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About Me

  • Location
    Los Angeles
  • Interests
    Geneology, golf
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America
  1. I have purchased Club Orange for a cruise next year. I understand that they have a person who can make specialty dining reservations. Has anyone used that service? Is it easier to make same day dining reservations if you use the Club Orange concierge? Thanks!
  2. This is also my experience. I am 61, and am going on my first cruise next year. We are going to Alaska because we think we can see more of Alaska on a cruise, and with significantly more comfort. My experience based on this one cruise is that cruising is more expensive than land based vacations. My last trip was an 8 day trip to Scotland. We stayed 6 nights in a hotel in Edinburgh that cost $275 a night. We stayed in a hotel on Skye that cost $450 a night. We pretty much ate and drank whatever we wanted, including two dinners at Michelin star restaurants. Airfare for two was $2,700. The cost for 2 people was $988 a night including airfare, excursions, car to the airport and back, etc. So far, my cruise in a Verandah room with one night's stay in Vancouver, meals in Vancouver, three excursions, the "have it all" package, Club Orange upgrade, three specialty dinners, car to and from the airport, and $1,100 airfare, is going to cost close to $1,300 a night even with the lower airfare. But the price doen't deter me because Alaska is a bucket list item for us, and the best way to get there is a cruise IMO.
  3. So is the forum consensus that the prices of cruses are expensive at the moment? I have a 7 day inside passage on the Konigsdam with a Verandah VA room. (My first ever cruise.) The price was about $5,000 for two. Is that a little higher than normal?
  4. Newbie question; What does "after final payments" mean? Thanks!
  5. Which high volume cruise agencies do you recommend? Thanks!
  6. Thanks for the comprehensive response. As I said earlier, I am new to cruising and trying to learn the ropes. When I travel, as a general rule, I try to budget $1,000 a day for everything. This would include hotels, airfare, transportation to and from airports, meals, excursions, etc. In have always been able to stay within budget while staying at very nice hotels (usually around $300 a night), eating and drinking very well, and paying for extra legroom on my flight. My trip a couple weeks ago to Boston and New York was well under that, and my trip to Scotland two years ago was $988 a night. My cruise to Alaska with HAL is currently projected to cost about $1,300 a night, which will make it the most expensive vacation (per day) I have ever gone on. So I really can't see myself paying more for extra luxury. In my experience, there is always something better out there. The key is finding something nice enough for your budget. With HAL I think I am about there. Thanks again for your thoughtful responses.
  7. Thanks for the response. Next year, I will have my first cruise to Alaska on HAL, so I am learning alot. My verandah room on HAL, with a "Have it all" package, tips, and Club Orange is about $6,000. on Seabourn, a 7 day Alaska cruise in the worst room (no verandah and probably not in the best location) is about $10,000. So the cost difference is about $600 per couple per day in my calculation. Does that sound about right to you?
  8. Hank: Have you done an apples to apples comparison that attempts to calculate how much more per day Seabourn costs than Hal. I have tried to calculated it out and it looks like Seabourn costs at least $300-$400 a day more than HAL if I make some reasonable assumptions. Do you have any thoughst on this? Thanks!
  9. Just so I understand this... So I have the "Have it all package" which includes drinks and gratuities. So If I order a $10 beer, does the bartender actually get $1.80?
  10. It sounds like if I get just $100 in $1 bills I can be like Ray Liotta entering the Copacabana in Good Fellas. (This is how Italian Americans customarily tip.) This will be me at the Pinnacle Grill in 317 days.
  11. I have never been on a cruise, so I have no idea of the etiquette. Are my numbers overly generous?
  12. I am an over tipper. I tip pretty much everyone. (I think it is a trait of being an urban Italian-American, but that's another post.) If anyone shows up from room service, I usually give them $5 at least. If someone serves me a drink, that's $1 per drink. I give the person who cleans my room $5-$10 a day (depending on the City). Are these numbers about right? Do you also tip waiters and waitresses at dinner? If so, how much? Thanks!
  13. How much do you tip a drink waiter or a cabin steward? Do you tip room service when they bring food?
  14. I am a complete newbie who has traveled alot, but at age 61, I have never been on a cruise. I'm going to Alaska next year on the Konigsdam. I understand there is a service charge added to my bill. But I am not sure who it is customary to tip beyond that. Like when room service comes, do you give the crew member a couple bucks? Do you ever give cash to waiters at restaurants? Or is everything included? Thanks!
  15. So would this include beverages ordered with breakfast? For example, if I get coffee and orange juice at breakfast, is that 2 drinks?
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