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Everything posted by Riversedge

  1. I think how many men wear jackets varies from cruise to cruise. On our Voyage of Vikings most men wore jackets on gala nights at fixed seating. Not required, but most did. Can’t speak for open seating because it was on a different deck.
  2. I’m enjoying your honest and well written review. We had fixed seating on our last cruise and it was a disaster. We usually feel fixed is much better but it sure wasn’t this time. The waiters have too many tables. We often didn’t get water refills and sat with dirty plates for a long time. No napkins in the lap and no serving women first and no simple chit chat. All gone as they are running around like crazy. By the time they asked if everything was ok the meal was done. Not that I’ve ever sent anything back but it’s nice to be asked if you need anything else. My local mom and pop restau
  3. I have to agree with you, Hank. This cruise was changed from the Rotterdam to the Zuiderdam MONTHS ago. There should have been ample time to do the preparations and planning. An excuse is usually another name for passing the buck. I suspect the horrible toilet paper (a small issue, I know) was because they didn't order enough. It was fine when we started and changed mid cruise. I also suspect that the stuff we were given, which was truly awful, is what they usually use for the crew. Sad. The captain did give good updates a couple of times a day. I did see him on the dock
  4. We we did not need any visas and can’t imagine why you would next year either but it’s always good to check to see if there’s changes. We used credit cards for most purchases but also sometimes took money out of an atm so that we had local currency for small purchases or tips. There a lot of different currencies needed for this cruise. I think the front desk had some monies available but can’t tell you which as we didn’t go that route.
  5. As the OP I will gladly report if I receive a reply from Orlando. I’m not holding my breath. As was was previously reported, this cruise was originally planned for the Rotterdam. Maybe that would have helped. I’m sure they thought a larger ship would bring in more money and maybe that’s so but I think it downgraded our experience. If I remember correctly we were about 150 persons less than full. However, we have a friend currently on the Rotterdam and all is not well on there either. I am reading that that some of you on the cruise did not agree with my assessmen
  6. I could've mentioned how much I paid a lot more than I did....that's the point, right? A cheap cruise equals lesser expectations. As to how we know how other people feel? People talk everywhere....at breakfast, lunch, dinner, shuttles, bars, etc. and it was often overheard from other people talking nearby. You would've had to be deaf not to hear it. The crew (for the most part) didn't look any happier than the guests.
  7. We returned a couple weeks ago from the Voyage of the Vikings. Since we paid more than what it's costing us per day than the Grand Voyage we have coming up, we expected something very special. We only had a lowly Oceanview room. Most people on the cruise paid WAY more than we did. Since we could have bought a new car for what we paid for 5 weeks we were expecting a special onboard experience. The crew looked the most overworked and unhappy as any we have ever seen anywhere. We heard that the Zuiderdam had never done more than a 14 day cruise before and therefore was unprepared for the e
  8. I found it funny that anyone would say I wasn’t cut out for cruising when I live to be on the water in any way I can. I don’t count cruises.....lots.
  9. Seriously??? That is funny. You have no idea how many cruises I have done.
  10. I thought it worked well on the Zuiderdam in August. However, as as previously been said, it didn’t always match up with the When and Where. It was nice being able to see the day’s menu but I could do that on my tv as well. It always reminded me that I had dinner in the dining room scheduled even though it was just fixed dining. I don’t sign up for other things onboard so can’t speak to anything but dinner.
  11. I hope you are are happy with HAL. We just got off from our cruise and it was exactly as you are afraid it might be....just a means of transportation from port to port.
  12. The only thing I ever do is bring some glass wipes if we are in a verandah. For the outside, not the inside, because they get spattered by salt water. I would never bother to clean inside. My bathroom on the ship gets cleaned much more frequently than at home. After being a teacher for 34 years I do not get freaked out by germs. I just wash my hands after being out of the room.
  13. I am not a fanatic about wiping things down or worrying about who touches things in the Lido. You’re going to be exposed to germs no matter what. I used to get sick on cruises but my ENT suggested using a NeilMed sinus rinse twice a day. It cleans all the germs out of my nose and sinuses and I haven’t been sick since I’ve started doing that. You can’t use tap water but I take a survival filter pump that I bought on Amazon. I fill 2-3 empty water bottles at a time with the filtered water, add the needed salt packets that come in the kit and then use that water 2 times a day for flushes.
  14. We just returned from 35 days on the Zuiderdam. Wouldn’t recommend for many, many reasons. BB King is too loud and we are people that like a lively atmosphere and are in the same group as you. They also seem to play the same songs a lot. I am going to post some comments about our cruise in a few days. Trying to get all the things done at home that seem to mount up while gone.
  15. I’m surprised at the number of people who want quiet. We really miss the live bands by the pool. They weren’t too loud and the music got us into a vacation, relaxing mood. We’ve heard many complaints about the lack of a band for an hour or two in the afternoon. We heard they stopped the bands because of danger of electrical cords near the water. Apparently there was an incident somewhere. I’m more likely to think it was another cut back. We like the more sedate ambience of HAL but honestly sometimes it seems half dead.
  16. We booked back to back cruises last fall through the same travel agent. They both had a fair amount of OBC from the travel agent. HAL said that one of my cruises had refundable OBC and the other did not. They could not explain why (it was because they goofed). Now I check a couple of days after I board to make sure how they have it listed correctly on my account. Since my agency gives a LOT of OBC I expect to have any excess credited to my credit card at the end. They use your future cruise deposit and Stock option money first along with any promo HAL gave when you book. Any OBC from yo
  17. The noise level should be no different than a regular cabin.
  18. Personally we don’t think it’s worth it but what’s good for one is not necessarily good for another. We like the food in the dining room better. The lunch in the Pinnacle grill is worth it to us though.
  19. Alaska is one cruise I would never do without a verandah. Unless you have to cut back somewhere else, go for it. You won't regret it.
  20. Use black and white if that's your option. You will be fine.
  21. So beautiful. It was fun seeing pictures of Norway. We have one stop in Norway next month but it looks like I might like to do a longer land tour there too.
  22. Yes, it is a computer issue. It wants you to pick a time but in reality it doesn't matter. You can go whenever you want. You'd think they could get their software figured out. I had to call HAL to make sure I was doing it right.
  23. I would definitely attend gala night in the MDR. They do such a nice job and those nights always have their best menus of the week. Save the specialty restaurants for another night. And make reservations in advance if you think you can figure it out before you leave. Either that or immediately upon boarding. The good times/days will go fast.
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