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Everything posted by 3rdGenCunarder

  1. Just thought of another question. Is there a smoking area by the seaview pool? And if so, which side?
  2. Until covid, I did a Caribbean cruise every winter just for a warm break. I choose a cruise to be on a ship, and it's HAL because I don't want to be on a mega and I balk at the price to be a single on a smaller all-inclusive where I won't make a lot of use of the included items. Even though I've been to most of HAL's ports multiple times, I look for a new excursion or just grab my camera and go out to explore. I look for somewhere local to spend money on a snack or a drink. For repeat ports that I know have little to interest me, I enjoy the quiet of the ship.
  3. Thanks for the answers! A band that's a little "jazzy" and a classical duo would make me happy.
  4. It's five years since I've been on an R or S ship. I'm thinking about Zaandam in 2024. Sadly, there are no wake-view cabins, but I am looking at something aft, as most mid-ship Vista "suites" are booked. Any issues with vibration toward the back? Up on deck 6, I should be high enough not to be bothered, but thought I'd ask. Also, there appear to be aft deck areas on 6 and 7. Do the hallways have doors to those little deck spaces? And are there any chairs? I'll have a balcony, but sometimes I want to watch the wake. When is the next drydock/upgrade? I've been seeing confusing comments about the state of the TVs, and hope that in a year there will be new ones. Given HAL's meager entertainments on the small ships, I may want to just watch a movie some evenings. On the subject of entertainment, I know there's no Lincoln Center. Is there any classical quartet/trio/duo? And a piano and/or band of some sort in a bar at night?
  5. The B2B are usually also sold as individual 7-day cruises, so at the end of the first week, some people will disembark and others will embark at the start of their week. US rules require a "zero count," which means all passengers must get off so that there are no passengers on board. Then in-transit passengers can get back on without the full check-in/embarkation process. I have read that sometimes the in-transit passengers are "processed" in the theater or another large space and held, rather than made to get off the ship, until the zero count is done. But any time I've been in this situation, I had to get off the ship.
  6. Did anyone else receive this email about QA? So is this just another bar/lounge, or is it some special advance-reservation thing? Introducing the Bright Lights Society. Experience a Cunard® first on board Queen Anne® with our brand new Bright Lights Society. Approaching the entrance to this new show bar is akin to the anticipation of entering a secret club. Inside, warmly‑lit chandeliers wrap a room of soft cobalt seating, pulling your eyes directly to the stage. Here you are invited to share an evening of intimate entertainment as corks pop and champagne flows, with excitement in the air. Bright Lights Society doesn't shy away from extravagance, it electrifies it.
  7. Ha! Didn't work smoothly for me. In Sept, I was on QM2 for the 2-week Canada cruise. The OBC didn't show up. Stupidly, I forgot to take hard copy with me--I should have known, as Cunard has screwed up this before. I used an online fax service, since the directions discouraged email as "not secure." Front desk kept asking me to forward my email. I explained that I hadn't emailed, but I had a confirmation email from the fax service. It took four or five visits to the front desk before I could get to someone above the desk clerks. I could get a statement, but it wasn't blacked out, so there was no way I was going to give them that. Finally, someone listened, emailed shoreside, and I got my OBC an hour and a half later. So today, I used email (despite Carnival's warning that it isn't secure) to get my OBC from HAL. In five minutes, I received an automatic confirmation that the email was received and two minutes after that, an email from a person saying the OBC would be in my account. HAL has never got it wrong. I would estimate that Cunard has been about 50% going back over all the years I've had the stock. I try not to think about the share price. I thought it was low when I bought it, and it was comparatively low to what it had been before. But the price was definitely higher than it is now.
  8. I remember dpcking at Port Everglades at the end of a cruise and watching HUGE shrink-wrapped boats (yachts?) go by on a freighter, headed for the boat show. Fortunately, we were going directly to the train to go home, so we did not get caught in the high hotel prices.
  9. I, too, still have my hearing and am protective of it. The fact that you saw lots of people watching the dancers shows that HAL's entertainment is not limited to the Music Walk. Sadly, there was more non-deafening music before they started the Music Walk, but at least there's some. I don't like the Music Walk, so I avoid it. If others enjoy it, then it's there for them.
  10. I wonder if there's less interest in the lunch than there used to be. I usually go in the morning, swim or snorkel, and go back to the ship for lunch. My last time there, just before the covid shut down, I went early, did the horse ride, and hoped to do the afternoon snorkel by boat. The afternoon tour was cancelled because of too few people. So maybe people are skipping lunch and afternoon activities on the island. I do think shortening the day reduces the value of renting a cabana or villa. Has the price gone down at all?
  11. The HMC stop has ended earlier and earlier over the years, but 2 PM is ridiculous when you consider everyone has to tender. Even using the island tenders, people don't get to stay on the island until 2:00.
  12. That's a lot of infomercials for the spa and shops and not much that interests me. I'm looking at that same cruise, mostly for some variety in itinerary. I don't need a lot of entertainment if I stay on board on a port day, but there's a limit to how much time I can devote to knitting or reading. I wish Zaandam had a proper spa pool instead of just a hot tub. That would clinch the decision for me.
  13. As someone said earlier (but I couldn't find the post), mistakes happen, it's how the company handles it that makes a difference. HAL did not handle this well. Am upgrade is unlikely to be available at this point, and maybe there aren't any of the smaller cabanas. But definitely HIA, some excursion credit, SOMETHING to show that they recognize the customer's disappointment.
