About to do the Bahamas thing. Something I swore I'd never do...

Discussion in 'Traveling Abroad' started by ralphrepo, Aug 17, 2018.

  1. ralphrepo

    ralphrepo Well-Known Member

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    Sigh...

    A real sign of old age. The missus finally talked me into doing a cruise to the Bahamas. I used to say that only lamers and old folks ever go on cruises, LOL... I guess I'd just sit and eat at all the buffets and get fatter by the minute. It's going to be on Norwegian. Anyone ever go on one of these things? :p
     
  2. hoyeah!

    hoyeah! Well-Known Member

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    The buffets are only good for the first 2 days after that you will be sick of it and you would want to eat at the fine dining restaurants on board (additional $$$).

    Don't be sursurprised how much $$$$$ you can burn on drinks (beers/wines & spirits) while you're on board cruise ship.
    Btw, using internet on board cruise ships cost an arm and a leg (wait till ship dock at port).

    These days, The Royal Caribbean are probably one of the best cruise ships to go on cos they have heaps more fun things & actitivies to do onboard.

    20170412_HKC1.png (My Asia & Japan Cruise) - All aboard!!! ship leaving dock.
     
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  3. ralphrepo

    ralphrepo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I'm not much of a drinker so I'm OK with a beer or two and that's it. I was looking at the wi-fi package but I think a few days without access is probably OK. We also booked a three meal dinner package (Steakhouse, French, Brazilian) so we won't be just buffet all the time. But honestly? It really doesn't matter all that much to me (I can eat c-rats or MRE's) but the missus and kids are picky as heck, LOL...

    Again, thanks for the input. I'll let you know how it turns out ;)
     
  4. hoyeah!

    hoyeah! Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure you and your family will have a great time. Soak up in the sun, enjoy and have lots....of fun. :thumbsup2:
     
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  5. ailyeric

    ailyeric Well-Known Member

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    go on excursion and do snorkeling on the beaches. very beautiful underwater view of coral reef fishes.
     
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  6. Jeff

    Jeff 神之馬壯

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    Maybe in a few years I'll just be like you cause currently I'd never go on a cruise as well :kelefe:
     
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  7. ralphrepo

    ralphrepo Well-Known Member

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    Boy, what Hoyeah said was spot on. I'm not a drinker except for the occasional beer, but the missus and I must have drank more than 200 seltzers. My boys did most of the alcoholic drinks at about 3 - 4 a day. So the drink package certainly came in handy. The little princess and one of my boys went on the Jet Ski, and the bunch of them did the snorkeling, which they loved. I did the beach chair guard routine, which was more like imitating a melting lump of lard.

    The remainder of the trip was all about eating sleeping. After a while, it felt like a prison ship, albeit a very comfortable one.

    We struck up a conversation with one of the staff members in the duty free shop, this very pleasant young lady from Hunan. She revealed to us that her contract runs 7 months at a time, with no days off, but she could otherwise go ashore on their off times whenever they port. At the end of the contract, she could take anywhere from one to three months off and then renew her contract for another 7 months, either on that same ship or any other ship in the fleet that has a duty free shop (her occupational specialty). I imagine that this type of employment is really for the young and unattached.

    I noticed too, that nearly all the staff on the ship were from third world countries or where pay is not at the level of first world; Chile, Pakistan, India, Jamaica, Philippines, Turkey, Croatia, China (a lot of areas remain under paid), Indonesia, just to name a few. Interestingly too, the duty free Chinese lady from Hunan told us that nearly all the Chinese that takes these cruises are Cantonese speaking and very rarely do they get mandarin speaking customers by comparison. Indeed, all around the ship, I overheard Canto conversations; it felt like we could have been in Hong Kong.

    Originally, I had thought we had the Steakhouse, Italian and Brazilian dinner package, but I was slightly mistaken. My son switched the Brazilian restaurant for the French restaurant instead, and that was huge mistake. The food was lousy and the matre'd was an asshole. I'm going to write a complaint about her when they email survey me. The best part was the Italian, more food than we could finish and all was good. The wait staff were good all around though. Though a service charge was already included, the wait staff was so keenly attentive we gave each one a twenty dollar tip afterward. Additionally, our cabin steward, an extremely polite young man from the Philippines, went above and beyond, taking the time to leave a different towel sculpture animal every day when he made up the cabin. I gave him $60 bucks at the end of the week.

    All in all, it was a very nicely spent week and I'm glad we went. This missus is already making noises about what cruise we should take next year, LOL...
     
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  8. hoyeah!

    hoyeah! Well-Known Member

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    When you're onboard a cruise ship it's heaps of fun when the weather is nice, the sea is calm and everything going smoothly without any mishaps on the ship (gastro outbreak or a passenger falling overboard).
     
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  9. hoyeah!

    hoyeah! Well-Known Member

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    On the 2 cruises I've been on, I did noticed a large majority of the crew were from the Philippines. Some of them I spoke to said they usually work 7 - 9 months on the ship and then go home to rest / see family for a month or two before they will start work again on the same or different ship (depending on the recruiting company they've signed up with). Cruise Company like to employ them cos most of them can speak quite fluent english.

    They don't get paid alot of $$$$$, but its still a lot better than what they can make back home.
    The gratuities passengers paid will go toward the crew's pay/wages. From my last cruise, I remembered we were charged $USD14.00 per person, per day. So a family of five on a 14 days cruise will have to fork out an additional $USD980.00 for gratuities.

    Thank God there weren't a lot of mainlanders otherwise there won't be any food left in the buffet restaurants.
    All the baby formula, health products and the expensive designer's stuff will all be snap up. :lol::censored::smh:

    I think over recent years people of HK have really fallen in love with cruise ship. In fact, so much that they now have their own cruise ship (World Dream)
     
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  10. ralphrepo

    ralphrepo Well-Known Member

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    20180822 20180822_073410 200 Edit 004 Sm.jpg How small are the bathrooms? Well, my 6 foot self could not keep my feet straight when sitting on the shitter, LOL...


    Oh, one other item I just remembered that nagged at me a bit, was an encounter I had with another one of the duty free personnel, a young man who tried to be dismissive about US Customs allowances in his effort to generate more sales. I pointedly inquired as to how much in spirits I would be allowed to bring back to the US (1 liter) and he then stated that Customs will rarely check; but if they do, to 'just' tell them that you're 'planning a party' and they'll generally let you go. This of course, is in direct opposition to what customs is supposed to do. I suspect that the sales people must get some sort of commission or else why would they go to such lengths at bending legal truths to make a sale? I shudder to think at all the passengers who risked custom violations after taking that man's bad advice.
     
    #10 ralphrepo, Aug 26, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018