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Cruiser Bruiser

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About Cruiser Bruiser

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Portland, OR
  • Interests
    Being social, going out to eat, movies, staying in with friends. And cruising.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Hawaii was a dream, but I really want to do the Mediterranean and the Baltic.

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  1. I have abandoned my 15 Sep 2020 cruise on Preziosa. My group is now booked on Virtuosa departing on 11 Sep 2021.
  2. The fact that Preziosa is at Ocean Cay gives me not comfort whatsoever. I'm supposed to be sailing her in Northern Europe in September. What to do...
  3. HAL is my first cruise line, and I have enjoyed myself over 8 cruises and 64 nights aboard. But I agree with your last statement very much. That said, HAL seems to have been successful in increasing their fares even while they have made cuts. Much of that comes from the success of Pinnacle-class, I guess. I would like to sail HAL more frequently, but I would have better motivation if the brand got some of its groove back. That's an encouraging sign.
  4. They do have small ships. Armonia, which was sailing to Cuba and now will be sailing out of Tampa, is only 58,600 GT, so a bit smaller than HAL's R-class. If you think you might sail with MSC, do a lot of research in advance as the line is quirky. Example: your key card is located in your cabin, and you collect it from your cabin when the announcement says cabins are ready. You then have to link a method of payment to the key card using an onboard kiosk after you have already boarded the ship. That process is so totally unlike anything the North American lines do and is an example of what frustrates folks who have long cruising histories on familiar lines. But, for entertainment, cheap drinks, and old-school traditional-style cruising with a first and second seating in the MDR, MSC is really lovely and an outstanding value.
  5. There is a lot of discussion on this very topic happening here. Everyone seems to be in agreement.
  6. To my mind, HAL should be the traditional, "classy" brand within Carnival Corp. Princess, which to my mind is the "Beige Betty," mass market brand of Carnival Corp., is the step up from CCL; HAL should be a further step up from Princess, even if it's only a half step. Absorbing Seabourn and some of it's cachet would help to do that, but it needs to be reinforced in the on board experience.
  7. I have done two MSC cruises in the past year, and I have two more booked. I know that in North America MSC gets a bad rap because it is so Italian, but I love MSC in part because they have a new production show every night of a 7-night cruise. They also have a full, engaged cruise staff that hosts activities throughout the day. That cruise staff is lead by a traditional cruise director. MSC is also much more affordable than HAL, so HAL has no excuse in not offering production shows and live musical entertainment around the ship throughout the day.
  8. I have 39 nights on P&O, so I can just grab my tuxedo from the back of the closet. I wouldn't mind a little more formality in the MDR, especially in terms of manners.
  9. the LOVE BOAT, soon will be making another run...the LOVE BOAT... I think in the general scheme of things, the whole Diamond Princess debacle will be quickly forgotten. Everyone of a certain age who is even slightly interested in cruising will continue to associate Princess with the Love Boat. That's an association that is priceless.
  10. Both of these observations sound right. Princess, for my tastes, is remarkably unremarkable (i.e. I feel they don't do anything especially well) and yet Princess commands really high rates. So, Shwartz must be doing something right. I like the idea of incorporating Seabourn into the HAL brand. Doing so would bolster HAL's identity as a small-to-midsize ship brand that is focused on traditional cruising adults. Prinsendam was so profitable for HAL; consider HAL with five Prinsendams! My first ever cruise period was on Westerdam in August 2009. I too think Music Walk has been a huge success, but I want to see a return of the production show on the Main/World Stage. The elimination of such was a huge mistake.
  11. Yeah, the UK deliberating a 14-day quarantine for folks flying in doesn't add to my confidence level. I'm calling today. Thanks for the tip. I'm switching us to an eastern Mediterranean sailing in September 2021. Perhaps we will have a vaccine by then and the global situation will be much different. I hope.
  12. I'm booked for this September on Preziosa, which is sailing northern Europe. We booked when All-In was an option; I don't see that it is available for our sailing. I was already anxious about a September cruise, but now the UK is considering a 14-day quarantine for incoming air passengers, so that doesn't sound good. My fall-back is a May 2021 cruise in the eastern Mediterranean. I should probably just make the switch, but I guess I haven't accepted the reality that travel to Europe just isn't likely in 2020. I also don't want to face the super long hold times to call MSC to switch my cruise.
  13. Disney is the exception, then. I can assure you that on the NCL and HAL boards, everyone is complaining about virtually no cash refunds and substantial delays in receiving them, if at all. This situation isn't unique to MSC at all.
  14. You're not alone. I had sixteen cruises on NCL (Platinum), but I'm done with them. My last cruise with NCL was in May 2019 on Epic in the Mediterranean. I accidentally ordered a "Tanqueray and tonic" in the Epic Theater; it cost $21.50. For the cost of ten more drinks on NCL, I could have had the Easy Package on MSC (with water! with espresso drinks!). When I gave up on NCL, I thought that HAL would become my new home. I have nine cruises on HAL (3* Mariner), and there is a lot that I like about their product. Their Pinnacle-class ships, however, have been so popular that HAL has been able to sustain significant price increases. With MSC, I get the traditional cruise experience I like on HAL mixed with the fun, lively vibe I liked on NCL. All at an affordable price. I'm only two cruises in on MSC, but I have two more booked and more planned. So long as the MSC brand stays on course, I will be with MSC for a long while.
  15. I would guess that NCLH (the holding company for NCL, Oceana and Regent Seven Seas) would be purchased outright by some equity fund and then the brands and/or ships would be sold off to pay down debt. I could see Carnival Corp or RCI purchasing the smaller ships to supplement their existing fleets, or operating the brands independently. NCL's largest ships are problematic for a variety of other brands: the top decks are crowded and pools are minimal. None of NCL"s ships have an enclosed pool, for example. And they have too many specialty restaurants. I think they would be very expensive to modify. Given that a lot of MSC's identity is embodied in their ship designs, I cannot imagine MSC would want any of NCLH's existing fleet, especially the large ships. Meraviglia, Grandiosa, Seaside, Seaside Evo, World Class, MSC knows how to build ships.
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