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Cruises - Classier or Trashier?

Continuing our discussion.

Voice of the Night's prior thread:

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by Anonymousreply 385April 23, 2024 5:11 PM

I remember when they were classier, but they get trashier every day.

by Anonymousreply 1February 28, 2024 5:42 AM

As per the previous thread, I’ve decided to take my mother on the Oceania Regatta from Tahiti to Hawaii via Bora Bora. The ship and the itinerary tick all the boxes. There’s no club but the two of us can sing showtunes at the piano until the place shuts down.

And the food looks great. Though cruising etiquette of ordering everything off the damn menu because you technically already paid for it is weird to me. Look at this old broad. She’s very brusque with the wait staff when she doesn’t like her choices, too.

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by Anonymousreply 2February 28, 2024 8:36 AM

I've only used Holland America, about 10 years ago, and I thought they were lovely.

I don't even know if it's high brow, midrange, or trashy.

by Anonymousreply 3February 28, 2024 8:57 AM

VOTN who is your favorite YouTube cruise vlogger?

by Anonymousreply 4February 28, 2024 10:37 AM

After a certain fashion, I dislike all of them.

All of them start out one way, and then eventually their moderate internet fame goes to their heads. Gary Bembridge and Ben & David often have good information, but they're getting increasingly out of touch with how the average person vacations. Gary has his YouTube channel, plus a Patreon, plus merchandise, plus he sells himself on Cameo. Ben & David are currently showing off their experiences in a $10K suite on Icon of the Seas, which...it's especially rich when they were complaining on a different video about $20 milkshakes in the ship's soda shop.

I try to limit myself to the ones that are purely informational. Harr Travel's dad jokes are a bit much, but the guy doesn't editorialize much, and to his credit goes out of his way to avoid filming other people's children, which a lot of others don't.

I also started following this guy, who's a Royal Caribbean crewmember at the very beginning of COVID, because he was documenting a period for about a month where they were just cruising around on empty ships before realizing that it wasn't going to end anytime soon and sent everyone home. He's had a few contracts since then, and is currently on Icon. Last summer, he was on Odyssey of the Seas when it was chartered by Atlantis, although I never heard any reports of the Atlantis boys hitting on him. He's straight, but I would...

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by Anonymousreply 5February 28, 2024 12:43 PM

I like J from the Shiplife. But now that he’s signed up with a travel agency I think his content will change. He’s already upselling and telling people to book cruises with him. But he’s adorable and I like his French Canadian girlfriend.

I used to like Ben and Dave, but not as much now. They are UK versions of the YAZZZZZ QUEENS. Their food reviews are honest.

Cruise Monkeys are my guilty pleasure. They are a male couple and the ginger one does most of the talking. And they LOVE their cocktails…they’re usually soused by the end of the video 😂. But in between the drinks they have great info about the ships and ports.

Yes to La Lido Loca, Midships. Meh to JJ Cruises. Travel Blog Jamie is a bit much. Silly and opinionated.

I love cruise ships so much I watch most of them. If they are boring I tune out. Like Emma Cruises. She drones on about the ships and why she always books the inside cabins.

by Anonymousreply 6February 28, 2024 1:57 PM

Cunard is simply elegant.

by Anonymousreply 7February 28, 2024 2:15 PM

I used to like Emma, but she's apparently a huge bitch in real life. She's also not consistent about disclosing when either a cruise line or travel agency gifts her a cruise, which is scummy.

I find Tony from La Lido Loca annoying, and he clickbaits constantly.

I don't mind JJ Cruise. I can't say I'd want to spend time around them, but I wouldn't run screaming in the other direction if I saw them either.

I kind of like Trek Trendy, although it's more that he seems cuddly.

by Anonymousreply 8February 28, 2024 2:17 PM

Trek Trendy makes no bones about traveling high on the hog. He is cute in a dorky way. But if I hear him say, “boot off the Tim’s” one more time I will open my veins.

by Anonymousreply 9February 28, 2024 2:20 PM

J from Shiplife is cute but smarmy.

by Anonymousreply 10February 28, 2024 2:52 PM

Thanks to this and the previous thread I am now inundated with cruise-related posts on my YT feed! I like Ben & David, they did some content on strictly UK-Euro lines (P&O) that I'd never heard of or wouldn't have checked on. Their content is brisk and chipper. JJ Cruise is ok. The Royal Caribbean Blog guy is ok and seems to have the info on their huge new ships (Icon, etc). Does he work for RC or get a kickback though, I wonder.

by Anonymousreply 11February 28, 2024 3:04 PM

[quote] “boot off the Tim’s”

What does that mean?

by Anonymousreply 12February 28, 2024 3:21 PM

R12 taking off his boots. He does it whether he’s on a plane, train or ship.

by Anonymousreply 13February 28, 2024 3:27 PM

Thank you, R13.

by Anonymousreply 14February 28, 2024 3:29 PM

Carnival Cruises has stated their boundaries.

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by Anonymousreply 15February 28, 2024 5:36 PM

[quote] Trek Trendy makes no bones about traveling high on the hog. He is cute in a dorky way.

I'm watching him in one of the loft suites on Icon of the Seas. Now, I know what rooms were going for on Icon. I know what my friends paid for a loft suite on Atlantis last month.

I mean, good for him, I guess.

by Anonymousreply 16February 28, 2024 7:02 PM

R16 he seems to know where to get the good deals from. Even his ultra-luxury trips are discounted. What's his secret?

What did your friends pay? I'm guessing that a full gay charter upped the price considerably.

by Anonymousreply 17February 28, 2024 10:05 PM

I've found Gary Bembridge's Tips For Travelers to be pretty reliable. He's also great about sending prompt email replies to questions. Ben and David can be counted on to give honest reviews, which is the most important thing. I don't find I get much information from JJ Cruise. Zach the Traveling Man is pretty good. Waiting for him to come out... La Lido Loco gives you a lot of news updates, but I have to shut the video off before he starts singing "cruises news" or I start retching. Realistically, you have to watch several episodes on a channel to get a sense of the reviewer's likes/dislikes and biases. It really helps if they review a ship you've been on before, so you can compare your experience to theirs.

A bit of advice: if you have a cruise booked it's fine to watch a video or two of people on that ship, but take what they say with a grain of salt. Unless they were just on last week, their experience is already dated. For my upcoming Panama Canal cruise I've seen five reviewers all tell me different things about the ship, food, and service. In true Datalounge fashion, I will choose to believe what I want to believe.

by Anonymousreply 18February 29, 2024 12:44 AM

[quote]What did your friends pay? I'm guessing that a full gay charter upped the price considerably.

In the ballpark of $12K. And despite being cool, those are actually the lower-level suites. I shudder to think how some of the truly massive ones, that overlook the Aquatheater in the aft cost.

Besides my friends, I hooked up with a couple who had one of the loft suites, although they were sharing with two other guys. It's definitely spacious enough for that, which would make the price a lot more reasonable.

They put out a small tour of Sun Princess. I like it more than I thought I would, although I want to know what they were smoking when they designed those cabana suites. There is no privacy at all in them.

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by Anonymousreply 19February 29, 2024 1:30 AM

So they shrunk down the Mall of America and set it afloat? Yikes. And is that the Cruise Director before or after she’s had a line of blow?

by Anonymousreply 20February 29, 2024 1:43 AM

Is anyone else old enough to remember those anti-littering TV ads with the Native American man looking out on all the pollution and shedding a tear? (Turns out the actor was Italian, not NA. Kinda figures, huh?) That's the way I feel about modern cruising. Back in the day cruises offered a certain glamour and luxuries that rivaled the best hotels. In the dining room you never saw the bottom of a glass. People dressed up for dinner, and wouldn't dream of showing up to lunch in a bathing suit. You didn't need water slides, ice rinks, climbing walls, etc. because you socialized with your fellow passengers, played cards, chatted, met for drinks after dinner, sang along in the piano lounge, etc. Even Carnival (back then) was like that!

Today, you're on a mega/maga-ship surrounded by thousands of narcissists who are living their first-class-on-the-Titanic fantasies and the entire crew is there solely for THEM. They feel entitled to be loud and obnoxious, and expect people to give up seats in the theatre for them ("because we're in a suite") or let them go in front of you in line... Wait. It just occurred to me. That's how they are on shore, in the local malls, and around town too. I'm with Quentin Crisp: Other People are a Mistake.

by Anonymousreply 21February 29, 2024 2:37 AM

VOTN, I like most of the Sun Princess updates, however Alfredo's (my favorite) now costs $14.95 instead of being included. Bastards.

by Anonymousreply 22February 29, 2024 6:23 AM

[quote]VOTN, I like most of the Sun Princess updates, however Alfredo's (my favorite) now costs $14.95 instead of being included. Bastards.

That's still got nothing on Icon. I was watching Trek Trendy's Icon video, and he was showing Basecamp, which is up by the waterpark, which has an $11 burger or $7 chicken nuggets. Fucking chicken nuggets.

by Anonymousreply 23February 29, 2024 9:41 AM

[quote]Fucking chicken nuggets

Pics please.

by Anonymousreply 24February 29, 2024 9:45 AM

Dan and Jay - another male couple who review cruise ships. This is the ship I’m sailing on in June and they were not kind:

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by Anonymousreply 25February 29, 2024 12:15 PM

R8, bitchy how? I hate her droning voice and her boring presentation.

by Anonymousreply 26February 29, 2024 12:18 PM

[quote] Back in the day cruises offered a certain glamour and luxuries that rivaled the best hotels. In the dining room you never saw the bottom of a glass. People dressed up for dinner, and wouldn't dream of showing up to lunch in a bathing suit. You didn't need water slides, ice rinks, climbing walls, etc. because you socialized with your fellow passengers, played cards, chatted, met for drinks after dinner, sang along in the piano lounge, etc.

I’m fine with people who want that dressed-up experience and I’m sure there will always be a market for it. However, it’s not what I want. What’s described above is what I would do at a business conference, or perhaps a special occasion like a funeral. When I’m on vacation, suits and buttoned-up behavior must be left at home. I want a let-your-hair-down fun experience.

by Anonymousreply 27February 29, 2024 12:38 PM

[quote] A bit of advice: if you have a cruise booked it's fine to watch a video or two of people on that ship, but take what they say with a grain of salt. Unless they were just on last week, their experience is already dated.

It’s very frustrating to me when I see vloggers try to avoid becoming outdated by not providing important details. What I want them to do is state, “When I was on the ship …” and then specify the details in effect at that time. They can then say it’s subject to change and viewers should check to see if it’s still valid for their voyage. It would at least give me a starting point and an idea of what is possible.

I also hate on cruise forums when people ask a question like, what are the show times usually, and someone replies, “it varies,” with no attempt to give a time. Just tell me what you experienced. “When I was on the ship, the shows started at 8pm and 10pm.”

by Anonymousreply 28February 29, 2024 1:02 PM

Dan and Jay at r25 were new reviewers to me, but I liked their content. When they criticized a component of the cruise, they gave specific reasons as to why, with details. Other vloggers tend to skip these finer points. They also don't shy away from comparing elements to other cruise lines, naming them and detailing their opinions.

by Anonymousreply 29February 29, 2024 3:46 PM

Yes r29, and they revisit ships to compare with their previous cruises. They are also not on the Cunard ra-ra team as so many UK reviewers are. They were brutally honest about the QM2.

by Anonymousreply 30February 29, 2024 4:21 PM

Agreed r30. I just watched their Queen Victoria cruise vlog from last year, and they were as you say, brutally honest if not complimentary where applicable. They gave high marks to the food and service, but thumbs down to the onboard WiFi and overpriced drinks packages. Their videos give plenty of detail, but are mercifully short - half as long as Ben and David's or other vloggers, without the cutesy business.

by Anonymousreply 31February 29, 2024 4:26 PM

I wonder if Cunard is given a pass because of its reputation as a transatlantic mainstay during the golden age of ocean travel.

by Anonymousreply 32February 29, 2024 4:33 PM

The Dan and Jay review of the Enchanted Princess brings up another reason to consider smaller ships - they're much easier to fully staff. As the lines have moved to these massive ships, they need correspondingly large crew complements, and they're all competing with each other in recruiting. Anecdotal: my South American cruise last year on the older, smaller Sapphire Princess had a clearly happy crew, and service was as good as I've had in my 30+ years of cruising. The food was also better than I've had on the larger ships.

by Anonymousreply 33February 29, 2024 5:18 PM

Would DL fave Nicolas Fairford make a good cruise reviewer?

by Anonymousreply 34February 29, 2024 5:31 PM

r32 Cunard apparently still has a good reputation for great service, stand-out food, classy decor and a quiet, peaceful cruise experience that caters to an older or more mature clientele. You don't see multi-color water slides, astroturf, fake plastic palm trees or multiple hot tubs on every level on a Cunard cruise liner.

by Anonymousreply 35February 29, 2024 6:38 PM

"Anecdotal: my South American cruise last year on the older, smaller Sapphire Princess had a clearly happy crew, and service was as good as I've had in my 30+ years of cruising. The food was also better than I've had on the larger ships."

That has been my experience as well. Almost from the minute you board a ship you can feel its vibe. When you're on a happy ship you can feel it, and it shows up in everything: the crew's attitudes and smiles, the service, the food, the pride in keeping the ship up, etc. I sail a lot from LA, and cruise lines traditionally put their oldest ships there to do the Mexico run until it's time to retire them. With some ships, you can tell right away that the ship is on its last legs and the crew doesn't give a fuck. But on others you feel like you've entered a secret world where people are happy and actually like what they're doing. I'd much rather be on an older, happy ship that doesn't have plugs in the staterooms or rollercoasters and go-carts on deck than any of the giant floating amusement parks where everyone (including a lot of passengers) is miserable.

by Anonymousreply 36February 29, 2024 8:18 PM

[quote] But on others you feel like you've entered a secret world where people are happy and actually like what they're doing.

