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Everything posted by shudie

  1. The SS Oriana from Sydney to Noumea, Vila, Vavau, Suva, Pago Pago & Nukalofa in 1983 - my dad was a musician and I was 12. No parental supervision and we pretty much hung out in the arcade, the cinema, and the pizza and ice cream bar! Image via https://www.australiaforeveryone.com.au/ships-orient/
  2. Our deposit is now in our bank account from July 2nd (cancelled August 9 and August 19 cruises on March 9th).
  3. We are booked on a Transatlantic/Baltic later this year, 29 days with our kids. As of today, we are pretty sure we are going to cancel and try and do what we can by land. Our final payment isn't until May 8 though so will wait until then to cancel. My husband has long service leave, we have booked our two kids out of school for the term and we have basically spent $30k, mostly non refundable either side of the cruise. Our back up plan is this: Syd-Lon-Copehagen (supposed to start cruise here)- fly Reykjavik-fly Toronto - drive to Nova Scotia - friend's lake house in Nova Scotia for the remaind
  4. I hope for those like you who are past cancellation time that cruise companies do the right thing by you all! My mum just messaged, there is a case just diagnosed at Northern Beaches Hospital 5 mins from home and where my husband does the phones... will be going out with my antiseptic wipes today 😂
  5. We are on a 29 day Transatlantic with 2 kids later this year. We called TA 2 days ago - our final payment is May 12 and we have until May 8 to cancel with full refund. We are going to decide then and have a back-up land plan. Having sunk years of savings into many non refundable bookings either end...it’s hard to know what to do!
  6. As others have written - why not Australia/NZ? We don't feel unsafe here re the virus and we are in desperate need of tourism now that the bush fires have ended.
  7. I noticed on both of our Carnival cruises that someone was always cleaning the railings on the staircase! We use the stairs a lot because we have a rule on cruises to never use the lift (so we can eat and drink what we like lol). Good to hear HAL is the same. I also saw on CC many years ago that people bring Glen 20 to spray the air con vents and room as soon as one arrives. We have done this on our 3 previous cruises... touch wood...no-one has ever been sick!
  8. We are booked with SPB this coming August for a 2 day private tour - I have no concerns about touring with them and making it back to the ship on time - having researched a lot about this before we booked! They mentioned to me that because of roadworks, we may miss one sight but we are also adding a Russian Doll experience for the kids. They were the only ones who replied with someone specific for kids if we wanted that.
  9. We are a family of 4 and I guess not typical HAL clientele for a TA but we are very much looking forward to the same cruise as scubacruiserx2 We chose it because of the ports and the stops in Norway, Iceland and Greenland - we have also added the Baltic to the beginning. I like that the HAL cruise stops overnight in Reykjavik (many others do also). Originally this cruise was to end in NY but the destination was changed to Boston. We have hired a car in Reykjavik for the 2 days and in Akureyri. Isafjordur we are doing a HAL tour.
  10. We are doing the same cruise this year - just out of interest, and to perhaps lower expectations, what ports did you miss?
  11. We just watched the Rick Steves Northern European Cruise Ports on YouTube - it was highly informative.
  12. Yes! Reading above, 27c doesn't seem terribly warm - especially as we will be in the North Atlantic!
  13. We are sailing for 29 days in August/September with our 9 year old and 11 year old to the Baltic/Transatlantic. Just looking for an update on the Zuiderdam - reading above, it sounds like they are heated, specifically for pools that children can use, is this still the case re temperature? Also, are there hot tubs in the child friendly area?
  14. That's good to know re downloading on board - both of the above mentioned have a 10 book limit.
  15. thank you! we are taking our first HAL cruise later this year - we wouldn't have been impacted this time as they assured us the roll out on the Zuiderdam would be after our cruise, nevertheless, the idea of 7-17 was crazy! the new flyer you have attached sounds great for future cruises with HAL.
  16. The HAL post is misleading - I have had confirmation via 3 emails from HAL that Club HAL will only be for 3-6 years old and 7 to 17 can use High Score - which is NOT Club HAL. Club HAL is not going away for 3-6 years old! This will be rolled out by 2021.
  17. Thank you - they make our local lake track ok but might do two loops a few times before the trip as it is only 8 kms.
  18. We have booked bikes at Myrdal for my husband and I, and our two children who will be 9 and 11. Those hairpin turns look scary! Is this bike ride OK for kids? We are thinking we will walk the hairpin section.
  19. Another option, which I discovered a few years ago...audio books and free ones from the library apps! I use Overdrive and Borrow Box (plus a paid subscription to Audible). You log on before you leave home, using your local library card, and you can download up to 10 books - ebooks or audio books. Then as they run out, I download more via free Wi-Fi (I haven't tried downloading using HAL internet yet). We have kids, 9 and 11, and I love that I can lounge and keep an eye on the kids in the pool. Also in the cabin at night - I can turn the lights off whilst other sleep and listen t
  20. So just to clarify, we are having half day in Copenhagen, then activating ours for the next 3 days, then back to no card for the last half day. If we are at the hotel where there is Wi-Fi, we can activate the card on our phone via hotel Wi-Fi and then we are good to go for the 3 days?
  21. We had to go with HAL for Ísafjörður as we wanted to see the Arctic Fox and when I emailed them, they said there was no way of getting there apart from ship tours, not even taxi - so probably similar for your smaller ports.
  22. We are hiring a car in Akureyri and Reykjavik this coming August. We will self drive the Golden Circle one day with a lunch stop at Friðheimar (the tomato greenhouse) and evening swim at Blue Lagoon (cheaper after 7pm) and explore Reykjavik on the 2nd day (with a visit to the Northern Lights Museum). Akureyri , we hired a car to get us out to horse riding, the grass houses, Santa's hut and wherever else interests us. We went with Holdur/Europcar as I believe they are one of the only ones to have the car at the port.
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