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Everything posted by rajkr74

  1. To add to this towel animal conversation, on our South Pacific cruise on the Maasdam this year we had an explosion of towel animals by the Lido Pool area. It was pretty cool.
  2. We had flip phones up to Feb. 2018 that would no longer be useful in Puerto Vallarta Mexico where we go each year. So we were pulled "kicking & screaming" into the smart phone market. So after researching all the carriers we did the same thing, selected T-Mobile to change to. But we missed the $60/mth for 2 lines by 1 1/2 weeks....darn!!! So we pay $70/mth with autopay on the acct. We've been very happy with T-Mobile and use it nearly the same as you with the same results. We use voice very infrequently but when needed, worked well on a couple ports in Europe last year by calling private excursion companies. On our last cruise in the South Pacific we had a couple islands were we did not have coverage, but no big deal since we got coverage on a future island. We also turn the phone to Airplane Mode as we leave the dock and have had no extra charges accessed to our account. This way we can also use the HAL Navigator app. T-Mobile's coverage map has improved over the last 3-4 years which was one of our concerns in leaving Verizon. Have had no problems on coverage with T-Mobile
  3. Looks like escargot on the menu is inconsistent at best. On our 41 day cruise March 28th 2019 in the South Pacific on the Maasdam from Brisbane to San Francisco, escargot was not offered on any menu in the MDR during the full cruise. We knew of a passenger who asked if they could get escargot served. They were told escargot was not available on the cruise. One night when there was nothing appetizing for the first course we asked for shrimp cocktail as a substitute and were informed they were also not available?????
  4. We had the same problems with lack of info on HAL Land-Sea cruises on this CC board. So, after we did a 14 day land-sea cruise we posted a detailed review with photos. Here is the link from 2016. There are at least 26 or more Land-Sea cruises. I think what the tour you are looking at maybe like the one we took. Based on your comments doing 3 days in Denali which is GOOD. Take a look at the review and if you have questions post them here as I will keep looking at this thread. Rick
  5. We were in an Ocean View cabin and the frig went right under the desk. It fit just fine there and caused no problems. It cost $2.00/day and worked very well in keeping drinks cold. Trivia was held at differrent times from 3:30 to 4:30pm each day in the Crows Nest and 7:00pm in the Mix. Check the Where and When daily program for actual times. Happy Hour started at 4:00 in the Crows Nest and the Ocean Bar, first drink full price, 2nd drink for $2.00. Another Happy Hour was in the Crows Nest at 9:00pm. Our cruise was from Brisbane to San Fran. so any suggestions for ports and tours don't match your Alaska cruise, sorry. Also realize the Maasdam is an EXC cruise ship. There are no singers and dancers on board now. There are some great on board Lectuers along with local people bringing the local fare to lectures. There are now zodiacs on board for small tours. We did not take any so can't give a peronal review however some friends did some zodiac tours and had a good time. HAL is also doing programs on photography with some good lectures also. A number of cruisers on our cruise were no aware of the EXC format at the time they booked and were surprised when they got on board with the changes. We enjoyed it but did miss the singers and dancers. Here is a link to HALs writeup of the EXC program. https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/news/2018-press-releases/news-20180215-holland-america-line-launch-new-exc-in-depth-voyages-feature-zodiac-excursions-up-close-discovery.html Also, I think the biologist lecturer by the name of Gloeta Massie will still be on board, don't miss her talks. She is really good and funny.
  6. We just got off the Maasdam on May the 7th and Ruth is correct, there are only two outlets, one 110 and one 220 outlet at the desk. We ordered a frig for the ocean view cabin and it came with a power strip which plugged into the 110 outlet. So it provided extra spaces to plugin our many electrical items we take on the cruise. We also had a 220 adapter for the other outlet. You can put a multi-plug in the 220 outlet, with the adapter. Make sure the multi-plug is vertical versus a horizontal one. There are NO outlets on the head boards, only the newer ships have outlet at the head boards. Your room stewards can provide a power strip and extension cord for you. Make that request as soon as you get on board. We had no problem using both plugs at the same time.
  7. We took a HAL land-sea cruise in 2016 going thru the Yukon from Vancouver to Anchorage. We went from Denali to Anchorage on the train (opposite of the way you are going) and just took "day" packs on the train with all of our luggage loaded on the train and delivered to the hotel in Anchorage. We did not have any restrictions on what suitcases we could take on the train or the whole 14 day land-sea cruise. Maybe things have changed since we went???? Here is a link to the review, with photos, that we did after we took the cruise. We found very little info on Land-Sea cruises prior to our cruise that we did the review to help others on any of their Land-Sea cruises. I'm thinking a lot of what we did is still being done by HAL. Hope it helps.
  8. Hi Joel, Outstanding video of the 24 day cruise we were on with you. Good memories of a great cruise. I've got this video bookmarked since there are a couple of shots with joyce and I in the video. It was a pleasure to met you and Pat since we have seen some of your previous videos. Hope to run into you in the future. Rick & joyce
  9. We have done the 14 day cruise twice and enjoyed it both times. Also have done a 14 day Land Sea cruise thru the Yukon and Denali and loved it also. Both are very different. Here is a link to our review on the Land /Sea cruise we did in 2016 with pictures. Here is a link to photos taken on our last 14 day Alaska cruise from Seattle on the Amsterdam in 2014. https://onedrive.live.com/?id=7AFC87CDF2F6DCA!11426&cid=07AFC87CDF2F6DCA
  10. Here's a link to the tour we took a few years ago with pictures including the buses. Not sure they are still using the same buses but they were comfortable. We also had 2 busses assigned to the tour with the people being split evenly between the two and each bus had a HAL guide.
