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New to Hal - Please help me with Mexico


icecreammama

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I've never sailed Hal before but after reading so many good reviews, we want to try them in 2009. I would like a recommendation for one of the Vista class ships sailing to Mexico (also somewhere we've never been).

Looking to book a deluxe verandah suite. Any information or suggestions would be greatly appreciated since I don't know where to start. As far as the intinerary goes, we love the beach and would like to do a dolphin encounter. I have no idea which ports are better to stop at. Please help

Thank you

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Do you prefer sailing out of San Dirgo or out of Florida?

 

 

I much prefer the west coast of Mexico (Mexican Riviera) with stops in Cabo, Acapulco, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta or others to the "party towns" of Cancun, Cozumel, etc.

 

You might head over to the Mexico section on the Ports Of Call boards here on CC to check threads on some of these ports to see what they're like.

 

Actual choice of ship is probably lower down the list than choice of itinerary.

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I believe the Oosterdam will still be sailing the Mexican Riviera out of San Diego until mid or end of February 2009. Great trip. We are doing it for the second time in October.

Oosterdam is a beautiful ship with lots of nice wood and intimate spaces. We love the size. Crew and food are great.

The ports it visits are Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. Although I think in 2009 it is doing the ports in reverse order. Our first trip, my husband did the Swim with the Dolphins in PV and loved it.

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The Oosterdam (Vista class) still is scheduled to do the Mexican Riviera cruises in 2009.

 

The Ryndam (S class) will still be doing a few 10 day Sea of Cortez which includes some of the Mexican Riviera ports.

 

KK: While you were away cruising, this board got wind of some potential changes for 2009. Looks like the Oosterdam will be sailing in S.A.

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=744732&highlight=oosterdam+south+america

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Do you prefer sailing out of San Dirgo or out of Florida?

 

 

I much prefer the west coast of Mexico (Mexican Riviera) with stops in Cabo, Acapulco, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta or others to the "party towns" of Cancun, Cozumel, etc.

 

You might head over to the Mexico section on the Ports Of Call boards here on CC to check threads on some of these ports to see what they're like.

 

Actual choice of ship is probably lower down the list than choice of itinerary.

I would prefer sailing out of florida since it's a shorter plane ride from nyc. I'm going to check out the intinerary's now. Thanks everyone

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In case you decide to travel out of a west coast port (L.A. or San Diego), I can offer the following thoughts.

 

We've done 4 such cruises, two on Celebrity and two on Holland America. We've been on the Oosterdamn and the Ryndam, preferring the latter because of it's more manageable size (1200 passengers vs. 2000 +). In general, we think both the food quality and service levels are optimized on this size ship, without giving up much in the way of entertainment quality or variety of things to do.

 

Most recently, we sailed the Ryndam on it's "Sea of Cortez" itinerary. Ports included Puero Vallarta (where you can do the dolphin encounter), Mazatlan (a large, more typical Mexican city with nice beaches), Cabo (great beaches), La Paz, Topolabampo -- the gateway to the Copper Canyon, and Loreto. Loreto is a small and historic town of 10,000 people which is not to be missed.

 

We had a Catagory S suite, and found it very spacious and comfortable. Advantages to this catagory of cabin include free laundry/dry cleaning, priority boarding and disembarkation, and use of the Neptune Lounge -- a great place for snacks, assistance in making reservations, morning coffee, etc. I asked the concierge in the Neptune to arrange a "white table cloth" dinner on my verandah during one port night, and it was done without problem -- my guests and I were able to order off the main dining room menu, not simply the room service list, and the meal was flawlessly served, course by course. Not sure if they can always do this, but it worked out well for us. One final thought -- if you book this class, try not to get a room directly across from the Neptune -- it can get a bit noisy with the door to the louge being opened and closed frequently, particulary in the a.m.

 

Hope you enjoy your trip, whichever side of Mexico you ultimately decide upon.

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To be accurate, the Oosterdam holds 1848 pax at max capacity, not 2000+ but if it's a choice between an S-class HAL ship vs. a V-class, I will choose the S-class every time as prefer less pax. Happy Sailing!

 

except if they fill all the cabins to complete capacity (overhead bunks, sofa beds etc.) it is over 2000 paxs..

 

Sure agree with liking smaller ships..

 

Have happy cruisin'!

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Actually, no, I'm exactly correct - 1848 is full pax max capacity. That's their stats not mine.

Happy Sailing!

 

Nope. 1848 is 2 people per cabin (924 total cabins). Add trips and quads (and even adjust for singles) and it just nudges past 2000...

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Actually, no, I'm exactly correct - 1848 is full pax max capacity. That's their stats not mine.

Happy Sailing!

 

1848 is the Oosterdam's rated Double Occupancy Capacity. When the third and fourth berths (in those cabins that have such) are all occupied, and if there are no cabins with just a Single Occupancy (which is almost never the case), the capacity can easily go well above 2000. That's another reason why it's always good to be aware of WHEN you're cruising, and to choose dates that are well-removed from Spring Breaks and other Holidays so as to minimize families cruising in cabins at triple and quadruple occupancy.

 

Of course, all of this prior to the aft-extension conversion that is scheduled for the Oosterdam. That conversion will bump her up to about the Noordam's Double Occupancy Capacity.

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I recognize that you are truly a wealth of HAL cruise knowledge, however, according to HAL (see email response below to my inquiry), you are not correct about the max capacity of a ship, in the case of this discussion, Oosterdam.

I called down to the ship service department and Katrina did say the capacity for ms Oosterdam is 1848. It could hold more however we will not book more then the amount stated.

So it seems that although the ship could hold more if they used every cabin/berth, they do not book more than the stated amount. Happy Sailing!

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I recognize that you are truly a wealth of HAL cruise knowledge, however, according to HAL (see email response below to my inquiry), you are not correct about the max capacity of a ship, in the case of this discussion, Oosterdam.
I called down to the ship service department and Katrina did say the capacity for ms Oosterdam is 1848. It could hold more however we will not book more then the amount stated.

So it seems that although the ship could hold more if they used every cabin/berth, they do not book more than the stated amount. Happy Sailing!

 

says do not always believe everything u read or are told.

 

Ask yourself if they put in those extra bunks & sofabeds just for fun or to make sitting more uncomfortable :) or so they can make $s out of them & also recoup the expense of installation?

 

I have a friend who works for HAL and YES, they have booked almost solidly - not all the time but if necessary and when they can, they just don't want folks to know...

 

I mean (as 'revneal' so wisely cautioned and a lot of us already know) do u want to travel on a 'fully or almost so' loaded ship when u cld travel on one not as loaded and not have to share with so many more the facilities & public space onboard??

 

Wld HAL turn down a family of 3/4 in a cabin because that wld push the rate over normal capacity...likely not hmmm?

 

Have happy cruisin'!

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I recognize that you are truly a wealth of HAL cruise knowledge, however, according to HAL (see email response below to my inquiry), you are not correct about the max capacity of a ship, in the case of this discussion, Oosterdam.
I called down to the ship service department and Katrina did say the capacity for ms Oosterdam is 1848. It could hold more however we will not book more then the amount stated.

So it seems that although the ship could hold more if they used every cabin/berth, they do not book more than the stated amount. Happy Sailing!

 

haven't been on a vista in a while, but when I was on the zuiderdam when she first came out, we had well over 2100 passengers on board (lots! of kids on 3rd/4th berths). At that time with only 2 seatings, we had to limit the max amount to 2100.

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