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Brisbane41

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About Brisbane41

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Yulara, NT Australia
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess, Celebrity, P&O, Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    World-Wide

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  1. That is one of the reasons I will not use a travel agent for a cruise. They have done it to me before and the results for them were not good. Whatever reason they do it I do not appreciate that level of trust being broken. I know they do it so can confirm that from past experience.
  2. I view them as part of the fare. The last thing I would want is my name on the "blacklist" that crew get to see of those who have not paid. As I see it paying up front when I pay the fare is not a condescending way of saying "do the right thing or you wont get a tip" (I hate that attitude), in fact what I am doing is factoring it into the fare, paying up front and when I board I will not pay anything more or take anything back. I expect the service to be as advertised in the sales brochures or website.
  3. Unless it is a condition of using that travel agent you do not have to pre-pay. I do prepay mine just to get them out of the way and consider it as part of the cruise fare. I wait until final payment is due and pay at the same time. As I see it I am personally against gratuities but if I prepay it then it is out of the way and not a problem because I have paid for it regardless of what service I get. I am not like some people who withhold tips based on service. I just prepay the things and get it out of the way much like the service charges added to hotel fares in Asia. I did receive an email from Princess recently about a price increase and advising to avoid the gratuity increase it is advisable to prepay all gratuities for existing bookings after the date of the gratuity increase to lock in the cheaper gratuities and avoid paying the higher rates when they are introduced.
  4. To be 100% honest I am really glad they started this new system of upselling. It gives booked passengers the chance to take an upgrade at a reduced cost of what the upgraded cabin would have been and at the same time avoid the burden of suffering from an unwanted upgrade to an inferior cabin which would really be considered a downgrade. I have benefited from full suite upgrades thanks to this system at prices I could afford but would not have ever paid full fare for.
  5. It should not matter how safe the wharfs are. The ship should have crew on the bridge 24/7 regardless if it is in port or not and a crew on standby to cut the lines should the ship come lose of the wharf collapse. The ship should have enough power ready to manoeuvre at moments notice for such events. At least this is how it was meant to be in the Navy.
  6. The problem you will have with sim cards is the phone has to be completely unlocked to accept the sim card otherwise it will not recognise it. I always hire a wifi pack as it is much better value for money and you can charge it up in the morning and take it with you all day for wi-fi. There is pick up at the major airports and drop off as well. Several companies offer this and you just have to search for wifi hire in Japan to find many companies. You might find it difficult hooking up to wifi hotspots unless it is a hotel opposed to a public place.
  7. You are reading me right. People are paying more for a smaller cabin. Take a look at P&O Cruises UK who used to own Princess. They operate some Grand class ships pretty much identical to the Crown, Ruby and Emerald Princess. What you want to do is look at the single cabins on Azura. When you find the prices for them on cruises and correspond to the equal grade of twin cabin you will find that the singles are paying more for the single cabin with only a single bed and half the size of a twin than it would cost them to fork out the money for sole occupancy of a twin.
  8. Don't be ridiculous. The fare includes port taxes and charges included in the fare. What a single pays should be what the entire price is for the designated cabin minus the fees and taxes that would be imposed on the other person should they take up the space. Cruise lines benefit from singles as they even out the passenger numbers by making the ship less crowded and enabling more 3 and 4 berths to be sold. The singles use less food, water and often pay more for excursions than what a couple would who go on their own opposed to organised trips in some cases. Compared to the times a few years ago when strangers would do a friendly share cabin which have thankfully been abolished singles used to pay 160% of the fare before it reverted to full price. What you fail to understand is that there are many elderly people who cruise and some of them are widows or widowers and cruising was a good way for these people to maintain quality of life with social interaction and stimulate their mental health by keeping them happy and motivated because of a holiday. There were always a great number of these sorts of passengers on cruise ships. The high single supplements