There is a lot of entertainment on the cruise, from swimming pools to courts, which can meet the needs of all ages. It’s great to use a cruise as a celebration venue. The facilities are complete and there is no shortage of spectators.
Like check-in procedures and hotel check-in procedures, you must also check-in before boarding the cruise. The difference is that this procedure is equivalent to doing both check-in and check-in procedures at one time, with both the boarding pass and the room key. It should be thought that there are usually thousands or even thousands of people waiting for processing at the same time. This has not been added to the customs clearance time. It can be imagined how long it will take.
The time of embarkation and disembarkation is exquisite
The cruise ship sailing time is generally at 17:00, and it may stipulate that the boarding procedure can be checked at 11 noon, so that early arrivals will take half a day longer than late arrivals. The cruise ship is like a Big Mac hotel, it takes several hours to check in thousands of people. The trick is that you can have lunch early on board, and you can only eat dinner late on board, and the first meal on board is often very rich. In the same way, when cruise ships arrive at the port, the disembarkation time is generally arranged at 7 am, and it also takes several hours for all passengers to disembark until around 11 noon. Those who disembark late can have lunch before leaving, and those who disembark early will not have lunch. It was a pity that I hadn’t taken a cruise for a few days, and it was a pity to miss two sumptuous meals.
It makes sense for the cruise ship’s embarkation and embarkation time to be arranged like this. The boat sails late in the afternoon for the convenience of passengers who arrive that day. If the anchor gets up early, passengers can only arrive at the embarkation port city one day in advance and have to pay an extra day of accommodation. Disembarking in the morning is also for passengers from afar to rush to the airport so that they can get home on the same day. This kind of itinerary of late sailing and early arrival has almost become a customary rule of various companies.
Golf mini-driving range, luxury restaurants, etc. are now standard features in cruise projects, attracting many Asian guests who are eager to experience luxury itineraries.
There are many advantages of the morning boat, not only in terms of food and drink. There are many recreational facilities on the cruise, from swimming pools to golf mini-driving ranges, which can meet the needs of all ages. Even if you don’t bother to enjoy these facilities, you can get familiar with the environment on board. The same is true for disembarking at night. Rather than waiting in a long queue for disembarkation, it is better to admire the view of the port city on the deck. Once you get down to the ground, you won’t have the kind of perspective of ascending and looking far away.
Another detail that is often overlooked is that if you board the ship early, you can’t enter the room because it hasn’t been cleaned yet. Imagine how much manpower and how long does it take to clean thousands of rooms at the same time? In order to avoid empty sailing, each cruise company usually adopts the way of disembarking passengers in the morning, and directly receive the next wave of guests on board after the last wave of passengers on board is cleared from 11 o’clock. Therefore, in the morning, the ship had to wait until after 15 o’clock in the afternoon, or even after dinner time, to enter the room. There will always be announcements on cruise ships, just like boarding announcements, allowing guests to enter rooms in batches. You have to pay attention to the radio to know if it is your turn. This detail is very important. It is related to your comfort, because when you can’t get into the room with enough food and drink, you will find it embarrassing not to change your clothes. Westerners do better than us in this aspect of homework.
The Caribbean cruise was in February, Beijing was still winter, and Miami was already wearing short sleeves. After boarding the ship, I took a backpack and wore a cover on a recliner to bathe in the sun. After a while, I was sweaty and wanted to take off my pants, but I couldn’t get in the room. The toilet was far away and it was inconvenient for people to come and go. Watching dozens of American college graduates file in at this time, it would be great to treat the cruise as a celebration place. The facilities here are complete and there is no shortage of spectators. As soon as these young people arrived on the deck, they threw away their luggage and took off their clothes to open the prelude to the carnival. The men were all swimming trunks and the women were bikinis. It turned out that they had already prepared, and they had already put on their swimsuits inside, so they didn’t need to enter the room to change them.
Wearing a long dress and trousers next to me, it seemed a bit uncoordinated. I couldn’t enjoy the entertainment, and I couldn’t go to the swimming pool. I had to stay up until late in the afternoon when the room was open, and I could only watch these young people play in the water and play ball. , Play, yell. If I also wear the sweatpants or swimming trunks in advance, I can undress in court without having to look for the bathroom. I can swim, soak in the warm pool, and do any sports I like. It’s actually quite precious in the cruise itinerary of only a few days.
