You might even find your name on the passenger list when you sailed. Jack Wickman
  4. Dear fellow Old Salts, This blog(?) is truly a very satisfying nostalgic experience! Since my first post I find it very interesting that so many veterans of the Italian Line are A) still active and still putting more water under their keels and B) so many of us find MSC as one of our go-to favorites. My own opinion re: MSC is that among modern American cruise goers there is no middle ground....you either love it for what it is or you would never go back. I'm not trying to be critical or elitist, but here is a true anecdote from a wonderful 21 day re-positioning cruise on the Divina. While sitting outside I couldn't help over hearing the animated conversation between 2 middle aged couples seated nearby. They were on their first MSC cruise and apparently had some prior cruise experience. 1st wife " I still can't believe it. We went to the show last night and all they had were people signing Opera. And they didn't even sing in English !".2nd husband " and the hamburgers aren't as good as on Carnival....". All " we are not going again". I guess you can draw your own conclusions. Could it be that those of us lucky enough to have experienced the Golden Era of the great ships not only feel in love with ocean travel with style, but today gravitate to those few lines that provide an approximation of things past at a fair price? Note to rkacruiser .....I've still got a very narrow, circa 1970's , logo necktie from the old QE 2
  5. Haven't been on the CC web site for awhile and very happy to have checked in and found this. My first introduction to ocean travel was in early 60's on the Michelangelo NY to Naples and return on the Leonardo DaVinci in the days before "cruising" became a mass market industry and an Ocean Liner was a viable alternative to a 707 to get to Europe. I still proudly list them first in my 50 (now 60) year sailing log.I was totally enchanted and felt like I'd found something to love. The style, service and glitz was other worldly. I expected Fred and Ginger to come waltzing down the staircase at any moment. It served to be my basis of comparison for all subsequent trips. A very tough act to follow. It no doubt helped that I was in my 20's and madly in love. We all were so fortunate to have experienced some of the great ships before the end of the age of Ocean Liners. There was a style and atmosphere that is probably gone forever even on the most luxurious modern lines. I fell in love with ocean travel and that continues to this day. I accept that times and markets change and still enjoy every day at sea. These posts make me both sadly nostalgic for what is gone, but also happy and grateful that I did get to experience those magical times. Not surprisingly my current favorite line is MSC. They definitely are an Italian ship with a totally different flavor than their American competitors and offer a very nice alternative to the somewhat cookie cutter culture of so many of today's ships. To anyone reading this article I'd recommend giving them a try (especially for sailings other than from Miami). Perhaps Cruise Critic would consider starting an Old Salts Club for us mature sailors to exchange stories and memories of the great ships or find away for those of us sailing together on future cruises to meet up on board. Jack
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