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Everything posted by CNSJ

  1. As we board the cruise in Spain, I am getting the Spanish SPTH Mobile App and will have a QR code upon landing in Spain. I understand that HAL will test us in the pier, and I plan to test here in US before leaving to reduce chance of an unexpected quarantine in Spain should we (although fully vaccinated) test positive on the pier. Question to the CC community is Portugal (Mainland and Islands). Does HAL take care of all arrangements with Portugal, or do we need to get some kind of documentation ??? we are carrying our Vaccination cards. Thanks- Look forward to seeing you in Barcelona in a few weeks!
  2. Paul- I must disagree! Albeit I have only been on three RCI cruises (all on their "smaller" ships in both the Caribbean and Med) and Five HAL cruises - NO COMPARISON ON SERVICE or FOOD QUALITY. HAL beats RCI hands down in every area except pool parties and rock climbing. DW said not to experiment with RCI again! NO matter how much less expensive it might be
  3. Having sailed only on two Signature Class, one R-Class and Koningsdam...., I must admit that each had its advantages. Too bad the great promenades of Signature (and Vista) or R-Class weren't carried into Pinnacle Ships.... I love walking the decks on those ships. Kdam is a tougher ship for promenade walkers.... I also prefer the dark woods, so it took a bit to get used to the "brighter" less traditional trim. That said, the extra venues (Grand Dutch Cafe, Rolling Stone Rock Room, Second Indoor Pool Deck, and Deli!) add to the ship! HAL will have three Pinnacles, which at 99,000 Tons are still mid-sized in the industry. What will or should they build next? Maybe a R/S class sized ship for world cruises and grand voyages, one for each. Just my two cents!
  4. Mouse- we have sailed both Signature Class ships. I have not stayed under the Lido on either, but made mistake of being under the forward pool....once. Loud noises from deck chairs being moved around to clean at night. Deck five offers cabins above and below. Id settle for either today.....nearly two years without a cruise!!!!!!
  5. Agree that Rotterdam was a dam fine dam ship! I am glad I had a chance to sail on her!
  6. Noticed yesterday that HAL followed through, moving my August 2021 Southbound Alaska Cruise a year later to August 2022, wound up in same exact cabin. I was paid in full as it was a very good Casino fare - paid for with the gift card deal (10% bonus). As prices are higher in 2022, this beats a 10% extra FCC but a long shot. Thankfully the airlines have very flexible policies. On the vaccine front: Connecticut announced more than 50% of the 55 plus population have received COVID shot 1. Light at the end of the tunnel.
  7. Today Connecticut opened vaccinnes up to those 55 and older (was 65 and older before 01 March) Going to a mostly aged based system is very easy to administer and avoids the "what about our group" complaints. Plus age is the most significant factor in covid deaths.....period. I was able to sign up and get an appointment within a week for Dose 1. Things are moving very fast here. The two major health care providers in state seem to be providing the lion's share of shots. Perhaps we will be able to travel this summer! Feeling better about my October sailing.
  8. I found a similar situation on trying to book AUS/NZ in 2023. On HAL site, not on my TA's site. I called and learned they have to program those cruises inland price them. My Cruise TA told me it would just take a day and he'd be able to book it, as they book using a TA site that is provided by HAL. The 2023 cruises would all be loaded within a week. I guess it's not automatic. Don't give up, Book it!
  9. Nice thing to see first thing in the morning!
  10. I do find the discussion on how crowded the "quad" stateroom is for four people somewhat amusing. Having severed on five Navy nuclear powered submarines, I can tell you that a standard cruise ship stateroom could easily fit an 18 person berthing compartment on a submarine, all sharing a smaller "head" with at least 30 or more people. Sorry no towels shaped like elephants left on your mattress while you have dinner. I find the staterooms quite roomy! and the balcony view beats a periscope!
  11. CNSJ

