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About SnowshoeCat

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Central NY

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  1. Vantage runs some great trips, once you're on your way and not dealing with their office anymore. I agree with CPT. The office is somewhat difficult. I've been on two trips and my friends have been on several more. A few months before my first trip, they called and asked if we could change our departure date. The reason they gave didn't make sense, but we were flexible. We had booked our own airfare and Vantage not only covered the change fees and difference in fare, they also gave a us a 25% refund. I thought that was very generous. But it took forever to get the refund. I sent in the receipt from the airline as soon as we made the changes and waited. In the meantime I went on the trip, returned and booked another trip. When I called to ask about my refund, they tried to sell me excursions on the upcoming trip. I said not until I get my refund, which is why I'm calling. The next day I got an email from the air person, apologizing that my email got misplaced, and I got the refund within days. As for the part I quoted, since we went a day early, we needed a hotel. They kept changing the meeting point and since we were meeting early in the morning, I wanted to be nearby. Phone calls, emails, nobody seemed to know. A few days before the departure, we got an email from the tour guide, welcoming us to her country, and looking forward to meeting everyone. I was then able to reply to her directly and find out where we were meeting.
  2. Thanks, I mistyped and tried to edit. I still got it wrong.
  3. On the Nieuw Statendam (is that Signature?) we were occasionally allowed on the bow for "scenic cruising". It was a Norway cruise and they would make announcements when it would be open, for example sail-away from Amsterdam and in the fjords. We were only allowed on the semi-circular portion which was accessed from deck 5. The lower pointy portion that sticks out the furthest forward was a crew deck. ETA: I had the wrong class, but maybe my experience is similar to others.
  4. I've called HAL and asked them to do a 24 hour courtesy hold on a cabin. I even tell them that I want to check flights on my own. You'll get a booking number and then you can access the Flight Ease site.
  5. Me too! On NS last month, returning to the ship for a late lunch, I told my friend that I just wanted a curry wurst and salad. It worked perfectly. While they prepared the wurst, I went through the buffet and collected a nice salad (I think my friend had the chicken - also good). I think I did that at least twice during the cruise.
  6. Thanks - that's what I'm leaning towards. I just found Avis on Seaport Lane, right at the terminal. Is that it? Thank you! That didn't show up in my earlier search.
  7. I'd like to know if I can park my car at the Boston cruise terminal before flying out of Logan for a one-way cruise back to Boston. Then when I get off the ship, I can just jump in my car and go. I've checked the parking website and it doesn't mention one-way cruises. It seems the garage is open, but I would pay full price (not a "cruise" price). But I'm not sure I got that right. Does anybody know how this works, and has anybody here actually done this? I will probably call anyway, but I like to hear first hand experiences. My other option is a one-way car rental home, which is surprisingly affordable, just more hassle.
  8. Thank you all for the reassuring and encouraging replies. I usually only travel for 7-10 days at a time, so two weeks seems long. I figure I'll either be anxious to get home, or after a week or so I'll get into a rhythm and really enjoy it.
  9. Hi kazu (New Brunswick is on my list of places to visit). It's a trans-Atlantic. I've always wanted to try a TA. As far as interests, they're diverse. I enjoy lectures, trivia, exercise (in the gym or just walking the promenade), reading, and although I'm not much of a wine drinker, I like learning about it. Maybe I'm wondering what kind of unexpected things there might be.
  10. I've been considering a cruise on the Veendam which includes more sea days than I'm used to and I'm concerned about going a little stir crazy. I know the Veendam is a smaller ship with fewer bells and whistles, and that's actually fine. I'm usually pretty good about keeping myself busy or occupied, but I can only spend so much time reading or hanging out in the gym. Can you give me some ideas of what to expect, then I can hopefully decide if it will be right for me? I really love the itinerary and I'd like to make it work.
  11. Thank you for the replies. On the first day I may not have time to explore, so it's nice to know where I'm going. What deck is the bow access? Again, it's hard to tell from diagrams.
  12. We just booked a last minute trip on NS for this weekend. (My first on HAL!) Despite having a balcony (another first!) I'd like to be on deck for sailaway and watch the Dutch countryside slip away before we head out to sea, and then enjoy the fjords later in the week. I can't tell from looking at the deck plans. Are there any front-facing decks? Do they open the bow? There's always the gym, I suppose. Share your secrets.
  13. I thought the lots are only open when there is a ship in port. They are gated, so you can't just come and go. Do they make special concessions for TA's, maybe depending on which direction you're sailing?
  14. When is your cruise? Not specifically, just what month or time of year? The lighting can be dramatically different depending on the sunset times. It's all good!
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