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About vicd1969

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    Cool Cruiser

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    DC Suburbs - MD

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  1. Hi Jacqui, 2 HAL cruises for me this year: June 21, 2020 Nieuw Statendam 7 Day Norse Legends September 19, 2020 Nieuw Amsterdam 12 Day Adriatic Dream
  2. I have an upcoming cruise where I may have some OBC to spare (gratuities were already included). My sisters and I plan on doing DIY hiking activities in a couple of ports, and want to pool our OBC to pay for a shore excursion that is accessible for my parents, who are also on the cruise. Is this possible to do?
  3. A significant part of the kitchen staff / sous-chefs are from India I believe. Maybe not the majority, but I usually see one or two Indians supervising the buffet in my previous cruises. Others like Copper can verify, but I would imagine the ships have their fair share of engineering / security / logistics staff of Indian origin.
  4. It's not my preferred cruise food either, but it's not like HAL is pushing it down your throat. You actually have to make an effort by first requesting the special menu and then pre-ordering the night before.
  5. Oh, just noticed the part about "more food photos to come later this week". Hopefully, the lido smoked salmon will make an appearance. My brother-in-law said the promise of smoked salmon available every morning helped sway him from insisting on taking Princess for our cruise.
  6. Amazing food photos. My family group just booked a Norway Nieuw Statendam cruise for June. My sister will love your food pics!
  7. The title would be ""Big News" on October 15th?", originally posted on Oct 14. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2703169-big-news-on-october-15th/
  8. Please see post #54 here. We were all so naive about that press release from October about the High Score!
  9. If you are travelling on the Nieuw Amsterdam and your child is over 6, this bad piece of news can affect your sailing experience significantly: Basically, HAL seems to be replacing Club HAL for kids over 6 with a video arcade that is largely unsupervised (for now). The Nieuw Amsterdam is next in line for this change after the Oosterdam.
  10. Yikes, when I first read about High Score, I thought it was an addition to Club Hal, not a replacement. How the heck did a survival-of-the-fittest, Lord of the Flies environment pass review from corporate legal or just parenting common sense?
  11. It depends on the itinerary. If it's the Caribbean with the usual ports, then I would vote for the inside on the newer ship. If it's somewhere you haven't been before, maybe the balcony would be the way to go. But both NA and NS should be very nice ships.
  12. Yes, and if you buy the Spa pass you can get a key for a locker. But the showers are available to all. There are four showers I believe. The spa pass also gives you access to the thermal loungers and a very nice jacuzzi pool.
  13. My sisters and brother-in-law’s family are considering a 7-day Norway cruise and the choices came down to a Nieuw Amsterdam or Crown Princess sailing. My sister asked me what are the entertainment and activities like on the HAL ship and I couldn’t recommend that it was comparable or even slightly inferor than the Princess sailing we did past summer. While I am sure the food and service on HAL will be better, the activities gap is too much to overcome. Also, Princess has a free WiFi promotion going on right now, and even if there wasn’t, the internet pricing on Medallion class ships is half the cost of HAL. Internet is an important perk for us since a lot of us in the group need to connect for work or are teens. This is too bad, since HAL is losing out on about 10 passengers for a not-so-cheap itinerary. Guess Carnival Corp won’t care that much though. However, I am also sailing on HAL in September on a 12-day Med cruise. The itinerary is pretty unique compared to other mass market lines. HAL still is superior in this aspect, for now. Most of the people on that cruise group aren’t native English speakers so entertainment isn’t as important.
  14. Glad to see the ship staff making amends with your group. Based on my admittedly fewer cruise experiences, first night dinner regardless of location is always a roll of the dice for timeliness.
  15. Where from the US are you departing? Some US airports - ahem NY area and ORD - see more delays than others. If you aren't flying from those airports and the difference is more than $100, you are right to wait. AMS and most major airports have free wi-fi, I would download a VoIP app like Skype or Vonage in case you need to call the Flight Ease support in Europe. HAL and Princess air booking sites use the same reservation engine and interface, so don't worry about using their name interchangeably.
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