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RD64

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About RD64

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Toronto
  1. If you login to the HAL website you should get the pricing in Canadian dollars - if you just go into Hollandamerica.com you will get US dollar pricing - that has been my experience.
  2. I purchased some in the Dominican Republic once - coloured water - pure scam! Subsequently I will ONLY purchase it from Spicy Caribee in San Juan - excellent choice of vanilla, coffee, hot sauces, and various spices. Highly recommend Spicy Caribee in Old SAN Juan!
  3. MSC posted the following summer 2021 itineraries today. Divina will be Sailing from Miami during the summer, followed by a 12 day repo to NYC, followed by cruises to Canada, Canada/Bermuda, and Canada/Bahamas. https://mscfans.blog/2020/01/08/msc-2021-summer-season-deployment/
  4. I just saw a post on Facebook - people are speculating Alaska in 2022.
  5. The smaller ultra-luxury class of MSC ships will be debuting in 2023. Maybe the intention is to have them start sailing to Alaska as well.
  6. This past weekend, one Costa and two MSC ships were re-routed to Trieste. The Norwegian Star skipped Venice completely.
  7. Just thought of it - MSC Americana - covers both continents. Similar to the Ivaran Line’s passenger/ cargo liner that traded between North America and South America in the late 1980s.
  8. Given the importance of the Brazilian market to MSC - I think there definitely has to be some kind of reference to South America.
  9. I am still trying to process this - in theory - I could go to the buffet and have them cut me an entire prime rib and that is ok. I could follow this with 17 theoretical burgers at Dive In, and then ten or so pizzas - all totally acceptable because it is not in the main dining room. Is this an effort to get people to utilize the buffet more, thereby reducing stewards in the dining room? Only the bean counters know. It seems like HAL is grasping at straws in order to boost on board revenue.Perhaps hitching their horses to Oprah’’s wagon did not result in the expected revenue boost and now it is time to look for ways to cut costs and initiate the process of nickel and diming. Next up - will there be abu dant towels on deck or will they now have to be checked out? To all of those who are so adamant about it not affecting them - because apparently everyone eats like a bird - what will it be for you? Apparently at the Mariners’ Lunch on the NS last week the FREE champagne was flowing quite freely - maybe that is the next thing on the chopping block. I wonder how many would be drinking champagne if revenue management decided it wAs time for an upcharge on this? Then we would hear all of the - it doesn’t affect me because I never drink. Just a thought.
  10. Regarding this thread I find it highly offensive that the Holier than Thou people feel that a second entree is wrong. Background: I am a healthy 6 foot four male - I am not a glutton or a pig - I have a healthy appetite for my body type and metabolism. And no I don’t weigh 700 + pounds. I weigh 180 pounds. I am Italian by background - pasta is part of my daily life and always has been - pasta for dinner followed by a meat / fish main dish. I don’t see why I should have to eat differently while on vacation. when I cruise I have a pasta main and a meat main - I don’t see what the problem is and why so many of you are pontificating on the evils of a second entree. I have no problem if it is eaten - if someone wastes it then that is another story. From a financial perspective - following some of these threads I see that NS State dam Carib cruises can be had for $599 /$ 699 / $799. So add another $70 for the week for a plate of pasta. How does that even begin to make sense? The majority of the self-righteous on this thread claim they never have a second but apparently it is an issue for HAL. But remember , this is only the beginning of the slippery NCL slope. What is next ? A fee for room service? For dive-in burgers? This is probably only the start. If HAL cannot earn acceptable ticket revenues - it will try to maximize onboard revenue - and thereby cheapen what was once a great product. Rememember the great canvas bags we used to get instead of the dispoable ones we now get? I can just hear the chorus “ As long as it makes the cruise cheaper, it is ok”. As the product continues to cheapen there will be less and less delineation between HAL and the lower tier competition. The hardware may be great - but in order to pay for it - the software suffers.
  11. A727 - if available - had it Boston to Bermuda - would gladly choose it if available (window cabin).
  12. Apparently this topic being discussed elsewhere as well. On cybercruises.com there is a comparison of prices for a variety of seven day cruises in late February - the NS appears to have the lowest prices. http://www.latecruisenews.com/2018/12/31/florida-7-night-lead-in-fares-other-cruise-news-seattle-breaks-records-again-new-ships-for-genting-cruise-lines/
  13. Also - as an aside - regarding the pads for the chairs on Deck 6.... My cabin was on Deck 6 an interior - so I spent a lot of time sitting outside here. Until I read some of the previous posts, I did not notice the pads were missing - I found the chairs very comfortable even without a pad. Cheers
  14. After a 2014 cruise I completed the on-line survey. The cruise was great- only a few minor things that I thought needed to be changed. I don’t remember who signed it, but I did receive a personalized letter with some obc, flowers for the cabin, and Pinnacle Grill dinner for my next cruise. Last month on the Veendam I completed the comment cards that were included at night with the turn down service. Everything was beyond my expectations and I said so - I completed three separate ones including the names of all of the exceptional staff. These cards are reviewed diligently - the crew members that I mentioned by name ( cabin and dining room thanked me personally for my comments. I found out from a crew member that the comments made on these cards are shared with everyone else working in the same department - ie Entertainment - so that their colleagues can see what was said as well. Also I did not know - but it makes sense - HAL uses mystery shoppers. I was talking to a passenger about an incident on a Veendam 2017 cruise - and someone who I assumed was a passenger overheard - identified themselves - and asked me for further infomation - I told them exactly what I had written on the survey. The mystery shopper knew exactly who I was talking about, and said that it had been noted.
  15. I was on the Veendam to Bermuda in 2017, and three weeks ago Montreal to Boston. I found the food, service to be just as excellent as it was last year. The ship may be older but it was spotless. I find the Veendam to be a great small ship - everything is conveniently located. If you are looking for exciting nightlife this may not be the ship for you - however - I think it may be a reflection of the passenger / itinerary demographics, Bermuda was much more livelier than Canada / New England. I especially enjoy the salad bar in the Lido buffet. Contrary to one poster I enjoy the pizza - had it for lunch or a snack every day. The crust is closer to European crust and may not be to everyone’s liking. The burgers from the Dive-In - I miss them daily. One outstanding incident from my cruise: I was in cabin 345 (yes easy to remember). My first time in an inside - so not my favourite . But it was conveniently located on Deck 6 - the walk around promenade. There were always empty chairs available. My cabin - although I disliked that it was interior was spotlessly clean. One morning I came down to grab a sweater because it was a little cool and I found the stewards vacuuming the ceiling, the corners, the vents - I was shocked - I rarely do that at home. I do believe that the happy crew is a reflection of the Captain (same Captain as last year). The Veendam is a well run ship. I wish that I had stayed on for the return trip to Montreal. I enjoyed the Veendam so much that I am looking at the 12 day transatlantic from Lisbon to Boston next summer. My only criticism is the Retreat Area - I think that HAL made a mistake by eliminating the second, aft pool. Did it take away from my enjoyment - not at all. They had a few oversized, oval loungers which were very nice to pass an afternoon in. However, the tile work, and wood work in this area needs some sprucing up. As well, there are some missing panels in the former loft area - they were missing last year as well. If HAL were willing to spend a few $$$$ to spruce up the Retreat, the Veendam would be a true jewel. Apologies for the length of my post - but if you have anything specific I can help you with please ask. Cheers.
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