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About rboysinmt

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    old cars, travel
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  1. We sailed the Veendam in Jan 2019, it's a small ship, only about 1300 passengers. There won't be as many choices on a smaller ship. It's very quiet in the way of activity, which is great if that's the experience you're looking for, HAL has larger ships which would offer more choices. We really liked the laid back elegance, and calmness of the Veendam. When my 19 year old son sailed the Amsterdam over Christmas with us, he said that it's like a floating nursing home, lol. The musical choices last winter were good, the shows were good, we really liked the piano bar. On the Veendam, we ate early dinner in the dining room every night, saw the shows every night, then to the piano bar, and we walked on the lower promenade day and night. The lower promenade is a great place to look at the ocean. It was a very enjoyable experience for us, but we understand not everyone else likes that type of atmosphere.
  2. Attached are scans of the weekly charts we had for Amsterdam 17 day cruise through the Panama Canal of the holidays. We traveled as 3 seniors and 3 adults. The two 20 somethings thought it was slow and were not as impressed with the shows. The last comedian was pretty blah, but the rest of the shows were worth attending. The only great show was an impromptu matinee put on by a couple of the production folks who were showing their parents what they could do on their own. Fabulous! Roy Tan really good piano. Akos Laki was great on the sax. McDonald was a good comedian. There were 2 bands and 2 piano bars each day/night with different choices. Very laid back style. I didn't keep any daily charts, but things like trivia games or game show type shows with cast/crew players. Mahjong, and other card game tournaments on sea days. As for the excursions, if you don't go with a HAL excursion and you're running late coming back, they won't wait for you. They waited 1 1/2 hours for a late HAL excursion on our trip one night. The captain admitted that was a very expensive wait in fuel and docking fees.
  3. I agree with Richstowe. In my opinion HAL has smaller ships, so it's more like a small town. The lines with larger ships I would liken to a big city. There will be less choices in entertainment and courses/classes. The crowd tends to be older and more laid back. There will be less people in line for activities, but there also won't be as many choices. The food has always been excellent, the service is friendly and more personalized. My 20 year old son likened his one trip on HAL as a floating nursing home, but he said it with a laugh. If you are looking to be constantly entertained while on board, or you enjoy rowdy activities, it's probably not your idea of a great vacation. If you enjoy quieter activities like going to the fitness center, massages, great places to curl up with a book, or to play cards/games in one of the lounges, swim in the pool or lay poolside that's more the HAL style. The evening entertainment will be geared to the middle age crowd, but there won't be many kids running up and down the hallways either. I forgot to add that smaller ships can get into more smaller ports of call, and some without the need for a tender.
  4. It's all a matter of opinion, and choices. My husband likes the coffee, he puts cream in it. I think it's horrible, they make it overly strong, it's good with a little Bailey's though. If you're a coffee snob, you can go to the coffee cafe' which isn't bad. If you K-cup, be sure to hide it because it's unauthorized. (could start a fire, like an iron, etc)
  5. No beer, only one bottle of wine per person 750 ml. You can buy hard liquor and beer buckets for your room. Quite reasonable if you bring on your own mixers.
  6. We've never paid any extra amount for room service. And yes we did order off of the main dinning room menu. I think there was a certain time frame for dinner. Anyways, this is what the "know before you go" says ... "SHIPBOARD MEALS In addition to breakfast, lunch and a multi-course dinner, you can enjoy afternoon tea, a stir-fry or pasta buffet, an ice cream bar, hot hors d’oeuvres during the cocktail hours, and the traditional late-night snack. Try the Dive In, located on the Lido Deck, featuring hamburgers and hot dogs. Complimentary In-Room Dining is available 24 hours a day. Casual dining is available in the Lido Restaurant every night. Adjacent the Lido Restaurant area, Canaletto restaurant serves classic Italian cuisine with tableside service for dinners. Luxury dining options in the Pinnacle Grill, featuring the highest quality meat and fish, is available on all ships. Reservations may be made on board by contacting the restaurant manager. There is a nominal restaurant charge for the Pinnacle Grill, Canaletto and Tamarind (available on Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam, and the upcoming Ryndam)."
  7. We recently went on a 10 cruise where we did not take the drink package, but we did pre-buy a bottle of rum for our state room. I'm not a big drinker, but I enjoy a glass of wine. We brought two bottles of wine on board as per the rules. We ordered a glass of wine and bottle or two of beer at dinner. (Averaged about $8-$9 each). When we went to lunch in port we'd often enjoy an adult beverage. A beverage package wouldn't have been beneficial to us. Two other couples in our group had the beverage package and they said that they felt pressured to drink more to make sure that they got their money's worth. Think about how many drinks you plan on having daily and do the math. There is a limit on how much each drink can cost, so I think if you're planning to drink less than 8-9 drinks a day, the package isn't an advantage, except to say I didn't have to worry about it.
  8. Long pants only for the dining room. Saw several occasions where guys were wearing very tasteful shorts and were turned away. Most guys throw on a pair for dinner, then change back after.
  9. I too had a credit on my card at the end of the cruise. Since I'd paid $25 for $50, the credit was half of what was left on the card.
  10. I bring leggings for warmth. I have black ones that I often wear under a dress because the A/C is too cold for me. I would think that if the tunic is long enough to technically be a dress (for some people), then I'd say definitely!
  11. On another post this was listed, these cabins are near yours, so .... not sure if same problem exists. I always check for reviews to see if I can live with the complaints. "Cabins 7129, 7125 : a loud mechanical banging noise near the rear wall ceiling, starts randomly at about 4:00am and continues until the late morning. HAL could not identify the cause and we were moved after 5 sleepless nights." 7113 said "weird humming noise" ??? Hope it helps
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