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aussielozzie18

Holland America PNG cruise

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Thinking of doing a last minute cruise on Holland America next month to FNQ and PNG.  Syd/Gladstone/Airlie/Cairns/PNG various ports/Brisbane.  2 weeks.  Being Dec I know it will be hot and stinger season in FNQ. Apart from that can you see any negatives?  Normally cruise Royal so I know HA will be more sedate.  Any thoughts on this one from you frequent cruises on this forum?

Edited by aussielozzie18
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I'm on that one. Go for it. Probably get a good price as HAL seem to be pushing to get it, the Noordam, filled. Less likely to have hordes of kids like other lines at that time of the year.

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2 hours ago, aussielozzie18 said:

Thinking of doing a last minute cruise on Holland America next month to FNQ and PNG.  Syd/Gladstone/Airlie/Cairns/PNG various ports/Brisbane.  2 weeks.  Being Dec I know it will be hot and stinger season in FNQ. Apart from that can you see any negatives?  Normally cruise Royal so I know HA will be more sedate.  Any thoughts on this one from you frequent cruises on this forum?

 

It's a bargain so grab it while it's still there. I would have jumped at it, but I already had a cruise booked for the same time.

 

HAL is rather sedate, but no more stodgy than Princess.

 

The Nordaam is a very nice ship. Well laid out and with good facilities.

 

PNG is a great cruise destination. The islands are fantastic. Rabaul is very interesting. Although Alotau is probably the least inspiring of the ports.

 

Go.

Edited by SinbadThePorter

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Thank you Mick, Lyndarra & Sinbad.  The cabin price has dropped by $300 since I got the email 24hrs ago.  Think I will book it. Such an interesting itinerary.  Doesn't seem to be alot of cruises to PNG from Sydney on offer.

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I have thought of one thing and that is will you have time for the Visa, or does the cruise line organise that for you?

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1 hour ago, MicCanberra said:

I have thought of one thing and that is will you have time for the Visa, or does the cruise line organise that for you?

We have been to PNG on a few cruises and on each occasion, the cruise line organised the visa. 

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1 hour ago, Aus Traveller said:

We have been to PNG on a few cruises and on each occasion, the cruise line organised the visa. 

Excellent.

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I’m also on this cruise, along with some other family members. I checked with both the PNG Consul and HAL to confirm that HAL will organise the PNG visa. Apparently not all the other cruise lines do this.

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16 minutes ago, Bescotti said:

I’m also on this cruise, along with some other family members. I checked with both the PNG Consul and HAL to confirm that HAL will organise the PNG visa. Apparently not all the other cruise lines do this.

 

Good to know.

Thanks

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Thank you for the clarification re visa.  Much appreciated.  For those of you already booked, are the port tours all booked out?  Also, I am madly doing my research but a couple of basic questions: I have read elsewhere that 1 bottle of wine person is permitted free.  Additional bottles have a corkage?  Plugs are they US & Euro?  I assume pool towels are supplied by cruise line.  Can they be taken off at ports?  Any other basic info you can think of to throw my way would be great.  Thank you.

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3 minutes ago, aussielozzie18 said:

Thank you for the clarification re visa.  Much appreciated.  For those of you already booked, are the port tours all booked out?  Also, I am madly doing my research but a couple of basic questions: I have read elsewhere that 1 bottle of wine person is permitted free.  Additional bottles have a corkage?  Plugs are they US & Euro?  I assume pool towels are supplied by cruise line.  Can they be taken off at ports?  Any other basic info you can think of to throw my way would be great.  Thank you.

Most port tours are still available so I’m not going to book mine until I’m onboard.

 

You are correct regarding wine - 1 bottle permitted free per person plus corkage for additional bottles.

 

There should be one Euro and one US socket at the dressing table.

 

Towels will be provided in your cabin to take ashore - they are usually striped, different from the pool towels provided on deck.

 

Something a lot of passengers don’t seem to be aware of is that you can phone the Dining Room when it opens at 5.30pm and order off the evening dinner menu (available on the HAL intranet on your phone, tablet, etc) and have it delivered to your cabin at a time you nominate and there is no charge for this. I’ve done this with others when we couldn’t be bothered dressing up for the Gala night but wanted to enjoy menu items from the Gala menu. As one of the others had a large rear facing balcony, she had her steward set up table and chairs out there for us.

