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bigez

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About bigez

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    San Diego
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, South Seas

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  1. No the $20 MDR lobster was not worth the additional. But what's worse is a $10 surcharge in Pinnacle Grill. Are they kidding? You pay to go there and they gouge you for lobster? HAL is losing us as they continue down their cheap/nickel-diming pathway. It's so unnecessary, and it's really unfortunate.
  2. We've sailed (and eaten) on HAL for more than 25 years. There's a steady decline in the quality and portion size of the meals. A new menu doesn't make up for the decline, it simply dresses it up differently. The psotter who mentioned Olive Garden was on point. What could be a distinctive venue is simply a corner of the Lido with extra garlic bread.
  3. Actually, the azipod/net issue was known well before Kona, and even before Hilo according to what the captain said and showed at the Q and A. It is hard to get a firm story out of them because they can't/won't detail exactly when the net entanglement happened. He said they sent divers in at Honolulu, and discovered netting. Honolulu was after the first stop in Maui, and before leaving for Kauai. Apparently, the problem was not deemed critical until they lost the seals to a point where the azipod was non-operational, though again, there's no timeline for all of this, at least not one they're willing to cop to… The night the ship left Hilo, there was a tremendous vibration for about 15 minutes before 8PM. This is likely when passengers paying attention knew there was a problem. But since they were not willing or not able to tell us much, we limped to Kona where there was more diving and more confirmation that there was a more serious problem. They could just as likely picked up the netting on the run back from Mexico as Hawaii. We'll probably never know for sure since they probably don't know for sure. The devil in this is in the details…
  4. Eurodam left 8 hours late and arrived back 13 hours early. Seems HAL owes its passengers for the lost day - not to mention all the missed ports. Of course they contend it was out of their control, but the fact remains that the Master of the vessel knew the problem existed prior to leaving San Diego on 4/13...
  5. Last Hawaiian cruise we took from San Diego a few years ago, the ship was delayed until almost 7PM because they waited for some flight delayed travelers. We were practically finished eating dinner before the ship pulled out. Don't bother getting there before 10AM since the Mexico cruise will still be disembarking and you'll just be standing around. We plan to leave home about 11:00AM on Saturday so we'll probably be in line by about 11:30AM. That's when they've started processing passengers in the past. (unless there's a hold-up with the previous cruise like there was last Saturday) Sounds like Friday might well be a rainy day, so be prepared for that. But Saturday is supposed to be dry. Good luck.
  6. This has been my experience on every HAL cruise that disembarks in San Diego. That's why we've learned to just hang out at the Lido Pool or in the Crow's Nest until later in the morning while the turbulence below decks gets dealt with. For people with tight schedules, this is a real bad way to end the trip. Sorry you had to be a part of it! But as one of the terminal's staff mentioned, this isn't on the Cruise Terminal. I suspect that on these turn-around days, minimal staff is available to disembark. The rest are all busy on "other tasks as assigned" to get the boat "ship-shape" for the next cruisers who start boarding at 11:30AM. (I think that's why we get away with hanging out until practically everyone's disembarked - they're just too busy to notice us). But it makes for an extremely tough experience for those who do have to get to their next destination on a schedule.
  7. Maybe if they'd been the first walk-off under perfect conditions - no delays, they take their own luggage and line up before the ship even finishes docking at 7AM - they beat it off the boat, sail through customs, grab a cab or Uber to the airport, and then miraculously get through TSA without a back up. There would be no wiggle room. None. A Saturday morning at Lindbergh can be fairly quiet and it is no more than a 10-15 minute ride from the terminal, but a 9:30AM flight was probably doomed from the start. I wonder who steered them to that kind of fiasco? Or maybe they just figured they'd be off the boat and on their way to the airport by 7:30AM (which would've been plenty of time). Anyway, not at all a pleasant way to end what sounded like a great vacation and cruise. No sense waiting around in the conga line on A Deck just to get into the mass of confusion in the terminal looking for luggage. We go up to the Lido Pool, get some breakfast, and then hang out by the pool until they start calling colors. They still make coffee drinks at the "Explorations Cafe/Crow's Nest" and sometimes we wait up there. We're never in any big hurry to get off the ship. We stay out of the way, but the later we leave, the less hassle there is all the way around …
  8. Glad the rain held off for the day …
  9. I am still working hard to get rid of the last of the clouds tonight so that you all have a trouble-free day tomorrow! Thanks again for taking us all along with you, and safe travels home!!
  10. It will be sad to have to go for a WHOLE WEEK without ANY Eurodam updates, but we'll be boarding a week from now so I guess I'll manage. In the meantime, it's cloudy and a little wet in San Diego today - not the best weather for disembarkation - so I will do my very best to clear all of this out of here for you so tomorrow will be a patented San Diego Spring Day! (it's the least I can do after all you've done over the past month! - LOL) Safe travels home, and thanks again for taking everyone along. And ENJOY the last day of your cruise!
  11. Enjoy every last minute of your voyage! You've still got lots of time left on board! I noticed in the towel pics that the roof looks all the way closed. I know you've said you spent some time at the spa area during the sea days so have you noticed if the roof was usually open, kinda open, or closed as you've walked through? And echoing many others, thanks so much for putting so much time and heart into these posts!
  12. LOL. Every time I make it through the crowd (and the tables) to buy these dumb shirts, I swear I'll never, ever do it again … and then the very next cruise … guess who's in that line again? I hope you snagged some good ones!
  13. Hope you will post a few pics of your Fanning Island adventure!
  14. Completely different quartet plus 1 than the one we saw in January. The group on that cruise was all female. This one looks like it's all male. As far as the production shows go, not having them is OK. There were 2 singer-dancer shows during the one-week to Mexico cruise we were on in January, and they weren't that memorable. The best evening program on that cruise was probably the canned program presented one night in conjunction with BBC, the Planet Earth performance by the quartet and the ship's musicians along with video. Outstanding technical work and performance. Maybe the duration of this cruise has something to do the lack of production staff on board. Or maybe this is just the way things are going to be from now on. It'll be interesting to see what happens on our Hawaii junket in a few more weeks.
  15. Looking at the menus posted in this thread, it says a charge of $10 will be added to your check per additional entree. It's just another petty upcharge, like they're doing in just about every other area. I get the motivation, but pinching those pennies until Lincoln starts screaming is not going to make it a better cruise experience. We were just on in January, and it hadn't started yet. So there were a few nights when a double entree arrived at the table (for several members of the "crew"). Guess that's going to change for the upcoming Hawaii trip - or maybe not. We'll see. With some $100 OBC cards from the TA, it might not make much difference. And a part of me wants to ask just how long it's going to take before they figure out they can charge extra for towel animals, too…
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