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dexter

Live from Miami and just off Zuiderdam

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Luvtocruise, why would you think Searanger was not on the Z?....

 

Everyone has different experiences...I have read many, many reviews of all different cruises....there are always different opinions about the same sailing.

 

Hi Pete:) See you Saturday!

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... just off our 9 day cruise (2 days were spent circling Cuba). 4 sea days in a row was a bit much...

 

4 sea days in a row were a "bit much"? I know that everybody is different ... however ... those who find 4 sea days in a row to be "a bit much" should avoid cruises like the Statendam's round-trip to Hawaii out of San Diego, where it's 5 sea days in a row EACH WAY. :) And, in my opinion, those days were among the best features of that cruise! :D Now, granted, those days were known about ahead of time, and that might make a difference for some people. For me, I've never complained about sea days ... even 4, 5, or 6 in a row, they give one the chance to really experience the ship in a way that port days simply don't allow.

 

I'm very glad everyone on the Zuiderdam made it back safe and sound. I had a friend on a Carnival ship and he said that they had a BLAST.

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DH and I both feel the best days of a cruise are Sea Days. What a way to really relax. I actually think we would of loved the extra sea days but agree we would of been worried about getting a flight home especially since we usually travel with air tickets purchased with earned miles so not sure how the airline would handle that especially since there are usually limited amount of seats on each flight (at least with United)

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Sorry, but the coming from Orlando was what me think maybe poster wasn't on the Zuiderdam - just a casual observation. Certainly didn't meant to be critical. Just sharing info I had.

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Sorry, but the coming from Orlando was what me think maybe poster wasn't on the Zuiderdam - just a casual observation. Certainly didn't meant to be critical. Just sharing info I had.

Not to worry, it was an honest mistake and certainly didn't deserve being jumped upon :eek:

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While it seemed to me HAL could have changed to a Western right off, it really didn't bother either me or DW because we didn't really want to go that way.

 

HAL should have made the Internet cheaper, as it was very slow and quite expensive. As for the phones, the people that I talked to said that it wasn't even possible to make a call because all of the lines were busy. I never tried, so I don't personally know, but it made me glad that I was able to email someone who could coordinate post-ship reservations for us.

 

Interestingly, the seas were not as heavy on this cruise as they were when DW and I took the Paradise a couple of years ago, and there wasn't any storm at that time.

 

The entertainers were great. They worked together to do shows that were very good, and actually original. The juggler (Edge - don't miss him!) had what seemed to be the most original material. The Elton John guy (Joel Mason - also great) had a bunch too. There was some 'up close and personal' time with all of them, which was very cool.

 

Even Dane (the cruise director), who has receive some bad remarks on this board did very good. Yes, he does need some more experience, and he really needs to drop the 'SAY GREAT' line, but when he was taken out of the normal schedule, he actually improved. He and Julie Barr (the comedian) had a 'coffee talk' one morning, and it was good entertainment. Not side splitting laughter, but very interesting and worth our time.

 

HAL did good: They didn't run out of Food or Alcohol. The people who were supposed to have a day off still worked hard and treated everyone with respect. The captian did a pretty good job of communicating what he knew. And, the cruise director staff did a good job of organizing a schedule that was entertaining and varied. And, they provided free transfers to either MIA or FLL airports.

 

HAL did not so good: Charged full price for the Internet. Seem to not be interested in giving any kind of credit at all for the missed port (Bahamas).

 

Overall, we are pleased with the cruise...but then again, we like sea days!

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I totally agree that HAL should have given folks a better price break on communications especially after the phone system went down. We were able to contact folks at home via internet but that was very expensive. HAL missed a perfect chance to create a little customer relations coup, but they went for the money instead.

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luv2cruise......are you asking a question or do you find it odd that someone who was suppose to be off the ship Saturday would have a flight booked out of Orlando on Monday! Since you were not on this sailing, maybe you should keep your thoughts to yourself.

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luv2cruise......are you asking a question or do you find it odd that someone who was suppose to be off the ship Saturday would have a flight booked out of Orlando on Monday! Since you were not on this sailing, maybe you should keep your thoughts to yourself.

Rather a testy reply to someone who admits they misunderstood a posting, don't you think? And, it appears, you also misunderstood what luv2cruise was saying. Perhaps another apology should be forthcoming?

