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Bemidji Ty

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About Bemidji Ty

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    Cool Cruiser

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    San Diego County

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  1. Agree with CruiserKenn. A couple of times, I've feigned an inability to speak English and used my high school German if they insist on conversing.
  2. We've done both cruises (though not B to B) and can highly recommend them. Putting them together sounds like a great plan. Cheers
  3. Before each cruise to Alaska, we each read (and re-read) James Michener's, "Alaska". While it is historical fiction, it gave us a greater appreciation of this wonderful land, its history, wildlife and its people. Cheers.
  4. Did the 10 day Alaska out of SF last August on the Grand. We loved it. This was our third time to Alaska. The ship is older but very well kept up. The crew are easily some of the best we've experienced in our 60 cruises. The food was good to very good. The on board naturalist and totem carver were exceptional. And cruising under the Golden Gate is always magic. We haven't gone to production shows in several years. The staff game shows were a lot of fun. I'm trying to convince my blushing bride that we should do it again this year. Cheers
  5. We went to the Marriot in the marina last week. Been there before. Had a great day. Paid about $37 each and got $30 food and beverage credit each. $10 cab fare to and from ship. Cheers
  6. Elite Princess Cruisers try HAL First, a bit of background. We have taken about 60 cruises over the past 30-35 years. Mostly on Princess with some on Celebrity, RCCL, Carnival and Norwegian in the early days and a couple of lines that are no longer around. We saw a great deal on HAL out of San Diego to the MR and decided to take it. Ship: Nieuw Amsterdam is a medium sized vessel. It came out of dry dock about a year ago. It is well-maintained and has more subdued décor than Princess. It never felt crowded. We could always find a seat on deck, by the pool, in the buffet, in the dining room and in the theaters. Cabin: We had a veranda cabin. It had plenty of storage, a bath shower combo, a sitting area with a sofa bed that converted to a single bed. Comparable to a Princess mini-suite. Staff: Our cabin stewards were some of the best we've had – helpful, friendly and got things done. All staff around the ship were friendly. Some provided exceptional service. Some not so much. In the dining room, the coffee usually didn't come until we were done with our desserts and were ready to leave. The maitre d' quickly knew our names, cabin number and always had a smile for us. Food: The food ranged from good to very good. A few dishes were some of the best we've had on cruises. We ate in the dining room and the buffet. As on Princess, we were directed to the buffet upon embarkation. However, we went to the dining room and had a nice sit down lunch. The pizza station was terrible. Coffee was hit or miss. Never great, sometimes undrinkable. They have a coffee bar that is similar to IC but you are unable to get a cup of fresh brewed coffee there. Buffet: They have the buffet concept figured out. There are different stations for different foods. There is a menu outside the buffet where you can see what is available at each station. And you are mostly served. I'm sure this cuts down on Noro infections and makes lines move much faster than the free-for-all that is common on Princess. Entertainment: We loved the BB King All Star Band. They played R&B, blues and Motown. They are exceptionally talented musicians and entertainers. We were there when they played. We walked thru the two pianos but it didn't really appeal to us. If you want to sing along to American Pie or John Denver, go for it. The classical musicians were excellent. We didn't go to any of the other shows but heard they were good. Classes: My DW went to the America's test kitchen several times and I attended several computer classes that were very informative. Passengers: There was a nice mix of passengers of all ages. We had the equivalent of anytime dining and never had to wait. Sometimes we shared a table and sometimes opted for a two top. Their dress standards were enforced. I witness two men turned away on Gala night. The requirements are: long pants, collared shirt, shoes and no hats. Not too hard to pull off. Ports: We've taken the MR cruises at least once a year from San Pedro. We've done all the tourist tours and now have places we like to visit. Capt Tony's in CSL, Molokai's on Stone Island in Mazatlan and we got a day pass at the Marriot Magna Carta in PV. All in all and great cruise. We would definitely sail HAL again.
  7. Elite Princess Cruisers try HAL First, a bit of background. We have taken about 60 cruises over the past 30-35 years. Mostly on Princess with some on Celebrity, RCCL, Carnival and Norwegian in the early days, and a couple of lines that are no longer around. We saw a great deal on HAL out of San Diego to the MR and decided to take it. Ship: Nieuw Amsterdam is a medium sized vessel. It came out of dry dock about a year ago. It is well-maintained and has more subdued décor than Princess. It never felt crowded. We could always find a seat on deck, by the pool, in the buffet, in the dining room and in the theaters. Cabin: We had a veranda cabin. It had plenty of storage, a bath shower combo, a sitting area with a sofa bed that converted to a single bed. Comparable to a Princess mini-suite. Staff: Our cabin stewards were some of the best we've had – helpful, friendly and got things done. All staff around the ship were friendly. Some provided exceptional service. Some not so much. In the dining room, the coffee usually didn't come until we were done with our desserts and were ready to leave. The maitre d' quickly knew our names, cabin number and always had a smile for us. Food: The food ranged from good to very good. A few dishes were some of the best we've had on cruises. We ate in the dining room and the buffet. As on Princess, we were directed to the buffet upon embarkation. However, we went to the dining room and had a nice sit down lunch. The pizza station was terrible. Coffee was hit or miss. Never great, sometimes undrinkable. They have a coffee bar that is similar to IC but you are unable to get a cup of fresh brewed coffee there. Buffet: They have the buffet concept figured out. There are different stations for different foods. There is a menu outside the buffet where you can see what is available at each station. And you are mostly served. I'm sure this cuts down on Noro infections and makes lines move much faster than the free-for-all that is common on Princess. Entertainment: We loved the BB King All Star Band. They played R&B, blues and Motown. They are exceptionally talented musicians and entertainers. We were there when they played. We walked thru the two pianos but it didn't really appeal to us. If you want to sing along to American Pie or John Denver, go for it. The classical musicians were excellent. We didn't go to any of the other shows but heard they were good. Classes: My DW went to the America's test kitchen several times and I attended several computer classes that were very informative. Passengers: There was a nice mix of passengers of all ages. We had the equivalent of anytime dining and never had to wait. Sometimes we shared a table and sometimes opted for a two top. Their dress standards were enforced. I witness two men turned away on Gala night. The requirements are: long pants, collared shirt, shoes and no hats. Not too hard to pull off. Ports: We've taken the MR cruises at least once a year from San Pedro. We've done all the tourist tours and now have places we like to visit. Capt Tony's in CSL, Molokai's on Stone Island in Mazatlan and we got a day pass at the Marriot Magna Carta in PV. All in all and great cruise. We would definitely sail HAL again.
  8. As a retired health care provider, I always stressed the idea of risk vs benefits. Consult an experienced provider not CC. Cheers.
  9. Thanks all. The phrase, "and I'm picky" was the clincher for my blushing bride. Cheers.
  10. Hi. We are leaving on our first HAL cruise this Sunday on the NA. My wife always brings her own hairdryer. Not having much hair, I don't. She would like to not pack hers but is always worried about the quality of the in-cabin dryers. I would appreciate any comments on the quality of HAL's dryers? Thanks and Cheers
  11. I can't think of a cruise where I haven't seen at least one kilt. And we are about to embark on #60. Got my tux ready to go. Cheers
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