    Alaska Land Only

    Reading the CCL press release (posted on both Princess and HAL sites) it appears they hope to still run the shore portion of land/sea journeys, using their lodges and trains or buses. I'm not sure how that would work, but a five , six, or seven day land tour (all in Alaska such as Fairbanks to Anchorage) would not be restricted by ship registry issues (PVSA) because there is no ship, and it would just require masks on the bus/train. I would expect that all participants are vaccinated and/or rapid tested. Also, there would be no limits on tours as they can not limit where US Citizens go in the US without Marshall Law. This would not help the southeast Alaska towns like Skagway and Juneau, but might help others. Granted it's not a cruise (and this is Cruise Critic - Not Train Critic), but many people who cruise Alaska do take these land vacations before or after.
  12. Having sailed her in both Mediterranean and Caribbean, EURODAM is simply a great ship. And yes, Curacao over Jamaica with no thought at all!!! I can't speak for the Crown Princess unfortunately....
  13. Hope Alaska sails by mid summer! I am not one that uses the casino much, maybe a hundred dollars per cruise - sometimes I have a net win. But a few weeks ago I received a Casino promotion for HAL - Alaska Northbound or Southbound on Noordam in a Signature Suite for $899 each (Neptune at 1199 ea) . Only $200 a cabin in credits/perks, but a steal. Not sure why they selected me..... I was able to book mid August Whittier to Vancouver.... I think this is a steal of a deal! Net cost $799 each for a Signature Suite..... Now it just needs to sail. I wanted a land tour in combo, but they were not doing that for the promo. I found I could book through Princess just the land/rail fro Fairbanks to Anchorage to meet ship in the South.
  14. Following the discussion in this thread, and I have read the linked orders. I tried to find the fine print that covers unique situations like cruise ships. The way I read this order, you have to wear a mask at all times except the few things like eating, taking meds and talking to a lip reader. So.... would this include while in your stateroom or on your balcony during the cruise? Rules written for an eight or ten hour flight don't translate well to a two week transatlantic trip. What am I missing here?
  15. Let's together hope that both us in the United States and our friendly neighbors to the North- in Canada both get access to vaccinee sooner rather than later. With vaccine rolling out and the number of folks already infected (hopefully somewhat immune naturally) I hope that we will start to see small then rapid decline in infection rates and more importantly deaths. In the end I think it's all about deaths. Even if the cruise lines require vaccination - I am not sure that would be enough to open Canada to visitors or vice versa. No way to predict or even plan! Canadian ports are critical to Alaska Cruises unless the Congress grants a waiver, which will likely not happen. I wonder if the land tours that fun Fairbanks to Anchorage or the other way can still run using just buses trains, and hotels/lodges. In those cases Would hope they also require vaccination or at least a negative test. Trains and buses are probably worse than planes..... Let's all hope that Spring brings much needed relief!!!
  16. Thanks for the daily. The follow up post of trips to the Southern Hemisphere are simply awesome! That wine seems a bit heavy for me. Each daily brings us another day in the direction of post-COVID.
  17. Thank You Richwmn. From another Navy man, Nice to see your rating badge each day when I log on.
  18. Yes, Libraries and room for puzzles etc.! That made for a great place on sea days! HAL needs to bring back librarians and puzzle tables.....
  19. Our last (Eastern Med cruise in Fall 2019) on Koningsdam was simply wonderful, my only complaint was a less open Promenade deck for walking compared to her predecessor classes. The added entertainment was a plus, as was the expanded two deck covered Lido Pool, and extra dining venues....Never felt crowded. Service was excellent on all four ships, across three classes. The now retired Rotterdam had character (except the ruined aft pool) and lines the new ships can't match. My vote today: Koningsdam. Cruising on N Statendam in June (Norway) [fingers crossed]
  20. We have completed eight cruises since we discovered cruising about ten years ago and are approaching retirement and many many more cruises. We really have enjoyed HAL. Service and food sum it up. Waterslides not needed! Three cruises on Royal Caribbean (smaller ships) , and rest on HAL (Eurodam, Rotterdam, Koningsdam and Nieuw Amsterdam). Rotterdam was a good sized ship and I thought it was a good mix of space per passenger, but Koningsdam was simply wonderful albeit bigger. That said, seeing Rotterdam and Amsterdam sold to Fred Olsen, I decided to do some looking at Fred Olsen as they have good itineraries. Not cheap! How many experienced HAL cruisers (North Americans) have taken a Cruise on Fred Olsen and have anything to share? It seems they don't market in the US, and are very much a British Line. I did live in the UK for three years (in the 90s) and learned to speak "English." and eat beans with my eggs for breakfast. The pricing seems high compared to comparable HAL voyages.... am I missing something? I meet many happy UK residents on my HAL cruises, (we are US from Connecticut) and of course our northern brothers from Canada. Should I consider Fred Olsen? Note: I did consider Cunard but did not want to put on a tie every night for dinner, and as for P&O I was told that the food and service was sub-par compared with HAL. Appreciate any and all discussion. Booked: June 21 - NS to Norway Oct 21 - TA Barcelona to FLL Mar 22 - BA Argentina to SA Chile Time to book 2022 soon!
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