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Everything posted by kaymoz

  1. OP Here -- Hello everyone, and thank you all for the speedy responses! We are actually sailing on the Prinsendam out of Amsterdam to the coast of Norway. In fact we'll be on her last cruise with HAL before she goes on to a new life with a German cruiseline. I'm sure once we experience this ship, we'll regret not managing to do other voyages with her, but better this one than none! Yes, we will be in Amsterdam the night before the cruise, in country for a few days before that as well as a few days after the cruise. On embarkation day, we could leave our bags at the hotel, but it's outside the ring (Hotel Alexander), so that seemed like a bit of backtracking although in the end it might work better than waiting for check-in at the ship. Yesterday I managed to snag some tickets to the Anne Frank House with the introductory tour, but our admission time is not until 1130 on embarkation day, so that's what prompted this question -- how to manage things on embarkationt day with this bit of delay in our boarding the ship -- which will be worth it from what I hear about the program at AFH.
  2. We'll sail with HAL out of Amsterdam in June, our first cruise with them in umpteen years. On embarkation day, can we drop off our luggage at the ship, then slip out to town for some last-minute sightseeing, and board ourselves later?
  3. My recent experience was that the rail tickets I wanted for one of our portstops in Norway in June were showing unavailable week after week. I finally picked up the phone and called the rail line (since we have a calling plan!). I learned that they expect alot of track work to be done during the summer, so while they are planning when & where that work will happen, they are not going to sell the journeys that might be affected. Once the work schedule is settled, then they can go ahead and release the tickets. In my case, it was just this week that I could finally book the tickets for 25 June, tho for our port the train is actually operated by the Swedish rail. Perhaps the NSB has similar practices, so this might be the situation you are experiencing.
  4. Great! I haven't used google docs for many years but if it will do what you describe, and save successive versions, that sounds like the way to go! Many thanks.
  5. Seems like there should be a way to have a version open for people to add and save sequentially by date, so if it goes off track we could just go back to the last version before the "contamination" occurred?
  6. I'd like to create a spreadsheet to share with others on our roll call for the day-by-day activities, so we can list the various activities/tours at port locations and people can fill in their own names for the ones they sign up for and see who else is doing the same tour. I love spreadsheets so don't mind setting this up but don't want to spend time entering others' info, maintaining it, etc. I am not sure of the best way to "put it out there" so others can add their info safely.....please advise!!
  7. Yes, that is the same for me BUT once clicked, it zips from one port to another so is little time to visualize the path on the map, and by the time it pauses at the next stop, some of the map that shows the areas covered is gone from view. This is especially significant for days at sea. For now, for planning purposes, I am trying to figure out how close our upcoming cruise along the coast of Norway will come to the Lofoten Islands, and when. I thought HAL's map of the cruise route might help. Alternatively, the navigational map for the cruise would be the most useful but I don't expect to be able to see that until I am on the ship.
  8. HAL's website provides the itinerary for each cruise with a List View/Map View display dichotomy. Map View includes an option called EXPLORE INTERACTIVE MAP which traces the route on a map day by day using a brisk video display. I'd like to slow (or stop) this display video to understand the route better. Does anyone know how to do this? As an example, see this: https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/find-a-cruise/E9N14C/P928.html
  9. Relatively speaking, the smaller ships are probably those under 1000 passengers, but I am not going to rule out a great itinerary just because of ship size!
  10. It's St. Patrick's Day so I have to finally pose this question that's been on my mind for a long while: what's the best cruise to/around Ireland? While I am happy to hear everyone's reasons for "best" (which is how we learn!), my current criteria might be something like: good itinerary, not too many days at sea, lots of portstops, maybe some overnights in an Irish port, long days in port, with bonus points for the smaller ships and an English speaking on-board situation. I'm OK with combining with one other country (like Iceland or Scotland), but am not interested in trying to cover too much territory -- want to keep an Irish focus!
  11. Was checking in online last night and reading HAL's contract when I came across a section that raised an eyebrow, so thought I would share with others for comment. (text pasted below, highlight added) I am no lawyer, but as I read it, we are to agree that HAL and its various partner entities can use images or other recordings of us, captured with our awareness or not, and share our personal & sensitive data, for basically however they like. So broad! Does anyone have any experience with this, knowingly that is? 16. FACIAL RECOGNITION SOFTWARE; USE AND DISPLAY OF LIKENESS; PERSONAL DATA; PRIVACY NOTICE; PUBLIC WIRELESS SERVICES. You grant Carrier and its licensees the right to use Your photograph/voice/indicia taken during Your Cruise, Land + Sea Journey, and/or Land Trips in any fashion for any purpose in all media now known or hereafter devised without any limitations whatsoever. Professional photographers photograph Guests, process, display and sell such photos to You and other Guests. Carrier may utilize closed circuit television or other surveillance means on board the Ship. You agree You may provide personal data to Carrier that may include Your name, street or email address, date of birth, passport, financial account, and/or telephone numbers, likeness, photograph or other information which would identify You personally. You may also provide Carrier or others certain sensitive data such as Your health, medical condition, dietary or religious restrictions, gender or sexual orientation. You agree Carrier may (a) keep Your personal and sensitive data ("PSD"); (b) use it in its business worldwide in accordance with its privacy policies; (c) share it with Carrier's affiliated/related companies, and (d) subject it to processing worldwide provided Carrier's safeguards are used. You agree any PSD You provide to Carrier in the European Economic Area ("EEA") may be used, processed and transferred within and outside the EEA and specifically to the U.S. You agree Carrier may disclose Your PSD to unaffiliated third parties: (a) after You request or authorize it; (b) to help complete a transaction for You; (c) to comply with law, applicable regulations, governmental and quasi-governmental requests, court orders or subpoenas; (d) to enforce this Cruise Contract or other agreements, or to protect the rights, property or safety of Carrier or others; (e) as part of a purchase, transfer or sale of services or assets (f) when provided to our agents, outside vendors or service providers to perform functions on our behalf; or (g) as described in Carrier's policies, as amended from time to time.
