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About CruisingGrandmaW

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    San Diego, CA
  • Interests
    Travel, Travel & Travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Crystal, Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    All Regions

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  1. TY for all your Posts. I'll be taking the VOV 2020. Re: Hotel Stay Did Embassy Suite offer Free Transportation from Hotel to Cruise Terminal? If not, please share method of transportation & cost from Hotel to Cruise Terminal. TY
  2. We called our HAL PCC on this. We have a 28 day Cruise booked in Jan 2021. We had booked a Class VE Balcony Cabin in the Aft on Deck 7. At time of booking it came with a total of $600 OBC & Free Premiere Internet Package for entire cruise for both my husband & myself. Plus 2 free dinners at the Pinnacle Grill. The Explore4 Promo was offering the same amenities as our original booking with the exception that the OBC would be $800. However, the basic price of the cruise had gone up over $1,000 in price - so the Explore4 Promo was not advantageous in pricing for us.
  3. WE have stayed in a fully obstructed view on Nieuw Amsterdam. The cabin was nice & large - same size as an unobstructed Balcony CAbin & much larger than an inside cabin. BUT it WAS fully obstructed. There was a lifeboat that completely blocked the view. You could only see tidbits of the sky. However, it did not darken our room at all. The windows are full size floor to ceiling just as if you had a walk out to a balcony. There is NO door nor any balcony - so you won't be able to open a door or walk out to any balcony. We kept the undersheer curtains drawn during the day which made our room pleasant. It blocked the sight of the lifeboat yet let the sunlight into our Cabin.
  4. From Venice we've also found Port Side to be the best. Having said that ---- we generally LOVE to be outside at front of ship or on the Aft as we sail out of Venice. I have never sailed HAL from Venice --- just Celebrity. Celebrity plays Italian Opera as we sail out of Venice. You can only hear the music when you're outside. The outside view is magnificent... especially at the front of the ship. You have a panoramic view of this magnificent city. You get to see the color of the skyline changing. There are normally sea birds flying around the ship as you depart. It is a magical experience. If your ship is returning to Venice -- then the return in the morning is just as magical & you need to be outside so you don't miss the sights, sounds & smells (nice smells like morning ocean dew) as you sail into Venice.
  5. Hate packing too --- but found this "system" to work best when packing for a cruise: 1) Use Packing Cubes - I can't live without them - wish I had discovered them years ago. My favorite is EBags-Ultra Lite - https://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/ultralight-packing-cubes-super-packer-5pc-set/309406?productid=10408193 You don't have to buy them in sets - you can buy them individually. They not only fit so nicely inside your luggage - keeping items from shifting ----- but most importantly you can move the cube straight from your luggage into the closet shelf / drawers etc. 2) Start packing your toiletries & medicines etc one month prior. I use one cube for cold medicines, bandages, etc etc. That cube comes out of the luggage & into one of the drawers you find under the foot of the bed that I've found on Holland America's Cruise Ships. 3) Any items we put into the nightstand drawers of our Cabin -- goes into another packing cube to be easily transferred there. (one for hubby & one for me) 3) One cube each for hubby & my personal toiletry items These cubes then move easily to shelf under sink in Cabin bathroom. 4) I set aside 2 cubes - one for my makeup & one for hair brushes, hair spray, hair clips etc. We travel often enough that I have bought a 2nd set of these items & always leave them in these packing cubes in-between trips. They go from luggage into the side cabinet of the Vanity Sitting Desk in the Cabin. 5) I also pack this early out -- any jewelry/shoes/belts etc that we will wear only on the cruise. I also pack our traveling documents & money.... putting them into the piece of hand carry luggage I'm bringing. 5) Two weeks prior to cruise I pack our clothes. We are retired -- so we will just wear a "stay at home" T-shirt/pants outfit & always have extra 7 days of underwear that will remain at home. Here is how I go about packing our clothes. Use a separate packing cube for each person's underwear - it will transfer nicely from luggage to their shelf or drawer. No need to remove items from packing cube. Just unzip the top & fold it under the bottom of cube. T-Shirts/Shorts/swimsuits etc - anything that you're not going to hang. I roll or fold if you don't mind the folding creases & place inside a packing cube. (Again make one for each person & they transfer so easily from luggage to shelf/drawer) NOW MY WRINKLE FREE TECHNIQUE that works for me. 1) Starting with your longer pants - place them lengthwise - with bottom of pant legs hanging out of the luggage & waist snug on opposite edge of bottom of luggage. Alternate each pant so you have the next leg overhanging on the opposite side. 2) Now layer your shirts/blouses by (making sure to button or zip closed first). You will layer these alternately crosswise - Placing the collar along the outer edge of the luggage & letting the sleeves & bottom of shirt hang out over the edges of the luggage. 3) Keep layering - but leave enough room to place some of the lighter weight packing cubes (like the underwear or T-Shirt ones) on top of this layer of clothes. 4) I place my luggage on my large dining room table as I'm packing it I then leave the luggage open until the night before I leave. 5) On night before departure --- I then start layer by layer folding each shirt tail/sleeves over & into the luggage. Now do the same with pants & strap them in. (The packing cubes inside keep the clothes from compacting). I find the clothes to almost be 100% wrinkle free when I remove them from the luggage & hang them. Note: I have layered & finished packing my luggage this way even 2 weeks prior to leaving. As long as I keep the luggage flat on my dining room table -- the clothes are still wrinkle free when I unpack them. Packing Cubes --- I use them even for weekend trips & long Non-Cruise trips (like 3 months traveling by car in Europe). The difference is I do fold or roll ALL clothes into the packing cubes. The cubes make it easy to remove the cube you need from your luggage without disturbing other packed items - to remove the one item you need,
  6. Hi Ariel: The CC Roll Call I've been on has quite a few repeat Grand Voyage & World Cruise members. The ones who have fared the best in price reduction and/or added OBC/Paid Gratuities new offers ----- are those who use a PCC directly with HAL. I think they said they are able to re-negotiate the price paid & the added amenities up to when Final Payment is due for the cruise.
