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Why didn't cruise ships have balcony cabins until the 1990s?

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On 5/8/2020 at 7:00 PM, Hlitner said:

I cannot resist but tell one of my favorite ole cruise tales.  Once upon a time, a great Lady (or Dame) on Cunard was invited to dine with the Captain.  Her response:  "Sir, I do not dine with the hired help."

 

I have heard this many times before from a variety of experienced cruisers.  It must be true.

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On 5/8/2020 at 3:13 PM, MCC retired said:

Drink prices that were actually lower than on land .

 

Rotterdam V, 1970 and 1971:  Draft Heineken Beer was sold for 10 cents/glass. 

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On 5/8/2020 at 7:00 PM, Hlitner said:

By the way, since your brought up dining with the cabin I cannot resist but tell one of my favorite ole cruise tales.  Once upon a time, a great Lady (or Dame) on Cunard was invited to dine with the Captain.  Her response:  "Sir, I do not dine with the hired help."

And this places the Captain in his proper place.  I have no pretensions about my blue collar job, nor do most of the officers, including Captains, that I have worked with.  Ship's officers are not anointed.

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2 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

And this places the Captain in his proper place.  I have no pretensions about my blue collar job, nor do most of the officers, including Captains, that I have worked with.  Ship's officers are not anointed.

But some passengers acted like they were something special when invited to dine with an officer.

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3 minutes ago, clo said:

But some passengers acted like they were something special when invited to dine with an officer.

They wouldn't if they knew how much we hate doing that.

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2 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

They wouldn't if they knew how much we hate doing that.

Oh, I can imagine. Like every dinner was a business dinner.  Totally OT but here's a photo of some of our officers on Hurtigruten's Lofoten from a year ago.

 

IMG_6904 - Edited.jpg

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19 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

They wouldn't if they knew how much we hate doing that.

Some cruise lines (perhaps all) have done some things to protect Senior Officers from the dreaded passenger invitation.  When we decided to invite a HAL Senior Officer and his lovely wife to join our table in the MDR, the procedure was we had to submit a written request through Guest Relations that would need to be approved by the Staff Captain.   In this case the Officer and his wife were friends and they told us the procedure protected them from unwanted invitations.  We have never invited officers on other lines but I assume most have a similar procedure.  

 

Hank

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5 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

Some cruise lines (perhaps all) have done some things to protect Senior Officers from the dreaded passenger invitation.  When we decided to invite a HAL Senior Officer and his lovely wife to join our table in the MDR, the procedure was we had to submit a written request through Guest Relations that would need to be approved by the Staff Captain.   In this case the Officer and his wife were friends and they told us the procedure protected them from unwanted invitations.  We have never invited officers on other lines but I assume most have a similar procedure.  

 

Hank

Never had an invitation from a passenger, but had to endure the dreaded "dine with an officer" that's offered either for a fee or for loyalty level.  The NCL Lattitudes "parties" were also a trial, as we had to stand there with a ginger ale while smiling for the public.  I remember one time when a passenger was introduced to the Staff Captain, and he said "so, you're the wanna-be Captain".  I grabbed Staff's belt at the back to restrain him.

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When I moved to the Princess ships, I escaped the pax table as unlike the P&O ships, only 3 stripes and above had to host tables, but after dinner one night I got nailed by a pax. We had a small group of us sitting in the Starlight Lounge listening to the pianist, while enjoying an after dinner brandy, when an older lady ( 70's is older when you are 21) came over stating, "You are paid to dance with me."

 

One dance then used the standard excuse - got to get some sleep before watch

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3 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Rotterdam V, 1970 and 1971:  Draft Heineken Beer was sold for 10 cents/glass. 

 

Little before my time, but in 1975 it was similar, as we paid 7 pennies for a beer and under 1 UK Pound for a bottle of Whisky.

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53 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

when an older lady ( 70's is older when you are 21) came over stating, "You are paid to dance with me."

Ugh.

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4 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

Never had an invitation from a passenger, but had to endure the dreaded "dine with an officer" that's offered either for a fee or for loyalty level.  The NCL Lattitudes "parties" were also a trial, as we had to stand there with a ginger ale while smiling for the public.  I remember one time when a passenger was introduced to the Staff Captain, and he said "so, you're the wanna-be Captain".  I grabbed Staff's belt at the back to restrain him.

