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Everything posted by Riversedge

  1. They are probably referring to the 40’’ private boat that ran up on the rocks. Not a cruise ship unless it’s something different. We saw it on the news.
  2. I wouldn’t bother with Galleria Mall. There’s only a few upper end stores. (Unless that’s the kind of place you shop). In our opinion the only good shopping is the Sawgrass Mills which is not close and won’t work for people unless you have a late flight.
  3. The vaccine or a waiver were required when we cruised on Holland America 4 years ago. We were in line behind someone who had neither. They wouldn’t let them board and so they had to get the vaccine somewhere that day and fly to meet up with the ship. Even though we were in our 60’s the travel dr said there was no reason to not have the vaccine. We did not have any reactions.
  4. If you only do one then the crew would really appreciate it if you left the hsc in place. That money doesn’t just go to the people who serve you in various categories, it goes to all the people behind the scenes who are making your cruise enjoyable. The people you don’t see work just as hard or harder than the ones you do see. The purpose of of this thread was to find out how much people tip, not to discuss whether it’s right or wrong.
  5. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Sorry to hear they spoiled your trip but totally understand your unhappiness. We’ve missed ports before and never gotten compensation other than refunded port taxes. We used to get a glass of champagne when it happened but the last cruise we didn’t even get that for 2 missed ports. Most of us plan cruises based around the ports on the itinerary so it’s a disappointment when there is a change. I actually think it happens fairly often tho. Keep on cruising, even if it’s something different than Holland America.
  6. We always tip the cabin steward and assistant, waiter and assistant and the wine steward extra. It usually averages out to about $20 a week more for each of them but sometimes if we have great service we increase it. Sometimes we give the cabin stewards part at the beginning. All depends on circumstances and levels of service but it's always something extra. We always go on longer cruises. I know some people tip more and some less but all the people we have traveled with give above and beyond what is included on their daily onboard account.
  7. This seems like a huge waste of money to me. At $18 a day it would cost me $738 for soda, water and coffee (which I don’t drink) for our upcoming portion of the Grand South America. And can just one person in the cabin get the package? I’m not sure about what the rules are about that. I can carry on a pack of soda or some water occasionally and be way ahead of the game.
  8. I tried to do a search for this with no luck. Are the walls on the Volendam magnetic? Thanks for the help.
  9. Beds on HAL are the most comfortable I’ve ever slept in anywhere. Between the beds and the motion it makes for a good nights sleep!
  10. We walked quite a bit on sea days on the jogging track on the deck above the pool. No, it wasn’t huge and had to make lots of laps but it worked. No shade, but Azamara had a big jug of ice water with orange slices in it and cups. Helped make up for the heat.
  11. It was nice to read your reviews. We loved Azamara on the 2 cruises we were on. Anxious to go back. We loved the Prinsendam but now that it’s gone Azamara will be our top choice.
  12. Mawsen's Will is another good book written by an explorer. Really gives a good idea of what it was like.
  13. To us the most important parts of a cruise are the port stops. I want to see as much as I can when I get there. I don’t feel any more uncomfortable getting priority tender tickets than I do using the free laundry. I’ve earned it. However, I realize not everyone cares if they have every minute they can in port. We all have different priorities. Typically 4 and 5* mariners will receive priority tendering. The only time we haven’t was when almost the entire ship had priority. That would most likely depend on the ship and that particular cruise.
  14. I’m not going to have my unmentionables hanging in the shower for the room stewards to have to dodge every time they clean the tub. I don’t bring things that are very expensive (not that I own any) and I don’t want to mess with it. The last cruise I had some come up missing which I wasn’t happy about but things happen. I didn’t lose any sleep over it. I fasten any hooks before I throw them in the bag. They do tend to get a bit “grayish” in color.
