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DeeDee Groff

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About DeeDee Groff

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Golden Ponds and Yankee Towns
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Sydney, Australia: I was cancelled on the Oosterdam September 27 sailing from Seattle to Auckland; I believe I will be cancelled on the reverse sailing on March 28, 2021; and I have a booking on the March 28, 2022 sailing from Auckland to Seattle. On Tuesday I sent an email to Gray Line Sydney asking for details on placing a reservation for a tour from Sydney to the Blue Mountains so I could revisit, if only for a day. Thursday evening I received a reply from the charter and operations manager telling me that Gray Line Sydney will not be open booking any tours until October 2021.....
  2. How about checking out the Oosterdam roll call for the March 31, 2022 sailing from Auckland to Seattle or the circumnavigation of Australia by the Oosterdam in the fall of 2021? I am a "transferee" from the Oosterdam September 27, 2020 sailing from Seattle to Auckland and the Oosterdam March 28, 2021 sailing from Auckland to Seattle. I do have faith that I will be able to board the Oosterdam on March 31, 2022 in Auckland! Be safe.....
  3. Late Tuesday night I saw a sale on shore excursions when I logged onto my HAL account and brought up the booking for the Oosterdam sailing from Auckland on March 31, 2022. All the shore excursions listed for each of the ports of call (except for a few ports where there were no excursions) are on a 20% off sale through October 31. I have not checked for the sale in other parts of the world, but New Zealand, Australia, the South Pacific, and Hawaiian shore excursions are all discounted.
  4. For me, you have the best posts, Hank: I thoroughly enjoy each and every one, and I can identify with most, if not all, your posts!
  5. With everything you're going through here with HAL, are you sure you do not want to give a chance to a brick-and-mortar travel agency (not a big box) with more than one first-class travel professional? deedeegroff@gmail.com
  6. And so are those of us who are booked on the Grand Africa sailing from Fort Lauderdale on October 10 who want to book the cruise preceding ours!
  7. Georgia Pie: 1 part peach schnapps 1 part Southern Comfort 1 part Malibu rum 3 parts orange juice Enjoy!
  8. I choose not to go to the hotel in Phnom Penh so I had no hotel expenses to claim, but I did have flight cancellation charges and rebooked flights for which I sought reimbursement. I do not have a Twitter account and do not communicate with HAL through email or social media so I cannot relate to your experience in this area. What helped me was to write a letter to Gus Antorcha, the president of HAL. I sent the letter with tracking, I checked for delivery, and I received a check in the mail eight business days after the letter was delivered. I was very careful to be polite and respectful in the wording because I am well aware from various postings on the HAL forum that many posters are extremely annoyed, even angry, with HAL As my late mother used to say, "you can kill more flies with honey than you can with vinegar." Best of luck to you!
  9. Yes, and then what I booked was cancelled, I was issued two more FCC's, and then the TA used the FCD, the original and the new FCC's. I am hoping to be able to sail and not to have to "a repeat scenario" of this performance!
  10. As I have stated elsewhere on the HAL forum, there were six of us at the airport in Phnom Penh who chose not to be herded onto the coaches destined for the four- and five-star hotels. Two of us approached one of the two HAL "corporate guest services managers" who, in seemingly record time, arranged flights leaving that day that would take all six of us home to Canada and the U.S. I have written letters praising this woman's efforts to Orlando Ashford and Gus Antorcha. The "back story" you are referring to may be nothing more than Mr. Ashford or his wife not choosing, for any number of reasons, to "shake some trees."
  11. Thank you for brightening my evening with "a more contemporary energetic atmosphere overall." While I am Elite on Princess, I am a Four Star on HAL, but in recent years I have sailed much more on HAL. I am, however, beginning to wonder if my days on HAL ships are numbered due to circumstances beyond my control.....
  12. I am being optimistic that I will be able to sail from Fort Lauderdale to Venice at the beginning of April. While I have done TA crossings, they have been east to west and in the fall. Would welcome suggestions on what to bring for when I venture outside on the open deck. What has been your experience at this time of year, and what did you wear that kept you comfortable?
  13. The drop in prices for the Westerdam April 5 sailing to Venice and the May 2 sailing RT Venice is the best I've seen in a long time, and I'm not talking about bookings made with a HAL PCC, but rather with an independent brick and mortar travel agency (not big box). On top of that, the "goodies" offered along with the reprice had me scrambling for a calculator. When I booked these two cruises last spring, I saved 13% from the HAL PCC quote, and now I have saved 32% from the original bookings. Now I'm patiently waiting for a vaccine and the attendant advice from HAL.....
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