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mountainmare

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  1. My friend just returned from her first HAL cruise and had been gifted a drink card (15 drinks per day) by her travel agent. She said it was sort of silly because no one could ever drink that much. I asked if she had used it for coffee or other drinks and she said it was only for alcohol so she couldn't use it for anything else. Is that true?
  2. I also see the ship whenever we travel to the city and during one of the sailing events had the chance to see her up close and personal from the water, we were able to boat right beside her. It is so sad to see her rusting away as the years pass. I agree that the best use would be as a hotel--maybe a very nice precruise hotel for Crystal guests on special cruises (like world cruises)
  3. I think she meant the old guard of HAL loyalists who will continue to sail Hal no matter what the policy is (or how the line has changed). I agree that now the new guard does include people who want to smoke on their balconies. I don't see a change coming in the near future, no reason for them to change. See Cruise Junky--I got what you meant, we were posting at the same time.
  4. So as a pregnant woman you have no fear of getting a disease that is proven to harm your child? Putting your trust in Deet?
  5. So Sad-we actually sailed on the Concordia---a fond memories.
  6. Does anyone know of a blog for the Grand South America?
  7. This is one reason why we stopped rushing to get on the ship early. we prefer to have a later large breakfast or nice leisurely lunch then wander over to the ship after all the early birds are there, usually no lines, no waiting. just suits us better.
  8. I think a better way of looking at basic dinner pricing is to price out a wedding reception price pp instead of any restaurant because that is essentially the type of mass produced food in the MDR. Le Cirque is closer to a restaurant experience hence the upcharge and I think the list only considers the top offerings.
  9. We only leave for about six weeks and I discussed this with our postmistess. We live in a very small rural area but she suggested filling out two forms. We have our cat sitter collect one batch and we get the second when we get home. When we were away 5 weeks they just held it for us anyway. As I said, we're in an everybody knows everybody situation.
  10. But Sail you missed the fun...you were supposed to drink every time the word exciting was used... I do agree that HAL is no longer a premium line. They offer nothing new and exciting (cheers) for either the upscale or basic traveler compared to other lines. I know people will chime in about the wonderful crew (when not rushed or overworked) and how HAL is traditional and feels like home but that is not going to attract new customers. I have a feeling that Carnival Corp doesn't know what to do with it and will let is slowly slip away. The big announcement was a joke, new inexperienced travelers who might need help planning travel will not want to come to HAL and well seasoned travelers know how to plan and don't need the help.
  11. I just wanted to pop back to say that Jeff always has beautiful photos but this trip he has some of his best ever, the post of Fanning Island is spectacular as are the surfing photos.
  12. If you look at the categories would you say HAL is the best in any of the categories listed? People like HAL for a certain ambiance that doesn't fit anywhere on this list.
  13. Another vote for the Pillars! We try look for quiet and small.
  14. Several members (not only Sail) have mentioned how nice it is to have friendships with 0fficers and staff that have been developed through the years. People have mentioned that this is one reason that they feel that HAL feels like coming home--a chance to see old friends. I wonder if the officers had never been available to attend social functions and the only contact with officers and staff had been strictly official (and lets face it--in that case if you had to see a manager it would probably be because of a problem) if people would have that same warm fuzzy feeling about HAL. People complaining in a social setting does not only happen at meet and greets--I have seen it happen at VIP parties. I will say that on one of my first cruises I was walking early in the morning and was lucky enough to meet a young Capt Mercer. I was thrilled that the CAPTAIN would take a walk around the deck with me and chat. One thing that is pushing us to switch to Azamara is the way the officers are social (along with port times and the balcony issue).
  15. The only time we had tablemates we did not like was when we met people on our roll call and planned several private tours with them. They suggested that we share a table and get together for a dinner precruise. At that dinner I was dismayed to discover that we were traveling with a group of "ugly Americans" not only for tours but dinners also. There was no way to gracefully get away (since we had several tours planned) but never again will we pre-plan dinners with strangers. This way we could ask to change tables without hurt feelings.
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