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OHCruiser

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  • Content Count

    312
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About OHCruiser

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    CLE
  • Interests
    reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    HAL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Norway

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  1. We travel internationally about twice a year, nationally about 10 times per year. We used CLEAR on a free promo. The only benefit we saw was in very busy airports [ATL] you went to the front of the TSA PreCheck line. We thought it was too expensive since we live in CLE and the precheck line is never that busy. As for Global Entry, I doubt that I'd want to pay for it, given that we enrolled in Mobile Passport [app] and cleared customs without paperwork in Newark in about 2 minutes flat. We love having TSA PreCheck. It suits us perfectly.
  2. We used Seattle Express last summer. We booked a hotel on their list of pickups and couldn't have been happier. Pick up at the port was also quick & easy. It was smooth and reasonably priced. https://seattleexpress.com/tour/cruise-ship-transfers/
  3. Ummmmmmmm, being very judgemental here, but that seems like a very lazy TA............... I call up my big box TA, they take the HAL booking confirmation, put me on hold for maybe 10 minutes, verify everything with me from itinerary to OBC, give me their confirmation number, send me an email with a detailed invoice, and we're done. Obviously, I then must use the TA for future questions or changes, but that's fine with me. They keep detailed notes that make resolving issues pretty easy---like some missing OBC on a recent cruise. For an upcoming cruise, I did make my FlightEAse air reservation using the HAL website--and the fees appeared on my TA invoice immediately. My TA also required full payment 10-14 days earlier than HAL in order to avoid any issues. I get nice $$ perks from them and I find them easy to reach.
  4. I agree. We call the monster ships "apartment buildings on tanker foundations". They have no appeal to me at all. I don't enjoy hoards of people..........heck, I don't enjoy so much as a crowded elevator!
  5. I purchased Meclizine 12.5mg scored caplets from Amazon and carry them with me in my toiletry kit. The usual adult dose would be 25mg, but I'm really sensitive to the medication, so these work really well for me. Best decision I ever made. If the captain's report seems like things may be choppy, I take half a pill--that way, I stave off any quick onset of discomfort and I can add to it if the seas worsen. The theater used to be the worst place for me, but now, it can rock & roll all it wants and I feel great. My son gets ill looking at a tub full of water and he didn't believe me that the Meclizine would work for him, but now that he follows directions, dosing at least 30 mins. before boarding a boat, he can go out on small boats for ocean fishing and come back bragging that he was the only one who didn't spend the trip puking over the side. https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B9BNJ6G/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  6. I HATE the "new" HAL website for all of the reasons mentioned above--and more. I do all of my searching and booking on a big box store website. The COST is the same, or sometimes better than Holland, and the COmpany is very reputable. I see all the rooms, can easily check to see what's above & below, and get all of the benefits HAL offer PLUS great extras including OBC, beverage cards, etc. Their agent talks to HAL, gets all of my questions answered, and sends me a complete invoice. When forced to use the HAL website for cruise docs, I always run into one problem or another. Heck, the website will no longer allow ME to sign in unless I clear ALL of the cookies on my laptop. I don't want to do that and one stinking website shouldn't force me to. Their lousy website is costing them money............too bad, so sad.
  7. Anything valuable or questionable goes in the carry ons and the big bags have zip ties on them. Knock wood, no problems so far.
  8. We've done AK several times. While the Inside Passage and the Cruise Tours are nice, the 14 day listed above is THE cruise to take. I hope to do it again, and again..........It's the perfect blend of tourist and adventure, ports and sea days. We did it in a cheap inside room, ate in the Lido every night, spent big bucks on shore excursions, and never had a more relaxing, enjoyable cruise. We went the last week of August. It would have been better to do the cruise before that one because the wildlife, while fabulous on our cruise, would have been even better. Mid-July to mid-August is prime.
  9. $50 A DAY PER PERSON--FOR THAT? You've got to be joking. I might pay $5/day........might. Believe me, I will be laughing inside at anyone I see with an orange tote bag because I'll know that they are a spendthrift. Most of these "perks" are nothing but an excuse to not manage your time well. No bathrobe, no single glass of wine at dinner, and no cheap tote bag is worth $50/day--anywhere.
  10. All of the above..........and request a fan. When oscillating, it actually mimics the sound of an ocean breeze while keeping the air moving in the cabin. I find insides generally warmer than outsides, so this is a necessity for me. We never spend a lot of money on hotel rooms, as we'd rather put our money into shore excursions :)
  11. We've been to AK 4 times. We recently did the Zaandam on the same route as the Amsterdam, RT Seattle, 14 days, 6/3 Icy Straight, Anchorage, Homer, Kodiak. Other than our 3 weeks as independents on the AK Marine ferry, this was the best cruise ever. We'd do it in a heartbeat again BECAUSE of Icy Strait, Kodiak, & Homer.
  12. I have no problem with the HAL website as far as page view on Firefox. My problem is that the new HAL website is garbage on any browser---Firefox, Chrome, or IE. I've been trying to make a reservation for a week. I don't want a guarantee, I want to choose my room. I click "Change Room", and as the "building circle" rotates, I can see the page behind it to do the change, but the building circle never resolves and I can't do anything. I HATE THE NEW HAL WEBSITE.
  13. We were recently on the Zaandam for a 14 day Alaska cruise. For the first time we were offered internet that was not based on minutes [thank God!] at 3 levels of Mbps. I have forgotten all of the details, but we chose the intermediate package that cost $169 for the entire cruise, so $11+/day. My husband spends a lot of time on his laptop during our cruises doing research, etc. Was it perfect? No, but at least we didn't waste minutes discovering that........... Signal strength was good all over the ship, but the system is wonky when accessing email and moving around the internet.
  14. We went twice recently on the Zaandam. Our gala night was also shrimp special night and we got lobster tails, as well. It was fantastic. On the regular menu, I had something that I never order--chicken cacciatore. It was the best Italian chicken dish I've ever had.
  15. My husband and I just returned from the same cruise. We thought it was fabulous all around, but we went for the itinerary....... We had an onboard naturalist and an EXC "local guide" with her own desk. Both were available constantly. Because of tour times and prime options for animal sightings during extended daylight sailing times, we opted to eat only in the Lido, Pinnacle, or Canaletto. The Lido food was basic--meats, fish, potatoes, rice, veg, soup, salad, appetizers, etc.--and well prepared. The staff was very eager to please. Overly rare prime rib was grilled to the diner's specs. The Pinnacle was nice, but it was the Canaletto that shined. OMG, the zuppa di pesce and the chicken cacciatore were the best ever. We attended the 8pm shows nightly. The production shows were top notch--4 excellent primary singers, a great band, and fine dancing. The single entertainers were also very good--comedians, a pianist, a jazz saxophonist, a singer, and 2 BBC specials with live music. We did go to 2 movies, moving our preferred dinner time to 7:15pm, but still got a seat at the show. We attended several lectures by the local guide. We considered this 14 day cruise one of the very best we've done-- the perfect blend of ports, tours, sea days, education, entertainment, and food. I'd gladly repeat it again. We're nearing 4* status, and the crew, captain, and cruise director on the Zaandam were extraordinary. The only thing I would have changed was the bed...........why HAL can't get the fabulous beds of Princess--when they're sister companies--I'll never know.........maybe next cruise.
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