Seems like Datalounge.

by Anonymousreply 37February 29, 2024 9:02 PM

I had similar experiences on the CARIBBEAN PRINCESS. The crew was so upbeat and friendly.

by Anonymousreply 38February 29, 2024 11:24 PM

[quote]I sail a lot from LA, and cruise lines traditionally put their oldest ships there to do the Mexico run until it's time to retire them

Well, you're getting both Carnival Firenze and Quantum of the Seas. The latter is good news for Atlantis, I'm sure.

A lot of Royal Caribbean's 2025-26 deployment is...well, bizarre. They're taking the Wonder and the Utopia, two of their biggest and newest ships, and using them for weekend cruises. I just think they'd use the Oasis or Allure for that kind of a thing.

They also pushed back Star of the Seas for two weeks, until the very end of August 2025.

by Anonymousreply 39March 1, 2024 2:13 AM

A cruise today would be like being at wal mart on their busiest day of the year.

by Anonymousreply 40March 1, 2024 2:23 AM

R40 = Gloria Upson

by Anonymousreply 41March 1, 2024 2:24 AM

[quote]Zach the Traveling Man is pretty good. Waiting for him to come out

Wait, he's not out?

Could have fooled me.

by Anonymousreply 42March 1, 2024 2:26 AM

Stupid move on RCL's part to have their biggest ships doing their shortest turn-arounds. They are seriously overworking their on-board and shore staff -racing to get all those people on and off the ship in time -and more times per week. They are also going to trash the ship that much faster...

by Anonymousreply 43March 1, 2024 3:36 AM

Well, VOTN, I can't find anything one way or the other. I just assumed he was gay. He's so careful to avoid mentioning any personal life or pronouns... He's kinda cute in a gingery way. And every Zach I've ever met turned out to be gay...

by Anonymousreply 44March 1, 2024 3:37 AM

[quote]Stupid move on RCL's part to have their biggest ships doing their shortest turn-arounds. They are seriously overworking their on-board and shore staff -racing to get all those people on and off the ship in time -and more times per week. They are also going to trash the ship that much faster...

Something clicked for me when I was watching Trek Trendy's Icon video. I think it's because they're not trying to compete against the other cruise lines. They're positioning themselves to compete against Disney World and Vegas. Looking at the pricing on Icon and comparing it against a week at Disney World, it started making a lot more sense.

Especially since they don't really have ships on order that would be suited for cooler weather cruising.

[quote]Well, VOTN, I can't find anything one way or the other. I just assumed he was gay.

I mean, I assumed he is too. I just don't know why he'd keep it under his hat in the year 2024.

by Anonymousreply 45March 1, 2024 12:48 PM

One of the cruise vloggers did a vlog on this move by Royal Caribbean. I’m too lazy to search but they said that Royal knows that their price gouging can cut into their profits, so they are doing a bunch of short cruises to earn revenue.

by Anonymousreply 46March 1, 2024 2:25 PM

They should be more worried about their declining standards of food and service. That will eat up profits too!

by Anonymousreply 47March 1, 2024 6:57 PM

I mean, if people are willing to pay $6 for cheese curds that probably cost them $0.50 to make....

by Anonymousreply 48March 1, 2024 6:58 PM

Not into people having fistfights and throwing chairs over crab legs.

by Anonymousreply 49March 1, 2024 7:21 PM

Do they catch the crabs from the decks?

by Anonymousreply 50March 1, 2024 9:19 PM

The Loyal to Royal crowd is sorta like the Swifties.

by Anonymousreply 51March 1, 2024 10:16 PM

[quote]The Loyal to Royal crowd is sorta like the Swifties.

I think the people who stan for any cruise line are worse than Switfies.

I mean, at least there's emotional connections with music.

by Anonymousreply 52March 1, 2024 10:36 PM

No, R50. All the crabs are caught in the cabins, or occasionally in the steam room.

by Anonymousreply 53March 1, 2024 10:40 PM

R52 VOTN, does Cunard have stans like that?

by Anonymousreply 54March 1, 2024 10:41 PM

They don't have a cute moniker like "Loyal to Royal," but they do love telling you that you're actually wearing a dinner suit, not a tuxedo.

All the lines have them to some extent.

by Anonymousreply 55March 1, 2024 10:51 PM

Although if someone is Pinnacle on RC, they will be sure to tell you they are Pinnacle at every opportunity.

by Anonymousreply 56March 2, 2024 12:32 AM

Pinnacles are obnoxious like that!

by Anonymousreply 57March 2, 2024 12:35 AM

[quote]Have I told you I’m Diamond Plus?


But you only get five free drinks a day.

by Anonymousreply 58March 2, 2024 12:40 AM

“Pinnacle” and “pinnacle”! What is “pinnacle”?

by Anonymousreply 59March 2, 2024 12:57 AM

Pinnacle is a class of ships for Holland America as well as a class of suites for the line.

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by Anonymousreply 60March 2, 2024 8:30 PM

Thank you, R60.

by Anonymousreply 61March 2, 2024 9:08 PM

I know no one else is as big of a ship geek as I am, but I was delighted to find this on YouTube. it's from a five-part documentary series Discovery Networks (before they became everything wrong with the current media landscape) did in the early-/mid-00s about a massive refurbishment Sovereign of the Seas got. It's really fascinating from both a design and technical standpoint.

If you make it to the final part, you also get to see the super gay chorus boys in the ship's production show reacting to the improvements.

Sovereign had such an ignominious end. From the world's biggest cruise ship at launch to beached in Turkey in 2020 because of COVID-related budget issues. Her sister Monarch had the same fate. The final one, Majesty, is still around, but has been laid up since Royal Caribbean sold her to keep the lights on during the pandemic. I'm sure she'll be scrapped sooner or later.

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by Anonymousreply 62March 3, 2024 10:06 PM

Have any of you watched Mighty Cruise Ships?

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by Anonymousreply 63March 3, 2024 11:41 PM

I have. Not every season or episode, but I do have some that I purchased, and at least some seasons are on Paramount+.

There's also a Prime original series about Scarlet Lady called The Cruise.

by Anonymousreply 64March 4, 2024 12:06 AM

I love MIGHTY SHIPS. Fascinating.

VOTN, I probably asked you this question before but what do you think of ships like THE WORLD, the floating condominium where you live onboard while the ship traverses the world. Apparently another one is coming out in a year or so…what happens when the ship gets too old?

by Anonymousreply 65March 4, 2024 1:34 AM

There’s nothing wrong with a floating concentration of billionaires that a well-aimed torpedo couldn’t fix.

On the serious, I don’t know how you’d use it as a primary residence, but apparently some of the tenants do.

Of the other residence-y ships, I don’t think any are scheduled for this year. There have been a number announced, but I think only one or two actually have steel cut. There was a company that planning to launch a multi-year cruise a few weeks ago, but they never even owned a ship.

by Anonymousreply 66March 4, 2024 1:03 PM

There’s one called Storylines r66. Either next year or the year after is when it’s gonna be built.

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by Anonymousreply 67March 4, 2024 2:10 PM

Any day now. Any day now.

by Anonymousreply 68March 4, 2024 2:12 PM

For some reason I think that every cruise line owner is a billionaire swimming in dough. Like Micky Arison and Sir Richard Branson. But the bulk of them run smaller second hand ships and hustle around to generate revenue.

by Anonymousreply 69March 4, 2024 2:51 PM

I saw a documentary about a cruise ship and one episode had the head chef buying turbot in, I think, a Swedish port. He also had to invent a recipe for the executive chef’s approval. Very stressful stuff but I was thrilled for him when his dish was OK’ed. The hard work that goes in to running the place is fascinating.

by Anonymousreply 70March 4, 2024 4:24 PM

[quote] For some reason I think that every cruise line owner is a billionaire swimming in dough. Like Micky Arison and Sir Richard Branson. But the bulk of them run smaller second hand ships and hustle around to generate revenue.

Branson doesn’t even own VV. I think the majority stakeholder is Bain Capital, so it’s actually Mitt Romney whose pockets I’ll be lining in a few days.

Even the smaller lines are usually a part of a bigger conglomerate. A few, like VV and Azamara’s current owners, are private equity firms. Some are part of other travel conglomerates. TUI AG, a German company, co-owns TUI Cruises with Royal Caribbean, and also has Hapag-Lloyd and Marella.

by Anonymousreply 71March 4, 2024 5:29 PM

What about Celestyal? Fred. Olsen? Saga?

by Anonymousreply 72March 4, 2024 6:02 PM

Celestyal is owned by a British equity firm. Fred Olsen is owned by a holding company that was historically a shipping company, but they also own a few weird things like offshore oil drilling and Timex watches. Saga's owner are basically the British version of the AARP. They have a bunch of things that are focused on seniors.

by Anonymousreply 73March 4, 2024 10:09 PM

I’m watching Ben and David given a go at MSC World Europa, after they had a meltdown when they tried it in Florida right after cruising restarted in 2021.

Mostly, I’m wondering what animal died on Ben’s head.

by Anonymousreply 74March 4, 2024 10:52 PM

Can non-Americans book with American travel agencies? Because the Vacations To Go prices are excellent.

by Anonymousreply 75March 5, 2024 8:20 AM

I don't see why not.

I had a few clients in Europe when I was an agent.

by Anonymousreply 76March 5, 2024 9:31 AM

R74 he always has the worst hairdo. He had a really good haircut for a while but he changed it. His teeth are so crooked and uneven that it affects his speech. He can be funny at times though.

by Anonymousreply 77March 5, 2024 10:21 AM

He was also really hot when they were younger and he was thinner.

by Anonymousreply 78March 5, 2024 10:46 AM

Ben and David make me laugh sometimes.

Well dip me in cheese and call me a breadstick! This is bloomin’ delicious!

I did notice David was pudgy and not as talkative in their earlier vidjos.

by Anonymousreply 79March 5, 2024 1:15 PM

David gave up red meat and lost a ton of weight. Ben loves his red meat and pastries.

The more I watch Travel Blog Jamie, the less I like him. You don’t really get a review of the ships he sails on so much as you get a sense of his own personal likes and dislikes and how fabulous he thinks he is. I’ll take Ben and Dave over him. Or the two drunken queens The Cruise Monkeys. They crack me up. They start drinking right after breakfast it seems.

by Anonymousreply 80March 5, 2024 1:44 PM

Thanks VOTN.

Just rewatched a video of “pier runners” trying to make it back to the ship before departure. So funny.

by Anonymousreply 81March 5, 2024 2:41 PM

The Coral Princess and Island Princess, which are hosting World travellers, are skipping the Middle East (unfortunate but understandable) but also Asia. Why Asia?

by Anonymousreply 82March 5, 2024 2:55 PM

Time and fuel, I would assume. Resilient Lady had to bypass Asia to make it into the Mediterranean. for the start of its season, and they bypassed Asia as well. Serenade of the Seas and the changes to the itinerary messed up some of the people who were doing segments in the Eastern Med well after when it was scheduled to arrive there.

by Anonymousreply 83March 5, 2024 3:25 PM

I know little about this topic but it's nice to see VOTN back among the posters.

by Anonymousreply 84March 5, 2024 3:27 PM

The Virgin ships have some of the ugliest staterooms on the water. So IKEA-esque. The hammocks seem like a nice idea though. And the food is supposed to be outstanding.

by Anonymousreply 85March 5, 2024 5:24 PM

The revised itineraries for Resilient Lady (out of San Juan) look interesting. Much better than Scarlet Lady's out of Miami.

by Anonymousreply 86March 5, 2024 5:28 PM

The one called "Sunsets in the Lesser Antilles" is the same itinerary Atlantis is doing. I'm really excited for it. I've been to Aruba and Curacao before, but Martinique and St Kitts are new.

[quote]The Virgin ships have some of the ugliest staterooms on the water. So IKEA-esque.

The only thing I don't like is the lack of seating and storage. There's no couch, they just convert half of the bed into one during the day if you request it. And there's not a lot of drawer space,

I do like that the XL Sea Terraces (their biggest balconies that aren't suites) have their bathrooms separated, so one can use the toilet while the other uses the shower.

by Anonymousreply 87March 5, 2024 5:41 PM

I think MSC has them all beat from an interior design perspective.

Cunard’s ships are really pretty inside. I love all things Art Deco, so there’s that. I am biased.

by Anonymousreply 88March 5, 2024 6:08 PM

The guy I'm going with for this one is an architect, and he's only done one cruise before, one of Celebrity's Galapagos expedition ships, so he doesn't have a lot of frame of reference for the megaships. I've gotten him into watching ship tour videos, and from his eye, his favorites are Cunard (for the reasons you state) and also Norwegian Prima and Viva, because he feels like the design of them is a lot more purposeful and contemporary than even other new ships. I sent him the tour of the Sun Princess, and he said while it was nice, whoever NCL hired was better.

This is such an insane thing to be looking forward do, but Virgin has a group fitness class called "V/H/S" (for "Videotape/Headband/Simmons") which is basically just a Jane Fonda workout or Sweatin' to the Oldies with 80s music (and a Shake Weight). I am not only making sure I attend, I have a specific outfit for it. I have plenty of party outfits, but for a workout class is an entirely other thing.

by Anonymousreply 89March 5, 2024 6:16 PM

Celebrity is wonderful. I was on the Queen Mary two months ago and it was awful.

by Anonymousreply 90March 5, 2024 6:24 PM

Ooh, what was the problem r90?

by Anonymousreply 91March 5, 2024 6:27 PM

What wouldn’t I have done to get that free Virgin Cruise from Sir Branson himself? Lucky people.

by Anonymousreply 92March 5, 2024 6:54 PM

r92, you can join me in the Mile High Club.

by Anonymousreply 93March 5, 2024 7:01 PM

Call me weird, but I do like Holland America Line. My first cruise was with RSVP on a HAL ship and had the very best time. My husband & I pretty much stick with HAL. We have tried one Celebrity cruise and it was ok. We tried Silver Seas once when I came into a small inheritance and loved it, but can't afford the line in general. We have done a river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest on Gate 1 which was nice. But for the money, we pick HAL. We will be 4 star mariners after our cruise in November from Hong Kong to Singapore. You will also catch us on HAL next month from Ft. Lauderdale to Barcelona- our first repositioning cruise.

by Anonymousreply 94March 5, 2024 8:42 PM

Anybody ever go on a Viking River Cruise? I don't know how I got on their mailing list, but I get their catalogues often.

