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NordicPrince

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About NordicPrince

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    New Jersey
  • Interests
    Cruising, cycling
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Carribean, Celebrity, HAL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean

Recent Profile Visitors

155 profile views
  1. Not having done this cruise, but from a practical traveler's perspective, have you given any thought about how you are getting to the airport at 12:30 in the morning? Not too much traffic around any pier at that time. If it were me. I would spend a nice leisurely morning in Old San Juan and take the afternoon flight. Enjoy your cruising days.
  2. Once we get good service from a TA we try to use the same booking person over and over so we establish a good customer-client relationship. The booking person also drops us an email when she sees something good we may be interested in. The boss keeps track of her production so it's a win-win. BTW it is the money we don't pay principle.
  3. The Flora is a very specialized location ship (boat) used in places like the Galapagos where Celebrity already has a presence. It's not a place where HAL does business. I know many are upset about the sale of the Prinsendam, but honestly it was an old and small ship. You don't know what the operational costs were. The only way you can justify smaller ships like the ones Viking is building (47,000 tons) is to charge sky high prices. The cheapest price I saw for 14 day Viking trip to Europe in the lowest category Veranda was $4500 plus $1000 for airfare. Of course for that you get a ship with only Verandas, an included excursion in every port, wine and beer at lunch and dinner. Can the HAL model support that? The question for HAL is what are you and where are you going? The advantage HAL has IMO is better itineraries on longer voyages of 14-20+ days. What size ships you have to build that can support that is the question. Traditional HAL enthusiasts like the smaller ships.
  4. The drinking water for the ship is fresh desalinated ocean water which goes thru an evaporative process. You're not drinking "brown water" which has been used for other purposes. The ship water is probably cleaner than the water you drink at home.
  5. I sense anger Why is that? You can't compare making a steak to providing a live personal performance. There is no immediate personal connection between a chef or a bartender and a customer. If you don't like a steak or a drink have them make you another. No big deal. A performer, a big difference. Again, I wouldn't walk out because I think it's rude and I may find something about the performance I could like. Lots of people don't like abstract art but that doesn't mean it's not without artistic merit. I guess you are the arbiter of things that have value. If you find a performance awful. does that make the performance awful or maybe that you don't understand it? No one sets out to make a bad performance. I know no one wants you to waste your time. If you think you may not like something as other posters have suggested, sit at the back so you can make an unobstrusive exit. No one makes you sit up front and disturb other people if you exit early as you most certainly will when leaving. We were on a Viking cruise and the guitar soloist played the same set every night for 3 nights. We paid big money for this trip. Was I going to walk out? Number one it would be rude. Number two I enjoyed having a drink while listening. I noticed something different each time. Number three I was on a cruise, what's my hurry, it's good just to sit still period. It's something I don't do at home enough. I was with friends besides. Make your judgement afterward if you have to. At the least it appears that HAL is providing more and better entertainment. I will give you my impression after an 11 day cruise on the Koningsdam in January. Enjoy your cruising days, even if you may not enjoy all of it.
  6. Maybe it's just me and the way I was raised, but I think it is rude for people to leave a live performance right in front of the performers. They are human beings who are trying their best to entertain you. At least you can give up some of your extremely important very very impressed time and give them some respect. If that was you on the stage and people walked out on you especially right in front of you how would that make you feel? Not good I imagine. Obviously a lot of people have never had to make a public presentation otherwise they would moderate their behavior. They have no appreciation of the preparation it takes. At least give consideration for that. I was at the theater in New York to see "The Producers" with Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane. Some guy in the front row fell asleep. Nathan Lane stopped the show and looked straight at the guy and said "Listen schmuck, wake up You paid 400 f-ing dollars to be here, the least you do is pay attention" He got a standing O. True story. My daughter is a vocalist and my heart is out there for her every time she performs. I don't know how she does it except she loves it for doing it. People are over critical these days in many ways. I officiate high school sports. I have 20 years of doing so. Yet people say the stupidest and cruelest things like I don;t know anything because they think they are entitled or experts. Half the time they don't even know the rules. Do you know the intricacies of performing? Sometimes the performer is doing the best they can with the material they're given. Is that their fault? I know, it;s your vacation. If I'm at your house for dinner and you don't like the food do you get up and leave? No you suck it up and take one for the team. Getting off my soapbox. And FYI I am no old-fogey with out of step values. Enjoy your cruising days.
