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Posts posted by TrolleyGirl

  1. 22 minutes ago, Riversedge said:

    When we were recently on the Zuiderdam we dined with an officer.  I asked her about tipping and how much the employees actually got from the daily tips.  She explained that the automatic tips is divided by 81 people (on that ship...probably varies by size of ship).  Not only that,  but it is divided between all of the ships belonging to HAL.  They are now doing it that way to make it fair to those working on certain ship itineraries that may have a lot of cruisers onboard who are coming from countries that don’t believe in tipping.


    Fascinating!  Thank you for your input.


  2. 17 hours ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

    What did they charge for a day pass? And are you allowed to buy the days you want all at once? 


    It's been awhile since I did the day pass, maybe 4 years (?), however I believe it was around $40 per day.  I vaguely remember weighing out how many days I would use the day pass.  It seems to me if it was more than 3, the week pass was cheaper.  You can only by a day pass on the day you want to use it.  I got up early and went to the spa and bought my pass before breakfast to be sure I got one.

  3. 2 hours ago, Suzcruz57 said:

    Good to know. On a Holland’s web page it offers the full length of the cruise. Would prefer less days. Thanks much



    Just so you are aware, the day passes are only sold onboard.  Depending on the number of passes sold for the cruise/ and or day, it is possible that all passes will be sold out.  This is a warning the spa will advise you of.  However, I personally have never experienced a sold out situation on any ship.  YMMV. (your mileage may vary 😉

  4. You can either purchase a length of cruise pass or a day pass.  I have done both, depending upon the ships itinerary.  On a port intense cruise I didn't have as much free time to enjoy the thermal pass, so I opted for a few day passes.  On Caribbean cruises most of the ports are repeats for me, so I spend more time onboard and in the thermal spa.  It really is a wonderful treat either way!  

  5. The dining room stewards wait on the same table each night.  So if you happen to sit at the same table or that servers group of tables you will have the same servers.  If you find you have a favorite table, you can request it each evening with As You Wish dining.

  6. 3 hours ago, DaveOKC said:

    The "tub" is small, holds only about 4 people and is really not a traditional hot tub - no jets and not very hot.


    Interesting, when I was on it last fall, there were jets in the tub and it was very warm.  I wonder if it has been changed out.

    3 hours ago, Petronillus said:

    I was also surprised to discover that the door leading from the thermal lounger room to the outdoor deck was welded shut.


    Nor was the door welded shut.  I sat out on the deck a couple of evenings star gazing while cooling off from the hot tub.


    My perspective, I did enjoy the week long thermal pass and would book it again.  I liked the fact you could see from the hot tub to the thermal loungers and know if any were available and could easily switch between relaxation stations.  On the vista ships, the hydro-pool is in a separate room from the loungers.  You have to keep on going into the thermal lounger room to peek and see if any are available.

  7. PMJ was on the Rotterdam last fall also.  They did two performances on one night.  Both performances were different, one I liked the other not so much.  The first show had a lot of current popular music, the second show featured a long tap dance sequence that wasn't preformed live it was all on a video screen.

  8. 2 hours ago, ithaca gal said:

    We love the cabanas and really don't care to sail on a ship without them, now that we have been spoiled


    Shhhhh, we don't want everyone knowing how fabulous the retreats really are!  I prefer it when the area is referred to as tent city.  It sounds so unappealing, that way when I want to rent a cabana for a week they are not all booked.


    On ‎5‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 12:35 PM, cruisen cracker said:

    $85 a day for the privilege of sitting in a private wind storm was a little too much it seems.  Except for warm weather cruising or one-upmanship, I would say they are a waste.  HAL could put the space too much better use for the passengers.  I doubt if they made the cost of service back during the 22 days.


    I have been on the Vista ships before the Retreat area was put into place.  That area was always a dead zone and not generating any income.  Now it generates money on a regular basis.  The only expense is the original build, maintenance, and the staffing of 2 cabana stewards.  I'm confident the rental fees of the cabanas more than cover the expense.  Otherwise, HAL wouldn't keep adding them to the new ships and retrofitting the old ships. 

  9. 20 hours ago, VTcruisenut said:

    Beware the $25 and $50 Beverage cards!  Our experience (there were 6 of us that had them) was that they aren't activated when you board - though they are in your cabin with your shore excursions.  We tried to use them and the bartender told us they wouldn't work.  Then we went to Guest Services who activated them.  The next time we tried to use them, they said they wouldn't work and charged the drinks to our cabin.  When we went to Guest Services, we found the beverage card had been charged and so had our cabin!  There were several other people in line at Guest Services with the same issue.  Just a head's up!