  7. We've been on 93 cruises - almost all Cruise lines. But never the MSC Yes I was in an interior Cabin on Nieuw Amsterdam. It was towards the back of the ship I believe 2nd deck from bottom & it was tiny. I've done interior cabins on other cruise lines - this was the smallest cabin I've seen. You are getting other input though & it sounds like interior cabins in other locations on the Nieuw Amsterdam are larger. There was plenty of storage. The closets were actually at the end of an interior hallway you have in the cabin that leads to the bathroom. One on the back wall & the other facing it. A little cramped but plenty of storage in it. Instead of a couch it had two ottomans & a small table near the door opposite foot of bed. The ottoman's had lids that opened to give you more storage. Anyway - just heads up so you won't be surprised if you find your interior cabin smaller than you liking. If you check with front desk ASAP & are interested --- if you don't like the interior cabin you may be able to pay a very small fee for an upgrade. Any cruise - no matter what -- is a FUN one -- Right?? Happy Sailing!
  8. Not personally having been on the Koningsdam I cannot speak first hand. But, the other HAL passengers told us that the interior cabins on the Nieuw Amsterdam were the smallest they had seen on any other HAL ship. Hopefully you will have someone other than me give you some input. The Koningsdam is one of HAL's Pinnacle Class Ships - the Nieuw Amsterdam is in their Signature Class ships.
  9. I don't know when you are sailing --- but all I can say is DO NOT book an interior cabin. They do not look anything like the HAL Website. These are cramped cabins. Everyone on our Nov 2018 sailing who had interior cabins were complaining & trying to get a cabin change to an OV. Luckily since we had a 51 day Cruise booked for following year - HAL did upgrade us to a fully obstructed OV Cabin. Thank God! Many 1st HAL timers who had gone interior -- said they would never sail HAL again because of the size of their cabin.
  10. Dancing: My hubby & I are big dancers. We were last on the Nieuw Amsterdam in April 2019. There was only dancing with a live band in BB King's - it was blues/jazz. Definitely not ballroom. There was a DJ at late at night - but we never went so can't say what type of music they may have played. Dining: Both Early & Late seating were fully booked - so we had to go Open Seating. But it was perfect. We are early diners & whenever we went down between opening & an hour later we always got right in, The Open seating floor is the lower floor. Once they took us up to the Upper Dining room -- it was SO NOISY. Be glad you are in Open seating.
  11. Gosh you may already be on your cruise. We booked an inside cabin & HATED it. It was the smallest inside cabin we have ever seen!!! Luckily ship was not at capacity so we quickly went to front desk & got a cabin change to a partial obstructed Balcony for just $106 (this was an 18 day cruise). The pictures on HAL website are NOT what the interior cabins look like. They are much smaller. Favorite place to hang out was definitely the Crow's Nest. 2nd - Poolside at main pool. We would would go front - Starboard so that when they opened the canopy above pool we still had shade. Starboard was opposite the Ping Pong tables & quieter.
  12. Gosh you may already be on your cruise. We booked an inside cabin & HATED it. It was the smallest inside cabin we have ever seen!!! Luckily ship was not at capacity so we quickly went to front desk & got a cabin change to a partial obstructed Balcony for just $106 (this was an 18 day cruise). The pictures on HAL website are NOT what the interior cabins look like. They are much smaller.
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