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Posts posted by cruzin4us

  1. 10 hours ago, notladjr said:

    What is the "bacon clothesline"? Is that an entree or appetizer?


    My folks are currently on the Eurodam and my mom sent me these pics of what they ate off the new menu.  




    Short Ribs

    Cheesecake Lollipops

    Creme Brulee






    • Like 1
  2. 8 hours ago, work2travelmore said:

    We are on board for 20 days so the package is just over $1000 each. I did call HAL and ask if we could buy the Quench package for DH as he cannot drink alcohol due to medications but they give no exceptions! We have discussed the Quench package and purchase other drinks separately, and it may be the way to go. It’s the exchange for us that is the killer. Thanks for the price lists as well, they help with budgeting. I am a beer drinker with the occasional margarita or fruity martini so my bar bill isn’t huge. We had all included on our Celebrity cruise last fall and it was so nice not to worry about anything at the end. Drinks, gratuities, internet were all included, along with an OBC, and we were able to pay in Canadian funds so it made for a very reasonable cruise. Too bad HAL doesn’t offer the same perks.


    I don't think I would purchase either of the alcohol pkgs if one of you doesn't drink.  If you get the quench pkg you can get "mocktails" for your DH, water, coffees, etc.   I think I would just buy some OBC so you don't end up with a huge bill at the end.  That's the way I finally decided to roll.  I've bought the beverage pkgs before and even tho my DH and I both drink, there was no way we could break even by ordering 6 alcoholic drinks each everyday.  Especially on a 20 day cruise.  We start out at the beginning of the cruise drinking our 6+ drinks/day but that fizzled out rather quickly.     You could also buy a bottle of tequilla and make your own margaritas.   That would save you a bit of $.

  3. 4 minutes ago, freedom50 said:

    We have booked a cruise on this ship for December 2019. We are two star mariners and this will be our fifth cruise on Holland America. For the first time we have booked an inside (sideways) cabin.  So we are exploring the  cabana rentals on the Koningsdam and have a couple of questions. If you have had one would you recommend booking for the entire week? Based on the layout what is the best cabana retreat to book for a couple based on total peace, relaxation, and of course the best views?   DId you enjoy the perks included with the rental?

    IF we book now and change our mind would we get a full refund $ or an onboard credit? Thanks for your time.


    I have only rented a retreat cabana on NA, and am doing it again for an entire week on my upcoming Mexican Riviera cruise.  I'm not sure where you are headed, but I HIGHLY recommend them.  If you can spring for the family retreat cabana, then I would snag one.  If not, the others are nice but just not as large.  The service is amazing and well worth the fee IMO.  We always get the cabana overlooking the lido pool.  It is very quiet and you don't have to worry about chair hogs as you have your own private area.  I'm not sure about changing your mind and getting a refund....I doubt it though.  I am a big fan of the cabanas :classic_love:

  4. I think if the food in the MDR was better/larger (emphasizing better) then the $10 fee wouldn't bother me as much.   I just don't think the food quality warrants an extra fee.    I have yet to have a meal that is spectacular, it's just not that good.


    As far as over indulgence goes......Many people over indulge on a cruise, whether it be by food, alcohol, sun or whatever, it's part of what makes cruising fun for some people.   Especially those that are on a 7 day vacation.   


    I've said this before, but it was unfair to those passengers that decided to take a cruise and were not told until they boarded that there was a "trial" going on.   Even worse, it was only done on a select few ships.....make it fleet wide and don't make guinea pigs out of some cruisers.....it was a bait and switch tactic in my book.

    • Like 1
  5. I miss the "small" things as well.   I'm sure the pastries not being readily available are part of HAL's way for saving money even though I'm sure some will tell you it's about food waste.


