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About ottahand7

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Gardening, Wine, Cooking, Fishing

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  1. This was last September. It was 22 Euro for a taxi to Damrak Delta Hotel about 1/2 mile from terminal . The Uber pickup was across the street and about 2 Euro less. Again this was to our hotel which was near the ship terminal. I would guess 25 Euro at most. Spacious Tesla with lots of room for luggage
  2. If you like Michelin Star restaurants with the food that is out there then de Libreje may be for you. Here are some pics of our dinner on the Kdam last September. I love good food and innovation but this was too out there for me. Amuse bouche - Cold waxy fois gras "oyster" shells with a fresh oyster and foam - A very edible piece of fish - a deconstructed apple dessert. I hope someone else can help you with other photos or comments on the 2 dinners.
  3. I would go to Guest Services and book when you board. Depending on how long your cruise is it should be no problem to get the day you want.
  4. Photo from my visit to Blend on the K'dam September 2018. I actually did it twice that trip. Different blend each time.
  5. I am not a 5* Mariner but on 2 cruises in the last 18 months we were able to snag an unclaimed 5* Mariner spot and pay around $39 each to take the class. It was wonderful on the Oosterdam in April 2018 when we did pastry but just horrible on the Rotterdam in February. It was an insult to us that paid for the class and for the 5* Mariners that invested time in the class. The class was Eggs which was a great topic making deviled eggs, mayonnaise and meringue. Sadly our instructor took a tour in Grand Cayman prior to her class. We were told to be 10 minutes early and she was 15 minutes late as was flustered and poorly prepared. Some of the very elderly classmates were floundering putting their egg filling in their pastry bag and I helped them not the instructor. She didn't have any mustard for the deviled eggs. She mismeasured the sugar for the meringues and one of the others in the class and I just looked at each other like "what a waste of time". I had done a good job selling this "fun" event to my fiance' and it was a total flop. I complained on my feedback form and heard nothing from HA. If you are a 5* go and get your pretty apron and if the instructor stinks just throw in the towel. Next time we will take our $80 and spend the hour in the casino or in port as our instructor had.....
  6. Loved your last year's review - looking forward to your account as the trip went on. Hope things got better as the trip went on.
  7. Deepest sympathy to Walt's family and friends. Rest in peace and smooth sailing to Valhalla.
  8. Thanks for the informative review and the wonderful pictures. It looked like a wonderful getaway. Sometimes nothing better than hanging out on the ship on a port day.
  9. On Damrak Street near the Palace and the New Church same side of the street is a basement level fine wine store. I found that their prices were reasonable especially for French wines - also some decent prices on Aussie wines. A great way to do some fun sightseeing on that busy street.
  10. We booked a Canada 2020 trip with a big box store. Are upsells ever an opportunity with them - anyone had any offered?
  11. Thank you so much! Happy memories of our trip on the Rotterdam in February.
  12. We did HA excursions on our Panama Canal cruise last year. Safety is a concern for us in some of the countries that have political problems or have had them in the past. We did the horse farm tour in Nicaragua and it was the best excursion we have ever done. It was a short trip from the industrial port and was a hands on opportunity to see some of the most beautiful horses we have ever seen. We expressed interest in the Gypsy Vanner horses that they used in their carriage presentation and the trainer took another stallion from his stall to see him close up. We did the Pura Vida Gardens trip in Costa Rica. We had an excellent guide as we rode up the mountain to the gardens. The gardens are a strenuous activity IMO. They were not listed as such. There was a great deal of up and down climbing on concrete paths. It was very hot also but worth doing the work to see the gardens. Beautiful tropical flowers, butterflies and Macaws. The waterfall advertised as a highlight was kind of meh. We opted just to hit the bar right off the ship in Guatemala. All this being said we are horse nuts and gardening nuts.
  13. We noticed a significant slide in the quality of the croissants on the Rotterdam in February. They were more yeasty than flaky. The pastries were one of the things that made HA stand out.
  14. Aft Neptune would be great for Alaska. It allowed a much better perspective in Glacier Bay, Inside Passage and looking for wildlife. In Alaska with the wind and cooler weather I think that you will have less of the only negative which we had on the Oosterdam going through the Panama Canal was a great deal of soot on the balcony but the wrap around deck still was wonderful. It is a bit of a hike if you like to use all the benefits of the Neptune Lounge and sometimes the daily menu and Neptune suite bath products are less forthcoming.
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