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arlodog

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About arlodog

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    Kansas
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  1. We have stayed both inside and outside the Haven area. We much prefer being inside the Haven area. It's just so much more convenient for all the amenities. We would find ourselves not wanting to walk to the Haven area for a drink and just going to a nearby bar instead. Your mileage may vary, but I would vote for inside the Haven area.
  2. I cancelled and re-booked our Bliss cruise today scheduled for Jan 21 to take advantage of the gratuities promo. Our price dropped $70pp and we got the gratuities covered. Not a bad deal...if cruises are going by then.
  3. We also split our tours with people from our roll call. We had never done this before, but it was a lot of fun. We were able to have private tours in all the ports for small groups. One of the members of the roll call made arrangements for a walking food tour in Valencia which was wonderful. You learn the history of the town and then we learned all about tapas and how to order from a variety of restaurants. We usually google walking food tours in most ports of call now after this experience.
  4. Yes it is. If for some reason she wasn't singing in the halls we were always asked what was wrong and if she was ok. It really was fun to watch the staff interact with her! Great memories for us.
  5. We have been blessed to sail in Haven rooms on most of our cruises on NCL. We have become quite spoiled by the experience. We are pretty low maintenance people and really just tell them to skip most of the afternoon snacks and just bring us a platter of cheese and crackers that we can enjoy with a glass of wine before dinner. We do like a bowl of M&M's though... We like the Haven for the relaxed atmosphere and level of service from all the staff not just the Butler. We did have a DOS when we had our grand daughter with us who was 3 at the time. Each evening our Butler would bring her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or spaghetti and we would feed her in the room and drop her off at the kids area so we could then go and enjoy dinner and a show. Then my husband would pick her up and take her to the haven restaurant for a scoop of ice cream before bed. It wasn't just the butler who spoiled her that cruise. All the Haven staff took great care of her and waited for her every morning and evening to come through the lounge area. She gave out lots of hugs to the crew that sailing when they talked about missing their own kids/family. She usually came down the hall singing and skipping--the crew loved her!
  6. Hi everyone: I just wanted to let everyone know that some vendors are offering refunds, even if they don't have to. We had a cruise booked 7/31/20 on RCCL to Alaska. We had booked all of our excursions prior to the COVID 19 crisis. It was to be a 3rd cruise to Alaska, so we were familiar with the ports and knew we needed to book asap to ensure that what we wanted to do would be available. We booked with Jayleen's in Juneau for a whale watching tour. 10 years ago we were able to go with Harv & Marv's (her Dad Jay, was a co- owner at the time) and we had a wonderful time with him. He actually talked about her on our tour; and how she was a photographer too. When I contacted her to cancel she offered a refund even though it was supposed to be a non-refundable deposit of $60. We asked her to keep it and we will plan on booking with her in the future. I am sure that the cancellations of all the cruises this summer is devastating to these small business owners. I appreciate her offering, but know that unless your boat is paid off, just keeping up maintenance and insurance is no small expense for these business owners. In Skagway we booked with Dyea Dave. No deposit with him, but did have railroad tickets booked directly with Whitepass and Yukon railway. Again, no problem to get a refund on a non-refundable ticket. They replied within 24 hours of inquiry and said it will take 2-3 business days to credit back to our card. The only thing we were not able to cancel was a hotel reservation for 1 night in Seattle booked on Hotwire. I knew the risk when I booked it. Again, this was before COVID but it is always a risk with these sites. We did have insurance and we have been able to move it to another cruise I just booked for January 2021. Hopefully we will be able to go again to Alaska. Just wanted to let everyone know that the vendors we booked with went out of their way to do the right thing, even if they didn't have to based on the unique circumstances we are all facing right now.
  7. I would also suggest King David Castillo. He will customize your tour and would make it for a fun day with your kids. The area around the cruise port isn't particularly unsafe, but it is a poor country. The zoo is really a fun experience and very different than zoo's in the US. It is more of an animal sanctuary for animals injured in the wild or abused. We have toured with him 3 times in Belize and it is always a great experience. He took us to the market so we could try fresh fruits and also local restaurants so we could try the local foods. Highly recommend him!
  8. There are vendors who will sell you a tour at the pier. We booked with Marva Shaw at know Jamaica tours. She customized a tour for us in Falmouth. We were picked up right outside the gates to the pier. We saw Rose Hall and went into Montego Bay. We made stops along the way at a fruit stand and jerk shack for lunch. Fun day! We have also done the walking food tour in Falmouth. They meet you inside the gates and you walk through town and make stops along the way to sample various foods, learn about the spices they cook with ect... I don't know how adventurous your 11 year old is....There is a lot of history in Falmouth, but also a lot of poverty. We never felt unsafe with the guide, but it is an eye opening experience in the true poverty in Jamaica.
  9. We sailed Costa once about 15 years ago when they first came to the US market. We went because of the cost. I didn't mind it, but both of my kids and husband said they would rather not cruise than go back on a Costa ship. A true 1st world problem. It is very European in it's food. The buffet had some dishes that we were not used to. At the time we sailed my kids were teens and they were not open to "new" experiences. That may have colored our feelings about the ship. Announcements are in multiple languages--which takes a lot longer to get through. The food is different; not necessarily bad, but not always like the US mass market lines. I would encourage everyone to try some new lines. Different is not always bad. At least you are on a vacation!
  10. Yes, you do want to be first off the ship to get your car or I have heard there is a wait. It was really easy to drive yourself around though. Not much to the town and highly recommend spending the few dollars on Murray's guide. It follows mile markers up the Highway so you know what you are looking at and a bit of the history. I see the price has risen to $5.95. http://*****/ Still a bargain!
  11. We rented from Avis on 2 different occasions. It was an easy walk from the pier for my husband and I. We just went back to the ship to pick up my mom and sister who had mobility issues. I don't know about the cost between the 2 companies, but we had no issues with Avis. It was very cost effective for 4 people. We stopped at the local grocery store and bought some snacks for the road. We bought Murray's guide to the Klondike on line and enjoyed the day and had a picnic lunch.
  12. There are too many people on a ship to keep track of all the nuances of each booking. As long as you are not sharing they will not care.
  13. Our first cruise to Alaska we did an inside on the promenade deck. I booked a room a couple of doors down from the door leading to the outer deck and it was perfect! Like having a balcony without having to pay for it. My 2nd cruise to Alaska we were able to upgrade to the Owners Suite (before all this bidding for upgrades on all the lines went into effect) where we had our own huge balcony with a hot tub. It made glacier day cruising memorable! We are going again this summer and have a balcony booked. We debated on just doing an inside again, but thought we would get a balcony and see if we use it. When we went to Europe we had a balcony and didn't use it due to the long port days. I have a feeling that we will probably feel the same way on a regular balcony. Not worth the price due to the limited time to enjoy it. Book whatever room is comfortable and affordable for you. Excursions are expensive in Alaska. I don't remember too much about the rooms I have had in my travels; but I have great memories of the adventures we have had!
  14. I love the BBC. Banana, Bailey's and Colada. Should be available on every Royal ship. A great drink when you get tired of the rum drinks.
  15. We stayed in the Owners suite and I don't remember a door from the bedroom, but there is one going out to the hallway. The bathroom design is such that the you do have privacy for the toilet and (if I remember correctly) it was in it's own area with a door. The layout is the bathtub and sinks when you walk in, the toilet and closet area around the corner. We loved that room! We sailed in it with our granddaughter and son and there was plenty of room for all.
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