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Everything posted by kaymoz

  1. Hello Owlet, Just came across your question and wondered how the cruise went for you!
  2. Hello GinBoy, Just wanted to check in and see how things went for you and your mates on the Marco Polo. Thanks!
  3. Thanks, Marylizcat. I agree that adjusting expectations is important but am struggling for specifics to share with my friend -- specifics always help illustrate anything better! I sort of have in my mind what a low price, BIG ship experience would be (maybe MSC, Costa, etc.) -- crowded situations at times, queuing for everything, disrespect of queues and other rude behaviour of other pax, little fresh food (mostly frozen) -- but I am having trouble translating much of this to the 800 pax ships with Cruise & Maritime like Marco Polo, or even Magellan at 1250. Can you give me some specifics based on experiences with C&M?
  4. A friend is considering a Norway cruise, and both the itineraries and prices with C&M are very attractive, but with no experience with this cruiseline for either of us, it seemed wise to seek advice here. She has only cruised once, doing the crossing on Cunard's QM2, and she likes to be aware of risks she might be taking, what she's getting into, etc. How would things compare, generally or specifically?
  5. About that Voyage Planner -- it's really great to know in advance which nights will be gala nights, theme nights, etc. But it sounds like this info is available only on the hard copy in the cabin once we are aboard. Or might there be some way to tune in to it online before the cruise, for planning purposes (such as when to schedule dinner reservations at a specialty restaurant)? We sail on 12 June.
  6. Thank you all for the great recommendations about lunching at the PG -- of course I had to look at that menu and promptly started salivating. Sounds like as soon as we are on board and settled we should find the right people and line up a few lunch reservations. But I have one question -- what is the new cruise planner some have mentioned? I looked on my HAL account and did not see it.
  7. I read somewhere that the Pinnacle Grill serves lunch for a cover of $10, rather than the $35 charge at dinner. We thought we'd try both, but I wonder if anyone can tell us how things work for lunch there? My online HAL account provides a spot for me to reserve a dinner time, but I found nothing about lunch. (We will sail on Prinsendam.)
  8. We did the cruise around the islands with Norwegian in January, where I did the helicopter thing on Kauai, and then spent five days afterwards on Maui. One of the most memorable things we did on Maui was a circumnavigation of the island called Road to Hana, with a super-informative local guide in a van so we had a chance to see and learn about the gorgeous eastern side of the island up close, not-so-developed, which was refreshing. We did that on one of our portstop days, with a port pickup, tho we were at a different port. Lahaina is a major tourist center so many tour operators should be departing from there as well. I think this is the company we went with: https://www.tourmaui.com/tours/pride-of-america-hana-shore-excursion/
  9. 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.
  10. 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?
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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?
  14. 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!!
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. 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!
  18. 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!
  19. 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.
  20. 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!
  21. Our cruise begins and ends in Amsterdam, so sadly, we don't have the opportunity to "stay over" in Norway after the voyage and continue explorations. I did check for kayak outings in Geiranger, but the vendor was already booked on the day we are in port there (no surprise as there are three other ships in port that day, with one 2000! pax!). So I went ahead and lined up a scenic mini-bus tours for our day in Geiranger. I found a kayak tour in Alesund with availability, but does sound fairly urban and since we planned to do a walking tour there because I love architecture, we'd like any paddling time to be more nature-oriented. Here are the portstops that we still have unscheduled, so wondering if any of those stand out for paddling: Trondheim Tromso Narvik Bergen
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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