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sambamama

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About sambamama

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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

Recent Profile Visitors

121 profile views
  1. sambamama

    Stateroom flowers

    I've ordered flowers from the florist on the ship for the past 6 cruises. Usually I order leaving it to the florist's discretion, but request a particular flower or flowers that are fragrant. I've never been unhappy, and the arrangements have been very different from any FTD arrangement. They have been extremely creative-the last one had driftwood in it! Usually the arrangement comes the same day or the next day, and lasts 10 days to 2 weeks.
  2. sambamama

    Any noise issues with connecting rooms?

    The only issue with connecting cabins is that you lose one closet as that is where the door is.
  3. Hi Jacqui, I actually have two. I booked the Rotterdam 15 day Panama Canal December 6, 2019 San Diego to Fort Lauderdale (many of the same ports I did with you on the Westie, 1st time West to East, 1st time on Rotterdam and 1st time with 3 locks) and the Rotterdam 15 day transatlantic October 15, 2020 Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale (first time in Africa-2 ports in Morocco - all continents for me now except Antarctica.) Stephanie Sambamama
  4. Hi, I booked another cruise as a result of the Cyber Sale. I am sailing on the Rotterdam for the first time for my 3rd TA, sailing out of Barcelona for 15 nights to Fort Lauderdale leaving October 17.The cool part is two ports are in Morocco, Tangier and Casablanca as well as an overnight in Madeira, so very different from the past TAs I have taken. Stephanie
  5. sambamama

    Air Portugal

    They were charging people like crazy on my flights for overweight luggage. All four of my flight's were intra - Europe, Madrid-Lisbon, Lisbon-Faro, Faro-Lisbon, Lisbon-Barcelona. One meal in economy was totally inedible. Would I fly again? Sure, but I have low expectations. The economy price gives you an 8kg carryon. I had an American size carryon-if they had put it in their measuring bin, it would not have fit. I bought a new European size carryon in case I have to fly on any European airlines again.
  6. sambamama

    Non-HAL shore excursions, pros & cons

    Just be aware that Alaska is not a port you can usually get off the ship and wing it as far as lots of tours beckoning for you. The best tours, ship or independent, are booked well in advance. Certainly there are things to do on your own. For example, you can get to Mendenhall on your own or do hikes independently. But the best whale watching tours, etc, will be booked.
  7. sambamama

    Non-HAL shore excursions, pros & cons

    The mail complaints I have about ship tours are they are usually much more expensive, much larger and much shorter, and a few times, more dangerous!. In Alaska and the South Pacific, the ship tours are a fortune! The snorkeling ones you usually go out snorkeling for 1-1 1/2 hours. You can find private ones where you can go for at least half a day or more. I know on Saint Lucia I organized a private tour and our first stop was the champagne snorkeling. We did it with a group of 5 of us and our guide. To get in the sea, the beach is very rocky, and there is lots of waves. Our guide got all of us safely and out safely. The ship's tour had twenty of more people with about 3 guides, and some of the people had never snorkeled before. I am sure that was a disaster! I always look for very highly rated tour companies on Tripadvisor and emphasize we have to be back in plenty of time. Every tour I've organized has been great! Usually they are cheaper, longer, smaller and go to different places (sometimes places that the ship tours can't or don't go to). I organized one in Alaska in Skagway where we went all the way to the Yukon territory by van, and the guide extended the tour another 90 minutes for free for my 2 friends and I so we could hike to a waterfall and see the cemetery. Then he took me by myself to see what was left of Dyea and the beginning of the Chinook trail. If you are going to book an independent tour, then you need to research it carefully and see what the reviews are like. If the ship is going to leave at a certain time, you should be back an hour or so before it leaves.
  8. sambamama

    Cyber Monday Sale - What will it be?

    I just booked a 15 day transatlantic October 2020 Rotterdam cruise from Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale - for a solo. Got $50 shipboard credit, and I a $25 beverage card, and free gratuities plus I have 2 Amex offers I can add on-1 to save $100,and one to get 10,000 points and I should get my ZPN credit, too. I didnt even know about the Cyber Sale!
  9. sambamama

    AMEX Offer...It's Back!

    Be aware THAT AMEX is now taking away the money if you add the offer to different cards. This is well documented on Flyertalk. Also, if you have an authorized user as well as the regular user, this applies. HOWEVER, the money off and the points off are different offers!! I am lucky enough to have gotten both last time around and this time, although I don't currently have a cruise booked. If both a husband and a wife have separate cards, I think you would be OK. I know this last time by paying with both offers I paid extra, but my TA converted it to shipboard credit.
  10. sambamama

    Disfunctional HAL website

    I checked a few days ago and my latest cruise was there, but missing a day or two of credit. Now it has completely vanished!
  11. sambamama

    Air Portugal

    Be aware their size for carryon is smaller than American standards, and they have a strict weight limit. The food in economy is pretty awful and even in business is nothing great. The attendants are friendly enough. They give the gate assignments out fairly late. I will fly them again, but need a smaller carryon. The seats don't have much padding.
  12. sambamama

    Pinnacle Grill experience declining?

