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Found 2,532 results

  1. Just wanted to post and thank everyone for all their help in researching my first HAL cruise! I will post a review of the ship, but wanted to post to all who are interested. Ours was a 14 day cruise with a full transit of the Panama Canal. Our journey started 2/20/09 in Fort Lauderdale--it was beautiful, as always, and we stayed pre-cruise at the Embassy Suites on 17th street. Very convienent to Total Wine and Publix. A great location! Our room was located on deck 6 an inside cabin aft--only steps away from the outside wrap around deck. It was wonderful and almost like having our own private aft balcony. We were able to go out anytime and see both sides of the ship or just sit and enjoy the scenery pass by. For those of us who cruise in the cheap seats I would highly recommend trying to get one of these cabins--directly below the dining room (no noise) and great location! The service was wonderful. I was traveling with my mother and the employees called us by name and greeted us always with a smile. If I was out and about on the ship they would ask about my mom to make sure that she was okay and enjoying herself. I was one of the younger passengers, but can say that I truly enjoyed meeting all the passengers and crew. A wide variety of people on board and all were friendly and welcoming! I was concerned at first with the as you wish dining, because I had always done a fixed seating on my previous cruises. I was very impressed with the efficiency of the dining room staff and we never waited for more than 5-10 minutes for a table even though we usually ate around 7pm every evening. I will say that I miss having the same dining room staff, but we were able to meet new people almost every night which was very enjoyable. The people that we met were varied and interesting to talk to--well traveled and had wonderful stories about their adventures! One of the couples we were privliged to spend some time with are frequent HAL cruisers, Flora and Carl--she is 93 and he will turn 100 this summer. Everyone on board knew who they were and admired their spirit! A true joy to see them around the ship and on shore! The shows in the evening were varied, the entertainers that they brought on board were great, the stock shows were average at best. I did enjoy the culinary arts displays and the shore history lectures were good. Becca was the "party planner" on board and she really needs to learn to follow an outline--personable, but poor presentation skills. This is okay, as I probably won't be throwing any parties using her suggestions anytime soon! :rolleyes: Entertainment at my house usually consists of something on the grill and paperplates! We had rough seas the 2nd day out and then again we hit hurricane force winds and 25 foot seas before we got to the Mexico ports of call. Other than those few moments (which during that time seemed like forever) the weather was perfect. We stopped in Aruba (most things were closed due to a national holiday) Costa Rica, Hutulco Mexico, Alcapulco and Cabo San Lucas. Thanks to the help of these boards we were able to plan independent excursions at each port and had a wonderful time. Whale watching in Cabo was a highlight along with seeing the canal. I was amazed at the number of people who were doing 28 days! I got home and told my DH that we need to work hard so we can enjoy our retirement by traveling. I put down a deposit for our 25th anniversay cruise next year when we hope to go to Alaska. Thanks again for everyones comments and suggestions. Please let me know if you have any questons.
  2. I'm waiting for my ride to do business out of town, so I'm posting this in haste. Has anyone seen the prices on Statendam November 13, 28 days Panama Canal, Fort Lauderdale to San Diego and back? On an internet agency, I priced a Lower promenade inside cabin J at US $2,000 per person, all taxes included. Found out about this from a (different) internet agency's newsletter. (Fellow Canadians - HAL site doesn't have quite those deals in C$). Four thousand dollars for 2 people for 28 days? Panama canal *twice*? YIKES! My Panama Canal trip on Zuiderdam ends in Fort Lauderdale November 13. Makes me want to consider "jumping ships".....
  3. Does anyone know for sure if it will take place in Venice as has been mentioned?
  4. Just curious. I saw a thread where someone posted a photo of a specific type of cabin and just wondered if anyone had a picture of an inside quad cabin. We'll be in M511 on the Statendam.
  5. I've been reading a lot of threads regarding the "drink cards". Sounds confusing to me!:confused: Anyway, if you have coffee or soda with your meals, are you charged separately for those also? I like how RCCL does it - by a soda card for "X" amount and get as many as you like. Sounds like you have to keep track of how many drinks you get. We don't drink much alcohol but do drink a lot of soda, water, juice etc. Thanks for info. Sue
  6. Just wondering about dining on the ship. When I think of the clothing that we have to bring for the ten days we're in Alaska, I panic! The Shoes and boots alone will weigh 25lbs:eek:. So the thought of bringing "dress up" clothes is concerning to me. How "dressed up" does anybody get? Thanks for info. Sue
  7. We are currently half way through a back to back Alaska cruise on the Statendam - Vancouver to Seward and Seward to Vancouver. We are Michael and Nancy and for the first week Michael's sister Kathleen was with us on the cruise. She left today in Seward for a land tour. At the beginning of our trip we stayed two nights in Vancouver at the Pan Pacific, which is a great hotel. We took the on/off trolley tour on Saturday. Embarkation on Sunday was very efficient. The hotel took our luggage from our room and had it delivered to the ship. We were checked in and on board by 11:30 am. The statendam is in great shape and the crew are, as always with HAL, great. We cannot say enough about the great service and the pleasantness of the crew. It is ironic that we are on the Statendam. In 2002 we scheduled our first HAL cruise after not having cruised at all in 15 years. It was an Alaska cruise out of Vancouver on the Statendam and unfortunately on the first night there was an electrical fire and the ship lost power. It had to be towed back to Vancouver by tug boat. However, HAL addressed the problem appropriately, gave a 150% credit and paid for our airfare to Anchorage since we had our return flight scheduled from there. We ended up renting a car and driving through Alaska for the week. We did the Alaska cruise the following year and are now HAL loyalists, having a total of 9 cruises / 75 days. This cruise had stops in Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway. In Ketchikan we did the Saxman Village tour which was a nice opportunity to look at Native culture / totem poles and art. In Juneau we did a whale watching tour on our own with Harv and Marv Outback Alaska Company. It was a small boat with room for 6 passengers and there were only 5 of us. Harv was our Captain and was great. Harv had heard that there was a possiblity that a pod of Orcas was in the area and made a detour to find them. He was successful and saw numerous groups of Orcas. We also saw Humpback whales. We would highly recommend this company. In Skagway we rented a car from Avis and drove into Canada as far as Emerald Lake. We had lunch at Cinnamon Cache. The scenery was absolutely spectacular, especially with so much snow still on the mountains. We used Murrays Mile by Mile Guide (available online) and it was a great resource. We visited Glacier Bay on Friday. We spent the entire day in Glacier Bay with two Rangers on board as well as some members of a local Indian tribe. Again, it was spectacular. On Saturday evening we visited College Fjord. Today, Sunday, is disembarkation/embarkation day. It is nice to be able to stay on board while almost everyone else has had to pack and deal with a day of traveling. Apparently there are 111 guests staying on for the back to back cruise. We repeat the same itinerary in reverse with the exception being Haines instead of Skagway. In Haines, which we have never visited before, we booked a wildlife tour in the morning and since we are in port until late evening we will have plenty of time to visit the town. We are looking forward to another wonderful week aboard the Statendam.