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twangster last won the day on January 8

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  1. I did the rental car thing which allowed me to stop at a Target and replenish sunscreen and other things. Plenty of time. No need to rush.
  2. I haven't sailed Azamara and they are no longer part of the RCG family.
  3. I seem to recall a limit on the use of outdoor PA announcements in Alaska but I can't find a regulation that imposes this restriction. I think it was on a more recent Alaska cruise in 2022 when it was stated there would be minimal outdoor announcements while in Alaska so as not to impact wildlife. I do recall in 2018 on Radiance the captain making some PA announcements while at Hubbard but it wasn't a narration of the visit. Here is some video from that visit: Honestly I prefer not to have outdoor PA announcements so you can hear the glacier moan, crack and make other noises. It's bad enough that other guests can't seem to avoid talking nearly non-stop, often making obvious statements that amount to useless drivel. "I hear it cracking" (duh!) or "I think its going to start, there it is, look, it's calving now, it's definitely calving, oh my god its calving, wow look at it calving I've never seen it calve like that and it's still going, OMG its still calving and blah, blah, blah". Some guests, especially their spouses when talking to each other just feel the need to talk and talk and talk. In making the video above the hardest part was finding bits where there wasn't useless endless talking. I guess many spouses in long term relationships learn to tune out their spouse's endless drivel but it can sure be annoying for the rest of us at moments like this.
  4. Twice. Remember it includes drinks, wifi, gratuity and shore excursions. It's also a small ship experience so often that means ports of call or itineraries you won't find elsewhere. With a guest to crew ratio of around 2:1 service tends to be very good. It's the luxury brand in the family. Just like luxury car cost more than regular cars, luxury cruising costs more. However if that is the style of vacation you seek, SilverSea is a luxury experience.
  5. A lot depends on the specifics of your situation. Depending on the cities involved and the airline there may not be any options available without additional fees. Some airports have few daily flights and some airlines have more restrictive change policies. Air2Sea doesn't circumvent airline policies. So long as connections, if any, remain legal and the flight times still allow you to make the ship on time, then the flights as booked are valid. Changes because you don't like the flight times would require fees if the airline imposes them.
  6. If I'm not mistaken CBP facial recognition limited to US and Canadian citizens. Some signage still reads US passport holders only.
  7. I've always defended @Matt when someone claimed he was being a princess. Now I'm not so sure.
  8. Finding an alternate port on short notice is like playing a game of musical chairs but coming to the game late after many other cruise lines are already seated. In a perfect world they would find a berth open somewhere close to Labadee so they wouldn't have to completely redo the entire itinerary. Cruise ships are slow. They can't cover great distances quickly. An available port that is too distant doesn't help them at all. Nassau has many berths and it's relatively close to Florida making it the best choice for some itineraries impacted by the situation in Haiti. In other cases Jamaica is relatively close to Labadee so if a ship was already passing by this area and Falmouth has space then it's a best choice for this situation. Grand Turk was developed with an investment from Carnival so they likely have priority there. On days when it's available and if it fits due to proximity it is the best choice for some itineraries. The DR may work best in some cases. Once you start looking at more distant alternate ports they would have to completely change the itinerary but given how many ships from all cruise lines are competing for ports completely re-doing an itinerary is a tall order and very disruptive to guests. In some cases an extra sea day is the only choice.
  9. I like sailing other lines to try something different. Royal feels like home compared to other lines but if I never left home, home would get pretty boring. I don't have bad cruises on the other lines, they just don't feel like home. Maybe it's good to try another line if for no other reason than to remind you what line suits you best.
  10. My guess is that he didn't leave it. It was probably an Albatross around his neck. I wonder if a 3D printer could...
  11. I was comparing the markets on the basis of route stagnation, not the actual ports of call. Unless it's a casino comp I can't see myself booking a Royal ship to the Caribbean. Yawn. Same old stuff on every itinerary. Just about every Royal itinerary in the Caribbean is all about beach, sun, water sports, etc. No history. No culture. Seriously repetitive. Different island, same s***. Is that you feel about Royal in Australia? Granted for many, especially those that have to suffer a miserable winter somewhere, beach, sun, water sports, etc. sounds pretty freaking great.
  12. Fricken YouTubers... Don't you have to use it to reap the benefits?
  13. I think Singapore is a very different market. Gamblers don't care the name painted on the ship. Sure some would complain about it as they will if anything but the newest ship in the fleet doesn't go there. Unless Royal places Icon 3 there, Singapore will complain, so Royal might as well put whatever ship there.
  14. I like the chocolate bar analogy. Speed is definitely more of a focus now as it is for shipping in general including cargo, container, tanker, etc. The difference between them being nobody is on social media complaining about container ships going too fast therefore increasing emissions. Cruise lines are much more aware of brand image and social media. I think many in the world are oblivious to shipping beyond cruise ships which are a tiny fraction of global shipping. The only way a non-cruise ship makes the news is to block the Suez or take out a bridge. The focus on shorter itineraries I feel is a reaction to market demand. Not so much from seasoned or frequent cruisers, that isn't where significant revenue comes from. Right now the new to cruise market is in overdrive and frequent cruisers are losing out so the new to cruise market is satisfied. I feel like the parent corporation, the Royal Caribbean Group, is putting their brands into lanes. Royal is to focus on mass market, new to cruise, fulfil the market demand of the day if it makes money. The Celebrity focus has been broadened to take advantage of the short cruise/newbie upscale market with many better routes to entice seasoned cruisers to go X. I think Royal would love it if seasoned cruisers would consider X leaving more berths for newbies to book on Royal. SilverSea is in a market competing outside of the RCG family leaving little overlap within the family.
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