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POA1

'Twas the Cruise During Christmas - Zuiderdam 2018

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@kazu, It looks like the night auditors are on the ball. We were charged $115 each for the upgrade to the Elite Beverage Package. Based on the difference between our fare and the non-E4 fare, we still made out fine. The upcharge was $11.50/pp/day which is the normal difference between the two packages. 

Edited by POA1

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8 minutes ago, POA1 said:

@kazu, It looks like the night auditors are on the ball. We were charged $115 each for the upgrade to the Elite Beverage Package. Based on the difference between our fare and the non-E4 fare, we still made out fine. The upcharge was $11.50/pp/day which is the normal difference between the two packages. 

 

Thanks 🙂 That is what I was expecting for next year.  Much appreciated 😄 

 

By the way, for your Gala nights, if you have the little book that has the port info in it, the dress code for dinner has been listed on the front of it on my cruises.  You might see when your Gala nights are there.

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2 minutes ago, POA1 said:

@kazu, It looks like the night auditors are on the ball. We were charged $115 each for the upgrade to the Elite Beverage Package. Based on the difference between our fare and the non-E4 fare, we still made out fine. The upcharge was $11.50/pp/day which is the normal difference between the two packages. 

Still a good deal, less than one glass of better wine per day. :classic_biggrin:

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After we had difficulty upgrading the E4 SBP last time, I took a slightly different approach @DeeniEncinitas.

 

I purchased enough OBC to cover the upcharge. When I asked the bar supervisor about upgrading, I specifically mentioned that I bought the OBC to cover the cost. That changes the value equation. HAL has my money. They can either upgrade us and keep the $230, or risk that we won't spend it and they'll have to refund it. 

 

I honestly don't know if that made the difference or if we got lucky, or if is because of the Bubble of Awesome. All that matters is that it worked. I put the OBC on my business American Express so I can document the expense separately. (It covers my business Internet on the trip.) We had a bunch of OBC from CCL shareholders, future cruise certificate, Amex and E4. That would have covered it, but we're investing in caviar service in the PG and I'm sure we'll use everything up. 

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53 minutes ago, kazu said:

By the way, for your Gala nights, if you have the little book that has the port info in it, the dress code for dinner has been listed on the front of it on my cruises.  You might see when your Gala nights are there.

 

Thanks, Jacqui! That's Genius. I scanned the darn thing, but didn't read it. I guess, you, the viewing public are more important than me knowing what's going on.  Gala night #1 is the first sea day.

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@aliaschief & @DWAliaschief- I see BaTelCel (Bahamas Telephone) and two numbered networks from the ship. I think the numbered nets are the ships as we're in HMC with the Niuew Amsterdam today. I'll try to actually connect yet. I'll wait until I'm onshore. If I get a cell connection, I will try to see if it stays up when we come back to the ship around lunchtime.

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Monday, December 17, 2018

 

2018-12-17-HMC-Card-sm.jpg

 

Greetings from Half Moon Cay, Holland America’s delightfully picturesque private island!  Half Moon Cay is located about halfway between Cat Island and Eleuthra in the Bahamas. It was originally known as Little San Salvador Island. HAL purchased the island from Norwegian Cruise Line for $6 million in 1996. So far, only about 50 acres of the island’s 2,400 acres have been developed.


The island takes its name from the Dutch sailing ship, Halve Maen (Half Moon in Dutch) which was a wooden sailing ship of the Dutch East India Company.  In 1609, the Halve Maen sailed into what is now New York Harbor, beating the pilgrims by a full eleven years.  Despite having a head start of more than a decade, the pilgrims, with their bigger promotional budget, cool hats and Massachusetts Turnpike sign sponsorship deal, are more recognized than the Dutch Halve Maen.


Despite this marketing setback, the Holland – America connection is a deep one, spanning over 400 years.  Some of you may recall that the Halve Maen was part of the HAL logo prior to 2016 redesign.


