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About Kate45

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  1. Totally agree with Mimii. We were on this cruise also. Our 16th cruise overall, second with HAL. Food was the worst IMO. Dining room menu was not to our liking (subjective) so we ate over half our dinners in the buffet, which wasn't much better. The salads here were very good, so we always had at least something to eat! Dive-In was awful. Tried 3 different times, hamburger not cooked once, asked for no guac on chicken-got guacamole so took it back (they scraped it off and gave it back to me!), hot dog bun was so hard I couldn't eat it. Finally gave up and had a salad. Desserts in both buffet and DR were ho-hum (cheesecake was like no cheesecake I had ever had-not in a good way. Skipped dessert or had ice cream. First cruise I have ever been on where I didn't gain weight! Service in DR was not good either. Another reason we didn't eat here often. Left once without having dessert even offered to us because they were sooooo slow. Not that busy so no excuse. Met some nice people though. I know there are some pretty diehard HAL cruisers on this board but I am not one of them. It will be awhile before I do another one. Too many better ones out there. We don't cruise for the ship, we cruise for the itinerary, but we have to eat and HaL just isn't doing it for us.
  2. We will be on the Zuiderdam on Wednesday for repo cruise from Quebec City to ft. Lauderdale. Never done this itinerary or been on this ship so any hints, suggestions would certainly be appreciated. (QC, Charlottetown, Sydney, Halifax, Portland, Boston, Newport, NYC). Flying into Quebec day before so planning on site seeing here as well. Thanks
  3. We will be in Portland Maine on Columbus Day. As a Cdn, I know what is open and closed on our Thanksgiving but not sure about the USA. Will is be business as usual, or will somethings be unavailable? Thanks
  4. I'm fed up with their website. Good thing I booked with a TA. I had to get her to do everything for me. Couldn't look at available shore excursions, packages, or even do checkin. Cruised 7 different lines and never had such problems as with HAL!
  5. Is there a rule with the discounted card that everyone in the cabin must purchase it? I drink soda, DH not so much but he will have a few in our 11 nite upcoming cruise. So.... Can I get the card and use it to get him a ginger Ale? Do I have to go to different bars to do this? I guess I'm asking......can I use this card and get two drinks at once?
  6. I'm a little confused. Some of you say the $50 for $25 is only available in advance and not once onboard. Which one is it? I'm only interested in the pay $25 and get $50. I know I can buy the regular soda pkg or soda card onboard. Also, is there anything other than soda included with the deal?
  7. On the Zuiderdam in a couple of weeks. Booked thru a TA. Does she order me a soda card or do I call HAL? I can't do it online as our internet is not reliable. (I'm using my neighbours right now).
  8. I'm sorry but I disagree with most of you. A tip is a discretionary gift for "good" service received. It is not, and should not be mandatory or expected. If it is then it should not be called a tip or gratuity as it is advertised when describing "free" perks, but should be added to the cost of the cruise. I have 2 kids who put themselves thru university working as servers and bartenders. They relied on tips but only if they earned them with good service. It was not expected. So, as the original poster of this particular thread, I will say two more things and then I'm done with this subject. LIGHTEN UP! The world is made up of all kinds of different people with different traditions, ideals and thoughts than you and no-one should tell you how to feel about something. It's personal. Second, if HAL or NCL or any cruise line, restaurant,bar or anyplace where you give $$ for good service (in other words tip), make it mandatory and not discretionary, then the "tip" should be included in the price and not make it seem optional when in fact it is not. Done. Fini. Over and out.
  9. If it's not referred to as a tip, then why is it advertised as free tips and gratuities as a perk when they are trying to sell you a cruise? Not sure you can have it both ways-so which one is it?
  10. I didn't think when I originally posted this thread that it was going to cause such a raucous. My neighbour said he does this and I was wondering if anyone else does. I do, however think gratuities are at my discretion based on service, whether it's at a local restaurant, a bar or a cruise and should never be expected. If it is expected, service suffers. IMO
  11. As I originally said, in 15 cruises we have never done this. I just learned not many do (except maybe my neighbour). I was not aware tips given directly are split. As to what our cabin steward did or didn't do to deserve the worst rating, I stopped asking both in person and notes left for him to clean specifically the toilet but the bathroom in general, after day 4 and did it myself. For whatever reason the toilet was black everyday. A problem with the water maybe, but our friends next door didn't have this. There were hairs (pubic) in the sink when we first boarded, which I cleaned up and on a 10 day cruise, threads and pieces of paper on the floor under the desk for the entire time. We did mention this to both him and the front desk but nothing was done. My thoughts are...you don't tip a maid at a hotel if your room isn't cleaned so why just because this is a cruise do you have to tip unsatisfactory service. Just saying.....
  12. Does anyone ever go to customer service onboard and opt out of tips and gratuities? We have never in 15 past cruises but my neighbour told me yesterday, he does on every cruise. He goes to customer service as soon as he boards and opts out. He then requests envelopes and puts tips in and gives them personally to those that provides him good service. As I said, we have never done this but based on our last cruise (Princess) in November, we should have requested a price adjustment. Our cabin steward was the worst! Anyway, has anyone done this or have info on doing this on HAL. And before you judge, I am aware that tips are split among everyone. I just believe tips are given by me for good service and I should not be told how much I need to tip.
  13. I know I have read on CC before but am a bit confused as to whether you can get a price reduction after final payment. Here's our situation. We booked thru a TA in April for Oct 9 sailing on Zuiderdam from Quebec City to Ft Lauderdale, inside cabin (Category I) with free grats and a little OBC (less than $100). Paid approx $1600 Cdn each. Final payment was 2 weeks ago. Yesterday went on HAL site to check pricing and noticed pricing of $1165 ea for Obstructed OV (not sure if this is a upgrade/downgrade but we are okay either way). This is a difference of $871 per cabin. So if we take the prepaid grats and obc credit off (converted to Cdn $), we would still be ahead $364. We have purchased insure thru our TA that is "cancel for any reason". Okay so this brings about my questions:. Can I cancel and rebook? I've read where some of you have gotten to do this without even having to cancel. What are the odds of this happening. I guess I need to go thru my TA or do I call HAL myself? Right now we can get the beverage pkg incl for less than we paid but I'm not sure if it's for new bookings only. Any help or advice on this would be greatly appreciated.
  14. Never preordered before but are considering this for our upcoming repo Canada New England cruise. Since we depart in Canada, are you saying that if we pre purchase a bottle of Crown for our cabin, we will be charged additional taxes (which is a lot in Canada)?
  15. We did this last year. You will be assigned a pickup time for the shuttle. There are places to o eat late at nite. We walked to the Princess Lodge where there is a great pizza place. Don't worry about how late the tundra tour goes. Went to bed at midnight and it was still light out. Hope you see the wildlife that we saw last year. It was awesome!
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