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Posts posted by maggiev

  1. 8 hours ago, kdakda said:

    I'm still trying to understand WHICH Customer Service you're looking for.........do you have a TA through an agency or are you speaking about a Holland American PCC?

    I have a less than helpful (not only about this but other things) TA.  I was wondering if there was a way I could talk to Holland & try to get a room. Wasn’t sure if they ever tried to get more rooms once their allotment was gone. 

  2. 7 hours ago, martincath said:

    It sounds like it's a HAL PCC rather than an independent agent to me; but regardless, HAL like other lines prebook blocks of rooms and once those are gone their special rates are gone - the fact that you can book the hotels yourself proves we've talking about one of those deals rather than literally no rooms available.


    If you are not traveling solo though OP @maggiev you might find that independent booking of the same hotel (at a per room, not per person rate) is actually cheaper; and unless you're familiar with Vancouver cruises already you probably don't realise quite how obscenely overpadded the cruiseline shuttles are here! I've seen folks charged ~$30pp for both an Airport to Hotel, and again Hotel to Pier, when you could travel in your own cab for ~$30 total even if there's 4 people in it on the first leg and the second leg is literally 'walk downstairs or across the road' from the Pan Pacific or Fairmont Waterfront so zero spending required at all independently...


    The distances involved here are minuscule compared to most US ports - most downtown hotels are less than a mile from the pier and actually quite walkable even with luggage and a <$10 ride by cabuberlyft if you don't think you can move your own bags on foot; there are multiple lovely hotels at virtually all pricepoints (except really cheap, in cruise season anyway!) that will save you buckets compared to HAL 'hotel and transport for $Xpp' packages.

    We have always sailed from Florida, once from Galveston but did not pre cruise, so have relied on the cruise line transfers.  I know the hotels & transfers are more but we’ve never ventured doing our own.  I like the “I’m on vacation, I don’t want to think, hold my hand” aspect of doing it all with the cruise line.  Guess it is time to broaden my horizons & try new things.  
    Thanks for the info

    • Like 1
  3. On 5/1/2024 at 2:40 PM, Sandscout said:


    On 5/14/2024 at 10:32 PM, Cruise Suzy said:


    @Crew News are you on deck 7 by chance? Why did you choose the deck you did?  We will be sailing in an aft deck 7 cabin & I wonder about the balcony. Would there be room to invite friends over for coffee & glacier watching?  I’ve been on Princess and on some you can look over your baloney & into the one below - is this the case on NA?  Are there issues with smoke, noise or anything?

    Sorry if these sound silly but I’ve read these are “issues” on some ships. 

  4. 7 hours ago, Cruise Suzy said:





    You will have dinner in Tamarind. As I posted in #104: That's also on our reservations for Pinnacle Grill and Canaletto when choosing "View My Purchases" on "My Itinerary" (HAL Website). Just means the meals will be provided in the selected venue. Does not mention MDR.

    Thank you - I posted before I finished reading the whole post.

    Thank you for the info - may have to look into Morimoto also

  5. 7 hours ago, Blackduck59 said:

    I'm not sure how good your relationship is with your TA but this is squarely in their lap. Never let the bird in hand go before the other one is secured. I'm not sure who's customer service you want numbers for. Unless you have booked a pre-cruise and ship's transfer from the cruise line the cruise line isn't going to find you a hotel. If the Fairmont (any of the 3 in Metro Vancouver) and the Pan Pacific are fully booked it really won't matter who you talk to, they aren't going to miraculously find you a room.

    I can book the Fairmount on my own but at a higher cost & then have no transfers.  We’re not huge travelers so wanted our everything done through Holland. 

  6. I am having issues with my travel agent & my Fairmount Hotel reservation. She cancelled the Fairmount to book the Pan Pacific, however it was sold out so had to reinstate the Fairmount but that sold out in the time she was doing it, now we have nothing.  I did an on line chat to no avail.  I was hoping I could call customer service for some help, luckily the other people were traveling with did not get their room canceled.  
    Does anyone have a customer service number that gets to someone higher than an entry level call center employee?  Not that they are bad, I just feel this may require a supervisor. 
    Thank you

  7. On 5/10/2024 at 11:58 AM, Cruising on a Sunday afte said:

    Has Morimoto’s taken over Tamarind?  I made a reservation for Tamarind a few weeks ago for our August cruise. Now I see they have noted “delivered to dining room” on my reservation details. That will not be nearly as fun.

    I also have Tamarind reservations in August, guess I better check my itinerary.  I want a speciality dinning experience, not an upgrade to the dining room menus experience.


  8. 13 hours ago, SeaMatesNYC said:

    From the Alaska-Tour-Tips 2024 pdf (revision 04/20/24) with respect to seating on the McKinley Explorer, on page 7 it states:



    "All rail cars have assigned seats according to tour itinerary and number of traveling companions."




    Do some tour itineraries have open seating?  Not saying it doesn't happen, as some reported above, but the written guidance from HAL (and my 1 experience) was assigned car and seat for each passenger on the tour.