HAL-Logo-Compare.jpg


Half Moon Cay Quick Facts:

  • Half Moon Cay is part of the Bahamas.
  • The official language of Half Moon Cay is English.
  • Time Zone: Same as Eastern USA
  • The official currency is the Plastic Room Key, where $1 PRK = $1 US.
  • The primary export is pasty white tourists.

 

Map-2018-12-17-HMC.jpg



We’ve been visiting Half Moon Cay since 1999.  I was trying to figure out how many times we’ve been there by looking at our old itineraries. However, we missed Half Moon Cay due to weather or sea conditions a couple of times, so let’s just call this our 10th visit to the island. The private island has “grown” over the years. We can remember the pre-cabana, pre-pirate ship, pre-lobster bake days.  We can also remember when they had parasailing – something my 81 year old father-in-law really wants to do and he’s been bummed ever since they took it away.


In the past we’ve done the Cabanas both with and without the butler package, but we really haven’t done any excursions on the island.  Once Huskerchick found the beauty of the shipboard cabanas in 2014 thanks to cruz chic, we’ve had a Retreat/Cabana Club cabana on all of our HAL cruises.  This year is no exception. To us, it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to get a cabana on Half Moon Cay when there’s a perfectly good one on the ship – with cabana attendants and drinks covered by beverage package.
We’ll probably take the ferry over to the island, walk around for a bit, sit on the beach, and then head back to the ship for lunch.  I realize that returning to the ship is heresy to all you beach barbeque lovers, but our building has beach barbecues several times throughout the year, so we get our fill at home.  We also love the ship when it’s almost deserted.


Please don’t get the impression that HMC isn’t a worthwhile port stop. It’s a beautiful island and it has an excellent beach. When we lived in Maine, Half Moon Cay was one of our favorite stops.  However, we now have a beach downstairs at home, so we are a little jaded.


POA-Beach.jpg

 

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I haven't been able to run a speed test yet because of satellite latency, but it seems brisk enough.  Getting ready to head out.

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Good morning. 

Just got caught up and enjoying the pics too.

Appreciate especially how to possibly upgrade the signature package.

Enjoy your beautiful day at HMC.

Denise😊

 

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DH did the parasailing excursion a number of years ago; he said it's when he learned how to pray.  LOL

 

Smooth Sailing! 🙂🙂🙂

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1 hour ago, POA1 said:

 

Thanks, Jacqui! That's Genius. I scanned the darn thing, but didn't read it. I guess, you, the viewing public are more important than me knowing what's going on.  Gala night #1 is the first sea day.

 

Glad it worked for you 🙂 

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41 minutes ago, POA1 said:

We’ll probably take the ferry over to the island, walk around for a bit, sit on the beach, and then head back to the ship for lunch.  I realize that returning to the ship is heresy to all you beach barbeque lovers

 

LOL - it's not heresy to me.  We always go back to the ship for lunch too (unless we happen to be lucky enough to have the Oasis booked with our roll call). Have a great day at HMC and on board the quiet ship 😉 

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Back on the ship. The Bahamas Tel Cell service on HMC should be fine for voice. You may need to toggle your cell service on and off a few times to get it to connect. We connected with both Android and iPhone. I'd like to say it's because we're meticulous researchers, but in reality, that's just what we have. This is a tip for @aliaschiefand @DWAliaschief, but feel free to use it if you aren't them. You can get service on the ship and it's best on the side facing land. Just be careful what network you connect to. The ship's towers may still be on. 

 

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For our non-traditional cabana drink, Michelle picked the Premium Bloody Mary, made with Grey Goose Citron. It's as if a Bloody Mary ran wildly through the garden. There are olives stuffed three ways: Blue cheese, gherkin, and hot pepper. There is also a cherry pepper, and a cocktail onion. There's a smoked sea salt rim, two lemons and two limes. There's also one of those illegal-in-California plastic straws. 

