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Everything posted by FlaMariner

  1. Enjoy the cruise! I'll look forward to your update on the wine service...LOL....Not about to name the job title of who will be serving you wine but do let us know how it is.... Actually, we depart 10/20 on our cruise........so I hope to be able to experience wine service soon also....by whoever the job title of the person is that will serve me wine! Smooth sailing out there......
  2. I really do not care what they are called (sommeliers, maitre de (sp?), bar waiters, wine stewards, wine stewardess, waiters, assistant waiter, waitresses, bus boys or the yum yum man) as long as Holland America Line can sell me a wine package, keep up with the bottles, get me my wine before appetizers arrive and rinse and repeat every evening in the MDR. So looking forward to that first glass on board a 'dam ship and always enjoyed the wine at dinner and hoping for it to continue......
  3. us too! Enjoy the wine packages and we do fine with package #1 (the cheapest) and the wine steward was always good at knowing which one of the #1's were the best! So far, I'm hearing that the process is the same even though the wine stewards are no more. The delay in getting the wine set up would be frustrating so will do what we can to be proactive. I agree in waiting to buy once at the table so the waiters get the sale. We are fine pouring our own wine, it just needs to get opened and to the table before the appetizers arrive! (First world problems). Looking for more eyewitness experiences from those that have boarded since the unpleasantness.
  4. The laws are there.....HAL tells you to always take your passport/ID when going ashore...even on HMC....The experience is, because of the limitations of HMC (private island, nowhere to go but back/forth on tender), there is no real passport control area.....but of course, the Bahamas could certainly do that if they wanted. If I was running the Bahamas, I would not worry about any security breeches on HMC nor would I waste $$$ staffing it with Bahamian security...I would just be there to accept the nice port tax check!
  5. Thanks for posting your (and your Mom's) experience since the wine stewards are no more. What you experienced sounds like it may just work.......I hope others will pass along their experiences from recent sailings as well.....
  6. I guess I need to clarify...... How's the wine service in the MDR as far as working thru getting the wine package, getting it poured and keeping up with your bottles?
  7. Reading on here that the wine stewards/sommeliers are no more? I've always enjoyed and relied on their experience as we sign up for a wine package at our first night in the MDR and the wine steward kept the wine flowing for the cruise..... For those that have cruised since the unpleasantness, what's it like in the MDR regarding ordering the wine package and getting the wine sorted and poured?
  8. We would always see a Bahamian official there (at least a guy in a uniform) at the tender dock but never a check of any sorts.....not even a key card check when getting on the tender to return....(of course they check you in on the ship to see who they are about to leave). Where else could you be from or where else could you be going except back and forth to the ship? No worries man.....Have fun....It's paradise defined.....at Half Moon Cay
  9. Yes, per person....and Yes, way too high IMO. (Hoping for round 2 or 3)
  10. Update.... For the first time ever, the big box TA sent us an email yesterday with upsell opportunities for our cruise that sails in 25 days! The prices were "way too high" IMO. We are in a VF (balcony) and the upgrade price to Neptune $1849, Sig Suite $1199, Vista Suite $499 per person/14 day Rotterdam TA..... .....hoping the upsell email makes another round or two!
  11. Good info as usual Kazu..... It's a big box TA.....I do have good communications with her and she knows I'm interested.....I think she may say "we will send them on to you" but they really do not plan to fool with it. The TA Rotterdam cruise should have plenty of open cabins.....It has not been actively sold in months and with the recent unpleasanteness with travel restrictions in the Netherlands, many have jumped ship....So thinking if there ever was a time for an upgrade fairy visit, this would be it. But not complaining....love our cabin choice and we are grateful to be able to hopefully board a 'dam ship....especially this one....on her maiden voyage......LOL...but a deal on an upsell would be nice!
