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About Nang

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Adelaide Australia
  • Interests
    Motorcycling, holidays, fishing, caravanning and home beer brewing
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Based on your opening paragraph I am very confident you would much more enjoy the Nieuw Statendam. Newer and bigger, but not huge.
  2. I am in Australia and have been advised we need to claim through our insurance. I am not hopeful given the cruise was partially completed (VdG Singapore to London) and the demise of CMV was Covid related. Time will tell
  3. Relatively short cruise over the holiday period = families with kids. I fully expect to be able to travel to/from NZ by December but am less confident the Australian Govt will be "over" the Ruby Princess experience by then and have allowed cruise ships with their international crew from all over the world back to Australia. What is my opinion worth on this - nothing, as is the worth of all opinions on this matter you will get in the responses.
  4. I am going to go off on a tangent and suggest you flip your whole strategy around. Do a road trip around NZ and circumnavigate Australia on a cruise. I have cruised around NZ and have spoken to quite a few people who have driven around NZ. Based on our NZ cruising experience (we were underwhelmed, nice holiday but nothing special) and how those friends/relatives who drove around all rave about how great it was I would strongly recommend 2-3 weeks driving in NZ and then a 4 week cruise around Australia. NZ is very well set up for people to holiday in a small motor home and the distances to drive are nothing like Australia. NZ is compact, Australia is vast (even if flying). You do not get to see some of the best parts of NZ on a cruise, eg Queenstown. Of course the same can be said about Australia but I think this strategy is well worth considering. Princess do a great around Australia cruise which you can start in a number of cities, I would suggest Sydney - it is a great city to explore on your own before or after the cruise (make sure you check out the Rocks area, catch a ferry to Manly). You can also disembark in say Melbourne and explore that city/region on your own after the cruise (or do Bisbane -Sydney, Adelaide to Perth). You get to see the Great Barrier Reef, Darwin, Broome, Perth, Adelaide (go to the Barossa Valley), Kangaroo Island, Tasmania, etc. You could then fly to any particular destination not covered by the cruise (eg Ayers Rock). I know that Holland America also offer an Australia circumnavigation option and there may be others.
  5. I would be very surprised if the Australian/New Zealand Governments allowed international visitors by late September from anywhere but NZ/Aust. The Aust Govt has made it very clear not to expect to have our international borders open any time this year. Even Australian based cruises (Aussie ports only) have been cancelled until end August by some cruise lines. I do not mean to "rain on your parade" but .....
  6. Understand your attitude completely. I am in exactly the same situation with Holland America with a cruise also supposedly commencing the same date (from Copenhagen) with final payment due in a couple of days. We had a choice of cash refund or credit with no $penalty/charge for either option. Guess what, they will be getting my business in the future. I should note that CMV were very good to us regarding refunds for our aborted 45 day cruise on the Vasco da Gama. Full $ refund for the whole cruise despite having been on the ship for 3 weeks (but not one port stop). Only paid for our drinks and daily tips for the 3 weeks.
  7. Our cruise was not from Australia. I read lots of posts about dress codes for a range of cruise lines and many responses reflect what most people do or what the dress code is or what people do themselves or prefer to see occur rather than addressing the actual query about what people must/can wear to be admitted to the MDR on formal and on other nights. It is not surprising that posters get confused. I am very confident my response above is accurate. You will be admitted with good jeans and a collared shirt on non-formal nights and you will be admitted with chinos and a button up collared shirt on formal nights - no ties or jackets are required.
  8. I have recently disembarked from the Vasco da Gama and can assure you that no jacket is required on any night on this ship in the dining room/specialty restaurants, nor is a tie required. Chinos and a button up collared shirt shirt were OK on formal night and jeans and a polo shirt were fine on other nights. I expect this would also apply on the other ships across the line.
  9. There will be destination lectures with tips on what to do/see and not a complete focus on HAL tours. Likely there will be a bit of history of the ports but you do not get a history lesson. Fresh flowers do not rock my boat. We have never got them that I can recall but then I probably would not notice unless they were in the way (we don't do any higher than a standard verandah). I have seen jigsaw puzzles on most of our 7 HAL cruises and definitely on our last one May 2019 on the Maasdam. There is at least one trivia every day in my experience and usually 2 on sea days. Don't think the MDR menu is on rotation (we eat there every night) and, if it is, it takes many days to get back to day 1 menu (if ever). I do not take enough notice of the menu to realise if it does or does not reflect flavours of the region when in the med. Other cruises I have done will every now and then have a special local item on the menu (I only notice if it is promoted as such). On a med cruise you will not have many sea days so unless you are addicted to the net or need to do work stuff, I would just use the free wifi off the ship in cafes, etc. Doing the med is my favourite, enjoy.
  10. The ship is fine. The service is great. The food is typical HAL which I have always enjoyed. We had no issues with our cabin and we did not hear of anybody who had anything go wrong of note. The absence of a fridge in our cabin was not an issue that caused me any great concern but given the lack of nightly entertainment I would have made good use of an on demand movie service if it had existed. The 21 day Alaska cruise in May 2019 had a fantastic itinerary, the oldest demographic we have encountered in 7 prior HAL cruises and the ship was oh so quiet and dull at night. No BB Kings, piano guy playing to a crowd of 6 at most, and not many shows/performances worth the effort. Lots of lectures which helped fill the time but only because there is nothing better to do except for the twice per day quiz. We will be avoiding this class of HAL ship in the future unless the itinerary is a stunner.
  11. I am very sorry that your wife fell ill on your cruise and to hear of the sad saga that followed. I hope your wife is now in better health. I have read of similar experiences regarding very high charges for services provided by the company contracted by CMV to manage the medical centre. I assume you were advised of the costs for dialysis in the contract your wife signed but you would likely have been blindsided by the other treatment costs as other CMV passengers have been. I hope insurance has at least partially eased the financial burden somewhat.
  12. The HAL schedule is the only one that matters. Its in your booking on on the HAL website.
  13. Geeze, that is more than twice the cost of a SBP for 2 people, surely there was something else included (or it was for more than 2 people)?
  14. You will not see a discounted drinks package other than as Crystalspin mentioned above. However, HAL do have a fluid pricing and perks approach which sees prices increase and decrease over time and with differing perks (including drinks) included. Just keep an eye out on the HAL website or sign up for emails on promotions and also keep an eye on these boards. If you have not booked and paid upfront a non-refundable fare you should be able to take advantage of any new promotions as they come along, although I am not sure if this is consistent across countries as I have read of UK based passengers not being able to rebook/refare for at least one other line when they have not booked direct with the line. For example, a few months back I was able to refare a 29 day cruise (promotion was Early Booking Bonus) and have the Signature Beverage Package included for exactly the same price.
  15. There was compensation via OBC as a partial refund.
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