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RMLincoln

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About RMLincoln

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    NM Northern Mts
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    The one I'm on!

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  1. Happy Canada Day! We're heading your way for our fall vacation to enjoy the sights, foods, smells, history and above all, the wonderful people. We'll be visiting eastern Canada and Maritimes, mostly Newfoundland!! Thank you for having us! Blessings on your grand country. m--
  2. We use Open Dining and prefer a table for 2, but on one long cruise on Amsterdam we were not able to get a 2-top until much later in the evenings, 7:45 or 8:00. We were told we could not reserve in the usual up to 3-days in advance for any earlier hours because all the 2-tops available for Open Diners had been reserved for the whole 7-week cruise by those who had been on the previous cruise (those who got on in Vancouver). Because it was a 7-week cruise there were many 4 and 5 star passengers; we boarded in San Diego for the Tales of the South Pacific as 3 Star Mariners and became 4 Star in the last 2 weeks (yes they called us to give us our 4 Star cards). We talked to the Dining Room Manager early on and we were stonewalled, later on we met with the Hotel Manager to no avail - they had already made their decisions to favor those on ahead of us and with higher star levels. For the whole 7 weeks we adjusted our hours to eat later so we could eat together, and we also wound up eating many more dinners in the Lido than we usually would have. On larger ships and shorter cruises with fewer high-star passengers it's easier. m--
  3. Yes you will have a short couch/loveseat in all three of those cabins. You can goggle for HAL facts and find a site with photos. Maureen
  4. We have enjoyed Volendam to Alaska, nice comfortable size and good all around outside deck for viewing on Lower Promenade deck, close to the water for great viewing of ice and wildlife. and more open decks up top. K'dam is not as good for Alaska in my opinion because the outside all around deck is mostly obstructed by lifeboats, and the up top outside viewing is limited in areas by the private area (I forget what's it called... Retreat?) If you take a room on Lower Promenade deck on Volendam avoid the mid-aft room under the galley, under teh dining area is fine. Maureen
  5. Some people use a rule of thumb of adding the pp cruise amount to the cost of 2 people traveling together. I don't know how much you world cruise fare is for 2, but adding an additional "person's-fare" amount may help you be in the ballpark...of course depending on your spending habits for extras such as excursions, on-board purchases of alcohol, photos, casino, spa and others. Looks like the 2020 WC is running $30K for OV, $40K for Balcony.... ish.... + taxes.... No reason to think the 2021 wc will be too far different. Happy planning, m--
  6. I appreciate the way MouseBerry broke down Service into Friendliness, Capability and Organization and I strongly agree with his interpretation. We have always found HAL service very friendly, slightly moreso than on other cruise lines. I agree that capability of individuals varies, but we feel that organization has been lacking for as long as we have been cruising HAL, it is a systemic issue. We have seen it over and over and have often asked ourselves, "Haven't they done this before?" We have cruised more on HAL than other lines mostly for their itineraries and price; price included comfort in the past but that is changing with the newer ships having smaller rooms, so we find ourselves booking in higher categories for similar comforts. We have always enjoyed the show lounge shows with dancers, these are reported to be going away (haven't experienced that yet) and we have enjoyed most guest entertainers, but now we look for Lincoln Center Stage as our main entertainment. The Enrichment lecturers have been a highlight for us over the years but that too is diminishing. I think our cruising will be diminishing also, we have chosen to take road trips last year and this year; no cruise this year at all, our first time since 2003. We'll see what next year brings. It took us a long time to get to 4 Stars on HAL and but things change. Thank you MouseBerry for your thoughts. I remain with my mantra, It's hard to have a bad on a cruise ship! I trust you and DW will find the best niche for you, there are so many cruise styles to choose from. Maureen
  7. Thank you for your updates! As I said in a post above, I have friends on your cruise, and wish you all a good voyage to these exceptional ports, what a great itinerary. I'll look for your continued info. Enjoy! m--
  8. Great look forward to the future of what new systems may be coming, and the difficult design challenges the options being considered will bring. I have done some materials science research on various types of fuel cells... hydrogen, salts, lithium, others... and worked with cryogenics too, all small scale stuff, but to consider scaling up to cruise ship size is very challenging.... can't even begin to imagine. And LNG is not a pleasant thought either, bunkering it? oiy! But I am only a bit familiar with the transfer stations outside of ports, like Boston's... outside the ports for a good reason. As always, thank you for sharing your insights here. Maureen
  9. my memory of arriving in Rome by air was that it took us nearly a hour from landing to make our way out to the ground transports. I think we had pre-arranged with www.airporttransfer.it and it took a bit of time to find them and for them to have a full van but it all worked. And we didn't have to go through any clearing of authorities because we were arriving from a European flight. I think if I were arriving the day of departure I'd look at getting a HAL transfer. As for getting wine, you can drop your bags at the port but not check in yet - take the port shuttle to town and walk from the shuttle stop... the shuttle drop off is maybe a 5 minute walk from the town's edge. Carefully note your path so you can return easily, and ask where the return shuttle will stop because it was not the exact same place as the bus dropped us off, maybe 150 yards away, so not obvious and not marked well. It is a big port and the terminals are not close to town. There are shops at the edge of town not far from the shuttle area, at least one of them must sell wine. Of course you must be checked in for your cruise 60 or maybe even 90 minutes before departure, but when checking in later in the day there should be no line. You'll be carrying your carry-on luggage and your passports with you so do be very aware of your surroundings. And you'll either need euros or credit card for your wine purchase. In fact it might be a good opportunity to withdraw euros from a bankomat machine before you board. If you can purchase wine at the airport that would be easier, but it has to be carried onto the ship, not in checked luggage when you get to the porters/drop off location. For me, I would not want to check luggage flying to Rome with wine in it, hope it makes it intact, then have to undo it all to put it in carry-on at check-in. Neither would I choose to trudge to town and haul wine back to the ship along with my carry-ons before check-in. Now, after check-in, and unencumbered, and after being revived by a good lunch, we would be very likely to shuttle to town for gelato!!! have done that.... and it's much better than the gelato HAL sells. But we all have our priorities 😉 . Ciao ciao! Maureen--
