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catlib55

Continuing with Rotterdam 12/2-12/2004

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Our cabin was very nice, on Dolphin deck aft. It was abit noisy from time to time because we could hear the engines and stern thrusters when we were docking and leaving a port. But it was very roomy and comfortable. There were a couple of days when we couldn't use the toilet for awhile, but it wasn't bothersome enough to even report it to more than the cabin stewards in the hallway.

Puerto Limon was very pretty, but Costa Rica is a very poor country where the living conditions are horrid. We took the jungle train adventure. It was a wonderful excursion through the rain forest, and we saw sloths and howler monkeys up in the trees. The rain forest is beautiful. On this cruise, the aerial tram excursion had been cancelled. I am glad we didn't sign up for it. I would have been disappointed if we couldn't go.

Disembarkation went very smoothly except for one bump which was not HAL's fault. For some unknown reason, the INS decided to pick us to search everything we owned - hand luggage first, and then after we picked up our suitcases, they decided to search them also. If gave a very bad aftertaste to a beautiful vacation for us. I still don't know why they decided to pick on us.

HAL has changed their policy on alcohol, and if you want it in your cabin, you have to order it through room service or order it from the Ocean Bar and have it delivered to your cabin. A bottle costs $27.50 plus tax. In the liquor shop on board, the same bottle was half that price. If you bought it there, they held it for you until the end of the cruise.

I thought the tipping policy was explained very well by our cruise director Peter.

The entertainment was awesome. We had Marty Brill, an excellent comedian, Martin Lass, a wonderful violinist, Brad Cummings, a hilarious ventriloquist, a magician that I didn't see, and Jason Chase, who sang and told funny stories.

The Rotterdam cast was fantastic as they sang and danced for us three nights during the cruise.

There was a wonderful and very interesting lecturer on board who talked about the history of the Panama isthmus and the Panama Canal.

All in all, it was one of the best cruises we have ever taken, but then again, every cruise we have taken is the best!!

Thanks for all the great advice from everyone on this board before we left. We will definitely sail with HAL again.

Mary Ellen

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Thanks, Mary Ellen for your report. Sounds like you had a great time. It's good to hear that someone actually enjoyed the entertainment on board. It gets a bad rap around here most of the time.

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I have to agree with Catlib, we enjoyed the entertainment we saw, especially Brad Cummings and Martin Lass. It's not often that I purchase CD's of onboard performers, this time I did!:D

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Thanks ME for the trip report. We were on the Rotterdam the ten days before ending 12/2. disembarkation was a breez as we took a taxi van to the ft l airport on the way home that noon.

you mentioned you didn't see the magician? Neither did we? Guess he IS REALLY THAT GOOD. Maybe no one saw him, hehehe.

Toilets were messed up in some cabins also on our cruise but we weren't affected. we were on the main deck. Did they have any elevator problems during your cruise?

later

maril

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You mentioned that INS was at the pier in Ft Lauderdale to inspect everyone's luggage as they got off the ship. Never had that happen. How long did it take? Do you think some people might have missed their flights?

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That new alcohol policy has been in effect since last January when HAL suddenly sprang it onto people.

We either order a bottle for cabin through room service or go to a bar and buy a bottle. Especially on our last cruise. The drinks were over priced for the few drops of alcohol you got in them.

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To Maril: We didn't notice any elevator problems, but Localady was on the same cruise and her friends were stuck in one for about 20 minutes.

 

KK: I'm not sure if anyone missed flights because of the INS searching, we weren't worried because, fortunately, our flight didn't leave until 2pm, and we were off the ship around 10:30am. The interesting thing is that they had the dogs there sniffing the hand luggage and then downstairs sniffing the suitcases, and yet they still picked on some of us to totally search everything we were carrying. I guess I should be thankful they didn't strip search us!!

Mary Ellen

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Thanks Mary Ellen

We are worried if we are selected by the INS to inspect everything as we always stay over a day or two before flying home.

I was just curious.

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The Customs "drug" dog pulled me over as we got off the Ship! I was mortified, but they explained that some of the prescription and OTC drugs I had in my carryon may have had the same fillers as illegal drugs do, thus she "found" the drugs. I was mortified!:eek: But the customs folks were very nice and explained just what had happened, after they searched my bag. We did make it to the Airport in plenty of time though as we were among the first group to disbark.:cool:

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