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Highway27

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About Highway27

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Maryland
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    HAL

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  1. I really found the Anytime Dining to be pretty much like going to a (pretty nice) restaurant. You show up, they seat you. If a lot of people showed up right before you, there's a wait. Also realize that there is flexibility between the Fixed dining and Anytime Dining available seating, but also that if you go right before the second (late) fixed seating, they will likely be holding tables open for those people they are expecting to show up. We didn't have any problems with it, and never waited for more than 2 other groups. The only time there was a significant line it was for the "reservations", while the non-reservations wasn't even a line, just walk right to the podium. Now, that's in a limited sample size of one cruise, but I think thinking of it like a restaurant is pretty helpful for keeping the right perspective.
  2. When we were on Nieuw Amsterdam in November, all soda was cans. Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite, Caffeine Free Diet Coke, Fanta Orange. Those were the ones that I noted, there may have been others (probably Ginger Ale). But all cans from the bars.
  3. I get sound from the Port Everglades webcam, never from the Ft. Lauderdale camera. It has been a bit crackly today.
  4. When we were on Nieuw Amsterdam, we saw Step One do Humanity and Stages. Like you, we loved Humanity, and thought it was a very interesting, very well done show. But Stages was just not as interesting, to the point of being not interesting. I've read the same kind of comment about Stages from others on this forum as well. And now seeing that Resonance is similarly not good, or perhaps even worse, because at least we didn't have people leaving from Stages. Makes me start wondering if it's less that Stages and Resonance are actually bad, or more that to get non-dancers interested in dance shows, they need to be exceptional like Humanity. I do think that would be good information to get back to Step One: Do more like Humanity, less like Stages and Resonance.
  5. When we did a VH guarantee on the Nieuw Amsterdam (I don't know if you can actually guarantee a higher class or not), we ended up with a VB. I had the same thought you did: There are only 4 of them on the ship. And even if we got one, it's still not bad.
  6. We did buy some reusable luggage tag holders. I thought they worked very well. We attached them prior to arriving at the Port.
  7. Second weekend in a row watching a weekend sailaway for me. Interesting to do something that other people are doing at the time.
  8. To answer a couple of your questions: There should not ever be a problem with your whole group showing up for Anytime dining and being seated together, although it's possible there may be a short-ish wait for you if it's during a particularly busy time. You might work around this by arranging your meal times to be when people are expected to be finishing up from the early seating for scheduled dining. And I noted that having a reservation for time didn't really speed it up at all, unless you maybe have a very large group. As to specialty dining, I really liked the Tamarind restaurant, it's worth going to no matter what. Others can give recommendations on other specialty restaurants. You should be able to make a reservation for the whole group there. The Signature Beverage Package (SBP) only counts alcoholic drinks against your 15 drink limit. You can have all the water and sparkling water you want, although you may have to get them one at a time. It also includes coffees and can sodas, although on the Konigsdam it does NOT include fountain sodas from the Coke Freestyle machines (the EBP appears to include this last). The SBP will be fine in the MDR, they will bring the drinks you want. I don't believe room service will be able to use your SBP privileges, so you will end up paying extra for any drinks delivered to your room. You can go to the bars and get the drinks to take back to your room. Drinks that cost in excess of the $11 limit for the SBP you will be charged the full price plus gratuity. HAL does not charge the surplus over $11. This may limit your choice of wines by the glass. You might consider upgrading to the Elite Beverage Package (EBP) for the $15 dollar limit, but it may not be worth it. I think this is a recent bar menu to check prices: http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/here/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Bar-Menu.pdf The bartenders are pretty good at making sure that your drink doesn't exceed your package.
  9. Just to expand this a little, we had the same staggered time email for our cruise on the Signature-class Nieuw Amsterdam in November. I don't know if they are continuing to do it, but it had just as little enforcement as you say here (none).
  10. My experience in November was very easy. You go across the drop-off lanes to the private pickup stand, set up your ride, and done. We had no trouble on a Saturday morning. It's really not far from the terminal exit (this was at terminal 26). Our rides around Ft Lauderdale were all in the 12 to 13 dollar range, excluding any tip. Even from the Crowne Plaza right outside the cruise port to the terminal.
  11. The material is a renewable resource, but it still requires energy, emissions, and space to manufacture and stock them. So it's a savings to discourage use, or even to see a reduction by not offering unless asked.
  12. I just got the same deal for December 11-day, but also had the chance to add the ZPM promotion, so big success for me.
  13. Thanks for the information. Guess I'll have to get up early again.
  14. That's an interesting idea, and you're probably right that to economize the operation they need to minimize the number of trips from the port to the airport. I wonder if the remedy would be "you forfeit the service if you needed to be interviewed by Customs and didn't show up". I do have to say that I found the Luggage Direct service to be a pretty good deal, since for us they also waived any bag overweight fees, in addition to providing boarding passes/check-in. The early time would be a bit more palatable if the reason was something like this. It was just somewhat of a surprise to us that "hey, you have to get off the ship first" when we had planned on being off last.
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