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About margar

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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    Travel, photography, antiques
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    HAL and Celebrity
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  1. Glad I’m not the only one who thought it was a poor design with the showers in the same area. Wonder why they designed it like that. Bad in my opinion. Yes the snoring was awkward but I tried to ignore and just turned my new age “spa” music up a bit more on my earphones! After a bit, I just decided I’d had enough and left. Guess it didn’t bother anyone else 😊 For the next cruise, I am investing in high quality noise canceling head phone. That should take care of any noise issues for me - or at least I hope so! 👍🏻
  2. Headphones worn while on the heated ceramic loungers helps a bit when there is a “talker” in that quiet area. Next cruise I am investing in noise canceling headphones! I hate when I go there to just zone out and relax and some people are carrying on a loud conversation. Very inconsiderate. But then there is occasionally the loud snorer near by too! 😱 While on the NS, I did enjoy the spa area, I found the way they designed that ceramic heated lounger area to not be the best for quiet relaxing. The crew kept coming in and out to fiddle with the water dispenser and the plastic cups. The showers are directly by the heated ceramic loungers and when they are being used, it is on the loud side. Depending on where your lounger is located. As that whole heated lounger area is connected to the shower area, which I find odd and a bit of a bad design. JMHO. when using the thermal pool I did not come across any loud talkers. Mostly just the pulse of the water which is relaxing. Guess I was lucky in that respect. Now if you ask me about the loud mouth balcony people, THAT is another story! Talk about inconsiderate! WOW!
  3. Yes agreed with 7seas! The shower on the Nieuw Statendam is heaven! You will not miss a bathtub. For me personally, I prefer the wonderful and spacious shower on the NS than one with a smaller / cramped tub any day of the week!
  4. Yes, maybe that is their escape hatch (catch). Very vague. Your PCC seemed to be as clueless as mine. When the V&V sale came out and I spoke with my PCC about this free wi-if perks, he was clueless at first and appeared to not know anything about it. Then he checked into it and agreed it was a perk of the sale. I’m not sure it is worth dealing with a PCC at HAL. I like to have more control over my reservation so I have been dealing with HAL’s PCC. But, I am some loosing additional money (now a store gift card instead of OBC) as I could very easily go back to the Big Box travel agency I have used several times in the past.
  5. It is for December 2020. And was one of the cruise dates that qualified for the V&V sale. When booking the cruise, the V&V sale is what was shown on screen. So it was eligible for the promotion. I guess the issue is that it turned out to not be eligible for all the promo benefits due to the casino rate (that I was unaware was included). It is just hard to decipher what rate you are booking under as in this case the particular “casino rate” was hidden to me. I think the online booking process needs to be more transparent so a passenger can fully see what rate they are under and what is included. But before they book and pay the deposit. BTW, I did speak with my PCC when I put my cruise on a Courtesy Hold (which was 4 days before paying my deposit) and I questioned him about this Free Premium Internet promo and if it was “attached” to my Courtesy Hold. He told me it was not attached to the booking. But to let him know if I decided to go through with the booking and pay the deposit and he would just add it to the booking. So I assumed (always a bad thing to do!) that is would be added with no problem once I paid the deposit. I wound up paying for the deposit on the HAL website as it was the weekend and after hours (no PCC or reservations open) and I wanted to get the deposit in before the deadline of Saturday 2/29. Then called PCC Tuesday and spoke with him and supervisor and all this was found out. To me its pretty confusing and convoluted.
  6. I tried doing that to compare fares prior to booking. I would log in with out my Mariner number (made sure to clear my browser history /clear cashe before proceeding) and I received the same fare cost as with my Mariner number so I assumed it was the general fare for the V&V sale. Do not remember any price difference if I was logged in or out. That was why I just thought the booking was with the V&V sale. But it turned out it was not.
