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About kwb101

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  1. We were on Zuiderdam (the first Vista-class ship) last month, and the device in our OV cabin was very definitely not a refrigerator: it's a cooler. We asked our steward if it could be set colder, and he showed us that there were no temperature controls. It was cool enough for wines and soft drinks, but too warm (probably about 45°F/7.2°C, thanks cattl331!) for medications that had to be kept refrigerator-cold (generally 35°F/1.7°C). I ended up taking my meds down to the clinic for the duration.
  2. Here's the thread, well worth reading it all. Good luck on getting your cruise: after seeing the thread, we booked the voyage leaving Fort Lauderdale on January 5 next. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2628278-new-ice-class-in-force-1st-jan-2018/?tab=comments#comment-56650666
  3. Ditto on Zuiderdam (at least as of last Tuesday). We really miss him, and the flowers on the tables in both the MDR and Lido. Woe is us.
  4. We were on Zuiderdam from the third through fifteenth of this month, and ali I can say is that the OP must've been on another Zuiderdam, because the one we were on for twelve days from Boston to Quebec City didn't resemble the OP's description of the ship in any way, shape, or form. The ship was immaculate, crew was universally courteous, friendly, and efficient, especially in the Main Dining Room, and food in the MDR was excellent. However, I have to agree about the missing flowers on the tables, both in the Lido and MDR: HAL's pinching the pennies a little too hard. There was no evidence of leaks or cones in the Lido marking broken tiles. Overall, the ship appeared to be in the same excellent condition with similarly excellent crew as when we were on it last September for the 20-day Viking Passage from Copenhagen to New York. We were in the same stateroom (4061) on both trips, and the condition was comparable to our room at the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City, with did cost $500 a night. We saw Captain Vaartjes several times this last voyage, on-stage, at a reception, and informally in the corridors and elevators, and he was always friendly. We had no complaints about any aspect of the voyage, although there was a bit of a wait for taxis in Quebec (but this isn't HAL's fault). We are also on the 41-day segment of the 77-day Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage, and I sincerely hope you enjoy this trip more than your last one.
  5. I don't have a price list, but I think cappucinos is around $4, a little less than a large mocha or latte. As a 4-star Mariner, you'll get half off specialty coffee drinks anywhere on the ship.
  6. I'm on Zuiderdam at this instant in stateroom 4061 (category HH, "fully obstructed"). We do have a lifeboat out the window, but the glass is appx 6x8 feet, much larger than OVs on deck 1. Save for the bed being in the direction of travel (rather than at right angles, as in deck 1 OVs), the cabin is the same as other OVs. It has a tub/shower combo, and (save for the nightstands) no drawers (the former drawer space now has a cooler installed). We've hard no noise at all from tenders or anything else outside. IIRC, deck 4 category G cabins were about $700 more for our 12-day trip,, and category C OVs on deck 1 were about $1300 more. However, this voyage was sold out, so you may get a better deal odds one that still has vacancies. Good luck.
  7. From 2019 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO The day you board, Holland America Line places an initial hold on your credit or debit card for $60 per person* per cruise day. Once you’ve spent the initial hold amount, we will authorize your card for the total of your onboard purchases to date plus an additional $60 per person per day for the remainder of your cruise. Please note that there may be multiple authorizations throughout your cruise, and that some banks may keep the hold in place for up to 30 days.
  8. The sheet we got Tuesday on Zuiderdam has these descriptions: Social: "Access the most popular social websites and applications." Daily download limit is about 200Mb. Surf: "Surf your sites including email, news, sports and more. " Daily download limit is 300Mb. Premium: "Supports audio/video calling and streaming". Daily download limit is 500Mb, probably not enough to stream one hour of HD video. Good luck!
  9. You can buy individual days at any time, but they're considerably more expensive: Social is $14.99, Surf is $24.99, and Premium is $29.99. For that price you get 24 hours from the time of purchase, and with the same limits and restrictions as the multi-day plans. However, if you only want to be online intermittently, you'll probably save a bit. My good wife uses WhatsApp for texting during a voyage. Good luck!
  10. The middle Internet package is called Surf, and (at least on Zuiderdam at this instant), costs either about $12.50/day when bought for the entire voyage, or $25day if you buy it occasionally. Download limit is 300MB/day. The more expensive package (Premium, the only one you can purchase in advance), tops out at 500MB/day, and allows streaming video, which Surf doesn't. It's about $15/day if you buy for the whole voyage, or $30/day if bought day-by-day. One last thing: you don't have to buy a plan the minute you get on the ship: the packages are always available, and the total price drops day-by-day. Still the price per day stays the same, you're just purchasing fewer days. Service seems reasonably fast, but HAL won't allow connections to sites that measure the speed. Good luck.
  11. We are on Zuiderdam, and our excursion tickets all have a notice on the front that says (in part) "10% cancellation fee". If you cancel and re-book, and you have more than a couple of excursions, it may get expensive.
  12. HAL's cancelation policy is on this page, last item under FAQs: https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/shore-excursions.html Here's the text: Cancellations for pre-paid tours are allowed up to 3 days prior to cruise embarkation and will be refunded to the credit card used for the purchase. If within 3 days of embarkation, all changes/cancellations must be done onboard the ship and refunds will be applied to your onboard account. If the credit is not fully utilized during the cruise, the balance will be paid to that passenger by the ship's Purser at the end of the voyage. If cancellation occurs onboard after the cancellation deadline for specific shore excursions, a 100% cancellation fee will apply. The ship's shore excursions office will be able to advise you of the cancellation deadline applicable to each tour. Optional shore excursions during the land portion of a Land & Sea Journey are non-refundable within 3 days of your Land & Sea Journey departure date. Group shore excursions cancelled within three days prior to embarkation (sail) date are nonrefundable. Custom tours may have different cancellation deadlines which will be stated in the proposal. In the rare instance that tours are cancelled by Holland America Line or the tour operator, the full amount will be refunded within four to six weeks after the voyage ends. One thing to consider is that if you cancel a sold-out tour, you will probably go to the bottom of the waiting list. Good luck!
  13. Happy to help :) You may find these threads helpful: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2666985-orange-party/ https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2672160-orange-party/ https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2482557
  14. On HAL on April 27, you're usually asked to wear something orange, there are various celebrations, and there's a special menu in the MDR at dinner that includes several Dutch dishes.
  15. Good deal! Our experience with HAL is one-at-a-time only, so your package is a definite winner.
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