 

-dave

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I don't find anything "odd". I was just trying to share on these boards - not to offend YOU or anyone. I am sorry my statements caused this much commotion. Again, I am sorry - I was NOT on the cruise (as were others who posted here I THOUGHT). I didn't realize if you were not actually ON THE CRUISE discussed you could not comment. I THOUGHT that's what these boards were for - to share/learn about cruises. I wish you nor anyone any ill will! I'm GLAD everyone is back and safe. I think that is most important. But who knows, maybe I'm wrong on that too.

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I just got back Monday on the same cruise. Generally I thought that HAL made the most of a bad situation. However, I had a very negative experience with the communiciations also, both phone & internet. After the 1st announcement confirming a delay, I purchased a phone card to make some calls to American Airlines & some relatives. The card did not work. I spent the whole day trying to get through. There were numerous technical difficulties and even when I was able to get to the point of dialing a number, the number would come back "blocked." I tried 11 different numbers total including 5 different numbers for American Air. I talked to a front office supervisor about it and was told it was their policy not to give a refund on the phone cards. I was told I should have known about the possibility of numbers being blocked and also that the supervisor had not heard of any other problems people had contacting airlines. I was skeptical about this because I talked to several other passengers who had the same problem as I did. Only after going down to the front office and having them try to contact the airline using my card did they offer me 1 free call, which I made, in exchange for the card. This was my 2nd cruise, both were on HAL, and while the overall experience was good both times, this incident really makes me want to look for other alternatives for our next cruise.

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Searanger...we were there and we know exactly how things were. There was confusion although people were on a ship...what else could we do but stay there and make the best. But, I fully believe that HAL could have handled this thing much better. There very few announcements, only expensive means to communicate, and even the employees were confused. Ask them a question and they didn't know any more than we did. Don't get me wrong, my wife and I had a blast but at the end it became clear that something should have been done to appease the passengers. That's just good business.

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Dexter...Let's just hope that HAL maybe learned a little bit from this!

 

Comunication was lacking...now I know the Captain came on once a day, blamed it on "Head Office" and always said "enjoy your day on the beautiful Zuiderdam". However, it would have been nice to be kept more informed from day one. As we all knew on the 28th of August ---Frances was heading in our direction and all the models had it hitting Florida on Saturday. So yes, I was surprised by the silence. At one point, I heard from one of Club Hal people on Monday (30th) that we were heading to Cozumel.??? Rurmours were flying!!!

 

Some observations:

 

- The port charge issue for Nassau was forgotten...fair enough.

- No internet or phone service offered to their guests.

- A funny letter came around about tipping for our extra days. The old guilt

trip! (I did it personally with the Dinning and Cabin stewarts)

- When it was a 6 day cruise they offered special rates to stay on.

- When it was a 5 day cruise they offered the same rates...(go figure)

 

I heard them talking on Monday morning in the dinning room that they could put everyone on one sitting this week. You think they would have tried harder to keep more guests on for the 5 days. They offered more to the poor people who had their holidays wrecked then they did to their captive audience.

 

Maybe they will do a post-mortem of this cruise in Seattle and learn from it for the next time.

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We made it back yesterday with an 8 a.m. flight from Miami to Atlanta. The weather was rough but our pilot had obviously seen similar situations. Visability was zero coming into Atlanta and other than slamming on brakes a bit hard, the landing/flight was only slightly bumpy and overall a very good flight.

 

American Airlines pilots are fabulous!

 

Our trip is over but boy do we have the memories! I will be making a scrap book this weekend complete with hurricane letters from the Zuiderdam's captain.

 

Mrs. Dexter

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Just curious..

Why in the world would you think Searanger wasn't on the Zui ??

 

 

Srpilo

 

P.s. IMO.. "First Hand" information is by its very nature always more acturate and reliable. ... btw Thanks Searanger for taking the time to post :D

I agree Srpilo. the thing that amazes me is how people always find the time to dismiss someone's experiences that differed from their own or their friends.

 

Everyone is different. Some things are important to some folks and not to others - and vice versa. Bottom line is not everyone has the same cruise experience even if they are on the same ship. People shouldn't criticze / dismiss others who feel diffferently than they do. I too thank Searanger for his /her post.