There are pitfalls in scheduled activities
Arrange the room and eat another sumptuous buffet. After watching the sunset, one thing that needs to be decided immediately is the itinerary for a few days. You have to go to the front desk to register for what you want to do. After the cruise ship set sail, it traveled at sea overnight, and you will find a new place the next morning. There are paid activities at a stop every day, or diving, or fishing, or walking on the island to enjoy the scenery and exotic flowers. At this time, you will hesitate because you don’t know what is fun and your homework is not done well, worrying that you won’t be able to play for nothing.
These places have to be paid in advance, the prices are relatively high, and they may conflict with each other. For example, your favorite sea fishing and deep diving are all in one day, and you can’t play the other one if you go to this one. In addition, weather factors must be added. For example, it is not possible to hike if it rains, or to dive if there is waves. Of course, if you don’t choose anything, it’s okay to stay on the boat and enjoy the time with few people. There is food and drink on the boat, there is no worry of overwhelming, and there is no need to pay. In fact, many people do this, and sometimes it is the best choice not to make a choice.
My trip to the Caribbean was not a success, because I booked a 4-day itinerary, which included diving and island landing. As a result, half of it was cancelled due to bad weather, and the remaining half still felt like a waste of money.
I signed up to watch the port island trekking. It didn’t take long and the port was not big. The key is that the main tropical garden to be visited was only 2 peacocks, 5 snakes on the ground that couldn’t distinguish their heads and tails, and how many An ordinary chicken, the tour guide seriously said that they are birds. A small garden that you can walk around in less than 10 minutes presents a decayed scene. The gift shop is quite rich when it came out, but I was disappointed that I didn’t buy one. The tour guide who led us was also the sailor on the boat. He was very polite and well-trained. He asked me seriously if this garden is good? I really want to frustrate him. I had known that I would rather stroll on the deck and climb up and look into the distance.
Although I didn’t have a lot of fun, I figured out some truths and discovered the tricks of taking a cruise. The high price of the cruise recommended daily itinerary is because of its monopoly, and there is no choice on the ship. Tourists have the psychology of not having this shop after passing the village, so even if the price is expensive, they will not hesitate. In fact, there are tourist booths for locals at every stop, and you can see them on the only way along the way to disembark.
Just as there are always small shops next to large shopping malls selling similar items at low prices, these stalls look vibrant and relatively formal. They provide the same conditions as those on the boat, and even in the same place, the price is only a little more than half. And they are all tailor-made, according to the schedule from ship to ship. When you see these, you will think of Beijing’s Silk Street. The prices are still comparable. Cruise ships still have competitors, but tourists need to have the courage to gamble and the mentality that it doesn’t matter whether they go or not, they will stay until they disembark every day. The same service can be bought at a low price.
Tips are a bit mandatory
I was dissatisfied with the island trekking project, and other self-funded projects were cancelled. I felt that luck was not good enough. Later, I found out that the cruise ship stipulated that each person had to pay a tip of 20 US dollars per day. For me, tipping is okay, just like the waiter who eats in a restaurant or the bellman who checks in at a hotel, and the change is also ready. But it cannot be compulsory and cannot be paid daily. If it is a mandatory fee, it should be stated when selling the ticket.
So, I expressed this to the front desk staff when I checked out the evening before I left. I told him that since it is a service fee, he should provide services, but the days I ate on the boat were buffets and I played at my own expense. I had already paid for it, and did not ask for any additional services. Besides, I booked in advance. Two of the 3 water sports activities have been cancelled. This is one of them; the second is that the service fee should be an active behavior, a self-issued behavior of the guests to express their gratitude to the waiter, not the latter’s request, the tip is never It is not a compulsion that must be given; the third is also very important. The amount of money given should be the business of the customer, not the waiter. The amount should depend on the quality of service and the length of the service. In view of this, such mandatory tipping on cruise ships is neither legal nor in line with daily habits.
The Filipino manager at the front desk listened carefully to my complaint and found it reasonable. He made his own decision without asking his superiors at all. He agreed with my opinion and proceeded as I said. This order made me hesitate instead. I just wanted to express my dissatisfaction with the itinerary and my perception of tips. I didn’t seriously think about refusing to pay, so I asked him: What shall we do next? He said very seriously: You only need to settle the bills for self-financed items, and you don’t need to worry about other tips. After listening, I was a little embarrassed, so I took the initiative to pay a 2/3 tip. He thanked him again and again, and sent someone to bring snacks and a bottle of red wine that night. This is a common way for Westerners to apologize.
