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About smokesmom

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    NW Georgia
  • Interests
    Scrabble, Hiking
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. I was on the Zuiderdam in November and the female baristas were always there in the morning. I didn't see anyone ordering alcohol at opening although I guess they could have so I don't know if the baristas also bartended. In the evenings, at least one of the two bartenders was able to work the coffee side but they were happy when people ordered simple coffee drinks.
  2. We were forward on Deck 10 of the Zuiderdam on the 10 day Canal and we were fine with the motion.
  3. I talked to a couple of people who did the tour. One thought it was great and very informative. The other person said it was long and at times boring.
  4. Seeing the Panama Canal has long been on my bucket list. We were able to experience it from Nov 4 - 14 on the Zuiderdam. It was a great trip even if the azipod had problems at the end. I journaled the trip at https://mmmtravelmemories.com/ with some pictures. If you have any questions, I'll do my best to answer.
  5. I am enjoying your report. We have booked the 14 day Scotland/Ireland trip for June 2019 (the 2nd to the last sailing of the Prinsendam). Would you tell me the name of the shuttle service from the airport to the Banks Mansion that you pre-booked? We are staying there pre- and post-cruise. Thank you.
  6. Thank you for the information. I hope we can go.
  7. I'd like to go to the zoo. What shuttle took you there?
  8. We were on the June 18th Alaska Zaandam sailing. My husband wore slacks and a collard shirt (no tie) on gala nights and in the Pinnacle Grill. He was fine. I only saw one person turned away from the dining room on a gala night and he was in jeans. Jeans were fine on the smart casual nights.
  9. We have purchased the SBP and gotten it as part of Explore 4. Just like pre-paid ship excursions, it just becomes part of the overall cruise cost for us. We no longer worry about carrying on bottled water, colas, or wine and I like trying new drinks as well as getting the lattes and cappuccinos. We don't worry if we "break even" every day or not. We just enjoy the all-inclusive feeling it gives to the cruise. We've not upgraded to the more elite package but we may in the future if at some point we can't find a wine we like under the standard package.
  10. I can't speak for Skagway or Juneau as we took ship excursions but in Ketchikan there were a number of vendors at the pier that were offering different types of tours. We also saw what looked like a hop-on/hop-off trolley tour and a Duck tour vendor. We did the self-guided walking tour of Ketchikan which was interesting to us but probably would not have been for children or teens. During the walk, we went into the Totem Heritage Center ($5 each) and paid for the tour of Dolly's House on Creek Street ($7.50 each). If we had had more time, we might have tried the Deer Mountain hiking trail.
  11. I can only see Essential Documents and Check-In and we are within the air booking period and booked with our PCC. I would like to see them get the flight ease function running so I could check on flights and prices without having to ask our PCC to do it.
  12. I am glad you found the report helpful. The R1L land/cruise trip overall price included the hotel in Seattle the night before the flight to Fairbanks (also included the flight cost to Fairbanks but not baggage fees). We didn't have a choice for that hotel but it was a very nice one. I think the expectation on coming back that Sunday is that you will fly out of Sea-Tac that afternoon. We wanted to spend Monday touring Seattle so we booked our own hotel. I just didn't really think about getting a post-hotel package from HAL but I guess we could have. At first, I booked a downtown hotel but then I started worrying about our early morning flight on Tuesday and the traffic and cost to get to the airport from downtown. So, I booked us at the Sleep Inn near the airport based on reviews that I had read. We took the light rail into downtown on Monday. It was very easy and the hotel shuttle took us to the Angle Lake Light Rail station and picked us up when we called that evening but it actually was within walking distance of the hotel. The hotel was clean and comfortable, the people were friendly, and the breakfast was free. The shuttle to the airport early Tuesday morning was very efficient. It was less expensive than the Sheraton but on the same street and closer to the airport. There are a variety of hotels near the airport. We never received any information about purchasing a meal plan with this tour and I didn't think to ask our HAL PCC about it. I doubt that we would have purchased it anyway since we like to be flexible about where we eat. I wanted to eat at Wally's in Seattle on that Monday night so I didn't pay attention to any restaurant around that hotel but I do remember some fast food places and I am pretty sure the Sheraton had a restaurant. I liked the food at Karstens and its relaxed atmosphere but the chicken wings were very spicy (even my husband said so and he has a cast-iron stomach). I also liked the two restaurants over in Glitter Gulch. There were others over there too and they ranged from coffee cafes to hot dog stands to delis. I saw a lot of people eating ice cream so that place must have been good too. You could also eat at the Chalet steak house or walk over (or take shuttle) to the Princess property next door as they had several restaurant venues. I heard a number of people enjoyed the dinner show at the Chalet but we didn't attend so I can't comment on the food quality. In Anchorage and Fairbanks, there were a number of places to eat within walking distance of the hotels and I believe both hotels had their own restaurants. That Sunday night when we got checked in at Sleep Inn, we were pretty tired so we just ordered pizza delivered. In downtown Seattle on Tuesday, we ate at The Blarney Stone for lunch and Pike Place Chowder for dinner. They were both very good. I know you will have a great time.
  13. Holland America - Tour RIL - June 12, 2017 - Roundtrip from Seattle - 3 days in Denali http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2516703
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