  12. Just now came across this thread and wondering how things worked out.....realize that if you ended up going DOONE that you are either home already or close to the end of the cruise!
  13. That is so frustrating when you miss something by a short bit of time.... But you never know.... it can't hurt to drop them a line and see what's up on the one day you can go. I think sometimes if the premises would be open for a school visit or some other private tour on your day, then they might just go ahead and let you in too. Seems like something happened like that for us; my memory is a little foggy since we have been to so many places since then, but I think we were there on a day when they were usually closed but they were "open" anyway because of private tours scheduled that day -- which turned out to be partly cruise ship tours!! So they were happy to let us in, super accommodating.
  14. At some point during our cruise of the Norway coast in June, we'd like to do some kayaking to add an on-the-water dimension to our fjord explorations. What are the "best" places others have found to do this, both from the workable-logistics standpoint and the experience perspective? Our stops include: Stavanger, Alesund, Trondheim, Honningsvag, Tromso, Narvik, Geiranger, Flam, and Bergen.
  15. At Kristiansand last summer, we spent a delightful, extended morning wandering the grounds of an outdoor museum that helped visualize everyday history. It's great to catch a tour there if possible -- the museum guides are great! https://www.vestagdermuseet.no/welcome-to-vest-agder-museum/ We took a taxi out there and then caught a public bus back to town.
  16. Thanks Kazu for the suggestion about Halfacts. It was very clear from one of the photos there (cabin 308) that the shower only rooms are smaller because the space for the recessed entry hallway that we see on the deck plans is subtracted from the floor area of that type of cabin. This results not just in a smaller bath/no tub, but an alcove effect on one wall and the entry door located right by the head of the bed. (Ugghh - not so good if one person is going in & out of the cabin while the other is trying to sleep!) So basically, every other cabin in these areas has a very different arrangement from that shown in the schematics.
  17. Scott, It's funny how some questions generate tons of responses and others just kind of sit there.....but glad to know you concur with my choice!
  18. We'll sail this summer for the first time on the Pdam and are booked in a cabin that we might want to try to change before final payment is due, which is soon! Originally, we took what was available that would give us the option to include our son as a third person in our cabin, but are pretty certain now that he can't go along, so we no longer have that constraint. In studying the deck plans, it appears that on many of the decks ( Dolphin, Main, Lower & Upper Promenade), just about every other cabin has an asterisk designation, for "shower only," and these look to be a little narrower. But I can't find cabin plans that show the differences between the shower-only cabins and the "regular" arrangement. What's this about? I hope those of you who know this ship's layout intimately can help educate me so if we try to change cabins, we'll be more informed!
  19. For those who are still struggling with this....I could not see the "oval" that everyone kept talking about so my frustration was growing. Then it occurred to me that maybe my problem was that I tend to use Chrome. Every now and then something does not display very well with Chrome. When I tried a different browser, I could see the oval and bring up the picklist that allowed me to search within specific areas. Bottom line: if the search function is not apparent, try using a different system to access Cruise Critic.
  20. Did you end up signing up for this cruise?
  21. For our Baltic cruise last summer, we wanted to spend a full day in the Hermitage on our own schedule, not shuffled around according to the plans of a guided group, so we arranged for our own visas. It wasn't as much of a hassle as people had warned, but there is a Russian visa office in my city where I was able to drop off the applications and pick up the visas, so that streamlined things. Cost-wise, the visas can be expensive, especially if you want one for a full three day port stop like we did (freedom comes at a price!) so most people conclude they would rather spend their excursion money going along with a tour guide the entire time.
  22. Just a followup, since this message popped up....I ended up doing a helicopter tour on Kauai and it was fantastic. Much of the island seems to be more or less inaccessible for a variety of reasons, so it was an ideal way to see the landscape.
  23. Yes, that's the idea.... I want to copy the whole thing into Word, and then go back into the easy-to-use Word format to strip out the stuff that isn't relevant, so I am left with the "nuggets." I don't want the hassles of going back and forth between CC and Word, copying and pasting the good stuff bit by bit. It's too hard on my eyes.
  24. I'm wondering if there is an easy way to copy an entire 8+ page thread from Cruise Critic, so I can paste the entire thing into a Word document? This would allow me to later go back later to edit in an-easy-to manage document format. (For those who haven't guessed, this is about an upcoming cruise with bunches of interesting port-stops; over the last year, many have shared great research on excursions, etc., that I want to "capture" to get serious about planning!) I realize that I *could* comb through the many pages of the thread, copy the nuggets one by one, and then paste them one-by-one into a Word file...and I actually did try that back when the thread was only three pages or so, but experienced "vision rebellion." Many thanks!
  25. The best meal we had was in Jefferson’s Bistro — fine food options & preparation with good service in delightful surroundings. We dined in East Meets West one night and while it wasn’t easy to get in there, we weren’t that impressed. However when we tried Tepanyaki the next night (which is a seperate room inside East Meets West) we were blown away! The showmanship by our chef was fantastic, and luckily we did it early in the week so when we learned that he’d be making omelets on Friday, we could stop by his station for another look at the master at work!
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