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About Machta

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  1. Good afternoon, all! We have cruised on Holland America several times. In summer 2020 or possibly 2021 I think we are going to try one of Princess' British Isles cruises. There will be 3 adults in one cabin, and we prefer either a large balcony cabin or small suite. If I put down a refundable deposit now, what are the chances that the pricing will drop between now and final payment? With HAL it depends on the time of year, the ship, and the itinerary. Is Princess similar? Thanks in advance -- we appreciate your help! Liz
  2. Thank you all for your very educated and insightful replies. You have convinced me; I booked a flight for the day before. I really appreciate your help, and I'm humbled by the collective level of knowledge and experience. Thank you all so much!
  3. Hi folks! We've just returned from the Nieuw Statendam from Amsterdam and so of course we need to book our next cruise. For next summer on the Oosterdam out of Seattle I'm considering using HAL's Flight Ease. The prices for short (from Denver) domestic flights are comparable, but a little higher. It would make a difference if I knew if the airport transfer was included if we fly the same day (arrive SeaTac about 9am). I can't seem to find that anywhere on the Flight Ease website, but I've never looked at it before. Does anyone know? Also, since we are traveling the same day as the cruise, are we "protected" if the flight is delayed? Lastly, will we need to claim our luggage or will HAL do that for us with the transfer? Thanks in advance! Liz
  4. May I ask what time they requested that you be there?
  5. Good morning, all! We are sailing on the Nieuw Statendam at the end of this month. We've cruised on a number of the HAL larger ships, but never on the largest Pinnacle class. We were just notified that there is an embarkation schedule that starts at the top deck and works down (Neptunes and 4&5* at any time, of course). Since we're on the Beethoven Deck (4) they want us to arrive at 3:30 for a 5:00 sailing. That seems really, really late to me. We usually like to board between noon and 1pm. Has anyone gone through this embarkation procedure, and if so, what was your experience? Thanks in advance -- I appreciate your thoughts.
  6. Hello friends! At the end of July we are sailing on the Nieuw Statendam in Norway. Our daughter will be a senior in high school this year. I was thinking of using the photo package to have some individual and group photos taken, one of which she might use for her yearbook photo. We have never purchased the photo package before, so I don't know if this is a silly idea or not . . . Thoughts?
  7. Hello friends. We are sailing in the Nieuw Statendam in late July. We will have 3 teenagers/young adults with us. It means a lot to them to have a "tournament" with each other on the Xbox or similar gaming system. I heard a while ago that HAL rents out Xboxes on the ships. Does anyone have any details on that? And do they plug in to the TV in the stateroom? I'd appreciate any information you can provide.
  8. Hi all! We're going on a cruise to Norway on the Nieuw Statendam in late July. I love to get up early and swim before heading off for the day. Can anyone who has been on the NS or is on it now tell me when they open the Lido and Seaview pools in the morning? thank you!
  9. Hello all. We are sailing on the Nieuw Statendam in Norway this summer. My family tree is extensive in the area of Kristiansand, especially between there and Oslo at Gjerpen. We would really like to rent a car in Kristiansand and go see the church in Gjerpen and possibly a farmstead that has been linked to the family lore. The problem: it’s about 2.5 hours each way per google maps. Questions: Is it silly to try and drive that far in one day? if we are driving back and get close to sailing time, is there any way to contact the ship and would that make a difference? if we miss the ship can we drive to the next port the next day and get back on board there? Does HAL facilitate hiring cars and drivers instead of just renting a car ourselves? Any other suggestions? Thanks in advance ...
  10. Hi friends. We are booked on the Veendam for a Caribbean cruise in December. The date for final payment has just passed. I'm sort of obsessive about looking at how many cabins remain unsold, and for the Vista Suites there are at least 34 cabins unassigned. For Neptunes there are at least 8 unassigned. Two questions: Why did the price actually increase just before the final payment date? I would have thought that HAL would want to lower prices and start to sell more of the unassigned premium cabins. I read on another thread that when looking at the unassigned cabins shown on any particular view in a dummy booking you will never see more than 10 total. I certainly have never seen more than 10, and often they are grouped in blocks at one end of the deck on both sides. That looks very artificial to me, so I have wondered if there are more unassigned cabins than are being shown. Any thoughts? Bonus question: Knowing that there are rather a lot of cabins unassigned, when would you expect that the upsell offers would begin? And would you expect that they would follow HAL's typical pattern of starting high and having several rounds of upsell offers? Okay, so that's four questions. Or five. Or something. Thanks for your thoughts!
  11. Hi folks! In December we sail on our 6th HAL cruise. The Koningsdam will be a new ship for us. We've selected V5124, a verandah cabin right at the "corner" where the ship goes from skinny to full-figured (ha!). Has anyone had one of those staterooms? How big is the verandah really? And is there any extra furniture on it since it's so much larger? Lastly, is the entire verandah covered, or only partly covered? I'd love to see some photos . . . Thanks to all -- I learn so much from these forums just by lurking!
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