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About Alphen

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  1. Yes, We had one on Maasdam recently and made sure we noted the name on one of our "share your thoughts" cards to complement the laundry service. Although you rarely get to see these hard working staff members, they deserve a thumbs up!
  2. We also have had several successful claims with the EXC Best Price guarantee on tours. It sometimes takes some thorough research, but rewards is still the OBC with the 10% price difference of the tour extra and still the comfort of a HAL tour, so we have considered it to be well worth the effort.
  3. Thank you for the info, will continue to follow your blog(s) with great interest (and envy every now and then 😉) to pick up more. Just a tip I picked up in my research, I think you also research your trips in detail, but in the info I gathered, I understood that there would be an all-day pass on the tram (map included), which allows you to use the tram all day for ¥600 per person. https://www.hakodate.travel/en/focus#17005
  4. Hello Tim, Enjoying reading your reports both here and on you blog with great interest as always, not in the least because of our upcoming cruise on Westerdam next year, visiting several of the same ports, so picking up a lot of useful information. As I understand correctly, your shuttle drop off point in Hakodate is very central at the JR station, which looks centrally located to Goryokaku tower and park going north and the Hakodate ropeway going south, with the morning market across the street from JR station if I all understand correctly when looking all of this up in google?
  5. That would be great, hoping to get confirmation if this was indeed the case on the past and hopefully future Westerdam Asia season!
  6. During our Volendam cruise in Asia in 2017 (Hong Kong to Singapore), we enjoyed the "Taste of Tamarind" menu, featured (I think it was a daily option) in the Pinnacle Grill. Is this also available on Westerdam during her Asia sailings?
  7. In this case, best and most affordable option would be public transport. On https://www.felisonterminal.com/terminals/fct you can find links to public transport in to Amsterdam. In the link the transport is described to the terminal, but this also works the other way: Public transport The Felison Cruise Terminal can be reached with Connexxion busline 82 to 'IJmuiden aan Zee'. This bus departs from the 'Marnixstraat' in Amsterdam en stops, among others. at Amsterdam Sloterdijk Station. From busstop 'Badweg' it's a 600 meter walk to the terminal.
  8. It was fixed around noon European time, may have effected only the HAL Rotterdam version, but included the one used by the office in Rotterdam!
  9. Do not know which cruise line you are on, but some offer a shuttle (at a cost) to several locations, information here; http://www.cruiseportijmuiden.com/cruise/news/ and here; https://www.felisonterminal.com/terminals/fct
  10. Tried to enter my account to do some shore excursion bookings, but found out the website does not allow you to log-in! Just phoned HAL Rotterdam and they encounter the same problems, they told me they tried waking up someone in IT in Seatle to solve the problem, they were also unable to enter accounts and parts of the website themselves. Sigh!!!
  11. We were on the cruise before you, underwrite fully your insight on Lance, however, he is a former EXC guide and now switched to Cruise and Travel Director. Your EXC program director was Kay, who we found to be excellent and always approachable, a warm and friendly Kiwi.
  12. I do not want to sound harsh or in any way inappropriately to your comment, but somehow I think that some people forget that (cruise) ships are moving objects and because of this, cannot have a fixed or non-moving structure, otherwise, they would break up easily in heavy seas. Because of this, pipes will also stretch and twist, because of ships movement. Leakage can occur anywhere because of this on a ship, old or new, related to the constant moving of the structure. It also occurs in brand new ships, we ourselves observed a leak in the middle of the MDR on Koningsdam’s premiere voyage. Concluding, in my humble opinion, no, I do not think that HAL, or any other company for that matter, can rule out leakage completely and definitively.
  13. I do not question his knowledge, but found his reply when I noted that certain part of his information in his port talk was not accurate anymore to be pretty arrogant. I merely wanted to provide him with the new information, but he treated this poorly!
  14. Just been on Maasdam, which is the odd one in the fleet. Former EXC guide Lance is now the cruise and travel director and frankly, he should have stayed what he did best, EXC, he "does not shine" as cruise director, to put it mildly. He basically has one opening line to introduce entertainment. He does not do a canned talk on ports, but in my opinion shows off to much on his experience and when pointing out a situation that was different from his talk, he is way to arrogant in his response. In no way he can stand in Brett's shaddow.
  15. Why don't you and Martha stay on board until end of April, then we can sail together? 😉We are boarding her end of March.
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