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4 sea days in a row were a "bit much"? I know that everybody is different ... however ... those who find 4 sea days in a row to be "a bit much" should avoid cruises like the Statendam's round-trip to Hawaii out of San Diego, where it's 5 sea days in a row EACH WAY. :) And, in my opinion, those days were among the best features of that cruise! :D Now, granted, those days were known about ahead of time, and that might make a difference for some people. For me, I've never complained about sea days ... even 4, 5, or 6 in a row, they give one the chance to really experience the ship in a way that port days simply don't allow.

 

I'm very glad everyone on the Zuiderdam made it back safe and sound. I had a friend on a Carnival ship and he said that they had a BLAST.

Hi Rev - I think you hit the nail on the head when you said "I know that everybody is different ".

 

I personally would not enjoy 5 sea days in a row. I am a much more port intensive person. The less "pure days at sea" the better for me. I guess thats why we are flying to hawaii next year for vacation rather than doing a cruise on the Statendam. To each his / her own.

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Even Dane (the cruise director), who has receive some bad remarks on this board did very good. Yes, he does need some more experience, and he really needs to drop the 'SAY GREAT' line,

Ahhh - the old "SAY GREAT' line - I thought I was one of the few annoyed by that. Glad to see someone else feel the same.

 

Overall I don't think Dane is bad but he is not good either - just so-so - but the SAY GREAT has to go

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- A funny letter came around about tipping for our extra days. The old guilt trip!
OUCH - thats pretty crass if you ask me.

 

its fine for people to tip extra on their own - but sending a letter around about tipping for the extra days shows a total lack of class IMO

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Wow Mrs. Dexter,

 

I have been back almost 3 weeks and my scrapbooking is going slowly, I think I am trying to capture every moment hehehehe well good luck with your scrapbook :)

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OUCH - thats pretty crass if you ask me.

 

its fine for people to tip extra on their own - but sending a letter around about tipping for the extra days shows a total lack of class IMO

THe letter was to the effect that no automatic tip (a.k.a. service charge) would be added for the extra 2 days. Hardly "crass", its informative.

 

-dave

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I was not on that cruise. But if it was as difficult and expensive as some posters have said to make contact off the ship, I'm surprised at HAL. When we were delayed a day on a Princess transatlantic crossing due to a medical emergency, Princess made laptops available to everyone at no charge so that we could change arrangements. They also gave us free phone service, as long as the calls related to the delay. Extremely well handled by Princess.

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THe letter was to the effect that no automatic tip (a.k.a. service charge) would be added for the extra 2 days. Hardly "crass", its informative.

 

-dave

Ummm - thats not how the poster on board explained it. he said :

 

"A funny letter came around about tipping for our extra days. The old guilt trip! "

 

Without seeing the letter, from his description, that is definitely CRASS

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My family was on the Zuiderdam during this time (aug 28th - sept 6th). The communication was definetely lacking. I think IMO) the extra sea days were enjoyable (please, we had sunshine, cold drinks, good food), but the unsure return date was a bit frustrating, understandable, but still nerve wracking... Sat night, no, Sunday morning, ok, not Sunday morning we'll be there Sunday night... OK... no really... we'll be in on Monday morning. But certainly not anyone's "fault". Mother Nature ruled the roost !! And I do feel that HAL did all it could. It would have been nice to change the itinerary to avoid the hurricane completely, but perhaps there was circumstances that we don't know about (# of ships in other ports, etc.)

The letter regarding the tips was basically just stating the $10.00 per day per person had been suspended for Saturday the 4th and Sunday the 5th and said a "pool" would be created (35% to room steward, 35% to dining room staff, and the rest divided among other groups) and if you wanted to contribute to the "pool" simply put an amount and your stateroom number and it would be added to your final bill as usual. I felt it made things easier, and the staff did continue to work the same as they had for the entire cruise. We felt they should be compensated accordingly. So we did utilize the form and added the tips ($10.00 per day per person) for the two days.

We didn't use the phone, however, we did use the internet cafe. They lowered the price somewhat ($12.00 for 30 minutes) and we never had an issue. Yes, the connection wasn't the speediest, but it served it's purpose for what we needed. I did feel for the people who were not computer savvy (there was one lady who was trying to log in by actually pushing the login button on the screen with her finger !). But passengers were helpful to each other when needed (sharing minutes etc).

It was certainly a vacation to remember !

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