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About seapointer

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    New Jersey
  1. I was on the May 17 cruise. No music was playing except from the theater and atrium bar. No canned music at the pool.
  2. I am also just past the 6 month date and was surprised at how few group excursions were listed for some of the ports, as most offerings were private tours. Is this likely to change with more options being listed as we get closer to sailing?
  3. I am looking for some info on the hotels used by Crystal for pre- and post- cruise packages in Rome and Barcelona. Any input would be appreciated.
  4. While some reviews may be fake or planted, if you read enough of them closely you can generally pick them out. They tend to be very general and lack specificity. I find TripAdvisor invaluable to get accurate impressions of hotel location, room sizes, staff, restaurant suggestions, etc., and to view the reader photos.
  5. My experience in July on the Zuiderdam Baltic cruise was with the Surf plan. I found it painfully slow for anything other than emails. Attachments were a major problem to download. This was true with both an Ipad and Iphone.
  6. My wife would never trust me with laundering her clothes. Not to be disrespectful, but the real problem is the lack of time on a cruise with no days at sea, and port calls from early morning to near dinner time. We don't mind spending a little money to have our time freed up to enjoy the ship.
  7. Thanks. That was very helpful.
  8. We flew them earlier this month, London to NYC. Their ground personnel and customer service sets a new standard for disorganized. After enduring changes in the aircraft, delay in departure (4 hours), directions to a phantom pick-up station for food vouchers, misleading and contradictory text messages and misinformation at the airport, we actually had a pleasant flight. Nevertheless, I would never use them again. EVER !
  9. I see that there are self service laundry facilities on the ship, but (for wives that detest doing laundry on vacation) is there a pay as you go laundry program, and how are the rates? To be fair, we have a very port intensive itinerary that will not leave much down time or energy for do it yourself laundry.
  10. We were in a SS suite on Zuiderdam in July and never saw this package offered, either before or during the cruise (and we booked direct with HAL). Actually, I thought the amenities for a Signature Suite were kind of skimpy, other than a much larger cabin.
  11. We were on Zuiderdam last month, only a few months after drydock. In no way was the internet "high speed." To the contrary, it was painfully slow and we had the middle level service. One thing to know id that there are daily and full cruise rates. The full cruise rate drops daily so waiting a few days to sign up will save a bit. I suggest you try the daily rate first to see how well it is working.
  12. We were on Zuiderdam last month. The ship recently had a long drydock and is ion spectacular shape, and has added the Music Walk concept that provides a greater variety of entertainment. We had an SS suite that was completely redecorated and very roomy and comfortable. The only complaint we had was the mediocre food in the MDR.
  13. I submitted my review, of our July cruise, over a week ago but it has not been posted. So I want to list a few comments: 1. Pre cruise package had us assigned to a hotel in Copenhagen that was in the suburbs, not downtown. The Scandic Sythaven was clean and modern but not acceptable as to location and lack of normal amenities. For example: not a single drawer in the room or toilet, no shelves, and a small closet that might hold 5 or 6 garments. 2. Embarkation was orderly and delays were minimal. 3. The ship is in excellent shape and has added the music walk concept. Our Signature Suite was spacious and comfortable with new furniture (but still with crappy shower curtains). TV was limited to 6 channels of news and sports, and wifi was dreadfully slow. 4. Food was hit or miss. Some nights there were problems with entrees being lukewarm or worse. Appetizers, soups and desserts were generally excellent. Pinnacle was great and Canaletto was very good. For the first time in all our cruises, we actually found the Lido superior to the MDR. 5. Entertainment was pretty good at the music walk venues, but the production shows and stand up comic were disappointing and formulaic. The BB King group was fabulous, except for needing to expand their play list to the demands of a 10 day cruise. The Lincoln Center group was surprisingly innovative and it was hard to get a seat for their shows by the end of the cruise. 6. Excursions were pricey but generally well organized and interesting, particularly the evening tour of the Hermitage. In conclusion, I gave it a 4 out of 5, mainly because of some disappointment with the MDR.
  14. Blue Ribbon accurately describes the 3 options. We were on Zuiderdam last month and took the middle price package. I waited several days to book it as the price dropped every day to reflect the shorter length of the usable period. I found this plan adequate for email and to make phone calls using the wifi on my iPhone. There was no time limit or minutes restrictions. However, there was great difficulty in downloading attachments or connecting to web sites. I don't know if the premium package would have been much better.
  15. I am all for the easing of dress requirements, having found it a waste of suitcase space to pack a tux or suit for just 2 or 3 nights. Having said that, casual does not mean sloppy or in disregard of what is requested or required. You can be just as comfortable in a buttoned shirt as in a T shirt, and you won't be disrespectful of the other guests.
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