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Posts posted by isujim

  1. Hlitner, Krazy Kruisers, Sail7Seas and others pretty much hit this on the head.


    When you are looking for information, one liners or as I call them FP's (frivoulous posts) can be frustrating.


    You have to keep a smile on your face, learn to laugh and learn to skip or skim.......


    Funny how the typical one liner's haven't responded to this.


    Hank I might add if you cat gets furballs.......that can be very serious:D

  2. The bottom line is nobody knows what is going to happen in the near and far future. I understand that sail7seas was asking for OUR thoughts as to what that future might entail.


    I'm sure that as we speak, all cruise lines are in a big think tank as to how they can increase revenues without turning off current customers. That is the nature of public companies that are bottom line oriented.


    I agree with sail7seas that we enjoy a fine dining experience.....and certainly not a food court type of atmosphere.


    Wherever the powers that be lead the next generation of cruising in an effort to increase profits, we will all be faced with deciding if those changes are what we want in a cruise experience.


    I really believe as another poster posted the day will come when you walk into the dining room and everything will have a price. I personally hope it doesn't come to that, but it wouldn't surprise me if it did.


    In time, I think each cruiser will have to put a pencil to it and decide if cruising still makes economical sense for the vacation you recieve in return.


    I also believe that time may be coming sooner than we think. JMO

  3. We are watching Celebrity (one of our favorite lines) very closely as their new CEO is trying new options. It seems that this line is trying to be more innovative with options and one wonders where this will go. For example, Celebrity recently had several huge promotions (called 1-2-3) where they packaged drink packages, pre paid gratuities and some other amenities into pricing. Essentially it was possible to turn Celebrity into an all-inclusive cruise line (similar to the high-end lines). Besides their Aqua Class (you pay more for a few amenities and meals in their special Blu restaurant) they have now started selling their "Ultimate Dining Package" for $29 per passenger day. This package gives the user unlimited access to all the alternative dining venues on the ship (some of which normally cost $40 per person).


    The dirty secret (not really a secret) is that the mass market lines are in a very competitive market when it comes to basic pricing. But these days, the lines need to generate most of their profit from on-board revenue. So all the lines are seeking ways to maximize onboard revenue. We have seen all the lines implement various cut-backs in cuisine and staffing....but this has now reached a point of resistance by many passengers. So instead of more cut-backs we are now in the age of new options and packaging.




    Great post Hank.........I agree with what you are saying.......cut backs are less and new options abound now with most cruise lines......in my line of work before retiring we called that position marketing LOL:)

  4. I agree prices are going up.......but I've said that for years........and it's not just HAL.........we sail Princess, and HAL and occasionally RCI..........Royal Carribean has been inching up prices for the last 4 years....


    As long as they can fill ships, they (all cruiselines) will continue to inch up prices.


    Good deals are still out there but getting harder to find on all cruiselines.

  5. Has anyone heard any talk of a la carte dining to any of the mass market cruise lines?


    I keep expecting they will soon convert us from MDR and Lido included in the fare to we pay for everything we eat same as any restaurant.


    I'm not sure how they will juggle the fares to make us think it isn't costing us 'much' more but I fully expect soon it will be pay for whatever you order.


    Anyone heard anything like that?


    I agree with you that it is coming and probably sooner rather than later.


    I call it pushing the envelope:p As cruise lines continue to look for ways to increase profits, I have no doubt someone will try it.


    Being retired, at that point we would have to re-evaluate just how much we were going to put into a cruise. Not saying we would continue to cruise, but may cut back on the number of cruises.

  6. Be sure to check the Princess boards.............times are changing as it appears so is policy. Depending on when you sail and from where you sail be prepared to pay $15 per bottle corkage fee.........over the one bottle per person Princess allows.


    That said we use a product called Wine Check..........you can google search and find the company. We take an entire case of wine which is basically a suitcase that is insulated. The airlines love it because it is safe. You can take 12 bottles and it weighs only 43 lbs when full.


    So far on the Star Princess, Emerald Princess , and on HAL twice...... it has been delivered with our other luggage direct to our stateroom.


