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About CruiseMGM

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Southwest USA
  • Interests
    Photography, travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Every one we've traveled on so far!

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  1. We were on the tour with SusieK (Hi, Susie!!) and had a fantastic day. That said, if we were to do it again, we'd opt for a longer visit. Our flight was a little delayed out of Buenos Aires and by the time we got to the Falls, it was already hot. I'd have LOVED to have been there for a day or two, with plans of going out to the Falls early morning each day. But if it's your only chance to see Iguazu Falls, then take it! Such an amazing place! Best wishes and good luck with your decision!
  2. I, too, advocate booking now to get the time and date you want. If you're a three star (or higher), the discount will be credited back to you as OBC. For example, we booked Canaletto and Pinnacle Grill pre-cruise, when we boarded (or after we ate, can't remember which), a credit appeared on our onboard statement. We're 3 star, so a 25% credit was nice! Food is so subjective. We LOVE the Canaletto, especially on Saturday, which has jumbo grilled shrimp as their special that night! Best wishes, have a fabulous cruise!
  3. Thanks for your review! I thought at first you might have been on our cruise (Jan 28-Feb 5), but I'm expecting you were on the cruise after us. We, too, had a ambulance come for a passenger, but it was in San Juan. No further news, hope the poor person has recovered and returned home. Our stops were Nassau, San Juan, St. Thomas (our first visit there) and HMC, which we DID get to visit. We were in a lanai, our first time in a lanai, and we enjoyed it. Enjoyed the ship, too, and really loved Canaletto and the Pinnacle Grill for dining. Thanks for your review, sounds like you had a really nice time. Best wishes!
  4. Latest on the HAL website, from just under an hour ago....in case it hasn't been posted here yet...: Seattle, Wash., Feb. 10, 2020 (5:25 p.m. PST) —Westerdam is sailing for Laem Chabang, Bangkok, Thailand, where the current cruise that departed February 1 will end on Thursday, February 13. All guests will be disembarking in Bangkok for their forward flights home. This new schedule has been communicated to guests on board. All guests will receive a 100% refund for the 14-day sailing, as well as a 100% Future Cruise Credit. Complimentary internet and phone access is available for guests and crew to stay in contact with loved ones. The ship is not in quarantine and we have no reason to believe there are any cases of coronavirus on board despite media reports. We have also received a letter from the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment affirming that they have full confidence in all our medical reporting and the quality of our medical staff and services on Westerdam. This assessment was done in concert with the Ministry of Health of the Netherlands. We sincerely thank our guests and crew on Westerdam — and their loved ones — for their patience during this extraordinary time. ………………... There's more to their post, but I snipped it short, you can see the rest of it on the HAL website if you click on the "learn more about the current travel health advisories" at the top of the page.
  5. Just back from our Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Veendam and had to find this thread and offer my findings as a lighter note to all that's going on in the world right now. This is what I wrote in my "journal" the night after our embarkation-night-dinner at the Pinnacle Grill. And for the record, I gently removed each slice from the clothesline and then used knife and fork...….........and savored every single morsel! Best wishes and safe travels to all! "I'd made reservations, pre-cruise, for the Pinnacle Grill for dinner tonight. We've always enjoyed the Holland America steakhouse, and we've found it's nice to avoid the madhouse of the MDR on our first night. Well, our meal was fantastic and our service was outstanding! The bread basket was phenomenal, with a garlic and mozzarella stuffed roll that we've never had before, and it was delicious, along with other breads. We ordered Caesar salad and shrimp cocktails, and their new "clothesline candied bacon" appetizer to share. I'd read about it on Cruise Critic and was rather curious. Oh. Wow. Oh. My. Gosh. Holy. Cats!!!! That oughta be illegal. Three lovely candied pieces of thick bacon on a metal "clothesline" frame, hanging on hooks with 2 big sprigs of rosemary. Mike, who usually scoffs at me for taking food pictures, whipped out the phone to take a picture of the single remaining piece of bacon after we'd each enjoyed one piece. Then he asked "where's the 4th piece?" (there were 4 hooks on the metal frame). I had to explain that the appetizer is 3 pieces, not 4, despite the number of hooks. We firmly told ourselves that we were civilized beings and pulled out a ruler so that we split the last piece evenly. When our waiter came to remove our plates, I told him that the bacon should be on the dessert menu. He replied "or for breakfast!" Mmmmmmm. I don't think that *that* bacon should be enjoyed more than once a year! But since we already have a reservation at the Pinnacle Grill for our last night on board, we shall bravely persevere and enjoy it TWICE on one trip! I can't wait. The rest of our meals were equally (if differently) good! Mike and I shared a filet with peppercorn sauce, and scallops that were perfectly prepared. A baked potato and mushrooms filled us up. But wait, there was still dessert to come! We shared the cheesecake lollipops and a piece of yummy key lime pie. Mmmmmm! Stuffed to the gills, we waddled out of the restaurant and proceeded to deal with the aftermath of such a rich meal. Around 4am, both of us woke for water, antacids and belches! 😂 But it was totally worth it!"
  6. 2nd vote here, and the prawn bruschetta appetizer was awesome! Three very large prawns on toasted bread with some pesto and a balsamic reduction, really REALLY good. We also shared the crabcake appetizer, which was equally but differently delicious. DH had the salmon and I had the tri-tip sandwich. Barely ate any of the bread because I was already full of the prawns, but the tri-tip meat and sauce was fantastic! Mmmmmmm! Best wishes!
