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jabcruiser

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About jabcruiser

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Florida
  • Interests
    cruising, travel, gardening
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    holland america
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    caribean

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  1. Still same issues. Going to try big box web sites. Probably going cancel and rebook our TA to Italy/Greece so trying investigate what future cruises available. Can't wait to have to try and call HAL next week. Jane
  2. That's too bad. Sorry to hear that. Sounds like they are hard balling but keep trying to spread the word anyway. I feel so badly for you and others who lost so much. But at least you are healthy and not currently on a cruise to nowhere. Have they figured out a port yet to disembark? By the way, off topic, but did anyone happen to watch the CNBC special last night on the corona virus? Pretty scary because most of our pharmaceuticals are made in China. Disruption in supply chain could cause world wide shortages of lots of important life saving drugs. Just makes one wonder how far this is going to go. Jane
  3. You are communicating with the wrong people. They have no decision making power. Personally I would present my case in a calm and rational statement to someone who can make a final decision: OAshford@hollandamerica.com He knows they did wrong. See what happens. Certainly can't hurt and at least you will know you went to the top. Also, I agree to spread the word throughout all your social media contacts, local TV consumer reporters, etc. Jane
  4. It will be interesting to see where they end up and when. Australia?
  5. Agree. I see there is a "heart" like button. Too bad alternative not offered. Rudeness seems to be catching just like coronovirus and flu.
  6. I haven't piped in on this thread yet, but will take the opportunity to do so now. When this thread first appeared about HAL not offering refunds, not canceling or offering an alternative cruise(which they were not at that time), and cancellation insurance not covering; I actually emailed Mr. Ashford. That was on Jan 28. I told him I was very disappointed in HAL's response and that I believed they would regret their decision because not only would they likely have many unhappy guests, they were likely to face denial of docking in Japan when the cruise terminated. This was before the Princess ship fiasco even began. Now I see that Westerdam is being denied entry to all Japan ports. What a fiasco. Those poor people, many of whom have saved for years to take this "bucket list" cruise. I wonder where they will end up? Anyway, I actually received a phone call the very evening I sent the email stating the guests welfare and safety were their top concern(haha), blah, blah. The next day I received a follow up email from some service representative basically stating the same thing and they had increased sanitation and screening procedures. I was actually surprised to receive any response and do appreciate that. But obviously the guests' welfare was not their top concern. Bad decisions were made it appears. Now Westy doesn't even have a place to disembark those currently on board apparently. Wonder how much fun they are having just sailing around with no ports to go to. More than those on the quarantined Princess ship at least. I can't even fathom being cooped up in an inside cabin like that. Another reason to book Veranda at least. Anyway, so sorry to see my premonition come to fruition. Just hope we don't get to Italy in April, have someone get sick on TA portion and end up quarantined there. Just don't know how far this is going at this time. Hope for the best and a quick resolution and a quick vaccine development. But, as I told my DH if I have to go(i.e. die) there is no better place to do it than on a cruise ship and they can just bury me at sea. Jane
  7. I kind of wonder that myself. We have always sailed the Vista Class ships and the Koningsdam last December. Actually like Vista class better than Koningsdam. But since we love BB King and I always use aft pool, maybe won't be good fit for us. We may try it sometime though if I see itinerary I like for good price. Will see. Thanks for info though.
  8. Thanks for update. I hadn't seen that yet. Have never been on Veendam. Jane
  9. We recently returned from a 6 day Celebrity cruise on Silhouette. This was our first sailing on Celebrity. We normally sail HAL, but have also done Carnival cruises in the past. Since we are very close to Tampa(and it is our favorite port) and HAL recently pulled out of that port, and Celebrity will begin sailing from there next year, we wanted to give them a try. Found a great price on this shorter cruise so grabbed it. I must say was not really impressed with Celebrity. Yes in some respects it is comparable to HAL, but we just found it did not fit us that well. Dining room food and service was excellent. However buffet food not so good and I absolutely hated that everyone served themselves at the buffet. Yuck - how many unwashed hands have touched those serving utensils? Most of the food in buffet overcooked and about tasteless. Prepared in large batches and sits out unlike HAL which prepares smaller batches right at buffet station so always seems fresh and tastes very good in our experience. The burger/hotdog grill was god awful. Yuck. Love HAL's Dive-In burgers and dogs. Also missed Taco bar on Hal. Celebrity had a "Mexican" station in buffet area but was very lacking. Salsa made with green peppers(I swear), and not a jalapeno to be had. Tasteless and bland. Very little, if any, drink service on pool deck. Almost never cleaned up tables either. First day I had conversation with assistant bar manager about this, but did not improve. On our last HAL cruise, Willy was constantly cleaning tables in Sea View Bar area. HAL drink service is sometimes little slow, but generally has been good in our experience. Silhouette was a pretty ship but no nice artwork/sculpture and no large flower arrangements scattered throughout ship like HAL. Silhouette artwork pretty much consisted of photographs of nothing of interest. Did not attend any evening entertainment events as we do not do the showroom song and dance shows and not much of interest. We love, love, love BB King Blues Club on HAL ships we have sailed on. We did not try any of the specialty restaurants as seemed way overpriced to us. Public area bathrooms were always very clean with cloth towels and no difference from HAL there. Our Veranda cabin