  7. It is a widespread falsehood that the ship will definitely wait for you if you are on a ship sponsored excursion which does not get back before scheduled departure. They are not obligated to wait until you get back. If the port says the departure time must be 5 P.M. the ship is going whether you're there or not. The cruise company is obligated to get you to your next port of call at their expense. Period. The closest I ever came was on Antigua. We were on an excursion thru the ship called Robinson Crusoe Adventure with about 40 people. They took you by motorboat by 2 trips to a small offshore island for the day. At the end of the day the first motor boat trip went and then came back and got us. When we got back onshore we found we were locked into the area where the motor launch docked. There was nobody else there. The boat captain had to call down to St. John's and have somebody come back and get us. By this time it was 4:10 and they were at least 20 minutes away. The scheduled departure was 5 o'clock. The trip back to the ship was like a Marx Brother's chase scene. When we finally got back to the ship the security guy at the gangplank said " Where have you been we've been looking for you!!!" Well duh ! Turned out they had announced our names on the PA and we had several messages on our phone. So even though they will make every effort to find you it can be arrivaderci baby if it;s time to go. Enjoy your cruising days.
  8. HAL allows children. They have a program called Club Hal with dedicated staff. However in no way would I ever say that HAL caters to children. HAL has a more senior clientele. In fact the age of both HAL and Viking are quite similar, but Viking draws a more active segment of the senior crowd as shown by the offered excursions as part of the cruise experience. On the one Viking cruise I have taken Majestic Fjords and Vibrant Cities (another in the works for 2021) I can say I hardly saw anyone in a scooter or wheelchair. I've been on HAL twice (one planned for January 2020 ) and I did see more mobility challenged individuals. I would think that the longer voyages would tend to draw the people who have the most time available to them anyway. Just my observations. I am in the early senior crowd FYI. Enjoy your cruising days.
  9. Holland America yearly does a cruise called Voyage of the Vikings which goes east and returns on the North Atlantic beginning and ending in Boston. This cruise is annually sold out ( you can do a segment to Europe and a segment to North America). I'm not advertising HAL but what I am saying is that it would be a missed opportunity for Viking not to offer a similar cruise. Enjoy your cruising days.
  10. We were recently on the Majestic Fjords and Vibrant Cities cruise which is 14 days. Compared to other cruise lines where a drink package for this period of time would be well over $400 per person x 2 because each person in a cabin had to purchase it, the Silver Spirits package is a relative bargain at about $20 per person per day. This gives you an upgrade on a list of wine choices all day, a list of extra beer choices and almost all of your mixed drinks (champagne choices were extra). It was well worth it to just be able to order what you want when you want it and not think about it. This included all the soft drinks you would want. The servers are pouring juices for you at breakfast and lunch in the lido. We're not big big drinkers but on a typical day we had a drink, wine, beer or 2 before dinner, wine of choice at dinner, a drink at the night show and then 2 drinks up in the Observation at night. So relaxing not to worry about your tab. Our cabin did not come with re-stock of soda but you could get a soda at the bars with the SS package. Just an idea to consider. Enjoy your cruising days.
  11. About the soap dispensers: you want to make sure you have started the washer and get a little water in before you hit the button to dispense the detergent. A little trick the room steward showed me.
  12. May the Cruise Gods be with you! To Infinity and Beyond! (or at least to embarcation).
  13. We've cruised 4 times on Celebrity in the past few years on the S-class ships to the Caribbean, the longest 14 days which they stopped doing for whatever reason except people spend more on shorter cruises. We always book inside cabins well because that's what we can afford and they're nice and we know where to book on the ships. Nevertheless, we priced a cruise to the Caribbean for 11 or 12 days and the price for Celebrity was $450-500 p\p HIGHER on Celebrity than it was for 11 days on the Koningsdam. For that much we are almost paying for 1 person for the entire cruise on HAL. I think Celebrity is starting to price themselves out of the traditional cruiser value market. The S-class are very nice ships and they have nice features but Koningsdam is a very new ship and is going to some very nice ports. We were on HAL before (Veendam NY Bermuda) and the food was very good and the service and crew excellent. We've read good things about the Koningsdam. So we are back to HAL. We are a young at heart couple in our early 60's. We'll let you know how it goes. Enjoy your cruising days.
  14. We were on the Veendam going to Bermuda from New York. My friend liked to make believe he was the Captain and we went up top in front to get a view of NY harbor and I got to tell you it was windy up there when the ship was moving. Another place to see things was the deck above the pool port and starboard on either side. Standing by the railing we could watch as we left Hamilton harbor, very cool. We had Lanai cabins and every afternoon we would have room service and set up a little party on the Promenade and watch the sailboat races in the Sound. I tell you sometimes life can be rough. Before we were on everyone on CC was complaining about AC problems but we never had any. It's good to walk around on the Promenade and get some exercise. The first day out we had 35 MPH winds and the ship was steering to the port side to go straight and DW thought it was a good idea to take our friend who was getting a little mal de mer and walk her around. Not a good idea. I had enough problems just getting the doors to the promenade open. We all had a good laugh at dinner later. The area in the back was mentioned before. Enjoy your cruising days.
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