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by Anonymousreply 95March 5, 2024 8:49 PM

Why is that weird? HAL has beautiful ships, and if you don't like the ginormous size of the biggest megaships, given that their largest ships are about the same size as Princess and Celebrity's smallest, they're much more manageable.

by Anonymousreply 96March 5, 2024 8:50 PM

Ok, not weird. I really like that there aren't a lot of kids on HAL. There are lots and lots of blue hair- which I like because then I am the youngest. Ship size doesn't matter too much to me, but I have never been on a megaship for comparison.

by Anonymousreply 97March 5, 2024 8:56 PM

Escargot at R94, what are 4 star mariners and repositioning cruises?

by Anonymousreply 98March 5, 2024 10:54 PM

The Mariner Society is HAL's loyalty program. 4-star level requires at least 200 nights cruising (or fewer, if you book suites).

Repositioning cruises happen when the ship moves from one area to the other. Either Transatlantic moving from Europe to the Caribbean/South America or Transpacific from Australia/Asia to Alaska. Some Panama Canal cruises are also repositioning, because they're moving from the Caribbean to Alaska or vice versa.

by Anonymousreply 99March 5, 2024 10:59 PM

Thank you, VotN.

by Anonymousreply 100March 5, 2024 11:02 PM

I'm reading reports of the Sun Princess inaugural.

Jesus Christ, they should have canceled the damned thing. Half of the performance spaces aren't finished. And that's before we get to the nickel and diming, which may be as bad or worse than what Royal Caribbean is doing.

by Anonymousreply 101March 6, 2024 1:50 PM

Quite a few of the long-time Princess cruisers aren't happy with the new direction Princess has been taking with the new ships: the lack of gizmos and geegaws was a large part of the appeal of the line.

by Anonymousreply 102March 6, 2024 2:17 PM

Too bad because it's a good looking cruise ship inside and out. I wonder what made them fall behind schedule like that?

by Anonymousreply 103March 6, 2024 2:55 PM

I mean, a bunch of the dining venues aren’t open, the theater isn’t open. The eye catching dome on the top of the ship isn’t fully open. The new family area that’s trying to ape RC isn’t open. And they’re charging out the wazoo. Pizza, which is included on every other line (for now) is an upcharge. Fucking “premium” soft serve is an upcharge.

The line’s president is a former Disney parks exec, which explains a lot of it. He’s the person who got Disney to adopt the Magic Band, which is why Princess is so all-in on their NFC-enabled Medallion that’s used for everything including Big Brother knowing exactly where you are on the ship at all times.

by Anonymousreply 104March 6, 2024 3:10 PM

I like the medallion, but the app is tetchy. When it works, it's pretty slick, but you sometimes have to kill it and reload.

by Anonymousreply 105March 6, 2024 3:18 PM

What’s “soft serve”? I hope it’s what I’m thinking.

by Anonymousreply 106March 6, 2024 3:26 PM

The medallion worked great opening my cabin, but that's all I've got.

But this year I have to get to the steakhouse on ENCHANTED PRINCESS to see if it measures up to MSC SEASIDE'S Butcher's Cut.

by Anonymousreply 107March 6, 2024 3:27 PM

There are rumors that Royal Caribbean is giving Atlantis a hard time nailing down charters for next year, so I've been looking around at different ships to try and see if anything on other lines would be suitable for the big circuit party cruise. I had actually thought Sun Princess would have been a good option, because they've got good-sized performance spaces, and the dome at least looks big enough for dancing. But after reading all the issues as well as the surcharges for every little thing, I'm not so sure.

by Anonymousreply 108March 6, 2024 5:25 PM

I know Atlantis loves its annual "big" party cruise, but I wish they'd do some smaller-ship, higher-end lines. NCL was shitty to us on one cruise, and Royal Caribbean's food has been just terrible. I think my favorite Atlantis cruises have been on Holland America and Celebrity. I know the Mexico cruise in October is on the Konigsdam, but I'm already booked on the Queen Mary 2 that week. (I know, first-world problems. Poor, poor me...)

For those that are interested, NCL is offering an AMAZING deal for single travelers this November/December: a land-cruise package with four days in London and then an Atlantic crossing on the Norwegian Encore, with ports in Spain and the Azores. It priced out at $535 for the whole thing, including airfare to London and home from Miami. That is using a $750 discount for cashing in some points from an online game, but $1285 for a 15-day trip is pretty unbelievable!

by Anonymousreply 109March 7, 2024 4:45 AM

At the end of the day, people (myself included) go on the Big One because of the circuit party aspect of it. That needs a critical mass of people to work, and that requires a megaship. The Oasis-class ships are uniquely suited for it, just because of how their public areas are. I think they could probably pull it off on the Carnival Excel-class, MSC Meraviglia-Plus or World-class, NCL’s Breakaway-Plus, or even the Quantum-class, but they wouldn’t be able to replicate that on a ship that only has 1500 passengers.

As everyone on my Atlantis group chats who’s not going on Valiant Lady twiddles their thumbs about when they’ll get around to announcing for next winter, people are comparing to Vacaya. One guy was going on about how he was probably booking Vacaya for the Caribbean next winter, because he feels like it’s a better value for the money…even though Vacaya’s Caribbean cruise for 2025 is on Brilliance of the Seas, so you’ll not only have all the same issues with food and service as Atlantis, it’s also not even half the size, so you won’t have the party vibe.

When we got our post cruise survey after Oasis in January, they had a few questions asking if we’d like more frequent, but smaller cruises. If they do get feedback to that effect, I’m sure they’ll shift their offerings. But I’m going on Valiant Lady because I want to relax in a gay environment and maybe party a little. I went on Oasis because I wanted to party.

I get myself spammed for a lot of different charter cruises. Amongst others, I get for EDSea (EDM-cruise, so perhaps the most comparable to Atlantis), Star Trek: The Cruise, and the Rock Boat (because I like a few of the bands who will be playing). All of them are more expensive than Atlantis, are shorter, and with the exception of EDSea which is on Norwegian Joy, are on older, smaller ships. So I don’t think Atlantis is as a bad of a deal as some people say.

by Anonymousreply 110March 7, 2024 12:28 PM

The premium for an all-gay charter like Atlantis is lower than it used to be. Obviously, the more cruises a company offers, the less they depend upon a single cruise to keep the company in the black. These days Atlantis is not much more than the traditional brochure price for a cruise. Smaller companies like Vacaya do tend to have higher prices. Whether or not they are worth it depends on what you want out of the cruise. As VOTN says above, sometimes guys want the giant party atmosphere - and Atlantis can deliver on that. I like smaller ships and less of a party vibe, so I look for cruises that fit me and Atlantis fits a couple of times a year. I've done Alaska with them a couple of times, and the Baltic, but I usually do the Mexico sailing as it was very convenient and fit my work schedule. Now that I'm retired (as of January) my schedule has more freedom, so it comes down to whether I like the ship/cruise line more than anything else.

by Anonymousreply 111March 7, 2024 7:22 PM

I’d like to try Pied Piper. I could do that with a small gay crowd. Definitely not Atlantis or RSVP. There’s supposed to be another gay travel company that does groups instead of full ship charters isn’t there?

by Anonymousreply 112March 7, 2024 7:28 PM

That’s Vacaya. They have a few big ship charters, but focus on smaller luxury ships (they work with Ponant a lot) and river cruises.

by Anonymousreply 113March 7, 2024 7:51 PM

is RSVP even still around?

by Anonymousreply 114March 8, 2024 2:51 AM

Will be on the Atlantis cruise from San Juan next week.

Hope to see some DL-ers there!

by Anonymousreply 115March 8, 2024 2:58 AM

[quote]is RSVP even still around?

Nominally. They were saying they were going to come back post-COVID, but haven't. They still have an active site that is updated, kinda.

[quote]Will be on the Atlantis cruise from San Juan next week.


by Anonymousreply 116March 8, 2024 3:11 AM

[quote] Me

Yay! Hope to see you there, VOTN!

by Anonymousreply 117March 8, 2024 3:13 AM

Bald, goatee, medical symbol tattoos on both forearms with a Star Trek delta shield as part of the design on the Right one. If you catch me by the pool or at one of the parties, I have three more tattoos on my back, one on either shoulder blade and one in the middle. From the front, I have the scar from my colectomy running from under my rib cage down to about my waistband.

I'll likely be accompanied by a nervous-looking Asian man.

by Anonymousreply 118March 8, 2024 3:22 AM

[quote[ Yay!

I'm so happy.

by Anonymousreply 119March 8, 2024 3:29 AM

[quote] Yay!

I'm so happy.

by Anonymousreply 120March 8, 2024 3:29 AM

[quote] medical symbol tattoos on both forearms with a Star Trek delta shield as part of the design on the Right one

What gives you the authority to wear those?

by Anonymousreply 121March 8, 2024 3:30 AM

[R119] Sitting at home watching “Price is Right” reruns on Pluto TV.

by Anonymousreply 122March 8, 2024 3:34 AM

[quote]I'll likely be accompanied by a nervous-looking Asian man.

Sum Ting Wong.

by Anonymousreply 123March 8, 2024 3:39 AM

If there is anything that does NOT need to be said at this point, gentle r123, it is that.

by Anonymousreply 124March 8, 2024 8:02 AM

[quote]What gives you the authority to wear those?

THIS gives me the authority.

Or my "Drink Your Juice, Shelby" tank top that I will also be bringing.

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by Anonymousreply 125March 8, 2024 12:16 PM

Now I just get impatient waiting for Atlantis to send us the cruise guide.

by Anonymousreply 126March 8, 2024 3:11 PM

Experience should have taught you that it will arrive -late. :)

by Anonymousreply 127March 8, 2024 5:54 PM

Oh, I'm prepared to see it in my email at 7:55PM on the 16th as we're getting ready to pull out of San Juan.

I'm just wanting to know how many Todrick Hall performances I need to skip this time.

by Anonymousreply 128March 8, 2024 6:15 PM

^^^ I sense a kindred spirit in you, VOTN.

by Anonymousreply 129March 8, 2024 6:23 PM

And just like that, the cruise guide is out, and with no Todrick Hall.

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by Anonymousreply 130March 8, 2024 9:53 PM

No Toad?? You lucky bastard. Who is on?

by Anonymousreply 131March 9, 2024 1:34 AM

We have a TBA (while I'm not expecting this, previous TBA's have been Olivia Newton John and Audra McDonald), Cacophony Daniels and Courtney Act as the headlining drag queens, and a West End-based actor named Rob Houchen that I'm not familiar with.

He's hot though.

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by Anonymousreply 132March 9, 2024 1:41 AM


Queen Mary 2 departs Sydney Harbour on the 27th of February 2024.

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by Anonymousreply 133March 9, 2024 2:01 PM

I like the Weekend Cruiser in YouTube. Nice combination of prematurely grey hair and a spray tan.

by Anonymousreply 134March 9, 2024 3:41 PM

[quote] I like the Weekend Cruiser in YouTube. Nice combination of prematurely grey hair and a spray tan.

Who’s his bf?

by Anonymousreply 135March 9, 2024 3:47 PM

Not sure. He travelled with a friend on a Hong Kong cruise - separate beds and all that. Travels solo a lot.

by Anonymousreply 136March 9, 2024 4:16 PM

I follow TWC on Instagram. He’s got a good sense of humor. And rather attractive.

by Anonymousreply 137March 9, 2024 5:14 PM

Oh, I’d totally do him.

That makes him kind of a minority amongst the cruise vloggers.

by Anonymousreply 138March 9, 2024 5:27 PM

I think Brandon the Weekend Cruiser would look really hot with a shaved head. I think he could pull that off.

by Anonymousreply 139March 9, 2024 6:03 PM

Brandon loves his inside cabins. I have to have a balcony or nothing. And he seems to favor ships from the RCI group. But he’s very knowledgeable about the ships he reviews.

by Anonymousreply 140March 9, 2024 6:32 PM

Interesting -Ben and David were censored on their MSC cruise. They were told they not only couldn't film any video, but were also banned from taking a photograph with their iPhones. They chose to disembark the ship early in Rome four days into the cruise -and got hassled for that as well. Given the number of other YouTubers filming aboard, the line's statement that B&D were in violation of their published filming policy is disingenuous at best. It looks more like retribution for their previous bad review of the line.

I don't always agree with these guys, but I will say their reviews have always been honest, and they are up front about whether they were invited aboard or received any other consideration. Seems like a stupid move on MSC's part, as word will definitely get out...

by Anonymousreply 141March 10, 2024 7:06 PM

Ben and Dave cut their cruise short on the MSC WORLD EUROPA. The Yacht Club folks didn't appreciate them filming and were very rude about it. They found out that they were cruise vloggers and had said some negative things about MSC in the past. Speed up to 34:33.

Needless to say, they will no longer cruise/review MSC but said to not let their experiences affect your choices.

by Anonymousreply 142March 10, 2024 7:26 PM

Stinky link, sorry.

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by Anonymousreply 143March 10, 2024 7:27 PM

JJ Cruise also announced that they're moving onto a residential ship for six months starting in June. The company is called Villa Vie, and they actually do own a ship, which began life as the Cunard Crown Dynasty before passing to one of NCL's predecessors, Majesty Cruise Line (NCL was formed when it merged with Norwegian Caribbean Line), and then eventually to Fred. Olsen, where she sailed as Braemar until the COVID shutdown. She's been rechristened Odyssey, and will be on a three-and-a-half year itinerary, although there are individual segments which are bookable.

