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jamieandsam

Members
  • Content Count

    87
  • Joined

About jamieandsam

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Edmonds, WA (Seattle area)
  • Interests
    travel, photography, beaches, reading
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Galapagos Islands
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
    www.travelalongwithjamie.com

Recent Profile Visitors

253 profile views
  1. We were in 2513. I wouldn't recommend the cabin, not only because it's dated, but it was forward Deck 2, and we were awoken several mornings but the tender deck being put out, by the anchor, and/or by the gangplank being set up. It wasn't a huge deal for us because it was around the time we were getting up anyways.
  2. Cruise was Montreal to Boston, with port stops in Quebec City, Prince Edward Island, Sydney and Halifax Nova Scotia, and Bar Harbor Maine. Quebec City was fabulous, we toured the city and went to the falls. We had included lunch at Chez Muffy, which was excellent. I've been to PEI before and it was still wonderful. They were still recovering from Hurricane Dorian, so there were areas without power and we saw a lot of downed trees. At the Anne of Green Gables home the bathrooms were running on generators. Tour included lobster lunch which was great. Sydney, Nova Scotia is a waste of time. We did a walking tour which was fun but not very impressive. We had been to Halifax before so we did the Hop On Hop Off bus mainly as a way to get between sites. Lots of tree damage from Hurricane Dorian so we couldn't go to the public garden. It wasn't storm related but we couldn't go to the Titanic Cemetery either, I didn't really understand the issue. Halifax is a great city, and others mentioned their tours were good. We didn't do a tour in Bar Harbor as we had been there before as well. Acadia National Park is always fantastic and people on whale watching boats said they did see whales. If you stay in town, it's mainly cute shopping.
  3. I just returned from a week on the Zaandam, Montreal to Boston. I was so disappointed and thought I'd share my review. I'm a frequent cruiser, generally Princess, Royal Caribbean, and NCL. It's been at least 20 years since I was on HAL but I know it has an excellent reputation. The Zaandam did not live up to it. Food: Dinner in the main dining room was poor. I ordered red meat 2 or 3 times, and the meat was overcooked (I ordered medium rare) and texture was off. Lobster tail was overcooked and wasn't served with melted butter. Desserts were okay, but weren't as described. Fish tasted like frozen fish was used. Service was mediocre, our waiter seemed tired all the time, and on 2nd gala dinner, service was atrocious. Dinner in the Pinnacle Grill was excellent, steak cooked appropriately, and huge servings. Well worth the $39. Lido Buffet has a great salad bar for lunch and dinner. Breakfast food was average. Main courses at lunch and dinner were mediocre. Desserts and ice cream were average. Buffet closed at 2pm and didn't re-open until 5:00 or 5:30 so if you were hungry in the afternoon or when returning from shore excursions, your options were Dive-In Grill or afternoon tea (which I heard was good but I never went). Dive-In Grill for hot dogs and burgers was good. Ship: The Zaandam is in need of renovation. The bathroom tile was coming off the wall in places and looked like it was from the 1960's. We did have a tub/shower combo which is a rarity on a ship, but I would rather have not had to climb over the high tub edge to get in the shower. Cabin was well-designed and had a lot of closet space. I found blood on my pillow cases - wasn't from me - pillow cases were immediately changed but this grossed me out anyways. Public spaces were nice. Entertainment and Activities: Main stage shows were terrible, with the exception of the stand up comedian. I never saw Amanda, the cruise director, anywhere except for the main stage shows. She did not seem particularly enthusiastic. America's Test Kitchen was ok, but needs an overhead mirror so you can better see what the chef is doing. Not enough seats in there. I didn't go to any of the computer workshops, but there are a lot of these, mainly on working with digital photos. There were almost no daytime activities. Trivia was boring and questions so obscure. I only ever saw one other cruise entertainment staff other than cruise director, and she wasn't very enthusiastic either. There was a fabulous string quartet, but other entertainment was terrible. I was so bored on this ship - and other people felt the same way. Jamie
  4. I stayed at the Twin Palms Resort and Spa. It was amazing!
  5. It's a private tour, so is more expensive for that reason. They're really fun and knowledegable people who will adopt the tour to what you're interested in.
  6. I highly recommend http://www.sydneyprivatedaytours.com.au/. I used them when I was in Sydney last year, for a trip to the Blue Mountains. Julia and her husband (whose name I don't remember) run the tours - Julia was fabulous and we ran into her husband while out there as well and he seemed great. On my cruise in 2020, I have 2 of their tours booked.
  7. I am doing a tour in the Pattaya area, not booked through cruise line. There's a lot to do, including beaches, elephant sanctuary, tiger zoo (although reviews online are mixed of that), floating market, and much more.
  8. jamieandsam

    Is Hong Kong safe?

    Maybe that's why my rate is lower.
  9. jamieandsam

    Is Hong Kong safe?

    Thanks for the heads up. I just rebooked my hotel in Hong Kong (2 nights post cruise) and saved almost $100 US per night.
  10. Thanks vada_9. This is very helpful and I just changed my tour for Napier.
  11. Would love some input. I am booked for a shore excursion in Napier to Cape Kidnappers for a Gannet Safari. My cruise begins in Auckland and I'm doing a 3-day pre-cruise tour of Auckland. I was reading that tour discussion last night and read this in the description: "Muriwai Beach on the rugged west coast. A stop is made on the cliff tops overlooking the beach. From here there is a walk of approximately 250 metres, through native plants, to the lookout. At the lookout you will be able to see the gannet colony. This is one of only two mainland gannet colonies in the world. You will be very close to the birds and depending on the season and time of day, you will be able to see their various activities such as nesting, feeding and displaying. Gannets are spectacular aeronauts and you may be able to see their wonderful displays as they dive for fish." So my question is should I change excursions in Napier as I'll be seeing them in Muriwai Beach in Auckland. There's so much to do in NZ that I if I will experience them in Auckland, I'd love to do something different in Napier. If you've been to Muriwai Beach, is that a good place to experience the gannets? Thanks, Jamie
  12. Marc, where did you find this info. I'm on Regent Voyager next year and trying to figure out which port we're at. I'm hoping it's not Phy My. Jamie
  13. Have you joined the Roll Call for the cruise? I'm doing Auckland to Hong Kong and there are 2 roll calls that I see, one for Auckland to Shanghai (now Japan) and one for Bali to Hong Kong.
  14. Does anyone know where Regent Seven Seas docks in Ho Chi Minh City? I'll be on Seven Seas Voyager. Thanks, Jamie
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