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terrydtx

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About terrydtx

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    San Antonio Texas
  • Interests
    wine tasting sailing and scuba
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    HAL, Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Europe and Hawaii

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  1. Having sailed on the Noordam last month I would have to say the Vista's are my second favorite HAL class to the two Signature class ships primarily because they have the Tamarind Specialty restaurants. I believe the dry dock upgrades will bring up to par with any other newly renovated Vista. I will still miss the Crows Nest bar.
  2. I am not disagreeing that HAL needs to offer something like CO dedicated dining but please not the Tamarind on the Signature class ships. HAL already is way behind their competition on Specialty Dining Venues too. I would think they could portion off part of the MDR for CO dining more effectively, which is what they are doing in the Vistas. Fewer passengers would need the MDR if they had CO dining.
  3. On our July Noordam cruise we decided to try Canaletto Italian restaurant after a terrible experience on the N. Amsterdam, and it was so much better than before. For the price I would now make it my second favorite specialty restaurant on HAL. We heard a lot of complaints from others on the cruise about the PG and at $39pp it is not worth the cost. Not surprisingly the PG was mostly empty every time we passed it during dinner hours.
  4. We were on the Noordam in July and I have to agree she needs a lot of work with worn out carpet and furniture everywhere. Our SS cabin still had the small 24" TV on the desk and it was worthless. The furniture on our balcony was in terrible shape and the cushions were stained and torn. We were told the dry docking was going to upgrade all cabins to the 42" interactive TV's and new furniture. The crows nest is going to get the HAL Explorers Lounge upgrade which I disagree with as it us one of my favorite public places on HAL ships. She will get the same upgrades that the Westerdam got last year. Other than the needs of dry docking we enjoyed our Noordam cruise, service was 100% fantastic and up to HAL standards. You will not be disappointed on your Noordam cruise.
  5. Don't even suggest this, the bean counters in Seattle might see your post. 😲 Tamarind is my favorite specialty restaurant on any cruise line!!!
  6. We boarded in the afternoon for our Noordam July 21 embarkation but some or our rollcall members got there early and dropped off their luggage at 10:30 and were on the ship by 11:30am.
  7. Was on the Noordam last month and the dividers could be opened on at least the Starboard side.
  8. So once again the Troll leaves his hole in the ground to post on any tipping thread it finds.
  9. We returned from our Alaska cruise land tour two weeks ago. You are only allowed to have one suit case per person that will follow you to each land destination hotel. If you have more than one piece per person the second bag will be delivered to your final land hotel. All luggage is picked up at the ship and hotels and sent by truck to your next destination. It was waiting for us at every hotel when we checked in each night. My wife and I had 3 pieces of luggage so we packed all of our dirty clothes in the one that was sent on to our final Fairbanks hotel. It is nice that that you will never have to handle any of your bags during the land portion of the trip.
  10. Here is a link to a thread from CC Italy Ports with more information on this possible ban. Apparently nothing is set in stone yet as there will be more discussions by the Italian authorities later this month. Any changes would be for next year and would be cruise ships larger than 55,000GT which would not effect VO ships which are under 50,000GT. We are on the Viking Sea next year for the Venice to Athens cruise, so I have a strong interest in this subject. The Venice authorities are also considering charging a Venice entry fee for people entering the city and not spending at least one night in a local hotel. The bigger problem is Venice has only 55,000 full time residents and on the busiest high season days up to 60,000 tourists descend on the city each day. Even in low season 30,000 tourists visit Venice each day. a
  11. Living in San Antonio the two close drivable ports are Galveston and New Orleans, the only problem we have been on every western Caribbean itinerary offered from both ports. We have no choice but to fly to the places we want to vacation like Europe and Asia. Just returned from and Alaska cruise that included flights to Vancouver and returning from Fairbanks. Last year we did American Airlines Premium Economy and loved the bigger seats and amenities for just a couple hundreds of dollars more than main cabin. We will never fly long flights internationally again unless it is Premium Economy at the minimum. We are booked on a Viking Ocean Venice to Athens cruise next year and we will fly PE only. The other factor now that we are retired is all overseas trips will be a minimum of 2 weeks, no more 7 or 10 day cruises.
  12. The Tundra tour start times are given out randomly and start at 5:00am. When we arrived at Denali we found we were on tour number 3 departing at 6:00. With two early departures already that week we just did not want to have to get up once again at 4am. I went to the HAL customer service desk and got switched to tour number 24 departing at 9:20. This was so much better and we were back at the hotel at 5pm. We had the D5C cruise land tour and we had to disembark in Seward at 6:15 to catch the cruise train to Anchorage. The next morning we had to check out of the terrible Westmark Anchorage hotel again early to catch the early cruise train to Denali. Three early mornings in a row was just too much while on a vacation which is why we changed our Tundra Tour time.
  13. We just returned from a Double Denali on Aug 1. The meal plan is a 100% HAL ripoff. There are plenty of good meal options at a fraction of the cost. Depending on where your room is at the McKinley Chalets, Karstens is close. We were lucky enough to get into the brand new Ridge View building for our room. It was a level walk to the Denali Square and Karstens of maybe 100 yards. The shuttle buses run every 15 minutes and I didn't see anyone tipping. We had dinner one night at Karstens and the second night at Prospectors Pizza both were excellent and not very expensive. If your have the Tundra wilderness tour, the snack box that comes with it is ok, but you can buy sandwiches to take with your at Subway across the street from the resort. The Mc. Chalets wants $15 for a lunch box, which is way to expensive.
  14. They are called Mud Bugs for a reason, LOL
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