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Everything posted by Taters

  1. What an exciting day you have in store! Thank you for taking the time to write about your experience. DH and I are eagerly anticipating our B2B cruises on Koningsdam next month. I hope you have the best time!
  2. I have to start with letting the OP know that I am a bargain hunter. At one point I noticed that I was no longer receiving emails with special offers, so I called HAL to inquire. I was forwarded to the Mariner's desk and asked them about it. The rep that I spoke to told me that a lot of people who are already booked on a cruise do not care for receiving emails for more cruises... I am definitely not one of those people. I have multiple cruises booked most of the time. The rep was happy to change my profile to include emails for all offers I am eligible for all the time. Yay! (This is something I am not able to do myself online.) I get lots of offers from HAL now, maybe one or two per month plus offers from the casino. Maybe a call to HAL will solve your problem? Cheers!
  3. Prices are hyper inflated for 2023 right now. No way would I book at these prices, $200 OBC per person or not.
  4. This is no different from our experience about 18 years ago. We'd booked our first transatlantic cruise on HAL with our daughter, who was 12 at the time. We were going to spend her 13th birthday aboard and anticipated an amazing cruise. Holland America later chartered the entire ship out for this sailing and didn't inform us. I found out through Cruise Critic, of course. When I called them to ask about it, they didn't seem to care, but did offer me the number for the company who chartered the ship and suggested that we could still go. It was an organization who I didn't feel could offer an appropriate experience for a 12/13 year old. LOL Hard pass! Anyhow, I am sad to see that HAL is still doing the same thing. Technology has come a long way since then and it takes almost no effort to send email.
  5. Hi Jacqui: Please remove us from the Westerdam March 18, 2022 South America cruise. It has been cancelled and replaced with the Oosterdam March 24, 2023South America cruise. It is an identical itinerary. Thank you!
  6. I received a cancellation of my March, 2022 South America cruise on Westerdam 15 minutes ago. I knew this was going to happen so am relieved to finally hear it from HAL. We're opting to be rebooked on the same voyage on Oosterdam in March, 2023, retaining our same pricing, cabin, and benefits. This is our 2nd SA cancellation. Hopefully the 3rd time will be the charm.
  7. To answer your questions: 1. I am aware that the new 2 day testing protocol only runs through 10/31/2021 and may change by the time of my cruise on 11/28/2021. I can cancel this appointment if needed. 2. I did not have to pay when I made the appointment. They will collect payment at the testing site. 3. I am not sure how I will get to the testing site, but since it is at the airport and so many people are getting the tests, if it is away from the terminal, then there may be a shuttle or I can take a cab there. This is the least of my worries. At my home airport (FAI) the testing site is located in the baggage claim area, so I imagine that the SAN testing site will be pretty easy to find.
  8. For those cruising out of San Diego, we were able to book appointments for tests with Carbon Health at the San Diego airport upon our arrival on 11/26/2021. https://carbonhealth.com/covid-19-travel-clearance-san-diego-airport?utm_source=gmb&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=san-diego-airport&utm_content=website This may be a great option for folks.
  9. I read about Carnival's change to the 2 day requirement yesterday, as well. For the 3 day requirement we were planning on testing at the Fairbanks airport on Thanksgiving day. We are flying to San Diego late that night and arriving just before noon on November 26th. With the 2 day requirement, that put us in a spot! So I did some research and we are able to test at the San Diego airport upon our arrival on 11/26. We were able to make an appointment (required for testing) for that day through the Carbon Health website. https://carbonhealth.com/covid-19-travel-clearance-san-diego-airport?utm_source=gmb&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=san-diego-airport&utm_content=website We can always cancel this if HAL decides to test at the pier. I am so relieved to have a backup plan.
  10. My adult daughter works on the North Slope, 2 weeks on/2 weeks off. She has to test each and every time she she goes to work. Most of the time she has to fly from Fairbanks to Anchorage to Deadhorse, then Kuparuk, and she has used the test sites at both FAI and ANC regularly. They offer free COVID testing, and the last I heard they were doing several different kinds of testing. The hours are from 6 AM to 2 PM 7 days per week in Fairbanks. I'm not sure what the hours are in ANC. At FAI they offer results via email, they can print it for you, and for Slope workers they give them a hospital type bracelet for them to wear to work so that no one loses their results. I've tried to Google some recent information for you, but WOW there is a lot out there and I haven't been able to find exact answers online. My daughter keeps me filled in... With all of her flying and testing, she has had the latest information for me. In Fairbanks the testing site is in the baggage claim area. I'm sure that someone in the ANC airport can point you in the right direction upon your arrival.
  11. They had video of him buying a jug of gasoline about an hour prior to the Two Rivers fire. They had him in custody the next day, I think. Here's an article from ADN: https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/crime-courts/2021/08/27/17-year-old-charged-in-connection-with-series-of-fires-in-two-rivers-area-east-of-fairbanks/
  12. I actually used to work for Ron and Shirley at the Chatanika Lodge years ago and lived in a cabin nearby. I quit when I was 7 months pregnant back in September, 1989. We love those folks to pieces. I met my husband working out there. He had a homestead at 53 Mile Steese. And yes, losing Two Rivers Lodge last week was horrible. At least they've finally caught the arsonist. What a senseless tragedy.
