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About zentraveler

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    Cool Cruiser

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    San Francisco CA USA

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  1. We ran into the exact issue for our Nov 27 leeward islands cruise but fortunately we were easily able to change our American fights from SFO through MIA. We are also staying at the Holland House and have turned out to be more excited about Phillipsburg than we were about San Juan. I don't blame the cruise lines. The CDC is being ridiculous (and I am a medical person) and they are walking away from the US.
  2. And BTW cabins ready 11:30 sharp. Not sure when luggage came. We had a cabin glitch and were out until 5. Luggage in by 5 and probably much earlier.
  3. We were so dreading the process that I wanted to let people know that it was quite easy. There were three large ships inport and it still ran like a Swiss watch. I could’ve done without standing in line for the stupid Photos which they will want people to buy later. we were so dreading the process that I wanted to let people know that it was quite easy. There were three large ships import and it still ran like a Swiss watch. I could’ve done without standing in line for the photos which they will want people to buy later (and I checked, no bypass lane for this ). And we didn’t test it out, so
  4. Exceedingly smooth. Arrived Canada port 10 am and we moved like a Swiss swatch all the way to the first hold up which was an obligatory line for photos - the photos were not obligatory and we skipped them. Then we sat for a few minutes until we boarded. No line for customs - boarded11 am. Bring global entry card — not just passport as we were told by staff. I had mine but DH did not but no line so was OK.
  5. Thanks for this information. We got some not very attractive upgrade offers, but my husband was very dedicated to keeping an inside room so we could sleep well given the light at the time of the year. But really helpful to hear people’s experiences with various booking sites.
  6. We are from San Francisco also and getting on the same boat on Friday! We are always hesitant to fly the day of embarkation so are flying in on Thursday and staying near the terminal. We will be mid-ship deck 6. Appreciate the review and tips about the restaurants gym. Were you happy with the travel company you picked? Any idea how much you saved on the price? What kind of perks did they offer? (OBC etc.)
  7. This is all extremely useful. Thanks yerdua and kwb101. I have been using a big online consolidator, but it seems like a big box TA might be even better. And I live in a city with a cruise port and a great airport so time to retire!
  8. Not sure what the Dive in by the pool is but sounds fun and thanks for tip on lunch. I now remember about your drive from hell. Glad the way home was easier! This board is full of all these great tips. Thanks.
  9. We bought 100 shares years ago for the OBC and because cruising overall is here to stay for a while, and we have been on Seabourn, Cunard and next week HAL. Flexibly company in terms of cruising. Could be a buying opportunity for HAL fans who cruise a lot.
  10. nw gardener, was there lunch in the MDR on embarkation day? Would like to avoid the Lido rush if MDR is likely to be an option. We leave 6/29!
  11. Since we are talking coffee and this is a cruise to Alaska, Raven's Brew is a fabulous Alaska brand that we discovered in a small town in Alaska after a 2 week rafting trip down the Tatshenshini River from the Yukon into Alaska: https://www.ravensbrewcoffee.com/our-coffee/. Fabulous coffee and even better names.Deadman's Reach is our favorite but they are all good. It was started in Ketchikan. We mail order it.
  12. Clearly I found the right group of people to ask and just my style traveling! There is usually a strategy for getting what you need if you pay attention, so thanks for the tips and a heads up on places in the ship to look. I live in San Francisco and here in foodie heaven it really is hard to find bad coffee. There are the Blue Bottle type places on every corner it seems and one would go out of business anywhere serving bad coffee 😊.
  13. Thanks Cruising-along. I am generally not very persnickety and assume it will be good enough, but there just seemed to be so many comments! Also love strong coffee so undoubtedly should be fine.
  14. Would like to know also. In addition to the regular categories (innside, OV, veranda etc) there are other factors - hence all those colors of the same category on the deck plans, i.e. larger insides, better balconies). And they don't list the prices like that but just by category. How do we find apple to apple prices??
  15. We are on the Nieuw Amsterdam 7 day Alaska out of Vancouver at the end of June. A short 2 weeks from now 😎! It is our first HAL cruise. so of course, I am spending time reading up on all the wisdom from the pros here. Is the coffee on these ships really that bad? And does it matter which boat you are on, or is this system wide? I realize I keep stumbling into many comments here and there in more general HAL reviews about how bad the coffee is. My experience is that coffee quality has a decent margin or error (i.e. most people not big connoisseurs and are fine with mostly what the
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