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Ken the cruiser

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About Ken the cruiser

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Alabama
  • Interests
    Farming, bees and cruising
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Crystal and Princess
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Galapagos and Antarctica

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  1. BTW you are welcome to post away on this thread if it has to do with your experiences on the Australia circumnavigation cruise we’re on now. It’s always interesting to hear how different folks are experiencing the same cruise. For example we were walking on the VS deck 9 and heard a lady quite upset about not having lights in her cabin. Later on we asked our steward about it and he said there was a block of rooms without power because some folks had brought onboard their own power strips, hair dryers and irons rather than use the HAL approved ones. It seems if you overload a circuit in one cabin, it appears in some cases a block of cabins can be effectived. He, of course, didn’t know for sure, but that’s what he had heard happened. Of course the person that potentially blew the circuit probably knew what they had done and put the “evidence” away before maintenance arrived. Just a guess ....
  2. We were in Townsville today and had a great time on a 7 hr HAL excursion to a UNESCO tropical rain forest. We drove by a bunch of 3-5 ft termite mounds on the way and received a fascinating explanation of how they critically fit in the ecosystem here. Once we arrived at the rain forest, we had a nice hour long guided tour before heading to our Bar-b-que steak lunch. Definitely a fun excursion all the way around!
  3. Sorry to hear that. We usually eat at a table for 2 both at lunch and dinner and are usually done within the hour for lunch and 75-80 minutes for dinner, but have never had to wait more than 5-10 minutes between servings. As far as being like the HAL of old, I agree things are of course not exactly the same. For one thing there isn’t any more tasty treats at the Explorers Cafe. But at least there are plenty of things to do on sea days, especially if you like going to lectures.
  4. Has anyone heard when HAL is going to post their Summer and Fall 2021 cruises for Europe and the Transatlantics?
  5. I wanted to give you all an update on the food in the MDR and the evening entertainment so far on the first 13 days of our cruise. First, the food in the Maasdam MDR has been great every night and we have found it to be just as good if not better than the other cruises lines we have recently sailed on. As far as the evening entertainment in the main theater, it has also be great every night! No exceptions! Over these first 13 days, we have had 3 comedians, a mentalist and a variety of singers, all of which have been top notch! But I must say Patrick McMahon, a guitarist and singer, that was on stage tonight from Western Australia was simply fantastic!! So, with our cruise only a third of the way over, we have no problem saying HAL is definitely hitting a home run so far with us regarding the entertainment, the in-depth EXC lectures and the food on the Maasdam. What’s also interesting is that there are no art auctions or Peter Maxx presentations, BBC Earth, Club HAL or music walk venues anywhere to be found on the Maasdam. However, they do have a Lincoln Stage type setup in the Explorers Lounge in the evening for those that enjoy classical music. In other words from our perspective, it’s a lot like the HAL we remember back when we first started cruising with them in 2012.
  6. Went on a 7 hour tour today on a crocodile safari and had a great time! Saw some crocodiles in the wild as well as several kinds of birds and a wallaby. We humans are so easily entertained! Tomorrow we arrice at Townsend where we’ll be on a 7 hour tour to a UNESCO World Heritage Rain Forest. Hopefully we’ll see all kinds of cool animals and plants.
  7. For example we went to a talk last night given by one of the guest lecturers about the indigenous people in the northern tip of Australia just south of PNG which was quite interesting.
  8. Something tells me the list I posted are just some of the planned talks. With 14 sea days on this 30 day cruise, with an average of 4-5 talks on each sea day, I’m sure there will be some cultural lectures thrown in there along the way. At least that’s the hope. The movies so far on our first 2 sea days to get us warmed up for the adventure have been Australia and Crocodile Dundee. Both were fun to see again!
  9. We did the HAL 22 day one on the Zaandam in Jan 2018 and were simply wowed by all the various animal life, not only around the Antarctica peninsula but also on the Falkland Islands as well as in SA. We just wanted to do it one more time before they stop the “drive by” cruises in the Antarctica and also to Greenland starting Jan 2022.
  10. We were booked on the Jan 2021 Antarctica cruise, but jumped ship over to the Princess Coral when we found out X only sails for 2 days in Antarctica waters whereas Princess and HAL sail for 4 days there.
  11. Thanks! We figured this is our one big go around Australia plus we had a bunch of OBC, so we have 8 hour HAL tours booked in practically every port except Komodo Island. The other nice thing about this cruise is there are 1-2 sea days between ports to recover from those long excursions! It’s funny, we did’t used to like a lot of sea days. But the older we get, the more we are starting to appreciate them on longer cruises!
  12. Thanks John! That sounds like another cool lecture to look forward to! Just came from an evening lecture on Big Birds which was very interesting as well.
  13. We noticed that too as it would be nice to hear about Australia history and aboriginal culture at some point on the cruise. As a side note Dr Peter Carey, whom I believe was the first Director of the In-depth EXC program, left the ship in Sydney and Chris Cook, a naturalist, is now the new Director of the program. In the first Storytelling Meeting we went to with Chris last week, he did mention Dr Carey was retiring, so I guess you could say we were on one of the first cruises Dr Carey was on promoting the future Maasdam In-depth EXC program (Antarctica, Jan 2018, on the Zaandam) and his last on the Maasdam (Auckland to Sydney on the Maasdam). He was definitely one impressive guy that knew his stuff! I still remember him saying on the first day we boarded the Maasdam when we saw him by chance on the promenade that he was upset that HAL is taking the “In-depth” out of the EXC name and implementing it fleet wide. Maybe these more nature-based lectures and Port-to-Table discussions under its new management as of this cruise are the beginning of the new “more general’ EXC program. I’m not complaining, as the lectures have so far been very interesting on our circumnavigation cruise, but rather just stating an observation.
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