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About pschweig

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  1. pschweig

    Holland America Signature Experiences

    The Signature Experience was included with our June 27 Baltic cruise. We stayed at the Scandic Hotel near the Planetarium in Copenhagen. Breakfast was included (a very extensive buffet appealing to all nationalities). The hotel was an easy walk to the Old Town and Tivoli Gardens. Rooms were small and typically Danish. Our visit to Kronborg Castle occurred on the second night. All of us thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It began with a very scenic 45 min drive along the coastline. We toured part of Kronborg Castle, ending with hors d’ourves, champagne, beer and sodas in the main hall. The promised “heavy” hors d’ourves consisted of six selections. Most of our group of six ate 1-2. Be advised - eat dinner before going. This was followed by one actor performing parts of Hamlet. One member of our group was not able to go to Kronborg Castle. We were told at check-in that it would be very difficult for someone in a wheelchair. The 15 min. walk from where the bus parked to the castle had some uneven, cobblestone areas. Once in the Castle, you had to climb 42 steps to reach the second floor where the main hall was located. There wasn’t any handrail, just a rope along the outer wall of the spiral staircase. No elevator was available.
  2. pschweig

    HAL Flights - When will they "ticket"?

    We used HAL’s Flight Ease program to reserve flights for June 2018. I paid for the tickets last August. At that time, we were issued ticket numbers. I do not have a “ticket” but I do have a ticket number for each passenger. BTW, we used a TA from our credit card company,
  3. Thank goodness - no tendering. I think I know what a transport chair is - a small, narrow wheelchair? We’ve got to sit down and get a good feeling of what she can and can’t do. We’ve got 1 1/2 months to get this figured out. I had no idea what to advise her to do! I knew I could ask this question on CC and get good suggestions from people with first-hand experiences. Thanks to You all.
  4. Thank you again for another excellent suggestion.
  5. Thanks so much for the your responses. I tried to research my question on CC before posting but I guess I don’t do a good job of selecting search words. You all have given us the information which We needed.
  6. My sister is accompanying my extended family on a Baltic cruise aboard the Zuiderdam in June 2018. To make a long story short, her bad knee has sudden,y become much worse since we made our reservations in July 2017. She plans to take panaramic shore excursions but does not feel she would be able to walk from the ship to the tour bus and back unassisted. I thought she might be able to reserve a scooter for the cruise, but do not know yet if that is a possibility (more research!). My question - do staff members assist passengers (on scooters) from the ship to the tour bus? Or, should she consider canceling her cruise reservation because there isn’t any way for her to walk to a tour bus? Thank you in advance for any replies, suggestions or personal stories about your experiences. I have no knowledge or experience which would enable me to give her suggestions.
  7. pschweig

    Gluten free options koningsdam?

    Both my granddaughter and I are gluten intolerant. I used the email info for HAL Ship services provided in mslindz’ post yesterday and received this reply from HAL on the same day. Much easier than it was in the past! “Everything is all set for you and Ava now for your Gluten Free request. There are no forms to fill out for this as there were in the past as all of the ships now carry a stock of gluten free foods onboard all sailings. All that is needed now is for you to let us know that that you need to have a gluten free diet while onboard our ships. The only dining venue onboard that can guarantee against cross contamination is the Main Dining Room as the other venues have too small of kitchens to dedicate a space for gluten free food preparation.”
  8. pschweig

    Have you utilized Holland Air?

    Kazu, yes, we were able to pay for the airfare separately. We will not pay for the cruise until right before the deadline for final payment. I double checked yesterday and our requested seats are still assigned to us. As soon as we paid for the fares, HAL issued us a document which showed the actual airline ticket numbers for each of us.
  9. pschweig

    Have you utilized Holland Air?

    As the two previous posters have stated, your fare and seat can change before tickets are purcgased. Our TA clearly stated these conditions to us. Once purchased, your tickets are issued. As the previous poster stated, your flexible, refundable fares now become non-refundable. We chose to purchase our tickets in August 2017 for our June 2018 flights for our Baltic cruise. $2450 pp vs $4600 pp represented too significant a savings to jeopardize by waiting.
  10. pschweig

    Have you utilized Holland Air?

