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About Gerko

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    aircraft, cruise ships, travel, sports
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess, HAL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
  1. Genting Hong Kong own Star, Dream and Norwegian. Norwegian is obviously their large, mainstream brand. Star was meant to be the big player in Asia but never quite made it and have ended up doing mostly gambling short cruises using older mid-sized ships. Virgo is their largest ship and only one purpose built for Star. Now they've started Dream, which is really a second attempt to do what they originally intended for Star, with larger modern ships aimed at a higher market. Virgo a.k.a. Explorer Dream is an older mid sized ship and will need a lot of work to make her equal in standard to their other newbuilds.
  2. Gerko

    How far is Phy My port from Saigon?

    Great info from all. Many thanks. Sounds like, if they put on a free shuttle to Baria then we might just have a look around there and go no further. If they don't have a free shuttle then we'll buy seats on the ships organised transfers to Vung Tau and back.
  3. Dream Cruises definitely will want local but upmarket passengers. They are pitching themselves on a level similar to perhaps Celebrity or Viking. You don't base a ship in Aust/NZ for months and not have bilingual staff. But they'll need to do a very good job on SuperStar Virgo as the reviews of that ship and Star Cruises seem to be very ordinary (and I'm sailing on her in Dec).
  4. Depending on the website, the port of Phu My seems to be anything from 27kms to 105kms from Saigon. I am trying to find out which is closer to the cruise dock - Saigon or Vung Tau. Our ship, Superstar Virgo is stopping there and we'd like to see something but have already been to Saigon and don't want to sit on a bus if its 2 1/2hrs drive, as one website suggests.
  5. Gerko

    Anyone Heard of This?

    Agents cannot just "roll" gratuities into the total, and even if we could we certainly never earn commission on grats. Amazing some of the misinformation about TAs that get spread around on CC.
  6. Gerko

    Anyone Heard of This?

    Appalling comment from an ignorant person. I assume you have some kind of job and wonder how much you'd appreciate it if someone claimed that every single person doing your job was untrustworthy? You haven't given the full story and I'm sure there is more to it than your comment (there always is). If you had the original price in writing you're entitled to that price. Cruise companies cannot increase your fare once a deposit has been paid. Did you contact the cruise line to get an explanation, or contact Fair Trading to intervene? Without a full story I can't say the agent did the right or wrong thing, but as an agent selling cruises for over 40 years I can assure you that the majority of agents are both ethical and honest. Look for an experienced agent who earns a salary and avoid youngsters working for companies that pay only a base retainer plus commission.
  7. Don't quite understand your reply. Do you taxi to Wynnum from the airport or from the ship and what do you do from there?
  8. Does anyone know if there are any car rental companies within coo-ee of this dock? Every time we go in or out of Brizvegas we cop this wharf in the middle of nowhere, despite being on ships that can dock at Hamilton. It's a 21km hike if we've got to go to the airport to rent a car so hoping there's somewhere a bit closer.
  9. Just off PE on Monday and very unhappy with their new reduced dinner menu in the Waterfront. Instead of a choice of salads, pasta, soups and entrees they now only offer one choice of each, and you're only expected to have one in total. So if you don't like the one soup offered, for instance, then that's it. You miss out. And you can't have the entrée followed by the salad as you're only expected to choose one option. They'll grin and bear it if you dare to ask for two, such as having the soup and the entree, but then they will serve both at the same time. The mains are down to a choice of only three, and half the page is dedicated to dishes at extra cost. It appears this new menu works two ways for P & O. Firstly, by offering far fewer choices they reduce their costs and by effectively reducing the number of courses they can get more people in and out quickly. Not sure if this is true but the waiter said this was the first time the new menu was being tried on PE. My wife and I like a leisurely dinner, enjoying a bottle of wine, so this will be our last P & O if they keep this new reduced and rushed menu.
  10. Agree. As an Aussie this isn't second nature to us, which is why virtually all ships based here have a no tipping policy. Americans seem unable to avoid tipping, even when its made clear that tips are already included, and then the rest of the world is supposed to feel guilty for not following suit. I don't.
  11. Gerko

    Pacific Jewel obstructed view cabins

    Have stayed in numerous obstructed view cabins. Never had any issues with noise. If you happen to be beside one of the boats that's used as a tender there'll be a little noise as they raise and lower them but that's all done in daylight hours so is not really a bother.
  12. Can someone please tell me where the specialty Sidhu Restaurant is located on Arcadia as I cannot find it shown on any published deck plan. Deck, port ot starboard and does it have a view.
  13. At last, the end of those Hen Night groups who all arrive wearing T shirts saying Bev's Birthday or wearing little sailor suits, who are drunk before the first dinner and think their being loud and roudy is funny to everyone else who are just trying to have a peaceful cruise.
  14. The reply from Princess doesn't really answer anything. It says that nothing from past cruises will be changed but doesn't say that future cruises might not be the same.
  15. Gerko

    cruising with children

    Usually the kids have to be signed in and out by their parents unless the parents give special permission for the kids to come and go as they please.