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Everything posted by TAD2005

  1. Every cruise line has their special term for open seating dinner. HAL's official term is "As You Wish Dining".
  2. Right after graduating from Drexel in Philadelphia in 1971, I was a DJ on the now defunct WIBG radio, 990 on the AM dial (Ancient Modulation), and I played a lot of BB-King music on the all night grave yard shift. Just love the "Philly Sound" of Doo-Wop and 60's & 70's rock-n-roll.
  3. Lucille !, but I will admin to checking it on Wikipedia. The BB part of BB King is for Blues Boy, but his real name was Riley King. Of all the music venues on HAL, BB King Blues Club is the best. I have not yet experienced Rolling Stone Rock Room.
  4. God !!! can't anyone recognize a little humor these days ? I assumed that most who cruise on HAL must be at least in their 40's and up and BB King was a famous musician who lived 89 years and died in May 2015. He specialized in blues, but also played good 'ol rock-n-roll, plus some jazz on his guitar. Which is exactly the kind of music the BB-King Blues Club plays on HAL ships. That is what I responded. Sorry if you thought I was being snarky. There's a running joke these days..... How do you drive millennials crazy ? Lock them in a room with a rotary dial phone, a 12 channel TV with rabbit ears and no remote control.
  5. I have ordered distilled water from the website for many cruises over the years. We have gotten it when boarding in Athens, Venice, Barcelona, San Diego, Ft. Laurerdale, and Rotterdam. In Europe the jug is usually 4 or 5 liters. In the US ports, it is a US gallon. I go through a gallon in 2 weeks. A long time ago, the cost was $4.95 per gallon, but in 2017, the price is now $2.95 and we have never been disappointed with delivery in our cabin upon arrival.
  6. We will arrive in Schiphol in October, 2020 for a HAL cruise out of Rotterdam. We need a hotel for 3 nights. We want one near lots of good restaurants, and it would be a plus if it had a quality restaurant in the hotel. Everything should be within walking distance. Any suggestions ?
  7. If you are asking "what kind of music does BB-King play", then you must be very young (under 30) or you lived your youth in Siberia !! It's Rock-n-Roll, blues, jazz and music from the late 20th century.
  8. Due to the width of the ship on deck 10, the balconies of the added cabins on deck 10 are not very deep, maybe 4 ft. I heard one person describe sitting on the chair on one of those "Juliette Balconies" as "knees on the glass". Otherwise, the cabin interiors are the same as other veranda cabins, just higher up. The views are very nice.
  9. Exactly what Ruth said. She, as usual, nailed it !! If you manage to get the SBP through a "free" promotion, the same applies. The 15% SC is already paid and you only have to consider the menu price of the beverage.
  10. Saw a news story today about the Ryndam new build. They mentioned the extra tariff restaurants like Rudi's , PG, Canaletto, but no mention of Tamarind. The entertainment listed BB-King Blues Club, Lincoln Center Stage, and Rolling Stone Rock Room, and a 270 degree Center Stage. No mention of Billboard Onboard. I wonder if that venue has run its course ?? Maybe they will now upgrade to the Rock Room instead of Dueling Pianos ?? This was a news story on the internet, so maybe they didn't mention all of the dining and entertainment features.
  11. For pets in the cabin (legitimate pets in carriers and their passage is paid for) the weight limit is 20 lbs including the carrier. The carrier must meet the under seat size specifications for the aircraft you are flying on. The check-in counters usually do not weigh the pet and carrier, they just look to see if the carrier is within the size limits and if the dog (or cat) is not crammed in there with no ability to turn around and stretch out. If your pet is over 20 lbs, then it must fly in the cargo hold in a hard-sided pet carrier. The flight crew is notified that live animals are in the cargo hold, so they make sure the temperature is warm enough. The cargo holds are always pressurized to the same level as the passenger cabin. There is only a porous metal floor with carpeting dividing the passenger cabin and the cargo hold. So the whole interior of the plane is pressurized equally. There is no difference in oxygen levels between the 2 areas. But there is a temperature difference, and when they are notified, the flight crew keeps the cargo hold warm enough for pets.
  12. It was on the Eurodam, 28 day March 9, 2019, San Diego, Hawaii, Tahiti, Marquesas, San Diego cruise. We spoke with the Food & Beverage manager on the cruise, and he said that they always have plenty of steaks and chops. It's the lobster tails that they only order a limited supply of. But he personally didn't like the $10 policy.
  13. We had a Lanai cabin on the Rotterdam. The cabin is the same size as the OV cabins, but the bed is moved away from the window area and places like it would be in a Veranda cabin. This reduces the space available due to the small couch, desk and sliding glass door. There were 2 of us in the Lanai cabin for 14 days, and it was tight, but OK. Our only issue was the early morning noise from the dish washing section of the MDR kitchen directly above.