I don't know if I'm quite willing to call it a residential ship. Most of the units on The World have at least kitchenettes (and the two- and three-bedroom units have full kitchens), and there's even a grocery store onboard. Odyssey is just a cruise ship, with three years in a 130 square foot interior cabin starts at $120K. She's definitely a nice looking ship; Fred. Olsen had her stretched in 2008 and put her through an extensive refurbishment just before the pandemic, But I'd lose my mind in an inside cabin for three years.

Not to be outdone, if you don't want to commit to that, Virgin is offering a "Season Pass" where you get 4 back to back 7-day cruises in one of four windows between June and September. They're pitching it towards remote workers, because they have included WiFi. Starts at around $10K.

That I'd consider.

by Anonymousreply 144March 10, 2024 8:33 PM

At least Virgin's idea is innovative.

by Anonymousreply 145March 10, 2024 8:37 PM

Agreed, and if my employer would go for it (and I could deal with the time difference, which would be a big stumbling block seeing patients), I'd give it a whirl.

Weirdly, Atlantis was supposed to have chartered Scarlet Lady for a week in July, but they're no longer doing it. I wonder what the sequence of events was, or if Virgin broke the contract. Their two Resilient Lady cruises are still a go, as is the one on Oceania that had been sold out but had a bunch of people cancel because of the planned stop in Tel Aviv.

by Anonymousreply 146March 10, 2024 8:45 PM

R144 - They use the word 'residential' to try to make it sound more exclusive.

by Anonymousreply 147March 10, 2024 8:48 PM

Actually, the Virgin thing seems like a good deal. It starts at $10K per cabin, and includes a balcony (or Sea Terrace, in Virgin parlance), their fastest wifi (base wifi is free for everyone, with a surcharge for streaming speeds), laundry service, $10 a day in credit for their onboard coffee shop, and access to the suite areas.

by Anonymousreply 148March 10, 2024 8:50 PM

VOTN what do you think Ben and Dave should do regarding their negative MSC experience? Can they take action?

by Anonymousreply 149March 10, 2024 9:30 PM

Action about what? MSC was within its rights to tell them to stop filming. They chose to leave because they couldn't.

About all they can do is Karen out about it. I'm sure it'll put some people off cruising MSC, which is about all they could do.

by Anonymousreply 150March 10, 2024 10:58 PM

Seems dumb to just leave their cruise. They couldn’t just finish it out and film some commentary in their room or the ports?

by Anonymousreply 151March 10, 2024 11:05 PM

Their argument was that other people were allowed to film and no one did anything about it. If they squawk about it enough, they could cause trouble for MSC. I loved my cruise on the SEASIDE, but MSC gets more bad reviews than good, so I think it would be in their best interests to talk to them.

by Anonymousreply 152March 10, 2024 11:12 PM

Somehow I don't think it will ever rank up there with Peter Deilmann kicking that old drunk Douglas Ward off of his ships.

by Anonymousreply 153March 10, 2024 11:27 PM

The DEUTSCHLAND is a beautifully decorated ship. But I think that Ward was justified because for a premium luxury ship, the cabins are quite small. Just looking at the dimensions tells me that much. And only two balconies? Deilmann's daughters had French balconies installed on some of the upper grade staterooms, but that doesn't help much. And his daughters went to jail for mismanagement of the line after he died. Can't speak on the food. The late Mark Goldberg from Travelpage.com loved the DEUTSCHLAND. I used to speak to him on Facebook. Very knowledgeable, as he worked in the cruise industry for several decades. But he was a bit of a curmudgeon. He had a partner who died from complications from dementia and he eventually passed from CHF.

by Anonymousreply 154March 10, 2024 11:33 PM

R154 - I was very good friends with Mark G. and Xtopher for decades. I managed to get over to their place for a couple of days (when they were actually home and not somewhere on the other side of the planet) and see his maritime collection, wow.

Most senior cruise executives privately don't exactly have a high opinion of Ward.

The upper echelon cruise passenger doesn't particularly care if their cabin has a balcony or not.

by Anonymousreply 155March 11, 2024 12:09 AM

Re: Ben and David: They said they left the ship because they were only there to do a review, not a vacation. They had a bad experience the last time they sailed MSC, and avoided the line for years. A few weeks ago they received an invitation to go on this cruise (for free) which they declined in favor of booking it themselves. One of the reasons was that MSC made it a condition that their pre-approved headline had to be used (along with other limitations in the body of the review). Ironically, they were having a great time, and their reviews were extremely positive -up until they were shut down by the ship's management. Ben wrote to the exec who had initially invited them, saying WTF, and got a swift reply doubling down on the whole, "you violated our terms" thing. That is beyond ridiculous, given how many others were filming aboard at the same time, and how many video reviews of MSC are posted all over.

by Anonymousreply 156March 11, 2024 12:10 AM

Thanks R156. I don't always see eye to eye with them, but I think that they were wronged by MSC.

And several other vloggers have given MSC low scores and nothing has happened to them. They're singling them out for some strange reason.

by Anonymousreply 157March 11, 2024 12:13 AM

It would be easy to say it's because they're gay -but so many other cruise vloggers are....

by Anonymousreply 158March 11, 2024 12:39 AM

I was going to post that r158. I cannot think of any other reasons other than they didn't like their past reviews of MSC ships. Ben did say that the looked at some of their older vids when they told the crew who they were and where their YouTube channel was. But once again, others have negatively reviewed MSC ships and continue to do so.

by Anonymousreply 159March 11, 2024 12:57 AM

It's exactly the kind of boneheaded public relations and customer service debacles MSC is famous for. The leopard is having a hell of a time changing its spots, no matter how much money they pour into the ships.

by Anonymousreply 160March 11, 2024 4:25 AM

[quote] Ironically, they were having a great time, and their reviews were extremely positive -up until they were shut down by the ship's management. Ben wrote to the exec who had initially invited them, saying WTF, and got a swift reply doubling down on the whole, "you violated our terms" thing.

If that’s the case, it would have been doubly interesting if they continued on the cruise and reported from their room rather than flouncing off.

by Anonymousreply 161March 11, 2024 5:03 AM

I won’t defend MSC here, but there is a severe disconnect between their statements about how much they love to cruise and then their immediate flouncing when they’re unable to monetize their trip. I don’t think either party looks good.

And because it’s a day that ends in -y, the Sun Princess is currently having to skip Santorini on its second cruise because they don’t have their tendering system set up yet. They’re going to Crete instead. Itinerary changes happen and that’s just the nature of being on open seas, but this happened because Princess wasn’t ready for its closeup. I’d be fucking pissed.

by Anonymousreply 162March 11, 2024 12:46 PM

[quote]... because they don’t have their tendering system set up yet.

!!!! How the hell does that happen? I'd be concerned they don't know how to launch the lifeboats. No Santorini? Inexcusable.

by Anonymousreply 163March 11, 2024 1:37 PM

I disagree, R162. Ben and David were being watched and followed around by multiple crew members -just waiting for them to mess up. That wouldn't be my idea of a relaxing situation. I think they were right to leave the ship since the crew made it clear they weren't welcome. I just watched this morning's La Lido Loca, where Tony pointed out that B&D are one of the biggest channels in the biz with tens of millions of views. He seemed to think it was either the beginning of a major crackdown on MSC against filming, or a personal thing against Ben and David for their previous negative review of the line.

by Anonymousreply 164March 11, 2024 8:41 PM

[quote] Like Emma Cruises. She drones on about the ships and why she always books the inside cabins.

She drones full stop. She reminds me of the guests Basil mocks in Fawlty Towers but the audience doesn’t care because she’s passive aggressive and awful.

by Anonymousreply 165March 11, 2024 8:51 PM

Her last name is Cruises? How apt. I wonder whether that led her to her line of work.

by Anonymousreply 166March 11, 2024 9:55 PM

She has a French sounding surname….De Treace or Le Treace…

by Anonymousreply 167March 11, 2024 10:01 PM

What are the advantages of booking inside cabin, other than lower price?

by Anonymousreply 168March 12, 2024 12:05 AM

Some people do just use their cabins for sleeping, bathing and changing clothes. I love that feeling of being alone on the balcony, listening to music and eating a snack while the ocean goes by. But I know a few people who insist that inside cabins are the best.

by Anonymousreply 169March 12, 2024 12:11 AM

While I'm still unsure if I'm going to be going, I have an inside cabin on Resilient Lady in August. I've always had at least an oceanview, but I figured if I was going to be solo and I plan to spend my days seeing the Greek Isles, why spend all the money.

OTOH, there was a night where I was on Oasis (non-Atlantis, with my soon-to-be-ex-husband) and my friend was having a really hard time and I sat on the balcony at night watching the full moon reflected on the water while we talked on VOIP and I calmed him down. It was a nice night.

[quote]She drones full stop

About Pepsi Max....cookies...her cat...

[quote]He seemed to think it was either the beginning of a major crackdown on MSC against filming

I object to MSC singling out Ben & David (if indeed that's what happened), but I'm not sure I have a problem with them cracking down on vloggers. I appreciate ship tours, but the ones that film without disturbing people (Harr Travel usually only films on port days when the ship is empty, and JJ Cruise had a decent Sun Princess tour that wasn't bothering anybody while the ship was docked in Palma) are the minority, and it's more people being obnoxious. Even Gary is everywhere with that fucking selfie stick of his.

[quote]!!!! How the hell does that happen? I'd be concerned they don't know how to launch the lifeboats. No Santorini? Inexcusable.

I can't figure out what the problem is. They said in their statement that they hadn't been able to fully set up shoreside services, but I'm assuming Princess has tendered into Santorini on other ships. They don't presumably need a special operation just for Sun Princess.

by Anonymousreply 170March 12, 2024 12:52 AM

I have a friend who always books an inside cabin because she can't sleep unless she is in absolute darkness. To me they just feel claustrophobic. I can live without a balcony, but I have to have at least a window.

by Anonymousreply 171March 12, 2024 2:59 AM

I tendered into Santorini from the Regal Princess several years ago with no issue; the lines all have the procedure down.

And how hard can it be? Set up a screening line and refreshment table, and staff it. Get permission from the harbormaster to dock tenders. Steer the boats.

by Anonymousreply 172March 12, 2024 6:00 AM

I’ve been watching a lot of cruise videos the last couple of months, but I had not seen any yet from Ben and David. I saw a clip just now of them on TikTok. They are unattractive and I don’t like the voices. That’s a double whammy. I will not be watching their videos.

by Anonymousreply 173March 12, 2024 7:22 AM

The gay cruises are the trashiest of trashy.

by Anonymousreply 174March 12, 2024 9:05 AM

Maybe so, but I'm looking forward to being trashy come Saturday.

by Anonymousreply 175March 12, 2024 10:48 AM

I don’t think that I could tolerate all of the attitude on a gay cruise.

by Anonymousreply 176March 12, 2024 4:05 PM

There ISN'T much attitude. That's the point. Everyone is there to have a good time.

by Anonymousreply 177March 12, 2024 4:17 PM

I've never been to a friendlier, least-attitudinal place than an all-gay cruise.

by Anonymousreply 178March 12, 2024 6:46 PM

I'm going on a cruise in a couple months. I'm working on being underweight at the start of the cruise so that I can try the various foods on board the ship and the ports of call. I'm normally around 143#. but want to be 138# at the start, so that I won't have many pounds to take back off when I return home. I'm hoping all the walking at the ports will help.

by Anonymousreply 179March 13, 2024 12:36 AM

Kilos or stone?

by Anonymousreply 180March 13, 2024 1:00 AM

The Points Guy has a review of Sun Princess. They overall liked the ship, but didn't care for the actual cabins.

I am more convinced it would work for Atlantis, if needed, though.

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by Anonymousreply 181March 13, 2024 2:47 AM

The guy from JJ Cruise gave a recap of a call travel agents (himself included) had with the head of Celebrity Cruise. He kept referring to some issue with canapes as "kon op eez". I'm having a hard time taking him seriously now.

by Anonymousreply 182March 13, 2024 2:59 AM

Norovirus outbreaks are happening on cruise ships too often now.

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by Anonymousreply 183March 13, 2024 3:28 AM

And then there's this to consider.

Am losing interest in going on a cruise.

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by Anonymousreply 184March 13, 2024 3:30 AM

[quote]Norovirus outbreaks are happening on cruise ships too often now.

“Norovirus is a human virus that is typically transmitted by the fecal-oral route,” Dr. Chatman said.

I think given the circumstances, it's prudent for people to reduce the frequency of rimming while on a cruise. For me, I'm just going to do without it on my voyage.

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by Anonymousreply 185March 13, 2024 4:11 AM

R179 there is a simple system for not gaining weight on a cruise: always use the stairs -never the elevator. Take a walk around the deck after every meal. Eat what you want WHEN you are hungry. Have dessert! But only if something sounds really good. Don't just have it for the sake of having it. Trust me -this works. I have actually lost weight on cruises -especially ones where I went swimming or snorkeling four or more times during the week.

As a veteran of 40 cruises I've found the best way to enjoy your vacation is to go to bed when you're tired, sleep until you wake up, and eat only when you're hungry. There is virtually nothing on a cruise ship worth violating that axiom. There is always food when you're hungry. There is no activity that won't be repeated (or nothing so unique that it's a big deal).

by Anonymousreply 186March 13, 2024 7:18 AM

The violence in Haiti is starting to impact Royal Caribbean's stops at Labadee. They haven't fully canceled the stops there, but they have stopped selling any excursions that leave the compound.

When the former president was deposed in a coup in 2004, they canceled a bunch of scheduled stops, and even when they started selling that again, didn't list the destination as Haiti, but instead as Hispaniola, I guess in an attempt to fool people.

by Anonymousreply 187March 13, 2024 11:53 AM

Are cruisers that stupid? I guess they are—^

by Anonymousreply 188March 13, 2024 12:01 PM

I think a better way of framing it is that Americans are that stupid.

by Anonymousreply 189March 13, 2024 12:04 PM

I’d like the idea of cruising Cunard for the history and heritage but I increasingly get the impression that unless you are at least Princess Grill level it’s not worth the money.

by Anonymousreply 190March 13, 2024 1:13 PM

[quote]Princess Grill

GREAT drag name.

by Anonymousreply 191March 13, 2024 1:15 PM

[quote]I’d like the idea of cruising Cunard for the history and heritage but I increasingly get the impression that unless you are at least Princess Grill level it’s not worth the money.