    We had the EXACT same issues off/ on for our entire 11 day sailing on the Zuiderdam last December!  Frustrating!!

  10. On ‎3‎/‎19‎/‎2019 at 6:28 AM, Krazy Kruizers said:

    Donner looks wonderful -- especially the chocolate dessert.

    KK, I know this was just a simple typo and you did indeed mean dinner.  However, it gave me a bit of a chuckle and an ewwww at the same time.   I had recently read a book about the Donner Party tragedy in 1847.  The Donners were indeed dinner and the chocolate desert would have been a blessing.

  11. 11 minutes ago, kazu said:

    So now that they are not letting you use the non refundable in the casino, and since they use the non refundable OBC first, I wonder if this means that we can't charge to our account in the casino until the non refundable is used up when you have both non refundable and refundable OBC? 



    You can charge the casino to your room before all the OBC is used up.  Their computer system now can keep better track.  However, be aware what shows on the navigator app will show the casino charges going against the OBC.  This gives you a false picture.

  12. 16 hours ago, Shmoo here said:

    When you hand out cash gratuities, the crew must turn in those cash payments until it's determined whether you removed the auto-gratuities or not.  If you haven't removed them, the cash is returned to the crew member you gave it to.  If you have removed the auto-gratuities, then the cash you paid goes into the auto-gratuity pool to be divided.


    They just need your room number to confirm that.


    We specifically asked our dining room manager (Zuiderdam) about the above statement since we have heard similar statements mentioned many times on cruise critic.  He stated that the tips handed to attendants do NOT go into a pool, regardless of whether tips are removed or left standing.

  13. 21 hours ago, OVgirl said:

    As for coffee, The Dutch Cafe is not the place to get real coffee. It has been set up to offer an 'experience'.

    If you want espresso drinks you should head up to Explorations Cafe in the Crows Nest.


    Sadly, our recent experience getting a good coffee from the Explorations Café is a relic.  Since the Explorations Café moved out of its own space and into the bar space at the EXC Crow's Nest, bartenders make the coffee.  It is my opinion that the coffee just isn't as good as it was when there was a Barista making the coffee.  I also miss the case of beautiful pastries, scones, and tea sandwiches.

  14. Aside from the pollution

    On ‎1‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 8:20 PM, Fouremco said:

    Given the horrible impact on the environment of single use throw away plastic bottles, it's great to see the number of people who use refillable personal water bottles. 


    Exactly, also many of the new water bottles are insulated so you can enjoy cold water all day as opposed to room temperature water from a disposable water bottle.

  15. On ‎11‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 9:30 PM, AliceS said:

    Thank you....not sure that I would feel safe with this situation.  Who has been in one of these cabins?  Help


    There is no reason not to feel safe.  The sliding glass doors lock and can only be accessed with a lanai key.  As someone said above you will have two keys, a lanai door key and a regular stateroom key. 


    I have had a Lanai room twice now, and would book one again in a heartbeat!


    BB King is not on the Rotterdam, however Post Modern Jukebox is currently onboard.

  16. On ‎11‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 2:12 PM, Alberta Quilter said:


    On my last cruise (Sep/18), my HAL OBC and my shareholder OBC showed separately from my TA OBC.  The HAL OBC was marked clearly that it was not to be refunded or used in the casino.  Towards the end of our cruise, we were able to "withdraw" some of the excess OBC (after they confirmed that the HAL OBC was used in full) to give to the crew members as an additional gratuity, on top of the HSC.


    Our recent experience was similar regarding the casino and shareholder OBC.   We just got off the Rotterdam this past Sunday (12/2),  all week our room charges showed the shareholder OBC ticking down towards zero by beverage charges and casino charges.  However, on our final statement the casino charges did not go towards the shareholder OBC.  As of Saturday evening, the bill showed a credit of $6, however Sunday morning the final bill showed a balance due.  The casino charges were not applied to the OBC. 

    So my message is, even though in the past, regardless of what was stated casino charges did tick off the shareholder OBC, but it looks like HAL has made a change and is now following their rule.  It's unfortunate that the phone app that we are given to us onboard is not reflecting this change yet.  So beware.

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