 

And that's why I could never work on a cruise ship.  I would be fired or in jail by the end of the first cruise, especially if I ran across some of the folks on this board.  

 

And ref the picture above, if I was eating dinner with my colleagues and some self-entitled passenger wanted us to pose for a photo, the camera would be overboard and the next week, I'd be shipping rubber dog crap out of Hong Kong.  

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4 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

And this places the Captain in his proper place.  I have no pretensions about my blue collar job, nor do most of the officers, including Captains, that I have worked with.  Ship's officers are not anointed.

I have great admiration for all the Merchant Mariners on cruise ships. The amount of time and effort it takes to climb the ranks is immense.

 

I have a <sort of > quick story about the one time I was invited to the Captain's dinner (and why it wasn't my fondest memory of the cruise.)

 

This was back in the mid 1990s. It was my first Royal Caribbean cruise on a 14 day cruise on the Sun Viking out of Singapore. I really enjoy watch ship operations, and on this ship there was a viewing area right above the bridge. I could see the crew on the exposed wings very well. I made sure I was there for every arrival and departure.

 

The Captain must have noticed, because he invited me onto the bridge for the arrival in to Benoa, Bali. That was the biggest thrill for me! It got even better when he kept inviting me to the bridge for all the remaining arrivals and departures.

 

One day he asked if I'd like to be invited to his table. I accepted because he asked; and I did have a good time. He was a very good host.To me, though being invited to the bridge was the biggest honor!

 

 

Aloha,

 

John

 

 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Aquahound said:

And ref the picture above, if I was eating dinner with my colleagues and some self-entitled passenger wanted us to pose for a photo, the camera would be overboard and the next week, I'd be shipping rubber dog crap out of Hong Kong.  

These were guys that we saw every single day having breakfast. The guy on the far right even gave us our very own (shh, don't tell anyone else, he said) tour of the whole kitchen operation. This ship had only a 100 pax.

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On ‎5‎/‎8‎/‎2020 at 9:13 PM, MCC retired said:

 

Drink prices that were actually lower than on land .

 

 

 

 

 

The easy solution is to move to a more expensive place! The drinks on the ships are still lower than what we have to pay here!

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4 hours ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

The easy solution is to move to a more expensive place! The drinks on the ships are still lower than what we have to pay here!

We have places here in the US with drinks that would probably rival cruises ships in price. US$15? But when we go to those places we only have one 🙂 

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A neighbor told me on her most recent (Dec 2019)  Carnival Cruise a Bloody Mary was $13 plus obligatory added gratuity.

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Re:  dining with the Captain and other Officers:

 

One of the "perks" of being a full world cruise guest on HAL is the once a cruise invitation to dine with the Senior Officers in the Pinnacle Grill (usually).  A pre-dinner reception, a special menu that seemed to differ each time the dinner was given, I think a special pillow gift left in the stateroom that night.  Some tables had an Officer, but not all.  

 

If I recall correctly from what I read, during the 2020 aborted world cruise, such dinners no longer took place.  There were so many guests qualifying for such a perk that the number of evenings required to offer that event became very intrusive for the Officers.  The dinners were stopped and there was one or two larger such functions in the MDR.  

 

On my most recent HAL cruises, I have noticed that even at the Mariner Society Luncheons, it has become unusual for an Officer to host a table.  Sometimes, the HD and the Captain will host a couple of tables, but not very often any more.  

 

 

 

 

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Wow.  This brought back memories.  Our first cruise back in April 84 was on the Fairwind.  The next, in April 87 was on the Fairsky.  Yes, we started with Sitmar.  My daughter was 7.  There were no children things.  None.  The staff loved and I mean loved her.  Since there were so few kids she got the royal treatment.  Every night when she entered the dining room this gorgeous young assistant waiter would see her come in and stop whatever he was doing.  He would run over to her and escort her to her table.  The other ladies were so jealous.

 

The Cruise Director flirted with her terribly.  She kept talking to the Captain.  I told her to leave him alone he was busy.  He had to do the welcome about speech.  He took offensive to my comment.  He grabbed her and pulled her up on the stage with her.  His first dance was with her. The second with the cruise director.  As we get ready to leave I hear the guys taking the suitcases and open the door to see my daughter bothering the guys.  Well, I tried to tell her to leave them alone they were working but they grabbed her, put her on the dollie, ran her down the hallway to the stack of luggage and threw her on top. 

