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Everything posted by RoyalVisit

  1. It starts at 8pm Atlantic Time. About 30 minutes from now. We cruised on the Koningsdam in 2016 and loved it! Excited to watch the episode. From Discovery Canada in Eastern Standard Time. 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM Koningsdam is Holland America's newest, largest and most technologically advanced ship; sailing the narrow Norwegian fjords on a mega-ship presents numerous challenges for the bridge team. NEXT AIRING > Sun Mar 31 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM > Mon Apr 1 5:00 AM - 6:00 AM > Sun Apr 7 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  2. Who said we were confused? We were discussing a topic with different points of view.
  3. Who says you can't have it both ways? 🤣 I did the same - the price dropped on our cruise within 10 days of applying final payment as I stated earlier in the thread. I called, and they swapped us from a VE guarantee to a V assigned. They didn't offer a refund, but they did please this customer - flexibility was appreciated....we didn't pay anything additional. The only time I've ever personally heard of any company telling a customer who already purchased a product that they now had to pay more is in relation to new fuel surcharges. Upsells are a different discussion topic.
  4. Every company makes their own policies and those that offer flexibility often have a more loyal customer base. I disagree with the idea that travel can/should be seen as "clearance". Customers travel when they can - they book in advance or book last minute but it's for their personal reasons - the travel product they buy essentially remains the same unless they are swapping out high thread-count sheets for low-thread count sheets and changing your lobster to a hamburger. 😉 If the travel provider can't sell their product perhaps the starting price was unreasonable or they are not offering a competitive product.
  5. Depends on what you feel is a good business model. Even Walmart refunds their customers if the price drops within 30 days of purchasing the product (except clearance goods). Many retail businesses like BestBuy, Canadian Tire, Old Navy etc., all have policies in effect for this kind of scenario. Sunwing Vacations in Canada also has a price drop guarantee - whereby a for a small fee you can buy the guarantee and if the price drops after you book, you'll receive a refund for the difference. I don't care when people actually make a purchase, if the same company offers the same product within a short time span at a lower price, it's only goodwill on the company's behalf to make their customer happy with a price adjustment/refund.
  6. Our HAL cruise in May takes us into Glacier Bay. I'm not sure which lines are allowed in but it's not exclusive to Princess as far as I know.
  7. We did a similar scenario last March. Halifax to Montreal to Rome (arrived in Rome around 9am) and then with the cruise line transfer over to the port. It was pretty seemless for us but there is always the chance of a delay. We overnighted on the way home so we had a little time to check out Rome.
  8. We were on the older MSC Orchestra in the Mediterranean so if you're on one of the new ships the experience may be quite different. The itinerary was great but we were really disappointed by almost everything on the ship except maybe the entertainment but even that was a hit/miss. The food was the worst we have experienced at sea....no flavor, limited selection and repetitive. The dining room service was slow, atrocious, the staff were either aggressive/confrontational or just ignored you. The ship was quite full so the public areas including the buffet were often so crowded we had to wait to be seated for breakfast and lunch. The reception staff were no better. We ask for very little when we travel but courteous service we expect. The smell of the cigarette smoke was throughout the ship. The stateroom was never cleaned properly - always felt like you were living in someone else's hotel room. The poor cabin stewards never seemed to have enough time, always rushing about which likely meant they had too many cabins to look after. A friend of mine took an MSC cruise out of Miami and had a similar experience but she didn't have anything to compare it too (her first cruise) so that may have spoiled it for us. She also commented on the service, tiresome food and unhelpful staff. Be prepared for announcements in multiple languages (which we actually thought was fun until you are bombarded with them when you are trying to relax) and the international clientele can also totally change your experience - some nationalities were much louder and pushier than others and although we have traveled extensively, North Americans were in the minority on our cruise, probably 5% or less. We tried very hard to keep an open mind but by the 5th day of the 11 nights onboard, we were ready to get off. We stuck it out for the amazing ports (Rome, Florence, Genoa, Marseille, Barcelona, Valetta, Olympia (couldn't dock due to rough seas), Corfu, Crete and Athens. I hope your experience is much better than ours was. We had read extensively about how the experience would be different than the other lines we were used too but it was still an eye-opener. I'm still glad we tried MSC but definitely not for us.
