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About Hlitner

  • Rank
    30,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    New Cumberland,PA, USA
  • Interests
    International travel (77 countries at last count(
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  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Hlitner

    Just off MSC Magnifica - 12 night Med Review!

    On the Divina ( in the Caribbean) now and we were required to take our life jackets to the muster drill. But nobody cared if passengers put them on or just used them for window dressing. So much talking during the drill that you could not hear all the announcements. Hank
  2. Hlitner

    11/29-12/9/2018 Divina Cruise Dailies

    On Divina now and they use the local time. Ship time is the same as local. Boarding is generally required 30 min prior to sailing time. Hank
  3. Hlitner

    MSC Divina Nov 18 - Dec 20

    We have taken taxis several times in Cartegena and 4 is not a problem. Am on the Divina now also on the Dec 9 cruise) and we did have a long delay boarding in Miami due to a CBP search of the crew quarters. Hoping there are no further hassles on our Dec 9 turn around day. Hank
  4. Hlitner

    MSC Comedy of Errors

    Looking at the deck plan those cabins are clearly labeled “Interior” which does mean inside. Sometimes pictures can be deceiving. We agree about the bummer of itinerary changes. Hank
  5. When we boarded the Divina on the 29th, boarding was delayed until about 1:40 due to CBP. They had dogs searching parts of the ship for drugs. We are on a back to back so will see what happens in Miami on the 9th. Hank
  6. Hlitner

    Has Divina upgraded TV channel offerings?

    Also on the Divina now TV very limited. On the other hand we do not cruise to watch TV and remember when there was no TV or Internet on cruise ships. Hank
  7. Hlitner

    Non-HAL shore excursions, pros & cons

    Been cruising for over 45 years and average about one cruise ship excursion for every 100 ports. We like doing our own thing and not being herded like cattle in large groups. And no, despite having done our own thing at hundreds of port calls on 6 continents we have never missed a ship. Hank
  8. Hlitner

    Choice Air-good idea or bad

    The answer for the OP is "it depends." Once you are within 330 days of your return date you should explore the Choice Air options and compare them with booking on your own via a site like Kayac or Orbitz. As to luggage, each airline has their own policy and fees. Booking through Choice Air does not include luggage fees unless it part of the normal airline policy such as free luggage with Business Class. If there are fees for luggage you must pay that direct to the airline Hank
  9. We love to combine cruise and land vacations. For example, next Fall we will fly to Italy and spend at least a week its a rental car. Then we drop the car in Civitavecchia and spen a few weeks on a cruise that ends in Ft Lauderdale. ''Tis the best of both worlds. Hank
  10. Hlitner

    YC Drink Package Changes?

    Have never seen that product. Would like to try it. Hank
  11. So CBP seizes about $700,000 worth of cocaine and the crew claims they were traumatized? I vote for CBP. Hank
  12. Really interesting. We were on the Fairsky at the same time and many of the Italian crew were being terminated at the end of our cruise. Needless to say there was a morale problem with the crew....but we still loved Sitmar. Hank
  13. Hlitner

    Villefranche—Excursion or No?

    I am going to do a very rare thing (for me) and disagree with Marazul. Specifically regarding the logistics involved in visiting some delightful places such as Eze Village and St Paul de Vence (a personal favorite). While this might not be an option for the OP (this is all a personal preference) it has been previously pretty easy to rent a car from Locauto.fr for delivery in Villefranche. I am not sure that Locauto will still be using a Villefranche location next season, but its likely. With a self-drive car it is quite easy to go to places like Eze and St Paul de Vence. in fact one itinerary I would suggest is get a car, drive directly to Nice (the Old Town area) where you can enjoy the fabulous Flower Market and perhaps relax with some cafe-au-lait. Then drive over to St Paul de Vence (about 30 min) where you can spend a few hours walking, browsing shops and galleries, and perhaps enjoy lunch. You could also drive over the nearby Maeght Fondation which has a world-class modern art collection highlighted by some of the major works of Miro. Then you head back towards Nice and Monte Carlo...and stop at Eze Village to enjoy that small walled village with its cute shops and fabulous view. And finally you make the short drive back to Villefranche to drop the car...and spend any remaining time enjoying this port before taking the tender back to your ship. This is not a bad tour and all for the price of a rental car (plus whatever you spend shopping and eating). Hank
  14. We do agree with some of what you say when it comes to the erosion of service and food on the mass market lines (including HAL). But there are plenty of smaller ship cruise lines with both great service and food. But one has to be willing to pay for the price. Our first European cruise was in the early 80s and we paid about $100 per person/day for a tiny outside cabin with no balcony. Now, over thirty years later we can find cruises for not much more money where we get a larger cabin and balcony. In terms of real dollars $100 in the early 80s is worth about $250 today. We recently took a 10 day cruise on the gorgeous Regal Princess from NYC to Ft Lauderale which cost us about $1800 (total including fees and taxes) for 2. We also got $450 in OBC putting the cost of that cruise at about $70 a passenger day...and this in a deluxe balcony cabin on a beautiful new vessel. If we want small ships (we also prefer small ships) we can book Seabourn, Oceania, Azamara, etc etc. The industry has expanded in a major way and there is a ship and quality to suit almost any taste. But on HAL we have met many cruisers who are very set in their ways with HAL (they do not want to even try other lines) but yet complain that HAL has dropped their standards (true). But there is a big world beyond HAL...in fact there are about 300 other cruise ships that do not belong to HAL 🙂 Hank
  15. A taxi or Uber will cost you about $30 (including tip) for the entire cab. Not sure why anyone would want to book a private transfer for $86...which is akin to highway robbery unless you are being transferred in a Roll Royce Silver Shadow :). Hank