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Everything posted by RAS4331

  1. Thanks, that's good information!
  2. That is what finally worked for me -- the deck I wanted was coming up as unavailable, but when I typed in a cabin number on that deck, it was available! Thank you!!
  3. Hello, We're looking at cruises for the early part of 2022. When I select my cabin type (verandah), and pick the option to choose my own stateroom, the choices are extremely limited. I'm only offered aft cabins on lower decks. When I try to select a higher deck or a forward cabin, it says "not available." Can all those cabins possibly be already booked, or am I doing something wrong? Or maybe they don't release all the cabins till a later date? I'm doing all this on the Holland America website, not a third party site. (and when it comes down to it, I'll book through my travel agent but right now I'm just looking at options on my own).
  4. We went on our first cruise recently, and the muster drill was fairly painless. I, for one, was glad to actually know where my muster station was, rather than watching a presentation from a lounge. The only two things I noticed: When a cabin number was called and there was no answer, the crew just went right on to the next number. No one seemed to be "scouring the ship" for missing people, and we certainly didn't wait for latecomers to show up. I didn't know if that meant that attendance really wasn't as mandatory as I had thought, or if those people would be hunted down later. The other thing was funny/dumb -- a man near me kept talking and waving and beckoning to other people - presumably his family or friends. Twice when a crew member called a number, they looked up, saw this man waving his hand, and crossed a name off their list. I wanted to say "mister, quit raising your hand!" Oh well! Other than that, everyone was reasonably quiet and attentive.
  5. (sorry, I posted in the wrong place)
  6. Gadgetlady, I second what others have said: I had laundry done on the Zuiderdam, and I didn't notice any smell, and I had no allergic reaction at all. I have broken out in a rash before from changing laundry soaps, so I was worried, but I couldn't have been more pleased. The laundry was very nicely done, and I told my husband that if we ever go on another cruise, I'll definitely spring for the unlimited laundry.
  7. Spa things I think might appeal to younger people: spray tans, waxing, specials on mani-pedi's, massages, simple facials, eyebrow grooming (young ladies these days seem obsessed with their eyebrows!). Simple stuff. I personally wouldn't go on a cruise to get expensive, exotic treatments, but I might like to splurge on less expensive, fun stuff. If they had a reduced-price day on shampoo and blow dries, the women would be lined up because it's not that easy to do our hair in those little bathrooms. However, I realize they're looking to sell "big ticket" items, not to give me a bargain on getting my hair done. I have no objection -- to each his own -- but I just think that too much of a "wrinkle, swollen ankle, arthritis" emphasis could hurt their brand by making HAL seem overly geriatric.
  8. "One can only wonder how many of these were offered by the SPA?" Yes, you're right, I think these were mostly spa offerings. I guess they know what sells, so if they're offering "wrinkle relief" they must be getting takers.
  9. Just sailed on the Zuiderdam, and the Orange Party was no big deal at all. I thought it was something that the whole ship would participate in, and all day would be "orange day," and it wasn't that at all. There was a party in BB Kings, which was more crowded than usual, but not standing-room-only or anything. They passed out snacks to everyone. I'm not sure if the orange beverage offered was free or not. I had read about it in advance, so I brought an orange-ish top, and made my husband bring his one shirt that had a little bit of an orange in the pattern. I'm glad we didn't go out and buy something special, because I'd say only maybe half the attendees even wore orange. The cruise director and his assistant both wore orange wigs, and those in attendance line danced, and it was kind of fun, but definitely not the big deal that I thought it would be.
  10. We had heard that HAL catered to an older demographic, which was fine with us, and we did find it to be true. Our cruise probably had fewer than 20 children, all very well behaved. I can't speak about Club HAL because if it was up and running, I never knew it -- I never saw or heard any children's activities going on. My husband and I did notice, though, how much the activities were geared to senior citizens. Here are some items that were on our daily schedule: "Arthritis Pain Relief through Acupuncture"; "Diminish Swollen Ankles and Fluid Retention"; "Wrinkle Remedies"; "Advanced Facial Rejuvenation" -- we actually cracked up at some of the offerings! I thought, "what's next -- how to choose adult undergarments wisely?" I understand trying to cater to your demographic, but I thought some of these choices were a bit ridiculous -- I mean, we're on a cruise to have fun, not to go to a class about fluid retention. Not only that, but it made me feel a little sorry for the younger adults who were on our cruise -- activities like that must have made them feel they had chosen a "geezers" cruise. I think HAL is making a mistake if they go too overboard (pun unintended) in catering to seniors. I think it's fine to offer entertainment geared to an older crowd -- dancin' to the oldies, a Beatles tribute, Planet Earth and classical music specials, trivia, and even bingo -- but I think they could dial back on some of the blatant "geriatric" stuff. That was actually a turn-off for me, and I'm 70! I loved sailing on Holland America and would do so again in a heartbeat, but I would like to see them remain family-friendly for inter-generational groups, and also to remember that even us 70-and-older folks are pretty vibrant and young at heart and don't need our cruises centered around wrinkles and arthritis.
