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About cobalt206

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Kirkland, WA
  • Interests
    Boating, Skiing, Golf and Travel.
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  1. We went to Secrets last week and it was excellent. The lunch was really good and the service was fantastic. Some of the drinks were just ok, I tipped every time a few bucks and then gave him a $20 and the drinks got much better.
  2. We took a Pedicab to The Office last week and it was $10 plus tip. After scouting out the Office, we decided to go next door to Mango Deck as they had beach lounge chairs and umbrellas. We found the food and drinks were good and the service excellent. They do bait and switch a bit on the drinks so be careful what you agree to as the menu prices are with the cheaper liquor. Beer is safe and they have 2 for 1 and 5 bottle deals. The tableside made Guacamole was really good as was the Ceviche. We were there all day and lunch and drink cost us about $100 but it was worthwhile. You will have the numerous beach vendors hassling you all day selling their wares. They are pretty relentless. Nothing against the Office but it seems more of a sit down restaurant where Mango is better suited for kicking back on the beach.
  3. Sorry, I did not take any photos.
  4. Just off the Nieuw Amsterdam and they did add one really good appetizer in the Tuna Tataki. Our main course steaks and seafood on three nights were extremely disappointing. Tamarind was excellent on all three nights which salvaged the dinner portion of our cruise. In hindsight, we should have dined at Tamarind all 7 nights.
  5. Well, if the Tamarind can consistently achieve excellence on the larger ships, why can’t the Pinnacle Grill? We almost switched our reservation on the last night from Pinnacle to Tamarind but we thought there’s no way possible to get three bad meals in a row on the same cruise. Shame on us for giving them a third opportunity.
  6. We just got off the NA in San Diego and had a very nice cruise. As usual, the service was outstanding. Embarkation in San Diego was a breeze and the terminal is small and basic. Our signature suite was well appointed and the cabin stewards Sandri and Heru were awesome. The adult seaview pool turned into the kids pool. I heard there were 400 kids onboard, way more than we’ve ever witnessed onboard a HAL ship but it is Spring Break. There simply was not enough room in the Lido Pool to handle the volume of kids. Unfortunately, that made the aft pool kind of crazy and not very adult friendly. It seems like very few people realized the aft pool is for the adults and there is less signage than in the past. We decided to stay onboard the ship in Mazatlan and had a great relaxing day at the Seaview pool as most got off the ship. We had three dinners at Tamarind, three at Pinnacle Grill and one on our balcony. Tamarind was excellent as always but the Pinnacle was well below expectations on all three dinners. We’ve always been fans of PG and typically eat there multiple times on every cruise. I’ve always regarded them as on par with our top steakhouses in Seattle. Our first two dinners the quality of the beef was really not good. Grainy filets and grisly Rib-eye and Porterhouse. Decided to try seafood on last night and that was an even bigger disappointment. My wife’s Halibut was dry and not flavorful. My Scallops were cold and bland. I would have expected better in the MDR. I let the Maitre D’ aware of our overall experiences after our third underwhelming meal. He was apologetic and offered new meals that we declined. I brought this up as we prefer HAL for their fine dining as well as we are stockholders. I’m hoping this was simply an anomaly but three dinners in a row is not a coincidence. Hopefully they can get this corrected soon. This is our third HAL cruise in the past 12 months and we had nothing but good experiences in the Pinnacle in the two prior cruises (Oosterdam and Eurodam). Disembarkation went smoothly and was well organized. Overall this was a good cruise that could have been much better. Our allegiance to HAL may have taken a little hit even though we just got to 3 star Mariner status. I would be interested to know other people’s opinion on Pinnacle Grill. Anybody else see a decline in quality or did we just catch them on an off week?
  7. Just got off the NA and we had the tent side. Easy embarkation today and overall a decent cruise.
  8. We just returned from Rome and had a very experienced guide for two days for the Colisseum and Vatican City. He told us long shorts that fall below the knees were acceptable. So we did wear shorts and had no problem at all. The majority of men were wearing long pants.
  9. Thanks for the tips. I have been trying to find out which terminal the Oosterdam will be departing this Friday but have not found an answer. Perhaps we won’t know until it arrives Thursday. We are flying to Venice tomorrow morning.
  10. If taking a water taxi from our hotel in San Marco to the cruise port, is there still a fair amount of walking after the water taxi stop to the proper terminal? Would we be better off taking a water taxi to Piazza Roma and then take a land taxi which I understand takes you directly to your ship’s terminal? I’d prefer to do just the water taxi to the cruise terminal but I’m finding conflicting info where it ends and how far we might have to walk with our luggage. Looking for the easiest method and price is not really a concern. Keeping my wife happy is my priority.
  11. Thanks for the tips! I'm a Tapas and seafood fan so we will have to check this out. We're traveling with another couple who are also foodies/winos so should be fun. It'll be our friends first cruise however, so that should be interesting to see how they like cruising. Again, appreciate the thoughtful tips! Ciao.
  12. Thank you so much for your intel.
  13. We are staying at Hotel Becher. We will arrive to the hotel by water taxi and also go the cruise port via water taxi so I'm not too concerned about lugging six bottles of wine in my wine tote. Hopefully there is a wine shop close to the hotel so I don't have to carry the wine a great distance by foot. I'm sure we will consume more than 6 bottles in 12 days so we plan on buying some onboard as well. We just prefer nice wines and by purchasing on our own + corkage, we will save several hundred dollars. For those who sail HAL and have done the math, it makes total sense. Thanks for all the ideas and suggestions and hope to find something close to our hotel.
  14. We are leaving on a 12 day cruise out of Venice next week. We have always purchased at least 6 bottles of wine on previous Ft Lauderdale Cruises at Total Wine which is very easy and convenient. HAL allows one free bottle and the rest at only $18 corkage per bottle. We have not been to Venice in 17 years but remember it is difficult to navigate and not sure about where to purchase wine and lug back to the hotel. Anybody have experiences doing this? Would love to hear your suggestions. Cheers
  15. Just bought 100 shares and will gladly take the 3% dividend and the $100 credit for our Oosterdam cruise this September. Thanks for the heads up!
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