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Everything posted by RuthC

  1. Thanks. He couldn't have just asked 'How old are you?' Or would plain English have been too tough for him.
  2. I have no idea what the questioner was attempting (badly) to ask. Mind enlightening me? Please!
  3. HAL should rephrase the question so they are asking what they think they are. Precision in language matters. It wouldn't be hard to ask "Other than traveling from another country to board this cruise, have you traveled internationally in the last 14v days.
  4. I was on a ship where it was done. To me, and some friends in neighboring cabins. By some bratty kids, in a cabin up the passageway, who had been making trouble the entire cruise. All I could think when the tray arrived, was what a waste of food, and the time & trouble someone had gone to to prepare and deliver everything.
  5. So, you're saying that someone there alone is left to the whims of others when they take a dip, go to use the restroom, or whatever short time away from their table & chair they take. Nothing of theirs is safe, and is up for grabs. I don't think so. What that couple did was rude, and they should have known better.
  6. As far as I recall, the rules were the same on every ship. It was a fun game, designed to get passengers to interact with strangers. There was a time that HAL was big on that; I miss those days. I was MS Ryndam once, and remember the bag of swag. There were some nice gifts in it, but nothing so extravagant as a free cruise. The 'big reveal' was held the last full morning of the cruise, right before the disembarkation presentation. Now, there was a free cruise BINGO near the end of the cruise. Could you be confusing the two?
  7. With HAL's scavenger hunts the participants in the game are looking for things that are standard parts of the ship. For example, to find the replica Xian statues on the previous Rotterdam. They aren't looking for things that others have left about the ship.
  8. A real 'Prince' of a guy. 😉
  9. It was; I was on it. That was the first year the cruise was from/to Boston, and that the Maasdam was used. The previous two years the cruise was round-trip from NYC, and on the Rotterdam. I was on those, too. I also did the Viking Passage on the Amsterdam in 2001. Needless to say, I loved the cruises, and could be persuaded to take either one again. They have a great balance of sea and port days, without too many in a row of either.
  10. On HAL, the table assignments for the next cruise will be made during your first cruise. All you need to do is speak with the Maître d' during that cruise to have your reservations combined. If you wait longer, the larger tables may be assigned already. You don't have to do it right away during the first cruise, as the Maître d' will be busy making adjustments for that cruise. Whenever I have stayed on for another cruise, I have always been approached to determine my table preferences for the next cruise. That would be the ideal time to discuss your changes.
  11. Good luck! The more I read your story, the more convinced I became that women should never change their name when they marry. All the rigmarole you have to go through now!
  12. If HAL did add it to the price of the cruise, though, it would have to be more than $105/person/week for the crew to net the same amount. When the money is received as 'tips', 'gratuity', or by any other name except 'wages', there are taxes due. Tips are not taxable income to them. I see no reason for me to be paying more so their countries can collect more tax money. I want the crew to get what I give---be it as a daily charge, or any extra I give them.
  13. Lido and Deli folks are part of the tip pool, too. When you reduced tips to the pool, no one in the pool was allowed to keep the cash you distributed.
  14. Shore excursions are the same price to book on board as they are to book in advance. There are two advantages to booking in advance: 1.) you get a spot that might not be available if you wait to book on board, and 2.) you spread your costs out. There can be a disadvantage in booking in advance in that more excursions may be added as time goes on, and unless you keep on top of it, you may miss a better opportunity. Personally, I hate doing the same work twice, so once I book, I am done looking. So, I tend to wait until closer to sailing before booking, without waiting to book on board.
  15. Then you can donate the unused non-refundable OBC to the crew fund for their gratuities. It would be a generous offer, and go to a good cause. There are worse problems to have.
  16. That's precisely what it is supposed to taste like. The fact that things were added back in was not a negative---either for taste or purity.
  17. That's what 'purified water' is: water that has had all the impurities removed, then the salts/minerals returned to it. Water with nothing else in it is 'distilled water', which has no flavor. How did the purified water taste?
  18. I have read the Times Digest on HAL cruises for years, and in more recent years have worked on the crossword puzzles. This was right up until the end of my last cruise in July, 2019. I know I can read the Times Digest on the Navigator, but I can't do the crossword on it. If we can't get the crossword puzzle every morning, I will be very disappointed.
  19. Best wishes to you for an uneventful surgery, easy recovery, and a cure of the cancer.
  20. Or 'Crew incentive'? A rose by any other name ... .
  21. I have no experience with using OBC in the casino. However, IIRC, my last cruise was after your last cruise. My OBC was still applied to the HSC; this was in July, 2019.
  22. Why not? I always tip my bar stewards at the end of the cruise.
  23. Agreed. For years the terms of OBC have said they can't be used for the Hotel Service Charge, but for years, they have been deducted every day when the HSC was added to my portfolio.
  24. Removing/reducing tips is arranged at the Front Desk. They generate a list, which is posted in steward areas for the stewards to check when they receive cash tips. If someone doesn't turn in cash tips received from a passenger who did remove/reduce them, they can be fired and sent home (I believe it is at their expense, but won't swear to it). The stewards live in close quarters, and won't be able to keep it secret over a period of time if they try to game the system. Other stewards will learn who has more money, and will likely turn them in. After all, stewards who aren't honest about it are essentially stealing from their coworkers. There is such a thing as honor.
  25. I must have missed the part of your quote where you included 'reduced' then. So sorry.
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