  10. I find this incident disturbing for many reasons: I had friends from Canada planning to board in Copenhagen; I assume they boarded without too much inconvenience. Those disembarking the next morning would surely be concerned about a late arrival, I know I would be! Not everybody can arrange for a flight at the time of their choice. Port security is not a given in all ports of the world - their country, their rules! But security is not a given anywhere. For us, the most dangerous part of a trip is probably driving to the airport - I accept that risk. But I don't find having protesters of unknown capability attaching themselves to a cruise ship to be something that I would want to have to tolerate. Better fuels are available and will get utilized when there are pressures and requirements to do so, as has happened in the past. New requirements are coming, so that is good thing in many ways.... but the poorer fuels aren't going away, they will be moved around to others. This incident makes we wonder: Are new ships that are being built now, being built with innovative propulsion systems to use better fuels? Hydroelectric power is not totally friendly to the earth. And it is available to very few people and very few ports. I have spoken with many crew members about their choice of employment, and I have always gotten surprisingly happy replies, mostly in that they find cruise line employment a way to better provide for their families compared to other options available to them. Several have pointed out to me that if they remained employed locally they would work longer hours, not see their families, and not have the many weeks of vacation time that they get annually during which they can be available to their families 100% of that time. And most crew members do this for a relatively short career after which they can have a strong foundation for a second career of a broad choice of options because they have the financial base provided by their work in the cruise industry. So I discount the idea that the protesters are rallying for the crew as made-up propaganda. Maybe the tolerant as well as the outspoken people of Kiel will find that treading on others' freedom - the freedom of unimpeded passage - brings consequences; maybe HAL will bring their business elsewhere. I hope a change in HAL's thinking does not require casualties to occur first. My thanks John and Chief Engineer KP-75 for providing light on roles, rules, and responsibilities at sea and in ports. And I do hope my friends aboard Z'dam on their first HAL cruise will enjoy their visits in Norway, Iceland, Scotland and Denmark... all unimpeded. Maureen--
  11. With a pre-selected, known cabin number in the CQ category you would probably be in the very low probability zone for getting a no-fee upgrade to a verandah, those are more likely to go to guarantee bookings, but you might seek an upsell later in the game. Worth asking about, but beware of upsells to a guarantee that could put you under or above an entertainment venue. The music venues tend to carry loud and thumping bass into your room well into late hours. The World Stage also has afternoon rehearsals so if you tend to want to nap or watch a movie then you'll have no peace and quiet. I was not directly above, but above the World Stage rear entry-way and felt the bass rather emphatically on Koningsdam, but the world Stage hours are over earlier, 11pm at the latest, than say the BB King Allstars who play much later. m--
  12. All your TA can do is ask for it to be requested that you can stay in the same room. As guarantee you might have to change rooms. The stewards will help facilitate changing rooms, and you also might get a better stateroom for one cruise or the other or both if you are more flexible. Changing rooms is not that big of a deal, you only pack your small stuff, they'll take all your hanging clothes on hangers, load your small packed items and luggage onto a luggage cart and move it for you, even while you are in port if you ask them to. If you want to maximize time in port from early hours you'll want to put your valuables/meds in one or two small bags and possibly have the front desk secure it/them for you, but arrange that with them before hand. Enjoy, m--
  13. I like having half Moon Cay as the first stop not the last. It's a lovely way to being the cruise but as a last stop I never get off, I'm packing and don't want to pack wet or sandy items. We find a shady lounger down the beach out of the strong sun, or we'll take the nature walk for a little while if it's not too hot. Usually we go back on board for lunch, better variety and calmer atmosphere. I have liked both Nieuw Amsterdam for the slightly larger rooms and promenade deck and quieter MDR over K'dam. But our recent 21 days on K'dam was lovely too after we adjusted to eating later when the MDR noise level was more tolerable... the new bathroom showers are nice but not a deal breaker for me. I don't find the tubs a problem, just have to hold on. The newer entertainment venues on K'dam and NS are attractive, World Stage's LED screens are stunning; and we loved Lincoln Center Stage which is original in the 2 newer ships, adapted on NA. Amber Cove had lots to do very close by but it was very hot there, I was glad the ship was close by to retreat to. Grand Turk had great free shaded loungers in clamshells to the right as one exits the pier - to the left was crowded and noisy. Key West is lovely to walk around, historic and interesting. They might be interested in the Truman "little white house" as well as Hemingway's house. You really can't go wrong with any of these choices! m--
  14. To the OP: Can you get a specific cabin selected instead of a guarantee? Some of the OVs on Main deck are not in the best locations for quiet/noise, especially under the World Stage, BB King and even the Billboard piano lounge. Compared to Maasdam, which you were considering, the price jump to a balcony room from an OV is much less because of the higher percentage of balcony rooms on Koningsdam. Or maybe you can try for an upsell as sailing gets closer. We booked a steel rail balcony located far enough back from being over the World Stage for the same price as an OV and loved it. Look around at options! m--
  15. Not that I've ever seen or herd about. Internet packages might be a perk for some bookings as are drink packages and sometimes Hotel Service Charges (aka Gratuity) but that usually means that you pay for them (fully or partially) as included in a higher fare. Flash Fares are something quite different and are for a booking, not an add-on. Flash Fare bookings are usually trimmed down without add-ons and usually, in my experience, non-refundable and might be for the lowest category as a guarantee. m--
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