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Everything posted by TAD2005

  1. I also prefer the on demand movies. If you start watching a movie and stop it mid-stream for dinner, you can resume where you left off. The biggest problem I have experienced with the DVD lending library is that there is little or no enforcement of the return dates by the front desk. You have a limited amount of time to watch the DVD and return it. Many people ignore that time limit and return a load of DVD's at the end of the cruise, or they simply let the cabin steward return them after the guest has vacated the cabin on disembarkation day. That is not fair to other passengers. Many times, I make a list of titles from the movie book that I would like, and call the front desk. After a long time, digging through a file cabinet of DVD's, they come back on the phone and apologize that none of my selections are available. They were supposed to be returned, but the guests have not done so. A good backup is to bring your own supply of DVD's and enjoy the encores.
  2. We always select a table for 2 in late (main) seating. Because there are much fewer 2-tops than other sized tables in the MDR, we always seek out the e-mail address for the ship's coordinator for the ship we will be on. We use the MDR layouts with table numbers that are available on halfacts dot com, and select 10 tables that will work for us. We send that request to the ship's coordinator around 4 or 5 months out from our cruise. We have always received one of our top 3 selections. The same will work for early seating, but it is more popular, so book early. If you want anytime dining, you can only reserve tables outside of the busy hours which are 6:00 pm to 7:30, but those times vary on each ship. If you show up and ask for a 2-top in the busy hours, you may get some delays depending on availability. We love having the same waiter and assistant, our favorite rolls and drinks are waiting for us on the table, the waiters know how we like our food cooked, and they treat us very special because we will be with them most nights for the duration of the cruise. If you really like the privacy of a 2-top, then why play games with anytime ? Reserve a table in early or main fixed seating and you can just walk into the MDR and your table is waiting, no delays.
  3. HAL's largest (and newest) ship, the Nieuw Statendam is 935 ft long. The Rotterdam is 780 ft long. That 150 ft difference will not make any difference in the motion of the ship and the Rotterdam is definitely not a "very small ship". We have been on 4 Trans-Atlantics on the Rotterdam, and we have a 5th booked in 2020. The motion is negligible, unless you get into 20-30 ft seas. Then there will be pitching up and down as the ship climbs over the swells. But this happens on all ships, even the "monsters". We have also cruised on the Windsurf, which is a 5 masted motor-sail ship with only 330 passengers, and that IS a "very small ship". We did a trans-atlantic on that one and yes, you do feel a lot of motion when the seas are rough. Pick a mid-ship cabin on a lower deck and you will be fine.
  4. The last I heard from a Future Cruise Consultant onboard the Eurodam in March, the Rotterdam will have the larger flat screen TV's in the Vista suits and up, but they will still have the regular channels that the smaller ships have. They will still have the DVD players and the book of titles available at the front desk. The Lanai cabins, Ocean View and inside cabins will still have the smaller flat screen TV's at the small desk with a DVD player under it. The FCC told me that the on-demand, interactive service requires an ethernet cable to be run to each cabin which and that was "too much work for the smaller ships while in drydock". That answer makes no sense, because they did it during drydock on all of the Vista class ships and they are larger and have more cabins.
  5. We had over $1000 in OBC, $800 from HAL and the rest paid by me. We were on a 28 day cruise, so the hold is $30 per day, per person, ($60 per day/per person for cruises 25 days and under), and HAL still put a $840 per person hold on our credit card the day after sailing, for a total of $1680. And we also pre-purchased the SBP for both of us, and we had prepaid hotel service charge (tips). So, it doesn't seem to matter how much OBC you have if part of it was provided from HAL. With our experience, the HAL credit card holds drop off within 5 to 7 days. But you do need to have at least $60 per day/per person available on the card you provide to HAL, or post a cash deposit with the front desk in that amount. When people do post a cash deposit in lieu of a credit card hold, I have heard that the front desk will work with you on the amount, if you do have the SBP and a lot of OBC.