    Thank you @SeaMatesNYC I thought I had read that information carefully, guess not. 
    I realize we will receive packets of information, but I’m the curious type & want to know what to expect. 

    • Like 1
  9. 4 hours ago, oaktreerb said:

    The idea would be to fly into Fairbanks, bus to Denali, train to Anchorage, train or bus to Whittier to join the ship.  Yes, it would be too far for someone who starts their itinerary in Anchorage as it would require backtracking and a waste of travel rime.

    Or cruise north to Whittier, train to Anchorage, train to Denali, motorcoach to Fairbanks.  Is it a busy 4 days yes, but is it worth it, Absolutely 

    • Like 2
  10. You did not say what month you are thinking of.  September in Fairbanks could mean seeing The Northern Lights.  Don’t discard Fairbanks so quickly.  Holland tour D5c 

    The downside to DYI is someone has to drive on unfamiliar roads, will that person really enjoy the scenery if they are focused on the roads?

    • Thanks 1
  11. 4 friends are starting the process of booking a 7 night Canada New England cruise in October 2025.

    We are 71-58, 1 non drinker, & 3 casual. We are active but not stay up all night @ the dance club girls. We like being active but also love hanging out playing games & cards.  Our previous weekends included Flight 93 Memorial, Ohio Amish Country, Laurel Caverns, craft shows & wineries. 
    Due to some still working  7 night, round trip is required.  
    Any thoughts on which line does it right, on a good ship?

    We have all sailed but no one is tied to a certain ship/line


    Insight from those who have been would be appreciated.  

  12. We want to stay at the Fairmount and our Travel agent says it is on a waitlist.  Today when I was looking at flights I also looked at pre hotels and I could book the Fairmount. I called my TA & she insists it is still waitlisted.  
    Does anyone know the difference, if there is one, of me booking 2 nights on line - looks like it is a “package” so I have to pay now, and adding to my booking with my TA?


    Looks to be the same hotel she has us waitlisted for & the same rate.

    Am I missing something?



  13. 53 minutes ago, Petronillus said:

    On our most recent cruise one of my fellow pax said that if he had it to do over he would have booked one of the cruisetours including 3 days in Denali. I didn't press him for details but he said that 2 days just wasn't a long enough time. It made enough of an impression on me that I resolved to choose an itinerary giving us 3 days (when the time came).

    Looking at things now, I wish we had booked a tour with 3 nights.  We arrive at 5pm, after an 8 hour train trip.  I’m not sure we’ll want to do too much touring that evening. The next day is the 6 hour Tundra Wilderness Tour until 2’ish I’m guessing, then the remainder of the day free.  We depart at 10am on the 3rd day.  Not a lot of time to explore on our own, only time seems to be after the bus tour. 


  14. My travel agent gave us a detailed itinerary when we paid our deposit.

    You could ask for one from whomever you booked with.  
    My itinerary shows it takes 2.5 hours on the train from Whittier to Anchorage, and 8 hours from Anchorage to Denali on the McKinley Explorer. Our tour is one night in Anchorage, then the next day to Denali.  

  15. On 3/17/2024 at 10:34 PM, martincath said:

    Not so much more details Dennis - instead more questions! While you do have at least a full Saturday plus Friday evening/Sunday morning @maggiev that's still nowhere near enough time to see close to everything, so prioritization is a must.


    Unfortunately one man's Must See is another man's What A Waste of Time That Was... not knowing you or yours Maggie, I'm loathe to suggest anywhere specific. Stanley Park, and the Seawall surrounding it and much of downtown, are probably the most Vancouvery Things - but maybe you don't want to walk or bike for miles to see them, in which case no matter how good they are as parks and seawalls go they're no use to you!


    I'd suggest hitting up TripAdvisor - separately, have everyone in your group look for themselves. Pick 5 things (start with the Top 10 listings, maybe also check some of the short itineraries posted like '1 weekend in...' or '24/48 hours in...) that sound good to YOU - then compare with your companions. Anything on all the lists = Must See For Your Group!


    Split opinion? Split the group - just like when cruising, it;s easy to go do your own thing then meet up again for lunch, dinner etc. Transit is clean, safe, cheap and goes lots of places, unbeatable value for solos and even small groups - but distances are so short between many attractions, as downtown core is extremely compact, that walking is often best or a cab is cheaper than transit tickets with 2 or 3 people in the vehicle.


    Where us locals become really useful is optimising HOW you visit your selected Want To Do Sites - we might know that traffic is always a problem in place X at time Y, so doing certain combos works best in a certain order, or know some great food spots that are a bit off the radar but convenient to visit while you're doing site Z at lunchtime.


    And if you are happy to share more about your group, your interests, your budget, I'd be happy to make some specific suggestions once I have an idea of how your tastes might overlap or differ from my own.



    THANK YOU gentlemen - I will take your advice & look at a few options first.
    Party of 4, 60 - 67.  Walking around town is an option but biking & hiking are out.  We would not be opposed to renting a car to see the “outskirts”. 
    I’ll be back with questions I’m sure


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