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Posts posted by InTheWASide

  1. 30 minutes ago, FOPMan said:

    We’ve sailed quite a bit on Holland America and enjoy Half Moon Cay.


    I am a wheelchair user, and it seems like Holland America has upped their caution about Half Moon Cay and accessibility. My fear is they’ve shifted from using island-based tenders/ferries to using ship-based tenders (lifeboats).


    Can people sailing after 10/23/21 and visiting HMC post back about what boats are being used for passenger transport at Half Moon Cay?




    I was at HMC last week on a Carnival Cruise and they still used the island tenders. I would imagine HAL would be doing the same... But why not call and ask the Access and Compliance desk ahead of time and see what info they have?

    • Like 1
  2. Looking online and Chops and Izumi aren't showing as options to book ahead of time. Jamie's Italian does so I know things have been loaded in.

    Does this mean they're totally sold out already? Or do I have to get Unlimited to get access to them?

    Would unlimited even have access to them if they aren't showing?

    I know we're all climbing the walls to get back onboard but it would be really surprising if most specialty dining is 100% booked solid before the cruise.

    Any thoughts?

  3. Trying to decide which ship to go with on this upcoming cruise we're planning. Your advice, especially if you're familiar with both ships as they currently sit post-amplify would be great.

    Both are departing on the exact date we would need - 9/13/21 and end the same day and both happen to go to Nassau and CocoCay so that part is a draw.

    We've only been on one Royal cruise before and that was Liberty out of Galveston a few years ago. In all honesty it was alright but I read they had to skip out on a lot of what they planned to do with the ship just prior in a drydock and the company we had wasn't great so that likely influenced the opinion.


    This is just a quick getaway for the 2 of us about as close to my 40th bday (October 5th) as work schedules will allow.


    Here's what I am debating:


    A couple hours closer to home

    About $20 less in tolls

    More recently amplified (though because of covid I think both have had about the same number of cruises since amplification so moot point?)

    The Bamboo Room (not on Freedom)

    Has Playmakers (but way smaller and part of the Promenade instead of it's own entire zone)

    Has Jamie's Italian

    Has the Escape Room



    A couple hours further from home

    Additional $20 in tolls

    Only been on Royal once and was on this same ship class 

    Lime and Coconut (not on Mariner)

    Playmakers is HUGE compared to Mariner

    Has R Bar (we liked it on Liberty)

    Has El Loco Fresh

    Has Giovanni's Italian Kitchen (I think this is a different name from what Liberty had? Is it different?)


    These things don't matter:

    Which water slides or who has the trampoline skypad thing (we're both big boys and Royal has already declared we're too fat for such things)

    We're gold so no need for Diamond lounge

    We're likely doing basic inside or basic balcony so we don't need a suite lounge

    We gamble but not to a ridiculous amount so what the casinos have isn't a huge deal

    "This ship is bigger, it'll feel more crowded" - Neither ship will be at capacity so no biggie 🙂

    The promo I found has both of these within a few dollars of the exact same price 


    Please help! I appreciate your input!



  4. Found this link on the HAL website with a quick compare chart across the fleet.



    Comparing Ryndam to sisters Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam a couple things stand out:

       No De Librije popup (dont in the PG 1 or 2 nights each cruise)

       Instead of the Fuji Wonder Shop for photos, there is just "Photo Shop"

       BLEND by Chateau Ste Michelle will not be onboard

       Another thread someone was wondering if it will be a "Crow's Nest" or an "EXC" and the chart shows EXC.


    So there's at least one space with something new coming and that's the space BLEND previously took up.

    It will be around the corner from the Ocean Bar and Pinnacle/Sel de Mer and directly adjacent to Club Orange (and it DOES show Club Ornage will be carried forward to Ryndam)

  5. 5 hours ago, Shmoo here said:

    "Someone else" is somewhat suspect in their view of things, also.  The article was reported by "Cruelty and Murder of Animals".


    And the lawyer in question is quick to pick up on any bad press about cruise ships, regardless of source.



    Absolutely agree

  6. On 5/28/2019 at 8:54 AM, Loreto said:

    We did this as Sea Otters, Raptors and Bears, Oh My!  It was a great excursion with HAL and I am planning on doing it again in July.  Fortress of the Bears was a fascinating way to observe rescued bears.  We have been to the Raptor Center a few times and enjoyed it.


