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About Griller

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Blue Planet

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  1. Griller

    Princess Cays question

  2. Griller

    Travel Weekly Interview with WS president

    I have cruised with many Japanese passengers, the first cruise I was on with many of them was on QE2, a popular ship after it was used for accommodation at the Olympics in Japan BITD, they just loved the ship and cruised on it frequently afterwards. Very polite and friendly, often with little or no English though. Incredibly well dressed on formal nights in traditional Japanese fashions. Menus were specially printed for them. My more recent experiences are with ethnically Chinese passengers from US Canada and China, they have been as much as 30% or more of total passengers on some Princess ships and they seem to like it, they often seem to travel in family or other groups. It must be easy to book for them, and maybe Princess have targeted them in marketing. Yes it does affect the whole cruise experience for other passengers, one positive way is that Princess provide great authentic Chinese food in the buffet for them, and as we love that we benefit from it. Like any group they can be very noisy, and due to cultural differences they can appear rude and pushy to Westerners who are not used to it. And often they don't follow ship rules and guidelines, possibly due to not understanding them. It can be overwhelming if you like a quiet cruise. As we have both travelled in China and I lived there for extended periods - and we have 2 adopted Chinese children we are probably less affected by it than some passengers.
  3. Griller

    Travel Weekly Interview with WS president

    Having travelled often on a line which has many Asian passengers I think you should be careful what you wish for. We were just on a WS ship and there were at least Americans, Anglo and Francophone Canadians, Australians, British, Israeli, Irish and German passengers. It was good, we seemed to have common values and co-existed harmoniously.
  4. Griller

    Large Proportion of Asian Cruisers on Grand?

    Lot of snowflakes around this time of year. I find the rude people also seem to ignore the multi-lingual notices about not ramming their water bottle up the water and juice dispensers to refill them in the buffet thus contaminating them with who knows what. Probably wouldn't notice them so much otherwise.
  5. Griller

    Travel Weekly Interview with WS president

    It is interesting, and if he succeeds in getting the high income folk on board then he better smarten up a few facets of the operation or they won't be back.
  6. Griller

    underwhelmed by Princess (Emerald)

    I have been cruising Princess for a long time now, and over 70 cruises and I would say that the last 10 cruises have seen a marked deterioration in food quality, menu choice and service. The worst we had was Crown a couple of years ago, we will never sail on Crown again, even Pacific went downhill, the crew did the best they could with what they were sent but it was noticeably not as good as before. However only 4 months ago we were on Regal and it was wonderful, so there seems to be the odd exception, I wish I knew how to forecast the great cruises ahead of time. We are just about to go on Royal for 49 days, I so hope it will be OK, we don't have unrealistic expectations, and we didn't pay much for the cruise for various reasons but others will have paid at least double even for an inside or much much more for a balcony or suite and I hope they don't get to feel cheated by the accountants back in Santa Clarita buying the cheapest cuts. I know I am a Carnival stockholder, quite a bit more than the nominal 100 shares, and I like the dividend but I need to feel it was honestly earned.with a value for money and good cruise experience for the passengers.
  7. Griller

    Luggage tags

    Never had an actual ticket nor boarding pass nor luggage tags from Windstar. Once they have our money they seem to ignore us, both before and after the cruise. I've been waiting a month or so since our last cruise now for a reply to my questions and comments. Not holding my breath.
  8. Griller

    Single use plastic on Windstar

    Why does one need drinking straws at all? I don't think waxing plastic straws makes them biodegradable by the way. BITD when I was a kid and we had free school milk in 7 ounce glass bottles we were given paper straws. They worked fine. Until Maggie Thatcher " Milk Snatcher" took it away from the kids.
  9. Griller

    Beverage Package on Star Collector Cruises

    We were on a 20 day recently and they offered $5 a day off. Big deal.
  10. Why do you keep on getting FCC? Do you cancel cruises and claim on Princess insurance to get them? Or do you mean FCD - future cruise deposits?
  11. Your understanding is 100% incorrect Although the OP used FCC - an incorrect name for the Future Cruise Deposit it was totally clear from the post that it was one of those he was due a refund for. And these are refundable after two years if not used.
  12. Griller

    evisa photo size reqirement

    If you are a US citizen the photo should be 413 x 531 pixels. And less than 700kb. And a JPG renamed to a JPEG. I just applied for a Brazil E Visa for someone and got it in 2 days with no problem. or query about photo. Easy as long as you can use Photoshop to produce the exact photo they want. I did mine at 72 dpi to keep file size low. It was taken indoors with an old cellphone against a white background with even lighting. No glasses, no shadows, no highlighted areas, properly in focus, 5% of photo should be border height above head, shoulders showing but not torso below top of armpit. Worked for me.
  13. I so much want to like Windstar but sometimes they don't make it easy.
  14. Griller

    Another Transatlantic question (or more)

    When we embarked in Lisbon this year the Wind Surf was docked just a few yards across the street from the metro (subway) station called Santa Apolonia and was an easy and cheap ride from the airport or in fact pretty much anywhere in Lisbon. Embarkation began at 1pm. No point getting there earlier. We have no preference for one side of the ship or the other and have never stayed in a hotel there as we flew in the day of departure. As you are going West/East I think the sunrise and sunset will be fore and aft so port or starboard cabin would not make a difference. I know you didn't ask this but we found the cheapest and best flight one way Lisbon/US to be with Norwegian airline. Our other choice TAP seems expensive this April. And the checked bags are even more expensive on TAP. And they weigh your carryon. Of course it depends where you intend flying back to, if you are going to in fact do it at all.
  15. I meant to say that after emailing WS with various points and then filling in the survey several weeks ago I have received absolutely no answers to any of the questions or comments . So what's the point of spending time filling in the survey anyway?