  14. All HAL ships from the 1st Vista Class and later have mini-fridges in all cabins, even insides and OV's. The R & S class ships only have fridges in Vista Suites, Neptune Suites, and Pinnacle Suites. Insides, OV's and Lanai cabins in the R & S class ships have no mini fridge. But you rent one for $2 a day. The only place to put it is within 5 ft of the desk outlets due to the electrical cord. So, that means the fridge must be under your desk, or on the side of it. If you put it under the desk, you will have no knee room under the desk, if that is important to you.
  15. Part of the problem of people trying to quality their dog as a "comfort animal" is the airlines insane policy of charging anywhere between $100 and $250 EACH WAY to carry a small pet in the cabin with you, in a soft side carrier. Sometimes the cost of the round trip fees for the pet exceed the fare that the human pays, and the dog doesn't even get a Coke and a bag of chips !! Also, many planes have metal boxes under the seat in front of you for the in-flight entertainment system. This metal box will prevent you from placing your pet carrier under the seat in front of you, as required, and you have no idea if the seat you select has that obstruction until you board. Even Seat Guru dot com doesn't inform you of obstructions under a seat in front of you. The pet carrier with the pet count as your ONE allowed carry-on item, so on some airlines, if you also have a carry-on with a laptop, medicine, etc, you have to pay for the 2nd carry-on. All of these issues are part of the reason that many people try to sneak their pets on planes as comfort animals to bypass the expense and hassles of a pet carrier.
  16. HAL provides a great hairdryer in all cabins. They are 220 volt units and MUST be plugged into the outlet at the desk, NOT the "shaver only" outlet in the bathroom.
  17. The cruise lines do have policies to address bad weather and missed ports, and that is in every cruise contract, the contract that very few passengers actually read. However, to make the most out of a region, the cruise lines seem to be extending the seasons in areas where weather can get very ugly earlier than usual. Alaska and Northern Europe are 2 areas that can have bad weather earlier than expected. Years ago, the cruising season in Alaska was from late May to early September. Now, the Alaska season is extended from April to October. The very early and very late cruises in those seasons are subject to bad weather and missed ports. People should be aware that this could happen, but the cruise lines should not extend the seasons to the point that the early and late cruises are routinely impacted by bad weather.
  18. The SBP is valuable to us on cruises up to 20 - 25 days. You're on vacation, the captain is driving, and you tend to let loose a bit. But on the longer cruises, we tend to revert back to the beverage consumption levels that we are used to at home. Unfortunately, HAL will not allow you to purchase the SBP for the first 25 days of your 74 day cruise. It's all or nothing. So, on those extra long cruises, we pay as we go, and it all washes in the end. Strangely enough, we booked a 29 day Rotterdam cruise in Oct 2020 while onboard. We thought we would pay as we go for the beverages. The future cruise consultant told us that HAL had a promotion running for that cruise called Early Booking Bonus. With that promotion, we got a 29 day SBP and a PG dinner. The SBP for 29 days would cost us $1499.30 per person. Amazingly, the price for the cruise was the same as it was 6 months earlier when we first started looking at it, long before the EBB promotion was applied. A $3000 perk. Wow !!
  19. I have seen this first hand. People feeding their "comfort" dogs from the table food. Unless a dog is accustomed to eating people food on a regular basis, a few servings of people food will generate a very loose, and sometimes uncontrollable BM. That would be a disaster on any kind of carpet. Sorry to be so graphic, but that is what happens when you abruptly change a dog's diet to rich, salty, people food. The dog's digestive system just can't handle the change.
  20. I take some veggies on a plate from the Lido out to the NY Pizza bar and give the plate to the order-taker. I tell him to add these to my pizza. I have also done that with bacon strips. Real bacon on a pizza is yummy. Bacon on anything is yummy !!!
  21. The hair dryer is in a little blue bag in one of the drawers or cabinets at the desk. The hair dryer cannot be plugged into the bathroom outlet, because that outlet is only for very light loads like a shaver. It must be plugged into the 220 volt outlet at the desk, which is why the dryer is stored there. If you plug it into the outlet in the bathroom, it will trip the breaker. That outlet has a symbol showing "shavers only".
  22. Usually, if it's on the menu in the MDR, you will find it in the Lido Market. No guarantees, but on all HAL cruises I've been on, it was on the menu when offered in the MDR. One tail per customer, but you can come back for seconds.
  23. You are expecting passengers to be considerate of their fellow passengers in today's "Me First" environment. This brings to memory a very old Perry Como song, "Dream On, Little Dreamer, Dream On" !!!
  24. HAL always tacks on a hefty commission on outside services, such as shore excursions, transfers, and hotels. With hotels, the big problem is that HAL charges "per-person" for the room rate. A typical hotel costing $250 per night for the room, if you book it yourself, will cost $199 per-person, per night booked with HAL. You save $150 by booking yourself. HAL will hold a number of rooms in their selected hotel. But if you contact the hotel very early, (many months early) and book it yourself, you will save a bunch.
  25. There should be big sign in the Lido Market. "Take all you want, but eat all you take".
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