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Everything posted by sevenseasnomad

  1. HAL has always taken good care of me with my food allergies. I've never had a problem. In fact, the first day, when I check in with the maître d' and give my cabin number, he'll usually say, "Oh you have the mushroom and MSG allergies." I alert HAL of my allergies through the Special Needs Department. Now, when I book a cruise, they automatically send me the form (via email) near final payment. I fill it in and email it back. (I also print a copy just in case.) They confirm in a subsequent email. I order the night before in the MDR per my waiters' insistence. As for specialty restaurants, I check in with them shortly after boarding and confirm my allergies with them. I've never received a response that they didn't know. They have it confirmed too, but it never hurts to check. When the waiters arrive at my table, I again mention my allergies. If you take the proper precautions as mentioned above, your husband should have no problems. BTW, when I order room service, I remind them again. They usually respond, "Thank you. We understand" or "Yes, I see you have these allergies." I've never had a problem on any of the ships. The last thing HAL wants is a passenger who suffers an allergic reaction because of their negligence.
  2. Right on! When I purchased the stock, I didn't care whether I make money from the stock or not. I purchased it because I cruise a lot (at least 3 cruises a year). Over the years, I've been paid back handsomely for that initial investment. I also told my broker to never sell this stock. Right now, it's still up from what I paid; however, were it to dip below that mark, I wouldn't care. My son will inherit this portfolio, and since he also cruises, he won't sell it either, unless Carnival Corp. eliminates the OBC on a permanent basis.
  3. Many thanks, Kazu, you're so kind to post these images for me.
  4. Never had a problem going through PCC for table request. Always get my first choice. Maybe I've been fortunate. My home computer still won't allow me to link to any of the features on the site; my work computer didn't have a problem at all. I'll drag my PC to the Geek guys when I get around to it. Since I can access and print the schematics, it isn't as high a priority getting it checked out than if I were limited to only my laptop. Thanks for the advice, everyone. No, I don't have the site bookmarked, so no issues there.
  5. Are you happy with your current cabin? If so, wait to see if this offer changes to a price you like better. If it would impact your cruise negatively not to have a suite, take the offer. No, you can't bargain with the rep. They understand if one passenger passes on an offer, another will snap it up. It depends on what each passenger considers a good deal, something that each passenger decides for him/herself.
  6. HAL has several options for you. The buffet, of course. You'll find that HAL staff will serve you throughout the cruise in this venue to lower the threat of Noro. Personally, I like it. Other passengers complain that it slows the lines too much. On embarkation day, it can be a hectic environment, depending on when you arrive. Dive-In is another option. It's the burger/hot dog place near the Lido main pool. Delicious gourmet burgers and Nathan's hot dogs with the best fries. What's not to love? You don't mention the ship you're booked on. Many ships have a pizza station at the aft Lido pool which is another choice for you. On Pinnacle class ships, you can also grab a sandwich or pizza at New York Deli, located on the balcony above the main Lido pool. Wonderful and delicious choices there. Be sure to ask for extra meat on the sandwiches. All HAL ships generally serve lunch on embarkation day in the MDR (lower level) from noon until 1:30, which I prefer. Not crowded or rushed. You're seated at a linen-draped table and waited on by the friendly staff. This is definitely your best bet if you want to avoid a loud, crowded atmosphere. You may be told that they're not serving lunch in the MDR, but check it out anyway. All HAL ships position their MDRs at the aft. Hope this information helps you select the best option for your needs.
  7. I use my PCC for this request. You could try Ship's Services if you don't use a PCC. Geek Squad tried to fix the problem remotely, but when I discovered some stored information could be lost, I balked. At the moment I don't have an extra flash drive to back up some vital stuff, so I've scheduled a later appointment. Once I back up my files, I'll feel better about them "invading" my drive. In the meantime, I still have the problem, so am avoiding the site.
  8. Thanks, everyone. Yes, typo in my post. I meant to write Zaandam. Will try your suggestions. Glad to know the site is okay because I depend upon it a lot.