I think it depends on what you value about it. If you're into the history/heritage, Britannia and Britannia Club will, depending on sailing, set you back about what an equivalent non-suite room on Celebrity or HAL would, and that's roughly the same level of service/food you're getting. The mistake is thinking of Cunard as a luxury line, which outside the Grills, it really isn't.

by Anonymousreply 192March 13, 2024 1:23 PM

They’re going to run out of queen names if they build more new ships. Maybe they will resurrect their classic ship names that were named after Roman provinces. The only other queen names left are Alexandra. And she was a consort.

by Anonymousreply 193March 13, 2024 2:35 PM

Yeah, they're sticking with the Queens Regnant. I doubt they'll build anything else unless it's the QM3.

by Anonymousreply 194March 13, 2024 3:28 PM

I think there would be a lot of interest in having a Queen Charlotte ship, for wife of George III. Americans would like it because of the city.

by Anonymousreply 195March 13, 2024 4:09 PM

Oh don't worry. I'm working on it.

by Anonymousreply 196March 13, 2024 4:12 PM

I looked at NCL's deals, and they seems to be great. Alas, due to pandemic and the writer/actors strikes, my savings are gone, but it's good to know that there are deals like that to be found. So I will live vicariously through all of you.

by Anonymousreply 197March 13, 2024 4:23 PM

Would be nice if they went pre-Norman for Queen Æthelflæd.

by Anonymousreply 198March 13, 2024 4:43 PM

[quote] Yeah, they're sticking with the Queens Regnant.

How about disputed queens regnant? They could have the Empress Maude or Empress Matilda and the Queen Jane.

by Anonymousreply 199March 13, 2024 6:11 PM

How about Mary, Cunt of Scots?

by Anonymousreply 200March 13, 2024 6:11 PM

[quote]They could have the Empress Maude

Sadly, Bea Arthur isn't around to christen her.

by Anonymousreply 201March 13, 2024 6:13 PM

"How about Mary, Cunt of Scots?"

Sadly, Bea Arthur isn't around to christen her.

by Anonymousreply 202March 13, 2024 6:15 PM

[quote] think there would be a lot of interest in having a Queen Charlotte ship, for wife of George III.

They could eventually have a Queen George VII.

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by Anonymousreply 203March 13, 2024 6:21 PM

Cunard should go back to their old naming convention of names ending in -ia.

Verificatia, anyone? At least for a very large ship...

by Anonymousreply 204March 13, 2024 6:24 PM

Is there anything bad luck about naming ships for men? There should be ships named for kings.

by Anonymousreply 205March 13, 2024 7:16 PM

There were many ocean liners named for men at the beginning of the 20th century, R205. What is usually considered unlucky is changing a ship's name after its launch. The very unlucky SS Poseidon was formerly the RMS Atlantis, according to the original novel, and both passengers and crew remarked that it was unlucky...

by Anonymousreply 206March 13, 2024 7:49 PM

Name changes happen frequently when ships are sold these days. Even sometimes if they aren't. Carnival Sunshine, Sunrise, and Radiance began their lives as Destiny, Triumph, and Victory.

Off the top of my head, aside from HAL's Koningsdam, the one ships that are named for men are the Paul Gaugin and a few of Ponant's expedition ships, which are named after French explorers.

by Anonymousreply 207March 13, 2024 8:02 PM

One of Silversea’s former expedition ships was named after Prince Albert of Monaco…

I loved how the now defunct Orient Line named all of their vessels with names starting with the letter ‘O’.

by Anonymousreply 208March 13, 2024 10:33 PM

I mean, Orient had the Marco Polo, which began life as a Soviet cruise ship named MS Aleksandr Pushkin. I actually loved the design. It was built in East Germany in the 60s, and was so Soviet Constructivist in its look.

The trademark is still around, but the current owners aren't doing anything with it.

There was another Soviet ship, an icebreaker named Kaptain Khlebnikov that Celebrity chartered for a few years in the mid-00s and which then belonged to Quark Expeditions. It's currently back in the hands of the Russian government. As butt ugly as the ship was, an Antarctic cruise on her was a bucket list item for me.

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by Anonymousreply 209March 14, 2024 1:10 AM

For the two people trapped in caves who might have missed it, the Ben-and-David-MSC-saga appears to have ended. The line has apologized "profusely" and refused their full fares -and asked them to collaborate on creating formal guidelines for filming and photographing aboard their ships. B&D have accepted the apology, and praised MSC for moving forward on guidelines.

However you feel about Ben and David and their cruise channel, I think it's wonderful that a gay couple have proven so influential in the industry.

by Anonymousreply 210March 14, 2024 5:00 PM

Yeah, a lot of cruise vloggers have been reporting the Ben and David incident as a major story, so awareness of it, along with the negative press for MSC, has spread far beyond just the Ben and David viewers.

by Anonymousreply 211March 14, 2024 5:05 PM

VOTN - I kind of love the look of the Khleb! It’s charmingly functional compared to the white RC behemoths.

by Anonymousreply 212March 14, 2024 5:07 PM

[quote] refused their full fares

They didn’t accept their payment?

by Anonymousreply 213March 14, 2024 5:10 PM


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by Anonymousreply 214March 14, 2024 5:11 PM

R213 I think they were reFUNDED.

by Anonymousreply 215March 14, 2024 7:29 PM

I am lurking, but had to look up the Ben & David/MSC, and it happened in 2021? 4 years later, MSC apologizes?

by Anonymousreply 216March 14, 2024 8:23 PM

Damned f-ing autocorrect/autofill... Of course I was typing refunded.

No, R216 -This is a new issue with MSC and B&D. They decided to give the line another chance, were having a great time, and then had a blow-up.

by Anonymousreply 217March 14, 2024 9:22 PM

They can just blur the faces of the people in the background, can’t they? I’ve seen this before in other YouTube videos.

by Anonymousreply 218March 15, 2024 12:00 AM

[quote] They can just blur the faces of the people in the background, can’t they?

It’s very easy to do so these days. People who don’t do it are suspect IMO.

by Anonymousreply 219March 15, 2024 7:29 AM

Is Zach The Travelling Man - ginger, charming Southern twang - gay?

by Anonymousreply 220March 15, 2024 10:01 AM

Gay r220

by Anonymousreply 221March 15, 2024 11:26 AM

Greetings from DL1877 JFK->SJU, gays.

We pushed back on time. It’s a god-ordained miracle.

In other news, RC is canceling Labadee stops. I need more coffee.

by Anonymousreply 222March 15, 2024 12:02 PM

Have fun and hydrate, VOTN.

by Anonymousreply 223March 15, 2024 5:22 PM

Give us a full report, VOTN!

R221, I've been looking for proof of that -something more substantial than my gaydar. He pings like sonar chasing after a Russian submarine.

by Anonymousreply 224March 15, 2024 6:41 PM


Way too much from a single poster. Less is more.

by Anonymousreply 225March 15, 2024 6:44 PM

Well, I’m hoping I’ll be having too much fun to say much.

My hotel, which is within walking distance of the port, is like half Atlantis gays, half normies going on Royal Caribbean.

by Anonymousreply 226March 16, 2024 12:49 PM

Ignore buzzkill r225.

Where does the Atlantis cruise go this time?

by Anonymousreply 227March 16, 2024 1:57 PM

Aruba, Curacao, Martinique and St Kitts.

Two of those are repeats for me, two are new.

by Anonymousreply 228March 16, 2024 2:01 PM

The water must be cold (relatively speaking) in March. I love snorkeling and diving.

by Anonymousreply 229March 16, 2024 3:17 PM

I love Aruba and St. Kitts. I’d totally go to the former for a couple of weeks…

by Anonymousreply 230March 16, 2024 4:18 PM

I just saw a commercial on Tennis Channel for Seabourn that briefly featured a gay couple. Cruise gays (including Voice of the Night) please tell us your impression of Seabourn. Thank you.

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by Anonymousreply 231March 16, 2024 7:00 PM

Seabourn and other higher-end cruise lines offer a great product. The only downside is that sometimes your fellow passengers are boorish snobs.

by Anonymousreply 232March 16, 2024 10:45 PM

[quote] Aruba, Curacao, Martinique and St Kitts.

Sounds fun VOTN. Let’s hope Virgin cleaned those hammocks prior to the sailing as I wager they’ll be put to good use.

by Anonymousreply 233March 17, 2024 1:14 PM

Taking my first cruise ever in less than a month. Expensive because it's Disney and I'm rooming by myself, but only 4 days out of San Diego. The Disney queen in me is excited and I got my ears ready, but also in sore need of some R&R. I can at least count on their customer service being top notch.

by Anonymousreply 234March 17, 2024 1:22 PM

[quote]Sounds fun VOTN. Let’s hope Virgin cleaned those hammocks prior to the sailing as I wager they’ll be put to good use.

I suspect they’re going to need to burn them by the end of the week.

I was impressed by how smoothly embarkation was. They wouldn’t let anyone onboard before 1:45 (unless you were in a suite), but we were allowed to drop our bags at the pier starting at 9, so we did, wandered around San Juan, and they let us queue up around a half hour before our check-in time. It was through in like fifteen minutes once they did. Bags got delivered very quickly as well.

We had dinner in Test Kitchen, the molecular gastronomy place. Our waitress, Nelly, was amazing, and despite being a slight Nigerian woman had intense dom energy. I loved her, and took a picture with her for Instagram that said “Total Top, Except for Nelly.” The Welcome Party took a while to get going, and as soon as it started to pick up, it started pouring rain. There’s no big indoor party space, so I ended up calling it a night. I learned that Rich Campbell was one of the people that Virgin consulted when they were designing the ships, and the battle he lost was for an indoor or covered space for big events.

I mostly like the ship, although the layout definitely takes some getting used to. The only real issue I have with the cabin is that the bathroom, while decently sized and with the toilet and shower in separate compartments, has no door, so if you need to use either, the light spills into the room.

by Anonymousreply 235March 17, 2024 1:45 PM

[quote]I mostly like the ship, although the layout definitely takes some getting used to. The only real issue I have with the cabin is that the bathroom, while decently sized and with the toilet and shower in separate compartments, has no door, so if you need to use either, the light spills into the room.

Zach’s video shows that the Virgin couch/beds are low. Does that mean there is less space for storage?

by Anonymousreply 236March 17, 2024 2:44 PM

[quote]Taking my first cruise ever in less than a month. Expensive because it's Disney and I'm rooming by myself, but only 4 days out of San Diego. The Disney queen in me is excited and I got my ears ready, but also in sore need of some R&R. I can at least count on their customer service being top notch.

Apparently Disney ships have more child-free areas than the average cruise line so you should be able to both indulge and ignore the Disney stuff to your heart’s context. Have fun and tell us everything!

by Anonymousreply 237March 17, 2024 2:45 PM

[quote]Zach’s video shows that the Virgin couch/beds are low. Does that mean there is less space for storage?

For the most part, I’m finding the storage okay. The bigger of my suitcases fits under the bed. There aren’t a lot drawers in the closet, but there is a pretty sizable drawer that’s under wear they would have the second bed configured if they were separated and/or you wanted it made up into a couch for the day. I feel like they should put a cushion down on it if they leave the beds together, because otherwise it’s just an extremely low shelf.

by Anonymousreply 238March 17, 2024 5:27 PM

R233 R235 - I remember taking to the sales guy who sold to Carnival their mattresses and he was glad he had them as a client because the lifecycle was so short.

by Anonymousreply 239March 17, 2024 5:28 PM

I don’t know if they still use the same supplier, but Carnival’s beds used to be awesome. They had it set up so you could buy them.

by Anonymousreply 240March 17, 2024 5:45 PM

Princess has that deal.

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by Anonymousreply 241March 17, 2024 5:56 PM

Yes -Carnival had extremely comfortable beds. So does Celebrity. Royal Caribbean, not so much...

When I did Disney I had a great time. They really know how to deal with the kiddies so it's easy to go to an adults-only area and never see them at all.

VOTN - Even if they had an indoor party space, Rich doesn't have too good a track record of moving a party indoors successfully. Remember the fiasco last Halloween?

by Anonymousreply 242March 17, 2024 6:34 PM

[quote]When I did Disney

Pics please.

by Anonymousreply 243March 17, 2024 8:22 PM

I never kiss and tell, R243!

Besides, I was never into necrophilia.

by Anonymousreply 244March 17, 2024 8:26 PM

Hell, the wind gave us the same issue on Oasis in January.

However, unlike Oasis, which at least has alternate venues, Valiant Lady doesn’t really have one. If the weather had been really bad, the only place that would be even close to big enough indoors is the Red Room, the multipurpose performance space. As it stands, they had to drain the bigger of the pools and put a cover over the deep part for dancing, and then went I was up this morning to grab some coffee before brunch (as an aside, Razzle Dazzle, the vegan restaurant—with a few carnivore items—is terrific), they were having to refill it and put the sun beds that are around it back out. And they’ll have to it all over again at least for tonight’s party. I don’t know if they’re doing it again for the first t dance, which I’m about to head to.

by Anonymousreply 245March 17, 2024 8:46 PM

And the VHS workout class, which I thought would just be goofing around was not only a hell of a lot of fun, it also spiked my heart rate enough to actually burn calories. I was sweaty by the end.

While I didn’t drink one, we were all given a Ketel One Vodka Spritz at the end. I can’t help but think a Seagram’s Wine Cooler would have been more thematically appropriate.

by Anonymousreply 246March 17, 2024 8:49 PM

R246 do you like Korean food? Tell us what the tableside BBQ restaurant is like on the ship.

by Anonymousreply 247March 17, 2024 9:55 PM

r247 Do they keep a kennel onboard so the dog is fresh?

by Anonymousreply 248March 17, 2024 10:40 PM

[quote]The only real issue I have with the cabin is that the bathroom, while decently sized and with the toilet and shower in separate compartments, has no door, so if you need to use either, the light spills into the room.

