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Everything posted by TXCruiser10

  1. Not rude at all. We do it all the time. Be warned, however, sometimes those table for 2 are so very close to the next table that it is essentially a table for 4. On our last cruise in December we had reservations for a table for 2. Our table was literally light next to another table for two. We were so close that we could pour wine for each other. The first night it was a bit awkward because there was just 1 woman at the table. Eventually, we felt compelled to at least say hello. We did and from then on it became a table for 3. Best dinner companion ever!
  2. I've been on 10 HAL cruises and normally i drink a cup of coffee every day. I absolutely do not care for the coffee in the Lido and MDR. It has a bad taste. The only exception to that is when i order room service. My husband thinks it is fine but I don't.
  3. Yep--knees, stomach and shoulders need to be covered.
  4. Airport is just a few miles from the cruise port. Taxis are lined up and the line goes VERY quickly. So, if you have a lot of luggage (like me 😞 ) you are going to have to manage it while moving fast. The cops tend to blow their whistles if you take too long!
  5. Sure. Anything goes on non-gala nights--except for shorts for men and swimwear.
  6. Last December on the Koningsdam the head maitre d' told us that daily afternoon tea was still hosted by HA but their special teatimes--Indonesian tea service, cupcake tea, and the Royal Dutch High tea services had been eliminated.
  7. I love dogs. And I absolutely adore my dog! I cannot say enough about how much I love my little dog. And I would LOVE to take her on a cruise--but only if it was a dog cruise. Otherwise, the only animals on board should be true service dogs--i.e. those for the blind, etc. While i understand that people feel they need their "comfort" animals, that whole business has gotten out of hand IMHO.
  8. Following. I, too, have purchased HAL transfers from FCO to Civitavecchia for an August sailing. I have no idea how they work nor have I gotten any sort of info. I hope someone can help out.
  9. They work just fine. I mean, they are not top of the line, but I've found they are perfect for what I need. Saves the trouble of packing one.
  10. As a former over packer, it took several times before I learned to pack wisely. Here's a tip. I own several casual dresses from Old Navy. I first wear them with a wrap, jewelry, and heals to dinner. They are easy to dress up and look great. Then, I wear the dress again with flats/sandals and no jewelry during the day while at port. Two looks, one dress. Saves on the packing and no one ever remembers what you wore anyway. By the same token, I have worn the same basic black dress to dinner more than once--each time with different jewelry or wraps.
  11. We sail in December and have flown out as early at 11:30 with no problems. Last month there were so issues with disembarkation, so you never really know. But if you ask for an early departure time, you should be fine. Enjoy!
  12. We sailed Koningsdam last month. We were midship on Deck 4. Never a problem with noise or anything like that. Yes, at least one of the gangways is midship but on level A (below Deck 1). So, the Atrium is not usually too crowded on port days. The Atrium Deck 1 & 2 is crowded because that's where the Dutch Cafe and Guest Services is located.
  13. @helensobol At this particular venue, there were no "toys" to rent but I do think there were water toys at other venues. Harbour Lights has a great website so you could google them and check out what they do offer. Yes, they offer a turtle swim. It is an option in the package you purchase. While there were a lot of people, I didn't find it crowded as the beach area is quite large.
  14. Was just in Barbados a few weeks ago. We made a reservation at Harbour Lights (you can book and pre-pay on-line). The rental fee is $20 or $25 and includes 2 lounge chairs, 1 umbrella, wifi, 2 drinks and use of the showers/bathrooms. There is also a nice patio by the grill. The beach is lovely and on Carlisle Bay. Beautiful clear water. Probably my favorite beach in all the Caribbean. A shuttle/taxi from the port to Harbour Lights will cost $5 per person, each way. I've attached a few pictures.
  15. Good question! Something I struggle with every time we do a beach excursion. Most of the time, i keep my personal stuff in a zipped bag which I put inside a bigger beach bag and leave on my beach chair. I try to hide it or put it under my towel. I always keep an eye on it from where I am in the water. Recently, however I bought this thing called a body glove. It is essentially a water tight plastic pouch on a lanyard. I am able to fit my phone, ID, cash, etc in it and I wear it around my neck in the water. It has worked out pretty well for me.
  16. Ditto to what everyone has said, but let me add two things. First, Mass is held daily. The room varies but it is always listed in the daily schedule of activities you get each night. My husband and I have been to Mass on board. It is a full Mass and they give out communion as well. On our last cruise, we got news that a dear friend's daughter had died and we asked the priest if he would give the next mass intention for her--and he did. It was very nice of him to do that and we felt a little bit better knowing our prayers were with her. Second, for formal nights or any other night men also wear just slacks and a dress shirt. My husband has done that many times--sometimes with a tie and sometimes without. Remember, dinner in the Lido buffet where there is a casual dress code is always an option! Happy sailing!
  17. Hello All! I'm hoping that those of you who have used Flight Ease before will be able to offer some insight. We are booked for a Greek cruise next August. Round trip air from San Antonio to Rome is quite expensive. (Houston is so much cheaper but it's further away). I've looked at many sites and the average airfare from San Antonio to Rome for next August is about $1600 round trip per person. If I book with Flight Ease through HAL, the fare is about $1000 per person. So, I really want to pay for the airfare now so that I can lock in that fare. However, when my TA called HAL, they kind of discouraged us from doing so by saying that the airfare with Flight Ease rarely goes up and that I could just way until final payment is due--in May. Has anyone had any experience with booking through Flight Ease and then having the fare go up (or down) before making final payment? I'm not sure if I should pay now or if waiting would be ok.
  18. We did 2 weeks in the Southern Caribbean last December and will sail their again this December. We had no problems with the sailing. The Souther Caribbean has been, by far, our favorite itinerary. Enjoy!
  19. First of all, that's a great itinerary! You mention all of my favorite islands. We visited those exact ports last December. You can snorkel at any of these places. What you will want to consider is if you are planning to snorkel off a beach or do an excursion where a boat takes you out into the ocean. At St. Thomas and St. Kitts did beach excursions and my husband said he had a great time snorkeling. We visited Coki Beach in St. Thomas (on our own, not through an excursion) and he saw plenty of fish. In Barbados we were at Carlisle bay beach. Beautiful, crystal clear water with some fish, but not a lot. In Antigua, we did an excursion and took a boat out to snorkel. Tons of fish and marine life to be viewed!
  20. DH and I are in our mid 40s. We love HAL! We like the calm, relaxing vibe during the day and food/service is awesome. A no kids/few kids environment is important to us, so for that reason we prefer HAL. If you are looking for more of a party vibe, the Carnival might be best.
  21. I've bought/tasted rum from Jamaica (Appleton), Barbados (Mount Gay), Bermuda (Black Seal), Puerto Rico (Bacardi) and from several other islands. Hands down the best rum I ever had was from Cayman Islands--Seven Fathoms Rum. I can't find here in the states but we toured the distillery in Grand Cayman and bought a bottle. So smooth...
  22. It varies. I've been on NA twice--both times around the second week in December and both times the ship was decorated. However, last year we sailed on Veendam and there were no decorations up until about a week before Christmas. On the Koningsdam we sailed two weeks before Christmas and there were decorations but not a lot of them and they were not the traditional Holland America decorations that we've seen before. So, it guess it will all depend on when the crew wants to decorate. Personally, one of my favorite things about sailing in December is the Christmas decoration!
  23. In addition to the Lido, you can always request it for dessert in the main dining room. No matter what's on the menu, my husband always orders an ice cream sundae after dinner.
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