  9. This evening I visited a website, which has the words HAL and facts in its address, that many of us use. I clicked on the dining room for Vaandam, so I could decide which table to request on a summer cruise to Canada/New England. Instead of viewing a schematic of the MDR layout, I received a page with a solid red background and white print informing me that this site has been reported as a danger to my computer for stealing personal information. I last visited the site without incident about a month ago. Without those schematics, I have no idea which tables to request. Just wondering if this is something odd going on with my computer or if the site I've trusted for so long is actually a danger. Has anyone else encountered this message?
  10. Spent the money for CO on NS during New Year's cruise. We were on the ship the previous week for Christmas with fixed early dining in the MDR. I was extremely disappointed in the service in CO. The first night, we waited over 25 minutes for someone to take our order. During the other nights, it didn't get any better. Service was okay in the mornings at breakfast. The service in the MDR, on the other hand, was fabulous. We had a table for two, and our waiter greeted us each night as we arrived and took our orders within a few minutes of our being seated. He understood that we already knew what we wanted, and he acted accordingly. In CO, we indicated to the maître d' that we didn't need a menu because we were ready to order. Even after we said that, he'd hand us the menus, telling us that someone would be with us "in a moment." That moment extended to 15-25 minutes every night. Mentioning it after the first night brought no relief. I was extremely disappointed in the service because we read about how efficient it was. The breakfast, however, was hands down the best we've ever had on any ship. We were totally spoiled by the delicious food, all of it prepared to order. All of it, even the little potato cakes, were freshly cooked as we watched. I wouldn't, however, pay for CO again. Waiting to be served for that long a time when we were sometimes one of three couples in the room is simply not acceptable when we're paying extra for the privilege. OP, I can only say that you won't know if this option works well for you unless you try it yourself. As others have said, though, you're on a ship which doesn't have a dedicated restaurant for CO, a big drawback, IMO.
  11. They do a great job, and we've discovered that some of those stewards stay with HAL year-in year-out. We've been pleasantly surprised to find that we sometimes have the same stewards from previous cruises. Don't know if this is the luck of the draw or if they are assigned to the same cabins during their contracts because we tend to repeatedly book our "favorite" cabin on each ship. This past Christmas, our steward introduced himself and then reminded us that he'd served us the previous Christmas. What a nice surprise! Returning to a HAL ship is coming home in more ways than one.
  12. Only slightly wider. Nothing like Deck 4 balconies on the Pinnacle Class which are probably 6 feet wider, at least that was our experience. Of course, it also meant that once we stepped out from the overhang, passengers on the decks above us could view our balcony, so no real privacy in this extra space if that's important to you.
  13. We used SPB and had a fabulous two-day tour in and around St. Petersburg. A grueling pace, but so memorable and worthwhile. Our guide was a history professor at a university who really knew how to keep us enthralled. We bypassed all the lines, so we got in the various museums and palaces quickly, leaving us more time to see the sites. My husband and I had tickets to go to the Mariinsky Ballet the evening of our first day in St. Petersburg. This stop was outside the tour, and we purchased the tickets online. The van dropped us off at the theater and came back to pick us up at 10:30 when the performance ended to return us to the ship, all at no extra cost. We tipped the driver like crazy, and we thought this was service above and beyond. BTW, we arranged this extra service before we left home. If you're thinking of doing something like this, I highly recommend it. The ballet was awe-inspiring. DH balked at the high price tag but was so glad we went as this company is one of the premier troupes in the world. Yes, they sometimes tour in the United States, but seeing the dancers in their "home" was a real treat. We also toured with SPB in Berlin and Stockholm and received the same wonderful service and never worried about their getting us back to the ship on time. A company doesn't build a good reputation by failing to return passengers to a ship in a timely manner. I would not hesitate to book with SPB again. If I return to Europe, SPB would definitely be my first choice as a tour guide in the many ports they now service. Hope this helps calm your fears. Enjoy.