Wait, there are no doors on the bathrooms on Virgin cruise ships? Is that true of most cruises?

Thanks for the deets VOTN. You've got me interested in a potential cruise vacation.

by Anonymousreply 249March 17, 2024 11:24 PM

[quote][R246] do you like Korean food? Tell us what the tableside BBQ restaurant is like on the ship.

We haven’t done that one yet. I think it’s tomorrow. Tonight we did the Mexican place, Pink Agave. It’s not bad. Not great (and a fair sight better than anything we had on RC in January), but about what you’d get at a decent local place.

[quote]Wait, there are no doors on the bathrooms on Virgin cruise ships? Is that true of most cruises?

It’s the category we’re in. For most ships, and indeed most of the balcony rooms on the ship, the toilet and shower are in their own little compartment off the entrance way. We’re in what they call an XL Sea Terrace, so it’s a bit longer. As part of that, at least as our room is laid out, when you come in the door, on the left side before you get into the main bedroom, there’s an alcove. On one side of the alcove, there’s the sink (which has a huge counter, which is nice, and two separate compartments, one for the shower and one for the toilet, so one person can use one while the other uses the other. It’s a nice set up, but there’s no door separating the alcove from the rest of the room, so if it’s 2AM and you need the light on in there, it will light up the rest of the cabin.

by Anonymousreply 250March 17, 2024 11:49 PM

Thanks VOTN. Are their doors on the toilet and shower compartments at least? That would be strange if not.

by Anonymousreply 251March 18, 2024 12:15 AM

See for yourself

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by Anonymousreply 252March 18, 2024 12:40 AM

Thanks r252. Weird - they couldn't build in a sliding or folding door for the bathrooms? The light would be very bright at night from there, never mind the lack of privacy. The shower steam might also get into the main room.

by Anonymousreply 253March 18, 2024 3:03 AM

That's the issue I'd have - the humidity from the shower would heat up the whole room. Cabins usually aren't cool enough as it is.

by Anonymousreply 254March 18, 2024 6:00 AM

And the smell of poop.

by Anonymousreply 255March 18, 2024 11:32 AM

Given the dirt and filth that collects in the cushions on public seating, I feel that not having additional non-sofabed seating on Virgin is a mistake.

Not that they seem to be returning to Australia in any real way. I think the brand arrived too soon after lockdown and after the Ruby Princess debacle, adult travellers were more likely to spend the money holidaying in Bali, Thailand or NZ.

by Anonymousreply 256March 18, 2024 11:40 AM

Is Malcolm still the Atlantis cruise director?

by Anonymousreply 257March 18, 2024 3:46 PM

R252 that’s like a bad knock-of the Standard Hotels’ basic room. Blah.

by Anonymousreply 258March 18, 2024 4:02 PM


by Anonymousreply 259March 18, 2024 4:03 PM

[quote]Is Malcolm still the Atlantis cruise director?

Malcom retired after the big Harmony cruise in 2023. The new CD is Ben Cameron. He’s great. He did a few shows on Broadway and has a Broadway podcast when he’s not doing this.

by Anonymousreply 260March 18, 2024 4:28 PM

Malcom was really good at his job, but the new guy (Ben) seems to be following well in his footsteps. :)

by Anonymousreply 261March 18, 2024 8:15 PM

Cruisin’ for a bruising’

She got it!

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by Anonymousreply 262March 18, 2024 8:29 PM

Virgin staterooms are so IKEA like. Not a compliment.

by Anonymousreply 263March 18, 2024 11:24 PM

Inside One Of The BIGGEST Cruise Ships In The World:

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by Anonymousreply 264March 19, 2024 12:44 AM

r264 - That's a very funny Photoshop job. I always called it "Syphilis of the Seas".

by Anonymousreply 265March 19, 2024 3:23 AM

I'm hoping that the cruise lines overbuild and interest wanes a little so that the prices will come back down.

by Anonymousreply 266March 19, 2024 5:49 AM

Shoutout to whichever Datalpunger went to the Into the Deep aquatic themed party dressed as Lynda Carter in Wonder Woman’s scuba outfit.

by Anonymousreply 267March 19, 2024 6:33 AM

Which celebrity guests are performing VOTN?

by Anonymousreply 268March 19, 2024 7:19 AM

The headliner is Loren Allred. I’m not familiar with her, but she’s primarily known for having Marni Nixon’d Rebecca Ferguson in Greatest Showman and has done a few reality singing shows (and not lasted long).

I didn’t interact with her, but she both came to VV’s production show (a Cirqus-style Romeo and Juliet) and at least briefly at the party last night.

by Anonymousreply 269March 19, 2024 11:30 AM

Well that’s no Alan Cumming but at least she can sing well, I guess.

by Anonymousreply 270March 19, 2024 3:27 PM

I hope so. I have reservations for the guy from the West End tonight. He’s at least hot.

Also, I’m not going to try and convince anyone that they would automatically like this or that it’s the only way to vacation or even cruise, but I wanted to share a story from last night:

So, Virgin does quite a few of their restaurants communally or family style. We had dinner last night in the Italian place, which was excellent, and were seated with two other couples. One set were two really nice guys from Michigan, probably mid-50s. The other set were two old, old guys from Canada who were basically holding court to the delight of the rest of us. They were celebrating 65 years together.

I know Atlantis is drugs and parties and sex. But it’s also Hubert and Colin. And I’m really grateful for it.

by Anonymousreply 271March 19, 2024 6:08 PM

Sink a cold one (water, beer, whatever) for Hubert and Colin on behalf of DL.

by Anonymousreply 272March 19, 2024 6:31 PM

VOTN, I've had similar experiences on every Atlantis/RSVP cruise. You can't always hit it off with everyone, but more often than not you'll meet some great people who are entertaining and/or inspiring. The guy celebrating his 95th birthday. The couple that's been together for 70 years. The cute young guy who does wigs for Broadway who has so many backstage stories and so much tea to spill... The super-hot cover-model who chats you up in the pool, that you would never get within ten feet up on shore.

I just watched today's episode of La Lido Loca, which was all about how rude and selfish people can ruin a cruise. Sure, they are everywhere -But all-gay cruises are friendlier and show more courtesy than any straight cruise I've ever been on. Oh, we play at being Evil Queens and Nasty Bitches here on Datalounge, but when we're out in public we are much more considerate and have better manners than most of the crowd. Put us all together on a ship and it really shows.

Keep enjoying your cruise, VOTN! Tell Hubert and Colin that we all wish them many, many more years together. And enjoy the parties and the sex!

by Anonymousreply 273March 19, 2024 6:48 PM

I started to feel really off, and I was worried I was going to get sick again like I did on the Oasis cruise, only this would have been worse because I’d have missed the Classics party, which is my favorite. So I decided to be bougie and try the ship’s medi-spa, and got an infusion of B12 and Vitamin C, and I feel almost 100% better a few hours later. I had a really nice time talking to the doctor (who is an actual MD), who told me that unlike some other lines, Virgin forbade the crew from going to our parties in their off-hours, which is really a shame. It’s clear a lot of the crew are somewhere on the LGBT spectrum, and even the ones who aren’t seem like the kind of people who would enjoy them. She did confirm that the crew really does look forward to these charters because while there are still a few Karens here and there, by average, we’re a much nicer, happier bunch than even the regular Virgin clientele.

My partner had a similar encounter when he did a pedicure in the spa. The woman doing that was on her first Virgin contract, and among other things, even with the lack of tipping, Virgin is an enviable employer for those in the industry (surprisingly, so is Disney). Among other perks, Virgin gives their crew free WiFi so they can call home, which other lines (the woman had previously worked for NCL) have to pay for.

We got some reveals about future Atlantis plans. Not sure how much I’m supposed to mention, but for anyone looking to try out either Atlantis or Virgin without committing to a full week…watch this space.

by Anonymousreply 274March 21, 2024 1:18 AM

Every time this thread pops up, I think it’s about Tammy.

by Anonymousreply 275March 21, 2024 2:59 AM

Okay, I was not expecting much from Loren Allred, but she killed it. She said she’d never done a cruise before, let alone a gay cruise, but she completely understood the assignment. I was thinking she had a nice enough voice, but then she confessed that she dreams of doing a theme for a Bond film and busted out a version of “Diamonds Are Forever” that I think Shirley Bassey would have approved of. She followed that with a beautiful version of “Moon River,” a few original songs, and the closed with “This Is Me.” And look, I know I need to turn in my DL card, but I honestly love that song without irony and she had everybody singing along. After everyone hollered for an encore, she did “Over the Rainbow.”

She was great. In what she said was a total coincidence, unbeknownst to her, one of her cousins was on the cruise. He’s getting laid tonight.

by Anonymousreply 276March 21, 2024 3:02 AM

Never apologize for liking something, VOTN. It sounds like you're having a wonderful time on your cruise -I'm sorry I won't be on the October Mexico cruise as usual -but the QM2 TA beckons.

How's the food this trip??

by Anonymousreply 277March 21, 2024 4:03 AM

Basically outstanding. I’ll be done with the final of the restaurants tomorrow so I’ll have a full opinion later.

I think you’ll be pleased with what Atlantis will be announcing for next year. Biggest news is that they’re going back with Celebrity, which excites me.

by Anonymousreply 278March 21, 2024 6:26 AM

Diamonds Are Forever ✅

Moon River ✅

A few [note, a mere FEW] original songs ✅

This Is Me ✅

Over the Rainbow ✅

Talk about knowing your audience. Sounded like a fun show, VOTN.

by Anonymousreply 279March 21, 2024 12:25 PM

[quote]Talk about knowing your audience. Sounded like a fun show, VOTN.


I’m sure she wants to aim a little higher, but she’ll have steady gigs on the gay cabaret circuit for the rest of her life if she choses. I know we criticize audiences for giving standing ovations at the drop of a hat, but she earned hers.

by Anonymousreply 280March 21, 2024 12:52 PM

I have nothing really gay to say about this, except that Martinique is astonishingly beautiful.

by Anonymousreply 281March 21, 2024 6:32 PM

Great news about Celebrity, VOTN! (and the food) Thanks for sharing!

by Anonymousreply 282March 21, 2024 7:04 PM

I’ve wrapped up a pre White Party disco nap, and we wrapped up dinner at Gunbae, the Korean barbecue, so I’ve now hit all of the restaurants. I’ve missed a few of the smaller places, like the Social Club which has like pub food (I attempted to order something, but he never gave it to me) and the Dock House (Mediterranean small plates). I didn’t try for each of the stations in the Food Hall (I don’t like ramen and don’t eat sushi because I avoid any raw protein since my colectomy), but I feel like I have a pretty good handle on things.

Food overall has been excellent. There have been some mixed opinions on the various restaurants (some people loved certain ones I was blah on and I liked ones that others didn’t), and there are at least two mincing prisspots who wouldn’t feed it to their dogs, but it’s a world better than RC was. For my money, the best three were Test Kitchen (might be colored by how much I loved the waitress, but we’re eating there for the last time tomorrow because they change the and menu are requesting her station), Extra Virgin (Italian, and I’m not a huge fan of Italian food) and the Wake (hard to mess up steak, but the preparation and presentation were outstanding). Razzle Dazzle (vegan/vegetarian, but I went for their few meat dishes) was better at brunch than dinner, and its brunch was better than the Wake’s brunch, IMO, and Gunbae was an above average experience (although there’s a forced drinking game, which doesn’t have to involve alcohol, that I didn’t like). Pink Agave was the only disappointment, and even that wasn’t bad, just average. Although one of the guys we were seated at Gunbae with said that they thought Pink Agave was amazing because you can’t get Mexican food like that at home. I am perhaps spoiled by having a Michelin-star Mexican restaurant in walking distance of my apartment.

The Galley (food hall) is a great concept, and more fun than a buffet, but I wish they had a bit more variety. Each of the stations only has one or two items that change daily. I do love that the diner station is 24 hours. I was a little disappointed in the pizza. It’s made to order and they have multiple choices,, but taste-wise I’d give it to RC’s Sorrento’s, even if they only have cheese, pepperoni, and a rotating third option.

by Anonymousreply 283March 22, 2024 2:35 AM

Just to let you know what kind of good hands Malcolm left us in with Ben, this morning after the White Party, Ben is wearing a disheveled wedding dress, has a face full of runny mascara, and is staggering around the ship with one shoe on wailing about how much fun he’s having.

When he commits to a bit, he *commits*.

by Anonymousreply 284March 22, 2024 2:24 PM

I love to see you happy, VotN! one of our few precious valiant named posters!

by Anonymousreply 285March 22, 2024 5:24 PM

Hahaha. And even though I was dancing until about 5AM, for once I’m feeling spry enough to make it to the disco tea dance.

And I shall be wearing my status as. DLer loud and proud as my outfit for it includes….a sequined caftan.

by Anonymousreply 286March 22, 2024 6:52 PM

R286 how was the Korean food?

by Anonymousreply 287March 22, 2024 6:56 PM

[quote] I do love that the diner station is 24 hours

The idea of midnight bacon and eggs after all that partying sound fun TBH.

by Anonymousreply 288March 22, 2024 7:08 PM

And it’s cooked to order to boot.

