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jer_l

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About jer_l

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    Cool Cruiser

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    California's San Joaquin Valley
  1. I'm guessing that you will have a great cruise. When you have a long cruise list, I'm guessing that you will still have good cruises. It's more about you than about the cruise. Our first cruise was to Alaska and it rained in every port. We still loved it. We cruise regularly and Alaska remains our favorite destination. Bon Voyage!
  2. Just off the Imagination. Pick-up for all alcohol was in one of the lounges on Promenade deck. Once inside, there were two lines depending on whether it was purchased on board or held for passenger. (I purchased from the ship.) From entering the lounge to leaving was a five minute process. It was well organized and easy enough that I would plan to buy again.
  3. Yes, the Rendezvous lounge was the worst and it did feel at times like a time share pitch. Once we knew what we could order we were quite happy with the classic package. We are definitely not wine connoisseurs and drink only white wines. There was an organic chardonnay that we enjoyed and a prosecco when we wanted sparkling wine. Most of the foods we enjoy go well with white wine so we were pleased. As I said in the original post, the wine stewards were great and made suggestions from our package. We frequently had to say we've had enough because they were quite willing to keep refilling the glasses. I would say for many the upsell to premium would be a good deal, but not for us. I'm certain that some upgraded, but I only heard "no's" from those around me often followed by a "I wish they would quit asking" after the server left.
  4. I used the list found in post #15 on this thread: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2212237&highlight=classic
  5. It was $10 a day per person on our cruise.
  6. We just returned from an amazing 12-day cruise to Alaska on the Infinity. The one "fly in the ointment" so to speak was the beverage package. The bar menus in both the Constellation and Rendezvous lounges had on premium cocktails listed. The first day I asked a bar tender what was available with the classic package and was told that if I looked at the menu I would see that none of the cocktails were on the classic package and that I should pay to upgrade to premium. The first few days bar tenders and servers were trying hard to get everyone to upgrade to the premium package and in the 12 days I never saw a list for classic cocktails. (The wine stewards, on the other hand, were very helpful in the dining room, Q'sine, and SS United States restaurant. They would ask if you had a beverage package and then tell you what they had available and kept refilling your wine glass when it was low.) On day 3 the hotel manager sent out a form asking what they could do better. I wrote about the drink package and heard back from him the next day. He said that while the menus featured only the premium cocktails that I could order anything on the classic package. The only cocktail he knew for sure was a Long Island Ice Tea. At that point I used my internet minutes to come on cruise critic and find the list. Once I knew what was on the list I had no problems ordering. The key is knowing before you go what is included if you have the classic package.
  7. When given vouchers, is each one for a single drink?
  8. Unfortunately, there are some die-hards who will go to public areas when they know they are getting sick. We were on the Thanksgiving week Crown sailing' There was Noro, but it was not wide-spread--less than 10 cases. The evening the captain announced that there was a problem, an older man sitting next to us at dinner (tables for two) kept complaining to his wife about how he felt. He said he had not felt well all day, ached all over, and his stomach was upset. His food sat on the table uneaten. I resisted the urge to tell him to get to his cabin and call the medical center. Instead, we asked our waiter if we could move. He took us to the maitre de who seated us on the other side of the room so no would know we asked to be moved. Our waiter sent our food to the new waiter. The next night I believe I saw his wife eating alone. The second noro announcement came the next day when the captain said there were only four passengers in quarantine. The following day there were two more. It was not a big outbreak, but I appreciated the efforts of the crew of the Crown to keep it contained. We did pass a quarantined cabin each time we went to our cabin. The stewards wore masks and all linens were bagged in yellow bags.
  9. Last evening just before dinner the captain of the Crown Princess came on the pa system to announce that there is still a problem with nori virus on board The crew has been quite diligent with cleaning, but, unfortunately, some passengers are not. While at dinner we could hear an older couple seated right next to us and the man saying he was achy and his stomach hurt. He was not eating any of his food and said he had not eaten all day. I wanted to turn to him and say "Go to your cabin!!". We did get up and ask to be moved without saying anything to others. The matre 'd was quite accommodating and our waiter sent our order to the new waiter. When we returned to our cabin later we saw a room being cleaned by someone other than the regular room steward and all the linens bagged in plastic. I assume the occupants had been hit by Niro. We are quite careful even to the point of taking hand sanitizer to use after viewing the menus and before we eat. We've been on ships with bad cases of the virus and fortunately never caught it ourselves.
  10. When I read the e-mail that said the terminal would be closed for sanitizing I wondered about that, but then realized that anyone coming off the ship with Noro would be using the terminal and leaving germs behind. I would imagine that this is the reason they are sanitizing it so that there would be no cross contamination between disembarking and embarking passengers.
  11. This is a huge improvement over the grill!!! We usually ate at the grill once each cruise, but did Dive In 3 times. (4 times for DW because she didn't want grilled salmon.). Burgers and chicken were great. The fries were amazing! Pager system is a wonderful idea.
  12. We disembarked yesterday' from the Westerdam and are staying with family for a few days We were quite surprised to see her sailing by Edmonds today so I came here when we got back to the house to find out what happened. As much as I would hate to miss Sitka it seems that HAL is being quite fair with compensation.
  13. You can't really go wrong with any of these ships. Each has an itinerary that is great. I sailed for the first time on Princess at Thanksgiving and I was really impressed. Although the ship was larger than HAL, it did not seem any more crowded. I'll be sailing on the Golden Princess in May with a group from work and I am really looking forward to it. I would have to say that overall my experience on Princess was as good as any cruise I've had on HAL. The food in Princess is comparable to HAL and we found the desserts on Princess to be much better. Most likely the one-way itineraries will more expensive due to air fare than the Seattle loop, but you may find some good fares. I've cruised to Alaska numerous times and here are what I believe are the strengths of each itinerary: Grand Princess: Seeing both Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay would be amazing. Personally, I would recommend the Hubbard Glacier over Glacier Bay even for a first timer to Alaska. It is the largest tide water glacier in Alaska and seeing it is amazing. There is nothing in Glacier Bay that compares. (Although I do love Glacier Bay also.) Oosterdam: We love the town of Seward. If you can go a day early and stay in Seward overnight (I would suggest one of the many B-n-B's) it would be worthwhile. The Exit Glacier is certainly worth visiting as is the Sea Life Center in Seward. There are very few ships that visit Haines and we have certainly enjoyed out two visits there. Skagway is great, but can be crowded with multiple ships. Both cities are on the Lynn Canal which indeed is a beautiful sailing experience Westerdam: Sitka! This is our favorite port and few ships visit there. The Sitka Sound is a beautiful sailing experience which I feel far surpasses the Lynn Canal. The Alaska Raptor Center is a great experience. There are also lots of excursions that get you on the water of the Sitka Sound which has so much wild life to experience. Have fun deciding and planning a cruise that will be filled with memories!
  14. I "won" a cruise DVD at a New Year's Eve Party on HAL a year or two ago. The DVD was a joke. Most of the clips were obviously not from our cruise and even included clips of shows that were not on our cruise because of the New Year's Eve Parties that changed the show schedule. We watched it and had a good laugh. I would certainly never buy one.
  15. If there was a path around the photographers just take it--that's what we do and it does speed up the boarding process. After numerous pictures taken on various cruises we rarely wait in line for "our turn" with the photographers. When we see a clear path we take it.
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