  13. We are booked on Koningsdam, 2 B2B Mexican Riviera cruises, on 11/28/2021 and 12/5/2021. We were offered free inside cabins + $50 free play each + free cocktails while gambling for each week. We opted for outside cabins at $199 each. We are also getting some OBC worth $400 each week for the cabin. I can't live this cheaply at home! The best deal we've received so far was for a transatlantic from Italy to Ft. Lauderdale in late 2017 on Westerdam. A 13 night cruise in a Signature Suite for $500 each. We were also given some casino free play (but I don't remember how much) and free cocktails while gambling . The offer came just a few days over 3 weeks from the cruise date, and we jumped on it. Purchased air through Flight Ease from Fairbanks to Rome for an excellent price, then we bought mileage tickets on Alaska Airlines for 12,500 miles + $11 each, all the way from Ft. Lauderdale to Fairbanks.
  14. Well, there is no Quest Diagnostics in Fairbanks, Alaska, or in any part of Alaska. They used to be here, but it looks like they've bailed. Honestly, HAL needs to recognize that they should set up testing facilities within their terminals like some other cruise lines do, and like they've done in Greece. Luckily for me there is testing 7 days per week at the Fairbanks airport, holidays included. If I didn't have this option I'd have to cancel my upcoming B2B cruises in late November/early December, as we have to get tested on Thanksgiving day. Hopefully they will change their tune soon. It seems a lot of people are cancelling due to lack of testing facilities.
  15. There are several ways to get discounted fares on HAL. First, sign up for their emails and deals via email on their web page. In 2011 we hadn't yet cruised on Holland America, but they sent me a list of discounted cruises. We chose a 14 night Panama Canal transit from Ft. Lauderdale in an outside cabin for $700 per person + port fees. Score! DH and I are not big gamblers and play around $25 per day in the casino. We now get Casino rates and have taken advantage of several cruises this way. And the last suggestion is to book last minute, and by that I mean after final payment. Always log into your HAL account when surfing for cruises, and when you see an itinerary you like, take a look at it as if you are going to book, and your real price will be in Your Summary.
  16. As an FYI, adjoining means next door to each other. Connecting rooms have inner doors so that the inhabitants of each of those cabins do not have to go out into the hallway to access each others' rooms.
  17. It did. I booked my 11/28 spa pass, logged out and back in and booked my 12/5 spa pass. The only reason I logged out and back in is because the HAL site seems to have trouble bouncing from one reservation to another.
  18. @cruisegirl, today I looked into the couples pass for both of my 7 night Koningsdam cruises again and the price is now $219 per week! I went ahead and bought them. YAY! $219 per week beats the heck out of $299! It is a significant savings for us. And an FYI - Last week I went ahead and called HAL and asked if they could extend a 14 night price for my B2B cruises and they said NO. So today I was extremely happy to see this price reduction and jumped right on it! Cheers!
  19. I am in agreement with you, but I have found his information regarding COVID cases more focused than other sites. He is the only person I saw that reported on the 77 year old woman who was disembarked in Belize with COVID, went to a hospital there, was medivaced back to the US, then died, among other stories. I wouldn't call him a liar, though... Just a lawyer who really likes making money suing the cruise companies.🤪
  20. Cruise Law News is a great site for information about COVID on cruise ships. There is a website as well as a FB page.
  21. These are just 30% off already inflated prices. I wasn't able to find any real deals at all.
  22. While in port, sometimes we DIY, sometimes we book a private excursion, and sometimes we book a ship sponsored excursion. It just depends on where we are, if the port is new to us, if the area around the port is sketchy or not, etc. We have B2B cruises coming up on Koningsdam beginning in late November. Both cruises are 7 nights each to the Mexican Riviera, where we've cruised to many times before. For these cruises our main objective is to be on the ship, and we've opted to take one HAL excursion each week so that we can spend most of our time on K'dam. Mexico has underreported COVID and we do NOT want to get sick. We are just thrilled to be taking a tour where we hope everyone is masked up. We don't want to go to any busy marketplaces, busy beach bars or mingle with much of anybody. For us on THESE particular cruises, we wouldn't get off the ship at all if not for having some interesting HAL excursions to choose from in Puerto Vallarta and Cabo.
  23. I've received several over the past year or so, but none recently. I think the last time I got one was 6 - 8 weeks ago.
  24. Can someone please give me the current price for a 14 night couples thermal spa pass on a Pinnacle class ship? We are currently are booked on two B2B 7 night cruises on Koningsdam in late November/early December, 2021. The one week couples pass is $299, which = $598 for the 2 weeks. That seems pretty high to me. Once I have the price I plan on calling HAL to see if I can get the 14 night price. All help is appreciated. TIA
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