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westcoastcruiser

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  1. Was going to suggest same thing...review on Trip advisor...I would think that rough sea conditions are not rare in that part of the world, so it would be helpful to others to know this.
  2. Hotel Estherea was in a good location. Breakfast served for an extra fee but was quite good.
  3. Did not see them during our 3 weeks on Nieuw Statendam last month. Also I missed seeing the fruit crisps on the MDR menu each night. Fortunately the crisps were served each evening in the Lido
  4. We experienced no choppiness when we did this river cruise. The air pollution was memorable though as those living along the river, I am told, burn their garbage. Still that river cruise combined with the land portion was very near perfect.
  5. We flew United business class RT Amsterdam last month and were very satisfied with the service, seats, meals, entertainment. Would fly them again if situation presented itself.
  6. We did this in Skjolden last week. Our price was about 1/3 cheaper than HAL’s price and, I agree, it is a bit steep. I have had both neck (recent) and back (few years ago) surgeries so was concerned as well. But had absolutely no problem at all. It goes fast but is not jarring or bumpy. It was enjoyable. Our driver/guide stopped at a few places and provided commentary. Since there was virtually nothing else to do at that port, we were glad we booked it. While suiting up for the tour at least a dozen people stopped hoping to book but it was completely sold out for the day. a one piece insulated suit was provided as was a ski hat and goggles. For us, no gloves were needed. It was very comfortable during the ride as the wind can be cold. cannot comment on best port...Bergen is a big city so not sure if I would pick that one as our driver took us to quiet tranquil places to see wildlife and waterfalls. Hope this helps.
  7. We just completed 21 days (b2b) cruising Norway including up to the North Cape which was phenomenal and a huge highlight. But realize not all have that amount of time. Agree with this poster that these ports cover major places a short cruise would want to see. Eidfjord was unknown to us before our cruise but became a huge favorite . We were on Nieuw Statendam and between the beautiful ship and jawdropping scenery it ranks as the top cruise out of dozens for us.
  8. Price varies...for Norway it was $9/day/cabin or $30 per bag. No need to purchase before you board.
  9. Had great chocolate on Nieuw Statendam Norway earlier this month.
  10. I had been one of those that found them unnecessary. But for our recent trip that started on land in warm temperatures and then progressed to a cruise with cooler temperatures , I have found them quite useful. Our travels also included multiple hotels. This way we could keep warm weather clothing separate in one cube and cooler weather in another. I do believe it keeps clothes from wrinkling and getting shifted in the suitcase. So I am slowly moving to the category where I find them useful .
  11. I must be misunderstanding....you had prepaid gratuities but gave them up to save $39? So your gratuities are less than that?
  12. Yes, Dave, I wondered the same thing...not sure how much the BB rep advocated for us. This last time I could tell the rep “got it”...she was amazing! I guess that is the consequence of booking BB as it is a call center and you get whoever answers. But that is why I called back several times. And while I understand the point about booking at an acceptable price, making the analogy to airline tickets is not quite the same. For us, we do not pay $6-10,000 or more to fly. And if I see a price drop, I will continue to take the time (and it can be time consuming) to call and politely ask.
  13. Our cruise dropped a huge amount after final payment. I called twice and was told “too bad”..but not in those exact words. I called a third time and was offered an upgraded cabin category that, to us, was in an undesirable location, so declined. This final time I called we were given a substantial FCC which we can apply to a future cruise we already have booked. My calls were all about 1 week to 10 days apart. We booked through a big box store so all of my inquiries went through them to HAL. While I would have preferred a price adjustment or additional OBC or something similar for this upcoming cruise, I am appreciative of receiving something. And, yes, I realize that we booked early at a price we were ok with. But the price drop was huge so I am happy HAL recognized this and, as a result, will keep us as cruisers.
  14. Had a similar question since we are doing independent land prior to cruise. Was advised insurance is for the entire trip. As the previous poster said..from leaving your drive until return home. Recommend discussing with Trip Insurance Store which is who I purchased through. Also would not want to have a claim from first cruise that would impact 2nd cruise and be with a different policy. JMO.
  15. A fan of Hotel Jazz as well. Highly recommend it.
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