  7. Hope some experienced cruisers can help explain something to me…… (sorry in advance for the long winded post) I booked a new 10 day cruise in an assigned verandah under the V&V sale that just expired Feb 29. V&V sale comes with certain perks as seen in the screen shot below. I received all the perks with the exception of the free "premium wi-fi". Called my PCC this afternoon and was told that I received a "casino discount" and that discount is not combinable with the free wi-fi perk. When I booked online, I had a choice of 2 rates: Restricted lower rate (non refundable deposit) or the View and Verandah promo. I choose the V&V due to all the perks it came with and the $25 deposit. Generally, if I see "Private Sale" when I am booking then that means a lower “casino rate” or some other "special" promo. But in this instance, that was not showing on the screen as Private Sale was not an option. Only “Restricted Price” or “V&V sale” price. So when I booked I fully expected to receive the free wi-fi package in addition to the other perks that HAL was promoting in the V&V sale. BUT my PCC is telling me that he cannot add that free wi-fi to the booking as it would knock off the lower "casino rate" and then the fare would be higher. Makes no sense to me as all the other V&V sale perks were included in the booking, just NOT the free wi-fi. How would a passenger who is making a new booking know that they are not getting all the perks of a promotion? No where when I was booking did it say casino rate. Or say you cannot receive free wi-fi due to not being combinable with your rate. No one would ever know this. Only after you make the booking and then I see that it is not included on the booking statement. Today I did speak with a supervisor (someone that the PCC put me through to) and she explained it the same way as the PCC did. Casino rate not combinable with that free internet promo under the V&V sale. She said she could take off the casino rate, but the rate would be almost $300 dollars (per person) higher and then she could add free internet promo to the booking. Obviously that was not an option for me. I told the supervisor that I was not happy with this as I felt the free internet should be included as it was part of the promo in the V&V sale. I felt it was misleading and that they should put it on the booking. She stood her ground and said she could not. I said then how about adding add some additional OBC to make up for this lack of free wif-fi. Again, she said she could not and that there was already OBC (part of the V&V promo) on the account and to use that to pay for the wi-fi on the ship. Sigh… I was not getting anywhere. But going around in circles. She said I could email another supervisor, but that I would get the same response. She directed me to send a letter to an email address at Reservations_submit@hollandamerica.com So, my question is why does HAL promote a set of “perks” in a particular sale, but then not allow you to have all of them? Seems very misleading to me. There are no exclusions in the Terms and Conditions that say anything about this "casino rate" (which I did not know I even had until after booking and speaking with PCC).
  8. I was on the NS earlier this month and enjoyed a one week thermal spa pass. Great Thermal pool and love those heated ceramic loungers!!! I purchased pre-cruise and paid $139 for the 1 week pass. Here is a recent thread where the thermal spa was discussed. It might offer you some additional information
  9. Your welcome! Glad all the info everyone mentioned help you make a decision that is right for you. Enjoy your cruise! I'm sure your wife will find lots of ways to spend the "saved" money!! LOL 😉
  10. Great! Glad that info helped. Have a wonderful cruise!!!! 😁
  11. I think sometimes it is cheaper to pre-purchase, but it may depend on the cruise sailing. Not sure. I usually pre purchase because my understanding is that the thermal spa is capacity controlled and they only sell a set amount of weekly passes and that is it. So I want to make sure I have access to the thermal spa, as that is my “treat” for the cruise. Also, I have read other posters mention that if the price is less on the day of embarkation that the spa will refund you the difference. In my experience, I have not had that happen (always has been more $ on the ship) but each sailing is different. Hope that helps 😊
  12. I purchased my thermal spa pass prior to sailing (Nieuw Statendam) and it was $139 for the 7 night cruise. When I was on board the spa told me the price was $199 for the week.
  13. 👍🏻👍🏻Woooohooo! Great deal!! I hope I get that lucky sometime in the near future 😉
  14. I agree Ruth, but it think the days are numbered. NS newspaper only on app. I’m pretty sure this is something that will be rolling out to all ships. Very unfortunate but sounds like it is unavoidable.
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