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About taranch

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  1. Since I prefer single malt scotch which is not offered on that list, I recently ordered a bottle via Guest Services while on the Koningsdam. After a short but fairly amusing mix up, a Room Service person delivered a bottle of Glenfiddich to our cabin. They obtained it from one of the bars. Since the K was going into drydock after our cruise, Guest Services had to ascertain the availability of various products from the beverage gang before they could commit to my request. It was $84 USD, including the 15% service charge, but since I am also Canadian...that ultimately translated into a somewhat higher tariff. Worth every $ though.
  2. Actually, regarding the Signature shower on the K, not that much bigger than the old Neptune suite shower, which was a big surprise and disappointment. We were in a Vista on our last K cruise, with that fantastic large shower. Signature had a tub, which we don't use, with a handheld shower head. Wasted space for us. I understand that the tub has been replaced with the large shower on the Nieuw Statendam, which we would have much preferred (I know that folks who booked a Signature expecting the tub were pretty upset, rightly so, when they discovered the replacement...just saying for us that wold have been much preferred)
  3. We were in a mid ship SS, which we loved by the way!
  4. You can see from my profile that although I have been a member for many years, I am an infrequent poster. In fact all of my previous posts have been on Roll Calls or Ports of Call forums. Nor am I a HAL cheerleader. We cruise HAL because we prefer their product, however flawed, and like many other longer term HAL cruisers we lament some of the changes. Having said that, our November 21 cruise is the first in many years on which we added extra tips to the cabin and dining room staff. Our experience was that we were back to the "old" days of really personalized service. We were on deck 7, way down the hall from the Neptune area, so they were not servicing those cabins as well. I have heard over the years that the staff for those cabins are all the top notch people, maybe that goes for everyone serving on that deck😀 All 7 other people at our fixed dining table also agreed that we had had terrific service from our 2 dining stewards and the sommelier. This is not to take away from those who had a less than positive experience, but to aaure others that it is very possible to have a great experience in this area on the Koningsdam.
  5. taranch

    Cosol Tours

    Regarding the OP's concern about getting back to the ship on time...I was with Cosol Tours last week, along with about 24 other people in 4 vans. Our all on board time was 3:30! Yellowbird, who was in charge of the whole group, made it very clear to all of us...guests and drivers and staff at the food stop...that we would do everything as advertised but we would be moving along quite smartly. And that's exactly what happened. The only significant time reduction we knew about was the Sugar Beach stop, reduced from one hour to 45 minutes. We arrived back at the pier at 2:55, allowing some time for shopping if folks were interested. As mentioned, there is no way these tour operators are going to have their guests miss the all on board call. Aside from that concern, this was an excellent tour. Everything ran like clockwork. Staff terrific...friendly, knowledgeable, helpful with getting in and out of various vehicles. Their excellentvratings are well-deserved.
  6. We were there very recently, on a Sunday when all stores are closed. We booked the Pile et Face tour with Karimbole Tours. Excellent..very comfy van, local food and drink samples throughout the tour, served from the back of the van. We were fortunate to have Christelle as our driver/guide, a former teacher, thus very well-spoken. All in our van (8 of us) agreed this was a great day.
  7. I was also recently in Roseau, with a different experience than iuki. The main street right in front of the pier was closed to traffic except for the local tram. There were two rows of tents on the main street, with various vendors. Also the area behind the main street and to the left of the pier was lined with vendors. Most of them were selling the usual Caribbean items that you see at every port. I did find some local soaps. The area is not very scooter friendly, but if you head into the Fort Young Hotel you will find a shaded eating area with lovely views and local beer. The hotel is quite accessible. This island was heavily hit by last year's hurricane. My sister and I bought as many of the T shirt/ beachy items as we could here, to help the local economy. As we moved from stall to stall all the vendors thanked us for sharing the wealth, so to speak. We ended up going back to the ship to get more cash. For us it was a very good stop, with very pleasant interactions with the Dominican folks.
  8. I should have looked at the excursion before replying. We did this exact hike...well worth it. When you come over the last hill and see the sea and the beach down below it's breath-taking.
  9. Hi ...I don't know anything about this particular excursion, sorry. However I spent two weeks hiking on beautiful Corfu a few years ago. Highly recommend you doing this, especially as followed by a swim in the Ionian Sea. If possible you should be wearing proper hiking footwear, as the landscape it pretty rocky. If you do it, will you please come back and report...would love to hear about it!
  10. OK so now I see your destinations I will chime in again. You are clearly a seasoned and knowledgeable traveler, so you may already have looked at the Air Canada flights. Looks like you might get non-stop both ways Venice/Istanbul, and also looks like the aircraft have Premium Economy class as well as Business. Cheers!
  11. Kangforpres you have given me a great opportunity to share my Toronto Pearson International Airport Travelers Assistance Volunteer experience on CC! I am at the airport a minimum of once a week in our booth. I see many cancelled US flights every week, and end up booking hotels for many folks who have missed a flight or suffered a flight cancellation. So my advice to you is to fly into Toronto the day before your Europe outbound flight (as also mentioned by other posters) and use a bit of that money you saved on the flight for a nice hotel room in the airport area. Maybe do the same on your return just to be safe. Most of the mid to high end chains have properties within a short distance of the airport, all with complimentary shuttle service. Another consideration is that we have 2 terminals, connected by some serious walking and a monorail. If you can get in and out via the same terminal that will reduce your travel aggravation considerably! You are not likely to encounter ice storms during months when you would be flying to Europe for a cruise however Pearson is regularly subjected to thunderstorms which cause massive delays and cancellations! Best of luck with whatever plan you end up making!
  12. Hi Susie My sister and I are doing this itinerary in reverse in Oct/14. We are booked on Air Transat out of Toronto direct flights to Rome and home from Barcelona. AT would not usually be my 1st choice but those direct flights, and booking a 2 seater row for an extra charge, were worth the AT aggravation I hope! There are 2 roll calls for the fall itinerary..one Sep 27th and one Oct 8, as many people are doing an extended itinerary. You might see some good ideas about Rome over there. And thanks to bajacali for the great ship review. Our first time on the Noordam but no Deluxe Veranda Suite this time around!
  13. ...I have already copied several of your notes for our Oct 8 Noordam Med cruise. Your travel advice is bang on and i second everything you said. Having had the pleasure of staying in The Palace myself, I really enjoyed the PC's reaction. I can hardly wait for the next instalment. Thanks again!
  14. Hi Groovechick. Haven't posted for a long time but recently did a day tour in Valencia with http://www.do-valencia.com/. It was everything advertised and more. Take a look at their website and Tripadviser reviews and photos. Not cheap but a really different day and worth every penny.
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