  6. It's definitely a Party-Starter. I also like a Zombie. That is a real potent drink' It has 3 different types of rum. I'm not sure if this would be considered a single drink under the SBP. It may be a double. Recipe: 1.5 OZ RUM 1.5 OZ RUM 1 OZ RUM .25 OZ ABSINTHE .5 OZ FALERNUM .5 OZ DONN'S MIX 0.5 OZ LIME JUICE 1 TSP GRENADINE 1 DASH BITTERS 1 SPRIG FRESH MINT
  7. If you book the PG dinner online, you will have to pay the full $39 P/P (new rate as of June 2019). When you board, check your onboard account on Navigator. You should see a 50% Loyalty Credit if you are 4 star, but 5 star sometimes requires a trip to the front desk to get the charge reversed.
  8. I tried the Wang Wang on my last cruise. It has 8 different types of alcohol. But it goes down smoothly, and compared to other drinks, not overwhelming. And it is 100% included in the Signature Beverage Package, just like a Long Island Ice tea and only counts as one drink in your daily 15 allotment.. The recipe, courtesy of Copper 10-8 1/4 oz Vodka 1/4 oz Gin 1/4 oz White Rum 1/4 oz Scotch 1/4 oz Bourbon 1/4 oz Tequila 1/4 Triple Sec 1/4 oz Brandy Top it off with Pineapple and Orange Juice Add a splash of Grenadine
  9. True, but they are the ones who stack your luggage into the steel cage. And they really don't care if your bag is on the bottom of 100 other bags. They just throw them into the cage. Forklift operators move those steel cages to the ship's hold.
  10. As far as I know, it must be done on the ship.
  11. If you have the SBP or Elite package, the only drink prices you need to worry about is $11 and under for SBP or $15 and under for Elite, and those prices are MENU prices. Forget about the 15% SC, and leave your calculator back in the cabin. You have already paid the 15% SC when you bought the package, and it is covered by HAL if you got it with Explore-4 or EBB. An $11 drink with the SBP will not cost you a penny more. A $12 drink with the SBP will cost you $12 plus 15%. And that $12 drink will not count towards your daily 15 alcoholic drinks.
  12. We got a full engine room tour back in 1998 on the Norwegian Crown. We got to know the Chief Engineer, and he gave us a personal tour. We were issued hearing protectors due to the deafening noise of the multiple diesel engines. We did have to climb up and down metal stairs, and wear hardhats. We also saw a few playmate calendars hanging around. The whole area was very clean, not oily or greasy, and well air conditioned.
  13. Considering that cruising only represents around 5% of the total marine traffic in the world, you would expect that there are hundreds more incidents like this that go unreported by freighters, bulk carriers, and oil and gas tankers. No passengers onboard with cameras, so no news.
  14. The cost of the upgrade from SBP to Elite depends on when and how you got the original SBP. If you bought it before the cruise, online, you paid $44.95 per day. If you wait to buy it on the ship, during the first day, you paid $54.95 (new price as of April 2019). The Elite package costs $59.95 per day All per day prices are plus 15% service charge, which you pay upfront, not on each drink. The only drink price you have to concern yourself with is the menu price, either $11 and under for the SBP or $15 and under for the Elite. Don't sweat the service charge, you have already paid it when you purchased the package, or it was included with a promotion like Explore-4 or Early Booking Bonus. To upgrade from SBP to Elite, you will have to pay the $10 per day if you bought the SBP online, or $5 per day if you bought it on the ship and quickly changed your mind The $10 and $5 upgrade prices per day, are also plus 15%. If you got the SBP through Explore-4 or EBB, then the date of your booking will determine what you have to pay to upgrade and, as others have said, you may have to do some arm twisting to upgrade a promotional SBP..
  15. Setup a Skype account, deposit $10 or equivalent in your currency, and you can call any landline or cell phone in the US, Seattle. I'm not sure which country you are in, but from the US, I can call any landline phone in Europe for 20 US cents a minute.
  16. Love your screen name, Smurfgirl. My daughter (now age 40) had the full collection of smurfs when she was around 7 or 8. Big ones, little ones, the smurf village, Gargamel, his cat, etc. I don't know if she passed those down to her kids, but they might be worth something, like the "Cabbage Patch Kids" are now, of which she had about 7.
  17. Our experience for multiple Collectors Cruises, (not B2B, totally different) is that you only have to attend a muster drill every 30 days. HAL sends around a notice to passengers who are continuing on at the mid-point. They will tell you about the 30 day rule, and occasionally provide you with a transit pass to get priority boarding if you happen to return to the ship in the middle of the boarding process of the passengers joining the ship at that port.
