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Everything posted by daisy-mae

  1. Pickleball! It appears that HAL has recognized that seniors have actively embraced the racquet sport and the cruise line has adapted their tennis courts to accommodate us, even scheduling a daily time slot for play.
  2. He was on the lower dining level on our recent Zuiderdam cruise, but was likely splitting his time between both decks. He was not at his post one evening but materialized very quickly when I tried to help myself to some ginger; he explained in a very sweet way that for health and safety reasons guests were not allowed to help themselves...
  3. I would hazard a guess that it is because the late seating is the least popular of the two .
  4. Most of our cruises are taken to avoid the bone-chilling winter months at home, and we would much prefer to be on a ship with changing scenery than at an all-inclusive resort, even if we have already visited some of the ports.
  5. I suspect that would be first time cruisers on MSC, not first time ever on a cruise ship. It takes a while to learn how to navigate the system to one's advantage....
  6. Awefull -- as in filled with awe?
  7. We're working on it, but it would be nice if WJ would release us from our obligation and refund our fare so that we can book with another airline while there is still space available...
  8. Thanks for the "heads up", DaveOKC. It sounds like SW is being pro-active, which is a good thing... We are in a similar situation with Westjet but so far they have not provided any information on what will likely be a new itinerary.
  9. It's not the refilling that is the problem, it's the edge of the bottle coming into contact with the water faucet that is unsanitary.
  10. "Maybe Elliot used "several" instead of "couple" to keep my itinerary private. Or maybe "several" sounded better to prove their point. " Not to mention the trouble one can get into when using the term "countless"....
  11. Au contraire, I love ships and enjoy the exceptional value that cruising represents. It's clear that every line has its supporters and detractors. One can only learn so much by reading these boards; the real test will come in a few months when we take our first MSC cruise....
  12. My main beef with Royal Caribbean is the design of their ships -- everything seems to be focused inward, away from the sea. My purpose in cruising is to enjoy the ocean rather than spend time in a shopping mall or amusement park.
  13. Uh Oh ... I was hoping for a notch above those three cruise lines.
  14. We have had the experience of being seated with fellow Canadians on another cruise line. I once went to the dining room just after embarkation in order to check on the table that we had been assigned and discovered that we would be at a table for 10. One of the waiters expressed surprise at my dismay, asking why I would not want to be seated with 8 of my countrymen. Luckily the Maître D' was able to accommodate us at a smaller table with another Canadian couple and three lovely Australians. On another cruise, when travelling as a group of six, we were all seated in the "overflow" dining room at a large table with four other Canadians. When we surveyed the rest of the small room it appeared that all of the Canadian passengers had been relegated to the separate dining space. Management tried to make us feel "special" but I felt rather insulted at being shunted away from the rest of the passengers.
  15. "Your booking it's linked" ? Mamma Mia!
  16. I'm happy to hear that pickleball is available on the Koningsdam as well. I think HAL could find a niche that may just help to attract a new segment of cruisers.
  17. I'm not sure that is a reasonable solution; the cabin stewards already have enough work to do without asking them to keep track of who keeps the photo and who leaves it behind. And if it is overlooked - either accidentally or on purpose - how would I prove that I did not take it once I have returned home and find that I have been charged?
  18. I'm just curious if the practice applies to all MSC sailings? If that is the case I will make every effort to avoid the cameras when embarking. (Here in Canada there is actually a law against billing for services that are not explicitly requested.)
  19. We have just made the final payment on a September cruise on the MSC Divina. We chose a Fantastica verandah stateroom on deck 11, which gives us a "superior cabin & benefits". The next line shows a name change to "Fantastica Wellness Aurea YC" ; I assume the YC stands for Yacht Club with 00 charge, but find it hard to believe that we have actually been upgraded. The final line on the invoice shows mineral water and coffee in dining room, again with a 00 charge. I will be thrilled if all of the above is included, but am not convinced. Does anyone know what the Wellness package includes? I will eventually contact our TA for clarification to avoid any misunderstandings after boarding.
  20. Sorry VennDiagram. I did post a link very briefly then decided that it was probably not relevant and tried to delete it. However, I was unable to simply remove the entire post so added another, more relevant link instead. Sorry for the confusion.
  21. There is apparently no national standard in Canada either. https://globalnews.ca/news/5232932/guide-dog-owners-national-standard-service-animal-training-ownership/ One comment that struck me was the fact that "comfort animals" in retail establishments can distract service dogs and cause distress for their owners.
  22. Yes it is possible; we've done it for three different HAL cruises, and the price is about half of what Celebrity charges. If you like a mixed drink you can also order a soda card valued at $50 for only $25. It used to apply only to fountain drinks, but on our recent Zuiderdam cruise we were given cans of pop instead.
  23. We paid $29.99 for 24 hours of internet on the Zuiderdam in April. I assume the same rate would apply fleet-wide.
  24. I have played pickleball on the Maasdam and more recently on the Zuiderdam. There are paddles and balls, but the paddles are the basic wooden ones; I would suggest that you bring your own (and maybe even a spare). The response on the Zuiderdam was very positive. There is a scheduled time published for pickleball in the daily "When & Where"; that would be the best opportunity to meet fellow players and possibly exchange room numbers if you want to arrange a time that is suitable for everyone.
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