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About ivanidea

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Saint Petersburg, FL
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  1. We were given one bag prior to our visit to HMC, but it disappeared from our cabin before the end of the voyage, so we just assumed, like the beach towels, they weren't free. I'll be upset if our steward did us out of a souvenir bag!
  2. If the reason for not wearing a jacket is due to the warmer climate, does that mean Cunard will be turning off the air conditioning? Cruising in the Caribbean, I've found the temperature on board to be fine for wearing a jacket.
  3. Doesn't the corkage fee include a gratuity for the drinks staff?
  4. I haven't a clue what Humanity was about, but enjoyed watching the dancers and listening to the music. Entertainment seemed fine to me. Sadly, didn't get to see many talks, since they usually clashed with something. Free bar was disappointing, regarding the quality of the wines on offer - couldn't drink too much of the cheap red wine full of sediment, but it was a nice bonus. It was good the refunds were done automatically, with a little extra for our inconvenience. Just a pity we could not go ashore and buy our favourite rum from St. Pedro's castle. Couldn't fault the service from our wait staff, wine waiter and room stewards. On par with Cunard. The food quality was excellent, although the selection was limited. Disappointed in the Gala evenings, since it felt like I was the only man who made the effort (at least for 2nd sitting). Only one shuffleboard court, and no deck quoits (I enjoy the traditional deck games). This was our first HAL cruise, and based on our experience, we do plan to cruise HAL in the future, since they will be returning to Tampa next year, which is convenient for us. Even driving to Fort Lauderdale is a reasonable option for more destinations.
  5. In addition to the the free drinks (the first time one of the staff has seen this being offered in 11 years), we received the port fees of $20.07 per person, and an extra $50 OBC per person for our inconvenience. It's just unfortunate that our favourite rum is only available on Grand Cayman - 1780 Pedro St. James Dark Rum. Oh well, need to schedule a return trip 😄
  6. Unfortunately, due to rough seas, ms Nieuw Amsterdam was not able to safely deploy tenders to visit Cayman/George Town. The captain tried for over an hour, re-positioning the ship, but was not satisfied that the ships tenders could be used safely. The other ships visiting used the ports larger tenders, similar to the ones at Half Moon Cay. I'm not sure why this was not an option (too expensive or not enough at the port?). So we have an extra sea day. Hopefully we will get the port fees refunded soon. We also received certain free drinks at select bars between 1pm and 2pm. Extra entertainment has also been laid one too.
  7. Unfortunately, due to rough seas, ms Nieuw Amsterdam was not able to safely deploy tenders to visit Cayman/George Town. More info posted
  8. We purchased the Premium Internet package prior to boarding. I brought my travel router, so my wife and I could share the internet, only to discover that the internet is accessed by logging in through the app. It's no longer possible to use a router to create your own hotspot. Not a problem, she should be able to access the internet through the app, since our accounts are linked? Wrong. Pre-purchasing did not give me the option for multiple devices, which you get when purchasing on board the ship, so restricted to accessing with one account. It seems like the only way my wife can get internet is to logon using my Mariner credentials in the app. Rant over.
  9. Also consider the dividend payment. Currently set at $2 per annum per share (50c each quarter), equates to over 4% return, much better than bank interest.
  10. I don't think a charity shop would appreciate the potential value of the memorabilia. I think eBay would be the best place to list it. Not sure if you are allowed to post eBay links here though, but as long as you have a good title and description of the items, I'm sure they will appear in the searches.
  11. I can recommend buying formal wear from a charity / thrift shop before the crossing, and then donate to a charity shop in the UK if you don't wan't to carry it during the rest of your holiday.
  12. As a Cunarder, I enjoy dressing up for the formal (gala) evenings. We were married on the Queen Elizabeth, and I wore my kilt at the wedding, and to all the formal evenings. If we fly to a port, then I will pack the lighter weight tuxedo. We will be driving to Fort Lauderdale for our HAL cruise later this year, so I will pack the kilt. I don't care if I'm overdressed, since, living in Florida, most places I visit are casual attire (shirt, shorts and sandals).
  13. At Flaam, I can recommend the 'Norway in a nutshell' full day excursion (if available). When we did it, you take the Flaam train to Myrdal, board another train and head for Vossevangen, where a buffet lunch is served in a hotel. Then we boarded a coach for the return trip to Flaam, stopping at a waterfall, and driving down a road with several hairpin bends. I have many great photos from that trip.
  14. Platinum level on Cunard is only 4 hours of (poor quality) internet. Other benefits include 'priority' check-in and an extra party (with free drinks). Private lounge for disembarkation, with refreshements. Complimentary wine tasting.
  15. As a Cunard Platinum level member, I wish I could get recognition of my loyalty to Carnival on their other cruise lines too. It's hard going back to the bottom rung when you have become accustomed to the perks. I'm only looking at HAL since they have cruises departing from Florida, and I don't want to fly to a cruise port.
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