  11. VT Cruisenut, here's my top packing tip since I just returned from a cruise: take a nice neutral sweater or wrap because you'll use it a lot! I wore or at least took a sweater many times, especially in the evenings -- to bars, to shows, and sometimes to dinner. Some areas of our ship (the Zuiderdam) were rather chilly. The Lincoln Center area, in particular, was freezing! I noticed many ladies had elegant shawls and wraps that looked so nice -- I wished that I had at least packed a neutral dressy sweater. (The one I packed was not dressy and really didn't even go with anything, so I felt kind of dowdy in it). Have a wonderful cruise!!
  12. We were on this cruise, too. It was our first cruise. It seemed like we were the only "newbies" on board! I was amazed to realize that many people take multiple cruises per year -- lucky folks! Anyway, we were thrilled with our cruise and enjoyed every minute. Thank you for your detailed review and wonderful pictures! I enjoyed re-living our cruise by looking at them. (I did take photos but mine aren't as good as yours). 🙂
  13. Yes, there were several items that were available every night for those who didn't like the nightly menu -- a strip steak, chicken, salmon, and I think one or two other items which I can't recall. I'm not a real adventurous eater, but I never ordered from those standard items -- I always found something on the menu that appealed to me. The food was excellent - there wasn't a single meal that we didn't enjoy.
  14. Thank you, Canadian Bear. We LOVED our cruise. I can see why some people take two and three cruises a year. We would love to do that, too! (I'll keep buying lottery tickets....) 🙂
  15. To reply to my own question, we just got back from our cruise, and we had plenty of hangers. (all wooden). I don't see the wooden hangers being a space problem unless you are on a round-the-world cruise or something and take your whole wardrobe! An added note: we did have one bag of laundry done for $20, and it was done beautifully. Next cruise I think I would spring for the unimited laundry package.
  16. Great information. Thank you, everyone!
  17. Wow, such fast answers - and even photos. You all are awesome. Thank you!
  18. Hello, we're leaving on Holland America from Ft. Lauderdale. We'll get a taxi or Uber from our nearby hotel. Is it like going to the airport -- will we just ask to get dropped off at the Holland America terminal? I imagine that the cruise port is huge, and I don't want to wander around like a lost soul. Any tips for "arriving at port" are appreciated by this first-timer! 🙂
  19. Newbie question - I assume there is at least a little closet space in the cabins. Are hangers provided, or should I bring some in my suitcase? I'll be sailing on the Zuiderdam. Thank you.
  20. We received the same email. They know what ship we're sailing on and our departure date. The email says "In order to determine your travel document requirements for your voyage on _____________ departing on _______ (blanks were filled in), we will need more information from you. " (Then "click here" to enter more information.) Now in this day and age, who is going to provide more details on their cruise to some previously unheard-of company? That's exactly like the scam emails from "banks" saying "we need you to verify your log-in information." I suspect that this is actually legitimate, but it still burns me up that Holland America did not notify us in advance to expect this email. All it would take is a simple email from them saying that they are using CIBTVisas to help passengers obtain the proper travel documents. I'm sure their phone is ringing off the hook with passengers wondering if this is legit. I don't intend to offer CIBTVisas any more information about myself or my cruise without some word from Holland America.
  21. Wayfairers, right, that's what I was thinking. I'll probably just take my chances and hope that they use a mild laundry soap. Thanks for answering. 🙂
  22. Thanks for all this helpful info. In the past I've gotten an itchy rash when I changed laundry detergent, so I'm a little afraid of using the ship's laundry service. Would it be nervy if I took my own detergent and asked them to use that for my laundry?
  23. Good to know he won't be thrown overboard for being under-dressed. 🙂 Thank you all.
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