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About baggal

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  1. On the Vista class ships the self-serve taco bar always reminded me of a breeding ground for "who knows what." I wouldn't touch it regardless of how much I would have like some chips with my "adult beverage."
  2. For me, its the size and spaciousness of the bathroom that makes a signature suite worthwhile, especially with an upgrade. Its really difficult to go back to a standard balcony after enjoying that bathroom!
  3. I've been on European cruises on 3 different lines - HAL, Princess and Royal Caribbean - over a 10 year period. As a sweeping generalization, passengers on those cruises were more fashionable, stylish, and well yes, better dressed than on other cruises.
  4. We usually pick a cruise based on itinerary and cost. But in the case of Veendam vs. NStatendam there's no contest. NStatendam for sure!
  5. I just tried to see a different date for an itinerary and couldn't. Holland America - are you reading Cruise Critic today?
  6. I did this last March. Took the earliest flight out of Newark, 6 am, on the day of embarkation. We had insurance, so were fully prepared for bad weather or plane malfunctions to cause us to miss the ship. Just our luck, the weather was beautiful in New Jersey, we left early, had a very smooth flight down, and arrived in FLL EARLY! And of course, instead of the usual half hour wait for our luggage, it came out on the carousel right away. Way too early to go to the port. Once you have your luggage you can't go back through security to a better assortment of restaurants and lounges. But there is a Starbucks and some seating area in the arriving flight portion of the terminal. We nursed our coffee for about 45 minutes and then took a readily available taxi to the port. Arrived there after 10 a.m. and they had already started the check-in process but we had to wait a while to actually board the ship. We were exhausted. This year we flew in the day before embarkation.
  7. Hawaiidan and dmg1956, Thanks for agreeing that there is some need for internet on a cruise ship and thank you for not flaming me for my comments. I only wanted to point out that for some people a cruise is out of the question without internet access. As for DH and myself, we only check in online within the privacy of our cabin so that it doesn't impact anyone else's cruise experience. Happy cruising to everyone!
  8. Yes, its only your opinion but it is fact that many of your fellow passengers would not be able to cruise at all if it were not for internet access. You say are retired. Then you may not realize that very few people have the luxury of totally disconnecting from their job, profession or vocation. And you must be very lucky (or not) to be able to disconnect from family for the time you are on your cruise. Please don't preach to me about the joys of disconnecting. Its just not possible in this day and age. Welcome to the 21st century.
  9. Escargot was available on the January 6 sailing of the NS.
  10. If you are new to the HAL board, then you have to understand that many of the regular posters here are VERY loyal to HAL's older, smaller ships and that's why you get comments like the ones you mentioned. The Kdam and NS are probably most similar to X in that even though they are larger than the older HAL ships they are mostly a traditional cruise line. I understand that NCL and the MSC Yacht Club are more innovative and do not follow the traditional cruise ship model. I sailed the Kdam in Europe this past spring on a very port intensive cruise and based on that wonderful experience we booked the NS for this past January in the Caribbean. We loved both cruises but for different reasons. I would not hesitate to recommend either one.
  11. First, I'm actually impressed that no previous response has admonished the OP for flying in the day of the cruise departure. I applaud everyone's civility. That being said, last March we flew from NJ the morning of departure. We took the first flight out at 6 a.m. and just our luck, the flight left a few minutes early, it was a very calm ride down with no head winds and we arrived in FLL early at 8:20 am!!! Here's the catch, and this is important, once you leave the TSA secure part of the terminal area to get your luggage - you can't go back again to the gate area where the restaurants and food vendors are located. But in the luggage area there is some seating, a bar that served breakfast, and a Starbucks and of course restrooms.(United terminal). By the time we got our luggage, used the restroom, and slowly sipped our coffee it was past 10 a.m. and we took a taxi to the cruise terminal where we could begin the boarding process.
  12. Yes, you might be making a mistake about the cabin. Its very important to check the location of the VH cabin before you book. I would absolutely NOT pick a cabin that is directly above a "Music Walk" venue - Lincoln Center Stages, Billboard on Board, the Rock and Roll, or the Main Stage Theater. The noise does carry to the deck above. So while the cabins on that deck are a good value, they are not completely quiet at night until the last performance is over. Its been my experience that on the larger, newer HAL ships there are many extended family groups that vacation together. There are often many "millennials" looking to spend some time away from their family and it doesn't take them long to find each other. The actual pool is much smaller than you would find at a land based resort. But the surrounding deck area has plenty of loungers on that deck and the one above. An advantage to the Nieuw Statendam, especially in Northern Europe, is that it has a retractable roof over the main pool area. So even if its raining, you can still spend time at the pool.
  13. Sorry, and forgive me for this naive question. Where is the benefit in booking a cruise with a $1 deposit? You still have to pay the full cruise fare at some point. Its not as though its a discounted fare. I just don't get it.
  14. We were in Cuba in December 2017 and visited the same ports. 100% agree with Carol's assessment of the women's restroom facilities. In fact, if I were to compare them to restrooms experiences elsewhere in the world, Cuba's were by far not the worst! But still bring your TP and handiwipes.
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