  14. Yeah, tried looking at the map and these old eyes wouldn't focus that well. Thanks for the information.
  15. A friend and I want to arrive in Boston a few days prior to our New England/Canada cruise to take advantage of the Hop-on Hop-off trolley. She has leg problems and can't walk longer than a half mile. My question is: What hotels (prefer Marriott) are on or near trolley stops? I contacted the trolley directly and asked this question several months ago; however, they failed to answer, except to send me weekly emails about their trolleys in other cities. Not much help for the information I asked for. Can someone here answer the question? Thanks.
  16. Sitting here at hotel, revving to embark NS tomorrow. We've already met several other HAL passengers at the hotel. Almost everyone staying here (Hyatt House) is on some cruise ship leaving tomorrow. Weather is terrible: wind and rain. More predicted for tomorrow. Ugh. First time we've had rain at embarkation. I packed our rain gear, LL Bean waterproof pants and jackets, so we won't get wet; however, I hope the weather miraculously improves. We wont' be at sail-away as I understand we'll already be at dinner; however, we WILL have a wave on Dec. 29 sailing (if it isn't raining that day too) and we'll hold the yellow Happy New Year sign. Anticipating a wonderful cruise. See all of you on the flip side of 2019 as it slides into 2020.
  17. Great Christmas gift for all these passengers. These last few days had to be nerve-racking. So, to all who sail on Saturday, relax and have a wonderful, fabulous voyage. 😎
  18. You also get two stewards who wait on you hand and foot, even bringing all your meals to you from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. We only rent a cabana if we're in an inside/outside category cabin. If we have a balcony, we don't bother. Our last time renting, we got the family cabana on Oosterdam, a huge space, much larger than the family cabanas on NS. However, the stewards are the real draw here. Best service I've ever received. If you're thinking of a cabana, buy before leaving home, as they sell out and all of them may already be taken. Have you checked out our Roll Call for the 12/22 sailing? Please do so. We're mulling over when and where to meet, but I don't think we've made it an official Meet and Greet, just something very informal.
  19. And if they were downgraded or upgraded in cabin category. All around, it was a bad situation, but HAL did attempt to "do right" by the passengers, IMO. Of course, nothing can make up for the vacation they anticipated for months and now missed, at least for the majority of them. Very sad.
  20. Crew, the toots were awesome this afternoon. Did you hear them? I largely give you credit, since you wrote a note to the captain, right? Anticipating doing the same on our cruise.
  21. Thank you for your great review and amazing pictures. Since we're boarding next Sunday, I'll study your menus etc. this week and begin to savor the culinary delights awaiting us.
  22. Well said, especially the last paragraph. OP indicated cruising in November. You should be fine with a blazer and nice slacks. If doing a Christmas/New Year's cruise, you see more tuxedos and dark suits. My son loves wearing his tux. Due to his job, he can only cruise during the holidays, so he makes it festive and wears his tux. His choice. We normally drive to Port Everglades, which means we can pack a little heavier. Were we flying, no way would I take my formal gown, and I doubt that he'd take his tux with all its accoutrements. He would bring his blazer and some nice dress slacks.
  23. If nothing else, they'll have a "story" to tell when they return home. I'm glad NS and K could accommodate some of them. Crew, how did HAL determine which passengers would come aboard either ship or which would return home? Is this information anyone in authority would be willing to share? Really curious.
  24. Well, okay, then. This is acceptable. I was envisioning all of us sharing a pot of jam or a bottle of syrup, which would have been less than sanitary IMO.
  25. So glad you enjoyed your time aboard the O. Thank you for your great review. I enjoyed hearing about the comparisons between HAL and other lines with whom you've cruised. You sound like me, a perfectionist when it comes to the written word. Since I teach English (Language Arts as they designate that subject now), I feel every noun, verb with its tenses, adverb, and adjective must be perfectly selected and, of course, punctuated correctly. Most posters don't care; they want the information or the answer to their question with no criticism of improper English. I suppose that's as it should be. LOL.
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