  7. Thanks for your review! We're boarding the Veendam next week and are hoping for a nice, relaxing cruise. I might bring my Dramamine, though, after reading about the rolling motion on your cruise! Thanks for the reminder!
  8. Congratulations! Aside from a port stop in Cartagena on a prior cruise, this past January was also our first trip to South America ("south-er" South America?). You're in for some beautiful sights! The Westerdam is a nice ship, you'll have a great cruise! Best wishes and safe travels.
  9. Another vote for Estancia Excursions, we had a fabulous visit to the Falklands last year and really enjoyed our excursion with Estancia. Enjoy! To the OP, we did a San Antonio to Buenos Aires cruise, including a visit to Antarctic waters (some call it a "drive by"); we were on the Zandaam just about a year ago for that cruise. Longest cruise ever for us, and probably one of the absolute best cruises. Simply fantastic, especially the time in Antarctic waters. It was hard to pack for, as it was hot and humid in the northern S.America ports, and cold but intensely beautiful down south. We weren't able to tender in Puerto Montt due to swells, but that was our only missed port. Fantastic trip, sure envy you on your upcoming cruise; we'd LOVE to do it again! Best wishes!
  10. Congratulations and we hope you have a fabulous honeymoon cruise! As other replies have hinted, food is really subjective. I absolutely love the Pinnacle Grill and have made reservations for that on the first and last night of our upcoming (7 night!) Caribbean cruise. I also like Canaletto, especially on Saturday nights when their special is grilled shrimp. Yummmmm! We did a Hong Kong to Tokyo cruise on the Volendam several years ago and it was fantastic. We had a great group of travelers on our roll call and we booked almost all private tours. It was our first trip to Asia and I still think about that cruise, the friends we made (and still keep in touch with), the places we saw, the things we did. Have a fantastic trip! Best wishes! ps: we agree with kazu and Vict0riann about checking out the MDR first before booking a specialty restaurant, and just book onboard. The savings for the package deal of 1 night in Canaletto and 1 night in the PG is minimal.
  11. LOVE this idea. We did our first cruise to Alaska (Seattle r/t, but at that time, it came back via the Canadian Inside Passage) and enjoyed Alaska so much that the following year, we did a "land trip" so we could see more than just the beautiful coastal Alaska. Flew into Anchorage, stayed 3 nights there and saw the surrounding areas, drove every possible combination of road to Fairbanks and stayed 3 nights there (even rented a special car to drive the Dalton Highway …..we were big Ice Road Trucker fans at the time …. and up past the Arctic Circle), then 2 nights near Denali before driving back to Anchorage to fly home. FABULOUS trip, put nearly 2k miles on the rental, and another several hundred on the "special" car for the Dalton Highway. The following year, we were back to cruising, with a r/t Vancouver, which is when we learned that last day sailing the Canadian Passage was so wonderful. When you go north out of Vancouver, most of the Canadian Inside Passage is sailed in late evening. Since we've only ever sailed in either August or September, we haven't had the advantage of REALLY late sunsets during the sailing. Best wishes!
  12. Congratulations on your 50th! We've sailed several Alaska cruises (no land, just cruise), round-trip Vancouver, Seattle round-trip, AND from Seward down to Vancouver. All have been spectacular. I think I would suggest either r/t Vancouver OR south-bound to Vancouver. The reason for that is that our favorite days have been in sailing the Canadian Inside Passage. On a r/t Vancouver, you get the Canadian Passage both ways. Going from north to south, you get a full day sailing along the peaceful Canadian Inside Passage as your last day.....altho last time we had fog that didn't burn away until late in the day. Seattle round-trips seem to always go outside of Vancouver Island now ( that = no Canadian Inside Passage). Regardless of which embarkation port you choose, I would definitely suggest at least an overnight in that particular city first. Our last cruise, southbound, we rented a car and a rental house near Aleskya (sp) for 2 nights and really enjoyed it. We used up most of one day driving over to Whittier and doing a glacier cruise from there and had a fun, full day. Whatever you decide on, you're SURE to have a fantastic celebration. Congratulations again, and very smooth sailing!
  13. I think we just saw you! 4 people on the aft balcony, a gentleman waving his hands over his head, a woman with a flashy little wavy thing (sorry, can't think of what they're called) and 2 other people also waving! Canadian flag on the railing! Woohooooooooooooooooooooooo! Have a fabulous cruise!! Just saw the screen shot above, so glad somebody thought to take that! Yup, that's what we saw!! Best wishes!
  14. Darn, wish I'd purchased when I made the rez last week. Some "good" news, though, at least a few of the bottled wines you can pre-purchase for your cabin actually went down in price (Chateau St. Michelle Chardonnay was $61.25, now $56.35), and the Sommelier wine packages don't appear to have changed for the 6 or 8 bottle packages. Captive audience!
  15. Yes, for sure (your purchased OBC is refundable). But you may want to think about using a different credit card for your cruises. I don't know how AmEx would respond to your use of the promotion...….I'm assuming you charged $500 and got a $100 credit. If they see a refund/credit for $500 from HAL, I suppose they could rescind your $100 credit. Interesting note, we've NEVER seen the $500 purchase/$100 credit. Instead, we've received offers for $500 purchase/10,000 points on whatever AmEx calls their rewards program. Have a great trip, Alaska is wonderful!
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