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  1. When we were on Oosterdam in March 2019, there was an extra charge ($10 or $15, don’t remember) in the MDR for a second entree on Gala night only.
  2. My thoughts exactly - I think his win was basically ALL Christian. Now I am VERY curious to see whether Jamall revolutionizes his design methods after having success by letting go!
  3. As a viewer, I am not concerned about the "fairness" of the competition as long as the participants are fully informed about the rules. And they MUST be informed or Bravo would leave itself open to lawsuits, it seems to me. I am watching for the entertainment value, and Bravo is presenting the show for that purpose -- that is the business they are in. Regarding the "Street Looks" episode -- I guess I have no idea what "street wear" is -- don't folks wear anything and everything on the street? The designs were so "all over the place" that I still feel I have no idea what street wear is -- though of course I could Google the term to see if there is an agreed-upon definition in the fashion industry. So often on PR if the designers work with or are introduced to someone in the industry, they get a portfolio of their looks, which certainly would have helped me as well as Colombian and Syrian designers who had no clue what street wear is in the US. To some extent I agree with jklc123, since it seemed to me that for this particular challenge, Kovid's look, though bad, was at least finished and had a "story" behind it (even though the story really had nothing to do with the challenge). Jamall's "tea party" dress -- as Christian rightly described it -- had absolutely nothing to do with street style (or any style at all, IMO). His overly-philosophical "I'm going to create a luxurious Baroque-style dress to show what kind of life people like me could never have had in the past but now can" backstory resulted in an ugly, ill-fitting and unfinished mess! I really felt badly for him that though he chose a fabric everyone seemed to say was beautiful, he never, ever changed his plan about what to do with it -- even after Christian's straight-arrow critique. We'll see how long he lasts in the competition. But as long as I've watched PR (many, many seasons) there was always a bit of an inconsistency in the judging -- was elimination based on the specific look for that challenge, or on the potential the judges felt the designer had to do better in spite of one particular failure? In this case the judges seemed to have decided based on the latter. That being said, I was thrilled to see that whiny, self-centered little baby Kovid gone. I never cared for his designs or his personality, which seemed to be featured on every episode, while others -- Sonia, for example -- have been almost completely ignored. I am beginning to wonder if I should expect that the designer who gets the most camera time on each episode is the one who is going to be eliminated immediately, or soon... it seemed to happen in the first episode as well -- the elimination of Cavanagh Baker.
  4. I did not recommend, I suggested. You will have to take that up with the uniformed HAL employee who said we could use it.
  5. I am curious about when you have suffered long lines getting onboard HAL ships; this has never been our experience. For what it’s worth: in February we embarked from Ft. Lauderdale. After a quick check-in (no line whatsoever) we went to talke a seat to wait for our group number to be called to board. We realized there was an elevator directly in front of us, so we asked if we could use it. We were told yes, so we skipped waiting behind groups moving up the escalator, bypassed the line waiting to have their welcome aboard photo taken — we always avoid that — and were onboard in a flash. Maybe you could try that.
  6. Oooh, I really was not happy with the most recent episode - the Survival one. It seemed cruel to me to not only force the designers to sleep and work in 40 degree temperatures (lower at night!) with wind and rain, but to require the models to strip in the cold wind several times to be fitted, then walk the runway and stand freezing and shivering while the outfits were being critiqued and discussed. Horrible!!! I did not think the looks that met the survival challenge were attractive at all, and the attractive ones were completely non- survivable! Bad, bad episode, IMO.
  7. As I mentioned in my original post, we were told by crew members that the crew shows had been dropped from 7-night cruises but might still be available on longer ones. Really, though, crew members aren’t good sources of info about the reasons behind decisions nor about what may be happening on other ships, even ones they may recently have worked on, since policies change.
