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Everything posted by rkacruiser

  1. I agree with your thinking. I was told on a HAL ship that it had to with sanitation issues. One of the Stewards was a "specialist" in keeping the bathroom clean and sanitized while the other was a "specialist" in keeping the living quarters clean. When they did this for each of the staterooms for which they were responsible, they became "experts" in what needed to be done and little/nothing was overlooked. "Best Practices" among their cruise lines has been a consistent mantra of Carnival Corporation for several years. I think it's a good concept. But, problems can result if there is too much micro-management from HQ that impacts the guest experience on the ships.
  2. Thanks for posting your memories! Quite interesting. I remember in 2002 when the Volendam arrived in Tokyo for her maiden arrival the celebration that the Japanese provided. News helicopters flying overhead, fire boats with water spouts, and arriving at the pier, the drummers were putting on quite a show! Was Sapphire Princess converted for the Japanese market as Diamond Princess was? Are you aware of how Diamond Princess became named such? Her name was to have been Sapphire Princess.
  3. Either Princess or Celebrity ought to provide a very good TA experience. Celebrity Reflection has been in service longer than Sky Princess of Enchanted Princess. I have not sailed on either of these two Princess ships, but I have sailed on Celebrity Eclipse which is a sister to Reflection. A very nice ship with lots of venues for one to meet others. I would rate the food and service on Princess to be a bit better than on Celebrity. But, not by a significant amount.
  4. Your question has nothing to do with whether HAL will survive! The answer to the cruise industry's ability to survive depends upon a decision each of us must make. Which is more important? Responsibility for the greater good of our society? Or one's one's belief in what "freedom" means? Those that want to be tested--wherever--prior to their cruise: they will sail. ' Those of us who aren't going to jump through the hoops required to sail and then jump some more when we are on the ship or in the ports: we are not going to sail.
  5. I appreciate your response. Alaska's other industries went into hibernation as well as tourism? No work in the oil fields? (Granted, the drop in oil prices did not help.) The fishing industry came to a halt? Why, then am I paying more for seafood in my grocery than I did 18 months ago? I wish my Senator of the same political party as Senator Murkowski was as effective as she has been in helping an increase of tourist dollars into the 49th State.
  6. I am growing weary of all of the legalese in this long going debate about all of the legal "stuff" about this issue. Who benefits? The maritime law firms. Who does not benefit? We, the cruise consumer. To the best of my geographical knowledge, ocean water that flows from one port to another ought to support a ship of whatever national flag, crewed by whatever nationality, carrying passengers of whatever nationality willing to pay whatever needs to be paid for their journey. I am weary of: "we can't do this because of that". Then, by darn it, let's figure out what can be done that would allow the Nieuw Amsterdam to sail 7 day Hawaiian cruises from/to Honolulu or an Alaskan cruise from Seattle that does not require a port stop in a Canadian port. Regarding this maritime issue: I am fed up with "it can't be done because of whatever needs to be changed." We would never land a Rover on Mars and have vivid pictures and data returned from its surface. Some thought. Well, the "impossible" was done. If someone really wants to solve the legal issues with these laws/rules/regulations, it can be done, I think. Will "feathers" be ruffled" in the process? You had better believe it. But, what is in the best interest of those who cruise/travel?
  7. Would you care to specifically explain what you mean by your post?
  8. Correct. That is my understanding as well. And neither ever made any Alaska cruises after they went into service! Diamond Princess--maybe Sapphire as well, not sure--was specifically outfitted/or modified after delivery--for the Japanese market. Diamond sailed many, many pre-Covid cruises on Japanese itineraries. Sapphire seemed to sail on South Pacific/Southern Asian itineraries. 2 or 3 years ago, when she sailed an itinerary that took her to the UK, maybe some itineraries in that area--not certain--and then a return to South Asia were quite different from the area of the world where she had been sailing. Royal Princess can carry 3600 guests. Sapphire Princess can carry 2670 guests. I'd prefer a Princess Alaskan cruise on Sapphire Princess as compared with Royal Princess. For the small Southeastern Alaskan ports, a Sapphire Princess deployment for an Alaskan itinerary makes more sense than the deployment of a Royal Class ship. Particularly when other mega ships, think NCL's and RCCL's monsters, might be in port at the same time. The appropriate size of ship for Alaskan cruises are the Coral/Island Princess size ships if one is going to sail on an Alaskan cruise on Princess Cruises.
  9. For me, no. The cruise price that includes such packages is generally higher than if the package "deals" can be removed from the price of the cruise.
  10. My opinion? No, when I sailed from Port Canaveral I stayed at a Fairfield Inn a few minutes drive from the Port. It was not in Titusville, though. Saved some money by doing so.
