Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community

Crew News

  • Content Count

  • Joined

About Crew News

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    New Mexico
  • Interests
    Writing, cooking, photography, and travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. On my 16 Alaska cruises, there are a few locations where there is no connection or intermittant connection losses which really frustrates downloads and sending email. When using my phone in ports, the connection speed is the same as home EXCEPT when the ship first enters the port and everybody onboard uses the local internet towers. Connection speed in Alaska is greatly affected by where you are on the ship. Most Neptune suites have a repeater on the stateroom ceilings, there are repeaters located around the ship (good locations are on Deck 9 pool area and the Internet Cafe), but if you are not in the aforementioned areas, the internet signal will depend on how far you are from the nearest repeater and how many doors through which the signal must pass. A Defense Signal Intelligence officer on one of my recent roll calls would sit in his open doorway every evening with his laptop to get a good connection. Bottom line is that if you are sitting in a verandah stateroom with the door closed in Alaska, don't expect more speed than one Mbps. If you get more, be very happy. If you want the best time of day and location to use the internet, go to the indoor pool area on Deck 9 after 10:00 PM. Location, location, location.
  2. To the best of my knowledge, purchasing minutes has been discontinued on all HAL ships since their last drydock. Current prices are for just social media access ($14.99/day), Surfing package ($24.99/day), and Streaming ($29.99/day). If you buy for the duration of your cruise, there is an approximate 40% discount. Internet satellites are positioned over the equator so reception in the Caribbean is decent but not quite good enough for live streaming.
  3. Another vote for Blurb. I create youth sports photobooks for a friend whose son participates in every school and community sport available. During the layout phase, Blurb warns if any photo has less than the needed ppi to make a good print so that adjustments can be made to ensure an amazing photobook.
  4. Here is a link on the HAL website: https://book.hollandamerica.com/specialServices/login.action
  5. Since the Konigsdam in the Caribbean will have hundreds of passengers on B2B, they will be told via their Disembarkation Letter to gather in the showroom at a specific time on Disembarkation Day. Scanners will be in place to scan everyones stateroom card as they enter the showroom. Those B2B passengers will be held in the showroom until all of the other passengers have disembarked. When the ship can be certified as "zeroed out", passengers in the showroom will be released to return to their rooms. Note that if there are only a few B2B passengers, they will escorted off the ship to an "in-transit" waiting area and allowed to return as soon as the ship is "zeroed out". If one chooses to just leave the ship, they must be off the ship by 9:30 AM with the other passengers but may return to the ship, skipping the regular check-in process with their "in transit" card, and going directly to the ship gangway. For those gathered in the showroom, feel free to be in your bathing suit, bathrobe, or evening gown for the short time there. It is my experience that the collected passengers will be release before 10:30 so bring a book to read or friends with whom to chat for about 45 minutes. Since it will be about an hour after release until the new passengers begin to board, it is a great time to wander the hallways and peek into the rooms being prepared for new guests.
  6. I would suggest you find a way to place the cart, or cover the wheels, with something (stiff and smooth with pull rope) that would slide over the sand. I can envision a smaller version of a flet-bottomed snow sled with the rolled front that could be easily pulled over the sand.
  7. Unfortunately, I do not have a larger image of my original post but here is an image placed above the plating station that is more readable:
  8. As a collector of HAL menus, there are three Gala Night menus, blue, silver, and gold that are served. These three menus have not changed in several years although a few minor changes may happend due to non-receipt of ingredients. 10-11 day cruises will serve the blue, silver, and gold menus in that order. Up to 7-day cruises will have only the silver and gold. The Mariner's Embarkation Day lunch has been the same for several years. The Mariner's Luncheon varies by region but has been generally the same for several years. HAL menus are the same for all ships on the same number of days itinerary in the same region. An exception would be In the Caribbean with so many cruisers going B2B, HAL has a Series A and B menus for the 7-day itineraries that are slightly different (pasta shape, how an entree is prepared, etc.). If you are on B2B in Alaska, you will eat the same meals. The HAL menu system is controlled by advance purchases of provisions, main office menu approval, and published recipes. If you have been on any HAL kitchen tour, you would have seen the posted photos of each course. The OPs menus should be different because they are in different regions.
  9. The Westerdam closed the MDR and allowed on Mariners to eat lunch on Embarkation Day this June. As posted above, most ships open the MDR to all on Embarkation Day but not all do.
  10. There will always be a kids club and with fewer kids, it could be more tailored to the wishes of the kids rather than a scheduled program. It is my experience that kids are invisible during the daytime and only appear during dinner which demonstrates that they are having a great time in Club HAL.
  11. While onboard, OBC can be used to purchase photo packages, anything in the Shops, cookbooks from the Explorations Cafe, excursions while onboard, beverages, flowers, Spa, wine tastings, Specialty Restaurants, Room Service items that have an extra charge (Tamarind, Dive-In, PG), etc.
  12. I purchased the Surf plan and noted the slow speed so I accepted the upgrade price and discovered that the download speed was exactly the same. Using the Premium Plan to live stream anything is a pipe dream.
  13. The decorations will start going up the day after Thanksgiving.
  14. I will be aboard the NS in December and will do my best to get updated kid's activities as well as answer any questions with a "live thread" on the HAL Forum. Here is the Kids Activities brochure that includes info in checking out Xboxes: http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/here/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Club-HAL-Info.pdf
  15. Spirits list as requested: http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/specialty-2/hal-regular-and-specialty-restaurants/hal-beverage-menus/spirits-and-beer-for-stateroom You can purchase chocolates in the Shops once they are open.
  • Create New...