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Primus

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  1. Wusongkou terminal is not an industrial port. You can walk out of the terminal and cross a bridge with sidewalks to where there is a crew building and hotel followed by an indoor street market that has some interesting street food. I believe it is a residential area. We like to walk and explore cities on our own and this area was plenty safe for us. No need to do a ship shore excursion. You can also take the shuttle bus to the city with the dropoff at the Bund.
  2. You have booked a wonderful cruise. We were on the Westerdam in Feb 2019 for 28 days with stops in China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, and Hong Kong. The cruise started with an overnight in Shanghai. Muster drill was on the second day with all aboard at either 3:00 or 4:00. Free buses from the ports to cities were provided in most ports including Shanghai. It is an easy but long walk through the terminal to get to the free shuttles which run every 30 minutes between the port and the Bund. These will likely will be available on the first day. Cabs are also available at the ports. You will have plenty of time to get off the ship both days. Shanghai is a wonderful city to walk around and there are lots of sites to see including at night. Enjoy!
  3. Thanks for the information. I much prefer the on-demand movies so was hoping the smaller ships were updated.
  4. Does the Rotterdam have on-demand movies available on the stateroom televisions or are DVD players still used?
  5. You won't be docked in the Bund but HAL does provide free and frequent shuttle buses that go right there. Our 28-day China, South Korea, & Japan Collector cruise in February 2019 on the Westerdam was fantastic. One of our best cruises ever. HAL even provided free shuttles in most ports. One word of caution: a number of the port terminals are really large and require lots of walking to and from the ship. More than a mile in some cases. On shore wheelchairs after the gangways are the responsibility of the port and some ports only provided a few. Keep this in mind when deciding on shore excursions. Some passengers were disappointed and cancelled shore excursions.
  6. You can also enter the information in Flight Ease next to where your frequent flyer numbers are entered.
  7. Thanks everyone for your replies. I've stopped going to ATK presentations because there is nothing new. The egg classes are not something I would want to attend either. I'll contact HAL. I expect they'll just offer an addition Pinnacle dinner which is something I do not need. Shipboard credit would be much preferred.
  8. Does anyone know if this 5-star Mariner benefit listed on the HAL website and cruise planners still exists: "Complimentary Culinary Arts Center cooking class (1 per cruise) Complimentary cooking workshop (1 per cruise)?" My husband and I recently became 5-star Mariners and we were looking forward to this perk. We were just on the Koningsdam for 22 days (collectors voyage) and the front desk staff had no idea what this benefit was. I talked to numerous people at the front desk on day 1, they promised to look into it, and I was eventually told an invitation to a talk for just 5-Stars would be sent. This didn't happen on the first leg so I followed up again. No invitation on the second leg either. I was later provided a summary sheet of Mariner benefits and this one wasn't listed.
  9. We currently have 3 Flight Ease bookings on Delta with November 2019 the furthest in the future. All had immediate confirmation numbers and I was able to select seats. The cruises were made or transferred to a big box store and the flights were booked online and the big box store reservation is automatically updated. I couldn't upgrade seats on the April trip until after tickets were issued/final payment made. I've also had good luck changing flights when the airline made scheduling changes that I did not care for.
  10. Our De Librije dinner on the Koningsdam in December was fantastic. The food was fun and very artfully plated. The kitchen must spend hours preparing such detailed plates. The extra cost for the wine pairings was well worth it. The service provided by the waiter and wine steward were well timed.
  11. Wishing on a star: We booked Flexible and paid in full two weeks prior to Final Payment due date which is today. Waiting to ticket our April flights until 45 days out would be a date the last week in February. HAL agreed to ticket early with no problem.
  12. I recently made final payment for an April cruise along with airfare through Flight Ease. The Flight Ease price was much better than I could get booking any other way. There was a minor schedule change resulting in a longer layover in Atlanta. The airline was very willing to make a change to an earlier connecting flight at no cost. The only problem was the airfare had not been paid by HAL so they could not make the change without involving HAL. I contacted the TA who contacted HAL who said payment would be made at 45 days out to allow me greater flexibility. This was actually less flexibility for my situation. I requested that payment be made now so I could make changes without going through Flight Ease. I didn't want the extra steps. HAL honored this request and issued payment. After contacting the airline again, I now have a better connection and upgraded my seats to preferred based on my airline status.
  13. I've done it both ways. The order doesn't seem to matter.
  14. For our recent Koningsdam November 21 departure from Ft. Lauderdale, we were dropped off by Lyft at 11:12 and in our cabin by 11:40. We only had a brief wait to check in our wine. As 4* mariners we did get on quicker but the regular line was very short too. We don't remember receiving the staggered boarding time message.
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