    I've never had a bad meal in the Pinnacle Grill on any of the ships I have eaten there, and only once had bad service. That was on the Volendam on an Alaska cruise-I left a comment card, and my 2 friends and I were given dinner for free a few nights later where both the food and service were good. I've been in love with the lamb chops for a long time-I order them 90% of the time. I just finished a cruise on the Oosterdam and had 3 wonderful meals at the Pinnacle with great service and super food. I had crab legs, lamb chops, and the NY strip. I had the fresh berries with sabayon sauce all three nights-once the way it comes, and twice just berries only with the sauce. I never saw anyone dressed inappropriately during this cruise. I am a 4 star, so I get half off. I would eat there at least once without a discount. I found the food in the MDR on this cruise the best on HAL in a long time, but the Pinnacle food and service was on a higher level.
  13. sambamama

    Tender Unloading Accident on Maasdam

    Not everyone thinks of the exact dictionary definition of a word when using it. I doubt the OP spent hours drafting the post and editing it. This is a forum and not a newspaper! Kill means causing the death of. Did the fall from the tender cause the woman's death? Yes, if she never went on the tender, she would be alive. Has the exact cause of her death been released from an autopsy result? No. Did the OP imply that HAL murdered her and was the post inflammatory? Not in my opinion. I think (and I am not the OP) that the OP was using the words killed and died interchangeably and was bringing information of a sad accident to this forum. A few people here sometimes are too interested in splitting hairs just to bash posts.
  14. sambamama

    Passport theft-warning

    My whole point to this thread was to warn people about passport theft and to mention a lack of empathy by an officer. Instead, I find myself attacked, my actions questioned, people saying I did or said things I did not do, and people wanting a word by word accounting of what happened which they still would not believe because it was only one side. I never said I saw the purser curse at the asst cruise director, I only mentioned it as another example of his poor behavior. No, I was not disrepectful to the crew, and I never have been, but I was crying fairly loudly. I am sure the purser did not want people seeing or hearing that. I am not going to comment in this thread again as a few people seem to forget who the victim was here. I too, have worked years in the customer service industry, but I have worked many more years talking to victims and empathy and respect is always paramount in dealing with them.
  15. sambamama

    Passport theft-warning

    Copper 10-8, the street was extremely crowded, and I would have remembered someone bumping into me. No one did. However, as both my passport and wallet were in the same pocket of my pouch which was unzipped, I am sure a skilled pickpocket would have had an easy time of it stealing both. I had fraud alerts on both credit cards, no and I got text messages on both reporting fraud. I I called both companies and reported the fraud and the theft. I gave the information to both the guide and the police. The guide told me he would check the store as we knew the half hour time window and he was going to see if there was video. Olssalt, apparently you have appointed yourself the purser's defender and don't believe what I say. First, I did not witness what the purser said to the assistant cruise director-it was told to me by one of my dinner table mates. I heard the two announcements about the delays in disembarkation 10 minutes apart that triggered the cursing and disparaging remarks made to her that he heard. I have no reason to think he made it up-what motive would he have to do so? In fact, his telling me about this other incident is what convinced me to report mine. Maybe Copper10-8 is right and the purser was having a bad day. Maybe the purser is not an empathetic guy. You act like I called him a monster. I never did. I do not remember every single word I said that night. I was traveling alone, I was the victim of a robbery where my passport, debit card, credit cards, and 250 Euros were stolen. Julie from Guest Services and another woman from Guest Services told me there was a very strong chance I would be removed from the ship. The purser's words to me included that he had to comply with the rules and so he would have to remove me from the ship, that I needed to quiet down and that I was being disrespectful to his crew. That was the gist of his words, but not the exact ones. I never said the purser cursed at me, living I said he yelled at me and that he never expressed any sympathy for my situation. I could have accepted his yelling at me (although I still think it was poor judgment) had he ever said he was sorry for my situation. Julie told me to go to my cabin and come back with my ID. I told her I wasn't sure I had it, but I but I found my MA driver's license and my MA BBO card. I brought those to her, she copied them and said she was faxing them to authorities who would decide if I could stay. In the meantime, I was to stay in my cabin. My BBO card has no picture, but I do think it helped sway the authorities. Actually, although the BBO card is not government authorized, the MA Board of Bar Overseers is state government approved. I expected that clearing customs would take an hour or two, but I but it was easy. I got pulled into a room and told to wait with my luggage. I gave the official the police report, but I and the two statements from two other people on the tour and my license and BBO card. The official came back and said I was all set. I managed to have a good time the rest of the cruise.
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