    I'm heading out in 7 days to do the same trip as you did.  Only going because it was cheap and leaves from my home port.  I also like longer cruises....and as far as kids go....I'm getting to be an old so-and-so too :classic_biggrin:

    • Like 2
  6. I'm finding it interesting that those that are in agreement with the $10 (I know not all) never seem to order an additional entree.  So, if it doesn't apply to them they agree with the new fee.   I find this so odd.   There are so many comparisons I could give:


    1.  You can attend 1 BB King show but should you wish to go more than once you will need to pay.

    2.  You can use the treadmill for 10 minutes but if you want to use it more then cough up $10

    3.  Want to use a lounge chair?  After 30 min it's gonna cost you $10.

    4.  1st Tender is free, after that....$10 Bucks


    Just because the $10 may not effect you personally, you shouldn't be for this.   It's just the tip of the iceberg.


    • Like 6
  7. You can bring water on board with you.  We bring a case on when we board and then buy some in port if needed.   They charge quite a bit for plain water, but if you get most of the beverage packages, water is included.  Many say the water is excellent out of the tap, but I prefer to bring on our own H2O.   

  8. 7 hours ago, Bella0714 said:

    I’m going to guess that a lot of the waste in the MDR and the ordering of additional main courses is due to unsatisfactory food. We were on Nieuw Amsterdam three years ago. Great cruise, but the food in the MDR was the low point. Every dinner became a search for edible entries. Okay, “edible” is an exaggeration. Enjoyable. We rarely ask for a second entree unless the food just isn’t good. So, if HAL ups the quality of MDR food and/or doesn’t charge for the second or third entree if the first ones (barely eaten, of course) are not good, I don’t have a big problem with this. But I’m going to guess that during this experiment, a lot more first entrees are being sent back.


    I have to agree with the "unsatisfactory" part.   If the food was better and slightly bigger portions this would help.  I have found the food to be satisfactory in the MDR but nothing else.   Nothing I go home saying "that was amazing".  I would expect the food to be something better than Denny's, Coco's, AppleBee's or Olive Garden.  If you want Ruth Chris or Donovan's you need to go to the Specialty Dining.   There is a vast difference between the comparison of restaurants and HAL needs to step up their game in the MDR in my opinion.   If they want to charge me $10, I expect to get something better than "satisfactory".


  9. OMG, I love your wood stingray!!!   


    Your pics have made me start looking for a cruise just like yours out of SD.   No airfare makes it much more doable for use.   Question, what's your gut telling you about getting an inside cabin?   Should we suck it up and get a balcony or go on the cheap and hope for an upgrade?


    I have enjoyed following your journey.   I will have something to talk about with my parents when they get back too.


  10. The people that are "pro" what HAL is doing are that way because they don't normally purchase a extra entree.   This makes them feel like HAL will keep the cruise rates down.   I see their point, but what if rolls were reversed and they were charging to go see a show or use the fitness facilities?   Well, I for one don't go to either, but I wouldn't take HAL's side on wanting to charge you $10.    I think as cruiser's we should always be upset at anything they want to charge extra for.   This is taking the enjoyment out of cruising.   

    • Like 3
  11. 34 minutes ago, simplyrubies said:

    We are cruising HAL for the first time this June and I am hoping that the experience will still be fun, despite any of the downsides that you have mentioned. It's good to go in with a realistic expectation on the cruise, so thank you for providing your honest take on your experience - it can sometimes be difficult to find such reviews online.



    Always remember, any cruise is always better than no cruise :classic_biggrin:

    You will have fun.....we always do :classic_love:

    • Like 2
    • Haha 1
  12. 2 hours ago, kantonburg said:


    Forgive me as we booked our first cruise and I've done nothing be read the "I wish I knew" and this beverage thread the past two days.  I've seen a couple people mention they keep purchased water bottles to refill.  I love iced tea.  Where do you refill you Gatorade bottle?  Also I saw someone post they bring cases of water when stopping at port.  Can you do that?


    I'm going to keep reading through the "I wish I knew" thread, but I'm on page 8 of 113 and have been making notes of suggestions I feel are good ones!