The highest compliment I can give Virgin is that I would sail them even without Atlantis.

by Anonymousreply 289March 22, 2024 8:10 PM

Are there “quiet” areas on Virgin ships, or are they go-go-go?

by Anonymousreply 290March 22, 2024 8:35 PM

Was surprised to learn here that VOTN had a colectomy. Don't recall reading about that. Was it Crohn's/IBD, cancer, or diverticulosis? Hope all is well now. And no bag. Enjoy the cruise!

by Anonymousreply 291March 22, 2024 9:50 PM

Perforated toxic megacolon in the late spring of 2022. I had a Hartmanns reversal to reconnect the two ends in November of that year, about two and a half months before my first Atlantis cruise.

by Anonymousreply 292March 22, 2024 9:59 PM

Ouch. Congrats on the reversal! I had what was referred to as a "take down" -- after two resections and "the year of the bag". All OK now.

by Anonymousreply 293March 22, 2024 10:04 PM

Off the subject of that, I’ve been talking up our terrific Test Kitchen waitress all week. We had our last dinner with her tonight, partly because they have a different menu for the second part of the week, and partly because we just loved her so much. As we were saying goodbye, she told me that Ben, who she’d never met or served, came up to her tonight to thank her and get her information so he could relay Atlantis’ compliments to her personally. She was so happy, she teared up. Which made me tear up.

She’d never worked a gay charter before. She told us she thinks that as they should always get to do one as part of every contract, because it’s the most fun she’s had.

by Anonymousreply 294March 23, 2024 12:50 AM

I've been saying for years that all-gay cruises are more than a bathhouse at sea -but no one believes me!

by Anonymousreply 295March 23, 2024 2:31 AM

[quote] If cruise ship commercials were honest

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 296March 23, 2024 2:52 AM

One of my posts in the cruise Telegram group chat made Brad Loekle’s Last Laugh. I feel oddly accomplished.

by Anonymousreply 297March 23, 2024 4:37 AM

There's a woman on TikTok who talks about cruises. Someone sent her a picture of a person who had dragged their cabin's mattress outside on to the balcony so they can lay out there. She commented, correctly, that it was bad behavior to do that with the ship's property because it can be damp outside. A lot of viewers of her video commented that they thought it was okay and that no one should criticize it.

It shows how awful people are that they think taking the mattress outside is okay.

by Anonymousreply 298March 23, 2024 5:05 AM

How does someone fall overboard on one of these trips? A Scottish passenger is the lastest case, on an MSC cruise from Southampton to Germany. Aren't the railings fairly high? He may have been drunk, but still. The article says there is remote camera footage of him going overboard.

Article link in next post.

by Anonymousreply 299March 23, 2024 4:38 PM

[post redacted because linking to dailymail.co.uk clearly indicates that the poster is either a troll or an idiot (probably both, honestly.) Our advice is that you just ignore this poster but whatever you do, don't click on any link to this putrid rag.]

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 300March 23, 2024 4:38 PM

Well, I’m in the underwhelming SJU Priority Pass lounge waiting to go home. AMA. I can also give spoilers about Atlantis in 2025.

I’m not sure about the Euribia, but basically every ship I’ve ever been on has had railings that go up about chest high. I’m about 5’9, so not tall but not quite a pocket gay either.. As a guess, he probably got drunk and climbed up.

by Anonymousreply 301March 23, 2024 4:45 PM

[quote] How does someone fall overboard on one of these trips? A Scottish passenger is the lastest case, on an MSC cruise from Southampton to Germany.

That’s my biggest fear of being on a cruise, falling overboard or being pushed overboard. I’m not sure I could go out on deck. Maybe just stay inside the whole time.

[quote]Ms Mcphee said her husband's sister informed her of the tragedy. She said she had seen CCTV which showed Mr Smith going overboard into the ocean. Ms Mcphee continued: 'I've not had any contact from anyone since.'

It’s strange how the sister he was traveling with has seen the video of him going overboard, but neither her nor the cruise line has provided information about it to the wife. I hope wasn’t pushed.

by Anonymousreply 302March 23, 2024 5:02 PM

[quote]I can also give spoilers about Atlantis in 2025.

Do it!

by Anonymousreply 303March 23, 2024 5:09 PM

The Scottish couple looks like they are Travellers.

by Anonymousreply 304March 23, 2024 5:39 PM

Okay, so for the rest of the year, in addition to what’s already announced, they’re adding a five-night Virgin cruise from Miami over Thanksgiving, so 11/25-30. I think that’ll be on Valiant Lady, and if I end up doing EDC Las Vegas instead of my Med cruise, I will likely do that one as well.

The Big One for next year is one of Allure of the Seas’ final cruises before she finally gets her upgrade that was delayed because of COVID. Because she is doing 3- and 4-night cruises now, the dates are odd, 2/3-10, which is a Monday to a Monday.

Two weeks after that, another seven night Virgin cruise from San Juan, this one on Resilient Lady, although he didn’t indicate if it would be the itinerary we did, or their alternate one, which is primarily the British Leeward Islands plus Sint Maarten. Then in March, a second Virgin Caribbean cruise from Miami, probably Eastern Caribbean on Scarlet Lady.

No firm announcement for the Mediterranean or Halloween, but he did indicate that they won’t be doing anything else with Royal Caribbean in 2025, so if there is a Halloween cruise, it’ll be on either Nieuw Statendam or Norwegian Bliss, based on current deployments. The 2023 Mexico cruise ended up being heavily discounted, but this year’s on Koningsdam is already sold out,

Asia cruise in November 2025 on Celebrity. He didn’t specify the ship, but I think it’ll be the Solstice. And I will probably book that one.

The luxury cruise will be French Polynesia on Oceania. No official date, but likely late August or early September.

Not thrilled about the Big One, but I’ll take it.

by Anonymousreply 305March 23, 2024 5:44 PM

Not surprised at the move to HAL for the Mexican cruise. The food on Royal last October was pretty bad...

by Anonymousreply 306March 23, 2024 8:29 PM

Yeah, it was awful on Oasis as well. Shifting towards Virgin and Celebrity suits me just fine.

I mean, I’m doing the Allure, but it’s sure as shit not for the food and services.

In more sobering news, two crew members will killed on the Nieuw Statendam today when they were anchored in Half Moon Cay. No info on what happened.

by Anonymousreply 307March 23, 2024 9:19 PM

iz der goy: "The goy goes to the tavern/ he drinks a glass of wine/ oy, th e goy is drunk, drunk is he/ drink he must, because a goy is he," the first verse proclaims.

by Anonymousreply 308March 23, 2024 9:25 PM

I haven't had too many bad meals on cruises. When the CARNIVAL RADIANCE was the VICTORY, they had a godawful embarkation day buffet, supermarket grade cold cuts and limited cheeses. In 2022 I had a Cornish Hen that was like a football on the CARIBBEAN PRINCESS. They apologized profusely and gave me a great piece of broiled salmon. I recall mediocre desserts on the CARNIVAL VENEZIA last year. But for the most part, no. The food I had on the MSC SEASIDE last year was the best.

by Anonymousreply 309March 23, 2024 10:07 PM

There was a steam line that broke aboard the Nieuw Statendam, which killed those two crew members. It hasn't been explained exactly how, but burning/scalding seems most (horribly) likely. :( Many passengers thought there had been an explosion and fire aboard the ship.

by Anonymousreply 310March 23, 2024 10:23 PM

Back in the day, Carnival used to have very good food (especially their Indian dishes). But my last Carnival cruise became my LAST Carnival cruise because the food in the main dining room was comparable to a Home Town Buffet, while the actual buffet was literally serving slop (nothing but stews). No fresh fruit all week. The salad bar had iceberg lettuce, tomato wedges, and one or two other items. At breakfast the potatoes were both raw and burnt (no idea how they managed that) and the they were the best thing there... It was a clear attempt to push everyone to book the a la carte restaurants or to eat the fast food out on deck. People were raving about how good that fast food was, but as a vegetarian they didn't have anything for me. I stood in very long lines all week for slices of cheese pizza... Truly the worst food I have ever encountered in 40 cruises!

by Anonymousreply 311March 23, 2024 10:29 PM

Watching Carnival Freedom on fire again.

by Anonymousreply 312March 23, 2024 11:30 PM

Okay, something is going on with Carnival.

by Anonymousreply 313March 23, 2024 11:59 PM

It may have been a lightning strike.

Because God hates Carnival.

by Anonymousreply 314March 24, 2024 12:02 AM

God must've eaten on a Carnival ship recently!

by Anonymousreply 315March 24, 2024 2:29 AM

They announced that the third Wish-class ship will be called Disney Destiny, and will have a hero versus villains theme. That's....definitely an improvement. They seem to have addressed some of the shortcomings on the Wish with the Treasure, so perhaps they'll have nailed it down this time.

by Anonymousreply 316March 24, 2024 5:13 PM

[quote] a hero versus villains theme

Dear Lord, they’re keeping the Marvel restaurant, aren’t they. I heroes and villains indicates the ship is aimed at Disney Boys seeing as the Wish is Disney Princess oriented.

They could make the stupid Star Wars bar work if the waitstaff were costumed as Wookies and C-3PO mixed the drinks.

I am curious about Disney’s purchase of the Global Dream. Will it be aimed at Disney Asians?

by Anonymousreply 317March 24, 2024 5:46 PM

They’re called Global Dream Disney Adventure. They’re reducing the planned passenger capacity, which is good. I think she’ll homeport in Singapore, but I might be remembering wrong.

As for the Destiny, the lobby is themed around Mulan, so it’s not entirely boy-themed.

by Anonymousreply 318March 24, 2024 5:56 PM

The Panama Canal is drying up, making it impossible for some cruise ships to transit, the Suez Canal has virtually shut down because of violence and war in the region…River cruises in Europe are also being disrupted by drought…wtf?

by Anonymousreply 319March 25, 2024 3:20 PM

R319 cruise lines are great at adapting to world events. Climate change, OTOH, I’m not sure about.

by Anonymousreply 320March 25, 2024 4:19 PM

One off-brand adventure cruise ship has cancelled its Panama Canal trip. They said low water levels were to blame, but it seems the cruise simply wasn't selling well enough to turn a profit. The Panama Canal Authority has actually increased the number of slots available for cruise ships. Yes, the water levels in Gatun Lake are low (that's the source of fresh water used to raise and lower ships), but it has been worse.

Fingers crossed that no one's cruises get cancelled (including mine)!

by Anonymousreply 321March 25, 2024 6:34 PM

Does the Panama Canal have 2 lanes, so to speak? So ships can travel in both directions?

by Anonymousreply 322March 25, 2024 6:56 PM

R322, the older locks are two-way. The new wide locks are one way (they alternate directions).

by Anonymousreply 323March 25, 2024 9:19 PM

They need to make the locks double decker, like highways.

by Anonymousreply 324March 26, 2024 2:58 PM

I mean, it took almost ten years to build the wider locks that can admit the bigger ships. And that's just the actual construction, they'd been talking about building them for decades before they actually started.

Morbidly, I'm wondering what Carnival and RC are going to do about the Key Bridge collapse. Both have a ship homeported in Baltimore, and I'm wondering if the harbor is going to be navigable. It's pretty shallow water.

by Anonymousreply 325March 26, 2024 3:10 PM

Looks like Carnival Legend (which is to be replaced by Carnival Pride in a few weeks) will be homeporting in my native Norfolk while they sort getting the shipping channel open. That should be interesting; Nauticus, which is a combo of a cruise terminal and a maritime museum is being renovated and expanded, so they weren't supported to have any cruise traffic for a year.

No announcement about what Royal is doing with Vision of the Seas, but they'll probably slot her in with their other ships in Bayonne, especially since she was supposed to go into dry dock at the end of April. I was thinking they might try Philadelphia, but she's apparently too tall to fit safely under the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

by Anonymousreply 326March 27, 2024 12:41 AM

Tragic news from Baltimore today. The most recent word is that Carnival will move its Baltimore-based cruises to Norfolk for the time being. It's going to take quite some time to clear the waterway. The Coast Guard has finally announced the move from search and rescue to recovery. The death toll make go up a bit once things settle. :(

by Anonymousreply 327March 27, 2024 6:08 AM

The Cruise Critic forum seems to be a good place for both information and speculation on the impact to cruising. They talk about the Carnival move to Norfolk and the speculation of RC using Bayonne versus other alternatives and why it can’t use Philly.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 328March 27, 2024 6:36 AM

Looks like Vision of the Seas will be using Norfolk as well.

I am...surprised.

by Anonymousreply 329March 29, 2024 1:06 AM

Is there a naval base in Norfolk? I’m going by a Hallmark movie with Barbara Niven.

by Anonymousreply 330March 29, 2024 10:53 AM

You can NEVER go wrong going by a Hallmark movie with Barbara Niven.

by Anonymousreply 331March 29, 2024 10:55 AM

Words to live by, r331.

by Anonymousreply 332March 29, 2024 2:27 PM

The married couple that I go cruising with are currently on Holland-America's NIEUW STATENDAM. They are loving it - and very impressed with the food, especially the buffet. I did FB Messenger with them last night and they gave me a bit of a tour of the ship. They ended up at the BB King Blues Club. We'll be reconnecting in June on the ENCHANTED PRINCESS. I put in a bid for a stateroom upgrade too.

by Anonymousreply 333April 2, 2024 12:49 AM

[quote]We'll be reconnecting in June on the ENCHANTED PRINCESS. I put in a bid for a stateroom upgrade too.

Enchanted Princess was with us in Martinique. I can only say she looks lovely from the outside.

I'd almost post some of my cruise photos, but I'm in a lot of them and unsure if I want to dox myself. Haha.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 334April 2, 2024 12:55 AM

Can you post some that you’re not in, VOTN?

by Anonymousreply 335April 2, 2024 5:34 AM

News today: 8 passengers stranded on an African island from Norwegian for being tardy to boarding.

by Anonymousreply 336April 2, 2024 2:39 PM

[quote]News today: 8 passengers stranded on an African island from Norwegian for being tardy to boarding.

They weren't "stranded."

They were an over an hour late getting back from a private tour.

