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About kira5

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  1. We've cruised mainly on Holland America and I can look back and see that my reviews have all been four star. So very good but not perfect. However, it may be that I'm not overly hard to please. I've seen that others have given a cruise I took a lower, sometimes much lower, review. From time to time I think about splurging a little. Bearing in mind that we paid the same for a recent Alaska cruise with HAL that we paid 25 years earlier, I wondered what opening the purse strings a little would bring. There are always some things that you feel could have been improved upon. Or maybe there are heights of luxury I haven't imagined, But when I peruse the reviews for lines like Regent and SilverSea I am disappointed, sometimes appalled. I can't imagine spending $20,000 and not feeling I was in heaven for a week or more. Some reviews are effusive but some . . . not so much. Lately, I've been disappointed by cancelled ports due to weather. Or too short a time in port. Maybe due to weather or immigration issues. No one's fault but it makes me lean towards a land based tour. I would not want to book a cruise to the Galapagos or Easter Island and have weather prevent docking. How do others feel?
  2. We went on a cruise called 'On the Blue' cruise. The main featured artist was Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues. There were other artists that we especially like: Al Stewart, Alan Parsons, Procol Harum and others. We heard concerts and went to Q & A sessions. Photo opportunities with the artists and the downloads were free. The cruise was only 5 days, too few to travel over 8 hours by air to Miami for us so we added another cruise also leaving from Miami scheduled to depart the day we came back. I would take a similar cruise but this year's features virtually the same artists although it is 7 days. We would want to see other performers/artists. The entire cruise was full of music and you had something to talk about with everyone you came into contact with as everyone had music of this genre in common. We barely had time to eat. The cruise is definitely more expensive than a regular Caribbean cruise, at least double and maybe 3 times a last minute sale price. I guess that's to cover the costs of the artists and their crew.
  3. Sorry, I forgot to mention a quartet of tenors who covered a variety of artists.
  4. On the Maasdam in August. No production shows. A violinist, a vocalist, a pianist each gave two separate concerts each. A strings duo played almost each evening. Trivia twice a day usually. One or two lectures each day, if you consider that entertainment.
  5. I would be concerned about the open railings on the promenade deck which don't have siding behind them. We were on Maasdam in August. There were few children, especially young children, and I don't think there was much for them to do. If I was travelling with our grandchildren I would not choose Holland America. They would be bored. My sons went on MSC with their family. I believe the children were free. There was lots for the kids to do and they loved it. Another possibility is Royal Caribbean.
  6. Am I correct in assuming you had to eat all your meals in the dining room to avail yourself of the vegan menu?
  7. I find it annoying that the times in port listed are often not the reality. Trying to make arrangements around a moving target becomes difficult.
  8. Thanks so much. We're looking forward to exploring a part of the world we haven't seen before.
  9. Thanks for the information about the Kochi castle on your blog. Sounds a little too strenuous and with potential for a fall. I guess there's no elevator! Also the temperature/weather reports. I wonder if they sell those little sun umbrellas you sometimes see Asians carrying? I feel like I will need some protection from the sun beyond a straw hat.
  10. HAL could do a better job of providing information and guidance about port stops is the conclusion I have reluctantly come to. Perhaps it is best to just look at the cruise as pleasant transportation, bed and board provided, to various ports. The website provides next to no information about how to travel independently at each location, whether shuttle buses will be provided, how far out of town the ship docks, etc. There doesn't appear to be any HAL excursions listed as I had noticed previously; perhaps they are sold out. They might consider providing a link to Whats in Port if they don't want to provide information themselves. Once I decided it was all up to me and not to expect much from HAL in the way of guidance and information I could proceed from that. If it is their intention to surprise me and provide a wealth of assistance by way of presentations once on board, it would be helpful it that was written with the cruise description. I don't know, however, if I could feel secure that the information would not be about their own excursions or recommended shopping stops.
  11. It looks like Maasdam will be repeating ports on the August 14 to 28 cruise.
  12. Please post the tour operator if you are pleased with them. We're planning a cruise next Spring to that destination.
  13. My main concern with some HAL ships (Nieuw Amsterdam, for example). is the open railings. No plexiglass behind them on the promenade decks. A small child (say under 4) might climb them or slip between them. You have to watch them all the time. I don't know the situation on Princess ships. Compared to MSC or Royal Caribbean there are not a lot of child centred activities on HAL. My son raved about MSC recently for his children, 7 - 13. I don't think it goes to Australia. I think some HAL ships, for example, upcoming Maasdam Japan cruise has no programs for children.
  14. Upper class British style. Bring gowns. Lots of ballroom dancing although only about a dozen couples seemed to partake/have the skill. They were pleasant to watch but a little less might have been preferable. We had set dining times with the same people each night, educated professional types. Excellent food and service.
  15. It's difficult to find a music genre that suits everyone. Many people have devices that provide music of their own taste - with earplugs, of course. Some people create playlists for themselves for different occasions. I personally play the same song as the plane is taxiing down the runway and lifting off. Lively and loud enough to distract me.
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