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About vicd1969

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  1. For international flights, Delta is usually effectively free for change fees. They allow you to make changes to your itinerary if one of your flight legs gets changed on their schedule, which happens pretty frequently. I do agree that United is a bit inconsistent in service. Also, I want to drop a nice word in about using Flight Ease when travelling internationally - the flexible option is usually cheaper than the restricted fare on other online travel agency booking sites.
  2. I got a notice from HAL around the end of July that my original July 4 cruise on the new Rotterdam was switched to a July 11 sailing on the Nieuw Statendam, due to the delay of the Rotterdam's construction. The notice said I would get a new confirmation code within 4-6 weeks. Today, I saw that I now have the new confirmation code (got no email notification from HAL) and the July 11 itinerary listed on my booking, but I could not find any June or July Norway cruises on HAL's website. I suspect that HAL is still sorting out the June and July 2021 Northern Europe sailings, but am having another person in my travel group contact our travel agent to see if that is the case or the sailings are now fully booked due to moving all these passengers around.
  3. Ship excursion from a small ship like Crystal or a river cruise - maybe. Ship excursion from a 4000+ passenger ship like the MSC Grandiosa? No thanks. How does taking a 100-person group tour make it easier to social distance? I understand that some do prefer ship tours for the ease of mind in returning to the ship, or to not have to plan things. But since I actually enjoy planning my shore excursions and haven't had a problem with returning back to the ship late, they're not for me.
  4. True. I was trying to be a bit more broad in my interpretation of the Anchorage area for the OP. Whittier vs Seward is another topic for discussion lol.
  5. As OP intends to do a land and cruise vacation next year, the itineraries that are Anchorage - Vancouver or Vancouver - Anchorage would be the best fit. Both Princess and HAL have somewhat similar itineraries (both hit Hubbard and Glacier Bay southbound, and Glacier Bay and College Fjord northbound). For 2021, HAL has 2 ships for these itineraries: Nieuw Amsterdam and Noordam. Princess has 4 ships: Royal Princess, Sapphire Princess, Star Princess, and Coral Princess. If you choose HAL, I would recommend Nieuw Amsterdam as it's slightly newer and has the Tamarind restaurant. If you go with Princess, it depends on what kind of ship you want - Royal Princess is pretty modern but very large (over 3000 passengers), Coral Princess seems to have the best reviews for Alaska but is smaller. Also, Southbound itineraries are more popular and priced accordingly - the same ship could cost $50-$200 more for a southbound trip vs a northbound trip in the same month.
  6. My most enjoyable HAL cruise was due to a fantastic cruise director, who also gave really good presentations on a couple of topics in the packed main theater. Like most of other repeat passengers, HAL's relaxing vibe and elevated itineraries appeal to me. On itinerary-focused voyages, it's hard for me to stay up late if I have an early port call. And after a long day onshore, it's nice to have the soothing ambiance of HAL over the over-stimulated loudness of other mass cruise lines. However, HAL could have available more entertainment and activities options on sea days, or the evenings before a sea day. Celebrity's sea days have more offerings and passenger engagements, and I suspect is one of the reasons why Celebrity is able to command about a $200-$300 premium for a 7-day inside cabin sailing compared to HAL.
  7. Given that Tamarind costs less than Pinnacle, can you swap Pinnacle for Tamarind once you're onboard (if seats are available)? I understand booking specialty restaurants can be subject to negotiation / deals on the ship.
  8. I was originally booked on a July 4 2021 sailing for the Ryndam (now Rotterdam). Got an email from HAL saying a different itinerary has been tentatively rescheduled to a July 11, 2021 sailing on the Nieuw Statendam. Pretty much a lot of "To Be Decided" items, won't get much clarity until 4-6 weeks for now. But looks like I'll get another $100 in OBC. C'est la vie. As a result of the global health situation, Rotterdam will now be delivered one year from today on July 30, 2021, rather than her original delivery of May 2021. We regret this means we must reschedule your upcoming voyage. You will be automatically re-booked on the below voyage. Your cruise fare and promotions have been protected and you will be in the same (or equivalent) stateroom category. As a gesture of our appreciation, an Onboard Credit (OBC) will be applied to your new booking of $100 per person. Nieuw Statendam | J147 | 11-Jul-21 7-Day Viking Sagas | Roundtrip Amsterdam A new booking number and confirmation will be sent to you within 4 to 6 weeks. While we know you are eager to learn more about your new booking, we ask for your patience as we go through the process of building replacement voyages and rebooking your cruise. Please know our reservations team does not have any additional itinerary information to share with you. Details will be shared when your new booking is confirmed in our system and we look forward to answering your questions at that time. Once you receive your new booking, should you have any questions or wish to consider an alternate sailing, please contact your travel advisor or reach out to us at the appropriate office:
  9. Given the sale of the 4 HAL ships, maybe Ryndam would now have priority to restore some capacity for HAL. The Norway cruises in summer of 2021 seem to be one of the more profitable and accessible routes than itineraries originating further out from Dubai during the post-COVID-19 era.
  10. Slight half-glass empty view here. He was the COO of Carnival cruise lines, which may lead to more "mass-marketization" of HAL. Certainly hope that won't be the case as he has very impressive credentials hinting he may recognize that the two lines aren't the same.
  11. We were supposed to have sailed to Eidfjord on the Nieuw Statendam last month. Oh well, we had our deposit reallocated for next July. On the spanking new Ryndam too! 😁
  12. Highly recommend doing the 26 Glacier boat tour from Whittier. Since you aren't looking to do hiking, there is no need to actually stay in Whittier unless you want a better opportunity to board the ship earlier than most passengers. I would stay in Anchorage or Alyeska and take the train to Whittier for the boat tour, and then the bus the following day (if staying in Anchorage) to board the ship. You can look up the Phillips Cruise's "Getting to Us" page for further details.
  13. I would have been on a flight to Europe tonight as I'm typing this. But my 2020 Norway cruise was not meant to be. On the brighter side, I have recently booked a 2021 7-day July 4 Norway cruise. Fully refundable deposit until April, and I believe at a lower cost than my 2020 booking. Plus, it'll be on the spanking-new Ryndam. Speaking of glass half-full, my 2021 booking now includes the beverage package 😁. Hopefully, ports will be open by next spring.
  14. Back to almost $20 this morning so far. Owning CCL during these times is like sailing the Drake passage!
  15. While there probably isn't a daily monitoring of cruise critic posts by HAL, sometimes a topic finds a loud enough voice to get corporate's attention. Not sure this could be officially confirmed, but the thread protesting HAL removing the Club Hal on the Oosterdam last fall did result in some "adjustments" by HAL.
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