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About operakatz

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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  • Interests
    Knitting, Opera
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. The HAL sailings I've done had late night buffet 10:30-11:30p (and fresh foods with some variety from night to night - and manned stations (not self-serve)) and room service available after that time.
  2. My understanding is those January 2021 itineraries are the last ones HAL will be doing. I'm trying to find a way to swing it though probably just not in the cards. Not enough time to sock away enough to do it. Ugh.
  3. I wouldn't think it would be too bad - that group of cabins is below main dining room which is carpeted, so not like being under a wooden deck with deckchairs being dragged around. That being said, good chance you would not end up in one of those regardless...F guarantee means F or better. We did an OV F category last year on Eurodam, ended up with a C category mid ship.
  4. I sailed on Oosterdam Sept 1 and had a fabulous time. Got an upsell into a Neptune and oh, man, it's going to be hard to go back to normal cabins, we were so spoiled. Due to trying Anytime Dining this trip, we hit our goal of eating all dinners (save 1 at PG) and all breakfasts in MDR which was so much more relaxing than navigating the Lido (where I have found the food very good, just it's a bit of a gauntlet). The music venues were all very good (only beef is volume in BB Kings - the band was great, just loud). Only made it to mainstage for 1 dance show and it was...ok, but even if they had broadway shows, unlikely I would've made time to sit through a long show as that's not why I sail. The ship was well-maintained, classically pretty. Overall, service was excellent, food was good-to-excellent and meals in MDR were not slow. Only thing I missed from last year's cruise on Eurodam was Tamarind. There will always be something someone can think could be better or that was less-than-perfect. After reading comments on Oosterdam on this site, I went with a bit of trepidation. The ship and crew/staff assuaged those concerns completely and I would sail her again in a heartbeat.
  5. Indeed. That was the one disappointment from my recent cruise on Oosterdam - no PMJ on that run. BBKings is just too loud (tho the musicians' quality is great), Billboard has limited appeal, I have really enjoyed Lincoln Center Stage when doing masterworks (not particularly interested in movie music sort of programming), and PMJ would've been icing on the cake for us.
  6. We had Anytime Dining, so were always downstairs and there was no separate CO seating area. We did seem to always be in nice locations downstairs, usually oceanview/window. Most of the time (as we were always open for sharing tables) we were on CO folks at that particular table (tablemates occasionally asked why we seemed to have different menus). I will say the waitstaff seemed to handle the juggling between CO vs non-CO at any particular table pretty seamlessly.
  7. We had CO benefits with our Neptune Suite on Oosterdam. Being a Vista class, no separate dining area. We had Anytime Dining, so our CO perks were express seating (no line to wait in) and an additional "exclusive" entree. If I am recalling correctly, my companion may have chosen the special entree once? It was nice never having to wait in line but as we were always willing to share tables, there would not have been much of a queue for that in the regular line. Was it nice to have those options? Sure. Would I pay for it separately if it hadn't been included with our NS? No.
  8. How odd. We were on Oosterdam the Sept. 1 sailing to Alaska in a Neptune suite and there was no surcharge for those room service breakfast items...
  9. One of the things about HAL that makes me hesitant to go elsewhere is that the Lido is mostly NOT self-serve, which cuts down on the gross people issues.
  10. I occasionally encounter people who are astounded to find out opera singers are not amplified.
  11. I went on my first cruise just last year. I picked it primarily on itinerary and we sailed on Eurodam to Alaska. Part of why I moved to Seattle a couple years ago was to have easy access to a bucket list item: Alaska cruise. I somehow thought I'd be "one and done." But we had a fantastic time and while we knew nothing about how to play the price drop or upgrade game, we felt we got tremendous value for the average price for an oceanview we paid. I had always thought cruises were financially out of my reach as a regular vacation option but if you added up cost of transportation (even gas/tolls if driving car) + decent hotel + all meals + all activities and excursions, you would be hard pressed to beat the expediency of a cruise. A lovely ship takes you around, you unpack once, you have good food from various venues pretty much any time you want it. This year, when looking at itineraries, I was interested in one of the options sailing out of Vancouver on Celebrity. And I think it's probably a lovely ship. But the one thing that stopped me jumping lines was regular comments (never take 1-2 reviews about something - look for patterns) that the menus in complimentary dining venues were repeating over and over, so not much variety and hard pushes constantly to upsell into specialty dining. HAL spoiled us a bit with that. Yes we dined in Tamarind (so many had recommended it, no regrets, was a wonderful meal) but we didn't encounter repeating menus. And the manned stations in the buffet is a standard I prefer to the self-serve buffets in other lines. People are gross so anything that mitigates that behavior is great in my book. So, for cruise #2 I am again sailing with HAL. I don't have ANY interest in waterslides and go-carts or being on a ship with 5000 passengers - I want open spacious deck areas to be able to sit and breathe in the spectacular scenery. I figure I got lucky with my first choice - HAL was a good fit for what *I* want in an experience.
  12. On Eurodam last year, I went to Lincoln Center Stage numerous times (but I am a former opera singer and love live classical performance in general - I don't often enjoy the loudness of amplified venues). Never went to any mainstage shows other than the Planet Earth film w/live music, or Billboard or BB Kings (too loud for me). I have been a fan of PMJ for a few years now and would love to see them live.
  13. Sugar Fry Lady is a great nickname! Thanks for the review - we sail on Oosterdam this coming Sunday.
  14. I have heard PMJ is on some ships/sailings. Has anyone come across information that mentions which ships/sailings they are on?
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