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Aus Traveller

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  1. I don't believe you would be treated differently if you removed the gratuities. However, please consider that the service staff on these ships receive the vast majority of their monthly remuneration from the 'tips pool'. The cruise fare you paid has been calculated on the basis that you and all the other passengers would contribute to this tips pool in addition to the original fare. I suggest that it is only fair that you paid the gratuity.
  2. In crew cabins if there isn't a safe, there is often a lockable drawer (a drawer where a padlock can be attached). Their wages can be kept safely by the Crew Office until they disembark. Staff are warned that theft is a dismissable offence - no second chances. Some of the crew have their spouse on board and many others have a girlfriend or boyfriend. They can request to share a cabin. Romances with passengers are a definite 'no-no'.
  3. Presumably the Delta flight is an international one. I suggest you have little chance of making a flight that early. You would have a good chance of making it to a domestic flight at that time because check-in is closer to the flight time then an international flight.
  4. I have seen that in the Princess Patter - and we weren't on your cruise. Pity about that - I would like to meet you. 🙂 Maybe one day.
  5. A key point - With the cabins where I have seen the double-deck beds, there is not enough headroom on the lower beds to sit up while the upper bunk is in the lowered position.
  6. I sure you will be fine. Just be 'yourself'. You are obviously aware and considerate of people's feelings and opinions, otherwise you would not be asking the questions you do. You would very quickly work out if a political conversation was not going to end well, and back off. You might find that some people would ask you, or comment on, the current US President. I venture to say, most opinions in this part of the world would not be positive.😊
  7. I agree about the tour of the Parliament buildings. We found the video showing the NZ invention of a way to earthquake-proof older buildings very interesting. The tour went down to the basement where we saw how they installed this system in the very old Parliament House building. There are regular tours, more on cruiseship days.
  8. I will talk politics, but not religion. We were on a cruise with a lot of Americans during the lead-up to the US Presidential election in 2016. I enjoyed hearing the different points of view from our fellow cruises. Some became very passionate when expressing their views - some were pro Mr Trump and some weren't. One man even wore a red Make America Great cap most of the time. Gun laws - that one is interesting. Nearly all Aussies are in favour of our strong anti-gun laws, while (from what I have seen) many Americans support the right to own guns. When I nicely asked why, the answer was "For protection". My question "From whom?" was answered "From the government'.
  9. Barrel chairs are the ones that are (or used to be) in the cabins. They are a soft-upholstered type shaped like a half barrel on legs.
  10. My MIL did a few tours of the UK and Europe in the late 1990s. She told they were told that tips were expected and how much it was per day. To say that she wasn't amused is an understatement. I assume the amount you quote is 'per day'?
  11. Tour guides and drivers are paid well for tours in Australia. One regular poster on this board is a guide/driver at Uluru (Ayers Rock). He quotes their income as 'in excess of $100,000 pa'.
  12. Maybe we have been lucky. We haven't had issues with the plumbing on the Sea Princess (or the Sun or Dawn either). We did on one ship, but I cannot recall which ship it was. It wasn't a Sun class ship. I think it was the Diamond.
  13. I had to pull out my cruise file. We have been on the Sun class ships for 25 cruises that were longer than 14 nights. Four of these were actually B2Bs making much longer than 14 nights. The longest in those 25 cruises were long segments of a world cruise (3 times) and the 47 night Indian Ocean cruise. BTW I did not include our several cruises to NZ because they are 14 nights, not more than 14 nights. We have been on other ships for long cruises (Diamond Princess, Emerald Princess, Golden Princess, Grand Princess, HAL Ryndam). In booking the Sea Princess we definitely do not feel we are just settling for second best. We enjoy cruising on the ship. We find the service excellent and the staff very friendly. The cabins are a bit small, but we can live with that.
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