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Mary Ellen

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  1. Like you we’ve only done one Oceania cruise (Riviera) and had the same reactions. The cabin and our steward were wonderful. The food and service elsewhere.... 🤬 One more than one occasion the menu description did NOT match what was served (example tarter sauce and ranch dressing aren’t interchangeable 🤔). I didn’t bother contacting the head office after our cruise. When we realized nothing, absolutely nothing (not even a free cruise) would get us back on one of their ships - I wasn’t going to waste my time.
  2. Did you not print out your luggage tags? HAL clearly states their alcohol on the luggage tags. Never dreamed someone would be so petty.....
  3. Loving your ‘Live from...’ it is SO you. I can just hear you. Please say hi to Mrs. Whogo for us.
  4. The Princess site lets one check out air fares and routes without being booked. This allows me to do what you did, check for a better price/route, without getting into my actual booked flight. The HAL site (once again) falls short in this aspect. Even when looking at a HAL cruise I use the Princess Flight Ease to get an idea of flight options. Last summer we saved about $5,000/pp using HAL air for business class r/t Amsterdam. I’ll use cruise air to save that kind of money. Thanks for the heads up.
  5. Unless HAL is changing that too, your guess is wrong. DH is usually at the HAL gym before 6 a.m. and has to wait for the doors to be unlocked.
  6. My husband is going to be very unhappy to learn about this. The 6 a.m. opening time was already later than he normally goes to the gym at home. He always said it was pretty well used while he was there, so he’s not the only early morning exerciser.
  7. So, you've also sailed with 'Tarp Man'. He is a Dutch school teacher who is known for his tarps. He told one of shipmates that he has 5(?) different colored tarps from which he chooses which one to bring. On our cruise it was his blue tarp. He didn't have it tied around his waist, but rather chained. It was a fairly heavy chain, fastened together by a large padlock. We sailed with him in Northern Europe. Our recent table mates noticed him on a Panama Canal cruise. Like you said, one does notice him.
  8. It entirely depends upon the laws of of the country/countries involved. China and Brazil are two that come to mind that do not allow any passengers without visas, if required for their country of citizenship, to just stay on the ship. Neither country permits visas to be issued on board or at arrival. As you experienced, Russia is one where passengers may just stay on the ship if they don't have the necessary visa or approved tour arrangements.
  9. Setting aside the logistics of going to Orlando during a port stop, are you aware that Disney Springs is essentially a shopping/dining area? Does your grandson particularly like shopping?
  10. We've done over a dozen Alaska cruises in the the past 30-some years. I pretty much agree with Sequim. We've never gone 'outside' Vancouver Island on our return, but given the limited number of 'slots' available for the passage through the Seymour Narrows (cruise ships can only transit during a very short time in the slack tide that occurs 4 times times a day), I suppose that could be possible. We've done that portion a few times during daylight, it is far better than being out in the open ocean. The only reason we would take an Alaska cruise from Seattle would be for a 14-day r/t that includes Anchorage and Kodiak. It used to be much more expensive to fly to YVR than to SEA, but that is no longer the case. I just did a check on airfares for the next month between DFW and YVR/SEA. It is actually less expensive to fly to YVR than SEA. We've had cabins ranging from insides to suites on our Alaska cruises. Frankly, we really don't find balconies worthwhile on them. The scenery is all around the ship and being on a balcony limited us to what happened to be on 'our side' of the ship. There will be announcements when whales/wildlife are spotted. We didn't want to be in our cabin and hope that they were on our side of the ship. One cruise we probably spent less than 15 minutes the entire cruise on our balcony. Another, I'm sure it was still less than 30 minutes total. We like the HAL ships for Alaska because there is plenty of open deck space, in addition to the previously mentioned Glacier Bay access. It's very easy to move around as the scenery, weather, and our mood dictates. I would avoid any HAL ship with Lanai cabins though. They have deck chairs reserved for those cabins and that severely limits the number available for other passengers.
  11. It depends how attached you are to that suit. One long cruise we sent DH's favorite silk sport coat out to be dry cleaned. Not only did did they shrink it, but the lapels were pressed at very different angles. We've never had any dry cleaner do such a poor job of pressing. HAL did try to make it right by paying a reasonable price for the sport coat, but still we'll never send anything to to be dry cleaned on HAL again. We'd much rather still have that coat.
  12. We used the China Visa Service Center both times we did cruises involving China. While we used their Chicago office, you'd have to use the LA office (http://www.mychinavisa.com/la). We were very happy with their service both times. The visa availability had changed between the two visas and we were able to get a 10-yr, multi-entry visa for the same price as the single entry. I don't know what is currently being offered, as we still have a number of years remaining on that second visa.
  13. First, I never said the website path was 'identical to Princess'. It is much clearer on the Princess site and anyone, booked or not, can check airfares. Once you get to where you book flights the system is identical. Second, are you booked directly thru HAL or are you using a travel agency? As I said before you must be booked directly with HAL, no agency involved. When logged in to your booked cruise you can either click on "Book Flights & Travel" (on the left side menu) or "Travel Planning" (on the top menu). Either will take you to "Pre & Post Cruise Travel" where you can choose "Flights". From there it you shouldn't have any problems as it is identical to Princess.
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