 

IMG_20181217_120142.jpg-600686911_PerfectlyClear.jpg.32ab0bc2cf65fa088eae75345908ea9e.jpg

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She swore the Bloody would pair perfectly with the Dive In's Dog Paddle - a jumbo beef hot dog with fried onions, bacon bits, sauerkraut, mustard, and Dive-In sauce. 

 

IMG_20181217_120748.jpg-2030394687_PerfectlyClear.jpg.95b968feef30713a4b8611d45f936f1e.jpg

 

In the interest of healthy living, we split an order of fries. And our drinks were basically salad. 

 

I am not sure that the drink was a perfect pairing. It was good, but I'd have leaned toward a beer. It's only fair though. I occasionally select a wine just because I want to try it. 

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20 minutes ago, POA1 said:

She swore the Bloody would pair perfectly with the Dive In's Dog Paddle - a jumbo beef hot dog with fried onions, bacon bits, sauerkraut, mustard, and Dive-In sauce. 

 

IMG_20181217_120748.jpg-2030394687_PerfectlyClear.jpg.95b968feef30713a4b8611d45f936f1e.jpg

 

In the interest of healthy living, we split an order of fries. And our drinks were basically salad. 

 

I am not sure that the drink was a perfect pairing. It was good, but I'd have leaned toward a beer. It's only fair though. I occasionally select a wine just because I want to try it. 

 

You guys are doing pretty darn good on Day 1 :classic_cool:

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29 minutes ago, Copper10-8 said:

 

You guys are doing pretty darn good on Day 1 :classic_cool:

 

Thanks. We hold regular practice drills. That way, when a cruise breaks out, we're prepared. 

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They were running a 25% off Pinnacle Grill special on the first night. They had the restaurant booking stands set up right when you boarded on deck 2.

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2 hours ago, POA1 said:

Back on the ship. The Bahamas Tel Cell service on HMC should be fine for voice. You may need to toggle your cell service on and off a few times to get it to connect. We connected with both Android and iPhone. I'd like to say it's because we're meticulous researchers, but in reality, that's just what we have. This is a tip for @aliaschiefand @DWAliaschief, but feel free to use it if you aren't them. You can get service on the ship and it's best on the side facing land. Just be careful what network you connect to. The ship's towers may still be on. 

 

Thank you Sir.

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The December 2018 Beverage Package Handout from the Zuiderdam

 

This is what a lot of people wanted to see, so I am going to give it to you two ways. As a scanned PDF that's been through optical character recognition (OCR) and as kind of largish JPEGs.  We noticed that stuff like Budweiser, Coors Light, Miller Lite, etc is missing from the list. It's covered. All the beer is. They may have left it off in the name of saving space.

 

The link to the PDF in Evernote.

 

https://www.evernote.com/l/AFg1ZtDbQjVFh5F9ca0CXzqrIgEkNslcwnc/

 

(Please note that you don't have to download or install Evernote. Just click the link in your browser. (The red rectangle in the drawing below.) If you have Evernote installed, you can suck the file into your Evernote using the green button (black rectangle.)

 

evernote-screen.thumb.JPG.6d0cbf4eb701e3d9d2726e7e2a34fdc2.JPG 

 

 

The JPEG version. Click to enlarge. I tried to make it big enough to read. Click it to enlarge.

 

Beverage-Packages-01.thumb.jpg.ce009469169cd5911a8eded64396010c.jpg

 

 

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1 hour ago, POA1 said:

The December 2018 Beverage Package Handout from the Zuiderdam

 

This is what a lot of people wanted to see, so I am going to give it to you two ways. As a scanned PDF that's been through optical character recognition (OCR) and as kind of largish JPEGs.  We noticed that stuff like Budweiser, Coors Light, Miller Lite, etc is missing from the list. It's covered. All the beer is. They may have left it off in the name of saving space.

 

thanks so much Brian.

 

Shoot Nobilo is no longer listed 😞

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