  14. Even the canal and southern Caribbean cruises are the same year after year. Cruise lines have their relationships with ports and it's easier to stay with the same places than work out new arrangements.
  15. As soon as I book a cruise, I start an itinerary in a Word file. I have a standard format that I always use, so I overwrite my "blank" starter file. I start with day/date/port or sea and port times if I know them. A rough to-do list goes above the first day, with reminders to book pre-hotel, flight/train, etc. The itinerary document grows over time. As I book travel to the port, add pre-cruise hotel, shorex, etc, that all gets noted in the itinerary. At some point, I look up and add things like sunrise/sunset or average temps if that's going to matter for excursions. Anything that comes by email (which is most of the bits) goes into a specific folder in my email. I add screenshots of email receipts to the itinerary document. Items to be printed are saved on my computer as pdfs in the folder with the itinerary. If it's a long cruise, I grab one of the charity calendars I get in the mail and write the itinerary on that so I have a quick reference. I often do the calendar thing if I'm considering a cruise. Right now I'm thinking about 3 weeks on Zaandam in 2024. That one is very port intensive so it helps me see where the sea-day breaks are. I print hard copy of all the important things in the week before I leave home. I know most items can be accessed on my phone, but hard copy is easier, and if I drop it, nothing breaks. Boarding QM2 in NY in September, I had to have a hard copy of the boarding pass because their system is to mark and sticker it as you go through the various check-in points.
  16. Every Uber or taxi driver we've had at FLL has warned us to have passports and boarding pass ready to show. They don't want to hold up the line or waste their time while passengers shuffle through purses/pockets/carry-ons.
  17. I agree that it's risky to pin the whole plan on one element. That said, I've done a few cruises for a specific port, and been lucky that nothing was cancelled. But even so, that would have been just one day. The cabana is for the whole cruise. OP did not say what kind of cabin they booked. I've seen people say they book an inside or OV knowing they will have the cabana as their outdoor space. If that's the situation, losing the cabana really does ruin the cruise. I agree that this issue should be pursued on board.
  18. I don't think I even had to click on complimentary. The computer just figured it out. After reading about losing the value of a cancelled excursion, I thought I would book a third one. I had been debating between taxi/resort fee to a beach in Curacao or taking the ship's tour. Price was about equal, so I booked the tour, expecting to pay for it. HIA says two excursions, up to $200. I don't remember if it's $100 each or $200 total. They do say that if you book more than 2 excursions, HIA will cover the most expensive, up to that $200 cap. Well, surprise! My HIA is paying for all 3 of my excursions, which total just under $200. I now have a $0.15 credit left in my excursion account.
  19. (bold is mine) Thank you for this comment! Overamping isn't just in the music walk. Sometimes the sound is cranked up too high in the main showroom. I had to walk out of the showroom one night on Veendam because they had amplified a grand piano so much that it sounded tinny like a kid's toy piano. I didn't think that was possible. I wandered into the Ocean bar and found a band that could play well and control their volume. It is possible.
  20. I agree with the posters who avoid the music walk. I hate how loud it is. I made the mistake of trying to walk through there one night, and it was hell. LOUD, crowd spilling out of the bar to the extent that it would have been a fire code violation in a land venue. I'm a little claustrophobic about being in a crowd, and I nearly had a panic attack. I wanted to scream FIRE! just to see if anyone would even hear me. I learned my lesson. I stay out of there. I know it's popular, and HAL probably makes good money on the drinks. But it isn't for me. Fortunately, the Pinnacle ships also have movies by the pool, which balances things out for me. The other thing I dislike about Music Walk is that putting Lincoln Center into BBKings has forced the LC group into awkward performance times. It had to be done so they wouldn't be overpowered by all the noise, but it devalues their performances. Bring back the Neptunes in the Ocean Bar!!!!!!!!!!
  21. Kathi, have a wonderful time. Zuidy is my favorite HAL ship. I've been following your amazing adventures. You coped very well with covid--if I had been in an OV, I'd have tried to break a window to get some fresh air! One additional medical suggestion that I don't think others have suggested. The spa pool on the larger ships is wonderfully medicinal. I've walked off a bout of sciatica in Zuidy's spa pool. I would go early when it was quiet and just slowly walk in the warm water, not even turning on the jets if I was alone. My husband had Parkinson's and walking in the spa pool was good PT for him. Too bad we couldn't write off the cruise (or the spa pass) on our medical insurance. Oops, make that two suggestions. The rollator is a great help but be careful how you use it. People tend to push it ahead, like a supermarket cart, and that puts a strain on the back. My English cousin called hers a "Zimmer frame." No, I don't know who Zimmer is/was, but my point is to think of it as a frame around you, and you will stand/walk with better posture. Enjoy the warmth and the sea!
  22. So good to hear you're on another cruise! For me, the best thing about Club Orange was the cooked-to order breakfast. Pancakes off the griddle and to your table in 30 seconds! And the mimosas were nice, too. My favorite spot to sit on K'dam, other than the balcony, was one of the curved sofas on the second level of the pool. Very comfy for stretching out and knitting (my niece was pregnant and the clock was ticking on the blanket I'd started). Try the movies on the big screen by the pool. I enjoyed those a lot.
  23. I feel the same way. I love the Vista design, on HAL and on Cunard. It's a comfortable size and has enough space and amenities for me. There is some push-back on the larger ships, as too many guests overcrowd a port. Bar harbor is now limiting the size of ships they'll take.
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