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Tom O.

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Everything posted by Tom O.

  1. Well it depends where you are going. If you're headed to the theater, it is a long walk. If you are headed to the MDR - it is right below you. The walk to the Lido is a medium walk. You may only walk to the theater once or twice during the cruise, but you will probably walk to the MDR at least once a day. There are plenty of elevators, so you shouldn't need to go up steps, except at the safety drill at the beginning of the cruise.
  2. I am with you. I love having dinner on the balcony, even the smaller ones. Several people have said that the aft is rockier, but I have never noticed that. I know that the aft is less rocky than the far forward cabins.
  3. There is another recent thread about aft cabins you might be interested in. It is not about suites but it should give some good info. looking-at-aft-facing-cabins-on-nieuw-amsterdam
  4. This is a non-issue for me. I prefer buying excursions and other items in advance with my credit card. If I cancel them (and I often do), I quickly get a refund on my credit card. I prefer saving my OBC for expenses on the cruise. I rarely have much OBC anyway, so there is never an issue of me not using it up. Also, I book through a TA, and cannot even see my OBC until I am on board. But, I understand why some people would not like to charge up their credit cards, unnecessarily. I suspect that the ability to use OBC for pre-purchased items will not come about until HAL makes some major renovations to its computerized billing system and web site.
  5. I would bet that the extra rocking was also due to operating on only one azipod. I have been on several cruises on aft facing cabins, and never noticed any extra rocking there. I haven't noticed more engine vibration either, but there is definitely more noise from the wake. But I find that soothing, reminds me of the sound of river rapids.
  6. I can think of no advantage of booking with a PCC. But what you might want to do is check with more than one TA, you might even save more.
  7. Club Orange sounds to me to be of little value. On the ships that I cruise, it is simply a separate area in the MDR. The extra item available on the menu, doesn't sound like it is worth an extra $25 per person. And the room upgrade is of little value to me, since it is within the same category - it is exactly the same room, it is just in a different location.
  8. Anyone considering buying vanilla extract in the Caribbean or Mexico should read this article: Truth About Vanilla It is on a website that sells vanilla, but the same information can be found elsewhere.
  9. We were in the middle too. There is still some air movement just not the stiff breeze you get on the sides. And remember, on most days you are in port, so there is no difference in side or aft breeze. The corner wrap around cabins are suites, which we cannot afford. But, I have had a corner balcony on a Princess ship that was not a suite. The main advantage of that corner balcony was that it was the largest balcony I have ever had.
  10. That what is great about the cruise business. Each cruise line appeals to a different segment of society. People who like lots of activities are better off on a different cruise line than HAL. HAL has no rock climbing walls, bumper cars, or other intensive activities. For me, reading a book is an activity, especially if I can do it on my balcony. Of course, if I am on a ship with a lot of activities, I can just ignore them, and I do. But if all these activities are important to you, you would should choose a different cruise line.
  11. I just wanted to make a few comments on shows on cruise ships. On my very first cruise, about 20 years ago, I was on a Princess ship and my wife talked me into seeing the main show. I thought it was hokey and I have never gone to see another one on any cruise line. But I have always enjoyed the various musicians who have performed in bars and various other parts of the ship, My absolute favorite thing to see is the Lincoln Center string ensemble and various other string quartets that have performed on HAL ships over the years. But to each their own, and many people love those bigger shows. Personally. I would rather be sitting on my balcony sipping a glass of bourbon.
  12. cardbucfan, Forgot to mention that we are also just flying out on the 19th. We have decided to not do any tours in Copenhagen - we will just take it easy and walk around the center of the city. We are staying at The Square Hotel, which is right next to the City Hall. Should be plenty to see around there.
  13. cardbucfan: Sorry we probably won't run into you. But it is just as well that the ports stagger the ship arrivals. It avoids the ports being too crowded. Especially when one of the ships is the very large Escape. We are staying two nights in a hotel in Copenhagen before the cruise, in order to recover from jetlag. We have never been to Northern Europe, so this will be a real adventure. Have fun on your cruise!
  14. We love Aft Facing rooms We took a Caribbean Cruise a couple of years ago on the Nieuw Amsterdam and had an aft facing balcony cabin. It was great, the balcony was much larger than usual. I like these cabins because you can see things on both sides of the ship. Last summer we had an aft facing cabin on the Noordam, it was great too, but not as great as the Nieuw Amsterdam. This was because we were higher up on deck 8. We were right below the Sea View Pool area. Our balcony stuck out a little more than the railing for the pool area. People would gather at that rail and they could see down into our balcony, but they could only the outer edge of it. Nevertheless I would have appreciated a little more privacy. The other balconies below us did not have that problem. So I would definitely go for an aft facing cabin, but just make sure you have at least one deck of cabins above you. Avoid any cabins that have a public area directly above. I believe you will be OK on the Nieuw Amsterdam if you take a aft facing balcony on deck 7 or below.
  15. I confess that I have never used Luggage Direct, but I was wondering if the reason for early departure is that all of the Luggage Direct bags are put on a truck together, regardless of flight times. If that is the case, then if one bag is delayed, it might hold up the whole truck load. They would have to get all of the luggage to the airport before the earliest flight time. So, then even if someone has a late flight, if their bag is the one held up by customs, it could cause a bag with an early flight to miss the flight. Don't know if this is the case, just an idea on my part. Probably only someone who handles the luggage could tell you for sure.
  16. Aug 10 is a sea day. Aug 11 is Tallinn Aug 12 & 13 St. Petersburg Aug 14 Helsinki Aug 15 Stockholm Aug 16 at sea Aug 17 Warnemunde, Germany Aug 18 Kiel, Germany Aug 19 Return to Copenhagen
  17. OK, Just asking because we are on the Zuiderdam which will be visiting Tallinn, and it departs Copenhagen on Aug. 9! A bit of a coincidence.
  18. Are you sailing on the Holland America Zuiderdam?
  19. I think HAL gives 1 pm instead of 11:30 as the boarding time is simply an effort to reduce the congestion that occurs earlier. A couple hours after they start boarding the lines get shorter.
  20. I have never had to wait for the cabin to be ready on a HAL cruise. I have ran into that on other cruise lines.
  21. I think you will like HAL if you are looking for a quiet cruise. HAL passengers tend to be much older than all of the other cruise lines. Older folks are usually more reserved and go to bed early. If you are in your lower 50's you will be among the younger half of passengers. We like the older crowd, and we prefer smaller ships.
  22. I am with you, Hank. I have heard that Viking has no photographers either. But both Seabourn and Viking are too pricey for us. Since they make more money on the cruise ticket, they don't have to invent miscellaneous ways to make a profit, such as photography. So I will just have to put up with them. But as others have said, they are not as bothersome as they used to be, at least on HAL
  23. Thanks, good to know. Unfortunately, I can't get the App. I won't give up on my flip phone.
  24. Yes, and it is not just OBC you can't see, you can't see your deposit or related items. Since it is the TA who collects the money from you, you deal with them for most financial matters. But I have never ran into a problem with this. All of this stuff appears on my receipt from my TA. One exception is if I purchase items on the website after booking. Items such as ship's excursions, specialty dining, beverage packages, etc. can still be purchased directly from HAL. The TA is not involved in these purchases and I can see them on my HAL Itinerary page and even cancel them if I need to. I think my TA can also order these items for me, but I have never asked her to, and she doesn't seem to mind if I purchase them on my own. I have no idea if TAs make a commission on items like these.
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