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Ergates The Ant

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About Ergates The Ant

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  1. Well, we stopped cruising with Princess after they were convicted and fined for disposing of polluting substances illegally and deliberately. Are there any ethical cruise lines out there that I could cruise with?
  2. Thanks for all the information on this thread. We took a cruise on Navigator of the Seas out of Southampton in 2018 and the casino was smoke free. It was our first RCI cruise and we really enjoyed it, and have been planning another with this line. However, this has made me think twice, unless I can guarantee being on a ship with a smoke free interior.
  3. For UK cruisers, worth noting that “tips” do not mean the same thing as they do in the US, and on US styled cruise ship culture. In the UK, also Europe, Australia etc, tips are a voluntary thank you for exceptional, above and beyond, service ON TOP OF the service staff actually having been paid properly. In the US, what are called tips are actually part of the staff wages, withheld, I understand, to ensure good service! if you leave the auto tips on, or pay them as added on to your on board account, you have paid the “tips” in the same way as US customers do. The “ tips” are also added onto any drinks bought on board, so no need to give extra cash, although I do note that many US cruisers do like to do this as a bribe for preferential service, a practice I find very wrong, as it implies that the rest of the customers will get a lesser service than they have paid for. It is then up to you entirely if you want to give any particular member of staff a little extra cash as a thank you, in the same way we might do in a restaurant in the UK. No obligation whatsoever. i would give room service a couple of dollars if I ever used it, which I haven’t, or if I had made a mess of my room, or asked the steward to do something above and beyond what might be expected. thats just for the ship.on land in the US, “tips” ie staff wages, aren’t fully covered in the cost of the food or service!
  4. One more point, in the UK, it is illegal not to include any compulsory charges in the cost of a purchase or service. This is one reason why the suggested gratuities cannot be described as mandatory, and have to be removable or else they would have to be included in the fare. This is part of laws intended to protect the consumer from incurring costs over and above what was advertised or described, by being misled. So it should come as no surprise that anyone other than an American would not automatically understand a tip or gratuity as being anything other than a little extra thank you, given freely and without obligation, for service above and beyond what was expected.
  5. The ship’s crew, like any employees, should be paid an appropriate wage, agreed in advance, and not dependant on the whims or generosity of their employers customers. Why would anyone object to having the crews wages included in the cost of the cruise? This is what happens in service industries throughout the civilised world. The US is the only nation I am aware of that has continued with an outdated and demeaning system that requires some of the lowest paid employees to ‘grovel’ for payment they should have been entitled to as part of their contract of employment. The cruise industry has seen fit to adopt this practice and needs to accept responsibility for the fact that this is not the norm for the rest of the world. i have never seen American cruise passengers tipping the guest services staff, or chasing the captain down a corridor with an envelope of cash. This is because they are properly remunerated, and in the UK, that includes everyone with a job! I am very insulted by those posters who label non- tippers as cheapskates, and reminding us all of how hard they work, but are not actively supporting having the crew’s pay fully included in the cruise fare. Why don’t they want the gratuities included? Oh yes, because it might cost them more! So who are the cheapskates?
  6. Good to know! Is it just Brits that make tea with freshly boiling water? One of our local Devon cafes recently tried to offer customers a pot of water of hot water and a teabag on the saucer, a la US style, and got a proper telling off from the customers! Can’t imagine trying to make a decent cuppa with water that has been transported by room service from the nearest kitchen, definitely off the boil!
  7. Thanks, now using the activity list. Not as clear as the old version, takes longer to identify the roll calls which are of less interest to me. hopefully will get used to it.
  8. I use the new posts list a lot, to see if any topics of interest to me. where has this gone? Will it be back?
  9. Thanks for the update, sounds like no changes! Of course it’s not a deal breaker, but does feel rather unwelcoming and stingy. It’s not as if I was requesting free extras of a fancy pay-for dessert. Had no such problems previously on Oriana, two pastries each with our large coffees and no temptation to eat a second breakfast! Just seems a poor offering compared with other lines which had a great selection of alternative breakfast items, and therefore a daily incentive to pay up for the barista style coffee. And no chance of other half giving up his pastry, that could lead to fisticuffs!
  10. Thanks for that reminder! I was a bit surprised when I saw pictures of the cabins and realised that the window would be partially, if not fully, obstructed by the bed arranged as a double. Still not sure, the itinerary looks very good, but I’ve got used to having a balcony, at least for the view even if it’s too cold to spend much time out there. Might have to wait until Fred Olsen catches up with other cruise lines with smoke free balconies.
  11. Our last P and O Cruise was on Britannia. I would have enjoyed my breakfast in the coffee lounge more, if I wasn’t restricted to one pastry! Given that these were the same pastries freely available in the buffet, AND that I always bought a large coffee, I did find that rather pathetic.Is this still the case? Seems daft to resort to what I did, which was to collect a plate of pastries upstairs, to take down to accompany my coffee! Any updates? Thanks
  12. Our preferred breakfast is a cup of good espresso based coffee ( which I don’t mind paying extra for ) accompanied by a few pastries! Do Hal ships have a dedicated coffee shop / lounge which opens in the mornings? In the past, we have enjoyed breakfast in Cafe Bacio on Celebrity, Princess’s international cafe and Cafe Promenade on RCCL. NCL had the worst offering, poor coffee and no food offerings, and P and O had reasonable coffee, but restricted to one pastry per customer!! Have not cruised with Hal, what will we find on board? Many thanks.
  13. keep seeing adverts for Fred Olsen cruises, and had a look at their website. Some very tempting itineraries, and I went as far as to look at cabin availability, but then discovered that this cruise line still allows smoking on balconies. I’ve never considered a non balcony cabin before so 3 questions 1. for an out of season winter cruise, do the ocean view cabins have sufficient light and views to make up for the lack of balcony? 2. Are the promenade decks likely to be full of smokers? The cruise lines I am used to seem to attract more non smokers, so there are relatively few areas of the ship that are no go areas. 3. Any rumours that Fred Olsen will be following the current trend to provide a healthy and pleasant atmosphere on their ships, and banning smoking on balconies any time soon? Many thanks in advance.
  14. That is so helpful, everyone. I shall check out the offerings, as it looks as if I could persuade my husband that we would have a good time. We have done quite a few ocean cruises, but have stuck to cruise lines that offer flexible dining options. My husband does not do ‘formal’, although I am quite happy to put on my best frocks! We are more active tourists, and don’t do sunbathing holidays, so river cruises sound quite tempting.
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