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Charliesmom

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About Charliesmom

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Massachusetts, USA
  • Interests
    Gardening, Trivia, Cats, Traveling, Cruising
  1. It seems to me that Travel Agency C gave you a good price out of the box. They have advertised on Cruise Critic, so they must have been around for awhile. Find out what the charge is for cancellation. Also, Travel agent A might change the price if they find they are not making money, so you don't have much of a guarantee there. Ask when you make a deposit, who charges your credit card - the cruise line or the agent. If it is the agent, run away. You need for your credit card to be charged by the cruise line. You might as well get quotes from a few other agents while you are at it. Perhaps some friends can give you recommendations. Good luck. Roberta
  2. Many thanks for all of this great information. I will sign up right away at the front desk. Roberta
  3. Does anybody know if they still have these packages and how much they cost. In the past, we have always been in a deluxe suite. This time we are in a mini suite. Many thanks for your answers. Roberta
  4. It is always more pleasant when your ship is the only ship at Half Moon Cay. Is there a way to find out what other ships will be there on the day you will be there? We will be there on February 2nd, 2011. Thanks for your help. Roberta
  5. It really depends on what floats your boat. We cruised on Oceania in the Owner's Suite in 2008. The service was excellent. However, my husband got very annoyed that waiters were removing plates before he was through eating. Also there were times that he got ignored, which did NOT please him. We had an excellent butler who took wonderful care of us. Socially, it was a great deal of fun. We met lovely people and had a great time with them. Bottom line - it was an expensive trip, although not much more than the Penthouse Suite on HAL. We stripped out all of the add-ons like free airfare (that was worth $500 per person) before we turned it over to a travel agent. I found the Oceania agent to be dense. It took a bit to get what I wanted accomplished. It was a relief to turn it over to the agent. Also, you should be aware that Oceania subcontracts everything, including the Captain and operating crew of the ship. The only people who actually worked for Oceania were the front desk crew and the cruise director and his assistant. The waiters were subcontracted. The room stewards were subcontracted and the butlers were subcontracted. That was a revelation to us. I was concerned about who would be responsible in the event of an accident. If you still want to go on Oceania, you can negotiate by stripping out unwanted extras and then you can get a price from a travel agent to see what it would really cost. Roberta
  6. I've noticed that the real bargains have usually been on 7 day cruises. For some reason, 10 day cruises prices don't usually get discounted as much - perhaps because there are fewer of them and they get filled up. Roberta
  7. After I have made final payment, I will contact whomever I have to contact at HAL to get that extra $100 credit for owning the stock. It might be that they haven't as yet okayed the credit for 2011 cruises. Thanks again. Roberta
  8. My TA has told me that if you accept the Amex Platinum credit, it is not combinable with the $100 Carnival Stock credit. In the past, this has been a credit, I got myself by writing to someone at HAL or Princess. What is your experience? Have you been able to get both recently? Many thanks for your help. Roberta
  9. Go to the top right of this page. Click on "Cruise Agencies". Pick a few of them. Tell them that you have booked already with HAL and are looking for a deal and ask them to quote the cruise and stateroom you are booked for. When you have chosen the agency, ask them how to transfer the booking. Things to insist on: 1) Your credit card is charged through HAL, not the agency. You get a copy of the booking from HAL outlining the price and the cruise credits you are supposed to be getting. Also sign up the the Free E-letter. You will get lots of information that way. You will find out who is selling what cruise for a bargain. You will find out about new ships coming out. You will find the button to click right in the middle of the banner two inches below the top of the page. This free E-letter will also introduce you to more cruise agencies so you can get a feel for the ones that suit you best.
  10. I would suggest that you go with the Princess tour. There can be traffic jams in and around Naples, Sorrento and Amalfi. That coast highway can be very congested. There have been reports about people getting stuck in traffic jams and missing the ship. We went from Amalfi to Positano on a local bus and the traffic was unbelievable. We took a ferry back to Amalfi from Positano. It was very much less nervewracking. However, I am glad that we did take the bus because the scenery is breathtaking and it is marvelous to see how people can terrace a cliff and grow lemons.
  11. I'm with RuthC on this one. We have been on both the Noordam and the Eurodam. The Noordam feels more elegant. I think the staterooms might be a shade larger - at least our deluxe verandah suite on the Noordam was larger than on the Eurodam. The fit and finish of the Noordam is nicer. The library on the Noordam is nicer. The Crow's Nest on the Noordam is nicer. Also, the Noordam is just a wee bit smaller than the Eurodam which makes it easier to navigate. Roberta
  12. The Noordam is my favorite Holland America ship. It is beautifully designed and well put together. We have met all ages on HAL from young folks with young children to oldsters. If you like trivia, you will find a spirited game daily on HAL. I have not been on the Emerald Princess, but I have been on the Golden Princess, which I found too large for my taste. Emerald Princess has an additional deck of staterooms, so there will be more people in the public rooms. That said, if you like lots of entertainment, you will find more on the Emerald Princess (or at least they had more when I was last on Princess in 2008.) Most of the veranda staterooms on the Noordam are the same except for location with the following caveats: some veranda staterooms near the rear of the ship have showers only - no bathtubs. some veranda staterooms are handicapped accessible and therefore do not have bathtubs, either. One more thing: HAL verandah staterooms are considerably larger than Princess Veranda staterooms. You will find a small couch in your verandah stateroom on HAL. There is none in a Princess verandah stateroom. Also the bathroom on Princess has a shower only and I think the HAL bathrooms are larger. HAL has the best beds on the ocean. The Noordam has a great library and a very spacious and comfortable computer room. There is a charge for the hydro pool. The advantage there is it is never crowded. Hope all of this helps. Roberta
  13. The Noordam is my favorite Holland America ship. It is beautifully designed and well put together. We have met all ages on HAL from young folks with young children to oldsters. If you like trivia, you will find a spirited game daily on HAL. I have not been on the Emerald Princess, but I have been on the Golden Princess, which I found too large for my taste. Emerald Princess has an additional deck of staterooms, so there will be more people in the public rooms. That said, if you like lots of entertainment, you will find more on the Emerald Princess (or at least they had more when I was last on Princess in 2008.) Most of the veranda staterooms on the Noordam are the same except for location with the following caveats: some veranda staterooms near the rear of the ship have showers only - no bathtubs. some veranda staterooms are handicapped accessible and therefore do not have bathtubs, either. One more thing: HAL verandah staterooms are considerably larger than Princess Veranda staterooms. You will find a small couch in your verandah stateroom on HAL. There is none in a Princess verandah stateroom. Also the bathroom on Princess has a shower only and I think the HAL bathrooms are larger. Hope all of this helps. Roberta There is a charge for the hydro pool. The advantage there is it is never crowded. HAL has the best beds on the ocean. The Noordam has a great library and a very spacious and comfortable computer room.
  14. Friends (two couples) of ours renewed their vows on the Veendam a few years back. We attended and it was lovely. It was a terrific memory for both couples, especially since illness has intervened since then. Do it while you can! Roberta
  15. I would also take an ATM card and a couple of credit cards. You can bill your shipboard account to your credit card and it will cut down on the amount of money you have to carry. I always take two credit cards in case one doesn't work for some reason. It is a good idea to notify your credit card company when you plan to travel. That way they won't block any purchases because they think it is fraud. Roberta
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