  15. We just got back from 11 days In Puerto Vallarta. We got out away from the resort and enjoyed town and the countryside. Never once did we feel unsafe. I’m so glad we didn’t listen to all the dire warnings. We would have missed so much. Go, be aware of your surroundings, enjoy, and have fun!
  16. Then someone needs to let HAL know they screwed up. I copied the info about the mini frig directly from Volendam’s FAQ on HAL’s own site.
  17. This is what is says on Holland America’s own site. Apparently they lied about the mini-frig lol. What entertainment options are available in my stateroom? Each room includes a flat-screen TV with interactive menu of programming including; on-demand movies, music stations, as well as both live and pre-recorded television. Additionally, guests can access ship information, dining options, an onboard activities schedule, shore excursions, and port information through this interactive media console. There are no external inputs available such as A/V or HDMI.Does my stateroom have a mi
  18. If you go to Hal’s site and read the description of the Volendam it says there interactive TVs and a mini frig in every cabin. I believe this is an upgrade from before.
  19. We dined with an officer at our table twice during our VOV this summer. And 3 times on our previous cruise as well. I think it helps when your table mates are Presidents Club😀. It’s a very enjoying informative evening.
  20. We have sailed with Kirk and Barbara more than once and know they were staunch supporters of HAL. For them to leave early and also post their negative experiences here, then I know it was BAD. When the disappointing onboard experiences outweigh the positive enough to cause someone to leave a ship early then HAL should take heed. I’ve gotten a respiratory infection on the Maasdam the last two times I’ve sailed her. The doctor we were dining with said she was sure it was mold. Our cabins on both cruises were in about the same location. My husband absolutely refuses to ever board this ship ag
  21. This is from the HAL site that has the descriptions of each ship. It sounds like flatscreen tv’s in all rooms as well as a mini fridge. I’ve never sailed on her before but I didn’t think all the rooms had a frig before. Maybe someone else who has sailed since drydock can confirm. What entertainment options are available in my stateroom? Each room includes a flat-screen TV with interactive menu of programming including; on-demand movies, music stations, as well as both live and pre-recorded television. Additionally, guests can access ship information, dining options, an onboard
  22. On our Voyage of the Vikings this summer we had an excellent EXC guide (Jessica). She was funny, approachable and extremely knowledgeable. At the end of the cruise they were phasing her out by giving that position to the cruise director. He stumbled through the job but the difference was huge. This is a cost saving cut that is not going to go over well with any of HAL's customers. Why not write a letter to Seattle and voice your concerns? Maybe if they heard from enough of us..... I don't trust that the surveys actually do much good. We did not have flowers on the table in t
  23. We have a son who works for Homeland security. We are meeting him, his wife and two small children for a week in Puerto Vallarta. Obviously if he thought it wasn’t safe he never would have suggested the trip. He’s privy to a lot more inside information about Mexico than we are. We are savvy travelers, are careful when we are out and about, don’t flaunt jewelry and I wear a cross body purse. Staying on a ship in port anywhere would not be an option for us. The reason we travel is to see things. I know what the inside of a ship looks like.
  24. I don’t think spring coats would be warm enough unless you layer them with sweater, vest, etc. It was in the 30’s more than once. Definitely need a warm hat, scarf and gloves. You will definitely need something waterproof. We had warm, lined windbreakers that were waterproof but wore warm stuff under them. HAL was selling fleece pullovers and vests that were leftover from a Baltic cruise. Many people onboard were seen wearing them as they hadn’t brought warm enough clothes. Ship was chilly at times too.
  25. We did the VOV this summer on the Zuiderdam. There were plenty of activities if you like to attend the lectures. There were 4 lecturers and 2 were great, the other two were so-so. Port talks that were given by the EXC person were incredible; the ones given by the cruise director not so much. We found plenty to do but a lot of our entertainment was walking the deck on lookout for whales and icebergs. This type of cruise is more enjoyable by someone who likes to be out of doors and off the ship exploring. For us it was a one and done but I'm glad we got to experience the ports that we did
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