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About jkrislc

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    San Diego County, CA, USA
  • Interests
    Travel, Writing, Photography
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean & Holland America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Norway or Baltics
  1. For what it's worth, my family had both Celebrity and HAL cruises booked for this July. Ten days Barcelona to Venice on X and 12 days Venice to Barcelona on HAL. We ended up opting for HAL as we are comfortable with how they deal with dietary allergies and have more fresh prepped options in the buffet. In addition, HAL has more deck food options (e g., Burgers and pizza) than the X ship we were booked on. We also liked the fact that our 12 year old is in the regular kids club rather than in the teen, come and go as you wish, club. The movies are another plus. The down side is that X had better booking perks, better loyalty perks, and better shore excursion pricing. We did, however, score some nice airfare pricing with HAL.
  2. We did this from another port and found it worthwhile and enjoyable. The number of cars available tend to be limited, so reserve well in advance. Getting a car with GPS or downloading the maps to your phone will be helpful. We did the 14 night on the Konningsdam in July and had a fabulous time.
  3. OlsSalt, I am very aware that things will be different from the Konningsdam. We just disembarked from NCL's oldest and smallest ship after having sailed on the Konningsdam, so we're not expecting the bells and whistles of the newer ships. We've also sailed on the Maasdam, so I pretty sure we know what to expect especially since this is an itinerary intensive trip anyways.
  4. My son, who just turned 12, enjoyed the club on HAL's Konningsdam and actually preferred the clubs when he was younger on HAL much more than on Disney primarily because they were less children. He would often ask to go to the club in lieu of other activities. He did complain, though, that they "curriculum" as he called it was too structured, so perhaps they are following the schedule now. He really liked the free-time options.
  5. Thanks, everyone. I thought as much and figured things might be different compared to the Konningsdam. I'm okay with DVDs, but I will call Ship Services to see if they know.
  6. On our sailing in the Konningsdam in July, this was only true for guests who had booked the hotel through HAL. However, it was an easy, short walk to the baggage drop area.
  7. I'm looking at booking the Veendam for a Venice to Barcelona cruise, although we already have a Barcelona to Venice cruise booked on the Celebrity Constellation. The primary reasons are that we like HAL's service, the way they handle allergies, and better buffet and lido deck experiences. For my son, however, he prefers HAL for their in-room TV programming. Does anyone know whether the Veendam has been upgraded to the on-demand TV systems? If not, do they still have DVD players in the rooms and DVDs for checkout at Guest Services? Thanks!
  8. I'm on the same sailing and it's working for me.
  9. I always pay the daily gratuity that's added to the onboard account, but it does seem as if cruise lines are starting to double dip by adding gratuities to specialty dining packages since you're presumably paying a gratuity for the MDR staff and also paying a gratuity to the specialty restaurant for the same service.
  10. NCL actually encourages you to bring your own extension cord if you have medical equipment.
  11. I haven't been to Norway on NCL, but I just spent two weeks cruising Norway on another line after falling in love with Norway on a previous cruise. That amounts to three weeks cruising Norway. In most cases, we did excursions on our own either by renting cars or using the hop on hop off buses. What ports are you visiting? In Bergen, the HOHO bus is a great option and can be purchased and picked up right at the port. Another option is the funicular. In Stavanger, I'd recommend renting a car and doing the Troll Road.
  12. I was surprised by this when I booked our excursions. It was a child surprised in addition to the $100 per port we received.
  13. I ended up cancelling my cruise from Miami, but had received a recommendation here for Trinity Reservations. They exclusively offer park and stay packages at reasonable rates. DoubleTree Miami Airport is what I had booked and included the room, parking, and shuttle.
  14. While it is a good idea to renew your passport, it's not required for the cruise and the Caribbean countries do not have the same passport requirements regarding expiration that most countries do. We sailed in January and my son's passport expires in February. Because we weren't traveling out of the country again until summer, we opted to wait in part because we had to renew in person and also because his passport is only good for 5 years. At check-in, the system will likely flag the passport because of the expiration date. In our case, a supervisor had to override it, but never said a word about the expiration date. We did carry a certified copy of his birth certificate just in case .
  15. I just looked on Cruise Deck Plans at cabin 9005 as there are no pictures for 9003 posted. It doesn't appear that the forward cabins have poles. Further, your calling is supposed to hold up to five people. The cot will be placed under the Pullman (bunk) bed with the two main beds pushed together to make room for the cot, which appears the same save as the Pullman (,a terrific size mattress,).
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