are only penalising the likes of them. Whether you like it or not it is the people who add to the enjoyment of a cruise and it takes all sorts to make up the passenger mix. No matter where you go in the world you are always going to find singles and cruise lines do benefit from their business. If the single supplement is too high then what we will see is a return to social networking where strangers book a cabin together and we have no end of problems with strangers not getting on and fighting and the ship having to resolve the issues. Twenty years go when this was a policy to mix strangers with strangers you could walk out onto the promenade deck at night and see endless bodies covered in blankets on the deck chairs sleeping because they could not get on with their cabin partner. I do not want to see a return to this era on cruise ships.
  9. Bad idea! P&O UK already have single cabins on some of their newer ships and they are half the size of regular cabins at twice the price which is ridiculous. With what P&O are charging for a single cabin you are better off paying full single occupancy for a regular cabin and get more space. The only thing Princess would do is make the cabins smaller and charge more. The system is fine as it is right now.
  10. I would not ever risk disconnecting the battery. It is too risky and probably not a good idea at all. I have been away for over 3 months many times and have never had a problem starting the car on return. I think 6 months is the longest it has been without starting it.
  11. That is one thing I can never understand about cruise ships and why they need different colour carpet or lifts facing forward for people to know where they are. For my it has always been natural. I have never gotten lost on a ship and have a memory of sorts that I only need to look at the deck plans before I go and study them for a few minutes and I know exactly where I am on the ship at any time and exactly where to go. Even when on the ship I always know which way is forward and aft no matter if I am blindfolded or not.
  12. Not true on Panama Canal Transit. Captain gives up ship to pilot or it doesn't go through the locks. (disclaimer: not sure if pilot has hands on controls, but does have complete control of ship.) Unless of course the Panama Canal pilot decides to simply fall asleep on the Captains chair and leave it to them to take care of for the day as I have heard happens a bit.
  13. Looks like the pilots have just gotten used to new technology like the azipods. This technology is still new and was only being used by a few ships decades ago and even them some had problems with breakdowns. I believe Princess picked the tradition propulsion for reliability and has not changed for a while. Unlike the past liners of yesteryear ships with traditional propulsion do have bow and stern thrusters these days which changes things significantly. When you look at all the older liners that did the Atlantic crossing it was all traditional propulsion. They would have had a much harder time berthing back then and needed tug boats to dock. Azipods have made work a lot easier. All the Alaska pilots are doing is stating the obvious. There is nothing wrong with the propulsion Princess ships use and it does what it is designed to do. Besides that there is more to berthing than the propulsion units the ships have. Even if the ship does have azipods and can manoeuvre with enough high winds facing a large ships profile it could be enough to push it off the wharf as well so it is probably a moot point. Honestly the article could be a beat up of some stroppy pilots just unhappy they have to work with technology they are not used to or have to use tug boats to assist.
  14. They are actually the "same class" of ship except one ship the Emerald Princess has an extra deck full of passengers with no extra public space. The biggest difference is the congestion on Emerald Princess and lack of congestion on the Sapphire Princess. You will also find a lot of dead ends on Emerald Princess and areas that are blocked of which is quite bizarre. One example is the Skywalkers on Sapphire you can walk out the back doors and have access to the entire balcony at the back of the nightclub which is good fore viewing and fresh air. On the Emerald Princess these doors are blocked and it is labelled as an emergency exit only. There is a part railing and deck on the back of Skywalkers on Emerald but it is completely barricaded off for some unknown reason. I say this is bizarre as there is no logical explanation as they share the same aft design. Like the above there are just other minor niggling issues that made Emerald more blocked off and closed than Sapphire Princess. The ships are the same width but the outside promenade area on Sapphire has more width and Emerald has more width inside. Just a minor difference and probably no big drama. Personally I prefer the Sapphire Princess over Emerald Princess any day.
  15. Its called corruption. Who cares what the government gives you when you can skim from the top "fees and charges" and double the price and walk home rich by just being connected to the right people.
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