    But please check the current thread on the Princess boards...........I'm sure the day is sooner rather than later the policy is changing.

  7. Can't help you with Carnival or NCL.........but we also have 16 RCCL cruises under our belt and are slowly making the switch to Princess.........but some of their releases for 2013 are 25% higher than this year........I hope this isn't a general trend for all cruise lines.


    Good luck in your choice.

  8. I think this is the main point (in many ways).


    Most of the people on this board sail on newer ships - heck, some people on this board think think that the Grand is an old ship and think it is dated. These 2 ships in Australia and targeted towards Australians are older than the Grand (Sun and Dawn Princess). We do have the sister ship sailing to Alaska this year (not next) and if I remember correctly, there were quite a few negatives about her last year when she sailed to Alaska.


    The sad thing is that these ships are not being maintained as well as they should. Others have posted similar posts. Many Australians have posted that they don't think they are treated as fair as Americans are in various ways (ships - they get our old ships, prices - they pay a lot more for the same experience and it is difficult for them to book in the US). I think most would agree they are not treated equally as Americans are.


    Please don't use your recent experience on the Ruby Princess (or Crown or Emerald) and relate it to what the OP experienced on the Sun Princess. It is different. I say this and will honestly say that I have spent 7 plus weeks on this class of ship and I like this class of ship. It is because of the Sea Princess that I fell in love with cruising.


    The OP went to a TA in Australia who recommended this trip. Maybe it was a bad recommendation but they went to a specialist who they thought would gear them properly.


    For 11 days, they did pay a lot for their trip. They have learned their lesson and will research their next trip more thoroughly in the future - I guess in todays world, the advice of a TA is no longer good enough.


    CruiseCritic is about the positive and the negative experience of cruisers. Maybe the report from the OP will help inform others who are interested in the Sun Princess about the condition of the ship, etc... Maybe Princess will read this and decide to speed up some ship improvements based on people's opinions. Regardless, there are some who will benefit from this trip report.


    Well stated!! Excellant Post.


    We left Royal Caribbean (one more to complete) in part because of the direction of the company as they move to ships larger than some cities......we wanted a more traditional cruise experience......so far Princess and HAL appear to have at least retained "some" of that experience on their ships.

  9. I was going to wait until getting to fort lauderdale to fill them as I am afraid to bring them on a plane. Would you get in huge trouble if you get caught bringing them on a plane?


    No problem in checked luggage...........can't take them through security (at least filled)......

  10. isujim and Familygoboston - YOUR IN!!! Dog too! :D As a duly authorized member of the Steerage Society I formally offer you WELCOME. Of course that's all I you get - in. But we sure are inclusive. ;)


    Our cat gets really disturbed if we even take out an overnight bag. Hauling out the big ones makes him a terror. Funny how he can judge how long we will be gone by the bag sizes.




    Excellent point. Now if only my pay had increased at that rate. :(


    thanks!! I appreciate the honor of membership.


    by the way.........are our cats related?:)

  11. My overly simplistic answer, not trying to demean your question is that they need X amount of money and if they don't lower the quality here, or charge you more there, they will just find another way. MDR food hasn't changed too much since I started cruising in 2006. I'll do one premium dining on a cruise, but that is about my limit.


    Simple answer but right on! The biggest difference I've noticed is less choices.....especially the desserts..


    But you are right.........as a public company they have to get a certain return for their shareholders either through more charges or less quality and I believe it is a combination of both.


    This is not to say it is just Royal Caribbean.........we sail RCCL, Princess and HAL and they all are doing the exact same thing.

  12. My question on this is how many of you had a problem with them leaking? I did see on post that it happened, but they put it in a ziploc bag, which is what I would plan on doing. Doesn't the air pressure on the plane explode them at all? Sometime my bottle of shampoo explode, so I'm afraid this would happen to these rum runners. Thanks for your feedback!


    If you follow the instructions that come with them, you shouldn't have any problems.........that said, I always put them in a ziplock bag as a back up. Key is not to overfill them and make sure you get the air out of them before packing them.

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