Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community


  • Content Count

  • Joined

About sambamama

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    West Springfield MA
  • Interests
    dancing, reading, music
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

Recent Profile Visitors

336 profile views
  1. I had to dispose of a needle on my last cruise. They were happy to take it at the medical facility.
  2. Yes, I think using certain TAs absolutely matters. Although your TA is known for having very low prices, I think they specialize in selling unsold cabins at the last minute more than booking ahead. When I booked my 20 day Hawaii cruise, I checked with her on a price as it was a cruise I always wanted to do, but the price was very high and that was before booking as a single. Her agency had blocked off a bunch of cabins and so got me a super deal as a solo. I booked an inside guarantee, I was switched to an outside guarantee free since I booked so early and I snagged an upsell to a balcony and wound up in a spa balcony. I pay a bit more, but she always let's me know about upsells, and gets me compensation in either shipboard credit or upgrades if there is a price drop. She's gotten me the best solo rates I've ever dreamed of-somehow now I get casino rates, even though I don't gamble.
  3. Some cruises drop, some don't. My South Pacific cruise only went up in price, and I booked it 2 years early. My retired friends book last minute all the time. I am stuck-I am not retired, and I can't go on vacation last minute. I really need to plan at least 3 months out, and since I now go for a month or so, usually 6 months out. Sometimes you are going somewhere it's difficult to get last minute airfare. If you get a great price for an Australian cruise, but have to suffer in economy all the way there, can you deal with that? Maybe the good hotels in the remote area you wanted to stay at after are gone. It's all in what you can live with. Me, I have to book solo. So I am not booking balconies any more-the single supplements kill me. I usually book an MM guarantee. But when the cruise starts having fire sale upgrades, that's when I pounce. And I also monitor my cruise price the whole time. My upcoming Panama canal cruise just dropped in price $150 and my TA got HAL to drop my price $500 (I still have no idea how she did that.) I don't live close enough to airports that I can pick up bargain airfares at the last minute. But I do look forward to being retired so I do have the option of booking a cruise at the last minute.
  4. Thanks, the Mexican Rivera will be lovely. And we go to Topolobango-sp? - where there is a tour to go ride the Copper Canyon railroad. HAL is the only line to do this, I didn't know this when I booked it, the tour is 17 hours long, and costs a bunch of money, but through Explore 4, I got $950 shipboard cred and a super single rate on the Maasdam, my favorite HAL ship. How lucky am I?
  5. Every cruise has its own special memories. I really loved all my cruises on the Maasdam and the Ryndam-love the size of those ships, and very sad the Ryndam was sold, but very happy HAL kept the Maasdam and remarketed her. My cruise to Alaska on the Volendam was wonderful because I cruised with friends for the first time, and discovered a beach goddess could love glaciers! Despite being the 1st Alaska cruise of the season, the weather was amazing and I fell in love with Alaska. The highlight was a tour in Skagway with Dyea Dave himself topped off with him taking me on a private tour to Dyea for 2 hours in his Morris Minor convertible-no extra charge! But my two favorite cruises were my Panama Canal cruise on the Westerdam with the Sail away Gang where Kazu organized the most amazing tours and my 20 day South Pacific cruise on the Maasdam. The highlight of that was getting off the ship in Tahiti, taking the ferry to Moorea, and spending the night on points at the Ihg resort there!
  6. My October TA on the Rotterdam is 10/17/20, not 10/15. I've got 3 cruises booked right now and 2 land vacations, so I'm getting confused on dates-my apologies. Also, I just booked the Maasdam for a 14 day Mexican Rivera, my first of those, also my birthday, that one is April 9, 2021 San Diego to Vancouver. Thanks!!
  7. I asked about them on my last 20 day cruise and yes, you could pre-order them. I did order them about 2-3 times and they were still the same delicious soups as before. I was also told no one was ordering them. This was on the Oosterdam.
  8. The bus is really easy to use. The bus drivers are super friendly. I even used the bus to get from the airport to my hotel! Lots of hotels to pick from-look in the port forum! I'm staying at the Intercontinental on a free night and points. It's right on the harbor, and I will walk my luggage to the ship.
  9. I love the Maasdam! She is my favorite ship! I love that class, and am so glad they kept her. I think I've sailed 4 times, but it might only be three. I did a 22 day South Pacific cruise 1 1/2 years ago, and she was in great shape then. I'm booked on an April 2021 14 night Mexican Rivera cruise on her.
  10. With the Explore 4 promotion, I got an MM inside as a solo for $1500 without taxes with $950 shipboard credit and a free Pinnacle dinner for the April 2021 Maasdam Mexican Riviera cruise. The best cruise deal I've had in a long time! Is it an Explore 4-no, All I got was a dinner, lots of credit and a reduced deposit. But I'm pretty happy!
  11. A hearty second on Dyea Dave. I had one of the best tours of my life with him, and there were 6 of us in the van!!
  12. Mambo Beach/Sea aquarium beach in Curaçao is very nice. You can even take the local bus there. Moderate charge to go in, moderate chair and umbrella charge, sheltered beach, food and drinks available.
  13. I was lucky enough to fly JFK to Hong Kong on Cathay in their suite (17 hours) and then on to Singapore on Singapore Air in Business (4 hours). If you have loads of points, the suite is Amazing-you will never notice being on a plane that long. Hong Kong is a cool place to stop over, too. Give yourself time in Singapore-you could stay a week and not seee it all-the subway is very easy to use there!
  14. Yes, you can buy shipboard credit. Not sure about refunding the unused portion, though. I bought shipboard credit before. The offer is not on either my Platinum, Biz Platinum, personal Bonvoy or personal free AMEX. I've called before and was told they release over different time frames, so hopefully, we will get this later. Otherwise, I will get mad as AMEX seems to give me stuff I have no interest in and omit the offers I really want.
  15. It isn't specific to any Amex card, but in the past, it has shown up on my Platinum, Business Platinum, and Everyday.
  • Create New...