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The Tsar

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About The Tsar

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Location
    San Jose, California
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America

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  1. Do the bathrooms in the Lanai Stateroom Catagorey have 110 Volt outlets for items such as WaterPicks/ToothBrushes/etc?
  2. We have booked a Lanai Stateroom on the MS Maasdam for an upcoming Alaskan Cruise. This will be our first time in this Stateroom Category; always have been curious about this them. Does the Sliding Door, which open directly on to the Promenade Deck, have lock(s), which can be opened from the outside or do you have to use the standard interior hallway door to gain entrance?
  3. WOW - The majority of responses to my original Post, have caused me to take a step back. One thing is very clear - We seem to view the HAL pins in a totally different light. I view the Pins as a window to the past. Maybe, it is because we are in our late seventies, quickly (too quickly) approaching our eighties. When I hold/wear the Pin(s), I remember the wonderful moments I have spent with my Wife, not the money spent. It was war time and I was in the Service, when we were married. It was not until almost twenty-five years later, before we were able to go on our honeymoon - A Holland America cruise. Therefore, the Pins represent more than just a past cruise(s), but the enchanting and thrilling time spent together. As to all perks and other benefits, although very important at the time, tend to quickly fade with the passing of time. I can not remember how much I spent on any of the cruises, but I do remember the joy in my Wife's eyes while cruising together.
  4. Over the years we have seen several types of Holland America Mariner Award/Pin recognition programs. I have mixed emotions regarding the current program - While I appreciate and enjoy the benefits of the current Star program, I dislike the method which Holland America uses to evaluate your status. I feel that the Star recognition pins can just be bought - With how much you spend (Suite - Onboard Shopping), therefore had little actual meaning. PAST PROGRAMS - DESCRIPTION # OF CRUISES COMPLETED RECOGNITION Able Mariner (3 Cruises) Certificate Cadet Mariner (5 Cruises) Certificate Grand Mariner (10 Cruises) Certificate & Lapel pin CRUISE MILEAGE* # OF CRUISE DAYS RECOGNITION 40,000 (115 Days) Silver Medallion, Certificate & Lapel Pin 100,000 (285 Days) Gold Medallion, Certificate & Lapel Pin 250,000 (713 Days) Platinum Medallion, Certificate & Lapel Pin CRUISE DAYS RECOGNITION Red/White (25 Days) Pin Blue/White (50 Days) Pin Copper (100 Days) Pin White/Silver (300 Days) Pin Gold (500 Days) Pin Platinum (700 Days) Pin Any thought/comments/feelings?
  5. We are booked on the Maasdam May 28th Alaska Cruise. Are there any "Do Not Miss" Excursions in Alaska? There are several Native Programs/Shows - Is one better than all others?
  6. "I wonder if I need some "expert" from inside or outside of government to issue regulations/requirements that "they" believe will be to my benefit." RKACRUISER - WELL SAID. I for one would pay more for Holland America of olde - Before Carnival. PS: As to the Promenade - The insertion of the Lanai Staterooms on the S Class did spoil the original concept, eliminating most of seating on the deck for other passengers to relax and enjoy. Sorry, but the other areas still available are just not the same.
  7. First, Thank You all that have contributed to this topic, whether I agree with all comments or not. I had not expected this topic to be so active. That being said - I wish to add a few additional points that I truly miss. Room Stewards who had only six staterooms to serve. Dinning Stewards and Assistants who had two tables to serve. Full Midnight Buffets- In my younger days Ship's port debarkations Galas - Streamers, Fireworks, Live Bands, Complimentary Liquid Toasts. Roaming musicians through out public areas - Live music in the Dining Rooms. Pubic Tours to the Bridge and Engine Area. Wrap around full Promenade Decks (Without Lanais). Fresh daily flowers throughout the ship. Captain's Table - Dining Room Table-side Flaming Deserts The only thing that has stayed relatively constant is the Outstanding Ship Staff, both Onboard and at the Home Office.
  8. As we are about to sail on the Maasdam in May, I am lamenting how much the Holland America Line has changed, since we started cruising with HAL thirty five years ago. I looked at the “Ocean Liner Directory” from our first cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam MS. HAL - "…we have never lost sight of the spirit of the cruise experience An experience whose meaning is romance as well as relaxation.” Although we missed the Golden Age, the legendary era of the luxurious TransAtlantic crossing, of cruising, we have been able to enjoy a taste of what was during the twilight years with Holland America. Unfortunately most changes have not been welcomed. Here are just a few highlights from the Ocean Liner Directory/Cruise Information Booklet - Deck Games - Trap Shooting Dress Aboard Ship - "...After 6:00PM, ladies usually wear dresses: men, jackets and tie. On formal evenings, most men wear a tuxedo or dinner jacket: ladies, cocktail dresses or evening gowns." Children - "Parents are kindly requested to maintain supervision of children ... During the evening hours, children are not permitted in some public lounges ...." Shoe Shine Service - Simply leave your shoes with your Cabin Steward. Tipping - Tipping not required ...we forbid any form of soliciting for tips. Typewriters - Portable typewriters are available at the Front Office .... Mail and Cables - Letters, packages, and cables will be delivered to your stateroom .... IMHO - As stated most changes were/are not appreciated. In someways it is hard to explain, if one has not experienced for themselves. The entire atmosphere aboard ship(s) is totally different. Most is due to economics and change of culture and respect. We have booked a Lanai Stateroom for the first time in hopes of recalling some of the joys of our first cruise. We were in awe of the spacious teak promenade and as such spent most of our ship's time there. We loved that deck so much that years later I acquired the original brass Forward Portside Directory plaque of the Upper Promenade Deck from the Nieuw Amsterdam. Memories, memories of bygone days. This maybe our last cruise with Holland America - Time to try another line, although I fear they all have gone this way.