But it gets more clicks if they're made to look completely innocent.

by Anonymousreply 337April 2, 2024 2:41 PM

There’s a paraplegic passenger on their private tour. Seems unwise, yet additionally the paraplegic party did not take an accepted credit card onshore. Neither did anyone else except for a couple from South Carolina who paying for everyone until they rejoin the ship.

by Anonymousreply 338April 2, 2024 4:45 PM

For once, DL is rather late to the table. Those passengers traveled across six countries to rejoin the ship at her next port -only to have the ship unable to dock due to tidal conditions. So they moved on to the next port (Senegal) and got there ahead of the ship. Now one couple is saying they won't re-board, because they feel the ship should have originally waited for them. They were on the Today show talking about it. Their argument (what a shocker) is that they knew the rules, but NCL shouldn't have been so quick to enforce them because "they are part of the hospitality industry." I think it's more a case of them (hopefully) being too embarrassed.

by Anonymousreply 339April 2, 2024 5:37 PM

Yeah, I don't have a lot of sympathy here.

Sao Tome is a tiny country without a lot of cruise ship traffic. It's a tender stop.

They know the all-aboard times. They were late enough that the ship had confirmed that they weren't aboard, delivered the missing passengers' passports to the NCL agent at the pier (which would have also been via tender) , had that tender return, stowed the lifeboats and the tendering platform and were preparing to sail.

[quote]Those passengers traveled across six countries to rejoin the ship at her next port -only to have the ship unable to dock due to tidal conditions. So they moved on to the next port (Senegal) and got there ahead of the ship. Now one couple is saying they won't re-board, because they feel the ship should have originally waited for them.

They were on Good Morning America as well. Per reports, everyone got back aboard in Dakar. NCL is apparently paying for their travel from Gambia to Senegal, which is fair, because it's not their fault that they couldn't make port there.

They were also trying to say that NCL had "dumped" an 80-year-old woman in Sao Tome to make them look worse, but as it happens, the woman had a stroke, they had no ability to care for her on the ship, so she was admitted to a Tomean hospital and is in the process of being repatriated back to the US.

by Anonymousreply 340April 2, 2024 5:41 PM

Thanks for the latest update, VOTN. Isn't it amazing how different the story is depending on who is telling it? I've been on so many cruises, often to the same ports, so I seldom do shore excursions of any kind. I do have a private one coming up in Costa Rica -but I made sure to book an early departure (8 AM), with the ship in port until 6 PM. Not much risk there. Even so, if I were farther away from home, in a country where I didn't speak the language, I'd probably stick with ship-sponsored trips.

Someone please shoot me if I ever become so entitled that I think the a ship should have to wait a few hours for me after I did something they expressly warned me not to do.

by Anonymousreply 341April 2, 2024 5:55 PM

[quote]I think it's more a case of them (hopefully) being too embarrassed.

I think it's more a case of them planning a lawsuit.

by Anonymousreply 342April 2, 2024 6:05 PM

Hell, I canceled a ship-sponsored excursion in St Kitts because Virgin had changed the departure time from 6PM to 4:30, and the tour operate had also delayed the excursion to where it was scheduled to return 15 minutes prior to the all aboard. That was cutting it too close for me.

I have some level of sympathy for pier runners in Cozumel or Nassau, because a lot of those people are first timers and maybe don't know the rules. I mean, they make it very clear, but I've learned to never overestimate the obliviousness of American tourists. But if you're taking a repositioning cruise that's going around Africa, you have to be pretty experienced.

[quote]I think it's more a case of them planning a lawsuit.

I'm sure they'll probably try and file, but there's no case there. The ticket contract is extremely clear about this.

by Anonymousreply 343April 2, 2024 6:06 PM

Yeah -good luck with a lawsuit. The rules, contracts, and facts are all on the side of the cruise line. Will that stop them from suing? Of course not.

by Anonymousreply 344April 2, 2024 6:24 PM

I’ve been on two cruises where I did private tours. But they always got back an hour or two before the ship’s departure. It is risky though.

by Anonymousreply 345April 2, 2024 6:42 PM

I've done private tours in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Alaska before without any issue, but I'd weigh saving a few bucks against the possibility of something going wrong because the tour either A) goes a distance from the ship, B) is more than a few hours, or C) is in a country that doesn't handle cruise traffic as much and/or I don't speak the language.

Like, for the Koningsdam cruise, we're in PV from 11AM until 2AM. That's enough time, and I speak enough Spanish that I'm perfectly comfortable getting a cab to the beach in the Zona Romantica, but there's also an excursion that goes up into the Sierra Madres, and there's no way I'd try and do that independently, even with more than 12 hours in port.

by Anonymousreply 346April 2, 2024 6:58 PM

I've done dozens of private tours, but I try to stick with operators like Viator or other cruise-savvy companies. We've booked local taxi drivers off the dock in various locations where it's reasonable and they handle a lot of cruises.

by Anonymousreply 347April 2, 2024 7:00 PM

[quote]I'm sure they'll probably try and file, but there's no case there. The ticket contract is extremely clear about this.

[quote]Yeah -good luck with a lawsuit. The rules, contracts, and facts are all on the side of the cruise line. Will that stop them from suing? Of course not.

Of course they could not win a lawsuit. It's all about the settlement.

by Anonymousreply 348April 2, 2024 7:30 PM

I’d say the case is all about public opinion and public relations, regardless of the rules. Leaving behind grandma and grandpa in poor health to try to survive after being stranded by the cruise line on an island off the coast of Africa is not the same thing as leaving behind pier runners in tourist destinations like the Bahamas or Cozumel. The cruise line can be 100% in the right and still come out the loser.

by Anonymousreply 349April 2, 2024 9:15 PM

Where do you draw the line? If the group had decided to say fuck and and go out clubbing until 3AM, should the ship have waited until then?

What if it was a single person? Same deal?

Sorry, I feel icky agreeing with the mega corporation, but the passengers fucked around and found out.

by Anonymousreply 350April 2, 2024 10:36 PM

I tend to agree, however, it's not like they were late to the pier in Cozumel or Nassau where you can easily make other travel arrangements to catch your ship (or head back to the US). They're in a remote African island port with people with health challenges and lack of payment options. It's also questionable that they turned them away when the Coast Guard brought them to the ship. I think the Captain was being hardnosed at that point.

by Anonymousreply 351April 2, 2024 11:56 PM

LOL, I just read R349 more closely and found he used the same examples as I.

by Anonymousreply 352April 2, 2024 11:58 PM

[quote]It's also questionable that they turned them away when the Coast Guard brought them to the ship.

Howso? The tendering platform was stowed. The only way onto or off of the ship would have been the hatch that the harbor pilots enter and exit through--which involves jumping, a ladder and is dangerous enough that pilots are killed doing so with shocking regularity. Or the alternative, getting set up again to tender, which would have been even more of a delay.

What's been lost in all of this is that the Gulf of Guinea, while not as dangerous as the Red Sea or Gulf of Aden, does have pirate activity as well. Even before you get to the logistics of getting the supposed infirm people getting on the ship via a route that can kill healthy harbor pilots, a strange boat with armaments approaching the ship is probably not something the captain wanted to roll out the red carpet for.

The airport in Sao Tome has flights to several African countries and two airlines that fly to Portugal. It's isolated, but not as isolated as you'd think.

by Anonymousreply 353April 3, 2024 12:09 AM

Also, it's definitely not NCL's fault that they didn't have a working credit card. I won't even go ashore in the Caribbean without at least two different ones, because not a lot of places in the Caribbean take American Express.

by Anonymousreply 354April 3, 2024 12:11 AM

It's standard practice to bring at least a photo ID and a credit card ashore in foreign ports. Also smart to bring some cash -for food/drinks/guide tips/etc. I have a magnetic clip that attaches to my iPhone that holds all of these quite easily -and I pop my phone in a waterproof bag if I'm likely to get wet or very sweaty. This isn't rocket science...

by Anonymousreply 355April 3, 2024 2:50 AM

The Post discovers theme cruises.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 356April 3, 2024 1:26 PM

The whole Ultimate World Cruise tabloid disaster was weird because apart from that one guy who got drunk and went full racist during a livestream and the rerouting around Africa, it has seemed all systems go. Most if not all of the cruisers seem unobjectionable people who make an effort to get along with each other.

Even hot bitchy Marc Sebastian and hyperactive fragile Christian Hull didn’t cause chaos for content as they wanted. They both seemed overwhelmed.

by Anonymousreply 357April 4, 2024 7:10 PM

It was probably circulated around that the first (and every subsequent) shitbag to cause trouble would be ejected -along with their baggage- at the first sign of trouble.

by Anonymousreply 358April 4, 2024 7:40 PM

Viking has filed for an IPO. I don't think they have a date for it yet, but it will trade under VIK.

I have a few shares in RC and Carnival Corp. I might buy some just for fun.

by Anonymousreply 359April 9, 2024 12:49 AM

Has anyone done the New England and Quebec cruises during Autumn? It would be a fun alternative to a road trip. Depending on the ships of course.

by Anonymousreply 360April 9, 2024 4:49 PM

There's some stuff in flux because Bar Harbor is trying to limit the number of passengers that can come ashore in a single day, which would severely limit cruise traffic. They have court approval to put the cap in place, but there are groups appealing that. As I understand it, for cruises that were scheduled prior to the ordinance originally being enacted (so going back to 2022) are still cleared to tender in, but beyond that no one knows what will happen.

by Anonymousreply 361April 9, 2024 4:57 PM

Yes r360, both times it was with Carnival. Did a black Canadian tour in 2001 and a fall foliage cruise last September on the VENEZIA. Good times.

by Anonymousreply 362April 9, 2024 5:09 PM

[quote] Did a black Canadian tour in 2001

I assume it didn’t take long to visit all the black Canadians.

by Anonymousreply 363April 9, 2024 5:34 PM

R363 I suppose I should have elaborated. It was an Afro-Canadian tour of Halifax and its surrounding suburbs. Similarities but noticeable differences between black Canadians and their American counterparts.

by Anonymousreply 364April 9, 2024 6:43 PM

That sounds kind of interesting, r364. I hated Toronto, the only place in that frozen wasteland tundra I have visited. So anything to give the place a bit more colour, literal or otherwise.

by Anonymousreply 365April 10, 2024 10:26 AM

R365 oh no 😬. What didn’t you like about Toronto? I’ve always wanted to visit there. Some of the smaller, pricier cruise ships go there.

by Anonymousreply 366April 10, 2024 1:03 PM

R361 - I was told by someone who would know 😁 that if it lands in Federal Court, they won't be allowed to limit, as that cuts into Interstate Commerce Commission turf.

by Anonymousreply 367April 10, 2024 8:43 PM

I wish Tips For Travellers would get a basic cabin on a Cunard ship for once. Of course dining in the Princess Grill will be divine, but that doesn’t help most of his viewers.

by Anonymousreply 368April 12, 2024 9:36 PM

Friends who have sailed Cunard in a standard cabin said the food int eh MDR was good, comparable to Holland America or Celebrity. I'm sailing QM2 in October, so I can speak from experience after that.

by Anonymousreply 369April 12, 2024 10:07 PM

In addition to the Prima-class ships that are in the pipeline (the Norwegian Aqua and three additional sisters), the NCL holding company has announced a total of eight additional new builds, four for NCL and two each for Oceania and Regent. The ones for NCL will be in the size range of the Excel-class from Carnival, and fractionally smaller than the Oasis-class. But still their biggest by far.

Considering how much debt they took on to survive the pandemic, I guess they’ll be continuing to make cuts to services if they’re going to afford all of that.

by Anonymousreply 370April 13, 2024 12:46 PM

R369 are you going on the fall foliage cruise?

by Anonymousreply 371April 13, 2024 3:38 PM

No, I'm doing a transatlantic cruise westbound. I'm really looking forward to it.

VOTN, I appreciate the news you shared, but gotta say I hate it. The lines are all doubling-down on the mega ships, which I truly loathe. I think they're going to kill the industry with the poor food and service and terrible crowds. And making people pay more for less is never a good business model in the long term.

by Anonymousreply 372April 13, 2024 5:47 PM

[quote]And making people pay more for less is never a good business model in the long term.

All Wall Street cares about is that we’re either at or above pre-pandemic numbers.

by Anonymousreply 373April 13, 2024 5:54 PM

^^^ My complaint is that they are trying to recapture pre-pandemic numbers on a single sailing...

by Anonymousreply 374April 13, 2024 5:58 PM

Oh, I’m not defending it. But apparently there’s still enough pent up demand that people will gleefully let Royal Caribbean nickel and dime them for $7 chicken nuggets.

by Anonymousreply 375April 13, 2024 6:29 PM

On my last Royal Caribbean cruise they were charging 12 bucks for an order of onion rings!

by Anonymousreply 376April 13, 2024 6:42 PM

And the one ride on Royal Caribbean that costs $90USD per person! Unbelievable! I saw it on Ben and Dave today.

by Anonymousreply 377April 13, 2024 11:07 PM

Not that it's going to make a difference, but this is all pushing me toward the smaller ships on luxury lines. If it's going to cost a ridiculous amount of money being scrooged by the lower and mid-tier companies, might as well pay for some value.

by Anonymousreply 378April 13, 2024 11:49 PM

Some people want to cruise so bad that they’re willing to leave their children behind - alone!

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 379April 17, 2024 12:16 AM

I hope you're not leaving your small children behind, alone, VotN!

by Anonymousreply 380April 17, 2024 1:30 AM

Unless I end up adopting a new cat/s before October, I don't think you've got anything to worry about.

And even that's contingent on getting my boyfriend to move in with me.

by Anonymousreply 381April 17, 2024 1:31 AM

Working with children is what drives me to cruising!

by Anonymousreply 382April 17, 2024 6:03 AM

JJ Cruise interviewed a totally adorable cruise director from Celebrity Cruises. Hetero of course, 😒

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 383April 23, 2024 4:20 PM

R368 I just booked one on QM2 for the 4th of July. $599 plus tax for a week to Halifax for Canada Day and Boston for the Fourth of July. We’ve been in Queen’s Grill three times on QE2 and twice on QM2 but never eaten in the Britannia restaurant. I’ll let you know.

by Anonymousreply 384April 23, 2024 4:30 PM

Please do r384. And give us a full trip report!

by Anonymousreply 385April 23, 2024 5:11 PM
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