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About StartrainDD

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America / Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Earth (at least until we can cruise elsewhere!)

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  1. The other option is if a higher level (and desirable to you) cabin is available for just a few more $$$ at the "New prices" you can likely upgrade for those few $$$. We did that on a recent Prinsendam cruise about 12 days before sailing and we really enjoyed the larger cabin.
  2. Thank you! That is one thing I am a little 'afraid of!' We just disembarked a week ago from the HAL Prinsendam (which has been our favorite ship, but she is leaving the fleet) and noticed a decline in the MDR food quality. Service was outstanding but some days the selections were just not worth the time. Thank you! I suspect my wife is going to LOVE this. We will meet with the staff as early as we can after we board. Thank you all for your responses. We are booked in 1560 (opposite from 1557/1559). I think my wife is going to love being so close to the solarium, spa, café, and sky lounge.
  3. Thank you all for your prompt responses! Still good cabins available (under spa treatment rooms) and the wide roof over the balcony for us is a plus as we need the shade. From what I read I thought BLU would be a good option and thanks for confirming!
  4. We are looking at a summer cruise on Equinox. Pricing on Aqua is not very different from Verandah. My wife has an extensive list of special dietary needs, "Gluten Free" in general but with a list of added foods to be avoided. We typically do "Fixed dining" so the DR Mgr and our wait staff know her special requirements, and they usually do a GREAT job in taking care of her. "Fresh, Clean, crisp flavors" sound like what she would enjoy. Knowing this, Would Blu be a good choice for us? Thank you for your feedback!
  5. Hello HAL friends. I know many have been following Kazu's thread on the 24 nights they did on Prinsendam, We joined for just 12 nights. My log/review of this has been published if anyone is interested. We are certainly going to miss Prinsendam. Prinsendam Review by StartrainDD I will check back to answer any questions. All the best!
  6. We just completed two tours with Spain Day Tours. Here are the excepts from my log: Friday, April 26, 2019 – Alicante, Spain The meeting time for our tour is 8:45. We watched the docking process from our balcony and then went to meet our group. The ship was cleared and off we went. Our tour was with Spain day tours with our guide David and driver Juan Carlos. First we drove to the historic center of Alicante (not very far). We visited the cathedral and the town hall. David took us over to the seaside promenade and introduced us to the specialty Alicante ice cream flavor which is honey and almond. We had just enough free time to walk down the promenade to the first leather merchant where I was able to obtain a ratchet style belt for 12 euros. Back to the van we were off to Guadalest in the mountains. It is about a 1 hr. drive mostly along the coast before crossing a mountain range. Guadalest is very photogenic being set among the hills. Leather and chocolate is produced locally and could be purchased, although we did not find anything that could not be passed up. One of the shops had purses at very good prices (at least so we thought). We returned to the van and headed back to Alicante to visit the castle. We certainly got our exercise climbing from the mini-bus parking area up to the top of the castle. This was a crystal clear day and being able to see everything around for many miles was quite a treat. No one will believe the photos were not enhanced as the color of the sea is just stunning. Back at the van at 3:30 and David and Juan Carlos had us back at the ship before 4:00 for our 4:30 all-aboard. Saturday, April 27, 2019 – Malaga, Spain We met our cruise critic group for our tour with Spain Day Tours to Granada and the Alhambra. This was a really great tour. We had plenty of time for our guided tour of the Alhambra and the gardens. We really enjoyed hearing of the 800 year history of the palace and fortress. From the Alhambra we were taken into Granada and had 90 minutes of free time. Our guide showed us where the department store and supermarket was, along with a variety of tapa bars. DW wanted shoes as her dress shoes were not working. We were successful in finding shoes. We then picked up a few apples and some local chocolate at a supermarket. The apples were “Lunch.” All too soon our 90 minutes were over and everyone was back on the bus. We returned to the port just after 6:30. All in all this was an exceptional day !
  7. Same here. Taxi supposed to pick us up 10:30 to head on over. We enjoyed the market in Civitavecchia this morning. All the locals out and about. The town is much more lively in the morning than afternoon! See you soon!
  8. Very interesting and good info. The Pinnacle ships can't do the new, expanded Panama Canal locks? That surprises me as I thought I heard even the Oasis class ships can go through the locks (but maybe not under the bridges). Filling a Pinnacle ship on a "Round South America" cruise would require some very low pricing as only retirees can spend that much time on a ship. I remember when Carnival had to move a ship that way a few years back and I think per-diems came down to about $39/night pp. Sure wouldn't want to be living in a Pinnacle class inside cabin for that amount of time though! Those insides are fine for one but awfully tight for two. I sure hope HAL gets another small ship. Arie
  9. Cheryl would not have liked the "No handrails." Yikes! Go Kazu, Go! See you soon!
  10. This is good news. The 2020-2021 over the holidays Antarctic cruise just was released sometime last week for booking. We intend to book on board and have friends going with us. I have their info so hopefully can set them up as well. I know Princess won't let you buy FCD's for others. Was really bummed about that. Arie
  11. Have an incredible adventure Roy! That will be a big change for you from the Elegant Explorer to the N.S.! The one thing the Pinnacle ships have that Prinsendam lacks is the Grand Dutch Café. Love that venue! We fly out on Monday to Rome to board the Prinsendam. Will catch up on your adventure after returning home.
  12. Thank you! We are so looking forward to the trip! If anyone has the freedom to adjust plans, prices on the May 6 leg of the Prinsendam's farewell tour should be looked at! Sure wish we could stay onboard! Arie
  13. Jacqui, the sail-away appetizers are sadly vanishing from most of the ships. It is wonderful to see that tradition continues on the Elegant Explorer. Where are these being served? Looking forward to catching up with you in less than a week!
  14. RNB, thanks for your review. Once I retire we need to do this type of adventure! Don't give up cruising. Just because HAL won't be cruising from Tampa you always have options! I always enjoy reading your thoughts, and appreciate the positives and not so positives.
  15. Looks like you two are having an incredible start to the trip! Looking forward to meeting you two weeks from today. Enjoy every minute!
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