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Posts posted by dlanesman

  1. We, the wife and I, completed a HAL cruise on the Westerdam. Here are my perceived differences between Carnival and HAL.

    Superior staff

    wider balconies

    better room service

    slower pace

    more sophisticated fellow cruisers - fewer "loud" people (drunks)

    The smaller size of the ship leads to a more intimate experience between the crew and the cruisers.

    oh, yes, an older crowd. (which is good if you don't like crowds late at night.)

    and by all means, enjoy the view from the crows nest lounge!

  2. We were on a cruise and we let them - Carnival pick our cabin. They put us on the lowest deck all the way in the back of the ship. That was okay. What wasn't okay was that the entire room rattled constantly. Not one rattle but many different things rattled. (I counted 23 distinct rattle locations). I went to GS and asked if they had another room and they said. no. I then said that I would probably need to use the 110% guarantee then. The lady looked at me like I was crazy and said "What guarantee?". I said nicely, you may want to ask your boss about it. She turned, ask another lady who was sitting at the desk. She jumped up and quickly disappeared. The next thing I knew I was in the GS manager's office and we discussed moving us away form the rattles. He confirmed that lower level rooms near the engine were notorious for rattles and he found us a new room. It was middle level deck in the middle of the ship and it had an ocean view! I would have just been happy with a quieter room but they upgraded us. I loved the cruise and I slept so much better! Because of how well they corrected the problem, we cruised again on the same ship 6 months later.....by the way, I'm usually the guy that just puts up with problems and never complains. This was out of character for me.

  3. The personalized service. I'll never forget how well the bartender in the main lobby knew she knew what I wanted to drink. I'd get in one of the glass elevators and if she would see me she'd point at me and I'd give her a "thumbs-up" and she would have my drink ready for me when I got to the lobby. Can't be that type of service!

  4. 1. You are not limited to ordering just off of the room service menu. You can order almost anything from the main dining room menu through room service and have it delivered to your cabin.

    2. On the room service menu, you can write in additional items that are served at breakfast throughout the ship and they will bring them to you.

    3. The Hotel Service Charge covers all your tipping whilst on board. There is no need to provide additional tips. If you wish to tip extra, I recommend that you increase your Hotel Service Charge.

    4. HAL passengers love to line up. They enjoy lining up to get on the ship and lining up to get off the ship. Whenever you arrive in a port, passengers will start lining up early to get off the ship. Just wait until about 30 minutes after arriving in port and you can easily walk directly off the ship.

    5. Bring a small table cloth if you plan to dine on your balcony. It will elevate the experience even more.


    I'm new to HAL. So please forgive the silly question but is room service free?

  5. Hoping someone can help me out..... I was on the Liberty and they had a thin crust pizza that was delish. Then I went on the inspiration and they had a different type of pizza and a different menu with garlic bread and Caesar salad. I wasn't so impressed with it. I'll be on the Valor in 5 weeks and was wondering what type of pizza was on it.


    I was on the Valor a couple of years age and they had the thin crust pizza. It was good!

  6. We LOVE sea days…and choose some itineraries just because of them.

    To entertain you (if you're not a reader as we are), there are lectures (not necessarily on port-related subjects), cooking classes, dance classes, movies (some of the "bigger ones" are in the main theater/lounge instead of the smaller "movie theater,") if you're crafty they have assorted crafts (they had a box of yarn and needles for us to work with for gifts for children in various ports,) all kinds of games going on, the usual putting contests, etc…but no hairy chest ones! There's always Trivia.

    The more sea days, the more time you have to meet your fellow passengers, so we've often spent hours visiting with our "new friends." There can be "interesting" emergencies…like watching a C-130 drop emergency supplies to the ship (that killed an afternoon!…surprised the boat didn't tip over with everyone on one side of the ship!)

    HAL libraries are very good, so you can research your next ports, read some book you never thought about reading (they even have cookbooks), or just sit and look out the beautiful windows.

    I'm sure you will wonder where the time went…

    Then…there's always napping on the deck (HAL ships have a great deck to relax on).

    Enjoy your trip!


    Good information! I'm just glad there isn't a hairy chest contest. I enjoy the trivia games, talking to new folks, dancing and of course --napping! So I think I'll be happy with a HAL cruise.

  7. We are looking for a cruise during the Easter Break 2015. Carnivals prices are higher than some of its competitors during that week (and most of them in the summer - I don't get it, but its true!) I found a Holland cruise that is reasonably priced and I'm thinking about pulling the trigger and going. Should I? A little background - We are in our mid 50's, love the fun of Carnival. However I find it a little too loud in the Lido area and find the Hairy Chest Competition horrible. Everything else I love about Carnival.

    Have any of you guys been on Holland?

    How was it?

    Were there things to do on it other than get older?

    How was the crew?

  8. I've only cruised on with Carnival, however, I would like to try a different line. I've found a cruise I really like on the Westerdam in April. I've heard that Holland is a really laid back cruise line-- which is fine. But I do like activities on "Days at Sea" days. What are some of the activities available on those days? I'm in my 50's so I'm not looking for rock climbing activities, but fun stuff for someone that is active. (and no, I don't care for Carnival's hairy chest competitions on the Lido deck!) Can someone help me "get to know" Holland?

  9. Just to avoid the nasty comments I admit upfront I'm stupid. :p


    Now to the question, is FTTF really worth it? What does it get you? Do I buy one ticket for the cabin or one ticket for each passenger?


    Just got back from a 7 day cruise on the Glory. We used FTTF for the 2 cabins in our party. Here is my experience: The security check in was queued outside the terminal. Once we entered the terminal, we asked if there was a line for FTTF. We immediately went to a "new" line with one person in front of us. This saved us about an hour to an hour and half in line. Then we went to the area to receive our Sail and Sign cards. Once again, a packed house! We saw a Carnival Rep and looked at her and said "Faster to the Fun" and POOF! We were at the front of the line again. This probably saved us an additional hour and a half.

    On our cruise, we had 2 tender ports...Belize and Grand Caymans. We just walked up to the dedicated Platinum/Diamond/FTTF Guest Services line and they walked us right to the tender. The only thing it doesn't help you with is getting back on board the tender to get back on the ship.

    Is it worth it? You betcha! (especially with tender ports)\

  10. DW, DS, and I were in the deep, deep bowels of the Gory in October. EVERYTHING in the room rattled. There was no sleeping that first night - I'm a light sleeper. I finally went to Guest Services and ask for a new room. (remember the 110% guarantee?) After some negotiating, we were giving a new room mid-ship and up a little higher. The rest of the cruise was great...so great we are going on the same ship in 4 more days! Carnival does try to make their customers happy if they can.

  11. Maybe Carnival should consider dropping Roatan off of it's ports of call list.


    I appreciate your sentiment, however, there are many innocence merchants, tour guides, and other people of Roatan who depend on tourist dollars to survive. Let's not let a few "bad apples" spoil the whole bunch. From what I've read the police know the name of the perpetrator and even have his bicycle. This dude is going to be caught ASAP. The Mayor has offered a $5000.00 reward for the bad guys capture(and that's alot of money down there). In the port, I don't think they put up with too much junk from bad guys.

    At least..I hope I'm correct on this.


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