Later, I learned that charging a fixed service fee has become an overlord clause for cruise ships. Basically every cruise company does this, but the fees are different. The cost is less than ten dollars, and the more is dozens of dollars. People charge every day. In that case, if you spend more than ten days at sea, you will have to pay a few hundred dollars in additional fees. Some cruise ships even travel at sea for nearly two months, don’t they have to pay more than $1,000? This is a relatively large expense for guests, so consider it before booking.
Westerners have the habit of tipping, and they generally have no objection to this. They often go to bars, eat candlelit dinners, and enjoy the extra service of waiters. The Chinese, especially the elderly, have no habit of going to bars, nor are they accustomed to Western food. They often focus on buffets, so they feel that the increase in service fees is unreasonable. Both make sense. I agree with the concept of tipping. High-quality service should be rewarded. It’s just that the charges are reasonable and the payment is clear. There can be service charges, it is best not to be too exaggerated, and to explain in advance.
Maybe someday, the cruise ship will have different service fees depending on the class. The premium class pays more because they enjoy better, just like restaurants. The better the restaurant, the higher the tip.
Differences in space may affect the future
When it comes to the cabin of a cruise ship, the choice is really difficult. The cabin with windows is more expensive than the cabin without windows, and the cabin with balcony is more expensive than without balcony. It’s just that although the windows are good, they are very small, not much larger than the windows on an airplane, and the scope of visibility is limited. The balcony is also the same. Although you can go out to bathe in the sea breeze, you can only look in one direction, and you can’t see the other side.
In the first-class cabin, you can enjoy not only high-quality service, large and bright space, privacy and privacy, but also high-end food and wine. The same as airplanes, the premium cabins of cruise ships are also large and private. The difference is that the entertainment facilities on the ship are public spaces. Everyone can enjoy it regardless of class or class, especially its rich buffet. For those who are free to move and like to exercise, there is no need to spend a lot of money to buy premium cabins, because no matter where there is no view on the deck, there is no lively on the deck, and there is no deck restaurant as convenient for taking meals. If you are a person who likes to be quiet, people who are used to having meals in the room, or people with limited mobility, you should pay a big price for a cabin with a balcony.
It should be pointed out that the superior room has one advantage that is unparalleled, that is, when there is a sudden disaster, like when the new crown virus is raging in early 2020. At this time, those who pay a high fee will continue to live in a superior room for free, and there is a balcony to breathe fresh air without being disturbed by others. Although guests staying in the inner cabin are also free, they have to continue to live in the inner cabin, which is the condition of going to bed when the door is opened, and there is basically no room for exercise. Regardless of high-class or low-class cabins, although guests do not have to spend money on food and accommodation during the sea isolation period, when the deck and entertainment venues are closed, the advantages of first-class and other high-class cabins are much greater. There is a balcony outside the room to change the environment. There is room for exercise in the room, and guests in the cabin must have considerable self-control to prevent depression.
During the closure of the ship, cruise ships, airplanes, high-speed rail and other public transportation facilities have in common, that is, the space is relatively closed, and they are all a central air conditioner. The air is pumped and transferred from one room to another, and viruses and bacteria are infected. It’s fast and extensive. Not to mention those restaurants and entertainment venues that are prone to cross-infection, staying indoors are not immune. If one person is recruited, multiple people will be infected, and the chain reaction will cause the number of patients to increase exponentially.
In the early months of 2020, patients with new coronary pneumonia appeared on multiple cruise ships on various continents. Once an infected person appears, the entire ship is forbidden to go ashore and float at sea for at least 14 days for observation. These people are trapped in the room and are not allowed to go out, and occasionally when the wind is released on the deck, they have to be divided into batches. That is a kind of cage state.
This problem also occurred on the famous USS Roosevelt aircraft carrier. The officers and soldiers on the ship had a party with local residents during the docking in Vietnam in March 2020. After that, some officers and soldiers showed symptoms of new crown virus infection. The captain applied for permission from superiors many times. After the sick soldier’s disembarkation medical examination was rejected, the letter for help was exposed by the media, and the American society was in a big uproar, which aroused the anger of the upper US Navy. First, the captain, who was supported by the sailors, was withdrawn, and then the Acting Secretary of the Navy resigned because of improper remarks when dealing with the matter. After many days of towing, most of the officers and soldiers on the aircraft carrier were allowed to disembark for medical examination and isolation. A war machine with nuclear power has not been defeated by the enemy, but is as invincible as the common people. It loses its fighting ability like a tiger with its steel teeth and claws removed.
