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About retdon

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    ABC Islands

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  1. We are loyal HAL cruisers and love the excellent service, quiet environment, good food and special things they do for their passengers. We like boarding and having the cabin ready by 11am and staying in the cabin until your color code is called when disembarking. We like our drinks brought to our table by servers (in the buffet) and we like the staff to serve our food in the buffet. The room service is excellent and no charge. You can order from the Main Dinning menu into your cabin and we have done this on surf and turf night, nothing like eating steak and lobsters in your pjs. Room service always calls after your order is delivered to check and make sure you received everything. One other nice touch is the cloth towels in the public restrooms. One big plus no smoking anywhere inside the ship, including the casino. There is a designated area aft on the top pool area for smokers. We just got off the RCL Harmony of the Seas and it was the most disappointing cruise we have been on. A monster ship with 5,700 passengers, about 1,000 of them young children, screaming, yelling and shoving. The announcements were so loud as was the entire ship we could not have a conversation with friends at dinner. I wish I had some ear plugs, it hurt my hearing. We went on this cruise to be with my high school reunion friends. Even though HAL has a program for children you will not see many on board. I would guess our last cruise in April there were about 15 total children and they were mostly teens. Yes HAL caters to the older cruiser and has the highest return cruiser numbers in the industry, they reward us highly for coming back. Their ships are easy to get around and are in excellent condition. They do not allow empty room service trays to be placed in the hall ways and are always cleaning to keep the ship spotless. There are many cruise lines and some like one more than the other, something for everyone and everyone's likes.
  2. We were in a JS and liked it except for the mini-tub half glass shower curtain, floor was wet every time we used it.
  3. I agree that smaller ships are totally different than the mega ships. Sorry we could not find anything better than HAL and as I said there is something for everyone.
  4. Just off the Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas and NEVER AGAIN. 5,700 passengers with about 1,000 of them children. We went because of my high school reunion cruise and we did want to try a large ship but we could not wait to get off this monster. There are so many things we did not like it is easier to note the things we did like, our cabin steward was excellent, service in the Main Dinning room was very good as was the food, food over all was OK, only excellent items was the onion soup, escargot, prime rib and lamb chops. We like to come back to our cabin in the afternoons and sometimes watch a movie, not here, they charge $11.99 for a in cabin movie, ridiculous. Royal will nickel and dime you to death. Cocktail are from $10 up and usually half full. The noise level would deafen anyone, we needed ear plugs. Their buffet was terrible, no lines just pushing and shoving and it was serve your self which is a real health hazard. The worst was smoking in the casino, terrible. Cheap small paper napkins, no drink service, had to get it your self and screaming children everywhere. They had 12 elevators at the front and back of the ship and it was always wait and wait to get on. There was so much more with many in our group saying NEVER again on a ship this size. We had to drag our carry on luggage to lunch and try to find a place to eat, what a joke. The very first day is was pouring rain and will more than half the ship open to the out doors trying to get somewhere was difficult. This is just a brief review but I caution anyone who is thinking about going on a ship this size to read all the review on the Royal site and be prepared for a ship shock. We are back to Holland and really appreciate all they do for their passengers, THANK YOU HAL.....
  5. Well we tried the Monster and we did not like it. You had better like crowds, a lot of children, loud music & noise, full elevators, rain inside the ship, cancellation of entertainment, pushing and cutting in front at the Windjammer, pitiful paper napkins, smoking in the Casino, overpriced cocktails that are only half full, and so on and so on. We are seasoned cruisers and have been loyal Holland American for several years. We chose this cruise because it was a group cruise with my high school class and Port Canaveral is close to our home. It all starts with having to drag your carry on luggage to a lunch spot along with the thousands of other passengers. We ended up eating hot dogs, only open seats we could find. Breakfast was at Johnny Rocket's and it was tasty with excellent service. The biggest problem, it was pouring rain and with the open ship you need you umbrella or you will get soaking wet. Lunch was usually at the Park Café for the great roast beef sandwich and crisp salad make to your choice of ingredients. It was quieter here and had open tables. For dinner we ate 4 evenings in the Silk Dinning Room with our group and the food was good, not excellent except for the escargot, onion soup, lamb chops, and prime ribs. We had group reservations and were seated in an area they called the Island, the was fine until they seated the screaming kids there. I asked them not to do this again, it is noisy enough without the kids screaming. The other evenings were at Isuma hibachi, a real showman with some moves we had never seen, lobster and scallops were OK. The problem, a family with very small children who screamed through dinner. I don't like paying $100 + tip + cocktails to listen to screaming children. We could not be moved as the other two tables