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Camelia-

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  1. that's a great point. We're usually not too fussy - but it is risky having them move you to somewhere you don't particularily care to be!! On the other hand..sometimes it works out...we took a move over sale a few months ago (on another line) and we were given the further most forward inside cabin..I did have a bit of fear regarding movement and noise from the stewards as they went past with their trucks but since it was in essence a free cruise I was prepared to endure it. Surprisingly it was one of the best cabin locations I've had- one I would never have picked myself!
  2. It's hard to know..we received an upsell offer from balcony to minisuite for $299. We declined it. A couple of weeks later we received another upsell..same option but this time it was for $199. We still declined. I'm curious as to whether there will be another..but it's more curiosity than anything else..perfectly happy with the balcony! If they really want our balcony they can give us a free upgrade!!
  3. I agree about the Mongolian BBQ station - so nicely organized and efficient since they introduced the beeper system. Waiting around for your dish to be cooked is no fun and you simply become another body taking up space and getting in everyone's way !! Better to use that time to find a table or get started on your meal. It's interesting though that (like HAL) the Caribbean Princess also started introducing pre-made sandwiches and there was alot of criticism about that. Some was valid I think: too cold..too dry..I think if they executed it a little better it would be more successful. There were lots of interesting combinations of sandwiches that I thought worth sampling..but then again I like the "exotic" aspect of the Marketplace and many people don't!!
  4. thank you all for your thoughts. I look forward to a new experience on a new (for me) cruiseline! Camelia
  5. Hello everyone, Though I've cruised on a few lines I've never had the pleasure of cruising with HAL. I hope to remedy that in the next year. I've been reading some reviews and I understand that the buffet is not self serve. There are staff to serve you. Is this true of all HAL ships? I think that this is a great idea. I'm really curious to know whether this results in less cases of norovirus on board? It's logical to me that if only one person is handling the tongs - rather than many (some of whom may not have bothered to wash their hands)..there is less chance of spreading of germs from person to person? I like the idea of lowering the odds!! Thanks in advance! Camelia
  6. I would also add that sometimes I've been on a tour bus that does have a restroom but the first thing the driver does as the tour starts is "gently" encourage you not to use it!! However, in cases of emergencies at least it's there!!
  7. thanks so much for this report. This is so useful to know and the timing is perfect since I will be trying HAL for the very first time in December. I'm impressed that they actually have separate menus for vegan and vegetarians..rather than the token offering that I've seen on other ships.
  8. I like to book as early as possible with a refundable deposit of course and I don’t pay attention to the price when I book because I know that over the course of a year there will be many promotions that I refare with. I just saved $1100 off the price just yesterday. The key is vigilance about checking the prices daily! Sometimes they change hourly!
  9. This is going to be fun! I really enjoy the amount of details that you include - I feel like I'm travelling alongside!! I hope that you are having a great flight!
  10. Thank you very much for letting me know. I look forward to checking out the bathroom now that you mention it! The lack of an overfriendly shower curtain has to be better I do not doubt!
  11. Hi everyone, I've just booked the Nieuw Statendam for next February. It will be my first experience with HAL and I'm really looking forward to it! We've booked Cabin 8080 and I understand that the balcony is slightly bigger and angled because of the location. My question, for anyone who has been on it, is whether the balcony is entirely exposed or is there a combination of shade and sunshine? I usually book cabins on Caribe deck with Princess and those balconies provide both and are larger so I just wondered. Thanks in advance!
  12. Wow..that was quite a tender experience!! I do so agree...attitude is everything and can make or break a vacation..there will always be things that are out of our control and at the end of the day..the only thing we CAN control is our own reaction. I do try to keep in mind that the crew members..like us..are very eager to make sure that things go well..we're all on the same side!! I think alot of issues arise when we can only see part of the picture and communication breaks down..that's not to say that we SHOULD know the whole picture of course..but in some instances it might help to keep impatience and complaints to a minimum.
  13. thank you so much for that link!! Clearly it was a different experience for everyone and a good reminder to read as many reviews as possible to get a more balanced idea of a ship. Course of most interest (to me) is the reason behind most complaints and I can see that some are more understandable than others. Course -there is no accounting for individual tastes or know what expectations people bring with them when they board. At least no one has said that they left the ship bored to tears..lol!!!
  14. Enjoyed reading this review very much! Interesting to see your comment about some people being miserable....was this just generally a negative attitude overall or about specific instances? I remember reading that there was a problem with the tendering in one of the ports..I imagine that there must have been a lot of unhappy people then!!
  15. just returned from my experience in C106 on the CB and I wanted to share - in case anyone else is considering this cabin. As has been mentioned already we found that this is a regular inside cabin - not a sideways one. I loved..loved..loved the location! Yes it's near the door where the stewards enter but we were never bothered by any noise..or smoke for that matter. I loved the fact that it felt more private because you had to round the corner to enter..no passengers ever walking by. I expected lots of movement since it's almost the first cabin but except for the fact that for a brief few minutes the thrusters were felt as we approached the port..the cabin was so steady that I could actually forget that I was on a cruiseship..NO movement at all. In fact, I overheard another cruiser who had been on the same cruise, say that his wife had been in bed all day seasick because of the movement..and I could only shake my head because that was definitely not my experience. However, having said that, when we walked aft and went up to the buffet the ship vibrated so much that you couldn't ignore it..!
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