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About cruzngal

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  1. My husband has a shellfish allergy. When we dined at Tamarind, that was one of the first questions they asked us. They were able to tell him what not to order, and also if they could make any substitutions. They executed on it flawlessly and we had a wonderful experience.
  2. Our stateroom was on this level, so we used these a few times. I didn't see there being much sun, but it was quiet. In the evening, it was a nice place to sit and enjoy pizza and wine from the pizza place. Can also be a nice place to watch the evening movie.
  3. We were "upgraded" to one of these on the Koningsdam. The verandah was indeed disappointing, although we did enjoy the location: High floor, off the upper deck of the Lido pool area and near the fitness room. There was a nice public sitting area around the upper deck of the pool that was essentially ours for the taking. That being said, If you value the verandah space, don't go for this class of room. Also, watch out for the stateroom guarantees. Ours was billed as a 7 category upgrade over what we paid for, and we did not have the opportunity to change once it was assigned. Lesson learned...
  4. I'm not sure whether you are asking about the cruise itself, or the excursions out of each port. If you are talking about the cruise, you can search for cruise prices online and see who has the lowest prices. I have started using a Personal Cruise Consultant from Holland America, and have been very happy. She has helped me find what I want and has been proactive about finding me the best value for whatever I am looking for. HAL will always match valid pricing for identical stateroom categories, or be slightly better. For excursions, I also search external tour operators and compare to what the ship is offering. Trip Advisor or Yelp can provide reviews. I hope that helps.
  5. Yes. We did this when taking a longer cruise, and traveling with friends. We went wine shopping before we got on the ship, hand carried them on (you have to...) and paid the corkage fee. It WAS cheaper and better quality wine. That being said, when you get to 3 and 4 star Mariner status, it is easier to buy a wine package with the discount (25 and or 50 %) and save the hassle of lugging in extra wine -- especially for a 7 day cruise.
  6. I just spoke to my PCC. According to her, we book dining online before at full price. We will receive onboard credit for the discount during the cruise. I just went ahead and booked as we are going next week and it's the DH's birthday on a sea day, so I wanted to ensure that I had a reservation for this holiday cruise. As I remember in the past, we always saw the discount on our final bill. I do not know about the packages though. You already get a discount for buying the dining package, so would not be surprised that you don't get a further Mariner discount.
  7. I agree. Pick your own. If you like access to the Neptune Lounge, pick something on deck 7 mid-ship. If you can get one of the aft suites with wrap around balconies, that may be amazing for an Alaska cruise. We agreed to get an upgrade on our last cruise. We were upgraded from our regular Verandah stateroom to a spa Veranda stateroom. It was billed as a 5 level upgrade. It turned out to be the same sized room with no verandah to speak of. Loved the location of the room but would have rather stayed with our original since I basically live on the verandah during a cruise. Common sense would tell you that the best rooms will be selected by passengers, and HAL will hand out the rest. It's not going to be a prime room, either for location, size, layout, or whatever. My advice - pick your own...
  8. We've learned that a taxi or Uber/Lyft out of Port Everglades is faster and really not that expensive. It's cheaper than paying for the transfers for a couple of people or more. Last time when we were going to the Miami airport, we had to wait over an hour for the bus to fill, and then they decided they didn't have room for us based on luggage. It was only when the HAL representative told them that they had to get us to the airport somehow that they managed to find room for us on the transfer we had already paid for.
  9. Taking the Thanksgiving cruise next week on the NS. I am also trying to get a little Christmas shopping done. If anyone has been on the NS recently, do you know if they sell Garmin or Fitbit fitness trackers in the watch shop, or other shop onboard? Any opinion as to whether they are any kind of a deal would also be appreciated. I know that it's probably same or cheaper to buy online, but if it's close and I can talk to a human, that's a benefit. Recent physical limitations prevent me from doing alot of brick and mortar shopping this year. Will appreciate it!
  10. Unless you get the same stateroom on the port side, you can always switch to another Neptune suite and just have a smaller verandah, book-ended by another barrier. You have a full curved verandah, much larger than any other Neptune suite. I'd call that a win. If you really think you'd hate looking at the equipment, then change staterooms. Personally, I'd keep it and enjoy the extra space.
  11. Yes, the clientele is older than some other cruise lines. It is quieter, and there are not wave pools, ice skating rinks, carnival rides, or water slides. But as with any cruise ship, there are plenty of bars. On the larger ships, there is a nice music vibe, with the BB King Blues band, dueling pianos, and late night dance party. There's a health club, spa, generally a couple of pools and plenty of deck space. We have always liked environments where we can do what we want, away from the crowds. We started taking our kids on HAL when we were in our thirties. We have always liked it BECAUSE it didn't have all the stuff I mentioned above. If you do decide to go on HAL, and you want to take a tour, look at the ones with an activity level of moderate or strenuous. That will mean that you'll have a more active group regardless of age. Pick what works for you, and you will enjoy.
  12. I agree with some of the posters that asked whether this kind of a cruise would interest them. If it does, go and enjoy. I wouldn't worry about what others say. Good behavior and manners are all that are asked of any of us. The rest is noise.
  13. Mary229, I got exactly what was promised last time I did this too. This one was different, however. But after reading KrazyKruisers post, I might have just been lucky.
  14. I received a brochure for a limited time Private Sale on selected HAL cruises. I saw one that I liked and called to make a reservation. The long and short of it was that the dates and sailings I wanted, and are published in the private sale brochure, are not really on sale. The HAL reservationist finally admitted that they are listed, but there is no sale -- only the representative sailing, whose price was listed was the one on sale. The other dates and sailings listed in the same section were not. The actual rate for the one I wanted was hundreds of dollars higher for the same category of room. It appeared to be the regular price. I contacted HAL about this, but of course, they have not responded. It has been about a week. Nothing I can do about it other than to caution others. If you call about one of these promotions and the rates don't match, ask specifically if the private sale applies. I'll be far more cautious about these sales in the future. This is the first time I've seen them be this deceptive. Lesson learned.
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