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Everything posted by Hhagatha

  1. We were told the rebooked Japan cruises on the Noordam (March 25 to April 25, and April 25 to May 8.) Will be moved to the Westerdam in 2023. We should have details by the end of October.
  2. That Gnocchi recipe looks good, and I just happened to also receive today a recipe for keto gnocchi (using only egg yolks and mozzarella cheese) from a blog I follow, kirbiecravings.com. Might have to see if I can merge the two recipes into something for dinner! Thanks Debbie.
  3. Wow! We lived in Cayucos for 20+ years before retiring and escaping from California. That's about half-way between San Simeon and Santa Barbara on Highway 1. These pictures bring back memories.
  4. We've had 8 cruises cancelled now, so hoping this one is far enough out that it will actually go! We are on the Noordam 28 day Southern Japan and Russia Collector departing March 28, 2022. Someone already listed this as "Japan Explorer and Russia Collector", but the Japan Explorer segment is the previous 14 day cruise departing on March 14 and doesn't connect with the Russia Collector segment that departs on April 11th.
  5. My husband has played golf in Mexico, New Zealand, Alaska, Ireland, Scotland, England and Hawaii while we were on a cruise. These were non-cruise line excursions that I was able to arrange for him while on the ship via email, phone or the course web site. Since they rarely offer golf excursions, he says cruising will be over for him if the cruise line will not let you do private excursions.
  6. We can deal with all the restrictions except having to participate in cruise-sponsored excursions. The prices are way too high for many of them for starters. If it's a port we've been to before, we like to just get off the ship and do our own thing. We get our 2nd shot on Monday so that isn't an issue, and although we are used to wearing masks we don't find it enjoyable.
  7. We are booked on Azamara for July 2022. DH is a golfer and they were offering a 13 night British Isles sailing that includes golf in several ports and attendance at the 150th British Open, in conjunction with Perry Golf. Did a similar cruise on Celebrity a few years ago and DH wanted to do it again. Azamara was the only one offering the cruise and excursions we wanted. We choose cruises by itinerary and are 5 star on HAL for that reason, but they don't offer this cruise. As long as the food is decent and the rooms comfortable we are happy. Hope Ashford doesn't screw it up.
  8. We were on this cruise, too. Enjoying reliving the voyage with your posts and pictures. We ended up with one of those stuffed penguins, had to buy a suitcase to get it home!
  9. I used "Pinnacle" instead of "Pinnacle Grill". Suite passengers can eat there for breakfast, but that is no longer available, you eat in CO. I confused the two (it was late). If you are 5 Star, what would you gain by the CO package? Don't you already get most of those benefits, except for eating in the CO? For $50 a day (what it was selling at on that trip) I wouldn't buy it. We could eat every night in Tamarind, Pinnacle Grill, or Cannoletto for less. Sorry for confusion.
  10. Exactly as we felt. Maybe the other perks make it worthwhile for new cruisers, but for 5 star the trade-off of losing the Pinnacle is not worth it.
  11. Just tried to look up flights through Flight Ease for a June Cruise. Website just took me in a circle back to my itinerary. Is it still up and running? Have credits to use up through airlines, but still like to compare, as have often found great bargains there.
  12. On the Koningsdam last December, Club Orange was given to the suite passengers and they were not given a MDR assignment. Our key card only said Club Orange. We enjoy getting to know new people and always ask for a large table for dinner, which there were none offered in CO. If you had a group of people you wanted to eat with they would accommodate you. The CO is like eating in a fish bowl, the wall between you and the hallway is glass, and everyone walking by looks right in. After the first night we decided it wasn't for us and asked for an assignment in the MDR. The meal was nothing special. The service was attentive and not as harried as in the MDR. We always enjoyed a quiet breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill, which was no longer offered, you had to eat in CO if you wanted a quieter venue. The environment was more like a cafeteria. Food was NOT cooked there - as an earlier poster stated, it is still cooked in the MDR kitchen and brought to the "chefs" in the CO who add whatever to the plate. At night they had table cloths, but for breakfast it was just the plain table. They were really looking for feedback on what people did or did not like about the experience so maybe some of the issues will have been taken care of. Apparently the "fish bowl" experience was a major complaint. As we are 5 star, the other benefits were already available to us. I would not pay to eat there, but for someone else the other benefits may make it worthwhile to them.
  13. We have used Flight Ease many times. I always check flights on line so I know if I'm getting a good deal. No money tied up til final payment date, and don't have to mess with airline cancellation fees and fighting to get your money back from airline if cruise is cancelled. Always go to embarkation port a few days early, use HAL transfer to ship. Have stayed a few days after cruise, but never tried adding another stop and layover.
  14. November 2020 Zaandam Hawaii, Tahiti and Marquesas 32 days November 17, 2020 Don and Terry
  15. Just boarded the Koningsdam today in a Neptune Suite. We, too, always ask for fixed dining. We enjoy meeting new people. You know how your key card usually has your table number? Ours only said club orange. Also, a letter in our cabin said club orange was for suite passengers only. Apparently we were being forced to be snobs and eat only with suite passengers at dinner. We had to insist on a fixed table in the main dining room. And no more pinnacle for breakfast. That was my favorite perk! I am not a morning person and dislike the crowded noisy Lido on this ship. I'll try Club Orange for breakfast, but it does not look inviting.
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