was nice with sofa and the veranda actually had a normal height table which you could actually eat on if wanted to. But it severely lacked storage space, especially shelving I thought. Big closet but no shelves so could only hang clothes on too few hangers. Half of closet basically left empty, but no shelves. All in all we enjoyed this cruise. But think we will stick with HAL in future as Celebrity did not really impress us. Also, just a footnote, this cruise really began on a bad note when muster lasted one full hour. Are you kidding me? Everyone was complaining. Check in very unorganized and no one knew where to actually "check in" so apparently delay trying to figure out the many " missing" people. Then stupid cartoon, then stupid "spy" movie really put everyone off. One hour of standing crammed shoulder to shoulder- not kidding. Never seen anything like it on any previous cruise. Just my thoughts. I am sure others will disagree. Everyone's likes and dislikes are different. That is what makes our World such an interesting and beautiful place. Jane
  10. Agree. Always get this. Way better IMHO than Cioppino at Pinnacle Grill but very similar. DH always gets veal dish. I think they now have a "special" which changes every night as I recall. We much prefer Canaletto over Pinnacle for dinner.
  11. Was very disappointed when HAL pulled out of Tampa, it being my favorite and most convenient port. But just read that Celebrity will be coming to TPA winter 20/21 with Southern, Eastern, and some Panama cruises. This might just force me to give them a try. Apparently the ship will be newly refurbished also. Sounds interesting. Jane
  12. No worries. Have been on at least 6 Carnival cruises and one NCL(never again) and absolutely no comparison to HAL. Koningsdam is a bit larger than our preferred HAL ships and we noticed more crowding in Lido, but all is relative isn't it? Minuscule lines compared to Carnival and NCL. Service, cleanliness, food quality all way above anything offered on Carnival and NCL. We like to complain when things change, but hasn't fallen to Carnival and NCL levels for sure. You will love it if you are used to those cruise lines. NCL does generally have better showroom entertainment but we aren't much into that anyway. Love BB King Blues club. If you are a drinker and don't buy drink package make sure to hit the happy hours. Nothing like that offered on Carnival, not sure about NCL as that was one of our first cruises years ago. Anyway we save a lot on drink tab by strategically using happy hour. You will love Koningsdam I am sure. Jane
  13. Agree with those above suggesting Pinnacle for lunch on a sea day. Just confirm when you board the days it will be offered and make your reservations. We never do Pinnacle for dinner any more, except when have a freebie like on our next cruise. We do like Canaletto and usually go there more often since it is very reasonable with our Mariner discount. I like the seafood stew at Canaletto which is similar to Cioppino at Pinnacle but better tasting in my opinion. Food likes/dislikes are so personal as others have noted, that what I love you might not. Food in MDR on most HAL ships is quite good, and the Lido offers several items from MDR menu each night also. We have taken to eating in Lido at least half of the time on recent cruises. A lot of times just can't do another heavy meal and Lido has such nice salads and cheese/fruit plates which we enjoy. Also be aware that HAL still offers free room service from MDR menu. Just call around 4:30 OR 5:00 and order and give them your requested delivery time. For some reason they like you to call and order around this time, even though you might want a 7 or 8 o'clock delivery. I loved the new Navigator app on our last cruise as you can pull up the daily menus. Used to have to go down to MDR after lunch and take a picture of that night's menu so I could see what they were having. The picture was so I could remember what they were having to tell DH or if wanted order room service. Haha. Have a good cruise. Enjoy. Jane
  14. I believe you were very lucky and lesson well learned. At least you did not require emergency medical evacuation which, as others have said, can run $100,000 or more. When we began cruising many years ago I educated myself regarding travel cancellation and medical/evacuation coverage and determined that what the cruise lines offer is generally very expensive and lacking in complete coverage and for lower cost comprehensive travel insurance can be purchased. When I signed up for Medicare (regular, not managed care) I made sure to educate myself as to what is covered and what is not. Any coverage out of country, with a few very specific exceptions, is not covered just as cosmetic surgery, dental, acupuncture and several other services are statutorily excluded by standard Medicare. HAL explains their coverage on their web site and if you neglected to read your conditions of coverage that certainly is not HAL's fault. Sorry for YOUR mistake, but don't blame HAL. Happy future cruising. And please do your homework before your next cruise, no matter which cruise line you decide to take . Good travel insurance which includes medical as well as emergency evacuation is a requirement for us, otherwise I would worry myself sick and not be able to enjoy the cruise. Jane
  15. I believe you were very lucky and lesson well learned. At least you did not require emergency medical evacuation which, as others have said, can run $100,000 or more. When we began cruising many years ago I educated myself regarding travel cancellation and medical/evacuation coverage and determined that what the cruise lines offer is generally very expensive and lacking in complete coverage and for lower cost comprehensive travel insurance can be purchased. When I signed up for Medicare (regular, not managed care) I made sure to educate myself as to what is covered and what is not. Any coverage out of country, with a few very specific exceptions, is not covered just as cosmetic surgery, dental, acupuncture and several other services are statutorily excluded by standard Medicare. HAL explains their coverage on their web site and if you neglected to read your conditions of coverage that certainly is not HAL's fault. Sorry for YOUR mistake, but don't blame HAL. Happy future cruising. And please do your homework before your next cruise, no matter which cruise line you decide to take . Good travel insurance which includes medical as well as emergency evacuation is a requirement for us, otherwise I would worry myself sick and not be able to enjoy the cruise. Jane
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