  9. Of the ones we have tried so far I'd rank them this way...I'm 40, and hubby is 44. HAL (peaceful, relaxing and great service - suits us well) Celebrity (similar to HAL in service standard but ships have more bells and whistles if you actually use them which we don't generally!) RCL (good value, no complaints) Crystal (my first cruise - no complaints but at that time it was more formal that we would prefer now) Carnival (good value for the experience/pricing but generally too "loud" for us) MSC (terrible - will never book again)
  10. I don't have any first-hand experience with this situation but you might like to start with Celebrity Cruises. They are vocal in their support and appreciation for the LGBT community. As far as being called by name, it's unlikely the crew members would address you by name except for your cabin steward, dining room waiters and front desk staff if you have an issue or need assistance. The waiters normally ask your name so that's easy to respond too as will the cabin steward (the stewards have a pax list for the staterooms they are responsible for) but will address you however you wish.) The staff on the reception desk will also not normally address you by name unless they are reading it from the computer screen. They normally ask for your stateroom number. Some of the crew may be more formal in how they speak with you such as Ms. Smith rather than first name but you can always ask them to address you as you would like to be called. Hope this helps!
  11. Apologies if this is a redundant question but I'm not having much luck with the search function. Does Canaletto offer at least one vegetarian main option daily?
  12. It was truly awful! If it wasn't for the great itinerary (9 ports in 12 days but we couldn't dock at one port...Mediterranean) the whole experience would have been a bust. The staff we encountered were frankly the rudest people we have ever death with in all the cruises we have been on. Poor service, dirty and stinky ship.
  13. MSC's new ships may have more bells and whistles but their service is awful and their food mediocre. We tried MSC and won't go back. HAL, Celebrity and RCL offer a positive overall experience whereas MSC left us with a poor experience and we will definitely not give them a second chance regardless of whether HAL changes the entertainment.
  14. I'm curious now to see what entertainment will be available on our Alaska cruise in a few weeks. I always enjoyed the production shows but were disappointed or bored by the comedians and magicians. Keeping an open mind.
  15. Looks like you're having a great time and beautiful weather! Thanks for sharing your experience with us. the photos are reminding me of when my husband and I were on the Koningsdam in 2016. Totally agree with you on how they serve the food, it does take a tad longer but good hygiene/food safety is worth the wait. This is all getting me more excited for our cruise to Alaska in May
  16. $5000 charge for pier runners who are late back to the ship $100 charge for people who reserve deck chairs with towels $100 charge for people who need to ask for directions to find their way around the ship $100 charge for people who wear too much cologne or perfume $100 charge for people who leave stuff in their cabin when the cruise is over $10,000 charge for people who don't wash their hands
  17. I think your question is perfectly reasonable. I'm 40 and enjoy HAL very much. While I wouldn't describe my style as funky I am not scared of being bold. I think your son and his partner will enjoy HAL if they focus on what's important - their experience. HAL is not a Vegas style cruise line so if they are looking for something similar a different line may suit them better but HAL suits all ages if you want a relaxed pace, good service and quieter atmosphere. If other passengers judge them so be it but I highly doubt anyone would make a comment to them directly or snicker - most people just get on with their own lives. If another guest displays intolerance or aggression because someone looks different than they do, they probably shouldn't travel outside their front door. Frankly some of the most colorful outfits I've seen were actually on HAL, sparkles, bold prints and track suits in bright colours are not uncommon! (relax commentators, just teasing!) If they don't try HAL, they won't know what their experience might have been so I say go for it - there is plenty of time for another cruise on another line.
  18. We booked an Alaskan cruise for this coming May. When we booked the deposit date was only a week earlier than the final payment date so we paid in full when we booked. Within 10 days, the price drop significantly (around $180 pp) so I called HAL and our online travel agency and they upgraded us from a VE category guarantee to a confirmed V category stateroom. They would not offer a refund as the final payment date had past. I would have rather had an OBC but we're happy with the location of the confirmed cabin.
  19. We cruised on the Koningsdam in Jan 2017 and had stateroom 4022 on Deck 4 (category VB) which had a massive balcony but it is about half overlooked by the staterooms above. We loved it!
  20. We've booked an MSC excursion entitled "Florence and Pisa with Smart Device' for our stop in Livorno. The excursion includes transportation to both areas. Question: we would like to go to the Accademia to see the Statue of David. Everything I've read says we should buy tickets in advance. We will be in Florence on March 15th. Has anyone been on this excursion recently or in low season? Any feedback? Wondering if just buying tickets locally is going to eat into our time in Florence (queues etc.) We don't know what time we will arrive in Florence so booking a specific entrance time is tricky. Sent from my SKY 5.0Pro II using Forums mobile app
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