 

 

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It really bugs me re PNG visas, we give the PNG Govt hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid, but where does it go?  Then they have the nerve to hit their givers, us !!! a visa fee !! :classic_ninja:  I went to PNG in 1970 and again in 2006, to tell the truth, I could not see much of the Aussie aid dollars spent.  I have my suspicions.:classic_ninja:

Edited by NSWP

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59 minutes ago, Bescotti said:

I’m also on this cruise, along with some other family members. I checked with both the PNG Consul and HAL to confirm that HAL will organise the PNG visa. Apparently not all the other cruise lines do this.

Cheers for that.

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6 minutes ago, Bescotti said:

Most port tours are still available so I’m not going to book mine until I’m onboard.

 

You are correct regarding wine - 1 bottle permitted free per person plus corkage for additional bottles.

 

There should be one Euro and one US socket at the dressing table.

 

Towels will be provided in your cabin to take ashore - they are usually striped, different from the pool towels provided on deck.

 

Something a lot of passengers don’t seem to be aware of is that you can phone the Dining Room when it opens at 5.30pm and order off the evening dinner menu (available on the HAL intranet on your phone, tablet, etc) and have it delivered to your cabin at a time you nominate and there is no charge for this. I’ve done this with others when we couldn’t be bothered dressing up for the Gala night but wanted to enjoy menu items from the Gala menu. As one of the others had a large rear facing balcony, she had her steward set up table and chairs out there for us.

 

 

Excellent information. cheers

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4 minutes ago, NSWP said:

It really bugs me re PNG visas, we give the PNG Govt hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid, but where does it go?  Then they have the nerve to hit their givers, us !!! a visa fee !! :classic_ninja:  I went to PNG in 1970 and again in 2006, to tell the truth, I could not see much of the Aussie aid dollars spent.  I have my suspicions.:classic_ninja:

We give aid to many other countries as well and have to get visas for entry.

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The money collected for  visas would probably not even pay the wages of the people who issue them.

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Thank for that info much appreciated.  Not getting into the debate on visas. Likely to come back with more questions once I've printed off my paperwork.

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26 minutes ago, NSWP said:

It really bugs me re PNG visas, we give the PNG Govt hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid, but where does it go?  Then they have the nerve to hit their givers, us !!! a visa fee !! :classic_ninja:  I went to PNG in 1970 and again in 2006, to tell the truth, I could not see much of the Aussie aid dollars spent.  I have my suspicions.:classic_ninja:

 

They visa us because we visa them.

 

With regards to HAL, I believe that they are still charging for gratuities on top. So that is an extra expense to look out for.

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Thank you for the reminder re the grats. I factored that in when I was looking at the cruise cost.  I think it's $15.95 USD pp per day but I am happy to be corrected or when I check my paperwork.

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It's been a few years since I last cruised HAL. Do they still provide shampoo and conditioner or have they gone the way of others and supply generic "shower gel"?

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1 hour ago, SinbadThePorter said:

 

They visa us because we visa them.

 

With regards to HAL, I believe that they are still charging for gratuities on top. So that is an extra expense to look out for.

Sure we visa them because they visa us, but they don't give us any foreign aid, lol.

 

But you can visit reception and ah hem..'adjust them.  Don't repeat that on the HAL board, I would get smashed.

Edited by NSWP

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2 hours ago, aussielozzie18 said:

Thank you for the clarification re visa.  Much appreciated.  For those of you already booked, are the port tours all booked out?  Also, I am madly doing my research but a couple of basic questions: I have read elsewhere that 1 bottle of wine person is permitted free.  Additional bottles have a corkage?  Plugs are they US & Euro?  I assume pool towels are supplied by cruise line.  Can they be taken off at ports?  Any other basic info you can think of to throw my way would be great.  Thank you.

With all due respect, if you go over to the HAL board on CC, I am sure you will get the up to date answers to your queries.  Given that the HAL fleet does not sail our waters that often, compared to other mainstream lines like P&O Australia, Princess, RCI, Carnival etc.

 

Anyway I would appreciate any comment on Noordam after your cruise as we are on her 21 April.

 

Above all, enjoy your adventure.

Edited by NSWP

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14 minutes ago, lyndarra said:

It's been a few years since I last cruised HAL. Do they still provide shampoo and conditioner or have they gone the way of others and supply generic "shower gel"?

