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About mtown27

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    New Jersey
  • Interests
    Catholic / Church History / Anything related to water
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Don't know ... first timer!

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  1. HI ... on the 6/23 7-night HAL Nieuw Statendam trip, starting from Amsterdam and visiting Eidfjord, Skjolden, Alesund, and Bergen. How do you recommend packing for this trip? Thinking specifically of advice for men. Would love to get a point of view on how many pants and shirts. And what kind of each? Should we try to pack to get through all 10 days of the trip (we have two days in Amsterdam to start out). Or should we pack a little lighter and plan to use the laundry service? Would this be a single suitcase? Or planning on multiple suitcases? Any advice would be appreciated! Stuart
  2. Hi @kazu -- slight correction on the 6/23 Nieuw Statendam cruise: mtown - 1st cruise ever& 3 college grad celebration should read ... mtown27 - 1st cruise ever& 2 college grad celebration Thanks! Stuart
  3. June 23, 2019, Nieuw Statendam, 7-night Norse Legends, first time timer for any cruise (heck, first timer for visiting a foreign country other than Canada) and college grad celebration for 2 of my kids Stuart
  4. Hi -- wonderful thread! I'm sailing on HAL Nieuw Statendam on Norse Legends cruise in late June, with stops in Eidfjord, Skjolden, Alesund and Bergen. Thanks for the tips on all these ports! Two questions: In the fjord scenic sailing in and out of Eidfjord and Skjolden, what is the advantage of getting up early to see the fjord while sailing in vs. seeing the fjord while sailing out? As a first time cruiser and with this being my first time in the region, my travel agent is suggesting using the HAL excursions, but I'm not seeing anything really exciting. It looks from the previous posts like I may not have much luck trying to reserve a non-HAL excursion at the port in Eidfjord or Skjolden. What are some good resources for finding reliable excursions for these towns that I could book in advance. Or am I better off taking a taxi or renting a car? Will probably have more questions, but this gets me started! Stuart
  5. Awesome, @RuthC, that's what I figured. Otherwise, I would have identified a parish near the airport on Sunday morning.
  6. Hi everyone ... first time cruiser just reserved the Norse Legends 7-night tour on the Nieuw Statendam departing on June 23. I love the fact that HAL typically has Priests on board for daily mass. Here's my question ... For the last two days of the cruise, Saturday is an at sea day and Sunday is disembarkation. Since mass is typically 8 am. on at sea days, what would be the status of the vigil mass? Thanks in advance! Stuart
  7. OK ... first of all, thank you to all of you who have put up with my questions. Someday I hope to be able to return the favor. Final question, for now ... what's the deal with drinks if I have the Fantastica level on the Bellissima (presumably the same as the Meraviglia)? What drinks can I get in the buffet? If each of us are getting a couple of alcoholic bevarages (wine / beer) a day along with water, iced tea, hot tea, and coffee (we don't drink juice and soda), do we even need the Easy Drinks package? Thanks! Stuart
  8. Thank you for all your responses ... follow up questions in bold. @OlsSalt Yes, it all starts with the itinerary. It seems like this itinerary is a good mix between some explorable towns (Amsterdam, Alesund, Bergen) and others that are jumping off points for hikes or kayaking. @dadroy Thanks. I don't see a problem with my boys staying up until 5 am. Waking them up in the morning may be a different problem, irrespective of when they get to sleep. @baggal Duly noted on the cabin being above the music walk. I don't think that will be a problem as it seems the music walk dies down by midnight and I don't see us turning in before then. @sevenseasnomad Agreed about "Trust me, after a few grueling days of touring back-to-back, even a teenager is ready for bed at a reasonable hour." My wife comments how I usually have more energy than they do. Regarding the view, yes for three people, there's a decent difference between partially obstructed and unobstructed. That's why I was asking for those with experience, what does "partially obstructed" really mean? Does it mean that I have to stand on the balcony to see over the boats -- well, I can live with that. Does it mean that I'm going to see very little ... well that's another story. Thanks for the food tips and also agree about getting in 2 days before embarkation. The private tours make me a little nervous ... what if they don't get back to the ship in time? @aaaaa and @VMax1700 I think we'd be @ the BBK blues club, so not worried about hearing it from our cabin.
  9. Hi ... first time cruiser bringing two of my sons (age 24 and 21) with me. We're American and it's our first trip overseas for all of us. I'm looking at the Norse Legends tour on the Nieuw Statendam. Ship specific activities that are particularly important to them are food, the pool, and music (where they all have pretty eclectic tastes). I'm trying to figure if this would be a good fit as several people have told me that HAL is too "old." However, these folks are more familiar with HAL's smaller ships, like the Rotterdam. Would appreciate some input from those who have been on HAL's larger ships. What times do activities "shut down" on the Nieuw Statendam? The pools on the pictures look a bit small and rather pedestrian. How large are these? I'm considering one of the VH, partially obstructed balconies on the 4th level. Is that a mistake? Any other things I should consider? Thanks! Stuart
  10. Thank you all for your responses to this. I'm learning to take the MSC phone reps with a heavy grain of salt. 😞
  11. Have any of you recent MSC cruisers noticed whether the buffet items are marked for allergens or gluten? I was talking to an MSC rep, and they said they had those markings on the ships that have gluten-free certification.
  12. Hi ... first time on the MSC this June, sailing the Bellissima out of Barcelona. Will be in a Fantastica balcony with two of my adult sons. I have a few questions for you MSC veterans: How early should we arrive for embarkation? How late does that buffet stay open? Is there a way to still get food after it closes? How late does the pool stay open? How about the water park? None of us smoke and we're a bit sensitive to it. Will that be a problem? One of my kids is gluten-free / dairy-free. What is the best way to handle this? Is the Bellissima likely to have gluten-free menus by this time? How long after the itinerary arrival time at a port would I expect to be able to disembark from the ship? Thanks in advance for all your help! Stuart
  13. We are confirmed to sail on 6/14 out of Barcelona. Mid-ship Fantastica balcony on deck 10. Two of my sons and me. First time we have ever been on a cruise. Heck, other than Canada, first time we've ever been out of the USA.
  14. Hi ... taking a cruise for the first time in mid-June with two of my sons, one of whom is gluten-free and diary free. I've noticed from the MSC website that they expect to complete the gluten-free certification process once the ship is launched. Given the 3/2019 expected launch for the Bellissima and based on their performance for the Seaside and Seaview, should I expect that they would be ready by my cruise in June? What should I expect if they're not? Thanks! Stuart
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