  8. Nooooo! Say it ain’t so!!! 😢
  9. We just got off Oosterdam (14 night back-to-back E/W Caribbean) after having taken a more or less identical cruise last year on Eurodam. While on Eurodam I felt it was a little big for my preference, perhaps because the ship was so stable that I could not tell when it was moving! I prefer just a little motion to be able to tell I'm at sea. Even though we had a lovely cruise, I chose Oosterdam this year for its slightly smaller size. At this juncture I must say that we had great cruises on both ships and would recommend both to anyone! That being said... While onboard Oosterdam, I began to find myself missing some aspects of Eurodam. One of those things was the Tamarind Bar, which we loved for the decor and the view. We also missed the atrium staircase! It does not exist on Oosterdam! Going between Decks 2 and 3 in that area requires going forward or backward to a stairway or elevator. So there is no opportunity to take lovely Gala night photos on the beautiful curved stairway such as we did on Eurodam. In general, the fact that Eurodam was slightly bigger than Oosterdam gave us more public space to explore and enjoy, and caused me to feel just a tiny bit cramped on Oosterdam. Our Signature suite on Oosterdam was good-sized, but not as much bigger than our regular balcony cabin on Eurodam as I had expected. We felt the atmosphere on Eurodam, especially in the MDR, was more relaxed and flexible than on Oosterdam. On Eurodam we were able to make reservations for a particular table in Anytime dining for the entire cruise, at the hour of our choosing. And no one minded that our preferred table was a 4-top, though there were only two of us. On Oosterdam, we had to wait until the second half of our cruise to reserve a table, and we were given only two time options: 5:15 or 8:00 (even though the table was in Anytime dining); and because there were only two of us, the host would not let us reserve a 4-top, even though we were eating late and demand was low. On Eurodam, our waiter brought me a cappuccino every evening after dinner just because he knew I liked them, and he never charged me. On Oosterdam, we were charged for every specialty coffee. I recognize that "free" cappuccinos is not something I should have expected, and I certainly offered to pay on Eurodam. But for me this was representative of the more relaxed, less regimented frame of mind on Eurodam. Also on Eurodam, even though we left the dining room quite late -- usually after 9:30, there was always ginger and mints still available at the door, and someone always served me. On Oosterdam, by 9 or 9:15 the ginger and mints were gone, and even when they were available earlier, pax were serving themselves because there was no staff member to serve them. I thought this unsanitary and certainly less elegant than having the uniformed doorman serving me ginger in little paper cones he fashioned out of napkins as had been the case on Eurodam. On Oosterdam we had afternoon tea every day, but it was always served in the dining room. On Eurodam tea was often served in the Ocean Bar, because dancing would be available at the same time. There was no Tea Dance at all on Oosterdam. Oosterdam's decor was more beautiful than Eurodam's, in my opinion. The lounges were stunning. Since I found myself feeling just a little nostalgic for Eurodam while on Oosterdam, I realized I had not appreciated Eurodam quite so much as I should have when I was on her!
  10. Your comment is based on an error in logic. To say that “mature, intellectual cruisers” MAY enjoy something in no way implies that they would NOT enjoy something else.
  11. Eurodam and Oosterdam: ❤️❤️❤️ MDR: Soups, soups, soups, soups!!! Rolls! Especially the ones covered in seeds! (Doesn't matter which seeds!) NY strip Indonesian dinner (special order) Vegetarian entrees, especially mushroom puff pastry Baramundi Fried plantain Lido Market: Salad bar Small plates, esp roasted vegetables Roasted vegetable grab 'n go sandwiches Prosciutto and butter grab 'n go sandwiches Smoked salmon Made to order pasta
  12. Our experience on this excursion (not so recent as some) was great! Since the distance required to drive to the marina and the time to sail to St. John has not changed since we were on the same excursion, I think I can assure you that you will have plenty of time in the water. Yes, the drive across the island is a little long, but you get a good feel for the place. The sail to St. John is beautiful. We were in the water long enough for me to start feeling chilly (in March) -- at least 45 minutes -- which is pretty normal for the many snorkel excursions I've been on. The area where you will snorkel is plenty big to accommodate everybody -- you can easily get away from others if you want to. If you have folks who drink too much on the way back, well, it happens...I, myself, have never seen a passenger go overboard or anyone lose their stomach contents on any snorkel excursion "after party" in 13 years of excursions, even in choppy waters or on outings sponsored by the "fun ships."
  13. We just got off Oosterdam a month ago and I will say that every vegetarian option on the regular dining room menu I tried was fabulous! Not so on other (non-HAL) ships I've been on, but oh, so yummy on Oosterdam!! And you can find just about ANYTHING anyone would want at the Lido buffet. Vegetables is one thing Oosterdam does exceedingly well, IMO. Salads, roasted veggies, soups, vegetarian entrees...mmmmmmmm ❤️❤️❤️
  14. You will have no problem finding lovely bars and lounges in which to spend time with your family on Eurodam! The Gallery Bar is one of several great options, and it has games! Tamarind Bar is stunning, with beautiful views, and at least on our Eurodam cruise last year, virtually empty most of the time. The Crow's Nest is always great, and has several quiet corners with comfortable seating. Explore the ship, together or apart, and you'll find your "home base!"
  15. Friends of ours had the equivalent cabin on our recent Oosterdam cruise. They were thrilled with their giant balcony, said the staircase was never used (as far as they knew by ear) except when it was used by them and crew members during muster!
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