    First time we went was this tour. The Sea Otter Quest is also incredible. We easily saw over 1000 animals between numerous whales and puffins, other wild birds, eagles and a "raft" of easily over 500 otters. Then to have the raptor center and Fortress of the Bear AND it was a perfectly clear blue sky in Sitka which isn't too common... 

  7. On 5/27/2019 at 6:04 PM, 1ANGELCAT said:

    Have any of my fellow HAL cruisers been there ? 

    Did you consider it worthwhile?

     I’m looking at a tour that also goes to the Raptor center or perhaps just going on my own to the Bears.


    We go there every single time we're on an Alaska cruise that goes to Sitka.

    The work they do is extraordinary and they give these amazing creatures a second chance as Alaska law says if they are wandering through town they can be killed.

    They've made big changes to the grounds over the last few years that we are eager to see the next time Alaska is calling to us.

    While it may be a bit cliche, we found being there to be inspirational and life changing.

    Definitely go when you are there. I hope you find it as incredible as we have on numerous occasions!

  8. 1 hour ago, Wishing on a star said:

    I have been hearing about the savings by booking thru the cruise line.  But, this doesn't sound like a big savings?

    Does this sound about right to any of you frequent travelers?

    I think I'm misunderstanding your post... I must be...
    HAL is offering airfare that is $130 less per person than what the airlines themselves offer and you're saying it doesn't sound like big savings or a big deal...

    If I can get airfare for $270 less for the 2 of us than I could get by going straight to the source, hell yeah I'm gonna be happy about it!

  9. On 12/24/2018 at 4:27 PM, Cruisin_from_Tampa said:


    I’m on Koningsdam now, sitting outside Club Orange.  It is situated on Deck 2, just aft of mid-ship at what I suspect used to be the Culinary Arts Center (now notably absent from the deck plans and any activities).  There is no menu posted outside, so I can’t comment on that.  Looking through the glass, I count 19 tables.  The food on the tables looks comparable to what you find in the specialty restaurants.  Even if there is no upcharge to eat there (unlikely), $50 per day is more than you would spend at any of the specialty restaurants if you ate in them every night, and the other perks don’t seem to make up the difference.


    There is a open kitchen (logical as I suspect this was Culinary Arts Center), but they aren’t using it.  I will stop by during the day and update this if the venue is being used for anything else during the day, but it isn’t on the deck plans as anything else.



    The venue looks a little better on Koningsdam.

    - The abstract graphic for the windows instead of huge forks and spoons.

    - The chairs are a white leather and very comfortable (numerous tables and chairs right outside that corridor)

    The thing we couldn't justify was the price. Especially when the beverage package is almost exactly the same price. Pretty clear which gets you a bigger benefit.

    I think they could really have something here if they used the open kitchen (Dinner at the CAC did this and it was great) and didn't just echo the MDR food. Tossing in an extra choice or two isn't enough to justify it. However take it the route that Celebrity did with Blu which has a focus on fresher, lighter (not to be confused with diet), less sauce-laden foods... AND having the advantage of cooked to order right there in front of you... THAT could be enough to justify it... or at least get it a lot closer to being justifiable.

  10. Love that this thread is still alive and kicking.

    I've tried communicating it a couple times before without success so I'll try again...

    The folks that are on here that add material into HAL Facts... anything they would like to take from my photos here and place on there, by all means feel free!

    To those sailing soon, have an incredible time! I'll be back on the ship on 12/10

    • Like 1
  11. On 10/23/2018 at 12:38 PM, RuthC said:

    Since you have already been to both Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier, I definitely recommend taking a cruise that includes Tracy Arm instead.
    Now understand the focus is much, much different. Glacier Bay and Hubbard are impressive because of their glaciers, and the scenery is marvelous. Tracy Arm is an experience in scenery, and there is a glacier at the end.


    Well said. Having been there 5 times I absolutely agree. Back when I was a travel agent I would tell people "If Alaska is a one and done destination - Glacier Bay. If you'll likely go every so often, pick a different one each time."


  12. Koningsdam also has the America's Test Kitchen. When we were on in May, it was $15 per person. I hope they keep that format on the NS. I'd rather eat there than the Pinnacle Grill.



    Sent from my iPad using Forums


    I'm curious to see what is done with this space since the original concept didn't really take off the way they hoped.

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