  11. I don't think the taxi drivers are allowed to do what they tried to do. Of course, in such a situation, I'd never think to record the taxi driver's information to make a formal complaint. (Too much stress at that time!) But, it ought to be done. And, I would not be too willing to provide a tip once he got me where I was going. I ran into a similar situation at the airport in Amsterdam. My traveling companion and I had, what the taxi drivers thought, were too much to stuff into their cars. Either an officer or the taxi line director saw what was happening and a driver was ordered to get the luggage and us into his Prius. He was unhappy as well. I paid what I needed to pay and not an Euro more.
  12. Viewing your photos of the streets around the terminals, if I had found such conditions when I was driving to the terminal to embark MSC Meraviglia, my opinion of the Port of Miami would probably be different.
  13. Greetings fellow Buckeye! I have family in Greenbelt, Maryland, close to I-95, and stayed there the day before I sailed on Carnival Pride. It was a Sunday sailing; traffic was not an issue. BUT! Driving off Northbound I-95 on to the exit for the street that leads to the Port of Baltimore, there is a "nook and cranny" right at the end of the exit ramp just the right size for a Baltimore Police Car to waiting for those who ignore the sudden and rapid drop in the speed limit for that area. The officer would be partially hidden until "it would be too late". Be careful and be observant of the speed limit signs. shipgeeks post is what I experienced as well. The parking situation at the Port has been well thought out and very easy for the guests to manage. The sailaway through the Port of Baltimore and through the Chesapeake Bay provides a quite different sailaway. While late at night, trying to see when your ship makes the transition from the Tidewater area into the Atlantic at the Chesapeake Bay/Bridge Tunnel was something that I wanted to do. (I had driven on the Bay/Bridge Tunnel several times; thought it would be interesting to see the area from a different perspective.) I succeeded.
  14. I agree with your thinking that is was a bit of an "add on". But, in my opinion from having been there, it is a winner for both the cruise guest as well as the local citizens who have developed Icy Point Strait. Icy Point Strait provides a different "taste" of Alaska that the other ports don't do.
  15. OP, I heartily support oaktreerb's recommendations. If I had to choose one tour, I would choose the Kenai Fjords tour with the Sea Life Center coming in as #2.
  16. HAL has used a two person housekeeping team for several years. There is a Senior Cabin Steward and a Junior Cabin Steward. One of them takes care of the living quarters; one takes care of the bathroom. MSC Yacht Club operates with a two person team for each suite: The Butler and the Assistant Butler.
  17. I don't remember which Carnival ship where I ordered Tandoori Chicken from the Indian section of the restaurant, but, it was good. Was it like what I tasted in India? Not being a connoisseur of Indian cuisine, I thought it was.
  18. It's serendipity when one's desired cruise line and the ports on the itinerary are what the cruiser prefers. That happened to me during the Grand World Voyage in 2008.
  19. I thought so as well. And, particularly with the "wonderful" interest rates being paid on savings/money market accounts where a world cruise money might be stashed, taking advantage of that discount ought to be a no-brainer.
  20. Southward was a good looking ship. In my opinion, the best of all of those early NCL ships. She became P&O's Spirit of London and then Sun Princess when Princess Cruises' placed her in their fleet.
  21. capncarp's presentation of a hot dog sounds rather gourmet. Nothing wrong with that. When I prepare a hot dog for my dinner entree, it will because I want something quick and easy to fix. Bun/mustard/some relish/the dog: that meets my needs at the time. A favorite cold weather entree that I enjoy is a casserole of Pork and Beans with additional ingredients of catsup, minced onion, brown sugar, parsley flakes, a touch of salt with generous black pepper added, and a touch of MSG. I then top that with some wieners and let them bake. incorporate the flavors, for at least 60 minutes at 350 degrees. Delicious!
  22. I have appreciated reading your reviews and thoughts. Carnival Corporation will have a 3rd quarter Conference Call with financial analysts on September 24th. I am looking forward to learning what they say. It does seem to me maybe the not best business decision to pay to take a ship such as Silver Muse out of layup and then put the ship back into layup with all of the associated costs. But, then, maybe the thinking is, given the entire financial condition of the company is, "some revenue is better than none"?
  23. It's a nice touch and does encourage loyalty to the cruise line. This GRM was totally new to me. We had never met. There has to be a pre-boarding recognition system of guests even on a cruise line like HAL.
  24. On my aft Neptune Suite veranda on the Westerdam, my Cabin Steward never brought any of the cushions into the suite. I had to do so. And, contrary what some have said in the past, there were significant soot issues. (Take a white bath towel and wipe it across the furniture and the towel becomes black.)
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