    Thanks in advance



    Sorry I missed your question, but I got on a tangent about credit cards/debit cards.  

    My suggestion is to get one of those insulated sipper cups, the kind that don't sweat.   Kind of like a Yeti or similar.   You can refill your cup/thermos/sipper cup in the Lido Buffet area.   Some people bring a small funnel so there is no contact with the dispenser.

    You can carry on water bottles on Holland America (not all cruise lines allow this).   Do not check them in your luggage.  We bring a whole case with us.   It's only a small inconvenience at the port.   You can also purchase more water off the ship in port and bring it back on in smaller quantities for convenience.

  13. I would so much rather HAL charge a few dollars more upfront than to get on this band wagon about the food waste.   People waste food....they shouldn't but they do.   Go to the buffet and watch somebody tear apart the pre-made sandwiches and throw 1/2 the bread away.    There is waste everywhere you look on a cruise ship.  It's about indulgence and good/bad or otherwise, it's been the cruising image forever.   

    Not everyone that orders a 2nd entree wastes the food.   Some people order 1 entree and waste food.    How many times have you seen someone only eat 1/2 their burger from the dive?   Get real people, this is about HAL making $ and watching people follow along like sheep being led to the slaughterhouse.   Justifying in your own head why people order a 2nd entree is none of your concern, just like I don't tell you that you shouldn't go to the spa.....because truly, it's not necessary and it makes more laundry etc.   It's unbelievable to me some people are sticking up with HAL on this one.

    • Like 2
    • Thanks 1
  14. 9 hours ago, RocketMan275 said:

    Why would it defeat the purpose if you pay off the cc when the bill arrives?


    I guess in a nutshell for me it's this:   I scrimp and save to go on a cruise, I don't have the luxury of just paying off a credit card.   Some people are more fortunate than we are and have the finances to do this.....but we don't.  Avoiding using credit cards is basic 101 when you have limited income.    

    • Like 1
  15. Are you going a few days early before your cruise?  We did the halibut/salmon fishing out of Homer.  Just rented a car and drove there from Anchorage.    We stayed right on the pier in the "Time Bandit" (as in the Deadliest Catch).  The have a 1 room studio above their shop.   Fished 2 days....caught a halibut almost every catch but could only keep 2 pp/day so we kept trying for the big one!   We had the fish processed on the pier and shipped home.  It wasn't cheap but it was soooooo worth it.   We limited out on salmon too (shipped that as well).


    If you can swing getting to Homer, I highly recommend it.  It's an easy drive and pretty to boot.   You can rent a boat with 2-4 people or you can do the cattle car method (cheaper).   We did both but would do the 2/4 people if we do it again.   

  16. 15 hours ago, seamist said:

    Today we did https://www.fakaravaexcursions.com/ out to the “Blue Lagoon”.  The excursion started out, shall we say, a bit rocky.  Some folks who had booked this tour for whatever reason decided not to show.  The tour director was blaming the ship being slow with the tenders, but the reality was, those who booked went early to get tender tickets and had no problems whatsoever making it on time.  The poor tour operator got stiffed.  Nevertheless, he should have left on time, instead we sat there waiting and we were not sure how well this was going to go to say the least.


    FINALLY a half an hour late we left and were on our way, the tour operator picking up other people at the last minute filling the boat.  From here on out the tour was FABULOUS.  The Blue Lagoon left me feeling like I was in , well, the movie Blue Lagoon or something.  It was an absolutely beautiful unspoiled place.  I was expecting Gilligan and the Skipper to show up!  So we had a wonderful time in this peaceful lagoon swimming, snorkeling, and enjoying some fresh coconut water.  This place fit my every imagination of what the South Pacific is like.


    From there we went to the coral garden for some deep water snorkeling, then back to the ship.  Wonderful tour.









    Ok, after these pics, I have now added this cruise to my bucket list.   I'm done with the Mexican Riviera!!!



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