were full. We have children of our own and 11 great-grand children who we dearly love but WHY would someone bring a small child (less than 2 years old) on a cruise is beyond me. One evening was at Sabor with fantastic guacamole, a delicious margarita and good service. The bad was the very loud noise from the Aqua Theater. Another night we ate at the Solarium Bistro, finally a quite place with good service, it is a buffet for all items except your entrée. The Captain and other officers were eating there and we know why, you can finally carry on a conversation at dinner. If you go to Mini Bites expect a lot of children, a wet floor from the dripping bathing suits and heat (it is open). They only serve burgers or hot dogs, once was enough. Breakfast room service was Continental because anything hot was a charge of $7.99 plus tip, ridiculous.. Cocktails run from $10 and up and are usually 1/2 full, I sent my back and asked them to give me a full drink. The smoking in the Casino is choking awful and should not be allowed, a real fire hazard. I can't believe Royal would allow this. The life boat drill is a joke, get ready to sail the Titanic as they could never get all these bodies off that ship. The life jackets are stored on the boat and not in your cabin, they give them out when needed. The video that was shown to demonstrate the life boat drill was based on James Bond, music and characters, and if you could see it or hear it you were lucky. Hundreds of people packed into the Promenade trying to find seats and talking through out the entire presentation. No roll call was taken so we could have stayed in our cabin and no one would have known we were not there. Our cabin steward was excellent and kept our mini-suite clean. He replied to any request we had, was professional and friendly. The cabin was nice except for the mini-tub, it has a half glass partition not a full shower curtain and our floor would be all wet after showering. We did enjoy the veranda a few days when we were not in the sun. We usually end up in our cabin in the afternoon and enjoy watching a movie, get ready to pay $11.99 for any movie, this is really going to far Royal, WHY??? We are not pool people, have had too many skin cancers for any more sun exposure. A lot of our group agreed they did not like the ship and some even said the other large Royal ships were better, more organized with larger elevators. We will not be sailing on anything this large again. we tried it and it failed to please so will just leave it at that. In cruising there is something for everyone and this huge monster is not for us, we are returning to Holland. Maybe someday we will cruise Royal again on a smaller ship as we had good memories of other Royal ships.
  6. Does anyone have the menu for the Park Café for Breakfast and Lunch? Thanks, just trying to plan ahead for our Oct. cruise. Linda
  7. Thinking about booking a connecting cabin on deck 6, ss category and would like to know if anyone can tell me where the connecting door is in the cabin? Thanks for your replies.
  8. Wondering if HOS has cabanas around a pool that can be rented for use during a cruise. I have looked on deck plans and website and don't see anything. Thanks for your response.
  9. Thanks Judy, Boy this sign sure says what they have not told us. Was this the Silk Room on deck 5?
  10. If her name is Marlene Preto, we have been in contact with her and no luck.
  11. Does anyone have a diagram of the layout with table numbers and location of the Silk Dinning Room on Deck 5. I am working with a group and we have our table assignments but I want to know exactly where these tables are located. Thanks, Linda
  12. Judy, I have a request if you are able to do it, if not, don't worry about it. I am the coordinator of a group, 27 seniors, and we are having a terrible time getting our dinner reservations. The Silk Dinning Mgr. agreed to seat all of us together at 5:45pm. Would you please find out his name and ask him how I can communicate directly with him before our sail date, Oct. 6. Going to the RCI home office is not working for us, we really wanted to eat at 6:30 as a group and all they say is NO, I am not happy with how RCI handles groups. The worst part is RCI opened MTD months ago but kept putting us off saying they could not handle it until 50 days out from sailing. Guess what, now MTD is booked up and our group is stuck, and it sucks. Thanks to you if you are able to inquire, love your review and hope we can get this worked out before our sail, if I don't I will be talking to the Dinning Manager and let them know how unhappy we are. Thanks, thanks, thanks, Linda
  13. I take a 3inch memory foam pad I got from Amazon and it is great. I also got a sheet for it and a waterproof carry case. It is bulky but we deal with it. the case: DOKEHOM DKA1015RDXL 130L Thickened X-Large Storage Bag (4 Colors), Fabric Clothes Bag, Ultra Size Under Bed Storage, Moisture Proof (Red, XL) The Pad: Milliard Tri Folding Mattress, with Ultra Soft Removable Cover and Non-Slip Bottom (75" x 31") Since it is a tri fold it fits nicely in this case. I am not taking a chance on sleeping on a rock hard bed, especially with my bad back. Linda
  14. I have been looking at the web site and want to know can you purchase a bottle of liquor for consumption in the cabin. I do not want the "package" which includes sodas, etc. I only want a bottle. I called RCI and could not get any answer except for the "package" which I do not want. Does anyone know if this can be done and how to do it. I plan on checking when we are on board. Thanks for you response.
  15. Sounds great, we sail Oct. 6 to eastern Caribbean. I am looking for cruise compass that shows formal nights. We are going to Labadee instead of Coco cay and our first day is a sea day. Also looking for info on what is offered each night, when bars open, etc. Thanks in advance, looking forward to reading all about it.
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