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Ottawa traveller

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    travel, painting, photography
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America Line
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  1. I did the circumnavigation a few years ago. I first did the TP from Vancouver to Sydney and then the circumnavigation. If I remember correctly, you could do segments of the circumnavigation. I recall Australians getting on in Perth. I stayed in Australia afterwards to go to Uluru (Ayer's Rock), King's Canyon and Alice Springs and then went back to Darwin. The port stop at Darwin is not long enough to really see anything of the Northern Territory. I flew home from Darwin stopping in Shanghai for several days en route. I thought it was a good way to see much of Australia around the coast. I really enjoyed the entire trip.
  2. I travel solo and when rebooking a SA cruise recently, I told my travel agent that I did not want HIA for various reasons. She and the HAL agent looked at the fare with and without HIA and by booking without it, I saved $700.00. It is definitely worth doing the math.
  3. I have taken watercolours and coloured pencils onboard. HAL offers watercolour classes on Grand voyages. So watercolours are not a problem. I don't know anything about acrylics. If they could be a fire hazard that might be a problem. Call HAL and ask.
  4. Before I posted the original post, I had gone to the Eurodam Roll Call and saw a post from Rich indicating that he would be posting on Facebook and that people could follow him there,
  5. Here is a link to a post for the Eurodam cruise: Rich Fielder King of Cruise Trivia Rich Fielder King of Cruise Trivia | Facebook
  6. I understand that the reason for the invitation is that they verify that you actually paid a cruise fare for all of the 1400 days. There are a lot of people who get free cruise days such as lecturers, TAs for big companies who go on the Grand Voyages to provide services to their clientele, Tai Chi instructors etc. I don't know if people who get casino fares may also fall into this category. A person who falls into this category informed me that her cruise days would not count toward any Mariner benefits.
  7. Here is a link to a guided tour of the refurbished ship. There are changes to the decor and some new restaurants but she is still recognizable.
  8. I am booked on the cruise out of San Antonio Chile that follows the now cancelled Westerdam cruises. I am now assuming that all of the SA and Antarctica cruises will be cancelled for 2021-2022. If so, I hope they do it soon.
  9. Here is the HAL information from Know Before You Go. Most evenings smart casual attire is appropriate. Shorts, pool/ beachwear, distressed jeans and men’s tank tops are best left to the daytime and are not permitted in fine dining restaurants. Gala Nights evoke the grand traditions of cruising as guests dress to impress for special events on board, including a five-course gourmet dinner in the Dining Room. On Gala Nights in fine dining restaurants, collared shirts and slacks are required for gentlemen. For ladies, elegant dresses, skirts, or slacks are all acceptable. Jeans, shorts and T-shirts are only allowed in the casual dining restaurants.
  10. "I would probably prefer Japan as well, as it's a country I'm dying to visit. However, I can only go early in the season, and I'm worried it might be too chilly. Plus, does one get a pretty thorough overview of Japan from a cruise? Just wondering. " I have been to Japan 4 times, 3 by ship totaling 18 port days, and once on a 2 week land tour. I have signed up for the April 11, 2022 30 day back to back which does 12 port days in Japan and then the TP via Alaska to Vancouver. I will not have seen all of Japan even after that. I mostly travel by myself when ashore. I research what is available in each port and then use Google Maps to find out how to get there. Google Maps is terrific. You put in the anticipated date and time of travel and you get the route, the bus, metro or train numbers, time of departure etc. I print out the directions to take with me because in some parts of Asia you can't get the English version and in China you can't get Google at all. If Google tells me that they can't get me to where I want to go, which they did twice on the last cruise, I sign up for the shore excursion. However, it was on my first Grand Asia cruise which stopped at only 4 ports that I fell in love with Japan.
  11. I have been on 3 Grand Voyages, Grand Africa 2008 and Grand Asia 2010 and 2013. I have also been on other very long voyages such as Voyage of the Vikings and the Amazon Carnival Cruise. I agree with what the others have said about longer trips. However, the Grand Voyages, as so called by HAL, offer some extra perks, some of which have been mentioned. In addition, HAL offers free luggage shipping for early booking in certain cabin categories and they also have had a watercolor painting teacher and an arts and crafts teacher on board. Near the end of the trip, people from those classes donated some of their work to a silent auction, the proceeds of which were donated to a charity somewhere along the route. If you are a reader, you should note that HAL libraries are not that well maintained and you should consider bringing an e-reader, or if you like regular books, go to a second hand store and stock up on books that you can read and leave behind.
  12. I had a hunch and went back an looked at pictures from 2005.
  13. I was on the Ryndam on a cruise to Iceland where hundreds of people got Norovirus. The library shelves were locked and the librarian told me that all returned books were subject to a 30 day quarantine in the hold of the ship. I don't know what they did with the book exchange.
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