  12. Good to hear the upsells are coming..... We are 3 stars and when I make the reservation I add "open to upsells" and I've emailed the TA and get told she will forward them to me if she gets them.....And we have never, ever gotten one.... Our cruise departs 10/20 (Rotterdam TA) and if there is ever a time an upsell would be swimming around for me to catch it has to be now......We shall see. I plan to email the TA weekly until cruise time....Any other suggestions on how to get the attention of the "upsell" gods?
  13. Have we heard of any upsell offers in the post Covid world?
  14. As long as CO does not include free laundry, they can give anything away to anybody that can $$$$..... But as a 3 star Mariner who can finally see the 4 stars ahead (and the free laundry), I'm going to very disappointed if that benefit goes to the CO crowd...$$$$. Glad it's still exclusive to the folks w/4 stars on their bellies. (This is meant in jest so please do not take me serious)
  15. I'm also starting to be concerned about HAL and the cruise industry...... The hassle factor of cruising makes the choice to "just book a condo at the beach" so much easier, more convenient (no masks, testing), and less risky for many. We are hopefully cruising from Amsterdam next month but complying with government "back and forth" rules has our head spinning and wondering if it is worth it......The types of covid tests, documentation of the vaccine, quarantine requirement (not required, then required and currently not required), health forms (government and cruise line), booster or not, risk of arriving at the pier and getting a negative test, fear of getting it and being in hotel jail, can we enter a restaurant in Europe w/our credentials, will I be masking up everywhere., no-one to wait on you, things not "in service" because of the Covid excuse.......Seriously, if the cruise had not been such a good price from 2 previously cancelled cruises and our desire to "get out there" not sure we would be going....And worried others are going to throw in the towel also and the only folks cruising will be the ones that are into all the Covid restrictions, masks, government control stuff......and that's not enough peeps to keep the business going..... The requirements to be supposedly "safe" is quickly exceeding the value we have gotten out of travel....IMO Hoping this crap improves quickly....I've got a bucket list to complete. (Please don't judge or try to shame me about not understanding the seriousness of the pandemic...I get that...just explaining my point of view of what it is like for us to cruise today and why this is dangerous for the cruise industry)
  16. Exactly.......Again, not worth it for us...other cards give a much better return.
  17. POSH is our guide for which side of the ship for a transatlantic. From Europe.....Port Out, Starboard Home..... As others have said, it's starboard for eastbound from the USA.
  18. The secret sauce of cruises is the foreign labor.....I'll gladly allow a tip toe stop into Canada to not disrupt that.....That's the one unintended consequence that scares me....If the cruise lines had to follow US labor laws, it's game over except for the elites as far as cruising.......But if that issue could be avoided, it would be nice to by-pass Canada.
  19. HAL is testing us at the pier in Amsterdam next month at no charge. And I think they will be swabbing us a few more times before arriving in Fort Lauderdale. I still need to be tested prior to landing in Amsterdam though and appreciate this post so I can understand how real the results come in based on where/how/when you get a test...It's a complicated formula to meet and I think (as many are doing) I'll have redundant plans so hopefully I can meet the complicated requirements somehow. After this cruise, I do think we are going to re-evalute future cruises based on this hassle factor....It may not be worth it to us.
  20. Yep, agree.....I'd have to spend $100,000 at Holland America Line (200,000 points) to get the best value of $5,000 in free cruise....While that is a great return on my money spent..5% return...that would take me quite a while....For the Pinnacle/Neptune folks or if I was buying the world cruise, maybe worth it.....but down in steerage where we hang out, it would take me 20 years!
  21. By-passing Canada makes sense. Thinking thru this...is there a downside or unintended consequences? I can't think of one. There must be some rational reason this was the law/requirement? Is it the labor issue? We've got smart folks on here who can enlighten us.
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  23. Yes, thank you so much for posting this.....good to get past all the "noise" from experts who have not cruised post Covid and here from another person who has cruised post Covid! Sounds like the boarding time, at least in your case, was used to help even out the arrivals but they serve passengers as they arrive....works for me....just like the old days.
  24. must be because the Covid virus only travels across the border in cars but not on planes.
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