 

Our next in 91 was on the original Regal Princess.  If I remember right this one didn’t really have a kid’s center either but there were more kids.  They hired the really tall guy who was in Pete’s Dragon as the kids counselor.  Since there was nothing dedicated for the kids they made it up.  He took the kids to the dining room, turned plastic cups upside down and found round oranges and viola! a bowling alley.  He told them to go back to their cabin, take a roll of toilet paper and empty it all over their cabin.  Then stick one end in the toilet and flush.  They did a scavenger hunt.  I’ll never forget our room steward helping.  He was yelling up and down the corridor and all the other room stewards came out to find out what they were looking for.  A green cherry, toothpick etc.  She loved it. 

I used to love those directories they gave us.  Name, cabin number and home town.  The cruise director remembered everyone's name.  Funny story.  My sister in law got invited to the Captain's room for a drink.  She's an airhead.  I'm sure he meant just her what with the expensive champagne he was serving.  Too bad for the Captain cos she brought my brother.  A party for three.

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On 5/8/2020 at 12:09 PM, Heidi13 said:

Another interesting fact on older ships, before effective ventilation systems, the Portholes could open and we used fibreglass scoops to bring in more outside air. On many newer ships what many call portholes are in fact portlights, as many do not open.

 

My Dad tells of having a scoop fabricated for the port hole in his cabin on board a carrier.  His room was up forward, so his port looked almost more down than out.

 

A colleague in the next cabin wanted one also, so my Dad got him one.

 

He was instructed to NOT leave it in place when not in the room and especially not in heavy seas.

 

You can see where this is going.

 

The colleague forgot, left it in place, seas got heavy.

 

And when he returned, the scoop had filled the cabin to almost 3 feet deep. 😄

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, SRF said:

 

My Dad tells of having a scoop fabricated for the port hole in his cabin on board a carrier.  His room was up forward, so his port looked almost more down than out.

 

A colleague in the next cabin wanted one also, so my Dad got him one.

 

He was instructed to NOT leave it in place when not in the room and especially not in heavy seas.

 

You can see where this is going.

 

The colleague forgot, left it in place, seas got heavy.

 

And when he returned, the scoop had filled the cabin to almost 3 feet deep. 😄

 

 

We were also not permitted to use them when not in the cabin and not in heavy weather. Since our cabins were in the tween decks, it was easy for the Bridge to spot violations.

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1 minute ago, Heidi13 said:

 

We were also not permitted to use them when not in the cabin and not in heavy weather. Since our cabins were in the tween decks, it was easy for the Bridge to spot violations.

 

Hard to see under the flight deck on a carrier. 😄

 

 

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On 5/10/2020 at 5:51 PM, rkacruiser said:

 

Rotterdam V, 1970 and 1971:  Draft Heineken Beer was sold for 10 cents/glass. 

Happy Hour, Naval Station Roosevelt Roads:  Rum and Coke 10 cents,  plain Coca Cola 15 cents.

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20 hours ago, notentirelynormal said:

 

Wow.  This brought back memories.  Our first cruise back in April 84 was on the Fairwind.  The next, in April 87 was on the Fairsky.  Yes, we started with Sitmar.  My daughter was 7.  There were no children things.  None.  The staff loved and I mean loved her.  Since there were so few kids she got the royal treatment.

 

 

We sailed a number of times with Fairwind (and once on Fairsea, a fabulous 14-day Alaska cruise round-trip from San Francisco) from around 1974 through 1984.

 

I wouldn't say there was "nothing" for kids -- have you forgotten the small children's area up and aft with a couple of counselors, various games, toys and puzzles and some activities? And the pachinko game that was perenially broken?  On cruises with lots of kids, the older ones would take over the "diner" room next door -- the one with the jukebox and a soda counter. Sometimes they even gave out free sodas for an hour or so.... 

 

They did have a costume making contest for kids (complete with our own part in the "costume parade" and a kids' talent night on some cruises.

 

I certainly remember them fondly. I thought they had more on offer back then than HAL did when I cruised them with my son, even 30 years later!

  

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On 5/11/2020 at 12:07 AM, clo said:

These were guys that we saw every single day having breakfast.

This must be a "Hurtigruten thing"...on my recent extended cruise aboard the Roald Amundsen, we saw the top four ship officer's dining together in the public dining rooms for virtually every meal...I wonder if they even have an officer's 'mess' dining room on their ships....

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