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boom_boom

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  • Content Count

    278
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About boom_boom

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    California
  • Interests
    Travel and fine wine
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Oceania, HAL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Europe

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  1. Back in "the day" I brought 2 cases onboard for a 14 day cruise. With the help of friends we drank them all and tipped the wine steward each time. But, that was a long time ago in place far away.
  2. Aquahound - Thanks for the review. We're embarking on Eurodam on the 15th for a short 4-day trip down to San Diego. Hope we have a better MDR experience. Our last 3 cruises have been on Celebrity, so haven't tried HAL for about 5 years. Used to be my favorite line. Guess we'll see if things have changed. Still, a less than perfect cruise is better than no cruise at all.
  3. Yes, and loved the aft Neptune Suites...have one booked next month on the Eurodam. It is a long walk to the Neptune Lounge, but the larger balcony makes it worth while. Have done this on Celebrity as well and loved them there too, Never had an issue with smoke, soot or smell. But, yes, there can be more motion if the seas get rough. Still, for us, the location is tops.
  4. Have to agree that it's simply a fact of cruise economics that HAL will not bring back the level of service or the quality of the experience from 20 or even 10 years ago. We love Oceania, but they priced themselves out of our market years ago. Now we pick the cruise first and foremost based on ports of call; secondly price and thirdly the size of the ship. Have only been on a 3,000-plus pax ship once. and don;t care to do it again. So HAL is attractive to us, Celebrity and Princess less so. I would love to have the more personalized HAL of the smaller ship 20 years ago But it isn't gonna happen. So, you cruise when you can and get the best deal that fits your interests and budget. A lesser experience than the past is still better, IMO, than sitting at home.
  5. Been to Astoria many time and have never seen ads for private tours. If you end up with the rental car you could also consider crossing the bridge to the Long Beach Peninsula of Washington. Some great, free, beaches up there as well.
  6. Agree with West Coast Gal about the Chihuly Garden and Glass. A really neat spot and close to the Space Needle and Music Experience. Personal preference for Anthothy's rather than Ivar's. Ivar's can get really busy around lunch. Also, if you haven't had enough time on "the water" an hour-long harbor cruise is interesting. And, of course, Pike Place Market is pretty much a most if you haven;t been before. Also,en route to SeaTac is the Museum of Flight, a wonderful aviation museum. There is a free shuttle bus from the waterfront to Pike Place Market and to downtown. If you's downtown, take the monorail to the Seattle Center and all the stuff near the Space Needle.
  7. We just came back from Seattle and stayed at The Sound Hotel on 4th Ave. It is part of the Hilton group. Good location, prices were reasonable for Seattle in August. You can walk to the pier where many of the short tour cruises leave from. The San Juan tours are great, but will pretty much take up the whole day. If you want to do an island on your own, take the State Ferry to Bainbridge Island. Another nice island, but I don;t of specific tours, is Whidbey Island. Closer than the San Juans.
  8. As West Coasters we've done San Diego to Vancouver, or reverse, several times. . . Pros - Usually cheaper fares and often not as crowded as mid-season in the prime areas. Cons - As others have said, the crew can seem a bit exhausted at first. I think they usually get back to the usual vibe in a day or so. The last time we did this on HAL, the MDR service and quality seemed a bit off. Sometimes less entertainment. Still we like these cruises. If we have time, we sometimes take the train to or from the port and thus avoid flying at all. m
  9. Our last 3 cruises have been on Celebrity after several years of sticking with HAL. We have a short, cruise on Eurodam coming up and will decide then if we still like HAL.
  10. On the Equinox a few months ago there were 3 fully qualified somms on board, the rest were just wine stewards. We got to know one of the somms very well and got great service from him. The bars were hit and miss, while MDR was mostly good service, but I didn't expect them to do any more than take my order. I still remember one cruise where a wine steward gave me Merlot when I ordered Pinot Noir. I challenged him on what he served and he admitted they were out of Pinot and thought Merlot would be just as good. At least that wasn't on X.
  11. If you are in Santa Barbara, the "Funk Zone" is an easy walk from where the tender will drop you. At least half a dozen tasting rooms, nice restaurants and shops i the "zone." Also a couple on winery tasting rooms along State Street.
  12. Had an FV on Trans Pacific a couple of years ago and loved it. Well worth the money. Tried for an upsell to a FV on the last cruise, but no luck. Grab it quick!
  13. Like some of the other posts, we enjoy staying at the Pan Pacific when cruising out of Vancouver. Don't think you can beat the convenience factor. Also, I can confirm you'll get a much better price on your room with the same perks by booking direct with the hotel and not via HAL. Give the bellhop your checked luggage, (which will show up in your cabin).take your carry-on and enjoy. We also like boarding after 1 p.m., usually closer to 2 p.m. A nice lunch ashore in a lovely area and then usually it's a quick embark as NS guests. Last cruise from Vancouver was on Celebrity and we had no "status" so it was a slow slog through security , etc. But on HAL, as NS passengers it was much easier, We'll find out in October if it still that smooth when boarding after the rush.
  14. At least for Iguazu Falls, US citizens and Canadians don't need visa for Argentina and Brazil just dropped their visa requirement for US and Canada and a few other countries.
  15. I've taken my 2 bottles allowed by Celebrity onboard a cruise headed to San Diego from Vancouver multiple times and never been asked by CPB and never volunteered the info. Of course, the wine was long gone before we got off the ship!
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