The epidemic has changed the thinking logic and living habits of many people in the world, and it has also changed people’s consistent view of cruise ships. The image of the cruise ship was suddenly beaten from heaven to hell, and the change was subversive.
Those tourists who float on the sea and are forced to be isolated in the cabin enjoy a paradise life when they board the ship, but they have a hell-like feeling when they disembark.
Captain authority is supreme
Except for the highest leader on a warship called the captain, those on other ships (including passenger ships and cargo ships) are called captains. The English names are actually the same. The captain is the highest commander on the ship, in charge of everything on the ship, has absolute authority, and is also fully responsible-including responsibility not caused by his own mistakes. For example, the captain is responsible for accidents that occur when the pilot is leading the ship on board such as entering and leaving the port, passing through a narrow waterway, etc., such as collision, grounding, and sinking. Therefore, the captain’s duties on board are also absolute. Captain abroad is an enviable profession, with high income and respect. In countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States, the captain does not even belong to the crew in a sense, but as a profession alone. Anyone who can be a captain should have good professional ethics, a high degree of responsibility, a strong sense of safety, a firm concept of laws and regulations, proficient ship operation skills, a fine work style, strict organizational discipline, and a healthy body. To put it simply, not only does it have outstanding sailing skills, it also has a moral standard that exceeds that of ordinary people, and it also has a spirit of dedication at critical moments.
There is a business hall and a business center on the ship I took, and all matters concerning registration and payment at sea are handled here. At the conspicuous entrance, the photos, names and nationalities of the management personnel of this cruise ship from the captain and below are hung. I took a closer look and found that these more than 30 should be senior cruise managers, including first mate, second mate, chief engineer, director of the business center, etc. If counted on the basis of carrying 3,000 guests, this huge ship would have to have thousands of crew members, all of whom had to obey the captain.
This cruise ship is called the Norwegian, which cruises in the Caribbean all year round. There is also a route through the Gulf of Mexico to Cuba. On that trip, I first went to Mexico and Cuba, and then to Miami, the United States. Basically, I circled the Gulf of Mexico. On the day I arrived at the port of Havana, Cuba, I was surprised to see the cruise ship parked there quietly. This ship will be boarded in Miami in a week. At that time, tourists were disembarking from the ship and went ashore to visit the old town of Havana, where Hemingway’s favorite bar was there, and he once created a cocktail in that bar. Western tourists crowded the bars around, and many people ordered Hemingway cocktails. Tasting his favorite drink in his favorite place, you might figure out the same taste, right? What’s interesting is that Hemingway is not only famous for his works, but he also has many nicknames. Those who scold him call him Playboy, and those who respect him call him generals, masters, and captains. Perhaps because he has described too many captain stories and he often The sake of sailing out to sea.
The cruise ship “Zandam” was infected by the coronavirus and was drifting at sea for two weeks. After several days of negotiations with American officials who initially resisted, the cruise ship docked at a port in Florida, where rescuers transported the patients to the wharf.
The captain of the Norwegian is French, and several high-level officers are from the United States and Canada. In addition to these white people, I noticed that many people are from the Philippines. In fact, not only are there many Filipinos at the top of the cruise ship, but many of the service staff appear to be Filipinos, including the men and women who clean the rooms. The few girls from mainland China I met were all interns. Although they were all cute, they could only do the unskilled job of spraying hand sanitizer before meals at the entrance of the restaurant.
The captain’s authority cannot be challenged on the ocean, just as the captain’s authority cannot be challenged in the sky, especially when life is at stake. Because they are not only the embodiment of strength and courage, but also moral models, at least they have been trained in this way. Just like the Titanic cruise ship in the movie, once the cruise ship that hits the iceberg breaks, the captain has to take all the responsibilities, from issuing the abandon ship order to organizing the rapid evacuation of passengers, and the last one can leave the ship after all passengers have been evacuated. In extreme cases, he even wants to share his fate with the ship.
It has been my long-standing habit to show respect to the captain, whether it is a fishing boat, a transoceanic cargo ship, or a huge cruise ship. Rivers and oceans are merciless. Since we respect nature, we must obey people who understand nature better than we do.
The captain on the ocean has a solemn and majestic image, and a low-key and modest style. He is not only the master of the vehicles he drives, but also the master of all passengers. In this world, countries with many captains are often respected. In the cruise ship, a market where the Chinese presence is growing year by year, I look forward to the emergence of more and more Chinese captains, just like more and more Chinese captains.