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Everything posted by jimgev

  1. I need to begin with a disclosure. I love music, especially live music. I do not care for big show productions on the "main stage". With that said, I would like to offer my take on the ever-changing music venues on HAL. When I first cruised on HAL the live music was in two vuneus. There was a classical ensemble (very good) and a HAL band of more contermpory music that usually only played on the Lido deck. At the crows nest there was a Karioke set up for people to sing along to recorded background music. Later the Karioke began to die down in favor of a piano bar where the pianist encouraged audience participation. Around 2017 or so, HAL began to experiment with a live blues band format which they named the "B.B.King Band". Those bands played in the Crows Nest on a few ships. As that caught on it expanded and, eventually the newer ships had their own dedicated space for the B.B. Kimg bands and also for some classical rock bands. With my love for live music, I was in heaven when I was able to go to listen to a blues band, rock band, audience participations piano bar and also classical ensemble all on the same cruise. It seemed that there was something for everyone and also everything for a music nerd like me! I need to register my personal dismay in that HAL seems to be retreating from this dedication to live music venues. I hope that this is not going to be an ongoing trend.
  2. Good Morning. The humidity has certainly returned to south Florida. Went out with the dog at 7 AM and couldn't wait to get back inside with the AC. Thanks, Rich, for the daily. Loved the quote from Joan Rivers - it could easily have come from Rodney Dangerfield. always great to start the day off with a laugh.
  3. Happy Birthday Jacqui and thanks for all your contributions to this group.
  4. We have been on three post-covid cruises with HAL. Three different ships. All three have been great. HAL is not for everybody. No cruise line is for everybody. They each have their target demographic. No cruise line can address the things that are most important to every demographic. For us, HAL fits into our wheelhouse.I would agree that HAL does not have great entertainment in the main theater setting, but I never go to that venue anyway. My love is music and HAL does a great job with live music. We always have wonderful service and enjpy our interactions with the staff. I have eaten in some of the finest restaurants in the world - i know good food. I also know that no top restaurant prepares three meals per day , day after day, for several thousand people. HAL does a damed good job with their food service. If HAL does not meet the expectations you have, there are other cruise lines to choose from. That's what is so great about competition. Go where you are most comfortable. Hopefully, all the lines will soon return to profitability and see corresponding improvements in what they do best.
  5. Wow! What a difference! I'll bet he is happy to have all that mattingg gone.
  6. Wow - many changes in the new packages. Far fewer choices in the SBP. Some moved up to the elite package and some gone completely. All in all, quite disappointing.
  7. Happy New Year! I love tiday's quote. It reminds me of a line in a song: "I've always been crazy, it keeps me from going insane"
  8. Best wishes to all for a very happy Christmas and Holiday Season.
  9. Madeira was a wonderful port stop on our TA this past November on the Oosterdam.. Thanks so much for all who posted photos. They brought back so many happy memories.
  10. Good Morning. For all who celebrate today, enjoy this celebratin of food, family and friends. We have been to San Juan a number of times. We have a little tradion of visitingg a little cafe close to the port and enjoying some good Mofongo.
  11. Back home from our Trans-Atlantic on the Oosterdam. Great cruise. Wonderful ports. Met lots of great people
  12. We sailed from Vancouver in June. We had an 10:00 AM Boarding Time. We went through all the check-in process and then waited and waited. They began boarding at 11:30 AM. I spoke with one of the security people while we were waiting to board, he told me that no one could understand why HAL was giving out such early boarding times. He said there was no way that a ship could disembark everyone from the previous cruise, clean all the cabins, and be cleared to board for the new cruise until after 11:00 AM at the very earliest.
  13. Greetings from the”dark side β€œ. Dark because we are in the tenth day with no power. Crews are working around the clock to make repairs and restore power but there is so much damage. β€œCamping out”is getting old.
  14. Actually that is Pine Island. Sanibel is the crescent shaped island at the bottom of the picture.
  15. Hello friends It has been a few days since I have been able to check in here. We experienced a devastating hurricane. Our community is a mess. We are without power, phone service and internet with no estimate on wheat anything may be restored. But we are safe. thank you for your concern.
  16. The worst of the storm is starting to hit us now. Expected landfall is about 30 miles NW of us. So far we still have power and all is well. the next few hours are going to be a mess.
  17. Good Morning. Thanks for the fleet report and the care lists. Nice collection of days. Education is an essential part of good citizenship. Knowing and understanding our constitution is something that is talked about a lot but rarely (in my experience) is it accomplished. The people who talk the loudest about the constitution and wave copies of it in your face are usually the ones who have no idea what it realls says or means. Great meal suggestin today. I love a good mole. There are so many recipies for it. I've heard it said that there are as many mole recipies as there are people in Mexico - everyone has their own special way of making it. The best one I ever had contained 23 ingredients. That many ingredients is not uncommon.
  18. Jacqui, what a beautiful event. I know there were lots of smiles and tears. You did Jose proud!
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