    OP, a previous CC thread suggested researching fares and schedules on the princess cruise site. The original poster said it was the same company as HAL’s and had the same offerings. Per its suggestion, I found a princess cruise leaving the same port around the same time. Doing a dummy booking, I selected that cruise and saw a tab for flight quotes. I was able to enter my desired departure and return times. I then saw what their flight program called flexible fares. When I contacted my TA to reserve our flights, I was able to get the exact business fares, flights and schedule I had researched on the princess site. Our KLM/AF round trip flights from Houston to Copenhagen for our Baltic cruise next June cost about $2450 pp, as opposed to about $4600 pp on United. A significant savings! Hope this is helpful.
  11. I am also gluten intolerant and successfully ate in the NA Tamarind with no problems last year. I was able to preorder my food using a menu in the Neptune Lounge. If I remember correctly, I received a call later in the day telling me a modification had to be made to a dish I preordered. I've always been impressed with how HAL manages my GF dietary needs!
  12. pschweig

    How to change booking to atA

    Thanks so much to everyone who responded. My son and DIL made a booking themselves on the same cruise as us. We want to transfer their booking to our TA. I KNEW all you very knowledgeable people could answer my question!
  13. i searched and did not find an answer to my question. What specific steps do you follow to move a booking you made yourself to a TA? Is there a specific telephone number to call? Thanks in advance for your answer.
  14. pschweig

    Gluten Free Dining on Board

    I am gluten intolerant. I've had no difficulty with any of the food which was prepared for me. As previous posters have described, you are presented with the next night's menu and preorder. The waiters are very knowledgeable and can advise you which dishes can be prepared gluten-free. If there is any question, they either consult someone in the kitchen or send over one of the dining room managers. Also, many of the selections in the MDR are already prepared gluten-free and need no modifications (most of the vegetables and the fish entree). I can eat almost any salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing (according to the waiter, my only safe dressing choice). I can successfully eat the flourless chocolate cake, but my usual desert is the cheese plate selection. The gluten free bread is quite good. I always speak to the manager in the Lido who tells me what I can and cannot eat in the restaurant. Gluten-free pasta is available, so I can always have pasta and meat sauce. There is also a form which I send to HAL when we make our cruise reservations. It is called "Special Requirements Information (SRI) Form." It has a section lableled "For Guests with Severe Allergies." There is a box which you check for food-related allergies. Additional comments can be made at the end of the form which I use to state that I require a gluten-free diet. I also file an additional form to which HAL refers as a "Gluten Free Request Form." This must be filed no later than 90 days before departure. You can pre-order gluten-free products (a maximum of 3 from each list per day) to ensure that these products are on board. For example, for a 7-day cruise, you can select a total of 21 items. Again, I stress that I feel totally safe when eating on board and have never had any difficulties.
  15. My husband and I disembarked from the Prisendam in Ijmuiden last May and took the HAL transfer to Schipol. The time of our disembarkation group was 8:30-9:00. Everyone must take a bus from the ship to the terminal at Ijmuiden. I remember only waiting a few minutes for this bus service. We only had carry-ons so did not have to look for baggage in the terminal and were able to board the bus (I think around 9:30). We waited at least 30 min for our bus to fill up before departing for the airport. The ride to Schipol was longer than I expected, over 40 min. We had reservations for that night at the Sheraton at Schipol Airport. We got off our bus, retrieved our bags and walked about 10-15 min to the Sheraton (a little longer because we were not sure which way to go). We arrived at the Sheraton before noon. We had friends onboard who prebooked a taxi to pick them up at 7:30 to take them to Schipol. I believe they paid around $55-$60. I just remember thinking that it was about the same amount that we were paying for our HAL transfer. To answer your specific questions: In our case, 7 am was the arrival time, though I saw people getting off around 7:15-7:30. Based upon conversations with other passengers, I never heard anyone taking the HAL transfer say that they were in any disembarkation groups earlier than 8 am. I hope this was helpful.