 

HAL provides Elemis shampoo, conditioner and shower gels in dispensers. I usually take my own as I’ve got very sensitive skin.

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16 minutes ago, lyndarra said:

It's been a few years since I last cruised HAL. Do they still provide shampoo and conditioner or have they gone the way of others and supply generic "shower gel"?

Reading a current blog from Noordam on HAL board, Shampoo and conditioner are provided, topped up as necessary.

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Thanks. I remember the dispensers and wondered if they changed. Two less things I have to pack.

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I spent hours last night reading pages of posts in the HAL forum.  Little mention of the Noordam, apart from several complaints about it being tired and well overdue for its 2019 refurb. Did enjoy reading a current TR from a Midwest guy with a great sense of humour who just cruised Fiji, NZ, etc on her.  Will definitely ask my questions on the HAL forum though. Had got great info from the Royal forum in the past.

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15 minutes ago, aussielozzie18 said:

I spent hours last night reading pages of posts in the HAL forum.  Little mention of the Noordam, apart from several complaints about it being tired and well overdue for its 2019 refurb. Did enjoy reading a current TR from a Midwest guy with a great sense of humour who just cruised Fiji, NZ, etc on her.  Will definitely ask my questions on the HAL forum though. Had got great info from the Royal forum in the past.

I don’t mind answering questions if I can help. I tend to only cruise with HAL now as I like it’s more interesting longer itineraries. This 15 night cruise will be the shortest I’ve taken in years.

 

I’ve enjoyed the BB Kings Blues Club in the past and I’ll be interested in seeing what the Lincoln Centre Stage is like, which was first introduced on the Koningsdam.

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I am on the Maasdam next Jan for our 1st HAL cruise so am enjoying the various bits of information.

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3 hours ago, aussielozzie18 said:

I spent hours last night reading pages of posts in the HAL forum.  Little mention of the Noordam, apart from several complaints about it being tired and well overdue for its 2019 refurb. Did enjoy reading a current TR from a Midwest guy with a great sense of humour who just cruised Fiji, NZ, etc on her.  Will definitely ask my questions on the HAL forum though. Had got great info from the Royal forum in the past.

 

It's been three years since I was last on Noordam, but it seemed fine to me then. It's now a nearly 13 year old ship so I suppose time will take its toll.

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The Noordam was my first cruise so naturally I loved it and they still have happy BOGO twice a day makes up for the gratuities.

the New Guinea visa fee is minimal in comparison with other countries.

Cheers Carole

 

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Thanks Elorac.  

 

Happy to come back after the cruise and report on the experience for NSWP and Mick and anyone else who reads the forum.  Might even work out how to post photos.  I read it is easier with the new cruise critic.

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2 hours ago, MicCanberra said:

Cheers, I wasn't aware of the BOGO drinks. We will look forward to that.

BOGO $2 Mic.  So you can buy one Baileys and buy another one for $2.  When you do the BOGO thing, the two drinks have to be the same, you know like Princess used to do.:classic_rolleyes: 

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2 hours ago, aussielozzie18 said:

Thanks Elorac.  

 

Happy to come back after the cruise and report on the experience for NSWP and Mick and anyone else who reads the forum.  Might even work out how to post photos.  I read it is easier with the new cruise critic.

I appreciate that, thank you. Enjoy ye olde Noordam.  1st HAL cruise for us too, so am getting excited, even though 5 months out, got our cabin number 7098.

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57 minutes ago, NSWP said:

I appreciate that, thank you. Enjoy ye olde Noordam.  1st HAL cruise for us too, so am getting excited, even though 5 months out, got our cabin number 7098.

5 months out definitely exciting.  Have booked a guarantee verandah so gotta wait for assignment.  All good.

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4 hours ago, aussielozzie18 said:

Thanks Elorac.  

 

Happy to come back after the cruise and report on the experience for NSWP and Mick and anyone else who reads the forum.  Might even work out how to post photos.  I read it is easier with the new cruise critic.

Cheers, I will appreciate it.

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2 hours ago, NSWP said:

BOGO $2 Mic.  So you can buy one Baileys and buy another one for $2.  When you do the BOGO thing, the two drinks have to be the same, you know like Princess used to do.:classic_rolleyes: 

Excellent. sounds like it would work well.

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54 minutes ago, MicCanberra said:

Excellent. sounds like it would work well.

It will, you know my old saying 'The more you drink the more you save.'🍷

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