‼️ Unfortunately most change have not been welcomed. Unfortunately most change have not been welcomed. Unfortunately most change have not been welcomed. — A few highlights listed in the Ocean Liner Directory/Cruise Information Booklet — Deck Games - trap shooting Dress Aboard Ship - …”After 6:00PM, ladies usually wear dresses: men, jacket and tie. On formal evenings, most men wear a tuxedo or dinner jacket: ladies, cocktail dresses or evening gowns.” Children - “Parents are kindly requested to maintain supervision of children … During the evening hours, children are not permitted in some public lounges…." Unfortunately most change have not been welcomed. — A few highlights listed in the Ocean Liner Directory/Cruise Information Booklet — Deck Games - trap shooting Dress Aboard Ship - …”After 6:00PM, ladies usually wear dresses: men, jacket and tie. On formal evenings, most men wear a tuxedo or dinner jacket: ladies, cocktail dresses or evening gowns.” Children - “Parents are kindly requested to maintain supervision of children … During the evening hours, children are not permitted in some public lounges…." Unfortunately most change have not been welcomed. — A few highlights listed in the Ocean Liner Directory/Cruise Information Booklet — Deck Games - trap shooting Dress Aboard Ship - …”After 6:00PM, ladies usually wear dresses: men, jacket and tie. On formal evenings, most men wear a tuxedo or dinner jacket: ladies, cocktail dresses or evening gowns.” Children - “Parents are kindly requested to maintain supervision of children … During the evening hours, children are not permitted in some public lounges…." Shoe Shine Service - Simply leave your shoes with your Cabin Steward. Tipping - Tipping not required…we forbid any form of soliciting for tips. Typewriters - Portable typewriters are available at the Front Office…. Mail and Cables - Letters, packages, and cables will be delivered to your stateroom…. IMHO - As stated most changes were/are not welcomed. In someways hard to explain if one has not experienced for themselves. The atmosphere aboard ship(s) is totally different. Most is due to economics and change of culture and respect. We have book a Lanai Stateroom for the first time in hopes of recalling the some of the joys of our first cruise. We were in awe of the spacious teak promenade and as such spent most of our ship’s time there. We loved that deck so much that years later I obtained the original Forward Portside Brass Directory plaque of Upper Promenade Deck from the Nieuw Amsterdam. Memories, memories of bygone days. This maybe our last cruise with Holland America - Time to try another line (Although I fear all have gone this way). Unfortunately most change have not been welcomed. — A few highlights listed in the Ocean Liner Directory/Cruise Information Booklet — Deck Games - trap shooting Dress Aboard Ship - …”After 6:00PM, ladies usually wear dresses: men, jacket and tie. On formal evenings, most men wear a tuxedo or dinner jacket: ladies, cocktail dresses or evening gowns.” Children - “Parents are kindly requested to maintain supervision of children … During the evening hours, children are not permitted in some public lounges…." Shoe Shine Service - Simply leave your shoes with your Cabin Steward. Tipping - Tipping not required…we forbid any form of soliciting for tips. Typewriters - Portable typewriters are available at the Front Office…. Mail and Cables - Letters, packages, and cables will be delivered to your stateroom…. IMHO - As stated most changes were/are not welcomed. In someways hard to explain if one has not experienced for themselves. The atmosphere aboard ship(s) is totally different. Most is due to economics and change of culture and respect. We have book a Lanai Stateroom for the first time in hopes of recalling the some of the joys of our first cruise. We were in awe of the spacious teak promenade and as such spent most of our ship’s time there. We loved that deck so much that years later I obtained the original Forward Portside Brass Directory plaque of Upper Promenade Deck from the Nieuw Amsterdam. Memories, memories of bygone days. This maybe our last cruise with Holland America - Time to try another line (Although I fear all have gone this way).
  9. Thank You to everyone who responded, I know I could always count on members. I took the advise, and have booked a Full Size Vehicle with Enterprise (Downtown) - $78.37
  10. Hi Moriah, Yes, we also would like the longer 4 hour stay . However , not worth $2800 more for 7 Days less, not to mention our Embarkation/Debarkation from San Francisco, CA.
  11. Thank You "oaktreeb" Pretty much as I suspected - Will plan for 9am to 3pm rental, which should (hopefully) allow for "life happens". Appreciate the heads up on "Reserve Now".
  12. Over a half a century ago, I was stationed and married in Anchorage (Fort Richardson), Alaska. Finally this year, my Wife and I will be returning for the first time on a Holland America (Maasdam) cruise on 6 June 2019. We would like to spend the day in Anchorage, simply reminiscing and touring the area in a Rental Vehicle. I am sure that everything has changed, since we were there prior to the Earthquake of 1964. It appears that Rental Vehicles are available either at the Airport or downtown Anchorage. Does anyone know exactly where HAL docks their ships, while visiting this port? Any information regarding the HAL docking facilities and/or Rental Vehicles would be greatly appreciated. Thoughts/Comments/Suggestions?
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