  11. It's our understanding that you need to FAX a copy of your account statement that shows the Carnival stock to HAL for each cruise. We carry hard paper copies of all credits that should be on our ship board account and verify all of them on our ship board account the first day on board. On our last cruise an OBC did not show up on our account that we had to deal with. It was corrected within a couple of days.
  12. Funny you should ask....😁 I am 6' 9" and have all the problems someone has as tall as me on land and on a ship. Tub and shower force me to bend my head taking a shower (shorter shower times). Shower only cabins might have more head room but I have never had one. Beds are too short and my feet hang over, no big deal they hang over on my bed at home. Make sure you take a seat by the doors on the tenders because the knee room of other seats fit those with statures of 5' 6" or shorter....😣. Watch your head getting on and off the ship, staff will also let you know to "watch your head". Hallways, elevators and stairways are fine. I love the reaction with the crew to my height. I think everyone previously posted info on limits for weight but I tend to stay away from those excursions that place those limits. I have always enjoyed HAL and find no problems cruising. NOW.... let's talk about airlines. I have more problems with airlines than I do with cruising.
  13. Yes, looks like it is now 9:00pm local time....seems the Captain's announcement had a tone of "yes are leaving at 9:00PM".
  14. We are on the Oct 14th cruise from Rome to Ft Lauderdale. Presently in Cadiz Spain having to stay over night for a cracked tank repair including divers. As of now we are scheduled to leave here Fri the 19th at 5:00pm local time. This has changed the schedule for the next 6 ports. Luckily we are going to Gibraltar which was not on our original schedule. Hopefully the repairs can get completed since they have been at it since early Thurs morning Oct. 18th while here in Cadiz.
  15. We just completed a 14 day HAL Sea-Land cruise that started on the Volendam out of Vancouver BC Canada. Our cruise was techniquely a R2C cruise but once we got on in Vancouver it became a Y2C cruise, the difference being the transportation from Seattle to Vancouver. In doing research prior to this cruise we found very little information on the CC boards directly discussing these type of cruises. There was a lot of information on the Alaska CC threads discussing specific aspects of Alaska but no in depth review of the cruises nor any pictures related to any of HAL’s Land-Sea cruise. So, I am going to try and put together a review that covers the 14 days of our cruise here on this thread which will include some great pictures we took of Alaska including a grizzly sow bear and her two yearling cubs in Denali National Park. My emphasis will be on the land portion of the cruise. We found there are 26 different Land-Sea cruise combinations that HAL offers. Some that do Denali only and others that do Denali plus Yukon sites. You can spend as little as 3 days on ship to a maximum of 7 days on ship plus the land portion. Also, you can pick being on the ship first or the land portion first. We noticed that the land first cruises tended to be more expensive than sea first which was the case for our cruise. The cruises range from 10 days to a maximum of 20 days of sea and land combined. All Denali and Yukon 1 cruises have 7 days at sea and the balance of the rest of the Yukon have only 3 to 4 days at sea. There are too many combinations to go into detail on this thread so I will discuss our cruise which was for a total of 14 days with the first 3 days on ship starting in Vancouver BC. We got off ship in Skagway to start the land portion. There were a number of fellow cruisers that found their own transportation to Vancouver to start the cruise. We chose to take HALs transportation from Sea-Tac airport (Seattle) by bus to Vancouver. We drove to Seattle from Oregon and stayed overnight on the 28th of June with some friends near Sea-Tac who drove us over to the airport on the 29th and picked us up when the whole cruise ended in Seattle on the 13th of July. They took us over to Sea-Tac airport early on the 29th hoping that we could get on the first bus to Vancouver rather than wait until the last boarding time of 10:00am. But that day there was only one bus going to Vancouver so our hopes of getting on board before 3:00pm were dashed. The prior week HAL had 3 buses going to Vancouver so if you had gotten there early they would have sent a full bus up early rather than wait until 10:00am for the finally boarding time. The HAL instructions told us to meet the HAL Reps. at baggage carousel #1 on the Arrivals level of the terminal who then tagged the bags to go on the bus. (see photo below) Having gotten there at 8:00am we had a 2 hour wait until we boarded the bus…yuck. There were about 40 people on the bus who were taking a number of different HAL Sea-Land cruises on the Volendam originating in Vancouver. We were late leaving the terminal and pulled onto I-5 heading north to Vancouver at 10:45am, then the slow down because of the notorious downtown Seattle I-5 traffic. We had a 15-minute rest stop near Bellingham, WA. After the rest stop we got to the Canadian border thru the bus/ truck border crossing. The driver told us (if we were lucky) we would only be 5-10 minutes….wrong. We got the short straw and we all had to get off the bus and go thru Canadian customs who checked all of our passports. Luckily we did not have to pull all the luggage out. This took another 45 mins which put us further behind getting on board in a timely manner. The good thing that resulted from these delays, there were no lines at the embarkation counters.....YES. This put us on board at 3:00pm and our luggage, that came with the bus, were in our cabins within 30 minutes, pretty good time. The safety drill was held at 4:00pm with a sailing of 5:00pm and it surprised us when your cabin number was yelled out for attendance. The Volendam did not have the handheld card scanners. The cruise out of Vancouver was beautiful as always having done it once before. Check-in counter at Sea-Tac Carousel #1 Sea-Tac airport. Bus that took us to Vancouver. Sail away from Canada Place Vancouver. Sailing under Lions Gate Bridge Vancouver.
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