  18. Here is a screen shot of my onboard folio from the HAL Navigator concerning use of the HAL onboard credit. Date: Location: Charges: 3/9/2019 Promo Credits(Not Valid For Casino Or Cash) ($400.00) 3/9/2019 Promo Credits(Not Valid For Casino Or Cash) ($400.00) At least on the Eurodam last March, you could not tap your OBC for use in the casino. You could buy chips at the casino cage (no fee) or load up a one-armed-bandit with cash, but that cash will come from the credit card you have on deposit.
  19. The stevedores at most ports are not know for their gentle treatment of passenger's luggage, no matter how much you tip them. You luggage, along with everyone else's, goes into a huge steel cage that is loaded onto the ship by forklift. If your Pepsi-laden bag happens to be near the bottom of the pile in the steel luggage cage, then you will have hundreds of pounds of bags on top of your's. If the pressure is too great, your hot Pepsi cans will explode all over your clothes and any unfortunate passenger's bags below your's in the cage. Carry it on, so you don't unintentionally cause other passengers to incur laundry fees on their first day. Nothing like sticky sugary soda in your underwear !!
  20. This is a media knee-jerk reaction to the protest incident in Kiel Germany of another HAL ship. The press loves to "pile on" to make headlines, so for the present, it's open season on HAL ships. If some passenger throws a plastic straw overboard, it will he headlines around the world. .
  21. I'm with Ruth. We always have a few pre-dinner cocktails from 7:00 pm to dinner time at 8:00. However, if HAL wants to cut into their beverage consumption revenue by forcing late seating diners to take in a show at 7:00 pm instead of paying money for drinks, then I would wonder what morons in Seattle are making these dumb decisions ?
  22. There is no pre-sailing discount for the SBP on HAL. But there is a Post-Sailing penalty for booking the SBP onboard. Like the Elite Beverage Package now, the SBP was always the same price, purchased online, before the cruise, or purchased on the ship, before January 2016. After that date, HAL realized that many people were using their free, HAL provided onboard cabin credit to buy part or all of the SBP. HAL would rather you use your free OBC to buy very high markup items like spa treatments, photo packages, and shore excursions. They would rather you use your own money to buy the SBP online, which has a relatively lower markup than the other items. It used to be a $5 per day penalty for waiting to buy onboard, but now, it is $10 per day.
  23. We were recently on the Eurodam, with the SBP, and we always take 2 bottles of water back to our cabin at the end of an evening. Occasionally, the Seaview bar would not have any 500 ml bottles, so they gave us one liter bottles with no problem and no charge. Sometimes, we would forget to bring bottles of water back to the cabin, so we would use one of the 2 bottles that are in the cabin, as part of the mini-bar. The next day we would replace that bottle with one purchased from a bar, using the SBP, and never incurred a room charge. The bars would supply us with the exact size and brand of water that is provided in the cabin.
  24. It is difficult to impossible to plug any HDMI or USB cables into the wall mounted TV's on the Vista Class and larger ships. And, if you could somehow figure a way to get your hands behind the wall-mounted TV and get a cable plugged in, the remote control has no provisions to switch the TV inputs away from the Ethernet connection to the ship's video servers. You would have to bring a universal remote and figure out the codes to be able to switch the TV's inputs. I would think your best bet would be Club HAL.
  25. We booked a 29 day cruise on the Rotterdam on Oct 3, 2020, Rotterdam to Ft. Lauderdale while we were onboard the Eurodam in March 2019. I have been checking the fares for this cruise for many months, before the EBB promotion started. When we booked with the FCC onboard, we were told that the fare was still the same, but we also would receive the Signature Beverage Package for the full 29 days and a Pinnacle Grill dinner. That SBP for 2 people for a 29 day cruise would be $3000 including the 15% service charge if we were to buy it. I can't imagine that when the EBB promotion drops on June 30, that my cruise fare will drop by $1500 per person. That price drop would reduce my cruise fare down to $100 per day for a Lanai cabin. Never happen. Unlike Explore-4, where the cruise fare usually goes up by the exact amount of the SBP, for some strange reason, my fare has not changed. I will be watching on July 1 when the EBB drops off, and see what my cruise fare will be.
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